Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Gangsta leaning dub crushers from 6Blocc, versioning modern dancehall and hiphop classics with a diamond cut finish. Top of the pile has to be his mix of Eric B and Rakim's 'Follow The Leader' tracing a line between Texan chopped & screwed techniques and swampy dubstep, closely followed by a firin' mix of Cham's 'Ghetto Story'. One of the best in this series.
Finally available on vinyl, this rediscovery features Peter Walker on electric guitar, playing as part of a full band line-up that fuses the acid rock of the late-'60s and early-'70s with Indian raga influences. In Walker's hands this fusion could hardly sound more natural and organic, droning mesmerically through 'Medication Blues' - a cocktail of hand-played percussion and crunch-tone twang. Woodwind adds a jazzier, melodic element to 'Camel Ride', further complicating the blend of influences running through the album. Walker returns to acoustic guitar for 'Missing You', while … Read more
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Big-boned party house trax from Jesse Rose. 'Non-Stop Dub' rules the A-side with a highly effective discohouse dub cut, all intuitive loops of endless dancers pleasure with a very broad appeal. '(Where Were You) Last Night' shakes up a wilder rhythm on the flip with bumpy broken house percussion and cut-up R'n'B vocal for the club. Heaps of fun!
Thursday, 22 April 2010
A trio formed by Rachel Aggs, Rachel Horwood and Ros Murray in London last year, Trash Kit are a band who put a different slant on garage rock, incorporating African rhythms and percussion styles, and the odd stretch of South East Asian folk dance (well, they have a track called 'Filipino Boy') into their brand of no-wave, consequently bringing to mind The Slits. The band's sound is mercilessly dismantled, stripped down to an essence of punchy, very skeletal guitar and bass workouts, with a djembe-augmented drum kit and some colourful, implicitly jazzy use of sax and violin. The vocals are ofte… Read more
Surely the closest Kranky are likely to get to a straight-up rock band, Chicago's Disappears could probably comfortably rub shoulders with the likes of Wooden Shjips and other such space-rock devotees. Thus far the band has self-released a clutch of material: two singles and a limited live album, making this new Kranky album their first 'official' (whatever that even means anymore) release. 'Gone Completely' might just have you dreaming up a sludge-rocking, Stooges-loving version of fellow Kranky-ites Deerhunter, but then Lux goes on to provoke a number of comparisons: there's the Motorhead-goes-sho… Read more
Kompakt's occassional "deep techno pop" imprint returns to life with Popnoname's 'Hello Gorgeous' backed with a Terranova remix. It's the Terranova mix that really stands out for us, minimising the jangly guitars and fey vox of the original into a slow burn of Europhoric trance-pop with sub-padded bass similar to Axel Willner's celebrated style. Popnaname provide their own 'Le Klub' mix, thickening up the rhythm section and giving the vocals a slightly more narcotic aura to work it down't club.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Flotilla is the sometime project of Ho Hum label head Alex Pilkington. He's previously contributed his guitar playing to records from Kirk Degiorgio, Mark Pritchard and Spacek, including the sought after '?' release beloved of Mala. With the 'Behave' 10" he offers four tracks, from the Godfather meets DJ Shadow on a Broken Beat flex of the title track, to two gently rolling ambient tracks and an 808-driven groove experiment.
Trailing in the wake of their well-recieved drops for Aquatic Lab and Deep Medi, New Zealand's Truth spill over two tracks of darker dubstep. 'Timeshift' focusses on crisp percussion and depth charged subs synced for the swingers while 'Hackerz' on the flip cloaks the riddim in sci-fi synthlines for that darkside shower effect.
Monday, 19 April 2010
It's not often that you come across an all-star avant-metal collaboration themed around the hot beverage-themed demise of a winged insect, but that's exactly what this strange LP is. Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff of Nadja team up with Italian harbingers of sludge, Ovo, for a typically glacial exercise in creepy, lumbering doom-gaze. 'A Wasp Flying Around The Sugar Jar' is a slow, creaking starter, but once it's in full flow, the band lock into a punishing grind, complete with screechy female vocals from Ovo's Stefania Pedretti. 'Trapped In The Jar' feels more energised and more… Read more
Another fine example of Static Caravan's current predilection for all things folk, this debut 7" by Swedish songstress Tula features two melancholic compositions that are likely to please not only fans of more straight-up, recent indie folk types like Laura Marling, but also the more atmospheric fare associated with the likes of Hope Sandoval. 'No Name' is a relatively uptempo exercise in fingerpicking and harmonium tones co-penned with Cameron Miller (known for his work with Badly Drawn Boy ad Emiliana Torrini, among others). 'Remind Me' is better still, draping itself in unearthly strips … Read more
Much hyped indie disco from masked duo Monarchy. 'The Phoenix Is Alive' is a great stab at early 80s inspired Italo disco with more contemporary male indie vocals on the A-side, while the exclusive B-side 'It Must Be Love' gleans the most sacharrine elements of Johan Agebjorn/Sally Shapiro and works them into a glittering slow pop jam. This is destined to become a bit of a hit this summer we reckon...
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Brighton's Hornblower Brothers follow their self-released EP Adventures In The National Geographic with this infectious new single. This quintet reveal a shambling, breezy disposition on A-side 'Give & Receivers', but the ragged performances and solid lyrics offer more than just an easy-going indie rattle-along. The Formby-esque vocal delivery is pretty charming too. The B-side is ace too, and is introduced by that rarest of things: acceptable use of a stylophone. 'The Ghost Of Kerouac' is a real cracker, sounding pleasantly end-of-the-pier whilst fashioning irrepressibly tuneful hooks around the escapist chorus of "In a Cadillac/With you and the ghost of Kerouac".
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
In this day and age, it must surely be getting harder and harder to make yourself heard when you're just some solitary guy holding an acoustic guitar. The Tallest Man On Earth (aka Kristian Matsson) is just that however, and even on record he's a lone presence, strumming or fingerpicking his way through Dylanesque verses like it was 1964. Although in theory what Matsson does is out of sync with the times, and not particularly fashionable, he does it all so well that none of that remotely matters. His previous album, Shallow Grave, set various influential blogs and forums al… Read more
Thursday, 08 April 2010
The Buttons divide two more tracks from their 'Tarot Sport' album and offer them to the legendary J. Spaceman and Alan Vega for some reverential treatments. 'Olympians' is among their most ambitious tracks to date, clocking in at 11 minutes and brimming with ecstatic, youthful and colourful noise made palatable for the new generation. J. Spaceman's 'Spaceman vs. The Olympians Remix' is a far more intimate and melancholy affair, taking half the time of the original to construct a post-euphoric environment textured with crackling fire and ambient sounds, sublime vocal harmonies and an altogther … Read more
"The second album of the Phantom Band is quite different to the predecessor. The line-up features the spoken word performer Sheldon Ancel on the microphone instead of bass player Rosko Gee. Whilst the debut album revealed many Caribbean or African influences and a generally positive frame of mind, "Freedom of Speech" is a somewhat darker avant-garde rock manifesto, interspersed with individual dub or reggae pieces. All they have in common are Jaki Liebezeit's inimitable monotone polyrhythmic drumming and the Phantom Band's predilection for hypnotic (Jamaican) grooves."
This off-kilter electro-pop duo follow the cult success of their two limited edition white label singles 'Browbeaten' and 'Yes, and Dance' with a first official release via the reliably on-the-ball Moshi Moshi label, recruiting cosmically-themed remixing assistance from Time & Space Machine and Astronomer. 'Cavalier' is a rather strange yet highly likable affair, sounding a little like a rickety, scaled down take on Hot Chip's nerd-pop. The Astronomer mix offers a minimal disco alternative to the original while Time & Space Machine stretch their legs across a … Read more
Sonar Kollektif regular Christian Prommer reworks a further handful of house and techno classics for 'Drumlesson Zwei'. Sicking with the concept from the first session, he re-imagines dancefloor standards like Laurent Garnier's 'Acid Eiffel', Aril Brikha's 'Groove La Chord' and Rolando's 'Jaguar' as percussive jazz-driven grooves, re-contextualising them for the bar, the patio or the coffee table. It's a brilliant feeling when the melody of each track comes into earshot and you can turn to your mate or whoever is sitting next you and give that "ahhh, i know this one!" look, but you don't have to say anything, you both just know it when the feeling hits. Go deep.
Heavy breaks-influenced dubstep rave from Finland's 501. Both tracks are built for sweaty impact, from the bullish 'The Eyes Never Lie' to the synth-stung 'Downplay' over the flip.
Dubstep rave drops from South Africa's SFR for the Guinea Pig outlet. 'Binary Crunch' features surging waves of synth over a clean and efficient halfstep, while 'Tourette Step' inserts expletives over a wobbling halfstep squasher.
Thursday, 01 April 2010
Glasgow's Rudi Zygadlo offers his take on the purple dubstep sound backed with remixes from Starkey and Slugabed on Planet Mu. Rudi's sound is essentially dubstep fusion, adding pop structures, eastern European classical music and contemporary US indie into a entirely plausible mesh that prioritises the song over all else. 'Resealable Friendship' starts the session with a shock of Gemmy/Zappa style squiggly synth riffage and punchy syndrums, while Starkey embellishes the dancefloor potential with crunked beats and Slugabed folds the riddim into concatenated angular strikes. 'The Udu And The Clave' closes with a rocking display of IDM extravagance.
Rossi B and Luca are a pair of hard spinning DJs and producers from South London. They've been at the centre of the whole grime/dubstep/garage thing for years, delivering killer remixes like their 'Ghosttown' refix (whoever has my copy, i'm going to find you one day and it's not going to be friendly) and the more recent garage killer for Soul Motive. 'E10 Riddim' and the 'Police Ar Come Run' version featuring Killa P are their concessions towards Funky, using febrile soca drums and, stinging sirens and barking stabs to whip up a pure frenzy riddim. To be fair, it sounds more like… Read more
Domino reissues a remastered edition of Roman Candle, the debut solo album by the late and very great Elliott Smith. Originally released back in 1994, Roman Candle has always sounded conspicuously lo-fi, and while nothing has been done to alter Smith's original mixes, some delicate mastering has been undertaken so as to make the record a little louder and remove some of the louder moments of fret buzz and dampen some of the harsher sibilant sounds. Don't worry though, the job has been handled with great sensitivity by all the right people: Larry Crane, Elliott's o… Read more
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
France's premier 'step export returns with his third 12" for Black Acre. In the space of the last 18 months Von D has appeared all over the dubstep marketplace, from appearances on Soul Jazz's 'Steppas' Delight' comp to an inclusion on Chef's Dubstep Allstars 07 mix. This small but well formed catalogue of productions has singled him out as a talented and versatile producer. He displays two sides of his ouevre here, from the tropical bass-step of 'Miss Maui' starring M. Phinx on vocals, to the lush, jazz-influenced broken bounce of 'Moon Eclipse' on the flip. Accomplished riddims for the more discerning dubsteppers!
Punchy breakstep tracks from I.D & Skinnz (aka Baobinga). 'Offshore' is the ruffer of the pair, dipping through quaking sub drops and 'ardkore breaks inna classic Toasty style, while 'Shimmy' is the craftier one with mad kinky Afro-Latin voodoo syncopations designed to itch feet and hips into action. Fans of Bristol's Immerse label, Skull Disco or Boabinga should check this.
Over two and a half hours of funky Afro-influenced tracks from the 60s and 70s golden period of the seminal Discos Fuentes label in Colombia. 43 dancefloor hits in an irresistible mix of genres: Salsa, Cumbia, Boogaloo, Tropical Funk, Chicha. Many songs reissued for the first time, includes rare photos and original LP artwork. Recommended!
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Electrified dubstep from Kiat & Alley Cat on Kokeshi. 'Purple Clouds' zooms Kraftwerk into a dubstep future populated by subbass shuddered zombies instead of robots, while 'The Missing Channel' plugs a billowing halfstep rhythm with robust melodies akin to sticking a naked battery on your tongue.
Monday, 29 March 2010
Last seen delivering top-quality garage-pop for Woodsist, The Fresh & Onlys move over to that other great home for scuzz-rock tunesmiths: Captured Tracks. Expect six songs filled with clattering '60s psych-pop revisitations and astutely observed, melodious punk-rock detritus. "After some great records in 2009, theres a new album on In The Red due in the Summer, a bunch of super cool 7"s on a wide variety of labels, UK tour in May, ATP in May, 2010 will be the year that F&O broke...amazing stuff from San Francisco, skewed pop, with swoooping choruses and a real "punk" detail, real… Read more
Thursday, 25 March 2010
This new Black Tambourine compilation on Slumberland makes their previous release, Complete Recordings seem less than aptly named: here you not only get the ten songs of that latter album, but also a further six, cultivated from two demo recordings, and more notably four brand new recordings made last summer especially for this compilation. Additionally, all the songs have been remastered and repackaged with brand new liner notes and never-before-seen band photos. This Slumberland group were originally active in the early nineties, contemporaries of Velocity Girl, with whom Black … Read more
Planet Mu present a special album of Beach Boys/Brian Wilson/Beatles influenced electronic pop from The Internal Tulips. Despite becoming haven for dubstep rave mutants in recent years, Planet Mu has still held an affection for music of a more delicate disposition, think Sunken Foal or a little further back, Julian Fane, for more melodic morsels. The Internal Tulips are actually two Mu veterans aka Lexaunculpt (Alex Graham - whatever happened to him?) and Electric Company (Brad Laner), which should raise a few eyebrows with those who've followed this stuff … Read more
No one needs to point out the surfeit of garage rock drones currently swelling the ranks of indiedom, but undoubtedly, making a clattery, frayed-edge racket is - and always shall be - an excellent idea. Dum Dum Girls position themselves at the top of the garage pile with this exhilarating 29-minute debut album, taking a different slant on that whole scrappy Vivian Girls/Thee Oh Sees school of rock. As Sub Pop themselves point out the album is neither ensconced in scuzz nor excessively polished, making I Will Be a pioneering work of mid-fi. Or, imagine if you will, The Strokes' Is This It … Read more