Wednesday, 31 March 2010
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
Keeping himself admirably busy over recent times, Will Oldham returns with yet another new full-length for Drag City/Domino, a studio-recorded follow-up to last year's acclaimed Beware. For The Wonder Show Of The World, Oldham is joined by his frequent collaborator, guitarist Emmett Kelly, who on this occasion steps up to the position of "first mate and then some", as the album credits would have it. The album starts impishly with Oldham hinting at some nefarious nocturnal activities: "I once loved a girl, but she couldn't take that I visited troubles… Read more
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
This split seven-inch finds Asthamtic Kitty star My Brightest Diamond and fellow songwriter Dayna Kurtz covering each other's songs. Kurtz brings her smoky, deep alto to Shara Worden's 'Gone Away' (from the MBD album, Bring Me The Workhorse), twanging spookily through accompanying banjo passages. Worden returns the favour with her take on Kurtz's 'Postcards From Downtown' (from the album of the same name) which is similarly eerie in demeanour but ranks as a slightly more produced-sounding affair, complete with both acoustic and electric guitars, as… Read more
Y4K invite Caper, Black Noise and Slum Dogs to revise Rhythm Section's rave staple 'Coming On Strong'. Predictably none of the mixes match the original, but Caper does a crafty dubstep version while Black Noise jams on a 4/4 electro-booty style and Slum Dogs send off a rabid D'n'B mix for the horns crew. To the rhythm!
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Eccentric Soul follow up their 'Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal' primer with 'Good God! Born Again Funk' moving down the timeline to cover those underground heroes who merged The Funk and The Spirit in timely fashion between 1969 and 1985. Like the first comp, all the performers here are devoutly Christian, but found a more effective way to spread their Gospel message via the medium of Funk, connecting with their audiences on a level everyone could understand, regardless of religion. We get dynamite discofunk like Gospel Soul Revivals 'If Jesus Came Today' (1983), alongsi… Read more
**Finally available on vinyl** In the last couple of years there's been no shortage of lost folk albums re-appearing for the world to enjoy once more, and the wonderful Numero Group label (which is fast becoming one of our most loved imprints...) has managed to find another. Hailing from the bleak northern city of Halifax, Catherine Howe was initially trained at drama school, gaining a brief stint in Doctor Who ('The Underwater Menace' for all you Whovians out there, wink wink) among other jobs, but all this time she was penning songs and music, she felt, was her true calling in… Read more
Brooklyn's Max Pask and Andrew Potterpatch Detroit, Chicago and NYC dancefloor functions on their debut 12" for Throne Of Blood. 'Mommy' is a well studied blend of traditions, charging slow-jacking NYC house rhythms with a fat square bass payload and Radio Slave-esque synthlinesto finish the job. Meanwhile, Harkin & Raney's remix adds bright keys and abstract synth pads, leading to the Mark E tempo shift of 'Daddy' and the euphoric percussive overload of TBD's 'Mommy Remix'. Fans of DJ Harvey, Radioslave and Levon Vincent need apply...
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
This 1990 Galaxie 500 album draws its title from the classic Ornette Coleman LP of the same name and transpired to be the group's final studio outing. There seems to be a slight expansion of the Galaxie 500 sound on this outing, expanding upon the dream-pop building blocks of prior outings with a heavier drum sound and more textural guitars. Songs like 'Hearing Voices' and 'Spook' soar magnificently, while elsewhere, the woodwind solos of 'Way Up High' and miniature fanfares in 'King Of Spain Part 2' take the group's aesthetic into fresh directions - there's really not a… Read more
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Three great new cuts from lo-fi punk-folkers Woods on the dependably far-out Woodsist label. 'I Was Gone' could hardly sound more unstable and rickety, with its guitars jutting about in a largely unrelated fashion while car-boot drum kits and Hush Arbors style falsetto vocals all pile into the mix. Somewhere beneath all this lies a song. Furthermore, although it's hard to say so definiteively, it sounds like it might be a good one. 'Hang On' is a winner too - a kind of avant-blues number, this time boasting a more fulsome drum recording that spiders across the stereo field while spooky backgroun… Read more
Monday, 08 March 2010
Starkey puts a new spin on his sound for 2010 with the ultra-melodic 'Stars' lifted from his forthcoming 'Ears Drums and Black Holes' album, featuring the blissed-out vocals of Anneka and backed with a grimy Slugabed remix. He's clearly in loved up mode here, serving florid electronics with a lilting dubstep swing to get you in the mood after listening to all that noisy stuff. The Slugabed version gives the riddim a boost with ruffed-up grime snares while draping it in psyched-out glitch textures. Then, just in case you thought Starkey had gone all soft, he slews it with the Crunked hoover-… Read more
Friday, 05 March 2010
Six doses of rampant acid for Planet Mu including all new material that wasn't on the album. You know what to expect with the Sytheme project by now and it delivers in varying tempos from mongy slojak acid to reckless raving acid with infinite permutations of that squiggly noise. If the album wasn't enough for you and you're craving the next fix, lick this. For fans of Mike Paradinas, AFX, Global Goon etc.
Thursday, 04 March 2010
It's great to find that someone's still persevering in the field of warm, intimate instrumental electronica; this latest EP from Stefan Panczak's Inch-Time harks back to the glory days of Hobby Industries and Morr Music. On 'Aurora', soft jets of hiss, filtered dub-centric beats and minimal basslines drive the action, yielding a melodious lead track that gives way into the lulling semi-ambience of 'Crystal Visions'. Equally frail and equally lovely, 'A Handful Of Dust' channels plucked strings through various plugins while gentle, echo-flecked beats flicker on the fringes of the stereo field. The… Read more
A reintroduction to one of America's finest ever alternative rock bands, Quarantine The Past coincides with Pavement's long-overdue reunion. Although (somewhat disappointingly) there are no exclusives on this 23-track collection, as Domino so rightly state: "it definitely goes deeper than the "hits"." For such a beloved band, a single disc Best Of was always going to present a tricky editing job, and sure there are omissions - no 'Zurich Is Stained', no 'Carrot Rope', for instance. In fact, the band's last LP, Terror Twilight is sorely under-represented given that… Read more
Two cheeky breakbeat collage tools from the Library Vultures. 'Popcorn' is the more uptempo one with tonnes of naughty samples and chopped drums, while 'Peckham 123' is slow and moody with a sampled cinematic dialogue. For the Kid Koala/turntablism crew.
Following on from their Ephemeral EP, Pelican return to Southern Lord with a first full-length for the label, and it might be the most broadly accessible body of work in their career to date, getting underway with the post-metal overture of 'Glimmer' - a great heavy rock instrumental that's packed with melody and hard-hitting, detuned riffs that avoids getting bogged down in sludge. The higher register, cleaner toned guitar arpeggios give the track an epic quality that's admittedly rather commercial sounding but never at the expense of compromising on power. Reinstating a certain a… Read more
Wednesday, 03 March 2010
It wouldn't quite seem right to think of The Besnard Lakes as a classic rock band, but aspects of their third album, ... Are The Roaring Night have the feel of something big and timeless, avoiding more fashionable pursuits in favour of moments like the grand and portentous opener 'Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 1', which announces itself in a smear of modulating signals and Pink Floyd-like organ chords before the second part kicks in with group vocals and acidic guitars trailing not far behind. The lyrics are virtually half-formed soundbites, but they… Read more
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Jazz explorers Polar Bear first came to wider attention in 2005 when their second album Held On The Tips Of Fingers was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The same year, the band's leader Sebastian Rochford received the BBC Jazz Awards Rising Star gong. For this fourth Polar Bear record the band have drawn as much influence from classic soul as from their more conventional touchstones, and this manifests itself not only in the structuring of the music (particularly with its riff-heavy horns) but in the warmth of the vintage-style production and heated up drum sound. Peepers cements Polar Bear's p… Read more
Kingston Sounds turn their attentions to uncovering sixteen tracks of original ska music from the vaults of the Wirl and Federal studios. The foundational piano work of Theophilus Beckford is at the centre of this collection. Theo was a celebrated pianist who established a laidback style with 'Easy Snapping' for Coxsone Dodd and laid the foundations for the Skatalites. We have a selection of his classic tracks, from 'Flip, Flop and Fly' to 'Mr. Downpressor' and the timeless 'Bajan Girl', plus other productions from the forgotten heroes of ska like Frank Cosmo's 'On Your Knees', Shenley and Annette's 'Now Your Gone' or Daniel Johnson's uplifting 'Come On My People'.
This has to be one of the strangest records you'll ever hear. It's a reissue of cassette recordings from the mid-eighties by a 10-year-old mohawk-adorned kid from Elma, Washington, who went by the name of the Human Skab. Playing buckets, spoons, pots, pans, toy guns, gardening tools and even the microphone that came with the toy version of Snake Mountain (as in Skeletor's lair), the young Skab (aka Travis Roberts) laid down wildly discordant improvisations about the joy of smashing neighbours' windows and the horror of radiation poisoning. These recordings came to the atten… Read more
Swiss tech-house maestro Ripperton caps nearly a decade of lauded productions with his debut album 'Niwa' for Joris Voorn's Green imprint. His releases and remixes as Lazy Fat People and Ripperton have graced some of the world's most famous house and techno imprints like Planet E, Dessous and Wagon Repair, and brought him much love from players like Laurant Garnier, Tobias and DJ Koze, so you'd expect something suitably upper-crust from his first album. 'Niwa' is just that, a considered and elegantly balanced blend of minimal, classic house and European techno with a rich seam of melodic personality a… Read more
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Neuter River is a new project from Jan St. Werner of Mouse On Mars, one which concerns itself with the more experimental, far-out sounds within the producer's repertoire. The label describes the LP thusly: "Neuter River is not exactly a band or a person, it's the remains of an idea, a shifting light cube at the end of a ragged kaleidoscope. Atonal precission / pentatonic noise." Quite what that means will be unclear even after you've heard the record, but then it's the extremity of the abstract sound-sculpting at work here that makes the record as engrossing as it is. It's fairly heavy-g… Read more
A wonderfully subtle piece of acoustic songwriting from regular Constellation artist, Eric Chenaux. On 'Warm Weather', Chenaux's soft, husky vocal is a thing of extreme loveliness, finding accompaniment from gently, jazzy acoustic guitar phrasings. It's definitely a cut above the general singer-songwriter standard, but when you hear the B-side it's all the more impressive: 'La Vieux Favori 4' is a violin-led drone piece reminiscent of C. Spencer Yeh's output, showing an admirable range of this man's talents.
JSL brings the dubstep rave with three joints for Boka. 'Jack Cates' hurls out screeching mid-range riffage and rooted reggae samples and 'Badman Riddim' hits low and dirty with another rave special. For fans of Kromestar and N-type.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Really excellent deep house/techno jams from Rogan on the occasional Enclave imprint. The label is home to a gang of Irish deep house and techno enthusiasts including the well respected Lerosa and Telepaticos. The '78' EP is, quite shockingly, the debut production from Rogan. We say that because this sounds like the work of much more experienced producer, bearing the subtly supple application of bass and classically arranged percussion of somebody who really knows what he's doing.The dirty bass grind and Larry Heard-esque synth pads of 'Options' is our favourite, closely followed by the Deep Transportat… Read more