Saturday, 28 February 2015

Recommended music: 'Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon' by The Wave Pictures

Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon

Not necessarily what you might expect to find recommended within these pages, but like we always say round these parts, there's only two types of music; good and bad, and this is definitely in the former category.

Recorded in three bursts of 2 days, the album is produced by the legendary musician and Stuckist Billy Childish, who also plays guitar and sings backing vocals and is credited with co-writing all of the songs (or at least the ones John Fogerty didn't write of, which more later). If you're unfamiliar with The Wave Pictures they've been around since 1998 and have released an average of one album a year since 2004, which is pretty good going. 

From the moment that the title track cracks open the album you can tell you're in for a rollicking good garage rock ride. The fact that in places the track sounds a lot like 'Spanish Stroll' by Mink DeVille (ask your dad) does it no harm at all. By the time second track 'I Could Hear The Telephone (3 Floors Above Me)' rattles into view singer David Tattersall sounds like a cross between Lloyd Cole and Edwyn Collins, and I'd already got this marked down as one of the rock albums of the year.

Tattersall has a way with titles and wry, Morrissey-esque lyrics, and the overall impression created by the record is that the band are an undiscovered National Treasure - imagine The Kinks crossed with The Smiths and you'll be in the right lines. This is despite the fact that the last track on side 1 and the first on side 2 (you have to get the vinyl, it's that sort of album) are Creedence Clearwater Revival covers, something that Childish suggested but which somehow works perfectly in the middle of the album.

Overall this is a fantastically energetic, upbeat and fun rock'n'roll record that might just make you want to pick up your guitar again and form a shambolic good-time band. I'll see you in the garage.

Video of the Day: 'All Day' by Kanye West

After his startling, show-stealing (until Madonna fell over) performance at the BRITs on Wednesday, Kanye's immense new track moves closer to an official release with this video. Essentially this is a recording of the live version of the song (including all the n-words that were bleeped out on the night) with a new black and white video, to make the whole thing look a bit more polished.

Austerity Audio 2015.2

It's the end of February, which means it must be time for the latest instalment in my Austerity Audio series, and this month there's a bumper 12 tracks for your aural pleasure.

This month's selection is fairly hip-hop centric, but even within that genre there's plenty of different styles on offer. And away from that there's room for a couple of great remixes, one by Andrew Hung (of Fuck Buttons fame) and another from Richard Norris (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve, The Grid, The Time and Space Machine etc. I think this is one of the strongest Austerity Audio mixes for a while, so I really hope you enjoy listening to it. As usual each one of these tracks is available legally for free (or possibly in exchange for your email address) from the vast expanse of the internet, so hunt down the ones you love, and also why not buy a track or two from some of the artists to help them keep making music. To download the mix just right-click on the picture ans 'save as', or use the link at the bottom of the page. Here's the tracklist:

  1. Paul White - Running On A Rainy Day (Paul White's Seagull Mansion live version)
  2. Clark - Bruise
  3. Lonli - Hanged Little Skeletons
  4. Hodgy Beats & Don Cannon - HakuemeniB
  5. Drew Dave - Techno Beat (feat. Kenn Starr)
  6. Yokan System - Klee
  7. Zun Zun Egui - African Tree (Andrew Hung Hidden Sweetness Mix)
  8. Public Service Broadcasting - Gagarin (Richard Norris Vostock Mix)
  9. Mello Music Group - Celebrity Reduction Prayer (feat. Open Mike Eagle, prod. by Oddisee)
  10. Rome Fortune x OG Maco - Sex (AC Slater Remix)
  11. Scientific Dreamz of U - Sacred Fractal Geometry
  12. Young Fathers - Rain Or Shine
Here's the link again.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Video of the Day: 'Go' by Public Service Broadcasting

It's very much been Public Service Broadcasting's week, what with the album being released on Monday, shows at the National Space Centre, and now this video for new single 'Go'. It's a bit more serious that the previous one for 'Gagarin', but it's still a great video, and it tells the story of the lunar landing in a new way.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Recommended music: 'Projections' by Romare


With his début album released this week on Ninja Tune, it's time to shine a light on the musician known as Romare. He took his name from collage and cut'n'paste artist Romare Bearden, and if you listen to this record you might understand why. Hints and snippets of samples are layered upon music that both spans a wide range of dance and electronic styles. Just listen to 'Motherless Child' below and you'll get a hint of what's in store.

Despite being mostly instrumental it still covers a wide range of themes, from the 70s gay disco tribute of 'Rainbow' to 'Work Song' covering that old chain gang mentality and building it into an ultimately uplifting vibe. There's funk, there's soul, there's electronica, and overall it's a brilliant electic collection of sounds. It's one of those records that almost feels like it's someone's life's work, you can feel the heart and soul that Romare has poured into this music.

'Nina's Charm' is the perfect way to start, with the clips of Nina Simone undercut with handclaps and samples, gently easing you into the record. And by the time you get to colder 'La Petit Mort', which chills the vibe back down again, you feel like you've come to the end of a thrilling journey through history.

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Recommended music: 'EarthEE' by THEESatisfaction

EarthEE cover art

Stas and Cat are back, and in a big way. Featuring guest appearances from long-time collaborator Shabazz Palaces as well as Meshell Ndegeocello, Porter Ray and Taylor Brown. Recorded in Seattle and Brooklyn, it's a sultry and sassy mix of hip hop and r'n'b that showcases their signature style to great effect. There's not really anyone else who does what they do, blending soulful grooves and beautifully harmonised vocals with educated lyrics and on-point raps.

If you let yourself sink into this record you'll find there's something hypnotic and mesmerising. I think it's partly the way the vocals are sung; gently, seductively, with none of that over-the-top diva-ish hyperbole that you'll hear on many chart-bound r'n'b tracks. And some of the tracks are spoken almost like a mantra, like the start of 'Recognition' for example.

The highlights come thick and fast here - gorgeous vocals on the title track, the darkly electronic 'Sir Come Navigate', the conscious lyrics on 'Planet For Sale'.  Overall there's such an aura of class about the album, and it's certainly the most effortlessly sensual album I've heard yet in 2015. Take a chance and discober them, they certainly deserve your recognition.

You can stream the album below, and then I recommend you buy it from Bandcamp.

Track of the Day: 'Don't Mean A Thing' by Lapalux

This track was recently premièred by Flying Lotus on his Radio 1 show. Taken from the forthcoming album 'Lustmore' (out on April 6th), it's a slightly woozy affair that will send you off in a haze. Anyone who's good enough to make 2 albums for FlyLo's Brainfeeder label is surely worth 5 minutes of your time, especially for the steel guitar at the end.