Friday, 28 October 2011

Friday Top Ten - 28/10/11

Edging closer to being a Friday Top 20, this week there are 18 new tracks for you to listen to, with 7 free downloads. Just press play above to hear it, the tracklisting and download details are below.
  1. Sad City - Twilight (or Tightrope)
  2. Modeselektor & PVT - Green Light Go
  3. Gold Panda - An Iceberg Hurled Northward Through Clouds (Peaking Lights vocal remix) Free download
  4. Sandro Perri - Futureactive Kid (Part 1)
  5. Real Estate - It's Real
  6. Golden Grrrls - Red Sea
  7. Gauntlet Hair - Showing
  8. Moby - The Poison Tree Free download
  9. Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans (Penguin Prison Remix) Free download
  10. Friends Electric - Puzzle Pieces (Dademari Remix) Free download
  11. Foster The People - Life On The Nickel (Mansions On The Moon Remix) Free download
  12. Justice - New Lands
  13. Rewards - Equal Dreams Feat. Solange Knowles (Eddie Mars Remix) Free download
  14. Holy Ghost! - Hold My Breath (Cosmic Kids Remix)
  15. The Juan Maclean - When I'm With You
  16. Slugabed - Sun Too Bright Turn It Off
  17. Onra - A New Dynasty Free download
  18. Crushington - Voodoo Skank

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Recommended music: 'Impossible Spaces' by Sandro Perri

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, 'Impossible Spaces' is the second solo album under his own name from Sandro Perri. A former member of Great Lake Swimmers, Perri has more recently released music under the Polmo Polpo alias, but has now returned to his birthright having pretty much established his own genre - electrojazzfolk. The album is a huge amalgam of musical styles, but with great tunes and melodies being the order of the day throughout.

'Changes' opens with some very familiar Pink Floyd-esque 2 note bass before becoming a slighter off-kilter song which morphs into a Steely Dan instrumental at the end. 'Love and Light' (watch the video below) has a Latin rhythm with Perri's voice taking centre stage to great effect. Next 'How Will I?' brings a flute to the party on another track that at 8 minutes long, is like 2 songs in one, whereas 'Futureactive Kid' is one song split into 2 parts for the next 2 tracks.

The album comes towards a close with the epic 10 and a half minute 'Wolfman', a beautiful acoustic ballad with some 70s style electric guitar that is so good you don't realise that 10 minutes have passed while you listen to it. Then the title tracks finishes things off with some more acoustic guitar and either a trumpet or tuba solo while the birds sing to send you on your way.

Overall this is a really great album, whatever genre you manage to pigeonhole it into.

sandro perri · love and light from Pedro Maia on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Keeping It Peel

Today is the anniversary of John Peel's Death, and the day we celebrate his life. Press play to listen to 20 of the tracks/artists that I most associate with the Peel programme, and raise a glass of red (his preferred tiple) to the memory of the man. Tracks featured:

  1. PJ Harvey - Sheela-Na-Gig
  2. Billy Bragg - A New England
  3. The Jesus & Mary Chain - Just Like Honey
  4. The White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl
  5. Cocteau Twins - Pearly Dewdrops' Drops
  6. The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
  7. Half Man Half Biscuit - All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
  8. The Wedding Present - Kennedy
  9. The Fall - Hit The North Part 1
  10. Ivor Cutler - Squeeze Bees
  11. The Buzzcocks - What Do I Get?
  12. Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster
  13. Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding
  14. Jonathan Richman - That Summer Feeling
  15. The Cure - A Forest
  16. Julian Cope -Out Of My Mind On Dope & Speed
  17. Mogwai - New Paths To Helicon Pt 1
  18. Arab Strap - The First Big Weekend
  19. The Undertones - Teenage Kicks
  20. The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?

Friday, 21 October 2011

Friday Top Ten - 21/10/11

A bumper selection of 17 new tunes for you this week. Click on the play button above to listen, details of all the tracks are below, including 11 free downloads
  1. Has-Lo - Maxell UR Free download
  2. Holy Fuck - Latin America (Kelpe Remix) Free download
  3. James Blake - We Might Feel Unsound
  4. Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica Free download
  5. Lana Del Rey - Video Games (Balam Acab Remix) Free download
  6. Vatican Shadow - He Ambled Down The Dirt Road For Visits To A Market
  7. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Garden (Soul Clap Like It's '97 Mix)
  8. Doomtree - The Grand Experiment Free download
  9. The Big Pink - Stay Gold (araabMUZIK Remix)
  10. Major Lazer - Keep It Going Louder (So Shifty Remix) Free download
  11. Clapan - Manipulation
  12. Chrome Sparks - Still Sleeping Free download
  13. Diagrams - Antelope Free download
  14. Yusuf Azak - Soft Vision Free download
  15. Moon Duo - Causing A Rainbow
  16. CSS - City Grrl (Teeth Remix) Free download
  17. Portishead - Chase the Tear (Doldrums Refix) Free download

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Track of the Day: 'Maxell UR' by Has-Lo

A taster from his forthcoming album 'Conversation B' on Mello Music Group Records, this is a reworking of the track 'Untitled #2' from his album 'In Case I Don't Make It', released earlier this year.

The lyrics tell the story of how Has-Lo got into hip-hop, from liking the music to becoming an artist himself -it's great how a record about hip-hop is actually a good hip-hop record in its own right! Download the track above and read the words below.

From the moment of my conception 
The foot of my fate using the effort of every muscle he could in his frame 
To put on his weight, to push on the gas peddle 
Propellin me here, to be the cat you might’ve slept on 
Who deads your career 
Is destiny. All I had to do was stay alive 
Biding my time waitin for a sign to arrive 
It came in the form of L.L.’s tape 
The one that had the same title as the picture on the front of the case 
9 years young in ’88, Rob Base 
Easy E, Cube, Ren & Dre, G and Kane 
Hammer on the first lp, EPMD 
Nike, Reebok, Fila 
Scrape a little tar off the curb, hold the needle on your spinning top 
Dubbin the cassettes on my double deck boom box 
Funny 3-quarter length tube socks 
Run to the Koreans on the ave for a stop watch 
Until the next thing; black, red & green 
Black power, and Islam and talks by Farrakhan 
Pete Rock and the Mecca Don 
Groomed in the game by an array of all of the ultimate in rap ever 
In any era to do it. ’92: Redman, ’93: Black Moon 
I’m into high school, mad puerto ricans 
In came the Wu-Tang, everything changed 
The world of hip hop watched Rza make 7 straight classics 
Nas shredded my dome with Illmatic 
I spent ’95 married to the Mobb 
When a mixtape used to be a Maxell U-R 
S&S, Tony Touch, Clue and Doo Wop 
Me and mike used to swap lps in class 
He let me hold both Jeru and Gang Starr 
We’d bang a joint like 3 days and trade off 
When the real heads owned and shaped the heart and the soul of the art 
That we authored and sold 
Until them devils strong armed the control 
And now it’s all corporate, but I ain’t in the pulpit 
I just remember Tribe. I just remember walkin to the store in the summertime 
To cop Stakes Is High 
I just remember Com’ Sense, Bootcamp Clik 
Black scully hats and my first pair of timbs 
I saw rappers locked up, saw them get free 
I saw rappers lose their careers over beef 
I saw rappers on coke, crack, weed and d 
I saw them in their prime die younger than me 
I saw Biggie die on the eve of Life After Death 
To see him alive in the video is eerie inside 
Murdered by his own people. I guess ‘Pac wasn’t enough 
I thought that all we got is us 
The world of hip hop had hardly even gotten up 
Then Big L took a frickin bullet in the brain a couple of weeks past 
When my born day came, and Freaky Ty from the Lost Boyz got slain 
And Big Pun’s health caught up and his heart failed him 
We sat angered ‘cause we ain’t have the power to save him 
But all things come to an end. Spring, summer to fall 
Winter to spring and summer again 
Now I’m hearin hip hop is dust in the wind 
6 feet deep covered in dirt and dead under my timbs 
Like it was one of our peeps, so we keep the essence alive 

‘cause that’s the way that some of us live 
I feel the hunger in my stomach and ribs 
I’d rather starve for my craft, than slob for the math 
And it’s a couple cats holdin it down 
but in the mainstream current overflow and they drown

Monday, 17 October 2011

In pictures: Withered Hand live at The Borderline, London 13/10/2011

Just a few photos from the Withered Hand gig at The Borderline last Thursday. Warm, funny and entertaining, and he finished with my 2 favourites - 'Religious Songs' and 'Hard On' - so I left a happy man.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Spiritualized - Live at The Royal Albert Hall 11/10/2011

Here's a couple of videos from Tuesday night's show at The Albert Hall. Only someone like Jason Pierce could get away with playing the whole of his new album, which isn't out for six months, at a venue like that, with a full string section, brass and choir. So here's one of the new songs:

After playing the new album they returned and played another set of old and obscure stuff, and then crowned the evening with a rendition of 'Oh Happy Day', which you can see here:

A great evening, the new songs sound immense, a bit less bluesy and a bit more soulful. Looking forward to the album in 2012!

In pictures: DJ Shadow live from the Shadowsphere at Village Underground, London 7/9/2011

This was my first visit to Village Underground - it's a great venue and I'll definitely go to see bands there again (I've already been back for the Moniker Art Fair).

As you can see, Shadow started his performance inside 'the Shadowsphere', before the low-tech release mechanism (he pulled a lever!) span the casing around to reveal him hard at work inside:

A great show mixing old and new tracks in a cool venue - what more could you ask for on a night out?

Recommended music: 'Telemetria' by Clapan

Following on from the great 'Birds Swirl' EP by Monokle comes another great release from Russia via FUSELab, and this time it's a full length album. From Denis Gorsunsky, in the guise of Clapan, the record covers quite a wide range of electronic styles, as the tracks veer from ambient to dub via electro and techno. You can feel that Denis is stretching himself to cover as wide a spectrum as he can, as much to prove to himself as to others. When not making records he teaches students the ins and outs of creating music on computers at the Spektral audio school - you can imagine that this album would be a great teaching tool if you wanted to show your students the range of music that could be created by a pc.

Influence-wise you can hear some older school electronic acts, such as The Orb on the first track 'Time Relay', or Kraftwerk in the drum track of 'The Back Of Silence'. These are thrown in the mix with newer acts such as Dominik Eulberg and Max Cooper on the likes of 'Manipulation' (one of my favourites on the album) and 'Old-Cool Support'. There are snatches of found vocals and sounds used like Gold Panda or Balam Acab would, and overall it's one of those albums that draws you in envelops you in a world of soundscapes and textures.

You can listen to extracts of the album below, and it's available to buy now from Beatport or Juno.

[PASSX005] Clapan - Telemetria // Album by FUSELab

With thanks to Yuri at FUSELab for the album.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Friday Top Ten - 14/10/11

Here's this week's selection of new tunes, 14 tracks for your aural delight. Press play to listen, track details are below, including 8 free downloads.

  1. Golden Grrrls - New Pop
  2. So Many Wizards - Best Friends Free download
  3. Peter and Kerry - One Thing 
  4. This Frontier Needs Heroes - Space Baby
  5. MGMT - All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
  6. Vetiver - Can't You Tell (Bing's Slim For Summer Dub) Free download
  7. Diagrams - Antelope (Ghost Eyes Remix) Free download
  8. Forest Swords - Bones (Ghost Hunter Remix) Free download
  9. Patten - Ndi Bem (My Panda Shall Fly ''Unknown Igbo'' Incident) Free download
  10. Water Borders - What Wi Want (Damu Remix) Free download
  11. The Weeknd - Rolling Stone (Funkystepz Edit) Free download
  12. Shit Robot - Answering Machine (Planningtorock's Pizzo Remix) Free download
  13. Tim Hecker - Sketch 5
  14. Ayshay - WARN-U (Nguzunguzu Megamix)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Recommended music: 'Late Night Tales' - MGMT

This is the first of the Late Night Tales series that I've bought, but it certainly won't be the last if they're all as good as this. If you don't know about them, each one is curated by a different musical act, who also include a new cover version, and in fact that's what attracted me to this release. MGMT do a cover of 'All We Ever Wanted Was Everything' by Bauhuas, a track that I'd always liked but had long forgotten. It's a really good cover version, but I'm pleased to say that the rest of the album more than lives up to it.

As you might expect from MGMT it's a pretty diverse selection, featuring psychedelia, weirdness and obscurities from a number of different decades, a lot of which I'd never heard before. So you get Suicide rubbing shoulders with The Velvet Underground, Martin Rev mixing it with Spacemen 3, Julian Cope, Durutti Column and loads more. There's quite a few instrumental tracks, nothing too noisy, and overall it's a really interesting and intriguing listen.

As well as the cover version another feature of the albums is that there is always a spoken word story included. On this release it's written and narrated by Paul Morley, but unfortunately it's part 2 of 4, part 1 having been on the previous release by Trentemoller, so I might at least have to get that one to hear the beginning of the tale.

One of the advantages of buying this release on download rather than cd  is that, as well as the continuos mix, you get the full length versions of each of the individual tracks. As such it's pretty good value - a near 80 minute mix plus 19 individual tracks giver you a total of over 2 and a half hours of music.

So download a copy, select the relaxing substance of your choice, turn the lights down low and relax to the story MGMT want to tell you with their Late Night Tales.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Recommended music: 'The Less You Know, The Better' by DJ Shadow

2 years in the making, in this record Josh Davis has tried to ignore the naysayers and critics and just get on with putting everything into an album that reflects the true spirit of DJ Shadow and everything he likes about music right now. The result is a much more cohesive record than his previous release 'The Outsider', one that's not afraid to take risks and experiment with musical styles but which always always feels like it's working to the same goal.

So it is you get old school hip hop on 'Back to Front (Circular Logic)', followed immediately by the rock guitars and posturing of 'Border Crossing'. Then 'Stay The Course' features raps by Posdnous and Talib Kweli, but hot on its heels is followed by the guitars and flutes of ballad 'I've Been Trying'. The pattern of contrasts is repeated, as the mournful piano ballad 'Sad and Lonely' is followed by the rocky 'Warning Call', which features Tom Vek and sounds not unlike 'The Saints Are Coming'. The next 3 tracks - 'Tedium', 'Enemy Lines' and 'Going Nowhere' could easily be on Shadow's debut, while 'Redeemed' takes another haunting female vocal sample and backs it with some of his classic hip-hop riffs.

'Run For Your Life' is a frantic track in the vein of 'Mashin' On The Motorway', completely the opposite of the psycho-beat-poetry of 'Give Me Back The Nights' which comes next and which is a bit freaky. 'I Gotta Rokk' soon restores the uplifting mood - doing exactly what it does on the tin, this is easily the best marriage of rock and hip-hop since Aerosmith & Run DMC made 'Walk This Way'. The least successful track on the album is 'Scale It Back', which features the vocals of Little Dragon but which is just a little bit dull. 'Circular Logic (Front To Back)' is more classic Shadow sampling, and then the record closes with '(Not So) Sad and Lonely', a reprise of the earlier track with less vocals but which, too me, in fact sounds even sadder than its first incarnation.

Interestingly, if you play the album through just listening to the tracks credited to DJ Shadow (i.e. without the guest vocalists) it sounds a lot more like a sequel to 'Endtroducing', whereas with the other tracks it's a bit of a hybrid from all 3 previous albums. Nevertheless, whichever way you hear it, it's an enjoyable listen and one which should ensure that Shadow remains in people's memories and adds to the credit he should receive for being one of hip-hop's true heroes.

'The Less You Know, The Better' Radio Ad by djshadow

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Recommended music: 'Kinshasa One Two' by DRC Music

In July 2011 eleven producers headed to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo to record an album with contemporary Congolese musicians. Those 11 (Damon Albarn, Dan The Automator, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Jneiro Jarel, Richard Russell, Actress, Marc Antoine, Alwest, Remi Kabaka, Rodaidh McDonald and Kwes) worked with over 50 local musicians such as Jupiter and the Okwess International, Bokotola System, and Nelly Liyemge, to record the record over the space of just 5 days, which has now been released on Warp Records.

Unlike Albarn's previous foray into African music (the Mali Music album in 2002) his involvement here is far more understated, and his vocals only appear on the first track 'Hallo', which does sound quite a lot like it could've been a Gorillaz track. Elsewhere on the album there's a wide variety of styles as the different producers involved each take a hand in steering the music. So the music veers from more distinctively African tracks, like the acapella 'Love', to some which have more of an electronic underpinning. It doesn't feel disjointed though, and the whole album hangs together really well with an overall percussive feel and an uplifting sense of spirit.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has long been racked by conflict and is home to one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. Proceeds from this album will benefit the local performers and Oxfam's work in Congo. So you get to hear some good music while at the same time helping a good cause - simples! The video below gives you a taster of how the sessions came together, and below it you can listen to three tracks from the album.

DRC Music - Kinshasa One Two (see ) by DRC Music

Track of the Day: 'New Pop' by Golden Grrrls

105 seconds of pure power pop from this Glaswegian trio. Available on Night School Records (click here) as a 7", limited to 300 copies.

You can hear both sides of the single below. There's a launch gig instore at Kristina Records in Dalston, East London on 11th November at 8pm.

LSSN005: Golden Grrrls "New Pops / Red Sea" by NightSchool

Friday, 7 October 2011

Track of the Day: 'Cruel Summer' by Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat

Regular readers will know that I rate 'Everything's Getting Older' by Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat as one of the best albums of the year. There's a new EP on the way from the pair on October 17th, and from it comes this cover of the 80s 'classic', given a makeover in the maudlin Scots' unique style. The summer sounds a lot crueller on this version than it ever did when Bananarama sang about it.

Friday Top Ten - 7/10/11

14 tracks in this week's selection, half of which you can get as free downloads. Click on the play button above, track details and download links are below.

  1. DRC Music - Hallo (feat. Tout Puissant Mukalo and Nelly Liyemge)
  2. Sleep ∞ Over - Stickers
  3. Oh Land - Bloodbuzz Ohio Free download
  4. DJ Shadow - Enemy Lines
  5. David's Lyre - Hidden Ground (D/R/U/G/S Remix) Free download
  6. Florence + The Machine - Shake It Out (The Weeknd Remix) 
  7. White Denim - Hot Thought Free download
  8. DRC Music - Respect Of The Rules (feat. Loi X Liberal)
  9. The Golden Filter - Shake Free download
  10. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Ffunny Ffriends (The Naked And Famous Remix) Free download
  11. Chapel Club - Waterlight Park (demo Jan 2011) Free download
  12. Withered Hand - Hard On
  13. Josh T. Pearson - Sorry With A Song
  14. Broken Shoulder - Shark Island

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Haiku of the Day

Listening to Smiths
songs, is the thing that most takes
me back to schooldays.

(Yesterday I bought 'Complete' by The Smiths, a 106-track collection of all of their albums, remastered by Johnny Marr. Although I had most of the albums on cd they were pretty old and poor quality, and at just over 21p a track it seemed like a bargain. I'm currently 60 songs into listening to the whole collection...)