Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Track of the Day: 'The Look (Two Inch Punch Shook Shook Remix)' by Metronomy

You'll already know that 'The Look' was one of my favourite tracks from one of my favourite albums of last year. And now it gets a fresh, sleek new makeover so that I can fall in love with it all over again in 2012. The track is released as part of Metronomy's new single next week, and you'd be a fool not to buy it.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Track of the Day: 'Hey Shooter (feat. Erykah Badu)' by Rocket Juice and the Moon

The first fruits of Damon Albarn's new project with Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Tony Allen has just been released online. Featuring Erykah Badu, it starts off in a fairly amateurish way, before developing nicely. Allen's trademark drumming underpins some funky basslines, giving the track a contemporary African feel, which is topped off with some brass from the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (who also featured on the last Gorillaz album). Damon noodles around on some keyboards as he is prone to do, while Badu's silky tones warble away some rather vague lyrics that may (or may not be) an anti-gun message.

It's not gonna set the world on fire, but it's an interesting enough track (certainly head and shoulders above the recent Gorillaz / LCD Soundsystem / Andre 3000 track, which was a crushing disappointment).

The album is out on March 26th and also features contributions from Mailian singer Fatoumate Diawara and Ghanian rapper M.Anifest.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Track of the Day: 'Futile Devices (Shigeto Remix)' by Sufjan Stevens

A rather gentle and lovely way to end the weekend. Originally on Sufjan's 2010 album 'The Age of Adz', the track has now received a great remix from Shigeto, turning it into something that would be perfectly at home on an Ibizan beach at sunrise. You can listen and download it for free above, courtesy of the wonderful Ghostly International label.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Track of the Day: 'All Of You' by Riz MC (feat.Aruba Red & Plan B)

Massive new tune from the supremely talented Riz MC. A tale of obsessive,selfish love unfolds over hypnotic, mesmerising, menacing beats. There's more than a hint of Tricky about this track, both in the vocals and the dark beats.

The video matches the threatening feel of the track and features a guest appearance from Jodie Whittaker, who you might have seen in Venus, Attack The Block or Black Mirror (Riz's alternative career as an actor clearly came in handy when he was putting this video together!).

The single is released on 12th March, and will be the first release from the new album 'MICroscope'

Friday, 24 February 2012

Recommended music: 'Aurora' by Weird Gear

There are a lot of albums around these days that sound like they wish they'd been made in the 80s. But now Essex band WeirdGear have taken things up a notch by making a record that sounds like it actually was made in the 80s, and has been languishing in a basement somewhere waiting to be discovered (maybe Jamie Oliver found it with those Joy Division & New Order masters and guns that he recently exhumed. If you were around at the time this is the kind of record that will make you nostalgic for Atari consoles, Commodore 64 computers and Yamaha DX-7s (if you weren't, look them up on Wikipedia to see what you missed.

Unusually for an electronic act the band record and play live, using only analogue equipment, which is the reason for this record sounding so much like something that's just fallen through a warp hole and smuggled itself onto your laptop. So whilst there are occasional hints of Kraftwerk in the music, their live shows are certainly more spontaneous than their Teutonic ancestors.

Standout tracks are probably opener 'Heat of the Midday Sun' with its electronic vocals, the instrumental 'Holding On' which sounds a lot like a Goldfrapp backing track, and 'Game' which starts off all Blade Runner quickly turns into an electro-stomper.

This is apparently the first of 2 albums we can expect from WeirdGear this year, as they've been hard at it in the studio for months. The album is released on Monday and is, as you'd expec in 2012t, available from all good stores (but sadly not Woolworths, which is where you would've bought it from in 1982).

New Music Mix - 23/2/12

Here's my latest mix of new music for you to enjoy - just click on the play button above to listen. Track details:

  1. Burial - Kindred
  2. Lucky Paul - Rather Go Blind (Etta James Rework)
  3. Bonobe - Eyesdown (feat. Andreya Triana & DELS
  4. Ital - Floridian Void
  5. Eliphino - No More
  6. o F F Love - CloseToU (oOoOO Remix)
  7. Boom Bip - Clocked
  8. The 2 Bears - Get Together
  9. Blondes - Pleasure (Robert Miles Remix)
  10. Friends - Friend Crush (Jake Bullit Remix)

Track of the Day: 'Autonomia (Pinch's Apocalyptic Rework)' by Mark Stewart vs Primal Scream

My favourite mix from the newly released 12" by Mark Stewart vs Primal Scream. The original version sounds a lot more like Primal Scream than this one does, but I love the menacing feel of this mix. The mood of the track fits the story of the song, which is about Carlo Guiliani, who was killed at the G8 demonstrations in Genoa.

The single is out now on 12" and download through Future Noise Music.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Track of the Day: 'Airstrike (Tom Furse Remix)' by Daniel Avery

It's fair to say that I know absolutely nothing about Daniel Avery (I was gonna look him up and then copy some stuff of the internet into this blog, but I figured you could manage to do that yourselves). I don't even know what the original version of this track sounds like.

There are two facts I do know, however, and these are they:

  1. I haven't yet heard a duff mix by Tom Furse (of The Horrors)
  2. This particular mix is throbbing and pulsating, brings to mind Factory Floor, and is rather brilliant.
Best of all, you can download it for free, courtesy of FACT magazine, so get clicking on the link above!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

In pictures & video - Gauntlet Hair / Novella live at The Shacklewell Arms, London 21/2/12

Another trip to East London last night (this time courtesy of Loud and Quiet mag). We caught the end of first support band Inca Gold, then saw the whole of London three girl, one guy band Novella play their entertaining guitar-based set.

Novella live at The Shacklewell Arms
Then headliners Gauntlet Hair took to the stage, making a fair deal of noise just for two people.

Live on stage
The vocals were crystal clear, the looped guitars chimed out (see pic of the guitar pedals below) and overall it was a short but sweet set.

Loop-tastic guitar pedals!
I managed to grab some video footage of one of my favourite tracks, Top Bunk, which you can watch below.

Track of the Day: 'Hold On (SiSi BakBak Rmx) by SBTRKT

There's a lot of gossip and rumour about who the mysterious SiSi BakBak, maker of this brilliant remix, is. Those in the know claim that it's definitely Thom Yorke, and there are certainly plenty of clues pointing in that direction. For a start it sound like it good be a remix from Yorke's solo album, there are snatches of vocals that sound like the man himself, and then there's the use of the abbreviated 'RMX' - this was how all the recent Radiohead remixes were labelled. Ultimately though, it doesn't matter whether Thom's behind this or not - all that counts is that this is an absolutely immense remix which you need to own.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Track of the Day: 'Crossing (Andrew Weatherall Remix)' by Wooden Shjips

Finally available to buy this week (I got mine from Boomkat here) this is the best track from the Wooden Shjips remix 12" that Thrill Jockey Records have just issued. With its swaggering, low-slung bass and acid-tinged keyboards this is a hypnotic, throbbing beast of a mix that deserves to be played loud through some extremely big speakers.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Track of the Day: 'Brains' by Lower Dens

An awesome new track from the forthcoming album 'Nootropics'. Kinda like Shoegaze meets Krautrock, the track has an insistent, throbbing rhythmn that drives it on as it burrows into your brain(s) - listen to it with headphones on for the full insistent effect. It's the kind of song that you can't only listen to once - as soon as it stops you just have to start it again (and again, and again...)

Listen and download for free above, or click here to order the 10" vinyl, which is released on 27th March.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

New Music Mix - 14/2/12

Here's the latest of my new music mixes - press the play button above and enjoy! Track listing:

  1. Funerals - Water Over Night
  2. Doom, Thom Yorke & Jonny Greenwood - Retarded Fren
  3. Evian Christ - Fridge, Crank, Gun
  4. Friends - Friend Crush (Leo Zero mix)
  5. Diagrams - Night All Night (Disco Bloodbath Remix)
  6. Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka - Battleships (feat. Abigail Wyles)
  7. Eric Delay - Moment Three
  8. Yacht - I Walked Alone (Get A Room mix)
  9. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die (Guxxi Vump Remix)
  10. oOoOO - No Way Back
  11. Dom, Dels & Dave Sitek - Rhymin Slang
  12. Justice - On'n'On (Justin Robertson's The Deadstock 33s)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Recommended music: 'Kindred EP' by Burial

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this new EP from the master has just dropped on Hyperdub. The title track alone is worth the price of the record - eleven and a half minutes of dark, brooding music that's definitely one of the best tracks that the elusive star has ever put down. It prowls through the dark, menacing and melancholic in equal measure, as the rhythm drops in and out of the track. 'Loner' is more solid, less visceral, as if the drifting forms in the previous track have taken shape. Finally the strangely titled 'Ashtray Wasp' closes the EP on quite an upbeat feel (well, as upbeat as Burial gets). There's almost a reggae feel to some of the beats in this one, and although it's just under 12 minutes long, it doesn't outstay its welcome. All in all this is a pretty awesome EP - certainly one of the first truly essential purchases of the year.

You can buy the download, and hear some of the tracks, on the Hyperdub site now.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Live review: Friends - The Lexington, London 7/2/12

A great evening at The Lexington last Tuesday watching Friends, the hotly-tipped new band from Brooklyn. Personally I was glad that they didn't win the BBC's Sound of 2012, as that would've meant that they were cosy mainstream pap, which clearly they're not. Samantha Urbani is a great frontwoman, and the whole band are talented musicians, swapping instruments and jokes with each other throughout the night. Musically the band don't seem to have decided yet whether they want to be funky or punky, but they certainly put on a great show. The new album is out in May, when they will also be touring the UK again - make sure you catch them!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Track of the Day: 'Friend Crush (Leo Zero mix)' by Friends

The first ever remix of a Friends track, this funky dancefloor workout channels the spirit of Chic and makes handclaps sexy again. Even better, the track is free to download, just click on the picture above to get your copy.

To go with the remix the band have announced a new 9-date tour of the UK in May, though I'm lucky enough to be seeing them at The Lexington tomorrow! The new tickets go on sale on Friday, and the band will take in  Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, London, Brighton, Birmingham and Bristol.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Recommended music: 'Clay Class' by Prinzhorn Dance School

Although they're on the DFA Records label, there's an unmistakeably British sound to this second album from the UK duo of Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn. Spiky, post-punk guitars and post-modern rhythms meet boy-girl vocals on a record that looks forward and back in equal measure.

The vocals throughout have a half-sung, half-spoken feel, as if they can't decide which to choose, and don't care either way. Throughout the album the sparse arrangements strangely feel quite oppressive, as if the space left between the bass and drums is full of ghosts waiting to haunt you.

'I Want You' is probably the most effective track on the album, striking a great balance between male & female vocals, guitar, bass and drums - it feels like a song you've known for years, and the lyrics have a perfectly weighted, sinister tone. 'Your Fire Has Gone Out' is Franz Ferdinand vs Elastica vs Wire vs Art Brut, while 'Crisis Team' feels cold but comforting. Maybe 'Flaura and Fauna of Britain in Bloom' tries a bit too hard and falls a bit short of its target, but 'Turn Up The Light' soon repairs the damage. The one string guitar solo on here reminds me a bit of New Order and also (I'm not sure why) the track makes me think of The White Stripes. 'Sing Orderly' talks of "cds and pills" in "Copenhagen in France", as if the objects and places are interchangeable, while other lyrics on here sum up the album - "the children are the future" but "the kids are punks".

Overall an enjoyable listen from start to finish. If you want to catch the band live they're playing 93 Feet East on 1st March.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

In Pictures: Fence Records Chart Ruse Launch Party - The Shacklewell Arms, London 3/1/12

Last night saw the launch event for the Fence Records E.P Series. As well as the two Fence acts performing (Seamus Fogarty and Withered Hand) there was a guest set from Brentwood's finest Darren Hayman. Also milling around were the great and good from the label, including Kenny (King Creosote), who we had a nice chat with at the bad beforehand, and then stood next to during the gig, Johnny (The Pictish Trail), who was on door duties, and Rozi Plain, who sang on a couple of Withered Hand songs. There's some snaps below of Dan (Withered Hand) in action during his great set, which featured a mass sing-along during 'Religious Songs', some entertaining between song banter, and a couple of songs from the new EP. Coming back for the encore,   the calls (from me and a few others) were for 'Hard On' - despite Dan claiming 'I'm not sure I feel virile enough for that on' he managed to get it up to perform the closer.

Overall it was a great evening out - 3 acts for a fiver, and the pie & mash at the bar beforehand was pretty good as well. I hope they do the same for the next two releases!

An interestingly-coloured Seamus Fogarty
The man like Withered Hand
Dan gets animated
Up close and personal

Friday, 3 February 2012

Recommended music: 'MU.ZZ.LE.' by Gonjasufi

Described as a 'mini-album' by label Warp (although there are 10 tracks it's only 25 minutes long), this record is a collision of hip-hop, trip-hop and psychedelic influences. The tracks collide into one another like a militant mixtape, while beats and samples underpin alternately sung and spoken vocals. For me the standout is 'Nikels and Dimes', but even that track is difficult to extract from the music that surrounds it.

This is an album that works really well as a whole piece, drawing you in to its dark, trippy world, as the distorted vocals creep into your ears and your soul. there are snatches of soundtracks, echoes of effects, gentle moments mixed with full-on screaming sessions.

In places it reminds me of Tricky at his most impenetrable - there's a denseness, a heaviness to some of the songs that smothers you. it's an intriguing records that makes you long to hear more of some of the shorter tracks - here's hoping we get a follow-up later in the year.

Get a free download of 'Nikels and Dimes' for the price of your email address below.