Thursday, 28 June 2012

Recommended music: 'Luther / No More Power' by Eaux

Formed by members of the Sian Alice Group (Sian Ahern, Stephen Warrington & Ben Crook), this 7" is the first recorded output by Eaux, and frankly it's rather brilliant. Much more electronic than their previous material, the tracks pit Sian's voice to soar and weave over percussion, loops and layers of synths.

First track 'Luther' is beautifully melodic, with a filmic quality which means that it wouldn't sound out of place as the theme music to the TV show it's (probably not) named after. The vocals are fairly conventional but the electronic backing gives the track more of an edge than you might expect.

For me though, 'No More Power' is the killer track here. Much harder than 'Luther', the driving rhythm   and pounding, arpeggio'd synths are topped off with vocals that are more sounds than words, although the 'No More Power' refrain can be clearly heard as it drifts over the edgy keyboards. Teutonic in nature, but with a surprisingly emotional quality, it's an awesome song that has immediatley become one of my favourites of the year.

You can buy the 7" direct from Morning Ritual here, and listen to the tracks below.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Live: Jack White / First Aid Kit at Hammersmith Apollo, London 22/6/12

I know this blog is normally about the bleepier, more electronic side of music, but sometimes you can't beat watching a master guitarist at work, and Jack White was certainly that last night.

Before he came on First Aid Kit proved themselves to be a fine support act. With a great line in harmonies, these Swedish sisters, accompanied by a drummer, sang songs from their album 'The Lion's Roar' that traced a line from Johnny Cash & June Carter, through Gram Parker & Emmylou Harris to today (they even have a song called Emmylou).

First Aid Kit

Backed by his all-girl band (he'd used the boys in Brixton the night before) Jack White blasted off with The White Stripes' 'Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground', and immediately had the whole of Hammersmith Apollo eating out of his hand. Throughout the show he was confident, relaxed, and completely in control. As usual there was no set running order, with Jack whispering in the ear of whichever of the girls he was nearest to before he launched into the next song. Mixing up tracks from all of his previous bands, as well as Hank Williams and Leadbelly covers, he bounced around the stage, changing guitars, playing piano, and often sharing the microphone with one of the ladies, who also had a great voice.

Jack White onstage at Hammersmith Apollo

Having seen Jack perform live in all of his previous incarnations, I don't think I've ever seen him looked as relaxed and at ease with himself as he did last night. 'Ball and Biscuit' was so epic he had to take an early break straight after it, before returning for a 9 song encore. He looked like he could've gone on all night to be honest, and with a back catalogue as big and good as his he probably could have done. A top night watching a man totally on top of his game. Jack White played:

  • Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
  • Missing Pieces
  • Sixteen Saltines
  • Love Interruption
  • Hotel Yorba
  • Weep Themselves To Sleep
  • Cannon
  • I Guess I Should Go To Sleep
  • You Know That I Know
  • On and On and On
  • I'm Slowly Turning Into You
  • Blue Blood Blues
  • Ball and Biscuit
  • Freedom at 21
  • Steady, As She Goes
  • Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy
  • We're Going To Be Friends
  • Top Yourself
  • My Doorbell
  • Take Me With You When You Go
  • Seven Nation Army
  • Goodnight Irene

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Gayngs Side of Town - new mixtape

Regular readers will know that the Gayngs album 'Relayted' was one of my favourites of 2010. And seeing them live at SXSW in 2011 was definitely one of my highlights of that trip. If you're not familiar with Gayngs, the album came about through a mutual love of 10cc's track 'I'm Not In Love' and quickly turned into a bit of a supergroup project, creating an album that paid homage to that kind of music while also sounding completely contemporary.

In the absence of any new music from Gayngs I've put together this 15 track mixtape featuring a couple of songs from the record, some stuff from artists who took part or have since hooked up with the band, and some other music that just seemed to fit with the overall vibe. Hope you enjoy it - let me know what you think...

  1. The Art of Noise - Moments In Love
  2. Gayngs - The Gaudy Side of Town
  3. Har Mar Superstar - O
  4. Prince - I Can't Make U Love Me

  5. Bon Iver - Hinnom, TX
  6. Air - Cherry Blossom Girl
  7. Aloe Blacc - Life So Hard
  8. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Sun Is Shining
  9. The Beatles - Something
  10. Bob Dylan - Lay Lady Lay
  11. Beck - Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime
  12. Portishead - Glory Box
  13. Poliça - I See My Mother
  14. Gayngs - The Last Prom on Earth
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to an alleged copyright infringement the free download is no longer available, but you can still listen to the podcast on mixcloud, where there are no copyright issues. I've put the podcast player above.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Recommended music: 'Postable EP' by Oceania

Take one Russian composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer. Add another singer to the mix, brew gently, and release the result on label best known for releasing sharp dubstep. What emerges is 5 intriguing tracks, full of atmosphere, bass wobbles and crisp beats, but with an overall air of something slightly unwordly.

'Mantra' starts with a Balam Acab-type vibe before the beat steps up. It's followed by the boy-girl duet 'You Live In Me', which sounds more than a little like Portishead might if they stepped up their beat quotient. Title track 'Postable' throws a wobbly bass under a looped vocal and seems to be aiming for a James Blake feel. 'Stop' brings back boy-girl dreamy vocals on the most up-tempo track on the EP, while closer 'Forest' picks up an old school drum and bass beat and hunts at a different direction. Throughout the EP the vocals are used sparingly, leaving the right amount of space for the music to permeate your ears. Listen below.

Friday, 15 June 2012

New Music Mix - 15/6/12

Here's the latest mix of music that's been clogging up my brain for the past few week. Press the play button to listen above, the tracklisting is below. If you've got any new music you think I should be listening to then please send it to me - one of the main points of this podcast is to introduce people to new artists that they might not have heard of before (as well as including a few more well known tracks). Enjoy!

  1. Ghosting Season - Time Without Question (Russell.M.Harmon remix)
  2. Fhloston Paradigm - Chasing Rainbows
  3. Actress - Raven
  4. Gold Panda - Financial District
  5. Eliphino - Don't Make Sense
  6. Luke Abbott - Modern Driveway
  7. Mogwai - How to be a Werewolf (Xander Harris Remix)
  8. Cakewalk - Glass
  9. Lussuria - American Babylon
  10. Gravenhurst - Fitzrovia
  11. Seamus Fogarty - The Wind (Geese Remix)
  12. Peaking Lights - Beautiful Son

Friday, 1 June 2012

Recommended music: 'Multi-layered Shining' by Deech

I was tipped off to this release by a tweet from Slugabed the other day. Created by the 23 year old Dmitriy Deech from Minsk, Belarus the EP was originally released at the end of March.

The five tracks on display are a confection of squelchy keyboards, snatches of vocals, dubstep rhythms and blips. My favourite is probably 'Skyworm', but they're all worth a listen, and anyway you can download them for FREE so you've got no excuse not to listen. Warm your ears up below, then head off to Bandcamp for the downloads.