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.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Recommended music: 'Music In Exile' by Songhoy Blues

Music in Exile - LP

Living proof that the blues is not only a universal language but that it can also be uplifting, Songhoy Blues have journeyed from playing 4-hour sets in a small club in Mali to hipster hangouts in London, partly through choice and partly by necessity. As exiled musicians themselves, having fled their home towns when music was declared 'haram', they made it their mission to entertain outher lost and exiled souls from northern Mali, and to help fight the notion that making music was a sin. In a place like Mali, with a rich musical heritage, they felt that to live without music would be like living in a prison.

And now, after first appearing on last year's Africa Express album 'Maison des Jeunes', they're here to share their gift with us. The album is packed full of brilliant guitar riffs from Garba Toure, as well as some quieter, more reflective moments. Mixing their own songs with reworkings from the Songhoy ethnic tradition, it's a real blend of African and blues music. Produced by Nick Zinner (from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) it's both exuberant and emotional, raw but powerful. You certainly shouldn't pigeonhole this as 'African' or 'world' music, but instead just place it in the box marked 'good music' - it has the power to reach out and speak to you regardless of whether you understand the language or not.

As good as they are on record you really need to see them live to get the full force of their energy and passion, so if they come anywhere near you then go, you won't be disappointed.

PS Is it just me or is that the most 70s-looking album cover you've seen since, well, the 70s? I don't know if someone has deliberately gone for that look, but that's certainly what they've ended up with. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Remix of the Day: 'The Forest (Richard Norris Mix)' by Black Rivers

Just a few days after his brilliant mix of Public Service Broadcasting, Mr Richard Norris has come up trumps again. I must admit to not being that impressed with Black Rivers when I saw them supporting Elbow recently, but here they're reworked and re-energised in a way that I very much approve of. At this rate I'll have a whole Balearic-infused mixtape of Norris remixes by the time I go to Ibiza in July.

Recommended music: 'The Race For Space' by Public Service Broadcasting

'The Race For Space' Vinyl pre-order

The sophomore album from Public Service Broadcasting sees them tell the tale of the space race between Russia and America between 1957 and 1972. Following their usual model of using historical soundclips, they play the two sides off against each as they reach epic and sometimes tragic milestones, from the launch of Sputnik, to the death of the 3 Apollo 1 astronauts, to the first spacewalk and ultimately the moon landing. According to the sleevenotes they used different mixing techniques and even a different drum kit to record each nation's tracks, and in doing so they've successfully managed to give a different feel to the CCCP and the USA.

The record does feel like a development for the band and a step forward for them. With an act like this who are so dependent on the recorded clips there was a risk that the songs could become very formulaic and repetitive, but here they've developed new sounds and new ways of working. The first two tracks are probably the most diverse, moving from the heavenly choir on the title track to the funked-up "superhero theme tune" of 'Gagarin'. Later on they enlist the help of Smoke Fairies on 'Valentina' to bring a female perspective to the story of the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. Meanwhile 'Go' is a fantastically energetic and joyous retelling of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

For me the most impressive thing about this album is how they've managed to convey both the emotion and majesty of the space programmes, and also managed to inject a tinge of sadness that it all came to such an abrupt and disappointing ending. To send a manned to the moon with less computing power than there is in a modern-day iPod is a phenomenal achievement, and you have to wonder where we could be now if the two nations had pooled their resources and worked together to develop an ongoing and sustainable space programme.

If you haven't seen the brilliantly fun video for 'Gagarin' then you should go here to watch it. And you can get a free remix of that track from this page on my blog.

'The Race For Space' CD pre-order

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Remix of the Day: 'Irganda (Red Snapper Remix)' by Songhoy Blues

With their debut album 'Music in Exile' due out in a couple of days time and more and more live shows being announced, Songhoy Blues are really in the ascendancy. This remix from Red Snapper is an interesting take on the original, slowing it down, adding more drums and really changing the textures of the song. It still feels African, but somehow like it comes from a different country on the same continent.

Here's the original version for you to compare.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Video of the Day: 'To Die In L.A.' by Lower Dens

Equal parts glamorous and seedy, this colour-saturated new video from Lower Dens heralds their new album 'Escape From Evil', as well as a new look for main woman Jana Hunter. Featuring the improbably named actress/model/singer Actually Huizenga, and the impossibly handsome Danny Ata (pretending to be Marc Jacobs), it's some kind of morality tale (I think) on the vacuousness of Hollywood. Oh, and there's some dead deer in it too for reasons which don't become apparent. Weird.

The new album is out on March 30th.

EP of the Day: 'Paul White Visits The Seagull Mansion' by Paul White


Paul White's Seagull Mansions are a fluid collective of South London musicians who gathered together in a Lewisham garden one sunny day last year to record versions of a couple of tracks from his excellent 'Shaker Notes' album. The new versions expand upon the original templates, making them more widescreen and technicolour while still keeping the essential vibe of the tracks.

Also on the EP is a brand new track featuring new Australian talent Jitwam, and a bonus hip-hop beat which shows why White is still in so much demand by discerning rappers to make beats for them.

The whole EP is available to download for free, so listen below and then grab yourself some quality free music.

Remix of the Day: 'Gagarin (Richard Norris Vostok Remix)' by Public Service Broadcasting

Whether as part of the Time and Space Machine with Erol Alkan or on his own, Richard Norris' remixes are always guaranteed to please. Here the takes the funked-up brass laden 'Gagarin' and mellows it out with strings and Spanish guitar, creating a perfect Ibiza sunrise moment (if only we weren't stuck in England in February).

The track is available for free here in exchange for your email address. And if you're feeling the Balearic vibe then you should also check the remix below from 'The Way Out Sound From In', the 2014 album that collected together some of Richard's best remixes. In this one he digs uo long-forgotten band A Mountain of One and sets them off on horseback into the sunset.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Track of the Day: 'Go Out' by Blur

So in the space of a few hours Blur have announced a new album (The Magic Whip), a gig in Hyde Park on June 20th, and the first new fruits of their labours, 'Go Out'. The first thing to note is that it sounds nothing like Albarn's melancholy and autobiographical solo album from last year 'Everyday Robots'. It's kind of refreshing to hear a dumbed-down Damon on a bog-standard Blur track. Although it's driven by a blinding Coxon guitar line there's nothing particularly special about the track - it's not as good as their one-off releases 'Fools Day' or 'Under The Westway' - there's a daft joy to it which allows us to revel in the fact that they're back together, while at the same time hoping that there's something a bit more substantial on the album.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Remix of the Day: 'Pray To God (Mike Pickering vs Calvin Harris Hacienda mix)' by Calvin Harris feat. Haim

Embracing his influences, Harris has let legendary DJ & remixer Mike Pickering loose on his latest single, with fantastic results. This version manages to sound contemporary while at the same time paying tribute to those great nights at one of the most famous clubs in the world. Have a listen, it's double good.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Remix of the Day: 'The Sky Opposite (Tim Hecker Remix)' by Dorian Concept

This track will be out in April as part of an EP of remixes from Dorian Concept's 2014 album 'Joined Ends'. Also featured are mixes from Bibio, Nathan Fake and Kuedo which have not yet been forthcoming, but for now we have this ace slice of electronic textures from Tim Hecker. As the track progresses and the white noise subsides the melody gradually coalesces as if from nothing. Listen below, and you can order the EP in advance from Ninja Tune here.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Recommended music: 'Lost Themes' by John Carpenter

Lost Themes

You have to wonder why it took John Carpenter so long to get round to doing this. With his soundtracks revered as much as the films he made them for, and recent re-releases from Death Waltz Records (I got the orange vinyl Escape From New York and the marbled edition of The Fog) his impact and influence has possibly never been greater.

The record he's put out, in collaboration with his son Cody and godson Daniel Davies, displays all the hallmarks of a classic Carpenter soundtrack, but with the benefit of today's modern equipment and recording standards. To be honest, I think a lot of people would've been happy if he'd just gone into the studio and re-recorded some of his 'greatest hits' so we could hear them in a better quality, nut I think it's great to have some new output from him, even if there's no film to go with it.

I've read that these tracks grew out of jam sessions between John and Cody, but you wouldn't know that to listen to them. Some, like opener 'Vortex', are crisp, focused and recognisably Carpenter while the sprawling tracks like 'Obsidian' and 'Domain' go to a number of different places and are almost like  mini soundtracks in themselves.

The album as a whole is brilliantly put together so that it doesn't feel like a collection of pieces but instead actually works like a soundtrack to a film he never got round to releasing - the tension ebbs and flows, the moods change subtly and the whole thing comes together in a way that encourages you to picture the scenes in your head. You might argue that at 67 he's got no business making a record at all, but which would you rather have - some 20 year-old in his bedroom making second rate pastiches of his work, or something new from the master himself?

It's worth noting that when I downloaded the mp3 files that came with my vinyl copy there were six bonus remixes from the likes of Zola Jesus and Blanck Mass on top of the nine tracks - I hadn't seen this mentioned anywhere so it was a nice surprise!

Highly recommended. 


  1. Vortex
  2. Obsidian
  3. Fallen
  4. Domain
  5. Mystery
  6. Abyss
  7. Wraith
  8. Purgatory
  9. Night
  10. Night (Zola Jesus and Dean Hurley Remix)
  11. Wraith (ohGr Remix)
  12. Vortex (Silent Servant Remix)
  13. Fallen (Blanck Mass Remix)
  14. Abyss (JG Thirlwell Remix)
  15. Fallen (Bill Kouligas Remix)

PS I'd love to remix some of these tracks myself, so if any of you know Mr Carpenter can you get him to throw the stems my way?

Recommended music: 'Dena Tape 2' by Hodgy Beats & Don Cannon


It's been nearly two years since Hodgy Beats put out his last EP, and six since the original Dena Tape, but he's back to prove that he's definitely one of the most talented members of the Odd Future collective. With guest verses from Domo Genesis, beats from Left Brain and Hit-Boy, and a brilliant re-use of the beat from Kendrick Lamar's 'Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst', this is a fresh-sounding mixtape that should push him a few more steps along the road to solo success. You can download the whole 12 tracks for free below.

Track of the Day: 'Multi-Love' by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

The first track from UMO's third album (also to be called 'Multi-Love') sees their sound develop further into a hazy, summery, dance-tinged affair. The result is definitely something that will be soundtracking my trip to Ibiza in the summer, it's kinda like a more laid-back version of Tame Impala. The new album is out at the end of May and there's a short tour around the same time too.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

New music: 'Winter Boots (Part 1)' by Clark

An intriguing little EP that dropped into my inbox this afternoon. Clark has given these 3 tracks away after they'd been 'knocking around for a few months' and they're quite different from his usual stuff. With samples and raps it takes his music in a different direction - having heard this I'd like to hear him produce some tracks for someone to spit some hard-edged raps over.

PS The download link is on the Soundcloud page.

Track of the Day: 'Rain or Shine' by Young Fathers

Although it's not long since Young Fathers won the Mercury Music Prize for 'Dead', and the SAY Award for 'Tape Two' before that, news has just broken that their next album will be with us at the start of April. The title - 'White Men Are Black Men Too' - is sure to provoke some discussion (you can read their thoughts on it here) - and hopefully the music will too.

The first track to appear is 'Rain or Shine' and it's a typical melting pot of styles and sounds. Starting with sixties-style keyboard riff, more layers soon appear - droning bass, crackly drums, sung vocals, spoken vocals and a chorus that repeats and repeats to drill into your brain. After a few listens I reckon it's one of the best things they've ever done.

Have a listen below and then head over to their website here where they'll give you a free download in exchange for your email address.