Saturday, 16 April 2016

Record Store Day 2016

Another Record Store Day is coming to a close. Despite saying a few weeks ago that I wasn't going. each time I looked at the list of records available I found something else to interest me. So this morning, like last year, I headed to South Records in Southend for an experience much like last year's. I got there about 6:40 and was 10th in the queue, which soon expanded.

Phil Jupitus arrived about an hour later carrying 2 boxes of records - he was DJing from 8-10, before going on to do 2 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang shows so he had a busy one!

Phil Jupitus, South Record Shop 16/4/16
The doors opened bang on 8 o'clock, and in an unfortunate repeat of last year, they proceeded to let the entire queue into the shop at once. I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult to regulate the number of people in the shop like a lot of other records stores do on RSD. Anyway, I headed straight for the 12" section where I got most of the singles I wanted, then turned round and eased towards the albums. By the time I'd grabbed a few of those I was literally stuck in the middle, unable to move towards the till, or anywhere in fact. Some shuffling and persuading took place and I managed to reach the box of 7"s to grab a few and then ease my way forward to pay. Squishing aside, I still got mostly everything I went for, and the prices were certainly more reasonable than in places like Rough Trade. I was out of the shop by 8:30 and headed off to the seafront for a marathon training run. Here's a picture of what I bought.

I've listened to nearly all of these and the one that absolutely sounds the best is 'Private Life' by Grace Jones - the bass and drums in particular are amazing. The Public Service Broadcasting picture disc probably looks the best, but I'm not sure which is my favourite buy yet. I've got Xiu Xiu's Twin Peaks covers on at the moment, which is a strong contender, along with the Requiem For A Dream Soundtrack and Howard Marks doing Dylan Thomas. Here's the full list of what I got.
  1. The Other Side - Public Service Broadcasting (7" picture disc)
  2. Cool Out - Matthew E White & Natalie Prass (7")
  3. Lightning Strikes The Postman - The Flaming Lips (CD & comic)
  4. When A Woman Is Around - Unloved (12", red vinyl)
  5. Mantra For A State of Mind - Primal Scream (12")
  6. Private Life - Grace Jones (12")
  7. The Great Confuso EP - Blanck Mass (12", mulberry vinyl)
  8. Unreleased Versions & Remixes vol 1 - Django Django (12")
  9. Where Are U Now - Skrillex & Diplo feat. Justin Bieber (12", yellow vinyl)
  10. A Badman Sound / Heath Town / Inf Inf Inf Inf - Mark Pritchard / Bibio / Clark (12")
  11. Do Not Go Gentle - Howard Marks reads Dylan Thomas (12", green vinyl)
  12. Xiu Xiu plays the music of Twin Peaks - Xiu Xiu (double album, 1 red & 1 blue vinyl)
  13. Requiem For A Dream OST - Clint Mansell & Kronos Quartet (double album)

Monday, 11 April 2016

Track of the Day: 'Dapper (feat. Anderson Paak)' by Domo Genesis

There's some proper old school funk and soul vibes on this track. It's as smooth as a spliffed-up silk worm, Definitely some Kendrick vibes in here too, though a bit less jazzy, and the guitar solo at the end is just perfect.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Recommended music: 'Demain Est Une Autre Nuit' by Essaie Pas

Demain est une autre nuit cover art

Coming on like a cross between 80s New Romantic group Visage and industrial electronic band Factory Floor, Canada's Essai Pas are the latest act to find a comfortable home amongst the brilliance of DFA Records label. Hailing from Montreal in Quebec, the duo mix mininal synth and electro sounds with breathy French vocals. Amongst this there's a filmic atmosphere, a Lynchian noir touch, which somehow feels just right amongt the basslines. Mixing Sheffield in the early 80s, Berlin in the early 90s and New York in the early 2000's , the tracks here can make you feel like you're in the middle of the dancefloor and walking the 3 a.m. icy streets home at the same time.

Is this the start of a new Canadian scene? Maybe not, but for now it'll fit right into your world, wherever you are.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Remix of the Day: 'E.V.A. (Vessels Remix)' by Public Service Broadcasting

There's an album's worth of remixes coming from 'The Race for Space', including this lovely take on 'E.V.A.' by Vessels. I love the gently repetitive, quietly chugging guitar riff, mixed with the funky bass bursts. There are some interesting remixers lined up for the album, including Maps, Dutch Uncles and Field Music, so it should definitely be on your shopping list when it comes out in June.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Recommended music: 'Alwasta' by Oddisee

Alwasta cover art

It's hard to fathom how Oddisee can continue to make records with as much quality as this and yet still be relatively unknown. Maybe it's because, as with this release, he sometimes gives his stuff away for free, that people fail to attach a proper value to it. Or maybe he's just too good for this world of mass-produced, mass-marketed and over-hyped mainstream media shit. Whatever the reason, the world is a crazy place, and all I can do is be grateful that he's doing this stuff and I get to hear it.

From the lush opening strings on 'Asked About You' to the slow jamz and harmonies on 'Slow Groove' this release is packed with quality moments' Fast paced lyrics on 'No Reservations' tell the tale of his ambitions and how he lives with no plans and no regrets, while 'Strength & Weakness' continues the autobiographical lyrics, while also giving his great band a chance to show off their musical prowess.

'Wouldn't Be Surprise' is probably the weakest track here, one that never really finds its groove, but weakness is relative in a canon of work as good as Oddisee's. To prove the point 'Lifting Shadows' follows immediately, with beats that Jay-Z would kill for and some fantastically fast-paced lyrics. Topped off with a sung chorus it showcases the depths of Amir's talent, which will be on display again very soon as he's already announced that he's releasing a new instrumental album next month called 'The Odd Tape'.

You can stream and download this release below. Catch Oddisee and his band Good Company at festivals all over the summer, including at Glastonbury in the UK in June, where I'll see you down the front.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Recommended music: 'Sisters' EP by Roniia

Sisters EP cover art

After the initial release of the first track 'Love Me' the full new EP from Roniia has landed and it's a cracker from start to finish. After the pounding beat-girl feel of track 1 we're back into more familiar territory with track 2. 'Run' first appeared on last year's 'Mixtape Vol. 1' and to my mind it's one of the best things they've ever recorded. Nona's vocals have never sounded so good and they soar perfectly over the dark beats below them.

Title track 'Sisters' is a calmer affair, at least to start with as Nona takes the spotlight. Halfway through though the beats and synths kick in again, fighting to take centre stage. 'Beg' is a brooding 2 and a half minutes that wouldn't sound out of place on a Massive Attack record, and the EP closes with 'Hell', which is has a swooning, beautiful melody hidden behind a swathe of synths and distortion.

Stream and/or buy the record below.