Wednesday, 26 August 2009


Some things have changed for Kurt Vile since I published a generic post about him some months ago. He's becoming more popular with his non-stop touring and he's signed to Matador and will publish a new album in a couple of months that will probably increase even more his popularity. This new record will include members of The Violators so I would expect a similar production and style to his Hunchback EP. I rather prefer the more intimate and under produced stuff of his record Constant Hitmaker, but we better wait and see when it sees the light. Meanwhile, while we wait, he's released a 7" single of old homemade songs called Fall Demons of a limited edition of just 375 through Skulltones. I managed to get a copy some days ago so maybe you are still on time to get yours. The single contains 5 songs, three of them instrumental, recorded between 2002 and 2008 and maybe it will be the last time we can listen to unreleased stuff with that lo-fi sound that has been his trademark until now.

Kurt Vile - Subliminal Message.mp3

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


We have been living for a long time in a world where everything expires faster than it used to do. Time is one of the most valuable things; we don't have time to lose, we prefer the flashing image to the detailed reflection. Javelin are an example of this notion: if you can say something in some seconds there's no point in dragging it out. While we are still waiting for the long, long, long delayed new Avalanches album, Javelin, a duo from New York, have been creating some prototypes, sketches, outlines and, sometimes, even songs that steal the sun from the sky to put it in their melodies. Through samples and real instruments they practice any style on earth in their self-edited first album, Jamz n Jemz, only available as a CDR on tour or through their myspace and as download: Soul, electro, funk, ambient, hip hop and so on in 25 tracks (I wouldn't call songs to some of them as not many last more than 2 minutes). the general sensation is that this is a collection of sketches of songs they are working on but it's not; if they think that something sounds right in just some seconds they leave it like that and move to another one, which extrangely work so well to make it extremely dynamic and impossible to make the listener get bored. They are planning to release a couple of 12" EPs in Thrill Jockey so not sure if they are going to continue with the same dynamic or be influenced by the long length songs this label normally releases.

Javelin - Lindsay Brohan.mp3

Javelin - Tu Machina.mp3

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Not long ago I posted about Memory Cassette, a collective that changes the name and some members when they mutate into other parallel projects like Memory Tapes or Weird Tapes. Today is the turn of Memory Tapes as we are celebrating the release of their first proper single, the 12 inch Bicycle. This project doesn't differ a lot from Memory Cassette although it is a bit more dance oriented. This track is an advance of next week's release, exclusively to Rough Trade, of their first proper album called Seek Magic, a double CD that will be soon published as a single LP by Acephale.
The song is a summery indie-dance anthem that reminds of those indie-dance tracks from the beginning of the 90s combined with guitar tunes close to The Cure and New Order. The B side is an instrumental remix by The Horrors that doesn't contribute to anything new but isn't bad as a complementary B side.
Another summer song to dance by the beach, and this year we have a lot of those!

Released 10/08/09

Memory Tapes - Bicycle.mp3

Tuesday, 18 August 2009


Well, I don't think that any presentation is needed when I'm about to talk about The Pastels, one of the most influential bands of the last 25 years although sometimes misunderstood. Some people still only gets the twee part of their sound but I've always thought there's much more to them as they've always tried to combine melody, performance and many times experimentation. It's been a long way since they published the last proper album Illumination back in 1997 if we don't count the mostly instrumental soundtrack The Last Great Wilderness in 2003, so the news of a new album in collaboration with the Japanese band The Tenniscoats was really good news. They've been recording this record in a three years period, basically when Tenniscoats were touring the UK. And last Monday was the release of their first single together, Vivid Youth, a beautiful song that continues the style they developed during their Domino / Geographic years. The fact that there are added members to the project, Teenage Fanclub's Norman apart from the Tenniscoats themselves, doesn't change so much the final sound you would expect from a Pastels song although you can feel the song has more instrumentation than the classic Pastels sound. The B side About You is a cover of JAMC circa Darklands.
Although Stephen has not been completely out of the music business as he's been managing one of the coolest record shops in the world, Glasgow's Monorail, is good to have him back.

Released 17/08/09

Pastels/Tenniscoats - Vivid Youth.mp3

Monday, 17 August 2009


I discovered Cheval Sombre a while ago and had this single downloaded for some time but never tried to find the physical release, not sure why, until the other day, listening to his first album that was published three months ago, decided to look for it and found a copy to my surprise. As he's coming to London for a short tour next month I wanted to review this single even it was published at the end of last year.
This was Cheval Sombre's third single, and the last before releasing his first album. Comparisons to Sonic Boom or Galaxy 500 have been mentioned in most of the reviews people have made and it's not strange taking into account that he's a friend of Dean and Sonic Boom is the one responsible of the production of most part of his material. I Found It Not So, the title track here that is also included in the album, is a sad song with a pseudo-acoustic sound and a minimal production with electronic sound effects while the B side, the Supremes' cover Where Did Our Love Go, takes the Motown sound closer to Spacemen 3's Big City, one of the first Sonic Boom'sBold compositions to drop the fuzzy guitars in favor of electronic arrangements. You can also purchase his first album on vinyl.

Cheval Sombre - I Found It Not So.mp3

Thursday, 13 August 2009


One of the things you have to know before listening to this one-woman-band is that she bases all this project in the stuff she has been recording for the last couple of years in a Sony digital voice recorder and has made the songs around these sounds and not the other way around, according to Merrill Garbus, the only constant member of this project, although she mentions a little help from her friends. So expect a digital lo-fi sound with reverb when too many sounds are included at the same time.

Approaching the songs with a folk spirit the final mix is as close to anything else as it is to folk. Her best card is her voice, full of registers and incredibly pleasant and disturbing at the same time. She can change from a tender and balladry tune to a more chaotic situation many times in the same track but never too experimental to change the melody structure of the song. Think of a Micachu who has been listening to folk all her life.

Her first record, BiRd-BrAiNs, has first been released as a Radiohead-like pay-what-you-want until it's been released on vinyl and CD and she's currently touring the world with Dirty Projectors.

tUnE-yArDs - Little Tiger.mp3

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


This is already my third post about The XX. I discovered them when a guy at Rough Trade West was listening to their demo, I was impressed with the originality of their sound and have been following them since then. This is their second single, again with Young Turks, and the last anticipation of the album to be released next week which I have already heard and I highly recommend. It's been a surprise that they chose this track as a single instead of other more instant songs as VCR or Islands or the exclusion of Blood Red Moon, appearing here as the B side in the original demo version, from the album. But it is also a great track and one of their most soulful. If you still haven't listen to them imagine how an RnB song would be delivered by a group of depressed teenagers with a minimal production and you can have the idea. Or you can just listen to the track and buy the record, of course. It has also been released as a 12 inch including remixes of the likes of Pariah or Diskjokke. They are currently playing some dates in New York and coming back to tour the UK and Europe.

Released 10/08/09

The XX - Basic Space.mp3


Back in November I was pretty impressed with the release of a double A side single by a new band (new as it was their first release although they've been playing together since 2003) called The Rayographs. Both songs were really good and they sounded like nothing else at the moment in Britain. Even one can think about some other girl bands that are currently becoming popular in the USA this would be the easy comparison. Their spirit is closer to blues and experimentation than it is to 60s girl bands or pop-punk as, to mention one band, Vivian Girls, so these comparisons that I've already heard about are only based in the fact they are women making rock and it would never happen if they were men. Although the comparisons to early PJ Harvey or Siouxsie (the B side here, Yellow Hair, takes me back to Pure, the first track on her first album with the Banshees but also the bluesy tension of Dry, PJ's first record) if you want to mention two women that may have influenced them. Francis, the A side, starts with a slow and quiet guitar to transform into a fuzzy and noisy track and the B side should never be just relegated to disappear as an extra track as it is as good or even better than the main track. The single is a limited to 500 vinyl published by a new label called Everyone We Know that also published the first single still available and also highly recommended. They will play in London in many places during September so looking forward to catch them at some point.

Released 20/07/09

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


They have just released their debut album with critical acclaim from most of the media but they have been around for a while being mentioned in many blogs. I've heard things about them like "they are a disco version of Polyphonic Spree" or "they mix ELO, ESG, Tom Tom Club and Sly and the Family Stone". And yes, maybe they are all these things but I'm not 100% with the final results of the record, not sure why yet though. Anyway, this limited 7 inch with one of the songs of the record, chose one of the most enjoyable ones, maybe the one that is more far from the symphonic sound that most of the songs have and concentrates more in the rhythm and the groove. Yes, probably is the symphonic part, the part they took from ELO, Yes and those type of groups the thing I don't particularly enjoy much of the final sound of some songs but this is hardly noticeable in 15 To 20 apart from some guitars in the middle of the song.
This 7 inch is only available at Pure Groove and in a really limited edition. check the links if you want to order it.

The Phenomenal Handclap Band - 15 to 20.mp3

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


Gold Panda has a short history of remixes for the likes of Little Boots and Bloc Party but it's not been until last month when he released his first proper debut with the Miyamae EP in the newly open to other artists Various Production label. That EP was full of dub and minimal techno beats but more focused to the bedroom than rather to the dancefloor. Even that he is from Essex, he's spent some time in Tokio before releasing these songs and the influence of Asian sounds is obvious in some tracks such as Back Home where he samples some traditional Japanese instruments. But my surprise has come with this short length single published just yesterday. Quitters Raga, out as a limited to 500 single on Makemine (Fryars, Dent May), is like a puzzle of beats and Japanese chants squeezed, transformed, destroyed and manipulated until he gets an amazing new thing that sounds like a Japanese Aphex Twin and that you will have on repeat for a long time. The B side, less surprising, is a relaxed dubstep lullaby called Fifth Ave that is beautiful to hear but one cannot avoid but wish it had more to do with the main track. We are waiting for future releases.

Released 03/08/09

Gold Panda - Quitters Raga.mp3

Monday, 3 August 2009


Many things have been written about Crocodiles during the last months, most of them really good or really bad, not many things just in between. And most of the bad things are due to just one thing: they really sound, and when I say really I mean it, like The Jesus and Mary Chain. and not only they sound like them but, they also have a lot of similarity in their lyrics and they can of look a bit like them. When we received the Neon Jesus single, it was kind of obvious. The song was good but it sound like a lost song from Automatic. And then, the album came back in May and it had mixed reviews but all of them always mentioning the Reed brothers. I've been a fan of JAMC since I was 14 so I kind of liked it but flashed from time to time with some of the songs when it got too obvious. And most of the bad reviews they all mentioned one thing: the ripped off that I Wanna Kill was. At the beginning you can even sing along Head On at the same time without forcing yourself to place the lyrics any different.

And now, to make these people even talk more about it they released it as a single today.I just played it again on my turntable for the first time in a while to check if it was just in my head but I flashed again. Yes, the song is good but it owes too much to JAMC they should be mentioned in the credits.

The B side, Here Comes the Sky, is a shoegaze lullaby that goes in another direction, as they also do with some other good songs in the album such as the title track. They prove this way they can do other stuff that, although it doesn't sound any new, cannot be blamed of plagiarism. Judge yourself.

Released 03/08/09

Crocodiles - I Wanna Kill.mp3