Thursday, 2 June 2011

FOOD PYRAMID


Food Pyramid, a trio with guests from Minneapolis, have produced a trilogy of tapes called I, II and III that Moon Glyph has proudly made available mainly through their website. If you didn't get I and II yet it's already too late as they are sold out but you still have the chance of graping the third volume with your dirty hands. Food Pyramid's music is retro-futuristic, they can sometimes sound close to Kraftwerk and other closer to Neu! but they always put emphasis in rhythm, science fiction sounds, space and experimentation. The three tapes, although produced in only a year they sound more varied than what you can expect from the beginning, some songs containing more dance elements than others, some others even flirting with some free jazz elements. A compilation on vinyl with some of the best songs from the tapes would be more than welcome. Dixit.




FOOD PYRAMID - E HARMONY
Friday, 27 May 2011

GRIMES / D'EON - DARKBLOOM


On these days when everything seems to be done, invented and everything that appears in our lives seems an upgrade or a v0.2 of something done before is not strange that the mix-match of genres you could never think working together was an option, they suddenly appear to melt in a more than convincing way. Both Grimes and D'Eon explore and flirt with genres commonly attached to the mainstream, things like 80s RnB or proto-house but never seeing them as fixed unmovable styles and stranging them as brecht used to strange his characters (distorting the initial image in order to get a different product that may work both as a tribute and a parody of the imitated thing). While Grimes approach the dance and electronic elements icing them with a voice that sounds mysterious and helium treated, dark and warm and too high pitch for general taste, D'Eon sounds more soulful and when they doesn't hide the songs behind a cascade of uncontroled beats or interference noises they are able to create songs (transparency) that could have surfaced the mainstream 25 years ago.
Although the results of this long split EP is different and both sides are defined by a certain sound, the approach of both bands is a similar construction / decunstruction that works very well together and brings them closer than they have ever been before. It's obvious to see that, although the EP was performed individually it was concived together.
Out now on Hippos In Tanks

D'EON - TRANSPARENCY


GRIMES - VANESSA

Sunday, 22 May 2011

HOLY OTHER - WITH U


Sometimes, the combination of a concrete kind of sounds can, surprisingly, result into something you didn't expect. Holy OBoldther sounds warmer than what you could think, not only because of its name or the record covers, but also because mixing dark ambient, cold beats and haunted voices should always result into something dark and spooky but Holy Other is more the light at the end of the tunnel.
Don't misunderstand me: the record mixes strangeness and sadness, darkness and obscurity but also a seductive and sensual warmness which makes the whole think very enjoyable in any situation. Although it's mainly electronic and it has beats all around is more floaty and enjoyable in the intimacy of a room than expected to be danced or listened to in bigger spaces. It's music to move slowly to, music to listen with all your body rather than with just one sense. It's inspiring and it definitely doesn't come from a dark place but from its exit. And, of course, it's out on Tri Angle Records




HOLY OTHER - TOUCH

Friday, 20 May 2011

BOY FRIEND - LOVEDROPPER / D'ARREST


I introduced you to Boy Friend some months ago, just after some weeks of formation when they released a digital download only 4 track EP you can still get in here. From the ashes of the former Sleep Over as a trio (now is just one of the original members with some outside help) Christa and Sarah left to form Boy Friend a similar sounding project that, although it's just months in the working, they already released their first physical single this week, the haunting and delicate LovedroBoldpper on Hell, Yes!, accompanied on the B side by a re-working of the first EP song D'Arrest. For the A side of the single they've prepared a day-glo video that is meant to be seen vertical. I mean, instead of the normal horizontal landscape view, Boy Friend asked Amanda Joy to make a video and they decided vertical was the way to go, taking into consideration the video would only be seen on-line, where anything is possible as TV screens are no longer the place to watch music videos anymore and the web is a more free way of exploring new possibilities and formats for what is already a quite old form of art.



BOY FRIEND - Lovedropper (Official Video) from HELL, YES! on Vimeo.

Friday, 6 May 2011

AUSTRA - LOSE IT



And as I mentioned Austra on my previous post and they're putting a new single out next week, I think it's fair to refer to it as well. Katie's newest project is getting more popular after the media attention her previous single, Beat and the Pulse, got on-line and the fact she's releasing through Domino could have helped as well. But she kept the most dance-oriented and killer track from the album to be the second single, the one coming immediately (one week) before the long debut release. If this song doesn't get played all around we'll just get another proof the world is unfair, as it's destined for mass transmission.
The video, a massive work of surrealism and symbolism, mixes playing cards, fights and fake tan in a way Katie uses to (check her other videos). It probably won't be shown much on MTV but, anyway, MTV doesn't play videos anymore.



AUSTRA - LOSE IT



Thursday, 5 May 2011

TERROR BIRD - OUTSIDE / WHEN I WOKE UP


Well, that's the second try I do resuscitating the blog after a very busy period of time, holidays and other stuff that, taking into account this is a one person job and I have to do it during my every time less and less free time, I cannot promise it's going to be more regular from now on or, if I find impossible to carry it on, it may disappear between all the blogs that passed away during our modern and disposable times.
Terror Bird was a Vancouver trio according to their last Fm profile but, when I saw them live a couple or so months ago they were already a duo and that's what they've been when releasing their first proper LP Human Culture, out two months ago on vinyl only thanks to Night People. And is through another Night label, this time Night School which I happened to mention on my last post two months ago thanks to the fact they were the people putting out the Golden Grrrls single, that they release their latest single Outside / When I Woke Up. These two songs are on the key of what we've heard before, dark synth based pop with beautiful and haunting vocals that may remind you another Canadian band, Austra, and hope it makes you go to listen to their album if you haven't yet.



TERROR BIRD - WHEN I WOKE UP

Sunday, 27 March 2011

GOLDEN GRRRLS - BEACHES / DATE IT


Although Golden Grrrls have existed for a while it's not been until this month they actually published their first non-tape and non- extremely lo-fi release. In the form of a beautifully presented 7 inch single, Beaches / Date It clarifies what was quite obvious in their previous recordings but was mainly hidden under a mountain of fuzz and reverb: they have good songs and good melodies for the lovers of C-86 bands and its current revival. They put them in a bunch of new bands from Glasgow, a city that has always been very musical but has not had many new bands breaking through since the beginning of the noughties, together with Divorce, Plaaydoh or We Are Wolves. You can get their first release from the new label Night School directly here. It's a limited to 300 Silk Screened record and they are starting to have a consistent group of followers so you better hurry up before is too late.



Beaches by Golden Grrrls

PINK PLAYGROUND - SUNNY SKIES


Sometimes a band influences are so obvious it is impossible to read a review without some names popping out at some point. Also sometimes those influences are more than obvious and can even make you think that you are actually listening to a song of the band they are inspired by in that song. And when the influence is just a single band and, not only they copy the sound step by step and detail by detail but also the image, the covers, the videos and everything that made that band special, it can actually made you blush of shame. Pink Playground is one of those and, although many people have copied before the sound of My Bloody Valentine before (probably the band that has been more plagiarized lately together with Joy Division) I don't think that anyone has gone that far without any shame. Pink Playground is to MBV what Bjorn Again is to Abba. Pink Playground could pass for a tribute band to someone (if there's anyone there) who hasn't heard MBV songs a thousand times and is able to recognize Soon from Only Shallow. The cover of their tape Pink Dream is more than a rendition to the one from Feed Me with your Kiss.
The question is: Are Pink Playground any good though? Yes, they are. Their first physical single Sunny Skies is a proof of this. Both songs could actually be part of the MBV back catalog if better recorded.
Are they worth a listen? Yes they are if you can separate yourself from the fact you are listening to some songs without trying to contextualize them.
Can we try to make the exercise of enjoying their songs after having been 20 years looking forward listening to some new MBV tracks and never having been able? Yes, we can
Is it easy though? No, it's not. It's hardly impossible.

Pink Playground: Shame on you but thank you very much.




01 sunny skies (cs version) by pink playground
Saturday, 26 March 2011

MUTUAL BENEFIT - I SAW THE SEA


In the era of Bandcamp, Garageband and MyItalicspace there's not only many possibilities of showing your music to the world but also of creating music without any music skills. Sometimes, and punk said it load and clear, music skills are not necessary at all but we shouldn't confuse music skills with music talent, aptitude or something to say with originality. In the modern era when everybody can pretend to be a musician or an artist and show it immediately to the world is also very difficult to be able to find something worth online while just browsing with no help from a trustful source. Many of these bedroom projects shouldn't cross the bedroom frontiers but, from time to time, there's one that takes advantage of the new technologies to create something special that is worth to be listened to and should be more spread out. Mutual Benefit is one of these projects and, although his previous EPs like Drifting were already good enough to separate him from the rest, his last EP posted online this month, I Saw The Sea, should definitely put him in the map of artists to pay attention to. The attention to detail, the melodies and the recording exceeds even his previous compositions getting a distinctive sound that is not easy to point out with comparisons.
You can download it here

Mutual Benefit - Birdwatcher

Thursday, 17 March 2011

POWERDOVE


Powerdove is the project of Annie Lewandowski although she frequently performs with Jason Hoopes and Alex Vittum according to her label's website. Although originally from the U.S they are now settled in the UK and I happened to see them live last week without knowing anything about them. In that occasion, they were just two on stage: She was playing a small guitar while the other guy, who I think it was Alex, was making background noises, ambient sounds and beautifully crafted percussions with a strange tool connected to a laptop. Although it was the first band out of three (everybody was there to see Former Ghosts) and we know the attention that guest bands receive in general, the audience remained quiet for the whole set, hypnotized by the haunting voice and the delicate melodies coming out from the stage. Then, after the show I found out they already have a self-titled EP and their first album, recorded by Deerhoof's John Dieterich, has just been released on the same label, the Portland based Circle Into Square. Both records are a delicate collection of folk-pop songs, most of the times as slow as Low's first records used to be, and as delicate as Picastro or Piano Magic's ballads. But,although the recording is really good, I really recommend to see them live to get the whole idea of their current sound as the recording of the album is a year old and more organic and I think that, thanks to that weird machine that captivated me, they're slightly evolving and mutating the songs with loops and other electronic details not as evident in the album as they are live, or that's just maybe because as they just were two, they tried to fill the songs with what had available. We'll have to wait to anther recording to find out.




POWERDOVE - I DON'T MIND
Monday, 14 March 2011

JOHN MAUS - QUANTUM LEAP


John Maus, who you might know for his own work or his collaborations with Ariel Pink or Panda Bear at some point, is finally dropping out some new material after a silence period. Next Summer will see the release of his new album We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves on always interesting Upset the Rhythm (in the UK) but we can already enjoy the lead single Quantum Leap which has been offered as a free download in some blogs but will sadly probably not see a physical release. The bass and synth based song is loyal to his sound but is probably his most catchy tune yet. The rhythm is contagious and would probably be a favorite tune for fans of Gary War (whose sound is pretty close but his vocals more conventional) or Blank Dogs.



John Maus - Quantum Leap

Friday, 4 March 2011

THE WAKE - ON OUR HONEYMOON / CRUSH THE FLOWERS // GRUESOME FLOWERS (A TRIBUTE TO THE WAKE)




And yes we are already reviewing the first of the coming releases prepared for Record Store Day 2011, and even that it's become one of the most important days of the year (music related speaking) in just three editions (this year's, on April 16th, will be the forth). And the first release I'll talk about is actually a reissue of one of the most stupidly forgotten and overlooked bands that really should need more recognition. The Scottish band The Wake who started by the edge of post-punk meets new pop could be put under the same entourage as The Associates, Orange Juice or Josef K and other Postcard bands (or later The Pastels) because of sharing, not only a Geographic but also a sound in common (if we obvious the highly Joy Division influenced first Factory LP), but also commonly compared to New Order through their mid 80s records. And Captured Tracks are proud to announced they will re-release their first single (and only pre-Factory release) and their last 80's single (and also their first post-Factory record, which was actually released on the also mythical Sarah Records label and helped to design and define what would be the very recognizable sound of the label.
But that's not the only good news coming from Captured Tracks regarding their Record Store Day releases. To celebrate these two records, they'll also put out a single with two of their most emblematic bands, Wild Nothing and Beach Fossils, covering two tracks from The Wake, called Gruesome Flowers (as they will cover Plastic Flowers and Gruesome Castle, both from the 1987 Something That No One Else Could Bring EP).
I can't be more excited about these news.


THE WAKE - CRUSH THE FLOWERS

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

COMPUTER MAGIC - 12"


Last year I posted about Computer's Magic first digital single, the melancholic and beautiful On VHS. Since then, she's released three free to download EPS (still available for download on her website) I couldn't recommend enough. So it was just a question of time a recognized label, this time White Iris (formerly known as Black Iris and guilty of putting out Best Coast's When I'm with You 7 inch), paid attention to her music and gave her the opportunity of having a proper physical release. The tracks on this first 12' are selected songs that previously formed part of those homemade EPs that have been re-recorded more professionally for the occasion. The 12" record has been announced for the 15th of March and no final tracklist has been named yet. If I had to choose between all the tracks I would like to be there, the list would be so long it had to be an LP.
Here you have the final version of Found Out, which originally appeared on her first EP Hiding From Our Time, and will close the 12'.




Computer Magic - Found Out

SLEEP ∞ OVER - CASUAL DIAMOND


A couple of months ago, with the release of Boy Friend's first EP containing two members out of the three from Sleep ∞ Over, we thought that meant the end of the band. We just were slightly sad as there were not many differences in sound between the original project and it's son and, actually, the four songs in that E.P were amongst its best. This week though, our suspects were dis-confirmed as a new release from the now one girl band, the remaining original founding member Stefanie Franciotti, has been announced for next month Hippos in Tanks followed by the release of a whole album on the same label in Summer with the help from Christine Aprile among others. Meanwhile we can enjoy the A side of the single, Casual Diamond, that will have a remix of the same track by Laurel Halo as the B side. The funny thing of the whole story is that, while Boy Friend, the two thirds that left the band, followed from close the same sound of the band they quited, the remaining member has slightly mutated Sleep ∞ Over into something that, although as mysterious as before, is less atmospheric and full of light.
Sometimes, if the results of a split can divide talents into two having then double good results, we welcome the splits with joy.


SLEEP ∞ OVER - CASUAL DIAMOND

Monday, 28 February 2011

WIDOWSPEAK - HARSH REALM


It's been a while now since i last talked about a Captured Tracks release taking into consideration I do it really often as the amount of records they put out and the quality of those is both really high. One of the last things they've released (actually I think that if not Today it was last week) it's the debut single (after a 6 tracks tape) of Brooklyn's Widowspeak, a band which has accumulated many good reviews and plenty of comparisons with Mazzy Star thanks to the blissed sounds, slow melodies and a voice with certain resemblance to that of Hope Sandoval. For this first and beautiful single they recover two tracks from their first tape, Harsh Realm and Burnout in new and improved re-recorded versions. You can also listen to some other tracks (including the B side Burnout) on their Facebook profile.


Widowspeak - Harsh Realm

Friday, 25 February 2011

TONETTA


I hate those internet You Tube sensations everybody talks about and later on appear on Weezer videos; guys blowing things or getting harmed Jackass style, pathetic people with no life performing songs in the campiest way for their 5 minutes of fame no matter what and so on. Said that, I'll have to say that although Tonetta can be regarded as another pathetic attempt for internet glory as he's making a fool of himself dressed in lo-fi budget drag and make up performing in front of a curtain in what it looks like the basement of his house in Canada, at least, he's performing his own songs and, I have to say, they are kind of good. Forget the story behind suitable for X Factor (abandoned by his wife and kids 1983, living as a recluse at his home since then with hardly any contact with the outside world) and even don't pay much attention to the videos themselves as they can easily put you off the music itself (although i understand some people may consider they actually work well together) or the fact he looks more fit than Schwarzenegger having a similar age. the thing is that these songs he's been recording for 30 years with old guitars and an old drum machine with just one rhythm are actually quite good and, in a sense, he could be compared to a marginal Bob Dylan, a less poetic Leonard Cohen, a transatlantic Ian Dury or even Ariel Pink, everything through an obvious Glam-Rock filter and punk attitude evident in the lyrics as much as in the performance.
And a guy who saw that talent behind organised some of this tracks into two compilations that came out last year called 777 and 777 Vol. 2 on Black Tent Press. Check out one of the tracks here and multiple videos on Youtube





Thursday, 24 February 2011

EMA - THE GREY SHIP


EMA, formerly of noise band Gowns, has gone solo after a getting a bit bored of excesses and is trying to go pop on her first release as a solo artist. And I say trying because, although she calls it pop, I'm not sure if releasing a single of a 7 minutes song with a b side of a 17 minutes track is what the general public can understand of pop. Anyway, is the most pop you've heard of her and both tracks here are huge no matter what genre you tried to put them under. The Grey Ship starts like a ghostly and mysterious song and suddenly, in the middle of the song, there's a change of rhythm and melody and a feedback comes through. Erika describes it as "I imagined it being like when Dorothy opens the door to Oz and the whole world turns from black and white to technicolour”. For the b side she attempted covering Kind Hearted Woman, a Robert Johnson blues staple that she transforms into a symphony and its recording nearly ends with her patience, spending months perfecting the track and adding lots of layers until she got what she had in her mind from the beginning.
Although I've heard that it was meant to appear as a 7 inch (I don't really know it that would be possible taking into consideration the length of the tracks) it has only appeared as a download only single by now that you can get here and the album has already been announced for April. Can't wait to hear what it's going to be like.




Friday, 18 February 2011

RYAN TROTT - SPIRIT HOME


If the name Ryan Trott doesn't ring any bell maybe you will be more familiar with it if I tell you that he normally records as part of Family Trees, the band that put out the beautiful single Dream Talking on Father Daughter Records last year. Now, he just give us as his first solo EP Spirit Home as a free download. The obvious difference between this EP and the stuff he's put out with his band is the method of recording and final sound, being this a more bedroom lo-fi recording and with a more live sound. As he puts it himself these songs are “8 songs of lo-res hi-fi bedroom dream psych garage folk”.

Listen to one of the tracks here:


Or download the whole thing here


.
Tuesday, 15 February 2011

MODE MODERNE


Vancouver's Mode Moderne have been working as a band for a while now but mainly inside the Vancouver scene and not getting much international attention. I imagine that if instead of being from Vancouver and having auto-release their first LP they would have been from Brooklyn and had published their record on Captured Tracks, things would be a bit different nowadays.
Maybe, if you were born in the 80s or afterwards you might be a bit bored by now of all this post punk / synth wave revival we are living these days with bands like Cold Cave, Cosmetics, Blank Dogs and co. but if like me you happened to listen to this kind of music when you were younger is kind of refreshing to listen to new bands and new songs in the key of something so familiar to you but at the same time new and exciting.
Mode Moderne's music could have been put out at any point between 1978 and 1983 or, by defect, between 2008 and 2011. Not many possibilities you could hear something like this in between these two slots as the music with these influences that was out in, let's say randomly, 2004, at least had a slightly contemporaneousness that could let you make difference between the old and the new. However, sometimes this new bunch of bands influenced by old British and German bands from the late 70s / 80s don't have this characteristic and could make you confuse them for an unknown old band. There's nothing wrong with that; music shouldn't be judged by its release date anyway and let's face there's not many things nowadays we could say they sound so 2011! And when your songs are as good as Mode Moderne's they could eclipse some of the names they could be compared to.

Mode Moderne - Les Neuf Soeurs

DIRTY BEACHES / CONOR PRENDERGAST split 7'


Soft Power is a Scottish record shop famously known for the fact they only sell vinyl (as all the record shops should be) that last year also turned into record label with the release of their first reference, an LP by Theoretical Girls. The second reference was finally announced last month and it's going to be a split single by personal favourite Dirty Beaches and Brave Radar's Conor Prendergast. The split single will contain at least three tracks. Dirty Beaches's side will have a Johnny Cash cover of the singer more in the key of Nick Cave's version (well, actually is exactly as Nick Cave's version but as lo-fi as you can expect is going to be a Dirty Beaches track) and also an instrumental track called Gone to Hell Come Friday dedicated to the memory of Broadcast's Trish KeenaBoldn.

You can listen / download Dirty Beaches The Singer and Conor's Great To Be Here here:

Dirty Beaches - the Singer

Conor Prendergast - Great to Be Here
Monday, 14 February 2011

DEATH KIT - DEVADASI


Fort Lowell Records' latest release, already their 5th, is the first physical single from Death Kit, a LA band that includes members of previous FLR collaborators Wet & Reckless. It's also their most dance oriented and upbeat release to date and it also has for the first time a remix as one of the tracks on the record, Death Kit first single I Can Make You Love Me as interpreted by ...music video?.
This single makes me think of FLR as a big family as it not only contains members of a band they released before but also the remix is made by the group they released as a second single and the vinyl comes with two exclusive download only tracks, one being an acoustic cover of the single's second track by Tracy Shedd, who happened to share the split single with Wet & Reckless and the other a cover of the original song Tracy released for them, this time performed by Death Kit.
The single also comes with a two sided leaflet explaining the 9 facts you always wanted to know about Seagulls, a common bird in Tucson with a footnote from The Birdman, a non-lucrative association that provides care and homing for birds and on the other side you can find information about the Tucson Community Darkroom a project carried by Julia DeConcini, who also created the beautiful artwork, and Jasper Ludwig who provide traditional photographic education and darkroom rentals for the Tucson Community.
You can get the 500 limited record here.

In other news, Fort Lowell Records will contribute with a single to Record Store Day 2011 with no other than Howe Gelb with two different projects: Sno Angel on Side-A and Melted Wires on Side-B. "Spiral" will be the 'Sno Angel song, which is a live version with the Voices Of Praise Gospel Choir. "Cordoba in Slow Motion" will be the Melted Wires song, which is a collaboration between Giant Sand and Calexico, and has not been release yet. Congratulations!!

Death Kit - Devadasi
Sunday, 13 February 2011

FACTORY FLOOR - R E A L L O V E


Factory Floor have never been in a hurry to conquer the world. Their release periodicity of one single / EP per year (if we don't count the remix series 12s they put out last year after the unnamed EP) hasn't been altered since 2008's Bipolar 7' and this year's fascicle has already been named. In April and via Optimo (Espacio)'s imprint we'll receive R E A L L O V E, a one new track + Optimo remix 12" which will help us through the year while we wait for new stuff and put our hopes up is not for a whole new year again. I haven't heard the original yet (which is produced by Joy Division / New Order's Stephen Morris) but the remix it's an hypnotic song in the key of Lying but with the natural Optimo feeling all over the place.
Factory Floor are also scheduled to perform on one of the two All Tomorrow Parties's Portishead events this Summer at Alexandra Palace.
Monday, 7 February 2011

COLD CAVE - THE GREAT PAN IS DEAD


Although is not the first official single of the sen Cold Cave album and it's not planned for it to have a physical format, The Great Pan is Dead has been chosen by Wesley Eisold himself to be the presentation of his sophomore record and opening track as it also was the first song he composed for the album. If you happened just listen the split EP with Prurient, the Cremations compilation or you saw them live during the last leg of the tour, maybe it will not surprise you as much as if you just heard Love Comes Close. To star with, Wesley's voice has won a lot of confidence and is not afraid anymore of shouting whatever he wants to say. The fact that the band has been playing together for a while has also helped to get a more filling sound, less bedroom produced and more studio full band played. And, as he comments in some interviews this is the sound he was looking for after finishing the stuff that ended up on Cremations but, something closer to pop but still with an experimentation and punk attitude. The record ended up being much more pop than what he was expecting and the beginning so he tried it again for this record that is suppose to follow the pattern of this first song, a breathtaking song about magic, preservation, youth and movement.












Sunday, 30 January 2011

LOWER DENS - BATMAN


While Jana Hunter has put on quarantine her solo efforts after some remarkable releases, she joined a band last year called Lower Dens that put out an album, Twin Hand Movement, and a single, I Get Nervous, that, at least, are comparable with her previous stuff if not even better. They started the new year putting out a new release: the single Batman / Dear Betty Mayo out on Gnomonsong as usual with two brand new songs; the jolly and upbeat Batman and the more dense and introspective B side, a Mayo Thompson cover. Both songs blend together perfectly thanks to Jana's haunting voice although they are quite different.





Check as well this promo video for the single that, strangely, doesn't have the song on it but a weird cooking lesson:

Thursday, 27 January 2011

SEA PINKS - PERIPHERAL VISION EP


Sea Pinks is the alias of Girls Names' drummer solo project. With his main band they achieved an international status of recognition thanks to their two EPs, one for Captured Tracks and one for Tough Love, and a split single with Brilliant Colors that are between my last year's personal favourites and they'll soon will release their first album on Slumberland which I can't wait to listen to.
And on his free time he had time to put out a tape that's already some months old but it's still available for you to get here as a download only as the tape is already sold out. On that tape he managed to simplify even more the sound of his main band and give it a more 60s shinny pop sound that sometimes reminds me a lo-fi version of some Kindercore bands like The Masters of the Hemisphere.


You can download for free one of the tracks here.



And now he re-recorded some of the songs of that tape with a full band and released a 4 track 12" white label on the same label that is selling out really quickly. Here you can see the video of the re-recording of the main track, Peripheral Vision





Peripheral Vision from Sea Pinks on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

LEVEK - LEVEK 7"


Levek introduces himself like this on his Myspace: I'm a bus driver that makes music. After a long day of elementary schoolers putting gum on my lovely pleather bus seats I enjoy a good space jam while sorting through the Disney VHS collection. .. Just after reading this description you know you have to like his music for the sake of it, only because he deserves it. And then you listen to his music and you realise there's a lot to enjoy to his music. This is his first official release although he previously put up a demo mini-album on his Bandcamp full of big little songs that pay a lot of attention to the arrangements and take a lot of inspiration from classic Disney movies soundtracks like Dumbo or Fantasia. Online, he's even been compared to Sufjan Stevens for the way he arranges the songs, like if they were little orchestrated masterpieces. Although his approach and his compositions are quite different I can understand these comparisons and I can imagine what he could do with more budget. And anyway, the A side of this single sounds like at least he had the opportunity to record in a proper studio and the results are splendid. Look on the Bright Side is a beautifully recorded song that also opens new doors for him, looking for more soulful sounds, taking inspiration from Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. The most amazing thing of all is that everything comes from the mind of just one person, David Levesque, who should be given the opportunity of recording a whole album with a bit of budget and I'm sure he would get the acknowledgment he deserves.
You can get the 7 inch on Father / Daughter records, a small label which only has three references so far (I've covered the three of them in here) but every single one they put out is a must have.


Levek - Look on the Bright Side

Monday, 24 January 2011

CHRISTIAN AIDS


Lately, good dance music has been flirting with some 90s and 00s stereotypes of popular dance music, giving them a new and more valuable interpretation. From the diva voice sample to the acceleration of beats or the overload garage bass , projects like Kingdom or Teengirl Fantasy give a new vocabulary to these old and overused cliches. Christian Aids (not sure where the name inspiration came from) are a band / project from Manchester with no information at all on their Myspace: just a couple of killer tunes that use those cliches as well but the final result is something as modern and current as Mount Kimbie or James Blake, to name the evident and current glory names of the genre.
Fever starts as an atmospheric and dark beatless tune to explode into a colourful and crazy fast dance song proper of post rave years, everything in less than 3.30 minutes. The song is still a demo so it may change once is out.


Christian Aids - Fever (demo)

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

AUSTRA - BEAT & THE PULSE


Austra is the new creature out from the many talents of Katie Stelmanies, a Toronto singer who's been in many projects and released some stuff under her name as well, like the amazing single Believe Me / Crying I reviewed in here a couple of years ago. This week, her new combo, a more electronic and beat oriented version of her solo stuff but still with the spirituality and drama of her previous releases, came to London to perform some shows and present their first release, a 12 inch with three songs that was previously released on Fucked Up's label One Big Science and now is out through Domino in the UK. You can here the three songs on the Domino Soundcloud space in here or get in in one of the many shops Domino gets to.


Austra - Beat & The Pulse by DominoRecordCo
Friday, 14 January 2011

TRISH KEENAN


I've never made a post about a musician passing away before. This blog's purpose is another but Today was a very sad, sad day. Broadcast was one of my favourite bands ever and when I received the news I felt like a friend died. I've heard her voice so many times it became so close to me. It is music I always revisit and go back to. I never get bored to listen to again and again. It was a very sad, sad day.

TRISH KEENAN R.I.P.




UPDATE: A friend of Trish uploaded a mistape online she made him before Broadcast's last tour in Australia. It's really interesting. Here's a note from him:

"Before she went to Australia Trish sent me a mix CD of bonkers pop music she compiled, I never thanked her. It's called Mind-Bending Motorway Mix and I want to share it with you, please pass the link on, share it far and wide, it's a little tribute to a (as a friend referred to her today) exhilarating woman, we're all thinking about you, James.

"Sorry I don't have a tracklist and to be honest I like it that way. I think it's less about who you're listening to on... that compilation and more about the fact you are listening to something that Trish took time to select and compile for me and in turn yourselves. Sorry but please just enjoy the music."

You can get the mixtape here

THE LOUCHE F.C. - BACK BEDROOM CASUALTY / ONLY IN A DREAM


Manchester was the centre of the universe back in the late 70s with bands like Joy Division, The Fall or The Buzzcocks and then again in the 80s with The Smiths, Stone Roses or Happy Mondays. Everything got a bit quieter afterwards (with exception of Oasis) and nowadays while the city has risen from the post-industrial decadence to a more modern cosmopolitan city its musical influence over the world has been fading to nearly disappeared. If you walk around the city, its record shops and bars, you can see a general nostalgia for those glory days that now look more like a tourist attraction / theme park. But we still have, from time to time, a new band that appears from the small live circuit of bars as it's the case of The Louche F.C.
After growing up from gig to gig / mouth to mouth they will release their first single next month on Sways Records, the double A side Back Bedroom Casualty / Only in a Dream. They define their sound as 60s post-punk / Orbison shoegaze which is obvious on Only in a Dream.
You can pre-order it here .


The Louche F.C. - Only in a Dream

The Louche FC - Only in a Dream by sways

ANIKA


Anika, a 24 year old German girl settled in the UK and Berlin, released an album at the end of last year that's been massively overlooked (probably because when it appeared all the lists were pre-designed) although it had all the elements to be a candidate to be on the end of the year lists: produced by Geoff Barrow from Portishead and Beak>, mixing experimentalism with a post-punk attitude that makes the whole thing retro, current and timeless and approaching the cover (Bob Dylan's Masters of War, Yoko Ono's Yang Yang or Julie London's popularised End of the World) as a weapon reminding The Flying Lizards crazy covers of the late 70s.
It's impossible to read a review of the record without seeing the name Nico all around, clearly an influence but also the consequence of making the obvious association of German female vocal artist with strong accent singing in English with a love for dark and mysterious melodies, all very European sounding. Anyway, there's more to the record than that as it filters dub "a la Metal Box way", Krautrock, 60s pop or synthwave.
You can catch her live at London's Lexington on the 26th this month or later in France, Belgium, Spain or at the Portishead's All Tomorrow's Parties events next Summer.


Anika - Masters of War

Thursday, 13 January 2011

ZOO KID - OUT GETTING RIBS


Zoo Kid makes us think, we that are far away from our youthful years, that we through away the best years of our lives. How can a 16 year old make songs like this? Has he been making music since he was 2 to get to this level of composition abstraction and sophistication and make it sound natural and innate? (The credits praise written, performed and produced by Archy Marshall)
His song Out Getting Ribs has already been praised around but the B side to the single, Has This Hit, out on House Anxiety Records and probably soon to be sold out (so you better run) is as big as the A side. He sounds as he's been listening to lots of music (he can sound like Ian Curtis without wanting to sound like him in a time everybody wants to sound like him but fail trying) and filtered everything in a way it only ends up sounding as himself. It's definitely a one to follow from really close in the British scene in a time there's not much interesting going on here.

BEKO LSR


I haven't mentioned Beko for a while now. It's hardly impossible to get track of all what they put up as every Monday you have a new (virtual)free single, compilation, boxset, etc.. and if you get distracted for a while, you've missed some weeks and have lots to catch up. This last Monday though, is obvious that I would mention, taking into account the previous post, the free 11 track compilation they put together on collaboration with La Station Radar. 11 artist that have previously released something for this label hands out a new / unreleased track for our enjoyment, including some personal favourites like Ela Orleans, Dirty Beaches, Jeans Wilder or Archers by the Sea. You can download the whole thing (and many more free great music) here




Ela Orleans - Black and White Flight

JEANS WILDER - SIMPLER TIMES


This 7 inch has already a couple of months but the hibernation of the blog + how long it takes the postage from France to the UK during the Christmas season have delayed the whole thing. Probably you've heard something about Jeans Wilder before, maybe one of his numerous tapes or maybe the split single he put out with Best Coast, as well as this for La Station Radar, one label that has increasingly become more and more indispensable. This single contains three songs of noise surf that work as a perfect companion for his first proper vinyl LP, Nice Trash, out at the same time as a collaboration between this label and Atelier Ciseaux which is more sampled and melody based and explores other quieter territories.
You can get both things here


Jeans Wilder - Simpler Times

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

LA SERA - DEVILS HEARTS GROW GOLD



Next Monday, the never ever resting Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls fame will release her second single with her solo project La Sera after the dream pop beauty of Never Come Around. This second single called Devils Heart Grow Gold will also feature in her first album out on February 15th that will be simply called La Sera and will be another reference on the newly imprint Sub Pop branch label Hardly Art. The B side Dedicated to the One I Love, which will not appear on the album, sounds like is a cover of the classic song many times covered and popularised by Mama Cass between others.
In other news she will be touring Europe once again next month including White Heat in London. See you there.



La Sera - Devils Hearts Grow Gold

BOY FRIEND - BOY FRIEND


Last year we saw a couple of releases from a band called Sleep ∞ Over who investigated into the atmospheric parameters of bands like Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and other 4AD bands from the 80s. After some months of silence, a new project from two of its members called Boy Friend appeared yesterday at BandCamp. Not sure if this means that Sleep ∞ Over are not more but seems logic as their first EP called simply Boy Friend follows what their single for Forest Family Records started and if these songs where not signed under this new name it would be impossible to guess it's a new project without knowing it in advance.
It was up for download for free yesterday. From today you'll have to pay $4 USD for the whole thing (4 tracks) or $1 for individual tracks, but it's worth the money as it is even better than what they've done before.

Get it here

Boy Friend - The False Cross

POST- HIBERNATION


Hello everybody. It's been a while since my last post, nearly a couple of months. The reasons for this hibernation are many: time, technical difficulties and some other reasons I'm not going to name.
The fact is I'll try it again. Some things have changes meanwhile like the way you can stream / download songs. My upload provider stopped accepting more uploads and I've struggle to find a new one that offered the same conditions. Anyway, here we are again. Hope you enjoy it.