Tuesday, 7 December 2010
So the top ten is below, but here is another 20 that I haven't put in any particular order:
Me and the devil // Gil Scott-Heron // (XL)
The Let Down // George Fitzgerald // (Hotflush)
Maybes (James Blake Remix) // Mount Kimbie // (Hotflush)
Love cry (Joy Orbison Remix) // Four Tet // (Domino)
Eyesdown (Floating Points Remix) // Bonobo (feat. Andreya Triana) // (Ninja Tune)
Before // Scuba // (Hotflush)
Red Lights // Holy Fuck // (Young Turks)
See Birds (moon) // Balam Acab // (Tri Angle)
Odessa // Caribou // (City Slang)
Wut // Girl Unit // (Night Slugs)
Crossed Out // Pariah //(R&S)
Stableface // Eleven Tigers // (Soul motive)
India lately // Gold Panda // (Notown)
Fram // Blawan // (Hessle)
Theives in the night // Hot Chip //(EMI)
Evelyn // Fabtastic Mr Fox // (Black Acre)
Deadness // darkstar // (Hyperdub)
Pow Pow // LCD Soundsytem // (DFA)
King Night // Salem // (Sony)
... and the world laughs with you // Flying Lotus (feat. Thom Yorke) // (Warp)
10// Journey to the Core of the Unknown Sphere // Space Dimension Controller // (Clone Royal Holland)
9 // Hologram // These New Puritans // (Domino)
8 // Night Air (Ramadanman Refix) // Jamie Woon // (Cadent Sounds)
7 // Rubber // Yuck // (Fat Possum)
6 //Black Gold // Foals // (Transgrassive)
5 //I'll Stay // James Blake // (R&S)
4 // Chem Trails // No Age // (Sub Pop)
3 // Field // Mount Kimbie // (Hotflush)
2 // I Only Know (What I Know Now) // James Blake // (R&S)
1 // So Derobe // Joy Orbison // (Aus)
Monday, 6 December 2010
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Monday, 29 November 2010
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Monday, 8 November 2010
Super Inuit (Holy Fuck Cover)
So this pretty much sounds nothing like the original, but the distortion makes a great change from their usual crispy clean sound.
One (Your Name) (Swedish House Mafia Cover)
The main riff is real easy to play on bass, and fun too.
Hollaback Girl (Gwen Stefani Cover)
The Bed's Too Big Without You (Police Cover)
Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears Cover)
Monday, 25 October 2010
Monday, 4 October 2010
Saturday, 2 October 2010
"The music, which to some extent - speaking traditionally, as a voice of God, about a world where the music is God - is as close to prog as it is to house, drum'n'bass and jazz rock, sounds at its best and purest like it has always existed but we're only just hearing it. It exists just outside of time, between sudden quiet and sudden change, between being hyperlocal and instantly global, between particular space and all space."
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Friday, 27 August 2010
Little is known about Blawan apart from that he is from Leeds and is signed to Hessle audio, and has released this impressive 12-inch. Both of the tracks are built on a skeleton of a tight dubstep beat, sparsely accompanied by whispers and sub-bass flicks. He may use the same formula on either track, but the intricacies of the beats are enough to drive the waxing and waning of the subdued synth ever onward. The whispers, omnipresent and ever hidden are a conversation that you can't quite discern in a crowded club, adding a slight hint of anxiety to the moody forefront. The components may be few and and simplistic, but they play off each other to create a danceable, if oppressive atmosphere. He may not do much to differentiate himself from his peers (Pangaea, for starters), but the tracks, Iddy especially, are a great introduction to this mysterious producer.
Saturday, 21 August 2010
A record with the word "dancing" used to be a pretty straightforward signifier that it was a dance record. But perhaps I have been jaded by songs like We still got the taste of dancing on our tongues by Wild Beasts so that now the word "dancing"seems too eerily simplistic to be used in the title of a dance song. The word is superfluous: if you are meant to dance to a song, you'll know about it by listening to it, and besides, "dancing" seems too twee a label, when compared with "skank".
Anyway, the eponymous opener does nothing to change my view of that word, as Forever Dancing opens with a jangly guitar line, but soon a monolithic and distorted guitar rumble piles on top, and so the record goes: the two piece add layer upon layer to their sound creating a dense but penetrable wall of noise. They harness the sound with a repetitive and fairly simple drum beat, but their biggest trick is an apparently offbeat electronic high hat that spontaneously joins the pounding bass and snare drums, a similar trick seen on many dance (there's that word again) records, revealing an innate rhythmic core.
Tribal Fangs doesn't hesitate with the house influence, opening with a four-on-the-floor beat, as an abrasive guitar noise rises. Masks make the best of the contrasting ideals of dance beats and noise music, much like Fuck Buttons on their second album, but here the songs are shorter and more accessible whilst including a more upfront melancholic edge; there is a definite shoegaze undercurrent on these tracks also. Unfortunately, the middle track I covered myself in furs plays the emotional edge too far forward and seems like it is trying too hard to be "epic", which is a shame as the second half is stellar.
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Like a Death from Above 1979 for 2010 , Civil Civic makes heavy, lo-fi dance-punk; anarchic in sound but not in tedious political ideology. The band is only a duo, Aussie ex-pats Ben (on bass) and Aaron (on guitar), but they make so much noise that you would never notice. Their overflowing energy means they never stay long on one idea, the tunes wind around myriad riffs, which are tinted with just enough emotional impact to make a vocalist unnecessary: call it a cliche, but they let their guitars do the talking.
Run Overdrive / Fuck Youth is a so-called double b-side, but this label gives the wrong impression as their music isn't modest or humble in the slightest. Actually, Run Overdrive does open with a wistful and melancholic riff, but 30 seconds later it explodes with huge bass and astral synths, before heading into synth-less 'verses' with slight emotional inflections. It is the sound of manic depression, and I would love to hear some lyrics that can keep up with the mood.
Fuck Overdrive is more straightforward in it's state of mind, starting with an aggressive grungey riff which opens up into a great dance-punk chorus, including liberal use of whammy bars. Both songs are insanely dancey and unapologetic about it too. They could do with a live drummer as the repetitive drum machine seems out of place.
Run Overdrive by civilcivic
Fuck Youth by civilcivic
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Not much time has passed since potential album-of-the-year Cosmogramma was released, yet FlyLo has announced a forthcoming EP entitled Pattern+Grid World, and Camera Day is the promo track.
It shows a departure from his jazz influence and instead relies on an unusually chilled out beat and 8-bit sounds. It is quite interesting, and features some impressive stereo effects, but I can't help but be slightly underwhelmed after his incredible previous work. However, the track may work better in the context of the whole EP, so I won't get too disappointed at the moment. The EP, with the creepy artwork above is release on September 21, on Warp.
Flying Lotus - Camera Day (taken from Pattern+Grid World) by Warp Records
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Mount Kimbies' two EPs showcased a sleek production sense, a juxtaposing sparse areas of sound with areas of complex beats. The songs where highly complex and protean, swapping intense beats for blissed-out melancholia at a moments' notice. On Crooks & Lovers the two-piece has used the larger canvas the format offers to draw out this dynamic over 35 minutes, heightening the contrasts of dubstep-inspired beats and ambient soundscapes, extracting huge emotional power from minor changes. The process, surprisingly, is entirely natural and what is most striking is the bands' confidence to be so subtle and minimalistic on their first major release. It just shows that they have a clear vision of what they want to create.
Furthermore, the inclusion of live instrumentation has warmed what was some coldly electronic parts of the EPs. The first track Tunnelvision and near-identical mid-track Adriatic feature a sampled acoustic guitar over a shuffling beat, while Field acts as the antithesis of the duos defining track Maybes featuring a lofi guitar in its second half. The live instruments are fittingly modest, being mainly the acoustic guitar on nearly half of the tracks, and a broken harpsichord on the swaggering Before I Move Off, which allows the band to use them live. Not to say that the album is completely pastoral, Carbonated and Ruby both explore very electronic worlds, the latter sounding similar to Burial. Like Burials' Untrue the album flows between songs effortlessly, with the intention of creating an overarching atmosphere rather than individual songs.
Overall, the album seems like a sleeping giant, the craftsmanship and attention to detail is exquisite, yet it seems that it could rear it's at any time and get frantic. The closest it comes are on the closing tracks Field and Mayor, where the beat gets more insistent and, on the latter track, funkier. Their place in the album shows that Domonic Maker and Kai Campos are intelligent DJs, using the short time on the album to create and release tension; idea that the music could explode spontaneously. It is a shame that it never quite does, but the rhythmic and emotional journey that Mount Kimbie take the listener on is more than enough to make up for it.
Mount Kimbie - Would Know (from Crooks & Lovers) by Hotflush
Monday, 16 August 2010
Saturday, 14 August 2010
No Age - Glitter by subpop
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Weakness by George FitzGerald
Friday, 21 May 2010
Flying Lotus - Zodiac Shit by sopedradamusical
Flying Lotus - Computer Face, Pure Being by inertiamusic
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Thursday, 29 April 2010
Sunday, 18 April 2010
The track has a similar highly distorted, cut-up vocal, which evokes the image of a DJ pushing a button on a keyboard or a sequencer rather than someone singing. The juxtoposition of the organic feel of the voice with the mechanicalness of the context is what makes the new track You so exciting, despite the fimiliarity. The fleeting glimpses of voice actually evoke a longing, and the inabilty to understand what is being sung only furthers this feeling.
You by Gold Panda
Back Home by Gold Panda
So This is Happening has finally happened, and the album has been leaked despite James Murphy's pleads to gig-goers not to. In response, the entire 65 minute long album was posted on the DFA website, for anyone to hear. Although I generally avoid downloading leaked albums, I had to sympathise with the guy who did so and those who downloaded it as the hype for the album has been humongous; I mean who can blame them when this guy made All My Friends and Someone Great!
So the album itself. It starts innocuously enough, as Mr Murphy croons over a drum beat and simple synth, his vocals giving a warm introduction to the listener. But at three minutes in, the beat drops and the knife-like synth rises, exploding into a cathartic and very danceable groove. Following on is Drunk Girls and is the most obviously poppy and fun song which is definitely meant to be the lead single, and deliberately ironic considering the song You Wanted a Hit. One Touch is the third track, which maintains an aggressive synth bass sound for the duration of the track, with a repetitive chirping synth on top, against Murphy and Nancy Whang's robotic shout of "One touch is never enough". The lyrics are slightly nonsensical, like on the song Sound of Silver, as this is a purely aggressive dance track.
The mood shifts with All I Want, which is built around one distorted guitar lines, which is unusual for LCD Soundsystem. Murphy is as close to singing as he ever gets, creating a similar melancholic vibe as All My Friends, but he has wisely stayed clear of trying to emulate that song completely. A warm synth rises against the guitar track, and slowly overtakes it; this is the most rock and heart-on-the-sleave emotional the band gets. Gloriously, the guitar is mixed to the forefront so the lyrics are quite hard to distinguish.
I Can Change raises the mood again with fun 80's synths, showing what's great about Murphy's analogue sensibilities, as the apparently repetitive synth riffs are actually quite dynamic and nuanced. Despite quite an emotional lyrical theme, Murphy shows he isn't being too serious: "Love is an open book to a verse of your bad poetry / And this is coming from me".
All this has been mere foreplay to the two biggest tunes of the album: You Wanted a Hit and Pow Pow. The former begins with a pretty synth intro, until the bass and drums builds, and the synth drops out. The core of this song is sparse and minimalistic, broken with only an angry guitar riff. Murphy "sings" wryly over the top, exuding a subtly angry atmosphere, most likely directed at the record label. The chorus, however, is quite fun: "we won't be your babies / till you take us home". Pow Pow would fit well with the material off of the first album, as it is similar in lyrical style to both Yeah (how could it not be, with a title like that?) and the deeply self aware and ironic Losing My Edge. Murphy repeats "from this position" over a sparse bongo filled beat. The song has the most fun lyric of the whole album "we have a black president and you do not, so shut up". Both these songs show Murphys confidence and wit in his lyrics and sparseness of production, managing to create so much out of so little. They both last about 9 minutes, but the time passes in a breeze.
Somebody's Calling Me, unfortunately, is not quite as good as the rest. Perhaps it will grow on me, but the simple piano line seems lazy and quite abrasive. Not to dwell on the bad stuff, Home starts to build in a similar way to All My Friends with a repetitive synth, but drops into a bassy groove after a couple of minutes, and Murphy showcases some nice vocal melodies, for a change. A very calm and understated way to end the album.
The verdict is that, as the final LCD album, Murphy has ended (as well as starting) on a high. It is, in places, better than anything else he has ever done. But weather it is better than Sound of Silver is a very difficult one to call.
Stream the album here:
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
The melancholic mood evoked by the sullen female vocals and the jittery synth is erily beautiful and immediately striking, unlike some of his other tracks that are more slow-burning. Still, he doesn't lose any of the subtlety that his prior tracks exploited to create hypnotic and dynamic tracks despite their simplicity. FP also creates huge space in the track for the wistful vocals and synth to play about in; it seems as though Sam Shephard is (deservedly) becoming more confident in his production.
Hear the track here:
Bonobo - 'Eyesdown' (Floating Points Remix) by Ninja Tune