Thursday, January 25, 2007

Scene Unseen

Philip Sherburne's current Month in Techno column makes me long for clubbing proper-style again. "One crucial difference between English and German attitudes toward rave. The Brits are showing up, freshly scrubbed, for another go at yesterday's party - one the Germans, by and large, never left."

When we were there during the summer, we got out of Berlin's Club Maria at around 9 in the morning (after a Wednesday night out!) - only to be greeted by some friendly locals asking us if we wanted to hit another club which had just kicked off for the day. We would actually have gone if we didn't have to go back to the hostel and pack for the journey on to Amsterdam.

When we go see James Holden in Belfast tomorrow night, we'll be turfed out around 2am. With the exception of the few places that took advantage of the extended licensing laws (mostly big clubs like Fabric and the like), the UK is worse than Ireland for longevity on nights out, and Northern Ireland is much worse than the UK generally: people are already trounced by 9 in the evening, and nights peak around midnight. But with the general public here and in Britain being used to getting trashed to go out, and going out to get trashed, I don't think our societies could handle 24-hour partying anyway.

Buried alive

We're getting our rabble of a crowd up to see Jambo Holden in the Stiff Kitten tomorrow night. Over on his webshite he has a neat little "blog" section where the latest post (admittedly it's from a month ago) mentions an interview with the man Burial in Fact Magazine.

That's quite a jumble of links, but do check out Burial's MySpaz, where "Unite" - which doesn't appear on his self-titled album from last year - is a refreshing excuse to stay on a MySpace page longer than five seconds.

Elsewhere this week, there's more love for Burial over at Slow Motion Radio Station. If you don't have the album, get the mp3 that's posted over there quick as you like, and put procuring the album to the top of your priorities (after eating or whatever).

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Broken But Brilliant

I was searching through my music collection recently (on my 'puter) and I ran into some Broken Social Scene tracks that I thought I should share ... BSS's densely layered catchy tunes are an uplifting part of my regular listening. One tune in particular is a version of Major Label Debut which they perform live. It's much faster than the original and is probably one of the only pieces of music I've heard live that I've thought "I'm going to shit pure joy" ... then they played Ibi Dreams of Pavement, which caused me to tear my shirt off. They certainly rocked my pants all three times I saw them in concert last year. Also Canada Vs. America from the bonus EP released with their self titled 05 cracker of an album is a track worth having, it's thick and creamy with layers and layers of sonic deliciousness.

Broken Social Scene - Major Label Debut (Fast)

Broken Social Scene - Canada Vs. America

I think Canada would win if it's a debate about the merits of their respective countries.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fun With Knobs 2:Knob Harder

Picture by Kathy
Another Ableton mix I made today.
I had alot of fun with this, more beat matching mishaps.
KickAcid Live-Fun with knobs 2:Knob Harder

Quite Spectacular-Hint
Methods-Charizma and penut butter wolf
There's An Oil Tanker Named Gondoleeza Rice-1 speed bike
Juicy-Notorious BIG
Sweet Jane-the velvet underground
hey ladies-beastie boys/hypnotize-notorious BIG
dreadlock holiday-10cc
I want more-CAN
short circut-daft punk
raspberry beret (12" version)-prince
I hate T-shirts that say 1977-L.Pierre & Notes
Halloween theme-Ben Tramer
Scorpio-Death in Vegas
Groove armada-At the river (the mix goes a bit tits up here)
Sacre Francis-Dimitri from paris
the big ship-Brian Eno

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Spot on

Spot fucking on. We can all do better.

Monday, January 15, 2007

January Mix

Heres a Mix I made this morning on Ableton live.
Nothing Really Special, theres a few wee mistakes in there, but I thought id throw it up since i recorded it.

Shindig Nights Vol.3:KickAcid-Fun With Knobs

Under S*

*Think about it.

I listened to some hip hop on the bus up here (Belfast) this evening. I don't know very much hip hop. It was Cannibal Ox. It was the first time I'd listened to hip hop (apart from exposure at Dano's gaff) in an aaaage. It was really class, especially with the orange streetlights and cold concrete of dismal dismal Belfast as a background. El-P's production would melt your brains and balls in one fell swoop. Then I was walking up the road and Justus Köhncke's "Advance" came into my head and I thought, Holy Fuck. What a tune. "Large" says Boomkat. They ain't kidding.

Anyway. Alex Under. I didn't know about his Friendly People moniker until Magoo(o) pointed it out to me, what with his connections and all (21-odd thousand page hits in last month? I'm not surprised (OK, 5000 visits, he informs me, but still.)). Friendly Peoples' Music is Improper EP woomfs, wobbles, clicks and ticks in all the right ways. And even if groove is a terrible descriptor, it grooves. Groove. Think about it. What a word.

No. Groove isn't good enough. It's not even accurate, I don't think. "99.9" flicks and fidgets around, hi-hats owning the show. Yeah, maybe they're upstaged by the other distractions, but take them away and what do you have? Nothing. Building blocks: that's what it's all about. People start too high and mighty - bog-standard rock music (I was sitting beside a long, greasy-haired "real" rock music dude on the bus), they start with high-falutin ideas about emotion and chords and how to make a tune tap into our feelings, and swing their arms around to make the most impact with a really heartfelt D-minor, only to lose their balance and jump off a big cliff into nothing. Alex Under's techno, like all the best music, starts with a solid base and just builds.

FRIENDLY PEOPLE - 99.9 [Apnea] (Get it- and another review - from Boomkat.)

This post brought to you by Stryke Pils - Alc. 5.0% Vol. Serve Chilled. Stryke Pils - The lager of Thoughts, Etcetera.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

STOP! In the name of MOTION!

This is probably not exactly me breaking any incredible news, since it looks like something that's probably already an internet phenomena (it's got over 2 million views on youtube), but here is an incredible piece of stop animation shot by two guys from Massachusetts called Paul Cummings & Tony Fiandaca.Stop motion animation is something I wish I had the talent, equipment and patience for ... They really did jump a million times and a combination of photos and stills extracted from footage were used according to Tony on youtube, recorded over weekends and in spare time. That is what I call a labour of love.

The guy who did the music (one Christopher Lee Donovan) is also a multitalented graphic designer. His stuff isn't my kind of stuff, but you gotta respect talent I guess ...

Im Alan Fucking Sugar

As I mentioned before, I really the dig The Jarvis Cocker Record
Check out this well Jackson Video for the latest single Dont Let him Waste Your Time

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Plentiful Air Supply

I haven't posted in a slow age, god damn technology passed me by there for a while, anyway on to some belated news. Air are back making music in their own, unbelievably French, way and it quite rightly appears to be making a big(ish) splash out in the blog world. I haven't got much of a chance to listen to the album, but these tracks (the second of which includes Jarvis Cocker, which is usually a good thing) sound nicely mellow. A perfect soundrack for upcoming hangovers methinks.

Air - Le Soleil est Pres De Moi

Air - One Hell Of A Party


L.Pierre's new album "dip" is out on monday, if ya dont get it then, youre all ejits, cause it will be amazing.
Mp3 of Ache over at this site

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Shrigley Goes Public

Enigmatic Scottish artist David Shrigley appears to have been doing some public installations or something of that nature ... Go look at his site, it's outsider art that's funny and occasionally disturbing...

In other news, I've got a bad case of the oul' Blue Balls ...

Hi sir

For those of you who caught the wonderful The Devil and Daniel Johnston on More4 last night:
Daniel Johnston - Some things Last a Long Time

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Last Year's Laudables

Japan is, I dimly perceive through the various media, a very odd country. We've all seen the adverts, the gameshows, the manga and animé, some of us have seen the hentai etc etc ... strangeness abounds. Anyway, what I hadn't expected from the bizarre cauldron that is Japan was that it might produce one of the great post rock groups of 2006. Which is exactly why that pesky nation confounded me by doing just that. I have my eye on you Japan.

Anyway, all that aside, Mono are a band who have mastered the quiet/loud/quiet/ear shattering mix to perfection, and their 2006 release, "You Are There", showcases all their qualities - the shredding guitar at the climax of The Flames Beyond The Cold Mountain, the subtle, elegiac tones of The Remains of the Day, the soaring peaks and deep troughs of Moonlight... The exquisite manipulation of mood and atmospherics mark Mono out as masters at their craft (though it might be fairly accused not of originality, see Mogwai, GYBE and Explosions in the Sky to name but a few who have plowed very similar furrows). As such, take the epic The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain and make up your own mind. It's 13 and a bit minutes, mind you. Maybe one to bang on while you're busy making dinner and yet simultaneously want a large electrical current passed through your soul ...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Last Year's Listenables

As a continuance of the seeming theme of phantasmal, atmospheric music that's being posted, and also to keep the flow of my "Last Year's Lovlies" going, I'm gonna lob up a track by Benoît Pioulard.

Benoît is the moniker of one Thomas Meluch, a multi-instrumentalist from Michigan and veteran of several bands (including the blink-and-you'll-miss-them Esmae, an interesting post rock group). The music is similar to Grizzly Bear in it's sonic palette and emotional context, and is perfect for listening to whilst wallowing in the back bedroom writing rubbish on the internet. If you need a soundtrack to a late night think-and-drink session (do other people do that?) then look no further than 2006's Précis, easily one of the year's highlights.

Anyway, here's Patter - Benoît Pioulard...

Ah hell, why not take Sous la Plage - Benoît Pioulard ...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Father Brian Eno

Good stuff this, from music for airports. RjD2 sampled this on his own remix of June too.
Brian Eno 1-2

Silly Improv.

Partly inspired by both Tugboat's unrelenting foraging through the all things techno undergrowth of recent times and also the excellent Sonorities festival, I have of late been poking about in the nether regions of improvised and contemporary music. Determined to prove to myself that this is more than a pretentious, academic, wasteland of which the sole function is pretentious, academic, knobbery, I've been looking new sounds with which to fill my ears and trying to find a way in which this might possibly relate to me, living in the damp squalor of Belfast.

Following directly on from the 2006 Sonorities festival my interest in freely improvised music was sparked by several heavyweight performances, namely those of Fred Frith, Chris Cutler and Anthony Braxton. The fact that this music was so intuitively tailored to the moment of its inception made it impossible not to be swept along and never once find your concentration melting into a pool on the floor -an admittedly very common occurrence at too many new music concerts. Also the fact that these musicians were playing there instruments in ridiculously unconventional ways was neither novelty nor an issue because more often than not the sounds created were perfect for the moment.

So in a haze of Fred Frith wonder (and possibly seeking some kind of outlet for all that teenage guitar angst) I started checking out some other improv guitarists. This is where Derek Bailey comes into the picture. Bailey played guitar in a horrible, angular, discordant and celestial manner, the main idea being to improvise without relying on jazz in any form. I recently picked up his Carpal Tunnel record (documenting the decline of his ability to play due to the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome) and the opening track is just a fantastic piece of work.

(Check out the fantastic Tzadik label for more)

Derek Bailey - Explanation & Thanks - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
(obituary by Gavin Bryars)

Next to a man who also performed at this years Sonorities festival, albeit minus almost all of his homemade creations, Rafael Toral. Well known in alternative circles as a free-floating experimental guitarist/composer, the Portuguese maestro has recently been embarking on what he has titled the 'Space Program', suffice to say that this involves creating sparse electronic worlds out of homemade instruments; his performance at this year's Sonorities involved charming resonances out of cymbals using a short-circuited, hand-held amplifier. Here is a brief excerpt from the first track in the Space opus.

Rafael Toral - Space (excerpt)

Another group who create delicate, grotesque and beautiful sounds are Pillow. Pillow (not to be confused with Italian post-rockers) are an American quartet, with the impetus for this particular record coming from Tentet cellist Fred Longberg Holm. This track for me showcases the more mellifluous side of free music, which granted requires a certain predisposition of willingness, echoing the glacial strains of much post-rock in a more visceral form. This is taken from the 'Pillow Plays Brotzmann' long player, which is an interpretation of the legendary reeds-player Peter Brotzmann's composition 'Images'.

Pillow - Images3- Pillow Plays Brotzmann

Finally something more close to home, and an actual song, we have Phil Elvrum working under his Microphones alias. Almost all of Elvrum's work sounds to me as though it is being improvised and invented in the studio, and in the best possible way. So many of his songs are just fragments of a thought, capturing something really ephemeral and this is one of their most endearing qualities for me. This really struck home last year, hearing him give a concert consisting of songs which he made up entirely on the spot. So here is a particular favorite in a slightly different form:

The Microphones - The Moon - Song Islands

Monday, January 01, 2007

Oh and ....

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Go to magoo's blog and check out his phresh new design, whenever he gets round to getting it up.

Last Year's Lovelies

Since I couldn't be arsed (and also am not qualified by sufficient exposure to enough music) making a top of 2006 list, I'll just spend the next week or two lobbing up a few choice tracks from 2006, in no particular rank or order.

First up is "Wolf Like Me", a sinister fuzz punk cut from Return to Cookie Mountain by TV on the Radio. TV on the Radio made a pretty big splash with their debut, Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes, which was a minimal lo-fi affair that hinted at musical ambitions beyond the sparse guitar and sporadic drums that accompanied the layered vocals. With the follow up, TV on ... have added more textures to their sound and gained from it. The opener, I Was a Lover, is a case in point - the cut up and heavily edited guitar stabs that drive the track are more complex and intriguing than much of their previous work, and draw the listener into the song more without being too ostentatious (they can still credibly call themselves minimal artists). Anyway, for those of you who already know and love TV on the Radio, this is a welcome step forward from a quality band, for those of you who don't, why don't you already?

Wolf Like Me - TV on the Radio