Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: January 2007

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Points Of Interest

1. Thom Yorke has an exclusive mix of his current favourites at Itunes. Yorke mixes as part of the Celebrity Playlist series, which in the past has featured Brian Wilson. The likes of Modeselektor, Liars ans Stephen Malkmus (ex-Pavement) are included in his selection. For full tracklisting and explanations, go here

2. Epic45 have a brand new track, "The Balloonist", available to stream. The album appears to have changed his title to, "May Your Heart Be The Map" and is penciled in for a June 2007 release.

3. Romance of Young Tigers have earned a UK release of this fantastic Ep, through Unlabel. There is also another very excellent review of their self-titled debut here.

4. Those serene Swedes, immanu el have completed the recording of their debut album, which will be a mixture of old and new material. No release date as of yet, but some promotional songs will be posted on myspace soon.

5. Herb Recordings are, are preparing to release the new album by Solipsism, "Electricity Flows In Squares" on March 1st. This is not to be confused with the shoosh collaboration (Vedette & Solipsism), which will be available later this year.

6. Site News... I am about give the links section a much needed overhaul. So if you would like your site included please leave a comment

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Message To Bears : "Ep 1" (Self-Released)

Message To Bears is the work of young and talented musician, Jerome Alexander. Incorporating acoustic guitars, glockenspiel, drums and sampling, he has created a rather gentle and affecting ep here, that nods to both Jose Gonzalez and Eluvium. There are some moments of uplifitng beauty on "Ep 1", whether it is through a simple guitar melody or the introduction of some light drumming. A collection of folky instrumental acoustic tracks, each song contains something that will make you want to go back for more.

"Sparrow" starts this ep and evokes images of a a lonely violinist playing his instrument late at night, in an empty train station. Right from the outset, Alexander shows his talent with this melancholic introduction.

"Found You and You're Safe" shows glimpses of Four Tet production, while the acoustic guitar is beautifully played throughout, in tandem with weaving orechestral sounds. "Good Morning", meanwhile, is more optimistic sounding, with the subtle intertwining guitar overdubs towards the end.

Elsewhere, "Green" seems to benefit from similar lo-fi production, to that of Jose Gonzalez' "Veneer" album. Again the guitar work is expertly performed and not too dissimilar to everyone's favourite Swede, either. Things get a little more interesting around the 2 minute mark, with the intorduction of some velvet-tinged keyboards and more of that sublime orechestration.

"Plane Over Evening Sky" is certainly one of the more memorable pieces here, mainly beacause its melody is just so downright gorgeous. But, of equal importance, is the subtle percussion hand-claps, that propel this song skywards (no pun intended).

With "To Make A Portrait", Alexander wears his Sigur Ros influences on his sleeve. Its a shimmering piano led number that maybe strays too close to the "( )" album, but in the context of this ep, remains compelling stuff.

The sombre melody on "Unfold" might make you feel a little blue, but the only reason for that would be, that it is, sadly, the last track on the ep . I urge you to buy this little gem. Play it when your are walking in the park, reading a book or when you are about to enter into a slumber. Regardless, its gentle guitar work, tiptoeing production and warm orchestral waves, will work its calming magic over you

Rating = 80%

Labels:

Monday, January 29, 2007

Crepusculum : "Open Gates"

I posted about Crepusculum on the first netlabel focus (you can still stream the track "Kintyre" from it.

His beautiful "Sky Dairies" ep has been a permanent fixture on my Ipod over the last week or so. I downloaded it from the 12rec Netlabel webpage.

His guitar playing is absoultely exquisite, very emotive and completely melodic. You can see for yourself by watching this video of "Open Gates" above.

Lovely Stuff, get the "Sky Diaries" ep here.

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mogwai - "Dial.Revenge"

I've posted a Mogwai song here, just because they are amazing!. This is one of their most under-rated songs and is from their equally under-rated "Rock Action" album.

The vocals are courtesy of Super Furry Animals mainman, Gruff

Top Tracks of The Week

I haven't posted this for a long time, but it is a slow Sunday. I've also, finally, got Itunes up and running again, so I can guage what tracks I've listened to the most over the past week. So here goes:

1."Time, Oh Time" / Tobia Lilja(n5md)
2."So Much For No Surprises" / Arc Lab (n5md)
3."Good Morning" / Message To Bears (unsigned)
4."Tómleikar" / Prince Valium (Resonant)
5."Bring To Light" / SubractiveLAD (nmd)
6."Electricity Flows In Squares" / Solipsism (Herb Recordings)
7." Lovers Crime" / The Hero Cycle (Hidden Shoal Recordings)
8."Kintyre" / Crepusculum (12Rec)
9."Underwater Dancing" / Philipp Weigl (Thinner/Autoplate)
10."The Delicate Sound Of Silence" . Slow Dancing Society (Hidden Shoal Recordings)

Labels:

Vedette : They're Only Gardening

I have been listening to some tracks from the yet to be released shoosh album. shoosh are a collaboration between Herb Recordings' Solipsism and Neil Carlill of Vedette. Carlill's other-worldly vocals really make this a unique mixture.

Here is a track from his own "experimental" project, Vedette

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Netlabel Focus : Lost Children

Myspace Mp3 Player, MySpace MP3 Players, Flash MP3 PlayersI made this playlist at MyFlashFetish.com.
Check out this MySpace MP3 Player!




Lost Children generally focuses on emotional and provocative posr-rock and instrumental music. With an impressive roster of young and experimental bands, Lost Children are famous for their work compilations with webzine The Silent Ballet.

Johnny Pointdexter ("A post rock dream run through a shoegazers nightmare")
Transit ("Guitar lead instrumental rock..")
Skyhaze ("Relaxed ambient experimental sounds)
Loss of a Child ("A classically-influenced instrumental rock noise ..)
Part Rocket ("weaving from quiet and rhythmic, to full on intense, distorted mayhem.
Stray Brothers ("Post-Rock influenced Alternative Rock from Wales..)
Stellardrive ("Instrumental noisy post-rock band from France)
Time.Space.Repeat ("Predominantly Instrumental, Shoegazing, Ambient, Space Rock)
Northvia ("..post-rock, ranging from quiet ambience to distorted climaxes.")

If you like what you hear, then you can download and share these albums, under yhe Creative Commons Act. Go here

Labels:

Aereogramme - "Barriers"

Aereogramme are recieving a lot of praise from all quarters, apart from Pitchfork. The Guardian gave their new album "My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go", calling it "enormous and epic" and "the musical equivalent of gazing at a beautiful snowscape, knowing that any second, an avalanche could fall".

Nice words indeed, "Barriers" looks like the lead single for it. It is by no means my favourite song, from what I heard, but does give a good indication of the general sound of the album

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Netlabel Focus #1

Myspace Mp3 Player, MySpace MP3 Players, Flash MP3 PlayersI made this playlist at MyFlashFetish.com.
Check out this MySpace MP3 Player!




I have been enjoying various netlabels since the turn of the year and thought I should introduce you to some of the great labels that are out there. Listen to these ten tracks and then investigate further by using the links below . I have focused on the 12Rec and Thinner/Autoplate labels. This mix contains cinematic electronica (Engine7), downtempo house (Lomov), folk (Crepusculum) and other avant-garde genres. There is so much wonderful, untapped music out there, that is just begging to be heard!.

Below are the links to each of the artists featured:

Engine7 (12Rec/Legogo)
Philipp Weigl(Thinner/Autoplate)
Lomov (Thinner/Autoplate)
Holger Flinch (Thinner/Autoplate)
Crepusculum (12Rec)
Unit 21 (Thinner/Autoplate)

Labels: , , , , ,

Damien Rice : "Elephant"(Live)

I may have ridiculed the ticket prices for Damien Rice's UK tour in October, but this breathtaking song would be worth the admission alone.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Points Of Interest

1. You may have noticed the slinky black Ipod at on the side bar of this site. I have been enjoying Philipp Weigl's track "Underwater Dancer" on it. Give it a listen and if you like it you can download the full album for free at Thinner/Autoplate.

2. Japanese Blog/Webzine/Record Label, Friend Of Mine, has a free compilation that features a few artists that havew been included on this site. Romance of Young Tigers, Roncatto Braathen and All Angels Gone, can be found on this compilation ,amongst others, which you can obtain here.

3. Boomkat are offering the entire City Centre Office's back catalogue for severely reduced prices right now. So you could pick up The Gentlemen Losers album for less than £6, for example.

4. You may remember The Dandelion Council, from this post. Well, he has a new track up on myspace and is also aiming to release some material in 2007.

5. Damien Rice has released details of his forthcoming UK tour in support of his excellent "9" album. The price of a ticket is a not-so excellent £23.50 though.

6. You can hear a podcast interview with Explosions In The Sky concerning their new album here.

7.Ambient conceptualists Charles Atlas will be featured on a split CDEP with Textile Ranch. This will be released some time in February through Static Caravan.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Message To Bears : "Good Morning"

This track is taken from a little gem of a release. I bought Message To Bears' "Ep 1" for £5, via his myspace site last week. It arrived on Monday and its gentle tones have been soundtracking my week so far.

There will be a review to follow, but for fans of gentle acoustic/folk instrumentals with washes of orechestration and subtle percussion elements. This one is for you

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Hero Cycle : "Lakes and Ponds Ep" (Hidden Shoal Recordings)

Burlington, Vermont collective, The Hero Cycle, are a 14-legged outfit and recent signings to the ever-expanding (and impressive) Hidden Shoal roster. Musically, this collective mix contemporary influences with some of the best bands from the past 15-20 years. There's a touch of Arcade Fire, a dollop of Broken Social Scene, while some of the tracks are peppered with experimental guitar work, reminscent of Sonic Youth. However, with the "Lakes and Ponds Ep", The Hero Cycle have created an ambitious little release that should be able to stand proudly, shoulder to shoulder, with the current indie darlings.

"Breathing In" gets this, short but sweet, Ep underway and gives a perfect introduction to this band, encompassing all of the key elements of their sound. The swirling Sonic Youth style introduction is augmented by drumming that is paying homage to Steve Shelley, while the vocals recall Lee Ranaldo's familiar tones too. However, it is the band's energy that shines through the most here, with the monolithic wails of feedback resembling a huge storm accumulating on the horizon.

"Lovers Crime" is a more optimistic number and displays The Hero Cycle's love of the subtle minor chord. The Broken Social Scene comparisons are most apparent here, with syrupy female vocals taking the verse, while swapping with male singing for the chorus. This is all soundtracked with jagged guitars and fast-paced drums. Its upbeat nature and excellent delivery makes this a classic example of an indie-pop song.

While next track, "American Proxy" doesn't quite hit the heights of the opening two tracks. "A New Love For Lakes and Ponds" immediately intrigues with its Arcade Fire style introduction. The fuzzy organ sounds, along with a driving rythmn soon pushes this instrumental into a massive, over-blown indie-rock explosion.

"You Vs Them" wraps things up on "Lakes and Ponds" and has being picking up a fair bit of radio airplay. It is not hard to see why, with a chorus that easily bores its way into your head, while the guitar interplay is mesmerising. It all ends fittingly, with a detonation of shoegazer guitars, as that catchy chorus blends itself into the music.

The "Lakes and Ponds Ep" brings together many influences, past and present. The Hero Cycle, however, have a knack of bringing their own unqiue burst of energy to the table, proving they have a superb handle of euphoric indie-rock theatrics. Get it here.

Rating = 72%

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 22, 2007

Points Of Interest

1. A Hawk and A Hacksaw have confirmed dates for a UK tour that will encompass most major cities in Britain. The Alburqurque, New Mexico duo will be augmented by The Hun Hangár Ensemble, a Hungarian collective. The show will feature several mind-boggling instruments, re-workings of traditional European folk songs and a collection of tracks from AHAAH's back catalogue. They will be supported by Jack Rose, details can be viewed here.

2.Our Sleepless Forest have posted, what sounds like, a finished mix of "Aircastles" from their forthcoming debut album, which will be released on Type Records later in 2007. Listen here.

3. Hidden Shoal Recordings have kindly posted a free download of Slow Dancing Society's magnificent "How Life Was Meant To Be Lived". . But this is my favourite release of 2007 thus far, and "How Life.." is possibly the first classic track of the year. Download it here. The album, "The Sound of Lights When Dim" (Review) was also officially released today.

4. Longshot here, but if anyone can sort me out with a ticket for Arcade Fire's upcoming shows at The Barrowlands, it would be greatly appreciated. I was at work when they went on sale and had no access to a telephone. Safe to say they sold out almost instantly and I was left rather disappointed.

Labels: , , , ,

Rage Against The Machine : "Bombtrack"

According to Pitchfork, Rage Against The Machine are to reform to play the Coachella Festival.

So that gives me an excuse to post this video of "Bombtrack"

Kingbastard : "[Bastardize Ep]" (Herb Recordings)

2007 is barely one month old, yet it is full steam ahead over at Herb Recordings. Along with Rubens' forthcoming debut, the "[Bastardize Ep]" by Kingbastard represents a busy start for the innovative Scottish label. This Ep is a quick-fix of frenzied beats, effervescent melodies and a lo-fi style production.

A number of tracks here, recall some of Richard D. James' acid-style sounds (especially those Anologue Bubblebath records). Opener "[Tripod]", for example, fearures a dirty melody and some mid-90's style beat production. Ending with a combination of vitriolic beats and a dark theme, ensures this Ep is off to an impressive start.

"[Boxclever]" is probably my favourite track here, it is certainly the most instant. Rapid beats are laced with a lethal melody, that proves to be an intoxicating blend. There is a fantastic middle section, where the beats merge into a triple drill style beat, that is both innovative and appeasing work.

"[Parenthesis]", meanwhile, is a large sounding number thats starts with hisses of static and computer bleeps. A beat soon pushes its way through the digital mass, along with some euphoric synths, that soon develops into a captivating tune.

As the name suggests, "[Data Rape Function Creep]" is a deranged track, thats uses a plethora of bit stream beats, dark drones and eerie sound clips. It vaguely recalls those industrial machine build-up's that Autechre are renowned for.

"[Goodbye Mr Bendigo]" surprisingly changes tact. While the 4 previous tracks are beat-laden and instantly gratifying, this one harks back to some of Kingbastard's work, on the "Run:>Ep". It is a sad sounding collage of cloudy sampled textures and melancholic synths. A perfect reference point here would be Radiohead's "Treefingers" from "Kid A". It's is not as instant, but repeated listens reveal a certain degree of emotion.

Thankfully, it is just a temporary moment and Kingbastard hasn't got all depressed on us. He is soon back with his signature buoyant beats and acidic melodies. The bizrrely titled, "[Got Milk_Duckstomping]", with its upbeat nature, works in perfect contrast to the sad synthscape of "[Goodbye Mr Bendigo]", and ends the Ep on an optimistic note.

The "Bastardize Ep" is a definite progression for Kingbastard. The beats are innovative and the melodies plentiful. There is some terrific work here, most notably "[Box Clever]", "[Goodbye Mr Bendigo]" and "[Data Rape Function Creep]". 2007 could very well be the year of the bastard!.

Rating = 78%

This Ep is available via digital download on February 25th. But, if you are like me and prefer something more tangible, you can get your hands on a special limited edition CD right now. Order it here.

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Nick Cave : "Stagger Lee"

The baddest man in rock, Nick Cave will return with his new venture Grinderman, later this year.

I thought I would just remind just how bad he really is. "Stagger Lee" from "Murder Ballads" is one of my all time favourite tracks.

Crippled Black Phoenix Album Details

Following on from Port-Royal's news yesterday, Crippled Black Phoenix have unleashed some album details. "A Love of Shared Disasters" will be released April 2nd 2007 and will be listed for pre-order here shortly. There are also two European festival dates, in Belgium and Greece, details can be viewed here.

Labels: ,

Tronic @ The 13th Note Cafe, 19/01/07

Tronic celebrated their 1st anniversary of contemporary electronic performances and Glasgow's 13th Note Cafe seemed packed to the rafters. Getting to the bar presented a problem and it is surely only a matter of time, when Tronic is shipped to a bigger venue.

Tronic are excellent purveyors of Scottish electronica, unearthing hidden gems and providing a genuine scene around Glasgow. There is an army of musicians armed with laptops, synths, guitars, samplers and drums that explore music in both electronic and post-rock terms. Maybe its completely unintentional, but there is a electronic/post-rock scene stirring, here, in Glasgow.

Last month's Tronic, was a succesful night, complete with a great performance from Engine7. First up on Friday, was Beaches of a Proud, who displayed promising abilty with his Straefern Hakon style soundscapes. Samplers, guitars and keyboards were engaged and along with some nice visual work provided a dreamy start. An enigmatic name and an enigmatic sound.

Ives proudly proclaimed "they quite like Orbital" and their beat-driven electronica certainly did back up this claim. At times, the build-up's were superb and were followed up by huge, crunchy beat programming. Underworld would be another good reference point for Ives' music and, overall, it was a successful perfomance. Although, sadly the duo are going to be using laptop's from now on and not their array of synths and samplers.

I had heard a few good things about headliner Dextro and seeing a musician over-laying dark and moody soundscapes with some expert live drumming was initially interesting. However, I felt that his set was slightly one-paced and lost a bit of interest towards the end. It was by no means a bad performance though, with his urgent drumming particularly standing out.

Overall another excellent night at Tronic, a musical project that is definitely going places.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Rejoice!!! : Port-Royal Announce New Album Details

The world seems like a brighter place today as Italian post-rock/electronic/ambient Kings, Port-Royal have announced new album details. To say that I am excited would be a drastic understatement. For those of you who are unaware, their debut album, "Flares" was a masterpiece, read about it here. I conducted an interview, with Port-Royal, a couple of months ago, and they hinted at a less guitar, more electronics direction for this release. I CANNOT wait to hear the results. Here is the details in full form Port-Royal themselves....

"hello dear friends!

we are happy to announce that our new album "AFRAID TO DANCE" will be out in april, released by Resonant! our friend Andrea Dojmi made both the layout and the artwork (you can find him here: http://www.myspace.com/andreadojmi).

we preserve our typical deep-wide-melancholic mood but mixed up with more electronic elements and rythm (eurodance 2007!!!)... and for the first time officially port-royal have sung shortly in 2 songs! 10 intense tracks for 1 hour of music. hope you will enjoy it!

soon we will post here some songs!

tracks list:

01. bahnhof zoo

02. pauline bokour

03. anya: sehnsucht

04. german bigflies

05. deca-dance

06. roliga timmen (longing machines)

07. internet love

08. leitmotiv | glasnost

09. putin vs valery

10. attorney verybad (aka the worst)


Up The Royals!

p.s. first date to promote "afraid to dance": saturday 17th march at "le divan du monde" in paris (check also www.myspace.com/fuguesmeetspeople & http://www.myspace.com/mesfugues). others will follow soon..."

Labels: ,

Aphex Twin : "Vordhosbn"

I just dawned on me that there is not enough Aphex Twin on this site. So here is a video of "Vordhosbn" one of my favourite tracks from the much malinged "Druqks" album.

He is the master of "demonically extroverted programming "

Friday, January 19, 2007

Slow Dancing Society : "The Sound of Lights When Dim" (Hidden Shoal Recordings)

Music is all about moments like this. Moments when you are, unexpectedly, knocked over and stunned into submission by an album that has, quite literally, came from nowhere. Washington based producer, Drue Sullivan has managed to do just that, under his Slow Dancing Society moniker. “The Sound of Lights When Dim” is a deeply affecting, consistently excellent effort of stunning tranquillity and beautiful ambience, that demands repeated listening.

There is a fabulous quote from Brian Eno on Slow Dancing Society’s biography, it reads: “Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening without enforcing on in particular…” These sentiments are executed with a degree of perfection on “Sounds of Lights…” in all eight compositions.

It all starts off with “Be There”, a hazy ambient passage featuring reverbed guitar that reflects the calmness of those early hours of the morning, just when the sun starts to creep its way across the sky. “Radiance” follows and makes use of excellent glacial notes and distantly soft beats, while soothing acoustic guitar work evokes images of a flower blooming in Spring-time.

There are plenty of influences throughout “The Sound of Lights..”, I can hear bits and pieces of Pink Floyd, Explosions In The Sky, Hammock and various IDM artists. Although it is now over-used, to the point of annoyance, when describing ambient music. There are subtle hints of Sigur Ros too. “The Delicate Sounds of Silence” recalls that “Untitled” ep from a few years ago, although this time there are no Hopelandish lyrics or ice-cool e-bowed guitars. Instead, it’s warm, sun-kissed ambience, twinkling notes and tantalising waves of soft distortion. It really is magical stuff.

A number of song titles hint at regrets or the loss of someone close. “ A Song That Will Help You Forget”, for example, combines resplendent guitar harmonics and an echoed click-beat. By now you realise Sullivan is a superbly talented musician. One of the key components I look out for in music, these days, is restraint and Sullivan understands this concept clearly. He knows when to direct a track, ascending with distortion and clearer programming, but equally he knows when to let a song cascade back to sedate atmospheres too.

How Life Was Meant To Be Lived”, simply put, is this album's showpiece. Imagine “Wish You Were Here” era Floyd remixed by a contemporary electronic artist. The atmospheric slide guitar melds with intelligent and crisp programming to devastating effect. It’s a perfect piece of emotional ambience.

Slow Dancing Society employs velvety synths that wash all over you and intricate guitar playing that tugs at your heart-strings. “The Sound of Lights When Dim” feels like the soundtrack for that moment when you are supposed to arrive at the gates of heaven. When I finally succumb, I hope I hear the opening strains of this album. That way, I’ll know I’ve made it. Hidden Shoal Recordings have a masterpiece on their hands. Order it here.


Rating = 90%

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Points of Interest...

1. If there any aspiring writers or anyone with some opinions on musical, political or artistic issues. Ask for a inivite to the Hidden Shoal Recordings project FluxusTV. There is an ever-growing band of like-minded individuals posting their thoughs and sharing their interests at this intriguing venture. I've joined up and it looks very good fun.

2. Arclight Communications have confirmed that they will release Romance of Young Tigers self-titled ep via 10" vinyl this year and it will feature a bonus track. It will be limited to just 400 copies.

3. Mark 6/02/07 in your diaries, because n5md will issue their latest batch of "emotional experiments in music". Albums by Sweden's Tobias Lilja and Canadians SubtractiveLAD and Arc Lab will be released on this day.

4. Two of my tips for 2007 will be releasing new material very soon. iLiKETRAiNS will have a new single, "Spencer Perceval" out on 26/03/07. While, Slow Dancing Society officially releases "The Sound of Lights When Turned Dim" this coming Monday. Order it here

5. Keser will return to Glasgow on 23/01/07 to play a free gig at everyone's favourite late night bar, Bloc. ÅsA are also due to play at what should be an excellent night for contemporary Scottish music.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Engine7 Live @ The Rio Cafe, Glasgow, 17/01/07

Engine7 won over an initially indifferent crowd during last night's set at Glasgow's new Rio Cafe. Although the venue is pretty cool, it is much more suited to being a restuarant than a venue for live music. Engine7 faced the daunting prospect of performing to some people who had their backs turned to the stage, due to seating arrangements, while the lighting initally took away the effect of the excellent visuals. It was a challenge that he,gladly, rose to, along with visual manipulators These Are Ideals and (a new addition of) a live bassist.

Firstly, a quick mention about those visuals which ensured my attention was constantly directed towards the stage. The pig in a suit was fantastic, as was the repeating cycle of a ferocious steam train, but the one thing that sticks in my mind was the continued appearece of the words "We Gather Energies..", as it seemed to sum up Engine7's performance. He seemed to gain extra verve as the gig progressed.

The majority of his set encompassed newer material, with no fewer than 5 tracks from forthcoming album "Me, But Perfect", but there was still plenty of scope for some of his older material, which in a live setting is injected with extra passion and, of course, distorted and abused guitar work (sadly no champagne bottle this time)

This performance was part of the Freakscene Electronic Sessions, which are held twice monthly in The Rio Cafe. Kicking off with old favourite, "Blood Nerves America" is always a good idea, with its tense build up, dark melody, scattered beats and obscured vocal sample. Engine7's guitar work (after a few minor sound issues) added extra power to this song and the next few compositions, such as "Glitches".

Of all the new tracks, "Tempertantrum" is my favourite and it is a huge slice of absolute genius, featuring a driving uptempo rythmn and a crazy melody that drills itself right into your head, refusing to leave.

Closing with "Hive Mind", another new track, the Kraftwerk style electro-pop number worked in perfect contrast with the frantic nature of both "Tempertantrum" and the eerie paranoia of penultimate song "Nichts".

It was a triumph over adversity, several problems (bad weather, bad lighting, a not so good music venue, idle chatter at the bar, sound issues) tried to dampen Engine7's spirits, but it was to no avail as he emerged with another glorious victory. No details as of yet when "Me, But Perfect" is due out, but it's a cracker.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Points of Interest...

1. Engine7 will be performing at Glasgow's Rio Cafe tomorrow night from 8pm. Those excellent visuals will be on show, courtesy of These Are Ideals, while a live bassist will also be added to add extra weight to the overall sound. I have heard the forthcoming album, "Me, But Perfect" and it is a scorcher. More info and a map of how to get to the venue, for those who are unfamiliar with Glasgow's West End, can be found here.


2. Rubens' forthcoming album, "Carnivalesque" (review) has a release date (Feb 10th). It will be available via digital download and CD via Herb Recordings. Pre-order it here. Furthermore, Kingbastard has a limited edition Ep available on CD form Herb too. Get the "Bastardize" Ep here now.

3. Hot on the heels of Sigur Ros' latest album new, My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields has declared that he "still intends to record" another MBV album, according to Magnet.


4. Mogwai have been asked to play at this ATP festival, with a decision expected very soon (source), while Slint will be once again dusting down those vintage guitars to play the influential "Spiderland" in its entirity at the Primavera Sound Festival.


5. The collaboration between Solipsism and Neil Carlill of Vedette, will now be going under the name shoosh. There are more new tracks for you to digest here.


6 My Formica Table, the project run by Strap The Button's Jack Hunter has posted a few of the upcoming ventures. This project is partcularly interested in the "swapping of music". Get in contact with him, if you would like to do this here

7 Some interesting news(to say the least) coming from Radiohead fansite At Ease. Korn are expected to release a cover of "Creep" on their forthcoming Unplugged album. The album will also feature The Cure's Robert Smith. Jonny Greenwood, meanwhile, will oversee his own Reggae compilation in conjunction with Trojan Records. Tracklisiting and details here.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Keser : "Kontrol/Kaos"

Here's an video of Keser performing "Kontrol/Kaos", a song from the "Esoteric Escape" album. It is a perfect blend of the post-rock dynamics and cutting edge electronica, which is a hallmark of that album

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sigur Ros : New Album??????

Sigur Ros are said to be recording a new album, with "a possibilty of a 2007 release"???. Read the full article here. Can 2007 get any better?

Labels:

Interview with Romance Of Young Tigers

If you read this site often enough, then you will be well aware of Dayton, Ohio 3-piece Romance of Young Tigers. You will be aware of the fact that they make one monolithic sound, you will be aware that I rated their self-released ep as pretty damn excellent and that I reckon they could be one of the bands of 2007. ROYT's guitarist and programmer Seth Graham talks about his band, their stunning ep and plans for the future. He is "under the assumption that no-one cares...", only the ignorant, or those not in the know, wouldn't care about this band.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Firstly, Romace Of Young Tigers is an excellent name for a band, is there any significance behind it ?

Not to much significance to them, other than we were aiming for a name that wasn't tough. I was at a used bookstore a long time ago, and was skimming through books that looked interesting, I saw a chapter of a random book named "Romance of Young Tigers", I always thought that would be a good name to use. So when we started this band we coudln't come up with any names, so I brought that one up and it stuck. It has no meaning really, in fact, we make fun of the name a lot, we did have intentions avoiding a lot of cliches, and that's what we came up with. But now, there are at least 3 bands I know of with the name tigers in it, so perhaps we didnt succeed


How would you describe Romance of Young Tigers sound to the uninitiated and what bands or artists have influenced the sound?

I don't know how to describe us, I usually just say programming and loud guitars with some effects. I can't speak for Todd or Jeremaih but I personally really like Belong, Mum, Growing, old Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd and some obvious bands such as Mono and everything Constellation has put out. Those and a million other bands and everything from films to plays to random things seem to influence us (I know thats a terribly cliche answer but its true).


The self-released Ep, has amazing artwork. How involved were the band in its direction and how important is it to the overall package?

Thanks. I did the art work for the cd's, my friend Bobbi and Katie helped me with learning to screen print. Bobbi helped me along the way with any problems I ran into with screen printing. Todd also helped me assemble them. We worked so hard to finish the cd, and I thought the cd was decent and wanted to have packaging that I felt really was something personal and handmade and somewhat described the cd inside. I wanted the cd to be something worth paying for, and not just plain old jewel case with boring clip art. I ended up making a hundred cd's which I finished mid Decemnber and they are already gone, so 400 more will be made, a special black and white edition that Archlight Communications is going to release for us, along with a 10" of the ep, with a bonus track and we are going to try to arrange it so I will do the screenprinting and artwork for the vinyl as well. So as for now none are available, but will be soon, hopefully by mid feb.



The band's sound at times is incredibly loud, yet there are no percussive elements. Was it a conscious decision to do without a drummer or did it happen naturally?

Todd and I started the band as just two guitarist, we wanted to have loud heavily effected drum machines with heavily effected guitars. Jeremiah asked to play about 3 months into todd and I starting the band. We weren't sure if we wanted anyone else except us, but Jeremiah ended up working out really well. We then thought about a drummer over programming so we searched a little while, but really couldn't find anyone that worked out. So we decided to revert to programming. Jeremiah was really instrumental and making the ideas technically happen, him and I both sort of just started programming stuff and through trial and error we got the idea to work live, Jeremiah being an engineer did all the tech work. Then Jeremiah and I sent programming ideas back and forth and eventually programmed for all our songs. So to answer your question, it was a little bit of both I guess, it naturally happened, and it was the idea we first wanted to do, but in the end we liked the programming idea more than a real drummer.


Would you consider using drums on future releases?

I don't know maybe. I doubt it, but I can't really say



"Long Withdrawing Roar" is an apt title for that particular song. As most songs are instrumental, where do you get the titles from?

I got "We Sing Sin" from a poem. "The Sound and Fury" is from the book by Faulkner. I made up "Cease Silent Soft Choir"and "Long Withdrawing Roar", they just seemed to fit the songs. We always had ridiculous names for our songs, but we decided to try to just name them to what they actually sounded like since we felt we had to, to release the ep. To me, the song titles fit of what the songs might sound like, or at least to me they did. I wanted them to make sense, and not just some ridiculous nonsensical title that just came across as pretentious. I would like to think we achieved that. But who knows?.


You mentioned that the Ep is getting a 10" vinyl release on Arclight Communications and features a bonus track. What can you tell us about this new composition?

Were having band practice today to work on this new track. I think our new stuff, if anyone cares, will be different from the EP, I think trying to find a way to orchestrate live noise with a lot of interesting layers, not as straight forward and a lot more synths and keyboards and drum machines that are heavily effected etc. But I don't know, I don't try too hard to control the finished project, I try to go by feeling and ideas and patience. So the bonus track I think is sort of something that will give someone an idea of what we will doing after this ep. I feel stupid saying this, because Im always under the assumption that no one cares, but if a stranger sends me an interview, I guess that means someone cares.


You recently completed a show with The Ascent Of Everest, how was that experience?

It was great, we had a lot of fun, they stayed at my house, we all hung out and watched explorer staring Ethan Hawk when he was like 10.


Being from Dayton, Ohio, what can you tell us about the local music scene and who should we look out for?


I feel like im the wrong person to ask about music from dayton. Things that I notice in town are such things as Epicene Sound Systems here in Dayton, the noise label that has released some good stuff such as Upsilon Acrux and etc. Mouth of the Architect is from here, and needless to say they are a great band in my opinion. Also Kenoma are from Dayton, and they are probably my favorite local band. I would like them if they were local or not, but thats true about all bands I like. There is a band called Yakuza Heart Attack, I haven't seen them live, but what ive heard is really good, its really interesting. The Bull and the Bear is a great band, The Human Reunion is also a great band. So many bands from town, but those bands in particular I think are great bands. There is also a tiny label my friend Andy runs called Poptek that releases local and non local stuff and is very involved in helping local music. Andy at Poptek and my other friends run a music festival every year called the Dayton Music Fest, its a great effort to support local music. A lot of music happens in Dayton, especially for how small it is. To be honest we are nobody's in this town, but the bands I mentioned seem to do quite well locally, I think thats why I feel Im not exactly the person to ask about local music, no one seems to agree with me on who good bands are locally.


Finally, What does the future hold for Romance of Young Tigers?.

I don't know, hopefully put out this ep on Arclight, and work on new full length or new material.

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tips for 2007

This is a blatant rip-off, of Brett Spaceman’s article which you can read here. But it’s a great idea. So here are my top tips for 2007. I expect (or hope) each of these bands or artists to make a significant impact this year.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Romance of Young Tigers


This Dayton, Ohio three-piece absolutely blew me away with their self- titled, self-released Ep. They make one incredible sound using just two guitars and one bass. I was inclined to give it a 90% score in this review, with “Long Withdrawing Roar” and “We Sing Sin” being some tremendous compositions. The Ep will be getting a release, via Arclight Communications, on 10” vinyl in 2007. There is an aura of something special surrounding this band. Remember seeing Explosions In The Sky for the first time?, well I reckon this band are in the same catergory. Romance of Young Tigers are destined for very the top.


immanu el

Like Brett Spaceman, I too, reckon 2007 may belong to Sweden’s immanu el. Listen to “Pandahere and tell me it is not one of the most glorious pieces of music you have ever heard. The band are at the final recording stage of the new album, which will be a mix of old and new material. I, for one, hope the band continue exploring those serene, glacial soundscapes. This is THE must have record of 2007.



The Strange Death Of Liberal England

An Ultra-cool name and an ultra-cool sound to boot. The UK may have just found an answer to those pesky Canadians, Arcade Fire. This male and female six piece, also flavour their sound with a cinematic Godspeed sweep. Their debut single is due out soon, watch them explode.


iLIKETRAINS

Much like Brett Spaceman (again!!), iLIKETRAINS too. Last year’s “Progress:Reform” Ep hinted at an epic Sigur Ros style sound. But being English, gives this band a certain degree of eccentricity and those brooding vocals blend effortlessly with massive sounding guitars. They have enormous potential, let this band win you over.


Strap The Button


It must be very cool to be a member of Strap The Button. The rule is, there are no rules and anything goes. Post-Rock, Folk, Krautrock, Psychedelia anything and everything, really. God only knows, what they will do next, but one thing is for sure its going to be good.


Our Sleepless Forest

Type Records rarely get it wrong and they seem to have scored another goal by signing this young South-East London three piece. Currently recording their debut for Type, it is taking shape while the band hone their experimental psychedelic/electronic sound into a fine art. This is one of my most anticipated releases of 2007.


Engine7

Glasgow’s Engine7 has been under the radar for too long. Various releases are available on netlabel’s, but now its time for the music buying public to sit up and take notice. “Me, But Perfect” took 2 years to record, but these efforts have been worth it. The album features inventive beats, lush string arrangements, hazy guitars and filtered vocals, “Me, But Perfect” basically has it all and is set to be one of the most refreshing releases of 2007.


Alexander Tucker

This guy was meant to be nothing more than a mere support act for Bardo Pond a couple of months ago. But, while Bardo Pond were plagued by time and sound issues, ATP artist Alexander Tucker stole the show with his brand of looped guitar effects and operatic vocals. His experiments that night created a massive wall of hypnotic sound. “The absolute negative of Jamie Liddell”, Tucker’s album “Furrowed Sounds” was released last year, but 2007 will be the year the rest of the world will catch on.


Slow Dancing Society

Utterly gorgeous stuff from Washington based producer Drue Sullivan. A stunning collection encompassing Pink Floyd’s ethereal guitars, Explosions In The Sky melodies, shimmering synhts and delicate electronica. Australian label, Hidden Shoal Records, didn’t mess about, signing this guy immediately upon hearing the demo. “The Sound Of Lights When Dim” is inspiring. Full Review to follow.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Will Haven : "Carpe Diem"

I'm in a bit of a rock mood after the last review. Here is a video of Californian's Will Haven, one of my all time favouirtes

Take A Worm For A Walk Week : Self-Titled (Midmarch Records)

This release from Glasgow group, Take A Worm For A Walk Week, is a 'slight' departure from has went on in this site previously. But, I like to think I am an open-minded guy and will give most things a try. The artwork for this CD (a mass of skeletal bodies on a black background) points to a heavy rock direction.

Heavy rock, however, would not do the music here justice. It's ferocious, blistering, menacing and bludgeoning. The group themsleves have been gaining a reputation locally on the Glasgow live circuit and also nationally, supporting the likes of Sikth. Kerrang! and Rock Sound both gave the band excellent reviews recently and the the music on this self-titled release seems to back up this up.

I have to admit to being behind the times when it comes to haevy rock, my own tastes have just moved in a different direction of late. Having said that though, 3 or 4 years ago I would have lapped this album up.

It is a relentless blast of discordant noise that jumps effortlessly between Eyehategod sludge and Dillinger Escape Plan time signatures. In fact, it is the impeccable and complex rythmns that propel this 13 track, 15 minute release above its peers. It barely pauses for breath and it must take a remarkable amount of concentration when playing this stuff live.

The razor-sharp vocals are delivered in the same deranged manner as Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow, possibly even more deranged!. While some of the instrumentation could bludgeon you into submission.

Fans of calm, ambient soundscapes need not apply here, but if you like gutteral roars, impeccable time signtaures and sludgy guitars this is the album for you. What it lacks in length is more than made up for by the outstanding delivery and instrumentation. Order the album here.

Rating = 75%

Labels: ,

Friday, January 12, 2007

Various Artists : "Electronica Unplugged" (Aerotone)

Aerotone is a netlabel based in Munich, Germany that has started a new series in free audio aiming to "take care" of electronic influenced music. This netlabel is in its infancy stage, with "Electronica Unplugged", being just its fifth release. However, what Aerotone lacks in experience it makes it up with, with an astonishing amount of ambition.

"Electronica Unplugged" is,unsurprisingly, a compilation (featuring ten artists) that use analogue instrumentation within electronica structures (although a few of the tracks here also feature some programming or digital manipulation). Aerotone have attempted to document the idea of heartfelt electronic compositions. Labels such as Type, Neo Ouija, Herb Recordings and n5md feature many artists that make use of handmade sounds. On this release, Aerotone have brought together an international band of artists who make use of instruments such as violins, accordions and guitars. Moreover, this is intended to be a regular compilation series, with the second installment already starting to take shape.

As mentioned before, some of the ten compositions here incorporate electronic elements, but it is the arrangements that shy away from that style of production that leave their mark here.

Opening with Melbourne, Australia trio
Winterpark’sNunns Rd”, the compilation starts with sparse and lonely piano as swirling, chanting arrangements push into the mix. The hazy production suggests a Fennesz influence, but the music owes more to Deaf Center. The lavish, cinematic ending ensures this is an outstanding start.

Next up, is the
Banjo Consortium, which is a name that may evoke images of a bunch of farmer’s jamming away in a barn. But nothing could be further from the truth. This collective from the French-speaking part of Canada, Quebec, employ a myriad of guitars with glacial synths. Percussion that sounds as if it is procured from the base of the guitar launches this track forward. Although, almost being completely made out of analogue instruments, there is something about this arrangement that recalls Radiohead’s more experimental moments on “Kid A”.

Germany’s
Leander have featured on an Aerotone release before and they mix interesting programming with some lovely acoustic guitar work and under-stated vocals. However, “Directions” is far to close to the sound of fellow German Phon°noir . Puerto Rican, Arturo en el Barco provides “Mi Barco”, which is strongly influenced by Piana. It sounds as if it was recorded in a massive cave, with huge reverbed vocals that are capped off with some soft beats towards the end.

Roll Film is a sometimes collaborator with The Album Leaf, but the outdated drumbeat combined with some violin work doesn’t really do anything for me. Having said that, though, “The Sell” does produce a nice change of pace, and is one of the more up-tempo numbers on “Electronica Unplugged”.

The Bersarin-Quartett, from Munster, Germany, could claim to have the most outstanding composition on this release. “St Petersburg” is a glorious arrangement that progresses from a grand, cinematic piecet right into a timeless Type Records style slice of electronic sounds.

As the first strains of “Dawn and Echoes” by
Cantaloup can be heard, I was left disappointed by the fact that it was yet another introspective instrumental track, a genre that really is lacking ideas at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, the instrumentation is perfectly executed, but it wasn’t until the lush female vocals pushed their way into the mix that this track moved from the mundane to the amazing. This unexpected turn makes this piece one of the strongest tracks on “Electronica Unplugged”.

Japan’s
Akira Kosemura contribution “Drop” is a tad monotonous, with more sparse piano and accordion sounds that continue a lulling theme with some child voice samples fro around three minutes. While, Teamforest’s folky, “Leave This Town”, leaves you wanting more than the four minutes or so provided here.

It’s left to New York native,
Virculum to end things and he does an excellent job with “Wwlit Alma”. Which is an amazing track, full of chiming keys and an optimistic bass solo. It works in perfect contrast to some of the more sparser selection here.

The Aerotone Netlabel have ambition in abundance and “Electronica Unplugged” reinforces this statement. Most of these artists are unsigned, yet there are some splendid moments. Winterpark, Bersarin-Quarter, Cantaloup and Virculum certainly show there is plenty of great, untapped music out there. The next release in this series should be just as spectacular



Rating = 83%


You can download "Electronica Unplugged" completely free here

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rubens : "Carnivalesque" (Herb Recordings)

Barely one year old and Scottish record label, Herb Recordings, finds itself at the forefront of cutting edge electronica and ambient music. 2006 saw an remarkable amount of releases from compilations featuring Herb's roster to individual albums from the likes of Solipsism, BitBin and Cheju. 2007 promises to be even better for Herb, not only will their releases be available on CD, but some of their strongest artists will be unleashing new material into the music world.

Glasgow-based duo, Rubens, fall into this catergory having been with Herb almost from the outset. They have been locked away in their studio for most of 2006, honing their album "Carnivalesque", on occasions completely re-working tracks from scratch. It is this sort of attention to detail that makes this a triumphant debut.

At their best, Rubens truly connects with some outstanding slices of uptempo electronica. "Bank Holiday", for example, makes use of snappy, incessant beats reminiscent of "Crystal"-era Autechre. But much like the album title suggests, there is a playful nature to the music and "Bank Holiday" draws on a wonderful, infectious melody too. The duo themselves claim the album is a balance of upbeat, head-nodding melodic electronic sounds and sombre downtempo music. They are most defintely at their strongest when they let loose with their uptempo, innovative beat patterns. "Breaking Into A Smile" reinforces the attention to deatil aspects of the various production techniques on "Carnivalesque" (believe me, there is a staggering amount of programmes used here). A driving rhythm , forcefully propels this song forward as a festival style melody plays away in the background. The duo's long slog in the studio has paid off, with the subtle production nuances very apparent here.

The anthemic, 10-minute long "Ferris Wheel" provides another highlight and brings things down several notches for a couple of minutes. But more inventive drum pattenrs are introduced, becoming a real hallmark on "Carnivalesque". Again it recalls early Autechre, but they never produced anything as sweet-sounding as this.

The moodily infectious "Giraffe" shows Rubens from a different angle, with dulcet tones that have an immediate calming effect. This track represents the best of the downtempo, sombre work. I can imagine putting "Giraffe" on in the early hours of the morning, soaking in its laid-back grooves and ambient cloud .

But again it’s those more upbeat numbers that really hit home. “Puggies” (Scottish slang for a fruit machine) seems to capture the excitement of being at a carnival. It recalls, all of the attributes of a festival atmosphere. The flashing lights, the pounding music, the noise from the machines and the joyous expressions on people’s faces. It drives forward from the word go and refuses to let go.

The penultimate track, “Winter Broth” seems to blend both Rubens’ upbeat nature and their and their laid-back leanings and this massive sounding track provides a satisfying end to the album.

Carnivalesque” was intended to be an album of “ head-nodding melodic electronic music”, every box is checked with regards to that statement, making this a fine debut from the Rubens team and another goal for Herb Recordings.


Rating = 80%


"Carnivalesque" will be available from early February and can be obtained from Herb.

Labels: ,

Engine7 in 2007

Engine7 has all but completed his new album, "Me, But Perfect", with release details to follow soon. The opening track, the infectious "Sunrise, Catalonia (7:14 am)" can be downloaded here for the moment. Its an optimistic sounding track, that recalls a more electronic influneced Sigur Ros.

In the meantime, if you are in Glasgow, Engine7 will be following his successful Tronic appearence with a gig in The Rio Cafe, on January 17th. Here are the details..


"....playing a live set in the The Rio Cafe, Glasgow on Wednesday, 17th of January. Russ and Tomek from These are Ideals will be providing the finest visuals in the city, and I will be rocking those dirty beats. The guitar/ synth/ laptop combination went down well at the Tronic gig, so we're going to up the ante by adding a live bassist to the mix. The gig is free, and I'm told it's a cool place in Hyndland St, kind of a retro 1960s American diner with leatherette booths and glitter balls. They sell boiled sweets behind the counter as well as beer, which can't be a bad thing".

Labels:

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ricky Gervais

Tomorrow I will be at Ricky Gervais new stand-up "Fame" in Glasgow. Watch the clip above from onoe of his earlier stand-up's and tell me it isn't the funniest 4 minutes ever.

Calling All Radiohead Fans!

Remember, Radiohead's Glastonbury 1997 set, when all of their equipment was malfunctioning and the band couldn't hear themselves play?. Remember how they still went on to play one of the most incredible set's of their career?. A set that has since went down in Glastonbury folklore. Forget "The Bends" and "OK Computer", this was the moment when the public accepted Radiohead for the masters that they are. This was the moment Radiohead truly arrived and you can listen to it in its entirity here, for the next week only.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Aereogramme Prepare To Launch New Album and A New Sound

Why Glasgow-based quartet, Aereogramme, aren't absolutely massive is beyond me. They are one of the most unique bands on the planet, this is a fact that has been evident from day 1 and their "A Story In White" album.

The band are preparing to release their new album "My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go", through Chemikal Underground, on February 5th. Kerrang! Magazine certainly liked what they heard judging by this London gig review, where the band previewed the new material...


"Tonight the Glasgow outfit sound bigger than ever as they treat a rowdy Water Rats crowd to tracks from their forthcoming album and unveil a new member, adding shimmering pianos, soaring backing vocals and sweeping strings to their menacing soundscapes".


While Rock Sound felt inclined to say....

"...as as the band exit the stage to rapturous applause, they leave Rock Sound with the feeling that we have witnessed something truly special."


You can stream all of the new songs at this album-special website. My personal favourites include the glorious, violin-driven "Nightmares" and "The Running Man". The band seem to have focused more on vocal melodies and arrangements and it is a welcome addition to their already majestic sound .
Finally, there is also a major European Tour scheduled, with details here.

Labels: ,

Grinderman : "No Pussy Blues"

This isn't the promo video for Nick Cave's new band, Grinderman's, first single "No Pussy Blues". However, this advert (?) lasts a minute or so and gives you a good idea of the Grinderman sound.


It will be available for download and also 7" pressing's on February 19th

Arcade Fire : "Intervention"

Okay this video isn't much to look at, but this new song by Arcade Fire is well worth a listen. "Intervention" shows the band continuing their anthemic and unique brand of rock.

Neon Bible is due out on March 5th

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Resonant News

2007, it seems, will be an extremely busy year for the always impressive Resonant Label. They have scheduled 5 releases between now and May. Already out is "Andlaus" by Prince Valium, which is an album of "...epic soundscapes utilising both real instruments and his laptop...". You can find out more here.

The likes of Yellow6 ("Pointed Sky"), Olvis and Stafraenn Hakon ("Gummi")will also be releasing new material soon. A new song from Hakon can be streamed here. "Svefn" discards his tardemark ethereal soundscapes, in favour of a more electronic approach. There are also nine different vocalists used in his new recordings, which should make "Gummi" one of the most interesting releases of 2007. Furthermore, brand new material will be available from new signings, Small Sails. There's not much information available on these guys, but that should change in the coming months.

However, I am most looking forward to new material from Italians Port-Royal which looks set for a late Summer release.

New tracks by Stafraenn Hakon, Olvis, Prince Valium and Yellow6 can be streamed here.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, January 05, 2007

Time. Space. Repeat : "Early Transmissions of Time. Space. Repeat" (Lost Children)

Over the last couple of months or so, I have decided to delve into the world of Netlabel's and web-only releases. These albums are usually free to share around but, as I have found, this does not necessarily mean quality suffers. I also decided, since I am fairly new to this, to stick with the labels I knew most about. Lost Children are a UK-based netlabel, that focuses on post-rock/instrumental/shoegaze releases. Their sole aim is to give young, aspiring bands a chance for their records to get to wider audiences, while keeping artistic and legal control.

One of these releases is from London based collective Time. Space .Repeat. "Early Transmissions of Time. Space. Repeat", is a selection of literally hundreds of recordings the band have made over the period of a couple of years and it encompasses everything that goes into making their massive, space-y sound. They seem to be influenced by every important guitar band from the last 20 years, so songs range from shoegaze, epic instrumentals, Sonic Youth style dischord and even some electronic tinged rock.

"Joy" is as good an opener you will ever hear, as two guitars and a bass furiously build things up waiting for the drums to kick in around the 1 minute mark. This track really gets the blood boiling and introduces the components of Time. Space .Repeat.

"Hush" follows and is a little different from the rock heroics of the album opener. It is aptly a quiet number, with barely audible percussion, glockenspiel and some rich vocal harmonies. Lasting well over six minutes, some distorted slide guitar adds a little extra towards the end.

After the distorted, ambient haze of "And The Ghosts Of A Thousand Dolphins Hangs In The Air", comes arguably the album's best track. "Blue Skies and Rain" shows that Time. Space. Repeat know a thing or two about writing a classic pop tune too. As strains of organ begin this track, My Bloody Valentine style guitars soon enter the mix producing a glorious melody. The Morrissey-esque vocals cap things off, but when the track up's tempo things really get moving here.

"Future Song" also shows the band in a different light. Starting off like an excerpt from the "Clockwork Orange" soundtrack, some electronic sounds propel this into and electronic/rock hybrid. With delayed vocals, this comes across like a slower more calcualted Dephece Mode.

Next up, "Mediatationnal" employs those sad, introspective guitar build up's, Explosions In The Sky are famed for, while some disitortion slowly creeps its way into this lovely guitar arrangement. "Blue Sky", follows, and is a brief reprise looping previous track, "Blue Skies and Rain", backwards much like a My Bloody Valentine experiment.

But, with the instrumental "Nothing Hill", Time. Space. Repeat again show some diversity applying an almost 60's style mellotron sound with a driving guitar rythmn, providing another highlight of the album.

"The Fear" features the first vocals for a while and starts like a ballad. Normailty is soon restored as the band finish with a mass of vocals, guitars and drums. "World Awake" ends the album and is a short, but optimistic instrumental piece, bringing back those chiming gloecknspiel sounds.

Overall, as a collection of songs recorded over a long period of time, "Early Transmissions of..." is a surprisingly cohesive album. Attention has been paid to the running order and there is plenty of variety. It doesn't become bogged down with too many instrumentals, which has been a failing of many a band over the last decade. While you can hear many of their influences, there is not one moment when you think it is a blatant rip-off, and in "Blue Skies and Rain" the band have a potential mini-hit on their hands!. This album can be downloaded FREE here.


Rating = 76%

Labels: ,

Free Website Counter
Counter