Saturday, 12 April 2008

'Bust shots at your mum'

Listening to classic pirate radio sets upped onto by 14 year olds is one thing, but when it comes down to actual artist albums and mixtapes grime can be pretty dry. Once you've got past the requisite 'back in the day', 'road to music' and 'wifey' songs all your generally left with are a few recycled radio bars spat over lifeless beats culled from the recycle bin of some past it mid table producer. I'm not sure if Tempa T has an album/mixtape but I'd like to think that in the event that he does it wouldn't be like this; he's one of the few guys in 'the scene' that seems capable of recreating the violent energy that makes the live and radio sets so exciting on record, as illustrated on his 'Are you on dis ting' mp3 below.
Check out this youtube rip of his freestyle on the Risky Roadz 2 DVD too, when he says, straightfaced, 'or, I could wait in your bin' around the 48 second mark I'm not sure whether to laugh or be very afraid.

Tempa T - 'On Dis Ting' mp3

Sunday, 30 March 2008


With the emergence of the nascent Smell scene in LA and the rise of Telepathe et al in Brooklyn it's been hard for UK music fans not to feel slightly envious of our Atlantic brethren over the last year or so. While for a period the likes of HEALTH, Mika Miko and No Age seemed to be gigging for US audiences on a near daily basis, domestic fans have been left with only a handful of one off gigs and sparse tours to provide relief from a homegrown music scene which has become increasingly directionless and creatively impotent. Let's be thankful then for the emergence East London based 2-piece Teeth!!! (and cast aside the fact that they're actually a transatlantic duo; vocalist Veronica actually hails from San Francisco) who have amalgamated everything great about the aforementioned US bands and re-imagined them as synth-smart electropop noise terrorists.

Upcoming gigs include jaunts at Tears on the Golfcourse in Manchester on the 4th April and a set a Club Motherfucker (with DAT politics) in London on the 20th, both of which are sufficiently diverse in their geography to rule out any excuse for not attending at least one.
Download their excellent SSSIPPPEE mp3 by clicking the link below or visiting their Myspace page.


Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Hatcham Social

These days it's pretty hard to tell which of Londons 'monochrome set' bands are garnering attention on their own merit, and which are gaining credence merely by virtue of going to public school/sleeping with the guy from The Horrors. Luckily Hatcham Social, via their razor sharp interpretation of everything great about Edwyn Collins/ Orange Juice/ The Velvet Undergrounds 'Sunday Morning', make discerning which side of the fence they occupy a significantly less onerous task than many.
Indeed, all signs point to these three sons of Young Scotland going far this year because, unlike so many of their peers, they've got enough Tunes stuffed up the sleeves of those vintage polo necks of theirs to match their imagery of neatly coiffered indiepop dandyism.

Hatcham Social 'So Happy Making'

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

'It's Free and It's a Poster!'

If you live in London and have even a passing interest in music the chances are you've probably come across the free P.i.X fanzine which you can pick up in any shop/bar/club worth going to. Basically it's a load of features, interviews etc with bands that are so new some of the people that are in them don't even know about them, along with charts and a cool foldout poster.
I've been helping them out spreading the word of P.i.X in the North West and have started writing a few bits for them too, including an interview with this months cover stars Televised Crimewave. Check it out online here or better still go and pick up a copy.
While I'm at it, if you are a bar, shop or club night in Manchester that would like to host some copies of P.i.X get in contact and I'll drop some over....

Er, what else? I've done some more reviews for High Voltage this week, check out my thoughts on pressing releases from Foals and Les Savy Fav here and here respectively. I'm still reeling from my use of the word 'anthemic' in the Les Savy Fav one to be honest.

Also, if by some twisted geographical accident you happen to be in the Manchester region for any reason this weekend then come along to Stay Sick at Big Hands where I'll be playing some tunes and offering withering put downs for requests to play Maximo Park. Good times will be had, I'm sure.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

I can do the real thang thang

I can't believe we're this far into the year and I haven't mentioned Telepathe yet.
I've been bumping their 'Chrome's on It' tune for a while now and with all their blog patronage the Brooklyn girl/girl duo look dead set to become this years Crystal Castles. So far they've collaborated with Dave Sitek of TV on The Radio fame as well as some guy from M*th rock stalwarts Don Cab on their hook happy 'process oriented' electropop. They're touring the UK around May I believe and releasing a double A-Side single on No Pain in Pop with 'mysterious' dubstep producer Sunni Geini. Real and Strange indeed...

Telepathe - Threads and Knives vid

Telepathe - Chrome's On It mp3

Next thing she's wearing my rolex...

OK, so the last post was actually published by mistake (the ill conceived execution of the concept and the abundance of spelling and grammatical errors are, I'm sure, a testament to this) but it's a minor. Conversely it seems to be the post that I've discussed most with people in The Real World of recent times (lets get involved in the comments though guys), so it's all good I guess. Continuing the Wiley theme has anyone heard his new track 'Wearing My Rolex' which is doing the rounds on the radio at the moment? It's absolutely massive, expect it to be propping up the charts soon, it's got hit written all over it. No doubt it'll also be featured as background music in Eastenders Queen Vic scenes, as were most the tracks of his last album 'Playtime's Over'; clearly the producers have clocked he reps for the East, so fuck it, why not go the whole hog offer him a cameo? Can't be much worse than Goldie...

Wiley - Wearing My Rolex mp3

I'm a bit late on posting these links but never mind, basically I've written some words that have cropped up in various places. I reviewed the new Hives single here, I actually only listened to it about twice but it really is a shocker, apparently the rest of the album is nothing like it but I cant say that I'm too tempted to give it a try.
Drowned in Sound darlings (and providers of advertising revenue) Los Campesinos released their much awaited 'Hold On Now Youngster' LP this week. Generally reviews have been of the consensus that it's just a few good singles padded out with some underwhelming filler.
I reviewed their 'Death to Los Campesinos' single which ushered in the album a week previously here. It was really a 3.5 but the score system at High Voltage doesn't cater for decimals so it got a slightly over generous 4/5. The guys voice really is annoying though, for some reason it makes me think of a second year Uni student bawling at their parents, if he just toned down the hyperactive fey enunciation's a little he'd be doing them a big favour.

Expect some stuff of mine to be popping up in P.i.X this month, possibly including the cover story. I'll post links up when the issues out and on their website.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Hype ting

I really hate it when people go righteous on me and get all like 'music isn't a competition you know'. Music is TOTALLY a fucking competition, it's just, for the most part white people just don't seem to have got to grips with the format. Battle of the bands competitions are uniformly shit, X factor is lamentable and TMobile unsigned? Well I guess the fact the series was won by a group of sexless primary school teachers who wouldnt know a good tune if it strolled up and hit them in the face tells you everything you need to know. See the real propblem I have with these shows is the competition is so indirect. Contestants exist in realtive isolation from each other; they do their cover of 'Angels' or whatever then plead open handed and earnest for the judges apporval. In grime, it's not really like that. MC's enter into the competetive spirit with gusto; it's not enough to say 'heres my song, I hope you like it more than the other guys...'
if they think they're better than you they'll write a song about it saying why. If you dont like it then you write a song back, with accompanying threats of violent reprisals. This process works even better in a live format, and doesnt even require the bickering of a couple of closet homo's to spice things up. See below for footage of Lethal B and Wiley on the Young Man Standing set a few years back. Lethal B starts slagging Wiley off live on radio before, seemingly within seconds, Wiley rolls up at the station unannounced with some of his goons, takes a quick puff of a nearby zoot and the 2 go of them go at it. Imagine how amazing it would be if the X Factor auditions were like this? Simon Cowell take note...

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Nietszche: only sick music makes money these days

For those that reside in the North West region of the UK, and in particular Manchester, this weekend offers 2 particularly exciting musical happenings which you'd do well to make the acquaintance of:

Firstly, I'm DJ'ing this Friday for the Stay Sick night at Big Hands. Expect nothing less than a riotous night soundtracked by No Wave, Nu-Beat, Punk, Psych, Electro and, if rumours are to be believed, Grime...


Saturday see's the ace Math Not Math band Instruments play at Saki Bar in Rusholme. See my review of their Silver Rocket show last year for a taste of what to expect, they've been tipped thus by no less an authority than Drowned in Sound: "Don’t be surprised if they’re as recommended by the critics as Johnny Foreigner and Los Campesinos! in 2008".
Cant say fairer than that can you really?

Video: Instruments - American Football or American Football

Banjo or Freakout?

For me 2007 will be remembered as a year where most the bands, albums etc were no way near as good as anyone said they were. Luckily, via These New Puritans, Foals, The Kills and now the emerging Banjo or Freakout 2008 seems to be staring on a more positive note.
Banjo or Freakout make music that sounds like how Animal Collectives 'Strawberry Jam' LP might have if it wasn't just a couple of ok singles padded out with snoozeworthy us-alt indie on autopilot.
As far as I can tell it's just a one man band thing at the moment, but I can see that expanding as the demand for live shows inevitably gathers momentum.
Alessio Natalizia, the man behind the moniker keeps a blog here where you can download loads of cool Banjo or Freak Out stuff for free; personally id recommend you start with the excellent Mr No track, which is below.

Banjo or Freakout - Mr No Mp3

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Cool kids of today, please try harder.

Fuck The Sonics and The Kingsmen, The Badseeds (as in the original ones, not Nick Cave's lackeys) were the greatest garage band of the sixties, if only on the strength of their 'Taste of The Same' track below.

The Badseeds - Taste of The Same mp3

Cant get enough of James Chance and The Contortions at the moment, they sound a little like simultaneously playing Miles Davis, DNA and James Brown (no disrespect to the dead but this clip is hilarious) records out of time yet in a state of perfect synchronicity. Dischordant, avant jazz, no wave anti-funk is where it's at:

Friday, 1 February 2008

Benga and Coki 'Night'

Radio 1 is all over Benga and Coki's dubstep anthem 'Night' right now; it's pretty odd hearing that familiar synth line popping up between the latest straight to ringtone fodder from Scouting for Girls, Girls Aloud et al. Usually it's greeted with confused expressions and mutterings along the lines of 'I don't like this kind of music...' by the women who work in my office. Make of that what you will...

Heres the video, probably one of the worst examples of sub-stoner CGI I've laid eyes on in a while...

Accompanying comments like 'lol, blatant piss take, as if this would be an official video.' pretty much sum up how depressing this is. It looks like a screen saver.

I was kind of hoping that the full release would feature a vocal from Skepta since he's been so instrumental in raising the tunes profile outside of the dubstep scene. The footage below from his album launch in October gets across everything that a floating giant squid simply can't about why 'Night' was such a special tune in the first place (see 1 min 45).

XX Teens 'How To Reduce Your Chances Of becoming A Terror Victim' Video

BTW did I miss something or have XX Teens had a line up change without telling anyone?
They recorded a BBC 6 Session for Mark Riley last night, the fruits of which are on their myspace now...

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

But I still get high off material things

With a vocal delivery somewhere between Lady Sovereign and mid-nineties proto WAG's Vanilla (they of late 90's non-hit 'no way, no way' fame) it's safe to say GoldieLocks music is something of an acquired taste. Personally, I like her, but then maybe I'm biased; as a Croydon lass she's from 'my ends' innit. You don't seem to be able to move these days for female solo acts born in the mid eighties, but GoldieLocks is packing way more talent than your average Mini Allen; although best known for her distinctive vocal style she's actually a producer at heart and only picked up the mic in the first place to finish her tracks for a college assignment. So far she's blessed grime acts such as Frisco and Tinchy Stryder with her beats as well as more mainstream names like Kate Nash and Mutya Buena. She's been kind enough to put some of her older stuff up for download here, should you wish to investigate further, or if your on some long ting just download the excellent 'Social Suicide' below.

GoldieLocks - Social Suicide mp3

The Kills 'Cheap and Cheerful' video

Who'd have thought it? After two albums of retrogressive metronomic robot-blues the Kills have reinvented themselves as beat-savvy pop futurists. Their forthcoming 3rd album is looking like a very tasty proposition indeed (Kate Moss appearances pending)...

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

0800 0800 0800 0800

After months of waiting the Angular/Domino co-enterprise that is These New Puritans 'Beat Pyramid' LP has finally been made available for public consumption. Fanfared by a series of straight facedly pretentious interviews the LP is a rare example of the product matching the expectations generated by the hype.
Read my hyperbole heavy thoughts on it here.