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Monthly Archives: November 2014

It’s been another good month for music. Max Cooper released his new EP on Gearbox and Kid Wave released an amazing no frills indie EP (these could feature in our end of year review). Speedy Wunderground released their latest 7” with the insanely catchy Dangerous When Wet by Natalie Bang Bang. Cheaters came back with a new a slightly sound. Neil Young released Storytone, sadly it wasn’t as good as his previous work, but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve heard this year.

 

 

On the other hand Tyrannosaurus Dead released one of the best albums of the year, scratch that, of any year. It redefines the lo-fi genre. Kelly Lee Owens teamed up with Ghost Culture to release a strong debut EP. It showcased her unique vocal talents, with some clever production.

 

 

Special mention needs to be given to Aretha Franklin. She released possibly the worst cover albums I have ever heard. Everything about the album from start to finish was wrong. The way they went about the covers was wrong from the start, and her mash up’s were hilarious at best.

 

 

As we are now approaching the end of the year, if past years are anything to go by, the quality of music coming out will decrease, but there are a few releases I’m looking forward to, but more of that next month…

 

 

 

 

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Shronk maters end the year in style with new EP

 

 

Can Can Heads have had a great year. Not only have they released one of the most original and exciting albums of the year, with March’s Butter Life (their first album since 1999’s debut Headcracking Lifestyles), but they have now released a five track EP King Dong Kong. What’s striking about the EP is that in five minutes, these five tracks do more than most full length releases.

 

 

King Dong Kong is full of Can Can Heads’ distinctive shronk sound. The EP opens with a cacophony guitar and trumpet. It feels like there is an error and it’s started mid song, probably it has, but it’s on purpose. This carries on for just under a minute. The EP’s first track is Square with a Little Bit Rectangle. This track has a repetitive guitar riff and drum beat. Over that has been layed, what sounds like, an accordion and someone sawing wood. It works well and the guitar and drums help to build tension, and the other instruments stop it from getting boring and irritating. Last but not least is Slow Kill Monotany. This is the heaviest track on the album. There is real aggression and vigour on display here. There are chugging riffs, hard drums, backwards vocals and general unease. The track is a slow building menacing affair that builds and builds until it’s reaches maelstrom proportions, then abruptly stops.

 

 

Despite its length, there is a lot to engage with here. This is the kind of EP you will either play a couple of times and ponder it’s meaning, or just play on loop until someone tells you to turn it off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Number four with a bullet Ed

 

 

This week’s number four in the chart is Ed Sherran with his latest offering. Sticking to form, it’s another bore-fest. I don’t mean to jump on the Ed-Bashing Band wagon, but this is pretty dull. I totally understand that Ed’s vibe is heartfelt, emotional ballards, but c’mon Ed! Where is the inventiveness? Where is the cleverness? This sound’s like it could have been a bad Britpop b-side in the 1990’s.

 

 

Sadly this isn’t the most worrying about the track. The fact that it’s number four (last week’s number two and previously number one). This is a worrying sign as it shows that the British public, have, well let’s face it, bad taste in music. If this was once our most popular song, it shows that instead of embracing the musical diversity that has been going on for the last few years, we’d rather play it safe and go for something that we’ve heard before, and was done better then.

 

 

There is another more comforting reason for this slow burners rise to the summit of the charts. Perhaps, perhaps it was a slow music week in the run up to Christmas? Something has to be number one right? So why not let Ed have his moment in the Sun after another ‘successful’ year? Sadly I don’t buy this 100%. I had a sinking feeling Ed would have been number one anyway. Come on England, pull your finger out. Next year let’s try and have a better selection with our high charting singles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ever wanted to know what cover version of How Soon is Now is the best? You need not wait any longer

 

 

The other day I felt the urge to play the Smiths classic How Soon is Now? I cannot explain why I felt this urge, but I did. When I typed the titles into Spotify I was confronted with dozens of different versions. This ultimately made me re-question the version I wanted to play.

 

 

After a few moments hesitation, the decision was made. Make a playlist of as many versions that could be found, and then play them to find out the best version. Covers Club was born. The playlist starts with the original version. Then I decided to offer this decision to the floor and see what version people like the most.

 

 

Whether this becomes a regular feature will remain to be seen, but for now bask in the glory of 27 different versions of the same song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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South Coast producer unveils new EP with live set

 

 

In a very short period of time Brighton based Lorca has made a name for himself in the world of dance music. His style is refreshing and inventive. This was showcased on the Forgive Me Love/Naoko single earlier this year.

 

 

 

 

Following on from this, Lorca has released a new track from its follow up. Ndlamu is a slight departure from his previous tracks, but utilising tribal vocals and rhythms. However it still remains true to Lorca’s bass heavy ethos. Due to countless DJ sets around the world, the track has a dance floor sensibility that has been missing from his previous cuts.

 

 

To mark the release of this new EP on Ben Westbeech’s Naked Naked label, Lorca will be playing an exclusive set a BM Soho on Friday 28th from 5-8pm. This looks to be a great set and I recommend you to get down early as it will get crowded quickly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We Are Shining mix Psych, Hip-Hop, Rock and Pop to create something enjoyable and insanely listenable

 

 

We Are Shining’s Road grabs you by the collar. It keeps you held until it’s finished, but it doesn’t let go. It keeps holding on for a few more moments. As soon as it lets go, you feel inclined to play it again and the game begins a-new. The whole track sounds like an outtake from Bo Diddley’s Black Gladiator project (with added Afro-Beat), but it was left off due to being too “far out”.

 

 

The real power of the track comes from the interplay between the music and vocals. The music is pumping, slightly skewed, thrusting psych influenced rock, with Hip-Hop leanings, whereas at times the vocal delivery is almost lackadaisical. It brings to mind Method Man with touches of Luvinsky Atche (from Paris Suit Yourself). Either way it’s a very compelling listen.

 

 

I can’t get enough of this track, nor the album it comes from (Kara). It demands to be played on a loop until you’ve rung out all its meanings and messages. If you are fan of either the Heavy or Malachai, with add added dose of Psych, this is for you!

 

 

 

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Submo Orchestra release the album that fulfils their early promise

 

 

A third album is possibly the most important album in a band career. It is generally make or break. Chinks begin to appear in a band’s armour. For every Check Your Head there is a Fat of the Land. Luckily however Submotion Orchestra’s third album Alium is their strongest album to date.

 

 

What the Submo Orchestra has always done well is mix jazz, soul vocals and electronic music. While this isn’t new, Submo have always separated themselves from their peers through great arrangements, filthy bass and interesting production. This has been continued on Alium. Awakening opens the album. The song has a dreamlike, or nightmare quality to it. Repetitive prog synth loops drive the song, while woozy slabs of bass rumble and pulsate below. Faux mariachi horns add a sense of the surreal, this plays into the dream like nature of the song, while the song grows to the maelstrom at the end, sounding slightly like a Peter Best score from the 1980’s.

 

 

Time Will Wait opens with a salutary husky vocal, while in the background the music slowly builds and mimics the vocals in tone and volume. Then the woozy sub bass kicks in and the track changes direction. It’s not only ballad, but a banger. The tracks peak is when the two merge, creating something both touching and filthy. The rest of the album follows this formula. A bit of emotion, a bit of jazz, and a bit electronic filth. The strongest tracks however are the instrumentals. The band gets to flex their muscles and show what they can really do. Chrome Units is a perfect example of this. It uses intricate interplay, to create emotion, but never loses its dance floor credentials.

 

 

 

 

Alium shows that Submo are moving in the right direction, however this isn’t a perfect album. At times it’s hard to tell the tracks apart. SubMo excel at slow burning vocal tracks with heavy bass and horns, the few instrumental tracks to break this up, but at 57 minutes it feels like a long listen, and maybe a track, or two, could have been removed or shortened to make this the fantastic album it had the potential to be.

 

 

7/10

 

 

 

 

 

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