The Death of Pop’s new single as part of Too Pure’s singles club is a match made in heaven!



If you take bands on their names alone, you’d probably be forgiven for thinking that the Death of Pop are a bunch of dour ne’er do wells who create music that makes Joy Division sound like a day-glo version of A*Teens. However you’d be wrong. The Death of Pop make gloriously uplifting and surprisingly danceable indie pop, that leans heavily toward the shoegazing camp. Over the past few year they have carved a niche as one of the most forward thinking and revered band around. Anyone who as caught their live shows knows they aren’t just a bunch of lads hammering away on their instruments, eyes down wearing a scowl beneath their asymmetric haircuts. They have passion and believe in what they’re doing.



Earlier in the year they released their debut album Runts. A collection of songs culled from their extensive back catalogue. Now they’re looking set to release their new single Gardens, after teaming up with Too Pure Records, to be the next instalment of their inspired singles club. Gardens has all TDoP’s calling cards, echoy vocals, woozy walls of guitars, a pulsating and driving beat and a devil may care panache that comes from not caring what other people think of you. But most importantly it’s catchy as hell! And the B-Side, Only Now isn’t bad either!









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The battle for song of the year just took an unexpected turn



There is only one word for the latest edition in Activia Benz’ Beautiful. Usually songs that make up this singles club are generally fast paced, galloping breakbeats, huge basslines and a cheeky wink for the ladies. Rick Eat Acid’s submission is none of these. It’s laid back, melodic and utterly breath-taking.



Opening with a chiming disjointed xylophone sounding sample, then a mournful violin kicks in, until a demented music box peals away until the proceedings are interrupted by a beat that rolls, glitches and jumps until it is sliced in two by a string loop. The outro mimics the intro with the string loop finally petering out, leaving us with thoughts of “What the hell just happened? I can’t remember what other music sounds like now”.



This is no exaggeration, but this could very well be the song of the year. I am hard pushed to find another song that has moved and entertained me as much as Carnival of Souls has. The only downside to it, is that this isn’t part of a larger body of work. If this was a lead single, the subsequent album would be immense, and a contender for album of the year, but as it stands all we have is this four and a half minute slice of sheer perfection. And the nagging feeling that music might not get this good again for a while.









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New Orleans jazzman pushes the boundaries of the genre again



Jazz is in a state of flux. Whilst trying to throw off the shackles of its boring, weirdly beardy past, it’s now being embraced a new generation of musicians. American band leader Kamasi Washington released his debut through Brainfeeder which showcased not only his dextrous playing, but his ability as a composer, arranger and band leader. In England record label Gearbox Records is pushing boundaries not just with their ability to find the best unheard sessions and jams, releasing career defining album by cult artist Michael Horovitz and possibly the album of the year by young duo Binker and Moses.



Now sees Christian Scott releasing his latest album, Stretch Music, on Ropeadope. Sounding like 1970’s Miles Davis working with Herbie Mann while being produced by Danger Mouse, it surges from one discipline to another, without the listener even realising its happened. The drums are tight but loose, guitar funky but despondent and Scott’s trumpet is luxurious but poppy. If it wasn’t for Washington, Binker and Moses it would have been the best jazz album of year, but Scott shouldn’t bemoan his bad timing, far from it, he should rejoice in releasing an album full of power and vitalogy.









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Let’s face it July has been an amazing month for music!



The Parrots released their debut EP. I’ve been playing this constantly all month and am showing no signs of being bored of it.

N.Lannon showed that the singer songwriter genre isn’t dead with his achingy brilliant album.

Gnarwhal proved that Math can be combined with any genre and it still sounds great.

Outblinker’s debut 10” has barley left my spindle, or psyche all month.

Ninja Tune offshoot Girls Music is slowly piling up the stake with each release. Stay tuned for their next instalment on the 03/08…

London based Zooz announced their new single on Superfan 99. Sadly they’ve all sold out, so better check ebay and Discogs for a copy.

Gene Serene released her debut album that shows Space Pop is an actual genre. More of the same please!

Nap Eyes gave me faith in guys getting drunk and jamming. Who said scientists don’t have soul?

Instrumental music is live and well thanks to Nashville’s Steelism.

In 2012 Offshore passed away, but finally his second album is being released thanks to his family and his labels Big Dad and Ninja Tune.

Hyde and Beast channel 1970’s groove rock on new EP. Cheers guys, but this is so addictive.

London indiekids Telegram returned with another slab of glam infused indie pop.
NY’s Sunflower Bean show that it’s not just British bands spearheading the Neo-Psychedelic scene.







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LA’s bass future Hip-Hop Afro-Centric Godfather does the ripe thing, for the last time as the Raw Fruit series comes to an end



Ras G returns with the fourth, and final instalment of the exemplary Raw Fruit series. As with the previous three, Ras G has picked some choice soul and R&B cuts, extracted the smallest sample, looped it, and manipulated it with vocal samples and studio magic to create thirty minutes of the sickest future Hip-Hop bass music since, well, Raw Fruit three.



Black Daffi’s Revenge kicks off with a vocal sample that not only sums up Ras G’s intentions for volume four, but quite possibly his ethos for life!



“What’s up with this? People don’t use tapes anymore”

“Shut the fuck up! Tapes is fresh”

“Wouldn’t CD’s be easier?”

“Once again, that’s the problem with the world today. The work you gotta put into a tape, that’s love. Used ta take a tape. Dub it. Re-dub it. Five generations over. Record a whole album in the headphones. That was love. These tapes is like a symbol of the struggle we went through to get here”



After this intro a beautiful soul loop sets the mood perfectly, then Jeremiah Jae’s trademark laconic vocals kick in and Black Daffi’s Revenge is off in an entirely different direction. At times it sounds like a classic RZA/Wu-Tang production, but due to Ras G’s deftness for touch and tone it doesn’t sound like a pastiche or copycatting.



What is refreshing, not just with this volume, but with all four is Ras G’s outline for them. “I just make em, record em, and on to the next one, no rules.” This musical freedom is liberating. Do what you want for as long as want, then move on. But let’s just get the record, sorry, tape straight, these aren’t throwaway songs. Ras G wasn’t just pissing about in his studio with a looming deadline and banged out thirty minutes of music. They have a point and purpose. At times they have a dreamlike, stream of consciousness vibe to them. Due to the simplicity of their composition, on the surface at least, Ras G has given himself poetic licence to follow a few strands of the track, the loop/beat/vocals until its logical conclusion, then once he’s done that on to the next one.



Tapes is love. I can personally remember when making a mixtape meant that. Trying to not only cram on as much music as possible, but to tell a story and convey emotions, feelings to the listener. And this is what Ras G has done with this series. Each volume has a different point and feel to them, but as a whole they tell a complete story. Ras G has certainly done the ripe thing with this series!







Another month is over. Granted the shortest month, but a month none the less.



February was a mixed bag. Some good SOAK, SeaWitches, The Sherlocks, Movie and Affairs some bad Alex Mytton does not need any company in this category. The Brit Awards proved yet again that it has no idea what is going on. What a massive shower of shit that was!



Live highlights this month were Kitty, Daisy and Lewis pulling off a blistering home town show and Swingatto showing that all you need to entertain people is an acoustic guitar, double bass and clarinet.



So let’s raise to toast to February’s passing and the arrival of March!






The 2015 Brit Awards are this evening, here are my predictions.



Best Male Solo Artist


Damon Albarn

Ed Sheeran

George Ezra

Paolo Nutini

Sam Smith


This is a two horse race. The winner will either be Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith. I’m going to stick my neck out and predict Ed Sheeran.


Best Female Solo Artist


Ella Hednerson

FKA twigs

Jessie Ware

Lily Allen

Paloma Faith


This award is a bit more open, however I’m going to the bookies for Paloma Faith!



British Group



Clean Bandit


One Direction

Royal Blood


While this will probably go to One Direction, I would like to see Royal Blood win. I don’t really like them, and I find their debut album boring, but it would be great to see a band win!



International Group


5 Second of Summer

Black Keys

First Aid Kit

Food Fighters

The War on Drugs


Foo Fighters…. Easy one.



British Breakthrough Act



FKA twigs

George Rzra

Royal Blood

Sam Smith


This should have Royal Blood written all over it, but sadly I think it’s Sam Smith’s, after his Grammy win.



British Album of the Year


Alt-J-This is All Yours

Ed Sheeran-X

George Ezra-Wanted on Voyage

Royal Blood-Royal Blood

Sam Smith-In the Lonely Hour


None of these albums deserves to win, as they weren’t the best album in the last year, but Ed Sheeran should walk this.




British Single of the Year


Calvin Harris-Summer

Clean Bandit–Rather Be

Ed Sheeran–Thinking Out Loud

Ella HendersonGhost

George EzraBudapest

Mark RonsonUptown Funk

Route 94My Love

Sam SmithStay with Me

SigmaNobody to Love



This is always the hardest award to pick, but I think Clean Bandit-Rather Be will take the gong tonight.



International Male Solo




Jack White

John Legend

Pharrell Williams


Due to his recent Oscar’s win this week, my money is on John Legend!



International Female Solo



Lana Del Rey


St. Vincent

Taylor Swift


I would love to see Annie “St. Vincent” Clark to win, but I think Taylor Swift has this in her vault already!



British Video


Calvin HarrisSummer

Ed SheeranThinking Out Loud

Mark Ronson featuring Bruno MarsUptown Funk

One DirectionYou & I

Sam SmithStay with Me


This should be Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ video, but Ed Sheeran might just take this on the night!



So these are my predictions, let’s see tomorrow how many I got right…