Tuesday, 29 December 2009

misplaced stockings

The Right Thing To Do from QE on Vimeo

If you forgot Christmas, you know it's not too late.
Maybe you just forgot to get something for someone.
Or you bought the wrong size. Or forgot that polka dots just really aren't in at all right now.
These special stocking fillers are for those people who need new christmas presents, receipts burning holes in their pockets. Have this on your iPod whilst you're waiting to talk to customer services in M&S.

Stocking number 1 comes from Iceland.
No it's not Kerry Katona, she got fired.
Eberg, whose eccentric video adorns the top of this post, has skills.
His compositions are far more than typically desolate Scandinavian beauties.
Antidote swirls around a warm melodic core that finds itself
offset by an alien vocal that manages to be endearing and spooky.
His album, of the same name, is out now on iTunes. You know what to do.

Eberg - Antidote

Stocking number 2 comes from Entrepreneurs.
A joyous sweater destroying timewarpng mashup breathing in Mariah Carey, East 17, Dilla
and some of his own magic beats. His showstopping Marina remix will see the light soon.

Entrepreneurs - Xmas Mixtape

Stocking number 3 comes from Organ Morgan.
An avalanche surfing Home Alone sample-filled revelry.
I'm running out of expresso power.
Sorry Mathew.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

excuses that have lost their way

Diamonds On A Boat from Nicholas Audsley on Vimeo.

Forty nine chalk farm road. The scene of many a legend. Falling down stairs, forgotten conquests, drunken despair, unlikely meetings with radio legends and faded pop stars and stage invasions. A few thursdays back I overground my way along the lock, past Morrisons, shivering my way past the bouncer and indie kid queue into wide-eyed hellos with the girl in the red-dress. Aquila Rose. She was there to to throw questions at the feet of Samuel and the Dragon. You should understand this is all a few steps removed.

We rush up the stairs after a guestlist disaster, swiftly rectified. I always forget the name of the guy who often works the doors, the occasional freebies due to sharing first-year uni happy days with his sister a distant memory. His name is the same as mine.

The Barfly sits on a pedestal in my mind, sadly the programming is not what it was. Or somehow my tastes have evolved. Carling has been usurped by Tuborg though, some things have changed for the better. The backdrop for the night was x-posure, the XFM show powered by the unrelenting enthusiasm of John Kennedy. Samuel and the Dragon were first on the bill and swiftly set about transforming the upstairs room. The vibe was dubstep quasar led by a beautifully deranged prince. The projections throughout made me feel like I was in an air vent on the set of a BBC sci-fi com turned screensaver. I can't express the feeling I have about his hair, it defies description. Diamonds on a Boat was the first track to shower the room with anticipatory ripples and melancholy foreboding.

It tastes like candy floss encased in shimmering platinum bombshells. Thrown up in the air, you mistakenly expect it to plummet like a tonne-weight. A smattering of moments retain that impact and just as your head is locking and lurching into that dirty dancefloor nod, the waves part and feathers fall like raindrops. Freeze-frame.

I shudder like a boxer dodging a sharp left, choking back the sweat, celebrating a tiny, fragile victory. The bass lingers though, a dirty telltale fading out near the two minute mark before the beat comes back with a vengeance, a swift right rising up to send me crashing to the floor of the ring. Call for the trainer.

My head's spinning now, I'm seeing stars and hearts, tense little phosphenes telling of love burrow under my skin, lost to that heady helpless tumbling. The whole mirage gets shattered by a lairy Belfast native moaning about sound problems. I actually thought dear Sam was miming his way through the opening salvo. Given the the theatrical nature of his performance, I do not think I would have minded especially, had that been the truth. Trying to wow an audience when the mountains of headliner equipment beside him clearly restricted his movement wasn't easy. I still felt something though.

The flipside to the latest gem on the Moshi Moshi production line is called Rising Up. At this point, the vocal brings Chris Martin to mind. A Chris Martin who found the/his balls to lend his dulcet tones to murky electronic soundscapes.

Samuel and the Dragon - Rising Up

Hold on a second. That actually happened. Pity such dabblings never became regular.

Faultline - Where is My Boy?

Back to Aquila. More than meets the eye with this one. Journalistic tendencies with inspired flight and VICE aside, she turns out dark little pockets of poetry and song. They sparkle like rough diamonds on the black market. Unrefined still, that's no bad thing. The outside world seeps in through the window whilst she's sneaking out the back door.

Whilst Samuel only needs to sigh and glower to hint at some ineffable sadness, Aquila's plate-smashingly soulful blend of vulnerability and bitter jealousy has the power to get hungover hips shaking as well as providing a perfect soundtrack to midsummer afternoon adultery. Dolo brings the fireworks to amp this one up, before spiking my drink with lies, closing off all escape routes and bolting the door behind him.

Aquila Rose - My Love is Not True (Dolo remix)

So let's conclude. This pair. Both fuelled by the desire to fuse emotion and feeling to crisp electronics that blow hot and cold whilst locking you in dynamic circular embraces. This synthesis tends to happens at the lower, fuzzier end of the sonic spectrum, a sensory shapeshift with enough hooks to save you from falling into the abyss. Samuel currently has the edge and a solid grasp of listener's heartstrings, testament to the laptop craft of his dragon. I get the feeling Aquila is worth keeping tabs on though, her way with words outshines Samuel with ease.

Somebody's gonna dub this genre soon. I can't be fucked to give it a name.

Friday, 25 December 2009

man undercover

Christmas is all about repeats.

Last year I intoned.

"This is the best Christmas song of all time, in my not so humble opinion. It retains this honour, because in essence, it's a very simple song witht a very timeless subject, fusing sugary pop and melancholy at the same time. The Erlend Oye version below brings out the sadness in wondrous acoustic fashion. The log cabin to George Michael's chairlift."

Findlay Brown gatecrashed that liaison.

Findlay Brown - Last Christmas

Sunday, 20 December 2009

pillow talk

Glistening warmth envelops every listener of this fuzzy lo-fi ditty in a goose-down duvet mist. My heart's been captured, kidnapped and stuck in a sleepy trance by Bethany Cosentino, a dreamy conveyor belt running from lazy afternoons lost to gazes and giddy smiles all the way to the moment when the sugar rush expires, leaving you grasping for the aspirin. The childlike zip gets exchanged swiftly for a sense of injustice. Lithe pickpockets rear their ugly, little heads and dance on the empty, adjacent pillows. The chink of light at the end of the tunnel is how easy it is to bury your head and sink into another world.

Best Coast - When I'm With You

Best Coast has a variety of seven inches available from all the usual suspects.
Some are sold-out. 2010 is sure to see plaudits continue to rain in from all angles.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

le responsable revisite

Welcome to some skewed French touch superhero saga.
Old classics excavated and put to sultry grooves evoking:

NYE boat parties by the Seine or the Cote d'Azur.
Velvet ropes unhooked and rehooked.
you swan around in the borrowed Dior suit you pretend is yours.
The morning after and the night before run hand in hand along the beach,
two sugars double dropping in your morning coffee please,
that bitch of a "DJ" stole the champagne you pilfered for your own means.
Swimming in the dawn blows the cobwebs away
but you still can't remember the name of the belle of hier soir.
She didn't reveal that much but she didn't need to. Executed with total panache.
Don't take off your sunglasses.
The stains on the seat just won't come out and
somebody's going to have to foot the bill.
Put it on the AMEX and make sure you give the garcon a tip.

Plaisir de France - Le Responsable Revisite

Plaisir de France - Juliette Revisite

Monday, 14 December 2009

blast from the past: UK garage - the album pt. 3

The third installment of my shameless nostalgia for the turn of the decade garage tubes picks up the pace today. By now, you know the score. The cream of the vocal crop getting down with the killer producers of the day. The last two episodes were a showcase for the talents of Kristine Blond and Shola Ama, more than ably assisted by the maestros of Club Asylum. Amongst the buddies exposed to the legendary Ministry of Sound compilation though, the general consensus was that this was the monster tune.

The plaudits swap hands this time, going to Sunship crew.
They did the rounds at the Craig David remix party to good effect.
Hardly surprising that their 7 Days opens this classic album.
Flowers was / is their calling card though.

Leanne Brown and Catherine Cassidy (aka Sweet Female Attitude) provide the vocal heat and the Sunship crew do the rest. The sweet stuff comes thick and fast, the 'eh-eh-eee' segment only outdone by the the synth whoosh that sounds like a crashing spaceship being filmed then rewound with pleasing regularity. This oozes class at every fucking corner, this is absolutely crying out for a 2010 cover. If somebody wants to bring the beats, I'll bring the voice. Not sure if I can muster up a cream fur-hood parka though.

Sweet Female Attitude - Flowers (Sunship Mix)

///buy UK Garage - The Album from Amazon Marketplace. I think there's a warehouse full of the CD's that needs liberating!

///check back next Monday for the final installment of blast from the past: UK Garage.

clicks like that

Joe Flory has sure been biding his time.
Mess Detective is a christmas stocking full of off-cuts and skewed demos that didn't
quite make the cut for the full length that's sure to be topping lists come end of 2k10.
Released today on free download. Exciting? Yes. All over the shop in a self-assured way that makes me think Primary 1 dances to his beat and his alone. Which means he will wriggle away from any pigeonholes that "journalists" seek to push him into.

Primary 1 - Clicks Like That

Clicks Like That is a direction I'd love to see explored more in the future; a four minute Monday morning rapture. Trop délicat, a flurry of guitar harmonics enfold you from the off. One line repeats, another comes in and I'm dragged out from under the duvet. It stretches out, thermal soft bass synths and pitter-patter percussion ramp it up, more layers sneak in all the time. Momentum is sustained, built up and never allowed to run away. Reined in, at the Hallogalloesque heart of this lies a perfect dynamic and a warm, fuzzy centre you just wanna climb inside.

Friday, 11 December 2009

friday feeling

This song surely ranks as the perfect soundtrack to that moment
every Friday when you leave the office at about a half past five.
Walk to the corner, saunter into the local store and demand four cold ones.
Drain every last drop.

Sexual Harassment - If I Gave You A Party


Thursday, 10 December 2009

far too smart

Former shatsat fave Jay Jay Pistolet has laid down his guitar.
No doubt set to reemerge next year as a mysterious synth-pop maestro
with a mullet like all the other reinventions that crop up these days.
Seriously though, I'm excited and totally unaware of what the future holds for Justin.

In the meantime, Justin has decided to release a CD to tie up loose ends.
In exchange for a fiver, you get 25 songs.
Many unreleased gems including a Kissy Sell Out remix and a Daniel Johnston cover as well as the Happy Birthday You EP.
You know what to do.

Looking back at his oeuvre, his words stand out. They wouldn't stand out if he wasn't in possession of the requisite tools. Self-styled as a folk storyteller, Justin toed the line of timelessness with pithy reverb-laden tales of a boy and his dreams that overflow with detail.

The constant trick up his sleeve was the swiftest of gearchanges from doe-eyed damaged sweetheart to contemptous meanie. So sharp, it's almost violent. It meant he could pull off heartwrenching carcrash narratives like Holly without ever coming across as sentimental. You never see the kick in the teeth coming but when it comes it's really no surprise. The version below works even better for the croaky cracked quality of the vocal.

Jay Jay Pistolet - Holly (demo)

///buy cd

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

this friday: the twelves @ laser club

If shimmering filter house a la francaise is your bag, then don your dancing shoes and get on down to Old Street this Friday for Laser Club. Sadly I am actually in Paris sampling the real deal and plotting with the RM crew, so unfortunately my RSVP went back negative. It's a crying shame as The Twelves don't just press play. It all goes down live and improvised, remixing on the fly. The first hundred through the door also get a signed copy of the Twelfth Hour Mix CD. I couldn't ask for more, except a free Eurostar ticket for Friday night so I could rock up just as this belter shoots out the traps.

The Virgins - Rich Girls (The Twelves remix)

Did I mention it's their only London date? Buying tickets in advance is advised or you might have to go to Last Days of Decadence. It might actually be worth me coughing up, coming back and flogging said Mix CD on ebay to cover my shortfall. Para One is playing Social Club though.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

all reiterated

The sign that greeted my weary limbs said 'I Am The Dot'. I was only looking for a place to recuperate before returning to the coalface you know. Handed headphones and effortlessly directed to an armchair to await the aural assault.

The variety surprises me as a one man orchestra sets up shop in the canals of my ears. Zachary demonstrates vocal acuity; little pockets of feathered beauty floating on a patchwork of guitars and occasional pillowsoft electric sound. I can't decide whether to tune into the voice or everything around it. The realization that he needs nobody permeates it all. He doesn't need me, you or anybody else to be there.

In brief snatches, his music brings to my mind a collaboration between a smattering of recent alt-pop luminaries. I won't name names because it's vulgar. I'd rather hang your wet and rusting bodies out to dry, contra ry to the popular trend. It's going to get exciting as he wanders further and further away from the beaten track, as practice will undoubtedly make everlasting perfection. Below you find Middle of April and Detroit, MI. A welcoming visa into Zachary's town that won't expire any time soon. 2010 should see in increase in population.

I Am The Dot - Middle of April

I Am The Dot - Detroit, MI

They are taken from the I Am The Dot EP, a worthy checkout alongside the Rare Creatures EP, a pay-what-you-like affair, with some crazy inspirational material. Run along to myspace.

///head over to those typically on top of it tastemakers at Transparent for a Boneless collaboration of tempered treetop beauty.

Monday, 7 December 2009

blast from the past: UK garage - the album pt. 2

Not sure why the huge delay in garage flashback posts occured. They are easily the most enjoyable pieces to write. Apologies. Full speed ahead to Napa kids.

Receiving a CD Discman at the age of ten was a big thing. A landmark moment because I no longer relied on other people to listen to whatever the hell I desired. I began cultivating a collection of CD singles as well as a series of crushes. One was Shola Ama. No joke. Others included Louise Nurding and All Saints.

Ama's career arguably peaked with her version of Randy Crawford's You Might Need Somebody. In my view, the follow-up single, You're The One I Love actually bettered it. Unfortunately for Ama, the second album bombed despite the successful collab with Glamma Kid in between. What WEA should have done was got Club Asylum to remix the whole album. Their stellar work in sprucing up the otherwise snorefest Imagine into the best summer smash that never was testifies to that. The crucial addition? Speed.

Freed from schmaltzy production, the Ama vocal is forced to compete with itself whilst that classic beat and simple 2step flourishes weave a masterpiece that would definitely have been on the stereo whilst chugging a fishbowl or ten. The money shot occurs around the two minute thirty part, the track seemingly meandering out before the vocal counterplay comes waltzing back in to love you endlessly.

Shola Ama - Imagine (The Asylum remix) (removed)
///buy UK Garage - The Album from Amazon Marketplace. I think there's a warehouse full of the CD's that needs liberating!
///head back to the previous post of Kristine Blonde eyecandy.

It's a pity the next track on the album is by Gabrielle. Despite the best efforts of Artful Dodger it's most definitely a skip. Two more tracks from this record to go. Sadie Ama for 2010 by the way??

Sunday, 6 December 2009

digging at the air

Jack leafed through his wallet, touching the photo as he pulled out his time-card and punched in. The Bundy clock had no answer as to why she hadn't replied. Still. The past week had been pure water torture. The relish he applied to the railroad grind evaporated into a viscous haze of insecure self-loathing, leaving the monotony bare. He didn't give anything away to his fellow workers, the banter continued as per usual. The only recourse at his disposal was to write again, as the last letter had obviously reached an untimely end in transit. It wouldn't be the last to undergo such a fate. His name wasn't really Jack.

The Zutons - Railroad

///taken from Who Killed The Zutons (2004)?

Friday, 4 December 2009

if you're looking for

another end of year list, you have come to the wrong part of blogville. If you're looking for the best Friday night about, then head the hell to Dalston and Barden's Boudoir. Our good friends at Dollop and Dummy have got their heads together to bring the party. Be there or be a big, fucking loser. Free sambuca for those there at the getgo.

///visit dollop for exclusive mix from Arne Blackman.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

i thought i was crazy cos you told me so

In lieu of creating boring boring lists, apart from the faintly glamourous one which will emerge soon, I took the decision to recount a few of the songs / bands I have deeply enjoyed over the last decade with a bunch of pretty words that relate somehow.
Condensing my faves into some kind of order is not my kind of fun.

Whisky thursdays seem like the best way of combatting the incessant chill that silently beats about the windows. The Talisker fug descends, bringing with it the sensation of being in a warm bath for a smattering of fleeting instants. Shut the window, curtains, door. Ferme la fenetre, rideaux, porte. You're going to have to leave the house at some point but bathing in coldwarm melancholy on the divan seems to be all that's on the menu for now. Knock back another small. It's not like business has been booming lately.

The Dears - The Second Part

///taken from 'No Cities Left' where you can hear more of Lightburn's morosely tender outpourings

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

we are all friends. we are all enemies.

How does one cram so much into so little?
Laurel stared at her suitcase which still refused to close.
Eight hours earlier, she'd been dancing, feathers in her hair.
Seven hours earlier, she'd been swimming in open waters.
Two hours earlier, she'd been exchanging goodbyes and warm embraces.
An hour earlier, she was sleeping on a bus, the seat worn by previous exhausted departees.
Now she was standing in the check in queue at Chiang Mai airport.

Laurel Halo - The Cult of Optimism

Chiang Mai to JFK could take a day, or more of total transit.
Waiting with headphones, journals to scribble the time away.
Calculations of "am I nearer to home or am I still on vacation?"
You can't forget that easily.

Eleven hours later being rudely awoken by the hostess.
Thirteen hours later drinking actual coffee in the stopover zone.
Thirteen and a half hours later running for the shuttle train.

Twenty six hours later, slumping into the back of a cab.
The journey spent trying to reassemble the broken Balinese clove
cigarettes in your pocket into something salvageable.
Twenty seven hours later, victory collapse on the apartment floor.

In about fourteen actual hours, she'll take to the stage in Manhattan at the Lit Lounge.
If I could get there in time, I'd probably go. Watch out for the Ambrosia EP.


Saturday, 28 November 2009

promise you'll never lie to me.

- Go on try.
- Okay, I'll try. What shall I say?
- Promise you'll never lie to me.
- I promise
- Promets-moi que tu ne me mentiras jamais
- Je promets
- Do I sound any different?
- Just the same.

The summer rushed in through the window, the breeze made it bang. The lock no longer held like it held at the cremaillere. I wasn't sure who was guilty. Truth economist and easily distracted, my thoughts returned to the saucepan. I never questioned what she said.

She was smoking luckies out the window. I went to the bedroom to find the soundtrack.

Organ Morgan - Broken Heart

I sunk into the bed as the beat dropped. Also dropping was the end of the cigarette, hurtling through peletier wind pockets in a motion that twirled and twissled before gently nestling in a stroller's hat. I saw grey, orange, green and white.

- This reminds me of that film. Can we watch it?

I know the one she means.

- I've seen it so many times.

She doesn't know I watched it last week with Alexa.

- Please?

Alright. Alright. Already.

Kraked Unit - Poupées Russes

Mathew Mayes aka Organ Morgan is a purveyor of sample based delights.
Broken Heart occupies the prettiest of middle grounds; a thumb war between Bibio and Kraked Unit that continues to engross after the twentieth replay.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

ce soir.

It's going to be mortel.
Normal posts to return tomorrow.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Friday, 20 November 2009

bright swords

So you're backstage. Waiting to go on. Waiting to shatter every last coeur in the room with your languid mélange of taut white boy funk and wistful soul. Butterflies rise in your belly but you brush them off. Straighten your tie, you bend down to tie your laces. Your name is Othello Woolf.

Swaggering onto the stage, you glance around to find your band conspicuous by their absence. Instead, Gwil is gleaming back at you; the hint of a grin dancing across his face. Samplers whir into life as Golden Silvers reveal their tribute. The crowd are gleefully clapping along in unison. Only one thing remains, wrap your hands around the microphone and forget where you are for a fleeting moment.

Othello Woolf - Stand (Golden Silvers remix) - exclusive

This is decidedly moorish. Stand comes into the world on January 18th on glorious white vinyl courtesy of the Young and Lost girls. Makes you hanker for the new year already right?

///visit his myspace for live dates
///visit Dummy for an interview with the man behind the voice
///visit Transparent for sharp words and the other pieces of the jigsaw


The work of Anthony Burrill always catches the eye.
He uses strong colours to add weight to sharp mantras.
Bossy in tone, they brim with far too much determination to
ever be categorized as self-help, as inspiring as they may be.

Mystery dance duo, Acid Washed, have been the worthy recipients of
Mr Burrill's visual expertise. The above video serves as a delectable introduction
to the space disco wares peddled by these Parisians.

General Motors, Detroit, America
is unashamedly epic. The above video is the only way to experience it until you can get your hands on the transparent twelve inch out on Record Makers on Monday. Acid Washed aren't just here to pay their dues to the annals of techno history, they are here to party.

Throwing shapes with them on this release are Barbara Panther, Gavin Russom and Blackstrobe. Gavin Russom needs no introduction to those that are familiar with DFA; Panther is an unknown quantity who raises the temperature level with her sultry vocals; Blackstrobe sends the GMDA original into overdrive and into the disco stratosphere. Wrap your ears round this.

Acid Washed - General Motors, Detroit, America (Blackstrobe remix)

///visit the Record Makers webshop

post-mortem: levi's one to watch

My recollections of the two Levi's OnestoWatch 5 night revues earlier this week veer from the hazy to the crystalline. Both events were heavily subscribed. Violens were undeservedly on first on Tuesday, their shimmering pop went down a treat. Crystal Fighters pulled out all the stops, whipping the crowd up into a melée that saw assorted Hoxton luminaries lose their shit. Not literally, the day after Clock Opera continued to cement their reputation as White Noise made its way into the record emporiums. Wolf Gang impressed sonically, though it was difficult to enjoy as a spectacle once my brain had decided that Max McEligot bore a striking resemblance to Aussie try-hard tennis legend, Lleyton Hewitt. Marina and The Diamonds looked every inch the star in the making, my guess is that she's holding back that killer tune for 2010. Final night of the revue tonight at Cargo. Free Fridays. Alex Metric.

////head over to RCRDLBL to download the magnificent Mowgli's Road as remixed by Phenomenal Handclap Band
///photos by Tom Bunning

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

interview: tap tap

"He thought you were really tanned.
He must have remembered you as being white.
I wasn’t white.
No, I know.
Such a Pete thing to do.

Today my subject matter is Tap Tap, solo project of Thomas Sanders who fronts the aforementioned pirates. I spent a few minutes downstairs in The Lexington after Eugene McGuinness had finished cooing and Pete from Pete and the Pirates getting all confused.

J: When I interviewed you before, Tap Tap was not really that important to you. Don’t even talk about it. What’s changed?

I wouldn’t say it was ever unimportant to me, On a personal level it’s always been just as important to me as any music I do. It’s just songs that I write. I don’t write for Tap Tap or Pete and the Pirates. I wouldn’t say that one is more important than the other.

All that’s changed is that I had this second album finished. The label said you really needed to do some gigs. I naturally wouldn’t have done the gigs, but they kinda, didn’t put pressure on me, but said it would be really great if you did.

I thought that if I’m gonna do them, I might as well do it properly and put a band together.

J: Does it include any members of Pete and the Pirates?

T: No no it’s noone from Pete and the Pirates. It’s different people. It’s like friends really and different bands that I’ve kinda borrowed people from.

J: Any of them worth mentioning?

T: Oh yeah, all of them are worth mentioning. There’s a guy called Koichi on the guitar, he’s from Screaming Tea Party. There’s a guy who’s going to be doing some singing with me called Matthew. He used to be in a band called Morning Runner. Guy playing the drums called Boomer. He’s in a band called Barringtone and another band called Plugs.

J: Oh yeah, I know him. (in my head, I’m thinking best fucking drummer in town)

T: and there’s a guy called Brett , playing the bass for me. He’s from Australia. He’s not in any well-known bands.

J: A lot of your songs tend to be about women. Is that fair? Mainly?
T: Umm. Yes. Mainly. Yeah, definitely. And then the one’s that aren’t , I suppose they still are really in a way. You can always relate it back to relationships and love, girls and yeah, girls and boys.

J: How many girls is it about?
T: Oh. I don’t know. That’s an interesting question.
More than one. But not like in a sleazy way.

J: One thing I remember being interesting from our previous chat, was how you said you were starting to enjoy all the travelling that starting to happen? Are you still enjoying the touring lifestyle?

T: Yeah. We go on tour tomorrow actually. Yeah I do still enjoy it.

J: Does it have an effect on your relationships? Has it meant you haven’t really been able to have one?

T: Yeah well no. I don’t know actually. I suppose it’s hard to know the answer to that question cos I haven’t really tried. I haven’t tried to have a relationship with a girl whilst being in a band. Not that I haven’t tried, it’s just never happened. I imagine, I know from speaking to my friends and bandmates who have to go through not seeing their girlfriends for a few months or however long it is. It’s horrible, really horrible.

J: Listening to On My Way, one girl stands out. Tell me about the gypsy girl. Who’s she?

T: Yeah that was about a specific person. She doesn’t even know I’ve written the song about her. I don’t think I should… So I don’t actually feel that comfortable talking about it. She was the girl that I once went out with for quite a long time.

J: So it’s not about current times?
T: It’s about someone I went out with like 2 years ago.

J: So you’re quite comfortable about writing things in the past?
What influences the way that you write songs?

T: I’ve never really thought about. Yeah, Maybe my writing is quite retrospective. I’ve never thought about that.

J: Do you ever write about things you think will happen?
T: I guess most of it’s in the past. What I write about. I’d have to sit down and read all my lyrics to answer that question. I’ve never actually thought about that. Very good question.

J: What’s your favourite lyrical moment off the new stuff?
T: I quite like the words to El Gusano. Spanish title. They are quite playful. I like them as well cos I wrote them without thinking. They just suddenly all came out, consecutively.

J: I often find your music epitomises the feeling of the morning after. Do you find that alcohol influences a lot of your writing?

T: Yeah I do actually. A lot of the events that the songs talk about tend to come from being drunk. But then, most people are drunk these days aren’t they?

J: Yeah we’ve always been drunk. I read the other day that in the 17th century the average person consumed two pints of gin a week.

T. The doctor would have a real go at you for that.

(Gin was in fact cheaper than milk)

J: What’s your favourite drink?
T: The only drinks I actually drink are beer, cider and wine.

J: No spirits?
T: No I don’t drink spirits, unless it’s in a bloody mary. I like a bloody mary, but that really is the only spirits I drink. It just all gets a bit too much, dangerous. I think spirits are really quite dangerous, get into all kinds of trouble.

J: Any kind of beer or cider?

T: No, no. I drink Strongbow. Any nice lager really. I like Guinness.

J: Favourite musical moment off new album?

T: I think it’s a song called Dirty Sky. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to put it on. Then I recorded it and it turned out so pretty, I couldn’t not put it on.

J: Is it all recorded it home?

T: No no none of it was recorded at home. Except a couple of vocals. It was all done between two or three different studios in East London, little kind of home studios. The guy who produced it, engineered it has a few studios he works in. It was done in a very piecemeal way. The drums and bass were recorded in one place and then the rest of it was recorded all over the place really. I liked doing it like that.

And finally
J:Who would you rather kill Superman or Spiderman?
T: Rather kill?
T: Spiderman.
T: I think he’s generally speaking. Capable of less.
J: Because he’s capable of less?
T: I think Superman is really super.

That makes it 1-1 after Django Django decided to kill Superman.
First superhero with five kills dies. Pony Pony Run Run are next in the hotseat.

Superhero bashing aside, On My Way is perfect music for this time of year when you need warming up. Dirty orange leaves everywhere as you shiver and shuffle your way through the park on the way to the pub. The pub in question should be The Stag's Head. Next Thursday in Dalston. Free entry. Enjoy Dirty Sky below and I'll see you down the front. Codeine is another beauty worth mentioning, but I'm not going to talk about it. Just pick up a copy.

Tap Tap - Dirty Sky

///listen to Queen of Hearts on hypem
///gig review
///visit the stolen shop

I secretly long for the day when Tom discovers gin, different liquors mean different hangovers. Hangovers act as the fuel for his creative output I'd say.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

i love london.

Violens then Crystal Fighters.
at Hoxton Bar & Grill tonight.
The second of 5 nightly revues
by Levi's and a single launch for
your favourite Basquophiles.

Crystal Fighters have assembled
a monstrous amount of remixes
for their smash hit, 'I Love London'.
Watch out for cuts from Brackles,
Chamboché and the dub mix from
In Flagranti especially. 80kidz is over
at bigstereo and the vintage In Flag at RCRDBL.

Single out 30th Nov on Kitsuné.

Zombie Disco Squad have mashed it up.
Tropical tinges enhance the grainy grooves of the original.

Crystal Fighters - I Love London (Zombie Disco Squad Remix)- removed by request

Violens rock up to these shores as support for
ChessClub compadres, White Lies. It looks like a
slow-burning hype / fan acquisition type of tour.
Smart money is on something pretty magic being in
their locker for 2010. Basslines that roll me back to '83
and lush vocals wrapped tightly around feelings that
rejoice and celebrate the times when being lost is rich in appeal.
Enjoy the contradiction with Doomed and a mix to warm the cockles.

Monday, 16 November 2009

see you all

The lithest of composers to emerge from the Pan European Recording stable; what Koudlam offers is dreamy and deranged. These two poles cris-crossing in and out, twirling each other round and round ad decrepid delirium. Like his peers, the aigle is a shoe-in for spirit animal. An obvious choice...why? The eagle's grandeur evokes a glorious history yet the graceful power of the animal in full flight will always thrill in that modern way.

Koudlam - See You All

Koudlam - Eagles of Africa (via The Walrus)

////buy more on itunes

Koudlam takes Warsaw tomorrow night, New York City on Friday and Nantes in the New Year.
New album, 'Goodbye' out today.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

my name's not even zane

Next Monday I'm going to go out and buy a pair of Levi's. Okay so that was a lie. Their adverts are hilariously edgy. They make me want to be in a band and sleep in my car and then lie. The best I can do is go to the Levi's 5 Night Revue that's taking over the Shoreditch area next week and boy have they saved the best until last.

Monday = Cherbourg (Andrew Davie solo) + Goldheart Assembly + Young Rebel Set

Tuesday = Crystal Fighters + Violens + Wild Palms

Wednesday = Marina & The Diamonds + Wolf Gang + Clock Opera

Thursday = Sky Larkin + MPHO + Beth Jeans Houghton

Friday: Closing Party @ Cargo (FREE FRIDAYS)
The Whip + Alex Metric (Live set) + Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs + Ezra Bang & Hot Machine + VERY special guests

Buy your tickets here or be queuing in Hoxton Square before probably being told it's sold out. You'd then have to go home and sleep in your car.

Crystal Fighters - I Love London (JOCKS DAWN IN DALSTON MIX)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


I was speeding across LDN after dark towards the Goethe Institute for a techno celebration of the fall of the wall. Rollerskate blared out of my stereo, like a subterranean party animal coming up for air then skulking back down to its own personal groove palace. A thrilling lesson by Matias Aguayo on how much fun you can have playing around with your voice then letting it hang on tight to the beat. Sift through all the facsimilies in the hope you'll find the real one. It probably doesn't exist. Guaranteed to bring out a summertime sweat with every listen.

Matias Aguayo - Rollerskate (radio edit)

He actually makes his voice sound like a saxophone.
///pick up Ay Ay Ay from kompakt.

Monday, 9 November 2009

just to feel you correct it

In the absence of the Fred Falke / Whitest Boy Alive remix album that never came around, I stumbled across this Crayon Fields remix instead via the everdependable bigstereo. The lush, heady, brushing my hair out of my eyes vocal from Geoff O'Connor and crispy guitars are roused from their joyous lounge party smooch and packed off to the discotheque by the inconnu, Dan Block. It's no worldbeater by any stretch of the imagination, rather a joyful extension of a song that continues to circle and weave at the forefront of my faves for the year. Deserves dropping into mixtapes and amateur DJ sets from bedroom tastemakers around the club.

Crayon Fields - All The Pleasures of The World (Dan Block remix)


Friday, 6 November 2009

sweet escapism

Muchuu want you to follow them. Shut the curtains, cram your pockets with marshmallows and penny-chews and just run out the back door, down the garden path into the fields that overlook the railway line and down down down into the forest.

Don't ask questions. Just dance. Or skip. Or frolic.
Your only company is your gameboy, your imagination and everything in between.
Just follow Milky (vocals / dreamy nature) and her brother George (beats and backing vocals) into their secret world.

Somebody Tell Me is youthful escapism condensed into three minutes of nicely styled electro pop. If your bedroom wall is plastered with posters of Lykke Li and Jonas Bechtolt, then these two are your latest pinups. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of their debut album Adventure We Go a few weeks back. Packed to the brim with more of the same, there isn't a second of filler in sight. Every track can and will be a massive single. 2010 is theirs for the taking. Already getting mad love on 6music, enjoy this exclusive.

Muchuu - Somebody Tell Me

Their pop music is gorgeously innocent, yet holds crimson undertones that prevent it reaching that saccharine saturation point and the inevitable hurling after the ferris wheel ride. Sweet, sweet escapism is what it says on the tin, if Muchuu had a tin. I'd imagine they do, it's probably filled with sweets and fairy dust. Join the queue at the secret door of The Social on Little Portland Street next Tuesday, it's going to be magical. I can't even begin to imagine what they got up to at Halloween.

///visit their fun-filled website.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

taken for a ride

Last Sunday with a hangover the size of a high rise, I clambered into my car and sped down to the coast to take in Daniel Johnston. Down by the pier in Brighton, a sea of sore-headed halloween revellers, eyeliner still intact, took in supports from Laura Marling and The Wave Pictures. In my heart of hearts, I only hoped for something coherent tinged with something magical. Obviously he was never going to play the whole of Don't Be Scared in its entirety. Obviously, he didn't play any of it.

Just seeing him in the flesh brought home how honest his songwriting is.
His searing honesty, filtered and fettered through unrequited love, always bulldozes its way through the harshest of cynics. Even though were moments where he struggled to maintain the pace, the songs he played were infused with tremendous warmth and exuberance. You wouldn't think it necessarily from the above photograph, but his voice is still drenched in childlike glee.

Daniel Johnston (with Yo La Tengo) - Speeding Motorcycle

Thursday, 29 October 2009

after party: revive her



Free Entry
address: The Camp (The City Arts & Music Project), 70-74 City Road

the shattered satellite party will end at midnight.
this is where you need to head after.

the best two quid you'll ever spend.

Next Friday will see the first and maybe the last shattered satellite party. It certainly won't be a monthly thing. I have no grand ambitions to be a promoter; my only motivation for doing this is to make sure everybody in The Victoria has the best time ever basically. To make that happen, I've put together a stellar lineup on a shoestring budget.

I don't really trust most people, so figured the only way to start proceedings would be to do it myself. Or rather with my band, Al Cool and the Stranger Wines. It's been a year since our first riotous show at Kensington Roof Gardens and I'm pleased to announce we're entering the third phase. I haven't been this stoked about playing a gig since Glasto' so I'd get down there early if I were you. Introducing our Thamesbeat chillwave motown postrock latino jazz funk classic - Céline. Produced and mixed by the baddest producer in all of Bath, Papa Yerbury.

Al Cool and the Stranger Wines - Céline

I do have a stonking remix of the track by my boy but it's getting a release so have to keep a lid on it for now. Be patient and enjoy the original. Only the beginning kids.

Self-promotion over. Following Al Cool will be ColouringIN, led by future romance pop prince Henry Bennett with the able assistance of Dominic Dowbekin and Ricco. The live show has contracted since I first caught it earlier in the year, they are now a three-piece on stage. It works better, their furious melting pot of trumpet, cello, opera vocals and dirty danceable beats providing Henry with the perfect backdrop to flutter without clutter as only he can.

ColouringIN - Intergalactic Romantic

Headlining are Django Django. Hurry on over to myspace to hear Skies Over Cairo, their West Coast vibes sent scattering on a blimp ride around the desert. Django Django have been building up a fierce reputation as purveyors of oddball pop that really is like nothing else at the minute. It's hypnotic, catchy and I'm very excited to have them perform. Read my interview with Vinnie here.

Django Django - Loves Dart

Occupying the decks in between bands will be Jamila from FUCKING DANCE and the Slutty Fringe crew of Tony, John and Flo. There will also be mixtapes, brownies and Arthur Russell themed fun times.

Anyway it's two pounds. Two pounds if you stick your name on the list over at the facebook event. Or you can buy tickets via wegottickets. If you turn up randomly, you'll have to pay three pounds. Which is still one hell of a bargain. I'm going to be talking about this for the rest of the week so get used to it.

///beautiful flyer by lucas liccini.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

i want you endlessly

When thinking about Fyfe, I think of that moment when Trains to Brazil first sent me spinning. It was a grandiose fly in the face of all doomsayers and had such feeling. It was unstoppable. Even then, you could see there was a playful spirit hanging around.

Dangerfield's solo material channels this mischievous nature into something a lot more cheerful and booze infused, less widescreen melancholy. Still fueled by that same fire, he now sounds like the best 90's pop star that never existed. NOW 36 should have been his.

The beat that leads you in tells nothing of what to come but it's safe to say three minutes later you'll be dancing to a groove that's pure Dangerfield. I'd suggest heading over to Fyfe's site for more but you only get snippets. These leave me with a face like a kid who wanted a bigger slice of pie.

Props to Neon Gold for bringing this to my attention. Derek has slayed it this past week, which post CMJ bender I find pretty commendable.

Fyfe Dangerfield - When You Walk In The Room

Thursday, 22 October 2009

good thing too

My favourite entrepreneur is weaving his own world slowly but surely.
Good Thing 2 fizzes and writhes like a fish stuck on a sherbet shore for too long.
I'm talking about the moment after when calmness is restored.
Reimmersed in the drink, it's a lolling rush to the surface that hints at a future electroflecked with weird alien beauty.

The Super-Ego - Good Thing 2

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

mumbai mirage

Last night, Turzi shook the aisles of Rough Trade.
Sadly there isn't a modern French krautrock aisle yet.
It's something they should really consider.

This morceau, Bombay, is an absolute behemoth.

Turzi - Bombay

When they get round to redesigning and implementing some new aisles.
Maybe they should get a Chinese krautrock aisle whilst they're at it.

Radiant Dragon - Oysters (Ornine remix)

This Ornine rerub of Oysters belongs at the bottom of the ocean though. Like when video games crash and you deathdrop like flies through the ocean floor, through the clouds into a new sky then crashing back to down to earth and to the ocean floor again and again ad infinitum until you yank the cartridge out.

Cosmo also deserves an aisle.

Cosmo D. Hines - Moon Hat Thief

Friday, 16 October 2009

i will END you

The title of this post refers to Jeremy's not so thinly veiled threat about what he'd do if I shared the sampler by his new band, Acres, Acres. Whilst I'm half amused / terrified by the prospecting of Warmsley appearing like a spirit at my door with a baseball bat / axe / spellbook / ready to boot my ass all the way to Hades' door, I'd much rather just listen to Acres, Acres on repeat. I'd really like to see this EP on a 10" sometime soon. Sort it out record label people.

How We Became remains one of my highlights of 2009.
However, it lacks the spiteful energy that turbopowered The Art of Fiction.
This isn't a criticism, it's an observation. You can't sprint everywhere.

In Acres, Acres, Warmsley has rediscovered his spite and come up with a project that manages to be rich yet rough around the edges a la fois. Beach boys harmonies go toe to toe with distorted American guitar history. It has that warm Atlantic edge but still retains a good dash of Britishness. I can't put my finger on it, but it's there.

I first heard I Don't Know in a hungover slow-roasting sweat box that was The Lock Tavern in January and it remains one of my live highlights of the year. Pop mastery is how I choose to describe it. It takes a heavily overused phrase in pop history and twists it round and round until it becomes the most perfect backing vocal line. Not overegged either, it's used sparingly and gloriously. In my opinion, Jeremy's voice is nicer with backing. It prevents the lung-busting moments from being too in your face while ensuring the cooing falsetto flourishes aren't too show-offy. A happy medium.

I don't know much about Adam, Hugo and Ed apart from the fact they are more than proficient at their instruments and have beautiful vocal tone. Hopeless has such pretty pretty backing vocals. They also appear to have dissuaded Warmsley from the t-shirt / waistcoat look that owned 2006. Really not sure about the guy with the shirt with the roses either.

Diamonds from Coal is the track I have for you intrepid readers today. I'll talk about it when I've seen it in the flesh.

Acres, Acres - Diamonds from Coal

Check Acres, Acres out at the Patrick Swayze themed Videopia this Tuesday.
I'm going to head down for soundcheck then scoot off to the Borderline for Turzi.