Monday, 30 March 2009

don't need you....i want you

Vinyl birthday presents are the best kind of birthday presents. Recently bumping and grinding its way around my excuse for a record player is the above bad boy. Notable for the flip side - a remix of Romantic Rights by Girls Are Short. It could have emerged from any self-respecting filter-disco outlet of the golden period of the last twenty. I long to actually know the technical term for when the sound emerges from underwater, gets out the pool and shakes it's booty all the way to the bar for a mojito. I think I used to know, but I'm fragile at the time of writing so I implore somebody in the know to put me there. Show me a deck and I'd know, I know I'd know. You know I'd know.

Anyway, one half of Girls Are Short (Alex) went on to wrest Jesse away from DFA79 and start MSTRKRFT. I'd like to think he just sat the guy down in the room and played this on repeat until he relented.

The real reason I'm posting this is because you should track down this vinyl and own it. It's from the pre-79 days, before James Murphy decided there wasn't room in this world for two another DFA. I wish I'd actually got into DFA79 before I saw them live, as that show (support by Metric and Test Icicles) is one I long to reattend. My memory bank just reads dirty and violent.

En plus, Pure Groove aka 679 Recordings (sorta) have just reprinted You're A Woman, I'm A Machine on pink wax. If I'd known they were going to do this a year ago, I wouldn't have ordered it from Last Gang. Upon arriving, the wax was black. I was crushed like a fly. Don't make the same mistake as me. Act fast.

Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights (Girls Are Short remix)

////buy sexy pink vinyl from Pure Groove and don't make the same mistake as me

Saturday, 28 March 2009

blast from the past: frank chickens

I’ve become pretty obsessed with Japanese culture at the moment - I went to see a hallucinatory Kabuki [link to wiki] version of Twelfth Night at the Barbican and I can’t wait to go and see the Kuniyoshi exhibition at the Royal Academy [link to R.A. website]. Imagine my relish therefore in finding this video on a youtube ramble. Frank Chickens are an anglo-japanese new wave group who performed and recorded in the 80s and 90s. They supported The Smiths once or twice, and Blue Canary was number 42 in John Peel's 1984 Festive Fifty, a poll of his listeners' favourite tracks of the year. It makes me think we should all pronounce ‘canary’ the Japanese way: ‘kanari.’

you tube link (embedding disabled)

Note how cyclical fashion can be: brashly coloured aviators are everywhere at the moment!

///by r.f.boothroyd

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

first aid kit : pervigilo

First Aid Kit are from Sweden. They take out acoustic guitars. Around them wrapped tightly, you find voices oozing soul like butter. Their EP, Drunken Trees, has the quintessential Swedish spoken voice nothing chat a la Lykke Li at the start. Their music evokes Optimist LP era Turin Brakes, not a bad thing. It takes me back to GCSE Chemistry class.

Pervigilo opens with a organ to lull you in before those voices come at you like fireflies. You think you're going to escape, you really do, the build-up is languid but then the line comes.
I can't help it. You're so beautiful.

First Aid Kit - Pervigilo

I try to turn the CD off except it isn't a CD, it's iTunes. I'm in my living room with the lights off amd I can't see the keys. I just turn it louder as I stab at those F keys. Before I know it, my headphones are wrapped around my head. A moment of calm I could stick on repeat.

Monday, 23 March 2009

a little death around the eyes

I wouldn't say he has fulfilled his promise. Doherty still has pissed it up the wall. Grace / Wastelands is definitely a sizeable clamber back up the ladder. Anybody familiar with the Babyshambles sessions will know a few of the songs here and it is wonderful to hear them produced with such vigour and clarity. A move away from the masculine band construct and the ensuing maelstrom seems to suit him. His occasionally insightful way with words is on display here with the occasional sapphire of a melody. I don't know whether it's unfair of me to wish for a return to the sharp-eyed wit of this callow youth, given one's excesses are an unavoidable part of one's personality. I just want them to take the money and headline everywhere.

Peter Doherty - A Little Death Around The Eyes

The boyfriend's name was Dave line makes this track. It belongs to Barat. Buy the album here.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

artist: the new wine

Anticipation is bubbling ahead of The Whitest Boy Alive sold-out show at The Scala in less than a month. Opening up are The New Wine. Cut from the same Bergen cloth as Øye's badboys, the influence is obvious but not overbearing. Difficult as I'm finding it to avoid direct comparison, the defining aspect to a good song by The Whitest Boy Alive is a knowing smile by the listener from the first second. It's usually immediately evident that you're listening to quality. The New Wine have this in fleeting moments, I Had To Tell You being the cut that has my attention for now. Cheap casio and vocals that hint at George Michael circa 1981.

The New Wine - I Had To Tell You

Thursday, 19 March 2009

radiant dragon : oysters

Dollop this Samedi soir. Best free night in town.
Radiant Dragon
taking to the stage will surely be a sight to behold.
So much going on in their sound.
Dynamics weaving in and out of a series of musical tapestries.
Managing to come across as Eastern sounding, but then not really.
Like an ancient videogame in a dim sum café in Cologne.
If I was there I'd try and eat and play simultaneously.
Then really not.

Radiant Dragon - Oysters

thanks to Sam for the Facebook invite and Sahil for the MP3
I eagerly await the imminent EP from this lot.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

artist: arthur russell

Arthur Russell has completely owned my ears for the last fortnight. I picked up Love Is Overtaking Me from Rough Trade and have been swept along by the incessant groove ever since. It's a record that constantly reveals new gems to the listener, your favourite song will never holds its initial position. Currently jostling for my affections are Habit of You, Janine, Your Motion Says and I Couldn't Say It To Your Face.

For those of you unfamiliar with Russell, the man was a pioneer. No other way to put it. Famed for his contributions to disco (a future post for sure), this release on Audika / Rough Trade was compiled by Russell's partner, Tom Lee, from the various tapes he left behind after passing away in 1992. The 21-track remastered album is absolutely essential if you're a fan of Erlend Oye or Dirty Projectors to name a few whose style owes a debt, consciously or otherwise, to Russell. It's folk-pop kids.

Habit of You is a gloriously lo-fi pop masterpiece, centered around the sheer, giddy enthusiasm of falling in love juxtaposed with childhood nostalgia. Opening the door to that girl / boy is compared to opening the box and finding your orange birthday cake, the object of attachment going from lover to mother. What makes this song great is how the vocal melodies are a perfect fit for the feelings behind them. Feelings that are just so personal. The effect is completely disorientating and magical and this level of detail has you by the balls before the chorus has really unfurled itself. Keyboards, guitars and all matter of tinkling dance together around backing vocals and portamento that just makes me want to throw myself into a ball pool, building up to layered refrain.

Arthur Russell - Habit of You

Your Motion Says deserves a shout for the lyrical gradation describing parts of the body in terms of their gestures / motions (eyes/glances, mouth/kisses, hand/handshake) before the introspective culmination - I'm just another guy. Janine runs along in a similar vein to Habit, embodying a similar warmth but with more melancholic tones with skewed electronics behind. I Couldn't Say It Your Face has the perfect melody for the words behind it. Timeless. If you want those, buy them.

Some people say that Arthur Russell never finished anything. That these songs are unfinished. It's fair to say that he was such a perfectionist, his unfinished work still sounds unbelievably fresh decades after. In terms of length, the songs never go too far, which is a great quality to have when we're talking about pop music.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

django django : storm

My thanks go to Illegal Tender for this gem. Django Django play The Macbeth this weekend for Loud & Quiet versus Dirty Bingo. Imagine stumbling up Hoxton Street with a Saturday spring in your step, vodka in your belly, still bleary-eyed from the previous evening's adventures, most likely Modernaire at Ghost School at the same pub. Yet I know the vibe will be totally, utterly different. A whole new kind of groove - Django Django leave me in a trance. A familiar trance. Storm starts like it's been playing since the beginning of time, the lyrics are the obvious steps that follow, couplets that start with a clue you already know the answer to. The whole thing then collapses in on itself and disappears into the wind. The whole thing reeks of Arthur Russell with a lot of other junk in between. As Carl on Illegal Tender states, Default is a tune, taking on the likes of Plugs and Hot Chip at their own game and nutmegging them outrageously.

Django Django - Storm

Monday, 9 March 2009

blast from the past: rita pavone

I think all of 2009's hotly tipped female stars have a lot to learn. Also, if you like Willy Wonka come to Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow evening for Videopia.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

sebastien tellier : roche


The second part of my Tellier feature is on its way, just had to wait for clearance on some exclusive live tracks which has now come through. Need to write the badboy now, as well as an interview with Flashguns. In the meantime, check this video for Roche, the glorious, glorious opening track to Sexuality. Summer vibes and first loves on the beach in Biarritz. The Breakbot remix evokes adolescence perhaps better than the original. Available on exquisite turquoise ten inch vinyl from Record Makers.

Sébastien Tellier - Roche (Breakbot remix)

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

artist: passion pit

I have to write things before I forget. The memories fade away like receipts yellowing in your pockets, you don't need those anyway. Passion Pit have been slowly working their way into my psyche since Sleepyhead let loose on Good Weather For Airstrikes last summer. The EP, Chunk of Change, is near flawless, the only blot on an exceptional debut release being Live to Tell The Tale, which I hope doesn't make the cut on the album, entitled Manners and out later this year. The below video and accompanying blog really makes me excited. It would be so easy to casually rework a few of the EP tracks, they sound pretty good already. Michael Angelakos and Chris Zane want to blow all the hype completely out of the water. I think they will reap the benefit of major label backing, as they have the scope to bring in a children's choir.

Live, I caught their Pure Groove instore and left with an all-over grin and general warm tummy feeling. Cuddle Fuddle is my favourite cut from Chunk and they didn't play it, but the rest of the set was really moving. I worry often with electronic bands that something will get lost in the translation from studio to stage, but it just didn't happen despite the odd technical hitch. Like the Sébastien Tellier live show, everything seems so much more meaty and visceral when synth after expensive fucking synth is in front of your face and spitting out rich, warm sonic layers. The way they altered and tweaked stuff slightly, like the arpeggio that kicks in around the half-minute mark of I've Got Your Number, was a joy to behold. Everything was just so damn rhythmic, the urge to tap feet was undeniable. Better Things came alive like I never thought possible, the Go Team esque "Oh No!"'s emitted by Angelakos heightened the effect of the track, just making me go all gooey basically. His voice is like nothing I've heard lately. When addressing the crowd, his introductory remarks revealed a deep voice that is so far away from his singing. We're from Boston, Massachusetts was replaced by a squeal going past falsetto, evoking a six year old boy that's had one too many Panda Pops. Sleepy Head was the most euphoric an experience I imagine I'm ever going to have whilst crammed into a small record shop, surrounded by industry peeps and kids on half-term, whilst holding my parka and still trying to dance. You could sense grins just breaking out around you. If you like vinyl, you should really buy the seven inch. If only for the beautifully designed artwork by Frau Grau. Bring on the festival season. Play Sonar and make me ecstatic.

Passion Pit - Cuddle Fuddle

Passion Pit - Better Things