Wednesday, 24 June 2009

i'm not here. i'm playing glastonbury.

So things have been quiet round here lately because I've been partying hard and preparing for Glastonbury with Al Cool and the Stranger Wines. The ssextet which I lead are performing this Saturday at 3.30pm on the Dada stage in association with Club Attitude. Attitude is Everything is a charity which works to raise awareness and improve disabled people's access to live music. It's a stellar cause you can read more about here. People don't deserve to be treated like shit because of what they can't do.

More about the music. I have alluded to it many times but never posted, but fuck that, this is Glastonbury. It's only the biggest festival in the world.

Six people. Two frontmen. Two guitarists and a 2 person rhythm section. With so many people and instruments, the dynamic has to be just right. It's something we're still striving for but we're getting there. The recordings to date don't reflect this progress but they reflect an ear for catchiness and intricacy. Six Flights is to get the crowd going. I could listen to the bass and drums all day but I have to sing. A Green Motorcycle is a bit more haunting and sombre, an ode to a weekend away in a mellow haze of gin and café con leche and two single beds pushed together to make a double. She said it was profound. The lead vocals on these two are mine. More recording to come after the summmer. Few more demos over here but they are all just that, unfinished. If I had to give it all a genre I'd call it motown postrock. People keep chatting Latino but I have no idea why.

Al Cool and the Stranger Wines - Six Flights

Al Cool and the Stranger Wines - A Green Motorcycle

Drummer boy Toby Gale also hit me up with a new track of his. The kind of hectic Kieran Hebden esque calm I've come to expect from young Toby.

Toby Gale - Slap and Slap

So if you're going to Glastonbury. Half past three on Saturday on the Dada stage in the Shangri La area. I'll be wearing a cape. You need no other reasons to be there. It's only our ninth full band gig. If you find me after and say "Hey Jehan, I love your blog. It's like the best thing I've read since like ever ever ever" I will buy you a drink / shake your hand / let you touch my cape. Also, we shall be doing an acoustic set on the Jubilee Debt bus at 3pm on Friday. If you like the ripples track linked above then you should come to that.

If you aren't going to Glasto, go see Post War Years at Pure Groove on Friday. I made this happen but I couldn't be there obviously so go there instead and be enthralled by their agitated brand of jerky pop electron music.

Post War Years - Whole World On Its Head

Monday, 22 June 2009

discovery: so insane

Sonar was like travelling to another world, where all festivals should be held from now on. Highlights included La Roux's hair which deserves some kind of Shockwaves hair mousse award, Young Fathers, Konono No. 1, Grace Jones, Erol Alkan, Crookers. More on the moon-base later.
I have to pack to go to Glastonbury where I shall be performing in a cape. More about that tomorrow.

On the first day at Sonar by Day. After my seventh Estrella Damm, I was lying on the astroturf grass and Huw Stephens whacked this little tune on.

Discovery - So Insane

So Insane is taken from the self-titled debut LP from Rostam and Wes from Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot. Otherwise known as Discovery. Whilst I consider it quasi-blasphemous to give an electronica music album the name of Discovery, So Insane has compelled me to issue this reprieve. The reason is the slowdown that kicks off just before the minute. The emotion ramps up and up and leaves me sprawling in a cycle of repetition on the carpet next to the keg. I thought this had blog house for bros written all over it. I changed my mind. Out on XL Recordings on July 7th.

Monday, 15 June 2009

artist: duchess says

Duchess Says - Ccut up

One of those albums you sit on for months for no real reason. The first time you stuck it on, abrasion was not what your ears were in the mood for. Maybe I was listening to Noah & The Whale. I needed to hold my breath and power through all the way to the end of Anthologies des 3 Perchoirs. The above track is the bastard child of Metronomy's You Could Easily Have Me as conceived in an alleyway next to Les Foufounes Electriques in Montréal.

Back track a bit further. I got handed the album last summer by the guy working in Platine, a record store in Old Quebec. I was after more Malajube but they had nothing new or old. This ticks all the boxes though. They play fucking hard which is great for blowing the hungover cobwebs away. The dealmaker is the subtlety of the electronics though, they offset the aggression teasing you with dreams of discos doused in dry ice. This lot describe themselves as moog rock. Figures. DFA79 springs to mind. Only, only because it makes me want to scream and shout and windmill as I get my groove on, surfing on a sea of white noise. I can't windmill. Last time I tried the blood went to my head and I fell down.

Duchess Says - Black Flag (The Juan Maclean Version)

The other DFA come to mind also. The vocals sent hurtling to the front of the congregation, which could reside, judging by the imagery of knees and rosaries, in a church as well as a dancefloor.

A new EP is out in the UK / Europe on 10" vinyl via Back Yard Recordings.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

wolf gang: night flying

photo: marco57

I held my breath and actually tried not to like this. Futile. The opening synth salvo evoked something old I couldn't quite place and whilst I tried to figure it out what it was, the vocal saunters into earshot. Sounding like a friend you just made and aren't too sure about who then whips out some shapes that are sensational and filthy. The first chorus teases you but I was still reeling from the honey taste of the bridge. The second chorus is where it starts getting crazy. Tropical "Ooh-yeahs" up the ante and the tension's bubbling and wait. Party's started but the ring leader wants out, screaming, "I don't like it I really must go" like a toddler in a tantrum who wants to leave the adventure playground but is easily pacified with a slush puppie and a paper raffle ticket that wins nothing. This track is both the heart and soul of the party and the lost kid wandering down the street with a map drawn on his hand.

Wolf Gang - Night Flying

The band are Wolf Gang. The brain child of Max McEligot. Signed to Atlantic at the back end of '08 and now putting out on Neon Gold Records. Dancing to the same beat as Marina + The Diamonds in that sense. Night Flying was recorded by producer Blue May, who ages and ages ago sent me this Lykke Li rework of his that I totally forgot about stupidly. It's stupidly massive. Read about the Night Flying recording experience here.

Lykke Li - Little Bit (Blue May Rework)

From that blog I'd assume that he was behind the desk for the single and all the other tracks, it sounds like they are building a relationship that is watertight. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The single is called Pieces of You. Listen below. Night Flying is certainly the only track I'd love on right now if you pushed me up against a wall. I'd hold out that Night Flying will see a big technicolour HD release later in the year / next year and clean up. The Pieces of you b-side is on myspace if you care to go there. Pieces has only been online for a day though so give me and yourselves a chance to form a rounded opinion. The brass touches and the "keep talking" line make me perspire a little.

Wolf Gang - Pieces of You

Or maybe it's the fact I'm walking everywhere these days due to tube strike. Currently interning at Pure Groove Records in Farringdon where you can pre-order and order all Neon Gold Records. Your Twenties is next. Exciting isn't it?. Hit that shit up. Please.

video: flashguns : i don't not love you

Interview with Flashguns lead singer Samuel coming soon.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

27 hours, 3 minutes and 44 seconds.

And from one French maestro to another.
Gonzales holds the world record for the longest solo artist performance.
I feel like him after finishing university for ever. Maybe not quite as sweaty.
His piano playing is exceptional. His touch is to die for.
Watch the concert here.

Gonzales - Dot

taken from the astounding Solo Piano.