Tuesday, 29 September 2009

straight krautta versailles

photo: Sonia Koumskoff-Raissi

Turzi returns with all the subtle grace of a butterfly resting on the shoulder of a buffalo mid-stampede. Buenos Aires is a trance-like affaire, replete with synthesizers that drum and percussion that throbs like keyboards. Muscles flexed like a fine ballet dancer; delicate but you know that he could take you down with ease if the inclination was there. Yes, this is a dance, excuse my lack of familiarity with the various styles, I cannot offer you a precise definition. Watch out for the respite that comes waltzing in around the 140 second mark, a violin solo that comes out nowhere. It catches me off guard every time as I'm locked into some kind of expectation that this is only rudimentary tech Hackney Wick warehouse chic.

Turzi - Buenos Aires

You'll find on other blogs the Sébastien Tellier rework. It's a highly recommended hip hop hodown. Completing the chocolate coloured 12" package, is the flipside Bombay and a Swiss meets Aladdin rework from fellow Pan European psych-head Koudlam. Do not adjust your screen, your wi-fi isn't fucking with you, I did say chocolate coloured 12" package. Record Makers continue to uphold their reputation as filthy electronic purveyors of subtle distinction.

As a special online download bonus bonanza, shatsat faves Django Django were brought to the table and asked to get down and dirty with Bombay. The result (their best remix to date!) is a spectral shakeup, a rainy cosmic disco affair that takes the spiralling Eastern riff that is the centrepiece of the behemoth original and sends it fluttering. My homeboy, Steve, over at blouse said that this is what The Stig would sound like on Indian Top Gear. I'm more inclined to think it's what the mad fight scene at the end of The Matrix 3 would sound like if it was adapted for Bollywood.

Turzi - Bombay (Django Django's Thunder in Paradise remix)

The Buenos Aires / Bombay EP is out in a coupla weeks on import / en France.
///Pick it up on pre-order from Rough Trade now.

Sophomore album 'B' is going to drop next year with guest vocal performances from Bobby Gillespie and Brigitte Fontaine. I don't think before this release anybody would ever have mentioned them in the same sentence.

Romain and the troops will be hear to fuck with your ears, minds and stomachs for three nights on 18th, 19th and 20th October. Corsica Studios, Rough Trade East and The Borderline on consecutive nights. The full breadth of London gigland traversed in 72 hours of glorious modern kraut psychedelia.

verité extase

Crystal Fighters take the Magic Wands original out on the town. Take her someplace nice, leave some of the heys at the home with the palm mute guitars and get her to wash the reverb and the dry ice out of her hair. Take her to T-Bar, give her some light techy beats with a touch of dub texture and a splash of basque charm / bullshit and everybody's having a great time.

More on Crystal Fighters soon.
Ones to watch fo' sho as the Magic Wands original just ain't as fine in the cold light of day.
And it's usually pretty fine.

Magic Wands - Black Magic (Crystal Fighters remix)

Monday, 28 September 2009

fistful of dollars

Bang Bang Eche come at you like Benny Bonassi's scuzzy hardcore cousins. My only recourse for such a statement is the similarities with the riff that dominates the first part of this. You'll find it taken out of its nauseous daytime radio context and spliced together with a confident rousing by T'Nealle Worsley who never quite yelps & never quite relaxes into that louche singer mode.

Out of nothing comes a lush vocodered breakdown totally at odds with what preceded it. Pure gorgonzola. The return into the maelstrom then is laced with something altogether sweeter.

Bang Bang Eche - Fist Full of Dollars

Taken from the forthcoming EP, Sonic Death Cunttttt out November 2nd. This bunch of Kiwi tearaways will be hitting these shores in a month or so. They are definitely worth keeping an eye on for the swift and classy manner in which they demonstrate a lot of ideas before moving the fuck on.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

i got no problem with that

French Horn Rebellion are bromance synth pioneers. They impressed the most out of last night's star studded lineup at Cargo, possibly because my booze overtook me afterwards, only returning me to my senses for the lacklustre Magistrates. Their boat has most likely sailed, sunk and is now at the bottom of the ocean.

Not so for Robert and David from NYC via Milwaukee. Totally unfazed by the lack of an audience they set about bringing the party in a hilarious manner that got me excited about what they would do, no scratch that, will do when they have big crowds in front of them. Drama, band member quitting, storming off, heading to the bar, a emotional reconciliation before a triumphant finale.

French Horn Rebellion - Up All Night

Opening track for the new Kitsuné Maison. I still long for the halycon days of Kitsuné 3. I love you all the time broke a sofa.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

neon indian

Soundtrack to the summers day as you lie on the lawn, exfoliating gin while the grass mows itself. Thrusting the freshly-mowed smell in your ears and eyes, somebody's sprinkled it on you like cappucino cocodust. The neighbourhood's dead and the sprinklers are on and the kids next door want their fucking ball back. You've got the cans on and nothing will sway you from your grassy slumber.

Neon Indian - Deadbeat Summer

Neon Indian are the midpoint of an all-star cast at Cargo tonight.
French Horn Rebellio, The Chap and Magistrates complete it.

Friday, 25 September 2009

lovelorn shanghai

“A lot of people think it was shot in Tokyo, but it’s actually shot in Shanghai. I feel there is a strange sadness and violence in this city. It’s as if in Shanghai the past is being destroyed really fast to make way for the modern way of life. I enjoy shooting faces and cities: before doing cinema, I used to be an architect so I have a special relationship with architecture. This video was influenced mostly by Michael Mann’s style of directing, the way he shoots cities and uses music (see ‘Manhunter, ‘Heat’ or ‘Collateral’). The sound of Sébastien’s music reminded me some of Michael Mann’s works. On the theme of loneliness in a big city, Michelangelo Antonioni and some of the early works of Wong Kar Wai were useful too. I always do all the editing of my films myself. It’s something I really enjoy, it’s very important to me. Maybe it is a bit of a weird thing to say, but when I work on a music video I feel like a musician. It’s because when you edit you’re putting the images to a tempo, the story develops a rhythm. So with the Boys Noize remix, I had wonderful materials to deal with: the most enjoyable challenge was finding something to do on the ‘rise’ between 3'15 and 3'30.” - Johann Bertelli.

This is a first as far as I'm concerned. Not content with commissioning a ton of heavyweight remixes, Record Makers went one step further and asked Johann Bertelli to re-edit his interpretation of L'Amour et La Violence to fit the masterful club remix by Boys Noize. It compliments the intimacy of Roman Coppola's effort for the original, shot in Tellier's old flat in Paris, in perfect fashion. I love how the inner turmoil of the character is juxtaposed with the enormity of the metropolis, supermodern.

The Sexuality bandwagon continues to roll on and on, spurting out hot remixes like fresh croissants from the boulangerie. The slew of hot gooey remixes has been joined by new Record Makers signings, Acid Washed as well as Lazy Flow who share management with the mysterious duo.

Sébastien Tellier - L'Amour Et La Violence (Acid Washed Land of Daktari remix)

Acid Washed drag Tellier's lament kicking and screaming away from the city and sends it scampering into the jungle. Bedraggled, staggering through the undergrowth, paranoid that the hunter from Jumanji is going to come fuck you up. The elephants will sort you out, they know where the party is. If animals had a nightclub in the jungle, I'd like to think this would be what they have to finish the night before watching the sunrise.

Sébastien Tellier - Fingers of Steel (Lazy Flow remix)

A Verve Cliquot drenched sped-up take on this understated gem from the album, a glorious rush that splits the track open, thinning it out and giving it some air. The plum vocals lines sliced and diced and hung out to dry whilst the arpeggiatted synth line is flipped up and around, no longer cloying.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

hard believer

This video trips me up and trips me out whilst spinning me round in a clarity dance. It's really in your face, not aggressively so - that's just how the talents of First Aid Kit tend to wash over me. The piano scene is great, but I keep thinking of the best piano scene ever. It belongs to Tom Hanks in Big. This is out and about on Wichita on October 5th along with Waltz for Richard.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009


photo: gun show

The picture is what you see lying in the crayola fields in the Melbourne outskirts the day after the night before. A pretty vision came bursting through riding piggyback into the party on the shoulders of a guy you swear you saw before but probably never did. In reality at least. Television soundsystem swiftly commandeered, Berlin band funk pervading the air as you take cover in the kitchen and wait for the heart-shaped ice cubes to melt. The temperature keeps rising, it's not even a housewarming it's a birthday party.

Crayon Fields - All the Pleasures of the World

The poise belongs to Crayon Fields who skilfully manoeuvre themselves into a position of delightful dominance and wrest the prize away without even looking. Their second album, named after the above is out now on iTunes and down under and demands to be the soundtrack to corridor necking everywhere. Imagine the whitest boy alive free from the certainty of erlend.

Saturday, 19 September 2009


Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Talking like a pirate is something I stopped doing after the novelty wore off
in the twilight of my teenage years. Or perhaps it was because I liked the first Pirates of the Caribbean film and the others were poor. There's still a pirate-shaped gap in my life though and to day I'm going to fill it with Penfold Gate.

Penfold Gate - Pirates

Emerging from a rollicking rocky intro is a chorus that soars and dances across the sails and up the mast in the back of your mind. Cling to it in the realisable hope that these young tyros from Loughborough have more like it in their locker. It's a trump card.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

interview: django django

Stuff that falls into place beats carefully contrived hands down. My favourite discovery of 2009, Django Django has been bubbling away on the stove for a while now.

I met up with Vinnie (vocals / guitar) a few weeks back and we went to a pub quiz in Hackney. Whilst assisting my inept friends to a totally undeserved fourth place, he filled me in on the Django Django story.

Vinnie met Dave (percussion / programming) through a mutual friend at uni in Edinburgh around nine years ago. His friend informed him that Dave was knocking out some dance beats. Vince was churning out garage and they intended to work together but got sidetracked.

Fast forward six years and Vinnie had settled in London, working as an architect. Dave moved down and the two boys got together for a chat about their musical ambitions. It sounded like they were on the same page, so Django Django began.

I attribute their thrilling promise to the presence in their music of buzzy, electronics set against a raw, warm bluesy sound. Keeping the whole ship ubertight is a great sense of rhythm underpinned by choice lyrics. Vinnie admitted as much, “I write stuff trying to think of the melody and the rhythm at the same time. I don’t sorta go through lots of versions trying to find the right one.” The words and the rhythm always seem so on the ball; any clumsy turns of phrase swiftly righted by Dave’s talent as a ‘pun-master’.

Their composition process isn’t always so straight forward, debut single Storm being an example of how Django Django like to flip things on their head. “It was almost like a folk song. Dave just had this little fucking Casio thing and we just switched drum beats, found something new and played along to it. It changed the song completely.”

Dave and Vinnie are the key players in Django Django, the melodic nous of Vinnie backed up by Dave’s prowess on the production side. “We started the band and formed a lot of what Django Django sounds like. Dave has a real talent for making links and joining the dots. He’s a music boffin. He can sit down with someone and talk about some obscure record released way back when. I’m not really like that. There are cases where it comes from me, cases where it comes from Dave and stuff that we’ve done as a more traditional band type of thing. You get three different sounds, not different sounds but different sorts of feeling.”

The predominant feeling that comes across my conversation with Vinnie is a measured desire to not overextend themselves. “The good thing for me is I don’t really like playing guitar as guitar, I like to play it pared down, sparse. Dave is the same. It comes from the fact we’re not brilliant musicians.” Such awareness is reassuring, their songs ooze with self-assurance.

Their lineup has chopped and changed slightly as they've progressed as Vinnie goes on to highlight, “We had another bassist who was in the Phantom Band. He was with us for about six or seven months, then the Phantom Band were getting too big and he headed off with them. Then Tommy (bass) who we started off with Edinburgh and Jim (keys) we know from mates who went to Glasgow.”

I’d talk more about it all coheres in their live show but I can’t actually remember anything; at their 93 Feet East gig earlier this year I was too busy necking. Anyway, Tommy and Dave supply all the artwork for the group, an artistic vein clearly runs through this group. No surprise then that they chose to put out on Shadazz, the tiny Glaswegian label set up by Luke Fowler, an artist of international repute.

Django Django don’t care for being flavour of the month or belonging to any particular scene. “We’re a wee bit older, we know what we want to do in terms of sound, so it’s not derivative. We don’t have any strong links with other bands, it’s more mature that way, less faddish.” When quizzed on who they wanted to emulate, Vinnie dropped classic names like 60’s psych band The Monks, Talking Heads and recent ‘Aussie Cream-rip offs’ Tame Impala.

All recording to date has occurred in Dave’s bedroom, and will continue until the album drops next year. This autumn will see a second single, with the group set to sidestep the temptation to unleash solid gold future smash, Default, whilst momentum is still building. Playing live over the last eighteen months has brought a new depth to the more recent, as yet unheard, recordings - described by Vinnie as “dirtier, faster with bigger beats and more balls.”

Django Django - Love's Dart (Live on Marc Riley)

I can’t wait to hear where it all ends up. Modest as they are, there’s a lot more to come from these guys. I'm proud to announce they will be headlining the inaugural shattered satellite party. Until then, wrap your ears around Wor, a frenetic affair which I’d like to compare to Insistor era Tapes ‘n’ Tapes on happy pills. The other session tracks show a band who don’t just replay their recordings note for note. I like that. Sit back, relax and enjoy the final part of the interview as I just started asking the questions that really needed asking. And watch out for Winds of Cairo I’m told.

Django Django - Wor (Live on Marc Riley)

J: What did you have for breakfast?
V: A nectarine and a clementine.

J: Last time you feared for your life?
V: I had to break in through my kitchen window the other day and had to jump down into the kitchen from a seven-foot high ceiling and was potentially going to fall down onto all this broken glass. The leg on the table broke as well.
I had to break in. I’d been locked out for three days. It was dangerous. Not life threatening. I could have been terribly scarred.

J: Last fight?
V: Think it was at Standon Calling last weekend. I think we’d run out of beer, we got down there last. Everybody had been drinking my booze out of my bag. Band guys had all gone and it got a bit narcy at about 4 in the morning.

J:Last cried?
V: Cried laughing or cried?
J: Cried.
V: I think when I got locked out of the house.

J: Who would you rather kill? Superman or Spidey?
V: Superman. He’s just got a dodgy quiff.

If it were me I’d kill Spidey, Toby Maguire is the human embodiment of wet.

Django Django - Storm (Live on Marc Riley)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

bangarang alice. bangafuckingrang


I can't decide which of these magical magical reworks from Pogo is the daddy. He condenses childlike awe that the kid in you felt watching these films. It would start to jade after the twenty eight spin of the tape though. I so wanted to be Rufio. Pogo showcases startling audio-visual ability. Just startling. I'm off to Bestival.

Pogo - Alice

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

forever dancing

It starts with a guitar line that screams try harder or she'll be dead at the scene. Dreams then scattered as atmosphere comes wading in full widescreen panaromic garb. Hiding behind the casio curtains are MASKS. Throbbingly intense yet playful, this careers off at canter into the ether.

MASKS - Forever Dancing

Their myspace caught my eye over at FUCKING DANCE.
I Covered Myself in Furs has gorgeous Neu vibes.
They love Entrepreneurs, which means I love them too.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

four in one

Analogies are great. They are great because they allow me to describe music like this gorgeous rendez-vous between Séverin and Breakbot. This collabo is like two kids that are best friends until the age of 10 when Séverin broke Breakbot's Gameboy in a fit of pique. Breakbot blatantly had the higher score on Tetris. The Edge of A Sunday talks about those times when they would have sleepovers and play Golden Axe until it got real late. Like ten pm in the evening. Total total sugar rush.

Séverin - The Edge of a Sunday (Breakbot remix)

Both these boys have albums. Severin's is out. Breakbot's I cannot wait.
If you dug Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix you will dig Séverin.
His is called Cheesecake. The artwork features girls with it all over their faces.
The guy is a player. Scope the original on myspace.
Watch the making of here.
I think listening to them both in the same day is a comparable experience to downing ten cartons of Ribena.
Some of the synth sounds remind me ridiculously of early 90's Sega vs Disney.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

holidays in congo

Rainbow Arabia have been blinking on the radar screen for quite a while. They don't so much blink as illuminate via their sweet sweet spaceage nothings set to pulsing Africana rhythms that sashay and dance from can to can. Left to right leaving me unsteady, but holding on somehow. There is a siren quality to this, it really enchants.

Going on holiday to Congo is the Lille native Myd. My oh my is he one to watch. Emerging from his valise are dub pulses and loops that vocal til you think it can't loop anymore. It's a much straighter cut from the Rainbow Arabia cloth. This is what I wish had been playing on repeat for the whole of Carnival last weekend.

Rainbow Arabia - Holiday in Congo (Myd remix)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

preview: one's to watch: bear hands / swimming / the antlers

I really hope when I go to the Macbeth on Thursday for the next installment of One's to Watch, I don't bump into a two torsoed man-lady like the above picture. Then again, it is Shoreditch. No MP3s today.

What I hope to find is a nice rum and ginger and after that a band called The Antlers. Home for them is the delightful stable of Frenchkiss Records. They are the result of Manhattan isolation and Brooklyn reemergence. I want to make a joke about not having had a good cocktail in ages but it won't quite come so I'll move on. They have potential to be quite moving in a rousing way. I think they hang out with Bell.

Following them will be Swimming who hail from my hometown. I'm trying to detect traces of Nottingham in their music to uphold a hastily cobbled theory that one's locale has a profound influence on creative output. Their myspace makes thrilling listening, it veers into this experimental quarter but then completely bucks the traditional by hurling choruses you gotta singalong to. Almost definitely going to purchase their album. I think I can hear touches of Dave Grohl in there. Weird.

Headlining will be Bear Hands. They hustle and bustle like surfer librarians, there's a contrast in here hiding away. A delicacy of sound and rhythm burbling away behind a vocal style that just screams I don't care, I don't care, I don't care about anything because that would not be cool at all.

Part with seven of your pounds.
Go to ticketweb.
It will only be more on the door.
And if you are hungry, the best pizza place in the whole of Hoxton is just up the street.
In a few days, I will reveal whether it turned out as planned.