Monday, 27 July 2009

disco igloo


An italo classic from that most revered of years, 1979. It almost occupies the imagined space between a 118 advert and the Rose Royce car wash classic. Except it's encased in a layer of cool that those two would never care for. Appropriate then that the easiest way for your ears to meet this is via the Eskimo compilation compiled by the one and only Daniele Baldelli. I love it so and this track is the sprawling highlight. A full five minutes of funk cheese guitar before the vocals breeze in like a lotto winner. The buildup is the victory dance after procuring the digits of the finest fille on the avenue around which you drive seven endless hours before calling.

La Bionda - I Got Your Number




Tuesday, 21 July 2009

ah-land


Nobody recognised him! The new song from Kings of Convenience is here. Nobody recognised him! I knew it was more or less on the way after bumping into Erlend (pronounced ah-land) on the Kingsland Road a couple of months back. Nobody recognised him! Ah-land said he had been in meetings with EMI. Nobody recognised him! He refused our offer of a drink and disappeared into Catch. Nobody recognised him! Ricardo said his favourite was Little Kids, catching the big man off guard in the process. Nobody recognised him!

Nobody recognised him. Ah-land fucking Oi-yuh! Nobody recognised him!

Kings of Convenience - Mrs. Cold






I'm probably going to remove this song in about 24 hours before the heavies from Astralwerks come round and break my face. Nobody recognised him! Tour is in October. Nobody recognised him! London is the Barbican. Nobody recognised him! I'm too excited to write properly. Nobody recognised him! Just listen to the song. The sudden start implies that this is not the opening track. Nobody recognised him! Nobody recognised him! Put it on repeat and then go out in the summer rain without a raincoat. Nobody recognised him! Nobody recognised him! Thinking about this, it's like a grown up Toxic Girl. Kings of Convenience are the reason I hate not being able to play guitar and do the chop. I never loved them before so this release excites me. Is Ah-land going to completely own this year and release two ridiculous albums? It's on the cards.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

the moon hat thief


Whilst Cosmo never made it to that magic age of 27
his parting shot usurps the lot of them
"I could have been a star, now I'm just an *"

Cosmo D. Hines - Moon Hat Thief






courtesy of Strummerville. More gems burroughed inside this boiled hippo.
this runner up makes the prettiest silver medal.

Friday, 17 July 2009

studio

Today I am going into the studio in Bath.
The Horrors recorded some of their recent opus there.

The Horrors - Who Can Say







Expect some results at the end of summer.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

competition time.


I adore it when a B-side takes the breath away. Blink once and The Others is almost mistaken for fellow Young & Lost buddies, Noah & The Whale. Blink again and you realise the vocal is blessed with an insouciance urging the listener to take its hand and twirl around the ballroom in a drunken haze. The vinyl is currently sat next to Jeremy Warmsley's I Promise on the shelf. They both reek of promise. Catch Pownall at Lovebox this weekend.

Alan Pownall - The Others






You can win yourself a copy of Pownall's debut seveninchsingle, Clara, courtesy of Young & Lost.

To win, answer the following question:
Q: Which fashion designer did Alan Pownall work for prior to finding his calling as a musician?

send an email with the answer to
jehan.harding@gmail.com
just click the email address and a message box should open

The hint is the photo. Which links to the Pownall myspace.
The closing date for the competition is August 1st.
More YALC comps imminent.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

videopia! : JAWS


I'm late for rehearsal. Playing Videopia tonight with a remake of Jaws. I'll be wearing my guitarist's mother's Hawaiian shirt. Also serenading all you Jack Black wannabees will be the delectable Wet Paint. The CD is in my car, I was going to post you a song but there is no time to retrieve their album. Mosey on over to myspace in the old fashioned style and listen to Save The Whale. Coming on strong like a slacker version of that British Sea Power classic, Remember Me.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

the finest opening line of 2009


"I woke up in the late afternoon
from a dream in which I loved you."

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Tunguska






It's something you need to own on wax. Debut release on Transparent, more info from Sahil & Jack over there, signed copies in Pure Groove of course. Live, Joseph D'Agostino is a ferocious mix of Ben Kweller and Little Russ from Honey I Shrunk The Kids.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

mortel.


Sick, sick, sick.
The venue. La salle.
The party. La fête.
Then nobody at all. Puis personne.















Friday, 10 July 2009

vulnerable pill


I often lie awake at night wondering what makes the perfect remix. Isolation and supplementation. When the YouSendIt link comes through with the parts, I envisage producers leafing through keeping something on instinct and tossing the rest out the window. The other interesting part is looking at what they bring to the party.

The guinea pig for today's examination will be Marina + The Diamonds. The remixer is Daniel Barker otherwise known as The Aspirins For My Children, managed by Carl of Illegal Tender (one of the best blogs in town. fact). Marina is prime fodder because her tunes consist of many delicate layers that interlock exquisitely. Strip it back and there's plenty there to go to work on.

Out of the two lead tracks from Marina's earlier releases, Obsessions is the clear winner. As mentioned before, the backing vocals that drop around the second minute reign supreme. I must confess that I found Robot disappointing in terms of lyrics and production. The cheesy vocoder fails to provide the same rush.

I'm not sure I'm ready to inhabit a world where smoking behind the bike sheds is the epitome of tough. What I mean to say is, vulnerability had already been covered brilliantly with Obsessions, different subject matter and a different metaphor wouldn't have gone amiss for the next lead track. These are minor quibbles though as absolutely no fault can be found with the melodies, they sear themselves into your psyche effortlessly to the point where I'm singing this song even if if the words leave me lukewarm. The video is utterly jawdropping and unique as well. I also like that the song itself could be a thinly-veiled slur at the likes of Little Boots and La Roux.

So against this backdrop, let's take a look at Barker's tinkerings.

Exhibit A - Obsessions





Gone are my beloved backing vocals in the form that had me so dazzled. No matter, Aspirins' production sucks you in fast and doesn't let go. After five seconds, it's as if the song has been on repeat for hours as the bridge and chorus dance together. The meticulous order of the original is turned on its head and spun round and round. Just shy of the two minute mark, the synths come running in to remind you that this isn't all about Marina. The buildup continues then spits you out.

Exhibit B - I Am Not A Robot





What I love about this remix is that it packs the punch that the original production needs. The smaltz is eroded by the vibrant electro stylings. Aspirins' production is so enjoyable, like Moulinex lite, it means Marina's vocals aren't the main event. I could happily listen to an instrumental of this, everything dovetails perfectly. An instrumental of the original would probably cause stomach upset.

Why is this partnership working so well? Marina's lyrics conjure up tales of red-eyed hungover vulnerability and youthful self-assertion. Not really that surprising then that aspirin hits the spot.

If all that has given you a headache, down this.

Lost Valentinos - Common Thief


I'm off to Pure Groove to watch Cymbals Eat Guitars, then Levi's then Ed Banger.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

podium party


It's that time of year when albums for the autumn are just starting to rear their little heads. Before they can walk, talk or fly the nest, it is de rigueur to release some kind of track as a sneaky taster. Here's three of this week's to get you salivating and hyped up into some kind of slow-burning frenzy. Please don't die in anticipation.

bronze: Arctic Monkeys - Crying Lightning





The only thing remarkable about Crying Lightning is the artwork. The song is a slow paced Arctics number which falls somewhere in between Last Shadow Puppets and If You Were There Beware. It isn't coy enough, when Turner's in this menacing crooner mode I want some vulnerability. Lyrically, neither the sneer nor the quip are present. Distanced from the Sheffield streets of the debut, but still within earshot, these lyrics feel like they belong to a psychedelic ghost train attendant. The twisted and deranged line is the song's centerpiece and it builds up nicely, but aggravating ice cream van men? Sorry? Not exactly last laugh lane. The guitar solo is nice and the ending feels like a perfectly poured pint. I hope in the context of Humbug it all makes a lot more sense.


silver: The Cribs - We Were Aborted





Taken from upcoming fourth album, Ignore The Ignorant, Aborted bears the Cribs hallmarks despite the recent addition of Johnny Marr on guitar. On this evidence, his presence in the group will make for a fuller sound. This track, whilst a definitive grower, can't touch the majority of The Cribs and The New Fellas that I absolutely adored. I'm not asking for something complex or more sophisticated. This has a simple sing along chorus, but it isn't one that I feel inclined to sing along to. I mean I could, but the best choruses urge you to sing them until you can't sing them anymore.

gold: AIR - Do The Joy





I think we have a winner. AIR know what they are doing. The title evokes Architecture in Helsinki, but whilst their vignette is a whirlwind affair, this brings to mind silent movie strangers dancing in the street after being thrown out of the club for wearing their jumpers back to front. Around the two minute mark, the pulsing electric clock synths seal the deal. Love 2 is going to be a corker, once AIR get inside you it's hard to ask them to leave.


It was tough, positions changed many times but there had to be a winner. Arctics were beaten into bronze deservedly because the song is easily their poorest offering as a single to date. Both the other tracks aren't even the singles, they are just the free tracks to buzz about. I reckon the rest of Humbug will probably be on fire, hell there will probably be a ridiculous B-side to this but why not give me something to go viral about? I'd rather have swine flu. The Cribs then take second place, but they can will have to do consistently better if they want to usurp the Monkeys in the album stakes. Cheat On Me had better be good.

Perhaps it's unfair to bring the boys from Versailles into this. The music is completely different, it's a bit like comparing Grey Goose to Kronenbourg and Carling. I like to mix my drinks though.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

preview: one's to watch - everything everything, post war years & wolf gang

flickr: 4500!

Friday sees the fourth part of Levi's One to Watch 5 Night Revue at The Vibe Bar on Brick Lane. Whilst tonight's event with Passion Pit, Fanfarlo and Apples is quite the lineup, Friday promises to be something special.

First up is the much vaunted Wolf Gang. Night Flying had me from the word go and follow-up Pieces of You has crawled under my skin to the point where the song pretty much owns me like the mask in The Mask. Head back to that post for a replay. For now, wrap your ears round this remix courtesy of Disco Bloodbath. A champagne sea of handclaps and ominous synths that lead in and out like waves fluttering on the coastline. Max is riding high on a surf board, his vocals rising to the top of the mix. Surprisingly, the backing vocals are left out. They must have been bagsied by the other remixers.

Wolf Gang - Pieces of You (Disco Bloodbath remix)






Second on stage are Post War Years. Everywhere I read bemusing comparisons to Foals. Why? Foals have one singer. Post Wars have three. Foals have one synthesizer. Post Wars have a bunch of them. On stage, Foals make the room feel like the centre of the earth. Post Wars are that intense and have a similar capacity for calmness in the midst of a sonic firestorm, but I don't sense the same paranoia. The substitute is a giddy confidence that atop of some momentum, which hasn't quite built yet, will be unstoppable.

I'm not getting dragged down in that any longer. Whole World On Its Head is one of my tracks of the year. The opening synth sprinkles are to die for, they make the whole track. More about The Greats and the Happenings next week. This is a preview.

Post War Years - Whole World On Its Head






Last but certainly not least is Everything Everything. Like all the other bands on the bill, they have a shedload of ideas crammed into three minute cuts. Driving rhythms and vocals, vocals, vocals ranging from soft a'capellas, Passion Pit esque castratos and all out yelping. The mix is delightfully in flux and really offers something different, it's not every day that I'm genuinely intrigued to see how all these vocals go down live. Check out their latest 7", Photoshop Handsome, below.

Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome






///Buy tickets here. There's not many left. It's the only one you can buy tickets for. Friendly Fires are playing the actual finale, but that's for competition winners only. Money can't buy a ticket to that event. It can to this. This is the real finale.

And when that's all done down to The Coronet for the Ed Banger party where I will be partying like it's 2007.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

childish shimmer

File Banjo or Freakout next to Animal Collective. Perhaps. It has the childish shimmer of Bluish.
The hole in the filing cabinet runs deep into a tunnel underground
to a field where summer rain is deluging.
Alessio Natalizia is hanging upside down on a climbing frame strumming away whilst Logic lullabies fall from his eyes and vocals drowned in cough syrup blurt out his throat.
Epic yet throwaway like an obsolete videotape of Chariots of Fire.

Banjo or Freakout - Upside Down






Following on from Mrno on the No Pain in Pop compilation. 2009 could well be in his pocket.
///buy the 12" from Half Machine Records

Monday, 6 July 2009

Y.A.SY.A.S.Y.A.SY.A.SY.A.S


Mirwais's long awaited new project with Yasmine Hamdan has finally emerged quietly, like a glistening holidaymaker on a secluded beach in the med. Entitled Arabology, the debut from Y.A.S sees a fusion of Lebanese vocals and Mirwais's trademark sparse electro sound. It fucks with my head a little due to total lack of comprehension; my only prior experience of certain aspects being rides in mini-cabs and moments waiting for the menu. After a while though, forgetting occurs as if you walked into a shisha café, asked to use the toilet, went down the stairs and found yourself in a sprawling dancefloor metropolis.

Get It Right is the all out banger to take your shoes off and start waving them round your head.
Felix Da Housecat has pressed his dirty paws all over this and sent it round the block a few times and it's come back with interest. A few lines for the anglophones too.

Y.A.S. - Get It Right (Felix Da Housecat's ATL Sia Mix)






Gamil opens with gentle strumming with no real warning of what's to come. The beat drop is so seamless and the whole thing reeks of that slow building atmosphere of dirt that pervaded Production. One for the chill out room.

Y.A.S - Gamil






Arabology
doesn't really throb with the same epic intensity as Production's flashpoints, the influence of Yasmine is calming. Listen to it over on Deezer. Purchase on iTunes or Fnac.


Friday, 3 July 2009

cream cuts

You fell from the sky, catching the lost aviators as you hurtled through the cirrus. Sand cushions your fall like the stolen three piece that remains unpaid for to this day. Sleep won't come though even though it's been on request for days. The sun burns like moonlighting vodka, the wind ruffles your hair like that wispy girl who fucks like a corpse. Sand grains slowly give way and you sink down down down. It's coming in your ears, your eyes and you can't rub them awake no matter how hard you try.

Falling through you tumble head over and over and over til you reach the floor. Like quicksand but not like the raven haired quiff lady. It feels like a floor. You get up. It seems you are at a desert disco rave. I thought you were going to die. Perhaps it is in fact a banquet. Or a Oriental funeral. All of these things at once. All the revellers grooving have honeycombs for eyes. Either way, you need to boogie. But please not too hard. Don't forget that. Nobody knows we're here. Be patient and you'll find the laguna with the discoball.

Tussle - Transparent C






Tussle - Night of the Hunter






And so that's where this album, Cream Cuts, by Tussle is. You can find it on the shelves in the not so safari location of Pure Groove at Smithsfields. Tell them I sent you. or iTunes.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

yesterday, today and forever




I had tickets to see MJ at the 02. The above video shows that even 25 years ago, he could still wow crowds playing to a backing track. I long to be the guy in the cream suit at 3:54.



This video from 2001 shows that Jackson still had all the fucking moves. The moonwalk here is better than the debut. Hardly surprising when you think about it. The video also makes for a nice analysis in changing production values, nearly every other shot is of the crowd. Is that because Jackson is not seen as being as photogenic as his 1983 heyday? I don't want to see the crowd crying like retards, I want MJ.

It kinda makes me glad that when the DVD of his last performance comes out, there will be no crowd. Don't you think?

Also, there were rumours that he had devised a move better than the moonwalk. Conspiracy theorists like myself would say that this was perhaps the reason for his cardiac arrest. Anyway, this move will be worth queuing around the block at HMV Oxford St for but please don't film me, I won't be crying like a weirdo.


Glasto rocked. Weirdly, my stage get up consisted of a Michael Jackson t-shirt by the elegant and French SixPack. Buy it here. I had planned this weeks in advance so to hear of the great man's death was just so fucking surreal. I can't moonwalk. see below.