Friday 24 December 2010
Of course this weeks cover up was always going to be Christmas related and considering my rant earlier in the week this cover of Do They Know It's Christmas Time by Fucked Up and friends (including Bob Mould, GZA, Tegan and Sara, David Cross, Yo La Tengo) seems very much appropriate.
Sonic Masala is going to be a bit quiet over the festive season but we'll be back with yet more lists before New Years Eve and maybe more besides, but for now Sonic Masala wishes everyone a quality Christmas and a Happy new year, just think of us when your stuck with all that left over turkey.
Fucked Up - Do They Know It's Christmas Time
10. Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal
This album took time to grow on me, in fact I think Brooklyn based Daniel Lopatin's beautiful drone masterpiece is still growing on Brendan, but in time I'm sure he'll be won over. From the chaotic noise opening of Nil Admirari to the dense shimmer of Describing Bodies and even its blissed out drone wanderings of Stress Waves - this is a sublimely gorgeous abstract work.
Oneohtrix Point Never - Stress Waves
9. The Young - Voyagers of Legend
Out on Mexican Summer, this Austin rock four-piece seems to have been overlooked by many this year - but not Sonic Masala. The most considered raucous pop-punk album of 2010, jagged and rough but touched with a solemn emotive mood, this is like fighting with tears in your eyes.
The Young - Bird In The Bush
8. Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?
Simply this years most beautiful album. The Cleveland trio really have captured something timeless in Does It Look Like I'm Here? With its delicate variations of mood and intensity each track seems to build its own momentum. Something I'm sure this album's reputation will do also, building momentum to be regarded as a modern classic.
Emeralds - Double Helix
7. Drum Eyes - Gira Gira
If there is one album this year that relentlessly pushes the totally insane card, then Drum Eyes' Gira Gira has to be it. Brooding, maximalist sonic expressions of the most warped minds. One minute sci-fi futurisms, the next driving trash insanity. A scarily fun riot of epic soundscapes.
Drum Eyes - 13 Magician
6. My Disco - Little Joy
My Disco is yet another band from Australia I wouldn't have found without Brendan's guidance. Criminally overlooked this year, Little Joy is the Melbourne trio's third LP. Pounding but calm, it is a work of rhythmic subtlety and relentless drive.
My Disco - Sunray
5. Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
Right from the start Brendan has been telling me that My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky is one of the albums of the year, and just like the 13 year long road its taken Swans to reach this point, it took me a little while to see the true genius of this album. More approachable than the Swans' earlier brutal work but no less uncompromising. Swans with humanity and beauty? Maybe. Epic? Yes.
Swans - You Fucking People Make Me Sick
4. Liars - Sisterworld
Even with its early release Sisterworld was always going to be up there for Sonic Masala. The fifth Liars album is relentlessly tense, full of surreal imagery and anxiety. Strangely it didn't make the impact on the year we thought it would, but for us its the Liars at their most contagious.
Liars - Scissor
3. Zach Hill - Face Tat
Zach Hill is a sticksmith genius, that can't be denied. But Face Tat, his second full solo LP, underlines his credentials as a truly innovative musician. Astrological Straits was truly a bizarre and mesmerizing album, but Face Tat really takes Zach's solo work to a new level with the ferocious style with which he assaults his drums underpinning it all. Intense, deceptive, challenging, Face Tat sounds disorienting and alien at first, thanks partly to Hill's bizarre sound sources - but the more you delve into this 40 minute frenzy the more you are rewarded.
Zach Hill - Memo to the Man
2. Rangda - False Flag
Super groups are a strange thing. Whilst the depth of talent that makes up the Rangda trio is eye wateringly impressive - guitarists Sir Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls) and Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) and drummer Chris Corsano - it can be hard for the end result to be greater than the sum of the parts. However, Rangda's False Flag so is. An uncompromising beast of a record, it is simultaneously brutal and dynamic, subtle and beautiful. Rangda landed and took our breath away.
Rangda - Serrated Edges
1. Women - Public Strain
So here it is, the Sonic Masala best LP of 2010. Surprised? Maybe, but its not a compromise. In fact we really didn't want our end of year first to be just what we agreed upon, this choice has got conviction behind it. Some may have dismissed this album at first listen. In fact I almost did, such was my love of Woman's self titled debut. But give Public Strain repeated listens and its infectious off key claws and howls work their way into your soul. We're not calling Public Strain a grower - oh no, it much more deadly than that.
At first Public Strain's sunny rhythms might come to the fore, but as the drone driven aesthetics build from behind the scenes it becomes a different beast, sweet but sour, bleak but beautiful, crisp but soaked in reverb. Those chirpy tempos hiding its dark noise underbelly waiting to leak into your consciousness. With Women's first outing pop sweetness was kept separate from dark drone noise, but here Women have spawned something of frightening beauty. Public Strain is Sonic Masala's record of the year and its been quality gaining ground since August - now we can't let it go.
Woman - Drag Open
So there you have it, we left the list late so we knew we had everything. There's nothing more annoying than an end of list that drops in early November, we're the polar opposite. So what do you think? Have we missed anything? Is there a gem you'd push to the top? Let us know.
1. Ensemble Econmique - Psychical
I'm sure all end of year lists seem to have a LPs that sneak in at in the last few months and Ensemble Econmique fills that role in mine. A dark slab of future fucked utopia. When I first posted about Psychical I compared it a dark, more twisted, Vangelis inspired ,soundtrack for Blade Runner 2. Its moved on a bit from that lazy comparison to reach new dense haunted depths. Doom drone I've lapped up in the final few months of a fucked up year.
2. Ma Ami - Steal Your Face
Mi Ami's previous long playing outing Water Sports was massive favourite of mine last year so I came to Steal Your Face with big expections, and the Californian trio delivered in a riot of fast passed snaring fury, funk and tribal rhythms. Delicate and savage at the same an album that can shock and humble in equal measure, and I finally got to see Mi Ami live this year too, winner.
Falling for for this playful wash of noise was inevitable. I've been a keen follower of Cloudland Canyon ever since Silver Tongue Sisyphus, but with this years LP the band showed a lightness of touch to their drone and noise asthetic, shimmering depth and weight that seems to float just like a cloud. I'm sure it's been massively over looked for the touch bliss it really is.
People Of The North is the side project of Oneida members KidMillions, Fat Bobby and Showtime. I've always had thing for Oneida and their relentless throbbing rhythms, sure Deep Tissue isn't as expansive and conceptually bold as Oneida's releases (what is?) but the similarities are there. Deep Tissue covers familiar ground, its a step into indulgent unfinished business, an personal experiment shown to the world in all its raw, untouched beauty, same themes but left naked and stark.
You got to love the Thee Oh Sees, well ok you don't but spend 30 seconds in the company of John Dwyer and friends cranking it out live and you will. Some LPs sick because the impact the band makes live. I might be guilty of that with Warm Slime but I think its the closest Thee Oh Sees have come to capturing their live energy on wax, and for that its a near perfect slice of garage punk swagger and bravado.
If one album has popped up a lot on end of year lists then it's Caribou's Swim, a record I believe was on the cards ever since the track Brahminy Kite from The Milk of Human Kindness, a track that seemed, to me at least, to shape Andorra and naturally evolve to the pop perfection that is Swim. And that's what Daniel Snaith has created in Swim, a perfect pop album that will surly catapult Caribou into the mainstream. For me its the tracks like Leave House and Found Out that show the true quality of this album that and the fact that Carbiou still present a formidable and mesmerising live unit. I just hope it says that way.
This might of been the west coast psych-dub outfits last LP outing, it might of even been a touch less edgy than previous efforts but it was one of Pocahaunted's best, more straight punk-funk & psych garage inspired than before, the duo went out with a swagger to their ghostly tribalisms, a parting voodoo party.
Of all the girl fronted, doo-wop influence, vocal harmony soaked, all girl groups that graced us with LP this year Grass Widow's debut was the best. Better wonky harmonising, better cheeky time changes all left refreshingly garage fuzz free.
10. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
Thursday 23 December 2010
I only heard this a month ago, but have not been able to put it to bed. This is guitar collage by a consummate professional (1/3 of the inimitable Emeralds), but with an inherent personal narrative that is more emotive than almost anything you'll come across. Mindblowing.
2. Ceremony - Rohnert Park
This album upset a lot of the hardcore purists that had been swept up by the bloodlust that was Ceremony's initial propulsive drive. Yet its the melodic change of gear and emphasis on early twenties ennui that underpins this album - Ceremony may be in 'The Doldrums', exhibiting lo-fi stargazing with the best of em, but unlike the likes of Beach Fossils et al (many of which are great), these guys will still tear you a new arsehole.
3. Puffy Areolas - In The Army 1981
Puerile, nihilistic trash, screaming and buzzsawing their way through an obnoxious forty minutes that you can never get back, Puffy Areolas are unabashedly bashing their head repeatedly against a wall, whilst holding you in a headlock. And it may take a while, but rest assured you'll have a bloodied grin smeared across your face. A lot of bands (some even from the same Siltbreeze stable) tried for reckless wanton abandon, but none did it like Puffy Areolas.
4. Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts
This album is still up there for me even though it was on relentless rotation early in the year, and was an almost there contender for Sonic Masala's definitive top ten. In some ways I could alternate this album with Harlem's Hippies - both exuded that bright, snotty, scuzzy garage punk with pop sensibilities emblazoned across their chests. But I came to the Dalston trio's brand of sound first, therefore it wins the kudos here. Still incredibly addictive - pretty much my 2010 dance album, albeit drunken and inevitably staining the carpet with red wine and cigarette burns.
5. Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra - Kollaps Tradixionales
We all need a guilty pleasure... I know a lot of people hate Efrin Menuck's voice, and the G!YBE reunion certainly has overshadowed things, but Kollaps Tradixionales is here, not just because it is an impressive, audacious, sprawling, memsmeric listen, but because of their amazing live show in February at Electric Ballroom, and for the epic opening track 'There Is A Light'. And I like Ramirez's voice, so fuck you.
6. Heirs - Fowl
I wanted to put Helms Alee's Night Terror here, but seeing as it is a 2009 release, that cant be done. Instead I bring you Heirs, a hard post-metal outfit from Melbourne that managed on Fowl to squeeze every iota of emotion out of the blackest riffs this side of death metal without resorting to guttural growls, yelps and the gnashing of teeth - which is why I love this genre. Furthermore, it has balls. Big, big balls. They played the tiniest of venues in Camden this year and I saw a man spontaneously combust. FACT. (NB - facts may not be factual).
7. Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Rush To Relax
Another Aussie outfit, but one you might be more familiar with - ECSR's 3rd LP has been largely overlooked almost everywhere, which is a travesty. I know that the release of the first two albums (Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Primary Colours) only came here last year, but its a shame that this garage juggernaut missed the target. They are terse yet fun, brooding yet energetic, manic yet throwaway - and their simple chugging sonics coupled with lead Brendan Suppression's iconic Aussie bark/drawl makes for a unique and amazing sound. They have toured with Pissed Jeans of recent times - expect for more bite next time around.
8. Merchandise - (Strange Songs) In The Dark
Another band I only came to last month - the exact same day as Mark McGuire - this Florida act have put out an amazing EP and a bunch of demos and such (Gone Are The Silk Gardens Of Youth), but the album is something so much more. The loudest, most feedback riddled, brooding pop songs ever. One of the most breathtaking albums of 2010 in my opinion - underneath all that white noise and dissonance is abject beauty.
9. Sex Church - 6 Songs By...
These guys were all the rage in the middle months of 2010, then the hype seemed to die away. Shame really, cos Sex Church (not to be confused with another amazing band, Megachurch, who just miss the cut here) are producing some of the most exciting garage rock right now. When bands such as Tyvek and Sic Alps are all jostling each other for obvious reasons, Sex Church came along and quietly drank everyone under the table and slept with all their girlfriends. And they are from British Columbia. Shit.
10. Tjutjana - Tjutjana
The biggest surprise of the year I reckon, as this is actually a release sent to me by the band themselves. Hailing from Denver Colorado, Tjutjana are relentless in their pursuit of the Dark Side of psych rock. And whilst there were some great psych records out this year, Tjutjana brought forth a fresh, albeit disturbing, take, and blew away the competition.
I feel I've left out some other stellar releases too, so here's a few others that have gotten serious airplay this year.
The Austerity Program - Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn (my fave EP of year)
Forest Swords - Dagger Paths
The Black Angels - Phosphene Dream
Weekend - Sports
Besnard Lakes - ...Are The Roaring Night
PVT - Church With No Magic
And I better stop there before I get carried away!
Wednesday 22 December 2010
OK, so we have seen a hell of a lot of gigs this year, so much so that it has been hard to keep track! So over a couple of Doom Bars on Sunday we tried to nut it all out, and still managed to miss a couple (ah...Mono?!?!?). Anyway, with our collective hazy memories somewhat in check, here are our favourite shows that blew us away. Again, there are more than ten here - no need in splitting hairs really. And whilst still not in a rigid order, the top few were the highlights amongst the highlights...
Women (Cargo/The Social)
TuNe-YaRdS/Trash Kit (Cargo)
Sonic Masala has one rule when it comes gig going... NEVER MISS THE SUPPORT BANDS! You never know what fledgling genius you might stumble upon.
This year we've been privileged to witness some great gigs, something Brendan has rounded up, but a blog like this wouldn't exist without the bands that prop up the big name at the top of the bill. We've discovered many gems doing the hard graft in a supporting role this year, sometimes by accident, sometimes by design and sometimes we've gone just to see the support band in the first place (of course we hung around after). In many cases the support band in question has shone just as brightly, and sometimes outshone their soundcheck-indulged, rider-demanding, bill-topping peers. In truth though many gigs are so well thought out (thanks Upset The Rhythm) that they don't really have a pecking order. In these cases you go to see one band and leave with two or three new faves, everyone is a winner.
So below in no particular order is a list of bands that have rocked up in a supporting slot this year and blown us away. In places it shows just how far some of them have come, in others its a glimpse of the treats that 2011 many hold in store.
No set of posts about Not Not Fun would be complete with out mentioning their Bored Fortress 7" club, thus picking out a couple of the many gems that make up this year's selection.
The Bored Fortress 7" Club, now in its fourth year, is a series of split 7" featuring some of NNF fave bands, such as Wet Hair, Sex Worker, Ducktails, Rangers, Infinite Body, Psychic Reality, No Age, Gnod and Robedoor, all married together with NNF fave visual artists, this year including Cody De Franco, Julien Langendorff, Carlos Gonzalez plus many more. The packaging is a big part of it, along with the limited releases and lucky dip nature of the club. The club runs from August to December, a precious 7" dropping every other month. This is really a 7" club at its best taking all out visually and sonically.
As you've probably noticed the club has finished but you can still pick up these gems on a individual basis from NNF and other places. One choice pick for me from this year's club was the Gnod and Robedoor split - both normally expansive bands from either side of the pond are forced by 7"s of wax to form tightly bound knots form the psych depths. Gnod's 'A Very Special Request' slowly plummets to the darkest regions whilst Robedoor's 'Solid State' descending into a hard psych meltdown.
No Age and the Infinite Body's 7" is another highlight. Two bands you might not naturally sit together but some how Bored Fortress has created a match made in heaven, No Age reeling back to their instrumental noise origins with 'Wintry Kk' and Infinite Body picking up from this year's LP, Carve Out the Face of My God, offering soft snow noise sweeping all before it with 'Between You Can Crawl Like This Is The End'. And don't get me started on the Sex Worker / Psychic Reality split, not to mention the Rangers/Ducktails spar off...
I could go on forever about these six slices of 7" awesomeness, a testament to the genius work of Not Not Fun in one top tip bundle. Of course my posts have only scratched the surface of all that NNF has to offer, hopefully they've convinced you delve deeper into their delights. Have a taste and support their sterling work here.
Infinite Body - Between You Can Crawl Like This Is The End
Gnod - A Very Special Request
So the duty of Sonic Masala's second 'best of' list falls to me, and its late. No change there. As the title points out I've got the daunting task of picking out our fave EPs for 2010 and there are a hell of a lot to pick from. Now as we all know EP stands for extended play - no shit Sherlock - and as such a format extended play seems to have stretched its criteria somewhat. There really seems so to be no set rules these days about what is an EP and what's not, from the number of songs to the size or even type of format, is all up for grabs. So our list below has taken some liberties, after all isn't a mini album or a limited 10" an extended play?
So with this in mind, and so much awesomeness to choose from, the list below was really rather tough to put together, I'm sure I'll have committed some heinous crimes and omitted some real gems, if so please comment and correct. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here's the EPs and other extended plays that have got SM all worked up into an extended frenzy this year...
LA Vampires and Zola Jesus - LA Vampires meets Zola Jesus
Double Dagger - Masks
Not Cool - Rugged Raw
Gum Takes Tooth - 5" floppy disk demo
Factory Floor - Untitled
Forest Swords - Dagger Paths
Pop. 1280 - The Grid
Zola Jesus - Stridulum
Running - Running
Islet - Celebrate This Place
When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth - Peaced
Zorch - Zut Alore!
The Austerity Program - Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn
I know some bands try to come up with names that don't go down well with Google, but Sex Worker really does push it.
Sex Worker is Daniel Martin-McCormick of Mi Ami fame slinging out his own personal twisted trancefloor project, pushing new directions in distorted, echo and noise drenched, dark disco. Sex Worker dropped a new LP, Waving Goodbye, out on NNF, a few months back and its a sharp move on from the echo flooded screaming landscapes that made up last years LP The Labour of Love. Waving Goodbye flexes a different, slicker, electro aesthetic, twisted together with experimental soundscapes of playful noise and distortion, each of the five tracks taking a different journey into unexplored territory. This is the kind of LP that takes the familiar - it even featuring a cover of The Rhythm Of The Night - and twists it in ways that even the most experimental music devotee will find surprising. You may be thinking that noise and disco are unlikely bedfellows but the offspring could only come from Sex Worker.
Unfortunately Not Not Fun has sold out of the 12" of Waving Goodbye, but I'm sure there must be copies out there somewhere, its worth tracking down. Taste below.
Sex Worker - Tough Love
Go back two weeks and work rudely interrupted my week of posts relating to everyone's favourite west coast noise label, Not Not Fun. Well its unfinished business, the posts I managed to get out only scratched the surface, so here's an effort to wrap the Not Not Fun posts up.
The Deep are a beat/electro/noise duo based out of Toronto. Their first release, the Life Light cassette, dropped back in early December on NNF. Life Light is six tracks of soaring sugar perfect vocals lushly draped by minimal, twisted electro bass loops. Theres been plenty of examples of this perfect female vocal married to a dark tonal underbelly around Not Not Fun 's releases and influences recently - I'm thinking LA Vampires and Zola Jesus here - but The Deeep's work takes this flavour to new beautiful plains. The vocals of Isla Craig are frankly angelically stunning, and juxtaposed against Wolfgang Nessel’s sparse bass rhythms they stand out even more, creating something darker, deeper and more intriguing, like a single bloom floating in a stark wasteland. If Life Light is just their first outing, 2011 holds bags of promise for The Deeep.
The Deeep - Mudd
The Deeep's Life Light cassette is available from Not Not Fun here and the duo will release a 12" of Muddy Tracks as an extended version of the 'Mudd' track on NNF's new sister label 100% Silk, here. Taster vid below...
THE DEEEP - MUDDY TRACKS TEASER from 100% Silk on Vimeo.
Tuesday 21 December 2010
SEX BEET's TOP TEN BITS OF 2010 (written by Luke)
1) 4 LOCO
We were lucky enough to record in NYC before they made 4 Loco illegal. It's basically a really disgusting energy drink, that's also highly alcoholic. Some kids died from it or something, then CNN called it "liquid cocaine," so I think it's been banned now which is a shame.
2) COLDRICE HALLOWEEN PARTY
In Birmingham there's a really great record label/promoter called ColdRice. We played at their halloween party in their warehouse space this year, and it was fucking awesome. Everyone was wasted, the dress code was based on the Warriors movie, and it ended at around 8AM, with about 174 people dressed as 70's gang members sharing one bed.
3) A WIDE RANGE OF BURRITOS
2010 has been the year of the burrito. We've travelled around quite a bit this year, supposedly to play music, but we've been more focused on hunting down the best mexican food. So far the winner is the chicken burrito from the Taco Truck Endless Summer in Brooklyn. Ask for the hot sauce though while Matie's making it.
4) BLACKBERRY BOLD 9700s.
Me and Tom love nothing more than "taking care of business," and that's never been easier since we upgraded to this hot little number. Fuck your iPhone.
5) SWIMMING WITH HUNX & HIS PUNX
We played Garage Fest in Kansas, back in September. The whole weekend was a beautiful mess, but one of the definite highlights was trying to resist Hunx's sexual advances in the hotel swimming pool.
6) TOURING WITH JERRY TROPICANO
We've done bits of touring throughout the year with bands like The Strange Boys and Best Coast, which is pretty awesome, but nothing can beat being on the road with our BFF, Jerry Tropicano. He drives us when we're in Europe, and he's just started his own musical project. According to the NME, he's gonna be HUGE in April 2011, keep your eyes peeled.
7) SWEDISH HOMOS
We played a small festival thing in Stockholm this summer. On our first day we were walking around the city, trying to work out why the fuck there were so many leather-clad men doing poppers in the street. It turned out it was Gay Pride day. We all dig chicks, but still had a great day, and got some cool photos of the "Scandinavian Leather Men" bus. Another bonus was getting to hear SO many remixes of "YMCA."
8) PARIS A FEW NIGHTS AGO
We're on tour right now in Europe. Our first show was last Saturday, at a place called Le Buzz. It was our first headline show for a couple of months, so it was really cool to see people going FUCKING INSANE while we played, rather than turning to their boring girlfriend of 7 years, being all like "what is this dreadful racket, lets go get sushi before Best Coast go on."
9) MADE UP SEXUAL POSITIONS
"Reverse Dutch-Steamboat." - ????????
"Alien vs. Predator" - You get to be Michael Jackson fucking E.T.
"The Rick James" - SLAP, The milk's gone BAD.
10) BEETS & BABIES
The best show we've been to this year was in Williamsburg, a few weeks ago. Two of our favourite bands played, The Beets and The Babies. The whiskey was super cheap and it was packed full of the hottest girls, which is a great combination. I'm not a huge Vivian Girls fan, but The Babies are fucking AWESOME. They're on tour early 2011, everybody should go see them.
Some hot tips there to be sure! And this is another exciting post as Sex Beet are the recipients of one of our best hit posts - see here - well done guys! Well, as long as you get back on the road and home in one piece...
Sex Beet - Sugar Water
While Brendan has been going great guns on the list spectacular that is SM at the end of the year, you may have noticed (or not) that my posts have been somewhat lacking for the last couple of weeks. Well instead of tapping my keyboard late into the night writing posts, I've been chained to my desk at work till the small hours. I guess you could say that this has meant I'm not really in blog-style Christmas spirit yet, I might even have a grump on. But mental amounts work I can handle; too busy to post I can live with (just); but the one thing I hate this time of year is the music - I hate Christmas songs.
Now don't get me wrong I dig the rest of Christmas, and some Xmas themed songs do hit the spot. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's Fairytale of New York has got to be the best festive song out there and maybe I could give time to The Waitresses' Christmas Wrapping. I can't knock Do they Know its Christmas? either. But the twee Christmas shaped dirge out really does do my head in. You know the sort, the I'm dreaming of a White Christmas, big band crooner type, the Disneyesque twee shit that seems to pour out of every tiny shop speaker system from early November onwards. Maybe I'm just bitter, maybe 'cos our otherwise quality work stereo reverts to playing 'Christmas turd' the moment December drops, I can't escape it.
This is not saying that alternative bands don't go in for the novelty xmas track, I don't mind them as such, but they're always done with a healthy dose of tongue in cheek attitude, like you'll never take them seriously. That has to be a good thing - take note Cold Play, wtf?
So with my Scrouge hat well and truly on I give you a late Christmas cover up, one that fits my Xmas song out ook, its the great Sonic Youth covering Martin Mull's Santa Doesn't Cop Out On Dope. The way Christmas songs should be...
Sonic Youth - Santa Doesn't Cop Out On Dope (Martin Mull cover)
p.s Merry Christmas from Sonic Masala by the way.
Monday 20 December 2010
Sunday 19 December 2010
First up - Thank You Mr Keating comes from Connecticut, and is prepping his release of The Baxter Special. He has set up a site devoted to it - check it out here. The narrative claims to be one of trickery, technology, greed and betrayal, with one character being called Buffalo Bill Hickens - its very James Bondian and silly fun. I couldnt work out how serious this all was... The music is very good though - slipping from 90s indie rock to the newer, Japandroids-esque version on the genre, especially 'A Change Of The Plan'.
Thank You Mr Keating - A Change Of The Plan
Kohwi is the solo project of the drummer from a band called Mellows (check out Mellows here - they are pretty rad) - and Hidden Trees is his new release through funky label Wonder Beard Tapes. Its an electroacoustic clusterbomb of eccentric ambience, and makes for an interesting listen. He bears more than a little in common with that other warped alchemist Mickey Mickey Rourke -the schizophrenia that can see a beautiful track like 'rem' sandwiched between Animal Collective shadower 'Hobbies' and the looped mania of 'Play With Me' - although its all a little clearer on the production values. Great cover art too. Only 80 copies of this though, with shipping out mid January, so get crack-a-lackin...
Kohwi - Hobbies (Ft Mutual Benefit)
Now this is a tasty release. Spoken word artist Matt Finney has combined with Ukrainian dark arts composer Heinali to create Conjoined, an amazing pastiche of drone, post rock and shoegaze with a hauntinmg overture that reminds me of Godspeed You Black Emperor's 'The Dead Flag Blues', or even Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada. Its much darker than this of course, with clear tips of the hat to Nadja and Trent Reznor, and its dedicated to Kris Anglyus of The Angelic Process. These guys have never met in person either! Its quite amazing actually, ending in the shower of squall that is 'The Sun Will Rise Yet We Wont Be Here'. Get it here.
Heinali and Matt Finney - Conjoined
Finally, we have Feu Machin, a Parisian psychedelic noise act that are releasing debut EP Huehueteotl (Orbe Records), which is said to be inspired by all that is elemental, from wild reign of telluric and cosmic forces. There is something organic in the way these tracks meander along, create a fibrous spiderweb of interlaid sounds that can suddenly shatter in a gust of icy force of noise. They are making some noise outside of France too, having recently toured the US and supported Deacon (Animal Collective). You can pick up the EP from Collectif Tralala.
Halves - Blood Branches
Halves - Mountain Bell
Saturday 18 December 2010
Grinderman 2 is out now.
Friday 17 December 2010
Thursday 16 December 2010
Kong - Top ten of everything ever.
BURRITOS - This is just the perfect meal - meat , veg, rice , beans ,cheese and hot sauce all wrapped up and ready to gobble. No need for plates and forks and shit. They are like the predecessor to the protein pill.
JACK DANIELS & MILK - I like to smash a bottle every day on tour whether I need it or not but you gotta line your stomach with a pint of milk first or you will shit blood for a month.
I used to drink it with coke but the middle of my nose fell out.
BLOW JOBS - Bj's are cool cause they ain't considered cheating if you got a girlfriend and if you're drunk and close your eyes you can get your sweet little merch guy to do it for an extra fiver on his PD's.
DR MARTENS - This line of footwear is amazing, you can wear em to work at the office during the day then go out and kick the living shit outta someone in the evening, just remember to spit n rub the blood off in the morning , I got cherry reds cause Im dopey.
PADDED SOLE SOCKS - I got sent a box of these recently and they are the best things ever, they make your shitty plimsolls feel amazing and they absorb twice the amount of cum.
CHAT ROULETTE - Me and Lulu spent around 3 days straight on CR .... I think they should change the name of the site to cockcomparison.com ...it took the 3 days to see just 1 human taco!
ANALOGUE AFRICA - This is my new favourite record label , I love everything they are putting out ...I think their catalogue stops around the mid seventies but thats pretty much where my taste stops.
SCOUCE WOMEN - There is something about those girls from Liverpool ! I love going there, it's like going back to the 80's , side pony tails, global Hypercolour and Reebok Pump . They may spit Macdonald's milkshake all over you when they omit that white noise voice but I like women as rough as toast and reeking of vanilla Impulse.
DAVID LIEBE HART - This crazy mother fucker makes me shit my pants , he is pretty much the funniest man alive and I don't think he knows it .
VHS - Fuck Bluray! I dont care about counting the pubes hanging out of some porners riggot and I can pick up 200 videos for the price of Rambo on DVD. As a kid there was a video van that went round the streets pulling up and renting movies to lazy unemployed fat people - my car is pretty much that van now .
Kong will start 2011 with a bang, touring Japan with 65daysofstatic. If you dont catch them when they get back, you're dumb and we dont know you.
Kong - Count To Nine (ft Matt Caughthran - The Bronx)
Wednesday 15 December 2010
Best gigs at the Luminaire in 2010:
Dum Dum Girls
Pokey La Farge
Im gutted that I didnt get to see Dick Dale, Warpaint or especially Rangda (how did I miss this one?>!?!?), but can attest to the brilliance of the Part Chimp show, where they were more than ably supported by Sloath and Gum Takes Tooth (after Todd sadly pulled out). Make sure you get to some of the last ever gigs at this brilliant arena before they shut their doors on a self-made legacy...
Xiu Xiu - Bishop, CA
Dick Dale - Hava Nagila
Warpaint - Set Your Arms Down
Dum Dum Girls - Bhang Bhang, Im A Burnout
Part Chimp - 30 Billion People
Pokey La Farge - (couldnt find any tracks, sorry!)
Jonathan Richman - Road Runner
Hanggai - My Banjo And I
Rangda - Serrated Edge
Tuesday 14 December 2010
2. Rediscovering Weezer's Pinkerton
3. Discovering Slint's Spiderland
4. Rediscovering Arcade Fire's 'Broken Window' (from Keep The Car Running 7")
5. Discovering Cocteau Twin's Heaven or Las Vegas
5 albums I never stopped listening to:
2. Burial - Untrue
3. The Chameleons - What Does Anything Mean? Basically...
4. The Cure - Wish
5. Grouper - Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill