Experimental New York band Battles have conspired to release their third full length release. The new album will be their first since the departure of Tyondai Braxton last year.
To make up for it, the album features several special guest appearances; Matias Aguayo, Kazu Makino, Yamantaka Eye and best of all, Gary Numan. Catch up on the recent interview they did with Pitchfork here.
The new LP, entitled ‘Gloss Drop’, comes out on 6 June. To tide you over until then, download Four Tet’s remix of ‘Tonto’, the original being taken from 2007′s ‘Mirrored’.
Download: Battles – Tonto (Four Tet Remix)
Post Rock luminaries Mogwai are set to release their seventh full-length LP on the legendary Sub Pop. The new LP, entitled ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’, features the single ‘Rano Pano’ which is available for free download on Sub Pop’s website, for the princely sum of your e-mail address.
A 7″ of the single will be available January 18th. Go here to download the track and look at the artwork and tracklist.
Wow. Well, it’s been pretty hectic of late – thus the sporadic updates – but it’s given me some time to think about the direction of this blog. As far as dance/club music goes, I suspect my coverage will wind down if UK Funky takes over.
I’m going to keep covering dubstep and bassline for as long as it keeps going but I’ve been trying to cast my net wider, looking to more introspective and experimental music to write about. Interestingly – and encouragingly – the best stuff seems to be local.
Basically, an interesting thing seems to be happening, at least here in Newcastle: Club music seems to be on the decline; while folk, shoegazer and post-rock are making a return. I went to The Cluny here in Newcastle for the Blank Promotions first birthday last week. Sadly my hippy timekeeping got the better of me and I was rather late. BUT, I did manage to check out a few bands that are really looking promising.
They’re a great local band who seem to be spearheading the local scene at the moment with their own take on shoegazer and post-rock with bits of noise and whatnot thrown in for good measure. I know I’ve already written about these chaps before, but just to drum it in I thought I’d tell you again. And because you don’t fucking listen.
Her Name Is Calla
They headlined the birthday party with a really intense blend of classical, post rock, folk and shoegazer and rolled up into a really cohesive package. And for a band whose music could hardly be described as “showy”, they commanded the stage well despite a few technical difficulties.
Unfortunately, I missed their set but checked out their MySpace later on. It’s so refreshing and exciting to find an electronic artist who’s doing something different! It kind of reminds me of old Squarepusher without the needless abrasion and some soulful vocals for good measure. It’s just great to see someone making music for the sheer fuck of it, rather than to simply making a “club banger”.
I don’t have any mp3s to offer y’all but if you look back at the Sona Di review I did a while back there’s an mp3 of the tune Forest for you to download. Also, they have lots of songs to stream on their myspaces.
Winter North Atlantic are playing a gig tomorrow night at The Cumberland Arms. At £4 in it’s an absolute steal and if you like your music warm and snuggly then head on down. The line up includes WNA, Keser and Dextro.
I’m told all three bands will bring their own particular brand of acoustic instrumentation coupled with layered electronics and a lot of technical jiggery-pokery. All in all if you like Mogwai and Boards Of Canada, you’ll have a really shwicked time.
Judging from the Facebook page for the event it’ll be like the glory days of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, which is nice.
Four Tet‘s fifth album was always going to struggle to follow 2005′s ‘Everything Ecstatic’. In the end, it looks as though he’s produced a surprisingly solid release. Whether it consistently meets those demands is not always so easy to argue.
Hebden first began his music-making journey in 1997 with the post-rock/electronica band Fridge. Around 2001 the group informally parted ways, allowing Adam Ilhan and Sam Jeffers to attend college while Hebden focused on his own solo material. With his fourth album, ‘Everything Ecstatic’, everything exploded for him as his music began appearing in adverts and even Quantum Of Solice – not that anyone actually saw that film.
And he has the Radiohead seal of approval, having remixed ‘Scatterbrain’ from ‘Hail To The Thief’ ad supporting them on their 2003 European tour. Since then, his collaboration with Burial opened dubstep fans up to the possibilities of life after bass, whilst earning him an infinite number of cool points.
Tracks like ‘Love Cry’ blend the percussion-based melodies of his earlier work with the dark, techy melodies of ‘Everything Ecstatic’ to create a truly introspective release that flirts with everything from folk to techno to italo without becoming derivative. What’s impressive is this blending of sounds and styles never detract from his own signature glitchy sound. His music is so removed from what is going on in the mainstream that it retains relevance and uniqueness across the years.
Unfortunately, Hebden only touches on the brilliance that went before, struggling to balance technical prowess with palatable melodies. Some tracks like ‘Plastic People’ manage it perfectly, but others get swallowed up by the skippy, glitches he puts in for almost no reason at all. Despite that, however, it is still a solid album and much better than ‘Dialogue’. If you’re expecting an improvement on ‘Everything Ecstatic’, then keep looking. Otherwise, tuck in and try to listen to this on its own merits, rather than in relation to its predecessor.
Stand out tracks: Love Cry, Plastic People, This Unfolds
Download: Four Tet – Love Cry (Joy Orbison Remix)
Title: There Is Love In You (wig254)
Artist: Four Tet
Out now on Domino
Recently I haven’t listened to a great deal of post-rock, it all started to sound boring, depressing and monotonous; Explosions In The Sky were starting to repeat themselves and Godspeed have pretty much collapsed as an entity. How refreshing, then, to find a post-rock band that doesn’t preoccupy itself with playing the same dull guitar riff over and over again until the end of time – step forward, Sona Di.
Last night I was privy to a spleen-blowing gig at the Head Of Steam up here in sunny Newcastle, Sona Di were the opening act but nothing separated any of three bands. What made it an exceptional gig was the way in which every act complemented each other perfectly.
What sets them apart from, say, Explosions In The Sky is the passion in their performance and the fusion of other styles like drone and noise into a style of post-rock that peaks and falls with far more tension than their contemporaries.
I do like Explosions In The Sky but their performance when I saw them at the Sage was turgid, with very little progression. Sona Di, on the other hand, seemed to have planned their set perfectly, climaxing as it did with the literal disintegration of the stage.
As their set reached its zenith, so did their exertion: Angus Mason, the drummer, beat that drumkit so hard it shook throughout and collapsed right at the end as their driving beat crescendoed; Daniel Irving, the guitarist, rose from his seat at the same point and played with such ferocity that he too nearly collapsed. That with the intensity of Michael Marwood’s vocals made for a truly impassioned performance.
Now look down for some (two) Sona Di goodies: a video of the performing live at The Musical Restaurant last year plus a free mp3 of my personal favourite Sona Di tune to indulge yourself in. Enjoy!
Download: Sona Di – Forest