Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mixtape, sir?

Guess who's back?


  1. LCD Soundsystem - Freak Out/Starry Eyes (Proof, if it were needed, that James Murphy & co. can do no wrong, this excellent, percussive, two-part disco jam was passed off as a b-side. Check the drum solo intermission for added freaky vibes.)
  2. Tracey Thorn - Raise The Roof (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Re-animation) (Easily one of the year's best remixes so far, BTWS rewire the chirpy ambient pop of the original in a discoid style with lush, slyly insistent synths and that certain rustic charm that Alkan and Norris give all their makeovers.)
  3. Matthew Dear - Elementary Lover (feat. Mobius Band) (Winningly odd afro-pop from this year's renaissance man, Dear. Distills Talking Heads circa Remain In Light, TV On The Radio and King Sunny Ade in one small, perfectly-formed package.)
  4. The Honeymoon Killers - Histoire A Suivre (High-tensile but strangely floaty, thanks to Yvon Vromman's sweet vocals, new wave from the forgotten Belgians, currently undergoing somewhat of a rebirth following their appearance on Prins Thomas' Cosmo Galactic Prism. Not with this track though, 'Histoire A Suivre' was their first single and takes cues from the likes of Gang Of Four, The Slits and Contortions but with a Blondie-esque pop sensibility.)
  5. Talking Heads - Making Flippy Floppy (From Talking Heads' last great album, Speaking In Tongues, 'Making Flippy Floppy' is the sound of a great art-rock group playing at being a pop band and it's as thrillingly fractured and strange as the band's pop forays ever got. Forget 'Road To Nowhere', this is the one that should have been massive.)
  6. New Young Pony Club - Hiding On The Staircase (After showing so much promise, NYPC's debut album, Fantastic Playroom is a bit of a letdown, but the chicken-scratch guitars and reggae-lite beat work together so well with the semi-dispassionate vocal from Tahita Bulmer here to hint that they might still have greatness in them.
  7. The Tough Alliance - New Chance (I can't get a handle on whether TTA are just having a big old laugh at our expense. That doesn't matter for shit though when songs like this one and pretty much every other on their new album are as imperviously effervescent and summery. There's something sinister going on under that good time facade though.)
  8. YACHT - Platinum (feat. Bobby Birdman) (This sounds like a mini-pops version of LCD's 'Get Innocuous' (Murphy is an admirer too, apparently), but the pay-off comes around a lot quicker with this one, making it an instantly gratifying little mover. It's also just as addictive.)
  9. Shahrokh.SoundOfK - Chicago (An undiluted sugar-rush of sample-heavy tech-house from Compost Records' latest Black Label release. A promising start from the future stars.)
  10. Kelley Polar - Rosenband (Magic Tim's Instrumental Version) (Magic Tim (Who he?) strips the original of all vocals apart from some breathy bits, allowing the impressive sonic layering to come to the fore. Can't wait for Polar's new album later in the year.)
  11. Lindstrom & Solale - Let's Practise (Dub Version) (In which the slo-mo Italo blinder gets slowed to an even drowsier crawl and heaps of echoey effects dumped atop the groove. Elegantly wasted.)
  12. Matias Aguayo - New Life (I've recently gone back to Aguayo's 2005 release, Are You Really Lost and it's better than I remember it to be. Interesting to note how many other producers around seem to be following his lead these days too. Both the recent Kalabrese and Matthew Dear albums seem to act as distant cousins of that record, which means it should be interesting to hear what Aguayo releases next. What we need more of is sleazy techno.)
  13. Solomun & Stimming - Feuervogel (One of the biggest techno tunes of the year, this one probably owes more to deep house as it does to minimal with those fat synth stabs and the chiming melodics. Whatever it is, it ticks all the boxes and pushes all the buttons in such a pleasing manner that genre definitions fly out of the window.)
Yer Mam!'s Big Summer Mixtape Blowout! Volume Two, all ripped, zipped up and mediafired

In other news: Read my review of that there Prins Thomas mix CD that I keep banging on about over at High Voltage.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sod's law.

Wouldn't you just know it! I get all these mixtapes done for you lot and some scallies set fire to an exchange box near my house, resulting in me not having either an internet connection or a working landline. Christ knows when I'll be back on (could be up to nine days apparently), but hopefully it won't be too long.



Labels: , ,

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mixtape, Sir?

Right, it's time for the first of those mixtapes I promised you. I'm experimenting with file-hosters, so today's is up on Mediafire. Let me know if you have any problems with it.


  1. Theo Parrish - Second Chances (The opening track from Parrish's new, vinyl-only album, Sound Sculptures Vol. 1 is also the best, in my opinion. 'Second Chances' perfectly displays that interplay between jazz and techno that Parrish does so well, in that the jazzy elements serve the techy backbone and vice versa. A true master at work.)
  2. Cobblestone Jazz - W (New track from Matthew Jonson's Cobblestone Jazz outfit, taken from the latest Cocoon label box-set, G. More 'big room' than normal, but still as subtly persuasive as the likes of 'India In Me' and 'Dump Truck'.)
  3. Soylent Green - Camera Obscura (You'll find that a running theme throughout this stretch of mixtapes is tunes that Prins Thomas has used on his excellent Cosmo Galactic Prism mix. Bit cheeky of me to steal his ideas, but guy knows a good tune when he hears one and so do I. I missed the boat on Roman Flugel's Soylent Green guise and I'm only just catching up. 'Camera Obscura' is a great, fleet-footed, snappy slice of deep house body music a million miles removed from the stuff he records in his own name.)
  4. Zoo Brazil - Kazaboo (Zoo Brazil's album, Video Rockets left me a little cold, but this driving piece of minimal house is a diamond in the rough. Just don't go into the album expecting everything to be like this.)
  5. Teenage Bad Girl - Ghost House (As with the Zoo Brazil album, Teenage Bad Girl's Cocotte did pretty much nothing for me, but this swirly, Braxe-like, champagne synth-house workout is definitely worth salvaging.)
  6. Force Of Nature - To The Brain (Prins Thomas 118 Miks) (Continuing his fine run of work, Thomas adds a lot more space and depth to the original here by slowing things down a notch but allowing the snakey bassline, cribbed from Jimmy 'Bo' Horne's 'Is It In?', to work its hip-grinding magic. Which it does and then some.)
  7. Escort - All Through The Night (The Rapture Hush Hush Remix) (Well this one was a surprise. Having never been totally enamoured with The Rapture's remix work in the past, they really do a great job here. There's a playful insanity at work on this one. Imagine Carl Craig gone Baltimore club and you're halfway there. Brilliantly bonkers.)
  8. Michoacan - 2 Bullets (The Glimmers' Hacienda Dub) (This is another that there wasn't a lot riding on. I've always preferred The Glimmers as DJs than producers, but this is an excellent, quirky Balaeric stormer that is well in keeping with the spirit of the Manchester institution from which it takes its name.)
  9. Jay Shepheard - Last Days (Of Cou Cou D) (Dubbed-out disco from the latest in Compost's Black Label series. Some nice Italo-style synths going on in this one too.)
  10. Breaks Co-Op - Duet (Atlantic Conveyor Extended Remix) (AC turn in a shine-ola from shit do-over of the Zane Lowe-affiliated Kiwis from last year. Similar in style to Chateau Flight, Atlantic Conveyor are building a nice rep as purveyors of quality, melodic tech-house.)
  11. Mari Boine - Vuoi Vuoi Me (Henrik Schwarz Remix) (I've been meaning to put this on a mixtape since I first heard it earlier in the year, but I've only just got around to it. Thought I'd bestow on it the honour of closing out this one, seeing as it's one of the best remixes of 2007 so far. Henrik Schwarz is working at the very top of his game right now and this is all kinds of reasons why.)
Yer Mam!'s Big Summer Mixtape Blowout! Volume One, all ripped, zipped up and Mediafired

Further reading: This is interesting. Where the fuck does the guy from The Kooks get off pissing on a sacred cow like Pet Sounds?

Also, I've updated No Flipping! for anyone who's interested.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In and out like a thief in the... daytime.


Just a quick one today...


Burial - Ghost Hardware (Hyperdub)

Bit of a slow week this week, but that's not to say that this 12" of all-new tracks from Burial isn't worthy of the SOTW title. Three absolute blinders populate Ghost Hardware, the best of which being the title track, a skittery, spooky, clanking, bass-heavy head-nodder that despite, or possibly because of all the static-y effects and concrete-esque found sounds is both alluring and oddly soothing. 'Shutta' is in a similar vein, if slyly more confrontational, while 'Exit Woundz' is even more sparse and minimal than we're used to from Burial. Arguably one of the most thrilling, idiosyncratic and forward-thinking producers that Britain has to offer.

Not much else to report today, really, other than to tell you to look out for some new mixtapes coming later in the week. It's been a while since I've uploaded any, so I thought I'd pull my finger out. I've threw quite a few together and I intend to up them over the course of the next couple of weeks, intermittently. Watch this space!

In the interim, here's something that I'm liking at the moment for your listening pleasure...

Camille - Ta Doleur (Henrik Schwarz Remix)

Not exactly new but I'm all about the Schwarz at the moment. Enjoy!

In other news: I'm on this week's Blog Fresh Radio talking about Escort. Also, check out my reviews of the new Ratatat remix album and the debut full-length from Cristian Vogel's new band Night Of The Brain over at High Voltage.



Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Hands In The Dark

I'm blogging in my back yard! Vision's not great but, hey, at least I'm getting a tan.*

I've been a big fan of both Glass Candy and Chromatics for quite some time now, as regular readers of the blog will know, so when I heard that they were contributing tracks to a new compilation for Mike Simonetti's Troubleman Unlimited offshoot, Italians Do It Better, I couldn't PayPal my $12 quickly enough. The compilation showcases the five acts on that label (GC, Chromatics, Mirage, Farah and Professor Genius) and displays the label to be at the very forefront of the Italo revival.

There's a very singular sensibility at work here across the board, but each band have their own distinctive trademarks. I guess Glass Candy are the most accessible of the five, as they have a pop edge to their new wave disco. Chromatics, on the other hand, have an altogether subtler feel to their rhythms. Minimalistic in approach, with the end product actually being quite dramatic in sweep, their songs pulse with a flair for the cinematic (think John Carpenter's early self-penned soundtracks), as anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing 'In The City' (represented here in a magnificent extended 12" version) will attest.

The other three acts I knew very little about before checking out this comp. Farah bring the no-wave, performance art-y vibes on their two tracks, 'Law Of Life' and 'Dancing Girls', while Professor Genius' offerings are more on the traditional Italo tip. Mirage's efforts have them making a serious play for being my favourite Italians Do It Better artist. Their own tunes, 'Lake Of Dreams' and 'Lady Operator' are icy cool synth 'n' vocoder workouts, but it's their remix of Indeep's dancefloor standard, 'Last Nite A DJ Saved My Life' that most impresses. They manage to breathe life into a song so ubiquitous that it's often hard to remember what a great song it is. Mirage's re-touch strips away the Studio 54 excesses of the original and adds a veneer of classy synth sweeps and a squelchy digi-bassline that vamps along thrillingly. Without a doubt one of my favourite remixes of the year so far.

While the inexorable wait for Glass Candy and Chromatics' new albums - entitled Life After Sundown and Shining Violence respectively - drags on further, this fills a gap nicely and in Mirage it has spawned a new obsession. If you want it yourself, follow the link above to Chromatics' MySpace, send them a message and the band's own Adam Miller will tell you how to do just that. In the meantime, here's a taster of what you're in for.

Indeep - Last Nite A DJ Saved My Life (Mirage Remix) (mp3)

Glass Candy - Miss Broadway (Belle Epoque cover) (mp3)

Dizzee Rascal's third album, Maths And English is, it seems, a bit of a make-or-break one for the erstwhile Dylan Mills. After breaking out with Boy In Da Corner, one of the strongest and indeed best albums of the noughties so far, then taking chances with the experimental, overly ostentatious Showtime, this album marks a return to the sound of his debut but is imbued with all the trappings of post-rise to fame hip-hop albums, in that Dizzee takes aim at the haters, the biters and the industry itself over its fourteen tracks.

It's most definitely a more fulfilling, enjoyable album than its predecessor, but it's still wildly inconsistent and sometimes just head-scratchingly off-the-mark. You'll all know the single, 'Sirens' by now, a pugnacious, combative primal roar that switches up style over halfway through from the Americanised spittle-drenched over-pronunciation of the first part to a more hyper, machine gunning approach in the final stretch. It's one of Dizzee's best singles, in my opinion, and there's plenty more like it here.

'Bubbles' - an ode to fresh new Nike Air kicks - has an irrepressible bounce, while 'Hardback (Industry)' has a venomous punch to it. It's 'Da Feelin'' that really kills though. Produced by d'n'b stalwart, Shy FX and reportedly taking a year to complete, it's a breezy, lusty paean to the summertime and, more specifically, the way the ladies dress at that time of year. Its twelve-month gestation period, during which time Joss Stone's vocals were mercifully cut, belies its effortless energy. It sounds like it was knocked off in twelve minutes actually, with Dizzee's vocal coming off more like a freestyle than anything else here.

Elsewhere though, the Lily Allen collab, 'Wanna Be' is too cartoonish, with its Bugsy Malone sample and 'Suk My Dick' is just horrible. As a snapshot of an artist unsure of his place in modern music yet belligerent with it, Maths And English is an often brilliant, but patchy listen.

Dizzee Rascal - Da Feelin' (mp3)

Bonus Beats

Erykah Badu - Bag Lady (Cheebah Sac Radio Edit) (mp3)

Recently rediscovered this one with the aid of And It Don't Stop. Brilliant languid summer jam and an overlooked modern classic to boot. Oh, those tambourines!

By the way, if you're interested, I'm on this week's Blog Fresh Radio talking about the new Frost album.



*Came back indoors after about twenty minutes because I couldn't see a thing.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, June 04, 2007

Bon anniversaire!

Happy Monday to you all!

Everyone have a good weekend? Glad to hear it. Let's crack on then, shall we?


Ame - Balandine EP (Innervisions)

Following the hypnotic, preternaturally excellent 'Fiori' on Ostgut's Shut Up And Dance! compilation of techno music for ballet dancing to, comes this bonafide club-slayer on their own Innervisions label. 'Balandine' comes on all Carl Craig-like at first before traversing down a more direct route. I'm tempted to say that it is essentially just a big dumb techno track, but there's smarts in them there peaks and troughs that bely the tracks's single-mindedness. Turn down the lights, flick the strobe on and get lost. 'Enoi' on the flip recalls Henrik Schwarz' darker moments and is no less thrilling either. Ame are steadfastly staking a claim for techno artists of the year right now, so don't get left behind.

Sticking with the realm of club music, three of the most intriguing, exciting labels around are currently enjoying reaching landmarks of varying longevity and they've all decided to release compilations celebrating that fact. Let's take a look.

Matt Edwards (Radioslave, Quiet Village, er, Rekid) launched his label Rekids (a co-venture with James Masters) a little over a year ago now, with the release of his own 'My Bleep', under the Radioslave moniker. Since then, it has quickly developed into a label with an astonishingly high hit-rate and an identity all of its own (helped by the eye-catching, idiosyncratic, sparse artwork that adorns each release).

Rekids Compilation One consists of two discs: the first being a kind of greatest hits set, cobbling together some of the highlights from Rekids' first thirteen 12"s, with the second being a collection of remixes of said releases. Listened to as a whole, the second disc fares better than the first, as it's a more varied set, taking in both trippy and upfront disco (QV and Prins Thomas' re-dos of Toby Tobias' two Rekids releases), crowd-pleasing techno (Claude Vonstroke's wobbly take on Luke Solomon's 'Ghosts') and spooky minimal glitch (Radio Slave's monumental mix of Matt O' Brien's 'Serotone').

It's the first disc though that will become the label's calling card as it moves into its second year. Having achieved so much in the first twelve months, it's hard to see where Rekids will go next, but with the master-of-all-trades, Edwards at the helm, it's sure to be exciting finding out.

Luke Solomon - Ghosts (mp3)

Toby Tobias - A Close Shave (Prins Thomas Disko-Tek Miks) (mp3)

On the block for ten years now, it's easy to be snarky towards Sonar Kollektiv. Their jazzwise brand of electronic music often errs too much on the side of coffee-table tastefulness all too often for my liking. That said, anniversary comp Ten Years, Who Cares? (self-effacing tendencies come in handy for fending off criticism) is a mostly pleasurable, if erratic listen.

Jazzanova's accompanying mix is more successful than the up-and-down unmixed collection that inhabits disc one. It's perhaps fitting that the label founders remain the most interesting artist on the SK roster, but you can't help that SK's, and J-nova's thunder has been stolen by the rise and rise of Innervisions, once an adjunct of Sonar Kollektiv. If you like your house and techno with a twist of jazz however (or vice versa), then you can't really go far wrong with this collection. Just don't blame me when you start idly poring over the Ikea catalogue and fetishising everything you see.

Siriusmo - U-Again (mp3)

Jazzanova - Let Your Heart Be Free (2007 Edit) (mp3)

Ah, Get Physical. Has it really been only five years? Seems like this German label has been around forever, so seismic has their impact on European house and techno music in the last half-decade been. The conglomerate of Booka Shade, DJ T and M.A.N.D.Y. have released some of the most prominent, enduring underground dance music of the noughties so far (I'm thinking 'Mandarine Girl', 'Lucky Bastard', 'Tonite'), but they've also proved themselves to be great talent scouts too.

The emergence of the likes of Chelonis R. Jones (everything he does is great), Elektrochemie and Audiofly X (all present and correct here) have highlighted the label owners' ear for where dance music is heading. This compilation, while undoubtedly pretty great, feels like a bit of a missed chance though. Perhaps by wanting to give the punters something altogether new, instead of money for old rope, they've bypassed an opportunity to hook in the newbies by failing to even bother compiling the label's past highlights.

Disc one is a collection of remixes of former glories, the best of which being Earl Zinger's outlandishly askew re-rub of Elektrochemie's 'Pleasure Seeker', Herbert's funk-concrete remake of Chelonis' 'I Don't Know', and the surprisingly brilliant string orchestra cover of Booka's 'Night Falls'. Disc two goes down the route of exclusives and, as such, is a varying set of brilliant one-offs and hmmm... interesting off-cuts. We don't really need to hear 'Body Language' again, but it would have been nice. And where the fuck is Fuckpony?!

Booka Shade - Night Falls (Larry Gold String Version) (mp3)

Elektrochemie - Caiti (mp3)

In other news: read my reviews of The Aliens live, The Stills' new album and Black Lips' new single over at High Voltage.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Physics makes us all its bitches.

Ay yo!

So I went to see Of Montreal last night at The Roadhouse. They were excellent. Spangly, showy, a little OTT but strangely humble with it. Kevin Barnes is a magnetic frontman who doesn't ever feel the need to force it. The set was very Hissing Fauna-heavy (only 'The Past Is A Grotesque Animal' and 'We Were Born The Mutants Again With Leafling' were missing), understandably, but there were a few oldies thrown in for good measure. Great stuff, especially with Barnes climbing a stepladder and donning a rather ostentatious wearable tent thing for pre-encore closer, 'Gronlandic Edit'.

They finished with a note-perfect, brilliant cover of Bowie's 'Moonage Daydream', which was fitting, as Of Montreal are definitely closer in spirit to Ziggy and The Spiders than Dame Dave is these days. It ended what had been a bit of a so-so run of gigs for me in the past week, with Kathy Diamond on Sunday and The Aliens on Wednesday both being a disappointment. I realise that this doesn't really count for a full review, but it was nice to go to a gig and just enjoy it, without having to think of some sort of critical angle with which to approach your review the next day. So you're not getting a review. I'm going to see Black Lips tomorrow too and you're not getting one for that either. *pulls tongue*

Of Montreal - Gronlandic Edit (mp3)

And now for something completely different...

A Summer Mix From Yer Mam!

As we appear to have left the shitty weather we had all through May behind us, with the first two days of June being nigh-on glorious, I thought I'd celebrate it by throwing together a hastily-assmebled continuous mix of summery tunes for your listening pleasure. Again, as with the other couple of mixes I've done lately, the actual mixing is amateurish, bordering on atrocious, but give it a try. Burn it to a CD and blare it out of your car windows as your heading to Blackpool on a day out, or whatever it is you kids do these days.

01 Karizma - Good Morning (Rok Da Bellsalude)
02 Amerie - Hate 2 Love U
03 Pharoahe Monch - Push (feat. Showtyme and Mela Machinko)
04 Lee Dorsey - Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (From Now On)
05 Dancing Djedi - Body Surfin'
06 Horace Andy - Where Do The Children Play?
07 Sam Cooke - Teenage Sonata (Studio? Edit)
08 Otis Gayle - I'll Be Around
09 A Tribe Called Quest - Electric Relaxations
10 Owusu & Hannibal - What's It About
11 Prince - I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
12 The Tough Alliance - Something Special
13 Studio - No Comply
14 Holy Ghost! - Hold On
15 Sylvester - Over & Over
16 Jorge Ben - Taj Mahal
17 Jackson Sisters - I Believe In Miracles
18 Holger Czukay - Cool In The Pool
19 Tullio De Piscopo - Stop Bajon (Primavera)
20 Kongas - Anikana-o
21 The Beach Boys - Feel Flows

Summer-thing For Everyone

I realise that some of these songs have appeared on recent mixtapes of mine but trust me, you ain't never heard them as badly-presented as this before.

Sayonara muchachos!


Labels: , , ,