Monday, May 30, 2011

new: Deadboy, The Horrors, Chad Van Gaalen

Laid low in blogsville last week. DJing and work took precendence over blogging and sleep. That will be reversed this week. Here's what I missed (...and you missed if this is the only blog you read!)

via. Real Horrorshow Tunes for this one, it's a simple house tune, sampling Woods by Bon Iver. Deadboy is the producer and you can have a taste of his E.P entitled Here, here!

Deadboy - Down On My Mind (Stream) by Numbers

Deadboy - HERE (Preview) by Numbers

Well the Horrors keep getting better and better! Their last album was a massive shock in that it was actually good. I was far from taken with their cartoon drainpipe goth days, but when I heard Sea Within A Sea my distaste was dispelled and I became a fan. Now they've announced that they will release a third album, Skying, on June 11th and going on this, their first taste from it I cannot wait. It's a lumbering 80's synth and drums epic, beautifully atmospheric with an uplifting and satisfying chorus, if that makes any sense. I think it's super, so does Barry Gruff whose blog I grabbed it off. Et tu?

The Horrors - Still Life by 1FTP

Every so often I hear an act that I know will be a project. I know I've caught them mid career and to understand them completely I will spend much of my future weeks and months digging through a back catalogue. These are the acts that stay with me, that I'll fork out more than a tenner to see live, that I'll bore the shit out of people talking about at parties, that I'll get indignant about bad reviews over. This is the first time I've ever heard Chad Van Gaalen. Diaper Island is out now on Sub Pop. Props to Jamie at Kissing Cousins for the heads up on this.

Chad VanGaalen - Sara by subpop

Sunday, May 22, 2011

new: Grinderman video, Casanova Wave video, Funeral Suits, Nodzzz, Fionn Regan and Jape

New Grinderman video. NSFW. From Grinderman 2 which came out last September. After this I want to hear no more about Primavera mkay? But you guys have a real swell time.

The Casanova Wave, electronic project of Waterford man Brian McCartan on Bluestack Records, has released his debut video.

Here is is debut E.P:

Funeral Suits are the band. I saw them play a while back to rapturous review and ongoing adoration from my friends and contemporaries in Galway town. I didn't get it. Hearing this I feel differently. They're just back from The Great Escape. I hear things went well. We'll hear much more soon.

Funeral Suits - Colour Fade by IASCA

Nodzzz. Where have you been all my life? This San Francisco band have made music just for me. Warm, fuzzy, tuneful pop music. It's not gonna change the world but it's made my week a little better. Innings came out a few days back. I wouldn't say buy it because the are donating a portion to charity but if you do get it know that a portion of each sale is going to Swords to Ploughshares, a charity helping veterans.

Nodzzz - Heyday Past Heyday Due

New Fionn Regan. One of Ireland's finest songsters is back with a captivating strings and shimmering cymbals affair. Get it free from his website, check his tour dates and await his third album, 100 Days of Sycamore which is out in August.

Fionn Regan - 100 Days of Sycamore

I posted Jape's new single a few weeks back, now it's all set for release and sees this beauty as the other side of this double A. It's out on brand new Dublin label Music/Is/For/Losers. Ocean of Frequency is out in Sepetember.

The Worry Fades by Jape

Viva Irelande

Irish music lovers. I need a hand with something. One morning a while back I started compiling a list of important people, news outlets, venues, labels etc. in the Irish music scene. The list started growing and all of a sudden I couldn't stop, it had to be complete (though I knew it never would be). So obviously I can't know everything that goes on. New labels start up each week, basement clubs start booking great talents and festivals are falling out of the sky and into muddy fields all over the place.

I'm doing this cos the quality of music coming out in Ireland at the moment is spectacular. If there's anything I can do to promote that to a bigger audience I will. I'm working on putting an Irish music podcast/radio show together. I don't want to miss a thing.

So here's the list. Please mail me, comment below, hit me up on twitter and please send this around, I want everything in here. And if this would be useful to your website, blog etc. mail me and I'll send on the html for all the links (but please leave a little credit in there somewhere, we all has egos!)

(I will point out that I am the UK booker for Bluestack Records in Dublin. I'm pointing this out as I don't want anyone thinking that this is a massive glorified effort to promote them. I promise to be completely impartial. It's just a list, nothing more, nothing less. If I promote their acts it's cos I like them, I wouldn't be working voluntarily for them otherwise.)

Finally, I'm based in London, so if I can help you with anything in London in any way please mail. As I said I'm booking for Bluestack so as such they get priority but I've been in contact with some excellent venues so with regard to advice and passing on contacts I'd be more than happy to help ...not to mention drag a few kids along to your shows. Two friends and I went to see Adebisi Shank in The Old Blue Last, a cracking club in the East end two weeks ago. 400 odd inside, packed to the rafters. Heartwarming. Would love to see that happen for a whole load more Irish acts. You can reach me at or gimme a call on 00447597713394 (after 7, I work in a warehouse with no phones rules!).

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Let's Take It Back to The Classics (formerly Dancefloor Magic) vol. 26

K, so I've decided to abandon Dancefloor Magic on a whim. I don't go out so much no more. And I'd like to have a feature posting about the great old music I come across each week. Broadening the spectrum so to speak. And it's a new music blog so one oldies feature will do. But it will feature some dancefloor heavy stuff from time to time.

Each morning I leave my house at the crack of dawn with some fresh sounds ready to be heard. Gonna write about what I've heard each week.

This week my buddy Brian recommended me two albums, from two acts that I was aware of, but not intimately.

Firstly the first Roots Manuva record, Brand New Second Hand. For three reasons. Witness (One Hope) is one of my favourite tracks of all time. I've never tired of it and I hum it and rhyming along to it in my head as I wander down the street often. For the first time in my life I'm living in a big city, hip-hop rarely comes from the sticks. It's often the soundtrack to concrete and hardship, not only lyrically but in the harshness of the rhythm. And that city is London. The more I meet the people the more I pick up on the mannerisms, slang and topics. I'm feeling more a part of it. I'm getting Roots Manuva more and more. His debut is intelligent, minimal and at times truly beautiful.

Roots Manuva - Dem Phonies

Brian then said that I should listen to the first Gil Scott Heron album. I joked that I can imagine him and his girlfriend sitting about all day, curtains drawn, smoke thick in the air, beret'd and bespectacled, clicking joylessly and nodding. Of course at this stage I hadn't heard this album. It's affected me. It's shone a new light on lyricism and hip-hop in general for me. If it's affected me, a white, rural boy who's never known want, how important was this to the disaffected impoverished black community of New York in the 70's? The more of this I hear the less I want to listen to indie rock music. (of course that's just right now, I'll be back bopping about to meaningless drainpiped tales of breakups in 4/4 time by Tuesday).

Gil Scott-Heron - Brother

Finally for this week, I've watched the first part of No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese's 2005 bioepic on Bob Dylan. It's fascinating. Like many people delving into Dylans work, given the sheer volume of work he has produced, and the quality contained is terrifying. This year I will get through it. I promise. I won't go into the documentary, safe to say everyone of importance who's still alive is interviewed, all of the great archive footage is shown and in terms of enjoyment it's entirely captivating. Catch it on BBC4 at the moment or buy the DVD. I'll revisit this next week when I've watched some more.

Bob Dylan - Tangled Up In Blue

Also, Happy 70th Birthday Bob. If you are a reader of shoddy new music blogs (as I'm sure you are) and you've dropped in to hear your old tracks again, I would love a ticket for London Feis for my birthday (in two weeks!), drop me a text. Love, Josh x

Thursday, May 19, 2011

new: DJ Shadow - I Gotta Rokk

I listened to the I Gotta Rokk E.P on my way to work this morning. DJ Shadow releases la lot of music. Some of it for the general music fan. Some of it for the sample junkies, the big Shadow fans, the crate diggers, the people that matter to his music. He's also made some iconic popular music. We all know Organ Donor, probably Six Days and Midnight in a Perfect World too. And now it's time to get acquainted with another. But is it any good?

On the title track he gets to grips with that pre-glam metal prog guitar sound and a stompalong beat. Nothing interesting happens. Track 2, I've Been Trying, is as dull and uneventful now as it was 6 months ago when it was played to death by BBC 6 Music. It still sounds like a poor Zero 7 album track. And then it gets interesting. Menacing modern hip-hop sounds on Def Surrounds Us create a chaotic aural subterranean wasteland which leads nicely into the Irn Mnky Swagger Remix of I Gotta Rock. It's got a Pendulum feel about it, which for once is no bad thing. Meanwhile, the Rockwell Remix of I Gotta Rokk wraps the E.P up nicely. Reckon it's a strictly for the Shadow junkies release but if you like a bitta drum n' bass pick up the Rockwell and Irn Mnky Swagger remixes.

....but none of this matters. Shadow doesn't give a shit. He'll sample, record, produce and DJ til he dies, whether bloggers care or not ...though that could be said for any decent music maker so I'll leave it at that.

Def Surrounds Us (Rockwell Remix)- Snippet by djshadow

I Gotta Rokk (Irn Mnky Swagger Mix)- Snippet by djshadow

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

new: Black Lips & Bon Iver (best day ever?!?)

Running out the door to work but can't wait to properly wrap my ears around this to on my way. Both of these are via Rollo & Grady.

Good morning!

Bon Iver - Calgary by stickytunes

Black Lips - New Direction by One Thirty BPM

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Smile # 2

Started this last week with my buddy Byron. Lots of soul, beats, grooves, indie rock and all that kinda thing, two hours of it for a Sunday morning jam about the house. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dancefloor Magic Vol. 25

This evening I will playing the Eurovision drinking game. I will not, however, go as far as to post any of these songs. Here are a few classics, as we are wont to post of a Saturday.


Primal Scream - Loaded

Doves - There Goes The Fear

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Just Dropped In (Kenny Rogers Cover)

Friday, May 13, 2011

new stuff from: Alphabet Backwards, Fever Fever, Little Scream, Trophy Boyfriend & Soft

Breaking More Waves picked up on this one, and their thoughts on it are much more insightful than anything I'd manage so link it open there in another tab and have a read. Good eh? Cannot fault this band, it's fun, snappy and nice to listen to. What's not to love!
They're called Alphabet Backwards, their E.P is called The White Russian and they're from Oxford.

Elton John by alphabet backwards

Bratty accents, crunchy riffs, spazz out drumming. Fever Fever are the band, and I've been reading about them on Sonic Masala (great blog if you like your music loud and gritty). Fever Fever are Norwich, they're just back from SXSW and have been garnering much well deserved publicity since. Get this track free on their bandcamp.

And have a listen to an older track and check out their Soundcloud.

Fever Fever - Monster by FEVER FEVER

Currently falling in love with Little Scream. Montreal based singer, with floaty folk melodies and strong, clear vocals. I get a warm, cosy feeling listening to this. Her album, The Golden Record was produced by Richard Reed Perry from Arcade Fire and features guests from Belle Orchestre, Arcade Fire, Stars, Silver Mt. Zion and The National. It's out now on Secretly Canadian, check it out.

Little Scream 'The Heron and the Fox' by Fred Hystere

"Cannons" by Little Scream by DOJAGSC

Chillaxed electro from Irish producer Trophy Boyfriend. It's got a rich synth, 80's pop feel about it, not unlike Cut Copy or Tiga. Get more on facebook and bandcamp. The single was co-produced by Misk of Arveene and Misk fame and the single features a remix by the excellent Casanova Wave.

Feels Like Autumn by Trophy Boyfriend

Finally, a band called Soft. Big love to un-googl'able bands! I have a feeling Soft will be a part of my future, and may drag with them albums by Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie and Ash that I haven't listened to in a bit. Their album is called Dogs and it's a delightful listen.

Soft - Bleary Eyes by SoftBand

Soft - Fall Into Sand by SoftBand

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

new: UNKLE & Nick Cave

Must be quick. Off to see Adebisi Shank at the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch this evening with &U&I and Talons. Woo!

From the forthcoming E.P, Only The Lonely. It's UNKLE and Nick Cave! Cracker.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

new: Michael Kiwanuka, Battles, Tom Vek, White Denim and Overhead, The Albatross

I hear Bryan Adams bring played loudly upstairs. Headphones on, lots of music to get through.

We posted about Michael Kiwanuka recently but now we have an mp3. "Nu soul" or whatever you want to call it is rather hot right now, what with Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings and the likes making lovely noise, Cee Lo Green with one of the biggest records of the past few years, Plan B's take on soul receiving acclaim critically and in the charts and the much talked about return of Amy Winehouse on the cards. It doesn't look silly, it's not a shameless revivalist throwback. It's just lovely music to listen to.

Michael Kiwanuka - Tell Me A Tale by Stayloose

New video for the new Battles tune. Had a listen to Glass Drop this morning. It's out June 6th/7th on Check back for full review soon.

A few weeks ago I got a shock at the reaction to news of a new release by this guy, Tom Vek. Twitter was abuzz and I was confused. I'd never heard him, and was disappointed as I like to think that I'm an astute follower of modern indie music. He's very good. Leisure Seizure, his second, is out June 6th.

Tom Vek - A Chore by fadedglamourblog

There are a few bands I will pretty much automatically post anything by. White Denim are most certainly one of those bands. Here's a new track, a cover of a song by an old rock band, Hard Stuff. To get this track free the band would like you to:

1. Listen to the record titled Bulletproof by the 1970’s English band Hard Stuff.
2. Listen to this podcast.
3. Have kind of a slightly minorly but mostly harshed buzz from listening to this jam.

Done, done and done. New album, D, out June 3rd in Ireland, 6th in UK and 7th in US. Five (-ish) albums in and they've yet to disappoint.

White Denim - "Jay Time" (Hard Stuff Cover) by One Thirty BPM

An Irish band who I've finally gotten around to listening to. Overhead, The Albatross make tasty melodic epics, not unlike God Is An Astronaut ...another post-rock spectular. Catch them May 20th in the Unicorn in Camden with Orders of the British Empire.

And here's a Phantom package on the band. Phantom is a great rock station in Dublin, worth a listen.

The Listening Post - Overhead, The Albatross by i-con

And lastly, part of the making of Bromst by Dan Deacon. Mindblowing stuff!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Playlists, mixes, mashups, and dancefloor magic (vol. 24)

The blogging has taken a minor hit over the past week or so but I promise, I have pages and pages of bookmarked pages and e-mails with tracks to post! I have been putting some mixes and playlists together.

Firstly is a weekly playlist my friend Byron and I have been putting together called Sunday Smile. Byron is an incredibly talented hair stylist with an amazing taste in music. He already had an encyclopedic knowledge of 50's & 60's soul, psych, R n' B, Blues and Rockabilly when I met him first when he was 18. An interesting cat if ever there was one. Check out his One Record project. People anonymously writing about an album that changed their lives. Get involved, I did one, it's pretty therapeutic!

Secondly, I never posted any Dancefloor Magic tracks yesterday. I've been working 6 days a week. I did nothing after work yesterday and promptly fell asleep on the couch in the evening. I'm feeling refreshed this morning so here are a few tracks to pop onto the old "iPod" and dance about the house to. (I've been getting a bit of a Go-Go Girl 50's shuffle going on myself this morning).

99 Problems. One of the greatest songs of all time. Lyrically it's simply sublime. The more I listen to it, and the rest of Jay Z's back catalogue the more respect I have for the man. Also, there are a million mashups and covers of this track out there, many of them very good (note, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings edit, Aloe Blacc's cover, Hugo's cover, Philadelphia Grand Jury's cover) ...and many of them very bad but we'll leave it at that.

I got The Grey Album during the week and listened to it over and over. It's Dangermouse's mashup/bootleg/remix of Jay Z's Black Album with The Beatles White Album. One of the best albums I've ever heard. Get on to it lively if you haven't before.

Jay Z - 99 Problems (Dangermouse Grey Album)

Max Tannone is another wonerfully talented mashup/remix/bootleg artist. He has created some of my favourite albums of the past two years, mashing, and creating two gems, Mos Dub and Dub Kweli, mashing Mos Def and Talib Kweli with old dub and reggae grooves. Well worth checking out and a great introduction to both mens work. All links above are to these albums, and all are free to download. The world of mashups is a murky hell hole. These are diamonds in a sea of turds.

Mos Dub by Max Tannone

...and while we're on mashups, you better not be taking yourself too seriously!

Gold Mahna Mahna (Kanye West Vs. The Muppets) by BitCandy

Finally, while on the playlists and DJ theme I've knocked together a 15 minute mix of some of my favourite tracks to DJ. Getting back into "the game" at the moment, got a few gigs coming up over the summer. If you need a DJ and can afford a 6 pack of a nice German beer and are happy with a few hours of soul tunes, The Clash and some profane 80's hip-hop gimme a shout. (offers of money will be given priority, I wanna get me some sweet decks you see ...and buy a new pair of shoes, these Converse are on their last legs!)

minimixsummer2011 by Josh Clarke

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

new: B I G S L E E P

If this band aren't indie rock demigods in 6 months time either the music industry is completely dead or I've picked the wrong line of work. Nice sounds like.

B I G S L E E P - SEX by B I G S L E E P

new: Black Lips video and Trinity Orchestra play Daft Punk

Morning! Here are a two new videos worth checking out.

New Black Lips. New album, Mark Ronson produced Arabia Mountain out June 7th. Can't wait. Playing The Garage, London on May 19th.

And I got a real kick out of this. It's the Trinity College Dublin Orchestra, playing a medley of Daft Punk tunes. On the evening they played Discovery in it's entirety and finished with this. Great stuff.