Sunday, October 30, 2011

Autumn Mix: Anthems

I only post new music on the blog but I've put together a mix of songs that I love to play when DJing and will have me bouncing off the walls if I hear them live. Have a listen!

anthems by Josh Clarke

Taking bookings in London for parties, pubs, clubs, village halls, anywhere that'll have me. Took a break for a while, rearing to get back into it again! Mail me at "" or hit me up on twitter if you're interested.

new &/ newish: Anchorsong, Lisa Hannigan, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society and Zara McFarlane

Before we start here's a little goodbye to DJ Jimmy Saville. A bizarre and loveable ball of energy who passed away this week. A British institution, the original DJ, TOTP presenter, marathon runner and tireless charity fundraiser. Watch this and acquaint yourself with a fascinating human being.

  • Anchorsong is a Japanese producer based in London on Tru Thoughts who's released a new single, Ghost Touch, along with a free B-Side, Plum Rain, available for free here. Check out the live video (keys, samples, beats, all properly live) too.

Ghost Touch by Anchorsong

  • I had never really warmed to Lisa Hannigan before hearing today when I listened to here new album Passenger. It's terrific. Perfect for a Sunday spent indoors reading the paper. Watch the video too, as Lisa sings and plays through paint storm.

Lisa Hannigan- Knots by MMMusic

  • Started reading about steampunk this morning, literature, art and music set in steam-powered Victorian Britain. From the wiki I linked to Canadian composer Darcy James Argue and his orchestra, Secret Society. I downloaded Infernal Machines, their jazzy, orchestral 2009 album on New Amsterdam Records. I had a look into what they're up to now. As it happens they're about to unveil an epic musical fable, about a master carpenter commissioned to build a carousel on the tallest building in the world being constructed in Brooklyn. Featuring visuals from Danijel Zezelj, live animation, projections, video and of course music, Brooklyn Babylon is set to be a spectacular spectacle. Find out more here. It runs Nov. 9 - 12th in Brooklyn's BAM Harvey Theatre. Fingers crossed for dates in Europe.

BROOKLYN BABYLON trailer from Danijel Zezelj on Vimeo.

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society - Transit by merkinconcerthall

  • And finishing with yet more jazzy sounds is news of a debut album by Zara McFarlane on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Recordings. Her voice blows me away. One of the finest records I've heard all year, can't wait to catch her live.

Zara McFarlane - Chiaroscuro by Brownswood

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Karin Park live, London.

This looks insane. Can't wait. Karin Park playing Jajaja at the Lexington, London this Thursday.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

new: Liturgy (and a boring article about black metal with a link to a better article about black metal)

As a teenager I loved metal. Slayer, Maiden, Sabbath, the usuals. Once I delved further in I became fascinated by the goings on of Norwegian black metal, reading stories in metal magazines about Varg Vikernes, Mayhem, Gaahl, church burnings, murder, pagan ritual and on stage animal slaughter.

Since then I've found it hard to keep on top of what's been happening in metal. There are only so many hours in the day and something had to give. I didn't have the rage any more and finding art in metal was only going to drive me to distraction. I culled it, along with Q Mag rock, modern punk etc, hanging on to Opeth, Mastodon and old Slayer albums. This evening, to my delight, I find Tim Jonze has delved into that murky world and come back with treasure, a new wave of American Black Metal. Read his article, it's very good.

It lead me to a band called Liturgy, whose singer Hunter Hunt-Hendrix has written one hell of an essay on "Transcendental Black Metal". I can't say I've read it all but flicking through it would suggest this is all this guy thinks about. The gist is that BM need not be so negative. Given that metal as a genre is conservative, fucking with it's foundations is always going to cause ructions ...add that that this guy is a pretty wuss looking Brooklyn type and you've got the internets version of a stoning. I don't care a huge amount but I do rather like his response to some of the binary mud slinging:

"A lot of people don’t take metal seriously as art, and a lot of people don’t take art seriously as ethics. That’s fine, I guess — but as for myself, I do both. These days, when people detect ambition in someone they leap on that person like hyenas. The label 'pretentious' is unquestioned as categorically damning. But I think musical culture could use a whole lot more pretension, if anything. It suffers from false, dishonest humility, and from a lack of ambition to be more than either entertainment or a badge of identification with a group."

Well said. Has lead to a bit of soul searching for me (do I really hate big band production or do I just associate it with successful acts and dislike accordingly. Do I really hate big choruses? Do I actually like Pavement or do I just like the idea of cult figures. Do I even like music or is it just a way my way of finding a niche in the world)

...worrying to an extent but yeah, I do like music, although there may be some truth in the worry.

The point of writing all of this is (I think) to suggest you: read more Tim Jonze, read the Guardian on music, don't dismiss entire genres, don't dismiss art as pretentious (unless it is) and question the music you listen to I suppose.

The other point is, Liturgy are fucking excellent and only some of their stuff sounds like black metal anyway.

new: Erato (Robyn cover)

Props to my buddy Louise for posting this, and introducing me to Robyn. I knew all about Robyn, knew the radio singles but it wasn't until I saw her at Lovebox this summer that I got it. Fell in love right there and then.

This group are called Erato, they're a Swedish vocal trio. Check out more on their facebook page.

new &/ live: Sacred Animals vs. Owensie, Karkwa & Nico Jaar remixing Azari & III

  • Two of Ireland's finest, Sacred Animals and Owensie have collaborated to oh so affective effect. Creating an unsettling electronic atmosphere, Sacred Animals sets the tone for Owensies haunting lyrics and lost boy vocals, both melting into each other like two forlorn ice creams, dying in each others arms (the shit I write sometimes). Check them both out and enjoy this one off! Here's Owensie's album, including the original of this tune, and here's Sacred Animals soundcloud page, with his own lovely sounds and remixes by other talented folk like Holy Roman Army, Kohwi and Strands)

Sacred Animals vs Owensie - Cat and Mouse by sacredanimals

Cat & Mouse // Sacred Animals VS Owensie from Feel Good Lost on Vimeo.

  • Karkwa are an indie rock band from Montreal, who, owing to their singing in French are pretty unknown here while massive in Canada. On first listen I remember that French is a much more beautiful language than English. Despite knowing the difference between librarie and bibliotheque I cannot pass comment on the lyrical content. Musically however their sound is confidant, organic and atmospheric in a cult art flick intro kind of way. Though not recent I wanted to post this for anyone in London tomorrow to come along to see them in Brixon at the beautiful Windmill venue (the one with the dog on it). Have a listen, check em out on La Blogotheque and get tickets here.

1 - Le Pyromane by Williamson

  • Azari & III remixed by Nicolas Jaar, delightful. I used to say silly things about dance music just being for clubs and not for daytime listening but as I sit on the couch, full of greasy spoon breakfast, battling the dog for space, there's nothing I'd rather listen to. Builds beautifully, chunky beats complimenting lazy rich piano sounds, only to be attacked by squelchy blips and beeps.

Azari & III - Into The Night (Nicolas Jaar Remix) by BLINDO

Monday, October 17, 2011

new: Phantogram, Il Abanico, Inspired & The Sleep and Elaine Mai

  • New Phantogram folks, a collage of beats, brass and electronics, complimenting Sarah Barthel's stellar vocals. It's one of my favourites this year, and will feature on the Nightlife E.P, out Nov. 1st. Can hardly wait.

Phantogram - Don't Move by Hypetrak

  • Sweet, quirky E.P from Il Abanico. The Columbian duo released the Crossing Colours E.P in February picking up quite a bit of notice since, in their adopted hometown of Boston and further afield. Here's the E.P as well as some recently posted Soundcloud tracks. Sharp, odd indie rock, they're one to hold on to.

Black and White. by il abanico

African by il abanico

  • Inspired & The Sleep. Flutes, rough vocals and what sounds like a football boot being smacked off a kerb, oh the joys of homemade psychadelic pop! From San Diego (U.S love this evening), this track is from the E.P of the same name, available through bandcamp.

While We're Young by Inspired and the Sleep

  • Finally, good buddy of the blog, Elaine Mai has recorded a cover of Massive Attack's Teardrop. Hardly a cover for the faint hearted, if it's not up to scratch it's going to bomb. Of course Elaine nails it, all on her own, guitar, loop pedals and a voice haunting and smooth. Listen to more of her stuff here and check her out at Strange Brew's 450th night along with a beast of a lineup of Irish bands, this Thursday in Roisin Dubh Galway.

new: Au Palais, Altered Hours & Mano Le Tough

  • I can't get over how soothing this song is, even at ear splitting headphone levels. It's tender and sweet, but also full, meaty and juicy. Imagine M83 as a delicate steak. 
From the ever impressive Sounds of Sweet Nothing label (Gross Magic, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Jewellers) comes Au Palais. Originally in Toronto, now based in London, they've ticked all the boxes to becoming a "hot musical commodity", Pitchfork, hip label and, London wise, a gig at the Shacklewell Arms. It seems any decent London band I hear have just played a gig there. Checking the listings in advance may be the only thing for it.

Get the Tender Mercy E.P here (digital or 10").

Au Palais - Tender Mercy by TheSoundsOfSweetNothing

  • This one also via. The Sounds of Sweet Nothing, this time just a blog post from their Tumblr. But yeah, I'm digging this massively! From Cork, Altered Hours are journeying to the centre of the mind on an epic rambling psychadelic journey. Music to get lost in for sure. Interesting to see where this goes!

Garden of sonic children by alteredhours

Daydream Parade by alteredhours

  • Tasty electronic sounds from Mano Le Tough. Here's the title track from his new E.P as well as snippits from said E.P, which is out now.

Mano Le Tough - In My Arms (soundcloudsnippet) by manoletough

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Liz Vayda, White Birds and Ghosts You Echo

Oh Liz Vayda, thank you for your email. This music is delightful! Oh everyone else? Listen to this. Homely, clear sounds, natural and mesmerising. All the info I have is the album and that's she's from Baltimore. And this facebook page but I'm thus far the only other fan. Join me!

White Birds, currently on tour with Asobi Seksu. They'll be selling 100 copies of this E.P on cassette while on tour so get out and see them and pick up and a nice bitta plastic to blast out on your car stereo. (you can get it online too) Out on Grizzly Records. It's lo-fi and harsh, but soothing at the same time.

Floating Hands by White Birds

White Birds - Hondora from White Birds on Vimeo.

And finally, an update on Drop-Out #2 (Powers, Kilburn, Thursday October 13th). With great excitement do I announce the final addition to the lineup, it's the spellbinding Ghosts You Echo! Listen to their recently released second E.P, get excited and come along on Thursday to check them out live, along with Le Galaxie, Jewellers and Birthday Sex!

3.) Heart of Stone by Ghosts You Echo

Ghosts You Echo - "Lifeline" 2ND EP by Ghosts You Echo