Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blackest Ever Black Soundcloud Mix

London based electronic label Blackest Ever Black have added a new mix to their Soundcloud Page.

Titled - Hastily Cobbled Together Mix to Herald October 13th Party

A cool mixture of electronica in its darker more haunted hues.

black rain - lo tek (blackest ever black)  
source direct - call & response (science)  
cut hands - krokodilo theme (blackest ever black)  
bruce gilbert - eline cout ii (mute)  
lee gamble - side b excerpt (pan)  
dj slimzee / pay as u go - sidewinder excerpt  
source direct - secret liaison (good looking)  
powell - nude (diagonal)  
raime - you will lift your frame clear (blackest ever black)  
young hunting - dirge (agenda)  
russell haswell - chua rave (regis remix) (downwards)  
cut hands - backlash (susan lawly)  
vatican shadow - cairo is a haunted city (bed of nails)

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Ramie – Debut LP Details - Quarter Turns Over a Living Line

London based Electronic duo Raime have announced details of their debut LP. Quarter Turns Over a  Living Line is released in the UK on the 19th of November via Blackest Ever Black. The LP comes as a double 12” package or CD.

Following on from their two wonderfully atmospheric, haunted and hollow EPs the music is described by Dan Barrow in Wire:

“…it sounds like the ruination of the language of electronic music, its dissipation into particles until all that’s left is a choking, noxious cloud…”

Too me that’s both great writing and a teasing insight into what promises to be one of the release of 2012.
Quarter Turns Over a Living Line (Blackest Ever Black)

Track listing
01. Passed Over Trail
02. The Last Foundry
03. Soil and Colts
04. Exist in the Repeat of Practice
05. The Walker in Blast and Bottle
06. Your Cast Will Tire
07. The Dimming of Road and Rights

You can listen to Soil and Colts here:

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mark Eitzel full LP stream - Don't Be a Stranger

Paste Magazine have posted a complete stream of the new Mark Eitzel LP - Don't Be a Stranger. I have had a copy of the LP for about a month and its a glorious listen. The production on it is full of light and air and Mark's guitar playing carries real shades of Nick Drake.

I am not one for listening to streams of records that I think I am going to love. I think listening to a record should be like a first date, something that should be treasured and given the attention it deserves not done at your desk at work.

This is what Paste have to say about the LP.

"...Renowned songwriter Mark Eitzel, of San Francisco band American Music Club, is set to release his new solo album Don’t Be A Stranger on Oct. 2 via Merge Records.

For the album, Eitzel worked with acclaimed producer Sheldon Gomberg (Rickie Lee Jones, Ben Harper) to create a piece of work that displays his finest musical talents.

Eitzel has plans to make a US tour later in 2012 followed by a European tour in early 2013. In the meantime, you can stream his album below and look out for the release of Don’t Be a Stranger on October 2..."

Anyway - here the link to the stream. Enjoy it -

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Advance Base - Daytrotter Session

I am not sure if I have mentioned before just how much I love Daytrotter. The quality and range of artists that they get to do sessions is amazing. It $5.00 a month I really don't mind spending.

On the 25th September 2012 they recorded a session with Advance Base. Now the Advance Base record - A Shut In's Prayer is one of my favorites this year and the session versions of the songs are wonderful.

"....These Advance Base songs - recorded with Ashworth (electric piano and vocals), Nick Ammerman (autoharp and bass), Edward Crouse (piano and autoharp) and Jody Weinmann (bass, omnichord, organ and vocals) - are extensions of these sentiments, of these drowsy pieces of milieu that we tend to stuff down inside...."

The track listing is as follows:

The Sister You Never Had
Our Cat
Christmas In Milwaukee
Sorry To Hear You Got The Blues
Black Cat (Donkeys Cover)

You should pop across now to the session have a listen and then sign up. You won't regret it.!/concert/advance-base/20056095-37383301

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Mark Eitzel - I Love But You're Dead (Audio Stream)

I Love You But Your're Dead is the opening track on Mark Eiztel (American Music Clubs) new LP Don't Be A Stranger.
When he played it live in Winchester on Sunday he talked about how it was about meeting  Destroy all Monsters when he was a young man in his first ever punk band.

The production on the new LP is great and lightness of touch really shows of the ache and awe in Mark Eiztels voice.

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Hurray For The Riff Raff - Small Town Heroes Video

I went to the wonderful SXSC festival at the Railway Inn in Winchester. I had gone to primary see Mark Eitzel but stumbled across Hurray For The Riff Raff and was taken by their beautiful blend of and bruised ache.

The song below, Small Town Heroes,  is a new track not the current LP but I thought it was bewitching and beautiful.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

St Etienne's Jukebox Wire September 2004 - Spotify playlist

I have been working my way through a pile of old Wire Magazines and reading the Invisible Jukebox features.

The idea behind the invisible jukebox is as follows:

"Every month we play a musician a series of records which they’re asked to identify and comment on with no prior knowledge of what they’re about to hear. This month it’s the turn of…"

I thought the one from the September 2004 edition featuring St Etienne was good fun and worth creating a playlist for.

Two tracks aren't on Spotify so I have added the videos below.

Say Kids - What Time is It? - Coldcut
Past, Present and Future - The Shangri-Las
No UFOs - Model 500
Orbit Around the Moon - Joe Meek
Blown Away - A Certain Ratio
Superfly Guy - S'Express
Final Day - Young Marble Giants
Strange Love - Mary Wells


Aretha Franklin - 96 Tears

Lori and The Chameleons - Touch

St Etienne's Wire Jukebox Spotify Playlist

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Mark Eitzel - Don't Be A Stranger New LP

Very pleasing to hear that Mark Eitzel is going to release a new LP this year.

Don't Be a Stranger will be released by Decor Record in the UK on the first of October.

" May of 2011, Mark suffered a serious heart attack that kept him out of circulation until the following October, forcing him to re-evaluate his lifestyle and habits and take a step back from the recording.  Good luck suddenly appeared in the form of a friend who had just won the lottery and offered to fund his recording in a professional studio. Producer Sheldon Gomberg put together a band that included Attraction’s drummer Pete Thomas and American Music Club guitarist Vudi on a few songs, as well as a full string section and many Los Angeles musical luminaries. The collaboration between Mark and Sheldon had an organic sound resulting in a generous and beautiful record, about which Mark says, “I wanted to make an album more reminiscent of records like Harvest by Neil Young or Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake than anything I’ve previously done..."

The track listing is as follows - 

Tracklist: Mark Eitzel, Don’t Be a Stranger
1. “I Love You But You’re Dead”
2. “The Bill Is Due”
3. “All My Love”
4. “Oh Mercy”
5. “Costume Characters Face Dangers In The Workplace”
6. “Why Are You With Me”
7. “Lament For Bobo The Clown”
8. “Break The Champagne”
9. “We All Have To Find Our Own Way Out”
10. “You’re Waiting”
11. “Nowhere To Run”

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Grasscut - 56 Circle Mix

Those Grasscut boys have been busy. Following on from Grasscut Shadows and Light Mix is 56 circles mix on Mixcloud.

"...Edition 56 - Grasscut - this mix is an imaginary circular walk, trying to find an all but lost overgrown path, with music filtering through imaginary trees. So the tone of the music is dreamy, introspective, sometimes propulsive, sometimes wandering. There's quite a lot of film and landscape based music and music that suggests time and movement. Tunes that are often in my head and tunes that are relatively new to me. I hope you enjoy it. ..."

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Vatican Shadow - Cairo is a Haunted City

There is a great free Vatican Shadow track Cairo is a Haunted City over on the Hartzine Soundcloud page. Hartzine is an online French Music Site that makes me wish I had studied harder in French classes back in the day. As the name of the tracks suggests its a haunting mix of eastern strings, sub-base and ambient drift.

There are a number of Vatican Shadow tracks on the Soundcloud page. 

Vatican Shadow is another recording alias of Dominick Fernow of Prurient and Cold Cave.

The article in French on Hartzine is here -

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Free Grasscut Mix - Shadows and Light Mix

The new Grasscut LP Unearth is a thing of rare beauty. Full of that aching scene of English melancholy married to subtle electronic hymns.

The band have posted a great free mix over at Mixcloud.

“With this mix I've gone from the old (Count John McCormack, Irish tenor from the 1920s) to the new (Gazelle Twin & RYAT), via all sorts of musical footpaths from John Adams to Vaughan Williams to Brian Eno to PIL to Nathan Fake.

The new Grasscut album Unearth has themes of shadows, landscape, and disappearances, and I wanted this mix to follow some of these like a kind of dream sequence.

By featuring artists concerned with landscape like Reigns and Luke Abbott I was trying to find combinations of songs, instrumentals, classical and film music that people hopefully won't have heard before, guided by more by atmosphere than genre. I hope you enjoy it.

Andrew / Grasscut” 

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasure Review

Unknown Pleasures
Unknown Pleasures (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unknown Pleasures is one of the touchstones of the alternative music scene. It is the Rosetta Stone of new wave, from its deep vinyl grooves you can decode the influence in bands as diverse as Interpol and The Cure, Editors and Mogwi. Without the sonic template of Unknown Pleasures U2 would have never found a voice and a direction. Those early U2 records sound like smudged facsimiles of Joy Divisions latent power.

Unknown Pleasures was san genesis, an individual and eviscerating blend of punk fury, existentialist dread and post war industrial decay. An audio document that could have only been produced at a certain junction, immediately post the Sex Pistols and from a specific location, the UK. Despite its historical position it still sounds as vital and eerie as it did in 1979.

Inspired by a combination of the first wave of UK punk rock, and the American racket of The Stooges and The Velvet Underground Joy Divisions sound was a happy accident. Peter Hook’s high trebly bass playing a result of the cheap equipment the band initially used. Hook was forced to play higher than normal in order to be heard. His bass carried the melody of the songs, Barney Sumner’s guitar spiking the sound with caustic riffs and metallic textures. The whole sound was anchored by the breath taking human drum machine rhythms of Steven Morris.

The unusual combination of sounds marked the band out from the standard three chord thrash of the second generation of punk. Its not that the band could play any better than their peers, the reality is the opposite of that. They simply played to their strengths and in the process created a unique and potent sound. The majestic noise the band created was heightened by the poetic lyrics and sorrowful croon of Ian Curtis.

Curtis’ death hangs over the music of Joy Division draping it in a solemnity, carving it into memorial stone, yet on Unknown Pleasures, Curtis lyrics are troubled and questioning but not the extended cry for help of Closer. They have a depth that was out of time with the plastic nihilism of the moment more John Paul Sartre than Johnny Rotten.

Amazingly Sumner and Hook where disappointed with the production of Unknown Pleasures. They believed that producer Martin Hannett had emasculated their sound. Stripped away the fierce loud clanning punk rock and hollowed them out. Listening to the live tracks on the bonus disc you can see that he did prune away the volume but the harsh reality is that the songs are better for it.

Hannet’s use of found sound, breaking glass and empty lift shafts, coupled with a pioneering use of delay resulted in sound that owed as much to dub as it did to punk. The music is bathed in shimmering ether, the taut rhythms seem to ripple, the minimal bass lines stretching time. Sumner’s guitar adds textures, obtuse broken riffs, corrosive discordant tints over the restless clatter and hum.

The record has stuck with me since I first heard it as a callow fourteen year old. Other records that I loved at the time have fallen by the wayside, their adolescent angst unable to translate themselves into my adult life. There is something honest, harrowing and timeless at the heart of Unknown Pleasures that has kept me hooked. In my opinion it is the greatest debut LP of all time. If you don’t own a copy your music collection is missing a major cog, go and buy this record today.

Tony Heywood

I wrote this review a while and it was publish here on the wonderful KevChino -;

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Monday, July 16, 2012

The Wire Magazine - Low End Theories Spotify Playlist

Finally managed to get hold of a copy of July's The Wire Magazine about the glories of Bass! (The joys of living in the wilds of west Wiltshire) I have always loved a heavy low end sound. Its a great read from David Toop via Joe Muggs. I was going to start build a Spotify playlist of the tunes but look someone has already done it.
The playlist covers many basses from Aba Shanti-I via Autechre to My Bloody ValentineMiami Bass, Dub, Disco, Krautrock and even Stockhausen. Enjoy :) 

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Dave Gahan & Rich Machin discuss the Soulsavers Videos

There is a lovely page over at Mojo that collates a series of  four videos of Dave Gahan and Rich Machin discussing the Soulsavers LP Light The Dead See, the writing, the songs and inspiration behind it. Funny that Dave Gahan mentions his other band as simply that. I am not sure if he is talking about Depeche Mode or his solo touring band.  Either way Light The Dead See is miles ahead of anything he has done for years.

"..In the four videos below, Gahan and Soulsavers' Rich Machin hit the wine cellar to guide us through The Light The Dead See track-by-track. Also up for discussion: the importance of "believing the singer", finding that "natural place for your voice" and the joys and benefits of simply "seeing what happens...".

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Richmond Fontaine - Lost in the Trees Video

A lovely acoustic version of the lead single from Richmond Fontaine. Willy Vlautin an acoustic guitar, that careworn voice and an ace lyrics. What more do you want!

Richmond Fontaine - Lost In The Trees (Acoustic Session) from Best Fit Sessions on Vimeo.

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Paul Buchanan - Buy A Motor Car (Elegance Mix by Robert Bell)

The Blue Nile
Cover of The Blue Nile
There is a lovely remix of a one of the tracks off Paul Buchanan's solo LP Mid Air over on his Soundcloud Page. It's a remix by his fellow The Blue Nile band mate Robert Bell. It makes the fractured minimal piano track sound must closer to the richer electronic soul of The Blue Nile. Less remix more an elegant haunting.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy

On their 6th album Nada Surf aim to capture the raw energy of their live shows. This subtle shift in recording dynamic has allowed the band to freshen up their sound. The guitars marry chiming guitar riffs with sweet distortion, the rhythm section bounces like a honeymoon couple on their wedding night. The slashed guitars and crashing drums rolls of No Snow on The Mountain aptly demonstrate the success of this new approach. A tumbling chord sequence and a bright riff sparkle on Teenage Dreams.

Matthew Caws lyrics are just the right side of twee and if they do occasional slip into cliché the sliver plated melodies more than compensate. When I Was Young is built around a beautifully light weight acoustic guitar refrain like dust dancing in sunlight the swirling electric guitars that arrive half way through add a dazzling counterpoint. Still mourning the demise of R.E.M.? Then get you fix of top draw college rock here.

Tony Heywood (c)

Review first published in Electric Ghost Magazine

Stealing Sheep – Noah & The Paper Moon

Stealing Sheep – Noah & The Paper Moon

Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep create a heady brew of twisted folk mores, Velvet Underground haze and warped acoustic rhythms. Noah & The Paper Moon is their debut release on Heavenly and it sounds like the Wickerman soundtrack refracted through a half tuned radio. Beautiful folksy melodies shrouded in a gauze of warm drones. It’s the Ghostbox label reimagined by a young Kate Bush.

The spectre of the Nico and John Cale haunts the jaunty folk pop opener I am The Rain. It is a little gem of a track and at 1.49 is over before you get the chance to grasp is beauty. Noah’s Days hangs suspended on a set of gossamer synth chords before the acoustic guitars and bewitching melodies kick in. The machine pulse and slivery guitars of Pass Through You perfectly frame the vocal harmonies, the song dissolving into pools of discordant noise before the ethereal coda closes it out. A heady bewitching brew.

Tony Heywood (C)

Review First Published in Electric Ghost Magazine

Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation

Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation

Youth Lagoon is the alias of 22 year old American Trevor Powers. His debut release The Year of Hibernation is his way of dealing with the anxiety that would otherwise overpower him. It’s music as therapy. Power’s fear has created wonderful collect of songs that belie his tender age. Full of razor sharp tunes, clever arrangements and sparkling music box riffs. Imagine Bon Iver meeting early New Order for a drunken jam.

Posters is all brittle machine rhythms, fragile melodies and vocals that seem to fade in sunlight. July distils 20 odd years of Indie rock into a glorious swirling lament of chiming guitars and shoring synth strings. It builds from its whispered opening to a chorus that’s the size of Alaska. Daydream has a twitching 80’s bassline and programmed beats that are smile educing. The lo-fi production adds a layer of naivety to the songs that only increases their callow charm. Can’t way to hear what he produces next. Recommended.

First Published in Electric Ghost Magazine

Monday, January 09, 2012

Number 8 2011 - Deaf Havana - Fools and Worthless Liars

8 Deaf Havana – Fools and Worthless Liars

These is not my normal cup of tea at all (not that I drink tea). Heard the single "I am a bore mostly" on Radio One (not that I listen to Radio One). I was hooked but the Kurt Cobain and Morrissey lyric and bought the LP. It is great. If I was 20 years younger this would be the soundtrack to my life. The lyrics have a gritty edge to them a mixture of self loathing, boredom and regret.

This is great version of the single.

Number Nine 2011 - SBTRKT

Number Nine 2011


The debut LP from Londoner Aaron Jermone SBTRKT is a masterpiece of modern electronic soul and dance music. Paced like the perfect DJ set this debut is full of promise. A bright new dawn for UK electronica.

Number Ten 2011 - Tom Waits

Number 10 2011

Tom Waits – Bad As Me

Great to have Tom Waits back with a LP that mixed parts of his post Swordfish output with aspects of his early work. Full of hard won wisdom, melancholy, melody and bile.This track New Years Eve sounds like the prefect companion piece to the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's Fairy tale of New York.