donderdag 31 maart 2011
Mark E to release debut album
Montauk to release EP with original material
Yacht gives details new album
Tyler, the Creator readies XL release
Friendly Fires album coming in April
Track by The National for film Win Win hits the internet
Man Man to have new album out in May
Tiger & Woods bereidt debuut voor
Jamie Woon readying debut
The Antlers have new album out in May
New EP of Montreal coming to a store near you
WhoMadeWho readies April release
Broken Bells readying new EP
John Maus to release new album
New EP Antony and the Johnsons ready to go in April
Battles gear up for new release
maandag 28 maart 2011
Track: ‘You Know What I Mean’ by Cults (listen here)
Average grade: 4.8
Ilse: At first I thought this was Cults as in the noise band from North-Carolina; but once I pressed play, it didn't take long to figure out we are talking about an utterly and entirely different band here. No, this Cults sounds like a more sugarcoated, less-effective version of Best Coast: it's similar in the sense of simplicity, though it lacks the atmosphere Bethany Cosentino manages to create. I find the little fingersnaps and the energetic chorus enjoyable, yet the vocals make me cringe in the way I feel when I hear a teenage Disney star.... I also checked some of their other songs, also to be sure about the whole Cults-confusion, and I have to say this sounds incredibly overproduced compared to what I listened to. So yeah it's not entire nay, but definitely not a yay either.
Linda: Here's another band that can go straight into the cricket (or better known as "what the hell are you going about/can't you do that somewhere else?") category for me. I suggest ignoring this track and enjoying the sunshine.
3/10 (sunshine: 9/10)
Anna: The only difference between this fuzzy indie pop tune and a tune from Tennis/The Like/first Pipettes album/etc., is that this one doesn't really have any impact/"soul"/musical merit/etc. I can already see them evaporating.
Stef: Not too shabby a mix between old school Motown and then suddenly a bit more fuzziness and rock comes up now and again. The running time is nice an short, and any band using cover art inspired by Robert Longo’s Men in the Cities series gets a plus from me.
zondag 27 maart 2011
One track is called ‘Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire)’, and this was the name of a project where brilliant minds came together to develop a brilliant plan for what to do in the unlikely event that the earth indeed would be on fire. What follows now are a few of the excerpts from the official report.
In the unlikely event that the world might catch fire, the first course of action should always be to try and extinguish it. Therefore, it should be obligatory to carry towels for everyone. If that fails, release a pamphlet stating the following: Dear citizens of the world. We have purposely set the world on fire as it was broken. Therefore, by doing this, we put ourselves in a position to rebuild a world that does not only function, but that will thrive, that will be beautiful, and that will cater to every person’s needs and wants and wishes! From the rubble of a broken world will rise an empire of greatness and prosperity!
However, for this to happen, we can only go on with a certain percentage of the current population. People who should unfortunately have to go up in flames are:
They who didn’t drink milk when they were young
They who still drink milk after their fiftieth birthday
They who cannot speak the English language, which will be appointed as lingua franca
They who can speak English but cannot pass their ICT exams
They who do not resemble Elizabeth Taylor in her prime
They who do not resemble James Dean
They who cannot style their hair in a quiff without help
They who have never played Mario Kart
They who have played Mario Kart but did not do so with the Yoshi character
Furthermore, 40% of the population will have to consist of gay males as to not immediately overpopulate the new world again. Plus we need some decorators to decorate the new world.
Tyler, The Creator is preparing a new album on the XL label. This album will be called Goblin and will contain a whopping 15 tracks. The title track will start it all off, and it also will feature previous singles ‘Sandwitches’ and ‘Yonkers’. Goblin will be released on the 10th of May.
Nearly we would have had the word Sandwitches in our dictionary. Leopold DiMaio had thought of this great, fantastic word (Sandwitches, obviously), but had nothing to apply it to. The agony! After four days of trying to come up with a new invention to which he could apply his ingenious name – and coming up with no new ideas whatsoever – he decided to try and search for people who did have inventions but no names. After an ad in the Morning Gazette (young male lkng fr male/female with gr8 idea but no name) that came up with nothing he decided to hit the streets. There, in the corner of his eye, he saw a man eating a mysterious creation that consisted of a layer of ham, two pieces of bread on top of it, and a pickle. Immediately he rushed over and said, Do you have a name for that? The man said, No, but I’m going to eat it, therefore I’m not sure if it needs one. After five minutes of initial confusion the gentlemen came to an agreement. The man said, I do, however, insist that instead of Sandwitch you name it Sandwich, for I am the Earl of Sandwich and that is a nice coincidence. DiMaio said, Agreed, if you put both the ham and the pickle between the two pieces of bread, that way when I show people what I have given a name my hands won’t get dirty. The man decided to shake on it, and we have been calling it “sandwich” ever since.
zaterdag 26 maart 2011
Oh hoe ik mij nog herinner de eerste keer dat ik Crystal Stilts zag! Uitstappen in Utrecht Zuilen met nog wat andere mensen die even clueless waren als ik, en dan op naar de DB Studios, wat inderdaad meer een studio is voor bands om te oefenen dan dat het er echt uitziet als een venue. In de kleine, donkere zaal kwam vervolgens de band op (in mijn herinnering geheel in het zwart gekleed, but not sure if I’m filling in blanks with the logical of dat het ook echt zo was), en daar gaf Crystal Stilts een alleraardigste set weg. Dit was vlak na het uitkomen van het debuut van de band uit New York, Alight of Night geheten. Later dit jaar zal Crystal Stilts komen met hun tweede album, In Love with Oblivion. Dat alleen al is uiteraard reden genoeg voor een praatje met de gitarist en één van de drijvende krachten achter de band, JB Townsend.
IKRS: Als dit interview overal plaats had kunnen vinden, welke plek had je dan gekozen?
JB: Een niet openbare ruimte. Interviews zijn rare dingen omdat je natuurlijk oppervlakkig gezien op dat moment gewoon aan het praten bent met iemand die vragen heeft. Maar je bent natuurlijk ook aan het praten met de lezers, dus er is een zekere terughoudendheid in je antwoorden. Maar je wilt ook eerlijk en diepgaand zijn terwijl je de indruk af wilt geven dat je jezelf heel natuurlijk opstelt zonder begrenzingen, terwijl dat niet per se altijd zo is. Ik denk dat ik het liefst of stoned, of dronken, of in goed gezelschap ben in dat soort gevallen.
IKRS: Volgens mij wonen jullie allen in New York. Behoren jullie tot die Woody Allen groep die een uber romantisch beeld heeft van de stad, of behoren jullie tot de groep die altijd zegt dat ze de stad willen verlaten maar nooit doen?
JB: Waarschijnlijk zitten we er een beetje tussenin. Maar ik kan mezelf wel buiten de stad zien leven. Tegenwoordig met al die verdomde computers zou je waarschijnlijk in Patagonie kunnen leven en nog steeds op eenzelfde wijze kunnen corresponderen als dat je in een grote stad zou kunnen doen (zolang er maar wifi is!)
IKRS: Als ik luister naar jullie muziek hoor ik US jaren ’60 garage/surf invloeden, maar in de pers worden jullie vaak genoemd als onderdeel van de c86 revival en worden jullie geclassificeerd als dream pop en vergeleken met JAMC. Hoe zou jezelf de muziek omschrijven en wat vinden jullie al dat gelabel in de muziek wereld?
JB: Ik denk dat onze eerste EP Alight of Night meer een soort van jaren 80 sound had en omdat dat het eerste was dat mensen van ons hoorden dachten ze waarschijnlijk, Oh, deze gasten zijn een beetje een C86, Creation type, Flying Nun band. Ik denk echter dat ’t gewoon meer de manier was waarop we ervoor kozen om dat album op te nemen omdat we toentertijd op die manier onze instrumenten gebruikten. De oude Roland drum machine, welke geloof ik ook gebruikt werd door JAMC, kan daaraan hebben bijgedragen trouwens.
De dingen die ons beïnvloeden tijden het schrijven komen echt van overal vandaan en er zit niet echt een grens op qua genres, stijlen, artiesten, moods. Het schrijfproces is niet echt een heel erg gepland proces bij ons.
IKRS: Van jullie debuutalbum, en tevens die van je label genoten en je tijdsgenoten, werd gezegd dat het de esthetiek van jaren 80 indie pop terugbracht naar het front in 2008. Hoe begonnen jullie als band? Was er toen inderdaad zo’n revival gaande in NY?
JB: Er was niet echt een revival gaande toen we begonnen als band, maar ik denk dat ik een vooruitziende blik had want veel van die jaren 80 albums begonnen opeens weer tevoorschijn te komen, en ze kregen re-issues en wisten de tand des tijds te doorstaan. Maar we waren niet echt aan het anticiperen tot we mee konden varen op die golf. Toen wij begonnen was hetgeen wat je in Brooklyn hoorde vooral Electroclash.
IKRS: Zagen jullie wel het succes van jullie debuut Alight of Night aankomen?
JB: Niet echt, nee. We hebben wel van veel aardige recensenten en van andere artiesten gehoord dat ze ons goed vonden. Het is tegenwoordig moeilijk je succes in te schatten, want als je kijkt naar wat we wereldwijd aan albums verkocht hebben is dat niet eens zo veel.
IKRS: Zijn er dingen die jullie nu doen waarvan jullie denken, Hmm, als iemand ons dat nu eens vertelt had terwijl wij ons debuut aan het maken waren…!
JB: Er zijn altijd dingen wat betreft opnemen en mixen waarvan je achteraf denkt dat je dat anders had kunnen doen, maar op een gegeven moment moet je het achterlaten want anders kan je maar door blijven gaan en gaan met een album. Als je maar genoeg materiaal hebt om mee te werken, dan is het vervolgens zaak om er maar het beste van te maken denk ik.
IKRS: Ik heb gelezen dat jullie eerst nummers maakten vanuit lange jam sessies. Hoe ga je van zoiets naar een twee minuut durend iets als ‘Love is a Wave’? Is dat iets waar je nu echt bewust voor gaat, die nummers met een soort van korte pop structuur?
JB: Nou, ‘Love is a Wave’ was grappig genoeg in eerste instantie een nummer van vijf minuten dat we vervolgens gekortwiekt hebben. Wij benaderen nummers op verscheidene manieren. Soms zijn er nog steeds van die lange jams met een of twee sterk trance –achtige gedeeltes die we dan editen. En soms nemen we pop songs met four bars this, two bars that, etc.
IKRS: Ik heb jullie sound altijd zeer filmisch gevonden. Beetje old school, western achtig misschien. Zijn er soms filmfanaten in de band waardoor dit er onbewust in is geslopen?
JB: Toen we de band aan het opzetten waren keek ik echt heel veel films, en ik moet zeggen dat ik niet anders kan dan zeggen dat al die soundtracks volgens mij inderdaad op de een of andere manier mijn hersenen zijn ingeslopen.
IKRS: Als we een film magazine waren, welke films zou je gebruiken om aan ons je sound te omschrijven?
JB: Jeetje, dat is moeilijk. Belly? Strip game? (Don’t bother looking them up. No, seriously. - ed).
IKRS: Zijn er instrumenten of is er hardware dat je graag zou willen aanschaffen om te gebruiken tijdens je volgende tour/opname sessie?
JB: Eén ding dat we vroeger wel gebruikte en dat we wel weer zouden willen hebben is een Multivox tape echo machine. Op de één of andere magische manier wisten we die van ons te verliezen; ik weet altijd wel dingen kwijt te raken.
IKRS: Als je kijkt naar de huidige muziek scene, denk je dat het nog steeds belangrijk is als unsigned band om veel op te treden, of denk je dat de exposure meer is gericht op blogs/YouTube tegenwoordig?
JB: Persoonlijk denk ik dat het nog steeds best belangrijk is, maar er zijn ook zat bands die al populair zijn voordat ze ook maar een show hebben gespeeld. Niet cool.
IKRS: Hoe gaat jullie nieuwe album, In Love with Oblivion, klinken? Wat kunnen we allemaal verwachten?
JB: De algemene sfeer van het album is een beetje gelijk aan dat van Alight of Night. Het is ook voor het grootste gedeelte gemixt op dezelfde console met dezelfde soort tape. De nummers zijn niet heel erg veel verder weg van de boom gevallen dan onze oudere nummers, maar misschien zijn ze wat minder “darK”? Er zitten er nog wel een paar van zulke tussen trouwens.
Wij danken JB Townsend van Crystal Stilts en Musos Guide voor het opzetten van het interview en het bijdragen van enkele vragen. Crystal Stilts speelt op 2 juni in de bovenzaal van Paradiso.
donderdag 24 maart 2011
One of the tracks is called ‘Pull Me Back To Earth. In her latest book, Mimi Reitenbreider (known for the classic novel What to do if I sit next to you in a bus (and other nightmarish tales)) has turned to a first person documentary of a day in the life of a balloon. If this wasn’t trite enough already – we all remember Lindsay Berduccini’s epos about a leaf being blown around the world, and especially its heartfelt and ironic ending where (in Fall, no less!) the leaf attaches to a different tree, obviously commenting on Wittgenstein’s fourth chapter in Tractatus, and why it should’ve been left out – Reitenbreider feels the need to propose that a balloon would want to be pulled back to earth (even exclaiming so much in both the ninth and eleventh chapter!). Naturally, this is preposterous! This would have been a great opportunity to send a positive message in terms of liberation, instead Reitenbreider chooses for a glorification of being shackled, hereby denouncing all the work Judith Butler fought for so hard in her Gender Trouble. By letting the balloon conform to our earthly limitations Reitenbreider succeeds to singlehandedly set back the feminist movement at least four hours, five in summer time.
So the track is called ‘Think You Can Wait’, but I mean, we live in an age of instant gratification, right? Who wants to wait? If I see something, I just buy it or do it, no? Because otherwise, since there is an overload of music, games, shows, people whatever nowadays, if you don’t do it right away and think, You know what, I’ll wait, I’ll let the anticipation do its work, then before you know it, whammo, you see something else and want that. Or some new and improved version already came out. So no, I don’t think I can wait, because otherwise I’m not going to enjoy it at all, am I? So we do it now, we do it fast, it burns out quickly, and we’re on to the next thing. I don’t want to labour away for something, there’s always a quick fix, a quick way to satisfy whatever. A short cut, a quicker way. Why make a book report? If the gratification is in the book report being handed in I can’t wait for it to be made, it has to be now. And reading the book takes too long! If I need to write an essay in French, I just ask someone to do it for me instead of learning French and pay him in whatever. If I need to hit a good ball that is on my backhand side, I’m going to walk around it to my forehand, I’m not going to miss and then swing and miss and then swing and miss until I develop a backhand, nonsense! Why develop something, why be good at something, be able to do something, if the gratification is in the result anyway. Which I want now, otherwise sod it, I’ll find something else to do.
dinsdag 22 maart 2011
maandag 21 maart 2011
Track: ‘Belong’ by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (listen here)
Average grade: 5.6
Ilse: After seeing the Pains live in 2009 I sort off lost track of them, as you sometimes do with certain bands. Then I was pleasantly surprised by this new single, which I've put on repeat over and over ever since the first listen. Despite not having given the album full listening attention yet, I already noticed their sound is a tad different from before, interesting to see them widening their horizon, even if it's just a bit. Also this particular track stands out way above the rest; so all in all, this outsider anthem with a teenage feel is definitely one of the greatest things I've heard so far this year.
Anna: I have to confess I never really cared about this band; they make pleasant enough music, but I consider them to be forgettable. This new tune seems to have more of a strong core than their usual offerings (tweecore! hahahah - oh well, at least I entertain myself), but its 90s essence is quite familiar. There's nothing wrong with that as such, however, it's been done it much better (for instance by Smashing Pumpkins back in the day and Silversun Pickups in their last album). To me this tune is a bit more memorable than their previous stuff and I do enjoy the guitar riff around which it revolves, but I wouldn't go any further than that.
Craig: I don't have any opinion on this song and that is setting off the "average" alarm in my head. Sounds like clothing store music.
Linda: I've never gotten what people find so great about the Pains. To me, they're a bit like cricket: some absolutely love it, while I don't get what the hell is going on (except when you would happen to be referring to Krikkit - the planet made out of the remains of the supercomputer Hactar and whose inhabitants sole goal in life is to destroy the rest of the universe in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is of course absolutely rational and not to be confused with cricket the ball-game).
Stef: This actually sounds better than I had expected, not sure if that gives away more about my previous opinion of this band or the quality of this song, but there you have it.
Nobody would probably deny the lads from Australia have some solid tunes. Because there is some serious tunage going on, with one catchy track being played after another. They waste no time from the get go, playing two of In Ghost Colours’ best tunes in the opening part of their set. ‘So Haunted’ is just a tremendous crowd pleaser with its “What’s that you see / it’s only satellites satellites satellites!” bit as opener. It is perhaps the track I remember most fondly from the first time I saw them in Brooklyn. That and ‘Lights and Music’ from the same album, which opening notes are greeted by a roar from the crowd. It is perhaps their signature song, and it gets the house a-rockin’. The only downside to this is that the next track they play, Zonoscope’s ‘Take Me Over’, sounds rather mundane in comparison (and it is not their best track off of Zonoscope in my personal opinion to begin with).
This isn’t to say, however, that the Zonoscope tracks should be buried and drowned all together. After the seeming lull compared to ‘Lights and Music’ one of Zonoscope’s other songs picks it right up; namely ‘Pharaohs and Pyramids’. Every little beat of this song oozes out the idea that this song was written with nothing but the dance floor in mind. The same can be said for ‘Sun God’, that umpteen minute track that ends both Zonoscope and their regular set. So that’s quite the jam they end it with, although it is indeed more a jam than that it invokes the dance madness of for example The a ‘Happy House’ by The Juan MacLean does. If the band can transform ‘Sun God’ into something like that, then they’re sitting on gold. The band goes out on an encore consisting of ‘Need You Now’ and ‘Out There on the Ice’.
What jumps out to me is how tight the band is live. Between all the dancing, the shenanigans of the guitar player, the hand claps, and the on-and-off fifth man; the one constant is the consistency of the quality. It seems almost pre-recorded. Dan Whitford’s voice is remarkably stable, and the band just seems to hit note after note after note. This might be a recipe for disaster because of its predictability, but somehow they manage to mix their consistency with the evocation to dance. That is perhaps their greatest strength. Also, the searing guitar adds a bit of a rock element to a clinically clean live performance.
The crowd is well up for it, and the more Cut Copy delivers, the more the crowd is going for it. Everyone is dancing and actively engaged with the show Cut Copy puts on (and don’t be mistaken, their stage presence has evolved into something of a show), and the band churns out one danceable tune after another. Even if one is not fond of Zonoscope and has their doubts about seeing them, still I recommend going, because these lads sure know how to get a crowd going. Be sure to check them out if catchy music is what you are looking for, I can almost guarantee Cut Copy will deliver in a live setting.
dinsdag 15 maart 2011
maandag 14 maart 2011
Track: ‘Hold My Breath’ by Wolfram feat. Holy Ghost! (listen here)
Average grade: 7.1
Anna: Normally I'm not the biggest fan of this new kind of take on Italo disco, but this one sounds surprisingly refreshing. It's not what I'd put on for quality hour (Thursdays 7-9) but I'd definitely dance to it whenever wherever, so I guess Wolfram may consider his mission accomplished.
Craig: Italo disco done nice and dirty. Seems like this would be fun to dance to at a sweaty party in a tiny space packed with way too many people. Summer's on the horizon; my guess is this will make some warm weather party mixes.
Ilse: Apart from that tune in the beginning (which comes back throughout the song), which sounds a bit like a soundtrack to a bellydancer-act combined with 80s disco, it has some decent beats and an overall rather pleasant vibe. However, it doesn't get me excited very much and I have the feeling it should. To add to this, the pleasant vibe somehow doesn't entirely compensate for the beforementioned 1001 Arabian Nights-themed Sweet Sixteen party-tune. So, to stay on the path of the track's title, all in all it's not particularly breathtaking for me.
Linda: I really like Holy Ghost! and I think I can vaguely remember them playing this track when I saw them opening for Cut Copy last week. It's not one of their best attempts, which is probably why I'm not too sure whether I've actually heard them play it, but it definitely beats anything of Cut Copy's Zonoscope (those tracks where about as welcome as a very audible wet fart in public).
Stef: This track is actually one of three versions that has come out recently. Another one is on the Holy Ghost! album and is a more disco cut, and the other features Italo-Disco chanteuse Shally Shapiro. This one has more of a beat to it. I like this approach, which seems to fit very nicely into this remix/edit culture we are having. The track is a tune as well.
zaterdag 12 maart 2011
The title is reminiscent of the seminal 1973 survey that was published in Time Magazine, where multiple people were asked whether they thought their life was fantastic. The first person asked this question in the survey answered, Well, I think… you know. I think yes, I do have a fantastic life, yes. So you are happy? I- I guess I’m happy, happy enough yes. Enough? Well, yes, as happy as one needs to be I suppose. I don’t know. You’re not jealous of your sister? No. Well. Yes, she has her qualities of course. Qualities? Well, you know, there are things she is better in than me I suppose. *silence* I mean, she has always had more luck in love and boys I suppose. That didn’t come so naturally for me. But I’ve got a husband now as well so, well, none of that teenage doubt anymore. Is your sister’s husband better looking than your husband? Oh now, I don’t know. Her husband has his qualities I suppose. Mine is a sweetheart. *silence* Have you ever settled for second best? Do you think in one’s life one should sometimes settle for second best. Oh no, no I’m happy, really. I don’t know about fantastic, you know, maybe that is too strong a term. But I’m happy. *pause* Honestly.
The second person asked refused to comment on the question. The more often our man asked this person, the more decisive and vigilant the refusals became.
The third person asked this question in the survey answered, No. No my life is not fantastic. He said this with a smile. A-are you sure? Yes, yes I’m sure. *pause* Don’t you feel your life has its redeeming assets then? Oh yes, yes surely it has. But I’m not under the illusion that it is fantastic. Oh. Okay. Okay. Y-you want anything? A cup of coffee? No, but thank you. No? Tea? I can get some for you? No, no it is all quite all right. Oh. Okay. Okay. Thank you for taking the survey. The man nodded and smiled and departed.
Eén van de tracks heet ‘Speed of Light’, en dat gaat over een fameuze episode waarin de koning in geldnood kwam te zitten. Daarop vroeg hij zich af, okay, als verkeersboetes zo’n grote inkomstenbron zijn voor het Rijk, kunnen we dit dan niet uitbreiden. En zo zei hij, Ik heb gehoord dat licht heel snel reist, kunnen we licht niet bekeuren? Dit zou theoretisch wel kunnen, zei zijn raadsheer bedenkelijk, Maar licht heeft geen geld, daarbij reist het zelden over rijkswegen. Een andere adviseur zei, Ja, maar iedereen gebruikt wel licht! Misschien kunnen we zeggen, licht overtreedt de wet, iedereen die licht gebruikt krijgt een boete. Briljant, en zo geschiedde.
Echter, het volk was niet erg blij met deze maatregel, en ze gingen in beroep. Zij gaven aan, wij willen niet betalen want wij vinden het onzin, daarbij is licht belangrijk en kunnen wij niet werken zonder. Het volk gaf zoveel op over de belangrijkheid van het licht dat de koning bang was dat licht zijn eigen populariteit zou overstijgen. En wat zou er dan gebeuren? Het hitst het volk nu al zo op, laat staan als hij heel het volk achter zich weet. Een coup! En dus zei de koning, Ik verbied licht, waarop zijn raadsman antwoordde, Maar wat doen we met mensen die licht gebruiken?. De koning antwoordde, Dat is heulen met de vijand, verraad van de koning, in het gevang! Nadat de eerste mensen in het gevang waren gegooid (waaronder Ferdinand Lupowitz, die nog nooit iemand kwaad had gedaan en 89 was), kwam het volk in opstand. Het volk stootte vervolgens de koning van de troon, en er werd iemand opgezet die licht niet verbood. Volgens Rechtse media was dit een schaduwregering van het licht, maar niemand heeft dit ooit echt hard kunnen maken.
donderdag 10 maart 2011
However, since we’re already two months in, lets just do a bit of a highlight reel of some of the best songs that have come out in 2011!
‘Jam for Jerry’ by Holy Ghost!
Oh man, you knew this was coming, didn’t you? An absolute corker by the two lads of Holy Ghost! (who we interviewed on this very site, so check that out!). If you make an homage to one of DFA’s finest drummers (who unfortunately passed away in an eerie elevator accident), don’t go ballad, do something with a tight rhythm section. Melancholic lyrics featuring the kind of stuff one thinks about when someone has passed away. You wonder, Have I told that person often enough how much I appreciated this person, or, Was there something I could’ve done so this wouldn’t have happened? Because, after all “If I could change it all I would / If only I could / You can quote me / Hold me to it”. Aside from that, this is an absolute dance floor filler. These guys are going to be one of the hits of 2011, book it! And as said, check the interview we did with them last year.
‘Nobody’ by Cassian (Mitzi remix)
First of all, check Mitzi’s EP All I Heard, because those three songs are seriously good. This is Mitzi’s remix of a Cassian song, another new kid on the block (for me at least, though perhaps people actually in the know may have been on the ball for years and years about this band, who knows). I first heard this in the FACT Magazine mix of Moullinex (check out his output as well while you’re at it. The mix also features Holy Ghost!), and I just lost it. Instrumental (as opposed to Mitzi’s own stuff), and it just has these amazing build ups. Just got to be dancing on this one, amazing remix.
‘Into the Valley’ by Classixx feat. Karl Dixon
More disco goodness, this time coming from the West Coast of the U.S.A., namely Los Angeles. And if you just crafted a tune, this is what you do, hire a gospel singer or disco singer or whatever and just get some good vocals on there. Sometimes you have to use other people’s talent, and it just gives this catchy track a bit of oomph. Luckily you see it a lot more these days, with Hercules and Love Affair bringing in Aerea Negrot and Shaun Wright, Holy Ghost! asking Michael McDonald to do a song, Wolfram with Haddaway, and if you go real popular Gorillaz teaming up with Bobby Womack. Got to love when people with vocals team up with people with the tunes.
‘Space is Only Noise If You Can See’ by Nicolas Jaar
Now, this might make more sense in the context of the album, but when I’m listening to that LP this is the point that gets me every time. I love listening to this album while on the commute (early on the morning or late at night), and just watching the night pass by. And sometimes your mind wanders off, but then this song hits with that “Space is only noise if you can see” line and I’m right back in the hypnotic grasp of this album. Sense heightening. This young kid has just made a really, really good, atmospheric electro album which is really intricately crafted with all these little sounds at exactly the right places. Love it when the vocals slightly overlap in the second part of the song.
‘Still Sound’ by Toro Y Moi
I really, really liked that clip. And I don’t say that often about clips because most of them I find rather insipid affairs, but this one just has fun written all over it. And the kid can sure bust a move, nifty footwork that! Nice catchy song with some fitting vocals. I think the slower bit in the middle with the angelic sounds is a nice break from the catchiness, until the bass takes over again that is. Really like the vibe this one gives off. And as said, what a nice clip, got to love that Super 8 camera thing.
‘Ned’ by Montauk
The duo of Montauk has released an EP with all boy’s names. And they have given these names to three disco edits. ‘Ned’ is a slloooww burner grooving along. The name comes from Ned Doheny, as it featured on his 1976 Hard Candy album originally. Montauk has slowed it down and stretched it out for over ten minutes with a piano solo in the middle to help the bass fill that ten minute track length a bit. Now, granted, if you like your edits to speed things up and not put five minute piano solos in the songs, this won’t be for you. But it is just worth a listen for the out of the box mentality Montauk showcases here. All the songs on this EP are slow burners like this by the way.
woensdag 9 maart 2011
One of the other tracks is called ‘Lady Luck’, which was one of the more thrilling escapades of detective Georg Moritz. These pieces are taken from his diary, which was found after he died whilst investigating a missing bottle of scotch in his fridge.
March 28th: Forenzi called me late last night. Luck is changing, he said. He had found broken glass on the floor at Café Argento’s. We had been on luck’s tail for a week now, and this was a serious setback. Aside from the jig, the jug was empty as well. Would this stroke of misfortune never end?
April 2nd: We are on Luck’s tail again. We are deliberating the big finale, drawing the curtain, finishing it off. This led to a heavy discussion about how to catch luck. Rope seemed insufficient. Libovic suggested hitting Luck in the head with a horseshoe by throwing it casually over his shoulder at Luck, but this seemed unnecessary violent, plus horseshoes were expensive and throwing it away seemed such a waste.
We have strong evidence Luck knows we are close and Luck might be on the move again. A bad trick was played on us yesterday, as we were almost knocked senseless when we opened the cupboard and someone had stacked everything in such a way all the cutlery fell out and missed us by an inch. Luckily it were only the Berditch kids, who are 11 and 13 and have runny noses. If it had been done by a more experienced professional it might not have turned out this way.
April 4th: We managed to intercept a message from a Frank S., who apparently encourages Luck to be a lady tonight. Was he encouraging Luck to disguise as a woman? Had Luck not always be a woman? Should we be checking all shoe stores for purchases of boots with heels that were relatively easy to walk in for inexperienced heel-walkers?
April 13th: The last few days have been tumultuous. I have been taken off the case. Luck seemed to be slipping our grasps. In a desperate attempt to try and catch Luck I instead caught a cold and I have been ill at home for the last three days sharing hanky’s with the Berditch kids.
One of the tracks is called ‘Every Night My Teeth are Falling Out’, which is really annoying if you sleep next to that person like Lydia Horach had been doing. Her husband’s teeth kept falling out, and so she was thinking, Hmm, maybe if I just collect them and throw them in the dustbin he will have to get fake ones he has to take out before sleeping anyway. Problem solved, so she thought. She went to bed, waited, the teeth fell out. She got out, went on her knees to collect the teeth, the teeth bit her. She got angry, the teeth scurried out, and they are know working at Madison Square Garden as ticket punchers.
dinsdag 8 maart 2011
maandag 7 maart 2011
One of the songs is called ‘Black Lion Massacre’, and the song’s title is taken from one of the more elusive chapters in the Animal Kingdom (and other assorted tales) wherein the black lions battled the lions that we are now so familiar with. They were named the golden lions, for when the sun shone on their fur they truly looked as if they had the mandate of heaven to rule the animal kingdom, and there had to be a distinction in name with their black counterparts.
For years the battle could not be decided, until a coup happened by the Golden Lions. Six of them, posing as a giant wooden resemblance of the French Ambassador, sneaked into the opposing camp (they posed as an automatically moving device. It has been assumed by a great many scholars that Ford took his cue from this). The Golden Lions feigned to retreat, and just when the Black Lions were all asleep after celebrating, the Golden Lions broke formation as the French Ambassador, opened the gates of the Black Lions camp, and let their returning friends in for what now is known affectionately as the Black Lion Massacre.
The thing about knowing there is an answer, there has to be an answer, is that you have to go look for it. It is human nature, it is what you have to do. Like a cartoon has to follow the white stripe on the road, a human, if he knows there is an answer, he has to go look for it. Now, sure, sure, you can go for the cop out, you can see, there is one being who thought it all up, I have “discovered” the existence of this creature, therefore, I know the answer. And then you can live in peace and don’t have to look no more, sure, you can do that. But that is the easy way out, you see? It is what people do who don’t want to worry no more. Surely, you are not that kind of person.
Surely you are the kind that wants to know the truth, the answer, the big blamoo! That you can go to sleep at night and think, hey, I’m close, there is an answer, and I can crack it! Imagine the satisfaction. That’s what you want to do, you see? And you know what you need for that search? You need a good pen, you see, to write down the clues! Whaddaya think about this one, 4.99 dollar, it’s a steal for a kind of person like you, the kind of person that wants to find the answer. It writes silky smooth, it doesn’t stain, and you can grab it out of your breast pocket like *snap*, like that, you see. Here, you see how easily I did that. For if that clue quickly passes you by and you know, I have to write it down now! Yessir, this pen is invaluably to find the answer – and there is an answer, don’t think there isn’t one! – and just for 4.99 it can be yours!
zondag 6 maart 2011
Track: ‘A Hundred Highways’ by Dirty Beaches (listen here)
Average Grade: 6.8
Craig: Oh, the reverb! This sounds like it was found on the side of the road, and put into an 8-track player dirt & all. How is it that old 50s pop sound fits with howling guitar noise so well? I love how bands are able to mash them together. Still, I think the bass line is so close to Little Peggy March's 'I Will Follow Him' that it's a bit distracting.
Anna: Take the rockabilly essence, pass it through a filter of lo-fi, add a beautiful esoteric voice, sprinkle with distortion and this tune what you get. It sounds so good that I hunted down more of his songs and I wasn't disappointed. I'll be waiting for the album on my toes, like an intoxicated ballerina with a vague sense of purpose.
Linda: I don't know about this one. It sounds like it was recorded on a Fisher Price tape recorder that was previously owned by a particularly vindictive 3-year old. And that's really all I can say about it.
Stef: Again, I’m with the person identifying the “influence”, but again I don’t mind that much. I love the husky voice, though I also agree that a little less noise would get me even more excited. Especially the midway part sure isn’t the easiest listen, though I do like the sort of “screamy” sounds you can find in there.
None of that is Hercules & Love Affair’s fault by the way. The Andy Butler led band has rejuvenated itself with the new line-up and the charismatic additions of Aerea Negrot and Shaun Wright. It is about fun, fun, fun. Mark Pistel and Andy are behind the decks, and in front of them Aerea Negrot, Shaun Wright, and Kim Ann Foxman do their thing. They exhume enthusiasm, a will to entertain, and – forgive me for repeating myself – having fun. Wright is vogueing his ass off, Negrot is doing all sorts of acrobatics, and Foxman is jumping around on the beat. Not to mention that these new additions just have the greatest voices. Wright has this old fashioned disco voice that fits the new songs amazingly, and if there is anything that Negrot can’t do with her voice I haven’t thought of it yet. Not only can she sing the songs, she can sing opera and she could work at a haunted mansion doing all the voices and noises. Every time she opens up her mouth automatically smiles appear everywhere.
Now, this all sounds perfect, and late last year it was when I saw them play the Amsterdam Dance Event. However, the sound set up is less than stellar, which is obvious from the get go. They also can only play a limited festival set (yet there is room for Tom Trago to play before and after the band for an extended amount of time, so why not give half an hour extra to the band?), and they themselves seem at times bothered when the set-up fails to deliver the kind of sound they want. The biggest problem however – and this is a problem that would haunt the festival throughout the evening as far as I’m concerned– is just that it is so damn crowded. How many tickets do you need to sell? Paradoxically, if Hercules and Love Affair is about cutting loose and letting go, then it is physically impossible to do so at this gig because of the sheer number of people. See Hercules and Love Affair with this new line-up whenever you can though, they’re a hoot.
Mind you, the venue has two rooms, and in the main room the crowdedness is more of a problem than in the small room. Perhaps this is because French Horn Rebellion are playing there, and I’m not very enamored with their live act. First of all I don’t find it all that dancey to be honest, and second of all their stage presence is too macho for my taste. After French Horn Rebellion resident DJ Job de Wit spins a few records, and he lets some new stuff hit the dancefloor, amongst which a sort of mash-up with Chromeo. De Wit also plays a reworked version of Discodeine’s single ‘Synchronize’ and Robyn’s catchy ‘Indestructible’. And luckily there is enough space here to bust a move. In the main room Shit Robot is behind the turntables, and when we come in he is wrapping up a song of his own with Alexis Taylor on vocals. After him it is Aeroplane who takes over.
What plagues most sets though (aside from Hercules and Love Affair and Job de Wit for some reason), is the sheer volume on which the music is played. Personally I thought the choice of music by some of the DJs was pretty crude, but if there was any nuance in there it would’ve been drown out by just how high the volume was anyway. There is simply no need for the music to be this loud. I’ll repeat that, there is simply no reason for the music to be this loud. Yeah it is a party, yeah we always want the host to crank up the volume, but this was mind numbing. That along with the sheer number of people just really left its mark on the evening.
For me, most of the sets also didn't seem to work on that really hypnotizing level. Because for me, a must for a really great DJ set is that it has to have a good build-up in it or it has to establish some sort of amazing flow or atmosphere/mood. Though I do want to add that maybe due to the volume and the massive amount of people I might not have noted the subtleties of these people's sets, so if someone thinks, Hey, he missed the boat on that one, please do leave a comment to expand on this account. The sets failed to really grasp me, though perhaps I was also negatively influenced by the volume and by how crowded it was. On which note I do want to give belated props to Motor City Drum Ensemble, who played one heck of a set a few weeks back during Nijmegen’s SoulDrum night, a night of dancing I’ll probably remember more fondly in terms of music than this more expensive night at 05 Days Off, despite the on paper rather impressive line-up.
donderdag 3 maart 2011
The next bit is from an excerpt of an unknown detective, who was trying to recover the heart to the Empire: We were in a bind, and we knew it. There was only 24 hours left to return the heart to the at the moment Heartless Empire, but we had nothing. Zilch. Nada. Yesterday concluded my latest futile attempt. I had asked the help of Marienkic Daskiewicz, aka the meanest, sharpest Basset Hound in town. It is said he can smell the missing item within a two mile radius, and that he could hear footsteps all the way to Jersey. Alas, the former only concerns liver, and it led to nowhere but a butcher shop down 5th Avenue who had a wholesale.
After I devoured three steaks and a tenderloin, I went to bed. I woke up, and I was reminded of the precarious state we were in by the gun against my head. From the corner of my eyes I saw they had cleverly bounded Marienkic to a pole with his ears. He looked sad, and his eyes became a metaphor for the state we were all in. The man suddenly spoke and said, I hear you are looking for the heart. I replied, Yes, and if you have it, lets cut a deal. I get the heart, you let me go, but I’ll keep the dog tied up to the pole. My quick wittedness was met with laughter, but only after I had received a blow to the stomach and had bowled over, letting out a shriek like a little girl. When I regained control of my voice after it had let out a wheezing sound for about an hour, I yelled, Is that the best you got. I realized I had made a mistake in saying that when I woke up in Indiana with nothing but a bowtie around my neck and a bird on my shoulder singing a rendition of La Traviata.
One of the tracks is titled ‘Hey Moon’. The thing about the moon is, whenever you have a plan, it just doesn’t listen. So you say, Hey, Moon, I’ve got a plan, but whereas the sun is listening and saying, Now, come on, I would like to hear this plan, your eyes still go to the moon because we are always looking for approval from the one that won’t give it. It is one of the reasons why the Americans thought, let Russia have the first man in space, but let us go to the moon, and then we can try and convince him of our plans from up close, and if that doesn’t help, throw little rocks at him to annoy him until he says All right already, geez. People say that is how the disappearing of a truckload of boulders and the passing of the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977 are linked.
woensdag 2 maart 2011
Here is a short excerpt of the essay entitled Kissing No One, written by H.D. Mandelbaum and it was published in the August magazine of Philosophy and Me: The phrase Kissing No One puts us in a conundrum. Namely, if you are kissing no one, are you kissing at all? That is to say, aren’t you then not doing nothing instead of kissing no one? Even if you kiss yourself (say, the insides of your elbow or the space between your thumb and finger), you are kissing someone, no matter how pathetic it is.
To take on a similar question so eloquently put forward by B.L. Dorfstucken in his brilliant essay Why Windmills Were Good For Literature and other scientific inventions that benefited the arts, if you are fighting no one, are you fighting at all? Or are you merely making an ass of yourself? The latter probably being the case. He daringly specified his example even further when he asked the thought provoking question, if you are fighting a prawn, are you then fighting at all? For if it is already dead and on your plate can we constitute “fighting” it as really fighting. Dorfstucken, in a much lauded move, said, Yes, we can. Since you are fighting something, it is fighting, despite that the heroism of it can be compared to a lion devouring a dachshund in winter (which, incidentally, he used in his follow-up essay Fictional examples that benefited the arts, even though they would be real events if they would actually happen, stating a case that The Lion in Winter was derived from this very fictional example. Unfortunately when presenting this he was booed off the stage and consequently ended his tenure ship at UCLA. He was last seen strolling around parks with a shopping bag and a scruffy beard).
One of the songs is called ‘White Electric’, taken from an episode in a kingdom far far away. The king at one point wanted to switch to White Electricity. Mainly because he didn’t know which colour normal electricity was, and he wanted to get a clear, logical symbol for electricity on several maps and pamphlets, and he struggled finding one (Lightning, he shouted, is soooo 19th century Benjamin Franklin, and the court concurred). Now, there were some expenses involved with this, so much so that he thought, Hmm, I need a viable reason to switch. So he had all the universities in the country do research on possible benefits of white electricity. Almost did they find a relation between white electricity and the speaking of French, as people living in apartments with white electricity promptly started speaking it. Hurray, everyone thought, until they found out that they couldn’t speak French at all and were merely pursing their lips and calling out nonsense syllables, always being sure they ended with “eauuu”.