Wednesday, 22 February 2012

SP4M 22/02/12

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I don't know about you, but I think Pancake Day is too commercial these days. All those big flour and egg companies taking advantage of us.
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As befitting a music blog that's only purpose is to put all my favourite songs in a list in the hope that at least one person will hear them and go "WOW I MUST BUY ALL OF THESE RIGHT NOW", I'm going to be totally selfish, and start off with two songs from my favourite band of all time, Million Dead. Now, I know there are guitars and live drums - I know, take a deep breath - and there is even a large percentage of shouting, but it's my blog, and I really have been listening to them a lot this week. I want you to imagine that for once you're allowed to listen to non-electronic music, and that nobody is going to judge you. This is a safe place. Just be thankful I'm not asking you to listen to Thursday (I might do that next week).





Right, let's crack on now. This week I was stunned by the news that Sub Zero - Protection was finally going to be released on Playaz. [You can pre-order it here on his "Bi Polar" EP, I know I am] I don't know what stunned me more - that after so long I would finally be able to own it, or the fact that it was on UKF. Some of the recent uploads on there make me think they're trying to shrug off their 'reputation'...it doesn't matter, the more people that hear this tune, the better. I spent most of last summer listening to a bad quality clip of Protection taken from the Hype show (I think) on YouTube with a picture of armed police on segways as the video, and as a result, it sounds fresh, airy, bright and reminds of very happy times, but I can't shake that weird precarious image of a wobbly gunman as it rolls along. I'm not sure what you'll do with that information exactly, but now you know.



I awoke to the news a couple of days ago that Synkro - Progression was finally (FINALLY!) released two weeks ago, and I completely missed it. Sorry. Brilliant, gorgeous track, definitely worth adding to your ever-expanding Synkro collection.



Also, you should grab his brilliant new RA podcast. Any mix with a tracklist including Indigo, GoldFFinch, Frederic Robinson, Stickman and Akkord is worth your time.

Speaking of Akkord (or "Δkkord" as they prefer to be known) their recent Electronic Explorations appearance was incredible. I said at the time that every once in a while there's an entire episode of EE that blows me away - this was one of them. Apparently they were brought together by their "love of mathematics...and sacred geometry". I'm not entirely sure what it means, but in my head 'sacred geometry' means making sense of rigid, angular lines and seeing something more spiritual there. Not to get all Pitchfork about it, but that's what they sound like. Definitely, definitely give them a go.

Blu Mar Ten have been running a remix competition for their laaavly track "All Or Nothing". There have been entries inspired by the entire spectrum of dance music, but so far one of my favourites has been Bulb's "re-think" - atmopheric, euphoric, all of those words. In a word, it's Bulb, and that's good enough for me.



Here's something else that's completely beautiful - last week I showed you the Synkro remix of Sabre, Stray & Halogenix - Oblique. The official video for the single is now available on YouTube and I have to say the original is no less beautiful. The current hype about this track is deserved, it's an unmistakeable piece of genuinely beautiful music.


Hey! You know how I love Beastie Respond? About a month ago he did a mix for Organic. It's really good.



The amount of times I've mentioned this you should already know by now, but The Jackal was finally released on Monday and you should go and immediately buy it because so help me, if any tune deserves to sell out, it's this one. The flipside "Behmoth" is awesome too.



This A-U-X Events podcast by Total Science is incredible.



Another excellent thing from Intelligent. Murky and dark but with a slightly techy, metallic edge, I really love this tune. Keeping a close eye on this label.


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Can you die from finding a bunch of poetry you wrote when you were sixteen? - ARealLifeGhost
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--AN APOLOGY--
I incorrectly stated on my twitter feed this week that the Shades of Grey Data Transmission podcast was by Duct - it isn't, it was by all of them, I just got confused and only named the dude who lives in my house who's got a better cat than me who's part of SoG. SORRY EVERYONE ELSE aka. Owen Howells, Fybe:one and Trinomic. Anyway, you lot, the people I'm not apologising to, go away and listen to it. It's far too trendy for me to tell you about the tracklist without pretending I've heard most of the tunes before, but I really like it, and that's all that matters. Right? Riiiiight? Get it here.

Really exciting news - There's a new Ital Tek EP coming out soon. March 19th to be exact. Oh gosh. OH GOSH.



To tide you (me) over until then, there's a free download of "Up" to listen to and giggle about.



I discovered a couple of bands and artists this week. The first is Eleven Tigers, you can listen to clips of his album "111" on their soundcloud or here:



However I'd also recommend you check out ET's earlier album "Clouds Are Mountains" as it's quite frankly astonishing and the track "Stableface" from it is a) incredible b) something that you may recognise.

This is BRILLIANT. Garagey, splicey, slightly wonky awesomeness that's about as fun to listen to as it it is to dance to. I know, I've been dancing to it all week with the cat. Kastle - Could U Want Me



Also brilliant, and also from Belgian label Silverback is this little glimmering, techy, synthy beauty. Much, much love for this remix, the original is good but JTRP have smashed it.



Yep, Scuba - Personality is amazing. It's due out next week, but you can stream the whole thing here. Honestly, I can't praise it enough without my eyes glazing over and waving my arms around. The best part about it for me is the huge amounts of variation throughout it, how some tracks are deeply introverted and others are Vice City-esque cruising tunes. Choice tracks:





A new job has introduced me to Granholme. Wiping the Eye EP came out last October and I love it.

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SYYLLLVIAAAAA/GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE OVVENNNNNN
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Another band I was introduced to this week were The Antlers. Although not particularly my cup of tea on the face of it (Bon Iver-isms got a bit dull for me a few years ago, I'm afraid) their album Hospice is one of the best pieces of musical storytelling and general heartbreak I've heard. I was warned by the person who recommended it to me (who, despite what you're thinking, is not a gangly crybaby with fake horn-rimmed glasses and an antique book of Baudelaire verses) that I would cry at least once listening to it - oh yes. I did. Don't let that put you off though - it's one of those recommendations you wonder how you'll ever repay. Oh yeah, and if you're hugely judgemental like I am, please bypass the fact that it's yet another song to do (however vaguely) with Sylvia Plath and just get on with it.





FUN TIME



Despite myself, this tune is absolutely ace. I want to hear it EVERYWHERE. EEEVERYYYWHEERREEEE!





There's a new Crystal Castles album due out this summer and you can hear the HEALTH remix of Suffication here on Pitchfork.

Somebody posted this up on twitter a day or two ago. I thought it sounded really fresh and was totally gobsmacked to learn that it is in fact from 1991. Deep and tribal, it really wouldn't sound out of place played out anywhere at the moment.



Some cool, ambient sounds from Fill, a side project from Bulb.



IM:Ltd play another blinder with Mono - Warcry. Just the right combination of ethnic percussion and a stressy claustrophobic undercurrent with a tight, malevolent bassline.


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fuck tech house - Objekt
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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

SP4M 14/02/12

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What will become of Music when DJs discover you can drop the treble too? - Exmaswar
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Hello. This week has been a busy week of playing catchup with albums, podcasts and tracks I have long neglected (and I mean loooong neglected - I'm still finding un-listened to Electronic Explorations from 2009). It's not all been old timey stuff though, because there are some really exciting releases coming out round about now...some I've been waiting for for quite a considerable length of time.

Kodo - a name that you should have heard at least once a week if you follow me on any social networking outlet you care to choose from - is FINALLY releasing The Jackal next week. I am very excited. In the mean time, why don't you pop along and buy his Rough Trade EP part 1, which is, as you'd expect, sterling work, and features this little beauty.



STOMACH-CRAMPINGLY EXITING NEWS, EVERYONE! Burial's Kindred "EP" is out (it's in scare quotes because it's about half an hour long, and that's the closest to any criticism you'll get from me regarding ar'Burial. The man's a wonderful, marvellous being and we are all lucky to live on the same plane of existence as him. Or something.) Ashtray Wasp is probably my favourite, but again, making me choose would mean that the others were somehow 'worse' and that just isn't true.

Get it on DD from Hyperdub now.
Get it pre-ordered on 180gm vinyl so you can stroke and hug it.

Guess what else is coming out soon? Only another bloody Med School compilation! Now if New Blood 010 and New Blood 011 got you as loved up as they did me, just you wait until you get your filthy little mitts on Blood Pressure. I've been lucky enough to hear the whole shaboodle and I've already picked some favourites. They're releasing previews of the tracks on their site, but you can also look at the Blood Pressure set on Soundcloud which gets updated with the new tracks every week too. My two cents: Look out for Clarity & Bulb's track, it's phenomenal. Also this new kid called Barefoot has seriously underlined what I thought to be the Med School sound. There are other highlights, such as gorgeous tracks from Submerse, Synkro and Blu Mar Ten, but I'll leave waxing lyrical about them until the week of release so you can actually hear what I'm on about.



Slight Kanye break:


Indigo - Snowfall. What a gorgeous tune. Heard it on the ROKO Electronic Explorations mix and had to share it.  For once I prefer the original to the Synkro remix.



I've been avoiding Duct because I actually live with one of them, but to be honest, they're really good and you should definitely give them some of your time because this track in particular is lovely.



This week I have mostly been rinsing (amongst other things - Why? aren't going anywhere tbh) Lapalux's very long, very delicious EP. Is it an EP? Is it an album? Who knows. Maybe I should ask their press people. Anyway, it's brilliant, you'll love it, and I'm really excited to get my vinyl copy in the post - however I was stupid enough to pre-order it along with some other stuff that isn't coming out til the end of the month so I've still got to wait ages for my bulk order to get delivered. OH WELL.



Now isn't this BEAUTIFUL? Synkro has yet again taken an amazing track and turned it into something other-worldly and wonderful and good. I wonder if he turned his attentions to water...could he could turn it into brandy?



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A dolphin in a triangle coming out the water is the sickest brand logo yet to be born if you make that you will be smoking diamonds - Zomby
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New Beastie Respond. Oh lord! New Beastie respond on my Soundcloud timeline! What a day that was. Syncopy got me hooked last year - Blawan's Trecther Mechanica remix on the other side was just. Massive. This time they've brought me/everyone else who cares a lot more minimal, techno-infused drum and bass. It's so mechanical it's basically dripping in engine oil. Uff, in 'Be Quiet' listen to THOSE CLAPS. I love it.



 bit of a change of pace for me and this blog if I'm honest, but I've been approaching the upcoming High Contrast album with a mixture of curiosity and trepidation. 'Father, Can't You See I'm Burning?" came out yesterday (Mon 13th) and it brought a relieved smile to my face, but have a listen for yourself - can't you already hear the sick S.P.Y remix bursting to get out?



What I don't know about Hathor, or indeed Totaal Rez, the label they're assigned to, could probably fill the British Library. You don't need to know much though, to know they are something I'd definitely be into. Listen to Bewitched - it's the sonic equivalent of when the girl from The Ring zips right through the telly.  Dark, deep and creepy as all fuck with the erratic sampling of a mad scientist's assistant pulling all the switches during a thunderstorm, I think Hathor might be edging into my ever-lengthening favourites list.





My weekly Spinline - Contrast EP update. Lastest: It's still on it's way. Release date 27th Feb. Get to KNOW.


Sad that M.I.A is fast becoming a guilty pleasure instead of one of my favourite artists.


That Strategy fella is a bit good at that rapping business, isn't he? Also a revelation: apparently Dub Phizix has an Aussie accent. You learn something new every day...


Some awesome tracks on this mix by Bringa, including Closer by ARP XP (and you all know how I feel about him), Mortem - The Touch (again, I don't need to go into that emotional rant), Trex and Anile & Dakosa. It's a bit odd, but I kinda like that. Plus, isn't it weird that Enei's Stonehead EP came out SIX MONTHS AGO? No wonder hearing it makes me feel all summery.



Melé for Mixmag - frankly nuts if you ask me. So much old skool and general party time vibes (ugh, there I go again with that word) it's just a massive grin in mix format.


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Roots Manuva's rider = "cheese on toast, ten pints of bitter". (via@popbitch)
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Objekt - Porcupine/Cactus. GET IT (or get it on Surus if you want DD). So much love for Objekt right now.


Lovely lovely lovely lovely lovely etc etc etc




Rene LaVice does a Panda DnB mix show. It's rather good. You should get it. (via Beats for the planet)

You may all be aware Skrillex won three Grammy awards this week, and in doing so beat Photek's remix of Daft Punk's "End Of Line". I was not very happy about this. I've decided to make myself feel better by putting "End Of Line" in this blog post so you can all see for yourselves just how superior it is.


As a result of Skrillex winning three Grammys (yes, three) I have decided that now is the time for my samurai revenge mission against him. To accompany me I have chosen some lovely vengeance-inducing Ennio Morricone. Sorry, you can't come with me. It's a lone mission.



I spent a lot of time listening to Pelican this week. Oh yeah, I like emotive sludge metal. Maybe I should have put that in my bio.







Bop and Ghosting Season's Electronic Explorations mix from last July (I told you I was really far behind) is astonishing. That is all.

Finally, let's have a nice long Burial mix by a pal 'o' mine why not:


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Basically it's the natural progression of digeridoo dub bass. It feels how dance music would be in three years if the world ended now.

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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

BEST NEWS OF THE YEAR

ACCORDING TO @GINGERSPIDER DAFT PUNK ARE MAKING AN ALBUM WITH CHIC


It's in the Guardian, so it must be true.

The Maltesers Facepalm

I really wanted some Maltesers, so I went to the shop.

I knew there was a sale on Maltesers because I had seen them earlier, but didn't buy any as they were gift boxes and thought that would be an extravagant purchase. But, here I am, craving Maltesers and all the while the half-price valentines chocolates are there. So I go in the shop and I'm all, "Wow, great offer on the maltesers!" in my head even though a) nobody cares what I do or think and b) nobody can tell that I'm pretending not to have already planned to buy the Maltesers in my head.

I walk over to the Maltesers and quickly pick up two boxes, because they are half price and so that means I can have two. That's how chocolate maths works.

Then I realise I've walked into a corner shop at about 7pm in a hoodie and baggy beanie hat just to buy two massive boxes of Maltesers.

I walk around the shop a bit even though I know there's nothing else I want to buy because I don't want to pick up two massive boxes of maltesers and go straight to the counter. That would be really weird.

All the while I'm aware of what I look like and I'm thinking "don't act like a stoner, don't act like a stoner, it's just Maltesers, you're not even a stoner, what are you getting paranoid about?"



I get into the queue and try not to make eye contact with anyone. I am so engrossed in reading the special offers and not looking at anyone that I don't hear the cashier call out "next" for who knows how long.

The queue behind me is fairly big.

I stumble over to the till and put my maltesers down. I wish to god I'd just picked up some juice, or some crisps or something, but there I am with my two massive half-price boxes of Maltesers and nothing else.

"Do you want a bag?"

I try and say "no thanks" but my mouth doesn't work. I'm too busy trying not to look them in the eye and am also still embarrassed from not hearing them call me over. Eventually I get my maltesers into my handbag (yeah I know, I'm cramming two massive boxes of special-edition confectionery into my  handbag, smooth), I put my card in the card machine and say no thanks to the offer of cashback. Well done, a normal transaction. Oh wait -

I take the card out when she asks me to put in my pin. Not only that, but I didn't even know I did it because I was on autopilot looking at the shiny cigarette display behind her and thinking about match factories (I saw how matches were made on "How It's Made" and now every time I see a box of matches I can't help but think of thousands of them on conveyor-belts, more or less obsolete, wondering why the whole factory doesn't explode every single day. It's really easy to distract me, is the point of this digression.)

"Excuse me...you took your card out. I need to do that again"

I take my purse out of my bag where there is barely any room because of the maltesers, and re-do the transaction. Die inside a bit.

Then I left the shop, and now I can't go back to that shop.

I am the most socially awkward penguin.

Monday, 6 February 2012

SPAM 06/02/12

Alright, if Calibre touched kids, would you rate him? - Reapah
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Do you ever listen to a song every so often and hear it slightly different each time? It used to be a palette cleanser in-between your other favourite tracks, but slowly it grows on you until it becomes something you have to listen to every day? That's what this track has done to me - it's made me think I need it. I think I've even put it in a roundup before. Well I don't need it. I can stop listening to it whenever I want. I just WANT to listen to it right now, and I'd be listening to it even if there were other things to listen to because it's good. Stop looking at  me. You gonna take me to Objekt rehab? I'd like to see you TRY.




I also spent a great deal of time last week listening to Scuba - So You Think You're Special on repeat. It's like being in that scene in that independent movie where the skinny girl drinks the vodka and then puts on some leathers and goes shooting people. The live drums sound incredible and the atmosphere is so sparse it's almost overwhelming. Does that make sense? Probably not. Anyway, I'm having a right old Scuba time at the moment because after a few years of it being a total befuddlement to me, I put 'A Mutual Antipathy' on and to my amazement it made total and complete sense. Once again, train journey music epiphanies are the way forward.



More Scuba because he has an album coming out soon - another case of total serendipity on my part I have to say:



If you haven't heard this, or even if you have, get on it. Brilliant guest mix for Get Darker TV by Eleven8 and there's a d/l link too. Booming.

More excellent releases from Flexout Audio in the shape of Hysee and Chromatic & Retraflex:





Frederic Robinson is from Switzerland and he is very, very, very serious about production. You should get to know his name, because I think he might get rather popular. He's already had some very strong releases including this which is my favourite (but which I managed to miss out on getting a copy of on lovely pink vinyl :( ) Just a heads-up.


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"Baby you know I'll take care of you / 'Cause you say you got some spyware but I know it ain't true." #WuTangWebDesign
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This past week or so has seemed to comprise mainly of a wealth of podcasts and mixes, which I am very happy about. First is another fantastic ambient/dubstep podcast by Tom Bond of Solitude recordings, this time for Buffet of Poland, I believe.



Horizons do deep and heavy how it's supposed to be, this time with Amoss:



A brilliant mix of DnB with some liquid vibes (hate that word but it keeps crawling into my vocab) by the wonderful LSB for drumandbass.hu:



Soothing DnB sounds from Intelligent Recordings, who I only just heard about but who seem to be releasing some extremely solid tunes. I recognise less than 2% of the tracks on this tracklist, but hey, we're all learning every day, right?


I'd also advise you to listen again to Dusk + Blackdown's Rinse FM show from ... I forget the date. Sometime in the past two weeks. Sorry, I lost my bookmark :( But it has some new D+B tunes on and is generally ace.

If you like classy, smooth DnB then seriously listen to this. You probably already have but I'm telling you again. It's amazing, lovely stuff and it makes me feel like I'm dining al fresco in Monte Carlo. Technicolour Fabriclive x Bukem In Session mix.

FACT magazine revealed some exciting info on Photek's "DJ Kicks" 'project'. They also reminded me to listen to the mix he did for them last year. Both the info and the mix can be found here.

This is a rather good mix by my friend and general good egg Luke, who mainly goes by the name Luke, but sometimes is known as Smaur. I recommend you listen to it as like I said, unlike most mixes people pass around by their friends, this one is actually good.

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"Sorry, baw is not a acceptable word" . Guttedddd - Hudson Mohawke
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Some lovely smooth minimal from somebody I know nothing about. Always a pleasure!


I'm always hawking KC but he's got to be one of my fave dubstep producers by a long way. This is a classic I re-found thanks to my new Spotify account, which is all shiny and mainly unused thanks to the adverts.



This tune needs a release. Somebody pick it up immediately. I heard it in a mix last year and since then have been championing it to anybody who asks me for tune recommendations. I like to think it got put up on Soundcloud when it did because I asked for it - however this is probably an urban myth started by my own narcissism. Oh well. Ed:it & Geographix - Cold Air (ft. Grimm)


I don't think I need to give this any more of an introduction than "SPINLINE! NEW SPINLINE! OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG" so that's all I'm gonna do.



One of my best people told me about this band last week and they have swiftly gone to the top of my most played list. Quite the accolade, especially if you take into account the sheer volume and shortness of Onra tracks. Anyway, Why? are excellent despite their needless punctuation and you should get to love them too.


Bonobo - Black Sands remixed. Just found out about the existence of this. Do. Want.

We had a disco party last weekend. This is the best disco song.



OH - the Crosses EP finally came out. Chino Moreno vocals over what seems to be the musical equivalent of a velvety black bedroom. Gothic and synthy but without those shitey boots with metal all over them. Very nice.

Don't get romantically involved with anyone. It makes you listen to things like this:


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