Monday, February 22, 2010

Decadence in Berlin

Decadence in Berlin are from the English midlands and write pop music to the best of their ability. Comparisons have been made to post-punk groups such as Joy Division and the Fall, through to more contemporary acts such as the Rakes and the Young Knives. One promotions company went as far as to describe them as "Sonic Youth meets the Arctic Monkeys", but the band were unsure if they liked that or not. The following tracks are from their 2009 demo and are here for your listening pleasure.
The band are easily distracted, and inspiration for songs in this bunch include a short prose piece by Richard Braugtigan, the musical Cabaret, and the macabre myth of the Man-Moth.
Decadence in Berlin - Setbacks EP (2009)
1. Atlantic Radio Fire

Hear more/see more of Decadence in Berlin through the usual channels, including myspace.
They will be playing with La La Vasquez in Wolverhampton in April, as well as making trips to Liverpool and Aberystwyth in the coming months.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

James's Top 5 Remixes of 2008

Been a long time. Shouldn't have left you etc...

I shall make up for it with my top five remixes of 2008.

I first heard this while producing for the Analogue show on Bay Radio early in 2008. I cannot thank Graham enough. This funky fun remix is typical of James Murphy and DFA and for it to take my favourite song off my favourite album of 2007 and turn it into something new but equally awesome assures it my top spot for 2008.

Over the last two years Metronomy has consistently impressed me and been an act I've taken to my heart. The stripped down sound lends it self so well to the remix/mashup genre and the amount of remixes alone from Nights Out could fill its own blog post - however this Breakbot remix is a lovely throwback to 70s soul (another of my obsessions) and stands out.

A good test of a remix is how it holds up to the original and if it can surpass it. XXXChange Remix of L.E.S. Artistes does exactly that and when you consider how good Santogold's self titled album of electro pop gold is then this is a sure sign of a fantastic remix.

Another act introduced to me by Graham this time via this here blog. Yo! Majesty seem to be the answer to the question people have been asking since Salt and Pepper on released Best Of's. About time too as lesbian hip-hop never sounded so good. This remix of Club Action is typical of Futurecop! who seems to be permanently stuck in an Atari 5200 taking all things current into some crazy 80s vortex. 

From one of my albums of the year, Feed The Animals, this is just one track of fourteen in a seamlessly stitched mashup marathon. Girl Talk's effortless splicing of Procul Harlem, Blackstreet, Kanye West, The Band, Ace of Base and the theme from Footloose (among others) all within one track caters for those who like their music Attention Deficit Friendly.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gang Gang Dance.

It's a wonder what ends up in my inbox sometimes. However, sandwiched between promises of bigger genitalia and some widow in a far off land asking for my bank details in order to collect an inheritance which no doubt does not exist I do occasionally get some gems sent to me from the lovely folks in internet land.

Gang Gang Dance make a lovely hip-shaking experimental noise with dirty synths and some tasty little guitar licks. The Brooklyn four-piece have just released their fourth album, 'Saint Dymphna,' through Warp Records, and have been remixed by XXXchange, who has previously worked with Spank Rock, and done his magic with Santogold's 'L.E.S Artistes'. The band, who are a favourite of the boys in both Hot Chip and Klaxons, have previously been described as "neo-primitivist," and I can see why as there is something tribal about the sounds they make: you can't help but move your feat to the infectious grooves. Here are two cuts from the new LP, which is now hot on my list of albums to pick up as soon as humanly possible. Liz Bougatsos’ vocals on 'House Jam' seem some way reminiscent of the haunting voices heard on The Knife's records, sticking sweetly to the synth line that punctuates the track. 'Princes' is a very different affair, sounding somewhere between Dizzee Rascal (down to guest vocalist Tinchy Stryder) and M.I.A. it's upbeat, and the guitar line that kicks in around three minutes just totally kicks.

mp3: Gang Gang Dance - House Jam
mp3: Gang Gang Dance - Princes (feat. Tinchy Stryder)


You can hear XXXchange's awesome mix of 'House Jam' over at RcrdLbl.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh my! O Children.

I can't believe that this year I have only posted once on this lil' old blog. Shocking. However, with the little redesign I've just decided to do, comes the plan of blogs galore. So where to start? I think I shall begin by looking at what I have been playing a lot of recently on my and go from there...

I've been listening a lot to O Children the last few days. Formed out of the ashes of Bono Must Die, the band features the enigmatic Tobi O'Kandi on vocals and keys, and it is his dramatic oh-so-low voice which make O Children sound so awesome. They make me think a little of Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man who Tobi played drums for awhile back.

Like a lot of the bands emerging from London ways at the moment, O Children play dark post-pop music for kids who like to dress in black and wear wayfarers in winter. Currently there is no record, but the demos on Myspace shine like diamonds, despite the fact the band have only been together since slightly earlier this year. Choice pick would be 'Dead Disco Dancer' with its hypnotic refrain that "the disco dancer's dead", and mechanically precise bass-line.

The band are making up for the lack of a physical release however with a pretty damned fine t-shirt which is available from PureGroove. They are strictly limited edition, so if you want to be the hippest kid in the joint you will probably want to get yours as soon as. And if you live in London, get yourself to the Learner Dance Party tonight at Punk, where they will be playing alongside Televised Crimewave, and the noiseniks known as KASMs which feature Rory of Test Icicles fame. I'm kicking myself for being ill and living in the midlands.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Do the D.A.N.C.E.

Rhythm is a dancer and so is Mike Long. Under the guise of his youtube account "dipsetmuthafucka", Long spent a year filming a video a day of himself dancing in his hometown on Hamilton, Ontario in Canadia.

Now I like a dance and considered myself skilled in the art of shape throwing but this guy is in a league of his own. His moves are as impressive as his bravery as many passers by stop and stare and then move on after quickly concluding this man is insane.


An absolute certainty is that every video will have some skilled dancing, some shot of Hamilton Ontario, a pair of highly desirable white shoes but most importantly every song scores off the charts when its comes to cool.

The genres tend to gravitate towards Rock n Roll, Soul, Reggae, Classic Pop - with some Elctro and Hip-Hop occasionally thrown in. But I must reiterate; every song is a diamond. He has created a mighty compendium of videos that should be considered the definitive list in desert island discs.

Its under Mike Long's inspiration that I have selected a few songs that recommend you all put on at full volume and shake a tail feather too.

Creation - "Makin' Time"
Merry Clayton - "Gimme Shelter"
B-52's - "Rock Lobster"
Os Mutantes - "A Minha Menina"
The Maytals - "Pressure Drop"

Here are also a couple of videos out of the bunch I'd like to draw your attention to as well. Firstly this Chuck Berry classic which has a bit of back story from Long's 'mom'.
Chuck Berry - "Maybelline"
And with The Knife being a popular choice amongst us at wewererockstars and this video being a prime example of Long confusing the people of Hamilton I present his take on Heartbeats.
The Knife - ''Heartbeats''

On his youtube account he's challenged someone to take up his mantle. If you think you could then go for it - before I do.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl Talk

Gregg Gillis (left) is an amazing man. If believe him to be created by God with the purpose of producing the most me-friendly music possible.

More commonly known as Girl Talk, he is music's answer to Attention Defecit Disorder. Taking the now established genre of the mash-up to new extremes, Gillis uses more samples in one minute than on the whole of "As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt. 2"

Ok, maybe not that many, but he uses a LOT of samples very quickly and the affect is fantastic and I now cannot listen to Sinead O'Connor without hearing Lil Wayne (not that I listen to much Sinead O'Connor.

His new album is called "Feed the Animals" and I believe it to be an marked improvement on his 2006 album "Night Ripper". It uses samples from Pete Townsend, Ludcaris, Edwin Starr, Avril Lavigne Kelis, Rage Against the Machine, Jay-Z, Huey Lewis and the News, Aaliyah and Roy Orbison - and thats just the first 5 minutes.

"Feed the Animals" is available as a continuous download from Illegal Art Records for free (though you are encouraged to donate some of you own money). I listen to it on the cycle to work everyday. I use it to time how fast I gol; though I rarely get into worth before Jay-Z's Roc Boys mixed with Radiohead's Paranoid Android comes on - usually because I slow down to make sure I get a listen.

Try before you buy for free?

Girl Talk - Part 1: "Play Your Part"
Girl Talk - Part 5: "Set It Off"

Actually, this is my album of the year so far. Though I think I may suffer from the Attention Defecit thing...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Super Cute Voices!

You know how sometimes you here a band, and you just know they are special. A band you want to keep all to yourself but it is impossible, because all you want to do is tell everyone how awesome they are? Well, Super Cute Voices are one such group.

The Welsh two-piece is comprised of 18 year olds Stuart and Charlie, who hail from Aberystwyth and Llanelli respectively, and they make far much more noise than their diminutive numbers would suggest. I was fortunate to catch them live at an Aberystwyth battle of the bands competition yesterday, and even the compare seemed a little confused as to whether or not the band was ready to start, seeming somewhat uncertain as to if there was just two of them. Stuart handles vocal duties as well as thrashing away on guitar, whilst Charlie (a powerhouse of a drummer) hits the skins and sings all the vocoded vocals (oh yes!). However, what really makes this band stand out from all the carbon-copy indie pretenders is their use of electronic tomfoolery. All their songs are backed by a series of midi synths and 8-bit blippery, not to mention the most bizzare Japanese voice samples, all programmed by Stuart, coming together to make a complete package which sounds somewhat like the off-the-wall Japs, Polysics, or 70s new wavers Devo. Unsuprisingly, Stuart heralds these acts as their two main reference points, but that doesn't make their music devoid of originality. Rather the opposite: they take the prototypyical new wave sound and make it their own.

Imagine To My Boy trapped in a Mark Mothersbaugh's gameboy. Perhaps.

And if you are wondering who won the battle of the bands... well, let's just say the winners were cute.

Super Cute.