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News: Counter Culture Pre-Launch

The end of summer sucks.  Fact.  The weather fades, it gets dark, and festival season grinds to a saddening hault pretty much after Bestival (next week!).  Fear not, though, for help is on the way.

Counter Culture, a new 4 month multi-arts ‘festival’ taking place under London Bridge Station, launches on 24 September and their site launched this morning with extensive listings (but far from fully announced – expect some great announcements as time goes on) of what to expect to see going on there until 1 January 2011.

Get your name on their mailing list, because the first 100 names will be added to the guestlist and get free admission for their launch party on Friday 24 September.  Special Guests are still to be confirmed, but with Man Like Me, the Streets-esque London-techno three-piece, and Rumours, ‘the worlds smallest 80s disco’ – which has been converting Isle Of Wight, Camp Bestival and V Festival into 80s time-warps in recent summers – already in place, it’s going to be one hell of a party.


Feature: Aquasphere

[Editor’s note: This feature was written by guest contributor, Alexander Forselius, and refers to his own work – whilst we agree with what he’s saying, you should always take a review written by the creator with a pinch of salt! ;)]

In early 1990, composer Elizabeth Faw Haydn Pizer recorded a song, Aquasphere; an impressionistic ambient soundscape. Not unlike the well known ambient artist Biosphere, her compositions took advantage of some of the sounds the average artist wouldn’t deal with, such as metallic effects and abstract sounds that share an implicit meaning of something abstract instead of explicit vocal hooks. The expressionalism of the recordings brought an abstract message to the audience, not so clear as the vocals, but by the emotions raised by the theme of the sounds. The atmosphere in the songs can give us strange emotions of love, fear, anxiety or peace. This ‘audiologic artwork’ can also be understood by a wider audience and isn’t language-specific, since the interpretation of the theme lies with sound schemes that all people understand by their emotions regardless of their native tongue.


Audio: Juey feat. Tom Mitchell – Live at the Vine

I’ve been a huge fan of Cheltenham Underground regular Juey for quite some time and was lucky enough to catch her recently at Vinestock 2010, where she was accompanied by Tom Mitchell on acoustic guitar.

If you missed her, you’re in luck. Juey managed to source a pretty handy BOSS BR series digital recorder and recorded the whole set. Woop etc.

You can download the set here:, or, alternatively, please feel free to listen to the stream below. Either way, make sure you check her out when she’s next playing near you!


105 Spotisfaction Monday – 30th August 2010 – Kev Atkinson

Hello everybody out there in the big wide world music-loving world. It’s a bank holiday over here, nobody’s at work, making it all the more important we give you a playlist to peruse, consume, and enjoy to your hearts content today. We’ve got a good one for you all, with Kev Atkinson’s 2010 So Far – it’s been one hell of a year so far hasn’t it, and there are still… 1.. 2.. 3.. 4 months to go!

Incidentally, we’ve got a particularly eclectic week planned over the next 5 days, so make sure you’re keeping up with us! If you’re just too busy to check, be sure to sign up to our Newsletter, and we’ll email you the occasional update of all our favourite recent content!

Now, here’s Kev’s rundown of this fantastic year so far.

2010 So Far – Blurby stuff

Ok so we are now halfway through 2010 and to be honest there has been a lot of great music released in the last eight months. Here I have put together a collection of tracks from some of the albums that I have been listening to in the first half of the year, but it”™s by no means a comprehensive collection.

Coming into the year there were two albums that I was really looking forward to, the first was Intriguer by my all time favourite band Crowded House, unfortunately this isn”™t currently on Spotify so I couldn’tt add a track, but I do highly recommend the album so check it out if you get a chance.

Second was the sophomore release from The Depreciation Guild. I think Spirit Youth is a more mature and accessible album than In Her Gentle Jaws and on first listen there were many great tracks but November was one of those that initially stood out for me.

I wont go over every single album in the playlist but I will give a run down on some of my personal highlights of the year so far.


104 Spotisfaction Friday – 27th August 2010 – Paul ‘Fozz’ Foster

Morning folks. I’m not actually here today – I’m on a mini holiday in Stratford, and am posting this via the magic of scheduling. The weather is wonderful / atrocious (delete as appropriate), and I’m having a great / crap time.

Today’s playlist is by the wonderful Fozz, author and curator of our Gig Rig feature, and it’s a doozy. I hope you enjoy – this is one of my personal favourites.

Take it easy and see you all next week,

Fozz says:

These are a few tracks that I’ve been listening to lately, found either off the back of other people’s playlists or from trawling through the related artists section on Spotify. Here are a few of the stand-out tracks. Hope you enjoy.

Interpol ”“ Lights: this is the first track to be released from Interpol‘s forthcoming self-titled album and it’s made its way onto Spotify, so it would have been rude not to include it really. If the rest of the album is as awesome as this track then it’s gonna be absolutely phenomenal and I’m really looking forward to it.

Graffiti6 ”“ Stone In My Heart: I bloody love this track, it’s one of the best things I’ve heard in ages. Hopefully these guys will keep churning out stella tunes like this.

Crystal Castles ”“ Baptism: I could never really get into Crystal Castles‘ first album but I thought I’d give their second one a go, and boy am I glad I did. Baptism, for me, is definitely the most notable track on the album ”“ it’s shouty, beepy electro at its finest. I’m gonna give the first album another chance.


Review: Menomena – Mines

Menomena. If, like me, you’ve just replied “do do de do do” then we’re on the same wavelength, which is probably not a good thing and to be honest you may want to go and seek professional help.

But that actually has nothing to do with the review itself. Menomena (do do de”¦ No, no stop that!) return with their fourth album Mines. This Portland based three piece produce their music using a software programme called Deeler which is a software audio looper written by band member Brent Knopf. It allows each of the band members to layer their parts on top of the others one at a time, adding bits and pieces as required and allowing a truly democratic approach to songwriting. Usually starting with a drum track on a loop, each member gets an exactly equal chance to add their own influence to a song. This, along with the fact that a lot of the album was put together via email, does lead to a sometimes raw, chaotic or under-produced sound, but to be honest this works perfectly for the band as it gels with their alternative, experimental nature.


103 Spotisfaction Wednesday – 25th August 2010 – Simon Mogg

Afternoon all. Weird to think that this time last week we relaunched the site. Lots of things still going on behind the scenes but as always if there’s anything you’d like to see (whether that’s an improvement to the site layout, a specific album review, or an idea for a feature) we’d love to hear from you.

I’m going to see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World tonight, which has me incredibly excited. It’s rare that a soundtrack to a movie gets as much hype as the movie itself, but in this case I think it’s probably justified – just check out the OST! Fun times!

Today’s playlist is by Spotisfaction contributor Simon “Moggy” Mogg, and is quite lovely in my opinion.


Moggy says:

Here is my latest submission. I was listening to Flogging Molly and I realised that the only Irish style music I listened to is played by Americans, so I decided to look into actual Irish musicians. While doing this I discovered a lot more music that originates from various places throughout the world, hence this playlist with no real theme. Not a good explanation but there it is… Anyway, onto the actual tracks.

Starting with a nod to my love of Rugby and a New Zealander I recently encountered, first up is The Haka. Then Bellowhead, who are a lot better live (the vocalist doesn’t half put some welly in). Neck were also amazing live (except the bleeding nose but thats a hazard of a pit I suppose).

Also on this list is more Johnny Cash and Cat Empire. Both featured on previous playlists, but both deserve lots more playing so here they are again. Skindred are generally known for their Reggae Metal but this is an acoustic bonus track off their Babylon album and is definitely worth a listen. The whole album, that is. And finally, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I first heard this group on Paul Simon‘s Graceland album. I like the style. Right thats it I’m done. Enjoy.


News: Everything Everything

Awesome news!  The debut album from Everything Everything, entitled Man Alive (Geffen 2010), is now streaming via Myspace!  Here’s hoping it’s on our very own Spotify soon, but in the mean time, wrap your ears around this promo.  We can confirm the album is literally fantastic.

The album will be released for general sale on 30 August 2010.

    1. MY KZ, UR BF
    2. QWERTY Finger
    3. Schoolin’
    4. Leave The Engine Room
    5. Final Form
    6. Photoshop Handsome
    7. Two For Nero
    8. Suffragette Suffragette
    9. Come Alive Diana
    10. NASA Is On Your Side
    11. Tin (The Manhole)
    12. Weights

Update! Man Alive is now on Spotify too!! Listen now!


Review: The Coral – Butterfly House

    Image courtest of

    Longstanding Liverpudlian five-piece The Coral have been keeping themselves busy recording their latest studio album “Butterfly House”. Recorded in 2 venues over the last two years, this album marks the first released since the departure of guitarist Bill-Ryder Jones. Eager to showcase their new material, the band have interspersed their recording sessions with single releases, tours, and festival gigs to assess reception.

    Butterfly House doesn”™t take its time to get started, and within what feels like three seconds, the vocals for the album”™s opener More Than a Lover are underway. Immediately, the sound encompasses the typical guitar work that followers of The Coral would be expecting. Seamlessly moving into Roving Jewel, the album continues in the same vain. The flowing guitar works fit perfectly under the customary vocal stylings of James Skelly.


Feature: Classics Collected

Hi Everyone and welcome to another edition of Classics Collected. This week we have 5 albums from the past we’d like you to dust off, replay and join us in remembering what made them great the first time around. We’re spanning a real mix of dates and genres in this week’s choices, and we hope you’ll find something you like to help you get through the cold slog that is a Monday!

Beastie Boys ”“ Ill Communication – We start with a classic piece of 90’s hip hop and the most important work by the Beasties in terms of mainstream acceptance. Whilst some would argue the earlier Paul’s Boutique is perhaps their greatest album, it was largely ignored at the time. Without Ill Communication the group may not have had the exposure that lifted them to true greatness and lead many to re-appraise their earlier work. This was an important milestone for the band as well, shedding much of the previous production style and taking to almost every instrument themselves, ensuring true musicality in every track. It was also their debut album on the newly formed Grand Royal empire. Once Ill Communication had cemented itself in the collective musical consciousness there was no turning back for the Beastie Boys, and everything that followed was the solid gold we know an love.

Queen ”“ A Night At The Opera – I wanted a Queen album to appear at some stage in this classics process as I feel they have never fully had their due. Whilst peoples personal feeling on the music varies, I genuinely think it is hard to escape the influence the band had not only at the time but going forward in how rock music and rock opera are generated. Any one of their albums could have been chosen for different reasons so I felt why not start with the LP that started it all. If nothing else, it contains Bohemian Rhapsody (and thanks to Waynes World, I’ll always rock extra hard to that song).


102 Spotisfaction Monday – 23rd August 2010 – Dan Herlin

Good afternoon, folks. You may have noticed that our new logo has gone live today. We like it (obviously), but let us know what you think!

This last couple of weeks have been crazy busy, but it’s all been made worthwhile knowing that we’ve got a whole bunch of new ears for our musical evangelism. We’ve even had a number of playlist submissions from all over the Europe, including today’s by Dan Herlin.  This is a fantastic mix, and it’s incredible to be given a glimpse of people’s lives through a playlist – more of this please, interwebs!  Thank you Dan.

Before I hand over to him for his explanatory blurb, I just want to mention that if you have a playlist idea of your own we’d love to publish it. Please do check out our submission guide for info on how you can do that.

Have a lovely one,

NB. One or two of the tracks don’t work in the UK. I’ve left them in the playlist for our European listeners, and also to help maintain the flow of the playlist if you happen to have a local version of those tracks.

Dan Says:

I believe in niched playlists, where there is a flow between each song and you remember it just like you remember an album. I composed this one during a train-ride between Stockholm and Copenhagen and its named after the Swedish governmental railroad company, Statens Järnvägar.


News: Philip Selway

Bella Union, the record company behind the UK release of Philip Selway‘s debut album, Familial, have been kind enough to offer a further three tracks for our listening pleasure prior to the album’s release in two weeks. We featured a stream of the Radiohead drummer’s first single, By Some Miracle, in a previous post and it’s nice to get more of a feel for the new album. Philip is touring through November to promote the new album so look for him in the next instalment of our Gig Rig feature, and check out his website for full details.

The stream is below. Let us know what you think in the comments.
Philip Selway – Familial (Album Sampler) by Bella Union


News: Sufjan Stevens

A favourite at Spotisfaction Towers, Sufjan Stevens has just released his new EP, All Delighted People on the Asthmatic Kitty label. I’ve had it on replay since it’s been released, and would heartily recommend you give it a listen. You can buy it now from Sufjan’s BandCamp website in almost any format you could wish for, and the price is a quite remarkably low $5.

Although it’s an EP, don’t be fooled into thinking this is anything less than a fully featured release. These are 8-tracks that have clearly had a lot of love poured into them, with a runtime longer than a huge number of full-length albums at a whopping 60 minutes. Title song All Delighted People is an 11 minute wonder all on its own. From the description for this opener on BandCamp: All Delighted People is built around two different versions of Sufjan”™s long-form epic ballad “All Delighted People,” a dramatic homage to the Apocalypse, existential ennui, and Paul Simon”™s “Sounds of Silence.” – it might sound completely over the top, but for those unfamiliar with Sufjan this is just the norm, and we completely love him for it.

Anyway, the EP is also available to stream for free so have a gander below:

Playlists Reviews

Review: Leefest 2010

Article by Ben Mercer


I think Lee Denny actually is a modern day Ferris Bueller and Leefest is simply the result of 80”™s inspired shenanigans. In these deeply cynical times it took one man (or young adult) to defy his parents”™ request and carefully avoid litigation which prevented him from having a house party while they were on holiday. Seeing his rents”™ wishes more as a challenge than a command, he hypothesised that holding a festival in the garden would, ”˜technically speaking”™, not break the rules.  Boom. Leefest was born.  Decamping from the Denny estate a few years back (due to popularity) we find ourselves in a wet field somewhere in Bromley, staring at a volley ball court, complete with sand.  In the rain. Despite the elements, the court was in session.


Feature: Gig Rig

Bonjour amigos!

I think you’ll agree that the new site design is looking pretty darn sexy, so massive kudos to Dave for the relentless effort he’s put in to make Spotisfaction what it is.

With the festival season now starting to draw to a close, there promises to be a feast of live music on offer over the coming months. Here are some of my highlights from this week’s findings:

All you good folks of London Town need to book Friday 19 November into your diaries and head on over to the Coronet because this is gonna be an evening you won’t want to miss! Not one, not two but FIVE awesome artists in the form of Caribou, Four Tet, James Holden, Nathan Fake and Rocketnumbernine will be pumping out the finest abstract IDM tunes known to man.

Following the success of their fifth album, High Violet, which was released earlier this year, The National will be playing a handful of UK gigs towards the end of November. Some of us here at Spotisfaction are heading down to the O2 Academy Bristol gig to absorb the atmosphere and kick back with some quality music, so we’d love to see you guys there!

If JamesTAE’s review of Foals‘ second album, Total Life Forever, gave you the urge to see them live then it just so happens that you’re in luck! They’ll be on a nationwide tour in a couple of months, kicking off in late October in Leeds and finishing off in mid November in London. Not one to be missed!

Hit the link for this week’s listings.