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PREVIEW: Cloud 9 Festival – 6 August, The Futureheads / The Sunshine Underground / Scratch Perverts

Cloud 9 Festival has a fantastic lineup this year, including The Futureheads, The Sunshine Underground and the recently announced Scratch Perverts. Held on Saturday 6 August on Love Lane Farm, Congelton, the festival is within throwing distance of Liverpool, Manchester and Stoke-On-Trent, and for £27.50 a head (with kids going free), it looks great!

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Mirah

Holy Bells, when did Spotify add the Mirah back catalogue to Spotify?

I fell in love with Mirah upon hearing Dogs of B.A., but her stuff has always been needlessly hard to come by. I just noticed today pretty much everything she’s released is now on Spotify. This is amazing news, because it probably just made your morning.

An American singer-songwriter who combines her incredible, fragile but husky voice with quirkier-than-quirk indie, she released her first album You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This on K Records in 2000, and developed a noiser side to her sound on 2001’s Advisory Committee. In 2004 she released the superb C’mon Miracle, a record that mixed the scatterbrain weirdness of her previous effort with a subtlety that complimented her voice to heartbreaking effect. Just listen.

Mirah – We’re Both So Sorry

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Reviews

REVIEW: Heinali & Matt Finney – Conjoined (2010 / Paradigms Recordings 2011)

Having reviewed Rumour Cubes latest EP last week and outlining my own troublesome reactions to post-rock, a new record came to my attention: Conjoined, the latest release from composer/spoken word-duo Heinali & Matt Finney.

Had I heard this record before, I may have understood my cognitive dissonance about post-rock a little better. For this dark, heavy, brooding monolith of doomgaze (not a term I coined, but utterly perfect and not a jot over-the-top) could not embody cognitive dissonance any more; paranoid, claustrophobic, and infinitely intriguing.

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News

Dreadzone to release Best Of: The Good, The Bad and The Dread

After seventeen years in the business, British dub legends Dreadzone are set to release ‘The Best of Dreadzone: The Good, The Bad and the Dread‘ on Dubwiser Records on 9 May 2011.

Having released 6 albums in their career, including last years highly successful Eye On the Horizon in April, the band have a hefty back catalogue to draw on. Classics like Zion Youth, Little Britain (a rarer vocal version is included here) and American Dread are all set to feature across the 16 tracks.

In support of the tour they’ve announced a handful of UK gigs in May, as well as being confirmed for Glade Festival 2011 in June.

Having caught them at Scala back in December, you won’t be disappointed if you pick up the album and catch the tour.

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Reviews

REVIEW: TesseracT – One (Century Media Records, 2011)

Newsflash! Djent is going mainstream – and people are pissed. You’re probably asking ‘Why are people pissed?‘ or, more likely, ‘What is Djent?‘. Our story starts almost a decade ago.

Firstly, Meshuggah did something very important indeed when they nailed the ever-increasing technical element of their brutal thrash metal on 2002’s Nothing – a record whose ‘poly-rhythmic’ chops, synonymous with more out-and-out ‘prog’ groups like The Mars Volta, became something infinitely heavier: you put it over straight drum patterns people can follow, and groove metal is born. Suddenly those ‘pretentious’ and off-kilter rhythms are just a means to discover syncopation, to hang guitar lines over steady beats and draw out the very essence of groove. THAT is heavy.

About the same sort of time, home recording technology took off, allowing a new generation of guitarists, influenced by Meshuggah, to start really playing around with these new grooves, rearranging drums parts and guitar lines endlessly, and to swap them with the growing online community at a rate of knots.

But why ‘djent’? Well, to make sure the whole thing doesn’t get sludgy and unlistenable, guitarists found they really needed to choke their guitar sounds. A consequence of this was that your usual metal power chord ends up sounding, quite literally, as a ‘DJENT, DJENT, DJENT!’. Nowadays, Djent stands for that genre of music that keeps the guitars tight, is heavily syncopated, and was probably heard online about 7 years ago.

And there, too, is the reason why people are pissed. Periphery managed to really make the big time with last years self-titled album (all the material of which was available online for donkeys years), and at a similar time, Animals As Leaders released their self-titled album seemingly out of nowhere. People are now expecting Djent to move on, but what they’re getting is a number of bands releasing that first lot of material they heard back in ’04.

Tesseract release their debut album One with opinion really split. Those that love the sound are right behind it, but you’ll find a number of people out there complaining that the material is old (not helped by vocalist changes and problems getting a label to release on). Well, no more! Let it be said right here – Tesseract are fully entitled to release the material on this album, because not only is it an exceptional body of work, nobody gets close to pulling off the atmospherics found on One.

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Reviews

REVIEW: Rumour Cubes – We Have Sound Houses Also

 

There’s something about Post-rock. I don’t know what it is. Somehow, I both love it and hate it. It’s both one of my favourite genres, and one I find most easy to deride. For instance (and post-rock purists are really going to hate me now), I can rarely tell my Mogwai from my Explosions In The Sky. It’s all just reverb guitars, rolling structure and no vocals (it really is though). Yet, and perhaps because of these limitations, when it works, it has the potential to be life-affirming – Godspeed You! Black Emperor‘s Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada is a seminal release. Mogwai’s recent Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, and in particular tracks like White Noise, show why the genre works, why it continues to intrigue, and why it doesn’t get boring.

So new post-rock outfits sort of have it tough in trying to win me over – it has to triumph over its uniquely chastened stylings and be something quite startling indeed. With the three songs on Rumour Cubes self-produced EP We Have Sound Houses Also, triumph they have.

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News

RightClickSaveAs to play Hoxton Bar & Kitchen March 30th

I previewed RCSA back in October, and since then the boy has gone from strength to strength, working with some great producers, and getting his band together. He’s now due to play his debut headline gig at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on 30 March – I’ve had a couple of sneak previews of the new band show, and it’s sounding absolutely superb, so I recommend getting to the show, tickets here.

In the middle of the last decade, bands like Interpol and The Killers integrated influences from the 80s – the formative decade for many artists today. Combined with the flourishing electro scene under Justice, Erol Alkan, Simian Mobile Disco and others, indie’s final integration with dance music was completed with Hot Chip’s The Warning in 2006, and the Klaxons’ Myths of The Near Future in January 2007. Since then, electro has been king, with artists like Friendly Fires finding their electronic side the more fruitful of their parent influences. So, ever wondered what glitchy electro-pop would sound like if it was done by just one man and his guitar? The answer is RightClickSaveAs.

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Reviews

REVIEW: Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam (Brownswood, 2011)

A ghostwriter is someone who writes for and gives credit of authorship to another. A ghostpoet, we can infer, is that specific kind of ghostwriter whose work takes on a more creative, flowing, literative interpretation of events. Calling yourself Ghostpoet is actually pretty clever. It draws the focus on the music and not the musician, on the art and not the artist. It tells us to view the artist only as the pen, putting things together for the sake of the content, not the sake of the writer. It draws on the numinous of creativity, rather than the identity of it.

Also, it’s a pretty cool name.

It’s this juxtaposition between heady artistry and down-to-earth easiness that Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam presents us with. If he’s the ghostwriter, you’re the fence.

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News

The King Of Limbs – Where are you?

That’s the question we were all asking. Thankfully Radiohead have come to tell us the answer: in a newspaper on Monday 9th May (or download for £6 notes on Feb 19th). Yes, as you’ve probably already heard, there’s a new album less than a week away!!

Newspaper Album – PRESALE
Radiohead’s new record, The King Of Limbs, is presented here as the world’s first* Newspaper Album, comprising:
* Two clear 10″ vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve.
* A compact disc.
* Many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.
* The Newspaper Album comes with a digital download that is compatible with all good digital media players.
* The Newspaper Album will be shipped on Monday 9th May 2011 you can, however, enjoy the download on Saturday 19th February 2011.
* Shipping is included in the prices shown.
* One lucky owner of the digital version of The King Of Limbs, purchased from this website, will receive a signed 2 track 12″ vinyl.

*perhaps

http://www.thekingoflimbs.com/ | Radiohead on Spotify

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Playlists

152 Spotisfaction Friday 4/2/11 – Phil Cooper: Power-folk/Americana

Good morning Friday playlisters!

Got a great playlist for you today. Phil Cooper has put together all the best folk/acoustic/americana, including The Haiku, Gomez, Band of Horses, Elbow, and a few surprising choices along the way.

Ignore the image. It’s apparently ‘folk art’. It just amused me. Now it’s made me hungry.

James

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Playlists

151 Spotisfaction Monday 31/1/11 Ben Hawling: Soundtrack Of My Life 2009

Apparently today is the most depressing Monday of the year. Or, depending on who you listen to, last Monday was. Listen, it’s January, the weather is shit, you’ve had Christmas, what do you want? It’ll be Spring soon. Yay, daffodils and lambs. You know what lambs mean? Better Sunday roasts, that’s what.

Anyway, we’ve got a great little life-snippet of a playlist today. Ben Hawling is picking out years of his life and retrospectively soundtracking it. I think that’s really cool. Everyone can get taken back to a time in their lives when they revisit music, and so a playlist like this is a way to share that reminiscence. As I listen to the playlist myself, I remember when and where I was when it was part of *my* life, and it becomes interesting how music permeates through our lives like a giant audio Bayeux Tapestry. Anyway, enjoy.

James

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News

New Venetian Snares track ahead of BLOC 2011

Venetian Snares (Spotify) is set to play this years Bloc Festival (11-13 March 2011), and having recently set up his own Timesig label, he’s released a new track for us exclusively via hyponik.

It’s typically… difficult… for a Venetian Snares release, but it’s got all the quirk and blast that he’s known for. Lovely for a Monday morning!

It’s also worth noting Venetian Snares is one of the only breakcore/experimental electronica artists with much of his repertoire on Spotify, which is great news and I’d love to see some of the other mainstays of the IDM scene on there too. Anyway, just a heads up.

New track | Ventian Snares on Spotify

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News

Massive Glassjaw news! (No, srsly)

Update! Please, Don’t Let Me Down is on Youtube:

Glassjaw fans, you’ve been so very patient. It’s been 10 years since Worship & Tribute (Spotify). 10. Years. It looked like they were never coming back, especially when Daryl took his side-project Head Automatica (Spotify) mainstream. But they got back together again in 2007 and then… nothing. A few singles popped up, a promise that things were happening, but never a commitment to any sort of release at all.

10. Years.

But your wait is over. Glassjaw are back! The singles they released over the last 3 years were collected and released as the EP Our Colour Green (Spotify) on 1 January. And even better, their website has now been updated and is streaming a brand new song entitled Please, Don’t Let Me Down. All indications are that this will be on a forthcoming EP containing brand all-new material. I can’t jeffin’ wait.

Glassjaw online | Glassjaw on Spotify

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I’m about to go HAM.


Head over to This Is Fake DIY to hear the first track from the forthcoming Kanye West / Jay-Z collab album Watch The Throne.

I wouldn’t criticise the track, because otherwise the boys will ‘go’ what is colloquially known as HAM, or ‘Hard As A Motherf*cker.’ So that’s you told. Anyway, TRACK IS GREAT YO!

Kanye West on Spotify | Jay-Z on Spotify

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Jamie xx interview – We’re New Here

Last year Gil Scott-Heron released one of my most-loved albums of 2010, I’m New Here (Spotify), his first in thirteen years. I was nervous to hear that Jamie xx was going to do a remix of the album entitled We’re New Here (scheduled for release in the UK on 21 February 2011), because I thought Richard Russell’s treatment of Scott-Heron’s reflective spoken-word blues was one of the most impressive and artistic production efforts of 2010.

However, my fears were ungrounded, as the two tracks on the albums webpage show. Track NY Is Killing Me is also on Spotify, and is already a massively impressive track.

Jamie’s interview with Martin Clark (the Blackdown half of dubstep outfit Dusk + Blackdown) was originally intended to be used in the sleeve notes for We’re New Here but, as you can read on Clark’s blog Blackdown Soundboy, the interview hasn’t directly made the sleeve notes, and so he’s put the full interview online. The interview is an intriguing read and heightens my anticipation for the release. Have a read, have a listen!