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148 Spotisfaction Friday 10/12/10 – Simon Mogg

Another busy week polished off. Dreadzone on Wednesday and New Pornographers on Thursday were both awesome. Dreadzone review should be up next week, look out for that. It’s been a good year for me, Dave and everyone involved with Spotisfaction, thanks for enjoy it with us.

Christmas is rapidly approaching and we are considering wrapping up the site for a while (see what I did there? Cracker of a pun.. OOP, GUILTY AS CHARGED) – we’ve got to go to our families, cook the turkeys, wrap the presents, so don’t be surprised it the site slows down for a while. We’re still alive though, and Spotify will still be here for us in the new year. Hopefully you’re all gearing up for Christmas and looking forward to a long overdue break. We are!

Moggy brings us todays awesome brass-instrument themed playlist. This really is a great playlist, enjoy.

James

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News

NEWS: Skindred Announce New Album

It was announced today (10 November) that Welsh Ragga Metal 4-piece Skindred are releasing their fourth studio album next year, titled Union Black. It’ll be released 2 May 2011 and is currently being recorded at Britannia Row Studios in London. On the bands official website front man Benji Webbe had this to say about his new album,

“This is the first album we have written and recorded in the UK, it’s a big departure from our usual sunny California or Florida surroundings, its bloody freezing! The album will be darker and heavier than any of our previous recordings and I’ve not been this excited whilst writing since I was a kid! “Union Black” is bringing the darker side of the Dred out for sure!!!!!”

Having previously toured with Gogol Bordello, Flogging Molly, Korn and Disturbed they are set to bring their high energy live show to Rob Zombie‘s sold out UK tour next February. Skindred have been fighting their way into popularity ever since the success of their first album Babylon and the inclusion of a number of their songs on various video games.

I am personally greatly looking forward to this album. I really enjoy the combination of Benji’s screeching Ragga vocals, the Drum n Bass beats and Heavy Metal guitars from the first two albums (I haven’t yet had a chance to hear the third). Shame it’s half a year away. Lets hope they release some teasers soon.

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Features

FEATURE: Six Degrees Of Music

There are several ways of dealing with requests that you do not like when you are working in a night club. Option one; go with the “I’m not doing requests” theory. This is all well and good on a quiet night, but on a Friday or Saturday you do tend to get abused by the customers and then promptly fired by the management. Not so good. Option two; try saying “I’ll try and fit it in if I’ve got time.” Unfortunately though, people tend to figure this out after a while. After all, it is just a polite way of saying “bugger off that song is a load of crap”…

Option three; (an option most DJs avoid at all costs) Just play the damn track. Swallow your pride, dust off your NOW albums, and search. This does, unfortunately, create an all new problem to deal with. That problem being that at the moment you are playing Iron Maiden – Run To The Hills, and the attractive blonde that you want to impress has asked you to play Britney Spears – Toxic. Now obviously you can’t just play it next – that would be a hideous contrast of styles. So what do you do? This is where my game comes in, based on the movie game “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” where in theory you can link any actor to Kevin Bacon within six movies. My game of “Six Degrees” is the challenge to link any one song to another within six other songs. For example,

Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills has a similar metal feel to…

  1. Korn – Freak on a Leash the Nu-Metal elements link to…
  2. Linkin Park – Faint this more up beat track flows into…
  3. Hadouken! – Liquid Lives the Nu-Rave dance style takes us to…
  4. Pendulum – Granite the more poppy feeling guides us to…
  5. Bodyrox – Yeah Yeah and this can finally lead to…

Britney Spears – Toxic.

There we are, I have achieved it in five steps.

Now I thought, just for a bit of fun (there will be no prizes), I’ll give you two songs to connect in the best way you can. Please reply with your entries in the comments section below and we will see what you all come up with. Lets all hope it is better than my attempt above…

Your two songs are Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench and Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown – No Air.

Good Luck.
MOGGY

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Reviews

REVIEW: This Town Needs Guns – Animals (Big Scary Monsters 2008)

Animals

This Town Needs Guns are an Oxford based outfit formed by Stuart Smith and Tim Collis in 2004. Several band members and a few moderately successful E.P.s later they are still touring the world over and in 2008 released their debut full album, Animals. This album brings you 13 (well 12½) tracks of their unashamedly experimental math rock. Not always an easy genre to listen to but interesting none the less. The album’s tracks are all named after different animals but this has very little bearing on the content of the lyrics. While they were writing the album they named all their tracks after animals as temporary placeholders with every intention of giving them real names before release but in the end they just did not bother. Anyway on to the album itself…

One of the first things you notice about this album is that the band appears to have mislaid their distortion pedals. This leaves the music very stripped back – you might even say pure – which is astonishing when you realise how much is actually going on with the guitars and the huge amount of notes that they cram into each track. The meandering guitar parts dance around the fretboards throughout the whole album, which is fine until it begins to feel that you have been just listening to one long track rather than 13 different ones.  The only let up in this never ending barrage is the final track, Zebra, which replaces the now tiresome guitar with what sounds like a Glockenspiel and some discordant strings. The string parts feel like they have been carried on from the previous track, Rabbit, as the guitar fades away towards the end of this track and leaves the strings alone – it has a definite reminiscence of Damien Rice. This is by no means a bad thing but is all unfortunately too little to late to rescue the album from becoming awfully samey.

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Features

ARTICLE: Musical Genres – Good, Bad or Ugly?

Image copyright Threadless.com

There are an awful lot of musical genres in the world, but are they A) a useful tool designed to guide people towards a band or artist that they will like; B) a constrictive framework that means bands get tagged with a label that they cannot shake off regardless of how much they try; or C) an outdated irrelevance that helps no one because of the sheer volume of different genres on offer?

Here’s my opinion, and please do feel free to disagree with me in the comments section.

For 5 years between 2003 and 2008 I was a DJ (in the loosest sense of the word) in several different drinking establishments throughout Aberystwyth. I played largely alternative music – rock, punk, ska, metal etc. – but I also worked every Friday night in a dingy (and very sticky) night club called Y Bae (or The Bay for those who do not live in Wales). This, unfortunately, meant I had to dabble in the dark arts, or “popular music” as it is also known. I played all sorts of music from Girls Aloud to Cradle Of Filth. Requests are an unavoidable hazard of the job and quite often, rather than asking for a particular track or artist, the customer would ask for a whole genre of music. This led to the night when someone asked me for “Funky House”. I still to this day have no idea what Funky House is. I can’t name an act that fits into this genre, but the most ridiculous thing about the whole situation was neither could the guy making the request. Turns out in the end he wanted something like Pendulum which I am fairly sure is classed as Drum and Bass, but who even knows any more and this is where the problem lies. There are so many different genres that, for the most part, people don’t know what they mean, and as such they are of little help at all.

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News

NEWS: My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

So this video was brought to my attention today. It appears My Chemical Romance are releasing a new album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. No official news as to when yet, although internet rumour tells me November 22nd (who in their right mind believes internet rumour, though?).

MCR appear to have taken a slightly new direction in their artistic style; gone is the gothic style military look of old and in comes a brand new live-action comic book style. Whether or not this will change the musical style in any way is an entirely different story, though. I’m still not completely sure if I like My Chemical Romance as their last album was spoilt for me by far too much radio play. Looking forward to giving them another go.

From what we’ve heard of new track, ‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)’ which was premiered on Zane Lowe’s BBC1 show yesterday, I think this album could be a fun one.

Hit the link for their teaser trailer for Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.

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News

NEWS: Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. – Record Collection

This is not entirely up to date news, but on the 27th September Mark Ronson releases his new album Record Collection, this time releasing the album under the name Mark Ronson & the Business Intl. Ronson’s all star team of contributors includes Dave McCabe (The Zutons), Kyle Falconer (The View), Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran), Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters), Ghostface Killah (Wu-Tang Clan) and many more. This list of contributors seems a lot more on the pop/indie side of life than his previous albums, especially 2003 offering Here Comes The Fuzz, which has a decidedly more hip hop feel.

In a brief bit of blurb taken from his website, there is a description as to how he got started with this project:

“In July 2009, Mark Ronson and his musician friends went into Dunham studios in Brooklyn […] Inspired by working with Duran Duran […] he brought with him some of the vintage keyboards he’d found on eBay. And they began playing. He and the other musicians would try their hand at different instruments “to stop anyone getting too comfortable”.

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Reviews

REVIEW: TRV$ & DJ-AM – The “Fix Your Face” Mixtapes

Travis Barker, Drummer for Blink-182, The Transplants and Angels and Airwaves, the man who made a Soulja Boy track moderately listenable to and that guy off that MTV reality type show “Meet the Barkers”. He has teamed up with now unfortunately deceased DJ-AM* (who was mainly famous for being in a plane crash with Travis Barker) and made a couple of mixtapes. With DJ-AM on the decks and Barker playing live next to him, they create an audio and visual treat for their audience and both mixtapes are available to download free from their website, www.trvsdjam.com.

First up is Fix Your Face. The first track, after Fat Man Scoop has finished shouting, has some brief but accomplished scratching (in my opinion, I’m no expert) before going into one of the stranger additions to the mix, Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. They then proceed through some assorted hip hop and The Chemical Brothers before arriving at a highly electronic version of Rage Against The Machine’s Killing in the Name Of. I found this a little odd but enjoyable all the same. Another highlight is the end of track 4 mix into the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In contrast, the mix in the middle of Track 6 between Rock With You and American Boy is somewhat jarring, as the beat matches but the pitch of the music does not. This is a small blot on an otherwise good listen. Other musical highlights include The Police, the theme from Rocky and I Love Rock and Roll. All round a damn entertaining listen increased in quality due to a real drum kit being used.

Categories
Features

FEATURE: The Pulse of the Maggots.

The Pulse of the Maggots.

So… My column then. Where to start? Maybe a brief explanation. ‘The Pulse of the Maggots’ is a song by Slipknot. The lyrics are about fighting for the beaten down and oppressed and for the people who cannot fight for themselves. In that vein this column will predominantly be about defending music, albums and artists that have been given a rough time of it by the press or just common opinion. So after that intro we begin with the very people that inspire the column name, Slipknot.

“Aren’t they the guys who poo on stage?” I hear you cry, and the answer is… well… yes. But there is so much more to it than that. If you look beyond the masks and on-stage antics you discover a wealth of talent and some fantastic tracks. This is a band that has received 7 Grammy nominations and 1 win. All of their four main studio albums have gone at least platinum and the members have numerous side projects which are all well worth a listen. Stone Sour, Murderdolls, To My Surprise, Dirty Little Rabbits and DJ Starscream (unfortunately not on Spotify).