News: Dreadzone

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.


Review: Tesseract – One

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.


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.


News: Radiohead – The King of Limbs

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 | Radiohead on Spotify


News: Venetian Snares

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


News: Glassjaw

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


News: 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


News: Jamie xx Interview

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!


Feature: Dubstep Warz

Just listening to this Mixcloud of Mary-Anne Hobbs’ legendary Dubstep Warz Breezeblock show back in ’06. Hobbs has always been pushing new electronic music and her influence in helping Dubstep to the forefront of the British music scene was immense, and this show was pivotal. Amazing mix, get it done!





Update. You want a sign of how Dubstep has ‘made it’? Check out the breakdown in Britney Spears leaked new single. That’s right, Dubstep is ‘the cool breakdown section’ in Britney Spears new track.

Britney Spears – Hold It Against Me

Features News

Feature: Cloudkicker

I don’t know who Amy is, but maybe I should love her too:

Cloudkicker – Amy, I Love You


149 Spotisfaction Friday – 7th January 2011 – Spotimy

Happy 2011 one and all! We’re back, feeling refreshed for the new year, and we hope you are too. We’re changing things up slightly for this year, moving our content pacing more towards a blog – we felt your playlists were going by too quickly and that editing the site was taking more time than just fricking loving the music thats out there. We want our content to seem less segmented and more relevent. To help us along with this, please welcome onboard Kev Atkinson, the loving creator of so many playlists and reviews in the past, as a new editor.

Now, for the new year, we’d like to introduce you to a great site that keeps you up-to-date with everything that’s been newly released on Spotify in the UK that week. I personally don’t think Spotify’s ‘What’s New Page’ is much help at all – fixes this, listing everything added week-by-week. Spotimy also sorts reviews found online from many of the country’s blogs, magazines and newspapers and so is a great tool to enhance your Spotify experience. We like.

Their ‘Best of 2010’ playlist is fantastic and gets us off to a flyer!


[Note to Joe and co at Spotimy – used a bit of editorial licence here guys ;D, I know you submitted your November review playlist, but we wanted to feature your site and your Best of 2010 Playlist!]


Review: Dreadzone, Scala London

Photography by Mike Eccleshall

Dreadzone concluded their epic 27-date Eye On The Horizon winter tour this weekend, and I was there to catch their Scala show on Wednesday 8th. Frontman MC Spee might have been worried that a midweek set in the capital might not be the extravaganza it should always be, but gets it spot on when asking the crowd “do you get the feeling that Wednesday night turned into Saturday night about half an hour ago?”; tonight was a knees up, a celebration of Dreadzone’s incredible 15+ year career that had Scala bouncing all night long.

They set the tone early with Love, Life and Unity, showing that the material on offer this evening will stretch across the full span of their career. Ever eclectic, ever full of life and energy, they blaze through a spell-binding set encompassing every influence, every corner of Dreadzone’s sound. And though the crowd is a mix of both young and old (indeed, MC Spee took a particular shine to a young girl whose 21st birthday it was), everybody was onboard tonight, showing that Dreadzone’s ability to cross generations and cultures is absolute and has never waned.


147 Spotisfaction Wednesday – 8th December 2010 – James TAE

Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday. We skipped a Monday because Mondays generally suck ass, and also because we’re real human beings with Christmas shopping and spare days holiday left.

But we’re back today and straight on it, and I present you with a, if I say so myself, a banger of a playlist. I’ve done a third installment of my Dubisfiction series, and this time I’ve gone for upbeat, high tempo dub, electro and a touch of breakbeat. Hopefully this will get your bloodpumping on this cold, chilly December morning.



Feature: Is Tropical, Competition

Is Tropical. 2010 has been the year for Bandana-wearing punk-pop-electro. Having toured with Egyptian Hip Hop, Good Shoes and The Big Pink early in the year, Is Tropical then spent the summer recording their as-yet untitled debut album, signed for Kitsuné and then supported The Mystery Jets in their late Autumn UK tour. On 22 November they released the Kitsuné debut single South Pacific, and it’s a track that captures a summery, optimistic feeling in-keeping with the tracks name, the season it was created, and the growing momentum of the band.

Light, semi-glitchy and ultra low-fi beats, even the vocals are sketchy, giving the track, along with its jaunty synth lines, a childlike, innocent, unpolished feeling. There’s an ethereal, dream-like quality that makes it very easy to conjure images of sun, sea and sand, brightness and optimism. For a November release, this is about as summery as it gets.


Review: The Mystery Jets, The Roundhouse London

The Mystery Jets have had a good year. Off the back of their third album proper, Serotonin, in July, William Rees and Kai Fish made a guest appearance on The Count & Sinden’s hit track After Dark, which was a mainstay on dance/indie playlists for most of the late summer. Since then, they’ve been on tour literally non-stop since mid-September, playing 38 European gigs since starting off with a double-header at New York’s Mercury Lounge on 14/15 September. They bring this mammoth tour to a close with a home-coming gig at London’s Roundhouse tonight, with signs of tiredness starting to set it.