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Bar9 – Before The Storm…

13 Oct

…and four other tunes worth listening to.

A long, long time ago, I was a ‘music blogger’, writing lots of posts about music and filling them with lots of ‘pithy comments’ and ‘unnecessary inverted commas’ etc etc. But then I got too busy to spend all my time listening to tunes and making jokes about them, so I stopped. This year I have hardly spent any time seeking out new music. Indeed, I’ve devoted a fair portion of it to listening to old and/or boring music (eg The Beatles) just to see if it is ‘classic for a reason’ (mostly it isn’t).

ANYWAY.

Recently, a few tunes have caught my ear. I’ve decided to write some words about them, which you can read below.

Bar9 – Before The Storm
Despite having a name that sounds like some sort of pre-club boozing venue in Oldham, Bar9 make very good dubstep tunes and remixes. The latest in the former category is Before The Storm, probably their best release yet, which was ‘dropped’ by Skream and Benga as a world exclusive on their Radio 1 show this week. It takes a couple of minutes to get going, but it’s got the sort of drop that reinforced dance floors were invented for. That’s assuming reinforced dancefloors have been invented. They probably have, or should be, whichever.

King Krule – Rock Bottom
The indie industry is in crisis. In fact, the entire music industry is in crisis purely because indie exists. But there are some artists trying to rescue the most boring form of music from its perpetual decline. Step forward King Krule, basically the saviour of shouty urban indie, whose recent single Rock Bottom boasts myriad influences (including The Streets, whose Empty Cans is quoted in the refrain) and moves along at a pace brisk enough to blow away all the cobwebs left behind by Mumford & Sons and their dusty fucking box of dead ideas.

Jake Bugg – Two Fingers
Here’s another chap trying to make non-shit guitar music and succeeding. He might have a lot of Dylan-esque ticks, but you’re unlikely to have heard anything as striking as Bugg’s opening vocal this year. The first verse, however, does pose a question: why does Radio 1 think it’s OK for white artists to talk about drugs in their songs (cf Ed Sh**ran and his nonsense about crack pipes) when black artists regularly find themselves censored? Rolled-up fattys aside, this is classic songwriting, like Donovan jamming with The Coral. Bonus points for having the parole officer out of Misfits being lairy in the video, too.

HOSH – Woohoo
Ever since Unklejam bombed, there’s not been enough falsetto-specked spacepop. And there’s never been enough tunes called Woohoo. So this release remedies both of those situations within the first few bars. The rest of the track goes on to evoke New York disco and house clubs, but in a completely non po-faced way, which is increasingly becoming a rarity in the ‘dance music scene’.

Monsta – Holdin On (Skrillex and Nero remix)
The original Holdin On has a fair stab at being a decent tune, and pulls it off on the whole, thanks in large part to the incredible vocals of Skaar, but it take a re-take from Skrillex and Nero to make the tune stand out among the literally millions of bass tunes that are released every week in the UK. The drop is a bit too heavy on the Sonny Moore side of things, but the build (“I’m a beat without a drum,” etc etc) is very much ‘worth the entry price’.

Cheers.

Murkage Torches review

21 Jan

Another month, another massive release from Murkage. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: there’s not many outfits in the UK making music as angry and vital-sounding as this at the moment. Critics might say it’s all a bit overblown but I’d rather have the politicised rantings of Murkage Dave threatening to “leave your city in flames” than the likes of bloody Tribes trying to pretend that grunge didn’t go out of fashion for a reason, any day of the week.

Latest track is Torches, built on a sort of demonic, twisted synth pattern and the demonic, twisted spewings of trader/self-confessed attention seeker Alessio Rastani, who famously uttered the line “governments don’t rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world”. It’s not quite up there with Paperweight but not a lot is really, is it. You can watch the Torches video below and grab an MP3 by heading over to murkage.net (also be sure to check out the remixes by Dash Total’d, KEE and Star One).

Very good.

The 7 best Bloodshy & Avant productions

20 Jan

Bloodshy & AvantBloodshy & Avant and Andrew Wyatt, also known as Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg and Andrew Wyatt, also known as Miike Snow, are back this month with their first material since 2009’s self-titled debut album, whose standout track Black & Blue (a top 64 smash, no less) featured – lest we forget – Reg Hollis off The Bill in the video.

That tune – and the new one, Devil’s Work – are obviously brilliant, but so too is the production work of Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, also known as Bloodshy & Avant. Over the past decade, the pair have produced some of the finest pop tunes in the world (and one by Rob Thomas).

Here, we count down the seven best productions by Bloodshy & Avant.

7) Sky Ferreira – 108
6) Christina Milian – AM to PM
5) Britney Spears – How I Roll
4) Britney Spears – Radar
3) Britney Spears – Toy Soldier
2) Rachel Stevens – Sweet Dreams My LA Ex
1) Britney Spears – Toxic

Technically one of those is just a Bloodshy production and not a Bloodshy & Avant production but let’s not split hairs shall we.

And now because I’m so “Web 3.0” and all about cross-platform content synergy and everything you can click the link below to listen to (some of) these tunes in a Spotify playlist.

The 7 Best Bloodshy & Avant Productions Except One By Britney And The Sky Ferreira One Because They Didn’t Have Them On Spotify

Very good.

Rizzle Kicks – Mama Do The Hump: the Wikipedia review

8 Jan

As well as being the best place to go to find out completely true things about anyone and anything, Wikipedia is also brilliant for its analysis of modern pop songs. If you want to know what a tune sounds like, best place to head is Wikipedia. Check out this example from the article on Rizzle Kicks’ Mama Do The Hump:

“The song has some banjo themes.”

Pretty sure Nick Kent would be proud of that.

Also does anyone know if the women in the Rizzle Kicks video who are supposed to be Rizzle Kicks’ mums are really Rizzle Kicks’ mums or just pretending to be Rizzle Kicks’ mums for the video? And why does James Corden turn up at the end? And what is The Hump? Thanks.

Noel Gallagher – The Death Of You And Me MP3

27 Jul

Noel Gallagher has unleashed his first bit of debut solo material and, perhaps inevitably, it is considerably better than anything ‘Beady Eye’ has yet turned out. Let’s have a look at the bulletpoints:

  • It is called The Death Of You And Me
  • It is a mature slice of Bacharachesque swoon pop
  • There are some trumpets on it
  • With at least one major hook, it is 100% more hook-filled than anything off the final Oasis album

If you were to liken it to a track by his former band, Gallagher Snr’s debut is a bit like The Importance Of Being Idle, but with a touch more Americana and a touch less Rhys Ifans faffing about with some coffins, which is no bad thing.

MP3: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – The Death Of You And Me

BTW not sure who the High Flying Birds are.

Massive Friday Tune

22 Jul

It’s Friday, it’s still number one, it’s time for the greatest piece of music ever committed to MP3.

In honour of the weekend, TURN THIS ONE UP LOUD.

Yuck Update

22 Jul

Both of Yuck’s fans have been on expressing their dismay at a post I wrote about the band being rubbish. In the interests of open discussion let’s hear what the guys have got to say.

Bellows Jake Dryzal:

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME! YUCK IS A GREAT BAND! F**K YOU!!!”

(The asterisks are the poster’s own.)

Insists Tako Bochorishvili:

“you don’t know anything about music if you say that they are very talented and creative people! amazing band!”

(The stultifying grammar error which changes the entire sense of the sentence is the poster’s own.)

Perfectly happy to air these thoughts here, for the sake of open debate. After all, where would we be if people weren’t able to share their opinions – however wrong – freely in a public forum? Probably some sort of fascist dictatorship or something, I don’t know.

The beauty of WordPress though is that, in the words of CP Scott, comment is free, but badly mocked up jpegs are sacred:

yuck-band

Spark Crave video and MP3

23 Apr

I haven’t done a new music post in a while, mainly because most new music is shit, but also because I have been far too busy trying to ride the keyword wave and rack up some mad hits with stuff about Colonel Gaddafi or whatever.

Anyway here is the video for the song Crave by Walthamstow-based Jess Morgan, aka Spark, another of the likely-to-sell-some-records signings 679 has made as they look to fill the sales void left by recent retiree Mike Skinner.

The vid basically consists of Spark wandering around a house with some lasers. There’s not much else you need to know except Marina and the Diamonds is on board (she took Spark on tour) so we’re looking at definite probable top 40 here.

Oh BTW if you want to see what a hungover Robert Smith looks like at the breakfast table, defo press play.

Very good.

You can download an MP3 of Crave at Spark’s official website. You don’t even have to put your email address in!

Pete Tong Radio 1 celebration brings back memories

8 Apr

Pete Tong#PETETONG20: Fancy some euphoric?

OK so Friday night on Radio 1 was pretty much given over to Mr Euphoria himself, Peter Tong, whose essential selections have been gracing our airwaves for an incredible 20 years.

To celebrate they did this sort of ‘top 20 dance tunes of the last 20 years’ thing in the first hour which certainly brought a lot of memories flooding back. I used to go to Ibiza a lot with my mum when I was a kid and listen to this sort of stuff, which was pretty weird but pretty good fun. Especially the hippy market at Es Cana, where you never knew if you were going to get killed or sold a bracelet.

Jaguar Skills has done an MP3 mix of the top 20 tunes which you can download from the Radio 1 website.

Peter Tong’s countdown started with the tune below, which I had not heard before Friday night but inadvertently brought back more childhood memories. I basically spent a good few years of my life listening to another veteran radio disc jockey, Stu Allan, every Sunday night on Key 103. He played literally nothing but ridiculous hardcore, which was obviously brilliant.

I sometimes wonder if things would have turned out differently if I hadn’t grown up listening to Ibiza anthems and happy hardcore.

Pete Tong top 20 tunes countdown of the top 20 tunes from the past 20 years comprising the 20 best dance music tunes from the past 20 years of Pete Tong – IN FULL!

20) Diss Reaction — Jieehaaa
19) Underworld — Rez/Cowgirl
18) La Roux — In For The Kill (Skream Remix)
17) Armand van Helden — You Don’t Know Me
16) Daft Punk — Da Funk
15) Josh Wink — Higher State Of Consciousness
14) Gat Décor — Passion
13) The Chemical Brothers — Hey Boy Hey Girl
12) Laurent Garnier — Man With The Red Face
11) Groove Armada — Superstylin
10) Eric Prydz — Pjanoo
9) Massive Attack — Unfinished Sympathy
8.) The Prodigy — Smack My Bitch Up
7) Daft Punk — Around The World
6) Robin S. — Show Me Love
5) Stardust — Music Sounds Better With You
4) Daft Punk — One More Time
3) Sasha — Xpander
2) Underworld — Born Slippy
1) Energy 52 — Café Del Mar

X Factor Live Tour Pictures and Feedback

5 Apr

X Factor USA LogoA couple of weeks back I went to review the X Factor Live Tour for the paper, a job which allowed me to make the following observations:

  • Cher Lloyd is amazing
  • Rebecca really does not move much
  • Mary Byrne spends a lot of time waving and looking grateful
  • Whatsisname from Blackpool is even worse live than he is on telly

The best bit of the whole night was sitting behind these two women who came to the gig dressed as Jedward. Every time Mary came on stage they got a couple of Tesco bags out and started waving them around. You probably had to be there.

Anyway. Here are some pictures of the other best moments from the X Factor Live Tour.

1. Paige and his big logo
Paige X Factor Tour Picture

2. Cher Lloyd wore a bad outfit and sang Avril Lavigne
Cher Lloyd X Factor Live Tour

3. Rebecca and her massive blue wings
Rebecca X Factor Live Tour

4. Matt Cardle – never afraid to tackle a big bridge (HAHAHAHAHA, wasn’t funny the first time)
Matt Cardle X Factor Live Tour Photo

5. Some stairs
Steps at the MEN Arena

Altogether it was a good night. The music was good and the lights were great. 7/10