Archive for January, 2009

31
Jan
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 23

It’s been a while since I listed a Brighton band on here and being from the greatest of UK cities for new music it surprises me it’s taken this long between posts. Suffice to say, I am plumped up and encouraged to be able to list not one, but three Brighton-based recommendations on this post. The other weekend I found myself out on the piss with two of the below bands and for a group of people making such spiky, punked Indie music, they’re a actually a bunch of very lovely folk indeed. This Brighton-themed post will therefore be dedicated to Laura, Elliot, Tim and Andy…

MATHS CLASS
Indie-Punk music should be an attitude right? Perhaps not anymore? Surely the guys playing it should be just as hard-edged as the music, right? Well not anymore. This 5-piece are all about allowing the music to be plenty sharp enough without all that necessary dicking around. Does anybody outside the NME office really enjoy all that Frank Carter abuse when the Gallows play? Most of these bands put the attitude first and quickly forget the music. Don’t get me wrong, Maths Class are plenty lively enough when you see their set, (although they’re still doing that thing where they rarely look up at the crowd whilst playing), but they are enjoying an ever-growing locker of fast-paced tuneage. As they peel out of town to play in Paris the buzz in Brighton increases. Like the band below, they play out a guitar set that involves rapid bass notes and a lead that’s all about the sharp riffing. We love it. Certainly at their best when they layer the vocals with Andy and Piers joining in. It’s an obvious comparison, but if you enjoy the Foals and Late Of The Pier, then you’ll enjoy these fella’s. We’ll be watching their rise closely…

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        MATHS CLASSNERVES     (ysi)

HEELS CATCH FIRE
So this is the second of our Brighton highlights that I wanted to loyally dish the opinions on today. The speed and frenetic energy that these guys possess in their pacey Indie music is astonishingly bright. With Elliott on vocals I really don’t quite know how he riffs such up-the-neck guitar sounds whilst keeping one eye on fronting the singing. Add Laura’s superb guitaring stage left and the power soars. We walked into the room during a recent gig, they’d already begun, and we had one of those moments when the door opens and wham!! we received a slap in the face from the noise they generated – that’s what gigs are all about. Relentless, yet always enjoyable, with a strong chorus to whip you up, this 4-piece are bouncing around the circuits as if, well, their heels were indeed on fire. Catch them soon at the NME club night at Coalition, (…or wait for us here at The Recommender to remind you in an upcoming ‘Gig List’ posting…)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       HEELS CATCH FIREA BRIGHT LIGHTS NOT WHITE     (ysi)

DOLL & THE KICKS
If a tour suporting Morrissey is a sign of good promise, then this band are well tipped for a huge 2009. The last of my Brighton highlights today, these guys and dolls are supplying us with an attractive soundscape. They play out a spellbinding variety of pace, with tunes sometimes a funky, slower rhythm that then float into the middle of a song, before splashing out into a brilliant, lively crash. Hannah, (or Doll if you want to get the set up), is on lead vocals and provides obvious comparisons to Kate Bush, ( – it seems this crops up in so many reviews of the recent batch of female singers – see Little Boots, or La Roux, or Marina & The Diamonds this year already – are we spotting a theme here!!), although I personally recognize more of Blondie in her.  Having met at Sussex University in Brighton they are already, just three years later, a shining light in the local scene. They seem to have set their sights on an album release in 2009, following their single release (see below) late last year, so look out for much exposure in the run up.

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:      DOLL & THE KICKSROLL UP THE RED CARPET     (ysi)

It’s great to be part of a city that, outside London, shows off some of the best new bands on the scene. As we wade into the Spring and Summer festival circuit expect a batch of showcases from the above bands and no doubt plenty of new discoveries to add to the already exciting horizon.

Mike

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28
Jan
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 22

It’s all about the tunes in this recommender. The artists listed are from three different genre’s, but all have provided us with a slice of brilliance. Sometimes its the strength of the artist, or the collection of songs from a band or DJ that pushes for their entry on The Recommender, but with these guys it’s taken a single mighty song to earn their places. Click the links to find out more from each and see what other golden pieces you can uncover…

POCKETKNIFE
A single tune alone should not make a Recommender posting, but we came across this DJ recently through his remix of the fantastic and popular Lykke Li tune, ‘Breaking It Up’ and this lead me to find more from the fella and we love what we found. There’s something sublime about discovering something you like from a little investigation. That’s why every good blogger should give every lead that they get as much investigative time as possible. Pocketknife’s remix of Lykke Li’s tune is a real gem. It’s a song that was fine in it’s original form and it’s also received a great remix by Recommender favourite’s ‘Punks Jump Up’, amongst others. However it’s with Pocketknifes talent that it’s really glowed. He doesn’t leather it with a banging beat, he compliments it with a smooth beat-clap. He also allows the lyrics to breath more, particularly with the childlike choral mantra that lifts the melody. Basically he’s picked up on all the best bits and held them up to the light, whilst making a entirely fresh tune out of it. It’s a sign of the magic that this Brooklyn DJ is capable of. Check for yourself… 

Find him here:         Myspace

Hear him here:      LYKKE LIBREAKING IT UP (Pocketknife’s Loosefoot Remix)    (ysi)

BLATTA & INESHA
Crikey! We’ve been rather wrapped up in Indie and Pop music for quite a few posts here at The Recommender recently. Then WHAM! A true club-floor-filling-banger was thumped onto our desk. This DJ duo are from Italy and although they have a history of Electro dance music, they’ve turned their trade to what is now a growing dance genre on the blog world, Fidget-House. It’s proved a favourite sound out there, after massive pushes from the likes of Herve, Mmmathias, Fake Blood, amongst many others. To be fair this genre’s warped techno doesn’t always sit well in our ears and its rave overtones seem relentless and repetitive, unless your 18 years old and pumped full of X. It therefore has to be a real corking racket that keeps us interested and these guys are belting out many great tunes of a truly amazing quality. Perhaps they will enable us to finally embrace a genre that’s spawned many pretenders, but no kings. All hail Blatta & Inesha!

Find them here:       Myspace

Hear them here:      BLATTA & INESHAEL RITMO BARBARO   (ysi)

THE TEMPER TRAP
It pleased us no end to find a Melbourne band that didn’t sound like most of the others from that section of Oz. The influence of Modular Records surfaces in Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts, or The Presets, the list goes on and on. All of these bands are fantastic and had a great 2008, but sometimes we yearn for a little bit more. The Temper Trap are precisely the refreshing wet-wipe to that stuck Australian sound. The 4-piece play on a higher plain than most of the synth-heavy Indie of their peers. Beautiful guitaring from Lorenzo, straight out of The Edge’s school of rock, plays over a climactic lift. All the while Dougie’s high pitch vocals swing you back and forth. It’s not so much verse/chorus/verse, as rather a layered build up that is irresistible. Perhaps you can get a chance to see them at this years South By Southwest Festival in March? Definitely ones to watch through 2009…

Find them here:           Myspace

Hear them here:        THE TEMPER TRAPSWEET DISPOSITION   (ysi)

That’s plenty enough great tuneage for now. Should keep your ears busy whilst you get on with other lovely things. 2009 is in full swing and so are we.

Mike

23
Jan
09

THE GIG LIST – NUMBER 20

 

We have a  real clash of cultures on here today as we confidently straddle two totally opposing genres. One is a mystical fantasy and the other is all about colourful bling. I guess you should expect this on a post about gigs in Brighton’s wide spread of tastes and shades. Both are awesome and refreshingly vibrant artists worthy of your well-crunched wages…

BAT FOR LASHES
A magical, dreamlike beauty to behold, this Brighton-based songstress, (also known as Natasha Kahn), just has to be on anybody’s list of necessary experiences. It seems she dips into some sort of hidden fantasy world to pen her songs, returning to us clutching real creative, intricate gems. A clash of sounds and styles, she’s very striking and packed with stylish individuality, so although not quite like anyone else, she would sit comfortably along other strong female soloists from the creations of Tori Amos or the madness of Bjork. Although her heritage is Middle Eastern, this is effectively an adopted homecoming gig, so expect that ‘extra 10%’ to be revealed. Add to all this the fact that her much anticipated second album, Two Suns, is due out in April and follows in the footsteps of her excellent Mercury-nominated debut, Gold & Fur. Get your tickets and get on board for a sneaky peek into the secret world in which only she inhabits.

ACT:                  BAT FOR LASHES
VENUE:             THE CORN EXCHANGE, Brighton
COST:               £13.50
DATE:               Thursday 16th April 2009
WEBSITE:         Last.fm      Myspace

MASTER SHORTIE
In total contrast to the above artist, Master Shortie brings a totally different flavour to our City. So long as the artist is good, no matter what the genre, they will deserve a posting on this blog. Get ready to duck (and weave) as this fella’s rat-a-tat vocals will fire across the floor at Audio. Always such an intimate venue, but not short on quality artists. They usually turn up at this venue just prior to their mushroom-cloud-laying subsequent blow up in the wider music scenes, which this next-gen Hip Hop lyricist  is sure to do through 2009. He’s multi-coloured and as loud in his musical assault as he is in his shirts. A real promising talent from the vibrant music scene south of London taaaan. We’ve already written up his Recommender post which we’ll be listing real soon, so for yet more love and an mp3 of his awesome tunes, be sure to head back here for more of Master Shortie when you’re ready… 

ACT:                 MASTER SHORTIE
VENUE:             AUDIO, Marine Parade, Brighton
COST:               £ tbc
DATE:               Friday 13th March 2009 (part of the Wonky Pop Tour)
WEBSITE:         Myspace

Rumours are bouncing around like Zebedee on a trampoline at the moment regarding the booked up bands due to appear on the outstanding Brighton festival circuit this summer. Be sure that The Recommender will be right on top of it once things firm up, so we’ll let you know for sure.

Respek
Mike

19
Jan
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 20

We just want to indulge you, (and ourselves at the same time of course…), with a little video that shows up the camp madness and brilliance of one of the best bands around, TV ON THE RADIO.

We adore them here at The Recommender like they were made solely for us. We need them like a heartbeat. Their music is outstanding and their most recent album, Dear Science, was definitely one of the best of 2008.

The song below (video and mp3 listed) is a highlight on the album. Check it out, then check out the links for everything else they’ve done too, as you won’t be disappointed.

TV ON THE RADIOGOLDEN AGE   (ysi)

 

Thanks for all your support as always…
Mike

15
Jan
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 21

I think it’s time to ask yourselves – why do you keep coming back to The Recommender? I’ll tell you why. In fact I’ve got three reasons listed directly below…

MARINA & THE DIAMONDS
Have you got an obsession for anything currently? Want one? Look no further than Marina Diamond (real name). As previously mentioned in The Recommender 18, 2009 will belong to the female solo artist. I know we had Lykke Li and Adele in 2008 and all, but they will be shown up to be as flat and lifeless as roadkill compared to the likes of V V Brown, Thecocknbullkid, Little Boots and now the wonderful Marina & The Diamonds. Like these others she has a massive talent, with a sharp ear for a penned and brilliantly constructed pop tune, but her skillful abilities are really found in her individuality and vocals. The obvious comparisons with Kate Bush will fly around with the tweaked vocal inflections and strong yet fragile voice. Stepping out from her Welsh home, this pop songstress will soon be living in your head. I’d make room for her if I were you. I list below the best track I’ve heard so far (from anybody) in 2009, Obsessions, yet I could have enjoyed any of the tunes she’s produced to date. It rolls from sweet piano-led intro to bouncing pop after approx 1 min and it’s at this moment the secret is truly revealed. Totally wonderful stuff…

My Photos | copyright rankin | MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS

Find her hear:       Myspace

Hear her hear:      MARINA & THE DIAMONDS – OBSESSIONS     (ysi)

RED LIGHT COMPANY
This London 5-piece are a burst of melodic Indie Pop. There is plenty to like here with a real mix of influences and a range of sounds depending on which tune you catch from them. I attach below the bright and confident track, ‘With Lights Out’, sounding like it was stolen straight out of Brandon Flowers Killers handbag. Another cracking track they’ve done to date is ‘Scheme Eugene’, which has had a tasty remix done by James Yuill. It actually did the rounds a little back in Spring 2008, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you missed it. If you like a touch of The Polyphonic Spree‘s collective vocal echos, mixed with the power of Editors, then you should quickly fall for these guys. They are all lined up for a proper outing in 2009, as it sees them venture out on a UK tour through March, (except Brighton it seems!), so perhaps try to catch them then.

My Photos | Red Light CompanyFind them here:      Myspace

Hear them here:      RED LIGHT COMPANY – WITH LIGHTS OUT     (ysi)

VIVA CITY
I was sent an mp3 remix of one of their tunes, Audio Endlessly, by Don Diablo’s Manager. The Netherlands DJ, Don Diablo, had remixed the tune up somewhat, but rather than getting me to write about him, it was the song’s original authors, Viva City, that ended up pinching my attention. This Electro-Indie 4-piece from Newcastle are definitely more at the rock end of the genre, with their powerful guitars and black, spiky, glam image. It’s all pushing-your-crotch-out-whilst-you-play guitars, mixed with synths and a beat kept as much by a computer as the drummer. It’s good stuff and I list their strongest track to date, Kate Bush, below. Appearing on Kosheen’s label, VeRT, they bring us a taste of The Whip blended with power of The Futureheads. The biggest problem I have is that the vocals are too annoying, but thankfully not so much that you switch off. They seem to be trying to sing in an accent they don’t naturally have, rather than realising that part of The Futureheads magic, (just as with Maximo Park), is in their north east accents coming through. Sadly the lyrics don’t help – what does ‘Audio Endlesslessly’ actually mean!? However, there’s definitely enough promise here to take notice. Not ‘a hit’, not ‘a miss’, but definitely ‘a maybe’…

Find them here:      Myspace

Hear them here:      VIVA CITYKATE BUSH     (ysi)

So that’s a wrap from another meandering lick up the cheek of new music for you. Hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks for all your support as always. Remember to subscribe, message me, comment and generally spread the love around as much as you can. Nice.
Mike

13
Jan
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 19

A real quickie here – just wanted your delectable opinions on these two Rolling Stones remixes that are surfing the blog world…

The first is a new one that’s floated past recently by the remix masters Discotech

THE ROLLING STONESSATISFACTION (Discotech Remix)     ysi

The second is the other that came past a few months back by Soulwax

THE ROLLING STONESYOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT (Soulwax Remix)     ysi

Both are only a slight twist of the original, but they are undoubtedly good all the same. Perhaps it’s that The Rolling Stones that are so damn great to start with. You decide.

See you back here soon for the next Recommender posting…
Mike

11
Jan
09

THE GIG LIST – NUMBER 19

 

Yeah Christmas is a great laugh, and it’s a welcome holiday break as the winter kicks into full swing, but for live gigs its a bit sparse. During this period there’s been plenty of club action, especially over the New Year celebrations, but nothing of any outstanding note. So it’s with a welcome note that we swing into 2009 with a fresh look ahead to what the town of Brighton brings us. Being one of the finest towns in the UK for new music, particularly Spring and Summer when it really gets into it’s major party mood with mucho festivals and circuits going on.

LA ROUX
You don’t even have to look beyond January to catch one of the hottest artists that’s in true blog-ascendancy at the moment. We’ve already posted about her back in The Recommender 17, but as with all artists there’s nothing quite like seeing them up close and personal. And it doesn’t get much closer and more personal than at the New Hero club. Once again Henry’s excelled himself with his ability to catch onto the UK’s pop zeitgeist by booking up an artist so hot it’s being advised you wear your non-flammable undies. La Roux follows a long list of attractive, fresh pioneering acts to New Hero, such as Little Boots, or Surkin, or The Golden Filter, to name just three of many, many amazing performers in recent months. Get down there to witness the truly talented electropop sensation, with her unique style, vocals and sound, before she heads on to a larger tour nationwide supporting Lilly Allen.

ACT:                      LA ROUX 
VENUE:                 NEW HERO, Lower Dyke Road, Brighton
COST:                  £ 6.50
DATE:                   Friday 30th January 2009
WEBSITE:            Myspace

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE
This band has been around since 2000 and it is with their 9th album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, due out next week, that they seem to be gathering attention once again in the blog world. With a boat packed ram-jammed full of blog hype, they floated over our horizon and into view. At first listen you won’t be sure of the hype, with a mixed bag of sounds. Part psychedelic pop, part mashed up soundscape, their songs always seem to start out like a crash of randomness, but then out of the bleeps comes a beat and a tune that builds up to a formula that then works. Like the weirder side of any Super Furry Animals song, or if you like MGMT’s left-field side and you take to anything that’s experimenting changing the face of things, rather than following anything else, then this Baltimore 4-piece should tick your box. Gigs around the release of a new album always seem to get an extra 10% out of the band in my experience, so catch them while they are burning bright.

ACT:                     ANIMAL COLLECTIVE 
VENUE:                CONCORDE 2, Marine Parade, Brighton Beach
COST:                  £ 7.00
DATE:                   Thursday 15th January 2009
WEBSITE:            Myspace

We are already getting hints and whispers about the upcoming artists getting booked up for some of Brighton’s excellent, (and numerous), Spring and Summer festivals, so plenty more will soon arrive on this Gig List, so make sure you head back here when you can.

Mike




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