Archive for February, 2009

28
Feb
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 25

Looking back over recent posts, we realised that we’ve been so stuck into our ‘How Good Is This‘ and ‘Gig List‘ sections, as well as that enjoyable Q&A with Marina & The Diamonds, that we haven’t managed a true Recommender post for some time. So it’s away with the distractions and back to the biggie now with three newbies that we’ve recently fallen in love with. In ten minutes time, once you’ve checked them for yourselves, you will too…

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB

Never before has a record label signature been so inevitable as it does with this shockingly unsigned band. They are about as ‘on the ticket’ as a new Indie band could be right now, with their sound slotting comfortably neatly inbetween Vampire Weekend, Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse and Broken Social Scene. You will find this Northern Irish three-piece playing the quirky, high-noted guitar often found at a Foals show. It’s upbeat, delicate and irresistibly pretty Indie Pop. The one thing they are missing is a drummer, finding their beats through a machine, which gives them an electronic edge that ticks yet another contemporary quality. Expect a near future to include many festival outings and that afore mentioned signature.  Were they already signed, a performance at Austin’s SXSW Festival would have been a sure fire thing, but alas a UK tour through March will hopefully bring them satisfyingly in front of your attention. Take note.

Find them here:     Myspace

Hear them here:     TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUBSOMETHING GOOD CAN WORK (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

ELLIE GOULDING

It took an hour of our lives, but now we’ve finally given up. We’ve spent this entirely wasted time trying to think of any artist with a voice more fragile and tender than Ellie’s and it simply doesn’t exist. Not Dolores O’Riordan, circa Linger, not Sinead O’Connor, circa  Nothing Compares To You, not Regina Spektor circa, well, anything .Simultaneously cute and brittle, like a china doll, this Welsh-based solo artist has a wonderful, enchanting sound to her excellent vocals. It’s a taut, higher pitch, like a tiny pixie sitting on your shoulder singing into your ear. That isn’t to say that her songs are of that horrible, twee, frankly rather boring acoustic and self-indulgent Folk pulp. She’s out of that New York Anti-Folk mould. Almost more of a sweeping, pulsating Power-Folk! You will find electronic beats that build slowly, adding in the keys, the chopped up sampling of her voice and a likeable melody. It’s taking lessons from the Imogen Heap class, but without the annoying, commercial, Dawsons-Creek-love-scene-suitability. It is very early days, as she’s still in the production process, yet she’s already had the magic touch of a Frankmusik remix (listed below). Keep one eye out for the finished work, as both of your ears will certainly be clambering for it…

Find her here:       Myspace

Hear her here:      ELLIE GOULDINGWISH I STAYED (Frankmusik Remix)     (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

MILKE

Occasionally we find that sizeable talents, from differing areas of music, can come together in a beautiful collision. This 2-piece is one of those fantastic entanglements. Andrew ‘Friendly’ Kornweibel, recently known to us for his decent remix of ‘Oh! by the excellent We Have Band, has teamed up with singer/songwriter Ra and produced a selection of Electro Pop tunes that have enough instant appeal to make Radio One and enough cool-factor to be a  Hypemachine chart topper. Already having had their tunes remixed by the likes of Joe & Will Ask, as well as The Designer Drugs, this super-duo bring us their single, listed below, on March 6th. Perhaps this will be a case of a production pairing that’s more successful together than they ever acquired previously as indivduals. They’ve already created a sublime and bright collection of songs that clearly make this team greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Find them here:      Myspace

Hear them here:     MILKELOVE GET OUT OF MY WAY (ysi)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

The inevitable bottle neck of artists has gathered at our email’s door once again, so we’re now off to sift through the dirge some more. Return to us soon to check out what polished pleasers we are subsequently pointing in your direction in the next edition of The Recommender…
Mike

22
Feb
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 22


Photo by Rony Alwin

THE REMIXES – PART 3 – DISCOTECH

The first edition of  ‘The Remixes’ was all about the best Bloc Party remixes, of which there’s been billions to date. It was soon followed up by our remix-packed post all about the kings of the blender, Soulwax. Well now we are turning to post number 3…

We’ve got a bright, young, good-looking bunch for you today. It’s all about the plentiful locker of remixes by none other than DiscoTech. The latest pretenders to Soulwax’s throne. They’ve been super-busy in recent months pumping out some of the purest floor-filling remixes you will ever hear.

Like Soulwax, this American three-piece set of DJ’s have an excellent ear. They source their tunes from any genre and any time and begin twisting it into something fresh and danceable, whilst still keeping a lot of the original intact. It’s like your favourite Hip Hop or Indie tune being electrocuted up the ass!

Below we list a selection of our favourites for your delectable pleasure. Enjoy…

KANYE WEST Ft CHRIS MARTIN – HOMECOMING (DiscoTech Remix)   (ysi)
THE ROLLING STONES – SATISFACTION (DiscoTech Remix)   (ysi)
LYKKE LI – LITTLE BIT (Gigamesh / Discotech Remix)   (ysi)
MICHAEL JACKSON – THRILLER (DiscoTech Remix)   (ysi)
RADIOHEAD – EVERYTHING IN IT’S RIGHT PLACE (Gigamesh / DiscoTech Remix)    (ysi)
THE POLICE – ROXANNE (DiscoTech Remix)   (ysi)
T.I. – WHATEVER YOU LIKE (DiscoTech Remix)   (ysi)
FOO FIGHTERS – EVERLONG (DiscoTech Remix)   (ysi)
THE CLASH – TRAIN IN VAIN (DiscoTech Remix)   (ysi)
M.I.A. – BOYZ (DiscoTech & Strangelove Remix)   (ysi)

Who would you put into the 4th edition of ‘The Remixes’? Aeroplane? LA Riots? As always, comment away, message us, subscribe and spread the love.

We’ll leave you with that thought and see you back here for more slices of lovely tuneage real soon…
Mike

18
Feb
09

Q & A – MARINA & THE DIAMONDS

Q & A – MARINA & THE DIAMONDS

 

If you don’t know this solo female songsmith quite yet, then prepare any available room between your ears as she’s going to be living in there very soon indeed. 

She’s currently attracting a level of buzz most artists dream about, with slots as a featured artist on both Radio One and Radio Two, amongst the inevitable busy blog chatter. This is all after very little in the way of official releases and she certainlyisn’t ready to push the debut album above the parapet quite yet.

We adore her here at The Recommender for her clear and abundant strengths. Strengths you can spot in all the influences she names below, from Patti Smith, to Dolly Parton, to Madonna. Namely, a fiercely independentdrive, a keen interest in the usage of image and style, but it’s most obvious with her astute and brilliant ability to pen an original and melody-heavy pop song that fully snared our attention.

It’s an exciting landscape for the female solo musician in 2009, with the likes of Little Boots, La Roux and V V Brown, amongst others, appearing at a seemingly regular rate. All of them are taking back ownership of, whilst simultaneously re-inventing, the crafted, piano-led pop world.

It must also be pointed out that they all come with punchy, highly-styled vocals. Although their voices can be likened to pop stars of the past, their singing is the part of their songs that separates them from one another. And Marina is possibly the best case for this in action, with her high-pitch inflections and wide range.

We find her today in a rather gentle mood. It’s perhaps a suitable position for someone so talented that she is seemingly more comfortable when talking about her music than any personal attention she’s recently garnered. With this worthy addition to The Recommender’s Q & A’s we are pleased to bring you…

 

MARINA & THE DIAMONDS

Radio One are starting to take notice and the blogs have been very excited and busy chatting for some time, so do you feel you’re finally breaking through in the media now?

Yes

What have you been up to most recently?

Recording my album and rehearsing for Dermot O’Leary on Saturday. Also prepping for the mini tour

How long have you been working at your music and what made you decide to become a musician?

Over 4 years. I dont think it was so much about becoming a ‘musician’ as such. It was never apparent that I was a good writer, a good singer, or a good musician. It was more a huge, huge need to express myself in any way possible and for some reason, my insides told me that I had to be a singer. Life or death. I did a lot of dance and acting throughout my teens but I dont feel quite the same about it as I do about songwriting and performing freely on stage

You seem to not accept any references to Kate Nash when people try to describe your sound. We totally agree, as there’s definitely a clear difference, but for those people new to you, how would you describe your sound?

I suppose alternative pop. The only types of music for me are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ music and that’s it. A song should stand alone without its production and that will always be good enough for me. I don’t know who Lene Lovich is but that crops up sometimes as does the odd Kate Bush reference. I don’t mind what people compare me to really. Small fries!

Who influences you?

Strong, driven people. Patti smith, PJ Harvey, Madonna, The Distillers, Daniel Johnston, Nirvana, No Doubt, Dolly Parton

Whilst we are here, let’s try and clear up some rumours…..Your name suggests there is a backing band, so are there a pack of ‘Diamonds’ behind you? Where does the name come from?

My surname is Diamond in Greek. I didn’t want to be called Marina Diamond as a stage name. I kind of like the fantasy of having an imaginary group of people behind you. It sounds lame but I always wanted the diamonds to be the audience. There’s no point in writing music if there is no one around to hear it…

Do you write all your own music or is there someone you collaborate with? Who would be a dream collaboration for you?

I rarely write with other people but I have done a few sessions with good people and enjoyed it. I want most of my album to be my own though. Dream collab? Hmm.. Probably Brody Dalle from the Distillers. Or Robyn. Or maybe Kanye West.

We heard that you punched some idiot who fell on your keyboard mid-gig – is this true? Have you generally been received well at your live performances?

Yep. Crowds have been very good! He was just a pilled-up idiot. I hate drugs and I hate idiots, so we didn’t get on like a house on fire, lets just say.

We’ve read that you are half-Greek, half-Welsh. That’s quite a combination, so is this true and where in fact do you come from?

Yes, that’s true. I grew up in London, Greece and Wales, so I’ve moved around a fair bit.

OK, that’s quite enough of the rumours – We noticed that on your Myspace you seem to have taken a few fantastic swipes at fellow female solo artists out there, such as Lilly Allen and the wider celeb culture. Is there a message in all this?

Well yes and no. I feel like things are getting better (re: female celebrities). People realise real girls are cooler than fake girls. I’m just saying there is nothing wrong with being yourself. You can wear no makeup and eat a burger and fries and still be sexy. Society is extremely critical of females- and males too. At the time I felt angry about it and wanted to take the opportunity to say a royal “fuck off” to it – i.e. Say that you should not waste your life on this…when you’re dead and gone, will it matter? Im over it now though. It was just a personal thing. Sorry to all the celebrities I slagged off. I was being judgemental.

Have you any tours, festivals or upcoming gigs planned in the near future?

Lots of festivals in the summer! And a mini tour end of feb. Check the Myspace.

Will we see your debut album released in 2009? Any dates set yet? Do you have a name for the album?

Its all a secret.

Following the launch of the totally outstanding tune ‘Obsessions’, do you have your next single planned for a release yet?

Its all a secret.

What’s next for Marina & The Diamonds?

Beans on toast. Then whiskey in Soho. What a combination.

Lastly, so you can become an honorary Recommender, is there any new bands/acts/DJ’s that have caught your attention that you would like to recommend to us?

Oooh.. Giantess, Ellie Goulding.

MARINA & THE DIAMONDS – MOWGLI’S ROAD      (ysi)
MARINA & THE DIAMONDS – SHAMPAIN SLEEPER      (ysi)

See you back here real soon for more delicately plucked highlights from the world of new music…
Mike

13
Feb
09

THE GIG LIST – NUMBER 22

 

February has been one set after another of interesting bands and DJ’sand this seems to continue to the month’s end and into March with these two fantastic, fresh artists. Both are from wildly different genres, showing what eclectic taste Brighton can happily cater for. Both are innovators breaking through so catch them now to see where their respective genres are being taken…

THE HAIR
Never before have a band popped so neatlyinto my Indie comfort zone. If you like your Indie music with plenty of bounce, catchy hooks and Casio keys, then Sam and the boys will deliver a similar fate upon your comfort zones too. This Leeds and York 4-piece have been written about way back on The Recommender number 2and Sam was also interviewed for this blog back in this Q & A, so those hardened Recommenderfans will surely be familiar with this outfit by now. For those new to them you could do no better than catching their live set. Frontman Sam will sweat out as lively set of the finest, spikey, Indie riffs. Their sound is a mix up of  The Sunshine Underground and The Rapture, so full of the best pumping ceremony you could wish for in any energetic Indie band. Their debut album, Indecisions, was kindly sent to me prior to it’s final induction and release and even unpolished these guys sound great. The debut album will hope to come up for air in 2009, but no release date has been confirmed quite yet. I’ve been waiting for some time to see these guys in Brighton, so you will definitely catch me there. See you at the front…

ACT:                     THE HAIR
VENUE:                AUDIO, Marine Parade, Brighton
COST:                  £ tbc
DATE:                  5th March 2009
WEBSITE:            Myspace    

DROP THE LIME
Self-declaring himself as the ‘Heavy Bass Champion’, this New York fella brings walls crashing down with his live set. Describing Luca Venzia’ssound as House music doesn’t quite do him justice. It definitely has it’s roots in House music, with the choice of vocal samples and the beats typically whipped up and up. It has this new twist on it that’s a sound all it’s own. A kind of warped, wobbling bassline and a scratchy snare beat. This new evolution is called Fidget House and it has many pretenders involved such as Herve and Fake Blood, but it seems the crown belongs to Drop The Lime. It’s an incessant beat that verges on the chaotic, with it’s constant booming and disturbed break downs, but for those people that like their dance full on and brimming with energy, then this night will be for you. This tiny, very personal venue will be rammed and the atmosphere in your face. I can’t imagine a venue that suits the music any better. In a month where Charles Darwin celebrated his 200th birthday, check out the evolution in House music right here…

ACT:                     DROP THE LIME
VENUE:                MICRO, next to the Digital club, beach front, Brighton
COST:                  £ 6.00
DATE:                   20th February 2009
WEBSITE:            Myspace

Things are building up and rumours are buzzing around town at the moment as we look ahead to all the Festivals this summer. The Gig List here on The Recommender will be putting together previews and highlights of all the best from this summers circuits, so head back here soon for plenty more great nights out…
Mike

08
Feb
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 21

Photo by Rony Alwin

I simply had to post this track up. These two female solo artists are white-hot in the UK scenes right now. We totally adore them here at The Recommender, so it is with mucho pleasure that we can throw this dream collaboration out at you lovely people.

It’s a V V Brown tune, but remixed by none other than Little Boots. It’s less of the usual V V Brown Doo Wop swing and more of the darker Little Boots sound. What a team.

Photobucket 

Find out more about V V Brown in her listing on The Recommender 20 and here’s a Q & A with Little Boots from our archives, as well as our first post about her in The Recommender 18

V V BROWNLEAVE (Little Boots Remix)       (ysi)

We keep harping on about 2009 being the year of the female solo artist and this continues to be proved right at every turn. How very satisfying indeed…
Mike

05
Feb
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 24

Going to visit some big, big players in this post. It’s still contemporary stuff and packed full of quality so you should be able to absorb plenty of lovely Recommender energy, it’s just that some of you will already know these guys. We have to give everybody their slot on The Recommender and nobody deserves their pop more than the following kings…

SEBASTIAN
Looking back through the now plentiful Recommender archives we can’t quite believe that we’ve never posted about this fella before! We’ve mentioned him lots and certainly used him as a barometer in which to measure many pretenders to his throne, but he’s never had his own entry. It’s a shame because this fella’s been chucking out club-filling dance tunes and remixes like a robot designed by some evil genius, (Ed – a genius who often goes by the name of Busy P). SebastiAn is another one of the of French masters of the Electro scene out of the Ed Banger label. He happily brushes up shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Justice and Erol Alkan, playing out the kind of awesome dance music that takes as much from the ideologies of Rock as anything else. You will find mucho fist pumping at any live set he plays and most likely a mosh pit suitably throwing people left right and centre. We love his remixes too, as he always brings a sort of chopped up, new dimension to any song he selects. The original tune is often unrecognisable and adds to show us his skills as a creator. We list an excellent example below for you.

Find him here:     Myspace

Hear him here:    THE KILLSCHEAP AND CHEERFUL (SebastiAn Remix) (ysi)

YUKSEK
France brings us so many great electro DJ’s. Really. It’s just been silly over recent years how many cracking artists have popped up all over that country. Yuksek can rightly be held way up high amongst them all. In fact, he may even get our vote for greatest current dance DJ around at the moment – now that’s saying something! We adore him here at The Recommender. As well as writing superb original tunes, he is particularly well known for his remixes. He gives us his extraordinary ability to fill a floor with his creative skills and often produces something so impossible to ignore, it’s like a Jedi mind trick luring you onto the dancefloor! The buzz around this fella is particularly high at the moment as he’s just released the album, ‘Away From The Sea’, that burst out on 2nd February. The single is listed below and we love, love, love it! Power-dance that has breaks just where you want them and massive basslines that seem to control your feet more than you do. His 2009 will be totally huge.

Find him here:     Myspace

Hear him here:    YUKSEK ft. THE BEWITCHEDSO FAR AWAY FROM THE SEA (ysi)

SEBASTIAN TELLIER
Where to start? He is a well-established, bearded, strangely-fashioned, long-haired Parisian. Yet this guy seems as much about the world of fucking beautiful women as he is music. Often pictured surrounded by ladies and sporting tiny shorts, he’s as sexual as Serge Gainsbourg and no better looking, making his songs that are full of heavy breathing and moaning women seem as unusual as it is fascinating. If I spoke fluent French I’m sure I’d blush when listening to his tunes. Suffice to say he’s blossomed through his several albums, culminating in his 2008 release, titled Sexuality(of course). Surprising even his closest fans, he was found fronting France’s Eurovision Song Contest entry in 2008. His songs are slowed down, 80’s-influenced synth pop, although more recently produced by one half of Daft Punk. It is with his remixes that the blog world has really been thrown into action. He can list other French DJ’s from the likes of Kavinsky to Mr.Oizo on his remix books, but it’s with the A-Trak remix of ‘Kilometer‘ that’s pushed him into a deserved Recommender posting.

Find him here:     Myspace

Hear him here:    SEBASTIAN TELLIERKILOMETER (A-Trak Main Remix) (ysi)

What a very Gallic selection of refined brilliance that was! All massive artists and all French. We”ll return to a few more fresh bites in the next Recommender. As always, comment, message us, subscribe and generally spread the L.O.V.E.
Mike

03
Feb
09

THE GIG LIST – NUMBER 21

 

February has picked up a fair few gig highlights in Brighton already with Late Of The Pier, Wild Beasts and Elbow due to play, as well as the NME Tour hitting town. An amazing blend of tastes, ages, styles and clout for the circuit to showcase for Brighton’s lovely residents. Here’s a couple of fresh listings that should also be well worth making note of…

DAS POP
I cannot stand Alphabeat. Really. They’re the kind of sugar-infused pop that’s simply too sickly even in the smallest of portions. It therefore goes that I should also dislike Das Pop just as much, as there’s certainly enough of a similarity. It’s the kind of 80’s-tinged pop that takes too much from the period that’s shelved under ‘wrong’ – i.e. the Kenny Loggins, (see the song Footloose), kind of beat and glaringly obvious melodies – you know exactly where the next 16 beats are going to go. Where as the 80’s-tinged pop La Roux goes for is all Prince, Eurythmics and The Cocteau Twins – i.e. superb. However, my notice was prompted by the fact that Das Pop comes with a blessing from the likes of Justice, SebastiAn and Soulwax. Hmm. Upon further investigation they’ve grown on me. It’s less McFly and more Ladyhawke and apparently their live set is something to behold, with their swinging basslines and funked-up fun. It is with this that I point you to their mid-Feb club night in New Hero. Get drunk, step up and don’t forget to wear your dayglo leg warmers…

ACT:                     DAS POP
VENUE:                NEW HERO, Lower Dyke Road, Brighton
COST:                  £ 6.00 +
DATE:                  13th February 2009
WEBSITE:           Myspace

HEELS CATCH FIRE
As previously pointed out to so lovingly in The Recommender 23 recently, this Brighton based 4-piece are well worth a few of your finest shillings to see live. They play very tight sets of angular, fast-paced Indie. It’s all about the guitars with these guys. You wouldn’t be too wide of the mark thinking of a kind of Maximo Park on fast forward. It’s never too heavy to or too brash to make you switch off. The songs drive along as if heading for a brick wall, only to swerve to safety at the last minute. It’s high octane, brilliant stuff. Elliot’s vocals lift the scene from the page and together this provides the melody that sits neatly on top of the guitars riffs. Set for a promising 2009, they play at Brighton’s NME club night, just a few weeks before they head off to the awesome SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. There’s no better showcase for new bands anywhere in the world than at this Texan party, so catch them now, before any triumphant return from the States.

ACT:                   HEELS CATCH FIRE
VENUE:               COALITION, Club NME, Brighton Beach
COST:                 Free
DATE:                 11th February 2009
WEBSITE:          Myspace

Don’t allow either of the above gigs to slip under your radar in what will prove a busy month in February. At least now you can’t say that you haven’t been warned. See you there…

Mike




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