Archive for June, 2009

25
Jun
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 39

Here we are with another lip-smacking fumble of new artists for you to indulge yourselves in. They range from brand-spanking new, to a rare treat from a more established fellow. All are worth a turn of your head…

WOLF GANG

And so yet another somewhat outstanding act plonks out the other end of the amazing Neon Gold record label machine. How they achieve it is beyond us, but suffice to say, keeping up with the number of awesome Indie bands they spit out is almost a full time job in itself. We first found Wolf Gang playing at an after party held by said record label during the recent Great Escape festival. They play delightful, sweeping soundscapes, with epic Pop proportions. The similarity of the voice of the main music maker, Max McElligott, is so close to David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) that he will be sick of the comparison before long. It’s no bad thing however, as just like David Byrne they are equal parts creative and charming. Their first track, ‘Pieces Of You‘ is available from here. It’s perhaps their strongest track to date, but we attach below the song that initially hooked us, ‘Night Flying‘, in it’s demo form prior to any production. Here’s hoping it hooks you too.   (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       WOLF GANG – NIGHT FLYING (ysi)

GHOST CAT

We would be doing you a disservice to compare this lot to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and in particular Karen O’s frontwomanship, exactly as a queue of critics have taken to doing in regards to this London 4-piece. OK, so they are fronted by a pretty and stylish female singer, who packs in the attitude and goes by the name Ali Cat, but the Indie-Pop music is a far less slick and lacks the same emotional depth. We would suggest they’re more of a Ting Tings for 2009, with their Pop hooks, simple chords and clap-your-hands-pace. Sadly, as enticing and fun as their creations are, they lack the true connecting punch that they clearly long for, with horrific lyrics, “everybody on the dancefloor“, and pointless swearing “put your mother fucking hands up“. It’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs for thirteen year olds. All this aside, they fizz with energy and Ali’s pulse is definitely plugged into her teen punk band roots. Her killer looks, (she used to model for Glamour and Elle shoots), will get them noticed, but only time will tell if it’s a more a case of style over substance.  (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Here them here:       GHOST CAT – THIS IS A BUST (ysi)

TIGA

Here on The Recommender we rarely write about acts that are well beyond their debut material, except for those that we either shamefully missed first time around, or that are now producing music on a level that’s impossible to ignore with their second outing. Well Tiga has become the latter with his album, ‘Ciao!’. Whilst always being someone we were well aware of, we often found the Montreal DJ/Producer to blow hot and cold. With a circle of friends that include the likes of Soulwax and James Murphy it would be foolish to dismiss him entirely. He’s a busy guy, managing to produce many remixes for a wide variety of people from Scissor Sisters to LCD Soundsystem, whilst also owning the Turbo Recordings label. Although his latest album continues his hit/miss inconsistency, at it’s best his trademark minimilist Electroclash sound moves your feet with far more vocals and groove than we ever heard on his first album, ‘Sexor‘. It’s far better for it and lifts the tracks from the often repetitive nature of his older work. We list below a shining example in the funked-up track, ‘Shoes‘.    (MB)

Find him here:        Myspace

Hear him here:        TIGA – SHOES (ysi)

So that’s it for another bout of punchy rounds. Hope you enjoyed the knockout tracks just as we did. See you back here soon for more right hooks in the near future…

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21
Jun
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 38

If you correctly come to this blog for fresh new music, then you’re gonna love this post. Indeed it’s so good it may well be precisely why we evolved ears. Enjoy using them on our bahalf…

CRYSTAL FIGHTERS

Have we just heard the future coming? Blogs have gone all flushed and it’s time to take note. Drawing our breath off the trickle of musical bubbles as they float past us, this London 5-piece came by as a rapid blast of oxygen to the brain. That’s not to say you will fall in love immediately. They will split you like a tidal wave of Marmite. It took us a while, but we realise that our growing fondness has now turned into a full on love affair, like all good, lasting  relationships do. It’s without doubt a tough pigeon hole, but perhaps they remind us of the time we first found Klaxons, with which Crystal Fighters share a mixed up blend of influences. Yes there’s a selection of Rave chords and punchy House rhythms, but you will also hear strange accented vocals and tribal sounds straight out of frontwoman Laure’s native Basque region. It’s fresh and different, but just as importantly it hooks you – like a giant fleet of Japanese whalers!!! You will find the below track picked up on the recent Kitsune Maison 7 compilation. As if that isn’t a stamp of cool enough, you can check them out below for yourselves. And breathe…  (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:        CRYSTAL FIGHTERS – XTATIC TRUTH (ysi)

NEW NUMBERS

Consistent with Brooklyn’s tradition of pumping out bands, here’s another promising one for you. New Numbers are composed of members from 3 other bands joining together to make something altogether new. At least that’s their self-professed mantra. The result is some occasionally swirling, often straining guitars, catchy lyrics and a melodious rock organ that moans away in the background. Their songs are a touch psychedelic, with a healthy amount of tambourine and maraca shaking added in for good measure. Having listened to their original bands (Jealous Girlfriends, The Comas and Sam Champion), it’s pretty clear which bits and pieces have been lovingly dragged over to this new Indie-Rock concoction. Luckily it works! There are some real gems on their new self-released EP, Islands, which they’ve made available for free download on their website. Still unsigned, they’re due to head back into the studio to work on a full length album after completing their current North American tour. So, if you like what you hear, you’ll have to keep an eye out for more in the near future.   (OG)

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        NEW NUMBERS – ISLANDS (ysi)

MY TOYS LIKE ME

Here’s a band creating something that operates on a very different planet to the one your sitting on right now. In the race for originality, lots of bands provide fresh and creative directions all their own, but most end up churning out music that has you on the very next rocket back to planet Earth. We are pleased that isn’t the case here. This London 2-piece, which has evolved into a 4-piece more recently, whisk you away on a dreamscape of drifting melodies and delicate samples. Francis Noon sings over Lazlo’s elegant mixture of beats, breaks and Jazzed grooves, with a voice that sounds like it started out life as a small child, but has subsequently been tipped into a giant Japanese cute-machine and come out the other end covered in pink candy. We think we’ve spotted a mood on here that’s reminiscent of early Tricky, which is definitely no bad thing. They released their debut album, Where We Are back in May this year. You can catch them playing live if you’re off to Glastonbury Festival this summer. We couldn’t imagine a more perfectly playful surrounding in which to enjoy them.  (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:        MY TOYS LIKE ME – SUPERPOWERS (ysi)

Hope you’ve enjoyed the meandering ramble into this post. It seems that it’s indirectly themed all about new adventures and fresh invention and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer group of people in which to ramble with than our lovely Recommender readers.

17
Jun
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 30

Another video-based post here. We were sent the debut album, THESE FOUR WALLS, by the Recommender-flavoured tasty treats that are WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS. (I know we keep saying it, but that is quite simply the best name for a band for fucking ages!!!)

Why do we love them so much? Well, because it’s been so long since we’ve had a band that have allowed the music to do ALL the talking. This is a fact that remains utterly refreshing in a world where the shiny, faux-80’s glitz of La Roux, with her funny hairdo and all her neon, and Little Boots with her TV advertising campaigns and polished videos.

It’s not that we have anything against Little Boots or La Roux, as previous posts will testify, but there’s something that’s so charming about a (very young) gang of four from Scotland that don’t have the looks, nor the attitude, almost shy and inhibited on stage (the bassist neither looked up or moved from the same single spot all gig at The Great Escape Festival), yet when you click play on the stereo, you get a burst of energetic guitaring not seen since the Big Bang that was Nirvana, and that’s saying something!

Having released their album this week, it arrived in The Recommender inbox to much excitement and childish clapping. It’s the total sandblast that we had hoped for. Some songs build slowly to the point where they boil over and others start energetically to end on a sweet sentiment. Throughout the show the burn of  frontman Adam Thompson’s vocals tower to brilliant effect.

Pair it all up with a set of powerful drums and a hook-heavy bass, that’s rolled together in a twisted set of songs that have a bold, romantic narrative. It will have your emotions shaking around so much it makes your head spin. In fact, be warned, you may have to use your hands to hold it on your shoulders…

Here’s the video for the first single, Quiet Little Voices, with the second single, Roll Up Your Sleeves, also listed below it, (released officially on June 29th on Fat Cat Records). Before you ask, yes the filming has been edited to look this way…

WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS – ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES (ysi)

Finally, if you want more information on them we first did a full Recommender post about them here, including an mp3 taken from their live set at SXSW. Plus we reviewed them at The Great Escape here. Enjoy.
Mike

14
Jun
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 29

Time to highlight a touch of magical creativity for you here. Recommender favourites, We Have Band, have made a rather remarkable video for new single, ‘You Came Out’, due for release tomorrow, (15th June).

In the exact same manner as their music, they’re fast becoming a band associated with originally constructed and well crafted videos. This follows the excellent, Tom Ellis directed, effort with their first video for the tune, ‘Oh!‘.

As the trio had to lay still during this new shoot for two entire days we are assuming they appreciated the rest from their rigorous touring. Apparently Tom even managed to fall asleep three times during the filming, as they clicked through the 4,816 separate stills that it took to make it. The style reminds us of the Peter Gabriel effort in the seminal 1986 hit, Sledgehammer.

Additionally, it has been noted that this is not their finest tune to date and we are not sure why they took to releasing it. Seeing as it sits amongst so many other great tunes that they’ve penned we’ll forgive it, but at least the video is a truly astonishing piece of work and well worth pointing you towards.

Because we are so very lovely and generous we also include the making of the video too, plus their, (slightly better), tune, Time After Time. Enjoy.

WE HAVE BANDTIME AFTER TIME (ysi)

Lastly, just in case you missed it, we’ve posted plenty about We Have Band prior to this on The Recommender. We first recommended them here, did a ‘Gig List‘ about them here, reviewed the time we met them at The Great Escape Festival here and finally here’s the Q&A they did for us…
Mike

09
Jun
09

THE GIG LIST – NUMBER 28

Welcome back to The Recommender. Here’s another quick Gig List for those looking to fill a couple of summer nights in the next few weeks. We predict that both nights out will be sure-fire hits. We wouldn’t recommend anything else now would we?!

TOMMY SPARKS

What a summer Tommy is about to embark on! Doing a DJ set in sunny Brighton, prior to hitting both (even sunnier) Ibiza and then (not so sunny at all) Glastonbury! It doesn’t get more hedonistic than that now does it! Having first caught our eye in a remix by Yuksek of his tune, I’m A Rope, we were pleased to have been pointed towards this Swedish, Electro-Pop maestro. Like his namesake, his music is often enjoyed in short bursts, burning brightly before a sense of discomfort blows out his tunes. However, away from his tendency towards monotony, you will find his pumping blasts of fuzzy riffs pulling you onto the dancefloor. Surely due for a popular 2009 on the back of this genre’s current high-riding wave, he plays at our appropriately named Micro nightclub on the Brighton seafront. It’s only a DJ set, as opposed to his full stage performance, but it’s his first ever so it’s bound to be a grand effort. It’s part of the first night brought to us by Brighton’s newest promotions team, Battery Powered, so amongst all these debuts you should find plenty of sparks with bright futures.

ACT:                      TOMMY SPARKS
VENUE:                  This Rhythm @ Micro, Brighton Seafront
COST:                    £5 / £3 (with concessions – see website)
DATE:                    Saturday 20th June 2009
WEBSITE:             Tommy Sparks Myspace / Battery Powered Myspace
TRACK:                  SHE’S GOT ME DANCINGTOMMY SPARKS (ysi)

KITSUNE MAISON

This Parisian record label, fashion house and connoisseurs of all things new and goddamn fucking cool are returning to our shores following last years brilliant show. Well it’s more of a touring party in all honesty, with plenty of the scenester crowd in tow. For those who aren’t yet aware, they produce a compilation album each year of taste-making recommendations, now on number seven which they released earlier this month, followed by a tour of showcasing said bands. This years roundabout produced some of The Recommender’s current favourites, including We Have Band, Chew Lips and Autokratz, amongst others. Two of these will hit our Audio club alongside Beni and Crystal Fighters, (who are also due their own Recommender posting soon), so head  to the legendary Brighton night spot for a lesson in modern tastes. We will attach below a couple of selected tracks from the artists performing.

ACT:                       KITSUNE MAISON presents AUTOKRATZ, CHEW LIPS, BENI, CRYSTAL FIGHTERS
VENUE
:                   Audio, Marine Parade, Brighton
COST
:                     £7 (advance)
DATE
:                     Friday 19th June 2009
WEBSITE:              Kitsune Myspace / Autokratz / Chew Lips / Beni / Crystal Fighters
TRACKS:                 ALWAYS MOREAUTOKRATZ (ysi) / SOLOCHEW LIPS (ysi) / FRINGE ELEMENTBENI (ysi) / XTATIC TRUTH – Xtra Loud Mix  – CRYSTAL FIGHTERS (ysi)

Please return to comment on this post if you are a) heading to either of these hedonistic evenings, or b) have been to them and witnessed their magic. It would be great to hear any thoughts as always…

04
Jun
09

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 37

Does anyone actually read these rambling entrances to each Recommender post?!? We use them as a way to talk more generally and occasionally directly to the audience. Still it’s often pointless, but then that’s perhaps our little way of allowing all roads to lead to the important stuff, the music. So here it is – dive in.

YES GIANTESS

We met up with this Boston collection a few weeks back at The Great Escape and had the chance to back slap them after we’d seen what was a wonderful live performance. At first I woke the next day thinking that perhaps it was my booze-induced haze that made me love them so much, but in the cold light of day I returned to them to find that my drunken instincts are all in working order. Nice. Getting releases on the Neon Gold label, whom we love so very much, as well as the below song getting onto the ‘Sisters’ compilation from white hot French label, Sister Phunk, they are clearly getting the uber-cool backing in numbers. You will likely think of Passion Pit upon first listen, but there’s some great fried keyboards and a stomping, yet lo-fi thump beat in there which is as fresh as the sea breeze. It’s happy, it’s sophomore, it has themes about girls from geeky guys, but all in all it’s totally endearing. Somebody fucking sign them!!

IMG_3333.jpg Yes Giantess picture by odelaybradford

Find them here:      Myspace

Hear them here:      YES GIANTESS – TUFF N’ STUFF (ysi)

FILTHY DUKES

The inbox of any blogger’s email account is both a blessing and a bastard. It’s irritatingly overflowing with crap recommendations from a hundred useless promo companies and equally it’s a fantastic resource for discovering new bands that you would have otherwise missed. Well, Filthy Dukes, have suffered from our inbox fatigue. They’ve floated in and out of it for months and although we try to listen to each and every track we’re sent, except for those from repeat offenders, it sometimes means it can take a while to get around to all of them. We knew these guys from their famous Kill Em All nights at Fabric, as well as many hot spots around London, with their awesome, pounding Electro-Rock. It’s with the track we attach below that the energy was found to finally take them out of the inbox and onto The Recommender. They released their album, Nonsence In The Dark, back in March on the Polydor label. Try it out, or feel your way through the many remixes they’ve produced, from Late Of The Pier, to White ies, To Bloc Party, as well as the band listed below, Hockey. Now that’s the smoothest link we’ve ever done. We should be radio DJ’s!!!

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        FILTHY DUKES – NONSENSE IN THE DARK (ysi)

HOCKEY

Pop-Rock that follows the bassline as it’s leader is what you get with this Portland gang. With all their funk and clap-along beats we really should love them here at The Recommender, but when we caught their live set recently, supporting Friendly Fires, with whom they share a box of tricks, we found them coming up a little short. Although they have the samples and the hooks and influences from LCD Soundsystem, to The Strokes, to the aforementioned Friendly Fires, their parts sadly don’t quite make up the whole. Their tunes are boring and lack a pair of bollocks. It’s fancy dress Pop-Rock that lets you down in the same disappointing way The Killers manage to. It’s trying too hard, right down to the trendy haircuts and sweatbands. We are perhaps being a little harsh here, as lots of blogs love them and we must admit that they sound better on our stereo than they do live, as the basslines stand up stronger. Perhaps that’s just our stereo though. They seem to be pulling their showboat around almost every major festival in the UK this summer, followed by a UK-wide tour through September, so you are bound to get a chance to judge them for yourselves some time in the near future. Of course, you should let us know your thoughts as always…

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       HOCKEY – TOO FAKE (ysi)

We would love to end on a more profound note than we started, but we ain’t sure if you read this bit either, so balls to it. Until the next one folks…
Mike

 




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