Who agrees with Speech Debelle becoming the Mercury Prize winner then? Comment your opinions please. We covered her in a recent post, so we have to say that we backed her. However, we’ve also covered Friendly Fires, La Roux, The Invisible, Florence & The Machine and Bat For Lashes on here before, so we could have backed them all!!
Indie, dance and rock music is undeniably our three specialities here at The Recommender, but these days the genres can cover a very wide stretch of artists and sounds, so it’s a loose ‘speciality’. This is no bad thing as it opens our doors to many great musicians. We are even happier to cover DJ’s like V?, as his skills also jumble up a wide variety of genres. In his outstanding remixes you will find chopped beats, awesome samples and he regularly allows most of the original lyrics to stand. There’s often an adventurous sampled guitar rocking in it, or a French rappers vocals, but it’s essentially music to dance to. As with most great remixers it’s his (eclectic) selections that make him shine. He picks tunes that are essentially already enjoyable and doesn’t simply head for the pounding 4-beat or heavy synths, like so many other French DJs. The James Yuill tune, No Surprise, which he entered into a recent Discobelle remix competition, is probably our favourite (added below), but there’s more in his locker that are worth hunting out. In an overcrowded world of remixers (2009 has seen them appear on a massive scale – just check the Hype Machine‘s top 100 these days!), it’s even more impressive that this Parisian resident steps out from the crowd. (MB)
Find him here: Myspace
Excuse me but I must start with a short geography lesson. The term Polynya is the Russian word for a natural ice hole but is also the term used for areas of the Arctic and Antarctic that remain unfrozen for most of the year round, here ends today’s lecture hope it wasn’t too heavy for you. Analogies aside, this five piece from North Carolina produce an esoterically adventurous brand of indie, which takes it’s sound from a diverse range of influences. On the stand out tune Island their vocals come across as a more subdued Deerhoof and Sonic Youth whilst musically it sounds like the rhythm section of Can playing along to a synth driven swirling rendition of Half Asleep by School Of Seven Bells. Brooding between full on space rock and 80s shoegazing, Polynya manage to tie together all the many musical strands that have effected them and produce an interesting multi-layered sound. The new album Crop Rotation is out now on Childhood Pet Records. (DV)
Find them here: Myspace
We are pleased to finally get the chance to visit the latest promising foal to come out of the Neon Gold stable. A few months back the owner of the record label, Derek, was with me during a recent gig at Scala and he leaned over and whispered in our ears that we need to look out for Penguin Prison in the near future. For sure, any hot tip like this from the likes of the young taste-maker Derek should not go ignored. Prior to this post, we had only ever heard Prison Penguin’s outstanding remix of Marina & The Diamonds‘ I am Not A Robot (below), so it’s with great pleasure that we finally heard this New Yorker’s first original tune. It has a sense of fun all over it, in that familiar 80s pop bounce. Cool synths flick about alongside the random lyrics “I wish Mike Tyson was my friend, then I would tell him everything”! It’s so pop that George Michael may well pursue becoming his friend first. It’s simple and occasionally sickly, but totally charming and in fact it’s always the keyboards that make sure it never veers off cool street too far. Think of Frankmusik were he snapped up by Stock, Aitken & Waterman and you get the idea. (MB)
Find him here: Myspace
As a footnote to The Mercury Prize winner we thought we would attach a sweet acoustic video version of her track The Key, done by the awesome film makers, Watch Listen Tell.