Archive for January, 2010




We are busy gearing up for The Recommender’s launch party, which hits Brighton in a few days, but today we are getting back to our main aim, namely delivering new music to your neocortex.  First up today is Entrepreneurs, who took far more unravelling research than usual to understand.  This is the latest incarnation from the song machine that is Adam Crisp – a man who used to dwell in our local city of Brighton, in the band Elle Milano.  In this former band they went from a three piece, to a four piece, then back to a three piece, often using a variety of fake names and personas, so you can perhaps understand the amount of deciphering it’s taken to learn how Adam got here.  He’s also dabbled in other projects, such as Kobe & The Konsoles, so it’s one confusing mangle, eventually nudging our noses up to his door with this new solo project.  Thankfully his music is so exciting, adventurous and adorable that the journey was well rewarded.  Eclectic pop, distorted melodies and an exceptional ear for a daring composition fly around your head, over beats that rampage between Dom Howard and something Russel Hobbs would tap out.  On top of all this it’s Adam’s distinctive vocals that really make us want to wallow.  His voice is tinged with parts of Alex Kapranos at his most fried, (see the track In Breach (Wet Fish Handshake)), or Matt Bellamy at his most slurred, (see track Wasted Floozies), but it’s a joy to follow through each tune.  He is planning to release a debut EP, Uv Been Robbed, (Joking But Not), towards the end of the summer.  Getting him noticed in the mean time are a handful of select remixes of Marina & The Diamonds and Clock Opera, which in both cases are more adventurous, warped and slower than the many others that we’ve heard recently.  This is one artist we are going to keep an eye on, if for no other reason than to avoid yet more convoluted untangling!   (MB)

Find him here:         Myspace

Hear him here:        ENTREPRENEURS – INFINITY


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You would be forgiven two misjudgments with this special London trio.  Firstly that they are indeed only a three piece, so full and plump is their collective sound.  Secondly, that they are indeed from the UK, so American and more specifically Californian, is their shoegazing pop music.  You know the sort, with it’s familiar thrumming, basic country guitar chords, uplifting vocal harmonies that purr over a percussive beat.  Inside their musical box of tricks they also pull out sackfuls of sunshine, bags of bliss and drifts of dreamy charm.  It’s reminiscent of Mercury Rev, or perhaps The Flaming Lips at their most romantic.  It turns out that this breezy trinity initially arrived a little prematurely at the end of 2008, having been selected by none other than Chris Martin to open up for Coldplay, before they were truly ready to make full use of such a shiny spotlight.  An independent release of their debut, Ahead Of The Rain, was put together and shipped out in early 2009, but sadly never fought at it’s correct weight.  After leaving their starting line with a stalling engine it perhaps felt that the talent behind the wheel was never going to join the pack, but we have recently received some good news.  Thankfully it’s now looking like 2010 may finally prove to be the year in which things start the march to victory, as their full debut album proper, The Sleep Tape, gets released on the Grandpa Stan label.  Inside are songs with themes of broken hearts and sleepless nights, but the best evidence of any evolution from their earlier work is the scale of each composition, mainly witnessed in the intertwined vocals from Tom Crompton and Alexia Hagen.  With this they will hopefully not only catch the rest of the pack, but fly right by.   (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       THE HIGH WIRE – THE MIDNIGHT BELL

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This New York collective proudly point out on their Myspace that, according to the Chinese Calendar, it’s the year of the Tiger.  Time will indeed tell if that prophecy is true or a load of hopeful, star-gazing bullshit.  What we do know is that this lab-born, electronic pop band are ticking a lot of the right boxes, which is a rare thing from such an experimental project.  Born from the people behind My Other Computer Is A Sunset and Neon Coyote, they very much feel like they’re making music for 2010.  They produce a tumbler of sounds, which turn out to be a wonderful concoction of mixed up shapes and fuzz, cleverly working all the right parts of your brain.  Like much of their artwork, it’s a weird collage of influences and derivatives.  On tracks like Dance Around, (see below), it sounds like a wasted Lou Reed being backed by The Orb, with their burnt, spoken words and beats that sound like they’re thumping through the walls from next door.  On other successes, like the track Prima Donna, there’s MGMT synths and vocals that sing of friendships as if they haven’t quite come down from last nights party yet.  The meandering pauses in their tunes are beautiful and drifting, but always return to the songs original seductive plan of charming rhythms and positive story telling, “you just gotta believe that we’ll find a place, I really hope so“.  They made their Hide The Drugs EP available to download for free in parts here, but as for the future we should warn you, this experimental music will likely never fill a whole album with consistency, but when it hits the sweet spot, boy does it taste good. (MB)

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        HI TIGER – DANCE AROUND



For those long term Recommender followers, you will have seen how this blog has improved and grown, step by step, into the beautiful monster it is today.  Well, to all of you, here’s our biggest leap of evolution yet!

The Recommender will now be throwing monthly blog parties at a venue in the centre of the city in which this blog was born, Brighton, UK.  As one of England’s youngest and most forward thinking cities, it seems the perfect home.  We will be showcasing the excellent music that we’ve been critiquing on the blog over recent years, so expect cutting edge cool, each and every month.


Alongside the two live performances from our hand-picked bands, we will have a few additional, unique, regular features.  As Seth Godin once proclaimed, “be remarkable”, “be that purple cow”, so we are taking a fresh approach, throwing proper parties, with ingredients that people have never experienced before…

How will we do this?  Well, these extra features include one of our cities rising stars in the world of fashion photography, Eleni Mettyear, who will be setting up her monthly ‘Photoboosh‘.  An area all her own where she will be capturing portraits of all you beautiful people, so bring your best face.  All subsequent shots will appear for your review on it’s own section on The Recommender.

Additionally, we’ve recruited Brighton’s talented designers of couture lingerie, the Ophelia Fancy girls.  They will be joining us, dressed, (or should that be undressed), in their unbelievably gorgeous outfits handing out goodies to all who attend.

The items being given out at the end of each and every party will include The Recommender’s Gift Bags.  Among lots of other exciting bits, these will always include Recommender badges, stickers and the soon to be legendary Recommender Mixtapes, (see above), which will be a mix of the music we have blogged.  Each one will be unique to that night’s party.

As for our launch event, we will have Woo!worths hitting the stage first, an amazing local band, who blast out hook-filled electro pop.  It will be the ideal party-starter and we couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of their rapid ascendancy.

Headlining the night will be Plugs, one of the most upbeat and enjoyable indie dance acts of recent years.  This is the new project from Morgan Quaintance, formerly with Does It Offend You, Yeah?.  If anyone knows how to whip the crowd into a creamy froth then it’s this masterful group of performers.

Every night we will also have the magical Battery Powered DJs, a pair of proper Brighton scenesters.  There’s a reason they appear at every cool event in town, because they know how to own the dancefloor.  They’ve agreed to play selections that are purely from The Recommender’s awesome archives.


Tickets are available from Ape, Resident and Rounder Records.  If you can’t get to the shops in person, simply phone them and ask them to put a ticket on the door for you and they’ve agreed to help.  It’s only £3 advance and £4 on the door, as we seriously don’t want anyone missing out on the action.

This is the future of partying.  Welcome to the purple cow evolution…




Other practitioners of doom are often found simply gazing at their shoes, as they wallow in their XX-induced depression, some try to scare you with their masks and mystery, but not Emika.  She is as brooding and as heavy as anyone you’ve heard, from Portishead‘s industrial paranoia, to DJ Shadow‘s damp basement, to Burial‘s bleak urban sadness.  However, her outstanding vocals, that flick and skim back and forth are like silk on a razor blade. On occasion she has a kind of ghostly, banshee eroticism in her echoing calls, but these are vocals that speak directly at you, with lyrics that are usually found in the swagger of hip hop.  She’s dangerous, but you like it, as she looks you straight in the eye, “Yes I always work hard, I can make you flip out, you say now I got nerve, for asking what I’m worth“.  Her debut EP, Drop The Other, arrived on 18th January on Ninja Tune Records, and the title track is already correctly being touted as one of the tunes of the year.  Flat out it really is that special.  Beginning with a haunting piano, that’s only broken by a beat that stutters in like it’s already out of energy, before her vocal refrain pierces the awkwardness.  It’s a tune packed with sinister menace and unexpected, dark twists, so much so, it has you feeling as disoriented as a city-wide blackout.  You get slick, confident, threatening vocals that then turn into a calling from out of the darkness, “why?, why?“.  Pushing her special creativity still further, you find no use for the conventional build up and drop, it raises blackboard-scratching tension before falling back into the kind of basslines that dubstep would be scared of.  It’s been many moons since we’ve had a song that’s so aphotic, yet done so intelligently.  Like a torture victim that’s been held for years, we’ve fallen addictively in love with our captor.   (MB)

Find her here:         Myspace

Hear her here:        EMIKA – DROP THE OTHER

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It’s unusual for The Recommender to write about bands who are this far beyond the release of an album, but Meursault, (pronounced “Murr-So”), are definitely worth breaking the norm for.  We were introduced to them with with their exceptional tune, A Few Kind Words, based around heartwarming chords and Neil Pennycook’s desperate vocals.  A charmingly cheap drum machine propels the song forwards and lays foundations for the robot-gone-wrong electronica.  Halfway through it falters and the Bleepatron 4000 goes haywire, blowing the mixing desk as it all comes crashing back in.  These huge DIY crescendos initially feel so busy that it’s hard to pick out the lyrics, but it simply doesn’t matter because our hearts are swelling with the skyscraper-sized sound levels.  Further investigation leads us to a diverse back catalogue where the only consistency is their tremendous quality.  You find a massive selection of styles, that range from banjo-backed, country-infused folk, to the juddering, broken-beat stylings of Four Tet.  Experimentation is rife and their track, The Furnace, sounds like three songs all crammed together, and is without doubt the first time we’ve ever heard a waltz on a drum machine.  The variety of instruments, old and new, that Meursault use to craft their sound is the key to their sonic diversity.  Strings sit alongside synthesisers and acoustic guitars lay on top of pounding electronic drums.  Neil’s vocals, which sound like a Scottish Win Butler, soar high above throughout, searching for the next harmony to swoop down and join in.  This (occasional) six piece from Edinburgh has plenty of tunes ripe for discovery on their debut from 2008, Pissing On Bonfires, Kissing With Tongues, so we strongly suggest that you get busy plundering.   (MA)

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        MEURSAULT – A FEW KIND WORDS

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OK, so we think we might have found our new favourite band, but unfortunately we’re a blog all about new music, so let’s face it, that will likely last for about a week. During this week though we will probably play this band’s demos about a million times. They’re totally fucking incredible. Although we may seem easily distracted, we honestly don’t use the term ‘incredible’ very lightly. This is a genuinely exciting band that you too should be raising your heartbeats for. If you’ve been looking for the next Libertines ever since the last one broke up disastrously, then this London trio will likely pick your mood up. It’s not that the music’s the same as Pete and Carl’s, it’s more like Klaxons or Late Of The Pier, but we’ve still noticed some parallels. Namely, an untidy but brilliant ability to punch out occasionally sharp and occasionally delicate riffs, a loose style that seems to be constantly collapsing in on itself without ever managing it, and lastly that imperfect, loose vocal that has that punky attitude as much as it does that endearing heart. Pete would be proud. Sadly, they’re also doing that wanky thing where the band members hide their faces without ever really explaining why, which is the only blot on this otherwise stunning landscape of tuneful, exciting, edgy, electrified indie. At least they do it by wearing cool, highwayman-style handkerchiefs over their faces. Experimental seems to be the taste of 2010 so far and the bleeps, 8-bit keys and tinkering jams, that fold over the awesome guitaring and beats are as fresh as they are delightful. They released their debut single, When O When, on January 18th on Puregroove. Although we adore this track, there’s actually a remarkable consistency found on each demo we’ve received, so rest assured this lot will be sweeping up the blog buzz this year. Now, who’s next…   (MB)

Find them here:          Myspace

Hear them here:         IS TROPICAL – WHEN O WHEN




We first heard this fella through his Kissy Sell Out-produced tune, Come On Over (This Could Be Love).  We should admit at this point that Kissy seems a little bit of a one trick pony, with the trademark sound he adds to each of his remixes, making them recognisable as his, but ultimately a little same-y.  However, as his twinkling synths danced all over Tinashe’s track, we were intrigued.  Then the vocals kicked in.  Suddenly all the bouncing nonsense seemed to, well, make sense.  It was a tidy marriage, but without doubt the vocals were the star.  Like some kind of tacky biblical parable, we followed that star and arrived at Tinashe.  This solo artist was born in Zimbabwe of all places, via Hackney, looking very much the styled part, whilst having the musical talent to back it up as well as a large enough box of pop melodies to get the larger labels wetting their nibs.  It’s occasionally very light, with that annoying and rather unnecessary vocoder, but thankfully it’s not used too much and overall his urban pop has a genuine authenticity.  It’s early days, but getting Radio One DJs remixing your EPs is always a springy board.  It was pleasing to notice that he’s also entered the odd ‘tip for 2010’ list on some blogs too.  Viewing the video below, with him playing his African instrument, the Mbira, not only is this kind of element unique in today’s pop environment, but relating his African instincts into his talented music may be just the kind of credibility that balances any generic pop pitfalls.  His Mayday EP is out on March 1st and you can catch him live in support of Recommender darlings, Marina & The Diamonds on 29th January and Ellie Goulding on 10th February.   (MB)

Find him here:        Myspace


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Is there something in the water in New York? The rate at which artists are appearing is alarming!  So many of them are reaching our inbox and getting into The Recommender’s famous ‘queue’.  Just check out recent posts about MNDR, Sleigh Bells, Zambri, Theophilus London, MEN, Sensual Harassment etc.  It’s just getting silly now, there’s bloody loads of them!  New York, and perhaps more specifically Brooklyn, has never been short of talent, but never before have they burst through at this wonderful rate.  This must be what the popular blogs, Tastes Like Caramel, Brooklyn Vegan, The Culture Of Me, or Sheena Beaston feel like all the time, it’s like a bloggers paradise!  And so to this tidy little find for you.  If you like your electronic pop to be experimental, but never overdone, dreamy, but never sleepy, then this Yoiker may be about to soundtrack your life.  George Lewis Jnr isn’t afraid to follow his fun button, always creating delightfully enjoyable, melodic tunes, reminding us of bits of Flaming Lips, or Super Furry Animals playing their late night grooves.  It’s all shapely and beautiful, harmonic and clever.  There’s a lo-fi feel to it all, which isn’t surprising, considering Ed Banger‘s innovative Mickey Moonlight has been involved.  This is like the soundtrack to those moments when the drugs still haven’t quite worn off; you’re still smiling broadly and glowing, but firmly rooted to the sofa.  He has a single due out in March, so look out for that.  It seems Brooklyn never runs out of energy, so we are looking forward to what else appears throughout 2010.   (MB)

Find him here:         Myspace

Hear him here:         TWIN SHADOW – YELLOW BALLOON

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Ok, so we’re just going to tell you right now that this band will probably become one of your new favorites, if you’re not already familiar with them.  And now you’ve written that in your diary we can tell you why.  These four lads from Brooklyn (MB – that goddamn place again!) have brought something rather lovely and new to the table.  Their recent full-length, titled Beast Rest Forth Mouth, is a well-crafted, cohesive piece of rock, and it’s only slightly difficult to say without spitting on the person next to you.  It drives you down a wide open highway of psychedelic, swirling melodies and pounding, electronic beats and it enjoyably sweeps you into the sky on a wave of creatively spun vocal harmonies.  True, it came out last year, and it isn’t technically their first album, (nobody can seem to agree if they have two or three albums!), but because it’s miles above their previous work and because they’re about to tour with other Recommender favorites, Freelance Whales and Oh No Ono, we had to bring it to your attention.  This band are going to have a big 2010 and our confident point will be proved as the year develops.  Part of their Spring tour this year will find them at Austin’s famous SXSW music festival, where their reportedly mind-blowing shows will no doubt garner a great deal of attention.  The Recommender is expecting to earn it’s music press accreditation for this giant festival any day now, so we look forward to reporting first hand on their live shows, but for now take it from us, when it comes to the band of the year – all bets are currently off.   (OG)

Find them here:           Myspace

Hear them here:           BEAR IN HEAVEN – LOVESICK TEENAGERS




If you love me, will it be from the start? If you needed me, will we never part?”   So chimes out the lyrics on track From The Start, and it’s perhaps fair to say these words wouldn’t be out of place on a Stock, Aitken and Waterman piece of sickly pop.  However, the warped, doomy vocals sung out on this track, from this pair of Brooklyn sisters, is of the darkest cool, made more from the Patti Smith, Alison Goldfrapp and Karen O school of wizardry.  This ain’t commercial tuneage, but it is strangely and rather addictively alluring.  Echoing sounds of mighty proportions provide the backing as they rattle around each vocal, always impossible to firmly hold, like a swirl of smoke.  It’s the vocals that your ears follow for form with each song, as they are the key to each track’s melody.  And this is the kind of melody writing that’s as reassuring and adventurous as it gets.  There’s charm, love, mystery and fear rammed into every song.  Sometimes it’s perhaps a little over-powering or weird and daring, but just as it loses you in the smoke it often clears with a thudding 80s beat or a seducing refrain.  This is a proper hipster five piece, fronted by two sisters, stirring the underground scenes in New York into a whipped cream.  They join other Brooklyn songsmiths, Sleigh Bells, MNDR, Theophillus London, or the below MEN, in currently creating what we regard as the freshest and perhaps bravest genre-crossing music around at the moment.  You can grab their EP, Bang For Changes, online and the guest remixes from the likes of Does It Offend You Yeah and Death Metal Disco Scene are also well worth a look.  As for us, well, we are to be found on the next plane to Brooklyn.     (MB)

MainZambri.jpg Zambri picture by odelaybradford

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       ZAMBRI – EASIER


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Our expectations have been a little twisted by this new find.  To explain, firstly we were surprised to find out that they are from North London, as this sort of wonderful synth pop has been mastered so well abroad, particularly in Scandanavia and Australia.  Secondly, it nearly always has the Neon Gold, or Modular record label behind it on some level, but alas not on this occasion.  Credit where credit is due, the excellent, and by excellent we mean a truly special, genuinely interesting and well written blog, Illegal Tender, passed this lead onto us.  Not that much is known about Velo, as it seems to be early days for them.  It seems to be fronted by Sie Medway-Smith and Pete Cochrane and for music essentially made at home this is the kind of polished DIY that would impress anyone, particularly the bigger labels who’s pens are apparently poised.  There’s no re-written rules here, as this upbeat, synth-heavy, ultra-catchy sound has been dominant through 2009 and will continue through 2010.  However, because theirs is so perfectly friendly, with immaculate pop choruses that will embed themselves in your inner ears with surgical precision, you will fail to resist their charm assault.  Tidy basslines, with the kind of shiny vocals that Frankmusik attempted pretty successfully, but that haven’t truly been seen since A-Ha.  The real trick that this wonderfully glossy pop achieves is to successfully bridge the gap that stretches between the bloggers and the wider public.  It’s adorably cool.  Additionally they’ve created some delightful remixes for the likes of Ellie Goulding and Penguin Prison, both out of the Neon Gold stable – we knew they had to fit in there somewhere!    (MB)

Find them here:       Myspace

Hear them here:       VELO – WHITE NIGHTS

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Born out of Le Tigre, members JD Samsom and Johanna Fateman have shifted to this new Brooklyn collective.  Add in three new members and you discover a group of exciting, experimentalists that are as fearless as they are androgynous.  On the surface their sound seems like they’ve simply taken the clash out of Le Tigre’s electroclash and injected some camp, playful pointlessness.  However as you check through the available songs, not only does the incessant salesman somehow close the deal, but you begin to understand the enjoyable and often intricate soundscapes.  Although this new outfit has only been worn for the last few months, they’ve actually been in the business for more than a decade and clearly some lessons have been learned.  They’re like the older, more sophisticated sister to CSS.  Sure they can still bounce, flirt and smile, but each song has an evolution to it.  We all thought that Le Tigre’s Kathleen Hanna was the magic spark, but clearly there’s more when they collect the individual parts together.  This side project has removed Kathleen’s spikey, feminist punk and taken the electronica to a more obvious but irresistable, catchy place.  With these guys they don’t talk about making love, or sex, they talk about fucking.  It’s energetic, it’s frenetic, it’s moves pound and pump on the dancefloor. If the evidence from their recent support slots for Peaches and Gossip are anything to go by, you will feel a little dirty after seeing them live, which is precisely what this blog plans to do later on this week as they arrive to play Brighton.  We think we better take some wet wipes.    (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:        MEN – OFF OUR BACKS



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It feels like it’s been a little while since we did one of these ‘Gig Lists’, but quite frankly it’s expected, as December is often full with festive DJ nights, rather than quality bands.  So here we are with a new year, a new decade indeed, and the event horizon looks very bright.  There’s a massive amount of quality line ups through January and February in Brighton.  We begin with this special showcase, involving not only :Kinema: and Grovesnor, but also a DJ set from Alexis out of Hot Chip.  Although they don’t seem to be headlining, it should feel like local band :Kinema:’s night, as it’s set up to celebrate the launch of their fantastic Circles EP.  :Kinema: get our focus today as they are very much a band flying highest over Brighton, with a lot of blog buzz and online chatter suggesting they are leading the current pack of impossibly catchy, fearless, intelligent pop bands.  Singer Dom Ashton’s irresistable, George Michael-esque vocals float over the synth-led, clapped-beat bounce that feels like the soundtrack to your best ever fuck.  Following them will be Grovesnor, who take the shameless pop to Elton John levels, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is music for your mother, as Rob Smoughton creates smart, shiny music for the midnight hour.  Being backed by Paris’ refined Kitsune label adds even more kudos to an already bright star.  To top the night off he brings along a member from Rob’s former band, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, who’s helped to produce and remix his work, and seeing as 2010 could well belong to everybody’s favourite warm potato snacks this really couldn’t get any more t(r)opical.  This is going to feel like a thousand Saturday nights rolled into one.  Bring your best shoes, your best shirts and your best moves.  (MB)

ACTS:                     GROVESNOR, HOT CHIP (DJ SET), :KINEMA:
VENUE:                   Jam, Middle Street, Brighton.
COST:                     £8.50
DATE:                     Saturday 23rd January 2010
WEBSITES:            Grovesnor MyspaceHot Chip Myspace, :Kinema: Myspace

TRACK 2:               :KINEMA: – LETS GET TO IT

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Tickets for this gig are selling fast so act quick, or prepare to suck somebody’s cock, because this night is about as good as it gets!  The support slot tonight is filled perfectly by Brighton band Mirrors, who’s buzz during 2009 got as loud in teenagers ears as one of those Mosquito alarms that they hang in shopping malls to deter ‘Hoodies’.  2010 will be the year they fully take off, as they’ve secured their deserved major label signatures and prepare a mighty launch pad.  If the likes of genre-mates, Hurts, can make the top 5 shortlist on the BBC Sound of 2010 Poll, then Mirrors surely should have been on the longlist, but alas not.  The ingredients were all there, with their massive, melodic, atmospheric pop noir (or fantastically named ‘noir n b’), their major label backing, their online buzz and their tight, grey suits and ties.  Topping the bill are a band that seem to be relaunching Manchester, claiming to have finally found the electronic antidote to the Gallagher brothers, sharing more in common with Bloc Party or Klaxons than they do the ugly brashness of 90s ‘Madchester’.  Coming a deserved 3rd on the aforementioned BBC Poll brings with it the sort of hype that could even scare Anthony Volodkin.  They’re almost guaranteed to have a massive 2010, with their debut getting a release this same month and already attaining critical acclaim, being touted as the first great album of the ‘Tenties’.  The proposal is simple: if you want to see what the future might sound like, get to Audio.   (MB)

ACTS:                     DELPHIC,  MIRRORS
VENUE:                   Audio, Marine Parade, Brighton.
COST:                     £7.50
DATE:                     Tuesday 19th January 2010
WEBSITES:            Delphic MyspaceMirrors Myspace





The first post of the year, and the decade, will begin with a themed blog of sorts.  We used to do this all the time, but not so much recently, so it’s a joy to do three recommendations that all create a similar feel.  Today’s themed sound?  They’re calling it ‘chill wave’, a kind of drifting electro surf pop, a sound that floats out of the speakers like perfume.  All good bloggers were probably visitors to other blogs prior to creating their own and we are no different.  Some blogs tower above the rest and seem on the blogroll of just about every music critic.  As big as The Recommender has become, blogs such as Discodust and Big Stereo were massive before our birth.  It’s these two well-written taste makers that are the source of today’s first selection, Feathers, so once again credit where credit is due.  We strongly believe that showing appreciation of other blogs is important to both encourage readership and build strong communities online.  We aren’t competition, we are neighbours.  Anyway, a find like Feathers is exactly the reason we love a good blog surf, as this wave took us on a dreamy ride.  As you can see from their virtually empty Myspace, it’s all about the music, so very little is known about them.  Actually, to be honest, pretty much zero is known about them.  They follow in the footsteps of a sound that was prominent throughout 2009, with the likes of Washed Out and The Sound Of Arrows.  A sound that fits somewhere between that retro, echoing, ethereal noise synonymous with many Swedish labels and the melodic electro pop that is found on Neon Gold‘s label.  A hybrid link to some of  last year’s emerging sounds seems a fitting way to transfer into 2010.    (MB)

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        FEATHERS – WEIRD SUMMER

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2009 was for the year that this Canadian DJ finally made his deserved splash.  Prior to his debut album he had been a one-man production machine, remixing the likes of Fan Death, Datarock, The Presets, Crystal Castles and Health, amongst many others.  All are worthy of your investigation and time, but it’s his solo, self-penned work that piles on the credibility.  His debut album, Continent, released in 2009 on the excellent Paper Bag Records, was about as enjoyable and consistent as an album gets.  Inspired by the dreams DJ Shadow has at his deepest drifting, this is very special music.  The Songs have a regularity about them that give off a distinctive, elegant aroma.  At first we thought that this was his beat, which we will talk about later, but it’s actually something more subtle than that.  It’s a certain feeling, a shine, a glossy lacquer, perhaps a hazy mist that aimlessly coats each song, so that it warms your toes as you listen.  It’s the last open air party of the summer;  emotional and somewhat out of energy, but ultimately the sound that’s your lasting memory of an amazing night.  Looking back to his beats there’s this pace to them that puts his signature firmly on each track in indelible ink.  They are as rhythmical as a disco heartbeat, slow and unstoppable.  Totally huge and totally mesmerising, they feel like a submarine coming at you silently out of the darkness.  Sometimes it takes as long as five minutes for the butterfly to emerge in your hand, so slow is the pace, but it’s wings are truly beautiful.  There’s raindrop synths and the occasional simple house chord, but although your first glance may mistake it as basic bedroom music, this is actually intelligent electronic music of the highest order.   (MB)


Find him here:      Myspace

Here him here:      CFCF – MONOLITH

Here him here:      CFCF – BIG LOVE

TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford


With us selecting three rather similar artists for today’s post, you may think we’ll run out of descriptions with this last solo artist, but adjectives are not something we are short of here at The Recommender.  Besides, we couldn’t leave out this guy from a blog post like this, he’s way too ‘on the money’.  He’s perhaps more Californian surf than the others, with his 60s infused echoing vocals that Beach Boy-loving hippies used to cling to.  The guitars move from the pretty and gentle, sounding like he wafted his fingers over the strings as if they were the heads of flowers, but then the chords occasionally open up to a fuzz that sounds as if they were recorded with 50 year old equipment.  Perhaps they were.  This lover of all things retro and psychedelic, who’s real name is Chaz Bundick, plans to release two separate albums during 2010, which, considering his music seems so fitting for the laziest of days, means that he’s seemingly been a rather busy boy.  The first album is called Causers Of This and is due out on Carpark Records in February.  It’s packed with music that is admittedly a little flat in it’s pace and energy, but smooth and soothing enough to feel slick and a little sexual.  It’s like the quiet but confident girl at the beach party.  Make sure you wander over this time and get to know her.  Chaz did and it shows.  After all this sun-gazing, it will perhaps be a surprise for you to know that this fella actually comes from the East Coast’s South Carolina, making it all as dreamy as the holiday you never had.   (MB)

Find him here:       Myspace

Hear him here:       TORO Y MOI – BLESSA

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January 2010



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CLUB SMITH (Previously known as THE HAIR)


Mike Bradford (MB) - Creator and Contributor (UK)

Olivia Gable (OG) - Contributor (Austin, USA)

Matt Allfrey (MA) - Contributor (UK)

Natasha Ryan - Photographer (New York, USA)