Posts Tagged ‘Beck

22
Jun
10

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 100 – FELIX AND VOLCANO!

FELIX AND VOLCANO!

We think we can confidently state that most of the emails music bloggers receive are utter rubbish.  We’ve often considered the easy way out – to cull them all in big batches.  On many occasions our fingers have hovered over the delete button, but what stops us is that one faith-restoring email out of a hundred, with a bounty contained within it, that reminds you precisely why you got into blogging in the first place.  In truth, emails aren’t actually a music bloggers best source for discovering music, it’s actually by busily interacting online, or by reading other blogs/sites, and obviously by being active in the real world.  Like any other business, referrals are much more successful.  However, there we were, panning for email gold, and up came Felix And Volcano.  To our pleasure they didn’t roll into the usual PR fluff about how amazing they are – they did what we always prefer bands to do – namely to just give us one line and a link to listen to an mp3.  Upon clicking through to their Bandcamp and listening to their track, Shaadows, our faith in the process was immediately reinforced.  This track’s rather simplified breakbeat start is swiftly overlaid with a keyboard refrain not out of place in an ice hockey match, but the playfulness is quickly matured, as Sam Ueda’s vocals begin.  His spoken words, reminiscent of James Murphy or Lou Reed, engage you before they raise the pitch to a sublime treble.  The song then wanders down a path previously trodden by the likes of TV On The Radio, or Beck at his most sexually experimental.  It’s a minimalist piece of tidy electronic pop, before it bravely shifts gear and climaxes at an entirely different pace.  Sam from the band informed us that Aian Constantineau, who plays the keys and beats, used vintage equipment for this recording, choosing the Casio DG-20 Digital Guitar.  He also pointed out that this is a tool of choice for the Flight Of The Conchords team, with whom they share a sense of youthful abandonment.  That’s no surprise, considering this two piece met at the University Of New Hampshire and are still only 19 years old.  Having started in 2008 and previously released only a first draft EP, they’ve now put out a more polished EP, Grow Rich, this May.  Fans of Naive New Beaters, Yes Giantess, or My Awesome Mixtape will smile along to this.  Emails aside, perhaps you too will find them just as re-assuring as we did.     (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:        FELIX AND VOLCANO! – SHAADOWS

Hear them here:        FELIX AND VOLCANO! – FRDM

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11
Jun
10

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 97 – CHICO FELLINI

CHICO FELLINI

It’s no secret that we are massive fans of LCD Soundsystem – anyone with working ears and feet that are able to move is surely just as hooked!  Therefore any comparisons to LCD that arrive with a band’s press release consistently have our metaphorical door, better known as the delete button, slammed in their faces.  You will initially spot the LCD familiarity with Chico Fellini’s vocals, provided by Christopher Denison, who yelps and hops like Mr Murphy at his most yelpy and hoppy, dancing over the jerked rattle that builds in layers behind him.  This is particularly evidenced on tracks such as No Strata and even more so with Hot.  If it wasn’t done so well it would likely be dismissed as shameful and unoriginal, but there’s enough edge and style to actually like it.  Sadly the lyrics are a let down, selecting to start nowhere and then wander down an empty street, but it undeniably oozes horn out of every orifice.  When they slow it down to tunes such as Electrolyte and Down Up The Ladder they come across like Beck during a midnight drive, circa Nicotine & Gravy, but they’ve somewhat missed Beck’s point when they removed the magical hip hop and funk.  Move your listening onwards to such tracks as Despite The Mixup and it glams up, falling somewhere between the wailing that’s familiar to us with Muse, The Darkness, or that god-awful Britpop outfit Manson, (remember them? – we hope not).  What is collected together with Chico Fellini is a jumble of some of the most interesting pop artists around, but like a pile of dirty washing it always seems to fall through your arms, losing a lot of the interesting bits on the floor behind.  They plan a year long single release campaign, consisting of twelve singles over twelve months, they attempt to cancel out the need for a an album, somewhat re-writing the method in which bands bring music out.  This is a bold move from the Kentucky four piece and it pairs up well with the attitude of their music, even if it’s bravery is mostly about front than real guts or purpose.  If they manage to focus on their craft long enough and tone down the irrepressible sexual lyrics, then they may just unlock something other than their zippers.  (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       CHICO FELLINI – HOT

Hear them here:        CHICO FELLINI – GIVE IT TO ME

17
Apr
10

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 87 – NUMBERS GAME

NUMBERS GAME

Doc Matthews is one of those wonderful, rare, mould-breaking types.  You know the sort.  He’s one of those guys that has creativity, invention and ideas pouring out of him like an Olympic fountain.  It’s the same fantastic affliction Beck Hanson or Lou Reed has.  They always stand out from any other trend that’s going on around them and you couldn’t stop their production if you strapped them to a nuke and fired it into an active volcano.  Doc seems to be just as happy directing films as he does music, such as his You Should Be Throwing Parties series, or his work on Animal Collective‘s video for In The Flowers.  It’s his music that’s earned him entrance to The Recommender though, as his strong concoctions have us dizzy with appreciation.  He declares that he’s writing “anthems for The Bummer Republic“, which suits his music’s San Francisco/Californian hazy disposition.  However, you don’t have to be baked out of your mind to appreciate the genuine musical ingenuity that’s found in his compositions.  Like his films, it all has a very DIY feel to it, which, apart from the fact he writes every song, plays every instrument and does all the production himself, means the sound is unpolished and loose, like all great slacker canticles.  The grunge basslines, guitar riffs The Stooges would be proud of and echoing vocals often seem lost in the dope smoke, but the palpitating beats, breaks and well placed details manage to allow each song to leave the room for a bit of air.  This is unlikely to be material that aims for the number one spot, but in reality it’s creative minds like Doc’s that are the unrecognised kiss of life to the progression of music with each generation.  This is music that spans the genres so well it will send vibrations through most teenagers grey matter, for it has the alternative feel of indie, the beats of dance, the attitude of punk and the mood of grunge.  There are dangers when you’re producing music this brave though, for when you try to span too broad a gap you can lose your balance and fall over.  In the mean time, whilst this independent creator is at work, we suggest you all stand up and take note.   (MB)

Cold Cold Cold by Numbers Game

Find him here:          Myspace

Hear him here:         NUMBERS GAME – LOVE DREAM LOVE

Hear him here:          NUMBERS GAME – COLD COLD COLD




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