We are about to get not one but two white-hot record labels represented in town, as both Paris’ Kitsune and Frankie Chan‘s IHEARTCOMIX arrive to showcase bands at Concorde 2. You simply cannot afford to miss this!

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On this particular section on The Recommender we scavenge our local city’s horizons to locate the best nights out that Brighton can offer. Within our vibrant music scene there are many good promoters, but none reappear on this blog more than the events that have one particular man involved. We always serve up two great nights out on this Gig List and this fella has somewhow managed to get a mention for both of his upcoming events. He goes by the name Henron and has a particularly impressive ability to book cutting edge acts. His latest adventure carries his new regular event, named Horsepower, to one of Brighton’s most successful mid-sized venues, Concorde 2. To kick this new night off he brings to town some truly amazing talent. First on, Recommender favourites, The Golden Filter, who have recently completed a Q&A with us here. Second on stage will be the mind-blowing showmanship of Chew Lips, Camden’s hottest talents, with the beautiful singer Tiggs and her signature energetic display and their adorable, synth-heavy, 8-bit tunes. Finishing the night off will be a DJ set by none other than the IHEARTCOMIX label’s Designer Drugs. In an unusual but fantastic twist, there will also be a discount rummage sale from the trendy fashion label, American Apparel, as well as other well known Brighton brands, set up in the corner. It doesn’t get much more hipster than this.

VENUE:                Concorde 2, Madeira Drive, Brighton
COST:                   £3.00
DATE:                   Thursday 1st October 2009
WEBSITES:          Chew Lips Myspace, The Golden Filter Website, Designer Drugs Myspace
TRACK:                 CHEW LIPS – SOLO ysi

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Henron’s second event will be located at his normal underground scenester venue, New Hero. Here he showcases the Norwegian pop sensations that are Casiokids. A five piece that always get out of bed the right side it seems, so positively contagious is their energy. They have to be witnessed to be believed, as they bounce around the stage like a bunch of children, (were they supplied with nothing but McDonalds and Smarties for the previous month!). Constantly swapping instruments, blink and you will find the guy that was playing the piano is now playing the drums, whilst the drummer’s picked up a guitar! It’s their amazing ability to always give an outstanding performance, playing with such broad smiles, that always gets the crowd bouncing. For this they are worth their weight in gold, let alone the required £5. This will be their first return to Brighton since they played the Loop Festival a couple of months ago, so if you missed them on that occasion do not repeat the mistake! Henron has done it again and the place will be packed, so book your tickets as soon as you can. He always encourages a sense of abandonment in his home venue, with his nights always feeling like more of a college party than a club night. Prepare to be doing Casiokid congas around the dancefloor.

:                     CASIOKIDS
VENUE:                New Hero – Dyke Road, Brighton
COST:                  £5.00 adv / £6.00 on door
DATE:                  Friday 2nd October 2009
WEBSITE:            Myspace
TRACK:                CASIOKIDS – FINN BIKKJEN ysi

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On a separate note, The Recommender is about to embark on a photo shoot with both Wave Machines and Lovelikefire this week, so look out for the results on our Flickr page real soon. Nice.



Thanks to all those readers/subscribers from the USA for responding to our requests for a new contributor to this blog. The gates are still open as we review the efforts. No decisions will be made for a few weeks yet, so if you haven’t yet let us know your interest then email us at – Good luck…

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Making waves are precisely what this Liverpool 4-piece are currently doing. The vertiable tsunami they travel with swiftly crashed into Brighton’s shoreline recently as they were playing a support slot for the excellent We Have Band. We went along to catch the show and what a shockingly fantastic set it turned out to be! So often the support acts are found playing to an empty room with little atmosphere and are uncomfortably positioned as fluffers to the main act. Well not in this case. They stood tall and had us mesmerised from the very start. Having met up with them afterwards, mainly to thank them and to extol just what an impression they had made on us, we can confirm they are friendly, enjoyable fellas in person too. Their sound is totally addictive. On track ‘Keep The Lights On‘ you will find them switching from verses sung with the hope removed “Leave and lead yourself astray, tell yourself that everythings OK“, to choruses that are sung with a beautiful higher pitch and a shift in optimism “If I get up I’ll hold your hand“. It has the chopping changes that you would locate in a Beck tune, the breezy, under-your-skin cinematic quality of Roxy Music, and a little Lo-Fi Funk that Prince would embrace! This is one wave you definitely have to catch…

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here :       WAVE MACHINES – KEEP THE LIGHTS ON (ysi)

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This London 4-piece come packaged with an awesome energy, but be warned it’s like being lured into a dark alley by Fagan, but should you fall for the spell you will find that you are well rewarded. Described as Alternative-Garage-Folk goes part of the way when explaining their sound, but they really aren’t quite like anything you already know. If you ever wondered what Jack White from The White Stripes would be like if he joined The Pogues then check them out. The real star of the show here is frontman James, who bounces about their live shows like a coiled spring that’s waited one hundred years to be released. He is a talented guitarist and stylish wordsmith, story telling each song in a gypsy dance. It’s a little Gogol Bordello to watch, without the unnecessary madness and terrible clothing. There’s harmonicas, rumbling drums, a chanting rhythmic bass and even a Kazzoo on tracks like ‘The Ransom’. Now that’s brave. It all works though and is a loose and refreshingly wild construction, which perhaps becomes more loveable when seen live. We also list a video of frontman James playing a fun, impromptu song of theirs in a room in their rehearsal flat, with additional vocals from the excellent frontwoman, Tigs, from the band Chew Lips (who we blogged about previously here). Enjoy.

Find them here:       Myspace

Here them here:      THE BRUTE CHORUS – THE CUCKOO AND THE STOLEN HEART (ft TIGS)       (ysi)

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If you find this Brooklyn pair not to your liking then you simply aren’t in touch with your inner-child anymore. They’re now two albums in, following their second release, ‘Grand‘, back in January 2009. They manage to produce a simple, foot-tapping sound that teens across the globe have subsequently embraced en masse. It’s lively and packed full of fun. Kim Schifino rattles the drums, whilst Matt Johnson leads the vocals and bouncing keyboards. It’s a little wild and untamed, but all the more amicable for it’s loose, catchy goodness that never takes itself too seriously.  Originally releasing their debut material through the super-cool Iheartcomix label, owned by none other than Franki Chan, they are now located on the Fader label. Their DIY approach to their music and the wide use of social networking sites, makes them a true band for the Noughties and all the more approachable for it. We are also linking their amazing, but totally shocking video (in more ways than one – you have to watch it right to the very end!) to the tune ‘Lessons Learned‘.

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       MATT & KIM – LESSONS LEARNED (ysi)

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So that’s it for another edition. A right mix of sounds and tastes as always. Let us know any thoughts, reactions, messages or useful links in the comments section.



Theme-time once more people. Got a guy so freaking cool, he’s built up an enormously brilliant record label ram-jammed with some of the best bands and scenesters known to the blog world. This Recommender is going to be all about him and those acts he has so lovingly shared with us over recent years.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you FRANKI CHAN and the IHEARTCOMIX record label…

Search online and you will find an abundance of mp3’s, info and links with Franki Chan’s name sprawled all over them. Amongst many others his IHEARTCOMIX label has accrued acts such as: HEARTSREVOLUTION, Toxic Avenger, Ocelot, Totally Michael, Matt & Kim and Acid Girls. Super-cool!!!! They claim to be “dedicated to challenging the music industry standards by embracing the ever evolving sound of our generation“. Perfect if you ask me…

The label also comes in other successful guises – as a radio show, a website, an event promoter, a world-class blog, an online clothing store and an online tv show, making them one of the best party crews in existence.

But I actually want to speak a little about the man.


This is a fantastic story of an underdog. Moving to Los Angeles, California from his home in Indiana, Franki quickly set out to penetrate the vibrant local music scene.

Joining up with the famous Steve Aoki, of Dim Mak Records fame, (see The Recommender 6 in the archives…), they ran an event on Tuesdays at the well-known Cinespace nightclub.

Sadly, after a period of success, it blew up in Franki’s face, (perhaps self-inflicted?), forcing an acrimonious and bitter split between them both. Steve Aoki, coming from the wealthy background, with the famous acting family and roots in LA, did his best to suppress Franki it seems, but our man persevered, regrouped and developed the IHEARTCOMIX label into the success it is today.

Not satisfied with a simple label to take up his time, he is also a talented illustrator with a comic book obsession, a musician, a DJ and is even sometimes found behind the drums for HEARTSREVOLUTION. What about sleep!!?? Not for this guy.

So this Recommender is for you Franki. The two bands below are on his label. Enjoy…

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Boy / Girl combo – CHECK! Fashionable and goodlooking – CHECK! New York, Tokyo, LA and Paris heritage – CHECK! Cooler than cool punk-electro tunes – CHECK! As I’ve previously mentioned in GIG LIST 8 (see archives…), this tasty cute couple, also known as Ben & Lo, are bouncing all over the world in the upcoming IHEARTCOMIX tour, supporting the fantastic Midnight Juggernauts (in the UK). Like a more listenable Crystal Castles, these scenesters are shaking just about everything shakeable. Over in the States, these guys are well known for throwing parties out of their ‘Hearts Challenger’pink ice cream van, which strangely and yet totally candidly also sells goofy sweets and Japanese toys! These guys turn up at parties randomly and jam out the back of the van for all to turn to. Original and totally ace, they also adopted the UK artist and fashion designer, Kate Moross, to help design their live sets and imagery. Kate is just about as wonderful a touch as I can imagine, adding art and creativity in places no other band could reach. They are dedicated to progressing the state of music and pushing change in all the right places. Thing is…do you embrace such change? Of course you do…

Find them here: Myspace

Hear them here: HEARTSREVOLUTION – C.Y.O.A (Choose Your Own Adventure)

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Here we are with another post, so it seems inevitable we have yet another masked, electro, French DJ to show off! I figure there must be a factory in the outskirts of Paris throwing these guys out or something!!! Maybe they’re all actually robots distributed globally as part of some evil master plan, with a planetary mission to blow up all our favourite clubs?!? I blame Daft Punk! Anyways, this fella is all saturated, squelchy bounce. He always provides good quality tunes and he’s also been busy creating superb remixes for all our favourite people, such as: Late Of The Pier, Le Castle Vania, The Whip, Chromeo and many others! Thankfully he now has his first full official EP on release (14th September), called ‘Superheroes’. I give you the ‘Mixhell Earplugged’ remix of this tune because I love love love it! Oh and lastly – his mask is the best yet…

Find him here: Myspace

Hear him here: TOXIC AVENGER –  Superheroes(Mixhell Earplugged Remix)

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OK, thats enough for this edition. Quite a long post I know. Phew. Time for a sit down, as your grandad would say. Until the next rave-up then. Look out for The Recommender on other blogs and media, as I’m now being asked to be interviewed, to be part of other movements and to generally spread the word. Nice.

Go forth and multiply…

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