Saturday, 22 May 2010


It's being gay and won't let me upload anything. Be patient, I've got some good shit planned.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Major Lazer - Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do (2009)

An album that, somehow, only just missed making our Top Ten of 2009 list back in December, and another Coachella reminiscence. Seeing Major Lazer was perhaps the most fun I have EVER had EVER, and while Fever Ray was the best overall show I've ever seen, this was a very close second. Anyways, this is a collaboration by Diplo and Switch, a concept album about a Jamaican commando who had his arm ripped off by a zombie in the 80s and replaced with a lazer. It's fucking amazing and you have to get it NOW. Enjoy.

Major Lazer - Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do (2009)

Friday, 14 May 2010

Oni Ayhun - OAR EPs (2008-2009)

I'm getting Coachella withdrawal again. It fucking sucks. It was one of the best festivals I've ever been to - pissed in the Californian desert for 4 days, surrounded by close friends and hot Cali girls. Sigh. Anyways, the best act I saw there (and ever, for that matter) was Fever Ray, who was beyond incredible. Fever Ray is, of course, the solo project of Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife; but did you know that the other half of The Knife, her younger brother Olof Dreijer, also has his own solo project? He has released three vinyl-only EPs under the name Oni Ayhun, with another two planned for later this year. While not as good as The Knife or even Fever Ray, these five tracks (one got corrupted, boo hoo) are still worth a listen. Enjoy.

Oni Ayhun - OAR EPs (2008-2009)

Johann Johannsson, The Biltmore, 11th May 2010

Last time I looked in at the Biltmore, I was greeted by the fetid odour of record nerd sweat stench. I witnessed as tattooed punks hung from the rafters; and I ducked and dodged as not-so-empty cans, missiles of piss, lager, or both, flew past me and dropped their contents on unsuspecting audience members. Pretty typical gig really.

So what the hell, Biltmore? Tables? Candles? Mood lighting? A civilised audience that drank wine? Wine! Wine at a gig, well who'd have thought it?

Don't worry Biltmore, I'm just giving you friendly jest. It shows that I like you. You and your mood lighting really made the Johann Johannsson gig a special evening. The gentle chamber music you were playing as I walked in made me feel civilised, which is pretty rare, and the mature audience (some of whom wore shirts rather than 4-day-old t-shirts!) you filled the place with only added to the effect.

It's very rare that neo-classical composers, such as Iceland's Mr Johannsson, put on shows. Probably because they're often overlooked: their works/soundtracks lack that 3-minuteness that most listeners desire, that quick musical fix that grabs you, gives you a high, then is gone. They require concentration, so that you notice their subtle nuances: the way the violin parts flirt with each other, the way that 'power' is built gradually, delicately, and the way the electronic components potter about doing their own thing, come see what the 'classical' instruments are up to, and respect, rather than overpower them. It is a genre which mixes classical influences with modern computerised sounds and innovative recording techniques. When done badly, it is instantly forgettable of course, but when carried out by someone of great talent, it can be sublime.

Here I'm talking in particular about the music of Johann Johannsson, who is my personal favourite in this fluid, ever-shifting genre. Johannsson's works are, for the most part, built around concepts -eg. the failed Brazilian rubber plant 'Fordlandia' established by Henry Ford, or an old IBM computer Johannson's dad used back in the days when computers were as big as houses. Concepts of technological change, human endeavour, nostalgia and much more - thrilling works that have given me much pleasure, and which I share with everyone I can.

The show itself was remarkably enjoyable. An incredibly polished performance, sonically speaking perfect, and accompanied with beautifully photographed scenes to supplement the images created by the music itself. I wont go on, I just wanted to say that it was an event, in a way that all those sweaty shouty guitar gigs struggle to be.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Wake - Harmony (1982)

An influential but often-overloooked post-punk band from the early 80s who were signed to Factory Records. Hailing from Glasgow, this was Bobby Gillespie's first band - he would gain fame a few years later for his work with The Jesus & Mary Chain, and later still Primal Scream. If that's not whetting your tastebuds already then there's no hope for you. Enjoy.

The Wake - Harmony (1982)