Wednesday, 1 October 2014

REWIND: Levellers - 'Belaruse'

Levellers week continues on RW/FF with this mighty cut from their self-titled third album, which was released in 1993, landing at number 2 in the album charts. Feeling overworked from excessive touring and certainly not at their most inspired, recording the third record was never going to be plain sailing for the Levellers. Bassist Jeremy Cunningham had become addicted to heroin, and the group were exhausted from excessive touring, as well as the partying that went with it. The five friends were beginning to drift apart, and creativity was at a low, since the band were suffering from writer's block. The result was the inconsistent but powerfully dark self-titled album, which reflected the gloomy atmosphere that surrounded them. Despite one or two under-par tracks, the LP is a piece of work that is overlooked too often, even by the group themselves. The crushing hard rock riffs, piercing fiddle and furious chorus of the excellent 'Belaruse' create a sound that's the closest the Levellers get to metal. This song reached number 12 in the UK charts when it was released as a single in July 1993.


This song can be found found on the new 'Greatest Hits' album, which is available as a 2CD/DVD package, and a 149 track digital box set. Buy yours HEREIn support of the album, the band will embark on a UK tour with support from the brilliant She Makes War, and ska legends The Selector.

NOV 11 Nottingham Rock City
NOV 12 Bristol o2 Academy
NOV 13 London o2 Shepherds Bush Empire
NOV 14 Birmingham o2 Academy o2 Academy
NOV 15 Norwich UEA
NOV 16 Portsmouth Guildhall
NOV 18 Wrexham William Aston Hall
NOV 19 Newcastle o2 Academy
NOV 20 Sheffield o2 Academy
NOV 21 Glasgow o2 ABC
NOV 22 Manchester Academy


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Track Of The Day: Aphex Twin - 'minipops 67 [120.2] (source field mix)'

This excellent track is the opener from Aphex Twin's first album in 13 years, and as you'd expect, the word "bizarre" springs to mind. 'minipops 67 [120.2] (source field mix)' is notable for the lack of capital letters in its title, as are all the other tracks on 'Syro'. The previous Aphex Twin album, 'Drukqs, came out in 2001, but Richard D James has still been making and releasing music since. In 2005, he put out 11 EPs as part of his Analord series. And it's no secret that a couple of 2007 releases by an artist named the Tuss, on James' own Rephlex label, were in fact his work. Earlier this year, Aphex Twin's "lost" Caustic Window album finally saw the light of day after fans poured their money into a crowd-funding campaign. After realising that his music meant so much to people, James was inspired to release 'Syro', a collection of songs that he has been working on over a number of years. It went to number 8 in the UK album charts a few days ago. A full review of this extraordinary new LP can be found HERE at God Is In The TV.



REWIND: Levellers - 'Liberty Song'

It's Levellers week all this week on RW/FF, which means that today's 'Rewind' selection is another killer track from the Brighton legends. 

Like all of the songs featured throughout this week, this one can be found on the band's new Greatest Hits collection, which was released yesterday. Featuring all of their singles across 2 CDs and a collection of the promo videos on the accompanying DVD, it makes a great introduction to this most undervalued and unmistakably English group. 

From 1991's seminal 'Levelling The Land', here's the storming 'Liberty Song'. An interview that I did with Mark Chadwick is being published throughout the week on this site, and the first part can be found HERE.


The 'Greatest Hits' album is available as a 2CD/DVD package, and a 149 track digital box set. Buy yours HEREIn support of the album, the band will embark on a UK tour with support from the brilliant She Makes War, and ska legends The Selector.

NOV 11 Nottingham Rock City
NOV 12 Bristol o2 Academy
NOV 13 London o2 Shepherds Bush Empire
NOV 14 Birmingham o2 Academy o2 Academy
NOV 15 Norwich UEA
NOV 16 Portsmouth Guildhall
NOV 18 Wrexham William Aston Hall
NOV 19 Newcastle o2 Academy
NOV 20 Sheffield o2 Academy
NOV 21 Glasgow o2 ABC
NOV 22 Manchester Academy


Track Of The Day: Early Ghost - 'Everything Goes With It'

Serving up a daily dose of new music, the Track Of The Day on RW/FF is always worth checking out. Today's comes from the UK based sextet Early Ghost. Blending 60s psychedelic pop, tranquil shades of folk, and hazy surf vibes, the excellent 'Everything Goes With It' was released today as a digital download and as a limited edition cassette tape. The single precedes a forthcoming EP, which is due out later in the year. A press release states: "Made up of members hailing from both Brighton and London, Early Ghost have built up a reputation as one of the most exciting acts to emerge out of Brighton's fledging neo-psych scene. Coming together over a shared love of The Doors, Early Ghost's unique sound sits somewhere squarely between the garage-driven psychedelia of The 13th Floor Elevators and the Californian surf of The Growlers... With a wide array of instrumentation that includes both brass and banjos, Early Ghost may be helping pioneer the UK post-psych scene, however the vast range of sounds afforded to the expansive band has made them stand out amongst their peers."



Monday, 29 September 2014

REWIND: Levellers - 'Carry Me'

Throughout this week, RW/FF is celebrating the music and career of Brighton folk punk legends the Levellers. An epic article is being published throughout the week, where I talk exclusively to frontman Mark Chadwick about the past, present and future of the band, as well as their new Greatest Hits compilation which was released today (September 29). Many of their most negative critics have reassessed their opinions of the Levellers, and over 25 years since their formation, the group continue to win new fans. But they still aren't up where they should be: regarded as one of the most brilliant bands of all time. If you're completely new to the band or a lifelong devotee, the next seven days will either be very educational or a wonderful trip down memory lane. Beginning this week of 'Rewind' posts dedicated to the Levs is a version of a classic track which originally appeared on the band's very first EP, released in 1989 on the band's own Hag Records. The majorly infectious 'Carry Me' was re-recorded a number of times over the years, the definitive, fuller bodied version from 1998 being the one deservedly picked for inclusion on the Greatest Hits. A fine example of the spirit that has kept them together for so long, it's a most addictive singalong that stands as the perfect embodiment of comradeship. 


The 'Greatest Hits' album is available as a 2CD/DVD package, and a 149 track digital box set. Buy yours HEREIn support of the album, the band will embark on a UK tour with support from the brilliant She Makes War, and ska legends The Selector.

NOV 11 Nottingham Rock City
NOV 12 Bristol o2 Academy
NOV 13 London o2 Shepherds Bush Empire
NOV 14 Birmingham o2 Academy o2 Academy
NOV 15 Norwich UEA
NOV 16 Portsmouth Guildhall
NOV 18 Wrexham William Aston Hall
NOV 19 Newcastle o2 Academy
NOV 20 Sheffield o2 Academy
NOV 21 Glasgow o2 ABC
NOV 22 Manchester Academy


Sunday, 28 September 2014

INTERVIEW: Levellers frontman Mark Chadwick talks about the band's Greatest Hits - part 1

In hindsight, I feel lucky to have been born in 1984, because it meant that I grew up in the 90s. It seems like it was all a dream now, but believe it or not, before the mass homogenisation of popular music, there was room in the singles charts for not only the likes of East 17 and Whigfield, but also for a gang of crust-punks from Brighton who played folk music. Things like this just wouldn't be allowed to happen in 2014. In the case of the Levellers, this was the last remnants of a counterculture having one last go at changing the world through the social power of music. The writer of this article was only 11 years old when he first witnessed the Levellers playing 'Just The One' on Top Of The Pops in late 1995. I put that single on my Christmas list immediately afterwards and have been guided through life by the band's music ever since. 19 years later I'm here talking to none other than frontman Mark Chadwick about the new Greatest Hits compilation that's being released to mark the group's 25th anniversary. "Getting our music out to as many people as possible, from the very beginning that's what we aimed to do, but we didn't think we'd last 25 years, I thought we'd last about three or four. But yeah, there you go" says Mark, "it's gone by in the blink of an eye".


In 1988, vocalist Mark met bassist Jeremy Cunningham in Brighton pub The Eagle, and bonded over mutual views on left wing politics as well as a shared love of drinking. After forming a new band with drummer Charlie Heather, they felt the need to make their sound stand out from the rest. It was the hugely underrated Brighton folk outfit McDermott's 2 Hours that inspired the band to recruit a violinist to add a more melodic element to their abrasive punk style, and in stepped Jon Sevink, who was the brother of Mark's girlfriend. It's still not entirely clear whether they named themselves the Levellers after the democratic faction of Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army, or in reference to 'The Level', which was an area near to where the band members lived. Their first two demo tapes were sold at gigs throughout 1988 and 1989, as the band's reputation quickly grew, along with its expanding army of dedicated followers. They set up their own label Hag Records to release the 'Carry Me' EP, with its brilliant lead track going on to be re-recorded a number of times over the years, the definitive, fuller bodied version from 1998 being the one deservedly picked for inclusion on the Greatest Hits. A fine example of the spirit that has kept them together for so long, it's a most addictive singalong that stands as the perfect embodiment of comradeship. The fury of the vigorous 'Outside/Inside' identifies with those trapped by society and the boundaries it puts in place, but no walls could contain the power of the Levellers, whose fanbase was beginning to spread far and wide. 'Outside/Inside' was the lead track on their second EP, which has become one of my favourite 12" inches of all time, containing three equally superb tracks that they couldn't find room for on this 2 CD collection. The 1989 version of 'Barrel Of A Gun' is especially brilliant, a raging anti-war anthem where Chadwick's vocals cut through like razorwire. 

Alan Miles was initially recruited on guitar, and the band recorded their debut full length 'A Weapon Called The Word', which was released via the French label Musidisc. As an album, it's more black and white in its musical approach compared to the records that followed, where the folk had a greater Celtic flavour, the indie vibes were stronger, and the punk rock had a slightly rougher edge, although 'Carry Me' and the equally fantastic 'Together All The Way' both provide scene-setters for much of their subsequent work. Like 'Carry Me', the beautifully uplifting 'Together All The Way' also highlights that sense of sticking together, and years later sounds like a wonderful snapshot taken at an early stage of a long and eventful journey. Topped with a blissful harmonica solo, it's a masterfully written song, as is the bustling 'World Freak Show', which was the first single to be plucked from the LP. Released in 1990, 'A Weapon Called The World' has over the years become one of the very few albums to achieve platinum status without ever making the charts. 

As an outfit who understood the potency of music as a social power, they walked it like they talked it and have always stayed true to their ideals. But having grown from a grass roots scene, certain people took exception to the band's growing popularity. Somewhat inevitably, the more well known you are, the more detractors you'll encounter. I wondered if the band themselves felt any conflicts of ideals when they eventually gatecrashed the mainstream. "No, not really," says Mark, "not as far as we were concerned. We were accused of "selling out" when we made our first independent single, you know what I mean? It was like that back then. And we've been accused of selling out constantly throughout our career but we never have... It just depends on your point of view." Indeed one of the most contradictive things about the punk scene is that while a lot of the music is about changing the world and making a difference, people don't like it when a band finds a wider audience... "Exactly. The messages we sang were from the band, so that was the point. You need to reach as many people as possible, otherwise you ghettoise yourselves if you worry about things like that, and we were determined never to do that. And we lost a few people on the way because they thought differently. But we've always been smarter than them anyway..." One such person was Alan Miles, who quit the band after the first album due to their communist approach to earnings. It was a blessing in disguise, since it soon saw the arrival of singer-songwriter Simon Friend, a roadie for New Model Army and a musician well known on the same circuit, who turned down the offer of becoming NMA's guitarist in favour of joining the Levellers. The line-up has stayed together ever since. As well as the change in personnel, the early 90s also saw the group part with Musidisc and sign to China Records.


With new life injected into the group, they set about recording their second album. The truly essential 'Levelling The Land' was released in 1991, and offered a highly accomplished set of politically charged folk-rock classics, each one as strong as the last. It was more multi-Faceted than the debut LP, and has certainly stood the test of time in the years since its release, regarded as the band's masterpiece by most fans. Despite not making the Top 40, the ultimate statement of freedom and identity that is 'One Way' became an eternal anthem among students, travellers and within the indie community. As with 'Carry Me', the version included on this compilation is a 1998 re-recording that is again the one that has the most impact. Despite the press release saying that this new Greatest Hits had been compiled by the band themselves, it is in fact history that has dictated the track selections, since it is a complete collection of all the singles released to date. But was it always the band who chose what songs would be singles, or was that decision sometimes made by the record label? "The band" answers Mark. "It was part of the deal that were able to do that. They didn't really make us do anything we didn't want to do". 


Although 'Levelling The Land' contains many more classic tracks, it's represented well by the four songs that appear on the Greatest Hits. Out of all the album tracks, are there any in particular that Mark wishes the band had put out as singles? "Singles are weird, it's strange because sometimes a song could be overtly commercial... and some of those I wish we hadn't released really. But I'm glad with a lot of the ones we did release. There's a feeling with a single when you've done it: 'that's the single, that's it'. Obvious for everybody."

Keeping the protest song alive into the 90s is the blazing 'Liberty Song', a defiant anarcho-punk stomp with an instantly addictive riff, while the pastoral, jaunty country-folk spirit of 'Far From Home' is backed by a relentless hunger. The mighty 'Fifteen Years' impeccably portrays the broken, self-destructive drinker who "sits on a stool that bears his name" to an urgent, powerful backdrop and entered the singles chart at number 11 in 1992. It wasn't originally included on the LP, but was added to later pressings following the song's success. But despite 'Levelling The Land' adding to the growing army of devotees, the music press were having none of it. "They are ugly, soiled and pimply. They dress in bizarre tribal uniforms, drink themselves stupid as often as possible, and they stink" declared one member of the press. Another review reckoned that they were "art-hippy poshos" who used "river metaphors and bad grammar."

"Nobody cares" said one critic. "Not even the music and style press, who ought to at least register their existence, can find a good word for them. Although they could try 'failure'." Ironic then, that the band would go on to score more gold, silver and platinum discs that any other UK act in the 90s, and a few years later, would play to the largest stagefront crowd that Glastonbury had ever seen. And unlike many bands of the era, the Levellers kept on going through the good times and the bad, and are still standing strong as ever now. A band who succeeded on their own terms, the Levellers managed it without an ounce of support from the media. They didn't need anyone's approval or permission to make their mark. 'Levelling The Land' went to number 14 in the charts and is regarded as a seminal record, and one of the era's definitive works of the early 90s. 1992 was shaping up to be a good year for the band: a hit single, packed out tours, an American deal with Elektra Records, and a much talked-about set at Glastonbury, which would secure their place on the Pyramid Stage two years later. But success is never an easy ride, as the group would soon find out...

You can read part 2 of this article tomorrow, as Levellers Week on RW/FF continues...

The 'Greatest Hits' album is available as a 2CD/DVD package, and a 149 track digital box set. Buy yours HEREIn support of the album, the band will embark on a UK tour with support from the brilliant She Makes War, and ska legends The Selector.


NOV 11 Nottingham Rock City
NOV 12 Bristol o2 Academy
NOV 13 London o2 Shepherds Bush Empire
NOV 14 Birmingham o2 Academy o2 Academy
NOV 15 Norwich UEA
NOV 16 Portsmouth Guildhall
NOV 18 Wrexham William Aston Hall
NOV 19 Newcastle o2 Academy
NOV 20 Sheffield o2 Academy
NOV 21 Glasgow o2 ABC
NOV 22 Manchester Academy


Track Of The Day: The Charlatans - 'Talking In Tones'

This shadowy, haunting new track is the first new music from The Charlatans in four years. 'Talking In Tones' was unveiled last week, and will be released tomorrow on September 29. The single will be available on a very limited edition 7-inch (500 copies), which will also feature a remix from Grumbling Fur. The song is the first to be taken from band's forthcoming untitled 12th album. The upcoming LP will also be the first following the death of drummer Jon Brookes, who passed away last year in 2013 after a battle with cancer.

Keyboardist Tony Rogers said: "Jon was adamant that there was going to be another Charlatans record, and you have to put that into your own thoughts." The Charlatans have also announced a one-off show at The Garage in Highbury, London, supported by Grumbling Fur. 




REWIND: Thievery Corporation - 'Heaven's Gonna Burn Your Eyes'

A beautifully downtempo track that I was introduced to by a friend on Facebook. At the moment I don't yet own any albums by the Thievery Corporation, but do own a number of their tracks on various compilations. 

The stunning 'Heaven's Gonna Burn Your Eyes' is a refreshing splash of breakbeat-fuelled bliss that features a wonderful vocal from Icelandic artist Emilíana Torrini.

It's taken from the Washington-based duo's third album 'The Richest Man In Babylon', which was released back in 2002.





Saturday, 27 September 2014

Track Of The Day: Thom Yorke - 'Brain In A Bottle'

Thom Yorke has been getting people very excited over this past week. On Monday (September 22) he tweeted a picture of a mystery white vinyl record, accompanied by what appeared to be artwork by Stanley Donwood. A day later he posted the lyrics to Radiohead's 2003 track 'A Wolf At The Door', sparking rumours of an imminent new Radiohead album. Yorke revealed that the band were two days into recording new material, suggesting that a new record from the band would require something of a wait. But we all knew that Thom had something up his sleeve, and surely enough he did. Yesterday (Friday September 26) saw the immediate release of his second solo album 'Tomorrow's Modern Boxes'. Setting the record's tone with electronic throbs and dusty beats, the brilliant 'Brain In A Bottle' can be downloaded for free, with the rest of the album available for a mere £3.69 via BitTorrent. This excellent track is also accompanied by a rather mad video, which can be seen below. Recently, Yorke has been very critical of online music distribution, in particular the royalty rates paid to artists by streaming platforms such as Spotify. The album is also available on deluxe 180 gram white vinyl edition house in heavy white inner and outer sleeves “printed with a metallic silver laminate then multi-tone black and a striking neon green; the whole is enclosed in a bespoke anti-static shield bag – a metallised laminated material usually used by the electronics industry for protecting components from electrostatic interference. The bag is printed with neon green on both sides, and has a resealable grip closure.”

Yorke’s full message:
"As an experiment we are using a new version of BitTorrent to distribute a new Thom Yorke record. The new Torrent files have a pay gate to access a bundle of files. The files can be anything, but in this case is an ‘album’. It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around. If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work. Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves. Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers. If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done. The torrent mechanism does not require any server uploading or hosting costs or ‘cloud’ malarkey. It’s a self-contained embeddable shop front… The network not only carries the traffic, it also hosts the file. The file is in the network.

Oh yes and it’s called
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.


Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich"




REWIND: Madness - 'The Prince'

One of the things I was most afraid of while preparing to begin the new job that I have started recently was the possibility of having to listen to other people's music in the workplace. The person in charge of the sounds at our workplace thankfully doesn't tune the radio into the dreaded Heart FM, so at least I have avoided the worst case scenario. However, despite the fact that his iPod plays enjoyable things like Guns N Roses, the Manics, Metallica, Green Day and various dance tunes from the 90s, it also contains a lot of the shite that's featured in the charts over the last few years since the great decline of popular music. I guess even if you have good taste, you'll pay the price if you're being exposed to nothing but shite and not bothering to look in the right places for new music. The other person who's second in charge at my workplace is going to have the choice of the music over the next week or so, which was worrying since I have known her to repeatedly play an awful compilation CD where the best song on it by far is 'Never Ever' by the All Saints. So what a relief to discover that she isn't completely resistant to musical quality, after she bought in a copy of the Madness singles compilation 'Complete Madness' in to play. The London-based ska legends' debut single 'The Prince' was written by Lee Thompson, and was released in August 1979 through 2 Tone Records. It peaked at number 16 in the UK singles chart, spending a total of 11 weeks in the charts.

Although it bears a very strong resemblance to Howlin' Wolf's 'Howlin' For My Baby', the song is a tribute to Jamaican ska singer Prince Buster who was a huge influence on Madness. The band took their name from one of his songs, 'Madness', which they also covered on the b-side of 'The Prince'.


Friday, 26 September 2014

Track Of The Day: Paul Draper - 'Feeling My Heart Run Slow'

Today's Track Of The Day is one that hasn't been given an official release yet. It's a song that marks the long awaited moment that fans of the hugely underrated 90s four piece Mansun have been hoping for: the return of Paul Draper. Following the break-up of the band in 2003, Draper announced that he would return with new material. Aside from a few songs written for Skunk Anansie vocalist Skin's 2006 album 'Fake Chemical State', and a track called 'Greyhounds In The Slips' co-written with The Joy Formidable in 2008, nothing has ever materialized. In an interview with RW/FF last year, Draper revealed that he started work on a solo album in 2003 and scrapped it. "I lost interest in music in the way I had an interest in it before the split. I did try my best to carry on, so I would like to say a genuine sorry to everyone still reading this and who wanted to hear the solo album I wrote. Im genuinely sorry but it wasn't of my making, I was sort of forced out of music. I felt at the time that a lot of people had taken advantage of my trusting nature and also the fact I find it difficult to see the bad in people and keep walking into disasters. I didn't want to walk into another disaster so I gave up on making my own records to some people's delight, and cancelled my recording contract with EMI which I know seems insane but it makes sense to me." You can read the rest of that interview HERE.

After Mansun fans heard that Draper would be playing with Leeds supergroup Menace Beach during a BBC 6Music session for Marc Riley, the show received a huge amount of emails, leaving Paul surprised. Around the same time, fans launched a petition asking for him to bring out the unreleased solo album, and a while later he told them that he was "giving it serious thought". After he and an assembled band began working on a number of tracks in July of this year, Paul revealed that he would indeed be releasing some of these songs in the future, and that his album was provisionally titled 'Spooky Action From A Distance'. Last month in August, fans from all over the world descended on the band's hometown of Chester for a Mansun fans convention, where the thunderous 'Feeling My Heart Run Slow' was premiered, and given a rapturous response. A video bootleg of the song (with fairly clear sound quality) can be found below. And its Bowie-meets-Nine Inch Nails-meets-Mansun sound and killer chorus makes this a most welcome return from a genuinely undervalued musical legend. And it's his birthday today (September 2
6 2014), so there really couldn't be a better track to feature today... Paul has also been working with Catherine AD, co-writing, playing on and producing some tracks for the upcoming debut from The Anchoress, which is due early next year. It's preceded by an EP called 'One For Sorrow' in November, and more info can be found HERE



REWIND: Format - 'Solid Session'

This week's Friday Banger is from 1991. When I first heard this mind blowing bit of electronic house, I thought it was by an artist called Format #1, due to some mislabelling of a CD compilation. It turns out that it the superb 'Solid Session' was actually made by the Dutch producer/DJ Format, and was featured on a 12" release simply entitled '#1'. Format is one of the many aliases of Orlando Voorn, who has released work since the early 80s under names including Balance, Frequency, Baruka, Basic Bastard, Fix, Dope Dog, Boy, Stalker and The Nighttripper. He also produced tracks with Blake Baxter under the name Ghetto Brothers and with Jeff Porter as Designer Loops


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Track Of The Day: Happyness - 'Anything I Do Is All Right'

A chugging, melodic helping of alt rock from Happyness, taken from their album 'Weird Little Birthday'. The Ash-meets-Pavement sound of 'Anything I Do Is Alright' makes for a scuzzy breeze that charms and satisfies. The song can also be found as the lead track on a recent EP released at the start of September. The South London trio consist of Jonny Allan, Benji Compston and Ashley Cooper, and tour the UK in October with Avi Buffalo. Dates for those shows can be found below.


OCTOBER 3 The Deaf Institute, Manchester [w. Avi Buffalo] - Tickets: goo.gl/LF50vj

5 Parish, Huddersfield - Tickets: goo.gl/1Y7NuD 

6 Broadcast, Glasgow [w. Avi Buffalo] - Tickets: goo.gl/rFBEXT

8 Thekla Bristol, Bristol [w. Avi Buffalo] (14+) - Tickets: goo.gl/0I1rNw

9 Norwich Sound & Vision Convention Tickets: goo.gl/g3apbx

10 Islington Assembly Hall, London [w. Avi Buffalo] (16+) - Tickets: goo.gl/iTx1l0

11 Twisterella Festival, Middlesbrough - Tickets: http://www.twisterella.co.uk/

12 Fulford Arms, York - more than just a pub, York (16+) - Tickets: goo.gl/WNlJEA

14 The Rocking Chair, Sheffield - Tickets: goo.gl/xqM8Sz

15 Hare & Hounds Kings Heath Birmingham - Tickets: goo.gl/Oa4Rtt

17 The Cookie, Leicester (14+) - Tickets: goo.gl/MpLcpz

18 Swn Festival, Cardiff - Tickets: goo.gl/yWfW3u

NOVEMBER 4 Electrowerkz, London (16+) - Tickets: goo.gl/b3KQ00


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Track Of The Day: Cross Wires - 'Modern Art'

A raucous, enjoyable bit of punk-flavoured rock n roll from Cross Wires. It's the lead track from their new EP 'Your History Defaced', which is available as a FREE download from their Bandcamp page HERE. Cross Wires are a East London/Essex based four piece consisting of Jonathan Chapman (Vocals), Peter Muller (Guitar), Pete Letch (Bass) and Ian Clarke (Drums). The EP was recorded at Sound Savers Studio in Homerton, East London in the summer of 2014. As well as the brilliant 'Modern Art', the EP also features four other impressive offerings.




REWIND: Wganda Kenya - 'El Caterete'

Today's Rewind selection is a wonderful track that I discovered whilst listening to Graham Lovatt's excellent weekly The Eclectic Eel Radio Show this weekend, as I do every Sunday. The show is available to hear via the website HERE. A fascinating and diverse musical mixture is guaranteed. I know nothing about Wganda Kenya, except for the fact that they were a band from Colombia. Searching for the excellent 1975 song 'El Caterete' led to me to a various artists compilation from 2012 which it was included on, entitled 'Diablos del Ritmo 1960-1985: The Colombian Melting Pot'. Gonna have to give that a listen soon...


Monday, 22 September 2014

Track Of The Day: The Asteroid #4 - 'The Windmill Of The Autumn Sky'

As someone with a respectable knowledge of alternative music, it's surprising that it's taken 16 years for me to discover the California-based outfit The Asteroid #4, and it's also likely that many reading this article won't have experienced their music yet. 

So it's a good job that their new self titled album (out tomorrow) has found their way onto my radar, since it is something of a treat. Their eighth full length since their formation back in 1998 is a diverse record that's linked together by a psychedelic thread, taking various genres to far out territories. A major highlight arrives with the solemnly majestic beauty of 'The Windmill Of The Autumn Sky', a lovely helping of Americana flavoured dreampop that exudes a harmonious warmth and a compellingly heartfelt elegance. The song will be released digitally as one half of a double A side single (along with 'Back Of Your Mind') next week on September 29. Read RW/FF's full review of this great album HERE.

Before that, the band have live dates coming up over the next week. Details below...


Thursday 25th September Shaklewell Arms, London
Friday 26th September Psych Fest in Liverpool
Saturday 27th September The Scene Lincoln
Sunday 28th September The Oobleck, Birmingham


Sunday, 21 September 2014

REVIEW: Jupiter Lion - 'Brighter' (BCore Disc Records)

The excellent Valencia-based trio Jupiter Lion first captured RW/FF's ears early in 2013 after the release of their impressive self titled debut album. 'Brighter' is their second full length effort, and takes their Krautrock-infused sound to new heights and further dimensions.

Kicking things off with banging drums, forcefully potent bass and a very rare vocal hook, the opening title track falls somewhere between the worlds of Krautrock and post-punk, and on the excellent 'Your God Is Human', squealing synths ride on propulsive rhythms until developing into an explosion of tumbling basslines and chattering synths. After the scenic 'Delpasse Effect' flows into trippier places with its slow burning ambient beauty and atmospheric textures, the astonishing 'Doppelgänger' thrives with pulsating momentum, pushing its foot firmly down on the pedal before cruising blissfully towards the end.

The harmonious, kinetic euphoria of the relatively brief 'Walking In Circles' precedes the ascendency of 'The Golden Emperor', where elevating analogue electronic patterns and effectively repetitive elements blend wonderfully, with the following bright beam of light 'Ashes' acting as a nice segue into the epic closer 'Lost Cannibal'. Frantic time signatures, glitchy bursts of keys and manic cut-up vocal samples make way for brutal machine gun rhythms, menacing notes and vocals that burn with a darkly hallucinogenic power, before pitch black atmospheres enter the picture, and the song's progression continues as it grows into something that by the end is indeed 'Brighter'.

If driving rhythms, relentless bass, nagging synths and beautifully elevating melodies are your tonic, then this cosmic helping of Spanish post-psychedelic krautrock is something you will need to hear. Pushing into new galaxies and leaving an awe-inspiring trail of light, 'Brighter' is a ball of momentum that flies with powerful trajectory. 8.2/10