Sunday, 19 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Basement Revolver - Heavy Eyes

Powerful, intense alt-rock, complete with big, militant drums and mesmeric waves of feedback. It's the title track from Canadian trio Basement Revolver's forthcoming debut album, released this Friday on Aug 24.


Rewind: Mover ft Ruby Turner - We Got It Going On

Another little-known but awesome single from 20 years ago, released in August 1998. Number 93 in the UK charts. After just a few seconds into this joyous track, it's instantly clear that indie band Mover were very much into their Northern Soul music. The guest vocals were supplied by British RnB legend Ruby Turner. With its sweet, bouncy melody and uplifting brass, this was taken from the band's self titled debut album, released the same year. The group were highly rated in the music press, but a lack of airplay and publicity meant that they were never a commercial success, although they did enjoy a good reception in Japan. The band released a second, more funk-based album 'Fly Casual' in 2000 before splitting. Frontman Sam Hazeldine now composes film soundtracks.


Saturday, 18 August 2018

Track Of The Day: James - Many Faces

Having formed back in 1982, and featuring members well into their 50s, Manchester indie legends James just keep on making great music. Their 13th LP 'Living In Extraordinary Times' is one of this treasured group's finest albums, a modern classic about the state of this world we currently live in, and how we are treating each other as human beings. Once it all becomes clear, and you get to the core of this album, you realise how hard it can hit.

This is especially true of the glorious 'Many Faces', where the message is spelt loud and clear: "there's only one human race, many faces, everybody belongs here". Set to acoustic guitar and mariachi-like horns before building itself up into a true anthem of unity and hope, it's classic James. Living proof that a bands best work isn't always from their younger days, and that age means experience, not being past your peak. Somehow, James just keep on hitting the targets and confounding expectations. 

Read the review of 'Living In Extraordinary Times' HERE.


Rewind: Embrace - My Weakness Is None Of Your Business

Big strings and big emotions on this single, released 20 years ago back in August 1998. The song was the fifth single to be taken from Embrace's excellent debut album 'The Good Will Out', a fine example of symphonic post-Britpop indie rock. This single entered the UK singles chart at number 9. The band's seventh studio album 'Love Is A Basic Need' was released earlier this year in 2017.


Dance Track Of The Week: Dr Rubberfunk - How Beautiful

Every Saturday, dance/electronica expert and Frome FM DJ Jason B will be sharing his recommendations, picking an old track and a more recent one. 

The opening track from Dr Rubberfunk's new EP 'My Life At 45' is a real treat. 300 7" vinyl copies of the EP were released less than a month ago and have all sold out, but the tracks are available to download from Bandcamp. Simon Ward began DJing under the Dr Rubberfunk guise in 1992, releasing his debut 12” single in 2001, and has since released three albums. 

The A-side ‘How Beautiful’ first made an appearance in extended form on the ‘Jalapeno Funk Vol. 9' compilation and left a lasting impression with it’s mellow psychedelic funk feels, jazz guitar licks and crunchier-than-granola drums. This all new 7” version wraps up all those lovely bits into a neat little mix that’s perfect for a 45. 

Jason B hosts Frome FM's Dance Classics every first Saturday of the month on Frome FM at 10pm. The show is repeated on the previous Thursday night at 10pm. Those of you lucky enough to live in Frome can pick it up on 96.6FM, otherwise listen online at www.frome.fm

You can listen again to the show online here: http://frome.fm/programmes/music/dance-classics/

The DJ and broadcaster has also released a new edition of his monthly mixes. The August 2018 edition features recent tracks from Zaven, Kiko Navarro, Mathov and lots more. Listen HERE, where you can also find other superb mixes from recent years.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FromeFMsDanceClassics/


Dance Classic Of The Week: Trickster (CMV's) - Move On Up (LME Club Mix)

Every Saturday, dance/electronica expert and Frome FM DJ Jason B will be sharing his recommendations, picking an old track and a more recent one. 

Today's classic selection is this housey 1998 reworking of Curtis Mayfield's classic 'Move On Up' by the duo Trickster, who consisted of Dino Ramirez and Marco Nash. The "CMV's" bit refers to the original White Label release of the track, which was credited to "C.M vs ?" (Curtis Mayfield Versus ?) This version was the lead mix on the single release, by the Lisa Marie Experience.

Jason B hosts Frome FM's Dance Classics every first Saturday of the month on Frome FM at 10pm. The show is repeated on the previous Thursday night at 10pm. Those of you lucky enough to live in Frome can pick it up on 96.6FM, otherwise listen online at www.frome.fm

You can listen again to the show online here: http://frome.fm/programmes/music/dance-classics/

The DJ and broadcaster has also released a new edition of his monthly mixes. The August 2018 edition features recent tracks from Zaven, Kiko Navarro, Mathov and lots more. Listen HERE, where you can also find other superb mixes from recent years.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FromeFMsDanceClassics/


Friday, 17 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Suede - Life Is Golden

The third single to be released from Suede's upcoming album 'The Blue Hour' is the most instantly captivating one yet, a stunning moment of uplifting melancholy, with a soaring chorus that wouldn't have sounded out of place on 1996's 'Coming Up'. Possibly the most anthemic song that the indie legends have produced since reforming in 2010 and regaining their status as one of the finest bands around. 


Rewind: Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Let's Get Together (In Our Minds)

Sweet, humble, warming and melodic, one of the most stunning songs of the 90s was released exactly 20 years ago today in August 1998. It reached number 43 in the UK singles chart and should've been much higher.

The daily Rewind feature has recently featured a number of amazing, underrated indie singles from the late 90s that charted lowly. And this is one of the most underrated of all. Gorkys Zygotic Mynci were a Welsh group with a dynamic, highly melodic sound, sometimes described as "psychedelic folk pop". I first heard them on a free CD that came with Select magazine in 1997, which featured their track 'Blood Chant'. After hearing their 'Sweet Johnny' single (featured HERE) being played on Radio 1's legendary Evening Session, I went out and bought a copy. A couple of months later, I heard this and was instantly captured. I expected this to be their big hit, but it missed the Top 40. It's one of the hidden indie gems from the late 90s that I feel very lucky to have discovered.

Gorkys were formed in 1991. Many people expected them to break into the mainstream at some point, but the time never came. Instead, the band have the distinction of being the only group with eight UK Top 75 singles without ever making the Top 40. The beautiful 'Let's Get Together' was the second single from their fifth album Gorky 5. They would release nine albums all together before splitting in 2006. Frontman Euros Childs continued as a prolific solo artist, releasing at least one LP every year since 2006, including the excellent 'Situation Comedy' from 2013.


Thursday, 16 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Menace Beach - Crawl In Love

Taken from their superb new album 'Black Rainbow Sound', this track from Leeds duo Menace Beach is bursting at the seams with squalling analogue synths, a monster of a shoegazey riff, a pleasingly lo-fi drum sound, and a weird druggy atmosphere billowing from its groove like a dense smoke. In places, almost bringing to mind a more psychedelic, shoegazey version of Mansun. Released on August 31, 'Black Rainbow Sound' also features collaborations with ex Fall member Brix Start-Smith, who now fronts Brix And The Extricated.


Rewind: Kenickie - Stay In The Sun

A big departure from their indie punk sound, this summer disco pop track from Kenickie was released 20 years ago this week back in August 1998. It reached number 43 in the UK charts and was to be their final single.

I consider Kenickie to be a wasted opportunity for the music industry. Formed in 1994, the Sunderland four piece attracted lots of record company interest in their early days, and signed with the EMI subsidiary label EMIDisc. Their debut album 'At The Club' was released in 1997, reaching number 9 and spawning three Top 40 singles. But against the male-dominated guitar scene, the mostly female band were treated as a novelty by the press and others. A shame, because they were a refreshing band whose punky attitude combined with some great songs. Their second album 'Get In' was a more downbeat affair, with more of an emphasis on their pop side. 'Stay In The Sun' does indeed sound like the result of a young band being pressured into making a pop hit, and at the time, a lot of industry people were trying to drop indie bands from labels or mould them into more commercial acts. I can recall seeing the group lip syncing to the song on breakfast TV show GMTV and thinking how sad it looked. It is however a fine song, and the change in style may have just been a natural one. This and the other tracks from 'Get In' often bring to mind London indie pop trio St Etienne, which makes sense when you learn that EMIDisc was run by two of the aforementioned group. The B side to this single featured their weary melancholic take on Brotherhood Of Man's 'Save All Your Kisses For Me', the highlight of a special edition of Channel 4 show Eurotrash where bands would play covers of classic Eurovision songs.

If 'Stay In The Sun' was their bid for a big pop hit, then it didn't go according to plan: the song missed out on the Top 40, reaching number 43. Under huge pressure from their label, the band were threatened with the drop if the album wasn't a success. 'Get In' scraped into the album charts at number 32. Kenickie would split up a couple of months later, ending their career with a gig in London where singer Lauren Laverne closed the "shambolic" show by announcing "we were Kenickie, a bunch of fuckwits", later blaming "music industry scumbags" for their demise. Laverne provided vocals on the Mint Royale single 'Don't Falter' and released a couple of solo tracks before turning her hand to TV presenting. She is now regularly seen on the box and is one of BBC 6Music's most popular DJs. Drummer Johnny X (Pete Gofton) later ended up in Frankie And The Heartstrings, while guitarist Marie du Santiago and bassist Emmy-Kate Montrose formed the short-lived group Rosita. Santiago (real name Marie Nixon) went on to work for music management company Hall Or Nothing, and is now the head of the Students Union at Sunderland University, while still being involved in music as part of folk group The Cornshed Sisters. Meanwhile, Montrose (aka Emma Jackson) became a leading sociologist and editor of The Sociological Review. 



The Vault: Aretha Franklin and George Michael - I Knew You Were Waiting For Me

Today we raise a salute to the long-reigning Queen Of Soul, the phenomenal talent that was Aretha Franklin. The soul legend died today at the age of 76 after a period of ill health. I genuinely cannot think of a greater female voice in the history of music. Pure soul and true power. Her vocals on 'Respect' were more authoritative than any I have ever heard, the sheer feeling put into 'I Say A Little Prayer' will always be joyously emotive, and these are just the first two examples I can think of. But up there with my two favourite Franklin recordings is this 1984 duet with the late George Michael, which today seems to take on a different, and very touching meaning. I can just imagine the two of them up in the clouds singing this again. John Peel (another legendary figure no longer with us) once quipped that "Aretha Franklin could make any old rubbish sound good" while hosting an episode of Top Of The Pops that featured this song. And while I think this is a great track, I agree that her voice could elevate anything. RIP.


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Nine Inch Nails - Shit Mirror

In 2018, I would say that Trent Reznor is arguably the one artist pushing rock and metal to new, innovative places.

The recent Nine Inch Nails album 'Bad Witch' offers up a strange, terrifying and rewarding listening experience, continuing the evolution of his band with a fierce, uncompromising and powerful record. On the opening 'Shit Mirror', heavy industrial krautrock rhythms are coupled with savage guitars to create an explosive kind of motorik metal.

Elsewhere on 'Bad Witch', there are grainy drum n bass assaults, bursts of rampaging acid techno, sketchy, distorted beats, ominous free jazz interludes, nightmare inducing atmospheres, and a fine bit of robotic mechanical  funk on the closing 'Over And Out'.


With a solemn underlying beauty peering through the recesses, this is a fascinating, brutal record, one of those albums that demands you to stop everything you're doing and listen. Inheriting a space in the cosmos somewhere near David Bowie's final album 'Blackstar', these ears can also detect shades of Aphex Twin, Throbbing Gristle, Boards Of Canada, Can and even Radiohead. In reality, it's both all and none of these things, 'Bad Witch' is the sort of record that only Trent Reznor could put together


Rewind: DeeJay Punk-Roc - Far Out

This lively chunk of breakbeat/hip hop house was released as a single 20 years ago in August 1998, reaching number 43 in the UK singles chart. It can be found on the album 'Chickeneye'. Like many of the artists featured in my Rewind selections from 1998, Deejay Punk-Roc was played a lot on the indie flagship Radio 1 show The Evening Session. There was a lot of confusion over the identity of Deejay Punk-Roc, due to producer Jon Paul Davies handling all the studio work, and Brooklyn DJ Charles Gettis handling the live shows. 

The alias would last until 2002. 

Davies later released music as Trinity Hi-Fi, a trip hop/house collaboration of other artists. He also had many UK Dance Chart successes under various pseudonyms including Player One and Spork. 


Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Santigold - Run The Road

Infectious chorus, an addictively enjoyable digital reggae groove, and some great production. Some superb recent sounds courtesy of Santigold, taken from her fourth album 'I Don't Want: The Gold Fire Sessions'.


Rewind: Sash! ft Tina Cousins - Mysterious Times

This big dance hit was released 20 years ago back in August 1998, peaking at number 2 in the UK singles chart. Featuring vocalist Tina Cousins, it was one of many commercially successful club hits by the German trio Sash! and was taken from the album 'Life Goes On'. The CD and 12" singles contained a variety of remixes, from producers including Todd Terry and Tin Tin Out. As well as a number of singles and remixes, Sash! released their sixth album in 2013.



Monday, 13 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Paul Weller - Movin' On

The warm, relaxed beauty of this new Paul Weller track provides much optimism for his upcoming new album 'True Meanings'. A legendary artist who just keeps on creating superb sounds, keeping his work fresh through exploring an array of styles. Released on September 14, Weller's 14th solo studio album is billed as "a record unlike any he has ever made before, characterised by grandiose-yet-delicate, lush orchestration: an aesthetic to which Paul’s better-than-ever voice, singing some of his most nakedly honest words, is perfectly suited."

'True Meaning's features contributions from folk legends Martin Carthy and Danny Thompson, plus Conor O'Brien, Noel Gallagher and Lucy Rose. 


Rewind: Fun Lovin' Criminals - Love Unlimited

Released 20 years ago back in August 1998, this ultra-cool, ultra-smooth tribute to Barry White was the first single to be taken from the second Fun Lovin' Criminals album '100% Colombian'. It went to number 18 in the UK charts. 

The New York trio have recently announced a UK tour for early 2019, and the release of a new album 'Another Mimosa', a follow-up to the 1999 compilation 'Mimosa', which featured covers and reworkings of some of their own songs. 


Sunday, 12 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Aphex Twin - T69 Collapse

One day, Aphex Twin might decide to stop making totally deranged and brilliant music. I hope that day never comes. This is taken from the forthcoming EP 'Collapse', which will released via Warp Records on September 14.


Rewind: Placebo - Pure Morning

Another track from 20 years ago? Certainly. And this one is a bona fide alternative classic, released back in August 1998 and reaching number 4 in the UK singles chart. Featuring some of the most brilliantly vicious guitar sounds, as well as some excellent production on those drums. The song began life as a riff played during studio sessions in which the band were recording B sides for their second album 'Without You I'm Nothing', and when eventually completed, was a very late addition to the record. Frontman Brian Molko said the it was overall "a song about friendship", starting from the situation of "coming down when the rest of the world is waking up", such as when clubgoers get home as the sun rises and everyone else is going to work. The feeling of dislocation, "that point you feel like your life is the least sorted ever", would be solved by someone to "slip their arm around you and make slumber easier."

Despite touring over recent years, Placebo haven't made an album since 2013's 'Loud Like Love'. 


Saturday, 11 August 2018

Track Of The Day: The Blinders - Brave New World

A fierce, dark, heavy glam rock stomp from The Blinders, which can be found on the Manchester band's forthcoming debut album 'Columbia'.


Rewind: Shed Seven - Devil In Your Shoes

Another great single released 20 years ago this week back in August 1998. Having made their name as one of Britpop's best loved acts in the mid 90s, the York-based band released their third album 'Let It Ride' in 1998, which featured this big, sweeping indie rock anthem. Personally, just as good as any other Shed Seven songs, and up there as one of their very best singles. I'm featuring the full length album version of this, since it was completely butchered as a radio edit, with half of each verse missing, taking away a big part of the songs wonderful melody, and ending up ruining its structure. In fact, in the end all you get is half a verse and a chorus repeated over and over again. No wonder the group had problems with their record company soon after...

The band initially split in 2003, reforming in 2007 and releasing a great album called 'Instant Pleasures' last year in 2017, their first new material in 16 years. 



Dance Track Of The Week: Speakman Sound ft Frankie Forman - Warm

Every Saturday, dance/electronica expert and Frome FM DJ Jason B will be sharing his recommendations, picking an old track and a more recent one. Here's a fairly recent one, from last year in fact. 

There are some superb synth sounds on this track from psychedelica-tinged electronica duo Speakman Sound, which features vocals from Frankie Forman.

Jason B hosts Frome FM's Dance Classics every first Saturday of the month on Frome FM at 10pm. The show is repeated on the previous Thursday night at 10pm. Those of you lucky enough to live in Frome can pick it up on 96.6FM, otherwise listen online at www.frome.fm

You can listen again to the show online here: http://frome.fm/programmes/music/dance-classics/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FromeFMsDanceClassics/


Dance Classic Of The Week: Funk D'Void - Diabla (Heavenly Mix)

Every Saturday, dance/electronica expert and Frome FM DJ Jason B will be sharing his recommendations, picking an old track and a new track. Like his new Frome FM's Dance Classics show, this feature looks at dance music in its various forms throughout the ages. 

Here's a fine track from 2001, released on the Soma Quality Recordings label. Funk D'Void is the alias of Scottish DJ and producer Lars Sandberg, who has also made music under the name Francois Dubois. 

Jason B hosts Frome FM's Dance Classics every first Saturday of the month on Frome FM at 10pm. The show is repeated on the previous Thursday night at 10pm. Those of you lucky enough to live in Frome can pick it up on 96.6FM, otherwise listen online at www.frome.fm

You can listen again to the show online here: http://frome.fm/programmes/music/dance-classics/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FromeFMsDanceClassics/


Friday, 10 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Slaves - Chokehold

Unmistakably British punk, the sort that spits in your face as soon as it hits your ears. Representing a progression in the Kent duo's sound, where they used to sound a bit like the Beastie Boys mixed with Crass, this is not far from what Blur would sound like if they formed a supergroup with Sham 69. From the forthcoming album 'Acts Of Fear And Love'.


Rewind: Babybird - If You'll Be Mine

Like a sadder, superior, lo-fi relative of 'You're Gorgeous', this mesmerising beauty was released as a single 20 years ago today on 10th August 1998. Most of the general public remember Babybird for the overplayed, misunderstood 1996 smash hit that I just mentioned. Those who were paying more attention will instead often regard the 1998 album There's Something Going On as the Sheffield band's finest hour: a darker, more focused and accomplished album far more definitive of mastermind Stephen Jones' talents. 'If You'll Be Mine' reached number 28 in the UK singles chart.

Calling the intro dreamy would be the biggest understatement: it's more like waking up to the most beautiful, dazzling light. The song also plays the known Babybird trick of using sweet, beautiful melodies to disguise lyrics that are sad, dark, or sometimes strange. In this case we get poignancy wrapped in a warming, comforting blanket.

It's one of those songs that means so much to me, that I can't help but overthink when I'm writing about it, like no words can sum up that feeling, and that I need to give as much information as possible in order for people to understand its brilliance. I could probably write a whole book on it, and I still wouldn't feel like I'd given it the time it deserves.


Even though no words can do this song justice, that hasn't stopped me from writing an article celebrating 20 years of the amazing 'There's Something Going On'. It will be there for your reading pleasure in two weeks time. Babybird will be playing a short UK tour in December  and will be releasing a new double album 'Unsung' via Bandcamp next month in September. 



Thursday, 9 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Goatman - Jaam Ak Salam

Crazed shouting, urgent rhythms, dazzling bursts of brass, fat bass, lively flickers of guitar, heavy African vibes, multiple analog synth solos, ecstatic handclaps, a joyous repetitive, psychedelic groove... If these things appeal to you, give this excellent new track by Goatman a try. The mysterious artist is a member of the incredible Swedish band Goat, and is also signed to the otherworldly Rocket Recordings label. 'Jaam Ak Salam' is taken from a forthcoming album called 'Rhythms'. 



Rewind: Apollo 440 - Lost In Space

Released 20 years ago this week back in August 1998. Apollo 440's mixture of techno, breakbeat and heavy rock proved to be very popular in the late 90s. After becoming known for their remix work, they had made a commercial breakthrough in 1997 with the album 'Electro Glide In Blue', a record buoyed by its hit singles 'Ain't Talkin' Bout Dub' and 'Krupa'. Afterwards they were asked to record the theme for the 1998 sci-fi film Lost In Space, adapted from the original 1960s TV show, as was this track, which was based on the title theme by legendary film composer John Williams. 

The single became Apollo 440's biggest hit, reaching number 4 in the UK charts. Like a lot of this group's music, admittedly it has a rather dated sound, instantly recognisable as 90s dance music. So I've also included an excellent, hyperactive live version of Lost In Space, recorded for Top Of The Pops, which shows off the band's live performance skills...

Formed in Liverpool in 1990 before relocating to London, the band have recorded five albums. They also produced a number of remixes as ambient cinematic alter-ego Stealth Sonic Orchestra, perhaps best known for remixing the Manic Street Preachers on various occasions. Apollo 440 notched up 11 Top 40 UK singles, and released their most recent album 'The Future's What It Used To Be' in 2012.




Wednesday, 8 August 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: James - Living In Extraordinary Times



Their last two albums have found Manchester indie legends James enjoying something of a renaissance. This week they release their 15th record. 15? Surely we don't need another James album do we? You probably know the story by now, but just in case you don't... A cult indie favourite back in the 1980s, they broke into the mainstream in the early 90s with the smash hit 'Sit Down' and their 'Gold Mother' album, going on to enjoy success through the decade. They split in 2001 after a lukewarm reception to their 9th album 'Pleased To Meet You', but thankfully, James were not done. They reunited in 2007, re-establishing themselves as a legendary live act, and releasing a number of critically acclaimed records, including 2016's 'Girl At The End Of The World', which went to number 2 in the UK charts, held off the top spot only by Adele's mega-selling '25'.

But having formed back in 1982, and featuring members well into their 50s, how long can they keep up their reputation as British treasures? They can't do it again can they? Turns out they can; 'Living In Extraordinary Times' is even better than the previous two records, and one of this treasured group's finest albums. 

With its big menacing drums, snarling bass, and heavy fuzz on the vocal, 'Hank' is opened outwards by those distinctive, powerful horns that are used brilliantly here to create an air of optimistic defiance, and a sense of rising up. It sets out the backdrop of these extraordinary times that the album's title refers to, times in which the most powerful country in the world is under the control of an arrogant, moronic billionaire, who already earned the title of Worst American President In History after just a few days in office. Clearly not a fantasy concept album, but a record about the state of this world we currently live in, and how we are treating each other as human beings. Once it all becomes clear, and you get to the core of this album, you realise how hard it can hit.

This is especially true of the glorious 'Many Faces', where the message is spelt loud and clear: "there's only one human race, many faces, everybody belongs here". Set to acoustic guitar and mariachi-like horns before building itself up into a true anthem of unity and hope, it's classic James. 28 years years after 'Come Home', we get its grown-up sequel 'Coming Home', where Tim Booth in the role of proud father, continues to document his life through song. An arms aloft singalong combines with sequenced guitar effects, adding new layers to its solid surface. The stunning grace of 'Leviathan' recalls the sparkling beauty of 2014's 'Moving On', rising into another sweet, majestic chorus. Across this record, there are fascinating, maverick rhythmic ideas, and a wealth of sounds that are interesting yet always accessible. Their gift for creating superb arrangements is something they bring to the fore on this album, along with some terrific songwriting. It's very evident on the thriving anger of 'Heads', where hectic percussion and a demented, disorientated vocal add to the madness. Make no mistake about it, this is music of the times. And it's taken a band approaching their fifth decade in music to deliver it. 

Following on from the tender, sumptuous sadness of 'How Hard The Day', the lyric "I wanna fuck you until we break through to another dimensions" comes as a very unexpected opening line on the album's grand, luminous title track, while 'Picture Of This Place' digs into a contagious, no-nonsense groove, growing into a very Bowie-like climax. On first listen to the singles, you might think they're not as special as some of their previous classics. The second time, the melodies and sounds will have a bit more clarity. Third time, and something is beginning to take shape. After that, you may even become addicted. The superb single 'Better Than That' is a fine example of this. With its busy off-kilter rhythms, big retro keyboards, and love-it-or-hate-it yodelled vocal melody during the bridge, its vibrancy is truly infectious. They seem to have become masters of "the grower", especially in the cases of the lead singles. Over time, it's been the embellishments and the steps sideward that have keep this band close to the hearts of so many devoted people. And the great songs of course.

Then there's the little matter of Tim Booth's captivating vocals. Indeed, there has always been something mystifying about Booth's wondrous voice, which proves to be a most versatile instrument on the tranquil, ghostly 'Hope To Sleep'. The breezily melancholic 'Mask' is a song which comes topped with harmonious guitar loops and the most charming of analogue synth sounds, providing an elevating penultimate moment. Brimming with fury, passion and surging energy, the closing opus 'What It's All About' is quite simply an astonishing and powerful piece of music. Post-punk moods mix with an utterly flawless arrangement, eventually reaching a false ending that leads into a short, tenderly sung, folk-flavoured outro. 

Even the four bonus tracks included on the deluxe edition are exemplary. Living proof that a bands best work isn't always from their younger days, and that age means experience, not being past your peak. Somehow, James just keep on hitting the targets and confounding expectations. 9/10


Track Of The Day: BC Camplight - I'm Desperate

Urgent, pulsing suspense races through this excellent track from BC Camplight. Bringing to mind something resembling The Cure meets Arcade Fire, 'I'm Desperate' is taken from the American multi-instrumentalist Brian Christinzio's fourth album 'Deportation Blues', released later this month on the Bella Union label.


Rewind: Lucid - I Can't Help Myself

This club classic was released as a single 20 years ago this week back in August 1998, and reached number 7 in the UK charts. Dreamy, enchanting vocals provide a touch of ambience that contrasts with the track's big trance hook. Lucid were the duo Mark Hadfield and Adam Carter-Ryan, who also released music together as Jam Factory and Translucid. Their last single came out in 2000, but they continued to remix other artists up until 2012.


Full length audio


Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Underworld and Iggy Pop - Trapped

A superb bit of techno krautrock punk from 'Tea Time Dub Encounters', the new four track EP from Iggy Pop and Underworld, a record described by the NME as "Batshit brilliance from three mad scientists with so much still to prove". Over time, I have noticed a clear Fall influence in Underworld's music, and since The Fall were partly influenced by Iggy And The Stooges, it makes sense that as well as hints of Suicide and Can, this collaboration bears echoes of Mark E Smith's work, especially this, with its strict mechanical repetition building fiercely alongside a mad narrative. 

The rock legend and techno duo originally met up to collaborate on music intended for the Trainspotting 2 soundtrack, but plans changed and instead we ended up with a whole EP of crazy, awesome music from this brilliant pairing.


Rewind: The Dandy Warhols - Boys Better

Released in the UK 20 years ago this week in August 1998, this was The Dandy Warhols at their very best. With an addictive Velvet Underground-style groove and some swaggering, belting riffs, 'Boys Better' was taken from the Oregon band's second album 'Come Down', also released in the UK in 1998. This song went to number 36 in the UK singles charts. The Dandy Warhols have released nine studio albums, their most recent being 2016's 'Distortland'.


Monday, 6 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Mogwai - We're Not Done

A stunning, scenic moment of gracefully surging euphoria from MogwaiFollowing on from last year's 'Every Country's Sun', the Glasgow band are releasing 'KIN: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack', recorded for the upcoming sci-fi/crime drama starring ZoĆ« Kravitz, James Franco, Dennis Quaid, and others. 

In a statement, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite said, “We were really excited to be asked to record the original score for Jonathan and Josh Baker’s debut movie KIN. It was amazing to do a project that was so different to anything we’ve done before and see how our music fits in a totally different environment to how it’s been used before.”

KIN: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is out August 31. As well as a number of EPs and nine studio albums, Mogwai have also composed the soundtracks 'Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait', the French TV series Les Revenants, the documentary 'Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise' and also co-wrote the score to Fisher Stevens' 2016 documentary film about climate change 'Before the Flood' with Trent Reznor and others.


.

Rewind: Puressence - It Doesn't Matter Anymore

Another one of the best songs from 1998, this one released exactly 20 years ago this week. Powerful, epic emotional indie rock was something that renowned Manchester combo Puressence did very well. This reached number 47 in the UK singles chart. Along with their previous single, the stunning 'This Feeling', this track was taken from their second album 'Only Forever'. They formed in the early 90s after the band met each other on a bus travelling to The Stone Roses' Spike Island gig. After six LPs, they broke up in 2013. 


Video (with lower quality sound)


Sunday, 5 August 2018

Track Of The Day: Paul McCartney - Come On To Me

It's hard to disagree with the fact that Paul McCartney is the biggest musical legend still alive today. Back with a new album, his return couldn't have come at a better time. With the all-time greats slowly disappearing from the world that they have coloured, it makes a welcome change to hear brand new music from one of history's greatest songwriters rather than reading another obituary.

It's also a welcoming surprise to say that these two new tracks are the best things Macca has produced in a long time, both evoking a more contemporary echo of The White Album. Which one shall I choose today: the beautiful 'I Don't Know' or the upbeat, classic McCartney singalong 'Come On To Me'? The latter will do nicely. 'Egypt Station' is released on September 7.

Read an interesting interview with producer Greg Kirsten about recording the album in Los Angeles, Sussex and Abbey Road, HERE.


Rewind: D'Menace - Deep Menace (Spank)

Up until a few days ago, I had forgotten this song existed. I hadn't heard it in 20 years. Just one play later and this nagging dancefloor scorcher is lodged in my brain. Originally released in the USA the previous year, this came out 20 years ago this week in August 1998, released in the UK on the Inferno label. It reached number 20 in the UK singles chart. D'Menace were American house producer Sandy Rivera (Kings Of Tomorrow) and Jay Sealee, who also worked together as Mysterious People. This version of the track is a remix by British house DJ Joey Negro.



Saturday, 4 August 2018

Track Of The Day: She Makes War - Devastate Me

Bristol-based multi instrumentalist She Makes War is getting ready to release her fourth album 'Brace For Impact', the follow up to 2016's much recommended 'Direction Of Travel'. It'll be brilliant if 'Devastate Me' is anything to go by, a fiery no-nonsense Britpop attitude matched up with an explosive chorus and the sort of heaving riffage that brings to mind The Breeders, Garbage and other alt rock heroes. She Makes War will be touring the UK in October and November. If you sign up to the mailing list, you will get 5 free songs at http://www.shemakeswar.com


Rewind: The Bluetones - Sleazy Bed Track

Smoky bar room vibes on this aptly named single, which was released 20 years ago this week back in August 1998. The Bluetones burst onto the scene in the mid 90s, their debut LP 'Expecting To Fly' becoming one of the essential Britpop albums. Released in 1998, their second full length 'Return To The Last Chance Saloon" was a darker and slightly more hard edged album.

They released four more LPs before splitting in 2011, with singer Mark Morriss releasing some fine solo material. Only a few years later the band reformed, and although they regularly tour, no plans for new music have yet been announced. With a single featuring artwork by bassist Scott Morris, Sleazy Bed Track reached number 35 in the UK singles chart.




Dance Track Of The Week: Daniel Avery - Quick Eternity (Four Tet Remix)

Every Saturday, dance/electronica expert and Frome FM DJ Jason B will be sharing his recommendations, picking an old track and a new track.

This remix of Daniel Avery's brilliant 'Quick Eternity' finds Four Tet concocting a heady mixture of various electronic sounds and styles. This sparkling dose of sunny, scenic ambience was released as a 12", and is now also available digitally.

Jason B hosts Frome FM's Dance Classics tonight and every first Saturday of the month on Frome FM at 10pm. The show is repeated on the previous Thursday night at 10pm. Those of you lucky enough to live in Frome can pick it up on 96.6FM, otherwise listen online at www.frome.fm

You can listen again to the show online here: http://frome.fm/programmes/music/dance-classics/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FromeFMsDanceClassics/




Dance Classic Of The Week: Silver Bullet - 20 Seconds To Comply

Every Saturday, dance/electronica expert and Frome FM DJ Jason B will be sharing his recommendations, picking an old track and a new track. Like his new Frome FM's Dance Classics show, this feature looks at dance music in its various forms throughout the ages. 

This single from 1990 was by British rapper Silver Bullet, who was influenced by the likes of Public Enemy. Apparently, the track was inspired by a run-in Silver Bullet and his crew had with police at Notting Hill Carnival. The song is structured around a dialogue sample from the movie Robocop. After releasing an album and a few more singles, Silver Bullet continued to release the occasional record, his last one being back in 2004.

Jason B hosts Frome FM's Dance Classics tonight and every first Saturday of the month on Frome FM at 10pm. The show is repeated on the previous Thursday night at 10pm. Those of you lucky enough to live in Frome can pick it up on 96.6FM, otherwise listen online at www.frome.fm

You can listen again to the show online here: http://frome.fm/programmes/music/dance-classics/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FromeFMsDanceClassics/