Monday, 30 June 2014

LISTEN: The RW/FF Compilation Volume 20

Struggling to hear good new music? In need of some fresh sounds? I believe in 2014 is the best time for new music we have had in years, but thanks to the people in control of the mainstream, not many people are hearing the good stuff. The regular RW/FF Compilation is here to help. It showcases the music that has featured on the site over the last few weeks. 

Just imagine if the 'Now!' albums featured the best recent music instead of lowest-common-denominator shite... they would sound like this! I don't have regular dates set for each of these mixtape-type things, instead I just wait until I have an 80 minute CD's worth of great new music to make up each compilation. Contrary to what some people think, there is plenty of excellent new music out there, as is proved by every one of these brilliant mixes. The idea is to buy all of these tracks and burn onto a blank disc, hence why each compilation will be roughly the length of a CD.


Saint Agnes - 'Old Bone Rattle'
Towns - 'Gone Are The Days'
Manic Street Preachers - 'Europa Geht Durch Mich'
Jupiter Lion - 'Doppelgänger'
Brian Eno and Karl Hyde - 'DBF'
Martin Duffy - 'Promenading'
Plank! - 'Grasshoppers From Mars'
Further Reductions - 'High End Basics'
Depeche Mode - 'My Little Universe' (Boys Noize Remix)
Kasabian - 'Treat'
La Roux - 'Uptight Downtown'
James - 'Interrogation'
Parquet Courts - 'Instant Disassembly'
The Black Keys - '10 Lovers'
Fingersnap - 'Blackbirds'

MY OPINION: Glastonbury 2014

So Glastonbury 2014 turned out rather good, didn't it? As usual I watched the event via BBC television coverage, occasionally managing to watch some of the live streams on the internet via my iPhone. My verdict?

As soon as I finished work at 3pm on Friday, I powered up my extremely temperamental mobile internet and managed to watch all of the magnificent set that Temples played on the John Peel stage. B side 'Ankh' sounded particularly mighty. But it was the reunited hip hop crew Jurassic 5, who provided the astonishing moment of the day, and perhaps the whole weekend, with a fierce and tight performance on the West Holts stage. That afternoon, an electricity storm halted all the action at Worthy Farm, annoying as I was getting ready to watch tUnE yArDs on the website, and annoying for Wiltshire trio Port Erin, who had to cancel their set at the Rabbit Hole. Luckily they played another show at the West Holts backstage bar, which they seemed to relish. Blondie, who played the main stage earlier on in the day, were not so impressive. Debbie Harry seemed to be on a mission to murder every song. Although I admire some of their work, I found it hard to stick with Arcade Fire for more than an hour, as their headline set failed to hold my complete attention. And of course, any focus was lost when I heard the sad news of Bobby Womack's death later that night.


Saturday arrived, and Jagwar Ma's set on The Park stage was an excellent mixture of indie and dance vibes, while Kelis turned out to be the biggest surprise. Having not heard any of her music since the tedious 'Milkshake' days, I wasn't expecting her to be any good. But with the introduction of "proper" singing and an impressive live band, she turned out to be rather great indeed. Inevitably not quite as good as the legendary Manic Street Preachers, who treated The Other Stage to an amazing set packed with all-time classics and new material from the upcoming 'Futurology'. The duet with German film star Nina Hoss was one of the weekend's best moments. Robert Plant and his superb backing band The Sensational Shape Shifters put on an incredible show on the Pyramid Stage, where his underrated solo work shone, and old Led Zep classics were given a refreshing new lease of life. Jimmy who? Despite the conspicuous absence of Kim Deal, the Pixies were excellent on the Other Stage, mystifyingly below Jake Bugg on the bill. Meanwhile on the main stage, Jack White was explosively brilliant, and Metallica proved many of their doubters wrong. Although they weren't quite as good as they were when I have heard them playing live previously.

Sunday seemed to come really quickly, and being confined to the flat all day meant that BBC television coverage was my only option. So it began with a BBC 2 lunchtime show, which was bollocks. The coverage returned at 5pm for Dolly Parton's much hyped afternoon set. I was far from impressed with the stuff they showed before it... They could have chose to show White Lies, the hugely entertaining Melt Yourself Down or the incredible Public Service Broadcasting, who would have just finished their set on the West Holts Stage. But what did we get instead? The boring Lily Allen-alike Caro Emerald (who they already shown enough of during the lunchtime programme), The 1975 (utter, utter shit) and yet more over-exposure of the already over-exposed twat Ed Sheeran. People will argue that the BBC have to cater for all tastes... but if that's the case then why did their main coverage lean so heavily towards middle-of-the-road nonsense? And no Billy Bragg? The whole fuss around Dolly Parton's set was typified by lots of people getting "extremely excited for Dolly", when many of them have probably never owned a single album of hers. It symbolised Britain's trend-driven culture, where anything is a "must-see" if lots of other people are talking about it. Still, I treated her much talked-about set exactly the same as I approached everyone else's. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon, and a magnificent performance from the lady herself. So perfect in fact, that many were convinced she was lip syncing. 


As you could feel the festival coming to a close, things still seemed to be in full swing by Sunday evening. The Horrors were splendid, although their elevational psych anthems would have been a lot more powerful had it been night time and weren't quite suited to the rather grey afternoon light. The Black Keys were also superb, and the size of the assembled crowd suggested that the duo's music is deservedly growing in popularity. Kasabian's headline set could have gone either way. Some of their stuff is incredible, other songs (like the majority of their latest album '48:13') leave a lot to be desired. But they proved themselves to be deserving headliners with a stellar and highly energising set that sent the audience mental. A couple of crap tunes aside ('Switchblade Smiles' and 'Eez-Eh'), their pumped-up party anthems set the place on fire and made an absolute mockery of the band's own ridiculous opinion that "rock n roll is dying". Maybe they just kept telling themselves that because they wanted to play saviours. New album centrepiece 'Treat' was a particular highlight, transforming the field into a giant dancefloor during the song's house flavoured second half. I would say they silenced their critics, but there are some who would dismiss Kasabian even if they played the best gig of all-time. I'm sure a lot of the haters secretly loved it, but had to keep their "cool guard" in place for the sake of credibility. Sadly, after waiting hours for the Beeb to show some of Massive Attack's climactic set on The Other Stage, I found out via Twitter that the band had disallowed filming. Bugger. Seeing The Brian Jonestown Massacre on the red button was an unexpected treat, though.

As well as BBC Two's coverage missing out on a lot of the best stuff, the two BBC red button channels fell victim to some appallingly bad scheduling. With so many artists and bands to cram in, you'd think that the red button channels wouldn't have had time to repeat stuff that had already been shown. On some occasions they were even repeating sets from the previous day! So undoubtedly there was stuff to grumble about, but isn't there always? If the acts on the main stage weren't your cup of tea, then there was always something else going on somewhere that would have been more to your tastes. Truly, the only festival where there really if something for everyone. This year's festival was symbolic of how music in 2014 seems to have got its buzz back. All over social media, the vast majority of tweets and Facebook posts were all concerned with Glastonbury. And they say music is no longer a social power and a major talking point. Even with World Cup games happening, Twitter was dominated by Glasto opinions, from both those onsite and at home. Then there's the matter of the online petition to prevent Metallica from being headliners. Signed by no less than 25,000 people. All those folk signing a petition, just to stop a band from playing some songs on a stage at some festival? It's obvious how much Glastonbury means to people.

Proof that music can still excite and inspire tremendous debate. Impressively sized crowds turning out to the smaller stages to watch great under-the-radar bands who we didn't realise were so popular. Plenty of occasions where thousands of voices sang along to songs that haven't ever been anywhere near the singles chart or received any support from the mainstream. "Our" music isn't doing as badly as we'd thought. That's GOT to be a positive thing, right?

Look at the pros and cons. The future is bright. Now let's keep it up all year round...


REVIEW: Plank! - 'Hivemind' (Akoustik Anarkhy Records)


Manchester trio Plank! released a debut album entitled 'Animalism' in 2012 and elaborate on these themes of nature with the follow-up 'Hivemind', a superb album inspired by "the millions of arthropods without which our global eco-system could not survive." And indeed the 10 track LP is rather insect-like in a lot of ways: its movements are rhythmically odd, it has many legs, and like some insects, it is also capable of flying exploratively. 

Right from the outset, new drummer Liam Stewart makes his presence known with some outstanding work behind the kit as 'Grasshoppers From Mars' provides a vigorous opener. Progressing engagingly throughout, a hard, disciplined rhythm establishes odd, jerky time signatures, and stimulating guitars jostle with blurting synths, creating luminous atmospheres. The magnificent 'Aphidelity' is an essential slice of European-flavoured intergalactic disco, marching into the cosmos with authoritative power.

On the weighty 'Dark Web', they play with brooding post-rock before bursting into furious riffage in between intricately jerky rhythms, a trick also used to brilliant effect on 'Swarm Behaviour', where frantic drum fills and cloudy atmospheres meet massive, earworm guitar hooks, evolving masterfully throughout. Only four tracks in, and 'Hivemind' has already visited a variety of places, keeping the listener constantly occupied with the shifting structures, recurring rhythms and impressive dynamic instincts. Like its title suggests, 'Metamorphosis' is a blossoming wonder that glows with an uplifting, energising beauty, while the stunning 'Moth Lover' takes flight through glistening trails of synth and beautifully organic acoustic notes, ascending higher with its driving rhythms.

'Drone' provides a dazzling, mesmeric soundscape before the entrancing space age pulse of 'Waterboatman' slowly and solemnly grows into a haunting, panoramic earworm. Another side to the trio is revealed on the warm, tender piano and bass notes on 'Cricket', where an emergence of uplifting synth patterns segue into the brilliantly accomplished and instinctively arranged epic 'Kephri', an immense climax that ends the album with an exhilarating bang.

A masterfully crafted blend of prog, post-rock, electronica and Krautrock, 'Hivemind' succeeds in exploring structural possibilities and forever journeying to different habitats, yet it's also a cohesive set of songs that fit together superbly as one inspired idea. 8.5/10





LISTEN: RW/FF Radio - 23/06/2014

Last week's RW/FF Radio from June 23. Tune into www.melkshamtownsound.co.uk tonight at 7pm for this week's show. This edition features brand new sounds from Plank!, The Black Keys, Parquet Courts, First Aid Kit, Zoo Zero, Depeche Mode, Fingersnap, and I Heart The Monster Hero, ... plus classics and lost gems from Babybird, the MC5, JJ72, Culture, and Trinity plus an end-of-show banger from Phuture... 

Ben Scott hosts RW/FF Radio every Monday night 7-8pm. As well as the most essential new releases, you'll hear lost treasures and classics from the past. Expect everything from indie, shoegaze, electronica, krautrock, psychedelica, funk, soul, reggae, punk, alternative, rock and much more.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Track Of The Day: The Vacant Lots - 'Mad Mary Jones'

Linking mesmeric shoegaze with 60s psychedelica, The Vacant Lots are releasing their debut album 'Departure' next week on June 30 via the excellent Sonic Cathedral label. And it's hard to believe how a mighty racket like this can emerge from just two people, Jared Artaud and Brian MacFadyen. 'Departure' was mixed and mastered by Spacemen 3 legend Sonic Boom and features Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500) on guitar. The primal, adrenaline-fuelled blast of 'Mad Mary Jones' opens the LP with melodic, interlocking riffs, frazzled vocals, and a raw, trashy drum sound that can be heard throughout much of the album. An alternative version of the song is released on one side of a very limited 7"single on Fuzz Club Records, which features a track from Suicide legend Alan Vega on the flipside.



REWIND: Bobby Womack - 'Across 110th Street'

Yesterday the world lost a legend. While watching Glastonbury coverage, I heard the sad news on Twitter that soul legend Bobby Womack had passed away aged 70. I first discovered Bobby's music after hearing the timeless 1972 classic 'Across 110th Street' on a great compilation CD called 'Essential Soundtracks', and fell in love with the song immediately. A couple of years ago I was stunned by his 2012 album 'The Bravest Man In The Universe', his first LP of original material in 18 years and sadly the last to be released during his lifetime. After longtime fan Damon Albarn tempted Womack out of retirement to sing vocals on the Gorillaz hit 'Stylo', the pair worked with XL Records boss Richard Russell on the powerfully confessional album, which led me onto Bobby's other work.

No cause of death has been revealed yet, though Womack has, in recent years, suffered from ailments that include colon cancer, diabetes, pneumonia, and the early signs of Alzheimer’s. He was working on a new album, tentatively titled 'The Best Is Yet To Come'. Womack said: "I told Damon and Richard that whenever they're available to record I will make myself available but I was already working on a new album. I have Stevie Wonder on it, I have Rod Stewart, Levert, Snoop Dogg is on it, this lady from Motown – now what was her name? I have a lot of songs where you hear Stevie Wonder singing the song and you hear me on the same song, so you really get the style, because I think that’s important. You don’t get that style anymore. Like Sam Cooke and Ray Charles."

Rest in peace Bobby, and thank you for the music.


Friday, 27 June 2014

Track Of The Day: The Juan MacLean - 'A Place Called Space'

The list of upcoming album releases continues to excite. This week The Juan MacLean announced details of their sophomore album, which is entitled 'In A Dream'. It will be released August 16 via DFA Records, and follows on from the 2009 debut 'The Future Will Come' and 2011's odds-and-ends collection 'Everybody Get Close'. The duo comprise of John MacLean and former LCD Soundsystem member Nancy Whang, and have already excited RW/FF in recent times with a series of amazing singles that weirdly aren't included on the album. Featuring visuals by Tyler Brodie, here's the video to the superb 'A Place Called Space', an elevating chunk of space disco that will have you grooving into the stratosphere.



REWIND: Way Out West - 'The Gift'

Today's now traditional Friday Banger is one that most people won't think of as a "banger" as such, more a beautifully uplifting breakbeat house classic that glows with a sensual ambience. And one that I used to play a lot when I was a very young DJ at Bentleys, a club in Corsham that was managed by my Dad. Up until recently I didn't know a thing about this act apart from this one song, but have recently discovered that they are a Bristol duo made up of producers/DJs Jody Wisternoff and Nick Warren. They were originally named Echo, but changed to the name 'Way Out West', a title of one of their remixes. A number 15 hit from 1996, 'The Gift' can be found on their eponymous debut LP from 1997, and samples Joanna Law's version of 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'. They have produced and performed together for more than sixteen years, and have so far released four albums, the most recent from 2009. They are currently working on their fifth.

I'm wondering if Jody Wisternoff is any relation to Sam Wisternoff, who is better known as musician SJ Esau. They're both from Bristol so maybe...

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Track Of The Day: Spies - 'Moosehead'

Following on from their brilliant 'Distant Shorelines' EP late last year, Dublin five piece Spies return with a smashing new single entitled 'Moosehead'. 

A bright, vibrantly energetic and colourfully melodic cracker topped with commanding vocals and expansive arrangements, the song will be available as a VERY limited edition 7" single on August 4 via Trout Records. It will be backed by another song called 'Yearner', and you can pre-order it from their Bandcamp page HERE

The band are made up of Michael Broderick, Neil Dexter, Conor Cusack, Hugh O'Dwyer, and Jeffrey Courtney.



Glastonbury 2014: the ones to watch

You're probably well aware already, but Glastonbury festival takes place this weekend. Some of you may be lucky enough to be there are and reading this on your phones, others like me will be experiencing the festival via BBC coverage. I'm firmly of the opinion that most of the best artists and bands seem to be spread out amongst the smaller stages, when these dazzling musicians are more than deserving of getting a big break. So here's RW/FF's pick of the ones to watch, and with some luck the BBC might actually give some of them a decent amount of airtime. Of course, there are many, many other things going on around the festival this year, but are not familiar or good enough for me to truthfully recommend. Say what you like about the unimaginative and in some cases disappointing choice of headliners, there is plenty that's worth checking out this weekend... I have also included links to streaming channels for each stage where you can watch many acts from the main stages. That's if no more electrical storms take place on site...
THURSDAY
WOW!
EAST INDIA YOUTH 21:15 - 22:00
RABBIT HOLE
CREDIT TO THE NATION 22:30 - 23:30
GLADE
SASHA 22:00 - 00:30
FRIDAY
Jurassic 5 20.30-21.30 
Tune-Yards 19.00-20.00 
Sun Ra Arkestra 16.00-17.00
Deltron 3030 14.30-15.30
Metronomy 23.00-00.15 
Four Tet 21.30-22.30
Parquet Courts 18.30-19.30 
Jimi Goodwin 17.00-18.00 
Courtney Barnett 15.30-16.30
John Peel Stage

Temples 15.00-15.40 
Drenge 14.00-14.40
Avalon Stage
The Selecter 23.15-0.25
Sophie Ellis-Bextor 20.15-21.15
Michael Kiwanuka 15.45-16.45
Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs 13.00-13.55
WILLIAM'S GREEN
GAZ COOMBES 16:00 - 16:40
EAST INDIA YOUTH 14:00 - 14:40
FAT WHITE FAMILY 13:00 - 13:40
STRINGERBESSANT 12:00 - 12:40
RALFE BAND 11:00 - 11:40
RABBIT HOLE
PORT ERIN 17:30 - 18:15
LEFT FIELD
BILLY BRAGG 21:00 - 22:00
GULLY OUTER-NATIONAL
MAXI PRIEST 23:00 - 00:30
GLADE
STEVE HILLAGE FUSES GONG AND SYSTEM 7 22:55 - 00:25
DUB PISTOLS 18:15 - 19:15
DREADZONE 17:00 - 18:00
MAD PROFESSOR FT GENERAL LEVY AND JOE ARIWA 15:45 - 16:45
ALABAMA 3 12:00 - 13:00
SONIC
RICHIE HAWTIN 23:00 - 00:30
BEZ'S ACID HOUSE
EDDIE TEMPLE MORRIS 04:30 - 06:00
GRAEME PARK 01:30-3:00
ACID LOUNGE
RICHARD NORRIS 02:00 - 04:00
JAGZ KOONER 00:00 - 02:00
SATURDAY
Metallica 21.45-23.45
Jack White 19.30-20.45
Robert Plant 17.30-18.45
Pixies 21.00-22.00
Manic Street Preachers 19.30-20.30
Warpaint 15.00-16.00
Midlake 13.40-14.30
Mogwai 23.00-00.15
John Grant 21.30-22.30
Jagwar Ma 17.00-18.00
Nina Persson 15.30-16.30
Cate Le Bon 14.10-15.00
Young Fathers 13.00-13.45
WILLIAM'S GREEN
TOY 21:00 - 21:45
TEMPLES 20:00 - 20:40
COVES 13:00 - 13:40
Courtney Barnett 17.00-17.40
Fat White Family 15.00-15.40
Royal Blood 14.00-14.40
Avalon Stage
Beth Orton 20.15-21.15
The Bad Shepherds 18.45-19.45
Acoustic Tent
Dexys 21.30-23.30
Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott 20.00-21.00
Nick Lowe 19.00-19.40
GLADE
JON HOPKINS LIVE 22:25 - 23:25
RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP 17:30 - 18:30
SONIC
FATBOY SLIM 22:30 - 00:30
FOXES 20:10 - 20:50
REDLIGHT 19:00 - 19:55
BBC INTRODUCING
GEORGE EZRA 19:00 - 19:25
BEZ'S ACID HOUSE
TODD TERRY 02:00 - 04:00
808 STATE 00:00 - 02:00
ACID LOUNGE
EDDIE TEMPLE MORRIS 04:00 - 06:00
JUSTIN ROBERTSON 02:00 - 04:00
SCREAM TEAM (PRIMAL SCREAM DJ SET) 00:00 - 02:00
HELL STAGE
A GUY CALLED GERALD 03:00 - 04:00
RONI SIZE DJ SET FEAT DYNAMITE MC 0100- 0200
SUNDAY
Kasabian 21.45-23.15
The Black Keys 19.45-21.00
Massive Attack 22.00-23.15
The Horrors 17.20-18.20
White Lies 14.40-15.30
Bonobo 20.30-21.30
Public Service Broadcasting 16.00-17.00
Melt Yourself Down 13.00-14.00
WILLIAM'S GREEN
JAGWAR MA 21:00 - 21:45
THE BOHICAS 15:00 - 15:40
SUPERFOOD 14:00 - 14:40
JOSH RECORD 13:00 - 13:40
Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band 18.00-19.00
John Peel Stage

George Ezra 13.50-14.20
Avalon Stage
Peatbog Faeries 22.45-23.55
3 Daft Monkeys 13.50-14.45
Acoustic Tent
Suzanne Vega 22.30-23.30
Jake Bugg 17.35-18.30
LEFT FIELD
ANTI-FLAG 21:00 - 22:00
GULLY OUTER-NATIONAL
THE BEAT 20:00 - 21:30
GENTLEMAN'S DUB CLUB 18:15 - 19:30
HOLLIE COOK 14:45 - 16:00
GLADE
ADRIAN SHERWOOD 16:30 - 17:20

REWIND: Kraftwerk - 'Pocket Calculator'

Every record, CD and tape in my collection has a story behind it. Here's one of those stories...

I don't know how the hell it took me nearly 15 years to get a vinyl copy of Kraftwerk's seminal 'Computer World' album, which I have owned a recorded cassette copy of since my school days. A few weeks ago I turned 30 years old and decided to mark my birthday with a record shopping trip. So off I went to Cheltenham Road in Bristol with the intention of visiting Plastic Wax, only to find that no less than three other record shops on the same street! OK, some of them are on Gloucester Road, but both streets are joined in a way that makes them seem like one. One of the shops there is called Prime Cuts, located in the basement below the Re-Psycho clothing shop. With my day flying by, I only had time for a quick browse and to enquire about three particular records that have been at the top of my vinyl wantlist for ages. I say three records, I actually mean 'The Payback' by James Brown, the first Curtis Mayfield LP, and anything by Kraftwerk barring 'The Man Machine'. The guy in the shop knew that the Brown and Mayfield albums weren't in stock, but by a sheer stroke of luck had a vinyl copy of 'Computer World' "out the back somewhere" that was in "a bit of a state" due to its previous owner defacing it with a large sticker across the front sleeve. Luckily the resourceful shop man was a dab hand with some lighter fuel and a cloth, and managed to remove the sticker from the cover. Brilliantly the record itself was in excellent condition, and at just £8, I was VERY pleased with this essential purchase. I thanked the shop guy for his help and asked if Prime Cuts would like to featured in one of RW/FF's Record Shop articles... Imagine my surprise when the man behind the counter revealed that our paths had crossed before... It was Mike Savage, bass player with The Fauns! An amazing Bristol shoegaze band whose 'Lights' album has been a favourite of mine since I heard it earlier this year. Small world eh?




Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Track Of The Day: Hell Death Fury - 'Marijuana'

'La Torta De La Muerte' is a six track EP made by five men who hail from the Wiltshire town of Melksham. Hell Death Fury deliver something way beyond the tried and tested ska-punk formula, bashing out an adrenaline fuelled blend of metal, dub, hardcore and rocksteady with occasional dips into hip hop, funk and whatever else they feel like throwing into the mixture. Launching into full on roots reggae, the insanely catchy 'Marijuana' is a terrific pro-legalisation anthem that has all the hooks you could possibly wish for. It's so infectious and well accomplished that you can forgive any sense of parody.

You can download the song AND the whole EP for a pay-what-you-like price. But if you do download it for free, be sure to go to a HDF gig and help them by spreading the word...



REWIND: Joe Gibbs And The Professionals - 'Chapter Three'

Here's another superb selection from the 'Joe Gibbs Productions' compilation, which was released back in 2003. 

Searing vibes, booming dub bass and some tasty, reverb dipped percussion, this is some masterful stuff indeed.

Since it comes from Gibbs himself (and his band The Professionals), it can also be found on his 1978 album 'African Dub All Mighty - Chapter Three'. 

Joe Gibbs was a renowned and hugely influential reggae producer, who was born in 1942 and scored a number of landmark hits in the 1970s. He had success with roots reggae, rockers, lovers rock and Dub music artists including: Dennis Brown, Jacob Miller, Sylford Walker, The Mighty Diamonds, Gregory Isaacs, Prince Alla and Junior Byles. Gibbs died of a heart attack in February 2008 and is survived by his twelve children.



Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Track Of The Day: The Child Of Lov ft. Damon Albarn - 'One Day'

The music world reacted with shock at the tragically premature death of The Child Of Lov last year. Martijn William Zimri Teerlinck, also known as Cole Williams, passed away following complications after surgery, cutting a hugely promising career short. He had only just released his self titled album, which featured a brilliantly unsettling collaboration with Damon Albarn entitled 'One Day'. Now, a posthumous video for the song has just been unveiled, commissioned from director Christine Yuan "just prior to his passing", says a press release. "Yuan had not met him nor did she know about his illness when she made the video but she clued in on the song's lyrics to find inspiration – 'Hold me until the morning. Hold me until the morning. One day baby I got to die and I lie down'..."


REWIND: Beastie Boys - 'Sure Shot'

Some days it feels like I'm being given a sign that a particular artist or song should feature on the blog that day. Today is one of those days, since the music of the Beastie Boys has been rotating through my head all day, despite not having listened to them in a few weeks. Because I only got into them in 1998, it took me a while to realise what an awesome album 1994's 'Ill Communication' was. But now I know. I know very well. Here is the explosively funky opener 'Sure Shot'. 

I'd also like to use this opportunity to congratulate Mike D and Ad-Rock for winning their copyright battle against the Monster beverage corporation, which was initiated in 2012 after the company illegally used Beastie Boys' music in one of their ads. Justice has been done. 



Monday, 23 June 2014

Track Of The Day: Plank! - 'Grasshoppers From Mars'

Manchester trio Plank! released a debut album entitled 'Animalism' in 2012 and elaborate on these themes of nature with the follow-up 'Hivemind', a superb album inspired by "the millions of arthropods without which our global eco-system could not survive." And indeed the 10 track LP is rather insect-like in a lot of ways: its movements are rhythmically odd, it has many legs, and like some insects, it is also capable of flying. Mixing post-rock, Krautrock, math-rock and lots of other kinds of rock with odd prefixes, 'Hivemind' is released next week on June 30, and opens with the excellent 'Grasshoppers From Mars'. Over the course of 6 and a half minutes, hard, disciplined rhythm build on an odd, jerky time signature as dramatic guitars battle with blurting synths that create bright atmospheres. The album is currently streaming in full at their Bandcamp page HEREThis track is free to download now when you pre order the CD or Vinyl. The limited edition vinyl edition is something I 'd be stupid not to want to get my hands on!