Friday, July 27, 2012

Grasscut - 56 Circle Mix

Those Grasscut boys have been busy. Following on from Grasscut Shadows and Light Mix is 56 circles mix on Mixcloud.

"...Edition 56 - Grasscut - this mix is an imaginary circular walk, trying to find an all but lost overgrown path, with music filtering through imaginary trees. So the tone of the music is dreamy, introspective, sometimes propulsive, sometimes wandering. There's quite a lot of film and landscape based music and music that suggests time and movement. Tunes that are often in my head and tunes that are relatively new to me. I hope you enjoy it. ..."

Share |

Vatican Shadow - Cairo is a Haunted City

There is a great free Vatican Shadow track Cairo is a Haunted City over on the Hartzine Soundcloud page. Hartzine is an online French Music Site that makes me wish I had studied harder in French classes back in the day. As the name of the tracks suggests its a haunting mix of eastern strings, sub-base and ambient drift.

There are a number of Vatican Shadow tracks on the Soundcloud page. 

Vatican Shadow is another recording alias of Dominick Fernow of Prurient and Cold Cave.

The article in French on Hartzine is here -

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Free Grasscut Mix - Shadows and Light Mix

The new Grasscut LP Unearth is a thing of rare beauty. Full of that aching scene of English melancholy married to subtle electronic hymns.

The band have posted a great free mix over at Mixcloud.

“With this mix I've gone from the old (Count John McCormack, Irish tenor from the 1920s) to the new (Gazelle Twin & RYAT), via all sorts of musical footpaths from John Adams to Vaughan Williams to Brian Eno to PIL to Nathan Fake.

The new Grasscut album Unearth has themes of shadows, landscape, and disappearances, and I wanted this mix to follow some of these like a kind of dream sequence.

By featuring artists concerned with landscape like Reigns and Luke Abbott I was trying to find combinations of songs, instrumentals, classical and film music that people hopefully won't have heard before, guided by more by atmosphere than genre. I hope you enjoy it.

Andrew / Grasscut” 

Share |

Friday, July 20, 2012

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasure Review

Unknown Pleasures
Unknown Pleasures (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unknown Pleasures is one of the touchstones of the alternative music scene. It is the Rosetta Stone of new wave, from its deep vinyl grooves you can decode the influence in bands as diverse as Interpol and The Cure, Editors and Mogwi. Without the sonic template of Unknown Pleasures U2 would have never found a voice and a direction. Those early U2 records sound like smudged facsimiles of Joy Divisions latent power.

Unknown Pleasures was san genesis, an individual and eviscerating blend of punk fury, existentialist dread and post war industrial decay. An audio document that could have only been produced at a certain junction, immediately post the Sex Pistols and from a specific location, the UK. Despite its historical position it still sounds as vital and eerie as it did in 1979.

Inspired by a combination of the first wave of UK punk rock, and the American racket of The Stooges and The Velvet Underground Joy Divisions sound was a happy accident. Peter Hook’s high trebly bass playing a result of the cheap equipment the band initially used. Hook was forced to play higher than normal in order to be heard. His bass carried the melody of the songs, Barney Sumner’s guitar spiking the sound with caustic riffs and metallic textures. The whole sound was anchored by the breath taking human drum machine rhythms of Steven Morris.

The unusual combination of sounds marked the band out from the standard three chord thrash of the second generation of punk. Its not that the band could play any better than their peers, the reality is the opposite of that. They simply played to their strengths and in the process created a unique and potent sound. The majestic noise the band created was heightened by the poetic lyrics and sorrowful croon of Ian Curtis.

Curtis’ death hangs over the music of Joy Division draping it in a solemnity, carving it into memorial stone, yet on Unknown Pleasures, Curtis lyrics are troubled and questioning but not the extended cry for help of Closer. They have a depth that was out of time with the plastic nihilism of the moment more John Paul Sartre than Johnny Rotten.

Amazingly Sumner and Hook where disappointed with the production of Unknown Pleasures. They believed that producer Martin Hannett had emasculated their sound. Stripped away the fierce loud clanning punk rock and hollowed them out. Listening to the live tracks on the bonus disc you can see that he did prune away the volume but the harsh reality is that the songs are better for it.

Hannet’s use of found sound, breaking glass and empty lift shafts, coupled with a pioneering use of delay resulted in sound that owed as much to dub as it did to punk. The music is bathed in shimmering ether, the taut rhythms seem to ripple, the minimal bass lines stretching time. Sumner’s guitar adds textures, obtuse broken riffs, corrosive discordant tints over the restless clatter and hum.

The record has stuck with me since I first heard it as a callow fourteen year old. Other records that I loved at the time have fallen by the wayside, their adolescent angst unable to translate themselves into my adult life. There is something honest, harrowing and timeless at the heart of Unknown Pleasures that has kept me hooked. In my opinion it is the greatest debut LP of all time. If you don’t own a copy your music collection is missing a major cog, go and buy this record today.

Tony Heywood

I wrote this review a while and it was publish here on the wonderful KevChino -;

Share |

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Wire Magazine - Low End Theories Spotify Playlist

Finally managed to get hold of a copy of July's The Wire Magazine about the glories of Bass! (The joys of living in the wilds of west Wiltshire) I have always loved a heavy low end sound. Its a great read from David Toop via Joe Muggs. I was going to start build a Spotify playlist of the tunes but look someone has already done it.
The playlist covers many basses from Aba Shanti-I via Autechre to My Bloody ValentineMiami Bass, Dub, Disco, Krautrock and even Stockhausen. Enjoy :) 

Share |

Enhanced by Zemanta

Dave Gahan & Rich Machin discuss the Soulsavers Videos

There is a lovely page over at Mojo that collates a series of  four videos of Dave Gahan and Rich Machin discussing the Soulsavers LP Light The Dead See, the writing, the songs and inspiration behind it. Funny that Dave Gahan mentions his other band as simply that. I am not sure if he is talking about Depeche Mode or his solo touring band.  Either way Light The Dead See is miles ahead of anything he has done for years.

"..In the four videos below, Gahan and Soulsavers' Rich Machin hit the wine cellar to guide us through The Light The Dead See track-by-track. Also up for discussion: the importance of "believing the singer", finding that "natural place for your voice" and the joys and benefits of simply "seeing what happens...".

Share |

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, July 13, 2012

Richmond Fontaine - Lost in the Trees Video

A lovely acoustic version of the lead single from Richmond Fontaine. Willy Vlautin an acoustic guitar, that careworn voice and an ace lyrics. What more do you want!

Richmond Fontaine - Lost In The Trees (Acoustic Session) from Best Fit Sessions on Vimeo.

Share |

Enhanced by Zemanta

Paul Buchanan - Buy A Motor Car (Elegance Mix by Robert Bell)

The Blue Nile
Cover of The Blue Nile
There is a lovely remix of a one of the tracks off Paul Buchanan's solo LP Mid Air over on his Soundcloud Page. It's a remix by his fellow The Blue Nile band mate Robert Bell. It makes the fractured minimal piano track sound must closer to the richer electronic soul of The Blue Nile. Less remix more an elegant haunting.

Share |

Enhanced by Zemanta