Breaking News #3: Toothache Day

toothache-lady

Amongst the mundane criminals being locked away in that barn under Operation Less Pricks in the Half Man Half Biscuit song ‘Breaking News’ can be found “an organisation who declared an awareness week for awareness weeks”. You’ll be pleased to know that John Hartley has found their laptop, so here’s some songs to help you celebrate those invaluable awareness days.

When’s the best time to go to the dentist? Two thirty, of course. Two thirty – tooth hurty…yes? Oh, it’s an old joke, and there’s nothing quite as painful as an old joke. Nothing quite as painful apart from toothache that is, and February 9th is Toothache Day. It seems a strange thing to celebrate, really. I’m sure those of you with toothache will be more than aware of it, and I am equally sure those around you are more than aware also. What’s the best thing for toothache? A bag of sugar every day. Boom Boom. Sugar isn’t always the cause of untold pain, however; here’s a song to prove it:

Techno Roundup

Heavy grimy stuff from Ansome on Perc Trax
Ansome is Cornwall resident Kieran Whitefield, and Stowaway has been described as fixed with “5am club rippers”.  There’s certainly a typically dark and heavy feel to the music here, in keeping with almost all of the music released on PercTrax. From opener ‘Chemical Kenny”s grimy, gloomy industry to the kicking 4/4 ominious screech of ‘Poldark’, there is a real no messin’, hard-edged and chunk laden quality to the LP. If Stowaway was put out by a bigger name one gets the feeling we’d be hearing much more about it. Cracking record.

Dubin’s First Second label put out debut vinyl 12″
As far as I’m aware (though I could be wrong) the Oh, Night Wish 12″ is the first actual vinyl release on previously digital only Dublin based label First Second. The title track is a proper club friendly bit of thick house, built to order, getting progressively heavier as it goes on, pushing and shoving its way onto the dancefloor. Bessiekat is from Russia but now spends most of his time lapping up the better end of the Barcelona club scene.

download (2)Thug Entrancer returns with playful new spacy tech single
Always good to hear something new from this dude. My mate John thinks this sort of thing’s been done before, and although he has a point, like much of the best new electronica and techno, old sounds are being recreated using modern equipment, as well as– in some cases– using older equipment even better than before.  New single ‘Curaga’ is a good example of this, and has a quite likable, almost friendly playfully electro space-funk appeal to boot. I’m quite the fan.

New EP from post dubstep Bristolian duo Trans AM
Not to be confused with Maryland post rockers Trans AM, err, Trans A.M. released the Speechless EP via the SPE:C label on January 30. Its shifty dubstep swagger and rolling low-end beats recall the likes of Pangaea and Untold. Nothing new, but certainly an enjoyable sound. Stream the Speechless EP in full below.

Blast From the Past: The Omen — Walking In the Air
This episode’s past blaster is one featured on the John Peel show in September 2003 by The Omen. Hard hittin’ trance cum happy hardcore, this time, which plays around with the seasonal classic ‘Walking In the Air’.

 

Surgeon — From Farthest Known Objects

download (1)For his seventh LP– and first in five years– ambient and techno producer, and friend of the err stars, Anthony Child takes his Surgeon project into deep space biospheres and retro-futurist, loop based waveforms for ‘From Farthest Known Objects’, a record that our creator says is about “tuning into transmissions from Distant Galaxies”.

The loosely held together beat on ‘BDF-3299’ or ‘SXDF-NB1006-2’, for example, sound as though made out of a great big boiling pot of dense, acid techno bubble form, and pure cold electronic sound signals. The album as a whole doesn’t outwardly pretend to be full on accessible or communal dance floor stuff; instead repetition, noise and outer atmosphere interference, such as that going on during ‘ULAS J1120+0642’, is the name of the game, where the listener has to think outside of the box in order to then determine what their response should be. ‘From Farthest Known Objects’ is, in the end, unbalanced, deep lying call-and-response techno.

Jared of Vomitface picks 5 albums close to his heart

downloadJared out of sludge-punks Vomitface picks a handful of albums close to his heart, LP’s that he reckons “the rest of the band would probably agree on”.

The group’s EP Another Bad Year is available now. Listen here.

Elf Power — Winter is Coming

Andrew Rieger’s music was a huge part of my teen years. The Brain Wilson-esque pop that Elephant 6 was known for was mixed with this I-also-listen-to-the-Misfits aesthetic that I always loved about Elf Power. And Winter is Coming, in my humble opinion, was the band’s fu*king opus. From the quietly euphoric and powerful intro track to the sludgy doom-pop outro, the whole record was just insanely perfect to me. A lot of new bands that are preoccupied by their pop culture references could take notes from EP on how to blend a wide and dynamic range of influences into one seamless and cohesive style. Elf Power is really referential, surely, but recognizing those references aren’t a prerequisite for enjoying the plain good songwriting.

The Wipers — Is This Real?

Kind of a no-brainer. Rich melody inside really simple punk. Way, way, way ahead of its time. The real value of this record is that it’s so fu*king catchy and never obnoxiously so. And, of course, this is responsible for pretty much all alternative music as a whole.

Danielson Famile — Tri-Danielson!!! (Alpha)

My father was a minister, and so Christian music was always being shoved down my throat. In the 90’s, for the first time, it was becoming somewhat acceptable for Christian music to include more extreme genres. Tooth and Nail Records had started in Seattle around 1993 releasing a lot of Godly punk rock, and so I was given a lot of their records to check out. On a sampler compilation, I discovered Danielson. It was like this acid-induced art-folk with some of the most brilliant songwriting I had ever heard. And there was this picture of the band all dressed as nurses and holding each other’s middle fingers. I fell in love. When we recorded with Albini, who has engineered some of their earlier records, he went so far as to tell me that he considered Daniel Smith to be a “genius,” and that’s not a word Albini uses lightly.

Devo — Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are Devo!

This one may be a bit too obvious, but fuck you. Every song on this record is flawless. Glad they didn’t let Eno ruin it. I’ve been trying to get the band to develop a cover of Shrivel-Up.

Helmet — Strap It On

Shit, we still listen to tons of Helmet on tour. I discovered Helmet and subsequently a love for open tuning in 8th grade. I remember that school year really only listening to Helmet and Quicksand nonstop. Don’t care if every band I hate from the 90’s claimed them as an influence; not their fu*king fault. I think this is also where I get my habit of noisy bullshit solos from.

Vomitface can be found on Twitter as @vomitfaceband.

Breaking News #2: Dignity Action Day

images (2)Amongst the mundane criminals being locked away in that barn under Operation Less Pricks in the Half Man Half Biscuit song ‘Breaking News’ can be found “an organisation who declared an awareness week for awareness weeks”. You’ll be pleased to know that John Hartley has found their laptop, so here’s some songs to help you celebrate those invaluable awareness days.

February 1st is Dignity Action Day. It is hard to argue with an event that supports the dignity of those using care services. When I’m old and requiring care from others, I hope they will treat me with dignity. Certainly more dignity than I will probably deserve as I spit out the food they try to feed me or, more entertainingly, clamp my jaws around the plastic spoon upon which the mashed mush is piled. And when I lose control of my bodily functions and leak at both ends, I hope that the awareness of dignity is sufficient at the very least.

Here’s a song that provides a suitable warning, just in case you are unfortunate enough to end up looking after me in that care home. “Prepare to lose your dignity as I ride to victory down the aisles at Tesco wearing nothing much at all…”

SINGLE FOCUS: 29.01.16 ft Pet Shop Boys, Underworld, Bleached, The Range and Gesetz Der Oktaven

Each fortnight we handpick, err, a handful of newish single releases, stick the kettle on, bang said 45’s on the turntable, and share our thoughts. This edition our very own Philip Neeson and John ‘Dobbo’ Dobson take up position. 

Pet Shop Boys — Inner Sanctum

Bit of a club banger in the 1998 vogue, but a touch let down by vocals that are watered down to the point of breathy. If there’s not an instrumental version on the single release, they’re doing it wrong. What chance a Chris Lowe solo LP? I’d buy that. (JD)

Neil Tennant’s voice seems to be more airbrushed with each new release, here half ruining a decent, hiNRG clubber fit for the Royal Albert Hall, leaving the impression that noone– not even them– know what PSB stands for some thirty years into their career ( which in itself sounds as unlikely as just plain wrong). (PN)

Underworld — I Exhale

About a minute into this I began to really get into it, thinking “have Underworld been listening to The Fall?”. Let’s be honest, Underworld sounding like The Fall is a premise surely unlike no other. Wonderful, intriguing return, and single of the week for me. I also hear something about ginger hair. Ginger hair doesn’t get near enough recognition in rock.(PN)

It really is like The Fall. This, lest there be any doubt, is A Good Thing. An interesting new departure following that execrable, self-indulgent Hyde/Eno collaboration. Terrific record, more of this please. (JD)

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Bleached — Keep On Keepin On

Lacks the rawness that made early releases fun. As such, this is a bit… well, boring. It doesn’t do anything badly, but neither does it do anything particularly wrong. It’s basically a 1994 Nissan Sunny. (JD)

That album they put out a couple of years ago was quite splendid, a solid bunch of punk pop; unoriginal, but about as packed with tunes as any record Ive heard in recent times. This is disappointing though, more polished and refined and yet lacks the same genuine punch. Maybe I’ll need to listen some more but it recalls the Runaways too much for me to take to my heart in the same way as what they previously did. (PN)

The Range — Florida

Is that a steel drum? No, none of this is working for me. I’ve no problem with experimentation, but the end result here just isn’t very nice to listen to. Back to the drawing board, kids. (JD)

The Range has signed to Domino, and follows this up with one of his dullest tracks to date. No surprise, really. Bit bland, vocal cliche stuff. Sounds like a remix of a track that wasn’t that good in the first place. All a bit 2010. Next. (PN)

Gesetz Der Oktaven — Semen Contra

Now we’re talking. I read that this is forthcoming on Third Ear, a label that I obviously need to investigate some more. Plenty going on here, but not in a clever, over smothering sorta way. Fun frequencies and whipsmart acid techno meets cinematic moodiness. (PN)

Better. Much, much better. Boards Of Canada with a much darker edge. I could listen to this for days. (JD)

Roly Porter — Third Law

downloadDark, mind challenging post apocalyptic ambiance, grime deconstructionism, joyless noise, industrial sound experiments, nightmarish classicism. All of these describe ‘Third Law’, the new LP by one Roly Porter, who previously and most notably had been heard active as one half of slightly leftfield dubsteppers Vex’d (the other half since going on to release as Kuedo, of course).

As with most on the TriAngle imprint the LP isn’t at all radio friendly pop music; in fact it’s not even beat driven electronica. It is instead a combination of things mentioned; a project of sounds and atmospheres. Compared to the label’s other recent LP, the disappointingly constant punishing that was ‘Communion’ by Rabit, there is by comparison more depth and no end of dark magic to ‘Third Law’.

At points it is the sort of thing that would fit the soundtrack to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant (‘In System’), at others just pinging and looping pure machine sounds in a kind of futuristic footwork blend (‘In Flight’), or sometimes even a mixture of the two (‘Departure Stage’).

I’m not really sure, though, whilst listening to ‘Third Law’, as to exactly where the listener is supposed to come in, what it is he/she stands to get out of its dense, macabre images and sounds. Certainly not any form of dancing, that’s for sure, or even remote toe tapping for that matter.