Letters Sent: A Half Man Half Biscuit Interview

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By John Hartley

Writing for Dukla Prague Away Kit is a pleasure. There are rarely deadlines, and our editor is quite open-minded when it comes to content. It occasionally springs up surprises, too. Take for instance the day about three weeks ago, when I learned through social media that the blog’s next – nay, only remaining challenge – was for an interview to be conducted with our favourite band Half Man Half Biscuit, and that the person who should be conducting that interview would be myself. Continue reading

Taylor Swift — ‘1989’

American pop golden girl Taylor Swift makes her big-day album return with ‘1989’, a record that isn’t much interested in the big budget-big sound production that usually dominates the albums of some of her ‘rivals’. Instead– probably influenced by the retro, A&R oldschool and song-based albums from Chvrches and HAIM– Swift goes for a late 80s/early 90s feel of the sort that used to near dominate the early days of FM radio. ‘1989’ (another LP with a clue in its title) is– kind of– a departure for Swift. Like a bowl of cornflakes, though, you know what you’re going to get with this record, and that is pop music that allows for some tried-and-tested if unimaginative dance-club moves, and no end of singalong FM pop-radio nuggets. In the end, it ticks all the boxes it’s meant to tick.

Watch new Deerhoof automobile-crushing video for ‘Mirror Monster’

Unbelievably San Fran punk-pop recreationists Deerhoof are celebrating their twentieth year with new “Ramones-inspired” album ‘La Isla Bonita’. We’ve had a couple of listens and  are still trying to decide how much we like it, or at least where it belongs in the fantastic Deerhoof LP cannon. But as we go about doing this the band themselves have shared new video for one of its tracks, ‘Mirror Monster’. It’s a bloomin’ good video featuring lots of automobiles being crushed at an automobile crushing plant.

Listen to New order’s Stephen Morris remix Fujiya & Miyagi’s ‘Daggers’

Fujiya & Miyagi’s latest album ‘Artificial Sweetners’ was a more electronic-flavored affair than what we were used to hearing from the Brighton ensemble. The band decided off the back of this to approach New Order drummer man Stephen Morris, and ask if he fancied having a go at remixing a track off the album because, as member David Best puts it “we thought it seemed natural to ask him to do it given his history”. It would seem, then, going by his rejig of the track ‘Daggers’ that you can listen to below, that the lovely Morris fella obliged.

[via the Quietus]

Brian Eno to reissue set of 1990s albums plus bonus material, listen to ‘Prague’

 

Brian Eno

Ambient godfather Brian Eno is to reissue a set 1990s albums, including bonus material, via the All Saints label. ‘Nerve Net’ (which includes bonus ‘lost’ 1991 album ‘My Squalchy Life’), ‘The Shutov Assembly’, ‘Neroli’, and ‘The Drop’ see the light of day on December 2. All albums will be available on vinyl except for ‘Neroli’ because it comes with an hour-long uninterrupted piece of drone that Eno didn’t want split entitled ‘My Space Music’. Below you can listen to ‘The Shutov Assembley’ cut ‘Prague’.

 

Ibibio Sound Machine wins the 2014 Dead Albatross Music Prize

This year’s Reel Rebels Radio-broadcast Dead Albatross Music Prize– sort of sponsored by Norman Records– (the Mercury alternative that showcases a more impressive, eclectic, superior, and indeed truer selection of UK/Irish new music released over the past year) has tonight been won by Ibibio Sound Machine’s self-titled imaginative take on funk and souljam beat-rhythm. It beat off efforts from the likes of London rapper Kate Tempest, punk-poppers Shopping, drum & bass progression-makers Millie & Andrea, and bass-and-jazz-paternist Prescott among others.

Meanwhile, over at the already mentioned and less crucial Mercury Awards Scottish hip-hop act Young Fathers picked up the gong for their ‘Dead’ long-player that dropped at the start of the year. Well done to them, and not a bad choice after all. We never once doubted all involved.

Listen to new Jape single ‘The Heart’s Desire’

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Malmo via Dublin (or is it Dublin via Malmo?) electro-funk producer Jape (aka Richie Egan and chums) is about to return any day now with new album ‘This Chemical Sun’. Right now though you can hear the single ‘The Heart’s Desire’, which is full of Hacienda club house-y synth-piano touches, and quirky Hot Chip-style pads and experimentation. Indeed, all the elements for such a track are here, produced and stirred to near perfection. If you’re not already keen on this sort of thing then chances are ‘The Heart’s Desire’ won’t make a difference.

 

Grouper shares video for ‘Ruins’ album track ‘Made of Air’

Grouper’s new album ‘Ruins’– the follow-up to last year’s ‘The Man Who Died In His Boat’– was mostly recorded while on a seaside vocation in Portugal. The basic means of production and minimal instrumentation lead to some of Liz Harris’s most naked and captivating work to date. Final track, the 11-minute ‘Made of Air’, has a video that captures experimented-on watery imagery, and was directed by  Paul Clipson