Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Track of the Day: 'Say What You Want' by Andrew Hung

Andrew Hung is increasingly branching out from his role as half of electronic duo Fuck Buttons. Lately he's co-written and produced the excellent 'Kidsticks' by Beth Orton, released a couple of EPs and also recorded the soundtrack to the polarising movie 'The Greasy Strangler'. Next up in October will be his own solo album, which you might be surprised to find features vocals from Andrew himself. Even Andrew is not entirely sure what to make of the vocals, having said "Yes, it's me, but it's not me. I see an oscillation between myself and the character of the album".

The first track from 'Realisationship' is 'Say What You Want', which contains some Talking Heads rhythms and a mantra-like vocal that will get stuck in your head for weeks. The album is out on October 6th through Lex Records.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Record Store Day 2017

It's hard to believe that today is the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day. I think I might've missed the first one or two, then spent a number of years making unfeasibly early train trips to Rough Trade East, before South Records opened in Southend and became my local 'go-to' store.

This morning I arrived at around 6.20 a.m. and took the coveted 10th spot in the queue, with my purchase list in one hand and flask of coffee in the other. My good spot led to a few phone calls with friends to see if there was anything I could grab for them, which helped to pass the time and to distract from the fact that it had started to rain.

8 o'clock rolled round soon enough, and the entry to the shop was a much more civilized affair this year, with numbers in and out controlled to avoid a mad scramble of arms and legs at the record racks. So thanks to Richard and the team for doing a great job of looking after their customers.

My records were bagged in one of the special edition Fred Perry tote bags and I was soon back on my way home to start spinning the vinyl. Here's what I bought this year:

  1. Polica - 'Lipstick Stains'; white vinyl 7"
  2. British Sea Power - 'Keep On Trying / Bad Bohemian'; pink vinyl 7"
  3. The The - 'We Can't Stop What's Coming'; etched 7"
  4. Elbow - 'August & September (The The cover)'; etched 7"
  5. Swet Shop Boys - 'Sufi La'; white vinyl 12"
  6. Prince - 'Pop Life'; 12"
  7. Prince - 'Sign O' The Times'; 12"
  8. Follakzoid feat. J. Spaceman - 'London Sessions'; 12"
  9. Primal Scream - 'Mixomatosis'; 12"
  10. BP Fallon & David Holmes - 'Henry McCullough (Andrew Weatherall mix); white & brown splatter 12"
  11. David Bowie - 'No Plan EP'; blue vinyl etched 12"
  12. The Atomic Bomb Band - 'Plays The Music of William Onyeabor'; 12" album
  13. Maximo Park - 'Risk To Exist'; red & yellow splatter vinyl 12" album
  14. David Bowie - 'Cracked Actor'; triple vinyl 12" album
  15. Various Artists: Oxfam Presents - 'Stand As One - Live at Glastonbury 2016'; one red & one green 12" vinyl album
I know some people are a bit snobby about Record Store Day and yes, it is commercialised to a degree, and people should support their local shops all year round, but if this gets new people into those shops I'm all for it. Long may it continue!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Video of the Day: 'Silurian Blue' by Floating Points

Floating Points have a new video / album project on the way entitled 'Reflections - Mojave Desert'. Filmed by Anna Diaz Ortuno, it was recorded last August while the band were rehearsing for the US tour, when the desert became a unique recording environment for them.

The album is due for release on 30th June, and from it comes 'Silurian Blue', a fantastic journey through instrumental jazz and prog-rock themes. I'm imagining the whole project might turn out to be a like a modern day version of Pink Floyd's 'Live at Pompeii' film - which is no bad thing.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Video of the Day: 'Aaja (feat. Ali Sethi)' by Swet Shop Boys

The new video from Swet Shop Boys tells the age-old tale of love from different sides of the tracks - in this case Flushing, Queens and Coney Island, Brooklyn. This song has an insanely catchy hook which will stick in your brain for days.

Coincidentally this video has been released on the day that Riz Ahmed gave a lecture on diversity to the UK Parliament.

Remix of the Day: 'Your Maker (Daddy G Remix)' by Gonjasufi

Having called Massive Attack 'one of the most influential groups of all time'. Gonjasufi was honoured to have Daddy G remix the opening track from his recent album 'Callus'. It's a great job too, making the track both more tuneful and more insistent, amping up the threat. You can listen to it below or click here for a free download.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Remix of the Day: 'Give Me A Reason (Weatherall Meets Jonnie Two Heaters Uptown Part 1)' by Jagwar Ma

As much as I love Jagwar Ma's albums, I love their live shows and remixes even more. Both seem to take on a dancier, darker, trippier vibe that I love. This new mix is a good case in point. As far as I can gather it's a collaboration between the legendary Andrew Weatherall and Jono Ma and it very much picks up the baton from Richard Norris' dub mixes of 'Howlin''. Suffice to say there are acid squelches, distorted vocals, a persistent loop of rhythm, and the whole thing is about twice as long as the original, which is exactly what you need from a remix like this. Have a listen below.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Recommended music: 'Life & Livin' It' by Sinkane

The new album from Sinkane is here, and it's by far their best yet. Informed by an extensive touring schedule, both as themselves and as part of the Atomic Bomb! William Onyeabor project, it successfully mixes the African rhythms of 'Mars' with the more mature lyrics and r'n'b grooves on 'Mean Love' to deliver a satisfying journey through the human experience.

Most of the record was recorded live by the band playing together, and you can feel the warmth and unity that provides to the tracks. the lyrics meanwhile encourage positivity and togetherness, as message that is sorely needed in these troubled times. "If we illuminate ourselves we'll overcome" Ahmed sings on 'U'Huh', "Kulu shi tamaam", which is an Arabic phrase meaning 'everything is ok'.

Possibly my favourite song on the record is, ironically, 'Favorite Song', a song inspired by Ahmed's dj sets and that moment where you put a record on that everyone knows and loves.

Elsewhere there are disco grooves on 'Telephone' and some heavier afro-caribbean vibes on 'Theme from Life & Livin' It', while the whole album is underpinned by an infectious feeling of friendship and goodness.

If you haven't seen Sinkane live then do your best to catch them on this tour - I've seen them 4 times now and each time I've left the venue with a smile on my face, their enthusiasm and joy is infectious.

'Life & Livin' It' is out on February 10th on City Slang.