Perennial music lovers and band Aphrodite Lion tell us what they're up to and share what they think is the best new Indie/Alternative Music both nationally and internationally. Among other things too...
I got a bit of a fright this morning driving to work when I was listening to the new BASH003 EP. I hadn’t read the instructions and didn’t realise the whole concept behind these “Bangers and Ash” series of releases from Styles Upon Styles was to discover and showcase a producer’s dichotomous talent. In the case of King Garbage & kuxxan SUUM they have certainly done this. Both are aliases for Zach Cooper, whose extraterrestrial dance music as kuxxan SUUM couldn’t be more different from his avant-soul project with vocalist/drummer Victor DiMotsis as King Garbage.
And hence the shock for me: after getting lulled by the 4 mumbly & murky modernistic R&B numbers credited to King Garbage, I was jarred from their electronically soulful grooves by the fifth track ‘Red Blambingo’ with it psychotic stuttered samples and raps from Misterthumbs delivered over synths, claps and rumbling bass. The final track ‘BK Klang’ has a superfast drum’n’bass beat layered with all kinds of percussion, samples and bass. My head is still wrecked!
Jacques Greene - On Your Side (feat. How To Dress Well)
As friends of the Lions Share will know we adore How To Dress Well and while we probably won’t be lucky enough to get new material from them / him this year, Mr. Krell often lends his very sizable vocal talents to other peoples track such as his recent collaboration with Shlohmo.
As example of this is the new track ‘One Your Side’ by Canadian produce Jacques Greene. Now I don’t know a whole hell of a lot about Mr. Green other than the fact that he is the guy wearing the glasses in Azealia Banks’ ‘212’ video; so he’s alright with me then. The track is on a new EP which will be released on Lucky Me Records on 3rd June.
How could I pass up the opportunity to post a track called ‘Fucking At Disneyland’. This wonderfully head-wrecking little number is by Danish producer Zack Christ, who according to his Facebook and Souncloud pages is Master of All Cows. And who are we to argue the spawn of suburban Copenhagen?
Make sure you also check out the subtly-titled B-side ‘I Got Hard Wobs And So Many Huneys M8’. Out now on Infinite Machine.
As regular readers will know Action Bronson is undoubtedly my favourite modern MC. Bronson has just dropped a video for his new single ‘Strictly 4 My Jeeps’. Like everything the man does its larger than life and fun fun fun. The action takes place in Queens, New York, the video stars Riff Raff, pitbulls, big beautiful women, a big ol’ jeep and lots of food.
I saw today that µ-Ziq has just released an new five track EP ‘XTEP’ on his own Plant Mu label. It is Mike Paradinas’ his first new material under this alias in 5 or 6 years. It is also the first µ-Ziq release I have checked out in about a decade: actually 2003’s ‘Bilious Path’ was the last µ-Ziq I bought. Which is a real pity because I was a bit obsessed with all his stuff back in the 90s: from the early Rephlex albums, through the Drill’n’Bass phase and beyond. So in a way I’m rediscovering my youth with XTEP.
First up is the beautiful and restrained XT which is driven by piano and synth brass for the frist couple of minutes until the funky bass kicks shortly followed by the ever increasing drums. Next up is ‘Ritm’ which also starts out piano heavy, in a kind of Italian house / ravey way. It is pretty laid back with string effects and whistle type sounds.
The thrid track ‘Pulsar’ brings an upfront arpeggiated bass and a disco beat to proceedings. ‘Monj2’ is probably the most contemporary sounding track on the EP with frantic beats and booming sub-bass. Despite this the string-like synth pads add restraint and counterpoint to the track. The final track ‘New Bimple’ is short and moody with again the beats working overtime against the piano and synths. All told it is a solid return and a new album is promised later this summer. However 1995’s ‘Roy Castle’ is still my favourite µ-Ziq track.
I also meant to mention that Paradinas released an album with his wife, Lara Rix-Martin, earlier this year under the ‘Heterotic’ moniker. The eight track album has a more straight forward musical feel with elements of techno and synth pop. Four of the tracks feature vocals by Gravenhurst, aka Nick Talbot who is known for his dark, folk tinged singer songwriting for Warp records. Over all it a more interesting album than it is compelling but certainly worth 40 minutes of you time to give it a listen.
Widowspeak are playing The Workman’s Club in Dublin on Saturday coming (25th May). If you haven’t checked out their album ‘Almanac’ from earlier in the year you are really missing out and should have a serious think about what you are doing with your life.
Anyway Widowspeak (Molly Hamilton & Robert Earl Thomas) have been touring the States and Europe all year and while they were in Copenhagen last week they recorded two tracks from Songs They Played in the Loppen venue in Christiania, Copenhagen. The version of ‘Perennials’ and ‘Spirit Is Willing’ are stripped back to just guitars and vocals and give a wonderful flavour of the bands strengths. Hope to see y’all in The Workmans next week?
Excitingly a new Wu-Tang Clan song ‘Execution in Autumn’ has appeared on Bandcamp over the weekend. Supposedly it is a taster for the forthcoming album ‘A Better Tomorrow’ which is due to drop in July to mark the 20th Anniversary of their debut ‘Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’. All this remains to be confirmed but we live in hope.
French artists and french music have never featured much in my collection. This is not to do with any prejudice of my part, just the fact that I have rarely comes across many that I like. Even now when the whole world seems to be jerking themselves off over the new Daft Punk album ‘Random Access Memories’ I remain completely indifferent and somewhat bemused by the hype: I think the single ‘Get Lucky’ is shit and even though I actually bought ‘Homework’ all those years ago I never warmed to it or anything they have released since.
But just to prove I am not completely Gallicly averse, I thought I would share a couple of current French releases that I am quite taken with:
First up is the single ‘Eden Plage’ (that is Eden Beach to you and me) by London-based-but-orginally-from-south-west -France singer Lisbonne on Wonderful Sounds. As you can hear the track has a paradoxically modern-retro lofi pop feel with cheesy keyboard drums, echoed vocal harmonies and enough sunshine to melt even the most cynical heart. On her Tumblr page she says the song is a dream about summer on the French Riviera. I can only take her word for it.
Excitingly the B-side, a cover of ‘Tout Finit à Saint-Tropez’ (Everything ends in Saint-Tropez) features guest vocals from the inimitable Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab fame. Their voices meld wonderfully and evoke the 60’s spirit of the Annie Philippe original. Certainly an artist I want to hear more of in the future.
Next up in our french double-shot is the album ‘The Weighing of the Heart’ by Colleen. For the uninitiated (which included me until yesterday) Colleen is 30-something year old french composer and songwriter Cécile Schott. ‘The Weighing of…’ is her fourth studio album and the first in six long years. The album is released on London-based label Second Language whereas he previous releases were all on The Leaf Label.
The music & songs could be best described pseudo-ambient acoustic folk. I know that is quiet meaningless label but it will give you the idea the music is quite restrained and beautiful. Layered plucked acoustic guitars figure prominently as do her wonderfully reverbed vocals. Occasionally other “real” and electronic instruments enter the musical fray to add to the overall aural experience, which is probably more important than the songs per se. Just based on two listens I am totally in awe and will be definitely checking out her back catalouge. The album is streaming via YouTube below so check it out.
So until a few days ago I had never heard of the genre ‘Footwork’ or its progenitor ‘Juke’. It seems they are both music and dance styles within their origins in Chicago. It also seems this RP Boo (aka Kavain Space) chap invented Footwork with his 1997 track ‘Baby Come On’. Strange then that it has taken 16 years for Mr. Boo’s debut album ‘Legacy’ to be released on Planet Mu.
I only found this all out after I had already been entranced by the strange and wonderful creation that is Legacy. It strongly features Boo’s beloved Roland R-70 drum machine with its distinctive snappy snares and piercing cymbals. Over the programmed beats Boo layers samples of musical riffs, snippets of movie dialogue, vocal phrases and a lot more beside. Lots of the source material is familiar (Timberland, Wu-Tang Clan, Phil Collins[?] etc.) but it is kind of infuriating trying to pinpoint the exact origins. The whole effect is a little jarring at first, like everything isn’t lined up properly, but very quickly it sucks you in and wins you over. Check out the album stream below while it is still live or get your own copy. Highly Recommended.
While ‘Hexagon Cloud’ will be her first solo release for years Erika has been a member of Ectomorph and co-conspirator of Interdimensional Transmissions. Although the music sounds like it was composed on a computer, all Erika’s music is actually composed on synths and a rare, highly flexible, hardware sequencer.
The fantastic remixes on RMXD are by Marcellus Pittman, a leader of Detroit House; Orphx aka Christina Sealey and Richard Oddie, Canadian electronic music duo who have been producing a fusion of techno, industrial, and electro-acoustic music sinc the mid 90s; and BMG aka Brendan M Gillen, a founding member of Ectomorph and Interdimensional Transmissions who also produced the Hexagon Cloud album, which I am now really excited to hear.