Pink
8

  • Boris
  • Southern Lord
  • 2006-05-01

Pink is Boris’s much talked about latest import offering album and is purportedly their most accessible yet. The talk suggests that Boris’s previous noise excursions into drone metal, doom and hardcore have been reined in; this is no longer the North Pole but from listening to Pink it’s only just a little closer to the South of France.

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The Go! Team / Kid Carpet / The Sticks
7

  • Southampton
  • United Kingdom
  • University of Southampton
  • 2006-05-11

It was a great showcase for the band’s varied style that got some people jumping in delirious fashion. Mimicking Ninja’s call backs earlier in the show, the crowd demanded an encore with a chant of “G-O-T-E-A-M”. Ninja duly continued when the band returned to stage, asking “Can we use that on the new album?”. I think the Southmapton fans will be the first at the shop door if they do. Finisher “Ladyflash” enabled an emphatic rock out for all in the room as arms once again raised to the roof. Go The Go! Team!

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James and Al

  • JayetAl
  • 2006-04-28

Winchester duo JayetAl have been driving dance fans on the South Coast of England into a frenzy with their searing melodies combined with ferocious percussion. Drummer James and guitarist Al, equiped with a computer with which to create their unique soundscapes, also make the use of keyboard and drum machines to powerful effect. Currently putting the finishing touches to their debut album, it could be the spark to ignite big prospects for the pair. Zap! BANG!’s Mike Barnard found out more.

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St. Elsewhere
8

  • Gnarls Barkley
  • Wea
  • 2006-04-24

This debut album from Gnarls Barkley could very likely be about to explode onto the music scene in the same way The Love Below/Speakerboxx proved to be a landmark release in 2003 and the propulsion to superstardom for Outkast. Then it was the danceable vibes of Andre 3000’s half of the double album that ignited the fuse to set off an explosion of interest for the duo. This time the pair behind Gnarls Barkley will both be getting every respect for their combined effort, but perhaps the brains behind this operation is respected producer Danger Mouse.

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Cult of Luna
8

  • Southampton
  • United Kingdom
  • Joiners
  • 2006-04-24

Cult of Luna have taken their music through various explorative journeys throughout their career and new album Somewhere Along The Highway, their fourth full-length — out on Earache, holds true to their reputation for powerful and punishing epics which embrace the most ultimate of both beauty and brutality — in a similar way to fellow luminaries Neurosis and Isis.

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Chosen Lords
9

  • AFX
  • Rephlex
  • 2006-04-10

Last year Aphex Twin released a series of 12”s under the title Analord, based around analogue sounds and styles. Making use of Richard D James’s legendary and possibly unequalled collection of analogue synths, drum machines, keys and other assorted kit, this release is a 10-track ‘best of’ that offers a diverse selection of music that probably could not have been crafted by anyone else.

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Boris / Twin Zero
10

  • Brighton
  • United Kingdom
  • Engine Rooms
  • 2006-04-15

Throughout Twin Zero’s set, almost half of The Engine Rooms’ standing area seemed taken up by the band and this was for two reasons, firstly, as mentioned before, there’s more than your average number playing in the band and, secondly, because Boris’ huge drum kit (in size of drum, not amount of drums), and mulitple stacks of amplification took up the entire small stage meaning that only the Twin Zero keyboardist could fit on it and the rest of the band played on the floor. Boris could only just fit on the stage themselves but did, and the floor slowly filled up in front of them. The support band’s line-up and sound is big and in comparison Boris’ line-up is small — but their sound was (as one of their own song title suggests) Huge — the venue felt near bursting to contain it, with those crowd members who’d situated right at the front only about a metre or two away from the speaker cabs bearing an almight brunt — and probably listening to the Japanese band’s drones for at least the whole of the night and next day because of it.

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Dust Ghosts
6

  • The Wireless Stores
  • In At Deep End Records
  • 2006-05-29

You know when people have bad news and good news in equal measures to tell you, and they ask you which you want to hear first? Well, in the honourable tradition of rehashing cliches, that’s precisely what’s going to happen here. So if you’re a masochistic sort who likes to leave with a faintly bitter taste in your mouth, read paragraph 2 followed by paragraph 1. But if you’re a ‘spoonful of sugar with your medicine’, happy-go-lucky type then read it in the normal order and you should come away feeling none the worse. In any case, enjoy…

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Grab That Gun
8

  • The Organ
  • Too Pure
  • 2006-04-03

I’m not going to bring puerile innuendo into this. This will be a sober and even handed critique. The Organ’s members (sorry) are from British Columbia and follow the likes of Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene in coming to these shores from our Commonwealth cousins clutching good albums and sheaves of critical acclaim in their sweaty palms. The Organ also come with the same indie ethos and despite different musical templates they could breakthrough into similar territories of critical and commercial acclaim.

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Evangelista
8

  • Carla Bozulich
  • Constellation
  • 2006-05-15

Evangelista was recorded at the Hotel2Tango in Montreal, spawning point of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Silver Mount Zion, et al and is co-produced and played on by Efrim Manuck from the former band. The dischordant orchestrations, strings and found sounds of these groups run throughout this recording, but the apocolyptic, biblical tones have been replaced by a more insular, personal and suffocating experience.

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Dollar and Deed
8

  • Hawnay Troof
  • Southern Records/Retard Disco
  • 2006-05-22

“Hawnay Troof” implies in Southern (American) terms implies what it suggests, “you’re horny ain’t dat da truth”. Similarly, Retard Disco is a good indicator for the sound Vice Cooler a.k.a. Hawnay Troof puts out. Maybe throw in the fact that this music sounds as though its made by someone wired by some serious A.D.T. and hatred for the ignorant values/virtues that occupy Southern America and society in general and your beginning to get an impression of this Hawnay Troof.

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The Tango Saloon
7

  • The Tango Saloon
  • Ipecac
  • 2006-04-17

Joining the Gotan project (who also have a new release this month) in modern reworkings of the traditional model, The Tango Saloon are an up-to-fifteen-strong troupe of Tango enthusiasts from Sydney, Australia and this Ipecac-released self-titled album is their first major statement to the World. Not only does it look typically Ipecac with its graphic title front cover courtesy of designer Martin Kvamme, who has also designed the sleeves for Tomahawk, General Patton Vs The Executioners, Fantomas and more, but it is just pure Ipecac in sound and idea with its genre busting, obscure, experimental nature and its strong jazz and Ennio Morricone influence.

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James Plotkin

  • James Plotkin (Khanate, Phantomsmasher, KHLYST, Archive, OLD...)
  • 2006-04-17

Through his work solo work, collaborations with artists like KK Null as well as playing his part in such groups as OLD, Khanate and Phantomsmasher, James Plotkin has carved out an awesome career in the murkiest and most intense of musical corners. After being consistently blown away by his various sonic children I, Zap! BANG!’s Philip Hoile, thought it very necessary to find out more about the man and how these different projects come together.

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In A Space Outta Sound
7

  • Nightmares on Wax
  • Warp
  • 2006-03-20

George Evelyn’s latest record under the moniker of Nightmares on Wax continues much in the same way as his previous work. Balearic melodies, relaxed dub and reggae vibes abound for another warm and sunny slice of music that seems destined to become a soulful soundtrack for chilling out while soaking up some rays come summer.

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Did Your Own Grave
7

  • Test Icicles
  • Domino
  • 2006-04-24

The party is over — this cheap cheap CD and its accompanying DVD is the parting stab of the now deceased Test Icicles. It’s a collection of different material — unreleased edits, mixes, remixes, demos etc and it’s a worthwhile little package, both for those who had already jumped on their wagon, and for those who as yet haven’t had the chance.

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The Organ / Dios(Malos) / The Immediate
8

  • London
  • United Kingdom
  • The Garage
  • 2006-04-12

The Organ were one of the so-called ‘buzz’ bands of the recent indie-industry backslap SXSW festival in Texas. This buzz must have stowed away in their guitar cases or somethig as they’ve only just released their debut (Grab That Gun) on a minor indie label but the Garage was sold out. This was possibly due to the relative hype built up around SXSW, but despite the album not been out too long here even the non-single/non-myspace tracks were afforded recognition and grand responses. So they must be doing something right.

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be your own PET!
9

  • be your own PET!
  • XL Recordings
  • 2006-03-13

I can safely say that indie is not quite ready for world domination. There are some new kids in town — Nathan, Jamie, Jonas and Pearl. They take the form of be your own PET and are quickly taking the UK by storm with their quirky style, and untamed youth. These kids are barely 18 and are already teaching all those thritysomething bands how its done. It’s all about blood, puke and guts with this band. They are punk and they are raw… This is be your own PET and they bite.

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The Invisible Deck
6

  • The Rogers Sisters
  • Too Pure
  • 2006-04-13

The Rogers Sisters are made up by Jennifer and Laura Rogers, which yes with a name like The Rogers Sisters is what you would expect. But they also have honorary member Miyuki Furtado who seems to do the bulk of the music making on this album… So the name seems a little misleading don’t you think?

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My Dark Places
8

  • The Television Personalities
  • Domino Records
  • 2006-04-10

Dean Treacy’s an interesting sort of chap. For nearly thirty years he’s haunted the margins of British music, inspiring others who’ve gone on to bigger things — TVP were Kurt Cobain’s favourite band — but never quite breaking through for himself, despite an abundance of talent. Part of the reason for that lies in his talent for self-destruction, and part of it seems to be from his sheer innocence. He’s been called the original Pete Doherty (which is an interesting concept in itself but this isn’t the time or place for metaphysics) but it’s a poor comparison. For a start he has talent.

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The Abominable Iron Sloth
7

  • The Abominable Iron Sloth
  • Undergroove
  • 2006-04-11

The Abominable Iron Sloth is a great mythical beast, frozen in the ice age and thawed out many years later in the time of man, where it was revered as a deity and then in it’s new man-made armour, wreaked havoc with a massive campaign of slaughter. Holding this tale close to their hearts, The Abominable Iron Sloth is also a true doom band — huge, with slaying riffs and vicious vocals.

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The Concretes / Euros Childs
8

  • London
  • United Kingdom
  • ULU
  • 2006-04-11

The Concretes can be described by using many similar words to Euros Child’s: folk, indie, pop, quirky, nice… but though the acts share some sensibilities and compliment each other perfectly on the bill, the Swedish headline group are quite different. They sparkle with their special mix of traditional folk sounds, waltzes and ballads and have a great presence with their eight members. The Concrete’s sound drifts, rolls, drives and shuffles through various moods, often very emotive and rousing, sometimes haunting yet always quite comforting, the group even make a disco beat sound like it’s not really a disco beat, catching it up within their beautiful, orchestrated pop.

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Lunatico
6

  • Gotan Project
  • XL Recordings
  • 2006-04-10

Named after the great tango hero Carlos Gardel’s racehorse of the 1930’s, Lunatico is the follow up from Gotan Project’s successful 2001 debut La Revancha Del Tango and again sees them returning to the formula of a little tango and a little electronica to make the tropical sound topical.

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Brookland/Oaklyn
4

  • Alias & Tarsier
  • Anticon
  • 2006-05-15

Alias and Tarsier apparently got working together through a fluke email and like the above suggests recorded their respective roles for Brookland/Oaklyn without meeting or even knowing the other. A little faceless, a little soulless you might suggest, or was this the seed for a global, boundary breaking, genre defineless, meeting of two fractured musical selfs?

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Misinformation Overload
6

  • TV Smith
  • Boss Tunage
  • 2006-04-03

Like the japanese soldier found in 1995 who believes that WWII is still going on, TV Smith hasn’t really moved too far from the punk rock modus operandi of his previous band, The Adverts, except perhaps the crisper, more crunchy (probably) pro-tooled production and the use of a few synths. This is no particular bad thing and will find enthusiasts in fans from his youth and perhaps some ‘smash the system’ anarchists. Oh, and some of Germany, where he’s quite popular.

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Drowning in a Sea of Love
7

  • Nathan Fake
  • Border Community
  • 2006-03-20

Nathan Fake caught the spotlight when he released Outhouse in 2003 which pummelled dancefloors with a pumping techno beat over a more progressive sound. The result was instant recognition and he has gone on to produce equally excellent tracks that many a DJ would welcome into their set with open arms.

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