Dextro is the chosen handle of Ewan MacKenzie, a 27-year old Glasweigan musician who has moved on from the purest medium of dance music with 12” releases on Jumblefunk and James Holden’s inventive Border Community label, onto his first full length release, Consequence Music.
The third album from Mira Calix has been three years coming due to her commitments to a range of commissions and engagements for European arts bodies and institutions. Her music demands you listen with care, you need to give it your full attention. But do so and you will understand its artistry so much more, and why Calix has been in so much demand.
Some good conversation led to Colin from TST colluding with The Albert to come up with a fantastic idea which might just work — afternoon gigs. Sunday afternoons, from about 2pm til 5pm playing light, Sunday afternoon-accessible music. Well that worked well enough and so they’ve even started Saturdays as well, but those ones are loud. But this one was a Sunday, with perhaps the quietest vocalist of them all, Southampton’s Mat Sweet, appearing here under his Boduf Songs moniker, which has been built up into a three-piece band for live performances, though keeping true to the aching simplicity which is at the heart of the project.
Some mystery lies behind just who exactly is pushing the buttons and twiddling the knobs on this first full length release by Plus Device. Is it a name producer or a knowledgeable new face? Is it a PR ploy or shyness? It doesn’t really matter, of course, if it’s decent.
After last year’s awesome I Hate T-Shirts That Say 1977 EP comes the third album from the ever-more interesting Aidan Moffat’s L Pierre. Following the announcement of the Arab Strap split at the end of last year, it is refreshing to hear that Moffat is striding forward strongly with his other project, and now with a fresh new direction it has grown in instrumental scope with Moffat not forgetting but working less on dance beat and effect orientated synths and moving to live drums and percussion, keyboards and harmoniums, also adding cello work from Alan Barr, double bass from Stevie Jones and trumpet work by Allan Wylie, making the project grow in size as well.
Bedecked all Christmaslike, the festive season adding an extra tint to the glam aspirations the venue, Brighton’s Sussex Arts Club played a welcome host to the Brighton’s Finest Songbirds Christmas Special. Due to the unavailability of billed support act Jane Bartholomew the night kicked off with the middle act songbird Cordelia Fellowes, who was quick to point out that her set was not in fact her set but a performance of a band of which she is just one part. She is undoubtedly the frontwoman of her group though, the Gypsy Squat Pop Project, as her stong voice and presence powerfully leads the songs forward.
History is Bunk is a collection of hip-hop, electronica and ambient music celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Chicago based record label Hefty Records. If Hefty Records means nothing to you then maybe a few of the artists it has farmed over the last decade such as Telefon Tel Aviv, Savath + Savalas (Guillermo Scott Herren) and Eliot Lipp, might.
Most of the songs on this album sound the same. Most of these songs sound like Coheed, Taking Back Sunday, Lost Prophets, bands that generally sound the same. So we got a lot of same here.
Here is a compilation which should put a hint of cheer and a smile into the festive season, with any luck soundtracking some sort of drunken affair — it could easily rouse you into a night out, provide an eclectic party background or make that club night last that little bit longer. The Kitsune people make their living from music, clothes, events and generally being a bit trendy and fun, which comes across nicely here. The compilation’s mix of exclusive tracks is filled with quirky electro, disco and indie and it provides som real gems and a few duffers but overall ringing out pleasantly.
Just itching and waiting to explode out of your stereo since the band’s inception and demos in 2004, Cancer Bats’ rock and roll frenzy finally hits the shelves in the form of Birthing The Giant. The music sounds as forceful and energetic as the nether-muscles of the woman giving birth to a huge ship (The Giant?) as depicted in the inside sleeve centrefold — but although it’s a noisy assault of punk riffage, metal mutage and aggro baggage, it’s not too painful a delivery but still sounds like the band are having fun in producing it.
On first inspection, No Heroes is 75% hardcore burns, with the remaining 25% made up of deep, sludgy bruising thought to have been created by a large metallic object. On No Heroes Converge continue their mix of hardcore and metal but mainly hardcore.
We here at zap! bang! sincerely wish you all a very happy festive season. Get out there and savour the local Christmas ales, then do some Christmas shopping (it’s easier that way round) and then when you are done, get back home and help yourself to a present or two from us at zap! bang! and some of our many friends. Check them out, Santa’s bag is indeed a mixed one this year!
Released on the charmingly titled “I USED TO FUCK PEOPLE LIKE YOU IN PRISON” Records, Deadline’s fourth album Take a Good Look involves raising both eyebrows and placing the cd dubiously into the cd-tray at arm’s length to begin reviewing it.
Everyone knows Mogwai are football fans, and the Scottish co-director Douglas Gordon was keen to have Mogwai’s infamous post-rock nuggets as the perfect gravitational contrast to the sweaty man action of Zidane in his game.
A collective wrinkling of noses occurs when a whiff of genius is detected in the air. Exactly the kind of reception you can expect to twenty-year old Zach Condon’s debut album Gulag Orkestar.
Car windows DOWN, fists UP! The first full-length debut album from Partyline, the newest band from original riot-grrl Allison Wolfe (formerly of Bratmobile) is here to lift up your errr trousers and make you blush.
Both last year’s 12 Stone Toddler EP and the recent Rabbit single have been met with great reviews and the band’s fan-base continues to strengthen and find new inductees. Live performances over the years have been preciously rare and therefore always anticipated and consistently packed out, as with the night in question.
Aluminium is the brainchild of XL Recordings owner Richard Russell who thought it might be interesting to hear label mate Jack White’s music re-interpreted by a classical orchestra.
I was sent on behalf of zap! bang! Magazine to the BE THE RIOTTT! (Sic) festival, which took place in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on November 11th, 2006. In brooding over how to begin composing this text I found myself debating if some questions should even be asked. That is to say that upon entering the auditorium – or even further back, in my ascent from the city’s underbelly parking garage to street level — I was by degree overcome by an awed understanding and scaling disgust for the situation laid before me.
Following a very limited joint 7” with fellow Scots dataPanik (now split and reformed as Peel-favoured, post-Britpop oddballs Bis), First Blood is the first ‘proper’ release by :( (or colonopenbracket), and consists of five short blasts of emo-flavoured, pop-punk with a difference – in that the guitars have been replaced with ironic synth lines that recall early arcade games and Nintendo/Sega classics.
Clark’s reputation has been steadily building from an Aphex Twin wannabe following his debut Clarence Park (Warp, 2001) to being hailed as an electronica innovator after the release of Body Riddle (Warp) this year. Tonight he brought his new live show to London, with live drummer Alvin Ryan to beef up his trademark hard-hitting big beats. It was a powerful and confident performance that showcased his talents for haunting melodies and driving bass.
Born Ruffians are an oddball three piece from the backwater town of Midland, Ontario who follow in the noteprints of stumbling, North American indieflolk like Pavement and Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah! with this eponymous debut EP. They formed in 2002 so its taken a few years to reach this point and release an opening salvo, and though it’s not quite a devastating statement of intent, it is a very promising 6 tracks of treble-y jerk-pop embellished/ruined (depending on your opinion of the man) by the strangled vocals of Luke LaLonde, variously sounding like David Byrne, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and a cat with ADHD (I’m definitely in the ‘embellished’ camp, fortunately).