Chillwave, glo-fi (via Now Wave), GorillaVsBearcore (via Hipster Runoff) - call it what you like, hazy electronica provides an ideal soundtrack to these lazy sunny days. Washed Out (pictured), Toro y Moi and Neon Indian are probably the biggest names in the scene, if indeed it is a scene, but I'll leave these questions to HRO and Pitchfork. Memory Tapes and Caribou don't really fit in here; 'Bicycle' and 'Odessa' are both just great melancholy pop songs. You might consider throwing out your Caribou records in a pre-emptive strike, though.
Toro Y Moi, Caribou and Memory Tapes are all playing Field Day next month, along with Atlas Sound and No Age amongst others. I would encourage anyone and everyone to buy a ticket.
The podcast is a little on the short side this month as I've spent the last couple of weeks revising for my final exams and then celebrating finishing university / numbing the growing sense of dread that comes with soon having to enter the real world.
2. The Field - A Paw in My Face Sticking with the animal theme, this track is from The Field's seminal 2007 album From Here We Go Sublime. The soundtrack to a drive home along the coast at the end of a long summer day.
3. Caribou - Sun This is from Caribou's new album Swim, which sees him 'do a Four Tet' and combine his wistful electronica with a strong techno influence. A must-listen album.
PS. Best new M.I.A. track so far? Don't want to hate but XXXO sounded like GaGa or something...
This week saw the end of a lengthy live music drought with Japandroids playing the Harley and the brilliant Holy Fuck gracing the Deaf Institute. Having to churn out 14000 words for my degree in the last few weeks seems to have dented my ability to write anything vaguely creative, but you can read my review of the Japandroids gig over at Forge Today.
Japandroids by Paula Goodale
As a little birthday present for a fellow Diplo fan I put together a quick mix which is on mixcloud...
I'll leave you with the video for Holy Fuck's 'Lovely Allen' and an invitation to join a tribute band that definitely isn't just a drunken idea, and will be called something stereotypically British like Bloody Hell or Oh Cripes.
The 1951 US civil defence film 'Duck and Cover' offers invaluable advice in the case of a nuclear attack, like covering yourself with a picnic blanket or crouching against the nearest wall. It also features a cartoon turtle named Bert, who hides in his shell whilst a Soviet chimp blows itself to bits. Footage like this was just asking to be edited into a quick promo for this month's podcast:
Mediafire download: (22MB MP3) And the link for the podcast feed is in the sidebar.
1. Nathan Fake - You Are Here (Four Tet Remix) 2. Four Tet - Plastic People 'Really shouldn't play another Four Tet track this month' - such thoughts dissipated after his masterful set at Plug last week. Support was provided by Nathan Fake, whose sublime 'You Are Here' was given the slow-burning remix treatment by Four Tet. Hebden's own 'Plastic People' is named after the London club where he honed his current techno-influenced style, and similarly his 'Much Love To The Plastic People' mix is also well worth a listen.
Writing this blog, I never thought I'd have the chance to mention Charlie Brooker, but seeing as 'You Are Here' offers just that, there's no way I'm not taking it: FortDax's remix of the tune provides the theme to the indescribably good Newswipe.
3. Pantha Du Prince - Stick To My Side (ft. Panda Bear) I caught Animal Collective's Panda Bear in London a couple of weeks ago. He played a lot of new material which seems to depart from the sample-based sound that make Person Pitch so timeless, but nonetheless Tomboy is one of the albums I'm looking forward to most this summer. He brings an otherworldly feel to this track from Pantha Du Prince's Black Noise LP, which came out in February and is definitely deserving of your time. Oh yeah, I think some guy called Four Tet has remixed this track too, and if I remember correctly, it's fucking amazing.
4. The Field - Morning 2008's The Sound of Light is a concept EP where twenty-four hours are condensed into one. 'Morning', with its rolling drumbeats and vocal samples, is an uplifting tune, preceding the relentless intensity of 'Day', the hedonism of 'Evening', and the crushing comedown of 'Night'. It's releases like this that make The Field one of the most consistently progressive producers out there.
1. Burial & Four Tet - Moth Four Tet provides the beats, schoolboy friend Burial provides the ambience. At once melancholy and infectious.
2. Four Tet - Love Cry The lead single from his new album 'There Is Love In You' which came out on Tuesday and sees Hebden further develop his increasingly techno-oriented sound. Give it a listen, and then buy tickets for his show at the Plug in March.
3. Clark - Growls Garden Sinister vocals will lure you in, giving no indication of the punishing bassline to come. One of the ever-exceptional Warp Records more recent signings. Speaking of which...
4. Aphex Twin - Windowlicker Without exaggeration, surely one of the greatest pieces of electronic music of all time. I never thought it would work well on the dancefloor, but the good people at Threads showed me otherwise.
5. Matthias Meyer - infinity I couldn't resist pinching this gem from my good friend Jamie Walker's 'Stuck In The House' mix, which you should go and listen to here. Just wait for that sample to kick in.
6. Matias Aguayo - Rollerskate Rollerskates and I don't exactly see eye-to-eye, but this track is enough to make me want to dig out my old Fisher-Price quads, all in primary colours, and force my stupid grown-up feet into those adjustable straps.
After a critically acclaimed show with the London Symphony Orchestra on Halloween, the Brooklyn band appear in their usual four-piece form at Manchester Cathedral but retain a remarkable sense of grandeur.
Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) sets the tone for the evening, the acapella introduction to her set grabbing the crowd's attention in an instant. Tender vocals coupled with a skeletal combination of acoustic guitar and sampled drum loops leave the audience silent, captivated. No mean feat for a support act.
Grizzly Bear transcend the traditional boundaries of indie rock; their sound, even without the backing of the LSO, is orchestral. Each song could be described as a series of movements, each building in momentum to a climax, before a period of calm, and so on. This is especially true of latest single 'While You Wait for the Others', where the effect is utterly compelling. Songs from this year's superb Veckatimest LP form the majority of the set but are interspersed with older material; 'Knife' from 2006's Yellow House proves to be a particular crowd-favourite.
The spectacular setting of Manchester Cathedral only adds to the sense that the audience is witnessing something special. The building's vast ceiling provides surprisingly good acoustics and leaves Droste and Rossen's vocals hanging in the air to intensely powerful effect. The band are surrounded on stage by hanging glass jars, each glowing intermittently as though a single firefly is trapped within [pictured]. At times the choice of venue seems particularly fitting as all four band members contribute to beautiful, almost choral, vocal harmonies throughout the set.
Grizzly Bear's vocal strength is striking - a YouTube video by La Blogotheque [see below] shows the band performing an acapella version of 'Knife' on the streets of Paris. It is perhaps best demonstrated, however, in their encore: a semi-acoustic version of 'All We Ask'. Rossen's guitar and microphone remain plugged in but Droste and Taylor turn away from theirs, opting instead to project their backing vocals into every pocket and corner of the cathedral and leaving the audience with a truly unforgettable experience.
Apologies for the minimal write-up this month but I really should be writing essays and whatnot...
Listen/subscribe to the podcast over at Duck&Cover, or download from Mediafire (21MB MP3) here. Some writing you probably won't read is below.
1. Jesper Dahlback - Gubbis A tech house gem from Sweden's Jesper Dahlback, cousin of John Dahlback who you may remember from the DFA1979 remix album amongst other things. If you like what you hear then head down to the Plug on 5th December where he'll be DJing alongside Sebastian Leger. Unless you know me, that is, in which case come to DQ for my 21st...
2. Renaissance Man - Spraycan More Swedish tech house here from production duo Renaissance Man (pictured) - the eponymous track from their excellent Spraycan EP released earlier this year. They've also remixed the following track:
4. Digitalism - ZDRLT (Rewind) Emerging from the depths of their Second World War bunker in Hamburg, Digitalism succeed where most fail in blending indie rock with electronica on 'ZDRLT' - their own rework of 'Zdarlight' from debut album Idealism.
5. Erol Alkan & Boys Noize - Waves A huge collaboration from Germany's foremost electro producer Boys Noize and London DJ Erol Alkan. Pianist Chilly Gonzales has produced a unique rework of 'Waves' which, in Alkan's words, aims to 'translate a club ‘banger’ into something your grandfather could get with'. Highly recommended:
Just in time to count as an 'October' mix, this month's Duck&Cover podcast takes a break from its usual electro/techno/whatever-you-want-to-call-it focus and instead features a selection of artists from around the world that are all bringing something different to the table.
Buraka Som Sistema [pictured] transform the Swedish singer-songwriter's downbeat original into a carefree, fire on the beach, time of our lives epic. As the winter evenings draw in, the song's bouncy rhythm and fuzzy synthesisers are enough to make us forget about the harsh temperatures outside and just dance, dance, dance.
This Lisbon based collective are at the forefront of the 'kuduro' genre. Originating from Angola, kuduro blends techno and house with traditional African styles to create a truly unique sound. Brodinski's remix of Aqui para voces is a fairly minor rework but just happens to be at the right tempo for this mix. Be sure to check out the original and the rest of their Black Diamond album.
French-Swedish production team Radioclit make up two thirds of The Very Best. The global influences of that project and its excellent Warm Heart Of Africa album are clearly visible in their work as Radioclit too. London's Switch gives 'Divine Gosa' the remix treatment here with rolling drum loops and wonky synths proving to be a simple but infectious combination.
Switch, meanwhile, has collaborated with US producer Diplo on the Major Lazer project which sees the duo try their hand at dancehall, teaming up with a variety of Jamaican artists in the process. Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do is a bit hit and miss, but 'Pon De Floor' is a definite highlight. The hook might be daft, but when combined with marching drums the effect is irresistible.
5. Diplo - Bandida (ft. Deize Tigrona) Diplo. A phrase concerning fingers and pies comes to mind. When he's not busy producing mixtapes with M.I.A. and Santigold or generally remixing everything in sight, he spares a few moments to get Brazil's Deize Tigrona - who also provides the vocals on Buraka Som Sistema's 'Aqui Para Voces' - to drop some lyrics over Devo's 'Mongoloid'. Inspired.
Listen to the podcast at Duck&Cover or grab the Mediafire link here (19MB MP3)