Category Archives: Reviews – Records

Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble – Mr. Machine

Along with Wesseltoft/Schwartz’s epic collaboration album Duo, the new Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble LP, Mr. Machine completely epitomises everything I love about electronica infused jazz. By deconstructing what we understand as, in this case, tech house music to its constituent elements, it can be understood what produces a great dance track. The real genius with Mr. Machine is how the music is put back together again. Drum machines, samplers and synths are replaced by traditional classical instruments – Acoustic drums, grand piano and strings are used to create a form of live dance music that is almost beyond genre classification. This isn’t a jazz record, it isn’t a techy house record and its far too upbeat to be considered along future classical artists such as Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm and the like.

The album bears some similarities to Anders Trentemoller’s astonishingly brilliant debut album The Last Resort, a multi layered and absorbing exploration of downtempo minimalist techno lounge electronica, as well as the aforementioned Bugge Wesseltoft/Henrik Schwarz collaboration of jazz and techno – in so much as a lot of the album is heavily reliant upon piano. Mr. Machine however, is quite a different beast altogether – a strange and alluring mix of the organic and the mechanical, as the name would suggest. A piece of music that, when performed live, would be equally understandable in the formal concert hall or at a late night Berlin techno party.

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Najia Bagi (To Sophia / The Electronic Exchange) solo album launch

Having already established herself on the Manchester music scene as the singer in acoustic-jazz/soul outfit To Sophia and electro-dub duo The Electronic Exchange, Najia Bagi knows a thing or getting up on stage and singing her heart out. Well, now, she’s done the whole rockstar going full circle thing and ‘gone solo’, having decided to make a record in a quieter, more introspective direction . Comprising of a simple piano and string quartet setup, combined with her incredible voice, this new solo project could be the best showcase yet for what is clearly one of Manchester’s finest vocal talents.

If anything teaser track The Fall is anything to go by, this new record should be a real treat. By stripping back the heavy dub rock influenced instrumentals of her previous work and working with a minimalist, almost new classical style setup, her incredible voice is allowed to flourish.

Najia performs at The Dulcimer, Chorlton, on Thursday November 10th. Info here.

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Lana Del Rey – Video Games

Check out this song by Lana Del Rey – her voice is jaw-dropping. There’s a real tragic, tortured beauty there.

Video Games is out on October 16th on digital and limited edition 7″.

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Fucksticks.

Thankyou ITV. Thankyou Simon Cowell, and thankyou to the millions who phoned in. To everyone who voted, everyone who felt the urge to help one young girl reach her lifelong dream of becoming a popstar. To each and every one of you……..you’re a cunt.

[edit…]

Here was a video of Cher Lloy’s new video Swagger Jagger. I’ve taken it down in an effort to do my bit to save humanity. This video is like The Ring. if you watch it, you’ll die.

 

 

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Wilco – I Might / I Love My Label

The new rather beautiful Wilco 7″ has landed! I Might kicks off with a garage rocky, crunchy distorted guitar sound that is a departure from the last few Wilco records, which relied more on electronic exploration and subtle soundscapes. This is the sound of a Wilco stripped down and the volume turned up, and harks back to debut record AM and their beginnings as the seminal alt.country group Uncle Tupelo.

This is the first single to be released through their own imprint, dBpm, and is available now on limited release via Solid Sound Fest ‘Wilcopalooza’.

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Brand new material from The Whip!

The Whip, the Manchester based electro-dance-rock group have been a bit quiet since their debut record ‘X Marks Destination‘ dropped back in 2008. Well, now they’re back – a brand new album entitled Wired Together has been announced, and they’ve released a cheeky sampler to give us a taste of what to expect.

From what I’ve heard of the new material, it builds upon their reputation as a band that creates loud, energetic and very danceable electronic rock music, and if brand new track ‘Secret Weapon’ is anything to go by, then the new album should be something pretty damn special indeed.

You can listen to some new Whip tunes now by clicking here.

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Seams – Tourist

Seams is the pseudonym of multi instrumentalist and producer James Welch. Welch is an artist who is riding the crest of the current renaissance of intelligent, cerebral electronic music, and is clearly a young man with a lot to give. By far the standout track from this collection has to be the sublime Nachtmusik, a blend of natural found sounds and subtle, refined synth noise that slowly build and are brilliantly and precisely looped in such a way as to combine perfectly. Reminiscent of experimental sound artists before him such as Matthew Herbert, Chris Clarke, Aphex Twin and perhaps more significantly Eastern flavoured sound artists like Takagi Masakatsu, Seams could well be a real driving force, should he get that important breakthrough to a wider audience (Chris Bohn, you listening?).

Seams is due to perform at the Star & Garter, Manchester this Wednesday, June 15th. Tickets here.

Listen to Seams’ music here.

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