Death Metal, Electronica, Aural Terror and Manchester Pop

I have to admit I have found it hard to sit down and write stuff over the last few weeks. Apart from the intense heat, there’s been the distraction of several cricket matches to attend, plus the Manchester Jazz Festival –  however the last 48 hours has seen a cascade of new material to talk about so I thought I’d better something down before I get so far behind i’ll never catch up with myself.

Anyhow – first up some exciting news – the excellent Dope Body , from Baltimore, have a new album out on October 21st on Drag City. It’s called “Lifer” and if the preview track below is anything to go by it should be a bit of a corker…..

San Antonio’s black death metal  band, Hod, release their long-awaited new full-length on 9th September  via Arctic Records. Titled “Book of the Worm” , the follow-up to last year’s “The Uncreated Demo”  teaser, which was likened to a “snake eating itself and a bigger snake eating the smaller snake, a kind of infinite and horrifically malign Ouroboros,” was produced by Dennis Munoz (Solstice), features the recording line-up of guitarist Necron, vocalist Vladibeer Reebs, bassist T.A. and former drummer Dennis Sanders and boasts eight blasting tunes  Comments the band, “Finally, it  is finished! Through Hell and back we went to get this completed. Comrades fell. Labels failed. Studios changed. But we soldiered forth with iron determination and it is done. Blood, sweat and sacrifice are the ingredients”. Listening to it on a hot summers night was a delightful experience. Here’s the aforementioned teaser which will give you a sense of what to expect – I will feature a track on next weeks Sonic Attack podcast

After just over a year of waiting Borland have finally released part one of their “Omar” self styled quadrilogy, and it’s been well worth the wait, and is remarkably refreshing. All of the usual Gregg/Breen things are here but it kicks off with a haunting piano ballad which is light years away from their usual output, I say a piano ballad it soon develops into something a little more than that,  with some remarkable tonal shifts, and trademark laminal morphing. After that it’s the usual attention to orchestral detail that sets them apart from the usual purveyors of electronica. Particularly notable is the chilling “Valentine” which manages to balance malevolence, eerie vocal utterances, and delicate tendrils of sound – coming across like a mutant version of Sigur Ros.  As with track one the excellent “Idea Diamond” takes the piano as it’s core instrument and builds a serial repetition of notes under a distant collection of voices – both epic and emotional. I await, with some anticipation,  the remaining three parts of this release.

You may remember radio show favourites Da Mutts who morphed into Boxhead & Gloves , and who released a remarkable concept album called “Soldier” which I featured on the podcasts. Well they are back with a couple of tracks “Naughtiness” and “Parades” – the former a mind-flipping switch in direction into motorik  electronica, the latter more of their usual output, with a delicious piece of Manc Pop which quotes Percy Shelley and reflects the rich musical heritage of the northern capital with echoes of 10cc. I ran into Stan from the band at Steve Hanley’s book launch the other week and I am pretty sure we had a good conversation about what they were up to, but a combination of cider and red wine on the evening appears to have wiped that from my failing memory.

Taser Puppets have sorted out their new line-up, and have a set of mostly new tunes to share in a live setting according the latest reports from Mr Maxwell.  As a bridging transitional type thingy they have released “The Ralph McTell Must Die Album” which features a bewildering array of tunes from across the recent history of the band – mostly acoustic, but notably the excellent “Revolution Wall” which is a blistering piece of pop-psych-garage, and another version of the cover of Bowie’s “Five Years” featuring itinerant troubadour and all round genius Dusty Moonan on guest vocals. Well worth checking out.

I’m slowly working my way through the aforementioned Steve Hanley (auto) biography which is called “The Big Midweek” – it is highly enjoyable, well written, and it does confirm some of my already well embedded views about life inside The Fall. As co-author Olivia Piekarski said at the launch it comes across more like a novel, there are some interesting hitherto unknown revelations which are remarkable in the context of the output of the band. Even if you are not a fan of The Fall the book is well worth a read in respect of understanding the internal dynamics of a band and the balance between “real life” and life in the music business. I am particularly impressed that it does not trade in on nostalgia but instead provides an effective perspective of the world of independent and alternative music over the last twenty plus years.

And finally – the second full-length release from Pig Heart Transpant — the solo works of Jon Kortland of Iron Lung — will be released this September, as a conjoined release between 20 Buck Spin and the band’s own Iron Lung Records. The album entitled “For Mass Consumption”  and is composed of twenty-eight tracks, each approximately forty-four seconds long, each song bearing a four-letter word. Electronic manipulation, no wave guitar noise, abrasive hammering and eerie synthetic ambiance remind me of early Swans on tracks like “Film” or “Pigs,” the pulsing throb of Brighter Death Now and IRM on “Coma” or even Robert McNaugton’s soundtrack work for Henry: Portrait Of Serial Killer on “1970” or “1980.”
Devotees of early Swans, SPK, Test Dept, Bastard Noise, Pharmakon, Godflesh and of course, Iron Lung, will enjoy this one. Again I shall feature this on next weeks Sonic Attack.

spin066_PHT_For_Mass_web

 

 

Some things to look out for……

I’ve been hiding away at a Lancashire match for the last four days and inevitably a lot of things have come in while i’ve been out getting frozen……so here’s a round up of stuff in no particular order……

Tara Jane O’Neil plays the Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester on June 9th – this is from her album “Where Shine New Lights” which is very good……

The Reads have a new album out – they were in my top 30 singles of 2013 with Galaxy Egg – the album is called “Lost At Sea” and comes out in June – the lead track is called “Spitting Feathers

The legendary BL’AST play Star and Garter, Manchester on 25th June and the similarly legendary POISON IDEA play the same venue on 12th August

Death To The Strange are releasing a final cut from their EP – the very moreish “Openshaw Blues”

Recommended albums which are out now or due soon…….

NOMEANSNO – DANCE OF THE HEADLESS BOURGEOISIE (WRONG RECORDS) – re-issue

OUGHT – MORE THAN ANY OTHER DAY (CONSTELLATION)

THEE SILVER MT ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA – HANG ON TO EACH OTHER EP (CONSTELLATION)

RUDIMENTARY PENI – DEATH CHURCH (OUTER HIMALAYAN/SOUTHERN) – re-issue (I don’t think the mix is as good as the original but it’s still an essential album)

USA OUT OF VIETNAM – CRASHING DISEASES AND INCURABLE AIRPLANES (AURORA BOREALIS)

HISS TRACTS – SHORTWAVE NIGHTS (CONSTELLATION) – out 12th May

TORCH RUNNER – COMMITTED TO THE GROUND CD RELEASE (SOUTHERN LORD) – out 12th May

FRIEDEMANN – UHR VS ZEIT (EXILE ON MAINSTREAM) – out 19th May

STEPHEN O’MALLEY, OREN AMBARCHI & RANDALL DUNN – SHADE THEMES FROM KAIROS (DRAG CITY) – out 19th May

NIGHTFELL – THE LIVING EVER MOURN (SOUTHERN LORD) – out 26th May

BUZZ OSBORNE – THIS MACHINE KILLS ARTISTS (IPECAC) – out 2nd June

AMENRA – LIVE II (MY PROUD MOUNTAIN) – out 30th June

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM – CELESTITE (ARTEMISIA RECORDS) – out 7th July

and finally BORLAND are back with a preview track from their forthcoming album Omar

 

Doom Electronica?

Borland

Thrancis

Bandcamp

5th February 2013

They have made us wait for this – a whole year – but it’s been worth it.

Regular readers will be aware of my affection for the work of Gregg and Breen. They have not disappointed with this latest release.

In the first few minutes the sound flies between visceral granular sweeps, heavily reverbed vocals, chittering percussive sound,  and speaker crumbling overtones with the memorable “Lucifer” which comes across as the antidote to the recently demised WU LYF via para-glitch electronica.  As a statement of intent  it works very well indeed.

Matters turn towards Germany with the epic beats of “Seven Sisters” which builds around a bass n drum (sic)  surge into a motorik cut-up with bits and pieces flying around the sound-scape with some degree of abandon. Hypnotic and with some reference back to early Cabaret Voltaire via Cluster the piece dissolves, in its’ second section, into a slow laminal ambient orchestral piece which I’d best describe as doom electronica.

The title tune is a mutated funk beat thing with hanging melodies that introduces a vocal performance, from I assume Mr Breen, which veers, arms akimbo, towards a pop sound, we could be back in 1985 when the clothes were a lot fancier and the eye-liner was in abundance – albeit it’s 1985 in a parallel universe where a slightly different aesthetic is in play – Enoesque with a dash of Dusty Springfield. Very lovely indeed. The Borland boys can’t resist a lengthy coda and it surfs over analogue waves into the sunset.

“Dream Horse Reflection” takes three chords (without big boots) and floats off towards Düsseldorf with Ralf und Florian via some Froeseian patches with a nod towards Tim Blake – unexpectedly short for a Borland piece I thought.

“Paris” starts in an utterly wacky fashion with heavily processed vocals and then takes off with choirs of synths to the troposphere surging over a slow beat which holds a line until the piece changes to a delightful piano piece which reminds me of “Before and After Science” era Eno. Some serious attention has been put into creating the layers of sounds as an incandescent vocal performance – think Sigur Ros (in a slightly lower register) and you are nearly there – builds through a mist of reverb to create a majestic sound.

“Necromancer” continues the orchestral/vocal feel with some serious fx being added in this instance – a lovely bass sound just below the ear threshold and little trinkets of glassy sound fall into place – there may or may not be some guitar in their somewhere – it’s hard to tell – but generally the overall effect is stunning as the piece both builds and  breaks down as it develops little offshoots of sound which are quite unique.

Back to doom electronica territory for “Stained Glass” which has a real tension to it from the outset. What sounds like a morphed bass patch rumbles away as the usual layers of synths scurry around the edges until they break through the surface to deliver a sombre melody which is completely counterbalanced by a faux marimba melody line. Some echoes of TNT/Standards era Tortoise come into play as an infectious drum pattern kicks in about half way through. Once again the duo demonstrate their uncanny ability to build pieces organically to create a mammoth sound. The typical Borland structures are here – create the tension, build to a climax and then melt away slowly throwing in a few curve balls as you go. Probably the best thing on the album for me.

“Precious Hugs” closes matters in reflective mood – back to Eno land – albeit with a particular Gregg/Breen stamp.

All in all a marvellous piece of work.

cover

Music Diary #24 – and Salford Music Scene 24th January 2012

Busy today but a lot of what came in was not up to scratch – the highlights of which were…..

Received a handful of tracks from Berks/Bucks band  Kieland Ridge  who have a good gritty sound – impressive.

Just taken delivery of the new Guile single “I Walk Alone” and very good it is too – of you sign up for their newsletter you can get it for nowt. Twangy guitars, scribbly guitars, plectrum worrying guitars and Cash-like vocalising. Also The King Blues single “Does Anybody Care About Us” made it’s way onto the dansette – not been too keen to listen to these guys because of all the hype but this is quite good.

Liverpool band Tone Puppets have been sent in our direction before – and they have new things to hear which are a good listen.

On this weeks show the emphasis is on a couple of upcoming gigs – the Salford City Radio Music Night at the Kings Arms on Thursday, and the Section 25/AAAK gig at Gullivers on Saturday…..also new band Hellbound Rebels, more from Ruby Tuesday and Long Hat Pins and another track from that new Borland release…… listen here

1 AAAK Any Kind of State Exclusive pre-release
2 Section 25 Colour, Movement, Sex & Violence Colour, Movement, Sex & Violence
3 Kill Pretty Brown Eyes Demo
4 Hellbound Rebels Vulture Demo
5 The Hymek Manoeuvre Find It Yourself Demo
6 Sandells Jewels Session Track
7 Ruby Tuesday Automatic Demo
8 Long Hat Pins Hurricane Compilation Album
9 Borland Polar Bears Romantic Animals
10 Ruby Tuesday Heartbeat of a Heartbreakr Demo
11 Factory Star Cheetham Bill Enter Castle Perilous
12 Factory Star Away Dull Care Enter Castle Perilous
13 The Fall Blood Outta Stone The Dredger

Music Diary #17 – 17th January 2012 – Salford Music Scene

The arrival, in the post, of a new Moff Skellington album cheered me up considerably. It is called “The Pukes of a Hot Cloister” and it is rather marvellous, as we have come to expect with Moff’s work. He advises me that the website will soon be updated to facilitate access to his back catalogue and the new one.

Ronin, the Italian avant garde quartet heavily inspired by Morricone, who blend country, psychedelia, jazz noir and americana  can be heard on their new release “Fenice”. The album’s opening three tracks – “Spade”, Benvenuto” and “Selce” – are a pure mix of country-pyschedelic, almost as if the soundtrack to Jodorowsky’s masterpiece “El Topo” had been played by Ry Cooder.

And so it’s time for Salford Music Scene again……the show is dominated by the new release by those cheeky ailurophiles Breen and Gregg aka Borland who have weaved  their magic to create a stunning new slab of electronic loveliness (reviewed elsewhere on this blog) ……i’m also introducing a couple of hitherto unheard bands Conquer Rio and Ruby Tuesday…..and delighting in the sound of Taser Puppets…..playing a couple of requests (I know it’s the slippery slope to being the hairy cornflake) and another excellent tune from Long Hat Pins.

On the show for today therefore …… and you can hear it here……

1 The Tapestry Rode Your Luck Single
2 Hunting Bears Routine Inebriation Demo
3 Kill Pretty Ace Tone Demo
4 Borland Wildlife Romantic Animals
5 Taser Puppets Wasp Demo
6 Ruby Tuesday Spirit and Soul Demo
7 Conquer Rio Down from Mars Demo
8 Long Hat Pins An Understanding Light Compilation Album
9 Borland Fire, Ice and Dynamite Romantic Animals
10 Taser Puppets James Bond in Drag Demo
11 Conquer Rio Stay A Little While Demo
12 Borland Moondog (Radio Edit) Romantic Animals
13 The Fall The Joke Cerebral Caustic

Music Diary #9 – 9th January 2012 – the boys are back in tone…..

And so today there was, at long last, a new release from Borland.

It is called “Romantic Animals” and is released on Gulf Records via Bandcamp – here

Matters kick off with a sumptuous reworking of “Wildlife” which, if I recall, first saw the light of day on a Mind on Fire Compilation. A Bartonesque organ patch gives way to waves of synthesis and reverbed percussion – a fine reinterpretation of a great piece.

The motorik “Delphi” is classic Borland – all busy percussion and muttered sampled voices lost in a fog of laminal synthesis.

“Fire, Ice and Dynamite” drops the speed a  peg or two and offers the well known stately Borland progressive model – almost God!Speed like in it’s approach and with a delicious closing section of chittering percussion.

Things get a tad jazzy for the off-kilter “Polar Bears” with its scattered piano sounds lying under a bed of cheeky synthesis which morphs Floyd-like into banks of choral sounds floating ethereally through some sort of cosmic fog.

The closing “Moondog” continues in the same vein over an insistent Neu! like rhythm and a repeated piano phrase, all analogue-y and gorgeous and a nod towards a Chicago (Tortoise) sound with its various  bits and pieces. The signature Gregg howling windscape closes the album.

It’s been a bit of a wait for something new from Breen and Gregg but it’s been worth it.  It is rather fine indeed and moves on nicely from the trio of EPs which came out in  Spring 2010 and last years split with FTKOSQ.

Don’t leave it so long next time chaps!

Aural Delights Radio Show – 29th June 2011 – Electronica/Ambient Special

Well I’ve been promising this to various luminaries round these parts over the last six months so it’s about time I got off my bottom and put a show together of this nature. The genre specification is a tad obtuse here as some of the things on the show are outside of the broad boundaries of Electronica/Ambient but i’ve generally kept pretty close to the brief and in doing so I’ve managed to incorporate quite a bit of “local” stuff.

  1. Cabaret Voltaire – The Voice of America/Damage is Done – The Voice of America : the masters of electronic ambience with the opening track from their second album. Most of this was analogue which demonstrates the need to junk all this digital VST tomfoolery and get back to playing source instruments. They were never as good after Chris Watson left and the first three albums still hold up as classics. This music had a great affect on me post-punk and built on my love of industrial/electronic sounds.
  2. Borland – Hot Orion – Supernova Lovers  : The aim was to ensure that local acts got a good look see on the show and who else would I include but the mighty Borland who I have been championing for nigh on 3 years now. A new set of tunes is promised when Breen and Gregg can drag themselves away from their other projects (see later in the show) so in anticipation of that a track from the trio of releases from last year which are still available for nowt on Bandcamp.
  3. Borland (Vei Remix) – Clockmen – from the added twiddly bits that came out of the first release on Gulf we hear the Jonn Dean take on the Borland sound with his own unique stamp on the music. Edgy, thought provoking and utterly mesmerising.
  4. The Black Paths – A sneaky preview of a remix of ‘Plan it’ by caro snatch! – thanks Anthony. From Salford tha’ knows. More please Anthony!
  5. Archaeopteryx Eloigns Ichthyosaur – The Actual Cartographer – Sings Paeans To Euphoria And Destruction : I got this in the post from the other side of the world. Streaming on the link at the moment. A fascinating album. The creator of this artefact wishes to remain anonymous.
  6. Toxic Idol – Spooks – Quarter Life : a product of the increasingly mysterious Captain Malibu from the nether regions of Blackrod. Watch this space for more illuminating aural delights in the near future.
  7. Day for Airstrikes– How Do You Know Anything? – Adam, Wez, Ian , John, Danny, Rita, Sue, and Bob too : a marvellous album – available from Bandcamp. A one-off for the band but perhaps one of their greatest achievements. Discuss.
  8. Claw the Thin Ice – Witches at Dusk – Sleep is not for us -Are you quoting Floyd here I wonder Mr Breen? As featured before a debut solo project for one half of Borland with another one following swiftly I am advised.
  9. Hey Colossus – Teased From The Nest- RRR : the promo quite astutely says – “the seventh album for Hey Colossus, and the third for Riot Season. RRR is definitely more varied than previous Colossus records and it explores more subdued, quieter passages. Such moments of calm are not the only varied thing about the new record, Hey Colossus also explore the swooping filmic sounds akin to many a film score, think along the lines of Taxi Driver and Spaghetti Westerns. Some Krautrock-esque mantras also come into the fold, combined with a Nurse With Wound / DNA influence. Alongside this, ‘The Drang’ keeps up the one riff, one tune – like Sabbath done through NEU! That HC are heavily influenced by. There is a choice Berlusconi baiting Can inspired clangathon, ‘I Am Bunga Bunga’, with a rant that is buried but audible. The result of all of these amalgamating sounds is a Hey Colossus album unlike any other, out with the old and in with the new. RRR is the perfect soundtrack for the spring and summer months, assuming you like the idea of the Butthole Surfers manning the BBQ, Faust cleaning out the pool, and GG Allin manning the bar.”
  10. Pikacyu*Makoto – Loid Mlinikata – OM Sweet Home : We Are Shining Stars from the Darkside – I can’t say more than this rather revealing promo –  “An alliance between two figureheads of underground Japanese psych/pop, the musically promiscuous Kawabata Makoto (most famous for his leadership of the legendary Acid Mothers Temple), andAfrirampo’s Pikacyu. No strangers to one another, the pair have not only gigged together with their respective bands but also recorded together, when these two outfits temporarily fused in 2005 to become Acid Mothers Afrirampo (releasing an album of the same name). Now they have distilled their collaboration, all other players being stripped away to leave the core of Pikacyu’s manic drums and vocals, and Makoto’s schizoid guitar conjurings. OM Sweet Home: We Are Shining Stars From Darkside is unlike anything either culprit has produced before, both structured and freeform, tuneless and beautiful. Pikacyu’s drums pummel, jitter, crash and stumble, but steadfastly refuse to groove. She layers her voice several times, competing with maniacally pitch-shifted versions of herself to bring you what is, in their words, “a story about the cosmic shaman Pikacyu vs the master of the darkness Makoto… including the full love from the universe!!”. Makoto attacks his guitar, cloaking himself in reverb to produce a wall-of-sound, alternating between melody and noise.”
  11. Tangerine Dream –  Circulation of Events – Atem : from one of three early albums which are infinitely superior to the mid 70s stuff and beyond as heard played by Fluff Freeman on the Saturday back in the pre-punk days when the summers were hot and the music was cool.
  12. Perplexa – Tribal – Gone Beyond : as introduced by the Outlier lot to our Tony and then passed onto me. Tony and I both reckon this is going to be one of the albums of the year. Marvellous laminal stuff.
  13. The Church of Frozen Tears – Nightmares of a Damaged Brain – Primary Invocation – another Borland side project, or is it adjacent, or even parallel?  Rob Gregg with a chum (not sure who) doing interesting stuff….slight remix by me to allow radio play due to the heavy bass going on in parts.
To listen in click on the link below……

Abstract, Laminal and Groovy

Forgive me for not writing about this sooner but I have been somewhat laid low by an affliction …….

Gulf Records is new, it is based in between Manchester and Dubai, and it acts primarily as a vehicle for a number of bands of which I am somewhat fond. However, and here is the bit I need to tell you about, I need to be a bit adjacent to this as I’ve sort of been involved in doing a remix of one of the tracks, however as I am only reviewing the core of the first release, I can prattle on without any degree of self -promotion (heaven forfend).

Anyway on with it….. this is the first Gulf release which came out at the beginning of April.

You will seen me write about Borland before, and I have played both them and From the Kites of San Quentin on the radio shows.

They are both excellent examples of bands producing music which steps well outside convention. They are both unique and memorable so it’s fitting that they should both be on the first release on the new lable.

And regular listeners to both bands will not be disappointed – and will be very pleased to see that each of them has done a remix of each others pieces.

FTKOSQ offer “Chet Beaverbrooke” a moody, sumptuous confection of broken beats, found sound, layers of synth gorgeousness and Alison Carney’s insistent and melodic tones. There are layers of different things going on here – from Froesian organ to rumbling near sub-sonics, through chittering percussion. The thing that most impresses me about this band is their abandonment of conventional song structures to create something entirely modern in terms of telling a story with music and sound.

Borland offer “Clockmen” a piece which has been around in one form or another for a while now, I played an early version on the radio show some months back, and got a lot of positive feedback about it. It is Borland at what they do best. I know this tune backwards as I have spent many hours messing with it’s bits and pieces so it’s hard to be completely objective however what I would say is that the attention that Rob and Ian have put into the various elements is damn impressive – their are shifts in tone and texture across the sound-scape which a testament to the effort these guys out into their work. Like FTKOSQ there are layers upon layers of synthesis, and the trademark Borland structural development across the piece is up front, moving organically to a memorable conclusion.

FTKOSQ’s remix of “Clockmen” takes it to a very strange place indeed – ethereal and mysterious – almost an abstract alien place where the core of the original tune occasionally gets the chance to emerge – the beauty of this reworking is that it keeps the intent of the original but removes it to a parallel universe. In a similar vein  the Borland  version of “Chet Beaverbrooke” reworks the elements into a sparser reverb dizzy, bass soaked model, which prompts me to suggest to Breen and Gregg that they should work with vocalists more often (cf. The Glitch with Kin) – as their music does seem to get transported to an entirely new place with the addition of, specifically, female vocals.

All in all a very auspicious beginning for Gulf Records – the conceptual continuity across the four pieces is remarkable and the unique and cutting edge nature of the music makes this an early contender for short-form release of the year.

Buy it here.

Aural Delights Radio Show – 30th March 2011

All new stuff on this show with a couple of tracks from the first release on new lable Gulf Records and some things that have been sent my way by bands and lables:

1. Mummy Short Arms – Cigarette Smuggling – Single – very excited by this band out of Glasgow. They are  James Allan (voc), Stu Brown (gtr), Fraser Gillies (gtr), Cammy Findlay (bass), Craig Brown (rhythm gtr/percussion), Dean McClure (synth), Gary Pinkerton (drums)  http://www.myspace.com/mummyshortarms.
The single is released on 30th May on  http://www.flowersinthedustbin.org
2. Van Der Graaf Generator – Bunsho – A Grounding in Numbers – from the amazing new album which has just been released. Peter Hammill advises they were aiming to deliver one of the great concept albums in the style of “A Wizard/A True Star” – it’s an amazing piece of work and you can get more info here
3. From the Kites of San Quentin – Chet Beaverbrooke – Split 12″ with Borland – to celebrate the launch of the new Gulf lable I am playing both lead track from  the split 12inch…..the launch party is at Centro on Tib Street in Manchester this Friday – details on Facebook. There will be a remix CD available with the ltd. edition screenprinted vinyl from April 4th, and also digitally from http://gulfrecords.tumblr.com/. The latter of which I am quite excited about for reasons I will not go into. FTKOSQ have always demonstrated a great feel for soulful moody chilled out electronica and this track is no exception – an excellent way to launch the new lable.
4. Periscope – Afterlife – Unreleased direct from Artist – Martin Swinney continues to produce excellent music and this latest piece of work raises the bar even further – hopefully the long awaited album will emerge soon.
5. Miacca – The Cat – Unreleased direct from Artist -another track from this amazing band from Swansea – really great songs and a fantastic voice as well.
6. Half Man Half Biscuit – All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit – Back Again In the DHSS – pure poetry from the Wirral Peninsula
7. Borland – Clockmen – Split 12″ with From the Kites of San Quentin – the other part of the Gulf release with the cheeky Borland chappies in their element with an absolute classic. I played an earlier iteration of this tune on the show some time back and they have fettled it in their inimitable way since then. As usual with Rob and Ian it builds into a mammoth piece of noise from small beginnings. There is a hell of a lot to listen to here so its worth concentrating on the laminal nature of structure.
8. The Love Load – Candy Dish – The Human Resourceful – as played last week – an excellent band from the other side of the Atlantic.
9. Boris – Jackson Head – New Album – the jury is still out on this album which oscillates madly between J-Rock and Techno – not what I was expecting. This is a more traditional Boris tune.
10. Letters to Fiesta – Traveller – Unreleased direct from Artist – another track from this band from Mancunia – I see great things for them as they are unique and rather refreshing in a scene where indie wailing clones predominate.
11. The Suuns – Up Past the Nursery – Zeroes QC – a rather fascinating Canadian band with an altogether unique feel…..from the impressive new album.
12. Garfield Mayor – Let Love Be Your Energy – Take and Take – In 2007 Garfield Mayor finally got the break he’d been looking for… Picked up by 3 times Grammy Award winning US artist Rob Thomas he was immediately signed to Thomas’ new label RTEL Records (Sony BMG). Mayor’s debut album ‘Take and Take’ was made in between London, New York and his home in Coventry.
13. Greenfire – Constant Rewind – Time is the Enemy – Manchester band featuring ex Sicknurse bass player Jon Rowlinson.
To listen to the show click the link below

cats in space redux

I accidently deleted my old Aural Delights Blog over the Christmas period and lost quite a lot of the reviews I did in 2010. Fortunately due to the wonders of “cacheing” I was able to recover a sizeable amount of the material which I spent most of January 2011 putting onto this blog.

Unfortunately my articles on one of my favourite “rockin’ teen combos” the mighty Borland were lost so I’ve decided the best thing to do is a “story so far” artist overview in anticipation of their forthcoming split 12″ with From the Kites of San Quentin and the promise of a new album sometime soon.

So here we go…..

The core of Borland is Rob Gregg and Ian Breen. They play keyboards/synths and guitar respectively – percussion is sometimes involved either via both, or Fran Douglas and sometimes there is singing from Rob and Ian and with guest vocalist including Kin.

The roster of the Borland “Big Band” as described on their Bandcamp site is a little more specific

  • Rob Gregg – Keyboards, synths, samples, sequencing
  • Ian Breen – Keyboards, synths, guitar, sequencing
  • Kin – Vocals
  • Thomas Langfield – Guitar
  • Fran Douglas – Drums

I first chanced upon them when Julia Adamson of Invisiblegirl records sent me the Borland EP Octopop which includes the simply marvellous track “The Glitch”. I was immediately attracted to their rich electronic marvels and their approach which married progressive and post rock sensibilities with synthesizer music.

The duo write and arrange their music on the Fruity Loops software programme which leads to complex and lengthy pieces of music using many different sounds, textures, and tones. Live it’s a different with Rob playing keyboards and Midi controllers whilst Ian uses his guitar through a vast array of pedals. And then there’s the dry ice.

Rob has a seperate project called Anclove and Ian is a member of both Well Wisher and Day for Airstrikes.

Releases so far and where to get them include:

Lake and Tree and Me

Octopop (Invisiblegirl)

Truth Remix (With Danny Short)

House

Supernova Lovers

Radio Waves

Quantum Woman

Other interesting links to source their material include

This City Is Ours which features a remix of Star Magnet from the Quantum Woman EP

Mind On Fire which features Cat Lazers from Octopop, and Delphi from

The band describe themselves  “melodramatic synths crashing over breakbeat madness punctuated with sliced vocals from famous historical figures, and little girls / new wave sex rave / four on the floor ambient hardcore”

Indeed……