Music Diary 2nd January 2012

Now then the trouble with starting a diary like this is that the day you do it you get struck down with a virus and don’t really feel like doing much other than lying in bed and watching old episodes of Stargate SG-1 (one of those Guilty Pleasure things that Stephen Doyle likes broadcasting about). However a steaming cup of Lemsip and a deep breath and here we go again…….

  • Pleased as punch to see SCR get included by FMS as the station that does the best work for unsigned bands in its Independent Top Ten of 2011. Thanks Paul.
  • Interested to see Drowned in Sounds top nine Mancunia  of 2011 – i’ve played three of them (Gnod, Air Cav and FTKOSQ) but had not heard of any of the others which demonstrates to some degree the vast amount of music out there – not enough hours in the day.
  • Half way through reading an advance copy of Stephen Dobson’s excellent biography of Ian “Moet” Moss of Hamsters, Sicknurse and Kill Pretty fame. A fascinating read – will be writing a review once I have got rid of these germs.
  • Just trying to finalise the line-up for what we hope will be the first of a series of SCR nights at the Kings Arms featuring local independent artists – thanks to Roland via Paul and Zena for the support in getting this going. Watch this space for details.
  • A little embarrassed by the article on myself by a Mr Coupe (a teacher in Oldham allegedly) on the ‘Zeen webpages. Such things are very nice but do tend to divert one from the job in hand.
  • Another new track in from the excellent “Long Hat Pins” who I will be featuring regularly on the Tuesday night show in this new year of ours.
  • Three new tracks in from Ruby Tuesday – another guitar/drums duo (are bass players a dying breed I ask myself ?- not if Josh Dutton/Lord Sophie  are anything to go by – I quickly respond).  A great dirty blues sound with some serious rock hooks. Expect some airplay in due course.
  • Local band Ninetails can be voted for in one of those MTV new band of 2012 thingies – being technically inept in this etherweb nonsense I am struggling to find out how to vote for them mind you – which I would like to do. Ahah – the lads have responded quickly to my plea to them on Frazzlebuch – vote here and vote often!
  • Richard Youngs album “Amaranthine” is released on vinyl on the 16th January 2012.  You can stream 2 tracks from the LP here and pre-order it here – there are only 500 copies.
  • Rachmaninov got the number one spot in the Classic FM chart of charts – there you go.

Right – that’s enough for today – back to Major Samantha Carter and the other three.

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Salford Music Scene – 21st July 2011

Mostly about promoting forthcoming gigs but also some new stuff and a couple of classics….sorry no time for any words about the bands this week due to other distractions….

  1. Trojan Horse – Patricroft Way
  2. From the Kites of San Quentin – Lantern Melt
  3. Cyril Snear – Heath Robinson
  4. Factory Star – The Fall of Great Britain
  5. The Monochrome Set – We Are Zarbie
  6. Cougar Manouver – No Light
  7. Everyday Goldfish – Second Thoughts
  8. Madpack – Hush
  9. Humanizer – The Manifesto Is Over
  10. AAAK – BOS
  11. Toby Jughead and his band of Merry Drones– Media City Ditty (Radio Edit)
  12. Shanty Town – Biscuit
  13. V Thirteen – You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone
  14. The Fall – Contraflow
To listen to the show 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