Aural Delights Radio Show – 14th December 2011 – Albums of the Year Part #2

Part the second of a rapid scurry through the best releases of the year as nominated by some Salford City Radio DJs and a select band of followers of The Fall

Deerhoof – Secret Mobilization – vs Evil (January) – the slow drip release technique was either a clever marketing ploy or the sign of a band that knows it’s audience. In any event their best yet in that it retains the quirky nature of the bands work to date whilst adopting a more accessible approach. The selected track merges a funk approach with astringent rock in a sort of 1970s aesthetic.

Gnod – Visions of Load – Chaudelande Volume One (November) – the second album this year from our local space rock monsters. They started their last European tour by spending a couple of days in the Studio Chaudelande, a small house in the Normandy countryside. The sessions will be as a two volumes LP series on Tamed Records, of which this is the first. I sense a slight change in direction here but the core Gnod manifesto still persists. Unfortunately due to the need to fit a lot into the show only half of this track could be played.

Dum Dum Girls – Bedroom Eyes – Only In Dreams (September) Does the Raveonettes production wreck the original lo-fi wonderment of the Dum Dum Girls?  Well you can hear Dee Dee’s voice a lot more clearly and the production is clearly more “professional” as it were. Adding a proper band for this album tends to shift the emphasis away from her as musician and develop her more as vocalist/lyricist. The original charm of the band may have been lost but this is a fine album, and the selected tracks is a fine piece of American pop.

Girls – Alex – Father, Son, Holy Ghost (September) – some grumpiness about this in the reviews – too polished and not as adventurous was one comment. Disagree completely – this is original brain flipping stuff – almost subversive in it’s adoption of pop mores into the area of psych and prog. Owens and White write well and put some effort and thought into the music.

Feist – Caught A Long Wind – Metals (October) I’m not completely sold on this nu-folk stuff (especially the UK end of things) but Leslie Feist is able to take the core elements of this genre and develop it into something a little more compelling. There is a gentle feel to this album which provides a nice counterpoint to a lot of the stuff I listen to. There are times where is gets a tad chocolate box cover in parts but generally more agreeable.

Thurston Moore – Illuminine – Demolished Thoughts (May) In which Thurston works with Beck to go in a Nick Drake direction – well to my ears anyway in the string arrangements if nothing else. Some said it was similar to Murray Street, which as far as I am concerned is damn fine, as that’s one of Sonic Youth’s best albums. With the dissolution of his marrage to Kim, and the future of the Youth uncertain one wonders where he will go next.

Tom Waits – Get Lost – Bad As Me (October) a common theme of the albums in this exercise is artists coming back to form after a long lay off – this time seven years. Tom is back to his gnarly, bluesy, jazzy best on this album.  An enjoyable set of songs proving he still has it in him to deliver cutting edge music.

The Jar Family – Debt – The Jar Family (November) a collective of five singer-songwriters from Hartlepool – this is their debut and rather impressive it is too. There is a variety of excellent writing and styles on this album. I would guess world domination is not far away for these as they certainly have the  tunes.

Efrim Manuel Menuck – I am no longer a motherless child – Plays High Gospel (May) debut album from the chap behind Godspeed!You Black Emperor and A Silver Mount Zion. Some serious guitar distress on this album with walls of heavily processed sound allied to Efrim’s trademark keening vocalisations (my good lady leaves the home when I play ASMZ tracks she thinks he is in pain). Some nods back to early Eno material with Frippisms appearing in places.

Mike Patton – Calculus of Finite Differences – The Solitude of Prime Numbers (November) Patton’s third film soundtrack to date and his most accessible. Simply put its sounds nothing like he has done before, in his many incarnations in the business.  If you like his more extreme work be in for a shock, this is formally constructed, ambient in parts, and definitely highly listenable.

Perplexa – Tribal – Gone Beyond (January) – Detroit’s space-rockers moving into entirely new territory with a bold world music sound.  There are links to Spaceman 3 here with Caruthers on bass and some stunning cello work from Phil Myers. Marvellous!

Peaking Lights – Hey Sparrow – 936 (February) fascinating stuff – drifting, dub, space-rock psyche from Wisconsin. Drum machine, basic keyboards,  guitar, and   bass grooves make for gorgeous low-fi pop. Vashtu Bunyan guests on this selection.

This City of Takers – This City is a Pipe Bomb – The Felt (November)  Indie-Rock band from St. Louis playing Post-Punk music not dissimilar to Sonic Youth, Cursive, and Spoon.  Self released album on Bandcamp which is free also…..mightily impressive sound.

Psychic Ills – Midnight Moon – Hazed Dream (October) and to close a beautiful piece of dreamy psychedelia…….

To listen to the show click on the link

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Aural Delights Radio Show – 2nd November 2011

The playlist for this show was

  • Matadors – Battles – all the info is here………  http://www.matadorsofficial.com/
  • Don’t Touch the Walls – Echoes – Don’t Touch the Walls are an alternative/folk/rock band from Birmingham. Their music is made up of strong rhythms, driving guitar and cutting male-female vocal harmonies. With influences coming from the worlds of folk, rock, funk and pop they are working hard at bringing their music to new listeners.
  • Periscope – Paper Flowers – Released on 21/10/2011 as a free download single with the option to donate to http://www.savethechildren.net/ for more info                   visit http://www.myspace.com/periscope2010
  • The Criminal Crew – Edgar Wallace – THE CRIMINAL CREW is a fun project by Markus Gather, Markus Reinartz and Carola Kickers. It combines elements of Swing, Rap and Hip Hop and is meant as an irreverent homage on the German Edgar Wallace movies made in the 60s. The Criminal Crew’s “Edgar Wallace – The Midnight Movie Mix” is being re-released to coincide with the release of the forthcoming UK horror film “The Zombie King”
  • The Ventures – Psychedelic Venture – a raver from the vaults
  • Matadors – Moscow
  • Moff Skellington – Thought Kidney Syndrome – from the new album “Embers from the Rapid Eye”
  • Don’t Touch The Walls – The Flood
  • Silent Thinkers – A Silent Thinker – David Affleck is the former frontman & songwriter of a UK band from North East England, called ‘This City Romance’ who performed in a major UK music festival and at ‘E4’s Secret Skins Party’ (Skins is a popular UK TV show for young adults). David then went solo, and has had his one of songs featured on the award winning Soundtrack to the feature film ‘The Dinner Party’. Affleck is now a student at London’s Tech Schools, one of the leading schools in the UK for musicians, where he met up with guitarist Matt Bloomer from the North West of England, and formed the new band ‘Silent Thinkers’. Silent Thinkers debut is a 3 track Concept demo entitled ‘The Soldier Of Romance’. Each song tells a different story about the same person & his life’s journey.
  • Perplexa – Mariposa – one of my albums of the year
  • The Coke Authority – Act A Fool – Although the band gave themselves their name, purely because they liked the sound of it, other people have been coming up with various ideas on how their name came about, one suggestion being The Coke Authority’s music is commentary on the institution of addictive behaviour in youth.
    With the band having members from Latvia, Norway and Italy, they are now beginning to attract an international following, with their popularity resulting in headline gigs at a number of top venues in London to date. Information on soon to be announced gig dates along with further details on The Coke Authority can be found on their website http://www.myspace.com/thecokeauthorityband
  • Matadors – Grace’s Trigger
  • Don’t Touch The Walls – Witches
  • Spirits of the Dead – White Lady Black Rave – a psychedelic-stoner-folk-rock band with one foot in the electric magic of the seventies and the other in the modern electric rock sound of 2012.
To listen to the show click on the link below

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……