Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dyed with the Urine of Phil Collins and the Blood of Jerry Garcia

It always feels like a cheat calling out summer jams before I’ve even had a chance to determine what kind of summer it’s going to be, but since I was sweating like a rapist just walking out to get some onions to use in tonight’s stuffed courgettes I’m gonna plump for one. It’s from DFA, a record label one wouldn’t have tagged as a generator of tracks to listen to in the baking sunshine in their first few years of existence, but it’s from their 12” hook-up series with Rong records and they’re a little more daylight sometimes.

The original of DJ Kaos’s “Love the Night Away” skates by nicely like The Scorpions attempting a vocal cover of Simple Minds “Theme from Great Cities” but it’s the version by Sweden’s Tiedye (who have released a couple of one-sided 12”s on Italians Do It Better) that really hits that sweet spot. The vocal from the slightly stiff, Teutonic original is kept then dropped wetly on top of more Balearic and yacht rock sleight-of-hand than any song this side of Studio’s remix of Kylie. Bongoes, then popping bass, delicious cocktail piano runs, flighty synth arpeggios, echo vox and, best of all, twin lead guitar solos are all present and correct. It’s a track pumped up to the point of bursting, but only to force one to roll down the windows on the Mondeo and let the sound outside to the people where it belongs.

(And how did it take me so long to realise that Tiedye isn’t a Swedish word but something that you probably don’t want to do your t-shirts?)

DJ Kaos - Love the Night Away (Tiedye Mix) [ysi]

DJ Kaos MySpace Tiedye MySpace Buy

The Way You Go Hog Wild

Mainly because I had a jpeg that said Shanty Tramp but also because I wanted an excuse to listen to this song over and over again.

“Shanty Tramp” is ultra-addictive “TV Eye” mainlining garage-punk from Victoria, Australia and that’s all I need some days. This was released as a single back in 1990 and there was no more after that as a couple of them got killed in a car crash. This seven-inch makes a great tombstone though.

The Dirty Lovers – Shanty Tramp [ysi]


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Listening to the mix of dubstep low-end and mid-range isolationalist murk of Mount Kimbie’s “Maybes” sent me back to listen to its nearest junglist equivalent, Third Eye Foundation’s “Semtex” for the first time in years.

Matt Elliott’s Third Eye Foundation emerged from a nineties Bristol scene of lo-fi four-track post-shoegaze bands like Movietone, Crescent and most famously Flying Saucer Attack. Think dense clouds of guitar fog covering mumbled vocals. Like the contemporaneous Bristol trip-hop units, these groups made blunted torpor work for them as an aesthetic strategy. The first two albums by Third Eye Foundation were in this vein, if more hostile (sample seventeen-minute track title: “Way Out Like David Bowman”).

Then in 1996 on Domino Records short lived electronica sub-label Series 500 Elliott dropped “Semtex”, a ten minute sprawl of mezzuin calls, and the usual thick smear of noise but this time pierced by breakneck, hyperactive jungle drum clatter. Writing on drum & bass and on noise has often deployed oceanic and back-to-the-womb metaphors, but “Semtex” is like swimming in a dense slime filled with metal shards.

Here’s the shorter (by five minutes) but harder hitting version:

Third Eye Foundation – Semtex (Version) [ysi]

MySpace Buy

Cosmic, like Jack Kirby

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom’s Days of Mars was an album that either came thirty years too late or a little too early. Not that it didn’t sound fantastic in 2005. It did, but would have found a larger, more attentive audience being released around the same time as Lindstrøm’s Where You Go I Go Too, Alex Moulton’s Exodus or Williams’ faithful cover of Tangerine Dream’s “Love on a Real Train”.

Of course, Delia & Gavin did blow up in 2006 via Carl Craig’s expansive remix of their “Relevee” (a track title that I have always read with a transposed L and V until typing this) and three years later Russom is back under the name Black Meteoric Star with a more abrasive, drum heavy take on their earlier modular analogue sound.

The six tracks that Black Meteoric Star will be releasing on three 12”s (and then a CD) over the course of 2009 take his cosmic music onto the dancefloor. This is overdriven techno with filtered white-noise cymbals and analogue bleep and blat arranged into hypnotically garish patterns like closely viewed benday dots on a 60s comic book page. The title of one track, “World Eater” even references the impossibly powerful Marvel Comics character Galactus. (Or possibly a Warhammer 40,000 game)

The track here, the repetitive and trancelike “Domination” is echoing without being dubby, and bold and distorted without causing the urge to struggle into a gold American Apparel tubetop. OK, let’s face it: “Domination” is the thickest, soupiest kind of acid house. It’s time for Mixmag to run their bi-annual Acid Is! Back! cover again.

Black Meteoric Star - Domination [ysi]

MySpace Buy

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Quote Kinda Dropped In (Like Pitchfork Pad Out Their News With)

One night Edge also overdubbed a cool guitar part, that was named "spirit of punk rock", which is a reference to "the spirit of jazz", a character in the Mighty Boosh TV show.
U2 producer Declan Gaffney on the genesis of "Get On Your Boots"


We’re late on it, but here’s a perceptive essay for Frieze magazine by DJ /rupture about the uses and meanings of Auto-Tune. The stuff about its uses in North African music is something Brian Eno should maybe think about next time he feels the need to spout his guff about how Africans can’t bear to sit still and work at computers.

Near the end of the article he writes about Champion DJ’s “Baako” which “is built around a baby crying through Auto-Tune. The software bends the baby’s anguish into eerie musicality. The ear likes it. The mind isn’t so sure. “Baako” is disturbing. The aestheticized cry no longer corresponds to any normal emotion.”

“Baako” sounds a bit like the mewling baby from the untouchable “Are You That Somebody” by Aaliyah did a Jordy and went solo. And a bit like the end of end of Donald Cammell’s 1977 computer-horror film Demon Seed when the part-human part-computer offspring of Julie Christie and a computerised house is born. Or maybe like the lil Lil Wayne from the front of “Tha Carter III” calling for a (literal) lollipop. Apparently the baby voice is taken from this.

DJ Champion - Baako [ysi]

Friday, May 22, 2009

People in Flames Don’t Eat Quiche

That someone would mix the top-end of redux shoegazing murk with dubstep rhythms was a given, what’s surprising is that instead of it being someone like School of Seven Bells stumbling over a new beat to use, it came from within dubstep. (And let’s not call it shoe-step). Released on Scuba’s longstanding Hotflush label, Mount Kimbie’s “Maybes” opens with repeated clangs of foghorn guitar that sound like they are being played from the top of a lighthouse and recorded from a damp beach a couple of miles away. This is the epic mountainside guitar of pomp-rock suddenly sodden and sorry for itself until the pops and sharp jerks of the drums force it into life.

Second side title “Taps” could describe the funeral march pace or the way that the rhythms sound like something constructed from the sound of a dripping tap as a Tomorrows World demonstration of the possibilities of sampling. At times static and sketchlike, Maybes is the perfect title for this EP; ideas in miniature begging for expansion.

Mount Kimbie - Maybes [ysi]

MySpace Buy

Thursday, May 21, 2009

External Scaffold of Pox

Just reissued under the rubric of being “Carl Craig’s favourite album” is Bernard Szajner’s Some Deaths Last Forever from 1980. It’s an album of naïve melodies, raw arpeggiator grot and the sort of clean and snaking guitar noodling that seems to be many post-prog musicians immediate response to the mechanisation of their craft (definitive example: Manuel Göttsching’s E2-E4).

Szajner’s most famous album is Visions of Dune (recorded under the name ZED) which was inspired by the Frank Herbert’s SF book series and recorded with members of Magma. Analogue synthesis as landscape recurs here but interiorised, although the track “Ritual” is also not too far geographically from the urban wasteland of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, albeit mixed with an Eno-type melody.

Bernard Szajner - Ritual [ysi]

Bernard Szajner - The Memory [ysi]

Homepage Buy

Oh, and even if Szajner had never made any records he’d still go down in history as the inventor of the greatest instrument of the 20th century, the Laser Harp:

...Read more

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pop-Cap: Sonic Youth - The Eternal

Truth in advertising: it does seem to last forever, like death.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pop-Cap: Tortoise – Beacons of Ancestorship

Sounds like I imagine the one OK track might on all those minor Euro-prog obscurities that I download from sharity blogs and then eventually delete before even unzipping them.

“Insane Beauty”, Like One Says On Our Premises

Desire - Oxygene [ysi]

A couple of days ago my physical copy of the seven track version of Desire’s self-titled CD arrived. One of the tracks that never made it to the internet was “Oxygene” and I naturally figured that it would be a slowed down but dancefloor ready version of the Jean Michel Jarre track that that originally got me into electronic music in the first place (thanks to its use in a train based C64 computer game).

Instead, Desire singer Megan Louise is keeping it Quebcois; this “Oxygene” is a French language slow ballad with synths wavering like sob-racked lungs which is a cover of a song by Montreal singer Diane Dufresne who has been performing since the late 60s.

I couldn’t track down an MP3 of the Dufresne original, or even that much about her, but check out this amazing live YouTube for:
Dufresne’s nuts Devo-rutting-with-Klaus-Nomi costume
An audience that’s equal parts Last Night at the Proms and Boys from the Blackstuff
And, if you click through, the YouTube commentariat getting heated about whether Daphne or Celine is Canada’s queen bee

Oh, and fuck it, here is a disco version of Jarre’s Oxygene:

Mc Lane Explosion - Oxygene (Special Greg Wilson Re-Edit) [ysi]

Buy Desire

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pop-Cap: Hector & Bryant – Tension 12”

Unfair record review concepts number one in a series of seventeen:

“Tension” is the first 12” release from the label arm of London dance music store Phonica, a shop I’ve dropped a wad of cash to over the past few years. And often I’ve dropped that cash directly into the paw of Hector. So how does his 12” compare to his counter service?

Well, both take their time to accomplish their tasks, “Tension” brooding on fuzzy middle distance dubbed-out chords and bass clonk for over eight minutes, and Hector leisurely ambling down the counter to fetch whatever I’m after.

Otherwise they couldn’t be further apart; “Tension” is single minded and focussed, never deviating but getting more and more caught up in the web of its own echoes. It certainly doesn’t sound like if it scored a job in a busy record shop it would carry on a conversation with other members of staff despite the fact that someone was standing in front of it with a bunch of records or stop midway through ringing stuff up in order to have a five minute conversation with some other customer it knows.

(The only other ‘celeb’ I’ve bought records from is one of I Monster. He was pretty good so long as you were buying prog).


Saturday, May 09, 2009


One of the few good things to ever turn up in the Rocktimists inbox is this SirBilly edit of Dead or Alive’s 1982 UK Indie Chart hit “The Stranger”. Although Pete Burns was the singer, Dead or Alive’s main songwriter and guitarist at this point was Wayne Hussey, later of flour-covered goths The Mission, and it really shows in the original versions surfeit of chorused guitar arpeggios. In this edit SirBilly shears the guitar fluff and concentrates on chopping and dubbing the drum machine beat.

I’d never considered it before but Pete Burns pretty good tranny act and Wayne Hussy’s spag-bol gothic get-up do both obviously have their origin in the same Liverpool post-punk look (with Echo and the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch being the midway point between them).

Dead Or Alive - The Stranger (SirBilly Liverpool Edit) [ysi]

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Pop-Cap: Burial / Four Tet – Moth / Wolf Cub

Burial. Four Tet. Aside from each attending the same school it seems an odd collaboration. Burial’s aesthetic is pared down to not just sifting through the refuse of a particular seam of UK garage but certain hours of the night, atmospheric conditions and London boroughs. Whereas Four Tet’s Keiren Hebden thrives on stylistic profligacy; taking inspiration from slews of post-rock, cosmic jazz, folk, post-J Dilla beat craft and, yes, garage. One a moth, one a wolf cub.

If the clanks like rusted windchimes under flickering strip lighting that open “Moth” could be either of them, then the swung hi-hats and ebb and flow that, despite the four to the floor four kick, is more lung motion than heartbeat of the rest of the track really does sound like a combination of their strengths—Burial moving from darkly cramped garage to unrenovated house. It’s a doer upper. Only the dislocated female vocals that are more gesture than sense sound imported wholesale from Burial’s usual palette.

Whilst “Moth” synthesises, “Wolf Cub” is scrappier. The never quite reconciling thumb piano loops and deep tubular chords sound like Four Tet, then when the scratchy, itchily swung beat enters two-and-a-half minutes in, well, there’s Burial. The two levels never quite meet, never converse, just warily circle like Japanese fighting fish.

(Track titles may be reversed!)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

First Transmission

Shuffle the papers and stare at the screen. In your office. In his office. At his desk. Shuffle and stare. Again and again. They are outside. The bastards and bullshitters. The bastards and the bullshitters who got you here. Here, here in his fucking office. They loved him. They hate you. Not for what you do. They hate you for what you are. For who you are. For where you come from. They hate you and they want to destroy you. The men who hold the strings. You can’t sweet talk them. You can’t wine them and dine them. Not like he did. Not now. Not anymore. Maybe, you never could. Maybe, they did it for him. Indulged you. Indulged you for his benefit. And those bastards. The bastards and the bullshitters. Whispering in your ear. Telling you to go for it. Telling you he’s weak. With his crusades. His crusades and his lies. No one wants the job. Not now. No one here. Everybody knows it’s over. They can’t even mount a whispering campaign. There’s no one left. There’s no energy left.

Fuck them. Fuck them all. The bastards and the bullshitters. The bastards and the bullshitters, walking you to the chopping the block, walking you to the knackers yard. You’re still in charge though. Still running the ship. Leading the crew. The captain. The captain going down with the ship. So noble. So fucking noble. Captain of the HMS Titanic. Going down with his ship. The ship you built. The ship we built. Not them. Not the bastards and the bullshitters. Not them. Not them with their youtubes and their blogs. Fuck them. Bad advice, bad advice. But you listened. You listened to them. The bastards and the bullshitters. They said smile. Smile. Smile. Smile. And you did. You smiled. You smiled and shook hands. You believed them. Them with their youtubes and their blogs. You smiled. You smiled and the world laughed. Laughed at you. Mocked you. The bastards and the bullshitters. Their smears and their schemes. Their lies. Lies, lies, lies. His lies got you here. You used his lies. Turned them against him. Now what. You never lied. You accepted responsibility. You always did. You always will. Shuffle the papers and stare at the screen. Shuffle the papers and stare at the screen. Fuck them. Fuck them all. The bastards and the bullshitters. Fuck them.

You shuffle the papers for a final time. You stand up. Fuck them. Fuck them all. You will go down with this ship. You will take them with you. You never lied. You accepted responsibility. You. The captain of this ship. You will go down with your ship. You will take the responsibility. You will take his responsibility. You always did. You always will.

Warren Peas has written for magazines you have read. He came up with the name for this blog. It was as a joke so don’t hate him for it.

Italians Do It Cheaper

Here's two large scoops of Italians Do It Better related goodness:

Contradefacto On Blast have posted the six volumes of Chromatics tour CD-Rs, whilst Pukekos are offering what looks like the entire Glass Candy discography prior to their Italians... releases.

All this music is posted with the permission of the bands too.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Pop-Cap: Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications

The break-up of a marriage is slow, painful and demoralising but that doesn’t mean that a Jarvis Cocker solo album seemingly about the death of his should be too. Recorded quickly and cheaply with Steve Albini, Further Complications finds Jarvis trying to wear away the eternal good will afforded him by trying out multiple styles, all of which fit him as well as wifebeater and trucker cap would.

There’s asthmatic uhhs and yeahs on “Angela” and near-instrumental “Pilchard” as his band bluster through rocking out (well, it brought Nick Cave back right?). The dourly self-reflexive “I Never Said I Was Deep” rolls seemingly forever on instrumental vamps and weedy crooning that is more Phoenix Nights than Richard Hawley. There’s even a Batman theme knock-off about new super-antihero “Homewrecker” with, er, raunchy sax honks (by ex-Stoooge Steve MacKay) that seems designed to cash in on Jarv seeing a gaggle of women with fifties tattoos on Shoreditch High Street.

In place of wit or insight, weary puns abound (continuing the bad tabloid feel of his previous albums “Fat Children”). The only respite is on nine-minute closer “You’re in my Eyes (Discosong)” where Jarvis wheezes and his band jam over a loop from Glass Candy’s “Rolling Down the Hills” as warm backing coos gradually thaw the frost from his bones.