Monday, 2 May 2011

Sounds I've been liking

Mid year round-up (kind of)

Love The English Riviera so much I could've picked any number of tracks. This gets the nod for the Japan style guitar..

Another phenomenal new Burial track.

Not crazy about the one he’s done with Thom Yorke much, but THIS I love. Nice video too.

This hits all the right spots. From the blazing 2011 mixtape House of Balloons. 'The weeknd' is a Canadian R&B singer named Abel Tesfaye of whom I know nothing, but this is one of my faves of the year thus far. The production on this track is pure silk.

Thrillingly experimental pop shapes from a young artist who is already amassing a serious body of work.

Got a lot of time for Faris Badwan. I liked The Horrors even before they turned into Neu!

Anyway Badwan’s Cat’s Eyes project is a lovely, lovely, languid record, with cocktail lounge notes and heavy elements of maestro Morricone’s 1960s/70s work. It also has more than a hint of Broadcast (naturally, for the influences are near identical) and the wonderful vocals remind me of the much missed Trish Keenan.

A masterful return from one of my absolute favourite bands in the world and a group who have never disappointed me. Much expansion here on their ultra-minimalist sonics and a little 'Cortez the Killer'-era Neil Young in the guitar-as-landscape sound. Unexpectedly aggressive by Low standards too.

Yet more Morricone, via Danger Mouse and although I am not entirely convinced by what I have heard of this ROME project I am definitely feeling the Hotel California nods here. I fear this album may be a little bit polite and anonymous, as star-heavy collaboration records tend to be, but we will see. This is a very pretty groove and even Jones’ normally soporific vocal has an unexpected edge to it. She sounds like she’s had a heavy night on this.

New/old soundz for the kids. Nostalgia for me. It's 1990 again.

The Abnormals

I'm old enough to remember when comics were mostly read by children.

I was one myself. My dear departed pops used to pick up Spidey and Hulk US imports for me at the amazing, long-gone Yankee Mags in Paisley, Scotland (Oldest UK comic shop, folks).

On the odd Saturday I would go along with him and gaze at the piles of Marvel comics stacked up from floor to ceiling. Happy, simple times indeed.

I even have this, still in very good condition, thanks to a kind and clearly naive older cousin who gave all his UK first editions to me.

Luckily, even at eight years old, I had near OCD levels of keeping/hording stuff.

Anyway, I stopped collecting comics a long, long time ago, but I still have all my old ones and pick up the odd graphic novel now and again, whenever comic geek pals recommend me something that piques my interest. I think the last comic I got obsessive over was probably Preacher, which an ex-girlfriend got me hooked on while I was at Uni.

So I wouldn’t normally be in a position to recommend a cool new comic. Unless someone I know goes and actually produces one.

The Abnormals is the new comic from Grant Springford. Grant is an upsettingly talented comic book artist and writer from London town.

Entirely self-produced, and focusing on a strange collective of London-based super-beings, it comes highly recommended. The first issue is seriously good. The artwork is beautiful and odd, the dialogue whip-smart and intriguing. This dude is going places.

While crafting this opus, Mr Springford offered to place a mock poster of my short 2008 film The Initiation in the panels that feature Westminster Station, which was most kind of him. The juxtaposition of film still and comic looks pretty cool I think.

In return for that favour I am going to be doing something very exciting for the comic later in the year.

You can find out more at the soon to be complete website and the man himself will be at the Bristol Comic Con 2011 doing all things Abnormal. Literally.

Go and say hello.


Le Carpenter c'est magnifique!

Zombie Zombie
are a couple of French whiteboy music nerds who - by chance - I happened to see three times in the space of a year (2008) supporting various other bands (Yeasayer and, I think, The Horrors) and once on their own at the Amersham Arms in New Cross. They weren’t the most er, visually compelling prospect but they did make a really entertaining din - sounding very, very like a certain horror director’s classic scores, played live.

Naturally they’ve now made a John Carpenter covers EP.

And it’s completely boss.

The trick here is that ZZ take the analogue dread of Crapenter’s seminal tracks (and Morrcone’s uncharacteristic The Thing score) and stretch them out into long, hypnotic Can-like grooves without ever losing the essence of the originals.

Love what they do here to EMs super minimalist 'The Thing'.

And with 'Assault on Precinct 13' (complete here with a live video of much nerdgasmic percussion and knob twiddling), Carpenters’ sinister synth lines take flight into a hypnotic space jam with added funk squelch.