Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Maxxi Soundsystem-Criticize

I was slightly skeptical when I learned of Maxxi Soundsystem's reworking of Alexander O'Neal's classic 80s pop hit 'Criticize'. The original has been a guilty pleasure of mine ever since my dad drummed it into my ears at an early age and also by watching VH1 on heavy rotation when I was still in short pants. How wrong I was. They successfully have turned the original on it's head. Instead of old school synths and O'Neal vocals, we are treated to a peak-time banger that builds up slowly and gathers pace before dropping into a blistering house record. Like much of what's flying out at the moment, it's owes to the old school and classic house of the late 80s/early 90s which only adds to it's appeal. (buy)

  Maxxi Soundsystem - "Criticize" by Kojak Giant Sounds™

For those who prefer the original check out the 12" remixes release here.  This includes an acapella version too which always comes in handy.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Chromatics-Night Drive

Some music is just made to fit certain types of weather and different times of year. If you are experiencing a dreary, misty, cool and damp night (or are watching a David Lynch movie with the sound turned off), stick on Chromatics seminal 2007 album "Night Drive", it will just fit and encapsulate your mood. Chromatics really are the jewel in the crown that is Italians Do It Better; a label full of nostalgia, heavy reverb and a burgoening roster of fantastic music. Apparently upon it's first release, label owner Johnny Jewel under increasing demand from an expectant public pressed and released the demo version as a full album. Late last year the decision was made to remaster and repress the album together with original demos missed from the original pressing. The new version included the sleepy club tracks of 'I Want Your Love' and 'Night Drive' and the haunting Kate Bush cover 'Running Up That Hill'. The added tracks are somewhat darker and obscure but add balance and depth to the album, with the final track Accelerator hinting that the journey that the album has taken you on is coming to its conclusion and the credits are about to roll with the car speeding into the distance.


Chromatics-The Telephone Call

Chromatics-Night Drive

Chromatics-Circled Sun


Thursday, 17 February 2011

East Where?

About six months ago, the world was treated to a simple and short but effective video guide to 'hipster' culture. It became a youtube sensation (it even did rounds in my bleedin' office) and formed many people's perceptions of what it took to be entailed in the East London Hackney/Dalston scene which was overloaded with young gentleman and ladies with vintage threads; cool or media/promotional/god knows employment; and very suspect grooming. It was obvious that 'Being A Dickheads Cool' was a harmless parody and is now in today's 20 tweet a minutes internet fucking whatever, old news. 

I don't live in East London, don't know really any self defined 'hipsters' but I've experienced enough knobheads in my time and scenes/fads (in and out of this part of the world) to know that behind all the parodies, parties and pills it's clear one factor pisses all over whatever creative aspect this scene/area has to offer; serious fucking dollar.

Take Blaise Belville. Only last month he was named as one of Daily Mail's top 50 powerful posh people under 30. The list was a who's who of the trust fund bellend league with their money and parent's power stretching over politics, fashion, stage, films and where young Blaise fits in, young entrepreneurs. 'Blaise Belville', his name sounds like a fictional posh wanker out of Alan Bennett play. Public school accents are back apparently, under Labour they were the 'endangered species', at the mercy of the working class hero. We under-estimated the staying the power of the young and privileged elite. Spare me.

He first came to prominence a couple of years back in a cringe-worthy Times article where we were told to watch out for him as the poster boy of a entrepenurial generation. Here we learnt 'that you were 'not worthy' if you don't have a main job and sideline in the form of a DJ gig or a fashion label, a popular blog or all three'. Oh we've never had it so good. The article was highlighting his success in launching his own pop-culture website (readplatform.com) and his turn as a DJ and promotor in 'trendy' East London. If I lived in real East London; you know where you'd get your head kicked in if you attempted to wear a Duran Duran tee shirt with rolled up sleeves, glasses the size of your face and had one of those non-descript 'where the fuck are they from' sort of accents (probably the home counties); I'd be seriously fucked off by the blatant misrepresentation of the area. I'm a northerner and even I know Dalston aint that far fucking east.

It doesn't bother me that Belville is successful, has had his arse licked by national newspapers and has a shedload of cash. What bothers me is what I regard as the blatant insincerity of it all. Take readplatform.com for example. Belville has done well in establishing the website and on the back of it spinoffs including the Boiler Room night. A couple of months back the website launched a competition where entrants had to prepare a DJ mix showcasing their mixing skills (or computer skills-you decide) and musical taste. The prize was a top of the range Blackberry, some tee shirts together with an exclusive opportunity to open at the Boiler Room who has had acts such as James Blake, Theo Parrish and Mount Kimbie DJ. It turns out it was a load of bollocks. No Blackberry, just an age-old media style swindle to promote a night, website etc and prove the promotor has the balls to hand out a product he could probably buy with his loose change. The excuse that has been given to why the Blackberry wasn't available to be sent to the eventual winner was that of an office error. Bollocks. More trendy hipster tees? No thanks. A picture paints a thousand words.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Move D-Hydrophonic EP

Not much posting, not much writing, but theres always time for tunes and especially for Move D.

Side 2 has been part of his sets for a while and it finally drops on vinyl/download from next Monday. Just how good this release is beyond description. A mutual friend who partied with him and Jus Ed at Freerotation last year says he's the nicest guy you could meet too. Always good to hear one of the good guys getting the exposure that their talent deserves.

  Uzuri014-Move-D-Your-Personal-Healer by uzuri

  Uzuri014-Move-D-Sur-un-Bateau-avec-Eric by uzuri

Get this wonderful release here.

BONUS tune. Check this excellent ultra deep tune from 2007 by the man again on Soulphiction's Philpot imprint below.

Move D-Got Thing

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Sunday Music

Today has been pretty horrendous. Heading out for a good mate's 30th on a rail ale trail was always gonna be messy. I don't remember a large portion of the night, and woke up this morning (well afternoon) with red paint and mud on my coat and absolutely no money in my wallet. Bugger. Fortunately the tunes below are helping me through it.

Beach Fossils-Distance

Spacek-Smiles & Roses

The Walkmen-While I Shovel The Snow

The Lightsleepers-Dinner in Celesteville

Doveman-Tender Mercies

Wednesday, 2 February 2011



Low recently announced the details of their forthcoming album C'mon set to be released on April 11th (12th in U.S/Canada). C'mon is the follow up to the critically lauded Drums and Guns, and represents their first work since 2007. Alan Sparhawk describes their new album as "Warm, pretty, large like Nashville without the country. Mim and I are talking to each other in he lyrics, sometimes it's not pretty, but it's as honest as love". 

They have today announced details of a North American and European tour, with several UK dates including a return to Manchester at Club Academy on May 19th. Tickets are on sale 9am Friday 4th February. Get them here. As a bonus they have gifted us a preview of the lead track of the album 'Try to Sleep' above. Pre-order the new album direct from Sub Pop Records here.