Tuesday, 31 March 2015

News - Cling Release New Single



Cling are pleased to announce our first track of 2015.

Its called "Nyangani" and it is all about a mountain in Zimbabwe, where lots of people seem to go missing in a mysterious mist, never to be seen again, the last person went missing in 2014 and still has not been found, scary stuff!


And it's FREE to download!



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News - New Fold Single Is Tribute To Fannie Lou Hamer


Fold are a funk & hip-hop influenced experimental four-piece based in Leeds. They explore the natural rhythms of speech by using samples that also aim to bring to light relevant subjects close to their own hearts and minds. Unlike most forms of sampled music Fold perform everything on stage live in order to preserve a sense of natural groove and unity in line with their funk forebears.

Released as a tribute to an amazing woman called Fannie Lou Hamer, whose efforts helped push through the US Voting Rights Act of 1965, both sides of the single are constructed around her empowering sampled speech. The tracks were produced in keeping with musical developments that arose out of the civil rights movement. This as much a tribute to Mrs Hamer as an acknowledgement of the fact that 50 years after the civil rights movement the impact of racism still damages the lives of many millions of people around the globe.




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Monday, 30 March 2015

News - Thousand Announces Debut Album


Thousand is the project of French songwriter Stéphane Milochevitch.  Starting to play drums at the age of seven, Milochevitch subsequently picked up many other instruments according to his musical needs, filling the four tracks of his cassette home recorder. He spent his teenage years in Houston, Texas, developing his musical and cultural identity. 
Thousand’s debut, ‘Flying Pyramid’ of twelve raw, acoustic folk songs (Arbouse Recordings, 2008),  revealed a sincere, straightforward artist. Though barely promoted, the album was praised by critics and fellow musicians alike, and American songwriter Josh T. Pearson covered and recorded one of Milochevitch’s songs, ‘Song of Abdication’ (here on the new album), which appeared on Pearson’s Mute released, ‘The Singer To The Crowd’ EP.






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News - Futsu Share Live Video



Spring is taking its sweet time getting here, but we don't really care anyway because for Futsu it's pretty much a never ending summer.

So, what better way to launch 'Body island' than transform a Paris venue into a Tiki Lounge and invite everyones to come celebrate the birth of the exotic baby?
Couldn't go to the gig?

Luckily they shot the opening number to make you feel like you were there with them!




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News - MOHIT Release Avant-garde Grunge Debut Single


Early years of boredom and similarly erratic behaviours have shaped MOHIT into the closest of friends. While spread between three bands in 2012, they somehow found spare time to create tunes at leisure. 
 
Throughout misspent youth, they enveloped their curiosity into a cacophony of music, art, literature and a cheap bottle of something potent to create the sound that exists now. The day their very first bedroom demos were recorded, a charming man (bearing the badge 'MOHIT' served up some fine pizza... Hence the name.. 
Now living in London surrounded by exciting new bands from across the continent MOHIT have developed their erratic/angsty sound into a dynamic, crafted, no-holds-barred vision of expression.






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News - Superpoze Unveils Track From New Album




French producer Superpoze, who following his recent collaborations with STWO and Kuage, is back to announce his first full lenght album, Opening, which will be released through his own label Combien Mille Records on 8th June 2015.

The first track to be unveiled from the album, is 'Unlive',
 
As the front man in a new school of French beats which includes the likes of STWO, Fakear and Dream Koala - Superpoze music is moving, personal and focused on melodies and beats built around personally created samples.







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News - Royksopp Announce Andre Bratten Remix




 
Röyksopp ended 2014 with a string of international Grammy nominations having released two critically acclaimed albums in one year; their fifth and final album ‘The Inevitable End’ and their mini album with fellow Scandinavian legend Robyn ‘Do It Again’.
 
Röyksopp will release new single ‘I Had This Thing’, taken from ‘The Inevitable End’ on April 3rd 2015, through Dog Triumph via Wall Of Sound and Cooking Vinyl.
 
The battle between reason and desire is a theme that runs throughout ‘The Inevitable End’ and ‘I Had This Thing’ sums it up perfectly. Röyksopp delicately weave the deliriously sad vocals sung by Jamie Irrepressible, “I still don't know just what I've done” and the emotional final mantra of “I never meant to let you go”, around a cavalcade of electronic textures that descends around him. ‘I Had This Thing’ is another fully realised electronic symphony from a pair of production geniuses constantly looking to innovate.
 
Following the success of the Maceo Plex remix of ‘Sordid Affair’ that was #1 on Hype Machine, Röyksopp present an impressive line up of remixers for ‘I Had This Thing’. Artists include Dutch born Joris Voorn whose recent album ‘Nobody Knows’ was named Billboard’s Electronic Album of the Year, dark disco Norwegian Andre Bratten, production trio Kraak & Smaak, Will.i.am collaborator Wolfgang Gartner, as well as The Presets, Sebastien and Röyksopp vocalist on ‘Sordid Affair’, Man Without Country.
 
 
 
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News - Chassol Unveils Theme To Forthcoming Score




Multi-talented artist Chassol, is currently preparing to release the crowning LP to his unique trilogy of ultrascores, 'Big Sun', on 18th May.

Ahead of this, he's unveiled its main theme, 'Reich & Darwin', a jazz-licked composition of intricate chord variations set to a backdrop of colourful carnival footage.

Created as a method for harmonizing and symphonizing real life, Chassol's latest audio-visual ultrascore follows his journey through his family's birthplace of Martinique, where he filmed and recorded a myriad of extraordinary encounters to create a highly evocative documentary.
 
 
 
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Friday, 27 March 2015

News - Happy Birthday Erasure!

This week marks the thirtieth anniversary of Vince and Andy getting together and forming Erasure, so it seems fitting to end it on the same note.

This is audio from Andy's audition for Vince back in 1985, on an early version of 'Who Needs Love Like That'.







Music - Part 409 - Gaunt Story




Gaunt Story – Nothing Holds You Like a Song
DL
6 April 2015



Multi-instrumental D.I.Y. artist releases his new album.  

Beating Manchester City in the Premiership maybe isn’t the only thing that Burnley can be proud of at the moment.  Enter Rob Ashworth (aka Gaunt Story), a man capable of playing many an instrument and emitting some lovely vocals disguised as some of the most accomplished songs you could hear.

On is new album Ashworth continues his journey through picturesque musical scenarios which will have you moving and jiggling any appendage you wish in an attempt to immerse yourself in his sound.  He’s not a pretentious guitar player either, no silly solos that disappear into an instantly forgettable oblivion, his playing is accomplished and worthy of attention in its own right.

Nothing Holds You Like A Song comprises of eleven tracks, each as entertaining as the other and best listened to in one sitting (although there will be many more) as it takes us on a weaving, escalating roam through gorgeous wordplay and rhyming couplets.

It’s difficult to compare Rob to anyone else although there must surely be others who possess a similar talent, but until we come across them we should embrace what he has to offer for the skill that it is.  Album opener My Son The Liar begins with an addictive guitar pluck which is appealing in itself before even examining the Father/Son conversation which then unfolds.

Rob Ashworth it would seem, is more than a lyricist and songwriter.  The man is a poet, and that’s a rare thing in today’s schizophrenic world of music.  His words could be the subject of a stage reading and no-one would be any the wiser.



The intro to Forest Of The Lost bears more than a passing resemblance to English Rose (The Jam), but what follows continues the exquisite sound than Rob soon makes his own.  Recent single, Seas Of Life ups the pace with an exciting bass that underpins a fascinating song with a chorus that remains in the ether long after the song has ended.

The title track starts unassumingly but soon expands into a full-blown affair with powerful percussion, sliding electric guitars and timely backing vocals.  Drifting away into a blurred cacophony of sound and militarian drums.

More than just a guitar player, November Flows displays the skill of writing an off-kilter melody with drums that occasionally shuffle and tease a trip-hop beat to engage with stunning guitar work.  Album closer, Dreams Of Man returns to the one man-one guitar formula which ends the collection sublimely.

8/10




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Music - Part 408 - The Big Sound Authority


The Big Sound Authority – An Inward Revolution (Cherry Red)

CD

23 March 2015



Former Paul Weller protégées enjoy a re-release of their only album.  

If you’re a child of the 80s you might remember The Big Sound Authority.  A refreshing brand of pop-soul that graced the airwaves with the superb This House (Is Where Your Love Stands) and popped up on TV shows from The Tube to Wogan, from (the final) Old Grey Whistle Test to No.73 (Google it kids!). 

The formation of the band is well-known, with both singer Julie Hadwen and songwriter Tony Burke being introduced to each other after an ad was placed in Smash Hits by Paul Weller calling for artists to sing vocals with The Jam.   The pair went on to form the band and contributed History Of The World to Wellers Respond Records sampler album, they then turned down a contract instead taking up an offer from MCA.

An Inward Revolution spawned three singles – This House was the only one to grace the Top 40 and missed out on the Top 20 by just one place, A Bad Town and Moving Heaven And Earth.  The album unfortunately proved to be the band’s first and last which was followed by a fourth single Don’t Let Our Love Start A War which again failed to chart.




It’s fair to say that the full potential of the band was never achieved.  Critically acclaimed, they employed the skills of a string of top producers which included Tony Visconti and Robin Millar, recorded sessions for Radio 1, and performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival.  Despite all this they never reached the commercial success that they so richly and rightly deserved.

A Bad Town kicks off the album and how it was never a hit single is a mystery, perhaps it was the left wing lyrics and ideals which featured highly.  It was one of the most energetic singles of the time and focussed on both the vocals of both Burke and Hadwen with a strong chorus and superb brass, section it also expanded the single version by a minute and a half with a brilliant instrumental segue.

The Big Sound Authority weren’t just about high powered anthems though, their ability to craft some lovely ballads and torch songs had to be applauded and slotting in Loverama as the second track was a master stroke. 

Thirty years since its original release it’s actually difficult to believe that there were only three singles lifted from the album.  The reason probably being an affectionate over-familiarity – it was played over and over and over.  When Things Fall Apart is sheer poetry.

Both vocalists possessed a gritty, almost harsh voice which only added to the muscle of the backing and My Hell Shaped Room showcases Hadwen’s remarkable voice with aplomb.  (Call Me) Soul Man was another brassy affair begging for single release.

Now released for the first time on cd, the album features all the bands output including additional single versions, 12” mixes and b-sides.  Sure, there are several versions of some songs but the inclusion of Mother Help Us All, History Of The World and Somebody Up There Likes Her confirms that the band weren’t one trick ponies and could have gone on to much greater things.

An Inward Revolution is one of those forgotten gems, but with this re-release maybe a discerning pop audience will give it one more try.


8/10

Links
Cherry Red Records
The Big Sound Authority on Twitter
The Big Sound Authority on Facebook


Published on Louder Than War 20/03/15 - here



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News - Elephant Memoirs Release Debut Single As Free Download




Elephant Memoirs are an alternative indie/rock band from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Uk. They are, John Aspinall (Guitar, Vocals), Barry Drew (Drums) and Carl Aspinall (Bass).


Their new single 'Mug' is out now.  The song sticks to the bands unique style which in their words is, 'A driving powerful rhythm section, accompanied by melodic distorted guitar'.

With music similarities to Biffy Clyro, BRMC, Frank Turner and QOTSA and lyrically covering themes such as love, prejudice, frustration and life in general. The band has gone from strength to strength since the release of a 4 track demo back in August 2014. Playing higher profile gigs, supporting touring bands such as, Whiteclouds & Gunfire, Everybody Looks Famous and Beyond Recall, to recently headlining their own shows. They have also received a significant amount of radio airplay, most recently being played on BBC Radio 6.

Always gaining positive feedback in regards to their song structure and tight purposeful sound. Elephant Memoirs have been well received locally and nationally and this has been reflected in recent articles wrote about the band. 

They are already booked back into the studio in June, where they will be recording a new EP. This is pencilled in for release in August and will be accompanied by a launch gig. This is all currently being sorted out along with a load of other stuff too. Keep an eye out. 




Elephant Memoirs:




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Monday, 23 March 2015

Music - Part 407 - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark




Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Junk Culture Deluxe Edition (UMC)
Deluxe CD / DL
Out Now


Electronic pioneers 1984 album is given the deluxe treatment.  

In 1983, the amazing success that Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark had built up with their Architecture And Morality album seemed to disappear in the unloyal world of pop.  Their superb Dazzle Ships album, whilst (quite rightly) being critically acclaimed was less of a success commercially.  A rethink was required, and the following year they returned with the triumphant Junk Culture.

Triumphant because the first single, Locomotion was a huge Top 5 hit.  It was infectious almost to the point of annoying, and nowadays seems so throwaway that it’s untrue, but it put Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey back on the pop map.  In terms of a pop song, it borders classic – instantly recognisable from the first few seconds, a chorus that everyone knows and verses that were as memorable as choruses – it was heard everywhere.

On Junk Culture it fitted in nicely because there was no one true style.  The instrumental title track was a strange choice for album opener and given their previous fall from grace, maybe a little rash, but the calculated risk proved to be well-timed.  The albums second single, Tesla Girls is as perfect as pop singles get and an excerpt from which is ironically currently being ‘borrowed’ on a TV advert for a loan company.  The “tes-tes-t-t-t-t-tes” which became a superb strap-line for the track was interestingly not used on the album version but on the single and 12”version the latter of which is included on a superb second disc to this deluxe edition.


Love And Violence is a wonderful slab of electro-punk-pop with McCluskey frequently screaming his vocals over a raw backing.  OMD were never afraid to experiment, in fact it sometimes got in the way of a nice flowing album and created the odd filler.  That wasn’t the case on Junk Culture. 

In between slower tracks Hard Day and White Trash comes a calypso effort with a bank of horns in the form of All Wrapped Up. Bizarrely it doesn’t sound out of place.  The album ends with the sugar sweet, musical box sound of Talking Loud And Clear, the second single from the album managed a creditable 11 spot in the charts.

Maybe learning their lesson from the less acceptable Dazzle Ships, they followed the lead of fellow popsters Tears For Fears and put some of their more experimental tracks on b-sides and bonus tracks.  Her Body In My Soul and The Avenue (Locomotion) and Julia’s Song (Talking Loud And Clear) are all included on the bonus cd, but pride of place goes to The Angels Keep Turning (The Wheels of The Universe) which still sounds incredible.  Originally, a one sided single with the album release it is given the digital treatment here and sounds amazing for it.

With 12” versions of all four Junk Culture singles, demos, b-sides and previously unreleased tracks (10 To 1 and All Or Nothing) the deluxe treatment of the album is certainly a worthwhile addition to any music collection whether OMD fan or not.  Junk Culture is simply one of those timeless albums.

8.5/10

Links
UMC Records
OMD website
OMD on Twitter
OMD on Facebook


Published on Louder Than War 16/03/15 - here


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Friday, 20 March 2015

News - Kobadelta Announce New EP




hiapop likes Kobadelta.  A lot.

So, when news reached us yesterday that a new EP was on the way, much excitement ensued.

The Open Visions EP will be launched at Think Tank in Newcastle on Friday 1st May with support from Coquin Migale and Sun Dance.

Tracks will be gradually released publicly week by week in the build up to the launch, with a music video for one track coming very soon.

Track listing is:
1.   Even The Odds (They Mean You No Harm)
2.   Blame It All On Me
3.   Maskirovka
4.   Watch What You're Doing
5.   Ithaca
6.   Black Pyramid

Was this space!



Pre-order the cd here - www.kobadelta.bandcamp.com



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Music - Part 406 - Blancmange




Blancmange – Semi Detached (Cherry Red)
LP/CD/Deluxe CD/DL
23 March 2015

Legendary 80s electronica act release the new album.  

A lot has been said about Semi Detached, and quite rightly so.  Since the return of Blancmange with 2011s Blanc Burn the band have made their intentions quite clear in that there was unfinished business following the original disbandment after their Believe You Me album back in 1985.

There were clearly second helpings still to be enjoyed, and although Stephen Luscombe has not made any live appearances on the current Blancmange incarnation he has clearly had input.  On this, the fifth Blancmange album proper (not including the recent remake of their debut album which was  renamed Happy Families Too), Luscombe plays no part leaving Neil Arthur to take the reins.

Arthur’s Northern quirk is present throughout Semi Detached though the overall feel is darker.  Brooding through ten tracks there’s a feel that the Blancmange sound still has much to offer.  In terms of composition it’s probably most akin to the 1985 bow-out as songs feel slightly looser whilst remaining clinical sounding and impeccably arranged.

Opener, The Fall is a dissection of the London Underground, lost love and clutching tickets to see Mark E Smith and his crew.  It’s unassuming, and on first listen possibly a peculiar start to the album, but on subsequent hearings (and, there will be many of Semi Detached) it becomes apparent that it is well thought out.  Maybe a call to Luscombe and the friendship than began over thirty years ago, it flows from humble beginnings to an eight minute overture slowly easing in the listener.

The version of Can’s classic I Want More pays tribute to the German experimental rock band in the form of their only UK hit.  It’s perfect for Arthur to interpret the madcap approach and repetitive chorus in with a modern day twang and the infectious quality of the single could possibly be a future single release if widespread recognition is what he so desires.



Current release, Paddington a song about the tube location and not the bear, pulls together random images of London and has a musical hook with a sound not unlike Living On The Ceiling the track that will probably keep Neil in Ewood Park pies for the rest of his life.  It’s a well-constructed poppy affair, as is the bulk of the album, showing the darker side of the man whilst maintaining the mainstream prowess.

The instrumental MKS Lover begins with a nod in the direction of synth classic Being Boiled and displays the multi-layered, looped sound to which we have been accustomed to.  Semi Detached is a huge progression from Arthur’s last (and debut) solo album Suitcase though yet again utilises the assistance of Adam Fuest who is at the mixing desk this time round.  Another regular is David Rhodes whose effective guitar playing has almost always been a feature of Blancmange’s work.

Like I Do and Acid delve into dance oriented territory and provide more opportunities for radio airplay.  Album closer, Bloody Hell Fire is a superbly atmospheric piece of tired dispassion and self-pity.  Arthur’s vocals are as fine as they have ever been and show a side that many may not have encountered before – beautifully haunting.

Semi Detached is a modern day riposte to the Blancmange of the 80s.  Still catchy, still infectious but now all grown up.  The journey will no doubt continue, but for the moment this could the acts finest album to date.

9/10

Links
Cherry Red Records
Blancmange website
Blancmange on Twitter
Blancmange on Facebook
Blancmange on hiapop Blog

Published on Louder Than War 13/03/15 - here 


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