Archive for the ‘AU Stereo’ Category

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AU61: Stereo Tracks

January 4, 2010

This is what I was listening to at the end of October, then…

SHACKLETON – ASHA IN THE TABERNACLE (PERLON)

Sam Shackleton is the kind of visionary producer that transcends genre. Sure, the torrents of sub-bass in his tunes owe much to dubstep, but his new album Three EPs goes way beyond the template laid out by Skream, Benga and co, and this track from it is one of the creepiest pieces of music you’ll hear all year. Snatches of the children’s hymn ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’ drift into the mix among the groaning synths, the pitter-patter of percussion and the churning bass, and it sounds for all the world like a funeral march. This is gloriously weird and wholly original music.

GENTLE FRIENDLY – VINCENTT (UPSET THE RHYTHM)

You thought the States has this whole noise-pop thing sewn up? You thought wrong, as Peckham synth-and-drums two-piece Gentle Friendly are holding it down for this side of the pond. Like No Age, Animal Collective, Deerhunter et al, they oscillate between serrated noise and moments of dreamy serenity. This track from their debut album falls into the latter camp, a lilting tale of unspecified shenanigans on a scientific base.

CHROMEO – NIGHT BY NIGHT (SKREAM REMIX) (GREEN LABEL SOUND)

Following high-profile reworkings of both La Roux and Bat For Lashes, remixer du jour Skream brings his lurching dubstep rhythms to smoother-than-smooth loverboys Chromeo. And guess what? It only bloody works! Ollie Jones’s genius is to make remixes that don’t sound like remixes, so the song is kept pretty much intact (right down to the hair-metal guitar solo); everything is just so; and it sounds as natural as the (equally excellent) Italo-disco original. A+, young man.

A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS – EGO DEATH (MUTE)

The New York trio’s debut proper is frequently of a lighter timbre than the terrifying collection of EPs that came out last year amid talk of ‘The loudest band in New York’. Not here though, oh no. The towering centrepiece of the formidable Exploding Head, ‘Ego Death’ is a dead-eyed wonder that channels all your favourite bands that have ever worn shades and a black leather jacket. Oliver Ackerman stays in mean-and-moody mode throughout, but the guitars sell it, played through own custom-made pedals and squealing in the chorus as if summoned from the depths of hell.

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AU59: AU Stereo tracks

October 12, 2009

My tunes of the (then) moment…

VITALIC
POISON LIPS
PIAS

After a long hiatus, Pascal Arbez has gone a little bit disco on the second Vitalic album, Flashmob. It makes for a more colourful experience than the heavy duty slabs of uncompromising electro and icy atmospherics of 2005’s OK Cowboy, and ‘Poison Lips’ is an undoubted highlight, invoking that staple of achingly cool electronica, the femme fatale. Deliriously, dangerously danceable stuff.

NOSAJ THING
CAVES
ALPHA PUP

Like trailblazers Flying Lotus and Hudson Mohawke, LA’s Jason Chung operates in the field of so-called ‘wonky’ – essentially fucked-up instrumental hip-hop with dubby effects, serious bass weight and disorienting rhythms. His new album Drift is well worth a listen and this track is key – when the surging bass locks with the crisp claps, you won’t be able to sit still.

LIQUID VEGA
HEARTBREAK DANCER
WHITE

We’re getting all hot under the collar about The xx at the minute – such grace, mystery and restraint. And if they are indeed doing the business for you as well, give this lot a go too. There’s two of them, they’re from London and this track is the perfect introduction – a gorgeous slice of bruised and beaten disco, perfect for deserted dancefloors.

LIGHTNING BOLT
COLOSSUS
LOAD

From this month’s ‘Ronseal’ section comes this towering new track from noise rock behemoths Lightning Bolt, whose new album Earthly Delights is out in October imminent. Initially a sludgy slow-burner, it soon blasts into life with metallic riffola, mind-bending wah-wah bass and the inimitably frantic drumming of Mr Brian Chippendale. It’s been too long but the Bolt are back.

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AU57: AU Stereo tracks

June 1, 2009

In which I wax lyrical about the tunes I was loving at the time…

MODERAT
SEAMONKEY
BPITCH CONTROL

Come join German supergroup Moderat (Modeselektor + Apparat) in the murk and the mire. This six-minute slice of thumping techno is notable for two things. One; the subtle way in which the textured synths and sonics ever so slowly entwine themselves around the seemingly unstoppable beat. Two; the fluttering breakdown two-thirds of the way through and, more importantly, the way it crashes back in with an entirely different, but even better, rhythm. Sehr gut, meine Herren.

FUTURE OF THE LEFT
ARMING ERITREA
4AD

Future Of The Left are a lot of things – loud, pissed-off, angular, righteous – but anthemic usually isn’t one of them. ‘Arming Eritrea’, the explosive first track on this issue’s Album Of The Month Travels With Myself And Another, goes some way to putting that right. Not being experts on the politics of eastern Africa, we’re not quite sure what Andy Falkous is hollering about, but it’s a glorious cacophony all the same. Welcome back, chaps.

NOT SQUARES
AYE YO PA (RICHTER COLLECTIVE)

It’s debut single time for Not Squares, but can the band bottle the tsunami of energy that they unleash every time they get onstage? ‘Course they can. While the homemade Wrok EP was charmingly ramshackle, there’s some real heft behind this one, a double A-side with ‘IYOUUSIT’. The rhythm pitches and lurches as Rachel Keenan’s synth twitters and the quartet declaim… something or other over the top. It doesn’t matter what, it sounds like it means something. This band already does.

PHOENIX
LISZTOMANIA (HOLY GHOST! LOVES PARIS REMIXOMANIA)
KITSUNE

The first track from Phoenix’s boxfresh new album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (aw yeah) gets a supercharged disco makeover from Brooklyn duo Holy Ghost!. While it’d be nice if HG! came up with a follow-up of their own to last year’s fantastic single ‘Hold On’, remixes like this bide the time nicely. The original’s stop-start jangle-pop is recast as a glitterball ass-shaker, with Thomas Mars’s vocals sitting surprisingly well over the sizzling synths.

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