Archive for the ‘Incoming’ Category


Girl Talk gets giffed

September 11, 2010

The video below appeals to me for more than one reason. For a start, the audio: it’s been too long since I heard Girl Talk’s mashup masterpiece Night Ripper, which took 2manydjs’ template for anything-goes track selection and genius splicing and went even further. The whole 41-minute record is a bit of a mission to get through, because it just does not let up, but here video artist Evan Roth has taken a choice 10-minute segment (including two absolute highlights – Nirvana’s ‘Scentless Apprentice’ versus Lil’ Wayne and Young Jeezy; and Notorious B.I.G. rhyming over Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’) and set it to the most appropriate visual medium imaginable: the humble gif, those seconds-long visual loops so beloved of 4chan geeks, immortalising pratfalls, cats, dance moves and Patrick Stewart’s impressive range of facial expressions. Put the mix and the visuals together and the result is quite something.

Entitled ‘Cache Rules Everything Around Me’, it’s a funny, trashy but – in its own way – sumptuous assault on the senses.

Here’s an Incoming article I wrote about Night Ripper for AU on the album’s UK/Irish release in 2008: Read the rest of this entry ?


AU61: Crimea X Incoming piece

January 4, 2010

Crimea X are an Italian duo who first came to my attention via their Phoros EP, which I reviewed last year. They recently released a follow up, and I was able to do a short email interview and write this piece about the band. Check them out if you have any interest in cosmic disco.


MEMBERS: DJ Rocca (programming, keys, flute), Jukka Reverberi (bass, keys, vocals).
FORMATION: Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2009.
FOR FANS OF: Holy Ghost!, Prins Thomas, Lindstrøm.
CHECK OUT: Chorne More EP, out December 6 on Hell Yeah. Phoros EP out now.

Disco speaks of nothing so much as hedonism, a genre built for dancefloor escapism and largely unencumbered by intellectualism and politics. Not so with Italian duo Crimea X, two men driven by a fixation on Soviet Russia. “We were raised up in leftist families where it was quite usual to look in the eastern direction, [and] Jukka comes from a village where they still have a Lenin statue in the main square,” explains Luca (aka DJ Rocca), and indeed each song on new EP Chorne More (‘Black Sea’ in Russian) is named after a figure from those eastward-looking childhoods – Jurij Andropov was the head of the KGB in the Seventies and Eighties, while Varvara Stepanova and Liubov Popova were prominent avant-garde artists in the 1910s and 1920s, before the anti-intellectual Kremlin banned abstract art.

The pair describe their music succinctly as “socialist krautdisco” and, musically as well as politically, there is a lot going on, especially in the pair’s debut EP Phoros, which provided one of the tunes of the summer in the sublime ‘10pm’. Luca and Jukka used the three-tracker (plus remixes) to explore the synthesised textures of Krautrock bands like Tangerine Dream, Neu! and Harmonia, skilfully blending them with the arms-in-the-air, spaced-out euphoria of cosmic disco. “Daniele Baldelli’s lesson is a clear influence,” says Luca of the DJ credited with inventing the genre at the Cosmic club on the shore of Lake Garda. “The way he mixed genres in his old tapes or live sets is truly inspiring. We love also the German cosmic adventure made by the cosmic groups from the Seventies and Eighties. They demonstrate that it is possible to have a national musical scene outside USA and UK.”

Chorne More is significantly different from Phoros, evidence that the fledgling act have much more to offer. It’s poppier and more direct, as the glitterball leftists raise the tempo, brighten the tone and, on lead track ‘Jurij’, incorporate a hooky vocal line from Reverberi. Luca puts the change down to the pair’s divergent backgrounds – he as a prominent DJ and Jukka as a member of post-rockers Giardini di Mirò – and indicates that the band themselves don’t even know what their debut album might sound like. “Balkan folk? Nope. We don’t know. We are working on it. We’ve got tons of material, but a full-length is not only a collection of different songs but it is a journey in a musical world. So we need some more time to work on it and think about it, but we honestly [think it will] be ready in the first half of 2010.”

Meanwhile, look out for live shows – nothing in Ireland as yet, but the two Italians have played in London, and they are keen to stress the musical aspect of what they do. “We are both musicians!” says DJ Rocca. “So along with programming we play live bass, flute and some synthesisers. In the future, we’d like to have a more live experience with our marvellous vintage synth collection and a real drummer to perform with us.” The hammer and sickle, we suppose, are optional.


AU59: Nosaj Thing Incoming piece

October 12, 2009

Single-page piece based on an email interview with Jason Chung – it was kind of last minute and he wasn’t available for a phoner. His album Drift is one of my favourite electronic records this year.

Nosaj Thing



REAL NAME: Jason Chung
FROM: Los Angeles, California.
FOR FANS OF: Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke, J Dilla.
CHECK OUT: Debut album Drift, out now on Alpha Pup.

Jason. Nosaj. Nosaj. Jason. See what he’s done there? Pretty clever on the part of young Mr. Chung, we think you’ll agree. At least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves since it took several weeks to clock the origin of the stage name. By then, of course, the 24-year-old from LA had reeled us in with his quite exquisite debut album, Drift, a record that’s ensured that his card is marked as one of the best young hip-hop/electronica producers around.

The man himself describes his music as “emotional electronic music with a hip-hop backbone”. Others might use the horrible term ‘wonky’, but in truth it’s enough to let Chung do what he does without getting too bogged down in genre names. Drift belongs to the spectrum of hip-hop and electronica that is touched by dubstep in atmosphere and an emphasis on bass (see also emergent acts like Hudson Mohawke, Mount Kimbie and Rustie) without fully committing to the strict norms of the genre. So Drift sounds expansive, sleek and futuristic, with plenty of gleaming, luxurious synths and wide open spaces, while also boasting some juicy sub-bass and Dilla-esque hip-hop beats. It’s an intoxicating mixture. Chung says that he “got into dubstep late” and denies that it’s a significant influence, though he does single out Martyn and Burial as the producers that he’s “feeling” the most. More significant in his development, however, were “mainstream hip-hop, Nineties music, and bands like Radiohead and Cornelius” as well as family and friends.

The latter comment perhaps gives away the most, because Chung doesn’t just have any old friends. Chief among them is the current golden boy of avant-garde hip-hop, fellow LA native and Warp Records artist Flying Lotus, to who Nosaj Thing is often – justifiably – compared, even though his sound is much less busy and claustrophobic than that of his more illustrious counterpart. “He’s a friend of mine and [has] also been a inspiration,” says Chung, and with the success FlyLo enjoyed off the back of his Los Angeles record last year, that’s no surprise. And according to Chung, there’s more to come from the city, as he namechecks Free The Robots, Gaslamp Killer, My Hollow Drum Crew, Brainfeeder Crew, and Dibiase as acts to check out. Although it might seem facile to bring his hometown into it too much, Chung insists that it was the making of him.

“I believe so,” he says. “My parents enrolled me in an after-school program when I was in fourth grade and the bus driver that picked us up from school always had on one of LA’s local hip-hop radio stations. This was when the Beat Junkies were the resident DJs. I used to record their mixes at home and listen to them all the time. Lots of West Coast hip-hop.”

In his own stylish way, then, Nosaj Thing is continuing that tradition.

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