Archive for the ‘Spotify’ Category

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Heads-up: Ganglians

April 4, 2010


Fucking hippies…

I know I’m hardly quick out of the block with this lot (Pfork were giving them love last summer), but they only blipped onto my radar a couple of weeks ago, so gimme a break OKAY?!

Anyway, Ganglians (nice name – Google it if you don’t know) are four blokes from Sacramento, California who make wonderfully woozy, slightly psychedelic indie-pop. Their debut full-length Monster Head Room comes out here in May and it’s an absolute winner – they are contemporaries of the likes of Crystal Stilts and Wavves, and there’s a certain stoned, lo-fi sensibility that they share with those acts, but their music is almost symphonic at times.

In actual fact, I’m wondering whether you can even call it lo-fi, such is the depth of sound they conjure. The record is languid and sonically rich and the harmonies are nothing short of wondrous. The Beach Boys are clearly an enormous influence (cleck out ‘Lost Words’ and especially ‘Try To Understand’) but they have too much about them to be dismissed as mere copyists, specifically a tendency to allow their songs to collapse in on themselves, so you rarely feel that they are totally under control.

The band are in Ireland at the end of May (Whelan’s in Dublin on the 21st, the Menagerie in Belfast on the 22nd), so it’ll be intriguing to see whether they can reproduce the hazy tunefulness in the live setting.

Spotify
MySpace
Free download on Pitchfork.

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AU56: Krautrock Spotify playlist

May 1, 2009

This was the sidebar to the Krautrock feature (see above), and I made a Spotify playlist to go with it. Click here for that.

The Horrors 500
The Horrors

FOREVER: THE MOTORIK PLAYLIST

THE SOUNDTRACK TO ENDLESS VOYAGES ON THE AUTOBAHNS

1. Neu! – Für Immer (1972)
In English, the title translates as ‘Forever’, and it couldn’t be more apt. Essentially a beefed-up retelling of ‘Hallogallo’ from the first album, this track is motorik perfected.

2. Primal Scream – Shoot Speed/Kill Light (2000)
XTRMNTR is one of the finest records of the decade, a speed-fuelled, dystopian nightmare of an album, and this is one of many key moments. The rhythm section of Darrin Mooney and Mani has a good go at blasting your face off with its relentless power.

3. The Horrors – Sea Within A Sea (2009)
Co-produced by Geoff Barrow, this eight-minute single starts out with some unsettling gloom before channelling Portishead’s ‘The Rip’ as it builds to a beautiful, synth-led conclusion.

4. Holy Fuck – Lovely Allen (2007)
The exact opposite of The Horrors’ gothic stylings, here Canadian synth fetishists Holy Fuck direct their motorik energies towards a joyously explosive finale.

5. Can – Mother Sky (1971)
Can were known more for their robotic funk and edited-down (up to 10-hour) jams, but this was one occasion where they indulged their linear side, motoring ahead for over 14 mind-altering minutes as Damo Suzuki intones spookily over the top.

6. Queens of the Stone Age – Regular John (1998)
Stoner rock is one of many genres owing a huge debt to the Krautrock pioneers, starting with Hawkwind. The opening track on QOTSA’s debut features a huge one-note riff, a locked-in rhythm section and Josh Homme’s smooth croon over the top. Rock and roll bliss.

7. Fujiya & Miyagi – Knickerbocker (2008)
Fujiya’s appeal lies in the way they combine their love for Kraut, Nineties electronica and psychedelic pop. The lead single from their third album Lightbulbs does that expertly and adds in a seriously odd lyric about tragic child star Lena Zavaroni.

8. La Düsseldorf – Time (1976)
La Düsseldorf was Klaus Dinger’s commercially more successful venture, overlapping with the end of Neu! This track from the self-titled debut shows a sensitive, delicate side to him that the rest of the record kept hidden.

9. LCD Soundsystem – Get Innocuous! (2007)
James Murphy ingeniously cops the synth bassline from Kraftwerk’s ‘The Robots’ and turns it into a disco-punk anthem.

10. David Holmes – Holy Pictures (2008)
This was the album where Holmes took himself right out of his comfort zone, embracing rock songwriting, lyric-writing and even singing. But among the many influences, one in particular shines through in the driving, propulsive rhythm of the title track.

11. Fuck Buttons – Sweet Love for Planet Earth (2008)
Layer upon layer of synths that hum and then roar, twinkling bells and screamed vocals. An absolutely monumental track that shows you don’t need beats to do motorik properly.

12. Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express (1977)
Another apt title, as the robots turn their gaze from the autobahn to the railways. The drum pattern is uncanny as it echoes the infinite chug of a night train to, well, anywhere.

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