Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Hype: It Goes On Like This Forever

It's two weeks to the day that Wolf Gang announced themselves to the world, but the collective led by 22 year old London-via-Fife resident Max McElligott can be described in four simple words.

Going. To. Be. Huge.

It's ridiculously early I know, but the demos on show could easily rival and destroy some of the current buzz bands du jour once fully recorded, produced and mastered.

Here's a perfect example...

Wolf Gang - Night Flying (Demo) (YSI)

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Friday, 20 February 2009

Exclusive: Panda Watch

I know what you're thinking and NO - I'm not turning into Ohh Crapp.

Although posting two remixes of the same song within a week is some unprecedented territory on Illegal Tender, as soon as I got in from work and opened my inbox to find this; I knew what had to be done.

I'd been looking forward to hearing it ever since he told me it was in the pipeline, and in true Gold Panda style - it's brilliant.

Huw Stephens is all over him at the moment, so the well deserved hype has officially started.

Marina And The Diamonds - Obsessions (Gold Panda Remix) (YSI)

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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Hype: Out Of Sight Beyond The Trees

It's no secret that the UK has an over-abundance of talented female artists right now - often with a team of producers, songwriters and major labels behind them. So it's always refreshing to come across natural talent, unadulterated by 'the man' and 100% genuine.

Dimbleby & Capper, the alias of 21 year old New Cross resident Laura Bettinson, is one such talent.

It's been a long time since I've heard bedroom production sounding this fresh and comprehensive, each of the tracks on her Myspace show just how much of an all-rounder she really is.

I've been informed that 2009 promises 'some incredible hook ups with producers, louder records, bigger shows, and of course frighteningly fabulous hair and heels'. Who could argue with that?

My favourite track changes each time I hear her demos, so whilst one is fresh in my mind (for the time being at least), check out Structure.

Dimbleby & Capper - Structure (YSI)

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Monday, 16 February 2009

Hits The Spot: Sick Ideas Involving Me, Involving You

The magnificent and mercurial Marina And The Diamonds just dropped her debut single Obsessions through Neon Gold on Valentine's Day.

I have just been given the 'OK' to share with you all the simply AMAZING remix by the consistently brilliant The Aspirins For My Children.

Marina And The Diamonds - Obsessions (The Aspirins For My Children Remix) (YSI)

Buy Obsessions on 7' vinyl through Puregroove here.

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Hype: A Trinity Of Ghosts Destined To Meet

Things have been pretty hectic since the new year, but things are slowly getting back on track. I caught up with ex-Bolt Action Five member Dan Murtha on new projects, Eno and sandwiches...

So it's almost a year since BAF called it a day, what have you been doing?
I did the Kissy Sell Out album which is coming out in April, went to Australia for two weeks, grew facial hair and started Danimal Kingdom. It took ages to settle on the name Danimal Kingdom - that actually paralysed my music for a couple of months- I had to have a name before I could write any more music. Actually, I should go on record and say BAF actually split on NYE 2007. Not a pretty scene, I can tell you.

Are you still in touch with the others?

I actually met up with them last week. they were playing a show as their new band. but that was pretty much the first time we'd spoken more than a sentence to each other since BAF.

It was Tobias and I who wrote all of the BAF music, and I think we'll get together later in 2009 and hopefully get all the tracks down to a decent quality - just so we have closure - and finish off a few incomplete songs and give it away as a retrospective.

So Kissy Sell Out is a big fan, I presume that's carried on from when he remixed Tree Friend Tree Foe?

Yes I think that's where it really kicked off between us. In fact my desire to leave was partly galvanised by Kissy Sell Out asking if I wanted to co-write his album with him- it meant I had some goals to attain while I was prepping Danimal. As you say, he'd done a remix for BAF, which him and I recorded extra stuff for, so we'd worked a bit together and I think he liked my work.

What's the plan for SXSW?

Buy a big ten gallon hat and talk all 'furny-like' all weekend, of course. That and hang out with exactly the same people who I hang out with over here because the whole thing is SO INBRED! in a grand way. And party party party.

But you know what? I don't even know which venues we're playing! I'm six months into this Danimal thing and I already have no idea. Kissy and I are playing some places and parties, and anything Danimal does will be totally unofficial so it's a matter of wheedling in on party line ups. I'm on it but if anyone's doing a party out there and likes me they should let me know!

What are the three things that influence your music most?
It sounds a bit "u-huh, yeah right" but it's actually a bunch of things I didn't expect. I went into Danimal with about 20 songs I'd written that were 'too pop' for BAF, but as I was learning how to produce I was developing my sound, as I still am.

I think Brian Eno is a big one. I don't even own any Eno records, but I realised that a couple of my favourite albums were produced by him, and then I remembered he'd worked with Toto on the Dune soundtrack. The Dune soundtrack is definitely a big influence. I love the novel, I love the film's art direction and I love that album.

I have to say Devo are important too, not necessarily musically but having them on my iTunes reminds me that they did some amazing pop records, but they also did really stupid, irreverent songs. It's knowing you don't have to take everything very seriously that helps me finish songs. Plus their time signatures are good.

Thirdly, anything that puts my head into a different place is great. So for me that's bath time and 90s computer games. Not necessarily playing them, but thinking about how they were constructed. Most of the game genres that make all the money these days were developed in the early 90s, the 'golden age', so when you see a game like Another World or Doom and you think about what these guys were thinking when they were making them, coding this new technology, working with their limitations and at the same time pushing boundaries.

It makes me go back to the drawing board and think about what I really want from my music. It's in the spirit of pioneers in any field of endeavour, and it really is inspiring. I'm always taking things away from my music, stripping stuff back, chipping away at the EQ if needs be.

Are there any collaborations with artists/producers or remixes that we should look out for?
There's certainly a wish list, and people seem to be happy to make them come true at the moment which is very nice and very welcome. I shouldn't speak too soon but I may be working with a couple of my heroes quite soon, which is probably the best thing about doing music. I did a track with The Aston Shuffle recently who are thoroughly pleasant young men, and there's a couple of other artist collabs in the works, but keep your eyes peeled.

What does the future hold for Danimal Kingdom?
Hopefully a record deal that doesn't totally dice my bum into meaty chunks, publishing with a good publisher, a tour of Europe and the US, and a debut album. But for the time being, I've just made a sandwich and that's fucking awesome.


Check out Dan's fantastic new project Danimal Kingdom and feast your ears on the wonderful Through The Ice and Good As Gold demos as well as an amazing cover of DFA 1979's modern thrash-classic Too Much Love.

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Thursday, 12 February 2009

In Motion: Born To...

Can't get enough of the new SMD track Synthesise.

The pretty sick video above was directed by Kate Moross and Alex Sushon (aka Bok Bok), and be warned - if your have epilepsy or suffer from a nervous disposition - don't watch.

High fives to Ned of Electrorash for the heads up.

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