Friday, 29 May 2009

Hype: Toss And Turn Until We Find Our Way

West Coast duo Baby Monster are one of the hottest US bands bringing the heat right now that's not attached to either the Brooklyn or Boston scenes which seem to be so prominent at the moment.

Their sound nestles somewhere in between the cut-and-shut beats of South Central and grandiose style and scale of MGMT. There's even a little bit of a The Eraser era Thom Yorke vocal in their track Young Bridget Bardot.

Whether Baby Monster can hold their own against the hyperbole wave riding (but no where near as good everyone keeps telling me) Passion Pit or the mainstream juggernaut that is MGMT remains to be seen, but this a band with as good a chance as any that I've heard this year.

Baby Monster - Curses (YSI)

Bookmark and Share

Hype: Invented Problems For Fragile Minds

London five-piece So Say So are a band that I've really fallen in love with recently.

The result of the amalgamation of members from two defunct bands, Kerrigan of they don't sleep and Jeion of Optimist Club respectively, as well as bringing friends Thom, Caroline and Graham into the fold, So Say So seem to have found the perfect balance of the experimental instrumentalism of their previous bands with a more traditional songwriting ethic.

I haven't heard a new band of this ilk that have really grabbed me as instantaneously as this since F. Lunaire/Disappearers and having already supported The Veils and Hjaltalin, this is a band who are on the up.

So Say So - The Slow Game (YSI)

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 May 2009

RSS Change

Due to Google wanting to control the universe, it seems that my old feed was deleted and will no longer work on Hype Machine.

Therefore, I'm going to ask all of you who subscribed to the old feed to please re-subscribe with the new one by clicking the ridiculously large icon below. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Hype: Smiles & Happy Faces

East London duo The Kemistry hit my sweet spot straight from the off with their distinctive brand of soulful melodies and trip hop-esque breaks.

Comprised of producer Bare Beats and vocalist Kemi, their sound is already fully formed and there's a definite hint of influences like Roots Manuva, Faith Evans and RZA.

Formerly a three-piece, I think that the loss of the third member really seems to have helped them rather than cause problems. It seems to have freed them up to really nail their sound and as cynical as it is, it will probably lead them to more of a mainstream success.

The Kemistry have a number of gigs in and around London in the coming months, check out their Myspace page for more information.

The Kemistry - Shrinking Fear (YSI)

Bookmark and Share

Monday, 25 May 2009

Guest Mix: Django Django

It's been a whole six months since the amazing Kwes - Illegal Tea Mix, so I decided to get the feature back on track with a fantastic Guest Mix from one of my favourite bands of the year; Django Django.

Billed as 'Crystal Maze meets Top Gun', it features tracks from Italian Prog to Electro-Funk, from East Coast Rap to New Wave and kept me entertained from beginning to end. Let me know what you make of it.

Highway To The Aztec Zone // 01:09:48

Goblin - Markos
Airto - I Don't Have To Do
Paul McCartney - Ram On
Eddie Floyd - Good Love, Bad Love
The Invitations - Written On The Wall
Jackie Cannon - Chill Bumps
Tommy Blake - F-olding Money
Eddie Cochran - Teenage Cutie
The Troggs - You're Lying
Trans Am - Fire Poker
Mantronix - King Of The Beats (Hugo Paris Funky Worm Mix)
Edwin Starr - Get Up'
Antoinette - I Got An Attitude
Rah Digga - Tight
Busta Rhymes - Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See
Steve Arrington - Beddie Beiy
Timmy Thomas - Why Can't We Live Together
G.A.N.G. - KKK
Cat Stevens - Was Dog A Doughnut?
Jo-Jo - Mind Games
Quando Quango - Love Tempo (Vocal Mix)
Mi-Sex - Computer Games
Los Angeles T.F. - Magical Body (Dub)
The Flirts - Passion
Tom Tom Club - Wordy Rappinghood

Django Django - Highway To The Aztec Zone Mix

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

In Review: The Great Escape

I spent the last few days mixing with the majors and hanging out on the sea front in Brighton for The Great Escape.

Having been underwhelmed by the line-up at first glance, there was of course the upside of quite a few IT favourites on the bill including apples, Django Django, The xx, Dimbelby & Capper and Marina & The Diamonds.

One of the biggest highlights were Brighton's much hyped Mirrors who performed on the first night. It was one of the most atmospheric gigs I've ever been to and this band aren't even signed. I don't even want to know how much money has been piled into them thus far, but with tracks like this - I'm not complaining.

Mirrors - Look At Me (YSI)

Friday was a bit of a let down as I didn't manage to catch half of the bands I wanted to see due to queues/it taking too long to get to the next venue/bands pulling out, but I did manage to see the aforementioned Django Django and The xx as well as Riz MC who was phenomenal.

The night culminated in an hour of queueing for headliners Metronomy, who having lost Gabriel to his Your Twenties moniker, have evolved to a four piece. I do miss the touch-light aesthetic but adding a bassist and live drummer into the mix really gave them an extra bite and having closed with On Dancefloors; the night was complete.

Saturday was by far the most relaxing of the three days, maybe because the sun had finally fought it's way from behind the clouds or maybe because there were no clashes of bands that I wanted to see.

Having avoided the pretty crappy matinee shows on the two previous afternoons, I went to check out Montreal four-piece BEAST on the recommendation of Lea (Risk & Consequence), and they absolutely slayed it. Front woman Betty Bonifassi's vocal is both formidable and unique, matching the heavy distortion and punchy beats of producer Jean-Phi Goncalves.

BEAST - Mr. Hurricane (YSI)

I also got to see Three Trapped Tigers, Marina & The Diamonds and Your Twenties before heading over to the much anticipated Neon Gold party.

I'd been looking forward this the entire weekend as it was the first chance I'd had to see Yes Giantess and it was also Wolf Gang's first live show in front of the general public.

Yes Giantess were everything I'd expected and more, full of energy and vigour and their tracks sound huge in a live context. Wolf Gang are one of the tightest bands I've seen in a while, their tracks sound a hundred times better live and they even managed an en-core.

I'm hoping to catch Dot to Dot in Nottingham this weekend but I'm not sure if I can make it, if anyone wants to throw a free ticket or press pass at me - do it.Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Exclusive: With My Advice; This Could Be The Finest Night

I first came across Hereford five piece apples and their fantastic track Reason 45 courtesy of Jamila of Fucking Dance, and I'll be honest; they weren't my usual cup of Yorkshire Tea.

However, there's something about their brand of sunny-side-up guitar pop that seems to capture my sentimental side and forces me to submit to seeing the world through rose tinted glasses and embrace my inner wellness... or something.

I'll be checking them out at The Great Escape and Dot to Dot in the coming weeks and I've no doubt that they are headed for BIG things. Right on cue, here's an exclusive download of an as-yet-unheard track which will be doing the rounds soon.

apples - Swiss Beauty (Home Demo) (YSI)

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Hype: Watching Beauty Fall From Grace

It's all about the fresh, the new and the incredible here on IT, and that ethic is embodied perfectly in Midlands duo NewIslands.

Frontman David Jones and producer Luke Shoesmith seem to have stumbled in to a blissful coexistence of epic instrumentals, sumptuous soundscapes and snarling lyrics, all delivered with real bite and complete conviction.

The ball is already rolling for them, with gigs across the length and breadth of the UK, starting with Mat Horne's (yes, that Mat Horne) new club night Session 2 at Queen Of Hoxton on May 16th.

NewIslands - Don't Stop Dreaming (Demo) (YSI)

Bookmark and Share

Monday, 4 May 2009

Hype: We Don't Talk About Love Anymore

Lemond is the product of singer/songwriter Alex Reece giving up the rat race of London for the cheaper climbs of Glasgow in a bid to become a one man pop music machine.

I particularly can't get enough of his track Current Affairs right now, produced by Sheffield duo Run Hide Survive.

He's currently in the studio with the in-demand Starsmith too, so there's definitely more exciting things to come from him, check it.

Lemond - Current Affairs (YSI)
Lemond - Sepia (YSI)

Bookmark and Share