Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Swamp Thing

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

The first full-length CD album I bought was The Grid’s Evolver.  A lifetime appreciation for the inappropriate juxtaposition of banjos against loud synth stabs was born.

The Grid – Swamp Thing

My Favourite Band

Friday, October 28th, 2011

“What’s your favourite band?” asked someone the other day.  A surprisingly easy question – it’s The Art of Noise.  “Who?” or perhaps “Why?” you quiz keenly.  Because they made stuff like this.  25 years ago.

The Art of Noise – Back Beat


Let’s All Chant

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

This rather shocking piece of history is mainly notable for Pat Sharp’s quite stellar hair.  I bought a cassette tape compilation from a Northants car boot sale around 20 years ago, the highlight of which this charidee cover of the Michael Zager band which rose to Number 5 in the charts.  (Well, it was the 80s.)  Didn’t realise it was actually a PWL production until I looked it up just now, but even so I still maintain that the synthy ‘Everybody move your body’ refrain is still pretty damn memorable even today.

Pat & Mick – Let’s All Chant

(I) Can, Can (You?)

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

The glorious silliness of having the Can Can played by Vanessa-Mae with a 4/4 beat and a slew of samples lobbed on top is only matched by my desire to find the time to re-edit this into something even sillier.  I can’t believe it’s taken me about 15 years to notice this even existed.

Review – Strange Rollers & Lucas : The Plan E.P.

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Ever heard of 140 Jungle?  No, neither had I.  But if you’re anything like me, you’ll be glad that you have now.  A multi-monickered genre essentially reminiscent of – I imagine – 4am in the quiet backroom at Dreamscape in the early 1990s, it’s a rolling, slo-mo collection of breaks ‘n’ bass that’s as at home in your lounge at 1am on a Thursday as in a grimy tent in a forest.  Just as well, because the former is where it sat on heavy repeat just this morning.

The Hardcore Lives crew dropped me a promo of their latest offering just yesterday and it’s quite unlike anything I’ve heard – from them or otherwise – for some time, and all the better for it.  As dark and minimal as the cover implies, yet retaining a head-nodding accessibility and memorable bassline that leaves you reaching for Repeat.

A Roni Size-esque rumble underpins There’s Something Out There‘s minimal stylings, gaps between percussive breaks filled with sirens, telephone and ragga shouts evocative of jungle history.  Thin, lush pads, looped 30s horror-movie backgrounds and the occasional horn leave the listener’s old-skool desires satisfied.

Does progressive drum ‘n’ bass exist?  If so, The Plan is a great example.  Building around the rise and fall of a wonky, lethargic but catchy riff alongside choppy amen, an intriguingly quiet 4/4 pushes the tune along at an urgent pace.  A sparkling secondary synth line adds an unexpectedly sparkling atmosphere, and it’s easy to expect the whole tune to be verging on a big breakdown or reveal – that this never happens it’s no bad thing.  For me, this is the gem of the two; extremely listenable indeed.

The Plan E.P. is out soon on Hardcore Lives Records.