NEW MUSIC: Daniel McCagh – Altered States

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Australian composer and sound designer Daniel McCagh has just released his debut album Altered States, an immersive and sonically detailed collection of compositions that range from visceral sheets of digital rain to delicate filigrees and textures. He manipulates acoustic instruments to place them in evocative settings where the organic and synthetic sounds become one. It sounds futuristic yet connected to human spirit, blood flow and creativity.

The title track buzzes and shudders like a scene from a sc-fi film, all tension and a gradual gradient of intensity and right across the album there’s a sense of graceful wounded beauty.

Altered States is out now via n5MD

 

NEW MUSIC: bdrmm – Happy

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With a bass-line straight out of The Cure and Joy Division handbook, this track from bdrmm is undeniably the sum of its influences, but they’re great ones and they approach the music with reverence and respect, keeping all the elements of mood and texture in check. The result is a wistful, melancholically propulsive and free-flowing track that draws from shoegaze, post-punk and dark pop. icon1@2x‘Happy’ is the Hull/Leeds-based band’s first single from their debut album Bedroom, out July 3rd. The album was produced by Alex Greaves (Working Mens Club, Bo Ningen) and mastered by Heba Kadry (Slowdive, Beach House).

NEW MUSIC: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever Announce New Album and Single/Video

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RBCF :: photo by Peter Ryle

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have announced their second album Sideways To New Italy will be released on June 5th and to mark the news they’ve released the video clip for their new single ‘She’s There’. It’s jam-packed with their now trademark busy rhythms, heady strums and jangly guitars. Wistfully melancholic, it’s a great precursor to the new full-length album.

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PRE-ORDER

NEW MUSIC: Talk Show – Stress

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Talk Show are another of the current wave of post-punk bands coming out of the UK. From Idles to Fontaines DC, Squid to Black Country, New Road and The Murder Capital. They’re all putting their own stamp and flavour on the sound and Talk Show have a knack for thrilling and hummable melodies as evidenced on this track, ‘Stress’. The song follows their other 2020 single, ‘Banshee’ and shows that their upcoming EP will be one to look out for.

 

NEW MUSIC: Pure Moods – Backwards World

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Melbourne trio Pure Moods released their new album Upward Spiral late last year and this is one of the feature tracks from it, ‘Backwards World’. The song has that familiar lackadaisical Australian indie jangle and strum while also drawing a line back to Trans-Tasman bands such as The Chills. The rest of the album operates in similarly pleasing territory, ambling along in its own mellow and melodic world.

Pure Moods is the recording moniker of Adam Madric who has played in various Melbourne outfits (Bad Family, Closet Straights, Pearl Bay) before creating this name for his solo material. Upward Spiral is a selection of home recordings put together between 2016-2019.

NEWS: Mick Harvey Announces New Soundtrack

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Mick Harvey will release his first soundtrack in ten years with Waves of ANZAC / The Journey via Mute / [PIAS]on 3 April 2020.

The album features two recent soundtracks to powerful subject matters recorded by Mick Harvey. The first, Waves of Anzac looks at Sam Neill’s personal family history interwoven with the history of the First World War and the ANZACs through to the modern era while the second, The Journey, is a four-part composition released in support of #KidsOffNauru, a campaign working for the child refugees and people seeking asylum who find themselves in offshore detention.

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Waves of ANZAC is represented by 13 tracks selected from the score for the ABC documentary on forgotten war stories and lives lost. The documentary is a personal history by the actor Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, The Piano) set against a contemporary increasingly divided political backdrop. ‘Why ANZAC? with Sam Neill’ (Dir. Kriv Stenders, 2015) is named for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served together in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in World War I and continued as a military unit until after WW2. The film is a look at this pivotal point in our shared history, and the impact it still has on a personal and on a geopolitical level. Harvey recently examined this period via the prism of a fictional soldier/poet for his collaboration with Christopher Richard Barker, The Fall and Rise of Edgar Bourchier and the Horrors of War.

The Journey
 is a four-part composition, recorded with The Letter String Quartet, in support of people seeking asylum who have found themselves in Australia’s offshore detention program. The piece was composed as a study of the hardships endured by the detainees on Nauru, Manus Island and Christmas Island before and during their internment and as an expression of hope for a humane outcome to their plight.

Waves Of ANZAC
1. Turkish Theme
2. Waves of ANZAC
3. First Anniversary
4. The Somme
5. Archives
6. Poppies
7. The Lovells
8. The Cemetery
9. Modern War
10. Vietnam
11. Crete
12. Back at Kiatora
13. Return to Anzac Cove

The Journey 
with The Letter String Quartet 

Part 1: Conflict
Part 2: All at Sea
Part 3: Capture (Not Real Refugees)
Part 4: Hope

NEW MUSIC: Squarepusher – Vortrack

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Photo by Donald Milne

Taken from the new album Be Up A Hello, here’s the latest glitchy, electro squelch from the mercurial musician and producer Squarepusher.

After a 5 year hiatus that has seen him delve into a range of diverse musical projects, Tom Jenkinson will release his new album on the 31st of January. Fans can enjoy a taster as the double-A side 12” ‘Vortrack’ will be released on the 6th of December, featuring Squarepusher’s Fracture Remix.

With this new album, Squarepusher has returned to using a bewildering array of vintage analogue and digital hardware, the same equipment that first helped him develop his sound in the early ’90s. Something of a 180 degree turn, these synths, effects units and even a Commodore Vic20 are in complete contrast to the tools he used to create 2015’s Damogen Furies – cutting edge software that Tom developed over the course of 15 years. The result is Be Up A Hello, an album that is celebratory with rinsing breakbeat tracks such as Nervelevers and Terminal Slam – classic floor fillers – as well pieces loaded with visceral atmosphere and melody in Squarepusher’s inimitable style. Darker moments such as Vortrack and Mekrev Bass illustrate Tom’s continuing fascination with finely balanced psychological overload. As such, Be Up A Hello gives a nod to the mayhem, joyousness and abandon of the DIY Essex rave scene that was a strong determinant in Tom’s work.

Squarepusher
Be Up A Hello
(WARP)
Street Date: Jan. 31, 2020

Track List:

A1. Oberlove
A2. Hitsonu
A3. Nervelevers
A4. Speedcrank
A5. Detroit People Mover
B1. Vortrack
B2. Terminal Slam
B3. Mekrev Bass
B4. 80 Ondula

 

ALBUM REVIEW: Underground Lovers – A Left Turn

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Underground Lovers
A Left Turn
Rubber Records
★★★★

Underground Lovers are back with their ninth studio album, their third since they reactivated after a hiatus through the first decade of the 21st century. That return showed they were still in fine form with their blend of psychedelic indie rock and electronica and they’ve again produced a strong album that brings those elements together in perfect hypnotic harmony.

Their last album Staring At You Staring At Me focused on the guitar sound of the band, giving it more of a rock feel. This time around they’ve ushered their electronic explorations back into the fold, placing the album close to the work they produced on Cold Feeling at the end of the ‘90s. 

Early on, Bells sets the psych controls for the heart of the mind and just as viably, the dance floor, with its droning Krautrock sprawling across more than six wonderful minutes. They have the ability – like Spiritualized and Wooden Shjips, to find the sweet spot of a groove and ride it endlessly. Hooky ups the rock ante yet still in a warm embrace with the melodies of Glenn Bennie’s guitar and Vincent Giarrusso’s vocal incantations.

Shoegaze has always been another mainstay of the band’s sound and on Dunes and Lusher, Philippa Nihill sounds like a dream sister to My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins as the music shimmers, glows and gently shudders behind her. The single Seven Day Weekend is anthemic in its drum machine-powered rhythm and distorted see-saw guitars as Giarrusso trips out in full Shaun Ryder mode on the ode to carefree socialising. 

By the time we reach the conclusion of the epic nine minute closer Rocky Endings, there’s a sense of post-rollercoaster exhilaration in the wake of the album’s propulsive peaks and floating valleys. The song winds its wistful way for four minutes before taking off into the stratosphere on an interstellar space-rock mission of chiming guitars, pulsing bass and metronomic drumming that billows and expands gorgeously. A Left Turn is another sonic gem from one of Australia’s psychedelic finest.

Chris Familton