NEW MUSIC: KIALLA – Kotton Kandy

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This Russian-Iranian duo KIALLA was formed in 2018 in the west-side of Chicago and their latest single is ‘Kotton Kandy’, a track that blends jungle breaks and a stoned 90s trip hop vibe. It works really well. We’re looking forward to hear more of what the pair have to offer.

KIA grew up in Tehran, Iran where he began his creative journey. Via was born in Siberia, Russia and became one of the few female pioneers in the Russian hip-hop scene. After meeting in Southeast Asia, the inspired duo moved to Chicago.

NEW MUSIC: Past Present & Tortusa – Black Mist

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Out of Norway comes this fascinating piece of experimental dubbed and smeared atmospheric jazz fusion from Past Present & Tortusa. The trio of trumpet, upright bass and live sampling is composed and performed by Simen Kiil Halvorsen, Alexander Hoholm and Tortusa respectively. Space is the key to what makes ‘Black Mist’ so compelling as the digital details flicker and dance around the edge of the music, creating texture and nuance quite wonderfully while the trumpet and bass deftly interweave ghostly melodies and rhythmic pulses.

‘Black Mist’ comes from the album Eternal Return:

“Eternal Return is a dystopian tale told in three chapters. It starts with the track ‘Nowhere’ representing a beautiful utopian dream, followed by ‘Black Mist’, where conflict and despair have become a norm, and the final chapter, ‘Dawn of Hope’, brings light and hope for a new and better future.”

NEW MUSIC: Daymaker – Mpc

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Chicagoans Daymaker recently released their new album Let The Sun Fall and this is one of its highlights, the jerky, yelp and howl of ‘Mpc’.

The start of the track reminds me of Hot Snakes and then they throw their jagged-edged guitar shards across the song before Erin Delaney lets loose with her strident holler. She’s part Siouxsie Sioux, part Carrie Brownstein  as she leads the song into the open framed chorus – tautness still intact as the song churns and spins dizzyingly on its post-punk axis.

 

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

 

NEW MUSIC: JW Francis – Lofi

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When he hits the central tangled and tumbling guitar riff, JW Francis sounds like the lovechild of The Strokes, Real Estate and Talking Heads on this smart earworm of an art rock single. ‘Lofi’ is the second of three singles he’s released in 2019. Check out the others too – ‘Is That The One’ in particular is excellent.

Francis was born in Tulsa Oklahoma, raised in Paris, France, and now based in New York City.

NEW MUSIC: Charcoal Burners – The Verlaines and Husker Du

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We posted another Charcoal Burners track earlier this year and this one also hits the spot with its warm buzz and jangle of guitars, interlaced with piano (that reminded us of Able Tasmans). I like that they reference the sound of the song in its title, you can definitely hear both bands that they mention, more so their Dunedin counterparts. I’d also throw in a comparison with the less caustic side of Swervedriver in the way the song gently churns and drones.

‘The Verlaines and Husker Du’ follows their 2019 album The Best Day You Could Imagine.

 

NEW MUSIC: UK Apache with Shy FX – Original Nuttah 25

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UK Apache and soundman, DJ and UK pioneer, Shy FX have released ‘Original Nuttah 25’ – a re-recorded and re-mastered seminal anthem ‘Original Nuttah’ that shook dance floors back on 1994 with its hard-hitting seminal jungle beats. It still sounds gloriously heavy and madcap. The re-mastered and re-recorded 2019 version of the all-time classic features an original vocal from actor Idris Elba,

Shy FX says of ‘Original Nuttah 25’: “This record changed my life and I still can’t believe its 25 years ago! For the anniversary we wanted to do something special, so we re-recorded the ‘Original Nuttah 25’ version, added a speech from an actor friend of mine and called in a remix from Chase & Status to freshen it up in time for Carnival. And trust me they came through with the goods! Here’s to another 25!”

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