Heartbreak music blog
Posted by Music Blogger
A label still in its infancy that has caught our attention for their simply brilliant releases is Moustache Records from Holland. The label is based in Rotterdam and run by the legendary mixmaster David Vunk. His DJ mixes were featured regularly on online radio station The Cybernetic Broadcasting System (RIP) and can now be heard on Magic Waves radio. Vunk sometimes makes steamy electro jams as Pussycat for the Crème label from The Hague, and recently collaborated with Alden Tyrell on the fistingly fine “Lord of the Cockrings” slammer for Moustache.
At the moment Sebastian and I are buying and listening to a lot of (West Coast) electro, (Chicago) house and italo. Moustache seems to effortlessly blend these styles together across their eight releases to create some sort of fresh jacking italo sound. We’ve both been into a lot of the Dutch scene for a while now, avidly following labels like Bunker, Crème, Viewlexx and Clone, and now it seems Moustache has rightly earned its place among these. Material on the label has been provided by a healthy roster of resident artists that include Mark du Mosch, Mauno Kalevi, Polygamy Boys, Sneak Thief, Flemming Dalum and veteran italo heartthrob Fred Ventura, who teamed up with Alden Tyrell for the mighty tear-jerker “Memories”.
We had the pleasure of meeting David Vunk at a recent Cocadisco party where he spun a fantastic set of beautiful italo records together for a strange London crowd. He’s a super nice guy and he’s a fan of Heartbreak too. Hopefully we can do something together in the future.
So do check out his mixes on Magic Waves radio (magicwaves.co.uk) as well as the releases from their home page at moustacherecords.com. Look out for a new release from Mr Pauli coming soon on Moustache too. You won’t be disappointed.
Heartbreak play Durr at The End on Monday, November 17.
Nelson Music Blog
Posted by Music Blogger
Our French booker, Super Mon Amour!, organised a festival in Paris in June with many of their artists playing at different venues. Fuck Buttons were one of them. Clemence (one of the Super! women) told us "Guys, listen to them, you're gonna love them!". God was she right; ‘Street Horrrsing’ is one of the best albums of 2008.
The musical approach is really simple but at the same time really extreme: take a nice electronic tune and make it disappear in an avalanche of organic white noise. Said like that, it might sound quite rough, or even boring, but if you pay closer attention to their music you're going to start hearing many unsuspected things. Dive in to their slow burning tracks, feel haunted by their melodies, get suffocated by that voice shouting into a distorted microphone, but most important, you're going to feel like traveling. You don't really know where, you don't really know why but you're on that road and you're liking it. You’ll get obsessed by these songs! It even gets so strong that you can end up crashing at your place in the early morning after a long party and play the album to your friends. Not everyone will get the point of that loud white noise music waking your neighbors at 7 in the morning but you don't care. You, plus one or maybe two of your mates, will have managed to get a ticket and get on board!
As I was reading the above, I came to realise something. A lot of music today is about making songs using very clear influences, in terms of writing, of sound, of energy. For example, even though The Strokes wrote brilliant songs, it was all rather classic – guitars, bass, drums, a great voice, great riffs and melodies, simple drum patterns that push the right pleasure buttons. Because pushing the right buttons is what it comes down to. You listen to the music which pushes the right buttons for you, those pleasure zones you feel when you listen to The Beatles or The Strokes, or TV On The Radio. And here are two guys who have proved to me that there is more to it than just doing "the right thing" for a song. Who needs a clear beat, a chorus, a good guitar riff, awesome hi-fi sound, great microphones and social security? Fuck Buttons scream at us through a toy microphone to forget everything that's ever been learned, to concentrate only on what's instinctive, on life lasting more than 3 minutes 30 seconds on some cheap talk show or radio transmission. It’s noisy but simple, taking up all the space your ears can muster, at all times. And sometimes you think you hear a voice explaining it all to you through white noise, but it all just keeps going.
Fuck the buttons.
Nelson's debut album, 'Revolving Doors', is out now on Ctrl-alt-del Records.
Vice Magazine's Music Blog
Posted by Music Blogger
Visit www.viceland.com for more blogs, plus cartoons, videos, dos and don'ts and all the other things that makes Vice so brilliant, but conveniently online, so you don't get old ladies tutting at you on the tube when reading 'The Vice Guide to Milking Your Prostate'.
OK here’s the thing. Vice is not a music magazine. Music magazines are, on the whole, blinkered, self righteous forums for balding old guys to weep bitter words of underachievement or hollow platitudes to nothingness. They also suffer from being rigid single purpose outlets blind to the wider significance of music’s little place in the big scheme of everything the fuck else. The magazines we like are things like the Private Eye, MRR, Big Brother, The New Yorker, The Economist, The National Geographic and Colours. Magazines that are versatile, swift to adapt, astute and cover a broad range of topics well. Usually with a sense of humour. That always helps.
Now don’t get us wrong, we really like music. Lots. Some of us even still buy real records instead of stealing them off of the internet and have the bands that we like tattooed on our bodies forever. You know, that kind of stuff.
We are wary about the majority music for the same reason that we are wary about the majority of everything: 99% of it sucks. Really bad. Not your average sucking either. Titanically, apocalyptically, soul rapingly massively sucking.
Seriously, if we made you sit and listen to the metric tone of recorded stuff and read the acres of press releases so bad they make you want to ram your head straight through your screen that we get sent on any given day you’d probably come to a pretty similar conclusion. I promise.
To this end we approach music coverage in the same way that we approach all aspects of the magazine. We don’t cover anything for the sake of covering it or because it is promoting a certain thing at the right time or because someone from some press agency took us to Bungalow 8 for the evening. The things that we choose to cover stand and fall on their own merit. So when we do come to feature a band or musician (we usually only do four a month max, please stop hassling us) the things that make the cut will generally be things that we know we will be able to look back on in a years time with a warm glow of fuzzy fondness. Because they didn’t turn out to be a piece of shit. Because they were actually great.
Anyway, here are five bands that we currently think are actually great. In fact some of them are so great that we decided to put their records out ourselves.
The Black Lips
The Black Lips are four kids from Atlanta, Georgia. They play garage punk brimming with so many hooks you can’t fail to fall in love with them instantly. It’s like they swallowed the entire Nuggets box set, watched The Decline Of Western Civilzation and decided to form the best band we’ve heard in yonks. They are also a gang of total babes who love to party for days on end and somehow manage to play all the better for it. Albeit often naked, bloody and drenched in their own puke. We love them so much that we put out their record and let them stay at our houses and lend them fivers and stuff whenever they are over. Ian, Jared, Cole, Joe: we love you.
King Khan & The Shrines
King Khan came to our attention via The Black Lips. Like the Lips kids Khan and his Shrines are from Georgia and ply a mean line in note perfect psyche-garage. There must be some magic garage greatness juice in that Atlanta water ‘cos the first time we heard these guys we knew we had to have ‘em for ourselves. Live they look and sound like they should be the house band for that scene in Easy Rider where they take all the acid at Mardi Gras and it all goes a little left of the dial. In other words: pretty amazing. They also all have great stage names like Gogo Queen Of The Underworld, Johnny Boy Adonis and Big Fred Roller. They will be over in the UK for the first time soon. Don’t sleep.
While London’s recent italo resurgence has been lead by DJ’s playing out classic sides at nights like Cocadisco, Horsemeat Disco and Disco Bloodbath the whole thing has lacked an act that can convey the live element that helped define italo’s absurdity (seriously just YouTube ‘Another Life’ by Kano). Heartbreak are that missing piece in the sexy, synthy jigsaw. An Argentian and a Londoner who think they are in a stadium metal band playing stuff that sounds like magical coke dust wafting out of some forgotten Rimini hideaway club in 1985. We can’t recommend them enough.
Sian Alice Group
Sian Alice Group are a cute gang of friends from all over Britain who naturally gravitated to London because it’s a safe haven for weirdos. Mentored by Jason Pierce of Spiritualized and including Jesus and Mary Chain founding member Douglas Hart on bass, SAG sound like the spooky laughter of a thousand big fluffy rain clouds made of angel tears. Yup, that is EXACTLY what they sound like. They’re about to tour America for the first time to promote their new album, 59:59, so we thought we would introduce you to them, one by one, because they’re our new favorite British band. Get to know ’em!
Mike Bones is the favorite guitarist of every musician that you like in New York. He’s the New York music-geek world’s secret weapon, having played in the (and we don’t say this lightly) downtown supergroup Soldiers of Fortune. Everybody who saw them during their extraordinary run of shows last year was knocked flat on their asses. They sounded like Crazy Horse. Seriously, it was like seeing Crazy Horse in a tiny little room, playing at full tilt. Mike and Pat from the band Oakley Hall were the two guitarists, and they traded lines and solos back and forth in a manner that made you unashamed to say things like “Nice licks!” If you can find a bootleg of their album, ‘Shred It Be’, you are a lucky little music enthusiast. Mike has been doing stuff like Soldiers for a while now though—he’ll just pop out with a group of musicians, or back up someone like Cass McCombs live, chop everyone’s head off, and go home.
Hit up www.viceland.com for more.
Xaver Naudascher - The heirs of Krautrock
Posted by Music Blogger
After reading the great post by Riton on Krautrock and looking through his selection (which contains three of my all time favourite records), I had to ask myself the question: who are the heirs of Krautrock in the more recent German electronic music scene? So I made a selection myself of artists and releases from Germany that in my opinion continue the same spirit and vibe of our musical ancestors dubbed Krauty. All of them I regard as being criminally underrated.
Burger/Ink: Las Vegas (CD)
This is a seminal album by Jörg Burger and Wolfgang Voigt; a kind of music where the much-abused term ‘minimal’ fits like a glove. My personal fave on this is ‘Twelve Miles High’, a hypnotic gem.
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Geisterfaust (CD)
Even though strictly speaking Bohren are not an electronic band, I had to include them in this selection as their music for me sounds like Can playing jazz in extra-slow motion. They are one of the most interesting bands Germany has these days. If there ever has been a record made that can slow down the course of time it's this one. Pure bliss.
Rechenzentrum: Silence (DVD)
Abstract and beautiful electronic music that always retains an organic texture paired with equally abstract and beautiful visuals. What also needs to be mentioned is their John Peel Session CD.
Der Räuber und der Prinz: Der Elektrische Reiter (12")
For me personally, Ralf Beck is one of the most talented producers we have in Germany when it comes to electronic groove-heavy music. As Unit 4 he has only released two 12"s (‘Body Dub’ and ‘New Day’), but both are absolute dynamite for the dancefloor. On this release he teams up with Noblesse Oblige for a mid-tempo chugging tribal affair that brings back memories of Can's Flow Motion LP.
Check out the new Supersoul Recordings compilation on DFA. For information see here www.deathfromabroad.com.
Riton talks Krautrock
Posted by Riton
I’ve spent the last few years working on various Krautrock inspired projects and I’ve been trying to trim down the albums that have been the biggest influence on me to just five – it’s been tough!
My taste in terms of music has always been purely electronic, I was never really into bands that much (the most indie band I ever got into was The Happy Mondays!), so it was completely by chance that I actually first got into Krautrock. Obviously I’d heard of Kraftwerk and Can and stuff like that, but I didn’t really know that there was a whole other load of people out there at that time making that music. Then about three or four years ago, my sister got married to a guy called Fergus (who ended up doing all the artwork for my album – and works on Tonight Clothing – check it out), and I was DJing at their wedding. I went round to his place to get a few tunes to play, and he was like “Here’s my secret stash of German records”, and I just got really obsessed with it. I’d never heard electronic music made that way before, and it was the electronic side of the Krautrock stuff that I then really got in to. I was really into synths, I just like making them make a racket, all acid noises and stuff, and it was interesting hearing them being used in a different way, it was quite enlightening.
I needed a break from doing remixes and 12”s and I wanted to do something completely different. I wanted to explore something interesting, and once I’d started I just got really deeply into it, and to be honest I wanted to have a break from doing the bangers! Once I’d decided I wanted to do an album like this, it then took me about a year to do it, but I probably finished it about two years ago really. I didn’t want to give it out to any labels or anything till it was ready, then I got it mixed, and that was like another six months later, then I signed it to Modular like a year ago, and it’s just been waiting to come out. I really liked the way they market albums, and I like being on an independent label. Plus I wanted to do it with someone who was based in London so I could have regular contact with them, so Modular was perfect!
Me and Fergus then did a mix CD, not for sale, just to give away free. It showcases the kind of stuff we’re into, but also gives a bit of a taste for the album, and a bit of context too. Download yourself a copy here.
The album itself is accompanied by a ten minute film. Me and a guy called The Phantom have made an animated video – all computer graphics – in the spirit of ‘Autobahn’ (Kraftwerk album). It’s backed by the first three tracks off the album and The Phantom had had the idea for ages and had been working on it. He’s more a graphic artist than a video director and I thought everything he’d done was really striking, plus he was really into the album. Obviously the album’s not a pop thing so you’d never do a pop video for it, but I’m really into that sort of 70s video art as well and I just wanted to have some strong imagery alongside the music, and the whole thing – Fergus’s artwork / the photos / the music – all ties in really nicely. This project was never going to have a live show, so I think the imagery was really important, hopefully it’s something I can look back on in twenty years and still think looks good. Make sure you check it out here.
In the last couple of years Fergus and I have also been working with the Soulwax boys on Die Verboten, which is another Krautrock inspired project. We’ve got a 12” coming out soon, it’s a twenty minute single we recorded live in a studio in Ibiza. It’s all done and dusted now, the artwork’s finished and it’s mastered so it should be out in the next couple of months. It’s got a Balearic vibe to it, with live drums by Fergus, live synths, everything live on it really, and bits of analogue sequencers on there. We’ve also done a live album, four tracks long which are just like long jams and they’re all quite Krauty influenced. We actually did the album first, but we were so excited after we did the live track we decided to put that out first.
So Krautrock has been really influential for me over the last few years, so I’ve put together a list of five great albums that have had an impact on me and you really need to check out. They are all a little more off the beaten track, and all on the more electronic side of the Krautrock sound, but all well worth investigating. Do some digging!
Harmonia - Musik Von Harmonia
Manuel Gottsching - E2E4
Michael Bundt - Just Landed Cosmic Kid
Peter Baumann - Trans Harmonic Nights
Wolfgang Riechmann – Wunderbar
Eine Kleine Nacht Musik is out now. You can buy it here.
Domu on 2000Black
Posted by Music Blogger
This is always one of the hardest questions to answer, "What are you listening to at the moment?" As an eclectic DJ I am constantly getting into old and new music from so many genres. But more often than not, it is the genre-defying, timeless music that stands out and remains playable through the years.
So what do I think out of my current playlist will fit into this category? Well the new 2000Black LP entitled ‘A Next Set of Rockers’ will definitely be one. Dego McFarlane (of 4Hero) and Kaidi Tatham (of Bugz in the Attic) have been stockpiling one of the most impressive bodies of work around over the last few years, with their outstanding Brazilian/Baltic crossover 'Febulous' slipping out a little early to tease the hungry fans. The melding of jazz melody with Afro-Brazilian rhythms, accompanied by a cross between Detroit techno and hip hop's production sensibilities creates a truly unique sound. Kaidi's playing embodies George Duke, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Johnny Hammond all at once, whilst retaining a modern feel. Dego's unique ear for melody, signature drum programming and bittersweet song writing give this album all the hallmarks of a future classic. Forget broken beat, this is peerless music that knows no boundaries. Make sure you check out their Myspace and take a listen for yourself.