Thursday, 30 April 2015

News - 45s at 33

Steve Urquhart has been producing radio for around twenty years. He’s created short-form and long-form features for BBC Radio 4 (where he’s also a continuity announcer) as well as BBC Radio 3, KCRW’s Unfictional, and In The Dark (UK). He’s won several awards for his pioneering work with National Prison Radio in the UK, and he teaches radio production skills. Steve is a composer, a pianist, and an occasional DJ.

He has become a tiny bit obsessed with slowing down songs from 45 to 33 rpm, to hear how well they work.  "Jolene" is the obvious winner - but there are several other stunning examples… and plenty that are less than stunning.   He has investigated, so you don't have to.

His new feature for ABC Radio National (Australia)'s Radiotonic. It goes out overnight tonight (UK time), but it's already there to listen / download now:

He has also made this short accompanying piece for their sister programme, Soundproof:

Follow Steve on Twitter as @listentosteve

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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

News - The The Live Event!

On 7th May 'Election Day' Radio Cineola will be broadcasting live for the first time. 

Set aside some time to tune-in at for our Midday-to-Midnight Marathon broadcast featuring an eclectic mix of special guests, political interviews and music. 

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Music - Part 416 - MG (Martin Gore)

MG – MG (Mute)


27 April 2015

Depeche Mode founding member releases his third solo album.  

Martin Lee Gore is one of Britain’s most successful songwriters.  Since taking over the reigns as Chief Depeche Mode songwriter from Vince Clarke following his departure to pastures new, Gore has written some of the finest pop songs of the last thirty years.

Under the name of Martin L Gore, his previous two albums Counterfeit and Counterfeit2 have chronicled his musical influences in the form of cover versions of some of his personal favourite songs.  With new album MG (the acronym he assumed with Clarke as VCMG on 2012’s Ssss album) he ditches the voice, aside from the odd treated and synthesized effort, in favour of sixteen instrumental tracks.

Work on MG began following the end of the Depeche Mode Delta Machine tour in early 2013, and the result, written recorded and produced by Gore and mixed by Q who performed the same task on Ssss creates a fascinating soundscape of surprising depth and power.

His ability to take the simplest of melodies and add layer upon layer to create cinematic sounding backdrops is wondrous and the hours put into the album at his Santa Barbara studio (allegedly five days a week at a minimum) is clear to see.  As Gore says “As a songwriter, I am aware of the power of words….. I am also aware of the power of pure music and the emotions that can be created by musical atmospheres.”

With the exception of Europa Hymn (which has the potential to be a massively popular tune), all the tracks have one-word titles again maybe asserting the simple, straightforward approach to the album.  Often haunting, as in the evocative Creeper, Gore has the created pieces which are both modest but also complex and provocative.  Opener, Pinking has an almost musical box feel and Elk like something from the Julee Cruise back catalogue.

Both Spiral and Stealth have cunning bass lines which underpin restrained hooks and the ambient industrial feel of Brink is captivating.  Ending with the sluggish Blade, MG is as entertaining as it is bold and assertive once more adding to the already imposing CV of Mr Gore.


Mute Records
Martin Gore website
Martin Gore on Facebook
Depeche Mode on hiapop Blog

Published on Louder Than War 20/04/15 - here

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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Music - Part 415 - Adrian Sherwood

Various – Sherwood At The Controls Volume 1: 1979-1984 (On-U Sound)
Out Now

Dub Reggae genius is recognised in the first of an On-U Sound reissue campaign. 

If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss is about with Adrian Sherwood, then this new compilation of his early productions and remixes will help guide the way.  With only four months of the year gone, we have seen the most recent efforts by Sherwood in collaboration with DJ Pinch and where the whirlwind began as far back as 1979.

For artists, it is his skills as producer and mixer that have given him a near legendary status in the industry, not just in his clear love of reggae and dub but in other far reaching genres as this collection proves.

Working with The Slits for instance, the original female punk band fronted by the late Ari Up (she would also front New Age Steppers another Sherwood artist), he would become one of the most sought after producers around.  The Slits’ Man Next Door was a sparse Sherwood affair, with meandering guitar work from Viv Albertine and Red Indian chants before they were fashionable.  The subtle reverb effects and general emptiness a trademark of the sound that would unfold over the years.

Mistah Linn He Dead by Shriekback cheekily contains sections of one of the remixes that was later made for Depeche Mode (or it vice versa?) with the are People People? 12” remix.  It also features some of the sounds that would become synonymous with Sherwood, Tackhead and Fats Comet projects which he would become a main member of – loud, startling, muffled drumbeats and dubs in, out and all around.

There are big names on At The Controls Volume 1 with The Fall (Middles Mass), the extraordinary Annie Anxiety (Third Gear Kills) and Mark Stewart (Learning To Cope With Cowardice) each displaying their own unique sounds but helped along by the vision of Sherwood and ‘that’ sound.   Interesting too that these three artists all have new albums for 2015.

On the dub reggae front we have Singers & Players, Prince Far I and Medium Medium supplying not only further examples of the man, but also of their superb interpretations of the art.

The vaults of On U-sound have well and truly been opened and the unmistakable talents of Adrian Sherwood, once way ahead of his time, will soon be unleashed on a World that has finally caught up to the delights and pleasures of his undisputable skill.



On U-sound Records
Adrian Sherwood website
Adrian Sherwood on Twitter
Adrian Sherwood on Facebook
Adrian Sherwood on hiapop Blog
Depeche Mode
Mark Stewart

Published on Louder Than War 13/04/15 - here

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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

News - Feral Five Announce And Stream New Single

'Neurotrash' is Feral Five's new release - turbocharged leftfield beats meet electropunk brainfood in a neon explosion. It features in sizzling drag queens film ‘Dressed As A Girl’ which has just premiered at the BFI.

‘Neurotrash’ was inspired by science wars about the brain. Science guru Susan Greenfield dubbed pap gender psychology 'Neurotrash' and both she and the legendary Rosalind Franklin are namechecked in the song.

P​eer inside my brain, try to explain

blame my genes, no desire to please”

​Kat Five​

Think Crystal Castles crossed with Crass. Lashings of breakneck beats and screaming guitar to create leftfield neopunk dubstep.

Raised by wolves on a diet of punk rock, disco and roots, Kat and Drew Five meld punk attitude and biting lyrics with a dark lived-in pulsing heart. Feral Five’s debut EP ‘Skin' was dubbed an alternative classic by Louder Than War, and Nirvana biographer Everett True described it as "b​rooding and deviant”.

The Ferals are Kat - vocals, guitar, percussion, and Drew - bass, keys, beats. They are obsessed with science, and write songs about the dark human side of tech, as well as love, lust and madness.

Previous releases ‘Angel Road’ and ‘3D’ were featured on the ​Steve Lamacq show on BBC 6 Music. ‘3D’ was the first song about creating whole humans from a domestic 3D printer - something has since predicted too. With 3D printed artwork on the vinyl release, it was praised by critics as being “the song of our times”.

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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Music - Part 414 - Martin Callingham

Martin Calllingham – Tonight, We All Run Free (Folkwit Records)


Out Now

Former Joyce and Librarian frontman releases his debut solo album. 

One probably wouldn’t get away with a review just saying that an album is nice, but Tonight We All Swim Free is just that.  It’s nice, even lovely and maybe even the sort of album you want to take to bed and cuddle.  It’s warm and comforting and makes you want to stay in its clutches for quite some time.

Martin Callingham has a soft gentle voice.  Imagine a quieter version of Tom McRae and you won’t go far wrong, in fact his style of writing is quite similar too.  Well formed, often sweeping pieces of delightful melodies and equally enthralling voice combine to contribute ten tracks to a thoroughly entertaining if all too short album.

It’s maybe fair to say that there are also comparisons to be had to Simon & Garfunkel.   Martin has a sweet angelic voice very akin to that of Art maybe none more so on Build Us A Path and On Your Mark, the latter of which also has echoes (sic) of Julee Cruise and Falling (the Twin Peaks spookathon).

One of those rare talents that has the ability to make stories unfold right before your ears, his words craft stories and scenarios that are common to us all and we are able to relate to.  Even the instrumental Ken does enough to conjure up the image of an adult learning to swim in a packed public pool.

Tonight We All Swim Free has already been lauded by Radios 1 and 6 and it’s easy to see why.  It’s perfect ‘alternative’ fodder which has the potential to reach larger audiences. Portland Square was a recent favourite as its understated guitar work and gentle hook sit comfortably with mild percussion and occasional cymbals, and recent single Knots whilst more upbeat continues the sublime stream of complete and utter loveliness.

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Music - Part 413 - Loose Fruit Museum

Loose Fruit Museum – In The Room (Ciao Ketchup Recordings)


Out Now

London based rockers release their new album. 

This is what is commonly known as a damn good Rock ‘n’ Roll album.  Straight from the off with opener Every Tuesday, a Bauhaus induced brawl of heavy guitars and even heavier drums Loose Fruit Museum seemingly make their intentions clear.  ‘Seemingly’ because they don’t, instead they mix it up a little to avoid any chance of boredom in an album that is both accomplished and confident.

The five piece clearly have talent, and big bags of it.  They’re songwriting is self-assured and whilst comparisons to Manic Street Preachers may be slightly wide of the mark (they’re much better than that), they do have more connection with Red Hot Chilli Peppers and possibly even Nirvana of occasion.

Recent single Somersaults is as good, if not better, than any rock song you’ll hear on the radio or see on ‘music’ television.  It oozes power, aggression and above all a catchy melody which is not easily removed and leaves the listener demanding more.  Where Loose Fruit Museum (no, me neither!) are clever is in their choice of album line-up – next track, Enough Is Enough is a change of pace which leaves a sense of intrigue and wanting.  With a Kurt Cobain guitar gnarl, it chugs along and satisfies easily.

Arguably, LFM are nothing new, but if you’re not going to make anything revolutionary then the key is to do it well and do it well they do.  Country Punk does have punk aspirations but also has a 90s punch with a modern day curve.  Vocals are buoyant and the production is absolutely spot-on.

Okay, okay so Lungs does sound a bit like the Manics, but more their guitar rock period before they went down the pop road.  Think more Masses Against The Classes with its pseudo angry poise and shock intentions.  It’s a toe-tapper to say the least if not making you want to get off your backside and jump to the skies.

The closing four tracks then take a turn in pace, the rock goes and the roll enters.  After kicking ass for over half of the album, LFM become more subdued almost creating a Side 1 and Side 2 depending on your mood.  They can write moody stuff too as final track Crossroads shows.  It’s not always about making lots of noise, sometimes a melody counts and the band can write those too.

In The Room is a good album, not ground-breaking or Earth shattering but solid, entertaining and very pleasing.


Ciao Ketchup Recordings
Loose Fruit Museum website
Loose Fruit Museum on Twitter
Loose Fruit Museum on Facebook

Published on Louder Than War 29/03/15 - here

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Music - Part 412 - Hanoi Masters (Vietnam)

Hanoi Masters (Vietnam) – War Is A Wound, Peace Is A Scar – (Glitterbeat)


30 March 2015


A collection of songs from Vietnamese musicians. 

This is the sort of album that we should all be educated to listen to.  Eleven tracks that were recorded last year by Grammy award winning producer Ian Brennan as part of an audio document.  Labelled as being ‘ recordings of lesser-known global music traditions’ the album highlights traditional songs together with tunes that were sung to the troops of the Vietnam War to boost morale.

Still known as the ‘American War’ by the musicians, the hurt and pain of the forty year old memories are still present  as we are taken on a  trip through hope, love, death and loss with voices that are as endemic to Hanoi as are the instruments that are used.

One particular ‘find’ was the K’ni, a plucked instrument made up of a single string that is held between the teeth creating an almost vocoder or Theremin effect.  The Wind Blows It Away by Quoc Hung whilst only one minute long is a fascinating piece of music and not to be missed.

To the outsider, there is a feeling of sadness and regret in the tracks featured here.  Whether it be a lack of literal understanding or whether it be the tone of the passages is hard to determine, but what is clear is that everything is sung with emotion and passion.

Heroine Song contains both male (Xuan Hoach) and female (Vo Van-Anh) vocals, and the interplay and connection between the two is quite startling.  Similarly, Doomed Love tells of a woman’s youth slowly slipping away with a backing of simple percussion and a mono-chord instrument called a Dan Bau.

It’s fair to say that War Is A Wound, Peace Is A Scar maybe isn’t immediately easy listening for the Western World, but given time and patience it is easy to see its appeal.  Gratitude is performed in the style of blind artists who used to flit from town to town performing in a way similar to modern day busking.

At little under thirty-five minutes, it’s a short album but one that is packed to the rafters with enough diversity to entertain even the harshest music critic, and closing with the eight minute Taking Your Spirit To The Next World both percussion and voice are provided by Pham Mong Hai in a lament said to honour the death spirit.

Enthralling stuff indeed.


Glitterbeat website
Glitterbeat on Twitter
Glitterbeat on Facebook

Published on Louder Than War 27/03/15 - here

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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Music - Part 411 - Motorama

Motorama – Poverty (Talitres)


30 March 2015


Russian post-punk quintet release their third album. 

Quite how Motorama have stayed such a big secret is quite a mystery, but things may well change with their new album Poverty.  Sounding like an 80s inspired Manchester Indie band they take their influences from the post punk era with more than a nod in the direction of Joy Division.

Had the genius that was Tony Wilson not been taken from us too soon, they would undoubtedly have been ‘imported’ by the great man.  He would have seen their power and energy, he would have seen their bravado, and he would have seen their promise.

Formed in the hip-hop capital of Southern Russia, the port city of Rostov-on-Don they are currently billed as the Country’s most promising musical export and quite rightly so.  Skilfully combining some memorable pop melodies with driving post-punk attitude, they are heavy on bass and light on pretention.

Album opener, Corona is subtle and bouncy as it’s jangly guitars merge with dark brooding vocals like a meeting between Johnny Marr and Ian Curtis as occasional keyboard interludes add to the party creating one of those great Indie sounding ditty’s that once filled the airwaves.

Dispersed Energy sees deep vocals with a frantic bass sound over a hollow backing providing a pure Manchester soundtrack whilst Red Drop bounces back to the poppy stuff that Motorama seem so capable of making. 

The open motorways, autobahns and freeways of the World provide the metaphorical musical backdrop for Heavy Wave as it glides and soars effortlessly over three and a half gorgeous minutes of near perfection.  Impractical Advice tips its hat in the direction of 80s Indie/New Wave group Furniture (Love Your Shoes, Brilliant Mind).

A trio of pacey, bass driven tracks in Lottery, Old and Similar Way lead up to album closer Write To Me which again echoes sounds of Joy Division and possibly enters the ground of early New Order and OMD.

Talitres Records
Motorama website
Motorama Twitter
Motorama Facebook
Published on Louder Than War 27/03/15 - here

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News - Hunck Release New Single

Hunck is a dream-pop quintet that consists of Thomas Wykes, brothers Frederik and Alfie Tyson-Brown, Kieron James and Michael-James Dent. 
The band possesses playing credits rom the likes of Parakeet, Yoofs, Many Things and Jonathan Boulet.  Frederik and Thomas formed the band in Tottenham in the beginning of 2014 with their first song Toy Trucks appearing on NME and DIY compilations before eventually recruiting the rest of the band to play shows and record their debut EP 'Something Missing'.

They've just self released their new  new single 'So Far, So Deep' and it goes a little like this:


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Friday, 3 April 2015

Music - Part 410 - Outside Your House

Outside Your House – The Ones That Left Town EP


Out Now

Durham based rapping duo release their new EP.

It seems there are a million would-be rappers out there, some good, some not-so.  It is therefore quite a relief to come across an act doing something a little bit different.

Durham City has spawned Outside Your House, a duo made up of Faithful Johannes and Jonathan Swift who cut and mix up some cool beats and sounds to bring something very special to the party.  With a background of poetry and folk, vocalist Johannes displays a skill for some brilliant rhyming couplets and detailed lyrics which unfold into modern day reflections of everyday feeling and society.

Where Outside Your House differ is in their presentation.  There’s no shouty shouty vocalisation here as Faithful whispers his words in a self-confessed style of ‘barely rap’ which is both calming and intriguing.  Swift supplies some amazing backing from sampled vinyl records, beats and live work which add a mystique to perfectly marry the vocals.

The instrumentation is often sublime, the perfect accompanying to the murmur. Dennis Taylor Style zips through trip-hop, jazz and avant garde in four luscious minutes leaving the listener slightly dumfounded if not compelled to hear more.

Often having the scope for clumsiness, the mash-ups just see to gel perfectly.  Opening with Photos Out There and the line “I’m a vegetarian on a budget” the stage is set.  Crackling vinyl flickers in the background and a thumpy bass drum joins a looped acoustic guitar with observations on relationships, the internet and Jacques Cousteau.  As a sitar joins the track to close, you know you’re not in for a regular trip.

Fading Out (Like The Pictures On My Work ID) includes vocals from a voice not unlike Karen Carpenter which brings a slightly haunting feel over a Jarvis Cocker diction and a touch of the pschydelias, and Improbable Cities is a skilful play of words over a sparse modern day electronica.  Bare, but slowly rising with the addition of an effective bass snare, it wriggles along like a lizard in a hot tin with intentions of escape.

Six tracks of pure originality and undoubted talent end with EP closer Forks where Swift adds his own harmony to close.  Two blokes with an agenda that they will undoubtedly do their utmost to thrust onto all and sundry.  One EP that you must own.

Outside Your House on Bandcamp
Outside Your House on Twitter
Outside Your House on Facebook
Published on Louder Than War 27/03/15 - here

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