Friday, 31 July 2015

News - Downers Unveil New Video

'Graze' is taken from the new 3 track EP, ‘Noose’, which will be released on 1st of August on 7" vinyl and digital download through Local Colour Records. 
Combining a raw sound with infectious hooks and a DIY punk attitude, their highly anticipated new EP, ’Noose’ will be pressed on traditional black vinyl and limited to 100 copies, which come with a unique download code with. All artwork, design, videography and photography was done in-house by the band themselves.
Downers came together in early 2015, as Bobby had already begun writing material for the new project towards the end of his career with Me Vs Hero. Comprised of old school friends and friends from previous musical adventures, as a collective they all had an urge to go back to the 90’s guitar music that got them wanting to play in a band in the first place.
Across three tracks, 'Noose' is heavy on the fuzz and inspired by space, dreams and memories. Opener 'Erased' is based on a recurring, lucid dream that frontman Bobby has about being invisible. Bobby goes through stages of struggling with fear and acceptance every night. In the dream his invisibility is a gradual process, fading from normality to complete concealment. Elsewhere, 'Graze' relates to Bobby's memories and glimpses of being very young, and how that it is almost another life altogether, whilst 'Grown Out' is a straight up small town song; battling with the struggle of being constantly being surrounded by negativity and striving to achieve something more meaningful.

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News - KCPK Stream New S-Type Remix

Following the recent release of French electronic trio KCPK's new single 'Five To One' through [PIAS], Lucky Me's S-Type has just dropped a bass-heavy remix, joining two other reworks from Partyfine's Clarens and legendary 'French Touch' producer Demon.
The LuckyMe Records producer S-Type rework is the latest addition to a great remix package. The powerful cut follows up on the recently premiered Clarens remix - which reached the top of the popular Hype Machine chart - and legendary 'French Touch' producer Demon, who delivered a rework full of heavily beefed-up basslines, cutting synths with the original’s sampled vocals.


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News - Ash Walker Drops Dub Heavy Single

Steadily building his reputation as one of the most exciting artists on established electronic imprint Deep Heads, producer Ash Walker has announced the release of his debut EP, ‘Agnostic’.
Describing his current sound as trip-hop with an abstract twist, Ash incorporates an intoxicatingly heavy dub reggae bottom end with samples of original material – all firmly rooted in jazz harmony.
As a DJ, Ash has long performed in support of acts such as The Specials, Lee Scratch Perry, and David Rodigan, but now signed to Deep Heads, his productions are receiving the increased attention they deserve. His association with the label has in fact already led to his providing a remix for the track ‘All That You Are’ by label boss Zeb Samuels & Rowl, featuring Gilles Peterson-approved vocalist Segilola.
Ash collaborates with Nikolaj Torp Larsen on new track ‘Round the Twist’. Larsen is best known as the replacement for The Specials founding member Jerry Dammers, and he lends his support throughout the track on solo melodica, in a dark, jazz-fusion workout that also features Ash performing on bass guitar.


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Reggae Round-Up - Gardna | Black Symbol Handsworth Explosion | The Meow Meows

Is that a little sunshine in the sky?  Of course it is!  Which can only mean one thing – more reggae releases dropping.  Here’s our pick of the best:

Gardna Feat Tiffani Juno – See The Vibe (Boom Sound)

Vinyl / DL


Out Now

‘Bristol lyricist on a dubwise tip’, or so the PR goes.  Gardna releases a four track EP with the help of Tiffani Juno on vocals.  The standard mix sees a good bubbling Soca bass with a great horn section.  A pretty commercial affair and a nice piece of toasting too.  Nothing earth shattering but a good catchy track. 

The EP comes alive with the Le Samson Dub which is packed with more reverbs than you can imagine.  Voices, bass and keys all zip in and out of the mix to great effect and make a brilliant mix which retains the hook of the original but stands proud and tall as a version in its own right.

Followed by the Dead Belly Remix and Ed Solo Remix which turns the track into drum and bass version.   The former slows down the pace whilst the later speeds the track up with the occasional reggae reference.

Black Symbol Presents The Complete Handsworth Explosion (Reggae Archive Records)



Out Now

Last year’s vinyl reissues of Black Symbol Presents Handsworth Explosion Volumes 1 and 2 have now been collated and issued as a brilliant double album.  Twenty roots tunes from the likes of Sceptre, Mystic Foundation and of course Black Symbol are combined to make a compendium of the massive influence Handsworth had on the reggae scene.

Several tracks have already appeared on this year’s release The Midlands Roots Explosion which, had they not been great tracks would have been slightly disappointing.  The quality of the stuff contained on the album is high, and is a true snapshot of the incredible works that Black Symbol did in trying to bring their local bands to the fore of everyone’s attention.

Four tracks from Black Symbol sit comfortably and the odd lover’s rock styled track, like Jah Children by Gerald Love provides another spin on the styles that were made unique by each band.  The thinking man’s Poet Laureate, Benjamin Zephaniah has two tracks Stop The War and Unite Handsworth both of which take your breath away with their sheer class, and Truth & Rights contribute a brilliant dub tinged version in New Language with almost robotic sounding vocals.

Redemption Day from Man In The Hills again slows the pace, but is one of those tracks which always sounds familiar – lazy, relaxed and dazzling and Black Knights Let’s Make Up follows suit.

In short, a collection of essential reggae tracks from the 80s.

The Meow Meows – Friends On Benefits (Jump Up! Records)



Out Now

Not strictly reggae, but some skilful ska tunes full of life.  The Meow Meows come from Brighton and have been produced here by the legendary Prince Fatty. 

As you’d expect with ska, it’s fast paced and full of horns and grooves that make you want to get up and shout.  Full of humour and lifestyle observations, the title track is as catchy as it gets even though the subject matter may soon become a thing of the past thanks to the people currently running our Country.  It’s short at just under two and a half minutes but memorable and fun.

London Road is a bouncy affair maybe with slightly more reggae tendencies again with a great brass riff.  Reminiscent of the finer moments of The Beat in its pace and presentation. 

Closer, Tits & Hatred maybe borders on ska/punk and its lyrical couplets wouldn’t have gone amiss in the repertoire of the genius that was Ian Dury, a little instrumental break again not dissimilar to the Blockheads fills the calculated chaos.

Jump Up! Records
The Meow Meows website
The Meow Meows on Twitter
The Meow Meows on Facebook
Ian Dury album review

Published on Louder Than War 26/07/15 - here

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News - Alison Moyet Announces Deluxe Editions Of Acclaimed Albums

On 2nd October Cooking Vinyl release Deluxe Editions of Alison Moyet’s critically-acclaimed, best-selling albums Hometime, Voice and The Turn, all of which feature rare and previously unreleased material.

The Brit-nominated Hometime featured several songs co-written with Alison’s long time collaborator Pete Glenister. It was produced by The Insects, whose co-writing credits include Massive Attack and Madonna. On Hometime, The Sunday Times said “Moyet’s voice is simply unbelievable”, Mojo called it “magnificent” and The Independent declared “it may be her best album, period”.

Disc 2 of Hometime features previously unheard demo versions of album tracks The Train I Ride and More, but the biggest coup for Moyet fans comes in the shape of two entirely unheard songs - Sea Child and How Long - which are demos of tracks that were never fully produced or released.

With Voice, Alison made a radical diversion and recorded an album of songs by other composers that she loved, with the intention of concentrating on her instrument alone - minus the songwriting she was synonymous for.

Voice marked a first for Alison, as it featured a classical orchestra and was produced and arranged by Academy Award winner Anne Dudley. It entered the UK album charts at No.7 and reached gold status, selling a quarter of a million copies. 

It showcased Moyet’s eclectic tastes, and above all - her voice at its best. The Guardian described extraordinary tones” and “flawless”renditions of La Chanson Des Vieux Amants and Bye Bye Blackbird.


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News - The The Release Vinyl Edition Of Hyena

Matt Johnson of The The is very pleased to announce that the beautiful vinyl double-album of Hyena is released today by the Death Waltz Recording Company.  It forms an essential part of both his Cineola and THE THE catalogues but it is a limited edition so if you snooze you'll lose!
Housed inside a leather look gatefold sleeve that comes with a full colour booklet featuring sleevenotes, a lobby card and two custom colour records (the second of which features an etching of the THE THE logo on side 4), all wrapped up in the traditional DWRC Obi strip.
Thoughts on the project from Spencer at the Death Walts Recording Company can be read here.


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News - Soft Bodies Release EurNoVision Compilation

EurNoVision is an avant garde music compilation which celebrates and unifies the colourful characters of the various underground scenes around Europe. Each country is represented by one band or artist, and we additionally celebrate the works of musicians from disputed territories such as Scotland and Catalonia. EurNoVision will be released on a yearly basis on a variety of different formats.

The majority of the tracks included on this years compilation were recorded specifically by the artists for the release whilst others such as Felix Kubin (Germany) and Kompleksi (Finland) kindly provided previously unreleased rarities (Kubin's track, "Cassandra Call" originates from 1985, just after his Tetchy Teenage Tapes period). 

The compilation spans a variety of genres centred around the concept of outsider music and individualism ranging from the crazed synthpop of DAT Politics (France) and Syndrome WPW (Switzerland) to the melancholic alt-folk of Morningdeer (Hungary) and Mary Ocher (Russia). Several artists such as Samčo, Brat Dážďoviek (Slovakia) and Agnes Pe (Spain) reside on the more extreme end of the experimental spectrum whilst others such as English lo-fi legend Cleaners From Venus (aka Martin Newell) and Ireland's Clockwork Orchestra provide more conventional pop with a 60s influence.


EurNoVision 2015 Trailer from EurNoVision on Vimeo.
Trailer video for the EurNoVision 2015 compilation which is out on Soft Bodies Records on June 22nd. Featuring short audio clips from all 20 artists who provided tracks for the release (listed in order of video appearance below).

DAT Politics (France), Felix Kubin (Germany), Just Friends And Lovers (Austria), Katapulto (Poland), Morningdeer (Hungary), Samčo, Brat Dážďoviek (Slovakia), Agnès Pe (Spain), Kodagain (Serbia), Mary Ocher (Russia), Dion And The Magic Chords (Netherlands), Quimper (Scotland), Cleaners From Venus (England), Clockwork Orchestra (Ireland), I Love 69 Popgeju (Czech Republic), Kompleksi (Finland), Echo Beatty (Belgium), Syndrome WPW (Switzerland), Motor Combo (Catalonia), Spaguetta Orghasmmond (Italy)


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News - The Bordellos Share Underground Tapes

Ok, so hiapop Blog is a bit slow off the mark with this one.  Mainly due to the volume of music submissions now coming our way.

Unfortunately, not everything can be reviewed, but it sometimes seems a shame to let some of it go unnoticed.  That is the case with The Bordellos Undergound Tapes recently set loose on the World.

Raw, proud and smarter than the average (small) bear - (sorry guys) - they're also available for the sum of zero pence.

The Bordellos on Bandcamp
The Bordellos on Twitter
The Bordellos on Facebook

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News - Sea Moya Stream New Track

Sea Moya are a German three-piece of wide ranging and unexpected influences that are not an easy prospect to deconstruct: the psyche of Tame Impala and the easy electronica of Toro Y Moi feature, but so does the hazy production style associated with JDilla and Flying Lotus.

After their debut song ‘Do Things’ received widespread attention for its Afro-psyche stylings, the band return with ‘Slow Down’: a track composed for the apex of summer.

‘Slow Down’ is a perfect example of the band’s ability to refine often contradictory sounds into a seamless genre – it quite literally adheres to the tracks title and slows down time, demonstrating a more restrained side to their sound while still offering a cornucopia of hooks. The band describe it as:
“We had wide and open field pictures in our heads, like when you stand in Nepal in the Himalayas and look at huge snowy mountains with nice valleys in between and everything is just slow. You can calm down, take a break.”

A patient, almost painterly approach to songcraft defines Sea Moya’s music, which continues to reverberate in memory long after the last notes have faded. The trio of German musicians that comprise Sea Moya have only been writing and producing together for the past 6 months, but with such promising and auspicious beginnings, it’s clear that the best is still ahead.


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Thursday, 30 July 2015

News - Niagara Drop 'Mesmerisingly Kaleidoscopic' New Video

‘Vanillacola Re-Bottled’ is the upcoming release from Turin-Based experimental-pop duo Niagara, set to drop via Monotreme Records on July 31st.‘Vanillacola’ is a nimble song that quickly shifts between new wave, fizzy pop and slippery footwork, all complemented by sweeping arrangements and booming electronics.

‘Vanillacola’ comes with remixes by Austrian avant-garde master Christian Fennesz, as well as XIII. Utilising some of the furthest extremities of the remix genre, while incorporating elements of electronica, psychedelia, cold-wave, both remixes expand on the aesthetic of the original and deliver a mesmerising yet brash work-out built on originality and authenticity.

Niagara is the collaborative project of artists/producers David Tomat and Gabriele Ottino. There is always a concept behind their music – this time the ongoing struggle to balance their desire to develop and exploit technology against the need to make technology more sympathetic to nature.


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News - Fine It's Pink Announce Debut Single

Having formed in a karaoke bar in Iasi, Romania back in 2013, Fine, It's Pinkbegan as a covers band, before journeying further into the world of personal compositions once they started gaining public interest.

Once they gained public interest, they journeyed further into the world of personal compositions. No longer would they exclusively play covers but they would concentrate on writing  their own material. While being strongly influenced by bands such as Sigur Ros, Pink Floyd, Alt-J and Radiohead, Fine, It’s Pink's sound started to blossom and became a blend which naturally combines post-rock, trip-hop and electronic artistry.

Fine, It’s Pink best describes their sound as cinematic and have been compared to the likes of Warpaint and Still Corners. Their live performances are often accompanied by visuals, which adequately complete FIP’s sound universe.
Fast-forward two years and Fine, It’s Pink is one of the most talented and promising young bands in their home country. With a sound that combines simple song structures with psychedelic and even proggy passages, they have every chance of becoming a standout act outside of their native country.

Fine, It's Pink on Soundcloud
Fine, It's Pink on Twitter
Fine, It's Pink on Facebook

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

News - SHEL Release New Single

Named using their first initials – Sarah (violin, guitar, bass), Hannah (piano, keyboard, concertina, accordion), Eva (mandolin, guitar) and Liza (drums, djembe, beatbox) – SHEL are a Nashville based all-sister quartet who will release their debut UK single at the end of July. Produced by Eurythmics co-founder and latter-day writer and producer to the stars Dave Stewart, ‘You Could Be My Baby’ is the first release in a new label partnership deal between his company Dave Stewart Entertainment and Membran. 

The four sisters of SHEL create a compelling musical alchemy with their captivating harmonies and intriguing rhythms. Raised on an abandoned trailer park that the family restored and turned into a farm, the four sisters had an unconventional and imaginative upbringing in Colorado. From an early age they were fascinated by The Beatles and The Marx Brothers, an interest that their parents were eager to fuel with a collection of albums and films. A common dream grew between the group, and they began to form a synergetic band made up of four completely different individuals. 

SHEL website
SHEL in Twitter
SHEL on Facebook

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