Sunday, 27 May 2018

Listen! - Xqui - Paid









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Listen! - Lucy Mason - High And Dry









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Listen! - Edwin Organ - Royal Rumble









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Friday, 25 May 2018

Review - John Foxx – Metamatic Deluxe Edition








John Foxx – Metamatic Deluxe Edition – (MetamaticRecords)

CD / DL

25 May 2018


Pioneering synthesizer exponent re-releases his debut solo album. 

The beginnings of John Foxx’ musical career are well-documented.  A former member of the group Tiger Lily that would eventually morph into Ultravox (Ultravox!), John has been often cited as an influence on mainstream synth music for almost forty years.  Clearly a major inspiration on the vocal style of Gary Numan and with obvious parallels made to Kraftwerk (which synth act doesn’t?), his debut album has been re-packaged at a three disc, forty-nine track compilation almost forty years after its original release in 1980.
Make no mistake, Metamatic sounds dated and very much so in places but, given the advancing technology in its genre it is hardly surprising.  What it does show is a distinct ear for sound, experimenting and ultimately writing songs which had the ability to be commercial successes.  European hitchhiking in his late teens clearly left its mark as several tracks referenced automobiles and transport – Underpass, No-One Driving and Burning Car - and cultural references from France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Yugoslavia combined in his attempt to create a parallel future.
At the time, Metamatic was astonishing.  It fused the previously underground sound of electronic music from the likes of Cabaret Voltaire, pre-fame Human League and The Normal with chart potential via almost minimalist tracks which resulted from six-track recordings creating a sparse almost dystopian end product.
The album’s first single, Underpass is style commonly regarded as one of the most iconic of the synthesizer movement.  Robotic vocals and memorable electro strapline it also contains a sound not dissimilar to one used by Ultravox on their 1981 hit All Stood Still, not the first time that each other’s music had been ‘plagiarised’ with He’s A Liquid and Touch And Go previously being performed by John at Ultravox shows and the latter being adapted for Mr X on the Vienna album.
Opening with Plaza, the track contains sweeping synth sounds and light percussive accompaniment (a characteristic of the album) making it simple but addictive at the same time.  It creates an almost empty, echoing atmosphere filled with suspense and eerie proportion.  Underpass is grandiose in the extreme, a gripping bassline and single-word chorus of anthemic status, the track appears on many compilations of the era as a benchmark track.  For the teenagers of the early 80s it still holds special memories and significant importance in their musical upbringing.
Metal Beat holds an amount of irony as it feels anything but metallic, fluid in its feel it gurgles and reverbs with several interesting effects before giving way to No-One Driving, possibly the albums finest moment which is has a pure, classic sounding pop buzz.  Its perfect pop formula fused with enough originality to make it an especially memorable moment.  The album closes with Touch And Go, an almost unkeqsue  affair maybe akin to Cabaret Voltaire or A Certain Ratio in some respects – a funky, electro track which allows for blips and beeps to make it a catchy finale.
The bonus discs, maybe for Foxx purists, contain several b-sides, edits and alternative versions as well as non-album single Burning Car, whilst disc 3 concentrates on unreleased instrumentals from the Metamatic period which were ‘lost’, named and compiled to sound intentionally or not, like a movie soundtrack.  Some of it is crude but does hold a certain affectionate charm and interest to be able to stand by itself as a worthy Foxx collection.

In summary, Metamatic is a must for all electro connoisseurs.  It stakes its claim as an early landmark in the genre and whilst it has since been overtaken in sound by continuing leaps in technology (of which Foxx is still at the forefront), it will remain a reference point for many a year to come.











Published on Louder Than War 20/05/18 - here










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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Listen! - Qrauer - Mulchen









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Watch! - Liars - Liquorice









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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Review - Near Future - Ideal Home




Near Future - Ideal Home (Blanc Check Records)

LP / CD / DL

25 May 2018


Review by Mikey.



From the deft and electronically assured minds of Bernholz and Neil Arthur comes Ideal Home,a sharp and sparkling album of futuristic beauty.Or is it a darkly horrific analysis of the shape of things to come for the human race?

The opening and title title Ideal Home begins with a quite unnerving and searing note.The lyrics are as unsettling,asking at one point, "Should I be full of regret for wanting things I do not have?" Clearly a question that plenty of people ask themselves every day.

Near Future make us glance at ourselves in an inquisitive,almost unearthly way.It is like being analysed by a robot version of ourselves,coldly digging away at all of the little secrets that we bury deep within our souls.It is a sound that comes from the future and the past.Simple,minimal and brilliantly frightening.

Field This takes on the baton and retains a steady and disturbing rhythm of doom filled beats and haunting vocals.

The choice of samples and sound effects is stripped and perfect throughout this entire collection.They have not only made us look at ourselves but given us an insight into their hearts and minds too.It sounds familiar because it is.It is about us all.Everyone washes up.Everyone gets fed up.Everyone gets pegged down by the daily drudge.Everyone gets Overwhelmed.

There is a sonic lushness to Ideal Home.At times it is lyrically comforting while somehow managing to also be musically angular and cold.It reminds us what it is like to be warmly welcomed and harshly rejected at the same time.

It is an electronic masterpiece that reflects not only the state of the nation but where it seems to be heading.Near Future have wielded a huge mirror at humanity with this album,it is now up to us what we do next.

Neil Arthur's staunch and fluid voice is the blood flowing through Bernholz' machines.The pairing and tightness of this duo is inspired and sumptuous.

An Ideal Home is what we have been led to believe that we should be toiling for and Near Future have brought us a shining example of what we can attain if we wish to dedicate our lives to the machine of life.






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Published on Louder Than War 17/05/18 - here









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Listen! - Greetings Music Lover - Audio Documentary by Steve Urquhart









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Monday, 21 May 2018

Listen! - Luna Pines - Spring








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Listen! - Jay Stansfield - So Delicious







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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Friday, 11 May 2018

Watch! - Conformist - Trust Exercises (Man Without Country Remix)









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Listen! - Xqui - Spark









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Listen! - Kompozyt - Mountain Tops









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Watch! - Geniuser - Epiphany







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Monday, 7 May 2018