Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Listen! - Chiara Berardelli - Deep Space Hibernation









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Review - Chow Mwng - Nunavik EP





Chow Mwng – Nunavik EP (TQ Zine)

CD / DL

Out Now

8.5 / 10

Experimental, li-fo, noise artist releases new EP via TQ Zine.  

There’s never any reason to not visit the world of Chow Mwng.  It may be weird, it may be slightly scary, you may not want to stay there too long but, you will not be able to dispute its originality and, any discerning alternative music/noise enthusiast will soon realise that he borders on genius.

Ash Cooke has been around a while – one time member of Peel-supported Derrero who later morphed into Pulco has been around for over twenty years making music that questions everything you’ve ever heard before and teases as to what may be around the corner.  Can all noise be interpreted as music?  You bet your bottom Euro it can.

For the Nunavik EP, Chow Mwng ‘visits’ (as the title may suggest), the Inuit people of the Artic regions for inspiration.  Known for their traditional throat music, the sounds are primitive and unusual as they mimic everyday sounds of nature.  And so, Cooke pulls apart the regular theorem as to how voices should sound and re-assembles them in often intense musical collages described as mouth music for the mouth.

The results are fascinating.  The almost automated sounding loop of Yupik coupled with the screeching electro effects that step perilously close to unlistenable open the proceedings and the intention of Chow Mwng is evident – no instructions, no guidelines, break down the barriers.  Inuktun follows in a similar vein, an enthralling repetition of completely indecipherable voices and melody (sic), and possibly even an attempted dog bark.  It’s possible that the kitchen sink is in here too.

With Thinuit comes one of Cooke’s brilliant recitals sounding like a cross between John Cooper-Clarke and Mark E Smith if ever there was one, his infectious poetry induces aural contagion that is difficult to be anything other than drawn in to.  More repetitive voices and guitar plucking form the basis of Katajjaq, a manic three minutes that sounds almost automotive in construction and EP closer Thule brings a haunting, almost horror inducing wall of sounds. 

There’s no doubt that Cooke is one of life’s free-thinkers – knocking down obstacles and deconstructing walls – and his current guise of Chow Mwng brings originality beyond compare.  Possibly the punk music of our era it is lo-fi, D.I.Y. and free from any corporate chains.  Amazing stuff.




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Published on Louder Than War 22/01/18 - here









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Watch! - The Ree-Vahs! - Pack Your Bags









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Friday, 26 January 2018

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Friday, 19 January 2018

Watch! - Straylings - Warm Ambition









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Watch! - Dirtmusic - Bi De Sen Söyle









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Watch! - Bon Voyage Organisation - Goma









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Review - The Ree-Vahs! – Man Overboard




The Ree-Vahs! – Man Overboard (Folk Me Records)

CD / DL

January 2018

8.5 / 10



North Eastern folk collective release their third album. 

The title of the first two albums by The Ree-Vahs! will possibly give a hint to what to expect from Man Overboard – Geordieland (2014) and Yee Ha With The Ree-Vahs! (2016) were, not surprisingly, modern day folk albums sung in a Geordie accent by lead vocalist and songwriter Andy Lee.  But, each album came with a twist as behind every beautifully and superbly played instrument was a tale of everyday life and association.

Man Overboard in many ways is no exception but the sentiment is far greater than ever before and one which no-one wold ever want to find themselves faced with.  In May 2016, Paul Lee, brother of Andy, sadly took his own life at the age of 46.  Days before, he and Andy had been rehearsing songs which would have formed part of this album. They had written and performed together for over thirty years.  What is interesting about Man Overboard is that with the knowledge of Paul, each song can seem to reference him even when the intention maybe isn’t there. 

This eight track album, weighing in at less than twenty seven minutes and performed by a total of twenty members from the borders of Durham and Northumberland gives as much social commentary as it tells about the loss of a brother and friend.

Opening with one of two versions of the title track, Man Overboard is a four-track home recording by Paul. It is eerie to say the least and sends shivers down the spine.  His dulcet tones providing haunting words of a soul clearly tortured and struggling to stay together.  What follows is a song that the brothers were working on three days before Paul’s death, Pack Your Bags tells of moving on in life and not clinging to the past.  With added cello and fiddle, Andy’s vocals are heartfelt and genuine and, as his final vocal closes the song something else creeps into view – his quite superb vocal range and quality is something that is not to be underestimated at any point during the album.

Acoustic guitar by Ben Helm is the main instrumental feature of Stronger Than Me (Non-Binary), a song of bullying and non-conformity  nestles next to an upbeat track about the love of music in Sing Our Songs In The Dark complete with trumpet accompaniment and a goose-bump inducing singalong finale if ever there was one.

Under The Wheels pays tribute to Paul’s life with words by Andy and Dan Kilford.  It sympathetically takes inspiration from the things Paul lived through with the song title taken from a text message he sent to his brother shortly before his death.  “Watching telly, eating ready meals, thinks no one knows how he feels; he fell of the wagon and under the wheels.” 

Jigsaw sees a rockier approach with added bass and guitar and Go See describes a people watcher in a town square as fiddles and acoustic drums join the fray.  Ending with a reprise of the title track in its full format, this album is special.  Special not only because of its sad story but also because of its uplifting outlook and very special content.  Paul would be very proud – rest in peace.





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Published on Louder Than War 15/01/18 - here









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Review - Dirtmusic – Bu Bir Ruya





Dirtmusic – Bu Bir Ruya (Glitterbeat Records)

LP / CD / DL

26 January 2018

9 / 10

Former Bad Seeds and Walkabouts members release their fifth album. 

The sheer quality of Bu Bir Ruya is staggering, perhaps more so given that their previous two albums – Troubles (2013) and Lion City (2014) – were also of such incredible superiority.  The journey through Mali that heavily influenced their last two albums has now taken a wider, more cinematic path and Dirtmusic have come up with the goods once more.

This new album sees Chris Eckman (formerly of Walkabouts) and Hugo Race (ex Bad Seeds) team up with Turkish psych visionary Murat Ertel of Baba Zula fame to produce a darker, heavier, more reverbed magic.  Its seven tracks covering forty-two minutes provide certainly one of the early contenders for album of the year in 2018 but more importantly, an album of such staggering intricacy and meticulousness that it continues to impress listen after listen after listen.

Album opener, Bi De Sen Soyle sets the standard, and it’s a high one.  Echoing guitars and tribal percussive patter blend wonderfully with Ertel’s baglama saz, Race’s vocals are as raw and gravelled as ever adding intensity and suspense to the proceedings.  Its hypnotic certainly, as much of the album is, and gripping rhythms are difficult to shake off.

As the album continues into The Border Crossing with its post-punk funk and reverb, the immortal line “don’t you know the world is getting smaller” resonates deep within.  Recorded in a converted mechanic’s studio in Istanbul, the sound is one of a live feel but with a clinically organic edge and as the lovely guitar pluck ends and fades it’s onwards and upwards.

The stunning vocals of Gaye Su Akyol feature on Love Is A Foreign Country providing a haunting interlude which grips the listener with every note.  It’s simple and enthrallingly monotonous and provides a quite wonderful halfway mark for the album before Safety In Numbers breaks free and almost explodes onto the scene.  Deep bass grooves and one of those annoyingly catchy straplines that just won’t go away.

Album closer and title track Bu Bir Ruya uses sound bytes and voice samples over what can only be described as an experimental piece with screams and screeches and possibly even dog barks along the way being married with some timely dub effects.  It all fits comfortably into place on an album that continues to impress from the very first notes.  Four years in the making but worth every second.








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Published on Louder Than War 12/01/18 - here









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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Listen! - Iceman Furniss - Cafe Kino 2









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Listen! - Abi Wade - A Bit Like Love









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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Listen! - Soft Teeth - Peer Rot









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Listen! - mary epworth - Surprise Yourself (Field Music Remix)









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Friday, 12 January 2018

Sunday, 7 January 2018

What We're Listening To.....










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