Saturday, 29 September 2018

Friday, 28 September 2018

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Review - Sisteray – Sisteray Said





Sisteray – Sisteray Said EP (Vallance Records)

Vinyl / CD / DL

Out Now


British punk-rock quartet release their new EP.  

Sometimes when you hear a band for the first time you know that there is just that little ‘je ne sais quoi’ about them.  Something that sets them aside slightly, something that makes you sit up and pay attention as they distance themselves from the rest of their counterparts.  Yes, you’ve guessed it, Sisteray are one such band.

Hailing from Camden and formed three years ago, they have already released a stream of singles and EPs and, built up a steady following and reputation as a great ass-kicking live act through a series of ‘guerrilla gigs’ persuading promoters to allow them first support slots at many a venue.  Their appeal is instant, lively, and aggressive almost with hints of The Clash and maybe even The Buzzcocks.  A guitar heavy guitar band with a punk twist and enough pop to see them gain access to the hearts of the waiting media.

Recent remixes by electro-punk duo Feral Five have seen White Knuckle Joyride and Algorithm Prison (original version featured on this EP) take on new personas and the time seems to be just about right for Sisteray to finally get that break that they so richly deserve. 

This four track EP, at little over eleven minutes is packed with catchy, guitar jangling, bass pounding, drum thrashing, vocal angsty class.  Opener Wannabes maybe points a finger at TV talent shows, maybe not, but it is one of the catchiest things you’ll find this side of Britain’s biggest fishing farm.  Try not to sing along and you will undoubtedly fail.

Rumour Mill begins with a brilliant Burundi beat and little else until it explodes into a cavalcade of sound on the one minute mark.  Guitars screech and scream in the background as Niall’s vocals demand centre stage in a track that skilfully moves from sparse to being jam-packed with sound and yes, one of those choruses that just won’t go away.

By the time that the punk rotted Algorithm Prison appears it’s all very clear that Sisteray are something special.  With backing vocals from Lucie Barat of The Au Revoirs (and sister to Libertine, Carl) and Kat Five from Feral Five, it rips a hole where a hole didn’t previously exist.  Catchy, punchy and just damned good it stands as a benchmark that few will reach – “we ain’t your target market”.

Closing with Sisteray Said another track with its roots embedded in classic punk pop it roars from the start and is easy to imagine as a live favourite with mosh pits and leaping bodies aplenty.  Just two minutes is all it takes to impress proving that Sisteray are most definitely quality over quantity.
Jump on the Sisteray train, the journey is going to be wild.







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Published on Louder Than War 14/09/18 - here






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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Watch! - CATSELF - Crows Must Eat







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Watch! - Elizabeth Joan Kelly - 8 Weeks







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Listen! - Blancmange Not A Priority (Radio Edit)






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Listen! - Peter Ibbetson - Wednesday












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Listen! - Chris Carter - Uysring [Daniel Avery Remix]








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Listen! - Galaktlan - Elealo







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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Review - Gazelle Twin - Pastoral






Gazelle Twin – Pastoral (Anti-Ghost Moon Ray)

Vinyl / CD / DL

21 September 2018

10/10



adjective: incredible




1.      impossible to believe.
    "an almost incredible tale of triumph and tragedy"
2.          difficult to believe; extraordinary.
         "the noise from the crowd was incredible"

Informal
        Very good; wonderful.
         “I was mesmerised”



And so begins the new album from Elizabeth Bernholz aka Gazelle Twin.  The clue to its success lies above.  As the words of opening opus Folly exclaim – “What species is this?  What century?  What atmosphere?  What government?” – so Pastoral can be summed up as “What the fuck?”

This album is like nothing you have ever heard before.  If it doesn’t hit you immediately, if your brain doesn’t feel like it’s melting and dripping out of your ears, then stick with it, it will.  You head might feel like it’s about to explode, you may be convinced you’re living in a fantasy, another world, a nightmare.  The kitchen sink is probably included in an album of skilfully repetitive sounds, field recordings and genius, the latter making this album a landmark in modern music.

It challenges everything that has gone before – pop, punk, avant garde – you name it, this sets a new standard.  Pastoral is horror hidden in the peaceful villages and public places of Middle-England, a comment on modern Britain set to the background of grinding loops and unimaginable sounds.  Better In My Day remarks on the stature of the youth over a Pastoral characteristic of pounding percussion and basslines and Little Lambs introduces a controlled anarchy in danger of breaking free with broken fragments of hip-hop and house thrown in for good measure.

Pastoral was four years in the making and it’s easy to see why as it gels its fourteen tracks together in a truly mind-blowing order.  Harpsichord and recorder are sampled to create incredible screeches in this hell-on-earth production.  Dieu Et Mon Droit (the motto of the British monarchy = God and my right) comments on the state of the nation and our ignorance to its difficulties and Mongrel includes electronic blips and bleeps over another evil commentary.

Be very scared at Tea Rooms – you will never enjoy your waitress-served hot beverage and cream scone again without constantly looking over your shoulder and wondering what goes on where the eye can’t see.  Jerusalem sounds like it contains snippets of The Blue Meanies from Yellow Submarine or maybe it’s just a devil possessed Punch post ‘disposal’ of Judy?

With recent single Hobby Horse comes maniacal voice and swirling sounds which ingrain themselves in your now permanently aroused ears whilst distortion balances on a knife edge.  Pastoral is not for the light-hearted but instead for the musically hungry, the desiring of the unique with a thirst for true original and a hint of terror and revulsion.


Classic:
     adjective.
     judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.

     noun.
     a work of art of recognized and established value.







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Monday, 17 September 2018

Review - Stella Chiweshe - Kasahwa: Early Singles





Stella Chiweshe – Kasahwa: Early Singles (Glitterbeat Records)

LP / CD / DL

14 September 2018


African music icon re-releases early singles. 

You may not be familiar with the Mbira, an ancient mystical music or an instrument made from a series of metal keys on a wooden board.  You probably don’t know of Stella Chiweshe either but that could well change with the release of eight remastered singles from the 70s and 80s in the form of Kasahwa.

Born in Zimbabwe in 1946, she is still one of the few female players of the mbira dzavadzimu which she learned to play in the late 60s when even fewer women did so.  A traditional instrument of the Shona people for over a thousand years it is played by holding in the hands whilst plucking the ‘tines’ with each thumb.  The sound is one of a piano style maybe fused with that of a xylophone or glockenspiel but with the inevitable pluck sound and is completely enthralling, almost dreamlike in fact, one could even say that it may be the beginnings of the ambient sound.

Believed to be a ‘telephone to the spirits’ it is indeed beautiful and often mesmeric.  With Stella’s sometimes raw but earthy vocals it seems to bond perfectly and elevates each track to a state of complete euphoria no doubt one of the reasons that she recorded two sessions for John Peel.

Kasahwa is the first release for more than ten years.  Skilfully remastered by Nick Robbins, the tracks sound new and fresh and nothing like the forty years old that they are.  Fans of ambient and drone should lap with album up with gusto as it transcends into an almost supernatural reverberation of often beautiful sounds.

From as early as opener Ratidzo, the stall is set and you’re transporting to a dreamlike state.  Scales and whistles and mesmerising melodies which seem to drift away to the distance and immediately echo backwards.  It’s all in a similar vein, not repetitive as such but, a comforting familiarity that has warmth and glow that you will rarely hear.  Mayaya is one such track, a distinctive vocal hook that resonates throughout and playing of the mbira that will have you drifting away with your inner calm in no time at all.

A true gem and a collection worthy of at least a listen – suggested alone whilst driving or with quality headphones.  Kasahwa is fascinating.







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Published in Louder Than War 08/09/18 - here.









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