Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tip for 2007: Black Gold 360

Veering away slightly from my usual preference for all things indie, one album from a totally different ballpark has been pushing my buttons recently. Blending together such diverse influences as Squarepusher, Miles Davis, Abba, John Coltrane and The Orb, Black Gold 360 creates an electronic soundscape where jazz and electronic/dance vibes meld together perfectly.

The album is the creation of Simon Sixsmith - label boss of Beluga Recordings, sometime member of Electric Puha and in-demand DJ.

The album has been impressing reviewers around the world, here are some quotes:

"An excellent forte into free form electronic jazz ... nothing can fully describe the complexity of its clever and eclectic mix.

"Excellent fusion of jazz meets electronics, in a beautiful package, as we have come to expect from the beluga crew."
Auke Ferwerda - 365 MAG, USA (

"The Album crosses boundaries in a way that makes you smile and wonder.
A miracle has happened: Black Gold 360 has got me liking jazz! A must-have for Four Tet-fans."
Dj Marcelle - ANOTHER NICE MESS, NL ( )

"Quite simply one of the best and most accomplished free internet releases ... Truly excellent."
Marvin Suicide, RESONANCE FM, UK

If you enjoy jazz or electronic music from the likes of Squarepusher, Four Tet or Nightmares on Max, give it a listen. And the best news is, you can download the entire album here for free!

Tip for 2007: The Wombats

There haven't been that many albums this year which have blown me away on the first listen. Particularly among the post-Monkeys bands, who have blended choppy/spiky guitar riffs with slice-of-life lyrics. From Bromheads Jacket to Milburn to Little Man Tate their albums have pretty much all more or less failed to live up to the promise of their early singles.

Then along came the Wombats. The name alone was enough to put me off initially, but eventually I decided to give them a try, and downloaded their new album 'Girls, Boys and Marsupials'. I put it on at a low volume in the background, but by the second track I was pricking up my ears, bumping up the volume and getting hooked. By track 3 the windows were shaking and I was bopping round the room. And it's been playing ever since.

And I still can't work out why. Is it the occasional doo-wop harmonies, at times reminiscent of my other current favourite Liverpool band, Hot Club de Paris? Or is it the killer riffs and hooks, which embed themselves in your subconscious and refuse to leave? Could be a combination of those two I guess!

Lead track 'Moving to New York' features the line 'Looks like Christmas came early for me' in the chorus. Too f***ing right it did! What an album!

In any event, I strongly recommend you have a listen for yourself. You can hear four of their tracks on their MySpace page, and six others on their band site. And if you want to download some MP3s, Bill at Sound Bites has a couple for you.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This Month I Will Mostly Be Listening To….

Vol. 11 December 2006
1 Bloc Party - Song for Clay (Disappear Here)
2 Guillemots - Made Up Love Song #43
3 Ripchord - Lock Up Your Daughters (And Throw Away the Key) - tip for 2007
4 The Noisettes - Scratch Your Name
5 Muse - Knights of Cydonia
6 Pigeon Detectives - I Found Out - tip for 2007
7 Switches - Message from Yuz
8 Polytechnic - Man Overboard - verses, a chorus and a melody, who'd a thunk it?! Could even be a hit.
9 Babyshambles - The Blinding - long-awaited return to form of Tabloid Pete
10 The Veils - Jesus for the Jugular - caught the tail-end of their show in The Hague last month. Awesome
11 Hot Club de Paris - Clockwork Toy
12 The Maccabees - First Love - tip for 2007
13 Bloc Party - The Prayer - lead single off the new album, sounding better than ever. Tickets for their gig in Utrecht in April 07 already purchased
14 Howling Bells - Setting Sun
15 Union of Knives - Operated On
16 Pigeon Detectives - I'm Not Sorry
17 Band of Horses - Funeral
18 New Young Pony Club - Get Lucky
19 Larrikin Love - Happy as Annie
20 The Horror The Horror - Ipanema
21 The Veils - Not Yet