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Review of Hybrid album by Ophiuco on Seahorse Recordings — January 29, 2016

Review of Hybrid album by Ophiuco on Seahorse Recordings

 

This is a superb album, it’s quite a hard style to define, essentially trip hop but with some great dub sounds at times too. All of the songs are excellently crafted and produced, layering is excellent using a range of sounds and frequencies to complement and contrast each other. The vocals are excellent, at times ethereal, sometimes subtle and sometimes with a great edge. There’s some excellent glitchy effects and great use of delay too.

Desert
I really like the glitched opening guitar riff accompanied by an excellent laid back groove. Vocals have a kind of ethereal presence, there’s an excellent riff and great layered background sounds. The song has a great change in feel to end.

Trip
Great reversed sounds and layered sounds backed by a great groove to open, the bass is subtle and adds a great element. The vocals are also laid back and arranged really well. The song has a great trippy feel and is really well produced.

Pneumatic Psycho Bodhidharma
Driving kick to open with what sounds like bitcrushed percussion and really well layered background sounds. Great use of delay, distorted riff and I think a Sitar. Nice change of feel when the vocals enter giving the song a more uptempo feel. The vocals are excellent, providing a great laid back vibe. There’s a really good slow build of tension with some well layered background sounds to a release at the end of the song.

Ground
Great atmospheric opening with really nice contrasting drone. Vocals are really soft and subtle. Great layering of sounds and I really like the use of delay. The song is an excellent soundscape.

While
This song has an excellent groove to open with sparse rhythm and shimmery guitar and excellent vocals. There’s some great layered sounds providing an edge of tension at times.

Stress is a Killer
Great riff to open, a hint of a drone and some great background sounds. Again a great groove from a sparse rhythm and the vocals create a nice edge of tension at times. The synth is a great element leading to a really nice change of feel with great background sounds returning to the groove.

Scrowls of Intentiones
Trem guitar and the use of recorded sound in the background are a great opening to the song. Again a slow rhythmic groove with a great bassline. Excellent vocal harmonies, a spoken style with a really laid back vibe.

Figurato
This song has a delayed synth to open with a more uptempo drumming pattern. There’s a great drone and effects with nice change of feel when the vocals enter. Another laid back vibe, vocals are laid back suiting the style of the song really well. Excellent background sounds again, really well layered.

Out of the Window
Great glitchy percussive opening with an edgy riff and excellent vocals. There’s a really good edge of tension between the different elements and layered sounds. I really like the contrast between the trippy vibe and dissonant elements.

Transitional Eyes
Great synth sound to open with really sparse rhythm which takes a more defined form. There’s an edge of tension at times, bass and riffs have an improvised feel with some great background sounds and an excellent guitar lead line too.

Game Machine
Great sound effects and rhythm to open contrasted by ethereal vocals which are excellently arranged and processed to give a really trippy and edgy feel to the song. There’s some great layered sounds, some of which are quite harsh providing a great edge against the rhythmic looping percussive sounds.

 
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Review of Minami Deutsch S/T Album on Cardinal Fuzz and Captcha Records — January 19, 2016

Review of Minami Deutsch S/T Album on Cardinal Fuzz and Captcha Records

Emerging from the vibrant Japanese psych explosion that has recently birthed Kikagaku Moyo (with whom they share a house) and Sundays & Cybele, Minami Deutsch formed in 2014 and quickly went to work on this their debut album.

It has been released by Cardinal Fuzz as a limited 500 pressing on Weissensee white vinyl and has unfortunately sold out. It is still available on Weissensee white vinyl from Captcha Records in the USA, however they do not ship to the UK.

A bit of digging has also found that it’s available from Guruguru Brain, Japan as a limited edition cassette or digital download from their bandcamp page.

This is an excellent album, I really like the looping, hypnotic feel to some of the songs. There’s an excellent range of riffing too from acoustic to distorted and quite subtle at times too. The drumming and bass is really tight knit providing a solid foundation and great momentum.

Side A
Vocalism Ali – Forever Takemitsu
Delayed synth stab chords to open, drumming and bass give a great momentum with vocalised breaths adding to the rhythm. This contrasts against the more freeform synth and effects and gives the song a real jam quality. The vocalised ‘ai’ sounds are really well layered too. The emerging feedback laden guitar riff is subtle and adds a great element to the song.

Futsu Ni Ikirenai
This song has an excellent groove to open with bassline and drumming. Vocals have a great presence with excellent use of delay and reverb. There’s a quite subtle riff too. The song has a looping groove feel, it’s quite hypnotic until the fuzzed out solo grabs your attention and focus before disappearing leaving the looping groove to round out the song.

Terra Recipe
An atmospheric synth with momentum provided by great drumming and subtle distorted guitar riff is a great opening to the song. The trem synth riff adds a great element leading into a guitar lead line. The song has excellent hypnotic qualities and I really like the solo which rounds out the song.

Side B
Ubergleich part I
A really good riff propelled by bass and drumming opens the song, the background sounds work really well. The guitar solo is excellent, I really like the use of delay. Again the song has a great jam quality and a great momentum provided by the bass. There’s also a great slow build of tension to a final release.

Sunrise, Sunset
A great acoustic opening riff propelled by solid drumming and bass, the song has a looping, hypnotic feel and a great groove. The lead guitar has great tone and an excellent jam feel.

Ubergleich part II
A great opening groove from bass and drumming with really great sounding trem guitar chords. The vocals are really smooth and laid back suiting the style of the song really well. The song has a looping quality, background sounds add a great element to the song.

Minami Deutsch on twitter
Minami Deutsch on facebook

Cardinal Fuzz on twitter
Cardinal Fuzz on facebook

Captcha Records on twitter
Captcha Records on facebook

Review of Get It! compilation on Factory Fast Records @NYCFactoryFast — January 13, 2016

Review of Get It! compilation on Factory Fast Records @NYCFactoryFast

There is a parental advisory on this album.

This is a really solid release showcasing bands with a heavier sound.  It’s an upfront collection of heavy rock, metal and thrash songs with great energy and momentum. There’s great riffing and soloing with excellent tone, superb vocals with intensity and energy and solid drumming and bass playing too.

Pieces of Molly – Belladonna
Brilliant high tempo riffing and drumming to open leading into a distorted chord vamp which provides a great contrast. The sound really opens up in the chorus and there’s an excellent solo too. The vocals are great, really suit the style of the song which has great energy throughout.

Stab in the Dark – Man-O-War
Excellent distorted riff to open, drumming and bass give a great momentum and energy to the song which has great riffing throughout. The vocals are excellent too, telling a great story.

Long Lasting Train – Out of Jail (extended)
Brooding kind of opening leading into a really high tempo high energy song. The vocals are really gnarly having a great energy, angst and tension at times. Great changes in feel and an excellent solo too.

Fuck Shovel – Long Time Dead
Superb riffing and drumming to open, the vocals are great too. A thrash metal feel with a really tight knit sound and great changes in feel and control and release of tension.

Vices I Admire – Only Me
Brilliant atmospheric opening, slightly distorted tone to the guitar with really effective use of delay. Drumming enters to give a good momentum. There’s excellent riffing and a nice change in feel too. The vocals tell a great story with a nice change of feel into the chorus. A great release of tension to end the song too.

The Love Buzzards – Get It
Excellent riffing to open with a brilliant tone. Drumming and bass propel the song along with a great momentum. There’s also great riffing throughout the song and a great energy in the vocals too.

Gundacker – They Burned the Innocent
Great riff and lead guitar to open, propelled by solid drumming and bass. Vocals are superb telling a great story. There’s an excellent 80s metal vibe to the song and a great release to a more acoustic feel leading into a brilliant solo.

Factory Fast Records website
Factory Fast on twitter
Factory Fast on facebook

Pieces of Molly on facebook
Pieces of Molly on twitter

Stab in the Dark on facebook
Stab in the Dark on twitter

Long Lasting Train on facebook
Long Lasting Train on twitter

Fuck Shovel on facebook
Fuck Shovel on twitter

Vices I Admire on facebook
Vices I Admire on twitter

The Love Buzzards website
The Love Buzzards on twitter

Gundacker on facebook
Gundacker on twitter

#WEATNU – We Are the New Underground — January 11, 2016

#WEATNU – We Are the New Underground

Just over a year ago, I published a post about #WEATNU – We Are the New Underground.

WEATNU is an organization and movement of Electronic / DIY artists.  It’s goal is to bring to the light the unheard and talented artist, giving the artist a way to be found by new fans who appreciate their style of music.

And things have moved on a long way since that post thanks to the tireless work of its founder Almark who created WEATNU because indie electronic artists need to be heard, appreciated and found and the ideology of WEATNU is to help unknown indie electronic artists be known in the world of the Internet.

It’s now easier than ever to explore what WEATNU is all about.  A very good introduction is the anniversary compilation.  Released in late December 2015, it features 74 tracks covering a wide range of styles:

 

The website is an invaluable source of information and has been redesigned to make it easier to use and navigate to find information.  This redesign is largely complete with some further amendments to follow.

There’s now 6 radio portals available on Tune-in radio:

  • WEATNU [OUR] – The main station
  • The Listening Booth – Playing WEATNU RECORDS artists
  • Abstract Alpha – Abstract, experimental, avant-garde, drone and ambient
  • Transmission Nova – British rock, indie rock, shoegaze and noise guitar pop
  • Synthesis Noir – Darkwave, Industrial, EBM and more
  • Echostation – Dance / Electronic, House, Deephouse, Techno, DnB

There’s also a Soundcloud page where you can check out artists:

 

You can read features in the WEATNU digital magazine

There’s also a very useful app available on android or iOS that brings all features of WEATNU and associated links together for you making it very easy to explore and keep up to date.

If you like what you see / hear and think that you would like to be a part of WEATNU, you can do this by sending an email explaining why you would like to join and they’ll contact you with further details on what you need to do.  WEATNU is about helping the electronic artist through exposure and the net-radio WEATNU [OUR] helps with this. You will need twitter to join because without it, your fans will have no way to reach you through net-radio and twitter posts.  You also need dropbox to submit songs however WEATNU share their pro account with you so it won’t cost anything.

Another side to WEATNU is the WEATNU Records label.  It’s important to point out that by joining WEATNU you are not automatically signed to the label nor obliged to join, but if you choose to do so you will be required to sign a legal agreement.  Signing up to the label allows you to make income from your music as the internet radio portals don’t collect royalties they are non-profit.  As an artist you make 70% of sales through Bandcamp and sales / streaming through Baboom. These sales help fund the running and administration of WEATNU although donations are another important income source for this.  In summary the label is non-exclusive and doesn’t own anything, you retain all rights.    However as with any legal agreement it’s important to read and understand the terms and conditions and ensure they are right for you.

I’ve been a member of WEATNU since the very early days and I signed to the label at the end of last summer, so far I’ve released Tech Explorations album; rise | fall | decay EP and Beunruhigende Nacht EP through the label with more releases to follow in due course.  I’m very pleased with the promotion / exposure I receive from both radio play and promotion of my releases.

I’m excited to be a part of WEATNU, the growth over the past year has been very impressive and the new portals and especially the app help me to easily explore new artists and music.  And this is where your own input really makes a difference.  I’d say that as an artist, WEATNU really helps promote and increase your exposure but it works even better when you also promote yourself and other artists through facebook and twitter etc. The combined effect is always greater than the sum of the parts – the promotion / exposure goes that bit further; reaches more people and the mutual support you receive back enhances this even more.  You also get to speak to like minded people, build new networks, find new inspiration and grow as a musician.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syd Barrett Official Website Launch (06/01/16) — January 6, 2016

Syd Barrett Official Website Launch (06/01/16)

Today, Wednesday 6th January marks what would have been the 70th birthday of Syd Barrett, founder member of Pink Floyd and one of the most influential musicians in British pop history.

To mark the occasion, Syd Barrett’s new official website was launched at 12 noon (GMT). Celebrating his unique life and career, both of which continue to inspire and enthral, it is a unique resource that offers an unrivalled insight into this enigmatic musician.

Syd Barrett’s family are absolutely delighted with the coverage they’ve received for the website launch to celebrate what would have been Syd’s 70th birthday. In fact the response from fans all over the world has been so huge that the server wasn’t able to cope with demand and the tech team had to transfer the site onto an alternate server.  Hopefully normal service has been resumed.

www.sydbarrett.com

Syd Barrett was with Pink Floyd for just three years (1965 to 1968), yet when the band released their greatest hits album in 2001 he had written over a fifth of the tracks.

Born Roger Keith Barrett in 1946 in Cambridge, Syd obtained his nickname from regulars at a local jazz club who christened him after an old drummer from the area.  At the age of seventeen Barrett left Cambridge to study at London’s Camberwell Art School where he was reunited with his old friend Roger Waters. He joined Roger’s band Pink Floyd and quickly became their main songwriter. The band was named after two Georgia blues men Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Their experiments with feedback and electronic sound quickly made them the hippest band among London’s early psychedelic set.

Although still a prolific songwriter, Syd’s experimentation with drugs meant his grasp on reality was slipping away. He didn’t turn up for interviews and started to behave erratically, to the extent that an American tour had to be cut short.

In January 1968 the band excused Syd from performing live to enable him to concentrate on songwriting and David Gilmour was asked to take his place. By 1968 the band had parted ways with Syd, leaving him to record and release two solo albums ‘The Madcap Laughs’ and ‘Barrett’ and a single ‘Octopus’.

1970 saw Syd retreat to his mothers house in Cambridge where he formed The Stars with some local musicians though his involvement was shortlived. The following years saw him moving between Cambridge and London, where he stayed on friends’ floors. In 1978, having tired of London, he walked back to Cambridge, where he lived reclusively until his death on 7th July 2006, aged sixty.

The website has been created by those who knew him best – his family and friends. The clean, modern design offers an intimate experience for Syd’s fans, incorporating his favourite colour indigo and offering previously unseen, restored family photographs.

Going forward, regular updates will reveal even more exclusive material, photographs and information. Featured songs will receive detailed analysis alongside reviews, essays and images from a range of celebrity guest writers.

Syd’s nephew Ian Barrett says “2016 promises to be an exciting year for Syd Barrett’s fans and we hope that in keeping with my uncle’s talents, this online resource will act as a springboard, inspiring a new generation of artists – both musical and visual.”

Syd Barrett facebook page

Syd Barrett wakelet page