Archive for May, 2008

Ringer Review…

May 27, 2008

Here’s my reveiew of Four Tet’s new Ep which will be in the next issue of Connected Magazine. Enjoy! 

http://www.connected.ie 

http://www.myspace.com/connectedmag

Four Tet 

‘Ringer’ 

The chameleonic interpreter of genres that is Kieran Hebden is back from his sejourn with Jazz Drummer, Steve Reid and has clearly learned a lot from the experience. Title track, Ringer is an epic ten minutes of hard-hitting beats. It may sound as though your record is skipping as the dance loop repeats and repeats, but it’s all intentional- it’s Hebden’s way of teasing the listener. The tune builds tentively and the beat is finally teased out and explodes into a killer dance riff. Ribbons is smart electronica. Through it’s fast crisp beats we hear glimmers of enchanting pulsating melody and it’s clear that Hebden has sprinkled some of his magic dust all over the track.

Swimmer is all dreamy abstract electronica set to a one one beat which will set your heart beat racing with the music, until Hebden decides to slow proceedings down again. Wing Body Wing has hints of afrobeat and bongo drumming set to  crack popping minimalist electronica which shifts and wriggles in millions of different directions .

In this listeners’ opinion, this last track is the highlight of the album and shows us just how much of an influence Steve Reid has had on Hebden’s growth as a musician.

With Ringer, Hebden has proved once again that he is the master of weaving and interlocking abstract melodies with deep electronica from a plethora of genres. It is this juxtaposition of genres and ideas that mark him out as a true innovator.

 

A hero worshipping 5/5

– Tia Clarke

 

 

 

New Music…

May 27, 2008

Warp’s latest wonderboy…


Along with the pile of (mostly uninteresting ) CD’s I had to review last month along came an intriguing album by the largely unknown Flying Lotus entitled ‘Los Angeles’. Within the first few minutes I was hooked, Flying Lotus posses a boundless imagination and produces some space age hip hop infused with electronica.  


Here’s some background on the wonderboy… ‘Fly Lo’, as he is affectionately known by critics and fans, released an album, 1983, in 2006, signed to Warp in 2007 and followed by the ‘Reset’ EP last year which included bootleg remixes of everyone from Kellis to Mr. Ozio. He studied film in his hometown of Los Angeles- which is evident in the visual landscapes Fly Lo creates within his music. His Aunt is none other than the legendary, Alice Coltrane and his grandmother, Marilyn Mcloed was a songwriter for Motown and produced some of Diana Ross and Micheal Jacksons work. 

He’s playing a few festivals this summer, including Mantua, in Co Roscommon, on the August bank holiday weekend. 

You can keep up to date with all things Fly and Lo at: http://www.myspace.com/flyinglotus, which I would strongly advise!

Here he is in action with ‘Riot’. There are no videos yet, but the music makes up for it. 

And here’s my review of ‘Los Angeles’ which will appear in next months issue of State Magazine. http://www.state.ie/

 

Flying Lotus

‘Los Angeles’

4/5

 

It seems ‘Warp’ are on the money again with their latest signing, Introducing Flying Lotus, a soulboy from LA who mixes hip-hop and bleeding edge dance music to create some exhilarating other worldly sounds. On ‘Los Angeles’ Fly Lo (as he’s known by his homies) wanted to create a ‘visual narrative’ of life in LA. It’s comes as no surprise to learn that he spent his formative years as a film student, the seventeen tracks here play like the soundtrack to a film which captures both the glitter and grime of LA life. The scope is so infinite it would be hard to break it down for you, but suffice to say that Fly Lo has access to a monumental record collection and that no other artist has touched upon so many genres since DJ Shadow. His imagination and producing are both boundless and mouthwateringly creative. We are treated to lush analog waves, gritty distortion, grooving breakdowns, pounding bass and electronics are so ambient, it sounds as if they have been somehow passed through water.

Flying Lotus is an album of our times, which could only have been created in 2008. It is a sign of our both our ever expanding musical Palette and the speed a which we want our music delivered- the songs are presented at a breakneck pace, barely leaving the listener with time to breathe and digest the million beats per second they have just taken in. Sit back, enjoy and let the beats wash over you.

– Tia Clarke

Outgoing…

May 27, 2008

Rediscovering some greats…

With everyone so intent on discovering the next big thing in music, then disregarding them and moving on to the next feeding frenzy, does anyone get time to listen to old records anymore? 

And I’m not even talking about records from a couple of decades ago! This week I rediscovered LCD Soundsystems self titled debut and it’s only from 2005. 

People don’t linger on bands long enough anymore and in doing so you could be neglecting some greats in order to get your latest hype band fix. Slow down people and enjoy the music- it’s supposed to be fun! 

Anyway, let me again reestablish that LCD Soundsystem RULE! 

Here’s my favourite track off the debut, the rocking Trials and Tribulations. Turn it up nice and loud to get the full bass effect. 

 

 

 

Incoming…

May 14, 2008

Laura Marling is the shit! 

Have you heard this?    

It’s the debut album from 18 year old Laura Marling ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’.

Forget Duffy and Adele- Marling is the real deal. 

Marling’s song are dark, quirky, intense, poetic, contemporary and far, far beyond her mere 18 years old. 

She even refused studio make up when she appeared on Jools Holland- you wouldn’t get that from Duffy! 

Marling is currently on tour with Adam Green. You may recognize her voice from the vocals on the new Mystery Jets new single ‘Young Love’. 

Have a listen to her performing ‘My Manic and I’ below and check out the haunting video. 

She’s a regular Joni Mitchell. 

Laura will play Whelan’s on Sunday June 1st. See you there! 

Existentially Speaking…

May 14, 2008

Why Charlie Brooker is right about everything… 

After reading the below article, by Guardian columnist, Charlie Brooker late last Friday night I began to have an existentalist freak out of sorts. In the article Charlie writes about having a moment where he realizes- Jeez, I’m alive! This insightful piece of writing manages to get under your skin and force you to ask yourself some tough questions, such as am I living on autopilot? Are my lives views, beliefs and lifestyle choices being constructed by the media? The article may also lead you to ponder some of the biggies,such as- what is the meaning of life… 

After I read the article people were furiously commenting on the piece suggesting he should read John Paul Satres’ ‘Nausea’. I’ve been reading some of Satres’ and Kierkegaards’ theories, but whilst they raise some interesting questions, they seem to me deeply negative and ultimately unconstructive. I think existentialism is important and something which should be delved into- otherwise you really would be in danger of living your life on autopilot- but I fear it may be all too easy and dangerous to get lost and disheartened by it’s shallow and often nihilistic views. It seems to say, existence is meaningless- which I do not agree with.  

Anyway I’m not any closer to finding the answer, but maybe you will…… 

It will certainly get you thinking. 

 

Sometimes I feel giddy at the thought of being alive. Does this mean I’m on autopilot the rest of the time?

Charlie Brooker, The Guardian, Monday May 5th 2008 

There’s a characteristically brilliant Peanuts strip which opens with Linus sitting on the living room floor, anxiously clutching his mouth. Lucy enters and asks what’s wrong. “I’m aware of my tongue,” he explains. “It’s an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up … I can’t help it … I can’t put it out of my mind … I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren’t thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth.”      

Loudly declaring this the dumbest thing she’s ever heard, Lucy scowls away. But a few steps down the corridor, she stops dead in her tracks. She clutches her own mouth. Suddenly she’s aware of her tongue too. She runs back and chases him round the room, shouting, “You blockhead!” with her gigantic booming gob.

Occasionally, late at night, while trying to sleep and failing, I experience something similar – except instead of being aware of my tongue, I’m aware of my entire body, the entire world, and the whole of reality itself. It’s like waking from a dream, or a light going on, or a giant “YOU ARE HERE” sign appearing in the sky. The mere fact that I’m actually real and actually breathing suddenly hits me in the head with a thwack. It leaves me giddy. It causes a brief surge of clammy, bubbling anxiety, like the opening stages of a panic attack. The moment soon passes, but while it lasts it’s strangely terrifying.

I asked around and discovered to my that relief I’m not the only one. Many of my friends have experienced something similar and have been equally spooked. One of them, a smartarse, pointed out that Jean-Paul Sartre was so rattled by the sensation that he was inspired to write an entire book about existential dread called Nausea, which became a student classic. I prefer Charles M Schulz’s take. It’s far more succinct and comes with funny pictures.

Anyway, what troubles me about such moments of heightened awareness isn’t the dizzying headrush that accompanies them, but the implication that the rest of the time I must be essentially asleep, cruising around on autopilot, scarcely even aware that I’m alive. Here, but not here. Like I’m watching a TV show. That’s the bulk of my life. I might as well set the video and nod off completely, catching up later while eating a takeaway dinner.

I didn’t mention this to my smartarse friend – but if I had, they’d doubtless point out that Kurt Vonnegut was so rattled by this sensation that he was inspired to write an entire book about it. In his 1997 novel Timequake, a bizarre rift in time sends everyone on Earth back 10 years – but only in spirit. Trapped inside their own heads, mere spectators, they’re forced to watch themselves living their day-to-day lives for an entire decade, making the same mistakes, experiencing the same joys and heartaches – and they’re powerless to intervene. Naturally, they get bored and drift off, leaving themselves on autopilot. At the moment the timequake eventually ends, and they’re back in the present day, most of them simply drop to the floor, confused – it’s been so long since they were at the controls, they’ve forgotten how to walk and talk for themselves.

That’s the stuff of science fiction, but it increasingly applies to our everyday lives. The gap between your stupid face and cold hard reality is increasing all the time. We plod down the street holding remote conversations with voices in little plastic boxes. We slump in front of hi-def panels watching processed, graded, synchronised imagery. We wander through made-up online worlds, pausing occasionally to chew the fat with some blue-skinned tit in a jester’s hat. We watch time and space collapse on a daily basis. Our world is now running an enhanced, expanded version of reality’s vanilla operating system.

As a result, it’s all too easy to feel like a viewer of – rather than a participant in – your own life. And living at one remove can be crippling. You spend more time internally criticising your own actions, like a snarky stoner ripping the piss out of a bad movie, than actually knuckling down and doing stuff.

All of which means that those late-night moments of lurching fear, of existential nausea, of basic “I’m alive!” horror now feel more extreme than ever. The gap has widened. Our sleep is deeper. We’re like mesmerised rabbits. That explains why we fail to do anything in the face of mounting dangers. We’ve done piss-all about global warming, the Bush administration, and Piers Morgan’s rising media profile – each of which has the potential to destroy us all – because we hardly know we’re born.

That’s my theory anyway. Clearly, the only solution is for us to set about smashing up every single machine in the world, before we nod off completely. Yeah. That’s the best conclusion I can draw at present. Because I didn’t set out to write a weird existential column this morning, but hey: I’m fast asleep myself. Sue me when you wake up.

Just to prove that Charlie Brooker is right about everything, here’s a song by the Atterey Squash proving the fact! 

Ort…

May 12, 2008

Lumonosity… 

I’m very much in love with Oisin Byrne’s art. 

It’s hard to describe but is mostly concerned with light, colours and happiness.

Some pieces have distinct dreamlike impressionistic qualities. 

It’s just beautiful. Check it out for yourself….. 


 

The above pic is from Oisin’s graduate show at NCAD in 2005, whereby he hung 1,000 pieces of oragami from the ceiling over two mattresses which you were invited to lay on and look up at the hundereds of tiny oragami creatures! 

So who is he? 

Oisin Byrne, who was one of the founders of the Defastenist movement, paints “like a dream” creating “marvellous tumbling universes of line and colour, which shout: freedom!” (dubliner magazine, august 05).

…..Advocating ‘an art which is the product of play’, his ‘chilled, blissed-out vision’ (aidan dunne, irish times, june 06) is tempered with humour and lightness, and takes influence from varied eastern perspectives and cultural traditions. 


 Oisín currently practices from studio 8 of temple bar galleries and studios, dublin. He has a book of illustrations- ‘Friendly Energy Beings’, which is for sale at: http://www.oisinbyrne.com 

Will Broome…

May 12, 2008

That’s Nice….. 

Check out some of English illustrator Will Broome’s, erm illustrations below.

I came across his work when after reading about his new range for Topshop, which will be launched on April 19th.

They certainly look good enough to wear!  

 

Broome has described his illustrations thus: ‘Like a Care Bear that is beyond caring; My Little Pony on a trip to the glue factory; Paddington on the psychiatrist’s couch.’ 

For more of where these came from go to: 

http://murrayarthur.co.uk/illustration/artists/will-broome/portfolio.html