MUSIC OF THE MONTH:
The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – “Now That’s What I Call Steampunk vol 1” (Leather Apron)
Victorian punk, forsooth! Could be awful but is actually fantastic – excellent lyrics which show a love for the subject matter which goes way beyond merely dressing up. “Goggles” conjurs up an alternative Victorian era in which sexual repression is stripped away and women are desired for getting mucky with engines instead of being prim. It’s enough to make a man’s monocle steam up!
“Charlie” pretends to attack Darwin for contradicting the Bible but is quite clearly actually celebrating this instead. And “Sewer” injects some much needed class-consciousness into the scene (too much poncing about as the Lord or Lady of the Manor!) – it tells the story of a working man’s grave being disrupted by the posh nobs to build a sewer.
It’s blisteringly funny and FUN, the humour doesn’t overshadow the songs or music, so you can singalong with The Men Who Will Not… inna musichall stylee for some time to come. Check their steam-driven myspace for more details. And yes, they are the first group to release a Wax Cylinder for about ninety years.
Ekoplekz: Volume 1
Awesome ambient electronics from the man formerly known as Gutta. All the influences you would expect are present and correct – “Hole in my sound” catches Cabaret Voltaire at their eeriest. “Rebus Neu”is like Throbbing Gristle doing background music for Dr Who circa Tom Baker. It’s always a bit weird getting music off people you know, but to my shame I’ve never met Mr Ekoplekz in the flesh so I guess I can at least pretend to be objective. So let me say that this is no mere pastiche of the bands he loves, it has an identity all of its own and must be the product of many hours of tinkering away with the kit. If Nick is unlucky he’ll be lumped in with the Hauntologists – he deserves better than that.
In terms of practical feedback, I like the fact that the tracks are so short, but over an hour of this was a bit much for me. One to go back to though!
Full marks also for presentation, lovely spraypainted cover, the stains on the inside clear evidence of the sleeves rolled up DIY approach to the project. This is a strictly limited CDR which I think I got the last copy of. But more info and updates are available on the Ekoplekz Bulletin Board.
Mad Tone -“I-Society” / “The Tiranese”
Pete Madtone comes again with some characteristicly excellent techno tinged dubbage. “I-Society” has all the ingredients for some hot stepping in your living room: brooding bassline, echo aplenty and some great doorbell bizness. “The Tiranese” is a bit dreamier, whimsical piano sample and incoherent vocal snippet. One for the beer on a hill in a festival on a summers’ day posse.
Quite why he isn’t better know than he is I have no idea, this is infinitely better than most of the shit I get sent these days. Keep on it, Pete, I’m listening even if no-one else is… Show YOUR support, dear reader: http://www.myspace.com/onedeckmadtone
REGGAE / DUB / BASHMENT / AND TING:
King General – “Broke Again” (Conscious Sounds)
Proper minimal digital roots in a 2010 Hackney style with all the casio flava which was originally heard in the Borough when Unity Hi-Fi were laying down tracks over Regal Records in the mid eighties. I got mine here, so check out the sound sample. Flipside is a fast paced stepper which has gone down well with the daughter because she likes “all the space alien noises” on it. A RARE ENDORSEMENT!
Mr Palmer – “Respect Champion” (Coxsone Outernational / Blacker Dread)
UK MC lyrical history! Takes off from where Asher Senator’s “Fast Style Origination” finishes.
Mungo’s Hi-Fi – “Bad From riddim” (Mungos Hi-fi)
Ace bubbling UK dub with a microscopic trace of amen break in. X-amount of cuts from vocalists old and new.
Hempolics – “Serious” (Reggae Roast)
Zurprisingly good shuffly reggae on a sunshine tip. Quirky versions. Yes. Coming out on a seven inch soon.
Jah Grasshopper – “Ghetto Symphony Riddim” (True Sounds)
Interesting riddim which combines downtempo techno with a bit of folkish fiddle. Doesn’t really work for me I’m afraid, but full marks for trying something different. I think it’s a bit too much like those acoustic one drop riddims for my liking. Vocal cuts from Turbulence and YT, both of whom do good works here.
DUBSTEP / DANCE / STUFF:
King Cannibal – “So… Embrace The Minimum” / “Dirt” (Ninja Tune)
Last thing I heard of his was trying to out-ragga The Bug, and not doing too much of a bad job. The A-side here is much more interesting though – tinges of dub techno from before Basic Channel, tuneful yet dark. B-side bring Daddy Freddy in and is typically aggy, with a slightly more roomy abstract finish that I liked.
Decyfer – “Playtime’s Over” / Surje “Juxta” (Studio Rockers)
Tony Thorpe in the place – surely everyone has read Joe Muggs’ epic piece on the man in the new Woofah by now? Here he is showcasing some younger producers. Decyfer strays a little to close to dubstep proper for my liking, but has some great little tweaks going on, like a child’s music box. Surje is much more wonky. Worth a look.
ANS “Everyday Bullshit” / “Always Sharp” / “Holki” (Studio Rockers)
Track 1 has some nice epic soundtracky synths and man telling me “It’s bullshit” before the horrid bassline comes in. Deceptively simple. Track 2 has a sample of someone who might be Luciano singing “This one’s for the Soundbwoy” which is pretty great, but as usual I’d rather hear the original than the dubstep version. Old, is what I am. Track 3 has a fucking FLUTE on it! Bollocks to that, frankly.
Flore – “Feel Me (Peo Pitta Remix)” (Botchit & Scarper)
Block rocking breaks with sassy female vocal. I got mashed to so much stuff like this in the late 90s, it fair brings something of a tear to my eye, stupid huge snare roll included.
Son of Kick – “Byrdkick” (Botchit & Scarper)
Clicky samba booty shaking beats with sassy female vocal. The S.O.K. 4KL remix is greatly enhanced by some spaghetti-western humming and generally being really glitched up to blazes.
Planas – “Look Into My Eyes” / “Roots Music” (Immerse)
This made no impression on me whatsoever until it finished. Probably my fault?
Joker – “Tron”
Jean Michelle Jarre in a really foul mood.
Blame feat Fuda Guy and Tinchy Stryder – “On My Own”.
Not really poppy enough. Not grimey enough either. Sorry.