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Archive for March, 2006

ERRORS – How Clean Is Your Acid House? (Rock Action)

Posted: March 9th, 2006, by Marceline Smith

I kept coming back to these songs while I was away on tour as they made me homesick for Glasgow in an oddly comforting way. The times I broke out of the unreality of the touring bubble to take my iPod and wander the streets were some of my favourite times of the tour. These songs fit so well with the clear light of Glasgow and wherever I was I always found myself looking at the sky: the strongest bluest sky against the red sandstone in Glasgow, sunset on Brighton beach, trees silhouetted against the fading light in the back streets of West London.

Errors have an ear for detail that keeps things constantly interesting across this 5 track EP; crackles and flutters that pinprick the heart and accentuate a sound which manages to be both lush and sparse, fluid and technical and full of heart-in-mouth dynamics. There’s a moment in the middle of opener Mr Milk where things build back with such delicious anticipation that every time I hear it my hand goes up involuntarily to smother the stupid grin on my face when the beat kicks back in.

If you want more prosaic comparisons, Errors take cues from label mentors Mogwai’s electronic dabblings on Rock Action (the album) and match it with the attic bedroom inventiveness and seasonal disorder of Hood. You can’t pin them down quite that easily though as they mix and match genres and instrumentation with little concern finding room for loping basslines, echoing scraped guitars and a myriad of synth sounds. Terror Tricks has intricately clever laptop beats that skitter alongside mournful vocoder but there’s also warmth, playfulness and a sense of humour (and a love for throbbing synths that go URRRRR) that steers things well away from IDM clinical anxiety. Looks like I may have been too hasty in rescinding Errors’ title as my new favourite band.

Top marks too for the parquet and chintz decorated sleeve. Oh, if only Rock Action could have stretched to the real things.

Rock Action

Trouble Trouble Trouble All The Time

Posted: March 7th, 2006, by Chris Summerlin

“Why don’t a man love a man
And why don’t a woman love a woman?
Why don’t a man love a man
And why don’t a woman love a woman?
For when a man love a woman:
It trouble, trouble, trouble all the time.
For when a man love a woman:
It trouble, trouble, trouble all the time,
Trouble, trouble, trouble all the time.”

Ivor Cutler: 1923 – 2006


Posted: March 7th, 2006, by Tom Leins

London trio Olympus Mons have been together for just over a year, and have already attracted plenty of attention after supporting The Pete Doherty Drug Circus (aka Babyshambles) on tour last autumn. Fortunately, their own music has little in common with Babyshambles’ half-baked dirge. Olympus Mons play geeky art-pop or arty geek-pop – depending on which way you look at it. Either way, it’s ace. Stand-out tracks ‘Circles’ and ‘Follow You Down’ manage to blend the Buzzcocks and Bloc Party to great effect, whilst other songs add hints of Pavement and The Cure. Two parts edgy to one part catchy. Top stuff.

Footage to end all footage

Posted: March 3rd, 2006, by Chris Summerlin

Ages ago I wrote a review about Magik Markers that got me in trouble with someone I mentioned in the review. It’s here if you want to read it. Anyway, James Smith (aka Stables and drummer for Spin Spin The Dogs) snuck his video camera into the show and now, courtesy of You Tube, you can experience the whole thing for yourself. It lives up to my memory.


Triptych 2006

Posted: March 2nd, 2006, by Marceline Smith

Triptych, Scotland’s multi-city alternative music festival, have just announced the line-up for this year’s event and, boy, do they know how to throw a launch party. diskant was there in full ligging capacity to take advantage of the free bars and enjoy the impressive interior of the Fruitmarket while having the line-up lasered into our brains via the David Shrigley designed artwork on the video screens.

Even better, The 1990s were on hand to provide some musical entertainment. Their set got off to a false start with eventually seven people all standing round one malfunctioning guitar amp but they soon got things back on track. I have been meaning to check out The 1990s for a while now, not least because singer John McKeown was the man behind the Yummy Fur, one of my favourite bands ever. The 1990s are in no way the Yummy Fur part 2 although John’s ultra Glaswegian vocals and the catchy postpunk pop tunes have carried over. But things are a little more serious now, a little more grown up I guess, with less of the knowing references and spangly keyboards and more of a straight up accessible sound. I hope they do well but I need to spend a bit more time with these songs before I’m fully convinced. As the free bar started to run dry, I left and bumped into John who remembered me from all those years ago in Aberdeen (related in preposterous detail here – oh to be young again). So, diskant vs The 1990s – coming soon!

I do heartily recommend you make it along to some of the Triptych shows if you can (they take place over 28-30 April throughout Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen). It may lack some of the innovation and experimentation of Instal and Subcurrent but where else will you get to see Aphex Twin and Wolf Eyes on the same bill rubbing up against the best in indie, classical, hiphop, dance and everything in between?

O – Numero O (Antenna CD)

Posted: March 1st, 2006, by Simon Minter

To put it in as pretentious a way as I can manage, O are post-music. The sounds they conjure are far removed from songs, from tunes, from rhythm and from melody, but – to echo what Yann (the man behind the O) suggests – the listener makes it music. This CD is almost totally abstract, with hints of ideas and suggestions of sounds being born, writhing confused within the speakers for a moment, only to be supplanted by the next in line. Whilst there are very vague hints of repeated motifs throughout the album, it’s an exhilaratingly confusing listen – it skips from random guitar lines to fucked-up gamelan to Prurient-like noise to Sunn o)))-like doom from minute to minute. Bizarrely however, and beautifully, the album succeeds when listened to with open ears. Heaven knows how this was recorded (it’s like a contact mike was placed on a brain), but it was done with an expert touch. The individual sounds here are engaging and captivating, and as a whole piece the album is as relevant as a Sunburned Hand Of The Man stone jam, or a Vibracathedral Orchestra mantra, or a Keiji Haino cavern of noise.