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Archive for July, 2007

Your Tate Track

Posted: July 31st, 2007, by Simon Minter

Here’s an interesting conjunction between music and art, that I’ve just been told about. Looks like a good thing to me…

“Here at Tate Modern we’ve just launched an initiative called Your Tate Track. The initiative is aimed at unsigned bands and musicians aged between 16 – 24.

Your Tate Track asks unsigned musicians to choose a work of art from a selection on display at Tate Modern and then to write a track in response to it. The public will vote on submitted tracks and the 20 most popular will go before a judging panel which will include, among others, Graham Coxon, Roll Deep, Basement Jaxx and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens.

The winning track will be installed in the gallery through headphones next to the work which inspired it and will be streamed on Tate’s website. Tracks can be submitted until the 31 August.”

More information here.

Your favourite movie soundtracks

Posted: July 31st, 2007, by Simon Minter

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be regularly posting some short pieces here about people’s favourite movie soundtracks, and why they mean something to the writer in question.

The first will be online soon, but I’d love it if you got in touch to tell me your favourite soundtrack, and why, so you can get involved. Send your suggestions to me at simonminter@diskant.net.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Kanye West – Can’t Tell Me Nothing

Posted: July 30th, 2007, by Chris Summerlin

My housemate Gareth and myself are now experts in the genre of the ‘modern rap video’. Matt Gringo keeps suggesting to Gringo recording artistes that we venture into the world of the music video for the sake of market share and sales forecasts but until someone can do one of those videos where the camera is on the floor going backwards down a hallway with loads of diamonds on the walls and ceiling and it’s kind of looking up at members of Bilge Pump/Lords/Souvaris/Sailors surrounded by professional dancers and then Emlyn from Bilge throws a massive wad of ‘fiddies’ at the camera, then it’s just not going to happen.
Strangely, Kanye West has made a video that looks nothing like this and is funny as fuck.

Currently…

Posted: July 20th, 2007, by Chris Summerlin

Currently…

Listening:

Loads of stuff. Getting back into music at the moment as well as rediscovering lots of old things.
Mulatu Astatke is the big one for me at the moment. The Ethiopean King Of The Fender Rhodes. The Ethiopiques Instrumentals and Ethio-Jazz compilation LPs are phenomenal. The Ethiopean scale of music means nothing ever sounds resolved so you end up with this beautiful haunting music that teeters between heartbreaking sadness and true ecstacy.
Qui are awesome. Got chance to see them in Texas in March and then again at Supersonic at the weekend. Search You Tube for their Supersonic set to see how much of this awesomeness comes from the powerhouse drums and guitar action meaning comparing them to The Jesus Lizard is nothing short of missing the point.
I never much liked Soundgarden back when I had long hair and a checked shirt. Whereas Nirvana spat out their music and it all felt natural, Soundgarden sounded too composed and thought out. I must have been mental. Superunknown is a masterpiece. There, I said it. I’m even going to see Chris Cornell in a few weeks.
The new Earthless album Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky is 2 extremely long and heavy jams where the guitar solos become so long and deep that they go through the barrier of being ‘long’ or ‘wanky’ and out the other side into some weird reality where time is all strrrretched.
And finally and most importantly the new Moondog compilation on Honest Jon’s is one of the strangest and most affecting records I have ever heard. Get on to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moondog
Not to mention The MC5, Bo Diddley, The Monks and the new Bilge Pump album.
And the gentle purr of my new car.

Reading:
Louis Theroux The Call Of The Weird. I always find the documentaries excruciating but the book is great.
I have also been reading about having my cruciate ligament replaced with part of my hamstring as it all sounds a bit fucking heavy.

Watching:
TV? Oh no, I don’t do that. I have been immersed in Family Guy boxsets for a while now though. And will no doubt go see The Simpsons Movie.
Lots of You Tube action as well. There’s some incredible footage of The MC5 from Detroit Tubeworks that is possibly the finest rock n roll footage I have ever seen.
I’ve been watching my weight also. This knee thing has lessened my already small exercise regime and I am entering my Vegas period.

Anticipating:
New Lords album. We’ve been working hard on this since April and now I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and that light is the light of rock’s majesty, in light form. It’s been surprisingly good fun. I like being in a band sometimes.
First proper release by Felix is out now as well on www.low-point.com – somewhere between Regina Spektor and Earth. I do the Regina Spektor part obviously.
I’m also hopefully playing guitar in October for a very reknowned New York composer, I’m not jinxing it by saying when and where and who but I’m very much anticipating it.
Lots of weddings coming up too, and births.

Working on:
Work. This self-employed thing isn’t quite the piece-of-piss I thought it might be. Been doing lots of ‘proper’ illustration jobs and really enjoying it too. I’m going for a big fat steak tonight and when I’m stuffing my face I can think “drawing pictures paid for this”. It’s a nice thought.
I’m also learning to read music fast.

The Monks – Monk Chant

Posted: July 20th, 2007, by Chris Summerlin

 

Thank the heavens right now for You Tube and don’t turn it off before these loonies hit the guitar solo.
MONK TIME.

Supersonic!

Posted: July 16th, 2007, by Marceline Smith

I will be getting “the gang” together for a proper round-up article shortly but I think it’s fairly safe to say everyone had an awesome time. What a great place The Custard Factory is. Anyway, in the meantime you can look at our photos which should start turning up in the diskanteers Flickr group shortly. I’ve added a few of mine but typically all my photos are of Birmingham Botanic Gardens and the sky and not of bands or anything. Others will have that covered though, I’m sure.

I’d also like to thank Fate for sticking to just having a laugh with the weather and ignoring the more tempting possibilities offered by a) me flying on Friday 13th in what appeared to be a toy plane and b) me and Mogwai being on the same flight back to Glasgow. If there’s one way I don’t want to die, it’s in a plane crash with Mogwai. My obituary would pretty much write itself. Although if there’s any LOST-style shenanigans involved then having Mogwai around would probably be quite amusing.

Currently…

Posted: July 13th, 2007, by Ollie

Listening:

The soundtrack to the summer (of sorts) has been ‘?’ by French electro-ponces Justice. I’ve finally become one of these people I used to despise, who like ‘dancing’ and anything at all to do with Vice magazine. So it goes. Also amazing is Panda Bear‘s third solo outing, ‘Person Pitch’. Sweet liquid magic to make you feel good about everything, much in the same way the last few Animal Collective albums have. Lastly, 2004’s ‘I Was Born at Night’ by Brooklyn’s Meneguar is the best indie rock record you’ve never heard. All instant-classic good time singalong tunes, the likes of which were once abundant before things like being-a-grown-up got in the way. UK tour in the autumn!

Reading:

Currently halfway through ‘Lords of Chaos: The Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground‘, which so far is absolutely fascinating. Learning far more about Nazi occultism than I could have ever imagined I would; the depth of this study into what can sometimes to the outsider be a slightly comical subject (you’ve all seen that Immortal video, right?) is pretty astounding. Switched to this for some light relief afte
r starting Jerzy Kosinski’s ‘The Painted Bird‘ which I swiped from an apartment in Barcelona, along with some mega-trashy 50s sci-fi.

Watching:

Die Hard 4.0, which was perfect for a slightly hungover Saturday afternoon. EXPLOSIONS!! etc. Lots of on-demand comedy that we suddenly seem to have been given for free (presumably Virgin’s effort to appease those unhappy about the loss of The Simpsons).

Anticipating:

Visiting Reykjavik the week after next. Seeing Prince two days after I return. Field Day the week after that. The third annual Palimpsest Festival a couple of weeks later. Joanna Newsom at the Royal Albert Hall in September with me mum.

Working on:

The odd gig. Just keepin’ on keepin’ on.

RIGHTEOUS BASTARDS – Volume 1 (CD, demo)

Posted: July 12th, 2007, by JGRAM

Here are two guys very close to my heart, when they describe themselves as “righteous” the emphasis is very much on the “right” of their moniker. Packaged as if written and recorded by a couple of hicks, you gotta wonder what lies in the deep and dense plots of most rural Cambridgeshire from where this record originates.

Early confusion rains on the compact disc (technology has sure arrived with a vengeance in their town) as the booklet states four compositions but the CD reads as only containing two. Already I am in a kafuffle.

The muddy sludge that arrives with this record sonically reminds me of Earth and other such hateful doom mongers from that scene of distortion frenzied slo-mo metallers in addition to messy sounds that have been known to emit from types such as Mudhoney and Bardo Pond. If you have ever seen the movie Broken Flowers and the malice filled final visit Bill Murray makes to an old flame, that whole episode/scene is sound tracked by Sleep however this could just as happily take its place in sitting next to such frustration.

Clocking in at 25 minutes this is an exceedingly dirty sounding recording reminiscent of a recent golden age where guitars were turned to eleven and played with contempt as the instigators relished offending the audience in a devil may care manner akin to most aloof of heroin addicts. If I could place this record at the heart of a scene it would be in the midst of fully blown shit storm sound tracking a day of drinking beer, eating meat and firing guns. As one of their song titles acknowledges, they don’t believe in punishment, they believe in “Gunishment” (a level of humour you will either tap into or you won’t).

As to where exactly this music and attitude slots in with regards to the grand scheme of things is another question but for now I am happily impressed by the pleasant surprise of receiving the dirtiest piece of dirge driven doom perfect to get high and wasted to. The musical equivalent of Ritalin and just like the pill, I want more.

Thesaurus moment: upright.

Righteous Bastards

THE PSYCHOTIC REACTION – A Moment Of Clarity (CD, demo)

Posted: July 12th, 2007, by JGRAM

I have to concede from the sheer sight of this CD I was expecting a really horrible metal band but instead it is a chunky sounding indie rock band where all instruments sound as if they have been recorded at levels too high in the mix which makes this pleasantly as far from crisp as is acceptable. Perhaps by mistake they have tapped into a sound that they should quickly make their own.

Labelling themselves as “gentleman amateur”, their own created genre of rock that surprisingly hasn’t been snapped up by the NME yet, the two songs plod along like from a quirky band you fear you might see playing in your local forever, until you get off your arse and leave your hometown. This is a band that you have to outgrow.

With a bass sound that sounds like moving furniture and a Hammond that sometimes sounds as if it is playing a different song this is almost a classic piece of indie rock that bands just do not seem to invest in making any more – the almost bombastic chorus hooks reminding me of earnest early nineties bands around the circles of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Mega City Four, music to some ears but not to others (and then I actually bother to look at their website to find myself confronted with mohawks!).

As I griped above this is not resoundingly modern music it is more the continuation of something that is waning more in popularity by the year. In times where indie rockers seem to be more interested in finding their beaten down white man blues sound from their middle class surroundings, the quirky celebration of student rock has never felt more rejecting. It would be fun for the Psychotic Reaction to find fame but not really likely.

Thesaurus moment: antediluvian.

The Psychotic Reaction

HAVANA GUNS – N.Y.C.S. (single, Cigarette Music)

Posted: July 12th, 2007, by JGRAM

With an obvious penchant for New York, this lush sounding London five piece are of the female fronted indie pop breed looking to update on the Blondie. I would not say this kind of band is uncommon but it is rare you actually find an act that successfully manages to pull the feat off.

The band reminds me most of all of Sleeper, which is either a sound ten years too late or one just ready for a return/revival. Lyrically however the band are, dare I say, somewhat tepid revisiting grounded topics that have been ploughed to death through the seven ages of rock that there apparently are although the French twinge on the lyrics does lend them some kind of wonderful.

Ultimately though the guitars too dry for me not clean just bland lacking force and energy – this is pop music that is just not popular.

Thesaurus moment: barren.

Havana Guns
Cigarette Music