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Temporary Resurrection

Posted: December 13th, 2011, by Simon Proffitt

Hi! Just thought I’d check in to see what was going on over in diskantland, and since it’s mid-December, and since no-one’s written much for a while, I thought I’d add a quick year-end thingmie in case anyone’s still reading.

2011 was the year in which I finally alienated myself from all my friends (by being unable – for reasons that are still unclear to me – to keep in touch with anyone), in which I took up recreational trespassing, and in which I realised that I’m getting old. One of the musical avenues that I’ve always tried to travel down has been the one marked ‘extreme’. I’ve always seemed to be searching for harder, louder, more visceral, or conversely more minimal, quieter, slower – regardless of genre, I’ve wanted to hear the things that are testing the limits. Finding out what these things are and how to get them hasn’t always been straightforward, especially in the days before the internet (as information resource and as lending library), and along the way there have been miss-steps and disappointments, especially in hindsight: reading all about Cabaret Voltaire and the surrounding hype as a wide-eyed teen and then my first purchase of theirs being their pretty embarrassingly lame house LP Groovy, Laidback and Nasty being a notable example. But then this year I’ve realised that a surprising amount of so-called extreme music is actually total crap, and some of it that isn’t crap, that is actually still very good, I just don’t have the patience for any more. I think I think this because I’m getting old and my melody gland is starting to swell up. So this year I’ve found myself rejecting the kind of discordant, confrontational, improvised music that I’ve previously championed, and instead enjoying a lot of music of the kind that might get played on Radio 2. Stuff with nice harmonies, proper tunes you can whistle. Pop music. Good old fashion rock. One of the best tracks I heard all year, for instance (even though it’s from 2007) was Feist’s The Water. It’s devastating! I even bought the last Smoke Fairies album. On vinyl! With real money. This is not something that’s been easy to admit to myself or to the general public, but then I’m not really interested in impressing people with how cool I am, so I’ll just state it as fact.

So whereas my favourite albums of 2011 might once have looked like this:

1. .#: oooooooooooooooooooooooooO
2. Jean-Pierre Cockbingo & Mbandu Mbandu Mbandu: Those Barren Assemblies Vol.3
3. -|-\/\//\-t-: _/////wITTcH___////////___
4. Some 12 year old Hoxton tit improvising on an electro-acoustic beetroot: Live in Williamsburg

Here are my actual favourite albums of the year:

1. The Psychic Paramount: II

2. Snowman: Absence

3. Still Corners: Creatures of an Hour

4. Thee Oh Sees: Carrion Crawler/The Dream

5. Surgeon: Breaking the Frame

6. The Twilight Sad: Acoustic EP

7. Wild Beasts: Smother

8. The Advisory Circle: As The Crow Flies

9. Radiohead: The King of Limbs

10. Mogwai: Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

11. Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica

12: The Beach Boys: Smile

Merry Christmas!

DEERHOOF – Deerhoof vs. Evil (Joyful Noise)

Posted: March 6th, 2011, by Pascal Ansell

You heard Deerhoof? Yeah they’re really great. Here’s a picture:

Really great. You heard new album Evil?

San Francisco’s finest are back with buckets of anti-Evil vengeance. With no outside engineery-type help Deerhoof are a self-recording/self-producing force this time round. Released by Joyful Noise (among others) on cassette, packed with handbaked editing goodness, a collection with all varieties of nonsensical twinkly sonic innovation. Over the duration of several weeks each track was cannily leaked by the band over different sites, and after a good bout of surfing you can access them all from their hub.

Straight off we’re treated to a flabbergasting range of sounds squeezed from guitars which sound like overworked (and underpaid) machines. Six strings act as cash registers and angry hair dryers, doing well to resemble anything but guitars on the glimmering opening track, sung in Catalan.

The Merry Barracks is a sweet droplet of a Deerhoof tune and the album’s standout track. An inexplicably crude bassline begins while the rest of the band plain ignore it to proceed bashing out one of Deerhoof’s most perfect songs to date. Addictive hook, sweet harmony, free noise guitar solo – just perfect. And served up right after is another superlative: probably their sweetest, most heart-wrenching tun;, acoustic guitars a-winding, faint vocals, tender percussion… it’s here.

Midway through we’re treated with a vicious cover of the theme tune to a dusty old Greek film whose name you won’t know and don’t need to. A shrieking, glittering delight, perfect clear guitar chimes a pierced line, chasing an abrasive riff. The album’s last third sees Deerhoof doing their best to write some convention into the tunes, with some beautiful instances of pinching a tight harmony at the ends of phrases.

Irrelevance is on my mind. Explorations are interesting in themselves but it might give the impression of a breathless trip round an ingenious mini-golf club, a toy theme park and finally a sweet shop of red herrings. Did we fall into any catchy cobblestone steps on the way? You bet we did. What did we learn? Err, rhubarb and custard, liquorice… Plus a stomach full of smarties.

Deerhoof do their job though serving their trademark sweet and sour,  a dish delirious with saccharine rips of kitchen scourer. Disjointed, sloppy drum beats are the order of the day, the magic stick wizard Greg Saunier otherwise taking a back seat for songwriting to steer the album. All is in order but the deer and the hoof haven’t let go of their tedious habit of allowing an album to peter out as per usual in a weak mesh of synths and melodramatic vocals.

Apart from some questionable diversions, a truly first rate, top mark, 5 sticky gold stars to slap on their progress report – and a big smiley crayon face – I am truly in danger of gushing at every sparkly track and not letting it to yourselves; Just like that sweaty taxi driver who never lets you get out and see for yourself – arms obsession hairy. You should be happy that there’s too much sweet Deerhoofy goodness that I haven’t mentioned.

Joyful Noise

Pascal Ansell

Glaswegian Grand Prix

Posted: February 18th, 2011, by Marceline Smith

I’m always impressed by Mogwai’s ability to celebrate Glasgow without it degenerating into patriotic flag-waving idiocy. Their video for Mexican Grand Prix is a case in point. I think anyone who’s ever spent even 24 hours in Glasgow can’t fail to enjoy this – if you actually live here, it’s even more awesome (plus you can play ‘spot my mate’). See also Findo Gask’s One Eight Zero video below for West Enders. Glasgow = THE BEST. We are honored to have had the participation of schools from all over the country in our 9th Annual Mingus Competition. See below for the list of finalists.,

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Posted: January 7th, 2011, by Marceline Smith


LEVENSHULME BICYCLE ORCHESTRA – “Nine Doors” (Concrete Moniker, CD/Download)

Posted: June 27th, 2010, by Dave Stockwell

Nine Doors cover

Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra. That’s gotta be one of he best band names of all time. Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra. Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra. It’s so satisfying to say. It’s almost as satisfying to type out, time and again. Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra. The best thing about the name is that it’s wholly accurate: Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra are a troop of musicians  based in a certain district of Manchester who come together to make music from all kinds of instruments, including bicycles. They’ve been a going concern for a few years now, but this is their debut release; a full-length CD album (or download if you’re so inclined) capturing nine of their collective improvisations for posterity and general confusion.

“Marlon. Marlon Brando are you the famous film star?”

And he says, “yes I’m afraid I am.”

“Why aren’t you happy with your existence?”

“Well that’s the question isn’t it?”

Confusion? Yes. It’s not like they don’t warn you: open up the beautifully packaged CD, pull out the bonkers fold-out poster and look on the back; you’re confronted with what reads like the ramblings of an insane man and a small disclaimer: “All lyrics improvised at time of recording and sung by Zeke S Clough”. Pity the fool that volunteered to transcribe them.

Zeke S. Clough (voice, synthesizer, percussion), perhaps better known for his insane artwork for Skull Disco that also adorns this release,  is just one of the quartet of fearless improvisers that make up Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra. Huw T. Wahl (bicycle percussion, clarinet, piano, voice), David M. (for Magnus) Birchall (bass, small instruments, percussion, voice) and Josh J. Kopecek (synthesizer, piano, flugelhorn) are the other constituent parts that make up this glorious whole.

So what is the sound of confusion? The album opens up with some typically deranged moans from Zeke, before some clattering of bicycle percussion, fizzing pedals and rhythmic random percussion. This builds up to a point of tension before Zeke begins his first sermon, quickly accompanied by bass thrums and other assorted layers before it all collapses into the next song. “Starved Dog” features a piano accompanying what sounds like someone playing a bass guitar with a slide, a kazoo and god knows what else. “Oily Film” features what sounds like the ghost of crazed organist playing the soundtrack to Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, accompanied by creaks, groans and moans and the odd whoop here and there. “Whale in a Duckpond” almost sounds like an actual, recognisable song at various points, with some welcome musicality as David plays the bass like an upright and Zeke croons in his best Geno Washington impersonation. Then it all goes wrong; maggots start crawling over the windows and hell gradually breaks loose. “Marlon Brando”? Well, you know how that one goes. Everything starts falling apart by the time we reach “Primate Engineer” and Huw’s clarinet starts wailing over the top of abstract piano phrases, phased bass rumbles and some beatboxing. Eventually it all comes to a crashing, triumphant halt with final track “Nine Doors”, which runs a full 20 minutes and encapsulates virtually everything that precedes it, mutating from broken-down church organ jam to skeletal percussion workout to bizarre melody hopscotch, all held together by another bizarre, nonsensical story. A glorious hymn to the power of collective free improvisation, it’s probably the finest moment on this fantastically cock-eyed album.

“Nine Doors” is the sound of what happens when you lock four like-minded musical voyagers in a room for 2 days and distill their inevitable improvisations down to something that approaches the coherent “music” your lazy brain desires. Live, Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra must sprawl all over the place as they take different paths towards collective enlightenment. On record, you’re served the mere highlights of their wanderings, jumbled-up and thrown together to create this mind-flaying assemblage of sounds, textures, noises, words and song. Running nicely over an hour, it might be too much to take in at one sitting, but keep listening and it’s the collective inspiration that frazzles your mind. Awesomely inspired and dazzlingly weird, simply nothing sounds like Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra.

LBO are out in the mainland of Europe right now blowing minds night after night. If you’re anywhere near anywhere they’re playing, I suggest you take a trip and check them out:

28th June – Basel @ Obst & Gemuse
29th June – Dornbirn @ TIK
30th June – Geneva @ Cave 12
1st July – Grenoble @ Le 102
2nd July – Stuttgart @ FFUS
3rd July – Prague @ Final Club
4th July – Leipzig @ Conne Island
5th July – Berlin @ Madame Claude
6th July – Hamburg @ Golden Pudel
7th July – Mainz @ Walpoldenakademie
8th July – Amsterdam @ Delicatessen

Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra website

Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra on Myspace

Concrete Moniker website

Watch Full Movie Online And Download The Girl on the Train (2016)

Posted: April 23rd, 2010, by JGRAM
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Title : The Girl on the Train
Release : 2016-10-05.
Language : English.
Runtime : 112 min.
Genre : Drama, Romance, Thriller.
Stars : Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney.

Rachel Watson, devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

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POLAR BEAR – Peepers (The Leaf Label)

Posted: March 6th, 2010, by Pascal Ansell

Much of the album is distinctly without the dark artistry found in the British jazz quintet’s previous offerings. ‘Peepers’ find these arctic puppies far more careful in exposing mad technical skillz. They’re not bursting to restrain themselves either, things are well held back and content. A less twisty, tricky release: the gold is in the shrewd developments of ideas: form takes precedence here, placement rides high, especially in the title track (listen and listen again andlistenagain here). It’s one of the most cannily organised tunes I’ve heard for in yonks. Good on them! Mr Drummer, Seb Rochford, is on it as ever; impressively natty, inventive and slick jazz drumming.

With ‘Peepers’ everything seems more than ever on the BuMpY side – smooth riding is for the most part chucked out, along with the all-out disjointedness so familiar with PB. The opener ‘Happy For You’ instantly glistens with guitar chords, chiming in my head in an oddly ‘wistful’ way (funny to describe vibrating strings as wistful). ‘Peepers’ as a whole is irresistibly optimistic but I worry that it won’t last as long in my hifi than their earlier releases. All the same, it gave me meaning to a wonderful week of my life full of couchsurfing and weird chocolate cake. As I said, and will continue saying: Good on them!


Pascal Ansell

Woodchucker / Jonatan Nästesjö – Leaves Never Leave (Walk Through Records)

Posted: January 28th, 2010, by Pascal Ansell

“I wanted this album to be a story about the Swedish woods, seas and summer nights.”

I like Sweden, I really do, and so this review is seriously biased. Read at your peril!

So: I never, ever read press releases before listening to whatever that whoever’s just sent me. But you can’t beat a personal correspondence with the artist in all his humble and honest self. Prior to indulging in Jonatan’s bubbly warm electronica I read his handwritten note: “This record is about the Swedish woods, I like them very, very much”.

Talking about no track in particular, Jonatan bristles along the edges of sheer beauty throughout the album. He retains a great sense of tentativeness about these pieces, gently probing the subtle. Jonatan’s album smells of Sweden. It is terrifically evocative, blissfully busy in execution. Clips of the woods and birdsong teem with chiming guitars, sweeping about the shoreline. This record is really good, it’s really, really good; it makes me want to shake the rails, to bike ride, eat all the fridge and see my friends. In short, it’s heavily inspiring and heaving with inspiration.

What if Leaves… had nothing to do with Sweden, wasn’t designed with the characteristically understated beauty of Scandinavia? I’d like to think it would evoke something. I’m warming to an association, as we all do. It’s natural to pay more attention to the offshoots of the things that give us beauty and warm experiences. It may seem depressing, but an informed knowledge is a deeper knowledge, our way of getting ‘closer’. And so on, and sun on, and onwards.­sinopsis film

Jonatan commits a forgivable fluff in burning out a little early. This is a constant but by no means fully accomplished album. As for what’s next, I almost want him to “disappear behind the birds”. Which is silly of me. All I could ask him is to keep listening to nature, to keep his ears keen and canny. Yet laying expectation, in any way, is risky. I’ve thought about his upcoming stuff: will he do this, will it help to do that..? I’m aware all of this is smothered in my thorough recommendations. In many ways it’s useless – I should shut up and hope Jonatan will do whatever he frickin’ likes.

*The latest: He’s broken his old laptop. This is good news. New music is on the way.

Woodchucker / Jonatan Nästesjö

Pascal Ansell

Streaming Full Movie Life (2017) Online

Posted: October 20th, 2009, by Dave Stockwell
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Director : Daniel Espinosa.
Writer : Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick.
Producer : Bonnie Curtis, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Julie Lynn.
Release : March 23, 2017
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Columbia Pictures, Skydance Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), Nvizage.
Language : 广州话 / 廣州話, English, 日本語.
Runtime : 103 min.
Genre : Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller.

Movie ‘Life’ was released in March 23, 2017 in genre Horror. Daniel Espinosa was directed this movie and starring by Rebecca Ferguson. This movie tell story about The six-member crew of the International Space Station is tasked with studying a sample from Mars that may be the first proof of extra-terrestrial life, which proves more intelligent than ever expected.

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CASTROVALVA – “Thug Poetry” (CD single, Brew Records)

Posted: October 19th, 2009, by Dave Stockwell

Seems like it was only 5 minutes ago that Leeds-based bass ‘n’ drums duo Castrovalva released their debut mini-album, but here they are, back with not only a new single, but a new sound! Well, kind of. Having apparently bolstered their ranks with a vocalist by the name of Leemun Smith, their addled-Lightning-Bolt noise rock has become more structured and generally poppy than ever. Not only that, but Leemun seems to have affected them all with a gansta rap obsession. Nice.

So anyway, how does this new combination work then? Well, the first song “Thuglife” begins with a good minute of rubbish samples and gun loading sounds before kicking into a fairly standard hyper-rockin’ riff, which sounds predictably great. And then the squeaky vocals start, with all sorts of whoopin’ and hollerin’ backing them up. The song then breaks into a half-time beatdown section, which carries on until the music fades out underneath the vocodered vocal line “my ghetto love song”. Weird.

Second song “Outlawz” starts off as another party anthem, spoiled by more bratty vocals. It soon devolves into a load of screaming and some cool bellowed vocals, but it all seems a bit half-cocked. Before you know it, there’s a final bout of riffery before the song grounds to a halt, and barely 6 minutes in the single has finished.

Castrovalva’s list of influences once consisted of Lightning Bolt, Hella, Death from Above 1979 and Oxes; now they include N.W.A., Notorious B.I.G. and Prince – you can definitely count on the latter for the vocals, and presumable B.I.G. for the half-arsed song construction. It’s an interesting attempt at doing something ‘new’ with a few disparate sounds, but I’m not convinced this isn’t much more than a novelty exercise at the moment. If this brief treat was a 7″ flexi-disc or something suitably natty I’d be convinced of its merits as a pit-stop on the way to something bold and new for Castrovalva. As it stands, the ‘ghetto’ aping/satirising/celebrating image they’ve gone for barely works for me, and I hope it serves merely as a pratfall they took 5 minutes out to get out of their system. Time will tell.

“Thug Poetry” by Castrovalva will be released in an edition of 500 CD singles and as digital download “from all major stores”. Coinciding with the release will be a series of free downloads for people who buy the single (let’s hope they’re a bit better).