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Features - articles and interviews

The diskant team report back from their fun day out at the Supersonic festival in Birmingham. Headlined by Sunn 0))), Mogwai, Om and Qui with sunshine, cake and films it really was the perfect festival experience.

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Talentspotter - new bands and labels profiled
The Walk Off
Simon Minter finds out more about The Walk Off from Oxford and their messier, noisier and more downright bizarre take on New Rave.

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Carl used to make the cutest, sharpest zine in the UK, named Fancy Biscuits and made with the painstaking skills of one blessed with fantastic handwriting, pritt stick, a pile of manga cartoons and the spare time of a bored Oldham teenager. Having commented on the Overlord's Hello Kitty t-shirt at a Urusei Yatsura gig, Carl was unfairly mocked in a bis interview and thus fate brought Carl and Marceline together to conduct one of the greatest Mogwai interviews known to humanity. Last we heard of him he was hangin' tough in Japan so hopefully he's still there building the successor to Godzilla in preparation for the apocalypse.


Danny may or may not exist in real life as he only contacts us via email on an intermittent basis and from numerous places around the world. Some say he's an Australian writer currently wandering the globe in search of new musical, artistic and cultural experiences. Others say he was invented by a lonely computer terminal that yearns to write flowing descriptive words instead of the BASIC code it was programmed to write i n. I doubt we'll ever know but it's 99% likely to be the former.


Fraser is a small cuddly foul-mouthed bunny rabbit trapped in the body of a man. As one half of the slightly infamous You Owe Me Glue/Cheery Bananas comedy duo he has been peddling cheap laughs for a number of years. In order to finance his comedy talents, Fraser spends 8 hours a day locked in a battle of wills with a giant fearsome monster known only as 'The CRM'. For more information on the ful l range of services available from Fraser contact us today.


John is an enigma of a mystery wrapped in a question. Stalking the Northern streets by night, he collects compliments like a true professional, his hair combed neatly into the finest cut this side of David Bowie circa 1967. Hurrah, hurrah and thrice hurrah for this giant of words. John's interests include racing pigeons, counting votes and collecting toy cars.


Tom is one of those clever people who can read books and stuff and is at the University learning lots of isms and ologies. He also likes travelling the country with his top pop band Hirameka Hi-Fi who once reached the giddy heights of NME fame, major label trauma and hanging out with Steve Lamacq. After all that excitement, Tom likes to sit on park benches and try to frighten pigeons with random objects he keeps in his pockets.


Crayola's musical heritage stretches way back to having one of the most impressive record collections in Telford. Always on the outer limits of the most independent of independent music, he now co-runs Kabukikore Records and releases more records and CDRs than you can shake an obscure stick a t. And they have some nice packaging, too.


Ady is the proud owner of the most expansive record shelf in the south of England. And what does he do with it? He collects porcelain doggies and lines them all up with their little shiny noses pointing outwards, just so he can say hello to them all when walking in after a hard day doing whatever it is he does all day. His hobbies include running the Vacuous Pop record label, watching live bands at the rate of five a day and see mingly never sleeping.


Wil writes for the delectable Acid Logic webzine, as well as for this crackin' outfit here. He's also an obvious habitual liar, going on how he describes himself in his other writings. Truth is, Wil is a two foot tall computerised metal monster who likes nothing better than to CRUSH, CRUSH and CRUSH humanity to within an ounce of its puny life. When he's not CRUSHING, he enjoys tennis and jogging.


Stuart is possibly one of the tallest people you have ever seen. He towers above your puny skyscrapers like Rodan on steroids, his blonde spikes puncturing the atmosphe re like crazed, gelled knives. In real life he is part of the Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element pop outfit, and writes for other websites as well as this one - the cheeky blighter. He favours the noisier end of the musical spectrum, with a fervour which would seem to indicate a dodgy heavy metal past.


David only got over his Debbie Gibson fixation recently after seeing a photograph of her nowadays placed side-by-side with a photograph of her in 1987. This has left him with a great deal of time for new musics and it is therefore a shame that he decides to listen to nothing but Philip Glass' 'Koyaanisqatsi' soundtrack on a loop whilst taking exquisite photographs and sporting a nice line in shirts.


Jon is a Leeds-based diskant agent, who aided his passing of our severely rigorous interview process by, essentially, having good taste and bigging up his time at 2004's All Tomorrow's Parties. Beyond this, we know little about him, but imagine that it's pretty likely that he has one of those friendly-sounding Leeds accents, and that he is good friends with David Gedge, Cud and Hood. And possibly my sister, who lives in Leeds right now.


JGram, friend of the stars, chartered accountant and pie enthusiast, likes nothing better than KICKING YOUR SKINNY ASS by way of a carefully-timed half-nelson followed by the CLOTHES LINE! OW! So never, never cross him. His dog Snowy is equally rockhard and will bite your lim bs off in the blink of an eye. And then paw your eyes out for blinking when he's biting you.


Chris was hit by a brick as a child and lost the popular culture part of his brain. This affliction means he is only able to listen to obs cure japanese noise bands and watch films with overtly complex storylines. His other interests include skulking, editing documents, taunting policemen and entering undecipherable handwriting contests. He lives in an enormous underground laboratory where he spends many hours trying to un-invent television.


Sandra spends her days working with real actual famous movie stars doing props and set dressing. She even has her own page in the Internet Movie Database where Property Master on She-Bat nestles among her many credits. When not mixing in the glamorous world of movie stars she mixes in the glamorous world of influential musical artists.


Conrad may be a real, proper Rock Star these days, hanging out with his Interscope homies Fred Durst and Eminem, but it hasn't made him too stuck up to pick up his solid platinum Apple Mac and get down with some commas and apostrophes. Conrad's hobbies include combing his hair 100 times each morning, breaking stuff, pretending to like Pokémon and fighting a losing battle with Satan.


Xoë is so great and exciting that we can't invent any stories that are better than stuff that really happened to her. Listen: "When I was small I once won a competition to spend a night at the science museum, where I stole away from the rest of the group and slept under a boat. In the morning, I met Britain's first lady astronaut, who gave me a book for drawing a picture of a lady wee-ing in space". What's more she's the busiest girl in the world with three jobs, a college course and a large chunk of time spent bring ing your favourite american bands over to the UK for gigs. And yet she still finds the time to explain what all this art stuff means.


Kat is bestest, close personal friends with Kim Deal, who she spends thoughtful days walking along the beach with, discussing Pixies lyrics in depth. Whilst not hanging out with Rock Royalty, she spends her time keeping Greg Kitten in order, stopping him from hiding and going "mew" and that.


Tom is a relative obscurity in diskantland. All we know of him is that he's from Devon and that he writes a fanzine called 'Voices from Downtroddendom', so draw your own conclusions from that. Our conclusions are that he's probably got a funny accent and a bit too much time on his hands. So he'll fit right in around here.


Alex was an ace postcard writer and speedway star who once got phoned up by Katrina from The Pastels. He spent his youth buying the entire back catalogue of Sarah Records, making tapes on the clunkiest record player known to humanity and having arguments about oatcakes. He also enjoyed healing the sick. We lost him in the back streets of Manchester in 1998 so if you know where he is tell him we miss him.


Alex was brought up by a family of stupid looking monkeys after being lost in the deep jungles of Paisley. Teaching him all their secret conga skills (as well as how to throw barrels at plumbers), Alex was able to leave for the bright lights of Glasgow where adventure struck him and he needed all his conga skills to save the world and earn the hand of a lovely Texan princess. He now keeps a low profile alphabeticising his record collection and making sock monkeys in th e likenesses of his long lost family.


Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


Joe used to run the internationally-renowned kylie organisation, which released a slew of tapes and records by a whole bunch of losers who nobody's ever heard of. Ha ha, I joke of course, because you'll have read about them all in the Speeder fanzine he used to write. Joe's interests include killing music with home taping, obscure norwegian drone rock worship and colouring-in books.


Hugues is currently on an extensive diskant fact-finding mission around France, collecting les musiques français as eagerly as Ted Bundy once collected body bits. Hugues is absolutely fluent in french, and yet in the north-east of England for substantial periods in life - what's that all about? Well, you see, Newcastle is an up-and-coming holiday hotspot; 'the riviera of Tyne & Wear' they call it.


James is the hidden talent behind the rock band Trail of Dead, pulling strings behind the scenes and generally acting like one of those insane, cackling puppetmasters. The strain of being friends with Conrad and Wil for over a decade has sent him into a downward spiral where, luckily for us, he finds inspiration for artistic creation. James's hobbies include freedom fighting and the study of insect migration.


Steve enjoys the magical concrete beauty of Birmingham, and is a big time club impresario with Tokyo Lucky Hole and a big time cigar-chomping record label guru with Awkward Records. His favourite record is Surfer Rosa by the Pixies and he enjoys spending his spare time whittling exact copies of Josef K singles, released on Postcard, out of mahogany, whilst whistling the theme tune to Crossroads and eating pies.


Simon was born near Clowne, Derbyshire and is now an honorary Welshman. In former guises he has created fake diamonds and developed ultra-high-capacity storage devices, and now he is one half of slow-moving, über-pretentious record label Fourier Transform. He spends his evenings recording silence and banging kitchen utensils.


Alasdair was sent from a distant planet in order to conquer the Earth. His powers of procrastination and argument are so powerful it is impossible to escape from the grip of his warped logic. He hides behind a range of disguises which includes the largest collection of jumpers in the galaxy. Luckily for us, Alasdair is easily distracted from his tasks of death and destruction by anything from cute little puppy dogs to pop music and thus humanity is safe, for now.


Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


Nicolette is diskant's big sister and has been banished to the other side of the river after being sacked from her job as diskant minion. She is also on the Internet Police's most wanted list for three counts of website neglect. Her other interests include wrestling sharks, reading the NME on to tape, feeding biscuits to teenage boys and exchanging christmas cards with bicycling scientists.


Stewart is our man in Stirling, and tells us that he is 'a huge fan of
Johnny Cash, Larry David and Truman Capote'. To be frank, one cannot argue
with such a display of taste, and should one attempt to argue, one will find
oneself with a foot in one's ass (to paraphrase R.L. Burnside). So look out! He also edits the award winning, Steve Lamacq endorsed Beard fanzine.


David can always be relied on to end his e-mails with one of those 'np: blah blah' things in order to remind us of how much more music he listens to every day than anybody else. His interests include rockin ' out in a major style as guitarist in Souvaris, throwing frisbees from tall buildings "just to see what happens" and simply kickin' back with his bitches in a gold-plated jacuzzi.


Rob is like Edward Woodward in 'The Equalizer' - existing in the shadows and emerging only to FIGHT CRIME with a wry smile. By day, he pretends to teach maths at a low enough level to allow the left side of his brain to continue thinking up fiendish and unsettling ways to kick the ass of the criminal fraternity. Rob also enjoys seeing Mogwai live, and his grandfather's image can be seen in a railway museum in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.


Chris lives for the rock and can often be seen stumbling drunkenly on (and off) stages far and wide. Other hobbies include wearing jumpers, arsing about with Photoshop and trying to beat the world record for the number of offensive comments made in any 24 hour period. He has been married twice but his heart really belongs to his guitars. All 436 of them.


Chrxs lives in a tower block in a particularly gritty part of South London. By day, he i s an expert cashier at his local Costcutter, stealing 10p novelty snax and selling them on to infants in exchange for hard drugs. At night, he navigates the piss-dank alleys of his cruel world, seeking refuge in the bright lights of the underground music glitterati. Of jittery disposition, Chrxs cannot sit with one genre for long and flits dangerously seeking out the ever-more unlistenable record. Known to have infiltrated more bands than he has fingers, watch the skies for his asymmet ric haircut.


Graeme is one of the infamous Bearded Grim Lords of Canadia, currently banished to Glasgow for his part in the Metal War of 2003 which crushed the souls of over 7 million whiny emo boys. Along with DESCRIPTOR, a 20ft robot of destruction and a bicycle built entirely out of rage and oil, Graeme is already plotting the death of your favourite indie band. Beware.


Luke is younger. Younger than you. Maybe not in mind, but in body, OK? He's got hair like a lego man, which means it can be replaced with a flimsy plastic helmet should he nee d to go into space. not that he cares about this, because Luke hates EVERYTHING. Yes, EVERYTHING. Try it out - offer him a tenner, and he'll reject it, saying "I hate you and your ten pounds. Clear off." What can you do?

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