diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

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diskant rewind: White Denim

Posted: July 2nd, 2008, by Ollie

I have just realised I once did an email interview with a man who is now in one of my favourite bands. This Talentspotter dates from sometime in early 2004 I think, and Matt is now the rather eyecatching singer in household names Pissed Jeans.

Allentown, PA label White Denim has released some very fine cuts of vinyl by the likes of Nice Nice, Air Conditioning and Barnacled. Perhaps the jewel in the WD crown though, is the frankly spectacular Closet Full of Clothes comp, which features Dischorders Black Eyes, noise/puke boys Hair Police, and many more. Matt Kosloff was recently kind enough to provide the answers to the questions.

Could you start by telling us a little about how you got started, and how long you’ve been running?

I got started in the summer of 2001 with the idea of doing a label. I was always a huge fan of punk vinyl and wanted to start my own thing, basically because it seemed like such a huge source of fun and excitement. It’s all been downhill (or uphill?) from there.

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Stars of the Lid

Posted: July 1st, 2008, by Ollie

Just stumbled across these amazing snaps of an amazing gig I attended last month…

The gig was Texas/LA/Brussels duo Stars of the Lid at St. Giles-in-the-Fields church in London. Prior to this I was feeling pretty down on bands/live music in general, but I left the church on a cloud of delirium. Their set was like seeing your life flash before your eyes in the moment before you die, but stretched out over an hour and a half. Staggeringly beautiful.

What made the gig even more special was Lichens, the solo project of Rob Lowe of 90 Day Men. Real minimal vocal stuff with a bit of guitar that, over 30 minutes, whirled into a climax that left the whole crowd literally speechless as Lowe wandered down the center aisle and out of the door, still whispering his echoed mantra. Since this gig I haven’t been able to get enough of his recorded stuff, specifically Omns and The Psychic Nature of Being, both available from Kranky.

Opening the gig was the ever-wonderful James Blackshaw. He has a new album out on Tompkins Square which, if it’s half as good as the last one, will be a total belter. An incredible evening, and certainly the musical highlight of my year so far.

[Photos courtesy of Adrian Nettleship/Miles of Smiles]


Posted: March 31st, 2008, by Ollie

The internet in “bloody good idea actually” shocker. Muxtape allows you to upload songs you like to make an online mixtape, which can be shared with friend and foe alike. Check out mine, and post your own. 

Recent For Me

Posted: February 21st, 2008, by Ollie


Listening: Lots of pop, the Klaxons have (surprisingly) found a special place in my heart. Also Madonna‘s Immaculate Collection has, much to the annoyance of my housemates, had some heavy rotation recently too. Hope for Men by Pissed Jeans has been filling me with grunge nostalgia, and Fuck Buttons‘ Street Horsssing has been keeping it technicolour.

Reading: Got into a really bad habit of starting books and not finishing them, which frustrates me more than possibly anything else in the world. Currently halfway through Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory which is going fairly well. Was given a copy of the 33 1/3 book on Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, which I look forward to tearing through with much glee. Still my favourite album ever.

Watching: Loads of Shameless, which I’ve really got into over the last month or so, after hating it for years. Constant Red Dwarf, despite the fact that I’ve seen every episode like a hundred times. Black Books, Nathan Barley and Jam too for good measure.

Working on: Loads of gigs, as part of the Crushing Death & Grief party collective, getting ready to start a new job with Apple, so I’ll actually be getting paid to be a smug bastard full time, and trying to figure out a way to get my art zine made. After an initial flurry of activity and interest last summer it’s become a real grind, but given the quality of submissions (art-wise, and music for the accompanying CDR!) I’ve already received, I’m determined to get this finished. If you know anyone would might like to contribute something, drop me a line!

Anticipating: Starting the aforementioned new job on March 8th, loads and loads of gigs including Trencher, Spiritualized, James Blackshaw, Family Underground, Björk, My Bloody Valentine, and of course the annual jaunt to Barcelona for Primavera Sound in May.

Self-promoting: I’ll skip the gigs since I already mentioned that. Er….. that’s basically it though. A much neglected personal (read: art/music/general crap, low on words, high on… er… crap!) blog called A Box Labelled Catastrophes that needs some work, but has photos of strippers on the first page!

Some Enjoyable Things About 2007

Posted: December 4th, 2007, by Ollie

It sounds like the big annual end of year round up won’t be happening this year (thank BT) so here is my blog-shaped summary of the last 11 and a bit months….

Recorded Music

Really, really spectacular. Up there with Sung Tongs for general mind-hurting magic.

JUSTICE – [bastard html cross]

His finest hour so far. Saw him play these songs very quietly to a room of about 800 very noisy people and got sad.

Did this come out this year? I don’t care, it’s shit hot.

A weird one at first but a real grower. The best indie rock band in the world.

The point at which this band really fucking came together, and the closest document to their blazing live set.

Never liked Sonic Youth this much.

Admittedly not a patch on the previous two LPs, but still hits that sweet spot, and the only reason I’ve paid Southern Lord any attention all year.

Managed to ignore this band for ages. Saw them on MTV2, courtesy of The Horrors.

Still got it. For Reverend Green makes me grin.

Am still yet to fully recover my hearing after seeing them 18 months ago. Why aren’t there more records like this being made? Makes me feel about 13.

Searing electric joy, with added Matthew Bower.

Could probably get a mention under film too. Like hearing Aphex Twin for the first time all over again.

Live Music

JUSTICE at Primavera Sound, Barcelona
Holy fucking shit. Epic.

FLOWER-CORSANO DUO at the Portland Arms, Cambridge
The kind of thing where you can’t really believe it’s actually occurring. To quote Chris Summerlin: “Smokin”

Been waiting for years to see them and they were more than worth the wait. Got cosy on the floor at the front and was caressed into a state of total brain death over 45 minutes.

WOLF EYES at the Man on the Moon, Cambridge

TRENCHER at the Portland Arms, Cambridge
One of a few bands that suddenly seemed to get really good this year. Like getting stabbed up by carnies.

ISIS at Primavera Sound, Barcelona
Couldn’t have predicted this at the start of the year. Absolutely fucking IMMENSE. The first few seconds of ‘The Beginning and the End’ was like the entire history of rock music condensed into a single moment. Wanted to explode.

MENEGUAR at the Portland Arms, Cambridge
Feel weird putting this since it was my gig, but they really were magnificent. High stress yields best results, it turns out.

RICHARD YOUNGS at Palimpsest, Cambridge
Really divided opinion, but for me he was transcendent. Totally a cappella, and caused feelings in me that I’d literally never felt before. Wild.

TIGHT MEAT w/ SONNY SIMMONS at the Portland Arms, Cambridge
The point at which I ‘got’ jazz in general probably. Still reeling from this now in fact, especially given how much I didn’t enjoy their set at Palimpsest.

SUNSHINE REPUBLIC at the Portland Arms, Cambridge
One time provincial ‘noise/drone’ no-hopers split my head/the whole world in two. Something like undergoing experimental kidney surgery in the empty back room of a pub.

JOANNA NEWSOM at the Royal Albert Hall, London
Biggest gig I’d been to in years and years, and really the perfect setting for her. Lovely lovely lovely.


Fuck the haters. Right from the opening line it felt like my entire life had been leading up to seeing this film. There was a huge sense of “Well where the fuck do we go from here?” upon exiting the cinema. So immensely entertaining I wanted to cry.

I’m tempted to leave it there, but cos I’m a sucker for lists…

Completely emptied my head of any thought for a good hour after seeing it. Felt like the future of filmmaking whilst watching it, this may have been a slight overstatement, but still terrific.

Herzog. Bale. Yes. Really surprised by the lukewarm reception this seemed to get, some moments of total genius in there.

This probably came out last year, but I’m putting it anyway. Only discovered Lukas Moodysson over the last few months and have loved everything of his I’ve seen so far, but this is easily his standout work for me. Abstract weird shit about identity, celebrity and cross dressing maybe, but it struck a few chords with me that few other films have for a very long time. Still not as good as Transformers though.

General Highlights

Still regret not just staying there forever.

Party town.

Managed to cram about a years worth of fun into 13 days.

With excellent people. Never want to move ever.

Eating the flesh of dead things makes me feel ALIVE.

Zelda: Twilight Princess, Resident Evil 4 and Super Mario Galaxy have all kept me out of trouble for long periods.

New clothes for the first time in about a decade.

Overall for the year:


Things I am looking forward to in 2008 include:

Bjork in Wolverhampton
My Bloody Valentine in London
Primavera / my birthday in Barcelona
Other places that are not this country
Forgetting all about gigs and music and getting into hiking or scuba diving or something
New job? Probably not actually

Celebration – New Skin

Posted: November 19th, 2007, by Ollie

Celebration: A hell of a band

Beirut – Elephant Gun

Posted: November 18th, 2007, by Ollie

Practically everyone I know has spent most of this year LOSING THEIR SHIT to this song, and I have been unable come with anything even approaching a valid reason not to do the same. Only saw this video for the first time the other morning after a particularly gruesome night before, and suddenly the song took on a whole new life of it’s own, entirely different from the one that had been previously bouncing off the insides of my skull. Sublime.


Posted: October 3rd, 2007, by Ollie

Things that have been happening with me of late…

Saint Eskimo and George Thomas & The Owls played a gig in my dining room a few weeks ago, and it’s no exaggeration to say that it was marvellous. Saint Eskimo is the most insanely loved up duo of Viking Moses and Golden Ghost, and they played a number of lovely songs including On a Plain by Nirvana, and George Thomas is a lovely and very quiet chap from Manchester who began his set with I’m So Excited and I Just Can’t Hide It. There was also home made falafel, couscous, fairy lights and collage. I’m very keen for more afternoons like this one.

Spent a few days in Iceland a couple of months back which was really really amazing. Could have quite happily just stayed there, lovely people, great food, mind-blowing landscapes. Whilst there I was lucky enough to encounter Anton Newcombe from The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and SURPRISE, he was a total cock!

Attended Field Day in London, which would have been an unmitigated disaster were it not for the fact that a) the whole shebang had cost me nothing, and b) I was too tired to really give a shit about the queues for beer/toilets/food/everything. As sunny days out in the park go it was tip top, but for watching bands etc it was pretty rubbish.

Got to see Get Hustle, a band I’ve enjoyed for a number of years. They played at the very excellent and recently refurbished Portland Arms in Cambridge and were fucking smoking. My mum was equally into it, and took some pretty excellent footage.

Speaking of my mum, she very kindly took me to see Joanna Newsom at the Royal Albert Hall last Friday which was really quite outstanding. Never been to a venue like it before, epic stuff. The new arrangements with her band sounded fantastic, and if the one new song she played is anything to go by, the next record will be as amazing as the last two (if pretty different!)

Things what I’ve enjoyed watching lately include…

Lukas Moodysson’s Container
Richard Donner’s The Omen
Terence Malick’s The New World (thanks to Dave Stockwell for the nod!)
Todd Solondz’s Palindromes

…and playing…

Super Paper Mario
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Resident Evil 4

And I guess since this is SELF PROMOTION WEEK etc I can plug the following…

This is happening TOMORROW and despite the fact I’m currently wrapped in a dressing gown and a duvet, coughing like a twat and generally feeling sorry for myself, I’m very excited about putting Meneguar on.

Then next month myself, Pink Flag and one time diskanter Ian Scanlon are putting on Grouper, Gareth Hardwick and Felix in the basement of a delightful cafe in Cambridge.

If you live within a stones throw of us you should come and check these gigs out. Despite rumours to the contrary, Cambridge is well good.


Posted: July 13th, 2007, by Ollie


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!


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.


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).


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.

Super Quick Primavera Roundup

Posted: June 7th, 2007, by Ollie

Chris S appears to have the proper-review-with-photos-and-everything side of things covered for last weekend’s Primavera Sound, which quite tidily leaves me a small window for a few thoughts (which at present is the best I can muster).

Arrive on Thursday, am reminded just how excellent Dirty Three are after many years of completely neglecting them. Warren Ellis has turned into an old man since last I saw them. Run off to catch Melvins play Houdini, which is absolutely joyous. Impossibly loud rhythm section. By the time they get to Going Blind, I am taking a severe pummeling to the kidneys from an assortment of idiots behind me, and slink down to catch the start of Slint. Third time I’ve seen them, just as great, and just as wrong as ever. Leave after Washer and miss the new song (?!) to catch Comets on Fire. They have started playing and roughly ten people are watching. By the end of The Bee and the Crackin’ Egg it is packed and they are melting eyeballs left right and centre. Various technical difficulties do not stop me having a one-man boogie against the barrier (oo-er). Completely miss Smashing Pumpkins who I was kind of looking forward to seeing, but do catch Mike Patton and Christian Fennesz being weird and loud and great. By this point I have drunk my body weight in Estrella Damm and am absolutely steaming. See the White Stripes play Hotel Yorba and Jolene and it is excellent. Get down the front for Justice, take one look at their stage setup and am reduced to a squealing adolescent. They provide bangers the likes of which I have never before known, and Girl Talk, and in fact the next 36 hours slides past me in a haze of broken sofa beds and apocalyptic headaches.

Forward to Saturday, when I am fully refreshed and generally feeling like a new man. Roll down early on the advice of my friend Barney to see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, who are totally great. Always someone I’ve managed to overlook, but this is totally joyous, uplifting, classic indie rock with a Daft Punk cover, in the sun, with the ocean a few metres away and I am made up. See a bit of the Long Blondes but they’re not up to much. Likewise The Durutti Column. The sun goes down and Pelican are pretty good and play the first song from Australasia as I am hanging over a wall watching boats and things go past. Straight after them is Isis, who are somewhat surprisingly one of the best bands of the weekend. Or maybe even ever. The rubbish songs off the rubbish new album sound great, The Beginning and the End is so heavy I fear my eyes are about to get sucked out of my head, and my neck and shoulders are extremely painful for the next two days. Third time seeing Sonic Youth, absolute gash as always. Go and have a bit of a dance at the Vice stage to R Kelly and things. Is amazing. Thanks to a few one euro Jagermeisters I am once again completely buckled and am forced to have a bit of a sit down. Go to see Grizzly Bear, fall asleep on the grass at the side of the stage within 23 seconds of them starting. Wake up freezing but not needing to vomit nearly as much. Grizzly Bear have finished. Hang around and watch a bit of Mum who always seem to pop up at exactly the right time. Go and watch Battles who are boss. Dance to Atlas on my own at the back like a massive chump. Go and lie on some grass. See the start of Erol Alkan‘s set, and decide that the new stage layout, coupled with the fact that he appears to be exclusively playing extremely bland house, make the likelihood of a recreation of his slot last year seem impossible. Go get the metro.

A very excellent time indeed. Justice were worth the air fare alone. As if all this weren’t enough, I then spent a few rather massive days in the lovely, if stinky, city of Barcelona.

Had really forgotten just how dismal England is.