Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Squarepusher - Just A Souvenir

"Just A Souvenir"
Warp 27/10/2008

If the Mars Volta decided to make an idm/electronica/whatever-you-wanna-call-it album, the result would probably not be too dissimialar from "Just a Souvenir".
Those of you expecting a follow up to "Hello everything" will be suprised, this is not a dancefloor album, there are no "my red hot cars" or "the modern bass guitars". This album is Tom Jenkinson experimenting with Jazz, and experimental rock. The songs sound very "live", most of the main parts being played by bass, drums, and guitars which sound like sound like they have been played by a solid rock band rather than edited and processed by a bedroom producer.
Squarepusher also exposes himself in a new light, giving us more of his own vocals than ever before (although heavily vocoded in an old school kraftwerk style) making tracks like "A Real Woman" seem like futuristic "pop" songs.
Stand out tracks Include "Star Time 2", "A Real Woman" and "Quadrature".
A prog / jazz fusion collection of tracks from one of drum 'n' bass's finest experimentalists, this album is worth a listen. Let's hope, however, that the spirit of Rave is not dead in Tom Jenkinson...

Track Listing:

1. Star Time 2
2. The Coathanger
3. Open Society
4. A Real Woman
5. Delta-V
6. Aqueduct
7. Potential Govaner
8. Planet Gear
9. Tensor in Green
10. The Glass Road
11. Fluxgate
12. Duotone Moonbeam
13. Quadrature
14. Yes Sequitur

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Lite - Phantasia

Transduction 23/6/08

Whilst many math/post/prog rock bands these days tend to describe vast open landscapes with wide textures timbres and epic slow developing melodies, Lite take a ballsier attitude towards the genre. Fast intricate and complex drum grooves accompany angular guitar melodies in a sonic onslaught! The guitarists work well together both melodically and rhythmically to produce a trademark unique textured stereo experience.
Although some of the tracks lack a defined hook, they make up for it with their rhythmic precision. The interlude marks a nice break from the speed and power of the first half of the record, showing that Lite are capable of more melodic sensibilities. The second half of the record, although still fast and to the point, contains more songlike structures with more catchy "choruses" as on the beautiful “Fade”.
On this record, Lite make the point that it is still possible to make a math rock album whilst openly showing that they are just that – a rock band!

Track Listing:

1. Ef
2. Contra
3. Infinite Mirror
4. Shinkai
5. Black and White
6. Interlude
7. Ghost Dance
8. Solitude
9. Phantasia
10. Fade
11. Sequel to the Letter

Mogwai - The Hawk Howling

"The Hawk Is Howling"
Wall Of Sound 22/09/2008

The first word that comes to mind when describing this album is "cinematic", straight from the first track it evokes epic scenes of travelling through vast open deserts on a life threatening mission. The complete absence of vocals enables the band to explore and accentuate the timbre of their instruments. Guitars through various effects and processing play as much an aggressive role as an ambient drone throughout.
The album seems to flow better than Mogwai's previous efforts with each track seeming like a logical progression from the last. This adds to the cinematic analogy, making the songs seem more like scenes than individual pieces of music.
Highlights include "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead" and "Scotland's Shame"
The beautiful front cover, painted by Yuhua's thinking studio is perfect for the record, it complements the visual and artistic qualities of the music.


1 I'm Jim Morrison, I'm dead
2 Batcat
3 Danphe and The Brain
4 Local Authority
5 The Sun Smells Too Loud
6 Kings Meadow
7 I Love you, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School
8 Scotland’s Shame
9 Thank You Space Expert
10 The Precipice