Thursday, 27 August 2009

LFCast 003

Here's the next installment of the LFCast with a load of new music for you to enjoy. Comments appreciated.

Download LFCast003


Fanu - Homefree [Lightless]
Radiohead - These Are My Twisted Words [Radiohead]
Bop - Nothing Makes Any Sense [Medschool]
Instra:mental - Watching You [Non Plus+]
Imogen Heap - Canvas [Megaphonic]
Hreda - New Pastures [Self Released]
Tokimonsta - Star Gazing Coma [Unreleased]
A Made Up Sound - Archive [Clone Basement Seies]


Free download of Radiohead - These Are My Twisted Words

Mary Anne Hobbs' Experimental Music Show on Radio 1 with an exclusive mix by Instra:mental (available to stream till next week

Tokimonsta Podcast for Brainfeeder

Hreda Myspace

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Audioscope: Drum Eyes

Wednesday, 19/08/09, The Wheatsheaf, Oxford

Drum Eyes
The Keyboard Choir

Tonight’s vocalist free bill takes place above Oxford pub the Wheatsheaf, with a crowd of about 50 mid twenties to mid thirties punters many wearing Mogwai T-shirts and drinking ale.
The gig opens with the Keyboard Choir, yes they do play keyboards and drum machines exclusively, however, they are not about perfectly harmonious melodies like most choirs. Pumping beats accompany the insane whirling synth sounds the various members create and distort with an array of effects pedals. Their sound relies on layers of sustained synths and basslines with one member experimenting at a time. This is all directed by an insane conductor to produce a pretty enjoyable live synth experience.
Next up, we have Hreda, a 3 piece and bassless post rock outfit who entice us with their intricately intertwined guitar melodies. Unfortunately, one of the guitars stopped working at a crucially epic point half way through the set forcing them to stop and play the outro separately, but on the whole a very hypnotizing set.
By this point, the venue is getting unbearably sweaty, it is august after all. The crowd empties into the tiny narrow alleyway that separates the pub from the high street, only to regroup when sounds of the headliners tuning up pour down the stairs.
Drum Eyes, (as many of the crowd are no doubt unaware) is the side Project of Japanese game boy gabber producer DJ Scotch Egg. They are a 6 piece consisting of 2 drummers, a guitarist, a sampler/keyboardist a synth/trumpet player and Shigeru Ishihara (Scotch Egg) on bass and laptop. Their sound consists of many layers of heavily distorted instruments over some heavy doom metal style drums. Though the idea sounds simple but the textures the band produce combined with the sheer noise they make is quite hypnotizing. There is not really any obvious need for the extra drummer most of the time apart from the added volume. About halfway through the set, Shigeru and newly recruited guitarist Kai, jump into the crowd adding an element of audience participation appreciated by all.
All in all, tonight’s bill is different and varied exploring 3 sides to forward thinking instrumental music in an intimate venue which, apart from the heat, was a very enjoyable evening.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Zomby - One Foot Ahead Of The Other

"One Foot Ahead Of The Other"
Ramp 25/08/2009

Zomby is an artist that has generated considerable interest since his 2008 debut album “where were you in ‘92” and his self titled "Zomby EP" follow up on Hyperdub. He has established a characteristic aesthetic of retro 8-bit computer game sounds and disjointed melodies, whilst demonstrating an affiliation to both the old skool hardcore rave movement and the “wonky” dubstep scene.
After these 2 interesting releases, I was excited to see where zombie was going to take his sound to next. "One foot ahead of the other" confirms Zomby’s decision to stick to dubstep rhythms. It’s different from the Zomby EP, there is less focus on sound design as on previous tracks like “Aquafresh” and “Gloop” and although he continues to give tracks synesthesic titles like “Polka Dot” and “Bubble Bubble”, the sonic-visual connection seems a little forced compared to previous efforts. There is however more emphasis on tonal melody and maximizing the use of basic chip tune sounds to turn them into sonically interesting tracks.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take many listens to discover that all the tracks on "One Foot Ahead Of The Other" are constructed in a pretty formulaic way. Each track consists of a basic 2-step or 4X4 rhythm made to sound more complex by layering constant triple time Nintendo arpeggios and melodies. Although this syncopated structure is interesting for the first couple of tunes, it's not enough to constitute the basis of a 9 track EP. Unlike the "Zomby EP" which showed us different sides to the artist, "One foot" seems a little 1-dimensional. There are some nice stand out tracks (“Polka dot”, “Godzilla” and the title track) all of which would introduce an interesting element to any dubstep set as something Link and Zelda might rave to in a digidub world. As a collective piece of work however, "One Foot Ahead Of The Other" lacks a sense of variety displayed in Zomby’s previous efforts.

Links: myspace


A1:One Foot Ahead Of The Other

A2: Helter Skelter

B1: Pumpkinhead's Revenge

B2: Polka Dot

C1: Godzilla

C2: Expert Tuition

D1: Bubble Bubble

D2: Mescaline Cola

D3: Firefly Finale

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Bop - Clear Your Mind

"Clear You Mind"
Medschool 27/7/2009

Bop is a vegan retro computer game enthusiast from St. Petersburg who makes ambient tinged electronic music. His album “Clear Your Mind” is proof that an electronic dance musician’s style is not defined by his/her chosen genre. The album spans the tempos of Drum ‘n’ Bass, Dubstep and Techno perfectly naturally whilst demonstrating a unified and unique approach.
The tracks all have a spacey techno aesthetic strongly favouring the use of synthetic glitchy percussion sounds and blade runner style pads over the edited Amen Breaks and ragga vocals that are more common place in Bops scene. His approach to drum programming is also very different to his Medschool label mates, focusing on 2 or three spaced out hits at a time rather than a mass of multi frequency layers.
The music has real dream-like quality to it, the ambient synths matched with minimal spaced out percussion could describe a slow motion run through a sea of clouds.
A few artists spring to mind when listening to the album, such as Boards of Canada, 2562, and Gui Borato however, like these artists, Bop’s music displays a distinct sound that is definitely his own.
Stand out tracks include the minimal space-garage vibes of “Clear Your Mind”, the vocoded synth cries of “Nothing Makes Any Sense” and the glitchy iceyness of “Random Thoughts”.
One of my pet hates is labels that release the vinyl version of an album with half the track listing of the CD version. This is especially frustrating coming from a division of Hospital records who claim to support vinyl with their “Stop the war on vinyl campaign”.
Most labels these days include a full CD or download insert with the vinyl copy. Consequently, this review is only concerned with the vinyl track listing including the “Song About My Dog” 12” single.

for more info:
The Drum 'n' Bass forum site Dogs On Acid have done a feature on Bop and the album, this includes a mix that Bop recorded for them.

Here is the official promo mix for the album, including most of the tracks featured on the album. go to Bop's website for the mix tracklisting and more free stuff.


Vinyl versionCD version
A : Ataraxia01. Tears Of A Lonely Metaphysician
B1: Clear Your Mind02. Enjoy The Moment
C  : Nothing Makes Any Sense03. Ataraxia
D  : Chaosomos04. Forms, Ideas and Chips
05. Lost In This World
06. Clear Your Mind
07. Nothing Makes Any Sense
08. Zakoulki Soznaniya
09. Random Thoughts
10. I Found You
11. Rovor
12. Chaosmos
13. Song About My Dog