Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ronaldo has been shaking off the shackles of his previous giant enterprise with a set of songs with a couple of his mates. The result is, unsurprisingly, a more melodic Sonic Youth as Lee’s vocals will always associate with the band. Touches of an early REM flavour a darker take on the American indie band and make it thoroughly listen-able. Looking forward to hearing a few more finished tunes…
Left of Manilla
Saturday night in a small pub near Brixton two guys are setting up a heap of electronic equipment with flashing lights and the fattest keyboard I have ever seen. Mish is excited showing me how he controls samples in Ableton with an iPad and it does look very impressive and really fuels my techie geek-out.
Once the pub is full of friends and well wishers a low rumble seems to rise up from the wooden floor boards through the bodies of everyone present as Left of Manilla - Ed and Mish - fire up their first number. It grows and builds with tweeks to drum loops while the huge organ rises up from the deep and saturates the air with a heavy psychedelia. Ethereal vocal lines weave a human melody through the smoky textures and bumping driving percussion.
These beautiful, blissful songs in the flesh that have so much power, evoked some sort of divine child of Animal Collective and Kraftwerk. In their Oxford base they are making waves so let them wash you of your sins and get involved.
Lone - Crystal Caverns 1991
Tonight I am up for some ’90s retro ecstasy fuelled house so here is a new track from Lone, out on R&S records. This is a particularly good fidgety pulse racer of a tune, sounds excellent. On another note, 1991 - an excellent year for music. The coming of age of techno and house at the same time as booming alternative guitar music was championed by Mr Cobain. We’re just spoilt for choice now.
Adore - iLove Yoo (Stay Away)
This track has quickly become one of our favourites of Adore’s, it’s only been unveiled live two weeks ago at the Purple Turtle in Camden. This first demo recording of the song was bosched together in an afternoon at my house so a full band recording will soon follow.
Rocket Juice and the Moon
Look at this, Damon Albarn got to headline Glastonbury two years in a row now he has two Tusk posts in a row. What ever next. This is worth mentioning though.
It was a year or so ago that I heard Damon Albarn was going to work with the funky bass maniac Flea and my interests were aroused. With Afrobeat drum mate Tony Allen it couldn’t fail to be an out-of-this-world fusion to move the feet. The track doesn’t disappoint either.
“Hey Shooter”, as you would expect from the cast, is a joyous collision of worlds that smashes out into a whole new dance universe. The beautiful psychedelic vocal slips from Erikah Badu with wisps of Diana Ross over a complex shifting bed of shuffling far out rhythms that refuse to sit still. Its is tantalising and mind expanding and I can’t wait for more. Albarn’s output has been lacking slightly in real fresh excitement the last couple of years but this group of musicians could be a worthy cause.
Gorillaz - Do Ya Thing
I suppose as Damon seems to be all over the media at the moment I should give my 2 cents worth about his latest money grabber with Gorillaz. Written for a Converse promotion which gathers sets of three random musicians and squeezes a song out of them, the format is conducive to undercooked pop buns.
2D, the name of the fictional singer of Gorillaz perfectly describes the texture of the song. It would make marvellous music for an advert, which I suppose technically it is, as it’s un-intrusive and doesn’t distract the attention from the product at hand.
All together I think these chaps have pulled out a decent track, not a pop busting stonker like Outkast or LCD Soundsystem, but a bubbling bouncing tadpole of a tune that just needs time to grow up. Andre 3000 adds that energetic dynamic that raises the heat and seems to get (possibly?) Zane Lowe demanding another Outkast album in the last few bars of the song. 6 1/2 - 10