Apr 26, 2008

Speed-freak pilots, equine storm joy and Lord Dan of Deacon's new video mayhem

Dan Deacon

My trousers are bursting with good music.

There's Portishead's first new album since the stone ages, for a start. You may still have time to listen to it online if you're as speedy as a Concorde-piloting amphetamine addict who's just realised he left the oven on.

Electronica's answer to Wilf the inventor, Tom Bugs, made me happier than a horse in a hay storm with this little demo of frequency freneticism. The clip will only mean something to you if you too have spent hours in Sound Control twiddling to your screaming ears' desire.

Incidentally, Tom Bugs is working on something called a Bug Crusher. Ants are trying to invade my kitchen at the moment, although I suspect the machine is a sound modulator and not an insect murderer.

And thirdly, self-professed "absurdist composer" Dan Deacon (pictured) is back. He is the lust child of Har Mar Superstar, Deee-lite and Timmy Mallett. I advise you to remove your retinas before watching this kalaidoscopic video delight.


Apr 20, 2008

What's that coming over the hill, apart from a lyrical cliché? Clue: not a monster

The Black Dog

What's that coming over the hill, apart from a lyrical cliché? Is it a monster?

Niet. It's a three-headed dog. The Black Dog, in fact, with an album of sparkling ambient techno called Radio Scarecrow.

Amid a cacophony of remixes and rereleases (Book Of Dogma artwork remixed above), I reckon this is their first new material for a while. It lopes over that brow with certain intent: to be nostalgic, to be minimal, to be ever-so-slightly Detroit.

Word on the grapevine says the basslines are so intense, the band had to take scheduled breaks from recording.

Health and safety, you know.

The Black Dog dates way back, before music had invented all the notes, and so does Meat Beat Manifesto.

MBM is headed by arthritic vegan Jack Dangers, and they have thrown another LP of breakbeat-rolling distorto-dub in the shape of Autoimmune.

Dangers is meant to be a magpie when it comes to gathering samples, but it sounds like he's avoided nest nicking for a while considering how old some of these samples sound ("say whaaat" and the like).

Instead, why not befrend Bochum Welt's ROB (Robotic Operating Buddy)? This album is out now on the legendary Rephlex imprint.

Third track Saint (Dmix) is a spit for a New Order track, but don't let its synth-pop tendencies put you off.

ROB is an acidic Atariesque throwback to early Aphex and catchy analogue (kraft)work-outs.

I leave you with an mpSunday, where I slowly give away my music collection. It's a rather low-key single from Black Dog's Radio Scarecrow.

mpSunday: *plop* this mp3 has expired. Click here for the latest mpSunday.


Apr 15, 2008

Glastonbury's got 99 bands, and Jay Z should be one of them

Grey Album web artwork

Which twizzard decided Glastonbury was all about guitars?

Noel Gallagher flicked his dummy out of the pram over Jay Z's headline spot at this year's festival.

He said anyone who wants a rapper at Glasto is a paedophile, and Michael Eavis sleeps with monkeys. Okay, he didn't say that, but he seemed to think the booking was a jolly bad idea.

Emily Eavis has gone on the PR offensive, saying the Smiths would have provoked similar ire in 1984. The year, not the book.

I don't get the comparison. The Smiths weren't already million-selling music moguls with more clout than the Cloverfield monster's boxing glove.

And the Smiths were a guitar band, with guitars and everything. I think Gallagher's original winge was about Glastonbury's guitar heritage and the inappropriateness of a (gosh) non rock 'n' roller in a high profile spot.

Noel is, of course, talking out of his eyebrows. Baroness Lady Dame Shirley Bassey sang her blinged-up boots off last year, while Carl Cox and Basement Jaxx are among bucketloads of dance acts who have rocked Glasto.

Who could forget Orbital redefining dance music forever in 1994?

Surely Noel hasn't fallen for the drip-drip tabloid headlines about rap music being a hive on the nose of humanity? You know the headlines I mean. Just between the stories that say the internet is full of evil and the screamy ads offering you a free pony.

Jay Z isn't the reason why Glasto ticket sales are down. He fills venues, he doesn't clear them. And the Grey Album was one of the best Beatles / hip hop mash-ups of 2004.

Blame it on the weather. Or the economy. Or a lack of great new bands. Or that everyone's off to Latitude instead.

Can someone please pick that dummy off the floor? Gallagher's gob needs plugging again.