The Sky Drops - Let It Sound
This new track from The Sky Drops isn’t just the best track I’ve heard from them yet, it’s one of the best songs I’ve heard, ever. So good, tears came to my eyes.
You can grab The Sky Drops’ tracks here on Bandcamp.
Mentalease - Living Dream
Spencer Harris from Mentalease wrote me about ten days ago about his upcoming album “Living Dream”, and I was seriously remiss in not giving it a listen and reviewing it until now.
Because Mentalease is a one-man show, there’s necessarily quite a lot of electronics involved, but Spencer deals with this by taking it head-on, embracing artifacts and glitches and making them an integral part of his sound. Guitars and hazy laptop electronica fit together perfectly in an Atlas Sound manner, whether on the dreamy, drony “Presence” or the folk-electronic “Post-Nostalgia Withdrawal”.
I want to think of a criticism with this album, but I really can’t. For something written, performed, and produced by one person, it’s a tour de force. There’s no phoniness, no borrowed nostalgia for unremembered decades here: “Living Dream” feels genuine and unironic- a real breath of fresh air.
The Bilinda Butchers - The Lovers’ Suicide
New indie pop from The Bilinda Butchers! While other reviewers go for the obvious and make My Bloody Valentine comparisons, the BBs remind me most of a male-fronted Club 8.
This A-side off their latest single The Lovers’ Suicide is surprisingly upbeat for its title- fun, danceable pop with sidechained fuzz and a tune made for whistling.
I’ve been a fan of these guys since I discovered their track “Tulips” on a free Beko compilation back in ‘09. Since then, Adam and Michał have put out two EPs- regret, love, guilt, dreams and goodbyes, both of which are name-your-own-price on Bandcamp.
Orkid - Eagle Flight Misfortune
Hazy synths from Orkid.
Flights to Nowhere
For a while now, I’ve been looking for music that would capture the same feeling that I got from Ulrich Schnauss’s debut album Far Away Trains Passing By. It was with some excitement, then that I discovered Flight to Nowhere’s EP Screaming Underwater.
Flights to Nowhere is the solo project of Canadian artist and architecture student Chase Simmons. Influenced by Sigur Ros and Hammock, he combines ambient electronic sounds with filtered, processed live instruments to create some truly delightful, contemplative ambient electronica.
Starless Black - Dive
Acid House Time: Kick Out The Jams
The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (AKA The JAMs) hit the British music scene in 1987 with a collage of unauthorized samples, beatboxing, and cryptic, political Scottish-accented raps titled “All You Need Is Love”.
Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, under the assumed names “Kingboy D” and “Rockman Rock”, sequenced the single on an Apple II, quickly following it up with the sample-heavy debut hip-hop album “1987 (What The Fuck Is Going On?)”. It was brash, avant-garde, and made for great listening in a “I can’t tell if this terrible or the best thing I’ve ever heard” sort of way. Drummond later referred to it as a “punk version of a hip hop record”.
In 1988, they dubbed themselves “Time Boy” and “Lord Rock” and released “Doctorin’ The Tardis” as The Timelords. Credit for the song was given to Ford Timelord, Cauty’s 1968 Ford Galaxie police car.
Mashing up the Doctor Who theme, Gary Glitter’s “Rock And Roll (Part Two)”, “Blockbuster!” by Sweet and “Let’s Get Together Tonite” by Steve Walsh, The Timelords reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart. Drummond and Cauty followed Doctorin’ with the 1989 book The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way), which was used by Edelweiss and Chumbawamba to great effect.
They first released as the KLF in 1988 with “Burn The Bastards”, marking a sharp left veer toward house music:
On 12 February 1992 at the British Phonographic Industry’s annual BRIT Awards, the KLF performed “3AM Eternal” live together with the crust punk group Extreme Noise Terror in what was later described as a “violently antagonistic performance”, machine-gunning blanks in front of bewildered music industry executives. As the performance concluded, the KLF’s promoter announced “The KLF have now left the music business”:
Following their bombastic exit, Drummond and Cauty formed the the K Foundation, culminating a series of Situationalist stunts by going to the Scottish island of Jura and burning £1,000,000 in cash:
After exiting the music business and promising not to return, the KLF came out of retirement with the electronic protest song “Fuck The Millenium”, critiquing comeback albums with a video featuring wheelchairs, old mans’ pipes and a brass band.