Music Reviews: October 2009

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EP: BELLOWS The Troop (Cake)
Helpfully described as cinematic instrumental music, this four-track set is not the easiest of rides. Broodingly dark with more than a hint of menace at times, it’s certainly cinematic in that you could well imagine it playing behind footage of the mentally ill, but then all of a sudden you’re hit with the realisation that you are witnessing true beauty. Bereft of any traditional song structure’s hooks to claw you in, this relies on the visceral charms of the aural landscape it gradually creates to ensnare the listener, which has well and truly occured by the end. (NC)

SINGLE: BONOBO
The Keeper (Grasscut Mix) (Ninja Tune)
Ex-SOURCE editor Marcus O’Dair is on a bit of a roll at the moment. Not only has his Bellows outfit got an EP out this month (see above), he’s also longplaying for Ninja Tune as half of Grasscut. Here the pair turn former Brightonian Bonobo’s sultry, melodic soul into a scratchy, tense piece of music that put the ‘trip’ into post-trip hop. The original is beyond lovely, in case you’re asking. (JK)

SINGLE: DOORLY
Toys (Wax:On)
Since word’s spread about his residencies at Ibiza Rocks, After Party and Wax:On as well as appearances on Pete Tong’s In New DJs We Trust tour and a series of head-turning remixes, Doorly has become one of clublands top names to drop. Now making as well as spinning tunes, he’s displaying big love for his techno with this debut release. A proper peak-time floor filler with requisite rise, big breakdown and a massive drop that needs the space and volume of a big room to do it real justice, this is an audacious first release and a great shape of things to come. (NC)

ALBUM: THE HOTLINES The Hotlines (Devils Jukebox)
Rocking the kind of boundless energy you rarely see this side of a Labrador puppy, The Hotlines don’t muck about with extended workouts of their guitar pop bombast. With a chord repertoire and song duration nod to the Ramones (half the songs here are under two minutes long) they bash the door down, sing thirteen classic boy meets girl, boy loses girl songs to an speed-dabbing dun-a-nun-a-nun-a guitar backing, and get the hell out again, all in 26 minutes. Beach Boys and Plastic Bertrand ooh-ee-oohs help lift spirits further still. (NC)

ALBUM: LO FIDELITY ALLSTARSNorthern Stomp (Corsair Records) After a seven year gap the Lo Fi’s make a welcome return with a new record label and most importantly, a new album. Thankfully it’s almost as if they’ve never been gone as Northern Stomp combines all the elements we’ve come to know and love – from the rumbling bass, squelching synths, samples and big beats but this time all with an underlying soulfulness and sly nod to motown. Yes, it’s a slightly crazed melting pot of ideas but that’s always what the Lo Fi’s have been about and we wouldn’t want it any other way. (IC)

ALBUM: ALICE RUSSELL Pot Of Gold Remixes (Little Poppet)
Finally seeing the light of day almost a year after its intended release (the distributor went tits up), Alice acolytes are rewarded for their patience with not only the eventual release of Pot Of Gold, but also a 22-track double CD of remixes. We’ve always loved Alice at SOURCE, and it’s good to hear her big brassy soul voice belting out against TM Juke’s production, a deep, warm sound that makes anything Mark Ronson does sound like a shitty ringtone. Mr Scruff, DJ Vadim, Shawn Lee and Kid Gusto are among those twiddling the knobs on the remixes, which make for a decent accompaniment to the album proper. (NC)

EP: SPEEDY ED Rock To The Beat (Dv8)
Another instalment from the Dv8 Music Collective, this three tracker features Speedy Ed, Shane K and Morpheous. While the artists and their tracks admittedly look and sound like the interior of a suped up VW Golf burning rubber on Madeira drive, we’re right behind this label – they’re giving youngsters an alternative to ASBOs and teaching them something useful. Given that it took them just ten weeks to learn how to make these tracks, this is as accomplished a take on techbreakglitchstep as we’ve heard. Braaap! (NC)

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