Posts

Showing posts from January, 2012

Funin - Unsound

Image
Bergen indie outfit Funin released this, their debut waxing back in November 2010 in their home territory Norway but it did not get a world release until a year later, and it seems to have gone under my radar until now, more's the pity. Undoubtedly influenced by heavyweights such as Arcade Fire, Björk, Radiohead, Portishead, they have created an interesting listen with their seven piece line up, expanded from their beginnings as a duo, and now featuring a string section and sundry electronica.

The electronic beats and sundry strangeness on Inch Of Me combined with Marit Elisabeth's elfin tones come direct from the Björk work manual but there are other things going down here, like Øyvind's lounge-jazz ivory tinkling with languid flute that lend the song its own sound.

Away from the sphere of Iceland's premier chanteuse, we have the gorgeous electro-soundscape ballad Everything initially sung by co-vocalist Gaute in the style of an angst-free Thom Yorke before swapping v…

"Daddy's got a Porsche"

Image
...or

M83 live at theO2 Academy, Oxford, January 24th 2012

Arriving after some for once peerless navigation through the city of Oxford well in time for a couple of pints of rather nice Hooky Gold at a nearby hostelry, big noses #1 and #3 entered the steam bath that was the O2 Academy about 10 minutes or so before the band were due on.

Two things - one it was sweat drippingly hot, as the venue was rammed, and two there were an awful lot of Tarquins & Jemimas about judging by the preponderance of upper middle class accents.

This gig was a gift from Phill, bless him, as who else would go and see this odd bunch with him? M83 (named after a distant galaxy) are a band who I have tried hard but largely failed to get into in preparation for tonight's shindig, Phill having bombarded me with several discs of Euro pop flavoured shoegaze-techno-strangeitude.

Bang on 9pm the band, led by guitarist/synth player/vocalist Anthony Gonzalez and three others, two guys on bass and drums respective…

Iron Kim Style - Iron Kim Style

Image
Listen to some of this fine album while reading on, here.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Seattle’s Denis Rea fresh from having released Moraine’s debut album Manifest Destiny in 2009 joined up with Ryan Berg in the latter's improv project Iron Kim Style in order to unleash the harder side of his frequently mesmerising guitar playing. This coruscating jazz-fusion ensemble recorded and released an hours worth of improvised densely heavy fusion in 2010 to local acclaim and to anyone outside of North West USA promptly seemed to disappear from whence they came, much to the loss of lovers of challenging music everywhere. Named after the martial arts style favoured by loony North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, the inner cover of Iron Kim Style's debut playfully proclaims "Your boxing has no power", and proceeds to show us exactly what that power sounds like.
Starting off with The Mean Streets Of Pyongyang, where a sinuous bass groove leads us into an example of free associat…

Earthling Society - Stations Of The Ghost

I hadn't listened to this band in quite a while when I received this album from Nick at Prog Sphere, and it seems that they have evolved considerably since I last spun one of their discs.

The classic Hawkwind and Gong influences are still there, but they have developed their own brand of psych rock now. A brand that is infused with indie attitude, sounding as The Verve might have done if they had continued on the psych trip from their debut album A Storm In Heaven instead of combining the psych with a rich vein of indie pop. There is a confident swagger on such tracks as Child Of The Harvest which has some nice sax work as it charges along. The reverbed vocals remind me of early Richard Ashcroft crossed with Shaun Ryder, which maybe is not that surprising when you consider that those two and the band come from the same area of the UK. There's a touch of keening Ozzy too, especially on Night Of The Scarecrow, which you can listen to below as you read on...







The band hail from Fl…

Moraine - Metamorphic Rock

Image
One of the pleasures of this reviewing lark is that once in a while something hitherto unheard of will land in your inbox that simply takes your breath away. 
This is as you might imagine, a fairly rare occurrence, for although during the course of a year the reviewer may receive a handful of seriously good CDs amongst the piles of average and worse, to receive something astounding is a rarefied pleasure indeed.
Such a thing is Metamorphic Rock whose irreducible complexity, to borrow one of the song titles is of such a seriously magical content I just can’t put it down. This band is filling mega stadiums in a parallel universe where Simon Cowell is on trial for crimes against art.
Formed by composer and guitar player Denis Rea, Moraine have so far released just one studio album, Manifest Destiny in 2009, and Metamorphic Rock is a document of their appearance at the 2010 Nearfest in the USA (see video below) in front of a small but appreciative crowd, most of whom no doubt know how lucky …

The Flower Eaters - The Spectre Loiters

The first album from this two man London group mixes classic space rock sounds with Klaus Schulze like sequencer led synth extrapolations to produce an open inviting sound.

Stretched phased guitar chords invites us into The Flower Eaters' universe, languorous phased soloing leading into mid-paced riffage that thankfully stays well outside metal territory, Vitamin BC slightly reminiscent of mid-90s Porcupine Tree. The Schulze influence looms large over Hyperspace Mood, and there is also a feel of Quark period Hawkwind.



Suitably distant and swirly vocals feature briefly on Bend The Rainbow whose muddy caveman riffing recalls the heady days of The Rainbow, Finsbury Park circa 1973. You can almost smell the patchouli, and I'm sure that was Stacia I saw, grooving in the corner to Clearlight Symphony.If Jam 2.0 were played at twice the speed it would have made a good rave tune. As it is, it stays in the chillout zone where it shares a bong with an Ozric or three.

After this we head …