Taragana Pyjarama // ‘Growing Forehead’

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If ever the word “cosmic” was appropriate to use when describing music, this is it. Copenhagen’s Taragana Pyjarama makes the kind of gloriously warm soundscapes that usually encourage wankery from music journos overzealous to use words like “transcendental”, “dreamy”, or, indeed, “cosmic”, but ‘Growing Forehead’ tickets all those boxes with flying colours.

But hey, don’t take it from us! Wait until the sun sets, put this on, stare longingly into space, and squeegee that third eye.

Taragana Pyjarama’s debut album Tipped Bowls will be released through Kompakt on June 18th.

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Listen to: David Byrne’s soundscape- “Get it Away”

Perched charmingly on the very top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, A Room For London is a one room hotel in the shape and style of a boat. The project came to fruition via a collaborative project between architect David Kohn and artist Fiona Banner and will remain in place for the whole of 2012.

Positioned in a vantage point where it is slightly above and removed from London’s kinetic commuter hustle, yet still very much connected to the cultural nucleus of the Southbank it looks down on, A Room For London is designed only in part for the public to rent out as a hotel room. The other part of its function is to act as a space of artistic reflection and creation. Each month a different writer, artist or musician will be invited to stay in A Room For London with the specific task of using their time in the boat to write and create a new piece of work.

In February, David Byrne spent a couple of days in the room and came out with a piece titled ‘Get It Away’ (listen below). After spending a considerable portion of his creative career singing about, writing about and taking pictures of cities, ‘Get It Away’ sees Byrne in the suitable mode of urban explorer.

Byrne created his “soundscape” by recording sounds as he explored the streets, markets and stations of London. He talks of how the sounds of London “converged around a common rhythm”, a rhythm he followed and added his own instrumentation to.

Ever the modern flaneur, Byrne uses snatched voices of market sellers, echoes of trains and the Southwark Cathedral organ (amongst other sounds) to create ‘Get It Away’.

Although the way Byrne discusses his project may threaten to cross over into academic obscurity, ‘Get It Away’ is actually structured around a sweet, accessible melody. The ex-Talking Heads singer’s heightened intellect and his clear thirst for exploration (both sonically and physically) results in a piece that’s hard not to enthuse about.

“London’s tempo is 122.86 beats per minute.”

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New Jai Paul

 

Jai Paul is a reclusive British songwriter and producer who managed to get himself signed to XL on the strength of a single exceptional demo. To be fair ‘BTSU’ really was an exceptional song, which even weepy narcissist Drake recognized when he sampled it on his last album. Now Jai Paul has proved he’s not a one trick pony by posting this corker of a demo on his soundcloud yesterday.

New track ‘Jasmine’ has Jai paul displaying some exquisite electro-funk pop stylings, as opposed to the skewed hip hop slant of ‘BTSU’. In any case it really is a superb and bittersweet pop song, and it might be the best thing we’ve heard all year. Listen it below.

 

 

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Light Asylum

 

Light Asylum are an intense brooklyn duo making some truly ferocious coldwave. Singer Shannon Funchess reminds us of an angrier rawer Grave Jones, and she has a voice to match the image. So in other words she’s as cool as they come. The duo have  a debut album due this summer and in the meantime you can listen to a cut off that album titled ‘IPC’, which might be the rawest thing they’ve put out yet, which is no mean feat.  We also heartily recommend that you watch the brilliant video to thier banger from last year ‘Dark Allies’.

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Chromatics-Kill For Love//Review

Chromatics’ new album Kill For Love has finally landed, 5 painful years since their last. Currently only on iTunes (and Soundcloud, see below), it’s soon to be released on delicious double vinyl, good news for those of us who like to touch up our music before we listen.

As anticipated this album is epic. At 91 minutes, spanning 17 tracks including a cheeky 14 minute closer, Kill For Love certainly delivers the goods. Following on from 2007’s Night Drive (alternatively known as Original Motion Picture Soundtrack IV), the beauty of Kill For Love is Chromatics’ ability to create these grand cinematic landscapes, conjured up by the mesmerising rhythm of the synths, the New Order-esque disco beats and the hypnotic distant vocals of Ruth Radelet that narrate the whole affair.

This is an incredible album, with huge emphasis on the word ALBUM. A dreamlike grandeur flows throughout the record, tying the songs together to create the feel of an epic whole. The noir-electro disco beats that Johnny Jewel and Chromatics have become famous for since Night Drive provide a pulsing energy, keeping you hooked from start to finish, and being a 17 track album, that’s no mean feat.  Kill For Love is a true tour de force; they weave suspense into the music like an electro Hitchcock. Using their synth wizardry they send goose bumps down your spine as the record twists and turns, building up to euphoric highs and melancholic lows, assaulting the senses from all angles.

One of the highlights has to be the first track, their cover of Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)”, renamed “Into The Black” (a little confusing as the song “Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)” also on Young’s Rust Never Sleeps, has slightly different lyrics). The infamous line ‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away’,  featuring in Kurt Cobain’s suicide note, certainly fits the emotion of the album. But it’s the second song, title track “Kill For Love” which really sets the scene for what’s to come, plunging the listener into a roaring synth-fest. Others including “Candy” and “There’s A Light Out On The Horizon” are also amazing, but this album isn’t about singles, this is one great electro-noire marathon to be taken in all at once.

It’s clear to see why Johnny Jewel was asked to write the score for Drive, even if in the end it wasn’t used. Not letting that get him down, he released it anyway in the form of the 2 hour long Symmetry. However Night Drive’s “Tick Of The Clock” and “Under Your Spell” (a track from one of his many side projects Desire), were used in the film to great effect, and it’s his affinity for such cinematic themes that make Kill For Love such a masterpiece.

Words: Phil Roberts

 

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Death Grips // The Fever (Aye Aye)

Death Grips released one of our favourite albums of 2011 in ExMilitary. Their sophomore effort comes out on Epic next month, and we feel like a 7-year-old counting down the days until Christmas.

The Sacramento outfit have made a fourth track available for download for free on their Soundcloud. ‘The Fever (Aye Aye)’ is the best thing we’ve heard in a damn while. It manages to be one of their most instrumentally complex tracks while somehow outdoing the intensity of a lot of their previous output. Mind = blown. If you are averse to unhinged genre-bending chaos, avert your eyes and ears. If not, you’re in for a treat. Download it here, or watch the video below.

The Money Store is out on April 23rd.

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Download New OFF! / / ‘King Kong Brigade’

Ever since Keith Morris’ punk rock super group OFF! dropped their series of Four E.P’s last year Black Tar has not been able to keep away. Recalling all the best attributes of classic punk, OFF! pummel the listener into a vortex of energy and angst. Thankfully on May 8, OFF! will release their self-titled debut album via VICE records: which like their previous releases is devastatingly short, and no space for bull shit. “King Kong Brigade” is the first cut we have to get our teeth into, and despite the almost criminally short nature of these tracks, this track still feels ‘relaxed’, with an extended guitar intro that launches into a shouting sucker punch belter. Can’t wait.

Download this below:

OFF!: “King Kong Brigade”

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Heavy Blanket / / ‘Dr. Marten’s Blues’

J Mascis, and his noise cohorts that make up Dinosaur Jr., make earth shattering sonic noise that’ll puncture your ear drums; so this new track by Mascis, and his new side project Heavy Blanket, should not come as a surprise. Teaming up with old school pals Pete Cougar and Johnny Pancake: this power trio have laid down a instrumental juggernaut, which makes Mascis’ shredding in Dinosaur feel restrained by comparison. They’ll release their debut soon on Outer Battery.

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SpaceGhostPurrp

South Florida Rapper rapper and producer SpaceGhostPurrp is set to release his debut LP on indie label 4AD on June 12th. Some have remarked that this is a surprising fit but really it’s not that odd keeping in mind that they put out a Zomby album last year. In any case a track off the album titled ‘No Evidence’ can be listened to below, and it’s the most ice cold yet threatening thing we’ve heard in a mighty fine while. While you’re at it why not download his excellent and incredibly raw mix-tape from last year over here.

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