Tag Archives: Gavin Williams

Listen to Rustie, Essential Mix

After releasing a brilliant debut album in ‘Glass Swords’ last year, Glaswegian producer Rustie can’t seem to stop his flow of awesome output. And why would he want to? This time it’s in the form of a Radio 1 Essential Mix. The Warp and occasional Hyperdub representative turned this Good Friday mix into a pleasingly groggy bass swamp, with interjections of trademark Rustie power-dub, frivolous pop tunes and based hip-hop swag. All in all, a pretty apt way to start a long bank holiday weekend.

Enjoy here.

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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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Listen to new Major Lazer ft. Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman

 

On a day when London’s looking crazy good in the sun, Major Lazer have dropped an aptly gorgeous new song snippet to promote an upcoming European tour. Featuring the sublime vocals of Amber Coffman, “Get Free” puts the listener in the heart of a ridiculous summer fantasy; everything looks like it’s filmed through a Super 8mm camera, people are eating free Caribbean food and – because Diplo is involved in this fantasy- American Apparel models are serving you ice cold cocktails all day long. Vibe up.

Gavin Williams

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Listen to Arcade Fire, ‘Sprawl II’ (Soulwax Remix)

The hip-quivering pomp of Arcade Fire’s ‘Sprawl II’ gets amplified and accentuated by Soulwax’s trademark brashy bounce on the Belgian duo’s latest remix. Although the original was released just two years ago, the sound of Soulwax hitting groove may well transport you back to about 2006. Pre-Dave Cameron and pre-shit getting real, relish that electro ’06 nostalgia.

Gavin Williams

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Listen to Kelpe- ‘I Felt Fuzzy’

I once saw Kelpe ‘do a live’. He was twiddling around and summoning beats on his Macbook with some pretty, swirly colours being projected on the stage behind him. Somehow, though, the projection switched from the nice swirls and we, the audience, could then see a large-scale version of Kelpe’s desktop. He wasn’t summoning beats. He was playing a pre-recorded set while idly flicking through photos on his laptop and pointlessly moving files from one folder to another and back again. The audience stood and laughed for some time before Kelpe realised and, when the knob-twiddler rushed to flick back to the pretty swirly projection, it was far, far too late.

Luckily, Kelpe’s work ethic and professionalism doesn’t seem lacking in the slightest when it comes to his actual productions. ‘I Felt Fuzzy’ is a fantastic combination of glittery synths and woozy human sighs which sounds great whether you’re looking at pretty swirls (they really were quite pretty) or just someone rearranging their computer’s desktop.

Gavin Williams

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Listen to The Horrors- XFM mix

The Horrors, still creative thoroughbreds in a world of contemporary British guitar music which seems more and more occupied by relative ponies, went and did a mix for XFM just before the weekend. Drawing on their famously extensive record collection, here The Horrors blend a multitude of jagged little left-field nuggets into one streamlined combination. From J Dilla and Madlib to Panda Bear and Oneohtrix Point Never, this is a lovely little treat celebrating a variety of musical oddballs.

Listen via XFM via mixcloud.

Gavin Williams

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Listen to new Beach House

Characteristically sweet guitar arpeggios. A panoramic sense of satisfied sighing. An unbelievably gratifying release of bass. This new song from Beach House, ‘Myth’, shows the band on exciting form. But the real tour de force on the track is the vocals. Sometimes, Victoria Legrand, you and your voice are just the sweetest things.

Listen here, via Stereogum 

Gavin Williams

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Listen to new Burial/Four Tet track

In the wake of his heavyweight ‘Kindred’ EP (the ripples of which are still perceptible in the internet’s brilliantly geeky intellectualisation of bass music), a new Burial track has emerged, this time in the form of a collaboration with brother in beats, Four Tet.

The track, ‘Nova’, was uploaded by Kieran Hebdan- AKA Four Tet- with no clue as to when this was recorded (possibly as part of last year’s ‘Ego’/’Mirror’ colab), or if it is acting as a lead up to a new associated release from the pair.

‘Nova’, although featuring a sturdily progressive garage beat as a binding yolk, is slightly less kinetic than either Burial’s recent stuff or the pair’s collaboration last year.

The stuttering, almost embarrassingly amateurish take on house piano loops initially sound annoying and displaced. But gradually throughout the song, and with more and more listens, their naive nod to childhood syncopates itself with the in-and-out wave quality of Burial’s synth plates.

In fact the whole thing sounds a bit like a distant childhood memory of the seaside;

the crackling hiss sounding like waves lapping a pier; the way the entire track eases itself out of the speakers makes it seem as if its coming from underwater; Burials pitchshifted vocals (more subdued than normal) even sounding like a whale at sea.

But this is also reflected in the themes the sounds conjure. Forlornly nostalgic in the sighs of the encompassing bass, yet childlike in the slightly structureless frame.

Gavin Williams

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Listen to: Madlib remix- Jadakiss V DOOM

As part of his sprawling series Madlib Medicine Show, the most blunted Hip-Hop producer Madlib is set to release Madlib Medicine Show #13: Black Tape on the 1st of March. This remix- an infectiously jazzy collision between DOOM and Jadakiss- is the first cut to surface from the album.

But apart from being a key piece in the jigsaw of Madlib’s masterplan and an insight into his incredible work ethic, the bottom line is that this remix is a pure belter. It initially sounds like the quasi-funk groove is slowly submerging itself into dark waters (again highlighting how the finest work from DOOM and Madlib has so often been when the two have married their sounds together) before flitting excitingly through cartoonish sonic U-turns, Dada-ist non-sequiturs and Ghostface sampling “RUN!”s. All in under three minutes. And, as a bonus, the apparently controversial artwork has been described as featuring “mutant porn”. Thank you, Madlib, for inviting us into your strange, strange world.

Gavin Williams

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