TRASH MENAGERIE » 2009 » August

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Penelope[s] Echo the Past, but Sound like the Present

Five minutes into Priceless Concrete Echoes I was feeling their music.  There was a soothing familiarity to it, like hearing the sounds of our generations past incorporated into the present, and the future.  The new waved sonics of “Stuck in Lalaland”; the album’s introduction, sounds something like Simple Minds and early South wrapped in the soaring transients of The Morning After Girls.  It’s well executed incremental future-pop, and sounds so effortless and relaxed while it picks you up.

The Depeche Mode-like harmonics (the soaring vocals) and Yaz-styled beats and keyboards on “Licked By Love” make it the perfect sweet 16 track for 2009.  I remember one of my sisters favorites at hers (yes, it sounds freaking silly, but she turned me onto some great music back then) was “Don’t Go” by Yaz, so naturally my mind went there upon hearing it.  The dreamy tonality of the vocals in  “Circle of Seasons” is a seeming tribute to New Order’s immortal “Temptation”.  This is a song to play on the way to your after-party, like the aptly titled “Afterhours” by We Are Scientists.  Yes; I was a sucker for Nick&Norah’s Infinite Playlist, especially after my friends back in New York called to tell me to go see it.  It only made me miss it (because we used to go to all the places in the film, hence the phone call).

Anyway, enough rambling, and pardon all of the metaphoric, goopy comparisons.  The music is just that familiar, but manages to sound completely modern.  It’s almost difficult to describe.  If you were discovering new wave back in the mid to late eighties (the days of the famed WLIR radio out on Long Island – where we discovered everybody from the Smiths to The Cure, to Erasure) you will understand the moment you hear Priceless Concrete Echoes. “Saved” would have been right at home on the Trainspotting soundtrack had it existed at the time.  They did a great job putting a dark and twisted stamp on their cover of the Beasties “Sabotage.”  Covering the Beastie’s is no easy task, but they chose to truly own their version.  It works remarkably well, and got great responses during a poker game last week.  Everybody was asking “who the hell is this with this sick cover”.  Sometimes that is the best way to gauge whether you’re just gaga over the record because of your own connections to it, or if it’s actually any good (and yes, it all remains subjective).

The hard-hitting, acid-clash basslines and wavy crescendos of  “Long Black Fly” make it a straight floor rocker, and I am anxious to see if there are any hot remixes floating around.  I see a dope Mr. C remix happening there (well, I literally don’t right now, but who knows)!  “Concrete” is anything but stiff; with its radiating vocals, dynamic slaps and claps, and a poppy mantra chorus.  It’s simply infectious.  The keys and Lynn Drum-like beats on “Your Plan for Happiness”; the albums closer, are classic Pet Shop Boys.

All in all, the music is splendid throughout Priceless Concrete Echoes.  The only drawback are the occasional flat notes.  It is not their fault of course, and this is not a shot at their skills by any means.  Had a band like this been able to work with a truly seasoned, and musically gifted producer (like Frank Filipetti or Phil Ramone) this would have been fixed with ease, and not by auto-tune or pitch shifting.  A great producer can get the best performance out of the artist, by guiding them through and beyond their own capabilities.  This small observation is not intended however to tear away the magic that the Penelope[s] managed to create on their recent effort.  This album will be humming in my ipod for quite a while.  It’s also perfect road-trip music!  Check it out, get up from that seat and monitor, and go be out in the world.  Priceless Concrete Echoes makes me want to dial up an old friend and journey, journey to some place exciting and safe.

The Penelope[s] & Morpheus – Stuck in LaLa Land


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posted by Mike Mercer at 1:12 pm  

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sweat.X – I’m That Alley EP

If you weren’t getting tired of Spoek Mathambo‘s mixtape series “H.I.V.I.P.“, you should exhaust them quickly, because Sweat.X just released their 2nd EP “I’m That Alley”, out now on Citinite. Their first EP “EbonyIvoryTron” was released in October of 2007 and garnered praise from most major publications. Spoek hails from South Africa where he works with two production outfits, Sweat.X being an electro synth-pop group, and the other being an electo-rap group called Play Doe.

His mixtapes have featured work from both of these outfits, as well as featuring the sounds of Kwaito, Dubstep, Kuduro, and Electro. Production for Sweat.X comes from Markus Wormstorm, whose done workshops for the Red Bull Music Academy and bounces back and forth from Berlin to South Africa. Remix work for “I’m That Alley” comes from Dublin ex-pat Mike Slott who now resides in New York City. Mike recently got tapped for remix work by Flying Lotus, and has worked closely with Hudson Mowhawke in production as well. Below are streams of the title track “I’m That Alley” as well as the Mike Slott remix, the EP also features a tune called “The Knife” and instrumentals of both tunes. You can find the EP at any of your local internet music outlets, Bleep, Boomkat, Juno, TurntableLab, Wax Poetics and Zero-Inch.

Sweat.X – I’m That Alley

Sweat.X – I’m That Alley (Mike Slott Remix)

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posted by TheCrookedClef at 3:32 pm  

Thursday, August 27, 2009

South East in East Kicks off Fri Aug 28!!!

SOUTH EAST IN EAST kicks off your weekend festivities with a bang!!!

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posted by Lovestar at 1:40 pm  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

High Rankin Meddles with The AirLoom

Imagine the inner working’s of a delusional mind that is able to conceive an elaborate machine, a ‘human influencing machine’, if you will, capable of remotely manipulating and influencing the thoughts of its intended victim. Such a machine, “The Air Loom“, emerged in the 18th century, from the mind of James Tilly Matthews, a Bedlam inmate who had previously been embroiled in political intrigue during the french revolution. Matthews writes of the formidable arsenal of tortures that “The Air Loom” could deliver, which included: Kiteing, Bomb bursting, Lobster cracking, Thigh Talking, Fluid Locking and Lengthening the brain.

Matthews paranoia’s and irrational beliefs were considered to be the first fully documented case of paranoid schizophrenia. His evil and morbid ideas are what spawned High Rankin‘s track entitled “The AirLoom”, and the inspiration for the dark and fantastic video.

“The video was the brain child of director Rowan Costello who was looking to do something a little dark and so naturally i was his first phone call”, says Will Rankin. “We had originally wanted to use masks of Kerry Katona’s face but after trying some bits out we found that she looks so ordinary that it was hard to distinguish who it was. So we decided to scrap the drugged up, talentless moron in favour of a a nice scary face.

The vocals are being read from an 18th century book about a human influencing machine called “The Air Loom”. It was conceived by James Tilly Matthew and he believed it could do all sorts of evil things to people. Someone recently built one for the purpose of ‘art’. Check the site, The Air Loom, as it explains in detail.”

“The Air Loom” appeared on a 6-track EP, entitled ‘You, Me & The Devil’ released May 2008 on High Rankin’s label, Suicide Dub. It will be re-released as a VIP rework for 2009, as part of an EP in September 2009 on Cheap Thrills Recordings.

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posted by Lovestar at 10:01 pm  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Boy 8-Bit and Florence + The Machine

These days, I often feel like The White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll’s book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, staring at an in-box flooded with music, muttering to myself “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” There’s loads to post and literally, very little time, but there is always amazing music that is waiting to be heard by the masses!!!!

I honestly never paid much attention to Florence + The Machine, until the recent Boy 8-Bit remix of “Drumming Song”. It is truly tantalizing. A powerful song that is fueled by unadulterated passion, desire and fear of the unknown when it comes to falling in (and out) of love. When combined, Florence’s epic vocals and Boy 8-Bit’s brilliant melodies, have created a gorgeous extension of the original, making this yet another clever masterpiece by Boy 8-Bit. I’m loving it!

“Drumming Song” is the third single taken from Florence + The Machine‘s debut album “Lungs”, out September 7th on Island, along with another remix by Jack Beats. Catch Florence + The Machine Sunday, September 13th at the free show at Freedom Festival in Hull.

The physical formats will be available from September 14th, the Digital EP will be live and online one day earlier. Purchase Florence + The Machine “Lungs”!!!! Watch the fantastic video of “Drumming Song” below! Florence’s outfit is sensational!!

Florence + The Machine – Drumming Song (Boy 8-Bit Remix)

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posted by Lovestar at 1:53 pm  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Burns shines with Teknique

burns- teknique from Thomas Bachellier on Vimeo.

There was a time when blogs promised to bring democracy to culture and music. Instead of just writing about music they were sent by the major labels, bloggers gave new artists a platform and introduced new music from the underground to a wide audience.

Well, things haven’t completely changed but blogs also write about some artists that have received lots and lots of attention and can’t really be considered “underground” anymore. Some musicians have “grown up” within the blogosphere and when they release something new it’s sure to go up on some big blogs. When bloggers like something they are just like mainstream media: they continue to write about it even though it might not be the latest and most obscure act around. And it’s the right thing to do. (People are realizing that in blogland a year has 365 days too. But that’s another story.)

Within less than a year, BURNS has become a major player in blog-distributed dance music. He still produces music that I really like and there’s no reason I wouldn’t post his new track “Teknique”. It’s hot and it’s fresh. It’s the title track of BURNS’ new EP which will be released this fall.

BURNS – Teknique

Follow BURNS on Twitter!

(Of course the terms “underground” and “mainstream” have been re-defined by the rise of blogs and artists often look bigger in the blogosphere than they really are. But that’s yet another story.)

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posted by PD Williams at 3:48 am  
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