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This visceral LP still stands up today: Siouxsie And The Banshees — ‘the Scream’

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It is pretty much a given that a big part of post-punk group Siouxsie And The Banshees’ initial attraction, what split them from the pack, was their glam goth frontwoman Siouxsie Sioux. They even named the band after her. The punk movement was generally male-dominated. Just Google image ‘1970s punk bands’ and, yes, there was Debbie Harry and the Slits, of course, but apart from these there wasn’t a great much else around; the scene was more or less flooded with all-male groups. In fact, there was possibly more women among the crowd at gigs than they were represented on stage. Siouxsie was one of these, who would attend many a punk rock gig around ’76 and ’77. This would turn out to be a crucial grounding, for both her and her band. Continue reading “This visceral LP still stands up today: Siouxsie And The Banshees — ‘the Scream’”

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Richard D James adds all of his music to one site for streaming and purchasing

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With release of the album ‘Syro’ in 2014 (a record that mainly displays the producer’s penchant for hectic, acidulous beat-making, and one this writer has returned to many times, still finding it a curiously frustrating item), Richard D James began a new period of music unearthing activity. He still doesn’t do many interviews– and even continues to put up music online near anonymously–, but still garners more intrigue, interest, and has more news pieces written in his honour, than anyone else from the Warp stable. And all despite being in the business going on some thirty years. This week James put all of his official releases up until this point online for both streaming and purchasing purposes, and you can hereby indulge by visiting it all at the address below. As you’ll see for yourself, there is also a host of previously unreleased stuff on there.

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With ‘The Infotainment Scan’ you can hear a new-found clarity and soberness

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“The new album is much better than ‘Code:Selfish'”, long time, and brilliant, guitarist Craig Scanlon told NME around the time of ‘The Infotainment Scan”s release in April 1993, before continuing, “there’s massive guitars and drums working together”. Listening to the record one gets exactly what he means. It does fucking roll.

As much as I still enjoy 1992’s ‘Code: Selfish’ (it’s funny how Fall albums in particular parachute you right back to a certain period in time. Peel was correct: always the same, always different), the follow-up LP was more consistent. It also continued on the more machine-sounding theme that the group started to use more of, roughly from around the time of the 1988 pair of albums ‘The Frenz Experiment’, and certainly ‘I Am Curious Orange’. There are keyboards and weird electro noises and squiggles aplenty here, though not exclusively. Careful when to drop them in, lads. Continue reading “With ‘The Infotainment Scan’ you can hear a new-found clarity and soberness”

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I say that I’ve never really been much of a fan of his music, though “I did once purchase ‘Peggy Suicide’ on cassette”

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Bumping into an old buddy in a record shop this week we got chatting casually about music, as you’re almost inclined to. He was picking up an early Julian Cope CD. I tell him that I’ve never really been much of a fan of his music, though “I did once purchase ‘Peggy Suicide’ on cassette”. He then went on to big-up his latest re-love for ‘big eighties production’. “I’m bored to the back teeth of lofi”. I, at this point, agree that he has a point. I’ve often thought of this myself in recent years, with every new band of indie noisemakers push for that more ‘authentic’ lofi sound. Starting to believe it’s only there in order to cover up for their limitations. Continue reading “I say that I’ve never really been much of a fan of his music, though “I did once purchase ‘Peggy Suicide’ on cassette””

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Imagine Boards of Canada hitting top spot in the album chart today? 25 years since ‘U.FOrb’ made the UK album top spot

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This week 25 years ago the number 1 album in the UK was, wait for it, ‘U.F.Orb’ by the Orb. When I first was reminded of this, via a tweet by Discogs, I began to wonder if a record similar this one would make the number 1 spot in 2017. (then again, what exactly qualifies as a record ‘similar to this one’?). My conclusion– a touch depressingly– was that there’s little possibility of this happening.

One wonders if the cartel of interests that more tightly controls the charts these days would allow an equivalent of an ‘U.F.Orb’ to milk top spot today (even, like this one, if it’s only all for a single week). Continue reading “Imagine Boards of Canada hitting top spot in the album chart today? 25 years since ‘U.FOrb’ made the UK album top spot”

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Sound is Art #3: Rolling Stones — ‘Let It Bleed’

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Background:

‘Let it Bleed’ is one of those album covers that looks attractive and unique at first glance, before appearing possibly a tacky looking in-joke the more one studies it. Royal Mail did think it worthy enough for commemorative stamp in 2010. It is unique, but it’s also a bit nonsense. What is the wider meaning of a tyre, pizza and cake (albeit rather tasty looking cake) stacked together like a platter-changer pivot while the LP plays beside? Who knows… Continue reading “Sound is Art #3: Rolling Stones — ‘Let It Bleed’”

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Pour me another: our top six album picks of 2017 so far

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Okay so it’s mid July and thus a little over the halfway point of the year, but still worth a go, innit? Below find six recommended albums from the first half (and a small bit) of this slightly mad year, records that have kept this website extra lucid and a touch happier than otherwise would have. About 27% more. Continue reading “Pour me another: our top six album picks of 2017 so far”

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Vinyl Pickup: the first two Eat Static LPs for Planet Dog / Ultimate

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Browsing through the always interesting rows of stacked vinyl in Belfast’s Dragon Records of Wellington Place (some old, some new; some authentic, some problematic) I came across not one but two Eat Static LPs– both doubles. Interesting, thought I. Not only that, but these are the first two albums for Planet Dog, when their trance-techno music was at its most rewarding. Very interesting, thought I.

The third excitable bit came when saw they were priced at a rather liberal looking 12 and 15 quid each. (not sure why there was a price discrepancy as both vinyls were in perfect condition bar a little bit of wear on the sleeve’s edges, but this was only to be expected of records over two decades old).  Continue reading “Vinyl Pickup: the first two Eat Static LPs for Planet Dog / Ultimate”

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There’s variety to the texture and character, never once sounding awkward or forced: Underworld — ‘Dubnobasswithmyheadman’

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“It’s rare for an album everyone’s taking about to be this good”, to misquote John Peel at the time of ‘Dubnobasswithmyheadman’’s release bang start of 1994. He was right, of course, giving his approval to the fresh techno sounds and freaky, uneasy feel to the LP. (Surely this is one of the best debut albums of all time too. That bit hardly ever gets mentioned. Maybe because all three members Karl Hyde, Rick Smith and Darren Emerson had been around the music busines for a bunch of years prior to release).

One could say that Underworld were the first rock stars of the rave scene, their music demanding those students who got into ‘Screamdelica’ a year or two earlier now ready to go a step further down the dark, murky– and genuinely unwholesome celebrating– electro-rock road. Continue reading “There’s variety to the texture and character, never once sounding awkward or forced: Underworld — ‘Dubnobasswithmyheadman’”

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As much northern post-punk melodic desolation as curious excitable ear on the Detroit techno scene: New Order — ‘Brotherhood’

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Probably the least celebrated / discussed of all the New Order albums from the 1980s, ‘Brotherhood’ released during that decade’s seventh year, was even strangely almost completely ignored / glossed over when top drummer / beat-maker Stephen Morris chatted to Noisey a year or two ago about the group’s back catalogue.

Well, this writer for one quite enjoys his copy of the LP, actually. Continue reading “As much northern post-punk melodic desolation as curious excitable ear on the Detroit techno scene: New Order — ‘Brotherhood’”