Friday, September 29, 2006

I need more candy

Glass Candy

Championed by 20 jazz greats for some time, Glass Candy is a three piece female lead alt pop outfit hailing from Portland. They produce some wonderfully jaded gems; with early vocals that cut into you, like tightly wound nylon and later ones that literally seduce. Frosty detachment sleeks ‘n’ reeks of sex, strobes and cigarette stained shadowy places where the mirror globes act like fluttering moths – something that’s been pleasuring my ears for sometime now.

Over the years Glass Candy have a massed a steady stream of tour CDR’s all issued in frustratingly small editions, but don’t worry if your weren’t lucky enough to bag anything first time round, as some devoted fan is offering most of them up for mass consumption through his/her site aptly called www.crystalmigraine.co.uk.

Stretching from early demos to some polished articles these dwlds give a neat plotted history of their tainted disco sound and supply you with a fantastic grounding for future developments, so when you’ve finished here you can start buying up their goodies and give them the riches they so rightly deserve.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The best card ever...

Hot Summer - The Young Knives

Birthday greetings from The Young Knives. How cool is that, a signed gatefold 7 inch hiding a lush bit of clear vinyl. Mr Olivetti luv yer

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Seek Locate Annihilate!

Exterminate

I'm a very lucky birthday boy...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Act IV (patience) and Fuzzy Lights CDR

Act IV (patience) – Mi & L’au

Act IV (patience) – Mi & L’au

First impressions were one of slight disappointment in comparison to Act II, with the absence of any lightly sketched song trapped in the amber this time round, but like its companion piece - the more you listen, the more is revealed. I like the way the murkiness of the recording feels akin to a fading cave painting, becoming a precious glimpse into this duos creative drive, and maybe an embryonic notebook of things to come…

It starts with submerged vegetation twisting with the current, gurgling syrupy hues smudging definition.

Muted gulls multiply, as fragments of guitar fall then slowly piece themselves together in free floating suggestions of tunes.

Wet motors elastically rebound to a falling ‘penny drenched’ fret scraping, then ambient clarity. Shimmering notes leisurely drip through, only to be cut short by heavily delayed fumbling ‘n’ fidgety fingers.

Backward strings push the volume threshold, until focused notes dribble back through in a beautiful structure like a twisting ballerina. These peter out to the tinny sound of sticks caught in a rotating bicycle wheel.

A humming echoed ache, flecks of solidity caught in the stretched thump of water. Shapes slip n slide like sunlight viewed from below water- dancing mercury.

Repetitive strings whirl around spiky textures, recoiling as they descend on a bouquet of bubbles… Cooing pigeons rapidly transform into baby monitor static, then moorland wind to silence.

Act IV (patience) – Mi & L’au

Makes your wonder what the other 10 acts sound like... and whatever happened to Act III?

Fuzzy Lights CDR 3Trk

The Fuzzy Lights

A lovely bit of chamber ambience (that’s in the classical sense) from Mi & L’au’s backing group and band in their own right – Fuzzy Lights. This short EP is full of bowed guitar and violin swells. Sort of reminds me of Godspeed or Esmerine with all that slow and majestic unfurling, but is probably more reminiscent of the Amateur soundtrack, with track three’s choral aspects capturing the comparison superbly. There’s lots of emotional attachment to be found here with an oddly optimistic slant that makes you hungry for more. The sound of falling stars and flickering candle light – simply lovely…

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mi and L'au , Tom Brosseau and Jonquil

Saturday 9th Sept @ The Cube Bristol

Jonquil

The first band ‘Jonquil’ was miss-billed as having a Brothers Quay aesthetic, but their music was not eccentric enough and was defiantly too upbeat folk/indie (for the most part), and too happy go lucky to qualify - liked ‘Shady song’ though as it possessed a pleasing Soft Machine sound.

Tom Brosseau

Tom Brosseau

Tom Brosseau was all 1920s / 30s depression songs full of suicide, loneliness and lucklessness through gritted teeth and wild eyes. His guitar work was superb and his delivery tinged in bitterness, this man felt for all those forgotten anonymous penned failings. The crooked tale of a farmer taking his own life in an attempt to reincarnate the warmth of a woman by bleeding into the soil was truly bizarre.

Mi

Mi and L'au

It’s been a whole year since I last saw Mi and L’au perform, and it’s obvious they haven’t been resting on their acoustic heritage too much. The sound has evolved from those fragile beginnings with the duo fleshing out their live performance with the addition of two extra members (who perform independently as a duo themselves under the name of The Fuzzy Lights) one violinist and an electric guitar soaked in a whole board of effects. They gave a ‘Cocteau Twins’ like shimmer and drawn out swell that neatly fitted round the sound, like a multi-coloured lustre or an accented echo slowly ebbing away with Mi and L’au soaring over the top - phoenix like.

L'au

Mi

They started in an experimental mood similar to the stuff that was on ACT II , a deep drone with semi-abstract finger-picks – the sound Lau was creating with his acoustic, sounded chillingly alien, my wife looked worryingly at me, as if to say she wasn’t going to enjoy this experience but luckily her fears dissolved as they launched into more familiar territory.

Mi and L'au

Mi had replaced her acoustic for a shiny electric but treated it the same, happily slowly picking out notes with her fingers and cross mixing her effects box from time to time. Skeletal, ghostly white she was like an apparition with vocals that seemed to come from some enchanted parallel universe. L’au, for the most part was hunched over his guitar, his hair plastering his face in shadow, whisky by his side. Fingers picked avant-shapes from the strings, or would go all classical, creating a beat and melody simultaneously with one hand, which was just amazing to watch. His voice a deep harmony to Mi’s as they presented some radical re-works off their YoungGods album – They Marry – The Philosopher – A beautifully measured version of Nude. Almost half the set was dedicated to new material showing the creative lights were still blazing strong. During the set, the duo’s eyes would meet and radiant smiles were their replies to each other - glad to see that touring hasn’t put a strain on their relationship.

Mi and L'au

The Cube management mindful of the 11pm residential curfew tried to cut their set short but after Lau complained – ‘they were just warming up’ – ‘and things like this take time to grow’ – They managed to squeezed in a few more tunes, all new apart from an awesome re-working of ‘the nipple song’ (please, please release this as a single Mr Gira). Mi’s vocals sometimes surprisingly angry, at one point deeply bellowing something about ‘don’t build yer towers here’ later wavering mesmerically on an absolutely beautiful track centred around ‘Your touch on my skin’.

Bloody wonderful songs of love from two people still happily finding their voice through each other, and great late night listening… if they grace these parts again I’ll be first in the queue, can’t seem to get enough of this stuff, guess I must be a romantic at heart.

Mi and Lau @ the Cube

Mi and L'au
Interesting developments in the Mi and L'au camp, but more on that when i've had a bit of shut eye... also another tour only CDR of semi-abstract guitarwork to get my ears around Act IV (patience) sorta starts were the other left off (expect i'll give this one a small write up too and maybe a few soundbites)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Wolf Eyes

The Driller EP - Wolf Eyes

Two new trks on this recent 12" from those ever prolific Wolf Eyes people. One tune from the forthcoming Sub-Pop LP, the follow up to the fabulously corrosive 'Burned Mind' and on the flip side an exclusive non album offering called 'Psychogeist'.

Although the uber-evil groaning of the 'A' side captured my imagination, personally the flip is the best side, showing a new filmic/soundtrack direction to their arsenal. A subtly chilled tension as opposed to blasting you into submission, this is real dark alley stuff with occasional metal clatter etc thrown in strategically to creep yer out in a 'Freddy's comin to get yer' stylee...

The Driller EP - Wolf Eyes