Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In Search Of Arcadia: Best Of 2008

Well this is a little impromptu... but as things have been going lately I'll be coming BACK to finish this post a little later. Right now Hype Machine wants my URL :)

EDIT: I'm almost done as the year is ending... BUT DON'T BE SURPRISED if it keeps changing right up until NYE lol!

I initially wrote that I wasn't pleased with music this year. Then I realized I was just in a god awful mood and remembered the boat loads of albums and singles that I loved this year! Suddenly there were more and more albums I was remembering and stuff I forgot about... so instead of being bitchy and writing about how lame things were, I'm perking up and trying to remind both you and myself how dope 2008 was...

British best of...
EDIT: Ok, I wasn't sure about this... but... I thought Radiohead didn't count because the digital version of "In Rainbows" came out like September last year. Then the boxed set came out in December 2007. Then I suddenly realized that the physical release actually came after the beginning of 2008! So if you recognize "In Rainbows" as being a 2008 release then that's my number one. If not then the list stays the same...
1. Portishead- "Third"
2. Hot Chip- "Made In The Dark" (download Hot Chip- "Sensual Seduction (Snoop Dogg Cover)")
3. The Black Ghosts- "S/t" (download Black Ghosts July 2007 Mini Mix)
4. Bloc Party- "Intimacy"
5. The Streets- "Everything Is Borrowed"
6. Foals- "Antidotes"
7. The Last Shadow Puppets- "Age Of Understatement"
8. Metronomy- "Nights Out" (download Metronomy - "A Thing For Me (Sinden Remix)" from the single of the same name)
9. Dizzee Rascal- "Maths & English" (came out in the U.S. this year which is fair play)
10. Benga- "Diaries Of An Afro Warrior"


Honourable Mentions:
The Chap- "Mega Breakfast"
Friendly Fires: "S/t"
The Whip- "X Marks Destination" (download The Whip- "Trash (South Central Remix)")
Supergrass- "Diamond Hoo Ha Man"
Late of the Pier- "Fantasy Black Channel" (not out in the U.S. til 2009; download Late of the Pier- "Space And the Woods (South Central Remix)")

Best Single:

Bloc Party's "Mercury" was my favourite single of the year. Not just because of awesome remixes from CSS and Flosstradamus but the mesmerizing b-side "Idea For A Story" (which was included on the 'indie retail' version of "Intimacy" in the U.S)... the song's tense anxious strings, it's menacing chorus, and perfect production made it stand out amongst a lot of good tracks this year. What really made it my fav though was the verse...
"When I saw you last night, I wanted to say,
`Run away with me, away from the cynics
That this could be the start of something truly real`
But all that I could say was, `hey`,
Was, `hey`, was, `hey`, was, `hey`"

...which is totally fucking brilliant in my opinion. Fantastic stuff. Now if only I could get my Bloc Party Pioneers account to present the right profile info lol...


Best Compilations: This is very difficult because pretty much everything that Fabric released was really really good. Perhaps... I'm gonna go with Fabriclive 42: FreQ Nasty and Stanton Warriors: Sessions Volume 3. There isn't a way to say one is better than the other because they were both phenomenal.
Here's a taste of that Stanton Warriors...


Best 'Best Of': Chemical Brothers: "Brotherhood" album (which came with the amazing 'Electronic Battle Weapon' tracks they've been releasing on vinyl for the last few years) was really awesome. I think I'm giving import copies of this away for Xmas lol... (download The Chemical Brothers- "Electronic Battle Weapon 8")

Best British labels: Hyperdub for sure. They haven't had one release that was anything less than bangin'... Fabric of course makes the list because they're outdoing what they did last year and keep expanding the scope of what they're doing.

Best U.S. label of the year: Ghostly International/Spectral Sound

Ghostly International/Spectral Sound for having released Michna, Osborne, Kate Simko, Tycho, School Of Seven Bells, JDSY, The Chap, and just about every other electronic or avant-pop record that you should have listened to at home or in the club.

Best E.P.s both U.S. and U.K...
Frankmusik- "3 Little Words EP"

JDSY- "Understander EP"
CTZN Machine - JDSY
The Cool Kids- "Bake Sale EP"
The Bake Sale EP


Best of the rest... of the world...
Kanye West- "808s & Heartbreak"
Osborne- "Osborne"
JDSY- "Adage Of Known"
Sébastien Tellier- "Sexuality"
The Presets- "Apocalypso"
Flying Lotus- "Los Angeles"
Lil Wayne- "Tha Carter III"
T.I.- "Paper Trail"
Cut Copy- "In Ghost Colours"
Crystal Castles- "S/t"
Satnogold- "S/t"


Albums I'm still waiting on (that I wish would have come out this year lol)...
Kid Sister- "Dream Date", The BPA album, and of course the Frankmusik's debut full length...

And even though we only JUST saw and EP this year out of him... ARTIST OF THE YEAR (and probably next year) easily goes to Frankmusik!

Vincent Frank is the summation of everything I've hoped I'd see in an electronic pop artist in my lifetime. His favourite film is Blade Runner (which obviously informs his aesthetic and his songs)... he does his own take on streetwear culture looking like an accessible dude you'd hang out with at Fabric... and at the same time can turn around and look, not just respectable in a gray wool coat, but enigmatic and distant. He can put out a cheerfully frustrated song like "Confusion Girl" and within months give us the wistful longing of "Done Done". With Stuart Price (aka Jaques Lu Cont/Les Rythmes Digitales) working with him on his full length album, after being at the helm for grip of very successful Madonna tunes, it's obvious that he will not just be 'one to watch' but he very well may be one to change the course of crossover pop music as we know it. Unlike some of his peers (if you can even call them that) who will only be remembered for one song, Vincent Frank will endure, and by my estimation end up being one of the most important and successful songwriters of our generation. So while his output was relegated to remixes, and freebies, this year he still outperformed nearly every new British artist in every way. From how he handled the press, to how you can't pin down what he's doing next, to the fact that I haven't met a person who didn't enjoy his music, he's without question the artist of the year. This typically enthusiastic review isn't because Frankmusik is a friend of Arcadia but because he is a much needed breath of fresh air in a sometimes dismal musical landscape. Check him out at The Heaths Of Thornton. So hats off you to Vincent...

Here's Frankmusik's remix of Teef...
Teef- "Take Em Out (Frankmusik Remix)"

Best Festival Of The Year: Is very obviously Lollapalooza.

I mean... how could it not be? We got to see Radiohead and KanYe rock the pants off insanely huge crowds, saw Spank Rock get like 10,000 college ho'bags nearly dropping their pants, Flosstradamus (on Curt's birthday none the less) and Franki Chan (and our once upon a time friend? Dani Deahl) wreck the dance tent, see Foals play to a group of people so large it was most likely unsafe and then have a chat afterwards about Ghostly International, and so many more awesome moments I can't even try to write about them. Believe it or not the only thing that sucked about it was that I was ripped on Morphine (due to a tooth infection, don't get it twisted) and some of the intensity of how cool it was disappeared before my tiny pupils could transmit the info to my brain. Even then we still had a ball! Veronica of Cream Team fame put the wife and I up for the weekend, which lead to going to Todd Kane's b-day party, watching an insane show with Hollywood Holt, Mic Terror, GLC, Skyler, and then chatting with the above people... we also got to avoid the velvet rope all weekend, even finding our way in to the sold out Battles/Foals show (for an interview that never materialized). And the only bad bits were that we were 3 feet away from my ex and her best friend at the entry gate on the first day (yeah, close one, as far as I can tell she didn't notice), that interview never happened, and I got a $100 parking ticket. But all things considered it doesn't get better than that. And I got to drink for once lol...

Best Concert: Bloc Party

Apparently Bloc Pary did well this year as far as this blog is concerned lol. Bloc Party in Royal Oak (around Detroit) was amazing. It was the first official show to tour in North America for 'Intimacy' and it was blazing. Charles (of 'The Spirit Of Albion' fame) and I stood really close to the stage and got to see all the kids mobbing Kele when we jumped into the crowd. Much different than their Lollapalooza gig but in a good way. The band were at their very best and of the three times I've seen them this was the one that proved they had their live show perfected. Runner Up: Hot Chip at The Metro.

Keep your eye on this page... I'm not quite done with this 'best of' thing... but I'm working on it!

Chemical Brothers Midnight Madness Widget!

The Futureheads Acoustic Live goods from 'They Shoot Music' Blog


Here's something fun I had wanted to post that I got from "They Shoot Music Don't They" in my mailbox the other day...

Here's part of the email detailing their Futureheads video...
"i guess the videos we filmed with THE FUTUREHEADS are our contribution to all the christmas-specials out there. you could even call it a christmas session if you want to, at least the part where singer Barry plays a line of "Oh Christmas Tree" and a huge christmas tree on a building is guest-starring in the video.

Barry climbed on the roof of the venue for the first song "Radio Heart" and left us stunned with the way he creates dynamics with just an acoustic guitar and his voice. for the second video "The Beginning Of The Twist", he walked along the nightly danube canal, obviously very amused about a guy who did some welding at the beginning of the song. i don't really know why. he seemed to like it."


Check out more at http://theyshootmusic.at/posts/The_Futureheads


Made me remember how much I enjoy that band! I hope you dig the THEY SHOOT MUSIC DONT THEY Videoblog and enjoy what they have to offer in the future. Enjoy your Xmas/Holiday!

Olli Collins- "Counting Electric Sheep" tracks...


I fucking love Blade Runner. Greatest movie ever made.

I watched it like a month ago and, if could, I'd watch it again this afternoon. That movie helped make me the person I am today... I first saw it in 4th grade, along with 1984 (which despite it being one of my favourite books, I actually don't remember at all; somehow I do have the Eurythmics soundtrack for it though on vinyl lol), and it changed my view of the world. I listened to the soundtrack every night before bed, dreaming of a world that matched the insides of my head... and obviously other people felt as fond of the music and the movie, to the degree that it changed the world itself!

Blade Runner is often sited as the visual representation of Detroit techno and was strongly embraced by the genre's originators (as Detroit looks like a bombed out futuristic hell). It's hard to find Detroit techno artists that haven't made some mention of it at some point (listen to Carl Craig's amazing Essential Mix that starts and ends with passages from the movie) , and equally as hard to find anime movies that don't make some mention of it or nod to it (see Akira, Ghost In The Shell, Bubblegum Crisis, etc)...

Of course, it came from the brilliant (paranoid) mind of Phillip K Dick, originally entitled "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" in it's print form. The movie somewhat drastically altered the premise and story without making an abomination; in fact they did a great job at creating the alternate universe that these characters inhabited. A world that many people can relate to (even if some of it's technology potentially a hundred years away)...

Why mention all this? Well Olli Collins obviously got bitten by the Blade Runner bug as his new album is called "Counting Electric Sheep". He makes electro tracks that... well, just calling them electro isn't fair they're so dope. And they for sure will be seen as another great work added to the countless other works of art influenced by the greatest story on earth...

Here's a little more press to let you know what's up...
DJ, producer and Eleven Recordings record label boss, Olli Collins looks set to slay the dancefloors with his upcoming debut album, "Counting Electric Sheep", featuring 12 sonic blasts of electro grit mastered at Alchemy Studios, Soho.

Like the bastard child of Modeselektor, Booka Shade and Slagsmalklubben (a love triangle not at odds with Collins eclectic and layered sound), Ollis debut offering features catchy funk-rock-tinged licks that would sit with aplomb on any Get Physical compilation.

In a career that has taken him from working as a sound engineer at Bagleys to resident DJ for MTV in Ibiza and stints at clubs including Space, The Cross, Ministry Of Sound and Pacha, Olli has become a widely respected DJ.

Counting Electric Sheep grips the listener immediately with captive opener Rain; an electric storm, featuring the pitter-patter of rain interspersed with swathes of sub-bass and punchy electronic leads. The albums grip refuses to yield as the listener is taken through a journey of 11 more compelling tracks, featuring the superb Slug, Sundown and Dreamseeker that buzzes and glows, making this album the essential soundtrack to any after-dark excursion.


Olli Collins- "Another World"

Olli Collins- "Daybreak"

Check out more at www.myspace.com/ollicollins

It's some good shit... consider it an early Christmas present lol. I'll try to be back as quick as I can... although I think you know we're ALL a little busy at the moment... cheers!

P.s. I never get to take time to talk about anything other than music so I'm going to allow myself to have some fun with this...

The cultural references to Blade Runner and "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" seem endless. It's hard to even know where to start...

Let me say that if you HAVEN'T seen it I suggest starting with the "Final Cut" version. Before that, the best version you could get your hand on was the "1991 Directors Cut" version which omitted the original narration from Harrison Ford. The original was dismissed when it was released as a flimsy Star Wars knock off because, in it's attempt to gain a solid commercial foothold, it had Harrison Ford giving an awful blow by blow of everything that was happening in the movie (this original version also had a "happy ending" void of the existential dread in the directors cut). Taking this narration out, and returning the original more 'carpe diem' ending, added the the vast space and anxiety in the film (making it more thought provoking and artistically stunning). Whether it was just the stark futuristic eye candy of the original, or the mind bending existential dilemma's of the directors cut, the movie has influenced many many many artists in both film and music...

Where shall we start... Well first off, one of the things that drew me to Frankmusik was him siting his music as "Blade Runner pop"... One of the more popular references that people recognize is is White Zombie's "More Human Than Human" single... there have been a few bands called the Replicants... Photek's "Modus Operandi" album had songs whose key components were background noise from the Blade Runner film, and often while interviewing him, or writing articles people would site the movie or use it's imagery to accompany his sounds... let's see, what else... there's a line in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind where they say something line for line from Blade Runner (presumably because both movies deal with memory)... there was actually a Japanese Porno movie called "I.K.U." that is set in the same universe as Blade Runner (I used to own it and I gotta say, if you want something truly obscene this isn't going to be your thing; it's more of a visually stunning slice of smut).

I could go on and on... but you see the significance of this cultural phenomenon :)


Just in case you have never had the pleasure of seeing this brilliant film here are a couple clips...

Here was the trailer for the souped up, 20 years in the making, "Final Cut"


Here's the original (very long) trailer for the film...

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Exclusive FABRICLIVE Jack Beats NYE Mix and free 'Crammed' downloads!


Here's an exclusive mix from Jack Beats which was done for Fabric in anticipation of Fabriclive's New Years Eve party. This one should have you going from Christmas all the way to NYE for sure :) Make sure to check out who is playing as the line up in bonkers awesome!

Jack Beats Fabriclive Mix

Here's the tracklisting...
digitalism - home zone (proxy remix)
laid back luke & atrak - shake it down
hot chip - touch too much (fake blood remix)
dj mujava - township funk (boy 8 bit remix)
dj mehdi - pocket piano (joakim "piano debout" remix)
mr oizo - gay dentists
mystery jets - half in love (foamo remix)
??unknown??
audio bullies - dope fiend (tommie sunshine and udachi remix)
project bassline - drop the pressure (jack beats remix)
herve - who da champ
ac slater - jack got jacked (jack beats remix)
tc - wheres my money (caspa remix : Jack beats re-work)
what
giggle riddim
skream - thik
chase & status - saxon


And here's the info on the NYE gig...
31 DECEMBER
ROOM ONE:
Craig Richards, Terry Francis, Dixon, Âme, Mike Shannon, Matt Tolfrey

ROOM TWO:
DJ Yoda, DJ Craze, Scratch Perverts, Jackbeats, Patchwork Pirates

ROOM THREE:
Toddla T & MC Serocee, 2562, Tayo, The Heatwave, Moody Boyz




Kasai Allstars

On a completely different note I've also got a culturally diverse heap of music to throw your way. Crammed has been bringing global electronic fusion for years and they want to share some of this awesomeness with you this holiday season! Below are some free tracks with a little press on each one to give you an idea for flavour. I suggest you check out the larger selection of free tracks that they're offering by clicking on the link below!

"Long before the internet began collapsing the boundaries between musical cultures for those ready to explore a little, Crammed was doing it anyway. Proudly cosmopolitan, the Brussels-based label has continuously reinvented itself, and has come up with new forms of fusion, mixing elements of rock, world music, pop and electronica ever since its inception in the early '80s. Never a label to be pigeonholed, Crammed has often anticipated musical movements and still continues to do so.

Crammed Crash Course is a free download compilation, given away through the label's online shop, which offers an exhilarating 13-track taster of the musical journeys Crammed has undertaken: from the Balkans to North and Central Africa, from South America to the Middle East as well as the more regular musical pastures of the US and Europe, a lot of territory has been covered... and there's more exciting adventures to come in 2009.

Crammed Crash Course features tracks by Konono N°1, Lonely Drifter Karen, Suba vs Zero dB, Allá, Tuxedomoon, Cibelle vs Kocani Orkestar, Shantel, Kasai Allstars, Taraf de Haidouks, DJ Dolores, Think Of One, Mahala Rai Banda and Balkan Beat Box."


Crammed Greed Bag is where you ought to go to get these tracks... but if you need a little inspiration here's a couple tracks to whet your whistle :)

Kasai Allstars - "Kafuulu Balu"
From the same 'Congotronics' series that brought you Konono No.1 come this 25-strong collective, with a track from their debut album (deep breath..) "In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic" - currently popping up in 'Best Of The Year' lists the world over!


Lonely Drifter Karen - "The Angels Sigh"
This pan-European, piano-led pop trio released their sublime debut album "Grass Is Singing" this year (from which this is a melancholy standout), and home listeners, critics and crowds alike swooned in praise.


Cibelle vs Kocani Orkestar - "Maxutu"
A classic Crammed soundclash, with acclaimed leftfield Anglo-Brazilian chanteuse Cibelle - whose third album for Crammed is expected to drop some time in '09 - reworking a track by the funkiest Balkan band (and favourites of Zach "Beirut" Condon) Kocani Orkestar, who, with third Crammed album "The Ravished Bride", provided a swinging, brass-propelled soundtrack to the Autumn just gone.

Ok guys, sorry I haven't been able to write much but there's so much coming in so quick and I'm trying to get it up for you all! Hope you're all enjoying the holidays :)

BY MASSIVE REQUEST (Repost): Blur- "Wassailing Song"


Wowzers. I mean, I know I hunt down Christmas songs this time of year for my 'Very Indie Christmas' mixtapes... but this song is OUT OF CONTROL! The demand for this thing is wild, and strangely enough, it doesn't seem to have really made the rounds in the blogosphere.

Here's info on the release itself...
BLUR The Wassailing Song (Ultra rare 1992 UK Food/Parlophone Records one-sided 7" vinyl single which was available only at a Salvation Army venue gig and limited to just 500 copies! - Credited on the label as 'Presented And Arranged By Gold Frankincense And Blur', this is without doubt one of the biggest indie rarities ever...

More info from http://www.damon-albarn.com...
"Wassailing Song" is a limited edition single that was given away at a special Christmas gig. Food Records had advised them against doing the gig, but Blur did it anyway. The song is an old Christmas hymn, and the title refers to a wassailing bowl, which was used to drink punch. Only 500 copies of the record were made. The record is unique in the Blur discography for being the only one that features vocals from all four members of the band. Damon sings the first verse, Graham the second, Dave the third and Alex the last verse. All four sing the chorus."

Interesting to say the least... well after repetitious demand I give you "Wassailing Song"... record companies? Please don't c&d me. You can't get this record anywhere...

Blur- "Wassailing Song"
Apparently this song crapped out right after I posted it... or like 100 people downloaded it that fast lol... so I'll repost as fast as I can :)
Blur- "Wassailing Song" REUP

While I'm at it apparently the Sun had this to say...

"Alternative rock band ‘Blur’ is reportedly set to reunite and perform at Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts.

Rockers Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree, who have been missing from the music scene as a band since their 2003 tour, are expected to soon confirm their reunion.

The British pop group, which had suffered a row between Damon and Graham that resulted in the axe man’s departure in 2002, is said to be coming back together at 2009’s Glastonbury before doing their own show in London’s Hyde Park in July.

“It was the reunion many thought would never happen. Graham and Damon’s relationship had become toxic by 2002. But they’ve patched up their differences and are friends again,” British tabloid The Sun quoted a source as saying.

“The group have done some rehearsals and are all chuffed with the results. They’ve decided is the time to go back out on the road,” the source added. (ANI)"


I'll believe that when I see it lol...

Merry Christmas and happy holidays you Arcadia readers :)

THE BPA: Toe Jam video competition!



I hope some of you went out there and made me proud by doing up your own BPA "Toe Jam" remix... personally I was tied up with work and the aforementioned Frankmusik remix that won't see the light of day for a while lol. If you didn't get the chance to knock that out of the park, or your forte is more in the visual arena, well I've got something special for ya...

Here's the press...
The BPA has teamed up with Dailymotion and go live with a NEW contest: a video competition. We all went crazy this summer with the incredibly novel "Toe Jam" video, so here's a chance for everyone to crack out their video/editing skill set and figure out a new frame for Cook, Byrne and Dizzee to do their Toe Jam. So, head on over to the contest site http://www.dailymotion.com/group/toejam and check out the details!

So what are you waiting for? Get on it! Once again, I need somebody out there to say I put them on some life changing stuff lol... do it up! But seriously, I look forward to what everyone comes up with.

On another note, the album "I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat" is so damn awesome I can't see how it could do anything less than be a crazy huge album all over the globe. I mean, America doesn't tend to catch on to 'dance albums', but this is not a dance album... it's a multi genre, multi artist, totally different approach to a musical project that no doubt will do well here in the States as well as abroad. But that's just my initial two cents. I'm sure you're all counting down the days til the release! It's worth the wait, trust me on that...

Here's some links... be back in a few!

www.thebrightonportauthority.com
www.myspace.com/thebpa
www.facebook.com/pages/The-BPA-The-Brighton-Port-Authority/32384090644
www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWAl31G-f1E

Friday, December 19, 2008

WTF... Vice Magazine Hates Frankmusik?



Ok, I like Vice Magazine. I do.

I used to download the PDFs and put them on my work computer because the people I worked for thought the internet was like a Porn Portal of Sin and locked us out of it (which was not really a problem because I just routed our connection thru a Chinese server and viola, had the internet... which ironically wouldn't pull up Vice Magazine). So, whilst calling the angry homeowner masses, I would peruse Vice and wish that I wrote for them.

They gave me a shitload of tickets to Intonation Festival... and truthfully? The top of the food chain has always been easy for me to get a hold of (not the staff for some reason but, it tends to be like that. If it were in the entertainment industry you could get God on the phone if you wanted, but not Jesus lol)... so I mean, all things considered, I enjoy Vice, and I have no problem with their staff either... up until today...

Why, pray tell, did they feel the need to use Frankmusik as an example of someone who "not good enough yet"? I mean, I can understand if it's not your taste but, really? He's probably the most exciting development in British pop music since the Klaxons. There are like LOADS AND LOADS AND LOADS of people to pick on... so fucking many (in fact there's a Frankmusik 'lite' walking around who has made a huge name for himself who seems to be a perfect target)... so why Frankmusik?

Is it because in an age where NO ONE can get a record deal Frankmusik did, and not ONLY did that, but also attracted the interest of Stuart Price (another guy who was WAY before his time... go back and listen to the LRD remix of Deejay Punk Roc's "My Beatbox") almost ensuring that releasing anything at all would put him in the top 10? Is it because he's slated to have a fucking bonkers huge album, and that it will actually BE good?

There has, to this date, been only one Frankmusik track that I was sort of "ehhhh" about (and that was his cover of "Missing" by Everything But The Girl, a song I could really go the rest of my life without hearing because I've heard it more times than I've heard my own name). It wasn't that his version was bad, it's that even though I'm an EBTG fan, I just can't stand that song. Frankmusik basically can't write a bad song... even his 'interpolation' of The Stranglers "Golden Brown", an idea that would make me question the sanity of most artists (because it's dangerous to play around with well known beloved songs), was fucking dope. I mean Boys Noize sat down and mixed it with him it was so good!

I mean really? What songs aren't "good enough"? HIS DEMOS ARE BETTER THAN MOST PEOPLE'S FINISHED ALBUMS! In fact when he sent me over some tracks and said "Oh this one's going to be free on my site" I thought "You must be fucking crazy because outside of bitrate these songs sound like album quality"... The guy is really polite, gives a shit about his fans, is friendly with the press, is pretty open about who he is as a person instead of trying to play a role... basically Frankmusik and Vincent Frank appear to be the same person... unlike the hordes of artists who are super nice on the screen and are fucking pricks in real life. Frankmusik is a guy who can go from playing a massive venue with big names to playing piano in a room with thirty people and still act the same.

So, I guess ultimately it comes down to one person's opinion... one that happened to get published. But unless you've got personal beef with Vince I can't see the point of the shit talking. Other than this I don't have problems with Vice but next time you wanna take shots at someone? Take shots at someone whose hype outweighs their capabilities. THIS PERSON IS NOT FRANKMUSIK. Nuff said.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lily Allen's OFFICIAL "Womanizer", as well as video goodies from The Fratellis and more!


Ahhhh yes... as we near the all the Holidays... Chrismukkah, Festivus, and the other ones people celebrate... we're seeing lots of goodies come from our musical friends.

First off... both Lily Allen and Ladyhawke have been getting blogged about like CRAZY for their covers of Britney Spears' "Womanizer" track. I got an email letting me know that the Lily Allen version wasn't even the finished product. Lily is never one to let down on a cover, so here you go... this is the OFFICIAL version :)



EDIT: Had to take down "The Fear" videogame... not because it wasn't cool... but because the flash game was slowing down my crappy 2001 Mac and I didn't like music popping up when people visited. So I still love you Lily! But I couldn't keep that up :(

While we're going for video treats we've got The Fratellis on board here as well. Cherrytree Records has got some nice intimate performances from some big names, with more to come... for good measure (due to her immense popularity) I'll post the Feist one as well (even though she isn't British)...


And here's Feist... giving you the low down on "1-2-3-4"...


Peep these as well if you like...
Noah and The Whale - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2Hj7K7W1eE
Tokio Hotel - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uc5nMlCczk

Ah yes... well I have work to do.. just thought I'd give you some nuggets of cheer and then get back to the grind. And I still have like 10 billion inches of snow to drive through!

BTW, On another completely different note... after getting back in the spirit of Zombie movies (because doesn't Christmas make you think of zombies? With the mall and all?) I have to say that MARVEL ZOMBIES: Dead Days has been one of the most fun 'adult' oriented comics I've read in a while. I picked it up from B&N and it's such a fun read. To those of you who still have a little dork left in you (of come on, you fucking watch Heroes, and I'm sure you saw The Dark Knight at least three times; stop pretending you're not a geek) I'd say it's a good place to get back into mature themed comics without feeling like a total loser. Next on my list is Watchmen before the movie comes out... but first I have to read some normal books or my wife is gonna kill me. Ok, be back as soon as I can!

Oh yeah, while we're in Dorkville...

Monday, December 15, 2008

EXCLUSIVE FABRICLIVE MIX from Hannah Holland!



Alright then! Hope you guys had a good weekend. Yours truly had a... well... cough... see, I was sort of trying to do this remix of Frankmusik's "3 Little Words (due today I believe)... and my Macbook crashed. Completely. So thankfully I have a old backup Powerbook G4 right? Welllll... It doesn't even have a gig of RAM. So, I try to start up the RAM sucking production programs, and I get started only to notice my Sony studio headphones won't stay on!

So, because I desperately wanted to get this remix done, I went out and bought new SkullCandy headphones (which are great by the way) seeing as the $300 Sony ones plastic broke... and I came back home and went to work... Only to have the G4 crash out over and over. The vocal was sucking so much power that I thought "Ok, I can mute the vocal and keep getting the melodies all sorted out, then I'll go back in and add new synths and touch up the sound AND DO THE DRUMS"... And after many hours of work and running around buying new headphones and everything else... the computer could no longer handle the workload and POOF... that was it.

So bottom line was I got the foundation of the track done and that was as far as I could take it. Very very upsetting. One day you'll hear the full version with drums and all that... I'm not even sure I am willing to stream it here because it's still so rough. I guess be on the look out :)

ANYWAYYYYYY... while we're on the topic of remixes, remember that awesome Hannah Holland remix of VV Brown that I posted a couple months back? Well Hannah has done an exclusive mix for Fabriclive! It's pretty eclectic and I really dig the selection... I've been hearing her name more and more so I'd say that she's for sure one to keep your eye on! Also, make sure you GO TO THE SHOW ON FRIDAY to catch her and Skream, Plump DJs, Duke Dumont, and a whole bunch of other awesome peeps... as always Fabric does it best...

Here's some press...
"This week at FABRICLIVE we have the Plump DJs Headthrash back with a full takeover of all room three rooms. In celebration of her performance this Friday Hannah Holland has done FABRICLIVE an exclusive mix."

1. "THE BIG STEF" – SOLO 2. WHAT CANTO IS IT? - MIKE MONDAY BOOTLEG 3. MY ANGELIC DEMONS - JUSTIN MARTIN 4. CHOP - BINGO PLAYERS 5. GENERATION NOISE FEAT. BOOGSHE (AFROJACK REMIX) - LAIDBACK LUKE, ROMAN SALZGER 6.GET UP (DIPLO RMX) - BINGO PLAYERS 7. RHYTHM INSURANCE - CHAIM 8. TANZBOMBE (ROBAG WRUHME REMIX) - ROBAG WRUHME, PASCAL FEOS 9. THE CUT - BENGA 10. FLOOR DEM - CASPA

Hannah Holland Fabriclive Mix


19 DECEMBER

ROOM ONE:
PLUMP DJS PRESENT HEADTHRASH...
Plump DJs, Japanese Popstars (LIVE), Justin Robertson, Meat Katie, Sick Rick

ROOM TWO:
PLUMP DJS PRESENT HEADTHRASH...
Skream, Duke Dumont, Tayo, Hannah Holland, Reso

ROOM THREE:
PLUMP DJS PRESENT HEADTHRASH...
Slyde, General Midi, Plaza De Funk, Drum Monkeys, Beat Assassins


Just as I bonus I'm going to repost that Hannah Holland remix of VV Brown!

VV Brown- "Crying Blood (Hannah Holland Remix)"

While I'm at it... I thought I'd share this years Christmas card with you. Now, for those of you who know me, I'm rather tame at present but in the past hellion wouldn't even begin to touch on my behaviour. But I'd since I've cleaned up my act I had always wanted to do something REALLY outlandish for a Christmas card in jest (like me frazzled with a crack pipe and a Santa hat or something... NOT THAT I'VE EVER DONE THAT SORT OF THING). However, I have my wife and her family to think about, so we decided to still do something funny (and obviously staged) with a "Nice & Naughty" Christmas card.

Nice...




And...............






Naughty ;) Hehehehehe


SO MERRY F^%&ING CHRISTMAS ASSH*LES! Hehehehehe No, but seriously, thank you all for your support and big up to all the people who have made this blog part of their lives and have taken the time to help me out (or share their time with me)... that goes for you readers, as well as Vince, Oli, Theo & Simon, GTA, Heads We Dance, Toddla T, Robert Koch, Acid Kids, Markus Lange, Mike from Dead Kids, FreQ Nasty, Larry Tee, JDSY, Dot Allison, Princess Superstar, Treasure Fingers, Acid Girls, Outputmessage, Foals & Bang On, South Central, Kilowatt, Boys Noize, James at Fabric (as well as the whole Fabric family), Anna & James, Zoe, my homie Gabriella at EMI who always has me covered, David Lennon, The Projects, Saturna, The Joy Formidable, all you people I interviewed... Dom, Darshan, Graeme, James & Jas, Howie B, FreQ Nasty (tks for putting me in your blog bro, I'll buy you a drink next time you're in Chicago)... as well as anyone I forgot :) I'll keep updating this thank you as I remember more people, check back... and please keep your eye on the ever changing "best of 2008" list! Thanks for stopping by, come back soon!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Another Count & Sinden Mini-Mix!



Things are crazy busy! So crazy busy that I've fallen behind on interviews, reviews, remixes, and living. But don't fear... because... well actually there's no reason to not fear. I guess worry as much as I am if you want... BUT you can shake off those worries over at On The Rocks... read below...

"This Thursday night (11th Dec) once again sees On The Rocks in Shoreditch, London be taken over by The Count and Sinden for Mega Mega Mega. This is the final of a four week residency and if you haven't made it down to one already you shouldn't miss your chance. This week the guest DJs include Mistajam and Sunship plus The Count aka Hervé will be rocking a special one-off set specially prepared for the night."

The Count & Sinden Mini Mix

TRACKLIST:
DANIEL MERRIWEATHER - LETS RIDE (FEAT WALE) (THE COUNT'S DOING IT REMIX) (SONY)
THE COUNT AND SINDEN - BEEPER (SUNSHIP REMIX) (DOMINO)
SUNSHIP FEAT WARRIOR QUEEN - QUITS (SINDEN REMIX) (CDR)
MACHINES DONT CARE - ON A ROLL (MACHINES DONT CARE)
YO MAJESTY - CLUB ACTION (SUNSHIP REMIX) (DOMINO)
MACHINES DONT CARE - BEAT BANG (MUJAVA REMIX) (HERVE EDIT) (MACHINES DONT CARE)


And if that doesn't make you feel better? Well, perhaps you should go see a doctor and discuss your issues with depression. OK... be back in a few!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

THE BPA WANT YOU... to remix "Toe Jam"!



Remember the days when your aspiring DJ/producer self said "Man, if I could only get the vocal/instrumental to this song I could totally do a remix better than DJ Whoever! Man I'd never be so lucky..."

Well, along with the handiness of Web 2.0, and the different chatter and cultural changes across the various intrawebs your time to shine has become a regular occurrence! So much so that I don't even have time to remix all the songs I get stems for (regardless of deadlines you'll still see a "3 Little Words" remix and a State Crime "Reckoner" remix outta me before the end of this decade lol)...

With all that said, The BPA "Toe Jam" remix contest is in full effect! You now have the chance to remix the arguably the biggest hit of the year right from your bedroom/dormroom/basement/bunker and actually get your name out there...

Check out the contest site or see the recent posts from two of the concert sponsors BIGSTEREO and Discobelle for more on this shinfig....

Unlike SOME remix contests this one is a freebie! All the individual tracks are there for you to use however you wold like. The best part of all this is that the winners will be chosen by Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim), himself! He's a fucking cool guy, he is, so I'm sure he's open to that Gabber techno remix you're thinking up right now lol... I mean you may not win but at least he might hear it ;)

Completed remixes must be received on or by January 1, 2009. There's already one remix DONE so obviously you need to step up your game right now... especially because if I'm not going to win this damn thing... one of you needs to! And then tell me that you won because I yelled at you. This will validate my existence!

This will be a repost now... I'm not sure they'd want me posting the single again but I'm sure everyone's cool with the 'Database Remix' filling in the uninitiated...

The BPA- "Toe Jam (Database Remix)"

The BPA- "Toe Jam (Database Remix)" YSI

Just in case you're coming in late on this one here's the best video of the year hands down of the track you're about to remix...


Ok, go out and make me proud!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Fabriclive 43: Get Familiar... Sinden Interview!



I had the pleasure of interviewing Sinden recently for his Fabriclive 43: Get Familiar disc (which is baller I might add). It was one of the most relaxed and enjoyable interviews I've ever done. If he's ever within the tri-state radius you better bet I'm going to go buy the man a drink. We got to cover a lot of topics from preparing a mix, to female rappers, to the future of dubstep... and along the way stumbled across the most daft name for a 'musical genre' I've ever heard... read on...

Sinden: Hey what's good how are you doing?

ISoA: I'm doing pretty well, and yourself?

Sinden: Pretty good man, pretty good.

ISoA: Good to hear, good to hear. Hey I was gonna say, I really enjoyed this new CD because you give a lot of hiphop stuff right off the bat and then a lot of great dance tracks, dubstep, grime, bassline and then you switch it all up again musically without sounding wildly all over the place and fragmented. Did it feel risky at all when you were putting it together?

Sinden: Yeah, it did in a way actually. There's this little bunch of people who still associate me with a certain sound. And so I really want to kinda, with this mix, clear the air with it and just say like 'it's not what you're expecting'. Like some people know I'm all about pushing new sounds from around the world, like it's especially important with bassline stuff, and so it's kind of cool to just set the record straight and say 'this is what I'm about'.

ISoA: Did you find it difficult to catch the vibe of your club night on one single CD?

Sinden: It was kind of difficult because you only have a certain amount of time to play with, and tracks and stuff, so you do feel that you have to chuck a lot of stuff in there. But like you say, you have to really flow, and you can't just put this track next to this track if it doesn't work... so it's all about trying to make it really cohesive and make it flow... like put a bunch of tracks next to each other that compliment each other and then kind of move up tempo wise slightly. But that was the challenge to put this wildly eclectic club night into one CD!

ISoA: Yeah I imagine that wouldn't be easy at all. I was going to ask you, when you play in the U.S. do you play similar stuff to what you play when you're in the U.K.? Or do you cater it more? Because I know that U.S. audiences can be notoriously difficult...

Sinden: Yeah, I've gotta say, I was in the U.S. last week and I found I had to sort of adapt really. Like you can't play... there's definitely things that you can't play over there that you could play over here! And it's not like it is a bit of compromise but I'm not compromising too much. Especially with kind of more U.K.-centric stuff, but even Europe is like that... some of this music hasn't moved or traveled there yet.

ISoA: Yeah I guess dubstep has within pockets of mostly DJ kids and baseline hasn't hit over here at all lol...

Sinden: Bassline has barely reached London let alone America! It's such a Northern sound even over here!

ISoA: Hell, I didn't even know what it was until Simon Reynolds wrote about it! Then I realized I was missing out on something. I was reading something where you said 'now that people are downloading more people are starting to appreciate more genres of music it makes my job as a DJ much easier'... do you feel now, a couple years later, that it's also shortened the shelf life of new tracks to a degree?

Sinden: Yeah, I totally agree. I was saying this recently, I've been thinking about it, it's almost like people get tracks too early and they don't really stick around for that long. Like there's this whole thing about 'it's old because it's been on the blogs for a few months before it's been released'. And like when things are leaked early... I mean I have tracks in my box that I still play and it doesn't matter if they were made 6 months or a year ago, it sounds good to me, it's a good track! And I think kids are getting, they're getting ahead of themselves especially when they're trying to find the new thing or the new track and they sort of forget about these other tracks that are just as important.

ISoA: I think it's sort of unfortunate because while there's some joy in hunting down new tracks, it's unfortunate because people are unwittingly giving away pre-release tracks because some of these peer to peer downloading programs where people don't even realize they're giving them away. It's not just the blogs...

Sinden: Yeah, with the peer to peer... I'd be pissed if my album was on there and it got leaked early!

ISoA: I would be too I'd wanna kill somebody! *laughing*

Sinden: Yeah I know! *laughing*

ISoA: I was going to say, on the note of new music, there have been loads and loads of new labels and loads of new names slapped on to new music... I know Josh from Flosstradamus was using the term Zunestep the other day...

Sinden: Josh, he's on some new level, he is...

ISoA: What's the weirdest name that you've come across in the last couple years?

Sinden: There's got to be some good ones. I heard someone talk the other day about Midget House...

ISoA: *bursting out laughing*

Sinden: So, you've got like figet house, and you've got like all the midget house which is like more more micro. So it's like the more minimal fidget house records because its more micro it's midget house. That made me laugh. It's where the basslines aren't so... they're still big but the drum and everything is minimal like a techno record or something.

ISoA: Well maybe that will be the next REALLY big thing *laughing*... I was gonna say DJs like yourself have helped pave the way for the hiphop dance crossover, which even a few years seemed like it could never make a comeback. Do you think it's something that will stick this time and maybe even integrate itself with mainstream music?

Sinden: Yeah you can kind of see that with hiphop happening with... well all the Rihanna tracks that have been really big over here on the radio have fit into dance stations really well. They're really like dance records and I think... oh and that NeYo tune too... it's kind of like a dance record. I think maybe more producers might be tempted to go down that route, and definitely dance producers have been flirting with hiphop more. Like sort of rap house crossovers seem to be coming back, not just in the mainstream but independently as well. Hopefully yeah this time it will cement itself more. I mean over here dance music and hiphop are kind of in bed together really most of the itme especially with the garage scene and drum and bass which comes from MC culture. You can't go out raving without hearing MCs, or like rap tracks mixed with dance music...

ISoA: Yeah I think it's interesting because it's starting to carry over to some mainstream U.S. tracks. I know Darshan Jesrani from Metro Area was mentioning that producers are willing to embrace the idea, and they wanna make 4/4 tracks, while radio programmers still aren't willing to put it on the radio...

Sinden: I think the U.S. has an issue with it. I think people have an issue with dance music.

ISoA: Yeah, it all stems back to disco and the homophobia but that's not there in the U.K.

Sinden: EXACTLY! There were a couple people who I was speaking to they were like "Yeah people just think, It's common to think it's fag music, you know it's just gay music". But it's a very different perception in Europe just because it's not out of the ordinary for a dance tune the biggest tune in the pop charts or whatever.

ISoA: Well it's also not odd for really really macho dudes to go raving every weekend over there!

Sinden: And it's a shame really that there's that sort of hang up.

ISoA: Yeah yeah... well! On another note I was going to ask you, during this most recent dance hiphop crossover period there have been a lot of female rappers that have made it. Any guess as to why people are now more receptive to female rappers?

Sinden: That's kind of interesting. I dunno man... maybe the recent wave of female rappers have stood out more. Maybe they're bringing back the attitude more. I mean where you're talking about M.I.A. and Amanda Blank and Kid Sister and stuff, they're kinda more sassy, they're kind of edgier and they're not just rapping they're doing their own spin on it. So I think it's an interesting time... Yo Majesty too, they're kind of all unique rappers, they're not just doing what male rappers are do, they're asserting themselves more and the more characters like that, I think, the better it's going to be and it'll open up more doors.

ISoA: Speaking of female rappers... I'm sure this question has been asked 10,000 times before so bare with me... but what happened between the original version of "Beeper" and the Kid Sister version of "Beeper"?

Sinden: Ok, so, that track really started off as a kind of a fun, quite accidental track where I found the FamLay acapela and we based the beat around it. Once that record started to get picked up on the dance stations over here and it crossed over more and people knew about it we just thought 'this track really has the chance to cross over'... but the thing is, with the sampling thing, it could only go so far so we thought we really need to re-vocal this because there were a lot of labels interested but they wouldn't touch it with that acapella, it just wouldn't work. So, that's when we started to look at artists we could get on there. And then through A-Trak, the link with him, we meet Kid Sister who was just starting to make some tracks like "Damn Girl" and "Pro Nails" and was starting to make some waves so... she was just the natural person to get on it.

ISoA: You've collaborated with a lot of people, is there anyone you'd like to work with that you haven't been able to yet?

Sinden: Diplo and me were talking about doing something, so that would be a quite interesting angle, that would be quite mad. There are loads of high profile people. I'm trying to think of something more interesting. It's almost more challenging to find someone everyone's forgotten about and bring them back, you know? Like we just started collaborating with Ms Dynamite which is going to be really fun. I would have said Ms Dynamite for that question but that's kind of happening! That someone who came out when she was really young and changed the game, and now working with her is the most exciting thing happening in a minute. She's an absolute legend. She's cool...

ISoA: I'm looking forward to hearing that. Hey, what advice would you give to kids who are trying to make it out here in this difficult musical landscape?

Sinden: I'd say stick to your guns all the way. And try to innnovate... if you have a sound that's really unique then really just go with it. The reason that people aren't getting out there is because they're kind of carbon copies of things that are already happening and the thing is the producers who are already out there are doing it are doing it better! So maybe the thing is to just stick to your guns and create your own scene independently, don't wait for people to notice you... do it for yourself.

ISoA: There's sort of been that problem with dubstep a little... I mean there's still innovation but some people have said if it doesn't change it may suffer the same fate as drum n'bass...

Sinden: Yeah there is that problem is because people are going for that 'wobble'... wobblers they call them. And I think the stuff that's standing out more is the deeper techno stuff. Benga was saying in an interview more and more people from other scenes are coming into it but they're not really sort of providing anything different. But at least when you hear people like Appleblim and that sort of stuff, that deeper sort of stuff is standing out more, like Pervelist and stuff like that.

And then we went on to talk about mutual friends and pulling an prank on Herve which I don't need to reprint. But there you have it! Go cop FABRICLIVE 43: Switch and Sinden present Get Familiar out in stores now! And, also, hit me up if you figure out what the *%&^ Zunestep is lol...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Lily Allen presents new song 'The Fear' off "It's Not Me, It's You"


It's not often I post about stuff without an MP3... but I've really been digging this new Lily Allen stuff off her new album. I really enjoyed the Mark Ronson style but I really think the remix ready sound is better suited to what she's singing about now... certainly it will get her more over all play because it can make it on both the radio and the club speakers! I really want the whole album NOW but it looks like I have to wait like everyone else lol...

Take a listen to 'The Fear' off "It's Not Me, It's You"...


Now I'd throw up, say, an old song from her catalog BUT the IFPI seems determined to take anyone who could have a remotely profitable record (much less Lily Allen) and pull all their songs off the blogs and then call for the blogs execution. SO with all that in mind I'll stick to the video. If Parlophone offers something up then I'll post it for you guys happily...

Fabriclive this Friday with 'Get Familiar' and 'Chibuku'... with exclusive free Fabriclive mix!


Whoooo hoooo! I'm back. Sorry for the sloppy posting...

I was on the longest stretch of days off since my wedding so I wasn't really able to post much as I was out having a life for once. But now it's back to the samo samo... which isn't a bad thing! I mean, hell, I got a superstar line up of people to do legal idents (a la Hello this is ______ and you're listening to 89.1 WIDR FM) for 'The Spirit Of Albion' which I'm quite happy with. In fact I just added the bed music the the one Frankmusik sent over so it'll be added to the Albion liners this Friday. If you haven't picked up Frankmusik's "3 Little Words EP" I suggest you get at it because there are limited quantities!

Fabric as usual have an unbelievable line up for this weeks party. And I've got a wicked mix to accompany it! I knew it would be killer when I saw that it started with Audio Soul Project (*cough* hit me up *cough*) and ended with Anja Schneider but you really need to hear it yourself to know how dope it really is! This is another example of where I think to myself "How much would I have paid for this ten years ago" and marvel at the fact that we are getting stuff like this for free now lol...

Here's a little press about the event and the mix...
This week see’s Get Familiar and Chibuku lock horns at FABRICLIVE on Friday the 5th of December. Chibuku Residents Lewis Boardman and Dom Chung will hitting up Fabric's room three alongside Jesse Rose and Riton. To celebrate the evening Lewis and Dom have given us an exclusive mix for FABRICLIVE that was recorded in Sept / Oct...

CHIBUKU...
ROOM ONE:
CHIBUKU vs GET FAMILIAR...
Jeru The Damaja (LIVE), Sinden, Zinc (House Set), Fake Blood, No Fakin' DJs

ROOM TWO:
CHIBUKU...
Andy C, Goldie, Grooverider, Commix, Ray Keith, Macpherson
MCs Dynamite MC, IC3, Wrec & Mad Rush

ROOM THREE:
CHIBUKU...
Jesse Rose, Riton, Lewis Boardman, Dom Chung


Audio Soul Project - Community 07 (Peace Division remix)
Dj Koze - I want to sleep
Loco Dice - Pimp Jackson is talkin now
Nick Curly - Happy 5
Sis - Standing
Dimitri Andreas – Run and Hide (Guido Schneider remix)
Kenlou – What a Sensation
Mountain People – Mountain 002
The Mole – Knock twice
Argy – cantstandlovegetaway
Anja Schneider – Belize

Lewis Boardman and Dom Chung Fabriclive Mix

As I'm sure you couldn't help but notice Sinden is playing at Fabriclive here so it's worth mentioning his new Fabriclive 43 came out everywhere but the U.S. today lol. I seriously wrecked my speakers in my car listening to his 'Get Familiar' Fabriclive... pretty infectious stuff! I've been having trouble deciding whether to post my interviews when the albums come out in the U.S. (since I have a Sinden interview on my digital recorder right now) or when they come out in the rest of the world... but for now I'm going to stick to UK release dates as best I can (which means you should be seeing that Sinden interview tomorrow!

Check back soon, and please bare with me... things have been high pressure at work, I've got the IRS on my ass, and just... just bare with me :)