Friday, 24 February 2012

NME, Brits and Kanye bashing, who's with me?

Just a quick note on the Shit awards, as anyone who hasn’t been living under a radio free rock will have no doubt heard about little else the last few days. That’s because coverage is what radio brings to the party, providing the free promotion for the music industries biggest annual sales junket; it’s the equivalent to them agreeing to make the desert in exchange for an invite. An invite to one of the more meaningless events in the self-important, ego inflating, pompous get-togethers, that allows famous people with low self esteem to pat each other on the back and agree on just how bloody great they are, that is the cringe worthy awards show circuit.

The Brit awards is nothing more than a well packaged marketing exercise, strategically set at a time historically bad for record sales, allowing labels to squeeze that final bit of juice from the biggest selling artists of the year, benefiting from the free promo that the media provides and repacking albums under ‘Brit Awards Winner,’ tag lines. What a surprise then to see Adele (who deserves all the success actually, especially considering she’s signed to the reasonably respectable XL) and Ed ‘Shit Lyric,’ Sheeran (my current favourite; ‘I’m going to paint you by numbers/and colour you in/if things go right we can frame it/and put you on the wall.’) walking away with the majority of the awards.

Even more revealing was Lana Del Rey winning the International Breakthrough Award. What a shock to see music executives, label bosses and members of the music press voting for her (they vote on all awards throughout The Brits process), especially considering they are the very same bunch who almost universally panned her debut album. It can’t be anything to do with the album being a huge commercial success despite this and the industry seeing an opportunity to capitalise on it further; I guess they just had the album on repeat for a month and realised they liked it.

In short, The Brit awards is an embarrassment to British music and Britain as a whole, unless Seb Coe has decided to make this combination of celebrity arse licking and sadly ingenious marketing a new sport for the Olympics, in which case, we’re going to redeem ourselves slightly and win gold. 

Again a wee little mix with some of the best soon to be released electronic records I've heard this week, special note to the Hubwar and Nekochan remix of Miaow by Habstrackt and BadJokes which I think is the finest 140 record I have ever heard. 

1)   Losing My Mind (DGRC Remix) – Summer Camp
2)   Genesis (Farrar Remix) – Grimes
3)   Spore – Ramona Falls
4)   Everything To Me (Bronze whale Remix) – Lips
5)   Pelennor Fields – Existance
6)   Miaow (Hubwar & Nekochan remix) – Habstrakt & Bad Jokes
7)   Miles Apart (Concepts) – Existance
8)   Heaven (Rebel Sketchy Remix) – Emeli Sande
9)   Voider (Rutile & Retraflex Remix) – Rregula
10) Hush Ya Gums – Major Look) Comicon - Boss Kite

Very much enjoying the warbling bass that sneaks in and out of your peripheral with great effect.

Such a moving old world, arabic beat in this one that invokes nostalgia for the protagonists up brining, an upbringing that was necessarily pleasant or privileged but a upbringing that is looked upon with fondness of because it has made them who they are today.

A harmlessly pleasant new band, Binko Swink.

Signed to the grand daddy of the experimental, Giles Peterson's label, this is in truth far from experimental in that it is so sound musically, building magnificently into an insufficient postage paid envelope of sound.

Fresh off the heals of his own collaboration with The Black Keys on BlakRoc, Damon Dash is releasing this live instrument album featuring Curren$y collaborating with a number of blues/rock artists, on his own BluRoc Records label. Originally recorded back in 2010, just after BlakRoc was released, the album is called The Muscle Car Chronicles and demonstrates just how many rappers are influenced by this sound, a sound which has arguably influenced most forms of modern music.

These two wiper snappers are prolific at the moment, this time collaborating with rising urban voice Jessie Ware.

Yeah I can do punk rock when it’s done properly, not like that shouty shite the likes of Cerebal Ballzy. I saw them recently supporting The Horrors and through the 15 minuets of garbage that was their set (almost as long as their debut album, seriously anyone who paid full price for all 19 minutes of their ‘music,’ is a mug) I learnt two things. 1) I am officially old. Gone are the days of downing two or three pre gig beers and pushing my way to the front, worming my way past sweaty dreadlocks and slipping through leather jackets, not caring for the converse glad feet I was treading on. Once at the bar that divided screaming fan boy from screaming fan boy with guitar, I would remain come rain or shine, piss or sweat, punch or warm-pint-in-the-back-of-the-head, with my neck craned and mouth agowp in God like appreciation, counting the number of times a member of the band might have registered my existence.

Instead, I stood at the back refusing to take my coat off, sipping a bitter that I had actually gone to the effort of pouring into a glass and complaining about the racket. In my defence though I will turn to point number 2). No one was enjoying the racket. People were pretending to enjoy it, sure, but they were just manifestations of my younger self, cementing their position at the front during the support in anticipation of the main event. Through a mixture of not wanting to be rude and through fear of a band notorious for on stage fighting, they had to feign enjoyment, with a look on their faces that said, ‘I know The NME says this is the tits but this really ain’t music.’ The problem with Cerebel Ballzy ironically is their actually really talented musicians; it was a tight racket. The issue with this lies in the understanding of punk itself. I always saw punk as an organic expression of anger, designed to shake the walls of parliament and draw out the politicians (who’ve come out to ‘see what all the noise is about,’), delivered by a group disconcerted with society, making up for their lack of musical talent through the depth of their passion. I just don’t buy into Cerebal Balazy and their carefully crafted, well-constructed attempts to sound loud and ‘counter-culture’. No one was buying it on the night either, not even the spotty youth I had chaperoned to the gig.

Annoyingly to counteract my point above, The NME are the ones who recommended Zulu to me, however true to form, in good time they will editorially turn on Zulu, once again exposing themselves as the faddish, spineless, spittle spouting morons that they are. 

True “punk,” fans will say that this isn’t proper “punk,” as they don’t sound “punk,” enough but this is as about as much “punk,” as I can put up with so if you don’t like it you can “punk,” off. Now that’s a punk attitude.

Love the name, love both these artists, love all the sounds and most importantly, love the track.

Love the strings, love the melody, love the voice that sounds like Tracy Chapman singing through a gory flute like instrument made from the vocal chords of every member of Fleetwood Mac.

This is the heartbreak of a woman who has just opened a copy of Hello magazine to see former love of her life, I dunno, for the sake of this story, lets say, Kanye West, sitting dead centre of the front row at London fashion week, grinning like a banker on bonus day, a glass of pink bubbly in his hand, a mink coat draped suspiciously over his lap and a pair of fly-eye sunglass to put on when ‘the lights get too bright.’ As she painfully looks at this image of him “admiring the fashion,” she thinks back with longing to all the good times they spent together. Like the time she egged him into running on stage and abusing Taylor Swift, even helping to write his ‘oh so sincere,’ apology, giggling all the time at the use of words that neither of them really knew the meanings of. All the times she snuggled him when he got stroppy, sulking with him and agreeing that the use of Britney video instead of his to open the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards was due to his skin not being right and nothing to do with the song and video being absolute shite. Oh and that time she dressed him up as a sacrificed Jesus for the cover of Rolling Stone, crown of thorns and all, how they laughed. Oh what sorrow to having lost out in love to the world's greatest man; this song is that sorrow.

No joke, when researching this story to make it more factual and less liabless, I typed ‘the stupid things that Kanye West has done,’ into Google and this is what came up first;

This one off her fourth coming, follow-up album.

Free download of this atmospheric little number from The Swing Movement, available from their SoundCloud.

SiSi Bak Bak is rumoured to be Tom Yorke of Radiohead fame, makes sense as SBTRKT did a remix on their King Of Limbs Remix album. Lots of atmosphere in this and enough has been done to make it almost unrecognisable from the original.

Love this Sweede's voice, especially as the heartbreak whips it into a beautiful fever. Lots more on her SoundCloud.

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