Sunday, June 11, 2006

Three for today...

It’s a gorgeous summers day and I really should be outside enjoying myself, but for some bizarre reason I’m sat in front of the computer putting this post together! It’s madness indeed, but I’m a slave to this blog and I’ve been sent lots of tasty bits and pieces by labels recently and thought it was only fair that I gave them some props in exchange.

Fluorescent Grey - I am a photograph of my old driveway, the edges of the photograph are made of cartoon cow's teeth, as the cow's mouth closes i explode into a firework cloud of red and green dog biscuits

First up is a release on Isolate Records from Burlingham, California, the label responsible for Venetian Snares’ debut in 2000. The artist is Fluorescent Grey and the album is snappily titled ‘Lying on the floor mingling with god in a Tijuana motel room next door to a veterinary supply store’, due for release in July 2006. It’s an accomplished album of experimental electronica (think Autechre with Matthew Herbert’s fondness for found sounds), packed with innovative ideas including a track where the beats are derived completely from samples of water. Available to download here is ‘I am a photograph of my old driveway, the edges of the photograph are made of cartoon cow's teeth, as the cow's mouth closes i explode into a firework cloud of red and green dog biscuits’ – try phoning and requesting that one on the radio! It’s a unique idea for a track. The original source material was composed in a sequencer and then played on a tape recorder at 30 different locations. Each location was recorded with a stereo microphone and the resulting track is all the locations edited together to reform the song. OK, so it’s exhausting just trying to explain it and sections do resemble the tune Chris Morris played to demonstrate the effects of Cake on ‘Brasseye’, but I’m all for people pushing the boundaries once in a while and the album is well worth tracking down.

Fluorescent Grey artist page on Isolate Records website
Buy from the Isolate Records online store here

Robin Allender - You Versus Them

I was sent a Summer 2006 sampler from Dreamboat Records, a label based across the three cities of Oxford, Leeds and Bristol. It featured a few tracks from the forthcoming debut album ‘The Bird and the Word’ by Bristol-based singer-songwriter Robin Allender which caught my attention. Experimental folk pop is how the label describes it and I’d say they’ve hit the nail squarely on the head. A nifty amalgamation of 1970s trad-folk and the early Twisted Nerve material of Badly Drawn Boy, the tracks on the sampler include both vocal and instrumental numbers. I’m posting ‘You Versus Them’ as it’s the perfect soundtrack to watching the swifts from the room where I’m typing. Great stuff. I think the album’s out in September 2006 so keep checking the labels’ website if you’re interested.

Robin Allender artist page at Dreamboat Records
Download more of Robin's music at My Space

Fleeting Joys - Lovely Crawl

Finally, I picked up ‘Despondent Transponder’ by the Fleeting Joys after it was recommended on a shoegazing messageboard to somebody seeking material that sounded like My Bloody Valentine. Since receiving the album I’ve had trouble working out if it’s merely a pastiche or has any merits of it’s own. The Sacramento-based duo of John and Rorika have got closer to the sound of ‘Loveless’ than any other band before them. The vast walls of reverbed guitars and the detached male/female vocals of Kevin and Bilinda are down pat – it really is uncanny. But the more you listen, the more it grows on you and seeing as the chances of MBV ever making another record again are next to nothing (particularly making ‘Loveless v2’ which is really what everybody is hanging on for), ‘Despondent Transponder’ has a worthwhile place in your record collection. There’s also elements of Swervedriver, Slowdive and any other shoegazing band you’d care to mention over the course of the album, but the tunes are strong and it somehow manages to be more than just the sum of it’s influences.

Buy 'Despondent Transponder' here
Fleeting Joys website
Fleeting Joys at My Space


No comments: