The Joy of Aural.

For those who love music, or perverts who aren't very good at typing!
Mixing Americana with grunge-like sensibilities has seen ‘slacker king’ Kurt Vile worm his way reassuringly into many a music lovers’ hearts. Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze the follow-up to Smoke Ring For My Halo means we won’t be sending him a ‘Dear John’ note anytime soon. Containing ten songs over 70 short minutes the album could well have turned out to be an overly pretentious mess. The fact that it hasn’t is down to the warmth of Kurt’s voice and the gentle humanity of his lyrics. With a subtle reflective tone and a charmingly self-deprecating wit the record is the perfect listen on a hot summers day when you can’t be bothered to get up out of bed and actually go outside.

Mixing Americana with grunge-like sensibilities has seen ‘slacker king’ Kurt Vile worm his way reassuringly into many a music lovers’ hearts. Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze the follow-up to Smoke Ring For My Halo means we won’t be sending him a ‘Dear John’ note anytime soon. Containing ten songs over 70 short minutes the album could well have turned out to be an overly pretentious mess. The fact that it hasn’t is down to the warmth of Kurt’s voice and the gentle humanity of his lyrics. With a subtle reflective tone and a charmingly self-deprecating wit the record is the perfect listen on a hot summers day when you can’t be bothered to get up out of bed and actually go outside.

And now, my love affair with LA label 100% Silk continues apace with two fast and funky long-players gracing the nation’s shelves and download baskets this month. First up 2 Hot 2 Wait by Coyote Clean Up contains seven funk-filled delights. Clocking in at just over 40 minutes listening to this is like having a short, sharp house party without anyone throwing up on your bed. Zebra Go Seek is perfect head-fuck house that will get a lot of plays in those coolest of clubs. In contrast The Least U Could Feel is so romantic sounding it’s like someone wrapping their pretty arms around you and breathing warmly on the back of your neck. And what’s not to like about that?

A little less romantic but no less essential is Replicant Moods by Pharaohs. The title track sounds like vintage electro and bleeps very eloquently in all the right places to encourage a person or persons to move. Syzgy has a deeply lush bassline that seems perfectly made for the purpose of wiggling one’s ass. The whole album is full-flavoured and funky though and really deserves to receive a lot of love. I even played this to my friend who claims to hate house music. She didn’t like it! But who cares what she thinks since we already established that she don’t know shit.

Public Service Broadcasting mix old public information broadcasts with the type of instrumental rock that would make even the mighty Mogwai cry with envy. Debut album Inform Educate Entertain is out on the 6th of May and is a record of powerful sonic invention. The singles Spitfire and Everest are highlights yet are far from the only stars of the show as Signal 30 and The Now Generation rock with a sophistication and intelligence missing from most of today’s music scene. ROYGBIV and Night Mail are quietly thoughtful and contain a strange beauty that is an absolute delight to hear. If there is one album which is going to sound unlike anything else released this month it’s this one. And, in my mind anyway, I can’t think of a better reason for checking it out.

Public Service Broadcasting mix old public information broadcasts with the type of instrumental rock that would make even the mighty Mogwai cry with envy. Debut album Inform Educate Entertain is out on the 6th of May and is a record of powerful sonic invention. The singles Spitfire and Everest are highlights yet are far from the only stars of the show as Signal 30 and The Now Generation rock with a sophistication and intelligence missing from most of today’s music scene. ROYGBIV and Night Mail are quietly thoughtful and contain a strange beauty that is an absolute delight to hear. If there is one album which is going to sound unlike anything else released this month it’s this one. And, in my mind anyway, I can’t think of a better reason for checking it out.

Album Review: Incubation by Function

Those rascals at OstGut Ton certainly know how to delight even the most jaded of techno fiends. After sumptuous tomes from Steffi and tobias. they now treat us to Incubation by Sandwell District’s David Sumner a.k.a. Function. The set is a sonic exploration of ominous depths that positively echo off the walls while somehow maintaining a steady techno thump. Sci-fi atmospherics merge majestically with a dubstep sense of space and the drone of techno to create a thoughtful listening experience that will still rock any club. It might well punish your speakers, but the sounds within amply reward any wanton damage by presenting you with a widescreen panorama of sonic delights.

Album Review: Welcome to Microsector 50 by Space Dimension Controller

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This March sees sonic pioneer Space Dimension Controller return from yet another intergalactic adventure with the awesome Welcome to Microsector 50. By turns spooky, ridiculous and downright funky this is a space opera like no other. An hour-long voyage into a future world that takes in elements of ambient, footwork, disco, techno, and huge brilliant bursts of pop. Yet it is a rewarding and coherent listen that sucks you into its futuristic world before spitting you out excited and disorientated while deciding that next time you are definitely going to pack that space suit.

Album Review: Psychic Ills - One Track Mind.

Also hanging around on the outer fringes of rock are the band Psychic Ills. These lads have steadily wormed their way into my usually stubborn heart until it has got to the point that they can rest on their laurels in the knowledge that they are one of my favourite bands. One Track Mind contains ten tracks of laid-back psychedelia that sound something similar to the aural equivalent of a blowback. Honestly, it is impossible to not feel cool when listening to this. You could be walking through the cold streets of London in a shocking pink mankini, yet with this on your iPod you’d still be well feckin’ cool!

Album Review: Girls Names - The New Life.

Belfast band Girls Names have very recently presented us with their second album The New Life. Coming from the same dark place as Joy Division, Editors, and to a lesser extent White Lies, the new record is a beautifully understated and melancholy affair. While debut album Dead to Me was a joyful bouncy listen that was full of youthful exuberance this follow-up is like someone drunkenly whispering in your ear that ‘we’re all gonna die, you know?’ while brutally stroking your thigh. In a good way of course! And I have to say that it is a complete joy to hear this talented band completely come of age on this album. The record sounds huge and has just the right element of rock riffage to stop the whole thing becoming too much of a mope-fest. In short, an excellent set for those of us who may be feeling a little heavy of heart.

The Primitives are an old band that used to make great music like this song Crash. I think it was about the perils of drink driving or something. It is perfect to play at an indie disco when you want everyone in the room to jump up and down at the same time.   It is also useful to those of us who wish to hear grown men sing along in a remarkably high falsetto.

This Many Boyfriends - Tina Weymouth. Lovely little tune this that I consider to retro indie with a heart. Nice to see an up and coming band have a huge budget for their videos as well! They are playing at Hoxton Bar and Grill on the 19th of February together with Ryan Jarmen’s new project Exclamation Pony. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Deap Vally return to our ears and hearts with Lies. Even though I wish they would have taken the time to have actually written a proper chorus (the rock n’ roll lifestyle is so all-consuming now who has the time) I still have huge affection for the raw guitar, screamed vocals, and spoken-word interlude. In short this is three short minutes of raw rock thunder. And that is no bad thing, (unless your head is sore of course and all you really want is a good lie down).