Archive for April, 2010

The Week That Was (29-04-2010): The Week In Videos

Rushed emergency edition of our weekly recap as we are going on a holiday back home to Madrid. Beginning with the albums that can be streamed this week: THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS poptastic ‘Together’ at NPR; FLYING LOTUS’ groundbreaking ‘Cosmogramma’ at MySpace and COCOROSIE’s debut for Sub Pop ‘Grey Oceans’ @ Soundcloud. Looking back, the classic hardcore of CEREMONY’s ‘Sick’ is being re-issued and can also be streamed in full.

Headlines of the week sadly went to hip-hop legend GURU; The ex Gang Starr and head of the collaborative Jazzmatazz projects lost his battle against cancer. A controversial letter praising his associate Solar and putting distance with his Gang Starr partner DJ Premier also hit the news.

Many free stuff offerings came our way, beginning with FUCK BUTTONS being the latest guests of the Daytrotter sessions. Dark shoegazers SALEM giving away their new ‘Raver Stay With Me’ mix through DIS magazine; GILLES PETERSON & FOUR TET compiling a podcast to praise the memory of the late Steve Reid; Hip-hop Star GAME offering ‘The Red Room mixtape’ to pave the way for his forthcoming album. And nu-cumbia DJ EL REMOLON being in charge of the ninth volume of ZZK records’ regular mix.

Video of the week goes to M.I.A’s new single ‘Born Free’. Directed by Romain Gavras, who’s no stranger to controversy thanks to previous clips like Justice’s ‘Stress’, the video’s violent images reflect the artist’s statement against the way Tamil warriors were treated in the recent war in Sri Lanka. It shows red-haired kids being prosecuted and tortured by the army and has just been banned by youtube.

On a lighter note, new Brooklyn act EFFI BRIEST showed an impressively kaleidoscopic video for their track ‘Mirror Rim’

And acclaimed brits THE XX keep on growing stronger. This time the Londoners offered a curiously choreographed video for one of their debut album’s favourites, ‘Island’. This week they were also announced next to Tony Bennett, Ozzy Osborne and Scissor Sisters as one of the stars in the Itunes series of free gigs at the Roundhouse.

Sweden kept offering more signs of the good health its popular music is enjoying with this mysterious clip for a new project called CEO. Later on the week we found out it’s the new venture by one half of The Tough Alliance.

In Spain, Triangulo De Amor Bizarro introduced their new work ‘Año Santo’ with the clip for the single ‘De La Monarquía A La Criptocracia’. The track has already been a huge hit in our loop.

And we end this week’s review in high spirits, jumping from Spanish coolest indie to Latin America’s tackiest stars. Three of them: La Tigresa Del Oriente; Wendy Sulca and Delfin have joined forces with the noble enterprise of launching a bridge of friendship and brotherhood between the Spanish speaking continent and Israel; powerful enough as to provoke an unprecedented diplomatic Storm. Israel…You’ve been warned!!

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The Week That Was(24-04-2010): New Records Streaming Bonanza

This has been another bumper week for new albums. Many of the season’s most anticipated records finally hit the web and could be streamed. The highlight among them was THE NATIONAL’s fifth work ‘High Violet’, already a candidate for record of the year. It offers one of the most impressive collection of songs we have heard in a while. Hopes are sky-high for The National to break once and for all into the mainstream, following the steps of Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, etc. in consolidating as not only one of today’s best bands, but also one of the most popular.

Another vocalist blessed with a distinctive baritone voice, JOHN GRANT, has been on hiatus for years since his former band The Czars split up. The artist has created another work of intense and sad beauty, infused in 70’s vibes, maybe borrowed from fellow label and tour mates Midlake, who convinced the singer to get back to the studio and record the songs that now form ‘Queen Of Denmark’.

NPR kept on being the best destination for pre-release albums. This week they unveiled the new BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE album. The Canadian alt-rock collective have left on hold their multiple solo projects to finish their third offering ‘Forgiveness Rock Record’. Also on NPR, Mark E. Smith’s new opus with his band THE FALL, called ‘Your Future Our Clutter’.

In British Shores, STEVE MASON, formerly the leader of the deceased Scottish band Beta Band has also readied his solo debut, ‘Boys Outside’, in which he updates his songwriting by courting with today’s trends, without losing his melancholic vocal touch.

Back in the States, wunderkind Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg debuts with his band, AVI BUFFALO, eponymous record, halfway between the classy alt-americana of Wilco or Band of Horses and the lush psychedelia of Flaming Lips, but with a fresher and simpler approach. The sub-pop signees have made a record that’s definitely worth checking.

Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo by subpop

And comeback of the week goes to Courtney Love, who helped by Billy Corgan and Linda Perry has managed to rescue her old band HOLE and releases a new record titled ‘Nobody’s Daugher’. Whether she is or not still relevant in these times remains to be seen.

On a lighter and more summery note, uber trendy Basques DELOREAN release their first international album ‘Subiza’ through the True Panther label -home of Girls & Harlem among many others-, full of shimmery, balearic dream-pop (the album can be listened on Spotify).

And last, but not least, another highly rated American band, THE HOLD STEADY, is back! Acclaimed for the bravery of bringing traditional ,earnest Springteen-like rock and roll back into trend, ‘Heaven Is Whenever’ offers few changes and is another compact work that will please all their fans.

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1/2 Of Outkast Is Heading The Loop

big boy 01

When news arrived about Big Boi’s forever delayed solo album ‘Sir Luscious Left Foot…’ finally seeing the light of day, the Outkast member was also hitting our loop’s number 1 with the electro- extravaganza, ‘Shutterbugg’.

Among the new entries of the week, Anticon’s new signee Baths; Cocorosie and Band Of Horses.
You can check the loop in full here.
An extended selection of our current favourite tracks can also be heard @


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The Week That Was (18-04-2010): LCD Soundsystem; Record Store Day; Blur; PJ Harvey…

Enduring a minor delay due to the vulcanic cloud forcing us to alter our plans, we begin our review of last week’s music activity with the record that everybody is talking about. James Murphy has made available the third LCD SOUNDSYSTEM album, ‘This Is Happening’ , for streaming weeks before its released, right before their tour reaching UK shores. On a first listen it sounds more inclined towards the post-punk/rock element of the band, whereas our preferred dance/electronica part of the equation is somehow kept on a secondary level. It also includes the most obvious tribute to David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ ever made.

LA arty noise rockers HEALTH announced the release of their second remix album and launched a spooky video for ‘We Are Water’. Other artists unveiling clips worth mentioning were San Francisco’s art-pop combo The Morning Benders , putting into images ‘Promises’, another highlight off their acclaimed album ‘Big Echo’. Danish electronic meister Trentemøller with ‘Sycamore Feeling’, the first taster from the DJ’s new record; whereas fellow Danes Efterklang introduced the clip for ‘I Was Playing Drums.’

Best piece of news of the week was provided by PJ HARVEY launching out of the blue a new song in the middle of BBC political analyst Andrew Marr’s show. ‘Let England Shake’ samples The Four Lads ‘Istanbul Not Constantinople’ and in her live rendition we could watch PJ hitting that weird electronic harp she has been using in her shows for a while. Suitably for election time, the track is unusually political for our favourite artist from Dover. On the other side of the coin, worst news was the dead of legendary jazz drummer Steve Reid, joining the already long list of musicians passing away in 2010.

Around the festival circuit, the granddaddy of them all, Glastonbury, revealed this year’s line-up with Stevie Wonder, U2 and, erm, Muse topping the traditionally long and eclectic bill of participating acts. Its film counterpart in Cannes also announced this edition’s schedule with a jury presided by Tim Burton and new works by Kitano, Kiarostami, Ridley Scott, Gonzalez Iñarritu and Mike Leigh in competition.

Last week was also packed with high profile new tracks from some of the most awaited forthcoming albums, THE NATIONAL Y BAND OF HORSES amongst them. Most notoriously, ROBYN offered a triple advance from the first of the three mini albums the Swedish star plans to release during the year: the already known tracks ‘Dancehall Queen’ and ‘Fembot’, plus her new collaboration with Röyksopp, ‘Make Den Mine’.

In the realms of the anecdotic, youg Brits The XX have already made such an impact among Japanese youngsters that they’ve got a tribute band, callet The OO.

laurie anderson 2

Last Saturday was Record Day Store. The event celebrated its third edition and judging by the queues to get into London’s Rough Trade East –one of the many participant stores around the world- it was a rotund success. The East end shop offered its customers a day packed with free showcases by the likes of Ash; Caribou or LAURIE ANDERSON, who performed a Q&A session as the main character of the latest theatrical opus ‘Homeland’.

One of the highlights of the Record Shop Day was the amount of exclusive material released for the occasion. The most sought-after was Blur’s ultra limited 7” inch, containing their first studio track for over a decade, ‘Fool’s Day’. After last year’s return to the stage, the band seems to be slowly putting their differences behind and the first new fruit of this reunion is this lovely track reminiscent of some of Blur’s musical influences, particularly The Kinks. The band made the track available for download at their official website.

Other top freebies of the last seven days were given by Haunted House, one among that batch of acts who have adopted the new trend of ultra-lo fi cassette recordings and gave away the content of two of them online. Also, Mount Kimbie gave away one of the new remixes they are compiling in two 12”, The FaltyDL reconstruction of ‘Serged

US rising trio The Antlers offered a new video for the track ‘Sylvia’, at the same time than a free EP worth of new material and African legend Toumani Diabate was the latest guest in the famous ‘Black Cab Sessions’.

CARIBOU was plugging the release of their new album ‘Swim’ with a double free bonanza. The Canadians gave away a remix of one of the record’s highlights ‘Sun’ totally gratis; plus Belgium DJs Allez Allez curated a mix containing some of the band’s new tracks.

Other artists offering new mixes and mixtapes were James Murphy, whose Disco mix next to Pat Mahoney was rediscovered in the light of the third LCD Soundsystem album; Angola’s Kuduro greats Buraka Som Sistema curated their own Essential mix for the BBC; and the duet formed by Alessio Natalizia of Banjo or Freakout and Sam Willis of Allez Allez (again), Walls, did the same for Dummy magazine . Jumping to another continent, Chico Sonido stormed the Latin dancefloors with his most recent mix.

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Flying Lotus & Thom Yorke Laugh All The Way To The Top


Thom Yorke’s collaboration with Californian experimental electrónica musicican Flying Lotus has reached peak position in our loop. ‘And The World Laughs With You’ is one of the highlights of Flying Lotus forthcoming ‘Cosmogramma’

Outkast’s Big Boi; Gil Scott-Heron Feat. Nas and Sigur Rós Singer gone solo Jónsi are some of the week’s new entries.

You can check the loop in full here.

An extended selection of our current favourite tracks can also be heard @

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The Week That Was (10-04-2010): Malcolm McLaren RIP; Caribou; Male Bonding; Karen Elson; Godspeed! You Black Emperor…

In what’s shaping up to be a really sad year full of notorious music losses, headlines this week were paying tribute to the figure of Malcolm McLaren. The godfather of punk and also the man who brought hip-hop to the UK lost his battle against cancer at the age of 64.

Other newsworthy acts during the last seven days were Thom Yorke – previewing a brand new track live – and veteran US new wave band Devo who launched a song study for their fans to select the 12 tracks that will be part of their next record, after two decades away from the studios.

Better news came out of the festival circuit. The most important being the reunion of Godspeed! You Black Emperor. According to an online message, the apocalyptic gang will reunite for a few live dates, which will include curating the first of two ATP festivals in December, right before Belle & Sebastian’s ‘Bowlie 2’.

And London’s Meltdown this year will have a distinctive folk flavor as Richard Thompson is in charge of a bill that will have among its highlights the Wainwright siblings heading an all-star bill for a tribute to their mum Kate McGarrigle. The rest of the festival’s line-up can be checked here.

Swim by Caribouband

Among the records to stream this week, the new Caribou album marks a step back to their electronic beginnings. The first single, ‘Odessa’, is already one of our favorite tracks of the year.

London energetic, guitar loving and punk infused trio Male Bonding are also offering their debut album ‘Nothing Hurts’ to stream. To celebrate they’ve been signed by Sub Pop, they were also giving away their new and excellent single ‘Year’s Not Long’ at their blog.

Up and coming Brooklyn quintet Twin Sister, currently being championed by all the hip sites, were also giving away on MP3 their new Mini album for two weeks, before it is actually released in physical format. The freebie includes the current hit ‘All Around And Away We Go’.

More free stuff this week: the notable indie label Kill Rock Stars offered a sampler of their finest moments, including back catalogue classics by label’s roster finest such as Elliott Smith; Gossip; Bikini Kill; The Thermals; etc. Elsewhere, No Age gave away a live version of the 17 minutes track they have written as a soundtrack to the film ‘Aanteni’; and Canadian indie bunch Stars came back with ‘Fixed’, the first taster from their forthcoming album.

Among the best videos, Karen Elson’s music debut, ‘The Ghost Who Walks’. Jack White’s wife shows a lot of promise in this, her first track. Other female fronted acts with new audiovisual offerings were the haunting Zola Jesus with the title track of her recent EP, ‘Stridulum’, and British newcomers Peepholes’powerful new single ‘Ladder’.

Xiu Xiu carried on the string of clips to promote his latest album with this promo inspired by old arcade video-games for ‘This Too Shall Pass Away (For Freddy). And last, but not least, from Tijuana Los Macuanos put into images their contagious ‘La Burrita’ (‘The Little Donkey’), whereas veteran psychedelic purveyors Apples In Stereo added a touch of Hollywood calling Elijah Wood to lipsynch their latest single ‘Dance Floor’

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Pantha Du Prince Conquers The Loop Again

pantha du prince

German minimal electronica purveyor Pantha Du Prince is back on top of our loop with ‘Im Bann’, the most ambient moment of his superb last album ‘Black Noise’.

New entries by Ginz; Joker; LCD Soundsystem and Avi Buffalo are likely to challenge the German DJ’s supremacy shortly.

Check the full loop here.

You can also listen to an extended selection of our current favourite tracks @

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The Week That Was (02-04-2010): Jonsi; Harlem; Notorious B.I.G. vs. The XX…

A few interesting albums were streamed in full this week. The star among them was Jonsi’s solo debut. The Sigur Rós singer follows his experimental record with boyfriend Alex with the beginning of a career on his own. ‘Go’ shares some of the epic beauty of the Icelandic band, but with a poppier, more accessible edge. The Usual destination for streaming premieres, NPR, was also offering the new Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings album ’I Learned The Hard Way’, which brings little change but plenty of refinement to their tried and tested retro soul formula. Plus ‘Here Lies Love’ The more anecdotical than substantial collaboration between David Byrne; Fatboy Slim and a diverse selection of some of Today’s most popular female vocalists for an album dedicated to shoe collector extraordinaire Imelda Marcos.

SXSW favorites Harlem anticipated their full-length ‘Hippies’ at myspace. So did German electropopsters Lali Puna @ xlr8r with their comeback record ‘Our Inventions’.

In freebie land, the curious album mash-up of Notorious B.I.G. and The XX – following former much talked-about projects like ‘The Grey Album’ or Jay-Z’s & Linkin Park official release- was given away for free. Mad Decent offered J-Wow’s new mixtape ‘Wowed’ and prestigious blog Raven Signs The Blues presented the volume 2 of their best new US bands compilation. Fact magazine readied their 126th mix, Sinden was responsible this time.

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The Week In Videos (02-04-2010)

This has been a week with no headlines, not that many records or remarkable live activity either, but with plenty of new videos instead. Most of them of tracks that have already been hits in our loop, but didn’t get a release until now –Janelle Monae; Titus Andronicus; MGMT or Dum Dum Girls among others.

To begin with, the newest and most notorious: the return of Band Of Horses after ‘The Funeral’ established them among the A league of American alt-rock. ‘Compliments’ is the first taster taken from their new album ‘Infinite Arms’.

But video of the week honors have to go to Erykah Badu, whose years of experience in the industry have taught her a thing or two on how to create anticipation for a record. The second part of ‘Nu Amerykah: Return Of The Ankh’ finally saw the light of day and Miss Badu launched the video for the first single ‘Window Seat’ at the same time. On the promo the singer pay tribute to the idea behind Matt & Kim’s recent ’Daylight’, both shot with the artists in the nude. The controversy has forced most media not to show it, and as today it can only be viewed in a ‘reverse version’ on the artists’ website.

Janelle Monae flaunts her glamourous style and amazing dance steps next to Big Boi in ‘Tightrope’

A More Perfect Union

Titus Andronicus | MySpace Music Videos

Titus Andronicus release ‘A More Perfect Union’, the opening track from their concept opus dedicated to the American Civil war ‘The Monitor’

Popular Brooklyn duo MGMT throw this video extravaganza for their psychedelia-infused new single ‘Flash Delirium’

And Bristol electronic duo Fuck Buttons use their latest ‘Olympians’ to soundtrack images of an elderly oriental man going karate-crazy.

Catalonian combo Delorean are back with a new distribution deal and ‘Stay Close’, anticipating the arrival of their first international album ‘Subiza’.

All female lo-fi garage band Dum Dum Girls released their debut ‘I Will Be’ last week, at the same time than a video for former single ‘Jail La La’

And veteran electronic wizard Matthew Herbert is back with ‘Leipzig’

And more psychedelia-inspired music from Wooden Shjips.

Cutting edge urban star Kelis survives collaboration with David Guetta and to celebrate it prepares a lavish video for the occasion.

Bonkers R&B singer R. Kelly keeps on pushing the lyrical subjects of the genre with this ode to polygamy ‘Be My Number 2’.

Something like a gay version of Ramones, Hunx & His Punx hilarious video for ‘You Don’t Like Rock & Roll’

And the hottest female rapper of the moment, Nicky Minaj, gets the Hype Williams treatment in the video of new track ‘Massive Attack’.

Finally, the alt-americana supergroup Monsters of Folk put some lovely visuals to one of their album’s highlights.

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Los Planetas In Orbit Around The Loop


The orbit of one of the Spanish most acclaimed alternative bands, Los Planetas, can be felt once again in our loop this week. They have reentered straight to the top with ‘No Se Como Te Atreves’, the first taster of their long-awaited new album ‘Una Opera Egipcia’ (An Egyptian Opera), featuring Iberian chanteause La Bien Querida on vocals.

Los Planetas will soon face strong competition from other high profile collaborations from the likes of Hot Chip & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Flying Lotus with Thom Yorke. The National and The New Pornographers also returned with new songs.

Check the full loop here.
You can also listen to an extended selection of our current favourite tracks @

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The Month In Movies: March

Like every other year The Award season ended with the Oscars, and the films for the new season shyly began to arrive. The first productions hitting our screens are sharing a common characteristic: they belong to the group of those films conceived to earn awards and honours, but their result wasn’t promising enough as to finance the costly promotional campaign needed for that purpose; some others had been shelved for a while, waiting for low season to surface. A few new blockbusters in 3D and the odd documentary surprise were also part of the menu on offer to cinemagoers during March.

Our movie of the month belongs to the last category. ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’, the documentary in theory dedicated to the work of the popular British street artist Banksy, turned into an intelligent criticism to the ways art is sold and promoted in our time. It tells the history of a video recording obsessive character who starts filming several street artists, leading to contact Banksy for the project. The cameraman becomes so impressed that sets himself to become one of them, adopting the nickname ‘Mr. Brainstorm’.

What follows is a detailed account of the preparations for his first macro-exhibition; showing little regard for the works exhibited and much more for matching the media-fuelled, high expectations surrounded him. The exhibition establishes Mr. Brainstorm as an overnight success with even Madonna calling him to design the cover of her latest compilation. By the end of the documentary we are none the wiser about Banksy, who manages to keep the mystery of his jealously preserved identity intact; but we have formed a rather cynical opinion about contemporary art worth arguing for.
Read the rest of this entry »

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