Posts Tagged blur

Blur Return In Top Shape

The many times hinted return to studio of Britpop’s finest Blur has finally materialised. Albarn and co will release a retrospective box-set including some new songs. “Under The Westway” is the first of them and doesn’t disappoint, reaching the top of our loop in the current edition.

Some of the most awaited follow-up albums of the season (The xx; How To Dress Well), provided us with the highest entries, next to Hudson Mohawke & Lunice teaming up project TNGHT and the duet between rap legend Nas with the sorely missed Amy Winehouse .

Check the latest edition after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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2009 MUSIC A-Z: B for Belle & Sebastian vs. Beirut


BEIRUT-La Llorona

It looks like the B of 2009 is going to be quite disputed, with two of our favourite chamber pop bands returning. The first of them, Beirut, is meant to release a new album in the autumn, but before that there’s a new record compiling two EPs that showcase Zach Condon’s two different musical directions: His usual, gypsy-flavoured, itinerant orchestra has carried on travelling the world, moving from turn of the century Paris to the Latin American latitudes of Oaxaca, Mexico in “March Of The Zapotec”; back to back with a return to the laptop electronica of his origins, under the moniker of Realpeople, in “Holland EP” .

The second, Glasgow Finest, Belle & Sebastian, will be following the steps of many of their heroes from the sixties and fulfilling another of their pop dreams with the release of their first musical movie, for which they have been auditioning in search of two new female vocalists. “God Help The Girl’s” soundtrack, scheduled to see the light by the end of the year, will include brand new versions of popular classics next to a whole lot of new tracks and could become one of the year’s most pleasant highlights.

Other noteworthy contenders for the B: Read the rest of this entry »

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