Archives for posts with tag: LP

Cate Le Bon 2019.jpg“Daylight Matters” is the first song shared ahead of the release of “Reward”, the 4th album from California-based Welsh musician Cate Le Bon, on 24 May 2019. As always with each of Le Bon’s albums, this first taste of “Reward” suggests something a little different and yet also unmistakably her good self.

Once again there’s an Eno-esque quality to the sounds on “Daylight Matters” with its gorgeous descending chords and warm blanket of treated saxophone, with twisting guitar over a gentle bed of piano chords. It’s always the unexpected touches, like the parts the instruments are playing and the melodic diversions along the way, which help provide Le Bon’s songs with their distinctive appeal. That and her unmistakable voice.

I remember this song – the words in particular – from Le Bon’s recent piano-based show in Dunedin on her recent NZ tour.  Words are important, as Le Bon explains, talking about the album name: “People hear the word ‘reward’ and they think that it’s a positive word” says Le Bon, “and to me it’s quite a sinister word in that it depends on the relationship between the giver and the receiver. I feel like it’s really indicative of the times we’re living in where words are used as slogans, and everything is slowly losing its meaning.”

“Reward” is available to pre-order now on all the usual formats. The pre-order from Bandcamp comes with a download of “Daylight Matters” now and the rest of the album on its release day. I’m hoping this will turn up in NZ record stores, but a digital pre-order is irresistible in the meantime.

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grand veymontNot long after the release of Grand Veymont’s second album they are back (in time) with the LP (re)release of their self-titled debut album. Here’s “Les Rapides Bleus” – a song about travel and escape.

Grand Veymont is Béatrice Morel Journel and Josselin Varengo. They described their music as “long improvisations with only constraints the number of hands available and an installation of organs and synthesizers…[which] superimpose exotic-medieval melodies on a bed of Krautrock, Waltz or Tango rhythms” when releasing their second album, “Route du Vertige”, earlier this year.

This first Grand Veymont album is a slightly stripped back variation on the morphing long-form constructions of that excellent second album. “Les Rapides Bleus” here is the shortest and most “pop” of the 4 tunes here, and a perfect introduction to the French duo.

The album is a blend of minimalist motorik keyboard based music (synth arpeggios and dueling organs, vocals and occasional drums), sometimes reminiscent of Stereolab, as much due to Journel’s vocal delivery – sung in French (obviously, given their geographic location).

But Grand Veymont have their own character, with longer songs like the 13 minute opener “Je cours apres avant” morphing into classical styled twin-keyboard improvisations which take on an oddly psychedelic character – a theme taken even much further on their 2nd album.

The glorious layered 9-minute track “L’odyssée du petit parleur” is as quietly wonderful as anything on “Route du Vertige” and the closing track “Upie” a playful experimental adventure in grainy dub-electronica and looped, layered voices. These four very different tunes add up to an intriguing debut, now on LP on Outre Disque.

Their 2nd album “Route du Vertige” is available on LP on French underground pop label Objet Disque.

 

 

grand veymont“Route du Vertige” is the title of a 2018 album of experimental medieval krautrock by French duo Grand Veymont and “Valse Tango” is the 10-minute opening trip.

Grand Veymont is Josselin Varengo and Béatrice Morel Journel. they describe their music as “long improvisations with only constraints the number of hands available and an installation of organs and synthesizers…[which] superimpose exotic-medieval melodies on a bed of Krautrock, Waltz or Tango rhythms.”

“Valse Tango” is exactly this… multiple keyboard/ synth parts interwoven and ever-changing. At times reminiscent of exploratory psycehedelic rock, medieval music, and the kind of repetitive human-made machine music of the likes of Harmonia and Cluster.

The vocals add an extra element of other-wordliness to this. Combined with the motorik keyboard music, sometimes evokes the kind of European grand pop of Stereolab, and at other times the wordless voice improvises flights of fantasy into the aether. The whole album is unusual, accessible and quite brilliant.

“Route du Vertige” is available on LP on French underground pop label Objet Disque.

Grand Veymont have another  album out on 1 February 2019 on Outre Disque. It’s a remixed and re-arranged physical LP release of their digital self-released first album from 2016.

Bitumen_2018.jpg“Twice Shy” is from the first album by Melbourne post-punk band Bitumen. “Discipline Reaction” was released a few weeks ago by Melbourne label Vacant Valley.

As noted here last year when the band released two songs on a split cassette, Bitumen present beautifully crafted post-punk – a hint of the ice-cold pummeling sound of Clan of Xymox and the ice-storm guitar skirl of Skeletal Family but Melbourne has been the home of this kind of industrial futuristic pop music for even longer than Germany or the UK.

Carb on Carb 2018Day 18 of PopLib’s 31 Days of may marathon for New Zealand music month is the epic closing track of the brand new album by Wellington “emo pop-punk” duo Carb on Carb – “Mitimiti”.

“Mitimiti” is a song about NZ, homecoming, travelling, the places you find that re-connect you to life, to friends and family, to the country, to the world. Mitimiti, the place, is a tiny settlement on the wild West Coast of Northland just below the start of 90 Mile Beach, a long drive along winding gravel roads. If there’s a theme to the album “For Ages” its about travel and home-coming and the people and life in between.

Carb on Carb’s take on “emo pop-punk” is not what you may associate with the genre if your only exposure was the hyper-produced blast of US bands. The guitar/ drums duo of Nicole Gaffney and James Stuteley means there’s plenty of space and dynamics in Carb on Carb’s sound. This is just great honest melodic guitar-pop for real lives by real people.  “For Ages” is released on LP and CD on their own label Papaiti Records.

Suggested Friends.jpgSuggested Friends describe their sound as ‘tweemo’ and, while this is no doubt tongue-in-cheek, it does indeed combine some noisy emotional punk pop with the kind of perfect melodic songcraft that would’ve fitted perfectly on Sarah Records in the 90s. Here’s 1 minute 51 seconds of their perfect melodic songcraft:

Suggested Friends are from London and comprised of Jack McGinn, Kirsty Fife, Faith Taylor, & Christabel Williams.  “I Can’t Roll My Eyes That Far (Back)” is almost impossibly melodic and bounds through so many twists and turns in a short time – including a glorious fuzzy 12-string guitar solo – that it fair takes the breath away.

It’s on their self-titled album, which is out on LP format on Cardiff’s Odd Box Records.  Give it a whirl and while you are there check out the other releases on this enterprising DIY label.

AJ Sharma

“Red is the Colour” is a wonderfully odd, unsettling and dark track from the new album “Tabla Diablo” by Dunedin avant-folk musician AJ Sharma.

If very early Bonnie “Prince” Billy/ Palace Brothers is your thing, or the singular vision of Dunedin’s Alastair Galbraith, step right into the world of AJ Sharma. He’s a fellow traveler in fractured and direct outsider music, played simply, obeying no rules save the ones he makes himself.  Guitar, voice, and the atmosphere created by those sounds vibrating the air in a room, as recorded expertly in its raw honesty by Forbes Williams.

“Red is the Colour” features an additional vocalist adding a kind of ghostly backing vocal. It sounds like a very small child. It’s more unsettling than cute though, possessing the song with an disturbing otherness. Perfect of course for the atmosphere of an AJ Sharma album, described by label CocoMuse Releases as: “An assemblage of real life characters all dealing with death in their own way: Art Teachers, Outsiders, Rock-Gods, Poets, Prophets, Trees, Stars, Tortoise, Bar-Flies, Friends, Family, Cosmic Forces, Visionaries and the Unknown.”

I have a 7″ lathecut by AJ from over 20 years ago, recorded in Invercargill, release 1994. In between times he has been part of the fabulous late 1990s/ early 2000s Dunedin band Jetty and released an album called “Santo” in 2008 “The Road Back” in 2010 and “You are a Traveler” in 2013.  There have been other small run lathe cut singles and tracks on compilations… usually hard to find.

AJ Sharma’s “Tabla Diablo” album (LP) is available in Europe from Zelle Records and in NZ and the rest of the world from CocoMuse Releases.