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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Casa Del Mirto












Let me introduce you to my new flavor of the month...Casa Del Mirto (Marco), an Italio Disco House artist. I found him through a post on Big Stereo (thanks guys!) and I just had to post about him here. Marco is giving away his whole album "supertrendycoolfashion" for free...just go to his myspace page and ask him for it!! The album is full of disco filtered house with a bit of glitch and some lovely bass. All around it is one hell of an album and it's free too!!!

Here are a few tracks for your sampling pleasure...if you like 'em go ask him for the whole album!! Tell him Phil sent ya!


Casa Del Mirto - Monologue

Casa Del Mirto - Bad Girls Surf














01 Kiss My Teddy
02 Nothing Hold Us Back
03 Bad Girls Surf
04 Radio Raheem
05 Shall We Dance?
06 Trento Vice
07 Monologue
08 She's Homeless
09 Say Goodbay
10 Hot Soup
11 Girl!


As a complete album...I'd give it an 8 out of 10. It's been in my car on repeat for the last 4 days.

Go and ask him for it now!!!


Casa Del Mirto Myspace!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pendulum - In Silico








If you are expecting another Pendulum album like 'Hold Your Colour' (one of the biggest selling drum and bass releases of all time), then this might not be the album for you.

Pendulum are a drum and bass group originally from Australia. In 2003, they relocated to the United Kingdom and proceeded to turn out some wicked sounds. They have now, with the release of 'In Silico', turned into a rock/electronica band with only hints of their former DnB glory. I am sure that this album will sell a lot of records but be prepared for some drastic changes in the sound of the band (think Linkin Park with speed drum programming and too much vocoder!). I am all for a band growing and finding their sound, it's just...sometimes the audience doesn't want to continue on with them and their new direction.

The album starts off with 'Showdown', an high octane track with the 'Pendulum' sound you would expect from the band. Tracks like 'Visions' and Granite' could be better if the overused vocoded vocals were taken out. 'Midnight Runner' is another track that clings to the true DnB sound and is actually a pretty fierce track. '9,000 Miles', one of the high points of the album, is a nice jaunt through more laid back territory with no vocals (thank god!) .

The Linkin Park Effect™ (I just made that up) only really shows up in tracks like the current single 'Propane Nightmares', 'Different' (which seems to have ripped off Portishead's 'Only You' chord progression) and 'Mutiny', which has some groovy bass lines and even a guitar solo. The closing track, “The Tempest,” almost sounds like a cross between a bulked up, vocoded version of Toto's 'Africa' (nothing against Toto, but this is a bad thing) and a bad Tool cover.

'In Silico' is an album full of a few hits but many more misses than I care for. It's not a horrible album but I was expecting more.


6 out of 10


Friday, June 20, 2008

Santogold - Santogold









The opening lines of 'Creator' "Got no need for the fancy things/ All the attention that it brings/ Tell me no, I say yes, I was chosen/ And I will deliver the explosion" pretty much say it all. It's not often when so much hype is actually warranted but with Santogold, it is.

Santi White, former lead singer of the US punk/ska band Stiffed and woman behind the nickname turned band moniker Santogold, has made a debut album that is loaded with eclectic and exciting tunes that are addictive as hell. The album features appearances or production work from Chuck Treece of Bad Brains, Cliffored "Moonie" Pusey of Steel Pulse, Diplo, Freq Nasty, M.I.A, Naeem Juwan of Spank Rock, Radioclit, Sinden, Switch, Trouble Andrew, and XXXchange.

Seemingly the American answer to MIA, Santogold takes similar steps as MIA (both using similar styles and producers) but has managed to make her sounds more accessible to a wider audience. Most of the time, when this happens, the music suffers but with Santogold that is not the case.

Santi's style jumps around from the Tega and Sarah flavored sounds of 'Shove It' to the uber catchy punk/dubtastic 'Say Aha' (with a chanted chorus that gets me out of my seat every time I hear it). Then there is the lyrical spitfire filled grimey 'Creator', the Sinden sounding bleeps of 'Starstruck' and the down tempo, pop perfect female power of 'I'm A Lady'.

The genre jumping may not be for everyone but with mastery of so many styles, it pretty much guarantees that Santogold will be around for a while. Santi's debut album is yet another contender for album of the year in my book. I will be watching very closely to see what she will do next! This could very well be the year of Santogold.


8 out of 10


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Martha Wainwright - I Know You're Married But I Got Feelings Too









'I Know You’re Married But I've Got Feelings Too' is only Martha Wainwright's second album but it cements her place as a solid songwriter and musician. Martha (sister to Rufus Wainwright, in case you didn't know) has toured and recorded with acts ranging from Neko Case to Snow Patrol (with which she did the single 'Set the Fire to the Third Bar'). When asked about the album Martha responded "The title sums up my dark humor. Plus it's an homage to a few good men and women that I've loved at one time or another. After all, these people never go away. You end up loving them for life.".

The album is full of styles ranging from love ballads to more rock tinged fair, as well as pop versions of Pink Floyd's 'See Emily Play' (which actually works for me) and the Eurythmics' 'Love Is A Stranger' (Martha and Annie Lennox released the single 'Sing' to raise awareness of the transmission of HIV to unborn children in Africa). In the album opener 'Bleed All Over Me' Martha muses about lovers and friends lost. When she sings 'In The Middle Of The Night' (the stand out track for me) it sounds like someone who, filled with such passion and pain, could turn on you at any second (I also swear she should be touring with Nick Cave after hearing this track!). Martha seems to channel different singers from time to time like in 'The 'Tower Song' which would be right at home on a Radiohead album if Thom York was at the helm or on "The George Song" which sounds like a cross between Jewel and Tori Amos (which is not a bad thing). 'Jimi' shows that Martha can belt out chorus' with the best of them and really shows her vocal talent.

'I Know You’re Married But I've Got Feelings Too' is packed with famous contributors including Pete Townshend ('You Cheated Me'), The Band's Garth Hudson ('I Wish I Were'), and Steely Dan's Donald Fagen ('So Many Friends'). It also features members of Martha's extremely talented extended family, including her brother Rufus (In The Middle Of The Night'), mother Kate McGarrigle, aunt Anna McGarrigle, and her first cousin Lily Lanken ('See Emily Play').

Overall, this is a great step in the right direction as Martha continues to hone her skills and make a name for herself. Highly recommended, if your into that sort of thing.....which I am, lucky me.


8 out of 10





Friday, June 13, 2008

Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours










Out of the recent "indie/dance' or 'electroclash' bands that have come out in the last few years, Cut Copy have released a record that stands out from the crowd. Cut Copy's new long player 'In Ghost Coulours' is a dreamy and sublime mix of blissful soundscapes and all out jams. The three-piece from Melbourne, Australia have successfully passed the dreaded "sophomore slump" and, if this album is any indication, will be making great music for many years to come.

Cut Copy does draw considerable influence from the 80s new wave sound (specifically New Order, in my opinion) but they craft it into something they can call their own. Produced by Tim Goldsworthy of the DFA, the album has loads of synths and just enough 303 sounds to make it interesting. It's amazing to me how effort less the guitars and synths meld together. Cut Copy has put together a wonderful album music, not just a collection of dance tracks that have shouts and rave sounds throughout.

Songs like ' Lights and Music' and ' Out There On The Ice' remind one of the glory days of New Order, whereas songs like 'Unforgettable Season' make you think of the shoegaze bliss of Kitchens of Distinction. There are several moody instrumentals like 'We Fight For Diamonds' (soft and moody)and 'Visions' (a dance instrumental that is way to short!) that make me hope they release an album full of instrumental tracks soon. 'Hearts On Fire" (my personal favorite) is a dance driven track that has a saxophone that swells throughout the song (yes, I said saxophone). While some songs are slower and may be geared towards the "thoughtful listener", there are plenty of tracks that will have you on the dance floor and keep the more electronic minded listener happy.

This album really shows Cut Copy growing as a band. It may seem like a typical 'electroclash' album on the outside, but once you go inside, the depth of the album will grab you. The harmonies and melodies are intoxicating and the whole album is just a blissful joy to listen to. Simply put, this is a great album.

Buy it now.


9 out of 10


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Muscles - Guns, Babes, Lemonade








When I heard the opening lines to 'Sweaty', the albums first track,"My hand slipped into your hand!/ And it was awesome! /And you were special!", I thought I could be in for something special. I had no idea how special.

Muscles debut album 'Guns Babes Lemonade' is as close to dance-pop perfection as I think I will ever hear. This 22 year-old Australian one man phenomenon has created an album full of quirky and contagious songs that you can't help but dance to. His recipe for success is simple: make sure to have plenty of infectious synths lines, amazing multitracked vocal harmonies, thumping beats and top it all of with (often hilarious) lyrics that make you grin from ear to ear.

Tracks like 'My Friend Richard ' and 'Futurekidz' are great party anthems in their own right, with wicked bass lines and stabbing syths, and the inevitable remixes should guarantee dance floor supremacy. 'The Lake' and 'Lauren From Glebe' show a softer side as the music slows down ( to an almost lo-fi house and sometimes trance-ish sound) and the focus is more about the harmonies (with the synths backing them up perfectly!).

The album closes with the wonderfully silly track "Hey Muscles I Love You'- "Last night a most terrible dream/It was 12am and the music disappeared/And i'm crying/I'm shaken/I'm scared/I'm freaked out/Hey Muscles i love you/I wanna have your babies/ Just come here I'll kiss you/Don't worry about the neighbours " - and really sums up what I love about this album. It's pop-sweet, dance-tastic music that never takes itself to seriously. It also happens to be the most fun I've had listening to an album in a long time. If you're a fan of dance music (or just fun music) do yourself a favour and add this to your collection!


10 out of 10!!






Monday, June 02, 2008

Hadouken - Music for An Accelerated Culture








If there was ever going to be a poster band for the term 'NU-RAVE then Hadouken! is it!

The Leeds based band got their name from a special move (a throwing fireball attack called "the Hadouken") in the old Street Fighter video game. The bands songs are full of 8-bits samples and classic rave sounds (think old Moby, Lords of Acid and Acen). The lyrics refer to angst ridden youth, sex, being skint and getting wasted. The music styles vary from grime and punk to happy hard core.

The band of the future this not, but if you are looking to shut your brain off for and hour and have a fun time then this is the band for you. Hadouken! don't seem to take themselves too seriously and there is enough energy in each song that you won't need that Red Bull to keep you up all night, dancing like a loon.

Check out 'Game Over', 'Crank It Up' and ' Driving Nowhere' (my personal favorite).

Oh...and the Pirate Soundsystem remix of "Liquid Lives' (single out now on Surface Noise/Atlantic ) is ACES, just so you know.

7 out of 10