CAVALRY

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Photo: andrewellisportfolio.tumblr.com

What a state the world is in. It’s 2015, and new guitar music still arrives burdened with thick swirls of philosophical innuendo over its very existence.

But maybe we’re making progress. The debate has abated a bit, perhaps because all the hand-wringers are distracted by bright young things in identical n*ormc*re garb nodding and making clicky noises come out of their MacBooks.

Is asking if guitar music is dead dead? Is the concept of “guitar music” even a thing any more? Are we post-genre? In a world where the playlist is king, does it matter if your niche post-2-step banger shlubs up next to some polyrhythmic guitar noodling?

 

Maybe that’s an unnecessary introduction for Cavalry, a Liverpool band that are making “guitar music”, but really should be simply credited as making “music”.

Cavalry are the first guitar band to really catch my ear for a long time, and while that could just as easily be my fault, there is a suggestion of something silvery and transcendent in their supple songs.

An Understanding has heart, soul and meaning: all those words that mean so much and get devalued when they’re attached to pious, serious and “authentic” guitar music.

But Cavalry’s songs seem to have them woven into their being. Maybe it’s the warm weather we’re having right now, but you know — these songs sound just right.

ATA KAK, AKA ANBAD ’94

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Well, all pretence of blogging regularly appears to have gone out of the window now, let alone the now remote and frankly hilarious idea of a new band appearing every single day here on ANBAD.

However, while this month’s excuse is the blog-silencing classic of “I’ve been distracted by a new job,” this month’s contribution to the bottomless-pit-of-bands on ANBAD is truly a 100% solid-gold addition.

It’s old gold, actually, and the rediscovery and re-release of Ata Kak‘s outrageously perfect Ghanaian hip-house music that dates from 1994 is a story that is worth #longread status.

I would call Awesome Tapes From Africa a “fellow music blogger”, but that would imply that ANBAD is somewhere vaguely in the same league as this wonderful music resource, which of course it is not.

Ata Kak’s re-emergence is the work of the amazing ATFA – and Obaa Sima is just about the best thing I’ve heard since Oh Jesus I Don’t Even Know When.

Obama Sima is so bouncy and fun it should be illegal. It’s so unlike anything else I’ve ever heard anywhere near this genre of freako-house music that I strongly suspect it has been sent to an increasingly ambivalent world by a concerned God to prove their mere existence, kindness and generosity.

It’s this simple – if you’re not moved to at least nod your head to the above song, don’t bother to call a doctor: you’re already dead.

DEAN BLUNT

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I only really blog now when I’m frothing at the mouth about something, so please believe me when I tell you that my heart did backflips when I heard 100, the new song from Dean Blunt.

Here’s the video (because I can’t find it on Soundcloud.)

Yes, that Dean Blunt, who was one half of the amazing and amazingly mysterious Hype Williams.

The same Dean Blunt who thoroughly pranked an oblivious NME when he won an NME award — and then didn’t tell them that the man he’d sent in his place wasn’t, in fact, him.

That Dean Blunt. He’s just released the best song he’s ever written (or its video at least). 100 is almost too gorgeous to bear. It’s like slowly lowering your body into molten chocolate, but better.

Simple, sweet, husky and weirdly intimate, this is simply dripping with nonchalent brilliance. It sounds like a song that someone would write for Roy Orbison, if he was still alive.

PS – If you care about “beef”, the video starts with a half-negative quote from Idris Elba, who’s going to be the next James Bond but it seems that we have to wait for a number of people to come to terms with his skin colour first.

Maybe Idris should send Dean in his place.

LUSTS

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A good friend sent me an email frothing wildly about Lusts. These are always — always — the best, most accurate recommendations.

In the Music Blog World™, clicking on a new band’s Soundcloud link is almost always a trepidatious affair, but this time, the click was deep-fried GOLD.

 

You can figure out their musical touchstones within a minute, and that’s fine, because Lusts sound like all those bands which you love that you’ve somehow forgotten about, or thought would never be heard of again, or thought no-one would ever care about again.

If you ever hear anyone moaning about the dearth of Guitar Bands These Days, wordlessly point them at Lusts and observe their joy.

And those guitars! There are amazing, spidery guitars, huge, whooshing guitars, and guitar noises that sound like they have gone through a magical FX pedal that doubles mellifluousness.

Brilliant. So happy.

PS: According to Facebook, the band are signed to 1965 Records, which kind-of makes sense, because owner James Endeacott signed a bunch of great bands, and also kind-of doesn’t make sense, because Wikipedia says 1965 Records are “defunct,” and their website looks that way too.

I guess it all sorts of makes *actual* sense, in context.

GLASTONBURY EMERGING TALENT COMPETITION

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Let’s cut to the chase: of course you want to play at Glastonbury Festival. It’s Glastonbury Festival. You want to play there because you are a human being with eyes, a heart and a brain.

So: enter the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition now. Go on. You only have a few days left, so hop to it, sunshine.

Entering it gives you not only the chance to play at Glastonbury, but a big hefty wedge of #cash #money via the PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development prize.

Also, I’m one of the judges, so if you enter a song with a pun in the title and/or a reference to 90s pop-house chart hits, you’re in with a chance.

It’s given a hefty leg-up to some of the best bands about, too: old ANBAD faves Bridie Jackson and the Arbour were hugely deserved winners a couple of years ago.

 

Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis regards the Emerging Talent competition as a hugely important part of Glastonbury’s remit, saying: “The Emerging Talent Competition is always an incredible way for us to find fresh talent from across the musical spectrum.

In fact, eight of the acts that entered in 2014 ended up with slots at Glastonbury 2014. I can’t wait to hear who we discover this year.”

Hey, what more encouragement do you need? Enter here, the deadline is Monday the 26th January!

ERIKA GLÜCK

 

I guess I’ve written endlessly about my listening habits skewing towards music produced in the most basic of fashions.

My drive for Simple Music Done Dirt Cheap™ has accelerated at about the same pace as the general adoption of laptop DAWs as the primary music making resource. There’s just so much going in in music that doesn’t need to be there.

This life-affirming video of A Guy Called Gerald fiddling with analogue boxes in his studio and creating – off-the-cuff, on-the-fly – some huge tunes, cemented my point of view.

Anyway, Erika Glück’s Caress is a seven minute, simple-as-possible workout: all thump, no flimflam. It’s a song to get lost in; a terrific, meditative reminder that simple isn’t scary.

Iggy and Jerry: Outside The Lines, For Real

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The last time I saw Iggy Pop live, he was performing with the reformed Stooges at Glastonbury festival. Halfway through the (great) set, he suddenly implored the crowd to invade the stage and jump up and down with him.

The crowd did exactly as he asked, and the gig continued whilst hundreds of people jumped up and down on stage with Iggy.

Then he asked them to leave the stage. They did not do exactly as he asked, and kept on jumping around.

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In an era of faux-authenticity, watching Iggy’s genuine encouragement of rebellion was refreshing. I guess this is why Sailor Jerry has used Iggy and The Stooges’ classic “TV Eye” to soundtrack their new Outside The Lines film, which celebrates living a life less ordinary — the ethos of Sailor Jerry.

Tattooist Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins — the man the rum is named after — was also a rebellious, independent spirit, and the new Sailor Jerry video is appropriately stuffed with archive footage of like-minded outsiders. It’s a blur of saturated colours, spinning wheels and a reminder that life is worth living without regrets, all to the raucous noise of “TV Eye”.

Iggy’s also collaborated with Sailor Jerry to create an exclusive range of clothing-’The Flash Collection’.The theme of The Flash Collection by Iggy Pop is probably best exemplified by its denim vest with the words “Death Shall Triumph” in three-inch high lettering emblazoned on the back: over-the-top and to hell with the consequences.

Visit the Sailor Jerry site to watch the Outside The Lines film, and an exclusive video with Iggy Pop himself — or check out their Facebook , Twitter and Instagram for more Iggy Pop/Sailor Jerry shenanigans.

BRUTISH C POWERS

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The temptation to plump for a British Sea Powers headline pun was too hard to resist. I am but a flawed individual, forgive me.

C Powers is also known as CC Powers and is quite possibly releasing stuff under a plethora of pseudonyms for all I know, but in an age of meta-nom-de-plumes, who cares?

Anyway, Shit Remix is, indeed, a remix of Shit by Future, and is so overwhelmingly more fun than the original, there’s no need to listen to it any more, should you have been inclined.

It’s also a reminder of the power of simplicity: this remix doesn’t add or remove much at all: C Powers just sticks in the bits that always needed to be there.

ATTIC SPACE: ATIC ATAC

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Here are the tags that accompany Attic Space‘s music:

ambient chillwave christian drone electronic experimental Millersville

Thought: Maybe Ambient Christian Chillwave is a sub-genre I can fully buy into, for once.

Anyway. Attic Space‘s music is right up my street, as it’s pieced together out of nibbles of this, kibbles of that, and big swathes of the other.


My main attraction to this kind of music is that it’s usually the vision of a solo performer: this doesn’t mean it’s automatically any good, but it does mean that the music is unsullied by outsiders, or surly drummers, or what-have-you.

Spring Tides is, however, very good: Attic Space has assembled a true collage of lo-fi sounds and made a song of quiet, odd beauty.

Most lo-fi anything is tripe; this is good, simply because I get the feeling it’s lo-fi out of necessity, as opposed to some dreary attempt at nostalgist revivalism.

So when the drums sound a bit like a cardboard box being hit by a wooden spoon – it really probably was exactly that, and was done so because there were no actual drums to hand. I like that a lot.

PS: For those of you who didn’t get the Atic Atac reference

KRISTA PAPISTA: THEY DON’T MAKE ‘EM LIKE THEY USED TO

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There’s something about Krista Papista’s rough ‘n’ ready, cut ‘n’ paste, chop ‘n’ change pop that is deeply satisfying, deeply jarring and deeply un-now.

By being all those things, Bad F is also 100% now. And yet it sounds like daring music of the past. Argh.

There’s something in the attitude, the delivery, the lyrics and the snarl that bypasses the tedium of Tumblr-first Image-House™ music and drags her songs straight up to the edge.

It’s so odd to hear something even slightly out of step with the banality of most new ‘edgy’ music, that this song made me sit up in my seat. Good stuff.