It’s the Manchester-based In The City new music conference soon, and even stubborn contrariness can’t deter me from devoting the next few weeks to a huge new music event taking place on my doorstep.You’ll be hearing a lot more about ITC, but for now – check out the brilliant line-up of bands, some of whom are in this week’s Midweek Mixtape.
In The City was started by the late, and – yes – great, Tony Wilson, founder of Factory Records. He enjoyed a wry look at many things, and this week, he’s admiring the Situationist construct of a donkey dangling at a 45-degree angle. And so it goes.
FIRST: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs have mutated somewhat since he was featured on an infant ANBAD in May 2008, and yet the core quality remains the same: stupendously inventive skewed dance, pristine sounds and an emphasis on a Good Time.
Garden is a song best played on the dancefloor after midnight, the kind that will revitalise loose limbs and change minds considering the comfort of their beds. Soft, careful, angular and deceptively brutal.
SECOND: Chiddy Bang, like approximately 99% of young musicians, make remixes on their laptops. Unlike 98% of their peers, their remixes are worthwhile, taking an original source – MGMT’s Kids, say – and create something altogether new. Retaining the feel of an original track but creating novelty is hard, but Chiddy Bang have it nailed. A curio, but a good one.
THIRD: Stealing Sheep are Welsh, which makes their name either an ironic jibe at anti-Welsh clichés, or is a damning indictment of the boredom levels present in The Kids in Wales. Either way, their music is at once simple, harmonic and beautiful whilst maintaining a wild and wired muggy-psych swirl. Fascinating and sweet.
FINALLY: Porcelain Raft - just imagine a raft made out of china. It’s madness! Kids these days. Porcelain Raft would do well to steer clear of boating lakes, because his music is so dreamy, cloudy and disorientating, that listeners will be spellbound – or at least unsure as to whether they’re awake or not. The sound of rapidly cooling fudge: creamy, enveloping, tempting.
DONE! Done. At £29, the wristbands for ITC are pretty much the best gig-going bargain this side of becoming an A&R man and getting in everywhere for free. (But if you were an A&R man, you’d have a whole host of other problems to balance that equation out.)