:papercutz & Pleq – Resisting Temptation

Surely not. Is this true?

“Did you know celestial bodies and planets produce sounds through radio waves that can sound beautiful – from light to dark?”

I mean, I’m as willing to buy wholesale into a song’s accompanying PR spin as much as the next desperate blogger, but this claim is pretty intense.

Usually the urge to trawl Wikipedia for some sort of corroboration would be irresistable, but this is such a pleasant idea, I’m happy for such claims to slip by unfounded.

It’s also a nice starting point for people who want to make blissed-out, confusing and devastatingly vast music: people like – say – the syntactically confusing :papercutz & Pleq.

What’s most refreshing about this track is that the temptation to weld some spacey sounds to a generic dubstep/bass music template was wholly avoided by its creators.

And yet, perhaps the most exciting element of the whole song is that it feels like it is always threatening to cave into full-on WUB-WUBBB-WUBBBBB dubstep idiocy – and yet it never does.

This twinkle-toed dalliance between heavy and soft keeps the track alive, and marks :papercutz & Pleq out as being both deft and smart. A winning combination.

FAO Pedants – NB: Yes, :papercutz has been around for a while. But this collab handily tips them into ‘new band’ status. Loopholes!

MORE: papercutzed.com

Ana Lola Roman: Indispensable Disposability

The difficulty with electronic music is that, being easily tweakable to within an inch of its creator’s idea of perfection, the need for vocals is almost completely disposed with.

No further explanation is needed: the music inherently explains everything it wants to.

Mere words are in danger of becoming a further, wanted layer of complexity sitting on a finely-honed stream of soundwaves.

So how does Ana Lola Roman tackle this quandry? The sensible way, which is to closely integrate the words with the sounds: Klutch is the result of symbiosis between  the two.


Either element could exist in other states: the song as a stand-alone, the lyrics could fit another song. But the impact of both would be lessened by this switch.

Klutch, with its insistent proto-Krautrock rhythm and spluttering drums, is a simple pleasure performed brightly, and Ana Lola Roman‘s words, in the circumstances, a necessity. It’s briefer than you’d expect too; a short, intense shot of drum patterns and voices.

It’s not for everyone. But what is?

MORE: analolaroman.com

Acid Glasses: Not Ellie Goulding

Now we’re firmly entrenched in the age of the bedroom artiste, you’d think there’d be more defiantly obtuse music than ever, but really it just means that there are even more people who want to be Ellie Goulding than ever before.

Any band that has both the panache and the cojones to break a song down via a false CD-skip sound effect is worth a listen – and indeed, My Pale Garden proves its worth.

I mean, just marvel at the daring: who has CDs to get that reference these days anyway? Acid Glasses, my friends, are truly on the edge.

Fading in, and fading out and back again at will, My Pale Garden is as avant-garde a pop song as you’ll hear this week.

Because, despite all the pitch-shifted lyrics, crumbling song structure and K-hole echo bleeding all over the surface, at the heart of the angular jumble lies a pretty pop song.

Moreover, the band know that the pop song within is the key – and fight their urges throughout, pushing it to the fore and pulling it back.

A risky, neat trick, and one that – just – works. Challenging fun.

MORE: acidglasses.tumblr.com

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 13th July 2011

 Lt. Drebin needs distracting this week, as his exterior revenue stream – wads of non-sequential banknotes stuffed into brown envelopes in return for some piffling celeb’s private information – has dried up in the wake of some minor newspaper kerfuffle.

Fortunately, he can put those niggling thoughts of his impending arrest by his colleagues whilst he listens to this excellent Midweek Mixtape:

FIRST! Blood Sport surely take their moniker from the excellent/nonsense Jean-Claude Van Damme movie of the same name. It’s fitting in many senses: not that their music is ludicrously violent, but that their noisy songs like HSFM are a whirlwind of visceral, guiltily enjoyable action. Great.

SECOND! I get the feeling that Be Not Idle In Preparation Of Thy Doom aren’t so concerned with punchy brevity. I’m not sure exactly what gave me that feeling first: the hour-long static buzz of Die Elektrischen Vorspiele or the… wait, it was just that. Like Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music played at half-speed: excellent.


THIRD! Timothy Monger‘s The New Britton Sound is almost too pleasant after Be Not Idle…’s electric excess, but, Timothy’s soaring songs are tempered from hitting the heights/lows of MOR via some tasty trumpeteering and delightful harmonies, as in The Lark. Nice, in every way.


FOURTH! The Dirty Nil sound like the kind of band who’d write a song called Fuckin’ Up Young, don’t they? And so it goes: it’s a crashingly grubby conflation of ragged vocal chords, spazzed-out guitars and clumpy drums. But you probably guessed that. Nice.

Poland: Plentiful, Simple, Niche

Perhaps the question today is no longer Why are you making music, but, Why aren’t you?

Think: the computer you’re reading this on will have a rudimentary sound editing program powerful enough to snip sounds from God’s Sample Crate – AKA Youtube – and quickly form a song of your own making.

Sure, the results won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but who do you want to be, Bon Jovi?

Poland doesn’t even aim to be Richie Sambora, and her music is febrile, spasmodic and odd. Note the ‘her’, by the way – almost all electronic music is make by men, so the fact this artist is called Holly is a true rarity.

But that’s the point – Sandy may well be chiefly of interest to its maker, but then almost all forms of art are. Just as blogging is really a writer’s stab at immortality through words, electronic music is perhaps its musical equivalent: plentiful, simple, niche.

Sandy is a formed from beautiful snippets of of other bits of sounds, other bits of songs. Listening to it is like accessing Poland’s mind for the briefest of seconds, and it seems a dizzyingly hectic, winningly bright place.

Bizarre and hypnotic.


Reid – Milking The Sweet Spot

A new week begin, but old puzzles remain. Just what do you call your one-man house music project?

Of course, no-one wants to use their full name – that’s all a bit too Sven Väth – but then why disassociate yourself fully from the final product?

Such conundrums faced Eoghan Reid, who took inspiration from compatriots Bono, Dana and (The) Edge and decided that actually, one name was more than enough.

So ‘Reid’ it was, and Reid it is, producing silky-smooth, thunderously soft house music. House music is at its most devastatingly effective when kept almost absurdly simple, and, in his echo-drenched thumper Forrest, Reid has discovered this secret sweet spot.

And after discovering the secret, Reid has milked it appropriately, working every delay-and-drop angle possible. This of course, is the second secret of house music – rinse and repeat.

Forrest rolls and rumbles, exactly as it ought to, and its listeners will feel the urge to raise their hands towards imaginary lasers pinging off imaginary mirrorballs, just as they ought to. The cycle is complete. Great stuff.

MORE: reidmusic.bandcamp.com

The View From… Camden (Again)

Tim Osboune is a journalist who likes going to gigs. A fortunate combination.

When he offered to write for ANBAD, I immediately said ‘Yes!’; when he offered to write the article on Camden’s music scene, I said, ‘Oh, go on then,’ because, even though it’s been discussed before, Tim’s view is very different… 

An (Unpretentious) View From… Camden

Camden Town in London scores highly in the hipster stakes as a small melting pot of fashion and music culture that has bred international superstars like Amy Winehouse. That said, the music scene around Camden is often criticised for its plethora of pretentious post-superstar bands trying to cash in on the ‘all-eyes-on-us’ feel of the place.

But fear not, for there are still a handful of no-nonsense rock bands who are taking the heart and soul of Camden nationwide.

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time at The Wheelbarrow in Camden it’s likely that you’ll have come across the trio called Them Changes. The band hosts a regular night called Hooligan Soup at the venue once a month, inviting other bands to support them.

They describe themselves as a “psychedelic space punk power trio” with huge guitar riffs broken by great harmonies and vocal ranges. It’s a set-up that’s earned them a local reputation as ‘the next Kings of Leon’, a fair comparison when listening to their recently-released track Lie To Me.

Then there’s the extraordinary Tom Cawte and David Thornley who front the band Babeshadow.

Babeshadow have been regulars in Camden since their formation last year, a pair of modern-day renegades of sorts; an anti-modernist calypso-pop outfit that fits perfectly into the London indie scene with their Buddy Holly inspired sound… and they’re letting the music do the talking.

This means, shocking as it is given the current state of the music industry, until recently there has been very little to see or hear of the band without making the trek to London to see them perform live.

Despite having already been signed to LuvLuvLuv Records and toured with Florence and the Machine in November they appear to be rejecting much of the modern hype machine and social networking and simply concentrating on creating great tracks.

Their fresh, laid-back style of guitar plucking makes their new EP fresh enough to stand-out from the crowd. The lead track ‘Sea Serpents’ has won national airplay and, for reasons that are somewhat unclear, seems to be a hit on many shop playlists in supermarkets and beauty treatment outlets as well.

Camden locals FC-20 are another fine embodiment of the very spirit of Camden as a cultural melting pot with tracks that are heavily influenced by reggae, electro rock, ska and rap among others.

The five-piece band only formed last year but are already calving a reputation for themselves locally in the area as a Happy Mondays influenced, no nonsense band with a ton of attitude.

The boys have already supported fellow-Londoners, The Rifles, at various gigs including The Roundhouse and are regulars at The Monarch in Camden.

Their live set is an electrifying mix of punkish screaming vocals and dubstep infused indie beats. It’s an odd, but winning combination that seems to have raised a few eyebrows among the locals.

Moustache of Insanity – No Extraneous Headlines Needed

Now here’s a band whose headlines write themselves. It’s kind of them to help out us embattled writers like that.

In all honesty, they have little need to supply any more promotional material beyond their songs and their name, because really, what else is there to say once a band chooses to attach the moniker Moustache of Insanity to their endeavours?

LOL-tastic band names might cause you to involuntarily shrink away, fearing a combination of krrrrayzeee! joke songs and knock-around goofy ‘fun’, but suspend your inner taste compass for a moment, because Moustache of Insanity are surprisingly sweet and – yes – normal.

Moustache of Insanity / Talk Along

Talk Along is as touching and sweet love song as you’ll hear all week – heck – all month. Like the band, there’s little else that needs adding – it’s an addictively lovely song.

Moustache of Insanity have featured in the EasyJet in-flight magazine. Now that’s a sign you’ve made it.

MORE: moustacheofinsanity.com

Petter Seander: Tea and Symphony

I usually need no extra incentive to listen to another chunk of Swedish lo-fi guitar pop.

Listening to a new Scandinavian band is like taking part in a lucky dip where the prizes are hidden amongst other prizes. It’s surprisingly hard to go wrong.

Swedish jangle-pop is about as close to a sure bet as you get in the world of new bands. They’re almost universally exciting, quirky or dreamy. Sometimes they’re all three.

Kudos is reserved for Petter Seander, who successfully gilded the lily by not only providing the requisite slice of blissfully skewed scuzzy pop, but by giving away free tea with every purchase of Fortune Cookies. Free tea!

Fortune Cookies arrives neatly bundled with not only some elderflower tea, but also a recipe for hazelnut cookies. I’m sure these gifts are carefully chosen to accompany a song that – genuinely – brings a smile to the face of its listeners.

Even when Petter croons, ‘nothing lasts forever,‘ the sentiment is met with a shrug and a dizzy shake of the head. Lovely, soaring, tinkling, jittering, perfect pop. Excellent.


PS – The good people at the Hype Machine lost their minds and asked me to appear on their radio show. It’s a great listen, until I start jabbering, natch. Listen: hypem.com/radio

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 6th July 2011

Lt. Drebin is angry.

Drebin accidentally listened to X-Factor drone Cher Lloyd’s début, the ludicrously-named chart-molesting song Swagger Jagger.

Drebin ANGRY! Drebin SMASH!

MIXTAPE, quick:

FIRST! Anna-Anna is further proof that Rio de Janeiro’s music scene is an extremely fertile one, the city regularly spewing forth small, complex and exciting bands. Anna-Anna is indeed one of these, although Cat Eyes proves to be one of the more esoteric efforts: spooky, intimate and seductively weird.


SECOND! This is Vladimir‘s full email to ANBAD: “We aim to play as loud and creat as much chaos at gigs as possible recently resulting in us being band from our local university after a gig. we dont care for influences and just play what we want. if you could feature us that would be great if not at least you have listend.” SOLD.


THIRD! The Pineapple Chunks’ song (Magicland) Dizzy is about my favourite ZX Spectrum game of the same name, which involved controlling a cheerfully sentient egg in a fantasy world. The song is appropriately happy and colourful.  Note to new bands: songs on this or similar ZX Spectrum-related topics guarantees coverage.



FOURTH! Danny Fingers has made a surprisingly touching song about a flint with a San Franciscan barista, called, er, San Francisco Barista Weekend Fling. It’s a song that seems to find depths of feeling and warmth despite itself, and is a small, sweet delight.