TETRA – Plate-Spinning, Titillation, Clouded Judgement

Dance music has found itself at the same wobbly-spinning-plate pivotal point as guitar-based music has been for a decade or two. Simply put, a lot of what can be done has been done.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t hours and hours of thrilling new songs to be written, but that the excitement of discovery isn’t enough to satisfy any more.

Having established itself as the genre producing the genuinely titillating music, a dance musician need to push that little bit harder to meet the benchmark. TETRA is one of those artists.

TETRA // Ozma

TETRA was recommended to me by Cal from D/R/U/G/S, and for all I know, TETRA could just be another of his guises. There’s a similar absence of photos and information online, and – more importantly – a similar knack for producing razor-sharp, spacious songs.

In truth, I’m not sure if my conspiracy theory stands up – the huge, sprawling Ozma is quite a hand-flailing hop away from D/R/U/G/S’ sound. There’s evidence of an innate understanding of dance music’s straight-up aesthetic: it builds and releases with measured impunity.

Utilising the old language of warped bleeps and sequenced shimmers with ruthless efficiency, TETRA makes five minutes of dancefloor distraction pass at half-speed, all other thoughts clouded by pure exhilaration. Phew. Good stuff.


NB: Huge, unwieldy interview with D/R/U/G/S coming up tomorrow…

MSC – Musical Sudoku For The Ears

ANBAD doesn’t feature a lot of remixes, even though they clutter up my inbox more than just about any other type of mp3 mail-out.

Remixes have always been a promo tool, but now that every man, his dog and his dog’s dog has a laptop with a hooky copy of Fruity Loops, it’s become a promo epidemic. Bands are remixing each other, addicted and incestuous, as if they were all taking part in some sort of sinister remix love-in.

So, yes, the absence of remixes on this site has stemmed mainly from an ill-judged dismissal of their value. Which means, apparently, that I’ve been missing out on gems like MSC‘s remix of Mondeo, by Manchester band Keyboard Rebel.

MSC // Mondeo (Keyboard Rebel) [Remix]

See – that’s part of the problem isn’t it? Writing about remixes is so long-winded. The Blah version of This by Such-and-such remixed by You-know-who. But when a remix like this one is substantially different to the original, it surely becomes a song in its own right.

And so as such, MSC has cobbled together, out of lumps hacked from an separate song, a tune that might be – ouch – better than the original. Here, a song by a deeply pleasant olde-worlde folk band becomes a perky, funky and blisteringly fun disco-workout.

MSC is a brilliant remixer: make no doubt. Pulling all these disparate strings – deliberately unlike the end result – and forming a new song as good as this is hard. Making songs as good as this from something else is the musical equivalent of Sudoku: tough, maddening, but outrageously satisfying when you get it right. MSC has nailed it.

Listen to more: msc-rxp.de

Yanmolby; and Blur, Oasis, Trapezoids

Togetherness is good. Sharing is caring. It’s nice to be nice.

Look at the lengthy comments clustering around this opinion piece on live gigs from a few weeks ago, and wonder how much better off we’d all be if bands and audiences actually got together to chat.

Rather than eyeing each other suspiciously from opposite grimy corners of their local venue and sullenly exchanging trapezoidally mis-cut flyers as if they were at an anti-capitalist rally, what if they collaborated, shared and revealed?

Indie music has always been tribal, reaching its bowel-loosening nadir in 1995’s Oasis Vs Blur fiasco – and the only beneficiary has been the  industry coffers.

This is not just a shame, it’s a catastrophe of sorts: how many kids who determinedly identify themselves with Arctic Monkeys, say, would give Yanmolby the time of day?

Yanmolby // I’m A Blur

Two of Yanmolby ‘make the beats’. Another plays the bass. It sounds like the middle-class-attempt-to-be-cool from hell, but this assessment is miles wide of the mark. I’m A Blur is a sneakily brilliant assault on the dancefloor, the frontal lobe and your speed-freak heart.

All dance music is repetitive, insistent and driving, but there’s a razor-thin line between ‘drab looping noise’ and ‘delicate/thundering ingenuity’. Guess which side Yanmolby fall on?


Val Venosta, Horror-Puns, and The Abominable Dr. Phibes

On the face of it, Van Venosta tick all of the boxes needed to appear on ANBAD. Just examine the evidence:

New band? Duh – tick. Protagonists wary of revealing their faces to the camera lest it steals their souls? Uh-huh. Originate from Göteborg, thus satisfying Scandinavian band obsession? Yup. Song titles betray a mutual and ongoing love of weak PUNS? Hell yes.

And so why fight it? They’re pretty much today’s new band by default. It doesn’t mean ANBAD’s quality control has finally, and sadly, shaken its head and dejectedly leapt feet first out of the window though – how could it when Val Venosta make songs that reek of shiny, plinking synth-dance music and ancient horror-movie pun-based titles?

Val VenostaThe Price Is Right

A shuddering four-square house song that samples clips from – that’s right – the Vincent Price movie The Abominable Dr. Phibes should pique the interest of any consumer of trashy pop culture – which, I’d wager, you are too.

They don’t try anything overtly fancy, instead concentrating fully on building exhilarating poppy-house tunes: foundations of heavy bass decorated with wisps of cheerfully piped melodies and musical box sounds. Vincent Price’s campy threats sound incongruous, fun and strangely fitting.

Val Venosta: mixing handsome Scandi-pop songs, dancefloor clout and heavy-breathing horror. A winning combination, right? Right.

Fridge Magnets, Bile and Andy Kane’s Moustache

The churlish part of me fervently hopes that Andy Kane is based on a real person. Sullen Glaswegians Fridge Magnets tell a story that is short and to the point – that boy no-one liked is an idiot, and now hangs around with other unlikeable idiots:

“He never got picked first for 5-a-side… And now he’s 17 and growing a ‘tache/ And hanging around with sophisticated Uni twats”

There’s something refreshing about such ungentle sentiments, and liberating about partisan discussion of someone’s failings. It’s even more fun to hear it all discussed in a broad Glasgow accent, wet with bile and loathing.

Fridge Magnets – Andy Kane

In fact, the gleeful hatred of Andy Kane might even obscure the song itself: an equally unapologetic slab of electro-freakazoid-dance; a mish mash of fluffy guitars and unrepentant keyboard stabs.

In other hands, it would be streamlined and slicked into oblivion and emerge as a generic electro number. Fridge Magnets’ apathy and  nihilism mean it comes out rough, ready and spoiling for a fight. Great.

Photography by Stuart Nixon

>Joy Orbison: Flavor Flav Was Wrong!

Everyone‘s yapping about him. Joy Orbison has the blessing and curse of hype. Hype in itself is enough to rule out listening to any band that is suspiciously soaked in the stuff – a standpoint which is both flawed and infantile, true, but has served me well enough so far. Well, except when six months’ stubborn rebuttal of LCD Soundsystem resulted in another six months of self-kicking in penance.

But Joy Orbison was approached differently. The Pun-tastic name, the screenshots from Twin Peaks on his Myspace page – something just seemed right. And so – further proof that the gut has much more intelligence than the head can ever hope for: the hype around Joy Orbison is justified.

Much like Tuesday’s showcased artist, Jakwob, Joy Orbison‘s sound is now, and it will still be now in six month’s time. Today’s new electronic musicians are evolving their sound at an unprecedented pace, and in songs like Missus, are revisiting the past to mould the future.

Missus is minimal, sharp and rigid, but also human – and in these qualities finds itself aligned with all the bright spots of electronic music from the last 20 years. Wet Look places its pulses and sighs in the right spots, never using the beat or an effect as a means to an end.

Joy Orbison – Missus

Joy Orbison is another artist who places himself firmly behind the music. It talks, we listen, he enjoys our response, we just keep dancing. A situation where everyone is, indeed, happy.

>Jakwob – Where Kangaroo Testicles and Rampant Egos Collide!

Did you know that NASA found water on the moon? And not just a drop, but gallons of the stuff? Nope, me neither. Isn’t this mass ignorance a bit… odd?

Even a Luddite like me knows that water=life, and yet the papers here are more concerned with which which fame-lusting societal leech will eat kangaroo testicles on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! (I’ve got my fingers crossed for George Hamilton, who has the appearance of a slightly melted George Hamilton android).

So in times where fame is so craved that eating insects seems an attractive prospect, it’s a real pleasure to hear music like Jakwob‘s – songs where the artist retreats into the background and the music does the ‘Look at me! Look at me! Looook!’ bit.

Starry Eyed Remix grabs a bassline so vicious, casualties may litter the dancefloor, and spins a vocal line so lightweight and ecstatic, no one will ever manage to mistake it for serious, chin-stroking ‘IDM’. Here With Me is even bigger, the keyboards throbs so vast that the threat of black holes spontaneously forming is omnipresent whenever it is played.

Jakwob – Starry Eyed Remix

Jakwob is making the sort of expansive, huge ‘n’ heavy crowd-pleasing dance music that disappeared under an avalanche of Strokes-a-likes about seven years ago. This is a situation where we all win: rampant egos quelled, clubland and bedroomland dancing, The Kooks et al finally banished.

Jakwob, don’t stop now. This is your time. Your country needs you.

Photography by Lucy Bridger

>Today’s New Band – FRAP FRAP FRAP

>If yesterday’s post and band celebrated the benefits of a UK-centric existence (or at least a teenage life revolving around CD singles, posters torn from the NME and the avoidance of contact sports), then today’s will be an extension of that, right? It could even develop into a theme week of good ol’ Britishisms, lending coherency and structure to the whole damn website, right? Yeah!

Except, of course it won’t and Today’s New Band isn’t. Well, it is, but at the same time, it’s not – ANBAD is Anti-Consistency, don’t you know. They’re the preposterously named FRAP FRAP FRAP, and are as different to yesterday’s Indie-aesthetic as possible. But then, conversely, they’re not. Hmmm. Just take their mentalist remix of Blur’s Boy’s and Girls, a song that, by it’s ultra-aware, fine-tuned arch Britishness, should defy attempts at remixing.

But FRAP FRAP FRAP are Japanese and geographically detached enough from the 90’s Britpop humdrum hoodoo to not care about slaughtering such sacred cows. Thus, they turn Girls and Boys into a weirdo, space-trance, stadium-dance, rigid-beat dancefloor riot.

Rock Show (a remix of the ace song by Peaches) is a similar burst of keep-it-simple-stupid, four-to-the-floor thumping. By turning an aggressive song into a metronomically hypnotic floor-filler, FRAP FRAP FRAP demonstrate that they have more in common with those pasty white Indie teens than you might initially think. Songs like this only come from a pure, simple love of good music, and the desire to create something simple, new and awesome, which is what they’ve done.

FRAP FRAP FRAP crank out these thudding remixes at a rate that suggests minor obsession with their craft. That’s as good a hint as you need to listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Parasite PLUS! Fight The Power!


There’s a protest outside the big BBC building in Manchester. It’s anti-Palestine or anti-Gaza; I forget which. A few days ago, it was in a sorry state – one middle aged woman harrumphing at the world, a cardboard sign, and some candles. But last night, troops rallied, a large-ish, vocal group were there banging the same metaphorical drums as ever.
They had a song that went, “We’re together! We’re united! We will never be defeated!” It sadly lacked that little bit of pizazz to really, incisively shake the evil empire out of its corporate fug. Sadly, not one of the protesters had even a cursory knowledge of Sham 69‘s back catalogue, as they would have known that “divided” would have been a much better rhyme for their final couplet. Frankly, by the looks on their faces, “We will never be delighted” would have been more appropriate.
Some people just need a wall to bang their heads against. In this group’s case, the TV studios where they film BBC Children In Need is close enough to The Man to suffice. The only banging of heads induced by Today’s New Band, Parasite, will be those that occur on the dancefloor of a sweat-drenched club when the involuntary arm-flailing his truly mentalist tunes cause take their toll.
Parasite is a DJ who, seemingly, whelps outrageously hardcore jungle tunes. That, and the fact that they’re brilliant is all you need to know, in many respects. The fabulous thing about music this out-there and non-inclusive is that it will deter anyone who is even a tiny bit concerned with artifice. If you’re the kind of person who worries that your skinny-tie-and-ironic-tanktop will be simply ruined in the sweat-pit conditions of a jungle or breakcore nightclub, stop reading now.
If, though, losing it on the dancefloor for six straight hours, until your limbs, ears and mind are all aching is your idea of a good time, then his music should be clutched close to your clammy chest. Parasite’s songs are designed for losing yourself in exactly these conditions. Now Get Ill, straddling novelty and mind-shredding brilliance; I Love You Baby, pounding you into broken submisison with ragga-jungle clout; Strong Like A Lion providing quasi-respite, bubbling and echoing before it zips into banging mentalism again.
Parasite makes music with a smile on his face, but is dead serious about having a good time. Music for the fans, by the fans, with no regard for being named on any hipster magazine’s ‘cool’ list. You may not like the sound, but the reasoning’s perfect. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Ganz Anders PLUS! Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Having written in breathless, lusty fashion on Lou Reed‘s Transformer a few days ago, whilst visiting the record shop over the weekend, the cranky rocker was foremost in my mind. A chain of events had been initiated that were too all-encompassing, too powerful and too spookily ordered to resist.
Drawn, magnetically, to the ‘R’ section, I click-clacked the CDs until I found the Reed, Lou tab. It was there. It fluttered its cracked-jewel-case eyelashes at me. It was a paltry £3. It accompanied me straight to the till. It was the album I had always wanted, but was never brave enough to buy. It was Metal Machine Music.
Has another album has inspired so much negativity? In the true spirit of the awkward, deliberately obtuse music fan, there are as many web pages describing how bad it is as there are proclaiming its genius. Here’s what it actually is: an hour-long album of guitar feedback. No, that’s not an abject attempt at wry witticism – it is literally just that, guitar on guitar, howling and feeding back on themselves.
So is it really that awful/great? Well, I listened to it, and… enjoyed it. At the ten minute mark, mild agony sets in, but those brave or dumb enough to stick with will find that it eventually transcends sound itself, and the noise seems to sync with your brainwaves. Like when someone keeps telling the same joke and it eventually becomes funny again. It’s clearly an experiment, taken beyond its logical limitations, and I warmed to it for those exact reasons.
Today’s New Band, Ganz Anders, can take heart from the fact that all they need to do is produce something other than 64 minutes of white noise, and they won’t be hated as much as Lou Reed circa 1974. Ganz Anders make big, long, clunky house music. They’re from Holland, and if you’ve ever been to Holland, you’ll know that a) everyone seems a bit too tall, and b) they know how to have a good time.
Broken is big, grubby, and heavy, like a Victorian steam engine. It sounds along those lines too, intimidating one and all with its unusually hearty beats, pulses and squawks. In the middle it collapses under its own vast mass, before finally clambering back to it’s rightful, relentless pace.
Bells has a section that sounds like one long, extended fart, and yet still has serious house chops – it’d slip into a 1988 setlist at The Hacienda with ease. Autospeck maintains that careful balance between the breakdown and the hands-in-the-air transcendence that all good house music needs.
So Ganz Anders also make abstract noise when they want to. Perhaps Lou Reed was aiming for this, and just got lost on the way. Or wasted. One of these options may be truer than the other. Ganz Anders stayed focused and are having a hell of a time. Rave on!