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:

I’m Not A Band – Except, Of Course They Are (Not)

Hey! Just when did being a band stop being so good? Just last month, we met EP Island – the non-band band, and now here’s I’m Not A Band –  a band (which, of course, they aren’t) that isn’t a band (because they’re not one). Just trying to figure out what they actually are is a philosophical nightmare.

This is all a bit of a post-post-modern shock to me. I always thought being in a band was the best way to pass the time. From the sound of it, it still is: I’m Not A Band revel in their togetherness – cute unhinged vocals splicing with monsterous electronic sounds.

One band (sorry – “non-band”) member, Stephan J, considers himself a classical musician, indeed – and it shows – not in pretentiousness, but in construction. There’s a delicacy of thought in Crazy, a song that transcends it’s unintentionally fun euro-english intro and bursts into life as a throbbing floor-filler – awash with hi-hats and bullish synths.

I’m Not A Band – Crazy

I’m going to chance my arm: I’m Not A Band are a band after all. They’re also an experiment to see if anyone will believe their fibs. We won’t. No number of crafty, skewed electronic pop songs will disguise the fact… right?

>Today’s New Band – Schande Boy! PLUS! Put a Donk on it!


Donk. Say it, out loud. Donk. Donk. Donk. Donk. Donk donk donk. Then repeat it over and over, preferably in a room full of sweaty, E’d-up Thug-Lite 18 year olds. Congratulations! You have just recreated an experience only a fifth as banal as the actual music scene whose name you’ve just been chanting, to the concern of your nearest and dearest.
Donk, for those of you who don’t lecherously hang around teenagers like I do, is a type of Bounce House music, which is in itself a sub-genre of Scouse House. Actually, there’s no point in explaining any more – just check out the truly astonishing Put A Donk On It by Blackout Crew.
Having had my eyes belatedly opened to a whole new world of idiocy, I discussed it with sometime ANBAD contributor Jamie. It’s like lame Happy Hardcore, we agreed. It’s so bad it’s gone right past good to being bad again, we agreed. There’s virtually no good song Donk couldn’t destroy, we agreed.
This last idea raised an interesting point – could Donk, the Poor Man’s Gabber, be used to improve bad songs? Keane‘s newest album perhaps, or anything by U2? It’s hard to deny that hearing the words “Put a donk on it” looped over the chorus of Vertigo wouldn’t have been an overwhelming improvement.
I’d like to hear a Donk be put on Today’s New Band, not to make it better, but to see if Schande Boy could be made any weirder. Schande Boy is musically schizophrenic. Can’t Stand Punk is a weird, harmonium-led, quasi-choral chant about the singer’s disdain for, errr, punk. Rounds of ah-ah-ah vocal sounds, distressingly grand stabs of organ and confused lyrics mean it’s compellingly strange, but not for the sake of it.
In Deep Water, Schande Boy‘s best song, uses the same tricks and sounds to make a song that starts sharply, quickly, with dancey rhythms, urgent guitars and and then dissolves into fuzzy nothingness. PC Blame, with an almost Afrobeat tinkle beneath an incessant drone, is sweet, breezy and dense all together.
Schande Boy is a real one-off – creative, unusual and left-field – all things we really love on ANBAD. If a Donk remix appears, it would only be the (deeply cretinous) icing on the cake. Listen here – and put a donk on it!

>Today’s New Band – Saboteur

>When it was announced, I thought The Verve headlining Glastonbury Festival was a bit of a weak move – The Verve have been split and silent for years now; Richard Ashcroft’s solo output has been the sub-MOR equivalent of dipping your head into a stagnant duck-pond; surely they’re doing one more comeback for tax reasons, etc.

Watching their headline set on TV, I realised that, fortunately, I was super-wrong. Instead of the expected clunky phoning-in of their 90’s hits, they were all the things they used to be, and more. Epic songs about love and loss from a band that has so much confidence in itself that they finished off not with their most famous song, but a brand new single, which – guess what – is ace. I was thrilled and a bit ashamed to have been so cynical.

It also struck me that what made them so great was simply that, while in the 90’s they were, on the surface, just another rock band wearing cagoules, that exact quality was now what set them so far apart from their current peers. To differentiate yourself from the skinny jeans ‘n’ ties hoard is to be automatically ahead of the pack. So, Today’s New Band are Saboteur. They don’t sound like The Verve, but they do sound different to the Haircut-Indie bands. Their starting point and ethos isn’t the usual Joy Division/Strokes/Boomtown Freaking Rats yadda-yadda. Oh and they’re German, further compounding that niggling feeling I’ve been getting that German music is really good at the moment.

Song Love Spreader, whilst sounding slightly obscene, is a chiming treat, devoid of posing, archness or cynicism. It pulses with the simple delight of being in a band and making music. A Cabbage White is the same. Saboteur remind me a little bit of forgotten 80’s band The Chills, who possibly because they were from New Zealand and thus were Not Cool, didn’t become as big as they deserved. So listen and enjoy Saboteur right now, while you can.

>New Band of The Day – Jackson and his Computer Band

>Soft is bad right?

  • Soft rock – Poodle haired, tight-spandex-trousered nonsense
  • Soft drinks – Pale in comparison to alcoholic ones: there’s a Roman God for wine, but not for Sunny Delight
  • ‘Soft Skills’ – Management Bullshit for ‘being able to talk to people and be nice’
  • Soft Mints – Specifically designed to remove fillings

Well, Jackson and His Computer Band, today’s new band, make music that sounds… soft. But in a great way.

Electronic music, almost by definition , sounds metronomic, precise and clear. The music of Jackson and his Computer Band does share some of these traits, it’s true. But a little bit like how Boards of Canada make warm and organic electronic music – J.A.H.C.B. makes dance music that sounds analogue – all warm and clicky – as if it was made by some crazed human-computer hybrid that was designed in the 70’s, rediscovered yesterday and told to make music for tomorrow. Visit his Myspace page and listen to Teen Beat Ocean – it’s great.

Oh, and he’s French and is living in Germany, and so yes, it does sound a bit like Daft Punk crossed with Kraftwerk.

>Today’s New Band – Emi & Sophie

>Just like clichés involving buses, waiting and bewilderment at two arriving at once – you wait for one German band for ages, and then lo and behold, another follows almost instantly. A few days ago, Like A Stuntman wowed us as our New Band of the Day, and now – look! – here’s Emi & Sophie, just as Germanic and, stereotypically, just as efficiently great. They’re a duo – a bit like Roxette, but happily without the BIG HAIR and stadium pop tunes.

In some respects, it must be head-throbbingly frustrating being in a German band. Germany has it’s own thriving musical scene, yet to the rest of the world, Kraftwerk loom large over the whole damn thing, and every band that sounds vaguely electronic is condemned to comparison.

As such, it would be a shame not to continue in that vein. It is hard not to reference Kraftwerk’s stark electronic sounds when listening to Emi & Sophie. Help Me on their MySpace page does all the bleeping and blooping you’d expect, but in such a winningly simple home-grown way, it will leave you feeling mildly joyful. In all, the songs sound like they’ve been knocked up on a Bontempi keyboard and will always continue to be – but like that’s a bad thing. Emi & Sophie are the sound of the German Bedroom Electro Scene* and all the more likeable for it.

*A real scene, honestly, Scenesters.

>Todays New Band – Like A Stuntman


German music gets a bum rap sometimes. Not as in “rectally-initiated rhyming”, but as in peoples’ perception of the musical output. I mean, just name a German band other than Kraftwerk. (Anyone who said ‘Boney M’, please go and drink bleach now)
This doesn’t mean that they don’t have any great bands though. Check out Like a Stuntman, from Hamburg, whose songs are either rich and slightly mournful, or lightly melodic and slightly mournful. Thus, it’s fair to conclude that mournful is hot in Hamburg at the moment. Some of their songs sound like they feature the Harmonium, an instrument much maligned in todays pop music society, and so Like A Stuntman gain extra bonus points for its use.

In particular, have a listen to this truely great song of theirs – the mildly ridiculously named ‘Stan Places’ on their MySpace page:

And because at A New Band A Day we love you, reader, here’s a 100% legal download of aforementioned song:

In the meantime, if you find out what Stan places, or where he does it, please let us know via email as soon as possible.