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…

Lenin Was A Zombie – An Agonising Flurry Of Cuts

Oh come on. Sometimes, a band presents you with an opportunity that makes writing this stuff just too easy. It’s almost embarrassing.

When  band provides you with this much ammunition, the exercise becomes not finding things to write about, but an agonising flurry of cuts as the article is snipped down to an acceptable size.

The source of all these trimmed and scattered superlatives? Well, Lenin Was A Zombie, of course. Yep – that’s right. Read it again and scratch your head in wonder that no-one has pulled that name out of the hat before. Perhaps its because anyone owning headwear containing such absurdities would have been committed to secure facilities years ago.

Then consider that the band in question is from Russia, where surely such declarations are tantamount to writing your own jail term, and try to figure out how they have survived this long – long enough to write songs as brilliantly nerve jangling as theirs are.

All this, of course before we even consider their magnum opus, their meisterwerk, their home-run-knockout-punch-twenty-yard-volley of a hit, I Got A Monkey Head.

Lenin Was A Zombie // I Got A Monkey Head

In all honesty, the review could feasibly end right here, allowing writer and readers alike to sit down, winded,  and to absorb the insanity of the words, the locomotive brilliance of the song, and the hopeless task of marrying such disparate concepts.

‘I got a monkey head and everyone is laughing at me,’ muses the singer, choosing to focus on what is almost definitely the least of his worries.

Monkey head-graft or not, any band who can crank out stupendously fun dance music, and overload the listener with beats, noise and bizarre imagery gets my full, undivided attention. Wait – imagine if Lenin was a zombie – I smell an odd-couple sitcom…


>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 – RevoLucian PLUS! Toast Insanity!


Four years ago, when I was living by the sea in Wales, a good friend dropped by to stay the night after a weekend of cold, hostile, possibly sewage-drenched surfing. He brought a gift. Being the ungrateful sort, I flung the gift in a drawer. It graced the back of a number of drawers in the intervening years.
He visited me again last weekend, and The Gift was mentioned. We were hungry. It was time. The Gift was the Toastabag, a device of such brain-frazzling useless brilliance that I recommend that you buy one without hesitation. In case you haven’t figured out the seismic cooking shift brought about by this invention: the Toastabag allows you to cook things in your usual kitchen toaster by placing the foodstuff of choice into the bag, and – yes – toasting it.
So we made the inevitable cheese and tomato toasted sandwich as suggested by the ludicrous advert, and the results were both delicious and thrillingly pointless.
Novelty records are also delicious and thrillingly pointless. Novelty records get a bad press, but actually, they’re the stick on which the candyfloss of pop music clings too.

The Beatles‘ I Wanna Hold Your Hand is brainless, throwaway and more fun than ought to be legal – the definition of a novelty song. So, all hail ‘novelty’ music, and shed the associated bad feeling by listening to Today’s New Band, RevoLucian.

RevoLucian has capitalised on the scurrilous release (and subsequent internet sensation) of that audio track of Batman star Christian Bale totally – TOTALLY – flipping out on set. He created Bale Out.

In doing so, he’s created the first remix of anything that has taken something of genuine, open-mouthed brilliance and made it one hundred times better. “DO YOU WANT ME TO FUCKING TRASH YOUR LIGHTS?” screams Bale, over the angriest, most in-yer-face techno you’ve ever heard.

If the original audio tape made you laugh, when it’s teamed up with a cripplingly aggressive soundtrack, you’ll feel like you’ve been hit in the back of your head with a brick. RevoLucian aims his target wide and unsparingly – his Sarah Palin Remix cuts to the core of the terrifying insanity that is her life more effectively that a dozen righteous newspaper columnists.
But it’s his Bale Out mix that is perfect: a great song that will be relevant today and gone tomorrow, but for the short time that it’ll have current meaning to you, it’ll be the best song you’ll have ever heard. Brilliant. Well done, RevoLucian, the truest pop musician in the world – today. Listen here!

PS Thanks, as always, to ANBAD contributor Jamie for bringing Bale Out to my attention

>Speeding Bullets, Rabbits, Futility and Today’s New Band – Amnésie

>Here’s a question: if you were given the chance to do anything, what would you do? Up sticks and travel the Dreaded Student Trail of Thailand – VietnamAustralia, which is surely so well-worn that there must be a metre-deep groove trodden all the way from BangkokSydney? Maybe you’d copy Paris Hilton and buy every terrible handbag, dress and tiny dog available and then thrust your way onto MTV, ensuring that your bank balance and feelings of self-worth are forever at opposite ends of the scale.

Both of those things pale into comparison to announcing that you’re going to build a rocket car that travels at over 1000 MPH. This is an impressively crazy idea, and, I’m truly proud to say, is a crazy British idea. While other nations are trying to travel to Mars or find out ways of making clean energy, we’re bragging about how we’re going to sling a trembling man along a Utah salt flat faster than a bullet.

All of these are ultimately futile activities (especially the 1000 MPH car one – I’m wondering what applications that it might have in the ‘real world’ other than making 15 year old Physics Club nerds weak at the knees) but that’s the point. The fun things in life are the ones that, in the grand scheme of things, are pretty pointless.

If all that is true, then Today’s New Band, Amnésie, are as pointless as it gets, because the music is brilliantly daft, noisy and direct. Once again France proves to be the originator of more throwaway, inventive, fabulously danceable music, and Attention Petit Lapin is a glistening example of this. It follows the rules and it doesn’t follow the rules. It builds and releases, but sometimes it doesn’t build and release. It draws sounds from any recent decade you care to mention, and then squeezes it into whatever shape it wants.

Amnésie must have a soft spot for rabbits – Lapin Numero Un is also jumpy, jokey fun. It’s the sound of him stretching his muscles and creating a brilliant song without much effort, as are the rest of his songs. I dunno how they keep doing it in France, but they do and they are.

If this has made anything explicitly clear (and it probably hasn’t) it’s that it doesn’t matter if your ambition is to write songs about rabbits or just going very fast in a straight line – but do listen to Amnésie here!

>Today’s New Band – Facteur **ROAD TRIP GIMMICK ENDS TODAY!**

>That’s right folks, this week’s borderline-awful ROADTRIP! gimmick is drawing to a close. And yet, for all its conceptual craptitude, we’ve dug up a lot of ace bands so far on our virtually-drunken, imaginarily-debauched trundle around Northern Europe. Sweden’s Envelopes, Norway’s Hiawata! and Poland’s MR BEEP have provided us with a ADHD-fat-kid-in-an-ice-cream-parlour sample of Upper-Euro music, and brilliant it all has been too.

Thus, before we head back to Cyber-Calais (Yes, this is getting tedious now), for the ferry, we’ve stopped in France for one final hurrah, and look who’s Today’s New Band – it’s Facteur! Now, as the observant of you ANBAD readers will readily acknowledge, if there’s one thing we hate to regularly do, it’s to recycle old musings and pass them off as new. So, without further ado – just what is it that makes French dance music so awesome? We may never know – it’s certainly not the legacy of Johnny Hallyday – but Facteur aren’t concerned, and certainly aren’t hanging around to find out, as they’re too busy thrashing wildly around the room, losing themselves in their ridiculously thumping songs.

Pick any of the songs – any – on their Myspace page, and you’ll be yearning for the dancefloor instantly. If you can’t imagine yourself going chicken oriental in a nightclub to their frighteningly CHOON-tatsic remix of Asshole by Giko, you may have exhausted your brain’s supply of serotonin, in which case, call a priest and wait calmly for death. It’s Friday night. Go nuts and dance in your bedroom to his brilliant tunes, and worry about how daft you look afterwards. You deserve it.