Amelia’s Magazine | A Silver Mount Zion – Live Review


Illustration By Ali Haines

As far as combinations go, medications craft and activism is a particularly thrilling one for me; akin to jeggings (jeans and leggings) coatigans (coat and cardigan) and discovering that Nutella goes really well with dark Ryvita’s (try it). So it was with excitement that I stumbled across the Craftivist Collective. They are a group combining craft and activism and particularly seek to engage people who haven’t previously had much involvement or interest in politics and activism. I was intrigued and decided to attend a meeting. I set out with trepidation as previous experience dictates that political activism meetings can sometimes be awkward, malady occasionally frightening, probably attended by bonkers people or all of the above. But my fears were quickly allayed. The group meets every third Thursday of the month in the Royal Festival hall cafe to plan events, projects and campaigns. Sarah, the founder of the group welcomed me warmly and I settled easily in to the group discussion, which was focussed on ideas to encourage people to vote in the elections. The group is large and varied; some members are there for the craft and others are there for the activism but the mix is easy and it’s sweetened by tea and cake from the cafe. The Craftivist Collective encourage everyone to get involved, regardless of political awareness or craft ability. So whether you are a sewing and politics aficionado, or you don’t know your ballot paper from your by-election or your scissors from your selvedge, everyone is welcome. You might find the craftivists at events like United Underground at the Southbank centre, manning a craft corner and encouraging young people to think about the impact of conflict around the world by making speech bubble badges with provocative slogans about conflict. Or you might see them setting up a public wish tree dedicated to the Sudanese people with messages written on biodegradable paper. (see photos here) Or, if you’re quick, you might catch them hanging cross stitched banners outside Topshop highlighting the inequality in the fashion industry supply chain. They have also recently attended an Oxfam event where people were invited to decorate plant pots on the theme of ‘Beautiful Environment’, a little reminder to encourage the owner to look after the world and the growing things within it. Participants could then choose to take their plants home, give it to a friend or leave it somewhere for a passer by to take. The Craftivists have also just been involved in their first exhibition at Ink-d in Brighton. Sarah doesn’t claim that Craftivism will change the world, or cause a major revolution in politics; the group remains refreshingly grounded. She told me her aim is to plant seeds in people and encourage them to form their own views on injustice. She told me she also wants to prove that anyone can get involved with activism and it doesn’t have to be stressful, violent or elitist. The group targets the non-typical activist and aims to create events that promote issues in a non-violent, non-threatening way. I don’t know about you, but I am willing to roll up my sleeves and flex my less than perfect crochet and embroidery muscles to give it a go. If your interest is piqued, you can check them out for yourself this coming bank holiday Monday. Sketchbook, the fashion illustration magazine, is hosting a pop up shop near Carnaby street between March 31-April 18 2010. On the 8th April between 12-1pm the craftivists will also be running a workshop on the theme of ethical fashion. The workshop is focussed on the work of the War on Want campaign www.lovefashionhatesweatshops.org campaign. Join them if you like the idea of cross stitching and sewing mini protest banners, which may find a temporary home to put up around Oxford street. Some craftivist banner kits and postcards will also be sold in the shop too.
Illustrations by Harry Williams

Awhile ago, website post-rock had a kind of heyday. There were the obvious big players of post-rock – Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and then there was A Silver Mount Zion, who are actually a kind of offshoot of Godspeed. It seemed like for a part of my life all I listened to was post-rock. Explosions in the Sky even ‘made it big’ when they provided the soundtrack to the film Friday Night Lights.

Nowadays, however, Godspeed have sounded the death knell with the announcement of an ‘indefinite hiatus’, and there hasn’t been much heard of late from either Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai (although it’s worth pointing out that Mogwai performed at Field Day last year, and it was testament to their status that people battled through the dark and drizzle for their entire set).

But let’s not go too far mourning the death of post-rock, because A Silver Mount Zion are still preaching the gospel, even if it is a slightly modified one. It sounds more and more that A Silver Mount Zion are moving away from their earlier, more stereotypical post-rock sound, and this is most notable with their latest album’s use of vocals. A Silver Mt Zion shouldn’t just be thought of as another post-rock act. They’re political, they’re comical, they play violins, they play double bass, they sing, and most importantly they have substance. On top of all this they have the best titles for their work – for example their first album and its unwieldly title (He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms…).

Much of the show was newer material, although they opened with ‘I Fed My Metal Bird the Wings of Other Metal Birds’ from their most recent album. In total they only played five or six songs, although each song was a good 7 minute piece. I’m even reluctant to refer to them as songs, when really they seem more like compositions. There’s no standard verse and chorus, and each piece had a constantly shifting ebb and flow. One thing’s for certain – they were never boring.

On stage, the band emanates a feeling of pleasant unity, never more especially so than when all members of the band blend their instruments and their voices into a whole. Although there’s a lot going on, you can still clearly hear and appreciate the individual contributions. Efrim might be a reluctant leader, but he still leads, and manages to do so without overpowering the others.

The only criticism I have of them was the excessive band-to-audience banter. After a while it got old – it was clear most of the people there just wanted to hear the music.

A Silver Mt Zion’s support also deserves an honourable mention, even if for the sole reason of sharing a surname with me. Alexander Tucker is a lone man with a violin, and a lot of loops. I imagine you’re leaping to Owen Pallett right now, but where Pallett is twee, Tucker is all seriousness. With furrowed brow (which, coincidentally, is also the name of his album) he poured his heart out into both the violin and the two microphones for a series of lengthy songs that never really seemed to go anywhere. I spent his entire set veering wildly between thinking I was starting to like his sound, and wishing he’d get on with something definite. The looping violin and contrived noises all sounded a bit too much like a lengthy tune up, and frequently made me feel impatient.

Categories ,A Silver Mount Zion, ,A Silver Mt. Zion, ,Emma Tucker, ,Explosions In The Sky, ,Field Day, ,Friday Night Lights, ,Godspeed You Black Emperor, ,Harry Williams, ,live, ,mogwai, ,post-rock, ,review

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Nedry and review of new album In A Dim Light

Nedry by Abi Stevens
Nedry by Abi Stevens.

Nedry excel in a vocal electro dub step mash up genre all of their own. In A Dim Light opens languidly with the blissed out vocals of Ayu Okakita, whist behind builds the soundscape of alternating tensions that characterises this album. One of my favourite tunes comes next: the clattering beats and saws of Post Six providing a lushly chaotic backdrop to the melody. Havana Nights rattles and buzzes with sighing atmosphere, and across nearly 7 minutes Float explores the wonder of the universe. These are melodies to get lost in… sprawling with a danceable yet mellow musical intrigue. I spoke with Chris Amblin, Matt Parker and Ayu.

YouTube Preview ImagePost Six

You have been variously described as post-dubstep, dark electro-pop, leftfield and indie. You cross many genres, what do you think describes you best?
CHRIS: On record I’d like to think we carry on the tradition and attitude of early trip-hop, but with some modern twists: we really look up to bands like Portishead and Massive Attack. The post-dubstep tag has been quite handy, in that we initially aimed to blend our love of post-rock with dubstep and take that into a live setting, but since our first record, Condors, we’ve all further broadened our tastes and I think particularly in the live environment we’re a fusion of lots of flavours of dance music, with almost a rock band aesthetic. So I guess Modern-Trip-Hop works nicely!

Nedry
Where do find inspiration for the rhythmic structures of your music?
CHRIS: I’m not sure if it’s such a conscious thing, but due to the fairly long winded way that we make tunes the rhythm can change from version to version. Quite often I’ll make a quite simple drum track for a song and Matt will subtly change the hi-hat pattern or where the snare falls and totally change the feel of the rhythm, then Ayu will sing on the off-beat or something or put together a very rhythmic backing vocal and by that point it’s difficult to understand where the actual rhythm has come from.

Nedry music “clouded” by claire jones art
Clouded – Nedry by Claire Jones Art.

Short songs are not your forte, why do you prefer to create long tunes?
MATT: Well we have a few songs running under 5 minutes on our new album, a couple even verging on pop song length! We like making longer songs mostly because our music is all about creating mood and a sense of atmosphere and I believe you need to build a piece of music up to create that kind of vibe. 

Nedry album sleeve
Even though you create dance music you relish the act of recreating music live on stage, what can people expect of a Nedry gig?
CHRIS: The experience of playing live is very important to us so we put a lot of time and effort into making the performance of each song interesting and exciting for us and most importantly for the audience. We’re all keen gig goers and have seen some fantastic live performances and also awful ones so we often reflect on these experiences and try to better what we do and take on board the things we like and discard the things that we don’t. It’s important to me to make the live experience different to the album and things are definitely more upbeat and energetic and if we’re lucky with the sound system the beats are more powerful and the sub bass is deep.

Nedrymakesmusic by Fort Rixon
Nedrymakesmusic by Fort Rixon.

Your vocalist Ayu Okakita hails from Japan, how did you all get together?
AYU: I met Matt and Chris through the internet (myspace), I was living in East London then and we happened to be neighbours.

Nedry promotshoot - Abney Park
How do the three of you work together? How does a song come about and who brings what to the mix?
MATT: Every song is different and approached differently although there is a lot of file sharing online that goes on, passing Ableton sessions from one to another and working over the structure of a song. Ayu brings vocals to the mix (obviously) but she also contribute to melodies, piano playing, rhythmic and mood ideas. Myself and Chris work on everything and anything in between. Our creative process is really quite convoluted and it takes a long time to make a song feel right but I guess this is because as a band based solely in the electronic realm, it can be difficult to just get into a room and make something. Saying that though, a few of the tracks on the new album were created entirely in a live environment or at least born in that environment before being given the full studio treatment.

YouTube Preview ImageFloat (edit)

Last year you played SXSW for the first time, what was the highlight and did you get a good response?
CHRIS: It was easily the craziest and most intense week of being in this band, the sheer amount of people and bands performing that week is impossible to describe. There was an amazing build up before we traveled to Austin, starting in November the previous year with our label (Monotreme) receiving the invite for us to play and then all of us working together to make it happen. So we spent a lot of the week in a bit of a haze of joy and relief and jetlag! The highlight for me was after playing our showcase gig at Latitude 30, when a small group of young Texans found us loading out in the back alley and told us that they’d been following Nedry and were over the moon to see us play in the flesh – we chatted for a while and signed a copy of our CD for them. It meant a lot to us and was the best response we could have wished for.

Nedry Photo by Sebastien Dehesdin
What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
MATT: I think we’re looking forward to seeing how people react to our album. It’s been two years since our last release and the musical landscape has shifted a lot since then.

Nedry release In A Dim Light on 12th March 2012 on Monotreme Records.

Categories ,Abi Stevens, ,Ableton, ,Ayu Okakita, ,Chris Amblin, ,Claire Jones Art, ,Condors, ,dubstep, ,Electro Pop, ,Float, ,Fort Rixon, ,In A Dim Light, ,Indie, ,Latitude 30, ,leftfield, ,Massive Attack, ,Matt Parker, ,Monotreme, ,Nedry, ,Portishead, ,post-rock, ,Trip-Hop

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Vessels at The Queen of Hoxton – Live Review

Plaited fabric

By Daniel Williams

Maybe theres something in the air, viagra approved maybe its my age or maybe its the season but it seems everybody around me has suddenly spawned. Friends have started to have babies, sick and family members are producing them faster than I can count them.


By Michelle Urvall Nyren

I am also a little south of skint, so my meagre craft skills have come in pretty handy. I recently made a baby mobile out of stuff lying around my flat. It was easy, free and convenient , so I thought I’d show you how to make one.

You’ll need:

Wire coat hanger
Fabric (I used an old running t shirt, denim cut offs, and some other fabric I had lying around)
Ribbon, if you have any
Scissors
Glue
Buttons (Optional)

Firstly, bend a wire coat hanger into a circle. Easier said than done. I found that laying it on the table and beating it into submission with a hard object worked best. Wrap some thin strips of fabric around the wire coat hanger, using a dab of glue every few wraps to secure it.

To make the part that will attach to the ceiling, plait 3 strips of fabric 3 times. Then attach the three plaited strips evenly around the fabric covered wire frame, using glue or a staple or a few stitches.

Cut your strips of ribbon and fabric to the same width and length, then fold the top of each strip of fabric around the fabric covered wire frame, using a dab of glue to secure each strip.
To make sure none of the lengths of ribbon fall from the frame, you could also add a few stitches to each strip too.

Baby Mobile Finished
Baby Mobile Finished

This is easy enough to encourage little hands to help you do it, as I did with my creation above. I fashioned the wire and plaited the three strips that attach to the ceiling, and my little assistent attached the individual strips to the frame. You could neaten it by hemming the fabric, or using only ribbon, or keep it rough and ready. Parents will appreciate the time you put into it and babies will love the colours and the way it moves. And, more importantly, it doesn’t add to the inevitable pile of growing tacky plastic crap, either. Winner.

This column attempts to provide lovely ways to recycle junk into useful and beautiful things. If you have a genius recycling idea or if you are stuck with something you don’t want to chuck away, leave a comment and let me know! I may feature your idea or I will try and come up with a solution to your recycling conundrum.
london borisbike by daria hlazatova
Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

To be honest, seek I was skeptical of the idea of a bike rental scheme before the launch. If we are going to spend £140 million on cycling I’d rather see we build more bike lanes, stomach I thought. London needs to make roads safer for cyclists, more about and in my experience, this is the number one reason why people are put off getting bikes.

But in the weeks since 30 July’s launch, when 6000 solid, bright blue bikes where installed in 315 docking stations, my objections have been put to shame. Now, as I roll into London Bridge every morning on my trusty hybrid bike, I invariably find myself accompanied by city workers scurrying around on rental bikes. And I swear the number of ‘regular’ bikes have increased as well – the profile of cycling has shot up as everyone loves the ‘Borisbike’.

Borisbikes by Mina Bach
Mayor Boris Johnson by Mina Bach

While the need for more bike lanes prevails, there is safety in numbers as every extra bike on the road makes it safer to cycle. Over 1.5 million rides were made on the Borisbikes in the first three months, the Greater London Authority declared as it held the first appraisal of the scheme on 12 October. Once implementation costs are covered within three years, the scheme is expected to become profitable – in fact it will then be the only London transport system not to run at a loss. Only five bikes have so far been stolen, a fact the Police Cycle Task Force attributes to a sense of ‘community ownership’ among Londoners. And I think that’s true – having spoken to numerous people about this, there is a feeling that these are ‘our’ bikes. In a sometimes very anonymous city like London, where being spoken to on the tube by a stranger can actually feel intrusive, the bikes are becoming a symbol that after all, we are after all Londoners.

london bike rental by genie espinosa
Illustration by Genie Espinosa

Mayor Boris Johnson‘s introduction of the bike scheme grants London a place in a worldwide club of bike rental cities. But the Borisbikes, and the the 12 cycle ‘superhighways’, was actually the suggestion of former mayor Ken Livingstone, following a visit to Paris to see the city’s ‘Vélib’ cycling scheme. This is the biggest in the world with 17,000 bikes, suggesting this is only the beginning for London’s 6000 bikes. Our numbers are soon to reach 8000, however, as the system expands beyond central London to cover all of Tower Hamlets and more of Hackney, in time for the 2012 Olympics. The bikes themselves are identical to Montreal’s ‘Bixi’ rental bikes; 23 kilos would be excessively heavy for a regular bike, but for a rental it makes it a very stable and durable ride, plus very unattractive to steal. Vandals are further deterred as most of the wires have been placed inside the frame, and the bikes also boast extra-strong tires and dynamo lights.

London bike scheme by Carla Bromhead
Cycle superhighway by Carla Bromhead

So as Londoners get on their bikes – here’s a quick guide to safe cycling in traffic:

* Claim your space. Make sure drivers can see you, and ride a good foot’s distance from the kerb. Signal clearly and look behind you before turning, and they will respect you for it.

* Watch out for cars turning left. If you see vehicles indicating to the left, stay behind, or, if there’s time, get far in front where they can see you.

* Overtake on the right if you can. Instinct will have you overtake queuing vehicles on their left – this places you in a blind spot so only do this if there’s plenty of space.

* Avoid lorries. Stay behind, or overtake on the right. But as statistics dictate that if you get injured while cycling it will be from a lorry, it’s best to just steer clear.

* Follow the traffic rules. Cyclists who plow into pedestrians to get ahead give us all a bad name. But every now and again, it might just be safer to get ahead of heavy traffic by jumping a light. But be extremely sure before you do this – and mind those pedestrians.

boris johnson by daria hlazatova
Mayor Boris Johnson by Daria Hlazatova

Sign up for the London bike hire scheme here. Read more about the scheme in Amelia Wells’ article about the launch, or have a look at our tips for getting ready for winter cycling here.

By Daniel Williams

Maybe its something in the air, website like this maybe its my age or the season but it seems everybody around me suddenly spawned. Friends have started to have babies, patient and family members are producing them faster than I can remember the names.


By Michelle Urvall Nyren

I am also a little south of skint, view so my somewhat meagre craft skills have come in pretty handy. I recently made a baby mobile out of stuff lying around in my flat. It was easy and convenient and it turned out dandy.

You’ll need:

Wire coat hanger
Fabric (I used an old running t shirt, denim cut offs, and some other fabric I had lying around)
Ribbon, if you have any
Scissors
Glue
Buttons (Optional)

Bend a wire coat hanger into a circle. Easier said than done. I found that laying it on the table and beatng it into submission with a hard object worked best. Wrap some thin strips of fabric around the wire coat hanger, using a dab of glue every few wraps to secure it.

To make the part that will attach to the ceiling, plait 3 strips of fabric 3 times. Then attach the three plaited strips evenly around the fabric covered wire frame, using glue/ a stapel/ a few stitches.

Cut your strips of ribbon and fabric to the same width and length, then fold the top of each strip of fabric around the fabric covered wire circle, using a dab of glue to secure each strip. To make sure none of the lengths of ribbon fall from the frame, you could also add a few stitches to each strip too.

Looks lovely, no? Parents will appreciate the time you put into it and babies will love the colours and the way it moves. And, more importantly, it doesn’t add to the inevitable growing pile of tacky plastic crap, too. Winner.

london borisbike by daria hlazatova
Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

To be honest, viagra sale I was skeptical of the idea of a bike rental scheme before the launch. If we are going to spend £140 million on cycling I’d rather see we build more bike lanes, treatment I thought. London needs to make roads safer for cyclists, look and in my experience, this is the number one reason why people are put off getting bikes.

But in the weeks since 30 July’s launch, when 6000 solid, bright blue bikes where installed in 315 docking stations, my objections have been put to shame. Now, as I roll into London Bridge every morning on my trusty hybrid bike, I invariably find myself accompanied by city workers scurrying around on rental bikes. And I swear the number of ‘regular’ bikes have increased as well – the profile of cycling has shot up as everyone loves the ‘Borisbike’.

Borisbikes by Mina Bach
Mayor Boris Johnson by Mina Bach

While the need for more bike lanes prevails, there is safety in numbers as every extra bike on the road makes it safer to cycle. Over 1.5 million rides were made on the Borisbikes in the first three months, the Greater London Authority declared as it held the first appraisal of the scheme on 12 October. Once implementation costs are covered within three years, the scheme is expected to become profitable – in fact it will then be the only London transport system not to run at a loss. Only five bikes have so far been stolen, a fact the Police Cycle Task Force attributes to a sense of ‘community ownership’ among Londoners. And I think that’s true – having spoken to numerous people about this, there is a feeling that these are ‘our’ bikes. In a sometimes very anonymous city like London, where being spoken to on the tube by a stranger can actually feel intrusive, the bikes are becoming a symbol that after all, we are after all Londoners.

london bike rental by genie espinosa
Illustration by Genie Espinosa

Mayor Boris Johnson‘s introduction of the bike scheme grants London a place in a worldwide club of bike rental cities. But the Borisbikes, and the the 12 cycle ‘superhighways’, was actually the suggestion of former mayor Ken Livingstone, following a visit to Paris to see the city’s ‘Vélib’ cycling scheme. This is the biggest in the world with 17,000 bikes, suggesting this is only the beginning for London’s 6000 bikes. Our numbers are soon to reach 8000, however, as the system expands beyond central London to cover all of Tower Hamlets and more of Hackney, in time for the 2012 Olympics. The bikes themselves are identical to Montreal’s ‘Bixi’ rental bikes; 23 kilos would be excessively heavy for a regular bike, but for a rental it makes it a very stable and durable ride, plus very unattractive to steal. Vandals are further deterred as most of the wires have been placed inside the frame, and the bikes also boast extra-strong tires and dynamo lights.

London bike scheme by Carla Bromhead
Cycle superhighway by Carla Bromhead

So as Londoners get on their bikes – here’s a quick guide to safe cycling in traffic:

* Claim your space. Make sure drivers can see you, and ride a good foot’s distance from the kerb. Signal clearly and look behind you before turning, and they will respect you for it.

* Watch out for cars turning left. If you see vehicles indicating to the left, stay behind, or, if there’s time, get far in front where they can see you.

* Overtake on the right if you can. Instinct will have you overtake queuing vehicles on their left – this places you in a blind spot so only do this if there’s plenty of space.

* Avoid lorries. Stay behind, or overtake on the right. But as statistics dictate that if you get injured while cycling it will be from a lorry, it’s best to just steer clear.

* Follow the traffic rules. Cyclists who plow into pedestrians to get ahead give us all a bad name. But every now and again, it might just be safer to get ahead of heavy traffic by jumping a light. But be extremely sure before you do this – and mind those pedestrians.

boris johnson by daria hlazatova
Mayor Boris Johnson by Daria Hlazatova

Sign up for the London bike hire scheme here. Read more about the scheme in Amelia Wells’ article about the launch, or have a look at our tips for getting ready for winter cycling here.
Our Broken Garden by Karina Yarv
Our Broken Garden by Karina Yarv.

I have to say, approved if there hadn’t been a very special reason to go out I would have stayed in last night. Needling icicles of rain ain’t what I need heading into town at nearly 9pm on a Pashley with a flat tire. But head I did, viagra dosage because last night Our Broken Garden were playing their only date in the UK for the foreseeable future and this I did not want to miss. And boy was I glad I made the effort. It’s no secret to my regular readers that I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with Our Broken Garden. They are nothing short of fabulous, especially the glorious vocals of sometime Efterklang keyboardist Anna Bronsted.

Our Broken Garden-live at St.Giles
Our Broken Garden perform live at St.Giles-in-the-Fields. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

On arrival I was in a bit of a grump to discover there was some time to wait before Our Broken Garden came on stage, but all that was put to rest when I sat down to listen to their support band Still Corners.

Still Corners-St.Giles
Still Corners-perform at St.Giles
Still Corners.

Against a blood red swirl of light the singer contributed dreamy vocals on top of swirling 60s keys and the odd dash of country and western melody. The beautific tunes worked particularly well where they stepped the beat up, and I’m eager to hear more. In the meantime enjoy the video for Wish. Just delightful.

Thereafter followed some fabulous electric noodling, which I presume came courtesy of Ulrich Schnauss, a once-upon-a-time Amelia’s Magazine interviewee whose latest stuff I have not heard, but was perfectly suited to the hushed setting.

Gareth A Hopkins OurBrokenGarden
Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins.

Against the up-lit cross at the back of St Giles a bit of stage set pfaffing took place before Our Broken Garden took to the stage – four cute Scandinavian guys and one absolutely stunning lady. And by stunning I don’t just mean looks, though I was very taken with her slinky metallic wide-legged pants suit. Anna has a voice to die for. Whilst the rest of the nation is wondering if any of the X Factor vocalists can even sing in tune, the real talent can be found in places like this. Quietly going about their exceptional way. We were treated to a selection of tracks from the new album Golden Sea as well as a few tracks from earlier album When Your Blackening Shows, as Anna skipped and bopped in front of a large fabric tree.

Our Broken Garden-St.Giles

And we all drifted off somewhere quite magical.

Really, more people should know about Our Broken Garden. They are surely my favourite discovery of the past few months, and every bit as good, if not better, in the live flesh. Oh, and did I mention that the drummer is really cute?…but I was so mesmerised by Anna that it took me better part of the gig to notice.

Our Broken Garden-drummer

Why not check out my review of new album Golden Sea, out now on the fab label Bella Union and an interview with the director of the Garden Grow video whilst you’re at it too. Jessica Furseth met with Anna before the performance: read her interview here.

Anna from Our Broken Garden by Evie Kemp
Anna from Our Broken Garden by Evie Kemp.

Vessels by Faye West

Vessels by Faye West

It was with more than a little excitement and anticipation that I arrived at the bar-cum-club that is the Queen of Hoxton on a rainy Wednesday evening. Hidden away behind Liverpool Street station, tadalafil the venue wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, medical it was very quiet and a little like walking into a low-rent American diner. But that’s all by the by – Vessels are one of those bands that could play in a public toilet and create the kind of spine tingling atmosphere that would immediately transport you to a dreamy, other-wordly place and envelope you in a blanket of sound.

It’s fair to say I have something of a love-affair with the music that flows so effortlessly from the instruments of Leeds-based post-rockers Vessels. Fresh from touring Europe with the magnificent Oceansize and with a new EP to boot, it was a treat to have the chance to catch them on one of only a handful of UK dates.

Vessels band - Jes Hunt

Vessels by Jes Hunt

So how to describe Vessels? C’est difficile, but let’s take Walking Through Walls as a fine example to dissect: I would say “post-math-rock with a couple of intricate time signature changes thrown in, embellished with ambient harmonics which gradually builds to a thundering climax with drumming that would give Tool a run for their money, leaving you with the most beautiful, haunting melody, making everything around you melt away.” No lyrics are necessary, everything you need is right there courtesy of Vessels’ expert instrumental abilities.

Put simply, Vessels are a whole other kettle of fish. And seeing them live tonight was no exception. The venue was wonderfully intimate, with candles flickering in the darkness, occasionally reflecting off the mirror balls, which hung in clusters from the ceiling and twinkled like little stars. After the heavy, energetic, Converge-esque hardcore of support act Humanfly, Vessels were like the calm after the storm, albeit an expansive, orchestral juggernaut of calm.

Interior of the Queen of Hoxton club

Interior of the Queen of Hoxton

Their set was a mixture of old, in shape of classics such as An Idle Brain and the Devil’s Workshop and Altered Beast, and new – a definite highlight being the sublime and artfully named single ‘Meatman. Piano Tuner. Prostitute.’ This particular track is a mesmerising combination of meaty guitar riffs, with twinkling piano and a melody reminiscent of an old music-box. Dream-like vocals come courtesy of Stuart Warwick who also provided support and sang live on the track before sneaking out to ‘catch his tube’ home. (Something that I should possibly have been thinking about but was too caught up in the atmosphere to realise the time). This man’s voice is so beautiful I’m sure my jaw was on the floor for much of the track. This segued nicely into more new material, which in true Vessels style was a powerful slice of ear-popping rock pie finished off with a sprinkling of intricately layered atmospherics. Their closing track built to epic proportions before stopping dead…Leaving the crowd in a cosy, post-orgasmic haze. This all set to a back-drop of floaty, ethereal visuals displayed on a huge screen at the back of the stage, combined to create a real feast for the senses.

And with that, I headed back out into the cold drizzly night to catch my train, but comforted by the satisfying afterglow of a truly beautiful gig.

Categories ,A Hundred Times in Every Direction, ,Converge, ,Experimental-rock, ,Faye West, ,Gemma Milly, ,Humanfly, ,Jes Hunt, ,leeds, ,Meatman.Piano Tuner.Prostitute, ,Oceansize, ,post-rock, ,Queen of Hoxton, ,Stuart Warwick, ,Tool, ,vessels

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Make a date with DD/MM/YYYY – Live Review

I have no idea how this fella’s haircut works. I don’t know what bit of hair is attached to what bit of scalp. But I do know that you and I and the whole of London will soon be sporting this very style upon our heads because this… chap… is… the guy from… DD/MM/YYYY, and they are easily in the top three things ever to happen in Canada. Ever!

DD/MM/YYYY at the Old Blue LastDD/MM/YYYY

They also write music that is pretty much unreviewable. It’s not that they don’t ever sound like any other band, but when you do clutch at a glimmer of sound overlap, that’s not where these mighty chaps are coming from.
So here is a list of the irrelevant comparisons I thought I could hear: Deerhoof, but less songy. Battles, but more songy. Early Foals, but tighter and more complex. Six Finger Satellite, but less clownish. Boards Of Canada, blatantly… for about three seconds. Tortoise with charisma. Perry Farrell in the bath. Squarepusher with the munchies. Forward Russia having attacks of Chik Budo. Zoogz Rift puppeteering Purple Stag on the grave of Truly (did I just make all that up?). Gong molesting The Mars Volta for the amusement of King Crimson.

DD/MM/YYYY at the Old Blue LastDD/MM/YYYY

All of it completely irrelevant since, as I had been warned, DD/MM/YYYY have a “no-style” approach to music-craft. I didn’t believe it, but it’s not far off as a description. The one idea I did have which stuck was that the whole band was synchro-hallucinating Frank Zappa wielding conductor’s baton above the audience’s heads. And they have practised really hard for a million years. In the rhythm of N/N. Most of these songs seem to exist to prove how bouncably groovy any time signature can be. Higher maths. One tune calculated Pi to 1000000 decimal places. But it comes out more as autistic space-jazz than math rock. Almost every song is rhythm-based, there are no solos, not too many motifs even, just additions to the groove, and instrument-interplay key-changes. The drums dominate, followed by guitar detail and big fat synths. Solid basslines and the variety-guy (sax/spare snare and beaten-up crash cymbal) fill the rest of the space, with cartoonish zero-ego vocals sitting on top..
Enough analysis. How did I feel? Did it work? Well… I felt entranced. It worked stunningly well. Nobody knows what any of the songs were supposed to be about, but I was so deeply cuddled up in their slipper of sound, and amazed by how thoroughly well they chugged. There was no attempt to tug at a emotional heartstring, just to uplift your tantric verve with hypno-intensity and complex brain-shuffling. Like I said, they’re nearly unreviewable. Go and listen to them.

Hymns at the Old Blue LastHymns.

Support on the night came from two equally noisy but quite different sources. Hymns are a very sharp two-piece (guitarist vs. drummer) from the midlands. Without any notion of enjoying themselves, they martyred themselves upon their instruments, in precise fits of religious agony. “More bile, please” chanted one reveller as a song came to an end. “May the Lord have mercy on your soul” came the answer for the next three minutes. These beautiful, but perfectly serious, joyless songs of Apocalypse rely on the vocals of the guitarist, who screams as convincingly and genuinely as I ever heard. He surely watches the Exorcist every night. No smile or thank you after a song, just a swig of beer and twang-brap-”Wrrrrraugh!” again. Well worth a pilgrimage to get preached at with enough vitriol to fuel a thousand Death Metal acts. All with a dirty, bluesy, bruising Dave Gahan staring you out kind of menace.

Hymns at the Old Blue LastHymns.

Opening the night were Part Dinosaur, who are insanely ambitious and courageous, winning them my coveted “one-to-watch” medal. If you, like me, feel a deep sense of loss at the passing of Youthmovies, perhaps you used to be in Youthmovies or were touched by the music they made, you will want to follow the trajectory of Part Dinosaur. It’s the same approach to rocking out with neglected time signatures, dynamic changes and instruments filling each others’ gaps. I’ll review them properly someday. It wouldn’t be fair now, as they were a man down, and were a little plagued by techie trouble (an out-of-tune guitar moment/a broken monitor failing to guide a vocal part). But I will come back for them, and I know it will be good. A first-rate drummer commands the other fellas through a strangely sensitive landscape of out-of-nowhere jolty emotion. Attention to detail and a very obvious excitable rapture in playing interlocking segments of thrilling musical action define a band that is part dinosaur, part hope, all rock!

Part Dinosaur at Old Blue LastPart Of A Dinosaur.

DD/MM/YYYY have many music units available on their site. Part Dinosaur have a 4-track CD on theirs. We pray that Hymns will record themselves properly soon.

All Illustration by Gackland in an inspired and hurried flourish.

Categories ,Battles, ,DD/MM/YYYY, ,Hymns, ,Jesus Christ, ,math rock, ,Part Dinosaur, ,post-rock, ,Tortoise, ,youthmovies, ,zappa

Similar Posts:





Amelia’s Magazine | Album Review: Far – At Night We Live

It has been twelve years since Far released Water and Solutions, unwittingly creating the blueprint for post hardcore music and making lead singer Jonah Matranga the godfather of every sensitive boy with a guitar. Thursday, Biffy Clyro and Funeral for a Friend cite Far as one of their biggest influences and regularly cover their songs at live shows. After a decade apart, Sacramento’s post hardcore pioneers return with their impressive new album, At Night We Live.

The album is dedicated to close friend and bassist of seminal hard rock outfit Deftones, Chi Cheng, who is currently in a semi-conscious state after a near fatal car accident last year.

As soon as Matranga’s menacing whisper introduces the opening track, Deafening, it is obvious that the masters are back with a renewed enthusiasm for the movement they helped create all those years ago. Shawn Lopez’s growling riffs sound just as potent as they did on previous tracks like Bury White and I Like It.

If You Cared Enough is classic Far at their best. The tension builds with Matranga’s bitter sweet vocals until the satisfying breakdown complete with gloriously catchy chorus erupts like a little earthquake. Far have always been great at making heavy music with radio friendly lyrics and it is perfectly executed here.

A pleasant surprise appears in the form of When I Could See. The bass is sparse meaning the song simply relies on minimalist guitars and haunting vocals to create an unnerving nocturnal atmosphere that has been missing from their previous efforts. It is reassuring to know that the band are not afraid to venture into unknown territory and the results are nothing short of breathtaking.

It is clear that Matranga’s previous outfit, Newendoriginal, have had an effect on their new sound as Give Me a Reason and Burns sound like they could easily have been b-sides from their Thriller album. Not that this is a bad thing: In fact, it shows that the quartet have taken their experiences to create a much more diverse record.

Far were once signed to Sony and touring the world alongside Deftones and Incubus, but somewhere along the lines band tensions and major label pressures forced the group apart. Dear Enemy seems to discuss past problems as Jonah declares: “If our words were guns we would be dead and gone. Why do we fight like this, dear enemy?” This is by far one of the strongest tracks on the album and proves that Far have always found a way to appeal to the mosh pit and the mind simultaneously.

The only track that seems to miss the mark is Fight Song, as it displays none of the band’s most endearing characteristics and sounds like diluted emo rock that you are likely to find on Radio One. The drum rhythm is monotonous throughout and the lyrics simply don’t stand up to poetic prowess of their back catalogue.
The title track, At Night We Live, is a dedication to Deftones bassist Chi Cheng and Matranga’s quivering vocals steal the air from a room as he tells himself, “There was no car crash. There was no blood.” The touching honesty of the lyricism is a fitting tribute to their critically ill friend and a tasteful ode to anyone who has ever lost someone they love.

One of Far’s greatest attributes is that they have always been able to effortlessly combine punishing riffs and tender vocals without sounding insincere. Perhaps Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and every other band that has attempted to imitate their formula over the years should have been paying closer attention because no one does it like the Sacramento based veterans.

The album is equal parts nostalgia for their past releases and snippets of musical ventures each member has worked on since the Far’s initial split back in 2002. All of the aspect that made Water and Solutions so influential are firmly in place but their willingness to tread new ground means that At Night We Live has a lot to offer rock fans that are too young to remember Far from the first time round. Let’s hope Matranga and his reunited band mates bring their brilliant new material to the UK sometime soon.

Categories ,Biffy Clyro, ,Deftones, ,Far, ,Funeral For A Friend, ,Jonah Matranga, ,My Chemical Romance, ,post-rock

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Wounds – Camden Barfly – Live Review

Wounds Group 5All photos courtesy of Amy Joyce

It’s been a week to the day that I first heard Wounds eponymous debut EP. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I listened to it on repeat for the rest of the evening. With each play I noticed something I hadn’t before and got more and more excited at the prospect of witnessing them live.

As I climb the stairs of the Barfly I realise that the band have already begun to play. Walking through the door I’m confronted with a sea of people. I’m quite surprised to see that the room is full at 8 o’clock for an Irish hardcore punk band. Then I notice the huge circle at the front of the stage, about half the room. The lead guitarist and singer are stalking the area which the crowd are afraid to tread while tearing into Trees, the opening track from their EP.

Wounds Group 7

Wounds Guitar 1

The singer has a huge smile on his face between songs as the rest of the band tune their instruments and catch their breath.  You can feel the energy coming from the whole band, despite playing to a room which is half full they’re giving it their all. At the front of the stage the guitarist is a ball of energy as he peels out razor wire riffs while spinning round and rocking out.

The next track Ugly Mouth is a monster of a song with a chugging guitar riff and little flourishes. They are ably assisted by the muscular rhythm section. The drummer in particular, despite being about half the size of his kit, is able to make an impressive racket.

Wounds Singer Guitar 2

Wounds Drummer 1

Things slow down a little for Choke the moody mid tempo track which has a surprisingly danceable bass line. It shows that the band have the capacity to write songs which aren’t all pure speed and aggression. It builds to a false finish before exploding again.

It’s a mixed crowd, there’s barely any ‘hardcore kids’ here, the audience seem a little taken aback during the first few songs. However the singer eventually beckons the crowd closer; stating “Either you come closer or we do”, a threat, or a promise? Fortunatley he never as to deliver, as by this point the crowd have warmed towards the band and take a few steps forward .

Wounds Singer Guitar

Wounds Singer Guitar 3

One of things which most impresses me is how tight the band are, especially considering that one of the guitarist has only recently joined. They’re like a crack unit of musicians, each one in tune with the next as they assault their instruments and throw themselves into the set with gusto.

The highlight of the set comes when they cover Search & Destory by Iggy and The Stooges. It would normally be a back handed compliment to say that the best song of a bands set is a cover but when Wounds play it they make it sound as raw, scuzzy, and punk as it must have been when Iggy and co first played it.

Wounds Group 8

Wounds Group 3

During the song the singer leaps into the guy in front of me, spilling his drink on the floor and I’m expecting a scuffle. However after untangling themselves the amiable singer offers a sincere apology and tops the now empty glass up with his own beer. Who said being in a punk band meant you can’t be polite?

The last song they play is Dead Dead Fucking Dead released at the end of March. It’s a fitting end to the set which sees all members screeching the title/chorus into  the sky.

Wounds Guitar 2

Wounds Group 11

I’m already looking forward to the next time the band are back on these shores. I have no doubt that they’re going to make a big splash. I’m impressed with them but can’t help but think that to truly appreciate them is to witness them in the tiny back room of a pub, filled to the brim with writhing, sweaty, bodies.

Categories ,Botch, ,The Blood Brothers, ,These Arms Are Snakes. Iggy and the Stooges, ,Wounds

Similar Posts:





Amelia’s Magazine | Team Ghost – You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me – Album Review

team ghost review
Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010

Alternative Fashion Week is a funny old beast, viagra order one that I’ve been getting to know rather well over the past week. And really getting to become rather fond of. Every day I rock up at 1.15pm with no idea of what the day’s catwalk show would bring. Generally I come skidding to a halt on my bike just as the stout lady with the microphone finishes giving her daily spiel to the audience, order which is a funny old mixture of family, stuff friends, industry pundits (apparently, though I didn’t seen anybody I know) and interested city boys and labourers.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010

On Tuesday I was still a novice, so I asked the lady at the back with a clipboard if I could sit down – being as I was press and that’s what it said on my ticket. “No.” She told me bluntly. “Not if you haven’t reserved a seat.” Oh alright then.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
Don’t hassle this lady. She’s very busy. She ensures that everyone gets out on the catwalk on time.

One major issue with this event is the lack of surrounding information – Alternative Fashion Week doesn’t have much of an online presence and the bumpf that I got sent in the post was basic to say the least. It certainly didn’t warn me that I needed to RSVP or go fuck myself. I always find it amusing how, because of the way I dress and the fact that I carry a big professional camera with me (photographers generally being the scum of the earth and all that), I am treated in a certain way. Oh world of fashion, you do make me larf. Still, I like to travel incognito, so it suits me.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
Some of the audience really aren’t going to help you get ahead in fashion – bemused city workers look on.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
The band. They’re quite naff.

Now I actually think that the lack of a seat was a blessing in disguise – I spent about ten minutes on day one attempting to watch the catwalk shows front stage before realising that there was far more fun to be had hanging around the back, where a big old melange of models, designers, city workers, pervy middle aged male photographers and screaming organisers raced about like mad things – it made for far more interesting photos, and I got to boss the girls around when they come off stage. (Something none of the other photographers seemed to do. It must be something to do with my background as a fashion photographer because I have no qualms with telling a model how to pose. Though of course the rest of the cameras descended in front of me like locusts once I’d arranged a shot.) So whilst I can report generally on the outfits, I have no idea what any of the catwalk presentations were like. Not that I think that matters – it’s the clothes that are important, right?

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
“Hello young lady, can I take a photo of you because you don’t appear to have a bra on.” Believe me, there was only a pair of nipple tassles under that jacket.

The standard at Alternative Fashion Week is massively variable but amongst the huge quantity of stuff there are some really interesting designers to be found – ones that I would wager money on becoming successful. So it’s important to give into the undeniable exuberance of the occasion: everyone is quite simply having a ball. Some of the “models” may be slightly ropey, some of the designs outstandingly bad, but the fact that such an event exists to promote up and coming talent is a good thing. It’s just a shame they don’t have more resources to make sure that each designer gets as much promotion as possible: I had real trouble trying to figure out which was which. And that I at least had the choice of a seat if I had wanted.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
Model or mum? You decide. Perhaps both. There are all comers here.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010 Alex Seroge
Alex Seroge showed a very strong collection.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
Great styling from Hayley Trezise.

Over the week I have got better at making a note of who all the designers are, no mean feat when juggling camera, iphone and twitter updates. So if you see your work on my website and it hasn’t been properly credited do drop me a note and let me know. I’ve also learnt a lot about what you should and shouldn’t do at Alternative Fashion Week if you want to make an impression – and that shall be the subject of another post.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Kimberley Startup.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Havering College get ready to go on stage.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Adel Andic.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Maartje de Man.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
It’s tough when your bum is hanging out in the street.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Checking through the running order backstage.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010

For those of you unfamiliar with the loud, sales scattershot-shoegazing electronic noise group M83, approved then perhaps it might make sense to take a quick break here and catch up. Anything will do, though it seems to be generally accepted that their 2003 record Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts is their high point; shortly after its release Nicolas Fromageau left the band to pursue his own projects, and I (like many others) had assumed that by now he had simply dropped away into the ether. Not the case at all, as it turns it – he’s back with Team Ghost, a new project with multi-instrumentalist Christophe Guerin, and with it taking the M83 project in a new direction, towards the realms of krautrock and synth-pop. The album cover (although technically this is an EP) should make it clear that this is cut from a decidedly darker and ruder cloth than the work of M83 – Team Ghost aren’t afraid to flash a bit of tit.

‘Lonely, Lonely, Lonely’ is the longest track. Fromageau’s choice, opening his own group’s first record effort with a song that’s surprisingly close to M83 in spirit, seems a strange one at first. It’s tempting to write this off immediately as merely a pastiche of his last band, and already as the music builds up I’m thinking of ways to describe this record as merely one man’s way to satisfy his own ego… and then it ends. I’m going to go out on a limb here and call this predictable instrumental track tongue-in-cheek. Just a hunch.

A Glorious Time’, though, kicks in with a huge wall of guitar feedback, sounding like some poppier indie band discovering a distortion pedal. Fromageau sings, “leave it all behind you… leave it all behind you,” over and over the guitar’s swirl. It’s a straight-up shoegaze track, and whilst not hugely original it’s already a sign of a more diverse lineup to come. It’s followed by ‘Sur Nous Les Étincelles Du Soleil’, a dreamy, twinkling song with some sultry French chanteuse breathing sweet nothings down in the mix. It’s halfway through before it’s clear that this is more post-rock than shoegaze, but of a very nocturnal sort.

Raising us from our slumbers comes ‘Echoes’, followed by ‘Only You Can Break My Heart’, which both fight it out for the distinction of being labelled the best track on here. The former is a pulsing tribute to Neu! and early-80s new wave – it’s surprisingly groovy for an artist like Fromageau, but not unexpected considering the influences being chucked about here. It’s the kind of thing that makes me excited to see what Team Ghost might do next; so too can this be applied to ‘Only You Can Break My Heart’, a pounding track that sounds not unlike No Age trying to beat the bloody hell out of a synthesiser. Totally instrumental, but completely bracing.

Colours In Time’ sounds eerily like an Air track remixed by Crystal Catles; Fromageau’s French lilt, crooning over a song that sounds not dissimilar to what you’d have found pumping out of an arcade game’s speaker system circa 1994. Then there’s ‘Deaf’, another bout of semi-shoegaze but this time more in the style of the recent Horrors album – it’s a shimmering track, and a satisfying closer to the album.

It may have taken him nigh-on seven years to finally find his feet, but Fromageau has clearly found a music partner with a clearly similar outlook and vibe. Where this EP really comes into its own is where it departs from the M83 formula, strikes out on its own with its own new influences. If they can maintain, hell, even improve upon the kind of collages they have here in songs like ‘Echoes’ then it will be fascinating to see where Team Ghost go to next.

Categories ,80s, ,Air, ,Crystal Castles, ,Dead Cities Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, ,feedback, ,ian steadman, ,M83, ,neu!, ,new wave, ,No Age, ,post-rock, ,shoegaze, ,Synth-Pop, ,Team Ghost, ,You Never Did Anything To Break My Heart

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Vessels – White Fields And Open Devices

glastonbury%20crowd.jpg

As I packed for my first ever Glastonbury, sildenafil information pills I thought PRACTICAL and WARM. My long time friend and side kick had relayed stories of the year before being a torrent of mud and rain. What dedication. She and 136, buy 999 others had traipsed through thigh high mud for 5 days all in the name of music.

So when I asked the veteran Glastonbury go-er what on earth should I pack? she could not stress enough how many thermals, fleecies, and things that can be destroyed, I should take. And don’t forget your wellies! Having just moved here from NZ and lacking all the essentials, I was pointed in the direction of the camping store and left to my own devices! I hit Katmandu for a completely uncool but practical fleece jumper and Primark to stock up on tights and cheapie things that can be thrashed – after all, you don’t go to Glastonbury to hide from the elements.

As I arrived and joined the queue for international ticket pick up I was instantly struck by gumboot envy! An array of colors and patterns strutted past and I rarely saw the same pair twice. Fortunately my own pair was black and decorated with cute pink flowers and pink soles so they made the cut.

my%20wellies.jpg
Check mine out on the right

We arrived 2 days early purely to get the best campsite in all of fair Glastonbury, and after setting up tent we ventured down to explore and make the most of the sunshine – after all it wasn’t going to last, right?! The market stalls were already bustling, and the scene was a feast for the eyes! Girls in vintage dresses, colored tights, floral patterns -everything high street and everything fashion was on display.

Thursday evening bought the rain and Friday saw drizzle turning the once dust bowl farm into a thick mud that threatened to steal your boots with each step. But this did not hinder efforts from the crowd to look every bit like the glossy photos we see each year of celebrities looking effortlessly cool.

girl%20with%20glasses%20at%20glatonburyjpg

The boldest looks seemed to appear directly from the onsite costume stalls in Shangri la. Super heroes, brides, cows, video game characters and even a banana competed on the muddy catwalk.

Of course when it comes down to it, after a couple of pear ciders you’re so excited to be jumping and shaking in front of your favorite band, you forget about your own mish mash of uncoordinated practical warm things and have just want to have a damn good time!

me_glastonbury4.jpg
Me attempting the effortlessly cool look

escalator-shop.jpg

Today we received great news that the issues we sent to Tokyo record shop Escalator Records three months ago have finally arrived. Why it took so long we have no idea, dosage perhaps the Royal Mail staff had a good read of them before they even got on the plane.

Escalator Records is a label based record store that was opened in 2002 in Harajuku Tokyo, and has stocked the most wonderful and limited records ever since. The store is very well respected and even has some famous fans. Haruka from the store told us, “Daft Punk, the people at Ed Banger, Modular People, Annie and CSS all give big love to the store”.

They also run an internet radio show, through which they aim to spread the word about as yet unknown Japanese bands.

Escalator%20Records.jpg
Haruka was nice enough to send us some photos to prove their arrival, as we had previously believed they had been lost forever.

port-o%27brien.jpg

With a hint of sea air, try this folksy group from the deep dark depths of Kodiak Island, remedy Alaska, have created a relaxing but catchy and almost addictive new album. It’s a move away from the acoustic sounds of their first but Port O’Brien has managed to retain a sense of their previous identity.

The album as a whole creates a brilliant relaxed nautical atmosphere, not surprisingly as most of it was written whilst the lead dude was out solo in the Gulf of Alaska fishing months of his life away. Their Arcade Fire type passion is quite mesmerising and each song did leave me wanting more.

A splash of The Go! Team style shouting/village singing on their first track draws you in with excitement although the remainder of the album is not quite so uplifting. There is a woody, dusty feel to each song, I couldn’t help but imagine sitting round a camp fire with a few old chums, a guitar and everyone singing until their heart’s were content. Maybe even a porch, a straw hat and that trusty guitar would do the trick.

Quite a good album over all, indeed, all I could do was sing along (to the first track anyway). It won’t be making history any time soon, but a nice little listen.
music-listings.gif

Monday 7th July

Jeremy Warmsley, sales Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man, sale So So Modern, Esser and Liam Finn – Plug, Sheffield
Mumford & Sons, Jessie Quinn And The Mets, Davie Fiddle And The Lucky Egg and Derek Meins – The Luminaire, London
White Denim – Bodega Social Club, Nottingham

It’s safe to say White Denim are one of the most talked about bands of 2008 so far. So catch them while they’re in the UK, they’re ace.

Tuesday 8th July

Band Of Horses – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
The National – Mandela Hall, Belfast
Interpol – Manchester Apollo, Manchester
Frightened Rabbit, Esau Mwamwaya/ Radioclit and Collapsing Cities @ White Heat – Madame Jo Jo’s, London

Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit pretty much showcase a run down of the most interesting aspects of modern world music. Absolutely guaranteed to get you dancing.

Gnarls Barkley – Astoria 2, London

Wednesday 9th July

Howling Bells and Chief – Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London
Jaguar Love – Cockpit, Leeds
Magnetic Fields – Cadogan Hall, London

Thursday 10th July

Annie, The Clik Clik and Heloise And The Savoir Faire @ The Wonky Pop Club – Cargo, London

Friday 11th July

These New Puritans, Nelson and Zombie Zombie – Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

I don’t know why I’ve never seen These New Puritans live, I really would like to catch them at this, mainly because it would give me a chance to see Zombie Zombie again as well.

My Morning Jacket – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Blindfold, Capitol K and Jo Harrop – The Roundhouse, London
Cocknbullkid – Proud Galleries, London
Justice – Somerset House, London

Saturday 12th July

Bearsuit, Paul Vickers And The Leg, What Would Jesus Drive and Speccy Ginger – Buffalo Bar, London
Ghost Frequency and KASMs – Astoria 2, London
Ipso Facto and Stricken City – Be at Proud Galleries, London
Pete Doherty – Royal Albert Hall London

Sunday 13th July

Gig Of The Week
Wooden Shjips and The Heads – Cargo, London

Both of these bands are awesome, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday evening than a little bit of a freak out to some psychedelic garage.

Ben Folds – Bristol Academy, Bristol

MONDAY 7th JULY:
Monika Bobinska, viagra ‘Ambivalent Landscape’: Adam King: 20th June-13thJuly.
Cambridge Heath Road, more about London E2 9DA (Thursday-Sunday 1-6pm, Sunday 2-5pm).
New two and three dimensional collages by Adam King explore the dreams and fears of urban consumer society and its relationship to the natural world. King’s kaleiderscopic collages are made from wallpaper, pipe cleaners and print images, creating a tidal wave of debris – flowers, anatomical imagery, consumer items, broken cars, images of war – which threatens to burst out, confusing your sense of dimensions.

normal_3Safe.as.Houses_Adam.King.jpg

Serpentine Gallery, Continuation’: Richard Prince: 26th June-7th September.
Painter, photographer, sculptor and collector, Richard Prince’s work explores American pop culture, literature and art in his follow up of Spiritual America. A direct dialogue with space, the exhibition includes an eclectic range of photography, sculptures, books, artworks to classic American ‘muscle cars’.

PRINCE-COWBOYS-418-365.jpg

TUESDAY 8th JULY:
Spacex Gallery, ‘Structures for the unseen’:Axel Antas: 12 May-12 July.
45 Preston Street?, Exeter?, EX1 1DF.
Film, large scale drawings and a series of photographs taken in the vast Catalan Pyrenees, shown alongside a selection of earlier works from Antas’ ‘Intervention’ series. ‘Catalan Pyrenees’ includes bird boxes placed amongst the landscape that stand alone on a mountain tops, whilst ‘Intervention’ series features landscapes covered in artificially created low lying mist.

spacex.jpg

Contemporary Art Projects, ‘Cut n shunt’: Craig Fisher, Debra Swann, J.A.Nicholls: 20th June-27th July.
20 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3DU.
Urban life, history and nature are touched upon with an injected twist of the abnormal. Transcending material boundaries with desire, playfulness gives the exhibition a sense of new possibilities.

cut%20n%20shunt.jpg

WEDNESDAY 9th JULY:
Penny school Gallery,‘New Talents: Fashion & Photography’: 9th July-3rd October: tues-fri 11-4pm.
55 richmond rd, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT2 5BP.
Dynamic & exciting collaboration between ND Fashion & HNC Photography students; to launch the New Degree in Fashion & textiles starting at Kingston College.

WHATIFTHEWORLD/GALLERY, ‘Hypocrite’s Lament & the drain of progress’: Zander Blom and Julia Rosa Clark: 9th -26th July.
Lower Ground Floor, 23 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3P8.
The remnants of art, modernism and culture are explored as well as the influence of South African life where both artists originate. Coming from a country that is often seen as dismal, brutal and segregated, this informs their fractured work.

blom.jpg

THURSDAY 10th JULY:
ICA, ‘A recent history of writing and drawing’: Jurg Lehni & Alex Rich: 9th July-31st August.
ICA, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH.
Features examples of machines that enable writing and drawing as well as mechanisms which create giant wall drawings, punch messages in paper and make images on screen. Based on the misuse and reuse of modern technology.

ica.jpg

FRIDAY 11th JULY:
The Old Truman Brewery, ‘Interiors’: Nottingham Trent University, Kingston University, Ravenbourne College, university of Brighton, Kingston University, University of Portsmouth, Cambridge School of Art and Design: 11th-14th July.
91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL.
The 7th week focuses on interiors. Why not take a stroll in this huge open space and view some groovy graphics, haunting photos and model homes?

Brick Lane Gallery, ‘Free for Wall: Part 2′:artists to be confirmed:11th-28th July.
196 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SA.
Still compiling raw talent from the streets, The Brick Lane Gallery presents it’s second installment of some fresh ‘n funky art. If you’re a street artist eager to showcase your work, get your skates on and send some images to: brice@thebricklanegallery.com- who knows..maybe you’ll be viewing your own work in a few days!

INVITATION-IMAGE.jpg

Vice’s Pub, ‘Cup Rocking’: Andy Uprock: 11th July.
Old Blue Last, 38 Great Eastern St Storeditch EG2A 3ES
Using aroung 2,500 cups and mapping out large areas of cyclone fencing and sticking plastic cups into the existing diamond shaped holes, Andy transforms streets and public areas into places of interest. Cups are recycled and used for another project-now that’s what you call inspirational yet sustainable art!

6th_cuprocking_melbourne_thumb.jpg

SATURDAY 12th JULY:
The Museum for objects of Vertu, ‘Dust jacket…A cover for the voyage of the beagle’: Rosie Cooper, Richard Gray, Sonja Howick , Piers Jamson , Rachael Mathews , Fleur Oakes , Matthew Robins , Audrey Reynolds , Tim Spooner: 12-13th July, 12-6pm, by appointment thereafter until 27th July.
Fleur Oakes studio, 89 Park road, New Barnet.
(Piccadilly line , cockfosters station
The museum for objects, nestled in the cosy studio of Miss Fleur Oakes, presents objects that are described as ‘compelling ;the bits and bobs that get pushed to the back of a dressing table drawer, that then find their way to a flea market’. Expect obscure objects that contain lost tales, all set within a woody wonderland.

newbarnet.jpg

Copy%20of%20dust%20jacket%20invite.jpg

SUNDAY 13th JULY:
Faggionato Fine Arts, ‘National Geographic’: Maria Von Kohler, Alain Miller, John Summers, John Tiney 9th July- 21st August.
49 Albemarle Street W1S 4JR.
Four artists use source material and imagery that encapsulates a moment that bridges identity and location.

BullBig_1.jpg

pivot.jpg
Photos by Lucy Johnston

After hearing dribs and drabs about Pivot I was conscious of them, this site but not to the extent where I had actually checked them out. Then I heard their album, troche and I simply couldn’t fail to take notice any longer. It’s so fresh and marvelously creepy that I instantly found myself proclaiming it my album of the month. To who I have no idea, viagra order it’s not like I’m the presenter of ‘hit, miss or maybe’ on live and kicking (god I wish I was though), but I continued to proclaim none the less.

The venue was practically empty when I arrived and the support band (who i couldn’t find out the name of) received almost no love, with most people opting to bask in the sun outside. The crowd seemed to escalate nine fold in the 5 minutes before Pivot were due to appear, and the place was rammed by the time they moderately made their way on stage.

As they unleashed their barrage of musical experiments, I was intrigued by the undecided response most people seemed to adopt. Some began to dance, while most just watched intently. By the end of the first track though everyone was applauding.

Their tracks are made up of instrumentals that leap between timings, volumes and moods to create something that can’t be pigeonholed to any genre. Vocals are used, but lyrics and melodies are cast aside in favor of woops and other primal outbursts. They sound intelligent, but in a way that isn’t brash or confusing. It simply sounds good because so much thought has gone into each little section of every track.

They end their set with the ominous ‘O Soundtrack My Heart’, which sounds like it should be soundtracking some very confusing art house movie, and in many ways I think they make art house music. If such a term could exist. Half the time, you’ve no idea what’s going on, but you continue to watch anyway. You can’t help yourself, because songs become more and more intriguing as they go on.

Do you open up Grazia, this web see Alexa Chung in the ‘latest’ starry ensemble and think, “Oo! Where can I get me one of those?” Yeah, I thought not. That’s exactly what Hadley Freeman, Deputy Fashion Editor at The Guardian, thought too. However Bronwyn Cosgrave, author of Made for Each Other: Fashion & The Academy Awards, appeared to think us a more sheepish bunch at The Red Carpet: Fashion and Celebrity talk at the Barbican on Thursday 3rd July.

Andy Warhol foresaw the ‘famous for 15 minutes’ culture which we now find ourselves knee-deep in, and it was talk of reality TV that opened up this topical, lively and at times quite bitchy discussion about celebrities (French president’s wife Carla Bruni certainly won’t be getting a Christmas card from Cosgrave) and their hold over a designer’s success.

Forget being scouted as a model, fancy being scouted to be a designer’s new best friend? It would seem relationships between celebrity and stylist, stylist and designer and designer and celebrity (put in print in this months InStyle magazine) are as fickle as we thought. Marketing constructs? Really?

From Big Brother stars, to the mutual money making success of celeb/designer friendships, the conversation soon turned to the Oscars, where Cosgrave got rather too much into her stride. Resembling the host of an empowering self-help seminar, all very ‘breathe in the positive, release the negative’, Cosgrave lost my interest and it was left to Freeman to regain it with her belief that designers are today blinded by celebrity moments, and often forget that real people have to wear their clothes. It is after all ironically the customer who pays, and not the multi-million pound celebrity.

So do celebrities hold the key to designer success? Well, with the enticement of publicity and increased sales vying against the importance of brand image (Amy Winehouse and Karl Lagerfeld anyone?), it’s a tricky one to call. But with the recent credit crunch and the vast array of new, young design talent coming out of London, perhaps we are more inclined to buy what we like, what suits us and what we haven’t seen someone else wearing on Oxford Street that afternoon.

barbican%20viktor%20and%20rolf%20dolls.jpg

Larry%20Jon%20Wilson.jpg

Cast your mind back to the 1970s Nashville… don’t remember it? Well neither do I. But if you attended barn dances back then, dosage you may have heard the new sounds of the “Outlaw” movement, and one of those ushering it in was Larry Jon Wilson. Like all the best things in life, he did it with friends, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, to name but two. Helping to bring in a more soulful sound, to the previous honky tonk twang sound of country music (which might have signalled the end of your barn dance fun). He was compared favourably to noted singer songwriter talents and released 4 albums before curtailing his recording career.

Now he’s back with his fifth album, which is an introspective story telling affair. Delivered in a baritone growl, Larry Jon Wilson’s weary stories pluck at the heart strings, and his reminiscing subtly hints to regretful mistakes. It is an album that is highly personal and was recorded with the tape left playing between songs, enabling us to hear comments; “I like that song, ever since I first heard it. In strange, very strange circumstances”, referring to Heartland, a well known Willie Nelson tune that Wilson succeeds in making his own.

Dealing with love, loss, and everything in between, the album weaves a very listenable narrative. ‘Losers Trilogy’ goes from personal romantic loss to an acknowledgment of losers everywhere. The 11-minute ‘Whore Trilogy’ tells three despairing stories, and on ‘Where From’, Wilson poses existential questions which remain unanswered, its last words asking: “where to?”

It is a dying breed of storytelling, with age, authenticity and an individual sound that would normally have you rummaging in your dad’s record collection to hear, but now, you don’t have to.

Do you remember a blog I posted a couple of week ago raving about a little yellow t-shirt that I received from t-shirt design company Graniph? Well they have officially announced the winners of their international T-shirt Design Awards vol.2.

The competition started on the 1st Feb and ran until the 31st March. Designers, visit artists, illustrators and photographers worldwide were asked to send in their ideas for t-shirt designs. Graniph managed to sift through 15000 entries from over 40 countries before finally selecting 21 winners. The gold prize went to Taiwanese illustrator, Cho Jo Tzu, whose artwork consisted of the words ‘peace love, Rabbit foot’, constructed entirely from illustrations of rabbits performing interesting yoga type poses.

CHU%20JO%20TZU%20graniph%20design.jpg

10 other designs were awarded the silver prize. My favourite among them definitely has to be a skillful pencil drawing submitted by Rik Lee, who states his influences as Art Noveau, classic American tattoo art, 1980/90′s skateboarding, BMX, fashion and tight deadlines.

rik_lee.jpg

All of the winners now have their work printed on tee’s, which are available to buy online or in Graniph stores worldwide.

EcoMag is calling for artists, case illustrators and designers to get their pens at the ready and to respond to future climate scenarios in Mark Lynas’ book Six Degrees.
EcoMag will be an bi-annual magazine about art, design and sustainability. It’s aim is to ‘create an alternative cultural vision that can drive transformational change to meet the goals of a fully sustainable society.’ Wow! Sounds inspirational. So check it out and get scribbling all you talented artists!

Six Degrees

An open entry project for artists, illustrators & designers

Artists, illustrators and designers are invited to participate in the EcoLabs’ Six Degrees project. Respond to the future climate scenarios in Mark Lynas’ book Six Degrees.

The brief
1. Read Mark Lynas’ Six Degrees.
2. Select one degree.
3. Make an image to represent this degree. Use the template below.
4. Submit by September 1, 2008.

Mark Lynas’ book Six Degrees uses evidence compiled from hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers to describe the projected changes with each degree of climate warming. Divided into six chapters (covering one degree each) the book makes the science of climate change tangible and specific. The Six Degrees project challenges artists to use this book as the catalyze for a dialogue about future climate scenarios (and what we cannot allow to happen). By making these scenarios visible – we hope to initiate sustained dialogue & action.

Selected work will be published in the first issue of EcoMag.

ecomag.jpg

ali%20hodgson.jpg

Wild%20Beasts%20Limbo%20Panto.jpg

A statement as direct as Queen’s ancient no-synthesizers decree emblazons the inner sleeve of this debut: “The four boys of Wild Beasts aren’t concerned with being of the modern, shop or being of the renaissance, link being baggy pantsed or being tight pantsed, purchase being in a scene or being in a place. Wild Beasts’ music, being what it is, just is.”

The first thing that hits you is probably the most decisive element of the album to whether it’ll suit ones pallet: Hayden Thorpe’s voice. A hollering, Grande dame of a voice swooping drunkenly like a bee at an evening barbecue practically without taking a single breath through the whole album. His vocals waltz through a series of often fractious, yet lush, songs.

A number like ‘Old Dog’ is unfathomably expansive: I can hear a murmur of the midnight soul of Al Green; a guy in some New York bar playing piano; a little of Jeff Buckley’s conjuring of vast feeling out of simplicity and, dare I say it, even a little Doors. The fact that none of these comparisons matter, that it doesn’t seem to build any clearer picture of the band, is the band’s most prominent strength. For some, Thorpe nears a line far too close to high camp to blend with the epic stature of the music. However, I think they’re missing the point, or rather gloriously, the lack of point in a linear way. Wild Beasts are a band who don’t add up, evading the sum of their parts, existing outside A + B = C. Their inner sleeve statement is less arrogant claim of uniqueness, more like cigarette packet warning: Be prepared!

Limbo, Panto conjures a hopeless, English romanticism existing in a well-thumbed second hand novel. From start to end it may need a little diluting but it’s well worth the extra work.

Vesselsalbumfront.jpg

For a girl obsessed with Sixties girl groups and Eighties new wave, treatment over an hours worth of ‘experimental rock’ was never going to make for easy listening. My search for the perfect 3 minute pop song was put on hold to delve into the musical meanderings of Vessels full debut offering ‘White Fields and Open Devices’. Here they relive the age old problem that anything that claims to be ‘experimental’ never really manages to sound new enough in our constantly shifting times.
 
Much is made of Vessels prolific live output of over 100 gigs, troche which has helped them finely tune their sharp and professional touch. Alternately this has lead to an awkwardness when translating the same material onto a record. Often it sounds like each member of the band is playing a different song to the rest, stitching in sounds from all over the place and creating a heavy handed finish.
 
Opener ‘Altered Beast’ starts with minimally electronics before expanding into a burly, epic instrumental. Fully signed up members of the quiet-loud-quiet-loud club, songs which begin hushed unfold into many layered cacophonies, demonstrating the ins and outs of Vessels’ multi-musical abilities. Vocals seem mainly incidental, used really as another instrument, floating ephemerally amidst the layers of sound. Towards the end of the EP a sort of structure begins to fall into place, and the sweetly shushed ‘Yuki’ introduces  a softness of vocal and a notable melody that seems to be the gaping hole in the rest of the album.
 
This is an interesting debut, with the suggestion that this is merely a hint of the path they may next follow. I hope they finely hone the ‘niche’ sound that they are trying to claim their own.

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Jeniferever launch their new album Silesia at The Lexington

Jeniferever by Liam McMahon
Jeniferever by Liam McMahon.

It was never a good idea to make an effort to see a support band without first checking up on them. This I really should know after many years of gig going. But sometimes you just don’t learn, help you know? So it was that I found myself facing the most excruciating half naked squall in the upstairs venue at The Lexington in Islington. I had rather presumed that as the support band for the Jeniferever Silesia album launch These Monsters might echo their soporific post rock nuances, prescription but their particular brand of ‘Regressive Rock’ could not have been more different. So I removed myself from the noise and waited in the downstairs pub until it was time to return for Jeniferever.

Silesia Jeniferever

I first profiled Jeniferever in Amelia’s Magazine many years ago, and I remember well the band asking me if I knew of anywhere for them to stay as they set off on a tour of UK cities, an anecdote which demonstrates well their tenacious nature. They are now onto their third album, Silesia, which was recorded in the wake of the death of singer Kristofer Jönson’s father, and was named for the former name of Berlin’s Ostbahnhof because he was nearby when he learnt of the news.

Jeniferever by Liam McMahon
Jeniferever by Liam McMahon.

From the moment it opens with the deeply reverberating echoes of Silesia it’s clear that we are on familiar territory – hypnotic vocals wrapped around a simple but deeply engaging tune. The following tune Waifs and Strays feels like a protracted yearning, but The Beat of Our Own Blood moves the familiar Jeniferever sound onto an altogether different level, the curling melody a sure fire contender for mainstream radio play where even the lyrics “goodbye to bright spotlights” are discernible.

Jeniferever by Sky Nash
Jeniferever by Sky Nash.

A Drink to Remember starts with the simple pickings of a guitar but nearly seven minutes later finishes with an incredible wall of sound. Deception Pass is frantic, all shadowy reflections as Kristofer traverses “the darkest hours of hope”. By Dover there is a lighter feel, a sense of climbing out of troubles… moving forward with the help of friends. The album finishes on the slightly more pensive and questioning sound of Hearths.

Jeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia GregoryJeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia GregoryJeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia GregoryJeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia GregoryJeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Jeniferever at The Lexington, all photography by Amelia Gregory.

For their album launch Jeniferever peppered new songs with a smattering of older goodies, each member effortlessly swapping between instruments. Guitarist Martin Sandström swung his asymmetric blonde hair elegantly against the beautiful ruby red backglow as I drifted off to Jeniferever land, the emotions reverberating across the floor and up through my legs.

Jeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia GregoryJeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia GregoryJeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Guitarist Martin Sandström.

Jeniferever have always done it their way, and Silesia is no exception: it’s a must have album for anyone who loves the otherworldly end of the musical spectrum.

YouTube Preview Image

Grab your free tracks Dover and Waif and Strays from Soundcloud. Silesia is out now on Monotreme Records.

Jeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia GregoryJeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia GregoryJeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia GregoryJeniferever, Lexington-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Kristofer Jönson of Jeniferever.

Categories ,album, ,berlin, ,Broken Pixel, ,Dover, ,Islington, ,Jeniferever, ,Kristofer Jönson, ,Liam McMahon, ,Martin Sandström, ,Monotreme Records, ,Ostbahnhof, ,post-rock, ,Regressive Rock, ,review, ,Silesia, ,Sky Nash, ,SoundCloud, ,The Beat of Our Own Blood, ,The Lexington, ,These Monsters, ,Waifs and Strays

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Nedry and review of new album In A Dim Light

Nedry by Abi Stevens
Nedry by Abi Stevens.

Nedry excel in a vocal electro dub step mash up genre all of their own. In A Dim Light opens languidly with the blissed out vocals of Ayu Okakita, whist behind builds the soundscape of alternating tensions that characterises this album. One of my favourite tunes comes next: the clattering beats and saws of Post Six providing a lushly chaotic backdrop to the melody. Havana Nights rattles and buzzes with sighing atmosphere, and across nearly 7 minutes Float explores the wonder of the universe. These are melodies to get lost in… sprawling with a danceable yet mellow musical intrigue. I spoke with Chris Amblin, Matt Parker and Ayu.

YouTube Preview ImagePost Six

You have been variously described as post-dubstep, dark electro-pop, leftfield and indie. You cross many genres, what do you think describes you best?
CHRIS: On record I’d like to think we carry on the tradition and attitude of early trip-hop, but with some modern twists: we really look up to bands like Portishead and Massive Attack. The post-dubstep tag has been quite handy, in that we initially aimed to blend our love of post-rock with dubstep and take that into a live setting, but since our first record, Condors, we’ve all further broadened our tastes and I think particularly in the live environment we’re a fusion of lots of flavours of dance music, with almost a rock band aesthetic. So I guess Modern-Trip-Hop works nicely!

Nedry
Where do find inspiration for the rhythmic structures of your music?
CHRIS: I’m not sure if it’s such a conscious thing, but due to the fairly long winded way that we make tunes the rhythm can change from version to version. Quite often I’ll make a quite simple drum track for a song and Matt will subtly change the hi-hat pattern or where the snare falls and totally change the feel of the rhythm, then Ayu will sing on the off-beat or something or put together a very rhythmic backing vocal and by that point it’s difficult to understand where the actual rhythm has come from.

Nedry music “clouded” by claire jones art
Clouded – Nedry by Claire Jones Art.

Short songs are not your forte, why do you prefer to create long tunes?
MATT: Well we have a few songs running under 5 minutes on our new album, a couple even verging on pop song length! We like making longer songs mostly because our music is all about creating mood and a sense of atmosphere and I believe you need to build a piece of music up to create that kind of vibe. 

Nedry album sleeve
Even though you create dance music you relish the act of recreating music live on stage, what can people expect of a Nedry gig?
CHRIS: The experience of playing live is very important to us so we put a lot of time and effort into making the performance of each song interesting and exciting for us and most importantly for the audience. We’re all keen gig goers and have seen some fantastic live performances and also awful ones so we often reflect on these experiences and try to better what we do and take on board the things we like and discard the things that we don’t. It’s important to me to make the live experience different to the album and things are definitely more upbeat and energetic and if we’re lucky with the sound system the beats are more powerful and the sub bass is deep.

Nedrymakesmusic by Fort Rixon
Nedrymakesmusic by Fort Rixon.

Your vocalist Ayu Okakita hails from Japan, how did you all get together?
AYU: I met Matt and Chris through the internet (myspace), I was living in East London then and we happened to be neighbours.

Nedry promotshoot - Abney Park
How do the three of you work together? How does a song come about and who brings what to the mix?
MATT: Every song is different and approached differently although there is a lot of file sharing online that goes on, passing Ableton sessions from one to another and working over the structure of a song. Ayu brings vocals to the mix (obviously) but she also contribute to melodies, piano playing, rhythmic and mood ideas. Myself and Chris work on everything and anything in between. Our creative process is really quite convoluted and it takes a long time to make a song feel right but I guess this is because as a band based solely in the electronic realm, it can be difficult to just get into a room and make something. Saying that though, a few of the tracks on the new album were created entirely in a live environment or at least born in that environment before being given the full studio treatment.

YouTube Preview ImageFloat (edit)

Last year you played SXSW for the first time, what was the highlight and did you get a good response?
CHRIS: It was easily the craziest and most intense week of being in this band, the sheer amount of people and bands performing that week is impossible to describe. There was an amazing build up before we traveled to Austin, starting in November the previous year with our label (Monotreme) receiving the invite for us to play and then all of us working together to make it happen. So we spent a lot of the week in a bit of a haze of joy and relief and jetlag! The highlight for me was after playing our showcase gig at Latitude 30, when a small group of young Texans found us loading out in the back alley and told us that they’d been following Nedry and were over the moon to see us play in the flesh – we chatted for a while and signed a copy of our CD for them. It meant a lot to us and was the best response we could have wished for.

Nedry Photo by Sebastien Dehesdin
What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
MATT: I think we’re looking forward to seeing how people react to our album. It’s been two years since our last release and the musical landscape has shifted a lot since then.

Nedry release In A Dim Light on 12th March 2012 on Monotreme Records.

Categories ,Abi Stevens, ,Ableton, ,Ayu Okakita, ,Chris Amblin, ,Claire Jones Art, ,Condors, ,dubstep, ,Electro Pop, ,Float, ,Fort Rixon, ,In A Dim Light, ,Indie, ,Latitude 30, ,leftfield, ,Massive Attack, ,Matt Parker, ,Monotreme, ,Nedry, ,Portishead, ,post-rock, ,Trip-Hop

Similar Posts: