Gonna Make It Through The YearI was a bit disappointed about ‘Lost Channels’ by Great Lake Swimmers. It’s a fine record. But in my opinion it lacks the great hit single or exceptional song that put distance to every other band that manoeuvres in the genre.
Ever since I heard “I could be nothing” and later “Your rocky spine” I might have been expecting a bit too much?

Today Bad Panda Records released “Gonna Make It Through This Year”. They release a song every Monday, but this is really a scoop. The song by Great Lake Swimmers is more up-tempo and has this wonderful melancholy. Midlakes “Act of Man” has got new competition on my home stereo for sure.

Go download the song under a Creative Commons Licens at Bad Panda [Week 16].

Beck.com is the place to be

Thursday, 16 July, 2009

button_plannedobbutton_irrelevantbutton_recordclubThere is really something going on at Beck.com. Mixtapes, interviews and a “record club”, where Beck and friends coveres Velvet Underground & Nico (Andy Warhol/ The banana album) and continues with other records within the next months. Fortunately not Ace of Bace although they were close according to a Pitchfork interview.

Take a look…

Best albums first half of 2009

Sunday, 5 July, 2009

DM-Stith-Heavy-Ghostsanimal-hospital-memoryThis is my top 10 list of albums released in 2009 (listed alphabetically).

Animal Collective ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’, Domino. Finally they made me understand why there is so much hype around them.
Animal Hospital ‘Memory’, Barge Recordings. Varied and layered soundscape par excellence.
Dan Deacon ‘Bromst’, Carpark Records. Unstoppable dance punk electronica.
Decorate Decorate ‘Instructions’, A:larm Music. Yes, they skipped the dots. Read my review here.
Julie Doiron ‘I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day’, Jagjaguwar. A female singersongwriter shows her personality.
Mountains ‘Choral’, Thrill Jockey. Warm, rich, detailed drone.
The Horrors ‘Primary Colours’, XL recordings. Absolutely stunning mix of Joy Division and Neu!
Tim Hecker ‘An Imaginary Country’, Kranky. Dense drone and overwhelmingly captivating.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs ‘Zero’, Interscope. Sexy and rocking with attitude and popular melodies.
Zu ‘Carboniferous’, Ipecac. Read .chrz review here.

I also want to promote a list of the five best albums I bought this year, but was released last year or earlier.

b.fleischmann, ‘Angst is not a weltanschauung!’. Morr Music. Read my short review here.
DM Stith ‘Heavy Ghost’. Asthmatic kitty records. Probably the record I’ve listened to the most. For fans of Radioheads new material.
Kazuki Tomokawa ‘ Blue water, red water’, P.S.F Records. Read my comment on Tomokawa here.
Mugison ‘Lonely Mountain’, Accidental records. Islandic singersong writer. Really nice, calm and lonely.
Paavoharju ‘Yhä Hämärää’, Fonal records. Folk-electronica from Finland. Mysterious and wise.

Kazuki Tomokawa

Thursday, 26 March, 2009

Kazuki TomokawaSome of the best records I probably never get to hear. But I do my best to neglect the prediction. Bubbachup at Motel de Moka made a real nice entry a while ago about the best albums in 2008.

I will listen more to Dennis González & Faruq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers Septet and Fire on Fire in the future. But the one that really got me on fire was the album Blue Water, Red Water [青い水赤い水] by Kazuki Tomokawa.

I bought five albums very cheap from P.S.F Records (send and received within less than a week) among them the awesome “Blue water, red water”. His voice is described as screaming, and I would ad haunting, yet story telling. Although some people might know him, he is rather unfamiliar in the western countries. I hope this will change.

Kazuki Tomokawa has been productive over the last decades and has release several albums. He is a folk singer, and the main thing – to me – is his voice and temperament. It’s sometimes brutal, sometimes intense.
Only one out the five bought albums has an English title. It makes it more exotic and hardly available, but also very compelling and inspiring. I believe Scandinavian listeners might be more familiar with some of the works of Kazuki Tomokawa. I still got a lot to learn about him, and there are several hours of listening to this Japanese singer songwriter. But it isn’t half as weird as it sounds.

His website is in Japanese only – http://www.interq.or.jp/www-user/kurenai/

Wikipedia has a better view of his releases than discogs – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuki_Tomokawa

There is a really nice introduction at the blog Sonic Asymmetry, although the blogpost is mostly written as a review of the album “Erise no me”.

And you might be lucky to download full albums at Time has told me.

I can also recommend the fine review of Blue Water, Red Water at Brainwashed which – as always – includes some one minute snippets.

mount eerie - lost wisdom

I remember listening to Mount Eerie in 2004, as there was great hype as he visited Copenhagen for some month. I didn’t see him performing LIVE at Play/rec, but I was told it was an inspirational experience. All I heard was a meek recording from the Microphones, which made me disregard this artist and his work.

This lasted until November 2008 as I heard “Voice in headphones”. That song along with “Lost Wisdom” both from the album of “Lost wisdom” are great songs that surprised me. And the rest of the album has convinced me to judge Mount Eerie differently

The music is Lo-Fi but not rattled. The record is made in a few days with Julie Doiron (vocals, Erics Trip) and Fred Squire (guitar). It gives a raw, unpolished album that is on level with the lyrics. The harmonies, duets and accompaniment between Phil Elverum and Julie Doiron are beautiful and give the love story more presence.
The lyrics are intimate, but never to personal and knowingly. Writing about (broken) love can be a cliché, but Phil Elverum knows his poetry and is writing right into my heart. Using simple textual tricks like ‘undo, I do’ and ‘well, come on welcome in’ shows his attention on his voice and vocals. He tells the story without singing it directly: “Every time I get my face dry you sing” understood as he’s moved to tears.

And let me end this recommendation with more of simple, strong lyrics:
“With your hand down the throat you held on to my heart and pumped blood through”.

christina carter - original darkness

There are a couple of releases from 2008 that I didn’t get to hear, when released. One of them was Christina Carter “Original Darkness”.
I’ve read some promising notes somewhere and today I found this praising review at Pitchfork.
I’m disappointed and think this release is ridiculous. Maybe I didn’t get it at all and then please enlighten me in the comments.

Both the music (two not worth mentioning accords on a guitar) and lyrics (no magic) are mourning but trivial. To quote “Suffering” where she is singing “so much pain for those who suffer”… “there is much suffering going through the world”.
“White Chalk” by PJ Harvey showed an enormous energy and pointing both backwards and forwards regarding sensitive and exposed song writing. Christina Carter shows nothing but helpless song writing. This was a waste of time.

I think I’ve been to a concert with Charalambides in Copenhagen some time ago. I’m not fond of them either, and therefore somebody may not find this review useful. Others will.