Friday, 18 September 2009

Internet Forever and Stairs To Korea on Huw Stephens

In case anyone missed the online excitement about this on Twitter, here's a reminder that for the next few days you can Listen Again to this week's Huw Stephens show. It features Brainlove favourites Internet Forever and the first UK radio play for Stairs To Korea. And a conversation about yoghurt. Amazing scenes: In Huw Music We Trust.

Keyboard Wire

Keyboard Choir have a track on this month's Wire Tapper #22, the covermount CD on the esteemed The Wire magazine. It's a track from their recent Electrical Unity EP. The EP is available to download for free from in conjunction with Brainlove and The Independent Online.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Holiday Reading: Trouble Books, Fuck Buttons, Peter Broderick

So, another Autumn is here. From the window I see gray skies and hear the persistent tapping of rain. But despite the dim light and the muted atmosphere, it's always been my favourite season. Hot soup, mulled wine, darkening evenings, long scarves, warm radiators with the windows sealed firmly shut - and a suitably warming soundtrack.

MP3: Transient Colour Glories

Trouble Books falls from the speakers like swirling orange leaves. Soft-focus and heart-meltingly gentle, "The United Colours Of..." is a perfect autumnal record, wrapping itself around you like a warm blanket. Comforting, considered, wholesome, sweet, funny and more than a little bit twee, the album embraces elements of folk, post-rock, melodic pop, and even a burst of noise or two, to create something enduring and nigh-on perfect.

Fuck Buttons follow up their breakthrough album Street Horrrsing with Tarot Sport, a seven-track epic produced by Andy Weatherall. The first single Surf Solar seemed to suggest a heavier techno-influenced direction, but thankfully Tarot Sport is rich and varied, flitting between airy, psychedelic repetitions and shattering rhythms, staccato melodies and tectonic planes of distortion. The heightened production values add a gloss to the sound, but this is a Fuck Buttons record through and through - optimistic, wide-eyed, emotionally generous and sonically powerful.

Listen / order the double vinyl

MP3: Below It

Portland's Peter Broderick was a quiet revelation at Green Man Festival this year. He takes the familiar solo-loop-pedal-guy format and does something genuinely interesting with it, flicking with ease between instruments to create beguiling, haunted, gradually unfurling songs. "Home" is an extremely pleasant listen; thoughtful and gently engaging throughout.


Town & Country, for such a long running project, are a pretty obscure band. Then only mention on eMusic is for a more recent band of the same name, with some comments from disgruntled fans. A little further research shows that they have disbanded and now operate under the monicker DRMWPN. But Town & Country's output was phenomenal, nonetheless. I first found them supporting Godspeed You Black Emperor on the F#A#∞ tour: a hushed little bubble of rapt admirers watched in a sold-out room teeming with chattering, drunk Mancunians. Town & Country played on, sharing conspiratorial smiles with the attentive few. Their purposeful instrumentals slowly unfolded, melding together traditional folk ensemble instrumentation with elements of upbeat post-rock and earthy jazz. "It All Has To Do With It" was duly bought from the merch stand, and at this time of the year it sounds better than ever.

Friday, 11 September 2009

F♯A♯∞, lest we forget....

I recently filled up 8gb on my new phone, and threw in some albums I have previously absolutely adored but haven't listened too for years. In this case, gotta be 7 or 8 years, at least...

Godspeed You Black Emperor were one of the bands that dragged post-rock past Slint-invented, Mogwai-aped dynamics, and evolved it into a heavily political narrative constructed from dark drones, spoken word and epic sonic landscapes. At the time, this shit was really pushing the envelope, and it's all too easy to forget that in hindsight. But the heartbreaking violin, plaintive marching drums and mournful, reverbed guitars still evoke the same bleak post-war-post-society melancholy as they did at the time, and in 2009 this record sounds every bit as angry and sad and fierce and fresh as it did eleven years ago in 1998.

I didn't put it there, but it's up for download on mediafire, like everything else these days. If you wanna buy it, the artwork is characteristically beautiful, so it's worth buying on a physical format, like most Constellation releases. My CD of this is in the very small pile that I'm not planning to get rid of before the removable media apocalypse.

But that kind of apocalypse is a bit crap compared to the doom-laden prospects in F#A#∞. Maybe they should have been asked to do the soundtrack for the forthcoming movie of The Road. I'm worried Nick Cave's score is gonna be a bit too... I dunno. Staged, maybe.

Grizzly Bear - While You Wait For The Others

Highlight of their recent album-of-the-year contender, Veckatimest. Also the song of my festival year - at Green Man, their performance of this song could not have been more beautiful and perfect. An incredible track.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Fear Of A Wack Planet

The 2009 Brainlove compilation is GO!

- 27-Track Compilation Released October 18th 2009
- 1000 x Ltd. Edition Slipcase CD

"Quixotic DIY record label Brainlove Records has announced the release of it's 2009 compilation. A characteristically diverse mix, all 27 tracks teem with the kind of positivity, sonic invention and skewed pop sensibility that has seen the label gather fans and supporters far and wide over the last 6 years.

It follows on from the success of the 2008 compilation Two Thousand And Ace, which was described as 'one of the most eclectic compilations imaginable' by Planet Sound, 'the best compilation of the year' by The National Student Newspaper and just plain 'amazing' by Kruger Magazine. It picked up radio plays from Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 and new music DJs John Kennedy and Jon Hillcock at Xfm, and warm reviews from legions of independent music sites, mags and blogs.

Fear Of A Wack Planet continues this celebration of the spirit and imagination that exists in new music of all genres, whether the bands are in their fifth year or on their first gig.

The compilation is released this October 18th on ltd edition slipcase CD only, via Cargo Distribution, priced at £5. It is also available through the label website with free P&P."


1. Mat Riviere - FYH*
2. Napoleon IIIrd - Your God*
3. Stairs To Korea - Boy Bear It In Mind*
4. Internet Forever - Break Bones
5. A Scholar & A Physician - Stand Tall*
6. Penny Broadhurst & The Maffickers - Comenzo (live)
7. Curly Hair - Hully Gully
8. We Aeronauts - The House On Ash Tree Lane*
9. Christopher Alcxxk - Halo
10. The Bear Driver - No Time To Speak
11. Kippi Kaninus - Sygyt With Me*
12. Thee Oracle - A/I/M/Y*
13. Pagan Wanderer Lu - Nintendo Folk*
14. Ratface - Fruit An Veg
15. Trademark - At Loch Shiel
16. Fidel Villeneuve - Two Of The Beatles Have Died
17. Ace Bushy Striptease - Post Hummus
18. Planet Earth - 4 23
19. Sparky Deathcap - Winter City
20. Keyboard Choir - Tachikoma*
21. Kid Carpet - Go Get Yourself A Hammer
22. Laura Wolf - Love Was Dead
23. gwEm - Ancient Art Of Chiptune
24. Braindead Collective - Untitled #1
25. Heartbeeps - Glacial Valleys
26. MRBLKRSHRRRR - Jackie Collins
27. Jam On Bread - Wikipedia Says I'm Dying

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Stairs To Korea

Stairs To Korea - Boy Bear It In Mind
Released September 28th on Brainlove Records.