Here is a few thoughts and new releases and listening to recently:
Adrian Younge – “Something About April II”
I’ve been an Adrian Younge fun since hearing his soundtrack to the brilliant Blaxplitation homage “Black Dynamite”. He continues a great run of albums released over the last six years. I haven’t heard the original “Some About April” but this is a great album full of soulful and funky tracks. Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) Provence guest vocals on a number of tracks and adds a distinctly Gainsbourg feel to the whole thing. He might an artist who slavishly recreates glorious moments from the 160s and 1970s but he does it in a way that shows all the light and shade within the genres he works in. He also brings a huge dollop of his own personality and taste.
Stream ‘Hands of God (Remizx) or the full album (via Spotify) below:
Cavern of Anti-Matter – “Void beats/Invocation Trex”
The debut album proper from Tim Gane (guitar, synths – Sterolab), Joe Dilworth (drums – Th’ Faith Healers/Stereolab) and Holger Zapf (synths) is both a trip down memory lane and evolution of Gane’s trademark Krautrock inspired sound. The first half of the album is full of epic Krautrock tracks that combine motorik drum patterns, squalling and swirling synths and echoing an intricate guitar work. In its second half the pace slackens and things become more open and conventionally melodic, on the one hand this gives the album some diversity but also feels as if the band were just about to find a new level and then change direction.
Stream ‘Melody in Feedback Tones’ or the full album (via Spotify) below:
Let me know why you guys think of these albums in the comments below or on Twitter
Hello everyone, it’s been a long time but now Sonic Fiction is back. Some of you may be wondering why haven’t posted in over two years. Well in the last two blog posts by this blog I describe my reasons. At the time I was ill (and still am) however, in the last few months I’ve got that it again and want to express my opinions about music again.
This time though I want to try to make the blog what it was or is supposed to be, that is a conversation between me and other music lovers. So posts will be more open-ended and while there will be some reviews of music new and old this one now longer be the focus of the blog. In addition to this, I am recruiting writers for the blog so they won’t just be me posting. My first recruit is Tom Ray, hasn’t let me know what he’ll be writing about yet but I know whatever is it will be interesting and well worth the read.
What Kirsty’s Looking Forward to
Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory – “Elements of Light” (Rough Trade) 11th January
Sonic Fiction favourite Pantha Du Prince (Hendrik Weber) has teamed up with Norwegian musicians The Bell Laboratory for a collaborative album, “Elements of Light”. The video previews below display the German techno producer and The Bell Laboratory creating an ambitious symphony of electronics, percussion and a special bell carillon, a three-tonne instrument consisting of fifty bronze bells.
Apparat – “Krieg und Frieden” (Mute) 15th February
The electronic music producer returns with an album based on a German theatre production of Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace, directed by Sebastian Hartmann. Once Hartmann asked Apparat, born Sascha Ring, to contribute music to the project, the producer then spent four weeks working with a 30-piece ensemble in an empty factory alongside Apparat’s live band members Philipp Timm and Christoph Hartmann. After the piece’s final performance Ring, C. Hartmann and Timm transformed the soundtrack into a work for album release. Ring says of “Krieg und Frieden”, “It’s the first record ever that didn’t hurt at some point. It’s full of imperfection because it was made by humans.” He goes on to describe the album as “a bit of a weird record with not many beats and lots of drones.”
Grab the free ‘A Violent Sky’ now:
Function – “Incubation” (Ostgut Ton) 4th March
Nearly 20 years into Function’s career comes his solo debut album “Incubation” on the luminary Ostgut label. As a member of Sandwell District and as a solo artist he is known for producing sleek, atmospheric techno, which he will explore further on his album, which was mastered by the respected engineer Tobias Freund. His goal, “was to create something cinematic and heavy on imagery and emotion.” and a “soundtrack.” The release was conceived as “one endless piece to be listened to straight through. So everything is connected and there are reoccurring themes throughout the album.” Listen to his beautiful ‘Inter’ below:
Ellen Allien – “LISm” (BPitch Control) March
Berlin icon Ellen Allien is due to release her seventh album “LISm” in March. The album is closely based on a soundtrack Allien wrote for the Drama per Musica dance recital performed in 2011 at Paris’ Spectacles Vivants Festival. She called on Bruno Pronsato to aid her with expanding the pieces and to co-produce “LISm”. As usual the album will be released through BPitch Control, the label she’s managed for over a decade.
Stream a medley of “LISm” below:
The Knife – “Shaking The Habitual” (Mute) 8th April
After seven years we will finally see the release of the Swedish brother-sister duo’s third studio album “Shaking The Habitual”. Their last was the flawless “Silent Shout” from 2006. In 2010 they released, “Tomorrow In A Year”, the collaborative album with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock that was written for an opera/performance piece based on the life and work of Charles Darwin. Both members have also released solo records under pseudonyms – Karin as the acclaimed Fever Ray and Olaf as Oni Ahyun. Light Asylum member Shannon Funchess has contributed to vocals to the album which will be released via Mute/Brille.
This video, which may or not be The Knife, leaked online could provide clues on what we can expect.
Listen to the title track from “Silent Shout” below:
Audion – Matthew Dear has hinted via Twitter that new material from his techno side project Audion could on the horizon this year. Listen to the classic ‘Mouth to Mouth’ below:
Answer Code Request – Patrick Gräser has this far released a handful of refreshingly varied, rolling techno 12″s on labels as Ostgut Ton, Marcel Dettmann’s MDR Records and Music Man. His “Main Mode” 12″ is an essential listen with other tracks of his included on Norman Nodge’s excellent “Berghain06” and Dettmann’s “Conducted” mix. Maybe in 2013 Answer Code Request will take the leap to producing a full length release.
Kompakt celebrates 20 Years
The esteemed German label will celebrate its 20th birthday in 2013 with a host of special events, including an extensive European tour, a documentary chronicling the rise of the label, a “fanzine” and re-issues. The best news yet is they of course will release new music throughout 2013. While there are no exact release dates, we can expect new albums from Justus Köhncke, Coma, The Field and Gui Boratto.
What Liam’s Looking Forward to
A$AP Rocky – “Long.Live.A$AP” 14th January
Having discovered A$AP Rocky through his “LiveLoveA$AP” (2010) I was looking to hearing his debut album and its finally coming out in just a weeks time after many delays. The album features top underground hip-hop producers such as Clams Casino, Hit Boy, A$AP Ty Beats, Soufein3000, Joey Fat Beats and Rocky himself and has already gained a Best New Music award from Pitchfork. “Long.Live.A$AP” promises to be one of the Albums of the Year 2013.
Jamie Lidell – “Jamie Lidell” 18th February
Jamie Lidell returns with his self titled fifth album in February 2013, pre release track “What A Shame” finds him returning to the electronic sound of his first two solo albums “Muddling Gear” (2000) and the brilliant “Multiply” (2005).
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “Push the Sky Away” 18th February
The long awaited follow up to “Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!” (2008) has got me excited due to its trailer and the Gaspar Noe directed video for first single ‘We Know Who U R’, a simple but highly effective song with a video to match. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album!!!
Low – “The Invisible Way” 18th March
In 2013 Low celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band, they will also release their 13th studio album. Produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy at Wilco’s Chicago studio, The Loft, the band visited the studio while on tour and decided to record with Tweedy after hearing his work on Mavis Staples “You Are Not Alone” (2010).
David Bowie – “The Next Day” March 2013
On Tuesday (8th January) David Bowie announced his return with his 30th studio album and his first since 2003’s “Reality”. The first single from “The Next Day” is ‘Where Are We Now’ which harks back to the “Heroes” (1977) a Bowie classic. This has surprised many critics and fans alike as Bowie is generally perceived as a forward thinking artist. However, this overlooks much of Bowie’s output in the 90’s and 00’s which referenced his own back catalogue on numerous occasions. Producer Tony Visconti quickly aligned any fears of Bowie deserting his innovative roots describing the album as both “innovative” and “quite a rock album” continuing if people are looking for classic Bowie, they’ll find it on this album”.
Adrian Younge and Ghostface Killah – “Twelve Reasons to Die” early 2013
“Twelve Reasons to Die” is the result of an unlikely collaboration between producer and film score composer Adrian Younge (most famous for his work on the brilliant blaxploitation homage “Black Dynamite) and Wu Tang Clan MC Ghostface Killah. The album is executive produced by RZA (Wu Tang Clan) and comes with a comic book written by Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon of Ashcan Press.
Factory Floor – “Title TBA” 13th May
After a good two years of singles and build up it seems that the band will finally release their much anticipated début album in May 2013 on DFA records. The album will be preceded by the single ‘Fall Back’ eight and a half minutes of slow burning dance floor intensity.
YoungBlood Brass Band – “Pax Volumi” early 2013
The latest from the band is that they have completed their new album with a release planned for early in 2013, accompanied by an extensive world tour. I look forward to hearing this explosive bands combination of raw live jazz and hip-hop elements, been much missed since the brilliant “Is That A Riot?” (2006).
Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – “Title TBA” Spring 2013
The band recently announced their new album would be out in the new year, more information as we get it.
Madvillain – “Title TBA” 2013
In a recent interview with Benji B on BBC Radio 1 Doom of Madvillain announced that the second album is almost done and he just has to finish off two songs and that if they’re finished on time the album could be out before the end of 2012. 2012 is now been and gone but the album is close to completion so hopefully it will be released before the year is out.
AlunaGeorge’s music has been bouncing around the internet for around a year now and now the male-female duo are hotly tipped for success and finishing second in the BBC’s Sound of 2013 didn’t hurt their chances of going supernova this year. However, its their music and not polls that has me excited an combination on Timbaland and The Neptunes style beats, off kilter synths and R&B vocals instantly mark them out from the pack, while never forgetting about a hummable tune and killer hook. Their debut album “Body Music” comes out in June and I can’t wait for it. To read an interview with band on The Guardian’s website click here.
Ryan Hemsworth started out providing beats for cloud rap acts such as Attrakionz and Deniro Farrar until the release of his instrumental E.P. “Last Words” late in 2012 in which he expanded out into a skewed hip-hop, ambient and dance music hybrid. His main influences are Three 6 Mafia, Mannie Fresh, Hudson Mohawke, Aphex Twin and Ryuichi Sakamoto. I look forward to hearing more material from this promising young producer.
18 year old Joey Bada$$ released his excellent debut mixtape “1999” which perfectly recreated late 90’s New York and catapulted Bada$$ and his PRO ERA crew into the spotlight. It also drew the attention of legendary hip-hop producer DJ Premier and the two will release a free on Mountain Dew’s Green Label Sound next week.
Although originality isn’t their strong suit musically Night Engine do create exciting music and show the potential to develop into a great guitar pop band. They recall both Franz Ferdinand and Berlin era and early 80’s David Bowie and neither of those are bad artists to be a reminder of. Check out their debut single ‘Seventeen/Treat Me Like a Baby’ below and read more about the band here.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 18,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals