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Archive for RECORDS

‘Speed smeared’, Visions of Trees – Sometimes it Kills EP

It’s early February.  Snow has melted and the dull clouds are parting.  Blue skies and sunshine reappear like a half-remembered video effect.  Resolution up.  HD.  Serotonin floods back into hibernating minds.  Spring is coming.  Close your eyes for a moment & stand in the light.  A passing car blares out indistinct murmurs of radio pop. The sound is a brief splash, speed-smeared and skewed, Doppler effect wonky & truncated.  One bar melding idly into the next as displaced seconds & decades collide simultaneously as in the idle thoughts of a yet to be discovered particle. Today is the official release date of an EP called ‘Sometimes it Kills’ by London duo, Visions of Trees.  This is that sound extended.  Dreamt out in bullet time sonics.

Cult of Cobras mp3

Get the EP from Royal Rhino Flying Records

Visions of Trees website & myspace

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‘Don’t Look Now’ – Broadcast live soundtrack improv at Shunt Lounge, London

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Tonight Trunk Records and Ghost Box got together and took over the Shunt Lounge to throw a party.  Shunt proved to be the perfectly disorientating setting for the strange esoteric films and music being shown during the evening.

After leaving the outside world behind in London Bridge Tube station, and following the echoing sounds into the heart of the somehow very British brick vaults, I was greeted by the sound of ‘Tanzmusik’ from Ralf & Florian blasting out to accompany a quick drink.  That was as sweet a moment as you can expect to have thirty seconds into arriving at any venue.  After a little milling around, it came to light that there was a screening room set up showing back-to-back TV drama & public information films, which ranged from really quite sublimely beautiful, to funny, unsettling & scary, all the way to pretty silly – sometimes within the space of a minute or so of one film!

Disorientation seemed to be the order of the night, as a strange mixture of squat party, ancient castle, and underground cult youth club started to set in as the place filled up, sonics from the films and DJ sets spilling forth into the jet black corners.

Back in the screening room, as a film came to a close, in (un)matching red and blue anoraks, James Cargill and Trish Keenan (Broadcast) took to the stage to perform a live soundtrack to Julian House’s short film.  Eager fans squeezed in to find a spot as the electronics began to whir around the space & the video sprang into motion.  The first live performance in London by Broadcast for quite some time was pretty special. See/hear for yourself:

‘You keep the beats’ – Plug at the Hub, London

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Plug played support tonight at the fairly new Disolvenza night at E1’s the Hub, but I can’t see why any promoter would have it that way.  Raw, smart & direct songs were blasted forth from a beautifully minimal setup – 2-piece on bass and drums (with the occasional little additional Bontempi keyboard-style accompaniment).

Painfully lame nights out that end with you waiting in the rain for a nightbus – unfulfilled and questioning the state of all things music are all about nights like tonight.  In that nights like tonight are what make all those cruddy gig nights worth it.  You can’t orchestrate a chance encounter with something special – you can just be ready to pay your four quid entry fee & wait patiently.

If you hadn’t gathered, tonight was more than worth it.  Plug were vital and uncompromising in their directness and clarity.  It’s been a long time since I heard a new band who sounded so mature in their focus.  What they chose to leave out – what they decided not do, weighed a ton.  Imagine a parallel world where Siouxie Sioux cooly, calmly, but defiantly & angrily masterminded the sharply minimal Young Marble Giants – but in a 2009 where the best new music was reacting against the fact that much of the new music often sounded like it had forgotten that the future was yet to be written.  And a Young Marble Giants that had spent as much time listening to the urgently present old Die Monitr Batss singles, and the raw rhythms of Ramellzee & Benga as it had Eno & Can.

Now imagine you’re in an SU bar, enjoying the cheap beer, catching up with old friends, sitting with your back to the seemingly distant stage, when suddenly, to sit feels just wrong.  Well that’s when Plug are five seconds into their first song.  Like a sharp point – sonic trepanation or something – Plug’s sparse bass riffs, lit-savvy lyrics and insistent drum patterns cut through the fog of cheap beers to amass an appreciative and excited audience, hanging on every smash of the tom and thwack of the strings.  A great band that I sincerely hope stick around for a while.

A little sleuthing will reveal that they have a 7″ single out on Parlour Records.  You can get that on their myspace page http://www.myspace.com/plugddd.

They’re playing a fair few nights soon, so go see them & see/hear what I’m on about – guaranteed no regrets:

24th Feb – South of the Border, Old St /// 26th Feb – Ryan’s Bar, Stokie /// 18th March – The Pictures Night, Barden’s, Dalston

Don’t come crying in a year when you’re trying to get a ticket to see them & its all sold out.