Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
JoeMc on 07/08/2010 at 02:53PM
Legendary British DJ John Peel was always vocal about the bands that he considered a cut above the rest. From the late 60s until his death in 2004, Peel made a practice of devoting large segments of radio time to the bands who pleased him most. Undoubtedly, his most famous endorsements were two bands that were so constantly celebrated by Peel that they became identified with him: the Fall and the Undertones. The Fall appeared on Peel’s program more times than anyone else (24!), and as for the Undertones, his feelings about them may best be gauged by the fact that he asked for a lyric from “Teenage Kicks” to be carved on his tombstone after his death (to at least one commentator’s displeasure).
But coming up not too far behind the Fall and Undertones on Peel’s list of perennial favorites were those lads from Leeds, The Wedding Present, who appeared on Peel’s show so many times that you can now buy a six-CD set of their sessions. In fact, if you were to add in the sessions Wedding Present founder and only consistent member David Gedge logged as Cinerama, then Gedge and mates are second only to the Fall on the Peel Love Index. A worthier tribute no man could ask for.
Well, Peel may be gone, but the band he loved lives on: The Wedding Present continues to record and perform, 25 years after their first show and single. And they still play on the radio, as evidenced by this track from an appearance on KEXP earlier this year. The song is as yet unrecorded, so it’s all exclusive-like; they’ve been playing it live, but it hasn’t yet made its way onto a 7” or CD. Go out and get it, boy!
TAGGED AS:the wedding present
lizb on 07/08/2010 at 09:30AM
Dreamy pop songs, heavy on reverb and My Bloody Valentine-esque showers of shoegaze fuzz... what's not to love about The Procedure Club?
Last year I started seeing babydoll dresses pop up on fashionistas riding the NYC subway, and cringed at the thought of '90s culture resurrected... will everyone get the haircut from Friends and start wearing Bongo jeans again?? Fashion fears aside, I can certainly get behind present day sonic harkenings to the glory days of 'zines and indie rock. Especially in the case of Procedure Club, where a modern interpretation of the old form has its own special twists.
Adam and Andrea of New Haven, CT, are the duo behind the sweet sounds presented below, and they've just released an excellent new album on the Slumberland label, "Doomed Forever," which I adore.
We've just got ahold of a few netreleases by the Procedure Club here at the FMA that I recommend: an EP called "Beko 09" on the venerable Beko Digital Single Label out of France who just joined the FMA's ranks, as well as the band's self-titled album from 2008 (on the Skribble Kite label). Take a listen to a few of my favorite tracks below and bliss out.
jason on 07/07/2010 at 02:00PM
Single Bullet Theory were a DIY-punk-inspired power-pop group with a true shot at new-wave stardom in the late 70s and early 80s. They were certainly worthy; the songs were there and the energy was too. But after gigging with artists like The Ramones, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, and even finding their way onto MTV and the Billboard charts, the music industry bottleneck pressured SBT to sacrifice their pure vision for potential mass-marketability. In the process, the group lost the sense of purpose that drove them to play music in the first place, and disbanded before they could record their elusive breakthrough.
SBT: 1977-1980 compiles Single Bullet Theory's self-recorded material, and the 11-song collection offers an unfiltered vision of a band at their prime. It's compiled by Artifacts/yclept, which is both a musicians' collective from SBT's hometown of Richmond Virginia, as well as the imprint that originally released this material on 45rpm 12'' in an edition of 1000. We've previously documented the more experimental tendencies of Richmond's fertile arts scene with features on Karen Cooper Complex and Bomis Prendin, but there is much more to dig into over at the Artifacts/yclept FMA page.
The core of Single Bullet Theory -- Frank Daniel, Dennis Madigan, and Michael Maurice Garrett -- had been playing in Richmond bands since 1971 in groups like Big Naptar and X-Breed (pictured L), putting on warehouse parties and fostering a healthy music community. Both of these bands appear on the first Artifacts compilation, originally released as a flexi-disk in 1976 (they love those flexis!). X-Breed's version of "Miss Two Knives" was later recorded as Single Bullet Theory, who formed in 1976 to further refine a sound that had started by covering bands like the MC5, Velvet Underground, and the Troggs.
One of the songs below, "Keep It Tight," would be re-recorded for Single Bullet Theory's first (and only) official album, released in 1982 on Nemperor Records, a subsidiary of CBS Records. The song charted, a music video (after the jump) appeared on MTV two years later just as the label stopped promoting the band.
mikesdeathcoyote on 07/06/2010 at 06:45PM
Javelin are cruising on cosmic soundwaves into a future so bright and beautiful that as the full spectrum blast of their awesome rays burn your eyes you’ll ignore the sting and your being will buzz with the bliss of radiant transformation. This is disco rewritten as funk rewritten as calypso rewritten as dub rewritten as drop-top-pop rewritten as the best party jamz you’ve never heard but can’t help but loving on first listen. We trust you’ll dig this infectious dublab “sprout session” recorded live during the dublab Proton Drive. Be sure to wrap your ears around Javelin’s album No Mas out now on Luaka Bop.
herr_professor on 07/06/2010 at 09:31AM
I am sad to say, fans of football, that I have struck again. I apologize for all fans of Japan, as my kiss of death struck again last week. So this week I shall play it safe, and save the chip music loving fans of Germany the dire effects of my poison pen and pick a country that isn't even in the tournament (although I am sure that will backfire as well) with this weeks upload: Micro Invasion - East Jakarta Chiptunes Compilation.
The release, a compilation of chiptune artists from Eastern Jakarta is organized by label/Indonesian scene focus Micro Invasion Records. The tracks are a blend of happy chirpy dancey stuff and is a supremely typical fluffy and fun affair. The label also organizes a number of festival in their native Indonesia, so check out the release, and their myspace if you happen to be in the area. Now I must resume my post independence day recuperation, so please join us next week as we return to a semblance of normalcy.
pushbinlou on 07/05/2010 at 03:40PM
Michael Wells is best known as the other half of Greater Than One (Lee Newman unfortunately passed away a number of years ago) although he has put out dozens of recordings out under various names and guises with dozens of labels. If you were of a certain age in the Midwest and danced at secret raves in cow fields then you undoubtedly danced to GTO's global dance hit "I Wanna Be A Hippy".
Michael does far more than your typical rave anthems though. In fact, it's hard to really define him to one genre except that of really good electronic music. Michael never stopped recording, and in 2006, Brainwashed (who got their start in 1996 by hosting GTO's website) put out an amazing album of unreleased material that he had recorded over the past few years.
Never to be Released? features some great IDM and techno tracks, with "Electrik Musik" being my fave cut on the album. Check it out and enjoy!
jason on 07/02/2010 at 12:15PM
Cumbia became popular in Colombia in the 50s, and its mix of indigenous and African rhythms quickly spread to the rest of the world. In the 70s, Peruvians introduced psychedelic electric guitar and renamed the music Chicha, while Mexican musicians added rock drums and synth to create Sonidero, and Argentineans introduced the Keytar to create Cumbia Villera. In the past 5 years, a worldwide cumbia resurgence has infiltrated rock, hip-hop and electronic music. From Monterey's rebajada to Buenos Aires digital cumbia, young musicians are recycling their grandparents' music and launching a global musical rebellion.
El Remolón -- the musical alias of Andrés Schteingart (aka Drole) -- specializes in a minimalist techno variation of the reinterpreted sounds of cumbia, mixing in the mroe contemporary sounds of IDM, reggaeton and dub. In 2006, Santiago Chile's Pueblo Nuevo netlabel released his Cumbia Bichera EP, along with remixes by four of the label's other talented artists, including founders Djef and Mika Martini. A couple tracks from the EP below, check the full thing here.
El Remolón is a key player in Buenos Aires' world-renowned ZZK collective. Founded in 2006 as the Zizek Urban Beats Club -- a monthly party at the Voodoo Motel -- Zizek is now its own venue, host to genre-clashing global dance bills orchestrated by El Remolón along with founder El G, the MC/DJ duo Fauna, and the tropical dancehall DJ Douster.
ZZK Records launched in 2008 with the release of ZZK Sound Vol. 1: Cumbia Digital, a compilation featuring digital cumbia music from all over the world, including fellow Argentinian El Hijo De La Cumbia (pictured left / mp3 below from the Soot Records release Freestyle de Ritmos). The compilation, along with a host of free mixtapes, helped ZZK reach a worldwide audience and international collaborators including Diplo and DJ/Rupture, and Vol 2 was picked up for wider distribution by Nacional Records. The sound continues to spread through a summer tour, which included a stop at Coachella, and an online video project, ZZK TV, which you can help make possible through Kickstarter
lavenders on 07/02/2010 at 02:00AM
Toro y Moi has the feeling of your favorite sweater tossed on as you rush excited from your home into a crisp winter adventure. The warmth of the cloth and million tiny sparks hug and dazzle you with electric comfort.
Scratch that…Toro y Moi is the sound of a choir of angels singing forms of cottony clouds into a sky scattered with floating bongo drums and brilliant dreams. You and those angels are all riding skateboards to a potluck hosted by a being of pure light down the block. While everyone else is outside getting drunk on the sky porch that being will show you an obscure film that will change your creative life forever.
Scratch that…Toro y Moi is the moment you realize that sitting outside the club listening to a Smiths tape in your car is one million times more joyful than being inside with the all the sweat and posturing. The two however need each other because this realization was only made possible by the boom of the bass through the brick wall. Its vibration spinning the wheels of your mind into motion and your body into bliss.
Final scratch…Toro y Moi is Chaz Bundick who is making warm and beautiful music in many forms and blessed dublab with this live set sure to fill your ears with happiness and be permanently filed onto the “classics” shelf of your heart.
TAGGED AS:toro y moi
lizb on 07/01/2010 at 09:00AM
Over here on the East side, we just made it through quite a heat-wave: 90+ degree days, humidity through the roof, brownout rumors in Brooklyn, sweltering nights rendered sleepable only through the magical powers of A/C...
In this sort of heat-funk, I desire nothing but languid, pretty music that hangs in the air and feeds my inertia. Luckily, I discovered the Weird Forest Records Sampler One here on the FMA in time to complement this heat-stroke. The compilation is blanketed with a beautiful haze, spare songs with a few noisy bits here and there. Check out a few of my faves below.
Not only has the Weird Forest label put out great records by the likes of Emeralds, Ganglians, Starving Weirdos, and Dead Western, but they are now adding tunes to the FMA! And if you didn't already catch some hints from their artist lineup, Weird Forest hails from Sacramento. Can't wait for more!
henryhynes on 07/01/2010 at 08:59AM
Kenneth Higney's Attic Demonstrations is a record you might find wedged between a worn copy of Skip Spence's Oar and Born In the U.S.A. That is if both of those are commonly placed in the $100+ rack of your local record store. He comes off a lot like Spence or Dave Cloud, but while Spence was doing hard drugs in NYC and Cloud was getting restraining orders from young women in Nashville, Higney was drivin' trucks through rural America, spreading goods throughout the land.
Higney, a New Jersey native, took a break from his job as a truck driver and recorded his Demonstrations in several single takes in 1976. His idea was to find like-minded musicians to play the tracks with him or re-record the demonstration songs. Though he may have failed at this task, he did succeed in making a fairly sought after record among serious collectors.
Attic Demonstrations, while being very scattered, is a wildly imaginative and emotional record complete with acoustic ballads, fuzzed-beyond-all-return soloing, and old-timey vocals from the man Higney himself. Drawing from 60's folk-rock and pretty much all things 70's (even a five minute forray into disco with 'Funky Kinky'), Higney manages to pump out a fair share of wild tunes (some recorded with more rhythmic consistency than others). Standouts include 'Can't Love That Woman', 'Look At The River', 'Children of Sound', and the opener 'Night Rider'. Look out for the songwriting on 'Can't Love That Woman' and check out the entire 11 song album here. Thanks to Swan Fungus for the tip on this album!