It’s bad when even you can tell that you’re aware how painfully open your leaving yourself to have someone older and not quite as wise tell you that all this new music you listen to sounds exactly the bloody same. Whilst the criticism rained upon you by drunken relatives at Christmas parties during your prepubescent years was probably levelled at pop or pop punk or britpop or something equally upsetting, at least all these glowing hip-hop beats make you want to dance a little bit. Anonymous is from London and is called Robert Mackk or something, though that’s difficult to ascertain given his use of witchhouse style symbols. Regardless, his track Sola Vibes already feels like a one of the feel good hits of your potential summer – that old chestnut – with it’s woozy yet prickly beats. Halfway between a daydream and sugar high, if that is at all possible. Maybe it is.
If you type ‘Everlone’ into google, it confuses you for a Foo Fighters fan. Search for it on soundcloud and you’re served up two tracks that are almost insulting in their excellence. Slowcore was being pushed pretty hard as a resurgent genre a few months ago, and this is as close as electronic music is going to get to an equivalent without being crushingly boring like it’s guitar based counterpart. There are aspects of the ambient in their, but this is a world away from the geekery of IDM and it’s legions of uninspired creators, but this still feels almost glacial in it’s majesty.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today – or, put in terms of hot new music, always listen to a band today, or 4 months down the line you’re going to look like an idiot blogging about them whilst everyone is gearing up for the release of an LP. If you’re as far behind the times as me, then do not fret – there’s still loads of time to fall in love with Ireland’s MOTHS, who’s been smashing it for months by the looks of things. It’s tender, intricate, even crunchy at times, but that’s all good – perhaps this would be better appreciated in a shroud of fog or something, rather than just as the first (and likely last) heatwave of the year hits, but either way it’s pretty brilliant. The bandwagon might have already set off, but quick – jump on, there’s still room here at the back.
Despite having the kind of band name that you’d associate with the depths of reverbnation, artery clogging lad rock sludge, anyone with any sense of perspective should be glad to know that Ruins/East seem to actually be an alright band. It seems that having a slightly substandard (or, even, not a formulaic chillwave ‘youth death’ or ‘mystery castles’ style moniker) isn’t actually key to making interesting music. Despite having only one song to pimp out at the moment, it’s a good one – the equally woefully titled ‘Phil (Nick’s Dad)’, a slow meander of a track that doesn’t even hint at the boil, preferring to simmer over with a kind of saturated nonchalance. It’s music that a highly talented loner might make after discovering both My Bloody Valentine and Xiu Xiu in the same night, lacking the intensity of the former and the vocalised yearning of the latter but still being pretty good.
In moments of doubt, you have to have faith. So when you’re stumbling through yet another sub-standard electronic act desperately trying to pass off their half-arsed, knocked together in 5 minutes musings as the next big thing in music, it pays to remember the times when you do actually find a gem. So for everyone who’s foraged through days worth of aborted synth work, it takes a guy like Oli Shilling to put it all into perspective. If you’ve got a degree in music or whatever, you’d probably be able to analyse why his work under the name Comodo is better than 99% of his competitors, but until that lengthy essay arrives through the inbox, let’s just assigned his skill down to magic. His EP has an incredibly misleading name – for something titled ‘To The Sun’, this is a work filled with dark, bassy beats, with stark space being as much of a characteristic as the confident use of distortion of samples. Lazy comparisons have been made to James Blake – though this is only similar to JB in the same way Blink 182 are similar to Lovvers.
Word association can be pretty depressing. When someone mentions Finland to you, your instincts should tell you to go for the lakes, the stunning landscapes, even Lapland. It’s shameful when you’ve got to admit that it’s a pretty barren management spell with the country that leads you to be groping for the name ‘Roy Hodgson’, and the waves of self-loathing that come afterwards are fully justified. It’d be a very slim minority of people that would associate the country with slick, future-garage esque production values, textured samples and bass, but then life is full of surprises. Forest Cry comes from Helsinki, but he sounds like he could’ve been lurking in the basements of London, doing residencies at local clubnights, making mixes to distribute amongst his friends and hustling. Maybe that’s what he’s doing in Helsinki, maybe it’s got a scene utterly bustling with acts like this – but someone who thinks that a failed Liverpool manager is representative of an entire country probably isn’t the one to tell you that. Either way, this is irresistible, and repeat listens only make you wish that there were more than two tracks to sink your teeth into.
It’s difficult to know what to make of an artist like Shells. Coming out of a scene in Bath that, given the lack of hype around the area, must be pretty much dead, he manages to make a three track EP that both impresses and doesn’t quite fulfill. Perhaps it’s the broad areas of sound that he’s trying to conquer that make sure that these pieces don’t quite manage the mastery that they’re searching for – title track and opener Pastels stretches over 6 minutes and travels through the various stages that you might expect a full length to go to. Encouraging though are the ideas that underpin it all, and the enthusiasm to try undertake pretty much anything that comes to mind is mirrored by the fact that the highlights of this EP come in the moments when it is wide-eyed and twinkling with optimism. More than anything, it’s going to be interesting to see where the next steps take him.
Let’s get it out of the way, first of all: the familiar voice you can hear on these two tracks are that of Edward Eke AKA Edward Larrikin of Larrikin Love, the man who could’ve been king of mid-00’s brilliant indie pop, if only he’d actually liked the music he was producing. After a spell as The Pan I Am, he’s back making the music that could conceivably get the masses excited in the same way Downing Street Kindling did back in ’05. Okay, maybe not exactly the same way – this doesn’t sound anything like the street urchin, tip toes charming ditties that his former band pumped out – but it’s still absolutely brilliant. These are blissed out, slow burn pop songs, having a magical air about them, almost as if they’ve been recorded underwater or something. Be prepared to describe it as ‘dreamy’ and then instantly be filled with regret:
This has been the week that has brought an end to some lengthy waiting. It might not quite have been the 5 or so years that Tom Vek kept us waiting, but Somersault have been just as quiet and secretive about putting anything of their own out since and early, mesmerising performance at the Deaf Institute last year. They’re not quite as loose as they were back then, but this leaner, tighter sound has made them even better. The tracks for this EP – entitled Supine – came in last night and they are beautiful – an edifying mixture of surf influences and stargazing electro, but that description barely does it justice.
Somersault are Michael Hart and Andrew Hillock and you can listen to their 4 track opus below.
The EP will be available for purchase on cassette through Ducktapes in the coming weeks.