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Archive for the ‘In The City 2010’ Category

Between the 13th – 15th of October, Manchester plays host to the annual In the City festival. This year, it’s relocating to the Northern Quarter, and looks set to play host to it’#s most exciting line-up in years, giving both the industry professionals and the normal gig goers a chance to get involved with it’s unique mix of exciting concerts and engaging keynote speakers. Wristbands are currently priced at £29, which gets you access to some of the most exciting shows the city will see this year. If you’re not quite sure who to see yet, here’s some help:


For good or for bad, there are always going to be hoards of people trying to shape the Mancunian music landscape. Dragged from provincial Lancashire, Duncan Sime has spent the past five years doing his best to outweigh all the negatives of the city with his label, Red Deer Club. As well as putting on an infrequent (and recently revived) clubnight, Sime has overseen releases from an eclectic yet brilliant array of artists, ranging from the complex folk of The Moulettes through to the maudlin magnificence of Awesome Wells, taking in all manner of great, under appreciated and criminally under listened artists on the way. Of all the bands that RDC has cultivated from this rich cultural underbelly, there is one that looks set threatens to break the current musical hegemony.

Young British Artists are hardly on the tip of everyone’s tongues – not yet at least. There has been no burst onto the scene nor huge wave of hype surrounding them, but for the past couple of years the quartet have been putting together their sound, steadily getting more impressive over time. This steady expansion is something mirrored in there sound, a racket that slowly envelops and takes hold – intrinsically good, if a little raw. Their ‘Small Waves’ EP was put out through Red Deer Club late in 2009, a warm, triumphant racket. almost autumnal in feel, it immediately distinguishes itself as different from any contemporaries. Though potentially shoegaze in aesthetic thanks to it’s cluttered noise, at the heart of each of their tracks is a sort of ragged, melodic pop. The growth continued earlier this year, as their collaboration with the label extended to another single -the split A side release of ‘Lived in Skin’/’Million Miles’, a more streamlined, direct sensation, somewhere close to what Doves could’ve sounded like with a bit more energy and a lot less determination to sound dull. They’re not quite the finished product, but listening to them hone their craft is exhilarating enough as it is – one of Duncan Sime’s many,varied gifts to Manchester.

Young British Artists –  [download from pigeon playlist #1]

[young british artists myspace] [red deer club myspace]

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Between the 13th – 15th of October, Manchester plays host to the annual In the City festival. This year, it’s relocating to the Northern Quarter, and looks set to play host to it’#s most exciting line-up in years, giving both the industry professionals and the normal gig goers a chance to get involved with it’s unique mix of exciting concerts and engaging keynote speakers. Wristbands are currently priced at £29, which gets you access to some of the most exciting shows the city will see this year. If you’re not quite sure who to see yet, here’s some help:


It’s a cliché, but up north there’s still a lingering perception that London’s streets are paved with gold, figuratively of course. And whilst the walkways are grimy and slate, one thing that can be ensured is that the basement’s of the capital city are always going to be offering up some of the hottest new talent in the country. Case in point: New Cross’ Labyrinth Ear. Formed just a few months ago, the duo have already seen their expansive array of demos talked about all across the web. Their remix of Local Natives’ World News may be the headline grabber, but it’s their own work that gives the biggest hints of the talent beneath.

This is undeniably pop music, but not quite as we know it. The last couple of years have seen a huge shift and diversification in what the public at large listen to, and that’s something echoed in the band’s sound. Comprised of Tom and Emily, the two possess the ability to make glitzy electro music that dazzles, a more knowing take on the miniature La Roux front revival a year or so back. But there’s more than shimmering beats and neon rhythms here, with notes stolen from Crystal Castles, arguably the masters of the genre. It’s almost as if a stereotypically English slant has been put upon the works of the Ontario twosome with a quaint type of reserve placed upon the hallmark sound teamed with an instant accessibility, which makes for an enthralling listen. Comparisons are easy to draw given the boy/girl, synth/vocalist set up of both acts, but Labyrinth Ear seem to actively court them, echoing the distortion of Glass’ voice throughout their earlier recordings, even if her viscera has been left out. They’re truly a juxtaposition in terms – glamorous yet gritty, ambitious and almost brash but staying strangely detatched, echoing the past whilst ultimately being forward thinking.

Labyrinth Ear – Lithium

[myspace]

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Between the 13th – 15th of October, Manchester plays host to the annual In the City festival. This year, it’s relocating to the Northern Quarter, and looks set to play host to it’#s most exciting line-up in years, giving both the industry professionals and the normal gig goers a chance to get involved with it’s unique mix of exciting concerts and engaging keynote speakers. Wristbands are currently priced at £29, which gets you access to some of the most exciting shows the city will see this year. If you’re not quite sure who to see yet, here’s some help:

When a band is opening up a gig, it’s usual for them to get their heads down, go about their work and hope for the best, grateful of being given the opportunity to play to the handful of punters who’ve got there early. But D/R/U/G/S hardly come across as the most conventional of souls. Coming on stage as second warm-up for Toro y Moi at Deaf Institute earlier in the year, the duo proceeded to put on one of the greatest, most mind bending shows that the venue’s Music Hall has ever seen, not only showing up the bands that followed but pretty much anyone who’d taken to it’s stage before.

If ever there was an act that manage to destroy the myth that electronic acts are dull in the flesh, these are it. During performance, there’s no between-song banter and little acknowledgement of the crowd, but huddled over a synth and a keyboard, they produce some of the most atmospheric noises around. Slightly influenced by the burgeoning witch house scene, there’s a quality that runs through their works that is absent from those of their peers that makes them more thrilling, more cutting edge. D/R/U/G/S are daring and innovative, exhibiting complete control over the ebb and flow of their work, never shying away from a change of pace or beat, something that carries over to the various tracks and acclaimed remixes that have sprung up around the web. They’ve been duly rewarded with an upcoming tour supporting the excellent Whyte Ring and oOoOO, but judging on past form, the two will need to be on at their best to avoid being shown up, as will pretty much every band at In the City – expect them to be huge this time next year.

D/R/U/G/S – Love/Lust (darkmixx) [download via bad-fotography]
http://www.4shared.com/audio/uiBelA0D/Love__Love_Lust_.html

[myspace]

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In The City 2010: Yuck

Between the 13th – 15th of October, Manchester plays host to the annual In the City festival. This year, it’s relocating to the Northern Quarter, and looks set to play host to it’#s most exciting line-up in years, giving both the industry professionals and the normal gig goers a chance to get involved with it’s unique mix of exciting concerts and engaging keynote speakers. Wristbands are currently priced at £29, which gets you access to some of the most exciting shows the city will see this year. If you’re not quite sure who to see yet, here’s some help:


Usually, bands that try and span genres are to be missed. However, that label is probably best reserved for wannabe friends bands who desperately attempt to ape Joy Division, Sex Pistols, Oasis and every other supposedly era-defining lad band in between. There gulf between those terrible bands you were bribed to pay £5 in a battle of the bands and the majesty of Yuck. Coming together from New Jersey, London and apparently Hiroshima, the quartet have made their name through a number of exhilarating live performances and the hundreds of fawning blog posts that followed. As well as specialising in bumbly, stumbling lo-fi rock, they know how to slow it down and turn their talents towards a something resembling a ballad, or whatever the equivalent is. Recent cassette ‘Weakend’ perhaps showed it best, with the band switching from the jittery pop of their earlier recordings to a sound more ghostly and considered, but still just as engaging.

The breadth of their influence is as wide as it is great, and when playing live is when the band apparently show that most. Drawing on the garage, shoegaze and noise pop that shaped them, they put on a show almost beyond parallel. In an era of one trick ponies, being in the presence of a band that is genuinely multi-talented with the ability to change the direction of their ouput without having to sacrifice it’s quality. Influential  obviously agree – Transparent, Pharmacy and Mirror Universe have been quick to put out the band’s work, and others are bound to follow.  Yuck then, are truly a special band – and because of that afro.

Yuck – Sunday [download via the fader]

[myspace] [blog]

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Between the 13th – 15th of October, Manchester plays host to the annual In the City festival. This year, it’s relocating to the Northern Quarter, and looks set to play host to it’#s most exciting line-up in years, giving both the industry professionals and the normal gig goers a chance to get involved with it’s unique mix of exciting concerts and engaging keynote speakers. Wristbands are currently priced at £29, which gets you access to some of the most exciting shows the city will see this year. If you’re not quite sure who to see yet, here’s some help:


If making good music is a gift, Spectral’s Louis is consummately divine. It’s been a while since the Yorkshireman’s laid back jams first made ripples on the hype blogs, and it’s only got more exciting since then. A sound stolen from 50’s beach rock and warped beyond all definition, it’s like the soundtrack to a really good dream, off-kilter, jaunty and utterly arresting.

Though the composition is a solo enterprise, live Spectrals are transformed into a 4 piece and have put on shows to enraptured audiences in support slots and grimey basements across the country. A series of 7″ singles, cassettes and splits have followed on some of the most prestogious labels around, with everyone from Moshi Moshi to Slumberland getting in on the act. Debut album ‘Bad Penny’ is due out later in the year, and if the current crop of mp3 circulationg are anything to go by, it should be dominating end of year lists come December.

What sets Spectrals apart from their peers isn’t only the fact that they make consistently exciting songs, it’s that they do so whilst testing the limits of pop music and remaining accessible without losing any dignity. It’s a logic-defying combination, and but the reverb drenched riffs of warm, slightly distorted lyrics are so difficult not to love that it barely even matters. Not quite surf-rock and miles away from lo-fi, all this needs is the NME to slap a false genre on it and you’ve got the definitive sound of 2011, whether Louis likes it or not.

Spectrals – Rot with Me[download via mbv]

[myspace]

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