Saturday, 7 February 2009

Papercuts - You Can Have What You Want, 2009

Mono - Hymn to the Immortal Wind, 2009


1. Ashes In The Snow
2. Burial At Sea
3. Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn
4. Pure As Snow
5. Follow The Map
6. The Battle Of Heaven
7. Everlasting Light

Just in time for their 10-year anniversary, MONO return with their fifth studio album, the absolutely massive Hymn To The Immortal Wind. The music is naturally majestic, with MONO's trademark wall of noise crashing beautifully against the largest chamber orchestra the band has ever enlisted. The instrumentation is vast, incorporating strings, flutes, organ, piano, glockenspiel and tympani into their standard face-melting set-up. While Hymn continues to mine the cinematic drama inherent in all of MONO's music, the dynamic shifts now come more from dark-to-light instead of quiet-to-loud. The maturity to balance these elements so masterfully has become MONO's strongest virtue - save for perhaps their uncanny ability to sound every bit like a plane crashing into a Beethoven concert.

buy. download.

Æthenor - Faking Gold & Murder, 2009

Third earth shattering outing for Vincent De Roguin (Shora), Stephen O'Malley (Sunn0))), KTL) and Daniel O'Sullivan (Guapo). For Faking Gold and Murder, the core trio is joined by percussionists Nicolas Field and Alex Babel, as well as renown guitarist Alexander Tucker and the inimitable David Tibet. Faking Gold is Æ’s heaviest outing, driven by a weighty low end and the full fury of Babel and Field’s free-wheeling drums. The trio’s electronics, guitar, Rhodes, and organ ride the waves of sound in a tightly-controlled blare, leaving plenty of space for Tibet’s declarations of the mystical and supernatural. Tibet is on top form here, rising out of the tempest at just the right moment, almost plain-spoken in places – grounding the squall at times, voicing the apocalypse at others.

Brooding, primeval, dark alchemical epics are full of a ferocious intensity, sounding more like a starlit night being ripped open by lightning than a musical group. Intelligent and primal, like a dæmonic workshop, battering up Pandemoniums and dreaming of gold and murder, Æthenor are spectacular.”- David Tibet

*link removed*

1900's - Kicks [2009]

Kicks features more sassy, infectiously catchy songs about Glasgow and girls in the main, but also references Mongolian warlords, bears, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Baader-Meinhof and Scientology. Most of the songs on Kicks are anecdotes about ex, current, future and fictional girlfriends.The album was recorded at Edwyn Collins’ West Heath Yard studio in London and it was produced by Bernard Butler. Kicks is the sound of a group careering head first, inspired by where they come from and what they can potentially do, into further adventures in sound and visions. Inspiration was taken from everything from Scary Monsters/Golden Years-era Bowie and his work with Brian Eno & Tony Visconti to Jay-Z through to Hall & Oates, the chops of Hot Chocolate and even the folk licks of Richard Thompson. Sonically Kicks is a rock record, but 1990s' intention was to make it sound slightly alien, too. The album’s a non-stop assault of pop gems. “59” eulogises the 59 bus in Pollokshields, which comes approximately once per lifetime and goes from Narnia to Brigadoon via Pollokshields. As Michael, who sings it, explains "It’s the only bus you want to get on in Pollokshields, even if it’s going in the wrong direction. The song’s about me taking this bus and checking out the girls… with gammy eyes."1990s' vocal harmonies on this album have come into their own and lead vocal duties are shared amongst the group much more so than on Cookies. Michael sings four songs, Dino sings two and Jackie sings the rest. “Kickstrasse” features Jackie addressing German 1970s terrorist group Baader-Meinhof, with help from Kate Jackson (of The Long Blondes) on backing vocals. On “Everybody Please Relax” Jackie threatens to move to Hollywood and become a Scientologist. Michael and Dino hope that he doesn't.

Madlib - Speto Da Rua (Dirty Brasilian Crates Vol. 1) [2009]

Crate-digging has become somewhat of an art in the hip-hop world. Producers and beatsmiths constantly have to challenge themselves in digging deeper into vinyl archives, looking for breaks and potential samples that haven't yet been used and over-exploited by other producers. And while that may not seem so hard (your parents probably have a bundle of old LPs in the attic that could be sample gold), it's a lot tougher than you would think. But Madlib, a DJ, producer and emcee hailing from Oxnard, California, has consistently made the competition look like a bunch of chumps, releasing handfuls of beat tapes to the public each year. His most recent mix? Speto Da Rua, the first in a six-part series of Brazilian goodies.

- Download (new link)