Mstation Pop etc Commentary, Reviews Valid RSS pre Dec 04 reviews are here

Fri, 29 Apr 2005

Templin, 5

This is two French DJ's doing their mixing thing, taking strands from different aspects of music and culture and making something that still is recognisably from a place and time.

It's instructive for Anglo's to go into a French CD or magazine shop and see all the tons of stuff they have available, only a little of which is recognisable. Wow! They can actually get on without our corporate media machines. How can this be? Of course they have their own media machines. They are just smaller. That leads to a somewhat saner situation where a local artist who does well can live quite nicely but doesn't have the ridiculously obscene amounts of money poured on them that they might in the USA for example. Maybe that ends in more humanity. I'm not sure.

Anyhow, this is a mixture of electro-mood with different cultural ideas and includes Arabic influences. It's cool sounding stuff without being abrasively politically correct. (thunderfinger)

[] permanent link

Shortwave Set

The Shortwave Set
3 track single, Independiente

The only tracks we used to see from Independiente were hip-hop but lately I've seen a couple of things that show they are branching out. These three tracks are a pretty good example being pretty, lo-fi-ish, melodic, with a little funk, and maybe settled in a time other than now -- which is quite OK unless the thing is a straight copy, which it isn't.

There's a feel of summer here and maybe, listening, you might think another summer of love is a nice idea. I do! (Dr Boots)

[] permanent link

Secret Machines

Road Leads Where It's Led
single, Reprise

Guitar pop that might please Britpop lovers although it might be a little too indy for them. And it won't be quite indy enough for indy lovers.

I've got a feeling these people might be better live than this suggests ... not that it's bad at all. The bits all add up and it's just that the package is somehow wanting. More than one track might have helped get a better view.

Nice name though. Will people expect electro? (Dr Boots)

[] permanent link

Nightwish, Once

LP, Nocturne

C'est Loud! C'est Metallique! French too ... I think. I'm not sure whether Nightwish preceeded The Darkness or not. There's a high-pitched singer and acres of rolling thunder guitar and the name. Anyway, this is more Metal than The Darkness and is of the smoothly produced arena variety, and night-oriented names and acres of guitar are hardly uncommon in these circles. Some people will scorn this sort of thing but some people who don't wear black t-shirts to match lank, long black hair will think it's kinda fun. (thunderfinger)

[] permanent link

New Order, Waiting for the Sirens' Call

LP, London Records

There are bass riffs straight out of Joy Division on a couple of these tracks -- not copies but that same slightly skidding thing that underpinned the sad beauty of JD. In a way this whole thing is a visit to those days as well.... and the more you listen, the more there is.

Here we have songs rather than dance moments and quite a lot of singing. But this isn't the old days and these aren't the old songs. The mournful deepness of Ian Curtis has been replaced by a lighter voice altogether ... more up, and so is the music generally. In a way it's the voice of survival and some optimism about the future even if there are sad moments along the way.

There is some echo of electro-dance stuff here as well, as you'd expect, but the album is well-crafted pop generally and that's what it's mostly about. I'm sure that as a whole it's actually important in any way, but pop doesn't have or need to be. That said, there are a couple of nice tunes here. (thunderfinger)

[] permanent link

Moby, Hotel

LP, Mute(UK)

This seems more reflective than the last Moby album. It is quieter with less anthemic moments. It's the sort of album that grabs you more the second time around as a result. And it doesn't exactly grab you because it's not that sort of thing. It more sneaks up on you and gives you a pleasant soft pat.

What this album is really about is the traditional pop song -- vocals, accompaniment, melody and harmony. It does have interesting textures but these aren't the statement. The song as a whole is. So, that's pretty conservative isn't it? Yes, in a way it is, and people wanting electro-persona will be sad for it. The craft of the songs is nice though and a lot of people will like that. (thunderfinger)

[] permanent link

Client, city

LP, Mute

Client play serious, tuneful pop that sonically sits quite light on the ground. There's space for notes to breathe and the voices weave in and out in the sort of way that can be understood by those who listen closely to lyrics. Speaking of which, we seem to be having quite a few sad-love moments on this.

This also features Pete Doherty, Carl Barat (Libertines) and Martin Gore (Depeche Mode). Pop for postgrads? Maybe. It's pop for the thinking person anyway.

If you don't have tickets to Glastonbury on June 26, you won't get the tickets and you won't catch Client but they do every second Tuesday of the month at the Notting Hill Arts Club in London. (Dr Boots)

[] permanent link

Blues Explosion, Crunchy

5 track single plus videos, CD, 7", 12", Mute

Blues in the Hendrixy fuzzy guitar line is what we have here along with injections of electro and grooves on different tracks. It all works better than you might think if you're just trying to imagine a Blues/Electro fusion.

Part of the secret is that Blues Explosion is a powerhouse band for partying rather than any sort of dry academic appreciation society. Another part of the secret is that the electro infusions have been done well.

(Dr Boots)

[] permanent link

Agoria, Spinach Girl


A tip of the stylistic hat here to the Flying Lizards in the tone of a couple of tracks. There are synth washs and bleep grooves with the S girl intoning over the top. It's actually quite cool.

(Dr Boots)

[] permanent link