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

Thu, 30 Mar 2006

Test Icicles

Test Icicles, ‘What’s Your Damage?’
CD, Domino

At first glance, one can hardly avoid the pun in the name of the band – well done lads! Their website is worth looking at and you can buy the music from it too (by download I think).

This single is from the Album For Screening Purposes Only which in all honesty, I won’t be rushing out to buy, or download from the website. Not to damn these kids too much, it is very well put together, some of the credit going to the mixer, producer, and engineer of course. Maybe it’s my age showing, but I can’t help feeling like I heard it all before. It reminds me of the game Quake II that I used to play, and music my sister listened to about 10 years ago. That being the usual American rock music, unless of course your name is Metallica, Korn, or any other classic heavy rock band no band seems to live up to these days.

If you are of teen years, your going to love this like all the rest, but if it’s going to appeal to us older folk (of 22+) please present something original, and stop screaming your heads off for money – fun and evidently lucrative though it may be. (E Walton)

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Nick Cave, Warren Ellis

Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Soundtrack for The Proposition,
LP, Mute

You might have heard of the movie The Proposition which has been getting mentions in the arty press. It seems to be about bleak people in a bleak land doing bleak things, but don't take my word for it.

So, you'd expect -- well, I'm not sure what you'd expect but what you get in the beginning is cello, synth, and violin lines that run on like a hot dry day. That's sort of what I expected but there is art here, and a good deal of craft as well. This is the sort of thing that NC does very well, and has had a good deal of practise at, not to mention Warren Ellis, but I'm not sure what his exact input has been.

Atmospheric; a little stifling; lots of slow shadows. (Eguuneena)

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JCB Song
Extra special bonus material – The JCB Song Video Animation by Monkeehub
From Album “Half these songs are about you…”
CD, FDM Records

Nizlopi is made up of Luke Concannon (vocal/guitar) and John Parker (double bass) who apparently met on a schoolbus at the age of 13. Styles that appear in the duo’s output include Jazz, Grove, Indian Gurbe, Soule, Hip Hop and Experimental. Their single, the JCB song (with an award winning animation video) with lyrics from the point of view of a 5 year old is refreshingly innocent and cute (especially if you watch the video), and the other two songs are highly enjoyable.

What I liked most about this music was the range of styles covered, with incredible funky bass playing from John Parker and Luke Concannon’s fresh and simple vocals. I also loved the way that the traditional drumkit was replaced with a “mouth-kit” (strange percussive mouthy noises) which was much less overbearing. In short, I would recommend this to anyone who wants to listen to current musicians who actually care about what they sound like. (M.N.)

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Jeans Team

The Jeans Team, Nonstop
7"/Download, defDrive

Berliners, The Jeans Team have been going since 1999 and have been producing likeable German pop which has been picked up on various people including the late John Peel.

Here we have a piece of lighthearted electronic funk with stylish gliding grooves and lots of space. There's also, on the 7", a remix by New York's My Robot Friend which cooly rocks along. (Dr Boots)

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Fujiya & Miyagi

Fujiya & Miyagi, Ankle Injuries/Photocopier
10" single, Tirk

Soft voices and grooved guitar backing with a kickalong rhythm: This is artful understated pop with a touch of soul and nothing particularly Japanese about it at all. Perhaps the names are ironic. In any case they are in fact David Best and Matt Hainsby who hail from England and sound quite international. (Dr Boots)

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Fisk Industries

Fisk Industries, The Isle of Wight EP
6 track EP, High Point Lowlife

Fisk Industries is another who played the recent Bleepfest in London and so, if you're expecting some interesting electronica here, you'd be exactly right. It is actually a great joy to be promoting music and labels that haven't been squeezed dry by accountants, lawyers, and marketing departments. Here we have the real thing with only minimal layers between musician and audience.

I'm not sure how programmatic the idea is here but the result is six tracks with interesting textures and accessible grooves and it's all very nicely crafted. (thunderfinger)

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Bovaflux, Where There Was Nothing,
LP, High Point Lowlife

Bovaflux was recently at Bleepfest 06 and provides a nice line in rounded-tone slow synth grooves with subtle melodies meandering around. It's a sweet spacey world that you can go to late or whenever the soul needs some soothing. It's not totally soppy however as there's enough textural interest to keep it from being new-age factory output.

Also as a matter of interest, all Highpoint Lowlife releases are under Creative Commons and the artists have control of their destinies.

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