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

Thu, 01 Jun 2006

A new format: June 06

Our pop/dance reviews section is changing format. From now on, although there will be some specific reviews, mostly there will be a running commentary with various acts mentioned ... or maybe none at all! And maybe some months we won't say anything at all because some months, despite the histerical wheezings of the pros in this line of things, there really isn't anything worth commenting on, or where there is, it's better covered in an interview or in our music news section.

And if you'd like to have your say here - saying, for instance, how we've completely missed the joys of some genre or other, just contact us.

So, without further ado we or rather, I, will launch into this month's edition. As always, there's interesting stuff around the edges. The Knife are a Swedish club act with a penchant for dark menacing getups and some interesting sounds. We have an interview coming up with them. This month there is a podcast talk with Allan from Low which amongst other things explains where their website domain name came from. Trivia collectors need this information! Low are a good example of people who are a little off the beaten track (in terms of genres du jour) who've managed to keep going and loose their day jobs along the way. Their rich slowhandedness of guitar and voice have actually acted as an inspiration to some other people. The next Low album is expected next year. They're on Sub Pop now.

Protokoll from Boston look like being interesting although talk of the "Boston Scene" by some people would seem to be a little over-inflated given some local comment that's already appeared in Mstation. But maybe things have changed in the last months.

The EarlyMan from Nonstop is a soul-tinged EP with some nice grooves, a sprinkling of hip-hop and a nice after-hours feeling in some of the tracks.

Louie Austin from Tirk brings us his old-line croonerisms over the top of funky now grooves and soul-like brass stabs. It's actually pretty cool stuff.

Coming along with guests Angie Stone, Estelle, and Stevie Wonder, Omar's LP, Sing (if you want it) from Ether Records is something you'd expect to have a soul thing going, and well it does. It's mostly for late, with slow grooves and tasteful phrasing.

This month also sees a re-release of The Triffids Born Sandy Devotional album plus the single Wide Open Road. Domino (Arctic Monkeys etc) is the label. The Triffids came from Perth, Australia in the mid-eighties and brought a lyrics rich, storytelling kind of nicely played and produced pop that had quite a few fans in its day. There are still plenty of people around who like this sort of well crafted stuff so it should find its way out of the shops quite easily. The big Aussie band at that time was Midnight Oil I think or were they a bit later?. The Triffids are their equal in general craft but the Oils are more exciting for me.

Some fun, dancey electro came along from a new label called Hypnote started by David Rothblatt in NY. The artist sent along was Wolfgang who is apparently a nice looking retro-robot. The tunes have a nice pop sensibility and will no doubt get a few feet moving over the next few months. Vocoder haters won't like it much. (Thunderfinger)

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