Sunday, 20 February 2011

What I was listening to last week...

Let’s face it, I neglect this blog. Mostly because I’m too busy writing for other people, but also because I don’t think anyone’s all that interested in my daily musings. After all, it goes something like this: Get up, take bus to work, communicate with others, walk back from work, cook dinner, write, read, sleep.

See, not that entertaining really. But, much of my daily drag revolves around a soundtrack of music. Either music I’m writing about or music I’m just listening to purely for the fun of it. So to give this blog a sense of reason amidst the transposed scrawls from other publications and, also, to recap on some of the tuneage I’ve been listening to in the space of seven days (which at times feelsl like an avalanche), I’m going to attempt to write regularly about the records and songs I’ve made my way through over the last week, good or bad.

A weekly post can’t be that hard can it? Well, some of my blogging buddies may disagree. Regular blogging takes dedication and time, which I don’t always have a lot of. It also takes a certain degree of arrogance to believe that anyone will actually give a damn about the words you write – a singular trait I don’t always exude.

But, hey, let’s see how this goes. It could blow hard, or it could blow good. So starting today, this is my weekly round-up of the sounds I’ve been listening to. Perhaps we could call it a sound-up? Maybe not…

Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise

Sure Pitchfork is a game changer for most bands and, mostly, the writing is a step above your typical glad-rag penmanship, but their ratings are not always entirely logical. I’m thinking about that abominable James Blake LP right now, but there have been others who’ve had their decimal points notched up without justification. So when they bestowed a more than remarkable 8.4 on Nicolas Jarr’s Space Is Only Noise LP I took this glowing accolade with a touch of sodium chloride. Yet, they were right: it’s a warped, electronically-jazzed sprawl of synthesised bleeps and crystallised flat-beats. And this laser-gun swathing title track is a perfect pathway into the record’s glacial, lonely enclosure

Profisee – I See

Last week Nike Oruh (aka Profisee) welcomed me and Su into his house to kickstart a photostory on the release of his new EP Logan’s Run (due for release 28 March). Not only were Nike and his family wonderfully engaging hosts, but his approach to music creation and the industry itself was as refreshing as a blast of holy water to the retinas. Production-wise, Profisee’s music’s streets ahead of local indie acts and his lyrical execution marks him well above the middle-runners of the UK’s beats scene. But what struck me most, both in his music and meeting him in person, was his absolute belief in the music he makes. There was no self-doubt, no compliment-seeking. This is his music. And this is what he loves.

Yuck – Georgia

Despite the name, Yuck are a band more hotly tipped than a chilli-chopping chef clutching his member in a urinal. Yet, having just reviewed their debut longplayer for Drowned In Sound, I’m struggling to figure out what all the fuss is about. Post-grunge-lite guitars and stodgy songwriting do not a good band make. Yes, they sound a lot like Dinosaur Jr and, even more so, Teenage Fanclub, but this is a band riding a wave that’s barely caught surf in 20 years. This track, Georgia, at least shows signs of modern life, but in all honesty this a record to avoid.

Mondegreen - Making Cookies

Making Cookies by mondegreen

I’ve been putting together this month’s Drowned in Scotland feature and, as usual, picked a Scottish band to ‘introduce’ to the masses. I remembered speaking to Chemikal Underground’s Stewart Henderson last year about a band Mondegreen and thought I’d finally get round to checking them out. Pretty glad I did. Part Pavement, part Field Music, the Glasgow trio create a guttural clatter that convulses like an epileptic at a strobe-lighting convention. Their EP, Headless, is an insanely breathless affair and this track’s a prime example of their musical goodness. If it piques your lugholes, you can pick it up here on their bandcamp site for free:

So there you have it, that was my first 'What I was listening to last week' feature. The plan is to put another one together next week, but probably best not to hold me to that.

1 comment:

Su said...

Ahem... I don't see spending time with your amazing wife anywhere on that list of daily life!!