Saturday, July 18, 2009

Snob's Music

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Link to Cyclic Defrost

Various Artists – Project Mooncircle – Silent In Truth (Project Mooncircle)

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 05:35 AM PDT

Silent In Truth

One of my favourite labels of the moment, Project Mooncircle, bring us yet another first class compilation of genre bending electronica and hip hop, containing 19 tracks exclusive to this compilation, and its got me thinking this is just a small taste of what is to come from a label bursting with talent from around the globe. The words ring true for the label, "this is the sound of Project Mooncircle for 2009, speak with your mind, think with your soul and change with your heart! We aim to stop the destructive elements of the music business and bring music back to the people."

They seem to have access to some very talented people, people that obvious share Project Mooncircle's philosophy of truth in music, and pushing the artists onto the world for greater exposure. Many of these artists have been criminally ignored, maybe through not being part of a mass marketing demon, and fewer avenues to reach the unsuspecting ears, but they are well represented here. Close affiliates of Canadian hip hop label Bully Records, Carlo raises his head here for a rare appearance, delivering "Trapped In The Attic", hopefully this is a taste of more to come from a producer most deserving of greater exposure, just check out his collaborative effort of 7" vinyl/mixtape CDR with Buddy Peace, Commonwealth Kids. Another Bully find, Mat Young also appears with "Barn Burning", and this is a taste of what will hopefully be more released by him shortly. Mr Cooper, who also runs the label, has included a new track in the vein of his most recent album What Else There Is, a refreshing blend of instrumental hip hop, dubstep and electronica that is quite unique. Glen Porter, who is due to release a new digital album and 7" vinyl EP next month, locks in "Um", similar to Mr Cooper with his experimentation with dubstep rhythms and pulses, but creating something totally new, pushing the boundaries further than most would dare, incorporating rolling hip hop breaks and acoustic guitar riffs before the bass culture engulfs all. “Brava” from Paten Locke (Therapy) and “Why’d You Lie” from John Robinson (Lil’ Sci) are more like statements from the mind, while Simon of Jahbitat brings the organic sound from the canopy of the Barcelona night with “Timber (An Ode To Trees Gone)”. There is no filler on this compilation, also including Inner Science, Aether, 40 Winks, Dday One, The Q4, Mathematik, Pablie, Glue Kids, Lambent, Intifada and Escher, and featuring the genius of MF Doom who makes an appearance on "Sorcerers" by John Robinson.

The press have declared hip hop and electronica dead for a while now, they must not be listening enough, not digging deeper enough, because its labels like Project Mooncircle that are showing there is plenty of life left, a new generation of producers with fresh ideas, a fresh approach to production, and a sound palette that needs to be explored. A truly independent label, but beware, a small label means limited numbers, so track it down while you can. Available on CD and vinyl, with fine artwork as always, investigate more at

Wayne Stronell

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Walter Gross – The Death Of A Samplesman (Self Released)

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 05:24 AM PDT

WG's The Death Of A Samplesman

Walter Gross may not be a name many have heard of, member of Youth:Kill, this is the first solo release of the sample based collagist. Moved to L.A. only a year ago for a spot with K-The-I???, finished off the Youth:Kill album, and started work on this release.

The melting pot is huge, encompassing so many styles and genres its quite unfathomable, with influences from everywhere, Walter Gross comes across like a manic Caretaker smacked out on PCP. While I make comparisons to Caretaker, its for the sampling ethic, the anything goes attitude, the feed everything through a blender approach, but there is an aggressive edge to Walter Gross that dominates his sound, moments of beauty surely becoming consumed by distortion, noise and mayhem. In Walter's own words, "I'm here buying 35 cent bin records, and 25 cent tapes and choppin' the hell out of them, and playing everything out by hand, and I wanted to get that idea across through this record in a fun trance-inducing kinda way". Now my history as a music lover goes back to those days of tape cut-ups, Burroughs, Cabaret Voltaire, early industrial music concretes, so Walter's approach excites me, the DIY ethic is not dead in a digital age, the methods of yesteryear still have a relevance today, because this stuff is brutal! It seems fluid, it seems to sound as if it could have been assembled in Pro-Tools, but there is a chaos here you cannot program.

Theres some crazy stuff here, beautifully constructed audio collage, givng way in the end to brutal beats and a thick blanket of distortion. Contains seven original tracks, plus an astounding remix by fellow distortion freak Tenshun, and will be released on CDR with intentionally cruddy yet sophisticated cover art, and the release of a cassette tape edition (tapes are coming back in you know…), further reinforcing the Walter Gross strong DIY ethic, letting the music speak for itself and keeping everything cheap and minimal. Check his myspace for further info and how to purchase a copy, Crazy sound collage that will make your ears bleed, highly recommended.

Wayne Stronell

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DJ Food – One Man’s Weird Is Another Man’s World 12” EP (Ninja Tune/Inertia)

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 05:18 AM PDT

DJ Food - One Mans Weird Is Another Mans World

DJ Food returns after a long hiatus having been consumed by DJ'ing, making some outstanding mixtapes, crate digging and graphic design projects, and its stripped down to just Strictly Kev.

On first impressions the cover art is pretty crazy, drawn by none other than 2000AD comic artist Henry Flint. The music within is not what you'd expect, yes, DJ Food is still raiding the 20th Century, but the sound palette veers into rockist territory and experimental electronic soundscapes. "The Illectrik Hoax" features the vocal technique of Natural Self, creating a sing-along rock breaks track. "Extract From Stolen Moments" brings soothing soundtrack styles to the interlude, while "All Covered In Darkness (Parts 1 & 2)" takes us back to rock breaks territory with tripped out electronics and a kraut propulsion. "A Trick Of The Ear" skirts around a jazz soundtrack feel, stretching it out to a wonderful 13 minute jam season. "Colours Beyond Colours" brings back the interlude, this time for a spoken word collage mixed with John Barry-esque string sections, easing us into the final track "Tricky Little Ears" bring back some fine jazz breaks and oozing electronics.

This is the first in three EP's before the new album, tentatively titled Stolen Moments, and it's a nice taster for what is to come. Bring me more food.

Wayne Stronell

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Dub Echoes, A Film by Bruno Natal DVD (Soul Jazz Records/Inertia)

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 05:14 AM PDT

Dub Echoes

Good music documentaries seem to be few and far between, especially on topics outside of the mainstream, so when whispers of a new documentary on Dub by Bruno Natal occur, I tend to sit up and take notice, and just hope my expectations are not set too high… After all, previous efforts on documenting the genre have been mixed, BBC2's documentary on reggae was a fine effort, following its roots from Jamaica to the UK, to a noble effort by the reggae documentary also on Soul Jazz some years ago now. Generally my yard stick would be the amazing series Reggae Roots I remember seeing on SBS well over a decade ago, with only a scratchy taped VHS copy of part of the series to remind me of the brilliance, blagged off a good friend and professed reggae nut, I've often thought how criminal it is that this series never made it to be reissued on DVD, SBS take note! Although this new film by Bruno Natal focuses on the dub elements, there is still the reggae historical roots which have influenced so much of modern dub music, and that is where this documentary kindly guides us, from its origins in Jamaica to all corners of the UK and Europe, an evolution of a studio technique that has carved its own history.

Bruno Natal has won a string of awards for his film, and rightly so, he has done the job of documenting a genre that needs this attention, he has taken it from its roots to its global influence today on contemporary electronic music, covering much ground with commentary with the originators like King Jammy, Lee Perry, Sly & Robbie, U Roy, Bunny Lee and Gussie Clarke to contemporaries such as Kode9, Roots Manuva, Congo Natty, Adam Freeland, Adrian Sherwood, Audio Bully's, Basement Jaxx, Beat Junkies, Bill Laswell, DJ Spooky, Dennis Bovell, Don Letts, Dreadzone, Dub Pistols, G-Corp, Howie B, Mad Professor, Nacao Zumbi, Peter Kruder, Thievery Corporation to name just a few, and there are many more. This all adds nicely to the rich history of the 'studio as an instrument' that is the history of dub and its many influences on music today.

I did have my reservations about this film, reading reviews seeming too good to be true, but it is a fine documentary, one I enjoyed thoroughly, but one I suspect is more enjoyable to someone such as myself who has enjoyed reggae and dub for many years, it's a film for the enthusiast, not necessarily for someone wanting an introduction to Jamaica's rich musical history. The most frustrating thing for me, and one that does not help the uninitiated, is the lack of original music contained in the documentary. It would have been even more enjoyable to hear music from the artists that were being discussed, making a real historical statement both visually and auditory, and I'm not sure the reason for this omission, either problematic licensing issues or a restrictive budget would be my guess. My other gripe is the lack of a female voice, which has definitely had an influence on the roots and evolution of reggae and dub. There is no mention of some great female vocalists such as Phillis Dillon, Marcia Griffiths, and many others that have contributed great things, and although female producers were rare, there is no mention of Sonia Pottinger. It would have been nice to hear some commentary from other female talent from within both the reggae, dancehall and ragga scenes such as Lady G, Lady Saw, Sandra Cross and Janet-Lee Davis. Saying this does not detract from the fact that Dub Echoes fills the brief for a good documentary on music, and as always with a Soul Jazz Records release, you'll also find a mighty fine double CD companion available separately, containing much of the music from the talking heads of the documentary. Some great extra's on the DVD also, which is always a good thing. Feel the bass pressure.

Wayne Stronell

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Julian Winter – L’Art Pour L’Art (Self Released)

Posted: 17 Jul 2009 05:54 PM PDT

I truly love the ideology of the DIY scene, but am constantly perplexed by the narrow aesthetic focus it contains. While I enjoy the music of the various noise/drone/improv offshoots, surely there is scope for other styles of music to also embrace the handcrafted, no-label, underground principles. Which is why this EP by Julian Winter delights me. Housed in a hand-built, hand-painted cardboard case, my copy is even personalised with my name scrawled on the CD-R.

But all this would merely be trite if the music was no good. Fortunately, Winter has built a handful of tracks which traverse a range of electronic/electric/acoustic moods succinctly and with great character. ‘Nadine Goes Hollywood’ cuts up deadpan female vocal snippets into rhythmic pulses underpinned by a d’n'b rhythm which eventually splits into a half time canter to allow electric guitar chords room to play. ‘Knittelvers’, likewise, turns female voice into rhythm, this time in the service of brooding neo-trip-hop melancholy. ‘In The Thick Of It’ uses grainy synth samples and tiny hi-hat shards fluttering. ‘Jasnost’ has vinyl hiss undergirding its piano and acoustic guitar plaintiveness.

L’Art Pour L’Art is a welcome antidote to the aesthetic nihilism often associated with DIY. While remaining determinedly handcrafted, the music has an overarching beauty and attention to detail to match the packaging. Julian Winter demonstrates that ‘loving’ doesn’t have to equate to ‘twee’ and that getting your hands dirty doesn’t have to lead to mess.

post-script: L’Art Pour L’Art is now also available as a free MP3 download from the Petite Jolie netlabel.

Adrian Elmer

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Vlady Vivaldi – Vlady Vivaldi (Albert’s Basement)

Posted: 17 Jul 2009 05:53 PM PDT

In the vein of Francis Plagne, who is namechecked in the bio, Melbourne based Penelope Skliros creates a ramshackle collection of sound images under the name of Vlady Vivaldi. Her second (as far as I can work out) release is a woozy, intoxicating collection of simple yet evocative drones, repetitions and lo-fi improvisations. It’s difficult to pick exactly how it’s all been created, but I’m going to hazard a fairly certain guess along the lines of a room full of cheap instruments, some microphones and loop pedals. ‘Bankruptcy’ layers mellow vocal drones over a simple xylophone and synthetic double bass riff. ‘Sovereign’ is far more chaotic laying its vocals over random shakes, bells and squeaks. A collection of tracks through the middle of the release – ‘Slide’, ‘Vault’ and ‘Routine 1′ – use a relatively lower recording quality with tape hiss aplenty to place you inside the cassette recorder as Skliros lets her Casiotone rhythms loose and pounds non-sequiters on her toy piano. ‘Symbiosis’ provides one of the highlights, a gradually building collection of glottal noises which are simultaneously amusing and mildly disturbing. The closest the album comes to traditional musical structure is in the final track, ‘Ain’t Not One Goddam Song That Can Make Me Break Down And Cry’, in which Skliros’ voice is multiplied into a choir intoning the title in three parts.

Simple and effective, Vlady Vivaldi is a diverse yet coherent exploration of nonsense and sound for the sake of pleasure. Its sum effect is completely charming. It also makes me think that I’d love to see Skliros doing this stuff in a live context. I imagine it would be chaotically charged joyfulness.

Adrian Elmer

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Music Is My King Size Bed

Music Is My King Size Bed

Sugababes - Get Sexy Remixes

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 01:19 PM PDT

I wish I had more connections! I know DJs get special promotional CDs in the mail from the record labels and other such company's but MAN. I want in! I buy the promos on Ebay, but those can get quite expensive quite fast. I know a lot of blogs post the remixes for free download, but if I can buy them and they aren't $80.00...I'd rather do that. I guess I'm off to an OK start (part of that "special blogging opportunity" I mentioned before).

One promo that I'm especially antsy for is the new Sugababes single, "Get Sexy," which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. It's a HOT song! I saw a notice over on Euro Solution for an advanced promo of the track...and while the track listing isn't THAT impressive (in the number of remixes)'s a start.

Looks like we can expect remixes from Superbass and Bitrocka...both of whom I'm familiar with. Most recently Bitrocka remixed the new Freemasons/Sophie Ellis-Bextor track and Superbass did one of the last Will Young singles. Check out the track listing below and let me know who YOU would like to hear remix the new Sugababes single!

Sugababes Get Sexy
1. Radio Edit
2. Superbass Mix
3. Bitrocka Club Mix
4. Bitrocka Darkroom Dub
5. Heartbreak Mix

Check out the Sugababes on the web: Official Site//MySpace//Facebook//Bebo//Twitter (Keisha, Heidi, Amelle)

Fefe Dobson Song Chosen as Reality Show Theme

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 12:29 PM PDT

Fefe DobsonFefe Dobson I Want You
I was excited to read that Fefe Dobson's new single ("I Want You") has been chosen as the theme for a VH1 Reality Show. I've loved this girl since her first album came out...or a couple of months after it came out anyway. I don't quite remember which song first got me hooked on Fefe Dobson - perhaps it was her third single, "Everything," or perhaps it was her debut U.S. single "Take Me Away." By the time her fourth single came out - I was sold. Granted, "Don't Go (Girls and Boys)" was completely different than her other singles in that it was more top-40 friendly. Up-tempo and poppy. I loved her other songs as well, but they weren't as much fun.

Fefe Dobson Sunday Love

After her self titled album came out in 2003/2004, Fefe seemingly dropped off the map. She resurfaced during the writing/recording of her follow up album, Sunday Love, blogging on MySpace...however after a couple of release date shifts, the album was ultimately shelved. So annoying. I personally was hoping for something more along the lines of "Don't Go," but of course the two new singles were not up-tempo pop jams. I liked "Don't Let It Go To Your Head," and "This Is My Life" but I think they were poor single choices. Since I have yet to listen to the album, I don't know if there were any other single-worthy tracks on there...I guess I'll never know.

Fefe DobsonFefe Dobson

With a new album, Joy, set to come out in September, Dobson is back on MySpace and now Twitter. Dobson's newish "Watch Me Move" was featured in promos for NBC's now cancelled show Lipstick Jungle, and according to her blog - her newest song "I Want You" has been selected as the theme for a new VH1 show called "Megan Wants A Millionaire", which premieres on August 2nd. This is all very positive. I'm wishing her the best. Hopefully this new album makes it onto store shelves! I'm eagerly anticipating a new full length LP from this sassy/classy girl. Oh...and listen for a Jordin Sparks cover of "Don't Let It Go To Your Head" on Jordin's forth coming album on July 21st. It's not half bad!

Fefe Dobson
Check out Fefe Dobson on the web: Official Site//MySpace//Twitter//Bestfan//imeem

Amy Studt is Coming to America

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 11:47 AM PDT

Amy Studt
Scott Archibald photography for Whos-Jack Magazine

Well, I guess Amy Studt enjoyed her time in New York City. According to her blog, Amy is moving to the states in just a couple of weeks. She doesn't really share many details as to why she's coming out here, only saying that she wants to "to experience a new life for a bit." I wish her nothing but the best. The girl is a talented singer/songwriter who deserves a spot of success after parting ways with her label this past Spring.

Amy Studt
Scott Archibald photography for Whos-Jack Magazine

The big move isn't really a shock, as she blogged about how great a time she had in the States. She apparently has been doing a bit of writing and recording in her London flat, and hopes to have something up on her MySpace page when it's ready.

Amy Studt
Scott Archibald photography for Whos-Jack Magazine

In her last update, Amy said: "I have some meetings coming about and some potential management offers so we will see…..not sure what I want to do yet. But I definitely want to do a course in New York, maybe a creative writing course or an acting course." She also expressed interest in meeting with writer/producer Jon Brion (Aimee Mann, Keane, Dido), gushing "I love his work with Fiona Apple and also the soundtrack to eternal sunshine of the spotless mind."

Amy Studt
Scott Archibald photography for Whos-Jack Magazine

Whatever brings Amy to the U.S., I hope she plays a few gigs on the East Coast. I'd love to see her live!

Check out Amy Studt on the web: Official Site/Official Forum/MySpace/YouTube/Bebo/Facebook

Dido Revisits Her "Electronic Roots" with Upcoming 4th Album

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 07:29 AM PDT

In a recent Q&A on her official page, British singer Dido reveals that her upcoming fourth album will see a return to her electronic roots. When asked why her last album, Safe Trip Home, was such a departure, sonically-speaking, from her previous two albums, Dido had this to say:

"I intentionally didn't use any electronics on the 3rd album...We had a lot of fun creating sounds from all manner of instruments. This was instead of using anything pre-programmed. It was a great learning experience for me and also made me a much better musician pretty quickly! It's also making me really appreciate the joy of electronics again on this new album I'm making. It's good to take a break and now I'm celebrating my electronic roots again."

This makes me happy. I own and practically played out my copy of No Angel, and its follow up, Life For Rent isn't too bad (though it reminds me of working retail, as many of her songs played in our store). Safe Trip Home is the only Dido album I don't own. It just wasn't my cup of tea I suppose...and there were practically no remixes off that album, save for one Dennis Ferrer remix of "Don't Believe In Love." No...not everything requires a remix, but in the case of Dido...her light-as-air vocals just lend themselves to a club beat. What do you all think of Dido? Anyone buy Safe Trip Home? Perhaps I'm missing out.

Check out Dido on the web: Official Site//MySpace//Facebook//Bebo//YouTube

New Kim Sozzi Album - Out July 21st

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 06:09 AM PDT

So in an interesting turn of events...I was recently contacted about a really interesting blogging opportunity. I'll share some more details with you soon. I'm really excited! My blog is definitely picking up steam and now I'm really motivated. There was a time when I wasn't sure if I'd come back to it.

Kim Sozzi
In other news, one of my favorite dance singers, Kim Sozzi has a new album coming out next week! I've been a fan of Kim Sozzi ever since I first heard her dance jam "Feelin' Me," remixed brilliantly by Hex Hector. In the course of trying to figure out who this girl with the fantastic voice was, I learned that she had songs on both the "Dawson's Creek" soundtrack as well as the soundtrack to "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" (starring Katie Holmes).

Sozzi's soundtrack contributions definitely fell into the pop genre, but it wasn't until she broke out as a dance singer that I really started "feeling her."While Kim's debut album Life Goes On never did see the light of day - she's been hard at work since then, churning out the dance hits. "Feelin' Me" hit #4 on the 2001 Billboard dance charts. After a brief stint in Europe (going by the name Kim Styles), Kim returned to the U.S. and joined forces with the New York-based MYNT. Singing on songs like "How Did You Know," "Stay," and "Back In Love" Kim solidified her place in my dance-music loving mind. After the MYNT album was released, she left the group...actually, to my knowledge, MYNT itself has since disbanded.

Kim Sozzi - Feel Your LoveKim Sozzi - Break UpKim Sozzi - Like A Star
Sozzi is now signed to Ultra Records and is set to release her album, Just One Day on July 21st. The album is available as a digital download now on iTunes & Masterbeat, but if you want the physical CD - it's out on Tuesday. Included on this album are some of her recent dance hits "Like A Star," "Break Up," "Alone" and her new hit single "Feel Your Love." Check out this album preview on YouTube.

Kim Sozzi - Just One Day

Feel Your Love
Like A Star
Break Up
Just One Day
Open Up Your Heart
Kiss Me Back
Secret Love
Edge Of A Broken Heart
All I Want Is You

Check out Kim Sozzi on the web: Official Site//MySpace//Facebook//Twitter

Lily Allen - 22 - Single Artwork Revealed

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 05:44 AM PDT

Lily Allen 22 Artwork

As previously reported, the new Lily Allen single is "22," (August 24) the video for which came out last week. Now...we have the single artwork! I love all of the artwork for It's Not Me, It's You." It's playful and fun. What do you think of the new artwork?

Check out Lily Allen on the web: Official Site//MySpace//Facebook//Bebo//YouTube//LastFM//Twitter