Monthly Archives: August 2010

can we talk electric picnic?

i’ve been going since 2006. i missed the hallowed “best gig ever” that was arcade fire in 2005, and while i don’t regret it per se, it smarts when people go on about it. i had a magic time in 06, even though i didn’t really see that many life-changing performances. but hey, at festivals, you rarely do.

07 was special too, but again, performance wise it wasn’t out of this world. i think dancing around like a loon with friends to dj mehdi in the bacardi tent before unkle was probably a highlight. for some reason there was something missing in 08 and 09. last year in particular i wasn’t what you might call “festival fit”, so my enjoyment on the whole was affected.

this year, unlike others, i’m not planning on being a complete nazi with regards to catching this band and that dj (though there are a few standouts that i’ll be mad if i don’t see). instead i want to just have the buzz, and though for me a festival is all about the bands, i’m going to try and see what this whole “spirit of the festival” experience is like. that said, these are the acts i really want to see (youtubes after the jump).
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z-u-l-u – that’s the way you spell zulu

Sedwick & Cedar (named for the intersection in the Bronx where Kool Herc’s apartment building is located, aka where hip hop was invented) printed up this awesome retro looking shirt for Afrika Bambaataa. Slim fit, 100% cotton.

Original flier art from an Afrika Bambaataa show waaaay back in 1982. This is awesome rap time machine stuff right here. Slim fit, 100% cotton.

return of the blurg

i haven’t blogged in, like, a week, which is a crazy long time. my excuse is that this time last week i was in a field in belgium, and i deigned not to bring my iphone with me. i didn’t even tweet for five whole days, which must be some kind of record. while i was there i saw some crap shows, some ok shows, some good shows and some great shows. i won’t call out the crap or ok people. there’s a full sort of rundown here, but i’ll just tell you what i loved.

plastikman – rolling thunderous acid techno bleep apocalypse
renaissance man – djs who were thoroughly entertaining didn’t just play what every other dj played (ie no pon de floor, no afrojack, no swedish house mafia)
flying lotus – this was a weird one. he sort of laced through a bizarre set of hip-hop/rock/glitch/dubstep, moving from nas is like to idioteque in the space of about eight minutes. beyond that, he seemed to be having more fun playing tracks off his laptop than most ones-and-twos djs i’ve ever seen.
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it’s been a good week for arveene and misk. they’ve just been announced for electric picnic, they tore transmission a new one last night, and on top of this they’ve put out their new single eavesdropper on bang gang 12 inches (link is definitely nsfw, so you know). the track is a pounding slab of electro, heaving and pulsating with angry synths and unexpected chord progressions. it’s a pretty hefty piece of work, and i imagine i’m going to hear a lot of it over festival season. there are also some perfect-fit-for-different parties-remixes from cassette jam (which goes even harder) and audiofun (which makes it a techy affair, without losing any of the original’s crunch). you can buy them all here or here, and there’s also a powerfully subtle remix of hystereo for free down below.

Hystereo – Cityspeak (Arveene & Misk Remix)

paper cat

it’s been out a few weeks, but adulture and ocd automatic‘s paper cat is one of the hottest releases of the summer. it’s a great track to begin with, but it comes with such a stellar lineup of remixes that it’s hard to pick a favourite. there’s the sax-heavy sammy bananas remix, the slowed-down-to-disco-heaven bit funk remix and the reach-for-the-lasers effort from the phantom’s revenge. add to that the brand spanking new and ever-so smooth remix by free magic, provided FO FREE by the always friendly folk at solid bump, and you’ve got some sure-fire party starters no matter what kind of set you’re playing. at the time of writing, the original paper cat is number three in the turntable lab chart, while the sammy bananas and bit funk remixes are numbers 20 and 21, respectively.

you can also download the sammy bananas remix (i’d say it was my favourite, but they’re all top notch) over at rcrd lbl.

Adulture & OCD Automatic – Paper Cat (Free Magic Remix) (direct link)

Buy Paper Cat at iTunes // Beatport // Turntable Lab

how cool is this album cover?

as if i wasn’t already, i’m getting super excited about chromeo‘s forthcoming album, business casual, and their mini-tour, which will see them in dublin this november. i didn’t go overboard listening to don’t turn the lights on, suffice to say i liked it, but i’ve had the aeroplane remix on repeat for the last few days. the more i listen to it, the more i think the song is a painfully emotional dirge which is about a love lost, if not to suicide, to death of some sort. i haven’t gone rooting around to see if anyone else feels the same way, but that’s what strikes me. check out the remix over on discobelle, or in aeroplane’s latest mix.

time to quit yet?

i’m really bad at listening to the music i download. i can grab something online, or find it in my inbox, and not listen to it for hours, days, weeks… there’s stuff on my hard drive i got in 2007 that i’ve never listened to, such is my laziness. thankfully, in this case, i didn’t leave it so long – just the two days. as i’ve mentioned before, i’m a fan of the bandcamp way of doing things. their most recent release is from patrick lee, a musician/dj/husband/father. he’s got a rake of music here on his site, and if this track, quittin’ time, is anything to go by, it’s all worth a look.

the track isn’t a million miles from that go! team/avalanches style, quirky fun 60s-sounding tunes, this one kicked off by a catchy guitar lead, which is soon joined by a joyous blast of trumpet. my favourite thing, that elevates this above anything i’ve heard lately and made it the perfect soundtrack to my walk to work in the sunshine this morning, are its vocally uttered drum fills. have you ever heard the like? i read years ago that all the percussive sounds in boards of canada‘s an eagle in your mind came from chopped-up samples of michael sandison’s girlfriend’s voice. this is completely different – there’s no second guessing, you know this is a dude in the studio going “di-dum-di-dum-di-dum-di-dum di-di-dum”. and it’s all the better for it.

Patrick Lee – Quittin’ Time [