Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Make Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" Xmas Number 1!

My little bit of rebellion against the evil that is X-Factor - I'd like to encourage as many people as possible to buy the Jeff Buckley version of 'Hallelujah'.

In case you don't know, the X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke's debut single is a cover of the Leonard Cohen classic, made famous by the late Jeff Buckley, and it's being assumed that it'll be the Christmas number one in the UK. I, for one, hate the way that this over-blown karaoke contest has taken the excitement out of the race for the coveted Christmas number one spot.

All the info you'll need is on the Facebook group here, but basically what you need to do is follow either of the links below and buy the mp3. These stores have been selected purely as we know their sales are reported to the Official Charts Company:

7Digital - unencumbered high quality 320k mp3 89p.

Tunetribe - cheaper but semi-crippled WMA (windows file) only 49p

iTunes - 79p but DRM AAC file from Apple


Apparently as of today (16th December) the sales so far have placed this version at number 3 in the mid-week charts. Let's get more sales on board and make this happen!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bassboosa - 'Succumb'

At long last the first single release from Bassboosa 'Succumb' is OUT! If you haven't heard it yet, or the album for that matter, I seriously suggest checking it out in it's entirety.

Succumb is one of my favourite tracks on the album, and is an awesome blend of pop with dark overtones, mixing electronica and live instrumentation.

On the package are new alternative mixes from Glen Nicholls (a more electronic sounding version that stays true to the strongest points of the original), Tim Cox (a smooth, laid-back chilled version) and Future Funk Squad (who take elements of the vocals and original parts and twist them into a more driving breakbeat club track).

Here's the video for those that haven't heard it.

A clip of the Future Funk Squad Remix:

This is a digital only release, and is available from the following stores:

HMV Digital
Tesco Digital
Global Groove Digital
Dance Records

Friday, June 27, 2008

Big Tiny

Big Tiny are the dream teaming of MJ Cole (legendary producer and UK Garage figurehead), and vocalist Laura Vane (The Streets, Robbie Rivera, Gnarls Barkley collaborator to name but a few). I became of fan of their previous work together, a tune called "Watertight" released in 2006 on Prolific Records backed with an excellent NAPT Remix.

They are now teamed back up together on a new project, something they describe as "deeper and more textural with its roots in solid grooves and hooky songs". Sounds like a winning combination to me!

The debut release, the "Bitesize EP" is almost ready for release (watch this space for dates) and you can check out their tunes on their Myspace page at the link below.

In the meantime, here's one of their two Youtube videos, for the track 'Impossible'.

More Info:

Myspace: www.myspace.com/thebigtiny
MJ Cole Myspace: www.myspace.com/mjcole100
Laura Vane's Myspace: www.myspace.com/Misslauravane

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Yazoo - The Reconnected Tour 2008

It seems to be all the rage over the last few years for famous bands from the 80s to all get together and do reunion tours and nostalgia concerts. Thankfully one of my favourite bands from that era are being just a little more classy than that, and are back on tour on their own after a "break" of around 25 years.

Yazoo are the dream team of synthesizer wizard Vince Clarke and powerhouse vocalist Alison Moyet. Famously only together for about 18 months between 1982-3, they took a very very long break after the release of their second album "You And Me Both" when communication problems arose between the two members.

In 2008 they are back for a reunion tour to promote the release of the Mute box set "In Your Room", which contains remastered version of both albums, plus a third CD of B-sides and rarities, plus a DVD of 5.1 mixes of the albums and a short film about the history of the band. It's a bumper package and well worth checking out!

I was lucky enough to get a ticket for one of the London gigs on the tour, Hammersmith Apollo, and although I was secretly apprehensive about it I was absolutely blown away by how good they were. Not only was the sound amazing, and the great lighting and visuals, but there just seemed to be a great atmosphere in the room which seemed to come directly from the band. They genuinely seemed happy to be out again performing these songs, some of which they never got the chance to play live.

Highlights of the gig for me were "Sweet Thing", "Situation", and "The Other Side Of Love", which I strongly recommend checking out. I have it on good authority that the London gigs were recorded for a forthcoming live album.

Everyone knows the big singles, "Don't Go", "Nobody's Diary", and of course "Only You", so here's a couple of lesser known, but still fantastic Yazoo tracks:

Sweet Thing

Walk Away From Love

More info:

Website: www.yazooinfo.com
Myspace: www.myspace.com/yazooofficial
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yazoo_(band)

Buy "In Your Room" box set: The Erasure Shop
Buy Digital Downloads: Play.com

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fingerstyle Guitar

I first got turned on to the fingerstyle guitar style through Andy McKee's "Drifting" video on youtube, which went on to become one of the most viewed vids on there ever, with nearly 14 million plays. Andy is signed to American independent label Candyrat, who it would appear, seem to be championing similar artists within the scene.

On more investigation it would seem that this is a growing phenomenon, with emerging artists such as French Canadian Antoine DuFour, Peter Ciluzzi and Erick Turnbull all becoming increasingly popular on the net.

Wikipedia defines fingerstyle as "the technique of playing the guitar by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails, or picks attached to fingers, as opposed to flatpicking (picking individual notes with a single plectrum called a flatpick) or strumming all the strings of the instrument in chords". It's not only gorgeous music, making use of not only the traditional sound of the guitar but also artificial harmonics, but it's also breathtaking to watch.

Here's where it all started for me, and a few choice others to check out:

Andy McKee - Drifting

More Andy McKee Youtube Videos

Erick Turnbull - Low C

More Erick Turnbull Youtube Videos

Antoine DuFour - 30 Minutes In London

More Antoine DuFour Youtube Videos

To buy Candyrat CD's and find out more on their full roster of artists visit www.candyrat.com.

More info:

Andy McKee: www.andymckee.com
Antione DuFour: www.myspace.com/antoinedufour
Erick Turnbull: www.myspace.com/erickturnbull

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Captain - Keep An Open Mind

Captain's new single "Keep An Open Mind" is out, and it's one of those must-buy tunes. Their debut album "This Is Hazelville" came out in 2006, and was an instant hit with me with it's Deacon Blue-esque band makeup, and sound. Killer songs, excellent album.

"Keep An Open Mind" is the first official single from the forthcoming second album, following a limited release one-sided 12" vinyl single "Animal" (which you can now download for free on their website).

More info:
Website: www.captaintheband.com/
Myspace: www.myspace.com/captaintheband

Buy Captain from Play.com
"Keep An Open Mind" Digital Single
"This Is Hazelville" Digital Album
"This Is Hazelville" CD Album


I heard Royworld's "Dust" single this morning and had to blog about it straight away. Why is it such great music seems to come out as soon as the sun shines?

I'm really looking forward to hearing this band's album when it's released on 2nd June. If their singles "Dust" and "Man In The Machine" are anything to go by I'll be rushing straight out to buy it!

The band were apparently formed at Goldsmiths in London as soon ago as 2006. Talk about overnight success! A single release on Fierce Panda later, and they were rocketing towards stardom and eventually signed to Virgin.

The band cite their influences as Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Peter Gabriel amongst others.

You can grab a free download of their first single "Elasticity" here in exchange for an email address and brief info.

More info:
Website: www.royworld.co.uk
Myspace: www.myspace.com/royworldtheband

Buy downloads, and order CD's from Play.com:
"Dust" Digital Track
"Man In The Machine" Digital Track
"Man In The Machine" CD Album
"Man In The Machine" Digital Album

Friday, May 23, 2008

Jamie Lidell - Jim

Wow, what a great follow up album from Jamie Lidell. 2005's "Multiply" was easily one of my favourite albums of that year, and I even wondered whether he'd be able to make anything as good for a follow up album. Well I was well and truly wrong!

"Jim" is the perfect album for the summer and is chock full of feelgood tunes. If you like the sound of that make sure you check out the first single "Little Bit Of Feel Good", and the newest track to be taken from it "Another Day" - also the album opener.

By all accounts his new live show is outstanding, so if he's playing in a town near you make sure you go along and see him play!

Highlights from "Jim", other than the singles, are "Out Of My System" and my personal favourite "Figured Me Out".

This is well worth the money so get out there and buy it pronto!

Buy "Jim" from Amazon UK

More info:
Website: www.jamielidell.com
Myspace: www.myspace.com/jamielidell

Monday, May 19, 2008

Like Minded People iMix #3!

Long overdue iMix #3 is now up on iTunes, chock full of 80's influenced stuff and other tracks that go along with the summery weather we've (sort of) been having lately.

I'll be getting around to blogging individually about some of the artists included here, so do check back for updates soon!

Click here to check it out!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Future Funk Squad - The Mothership / Spiders

Future Funk Squad have always, in my book, been a solid source of breakbeat tunes. Although FFS have often delved headlong into the world of songwriting, and do it extremely well too, it's always been about the more clubby stuff for me. I"m pleased to say that the latest is a return to just that, and it doesn't disappoint.

"The Mothership" is a journey back in time to the days when breakbeat was raw, clattering breaks fused with a dirty bassline and sweet synths and sweeps. Topped off with a sci-fi vocal (sounds a bit like Leonard Nimoy to me) this is one that is best served loud!

The flipside "Spiders" brings a slightly more laid back vibe with a bubbly Giorgio Moroder style bassline, with fat 80's influenced drums and synth sounds, and again a cheeky sampled vocal. This one's a lot more fun but just as tough!

This one's coming out on the awesome En:Vision label, and as yet there's still no sign of that elusive second Future Funk Squad album, but keep an eye out for more singles on the way.

Future Funk Squad has also just finished remixing UNKLE's "Restless" and Bomb The Bass' "Old John". More news on those when I have them!

Myspace: www.myspace.com/futurefunksquad

Buy "The Mothership" and "Spiders" on 12" vinyl from Juno.
All En:Vision releases on Beatport.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tegan & Sara - The Con

Hello. I haven't updated this blog for ages, so here we go....

I was introduced to Tegan & Sara's new album by my friend Craig while I was over in Los Angeles last October, and it was one of the freshest and most interesting albums I'd heard in some time.

I don't really know a lot about Tegan & Sara, but I guess that's what Google's for. Apparently they are twins, originally from Calgary, Canada, and "The Con" is their fifth album. The only other track I'd heard by them before was the gorgeous "Walking With The Ghosts" which featured in Grey's Anatomy, and was also covered by The White Stripes. For the record, the original is way better so if you've heard and like the cover I would definitely check out the original too.

This album is fantastic, I can't think of any other word to sum it up, and is a must-listen if you like the sound of new single "Back In Your Head".

Back In Your Head

Walking With A Ghost

Highlights on the album for me would have to be "Back In Your Head", "Hop A Plane", and title track "The Con".

More info:

Website: www.teganandsara.com
Myspace: www.myspace.com/teganandsara

Buy Tegan & Sara music from iTunes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chromeo - Fancy Footwork

I recently went on a week-long trip to the US, during which I heard a lot about Chromeo. Their album "Fancy Footwork" is now a permanent feature on my iPod.

The duo (P-Thugg and Dave 1 - it's all about those crazy names in this sort of outfit), released their debut album "She's In Control" three years ago, and the follow up is nothing short of brilliance. With singles "Tenrderoni" and "Bonafide Lovin" being particular highlights, the album as a whole is one of those you can throw on when you're in the worst mood ever, and it's cheeky riffs and electrofunk style simply cheer you up.

Anyone that's a fan of "proper" 80's music should check this out!

Bonafide Lovin'

For more information:

Website: www.chromeo.net
Myspace: www.myspace.com/chromeo

Buy Chromeo's music from iTunes here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Like Minded People iMix #2

My second iMix is up on the iTunes store for your downloading pleasure. It features tracks and artists that I've been blogging about lately (well, since the last iMix) and is typically all over the place style wise.

Check it out here, and as always comments, ratings and feedback are always welcome.

If you don't use iTunes you can get it from the Apple website.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tina Dico

I was lucky enough to get tickets to a secret Tina Dico gig last night, held at the Electroacoustic Club at The Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell.

This is the third time I've seen Tina play live, and every time she's blown me away. The secret gig was essentially a testing ground for new material from her forthcoming album "Count To Ten", but there were some Tina classics thrown in there for good measure too. She played for the best part of an hour, totally acoustically apart from one track which she had some backing on. She also did some looping on a couple of songs which sounded great hearing her stack up her own vocals.

The new material is sounding amazing, especially the title track from the new album. I was disappointed not to hear "Break Of Day" (my favourite Tina song by a long way), but we were treated to "Warm Sand", "Back Where We Started", two songs from the "A Beginning" tour EP, and a gorgeous version of "In The Red".

I for one can't wait to hear the new album, which this week entered the charts in her native Denmark at number one. Unfortunately the rest of us have to wait until next February for the UK release.

Tina also mentioned that next March she'll be playing a gig at Union Chapel so keep an eye out for that. That's one not to be missed!

"Losing" video

For more information:

Website: www.tinadico.com
Myspace: www.myspace.com/tinadico

Buy Tina's music from iTunes by clicking here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hexstatic - When Robots Go Bad

So no updates for three months eh? I've been a little pre-occupied with other areas of life for a while, but now I'm back with loads of new stuff to rant and rave about.

First off, it's Hexstatic's brand new album for the Ninja tune label - When Robots Go Bad.

I've loved Hexstatic's work since their collaborations with Coldcut on the classic "Timber". Their brand new album takes them one step closer towards that crossover from underground electronica to mainstream acceptance.

Special highlights for me are Roll Over (video below), Red Laser Beam, Freak Me, and A Different Place.

Roll Over (feat Sabirajade)

Colcdut & Hexstatic - Timber

Freak Me

A Different Place