Friday, 27 February 2009

Rites Of Spring

Rites of Spring is a Spring Equinox all nighter featuring a tasty lineup including a few Middle Boop favorites, such as Kelpe, Oscillation, Alexander Tucker and Cherrystones. With excellent music and some great design and visuals in store This is an event any Boop fan wouldn't want to miss. Coming a few days after Bloc festival, it should be an interesting few weeks.......

It takes place on the 20th of March at Corsica Studio's in London.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Little Boots Poster

Here is a new piece Middle Boop's Gordon Reid has just designed for the Little Boots gig in Southampton. Enjoy.

Bloc Festival 2009

Bloc is only a few weeks away now and everyone here at Middle Boop hq is getting pretty excited. A few bands we literally can't wait to see are:
Aphex Twin and Hecker
Tim Exile
Rob Da Bank
Radioactive Man
Future Sound Of London
Jamie Lidell
Drums Of Death
Hudson Mohawke
Egyptian Lover
and Richard Devine.
Its going to be an awesome weekend. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Southampton Pillow Fight

When i found out about this I had to show it. An inpromtu pillow fight in the middle of Southampton city center. If you look carefully you can see Boop writer Barry wondering past at the end, looking a little bewildered.

Shepard Fairey - Earth Hour

Shepard Fairey, the man behind Obey and Of course the Obama poster (You know the one I mean) has just been commisioned to design the poster for this year's Earth Hour.
This year over 7o countries are taking part.
Check it.
Earth Hour.

Middle Boop In New York

After my recent adventures overseas here are some stickers which are still in the infamous Cake Shop in Soho. Good Times.

Phantom Band - Boiler Room 20/02/09

I descended upon the godforsaken suburbs to witness Scottish label Chemikal Underground's (Mogwai and Arab Strap's old label) latest prospect. It was interesting to see what a dingy rock bar in the heart of middle class Guildford would look like. It was interesting to say the least, with the toilets so immaculate they would not look out of place in an upmarket restaurant. The Phantom Band have a really adventurous sound, with songs ranging from almost minimal electro to Neil Young influenced acoustic numbers. It really surprised me how much I liked them, from the moment they came on playing all sorts of different instruments. The sound was immaculate, and their set was tight enough to know a lot of attention to detail. My only concern was that the crowd didn't seem too interested. I guess as it was a club night people weren't all there to see the band. The Phantom Band seem to have no boundaries and are producing music that can only come from Scotland. I predict a good year for these guys.

Parts and Labor - Cargo 19/02/09

This is a gig I had been looking forward to for a while. Parts and Labor have a great mix of electro tinged, pop that hoooks you in right from the start. Their support came from 'Experiment on a bird in The Air Pump,' a band that seem to be everywhere at the moment. A very eclectic mix of fuzzed up, distorted basslines and pounding drums, I kep thinking they remind me of an early 80's Matchbox with a lot more going for them.
Parts and Labor came on and instantly had the crowd going with the opening track from their latest album 'Satellites.' A brilliant way to start the gig , the level of high energy from the crowd and band was maintained throughout the gig. Parts and Labor have that connection with the crowd that only comes with time and experience on stage. Being so comfortable on stage meant that not only the crowd was at ease, but when the bassist asked for the disco ball to be put on there was an enfatic roar from the crowd as if to suggest the whole crowd were hanging on his every word, adn when he jumped into the crowd people went nuts.
The new additions to the lineup Sarah Lipstate on guitar and Joe Wong on drums fitted in nicely with some amazing drum work and intersting guitar parts. I felt the sound let them down slightly as the electro glitches and and samples were drowned out by the vocals but didn't distract from an awesome show.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Black Mountain - In The Future

In The Future has a certain charm about it that keeps pulling me back in to listen. Maybe it's the huge, beefy riffs reminiscent of anything from old blues to stoner rock, maybe its the the psychedelic side that only a handful of contemporary bands could claim to have incorporated into their music. But whatever it is. I am a fan of it.
Tracks like the eight minute 'Tyrants' and 'Wucans' showcase a Prog Rock sound with epic sections and synth sounds i'm not sure I have heard in the last 20 years. This album feels like a homage to almost all of the greats from the 60's and 70's, Neil Young, Sabbath, Floyd, etc. In The Future packs a punch and is well worth a listen for anyone who fancies a bit of nostalgia.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Mono - Hymn To The Immortal Wind

Mono are back! With this, their fifth album right in time for their tenth anniversary. As every Mono album there is an abundance of noise to take in. A lot of layers to peel back revealing something new every time you listen. Recorded by Middle Boop hero Steve Albini onto analogue tape. Typical of Albini to give a band that are so immersed in effects such a raw sound.
This is needed to be played loud. You will know what I mean when the first track kicks in about 7 minutes in. Loud, aggressive but yet so intimate. The formula of the 5-6 minute ambient build up to the epic, all guns blazing finale's continue throughout the album, with the highlight, the 11 and a half minute 'Pure As Snow (Trails Of The Winter Storm).'It is some of their most intense, engaging music to date and even though most tracks clock in at over ten minutes I find myself listening to the whole lot every time I put it on.
Hymn To The Immortal Wind is a must have for any Mono or indeed 'Post Rock' fan.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Deer Tick Tour.

Deer Tick have just launched a massive tour in the U.S. Starting off at the Bowery Ballroom in New York they will play special gigs with other awesome artists such as Phosphorescent and Jason Isbell. To accompany this tour Middle Boop have designed two special prints for some of their gigs.
Check it.

Steven Wilson destroys Ipods

In the build up to Steven Wilson's solo album 'Insurgentes' he is releasing a series of videos where he destroys Ipods in a variety of different ways. Rock and Roll.

"My fear is that the current generation of kids who're being born into this information revolution, growing up with the Internet, cell phones, iPods, this download culture, 'American Idol,' reality TV, prescription drugs, PlayStations — all of these things kind of distract people from what's important about life, which is to develop a sense of curiosity about what's out there.”

Diplo - Decent Work For Decent Pay.

Philadelphia born Dj and Producer Diplo's Decent Work For Decent Pay showcases a collection of remixes and his own tracks from the last few years. If this album proves anything its that he certainly has friends in high places.
His collection of remixes caught my attention as they contain a few tracks that I love, Peter, Bjorn and John's 'Young Folks,' Css 'Let's Make Love...' and M.I.A's Paper Planes. All are pretty interesting re-workings and well wortha listen for any fan but I must say that the highlights on the album are his own tracks, such as 200, Way More Brazil and Smash A Kangaroo. It shows that having complete creative freedom he can really make some decent music. There are a few surprising additions such as Bloc Party and Black Lips in which he has included his trademark dirty basslines and a few other neat Production techniques but I would have liked to have heard more of his own music on the album.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Women - Live at the Cake Shop

I can't stop watching this video. The band is Women. One of my recent favorite bands. The venue is the Cake Shop, a bar, venue, deli and record shop in located in the heart of Soho in New York. I had the pleasure of visiting there recently and its fantastic. Wish I could have been there for this show.

Field Day is back this year to provide you all with some more of the finest electronic and alternative music you can find anywhere! The festival has once again hooked up with some of the most adventurous promoters around including Bugged Out, Adventures in Beetroot Fields and Eat Your Own Ears.
Field Day takes place on August 1st in London’s East End Victoria Park transforming it into a kind of village fete, only a bit twisted and way more fun. The first string of acts to play have just been announced, you can check them out below. Early bird tickets are now sold out but standard priced tickets are still available.

1st set of acts to be announced:

Apes and Androids
Erol Alkan
Four Tet
James Yorkston
Malcolm Middleton
For more details check the website

Have fun gentle Boop readers!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Errors and Parts and Labor to play ATP

I am pretty excited about this as my we at Middle Boop voted for both of these guys to play.
Both are awesome and will be amazing live.
Roll on May...

School of Seven Bells - ALPINISMS

When I first received School of Seven Bell's debut album I was completely taken aback by the shear volume of their sound. School of Seven Bells is made up of twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza and ex Secret Machines guitarist Benjamin Curtis. Hailing from cultural center of the Earth ( or at least it seems that way at the moment) Brooklyn, School of Seven Bells are already becoming quite the cult hit.
Alpinisms has such a nostalgic feel. The distroted, reverbed, dechoed, guitar soundscapes, the vocal harmonies, and of course the drum machine takes you back to somehwhere in the mid eighties, when people really started experimenting with the new technologies that were being made available but has a completely contemporary feel to it. This combination of new and old comes together to make a really special album.
Hearing Alpinisms for the first time had the same effect as to the first time I heard the Cocteau Twins Blue Bell Knoll. I literally had to stop what I was doing and play the whole album... Then played it again. There have only been a few albums in my life time that have ahd that effect. A bold statement but my god the music will back it up. You just don't hear the sort of quality and emotion in music any more. They are on a huge tour that will see them play London's Cargo on the 26th of Feb supported by the wonderful Kyte. The tour will take them all over Europe ending back this way in support of Bat For Lashes. This is truly a great album and the artwork is stunning too.
Check track three 'Half Asleep.'

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Dolby Anol – Tender Touch

If you’ve seen German electro/techno DJ Boys Noize you probably would have heard Scottish electro upstarts previous release ‘Puppies’. Well, now they’re back with their second release on Back Yard records and it’s called ‘Tender Touch’. It’s glamorous electro which you can’t resist to tapping your feet to! Its got just enough pop sensibility in it for you to dance, sing along and enjoy but backed up by enough stomping electro for you to have a jolly good rave to. I guarantee you’ll be dancing to this in a club soon!

Appaloosa – The Day We Fell In Love

When you first start listening to this record you could almost be fooled into thinking you were listening to a new Feist or PJ Harvey but you’re not. Starting the track with a simple piano riff and solitary voice you might be thinking you’re listening to yet another female singer/songwriter but what you’re actually listening to is Kitsune’s newest release from boy/girl duo Appaloosa. As the simple yet effective intro moves along it soon makes way for Cut Copy style beats and synths. Once that takes over the track morphs into a kind of summertime euphoria. The outro does get a bit tiring as it’s repeated a few too many times with its one vocal line and music riff going round and round and round but apart from that one little nit-pick it’s a damn fine tune.

Essential Selection

Marnie Stern – Shea Stadium
Dolby Anol – Puppies
The 9000 – Electric Bloom
Madeline Ava – In An Aeroplane Over The Sea
Line - Optics

Monday, 9 February 2009

Bloc Festival 2009

MiddleBoop are excited to announce this year's Bloc festival. From the 13th to the 15th of March, the lineup literally has history in the making.

The alpha human of underground music premiers his brand new show, with an uncontrollable
new collaborator exclusively at BLOC.
The megastars of rave play their first show in ten years.
Full live AV show with visuals from Pfadferendei - the MODESELEKTOR gang will be joined
Rusko will be debuing his live show,
Ed Chamberlain has a brand new stage show exclusive for Bloc
and much much more...

It all takes place at Butlins in Minehead, which means not only have you got an awesome festival featuring some amazing acts you get to make the most of everything Butlins has to offer. There's nothing like the feeling of going to a festival knowing you don't have to worry about the weather or having to camp in a tent. With loads of different stages and events such as fancy dress on the Sunday, there is far too much going on at Bloc to miss out on.
It is selling out pretty fast so if you were thinking of going better check it out soon.

Women - Women

Women are another strong addition to the ever growing Lo-Fi scene that seems to be taking the world by storm. Their self titled debut album was recorded in label mate 'Chad Vangaalen's basement using old tapemachines ans ghetto blasters, this process is really what makes their sound so unique. The tracks range from from the vibrant soundscapes of tracks such as 'Lawncare' and 'Woodbine' to the more classic indie influenecd 'Black Rice.' The album flows really well considering and my only problem with it is that its not longer. They are just about to head off on tour all over Eurpoe and America, hitting England next week. Don't miss out.
Check out the link underneath.

Logo in the snow

So while most people were out building their snowmen last week, the people from Extreme Television were doing this. Cool idea, its funny that more people had not picked up on it.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Papier Tigre - The Beginning and End of Now

Papier Tigre are a band still pretty unheard of over this neck of the woods but with their constant touring and major appearance on the main stage at last year's All Tomorrows Parties mean it will only be a matter of time before people stop and listen. And listen they should, in their second installment 'The Beginning and End of Now' they go further in consolidating their stylisitc sound. Heavy bass riffs with strange, misplaced guitar licks running all the way through. The album is a lot heavier than earlier material which works really well. Think At The Drive In but more stripped down and less intense. There is a great underground scene over in France made up of a number of exciting heavy bands in which Papier Tigre are at the forefront.For a three piece these guys make quite a racket and with a loud and energetic live show, Papier Tigre are well worth checking out.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Parts and Labor - Satellites

Is it me or is Brooklyn really the place to be at the moment? There are some amazing bands cropping up from that neck of the woods at the moment, Parts and Labor are a fine example of that. Their fourth album, Satellites shows a real development in sound from their earlier albums
almost pop punk ethics. It sees more of a blend of electro tinged indie. There is still the anthemic vocals and feel good attitude towards their music which is to be expected but they have definitely been a lot more ambitious. With time taken to incorporate the electronic glitches into the heavy riffs and drums a lot more has made the outcome a lot more fluid. The songs work well together.
They are just about to head out on a tour all over the U.K. It will be one not to miss.
Check the track underneath. Its one of the highlights.

Mi Ami - New Guitar, free download

To support their first full length album, Watersports, out on Quarterstick records, energetic noise punk trio Mi Ami have released a free track for you to download called New Guitar.
Have a listen.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Abe Vigoda - Skeleton

God these guys don't half make a noise. At first it was really hard to get my head round their hugely eclectic sound. There are elements of Punk, No Wave, Pop and there is definitely some At The Drive In, in there somewhere. Its fast paced, high energy stuff, with the opener 'Dead City/Waste Wilderness' throwing the listener in at the deep end straight away and their songs ranging anywhere from 90 seconds to 3 minutes it will take a few listens to work out what the hell is going on.
They have been going for a few years now but Skeleton is the album that really brings the quality of their sound out. This is raw but their debut was perhaps a little too raw. The sound the two guitarists kick out is more like a steel drum with a lot of reverb. They are one of those bands that you know will be awesome live.
Skeleton is another classic to add to the ever expanding L.A. Lo-Fi scene which has seen bands like No Age and Health pick up a heap of praise last year. With a new E.p out imminently Abe Vigoda are ones to watch.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Dan Deacon - Bromst

Dan Deacon is well known for putting on an unforgettable live show. Generally involving setting up his equipment on a table in the middle of the crowd and playing there, having warm up routines of stretching for the crowd, playing gigs anywhere remotely possible, alleyways, car parks, abandoned buildings etc. A major theme in his work is to bring people together and he certainly encapsulates that in his shows.

His background in electro - acoustic composition is fused together with the intensity and energy of his live performances so well on this album that I feel like I've just downed a packet of Pro Plus after listening to it.

"Much of Bromst is a story about becoming a ghost, cycles of the earth, mountains, getting older, change, nonlinear time, bees, global conspiracy/oppression of the spirit,2012, and a psychadelic realm that coexists amongst our material plain," Explains Dan. Sooooooo.....

The amount of different sounds going on in any one track is enough to make Battles sound stripped down. Equipment and effects built up on top of a vast array of other random instruments such as a Glockenspiel, Marimba, Vibraphone, Live Drums, winds and brass give this album so much depth. Every time I listen to it I find something new and intriguing about it. It's intense and intricately executed and is so much fun to listen to. I have to see this man live.

Check track eleven 'Get Older.' Not only does it encapsulate the many messages Deacon wants to give but it's one of the best tracks on the album.

Bromst is out on the 24th of March.

The Wizard's Hat.

Fellow Zinesters and amazing illustrators, The Wizards Hat took some time out of their busy schedule to answer a few questions for us. They have also designed the layout for the interview for our next zine.