New Exhibition looking freeesh! check it:
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Middle Boop favourite; The KDU (keystone design union) launches their new website. The site showcases the many, many design driven projects and collaborations ranging from apparel design, to editorial work, to illustration, and identity design to full on brand campaigns. Its all about the collaborations with the KDU ranging from over 70 different countries including MB friends & heroes; Brand Nu, MWM, HelloVon & Spaceknuckle!
Director Peter Ohs who has previousley worked with bands such as Arcade Fire and The Unicorns has released the first official music video from Lo FI sensation Wavves shot mostly on his first European tour.
If you haven't heard Wavves yet, check the links below.
Monday, 29 June 2009
Today marks the re release of two seminal albums, Black Sabbath's self titled debut and their 'Master Of Reality' both deluxe editions featuring loads of cool goodies, alternative lyrics, demos, etc, I thought I would mention this as without their amazingly influential rock spanning 30 years the music business would certainly be a different place.
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Wesleyan University in Conneticut has produced some pretty talented people of late, MGMT and Chairlift to name but a few and now we have them to thank for Amazing Baby.
They take the extremely tired and worn out genre of indie pop and add a refreshing psychedelic, rock twist. Blend Pulp with Floyd and somewhere in there you would find Amazing Baby, its quite pleasant music and when they do experiment you do hear some interesting stuff, tracks such as Dead Light and Old Tricks In Hell, which have a much more synthy psychedelic feel do stand out and actually sound pretty good but they have neither the genius lyrics of Jarvis Cocker nor the musicianship of Floyd and despite the addition of a 15 piece orchestra I felt a little let down
Friday, 26 June 2009
There are some new additions added to the already stellar lineup for this years Field Day event.
The great Wild Beasts who are already having a great year and are tipped for success, King Charles who has met a heap of applause from the likes of Rob Da Bank, Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens, 80s soul influenced, punk funkers The Invisible who combine members of Hot Chip, Polar Bear, Acoustic Ladyland, Gramme and Jade Fox, electro maestro Jon Hopkins, NME coollisted The Devil Made Me Do It and the Bowie endorsed Fanfarlo.
As well as the awesome new acts the lineup so far consists of:
Mogwai (only English festival show), The Horrors, Little Boots (live), Santigold, Mystery Jets, Juana Molina, Toumani Diabate,
Mumford and Sons, Micachu & The Shapes, The Big Pink, Audion, The XX, The Temper Trap, Rusko, Plugs, (UK festival exclusive), Fake Blood, Four Tet, Erol Alkan, James Yorkston, Apes And Androids, Final Fantasy, Malcolm Middleton, Aeroplane, Fennesz, Errors, Skream, S.C.U.M, First Aid Kit.
Need I say more?
If that's not enough there are also Sack and Egg and Spoon races, Tug of War, a Watermelon Relay Race and Splat The Rat. Alternatively, just sit on some hay bales and stuff your face with homemade cake.
I can't wait.
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Veckatimest is the most hotly anticipated Grizzly Bear album to date, and in fact one of the most anticipated alternative albums of the month. Does it live up to the vast amounts of hype that has been circling around? In a word. Yes.
It's an ambitious album, starting with the inviting 5 minute slow burner 'Southen Point' which with such subtle production and nothing ranging above a midtone could be enough to turn the untrained listener away but a little bit of patience and you will find some brilliant tracks. For a start, since receiving Veckatimest I have listened to the first single 'Two Weeks' a couple of times a day at least, it is such a charming happy song full of life, in fact the song has been in my head since I saw them at ATP a few months ago.
The album is full of beautifully melodic pop that will see you through the summer nicely.
Veckatimest, although it drags a little in the middle it is worth the wait to get to the end, the aptly named track 'While You Wait For The Others' is one of the highlights of an album with quite a few and then 'I Live With You' a hectic frenzy of loud drums and horns only to leave you with the peaceful outtro 'Foreground.'
With bands like Fleet Foxes blowing the alt folk scene pretty much into the mainstream, bands like Grizzly Bear will certainly be reaping the rewards and although they may well never get to the heights Foxes are seeing at the moment I doubt Grizzly bear mind that much as they are, and will continue to make great music
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
This Design Is Mine Is run by freelance Graphic Designer Jamie Gregory. Specializing in Identity, Print, Publication, Editorial, Illustration and Exhibition Design. In the short time he has been freelancing he has already gained recognition from the D&AD and on various blogs including Type Neu, Dirty Mouse and Graphic Cache. His site is already a hub for quirky, creative design.
Four years after their debut, Engineers are back. The hotly anticipated Three Fact Fader is just about here after record company restructuring the album nearly wasn't made at all. Produced by Ken Thomas, who has worked with the like of Sigur Ros and M83, Three Fact Fader a much more atmospheric approach than their debut and needs to be played loud to fully appreciate the intricacies of the multi effected guitar work and their special walls of sound. There is a lot of talk relating them to the shoegaze genre, which seems to be an almost fashionable genre to label a band with these days and although they have some of the aesthetics I wouldn't necessarily lumber Engineers in with the Shoegaze lot.
The album eases you in slowly with the first single 'Clean Coloured Wine' with the droney vocals mixing well with the rest of the sound. There are certainly some highlights on this album, I can listen to 'Sometimes I Realise' all day and the six minute 'Brighter As We Fall' builds up slowly to an epic end, after a few listens you will find yourself liking Engineers more and more.
The artwork is also great.
Here is a video for their first single 'Clean Coloured Wine'
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Awesome Illustrator Paul Ryding sent me some of his work recently and I feel it more than qualifies for a Boop blog. His very intricate style has catered for many different clients including London Underground, The Guardian and KesselsKramer, he has even done a piece featuring Dan Deacon, who Boop also recently worked with.
Here is his mission statement
"My work focuses on the concepts of modern mainstream media and representation: how the overwhelming amount of signified icons thrown at us on a daily basis are equally unremarkable but vital. Media such as photos, songs and television programmes can be considered throwaway and disposable, and yet it this same media that becomes part of how we identify ourselves in our subconscious through nostalgia. Yeah, this sound convincing.".
Monday, 22 June 2009
The oh-so-cool Kitsune bandwagon rolls into town, no doubt followed by a gaggle of fasionistas towards Audio, a perfect intimate club setting for this party. The record label and former Fashion House responsible for bringing the likes of Digitalism and the now massive Hot Chip to our ears now houses many more exciting, sleek young acts such as Chew Lips, Crystal Fighters and AutoKratz.
The hotly tipped Chew Lips smoothly run through their collection of Indy infused, Synth led pop tunes. Front Women and focal point Tigs displaying the qualitys that have led to her being compared to vocalists such as Karen O and label mate La Roux. Giving an energetic performance (aborted attempt to get in amongst the first row not included) whilst the band put down their Crystal Castles meets French Disco backdrop. Providing a nice build-up to headliners tonight, autoKratz. The British pair arrive with a bang, bursting through the material from their recently released album "Animal" with exuberant energy. With David (the bald bloke) especially, leaping from Bass, Drum machine, keys and vocal duties with unwavering intensity. The pounding beats drawing influences from German Electro, past and present, Depeche Mode and french masters Daft Punk get the crowd proper moving for the duration.
As this show case gig displays they also have a fun side, showing off early 90's Rave influences and tempo. A brilliant live band.
That's right! Brought to you by Warp Films, the film uses material collected by fans and musicians themselves spanning the entire 10 years of the festival and will feature all the favourites such as Shellac, Mogwai, Grizzly Bear, Nick Cave, etc. It premiers at the Edinborough Picture House on June the 24th. I can't wait.
Check out surreal new video by Cardiff band Victorian English Gentelmens Club. This will be the first single off of their upcoming new album 'Love On An Oil Rig' out in September.
Sunday, 21 June 2009
Being one of the most inspirational and important bands is a bold statement, but to me these Yo La Tengo really opened doors for cult music. They are known for never playing the same show twice so it was no surprise that their appearance as part of legendary Avant Garde jazz musician Ornette Coleman was a special one. Yo La Tengo mixed things up by playing more of an acoustic set with a question and answer session as a way of interacting more with the crowd which is a pretty cool idea and even though the crowd was made up of the moody Londoners and music nerds (myself included) the crowd warmed to the idea quite quickly and even though some of the questions were rubbish (what's your favourite super power?, have you seen any good films?, you get the idea) it did make for a very unique and intimate show. The band generally warmed to the questions and, although they have probably been asked these sorts of questions hundreds of times answered most in jest.
Their set was breathtaking, opening with one of my all time favourites 'Tom Courtenay' (sang by Georgia Hubley) it couldn't have been any better. That was until they played the song again after a crowd member asked them to, this time it was song by guitarist Ira Kaplan it was simply amazing.
The showcase of their new material sounds like classic Yo La Tengo and will be well worth a listen upon release later in the year and they also played some tracks from the little known side project Condo Fucks.
Despite being an acoustic set, Kaplan still managed to whip the fuzzbox out for a few numbers which really aided as some of the classics such as Sugercube which just wouldn't sound the same without the messy feedback from the guitars.
This was a special gig and part of a very special festival, Ornette Coleman has picked some absolute delights, if you haven't checked anything out yet be sure to check it out.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
My first reaction after hearing These Four Walls was that it grabs you by the balls nice and early, in fact the first song 'It's Thunder and It's Lightening' takes all of two minutes to get your attention, with a loud, echoey, pop hooked chorus which was more than enough to entice me. After that 'These Four Walls' takes a more mellow approach with a lot more ambiance and more focus on single guitar lines and the (very Scottish) vocals, there are also a few numbers that seem to mix their melodramatic sound with upbeat indie, 'Moving Clocks Run Slow' for instance which, judging by the standard of some of the other songs probably shouldn't be on the album.
We Were Promised Jetpacks have a certain charm about them that have really caught my attention, they have a lot of potential and when they get noisy it sounds brilliant I just wish they had a few more tracks that showcase what they certainly can achieve.
Bibio's first album after signing with Warp really surprised me. It has a real 1960's psychedelic feel to it, when the first couple of tracks play, with the jangly guitars, echoey vocals and general stripped down feel you start to wonder how on earth Stephen Wilkinson (Bibio) is known for being deeply involved with electronica but as the album develops you find some really intricate production techniques and that jangly, stripped down guitar is really electronically modified which starts to give more of an idea of what Bibio is all about. The whole album has a really happy nostalgic feel to it, with tracks such as the wonderfully melodic 'Lovers' Carvings' flowing much more into the realms of straight up folk than any genre that would even go near a synthesizer and this flows throughout the album showing diversity and an obvious love and appreciation for many different genres. Ambivalence Avenue is such a step away from any of Warp's recent releases such as the tech, dance heavy Hudson Mohawke and Tim Exile and has very quickly become an album I can't stop listening to, I love the mixture of electronica and folk, it sounds great and the album also features artwork from one of my favourite designers, mr David Foldvari,
Monday, 15 June 2009
Dan Deacon is a man well known for his energetic, crazy and very unique live shows, this was certainly no exception. For a start Deacon has been touring with his sixteen piece 'Wham City' ensemble and as they bounded onto stage it was crazy I just didn't know where to look, there were people creating sounds from all corners of the stage from various types of instruments, a couple of drummers knocking the hell out of their kit and, of course Deacon himself messing around with his huge mass of synths, pedals, keyboards and god only knows what whilst big luminous skulls, flashing traffic lights and amazing visuals are going on around. The crowd instantly warmed to the vast amount of tracks from his latest album Bromst, in fact from the first track in the packed crowd were going absolutely nuts and this was before Deacon's crowd participation (between songs such as getting everyone in the crowd to place their hands on the heads of someone in front of them and start chanting, or getting the crowd to make a massive circle in the pit and asking two members of the audience to dance in the circle and the rest of the crowd to mimic their actions) made for a really fun atmosphere and made it an even more special occasion.
It had to be a sell out, there were people rammed into every corner trying to get a glimpse of this magnificent showcase, this gig was a sign of a band who are looking at bigger and better things. The highlights were the three longplayers from Bromst, 'Snookered,' 'Of the Mountains,' and 'Surprise Stefani' which sounded out of this world with the ensemble backing Deacon up. It was the last date on what sounded like a very long and tiring tour but that just did not show by the time they hit the stage. I had heard promising things about Deacons live shows and was really impressed.
Middle Boop also did a limited edition print to go with the gig, there are still a few left, if anyone would like one just give me a shout.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
I don't want to get too carried away but after giving Bitte Orca a few listens now I can quite happily declare main songwriter and producer Dave Longstreth nothing short of genius.
You only have to listen to the oddly intricate and guitar work and crazy time signatures of tracks like 'Temecula Sunrise' to see what I mean. The crazy sounds produced by the band can be as oddball as they are charming which can make Bitte Orca a little awkward to take it all in on first listen but also makes it intriguing and fascinating. When quizzed about the album Longstreth has spoken about the possibilities of writing a Sixties-style pop song with grunge dynamics, plus sub bass, it's comments like this which, after listening to the album you kind of get a grasp of the people you are dealing with.
'Stillness Is The Move' is five minutes of pure musical greatness, kicking off with a head noddingly groovy bass and some great vocals from other members, Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian, finishing with an almost Sigur Ros style orchestrated part. In short Bitte Orca is a brilliant album full of surprises every step of the way created by a very gifted band and will have people listening in awe at the magnificent sounds presented to them.
Austin, TX's The Strange Boys have just launched their Summer tour taking them all over the world, starting in their hometown and finishing in the Brecon Beacons for the Green Man festival in August. Their music is a mix of proper garage rock fused with kind of 1950's swing. They have a really interesting sound which you should all swot up on before they get to a town near you.
To accompany their new album 'Monster Head Room' Sacramento's 'Ganglians' have released their first single Lost Words. Released through the label Woodsist, which has already had a pretty major year bringing the likes of Crystal Stilts, Wavves, Vivian Girls into the limelight so it goes without saying Ganglians are well worth checking out.
Monday, 8 June 2009
London experimental noise trio Three Trapped Tigers are the latest addition to the all new 'Too Pure Singles Club' this month.
Too Pure are responsible for bringing the likes of PJ Harvey, Mclusky and Stereolab into the public eye. Already making a serious name for themselves with their intense live shows and crazy beats to make the likes of Battles feel a little self conscious, Three Trapped Tigers are releasing a limited run of 500 numbered copies through Too Pure. The single 7 is another sterling example of just why these guys are starting to make a name for themselves, with another ep to follow, watch out for Three Trapped Tigers, 2009 could very well be a big year for them.
Codes In The Clouds, a band who (if you look in the right places) have been on the underground of the underground scene for quite a while but this looks set to change with their debut album 'Paper Canyon.' Although blatantly heavily influenced by Explosions in the Sky (even their name sounds similar) Codes in the Clouds do bring something a little different to the table. For a start I haven't heard an English band this intriguing for quite a while.
With hoards and hoards of indie electro wannabes clogging London's bars every night hearing music as brilliant as this despite their obvious parallels is extremely refreshing and I am still surprised how few bands are attempting this sort of music.
For a debut album, Code in the Clouds have outdone themselves, Paper Canyon flows in and out of heavy drums, distorted basslines and echoed, delayed guitars, the opener 'Fractures' sums them up extremely well, five minutes of melodramatic instrumental rock that gets better with every listen. Of course it wouldn't be a proper 'Post Rock' album without at least one song over the nine minute mark, their final two 'You Are Not What You Think You Are' and 'The Distance Between Us' both fill up nearly ten mins and both barely waste a second, emotional build ups to chaotic epic finishes.
There is a huge amount of potential in these guys and with such a great debut, already getting great feedback, Code in the Clouds could well go far.
Could this be the next level for music videos?
To promote their new single, “Ive Seen Enough”, Cold War Kids have got all interactive on your ass! The video directed by Sam Jones has been designed specifically to be presented in parallel parts online and then played around with till your hearts content!
Have a blast:
Sunday, 7 June 2009
There is a lot of history behind The Soundscapes, the band comprising of brothers Rodrigo and Raphael Carvalho spent their youth living in Brazil listening to Pavement, Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen records, having formed their first band at the age of 14 and moved around the world, they moved to Brooklyn in 2003 and spent three years absorbing their surroundings before creating The Soundscapes. The result is an album full of lo-fi, atmospheric indie with huge happy slices of pop thrown in.
It's one of those albums that I take great pleasure in reviewing as I could talk about it all day. I love their sound, happy pop hooks yet there is so much of depth to it, melodic, reverbed guitars, mixed with domineering drums and the sort of lo fi recording that may well win them over a large fanbase. Freestyle Family will be a staple summer album for me. I love the fact that their is only two of them but when listening there really shouldn't be and I love the passion that these guys obviously have about the music and that does really transpose well into their own music.
Health are a band you will be hearing a lot more from in the future there is no doubt about that. coming straight from the L.A scene that has brought the likes of No Age and Abe Vigoda into the limelight, Health bring something very different to the table, after a show stopping performance at All Tomorrows Parties where the general consensus around the festival were that they were the band of the weekend and tours supporting the likes on Nine Inch Nails and tours planned with Deerhunter they are going the right way about things. Their latest single, Die Slow is a 3 minute example of what they are all about. Heavy, groovy, No Wave sounds mixed in with their more electro side producing an awesome track and being a little more accessible than some of their others, a good one to start on for any prospective fan.
Friday, 5 June 2009
The mighty Phantom Band have just released The Howling, if anyone is yet to hear this very unique band, The Howling would be a good place to start. It comes in at 4 mins 38, but the full album version is over 6 mins and well worth the listen. There are a lot of bands you could vaguely link them to but you really need to hear them for yourself. The Howling is a stand out track from a brilliant album.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
To put it bluntly, I love Sonic Youth and have done for a long time, I fell in love about the fifth time I heard Dirty (the first few times my ears had never been put through such a torment of reverb, distortion and pure brilliance.) Since then my horizons have broadened greatly but I have always been amazed by the Sonic Youth's releases.
None more so than 2002's Murray Street, which, although I'm sure many would have a different view I feel is one of their greatest albums. The Eternal is as good as Murray Street. So good in fact that when I first gave it a listen I was driving and had to pull over to write this review as I was instantly taken aback by it.
From the first few chords of opener 'Secret Trickster' you get the feeling that this is going to be a no holds barred onslaught, with a 2:10 homage to painter Vves Klien that feels straight out of the 1970's New York punk rock scene.
The album is certainly not all heavy, tracks like 'Leaky Lifeboat (For Gregory Corso)' and 'Antenna' showcase a more progressive, spacey rock side, in fact The Eternal seems to mix each of their eras into one album, from the lo fi, punk sounds of their first era (Secret Trickster, Calming The Snake,) to their infamous forward thinking song structures of the 90's (Poison Arrow, Malibu Gas Station,) to their more refined sound explorations (Antenna, Walkin Blue.)
This is their first album away from old label Geffen and since signing with Matador they decided to take a different route with the recording process, opting to record two or three tracks one weekend and record the next, bringing in ex Pavement bassist Ibold along for the ride.
The Eternal is a beautiful yet chaotic album and simply must be heard by any Sonic Youth fan. If you are not a fan a: Why not? and b: This will be a great insight into one of the most influential contemporary bands probably of all time.