Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Signals - 'Silverfish/What Dreams' (Moshi Moshi)

LA's very own Signals have just released their debut single through the rather excellent Moshi Moshi Singles club. If the excitement and energy of this double a-side seems familiar to your ears that would be because the three piece of Jon Gray, Bill Gray and Jacob Cooper were formerly active members of synth pop collective The Mae Shi. If they can produce a similar stage presence as TMS then Signals are destined for great things.

'Silverfish'/'What Dreams' is out now on 7" and download, and do check out the hillariously brilliant video for 'What Dreams'

Freddy Rothman

Great Festivals to look out for this summer

So the clocks have gone forward, it’s raining and there’s threat of snow again this weekend. That’s right British Summer time is just around the corner and with that comes our great tradition of the best festivals the world has to offer, now I’m not talking about Reading here because I’m pretty sure the last time anyone gave a damn about Blink 182 or Guns N’ Roses was back when Axl Rose still had an ounce of sanity and punk still had a tiny bit of credibility left.

Here we have a list of a few festivals and lineups that are really getting us excited here at the Boop camp.

7th – 9th of May ATP Curated by Matt Groening, Butlins, Minehead
What a way to start the festival season rolling with an almighty bang! ATP has built up a reputation as the number one festival to attend for the proper music lover. Amazing bands, amazing people and the novelty of having your own room and not being surrounded by tents full of sweaty 18 year old pill heads who are just there for the ‘atmosphere’ will never get old. For anyone who has never been this could well be the one to start you off.

Iggy and the Stooges
The XX
Panda Bear
Joanna Newsom
Coco Rosie
Amadou and Mariam

13th – 15th of May The Great Escape, Brighton
The Great Escape is the first festival to discover so many new bands, with 350 + artists playing and talks from a huge amount of respected industry people in and around Brighton’s many great venues there is something for everyone and this year’s lineup has outdone any of their rivals such as Camden Crawl by far.


Broken Social Scene
The Big Pink
Slow Club
Darwin Deez
Esben and the Witch
Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
Cold Cave
Real Estate

15th – 18th July Latitude, Suffolk
For those of you who still like the idea of camping out but want something a little less hectic than Glastonbury than this is the one for you. Latitude takes place in the gorgeous scenery of Henham Park, offering the crowd more than just a music festival, they have invested a lot of time in creating a very special experience with all sorts of arts and light shows, dj’s in the woods, comedy, poetry, film and pretty much anything you can think of offering a very unique festival experience.


Belle and Sebastian
Vampire Weekend
The National
Wild Beasts
Dirty Projectors


Rich Hall
Ardal O’ Hanlon
Russell Kane


John Cooper Clarke
Blake Morrisson
Luke Wright

31st June Field Day, Victoria Park, London
This one day festival is the one to go for if you’re looking for one in the capital, after a shaky year or two the creases have certainly been ironed out and last year proved to be one of the most talked about events hosting a huge variety of amazing bands from Mogwai to Four Tet to The Big Pink and this year is already shaping up to be just as impressive.
Beth Jeans Houghton
Pantha Du Prince
Esben and the Witch

6th - 8th of August, Standon Calling, Standon, Herftfordshire

This is a proper intimate affair with the whole idea starting from a bbq with just 25 people and growing into a festival that now quotes Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires, Mumford and Sons and The Noisettes all having played sets there, they as many of the best festivals do, have retained their home grown ethos and in doing so have created an exciting festival filled with an eclectic lineup. Look out for the infamous dj's playing in a cow shed.


Pantha Du Prince
A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Fucked Up

20th – 22nd August Green Man, Glanusk Park, Brecon Beacons
Independent festival Green Man is another fine festival added a little later on in the season but always promises a sterling lineup and amazing location, situated in Glanusk Park in the Brecon Beacons giving the avid festival goer something a little different each year, it has grown in popularity greatly over it’s short time and this year will be the biggest yet.
Flaming Lips
Billy Bragg
Fuck Buttons
Field Music
Memory Tapes
First Aid Kit

MGMT - 'Flash Delirium' video

MGMT return with a new record 'Congratulations' following the massive success of 'Oracular Spectacular'. Being co-produced by Spectrum/Sonic Boom chief Pete Kember, we at Middle Boop look forward to hearing a new sound on this follow up.

In the meantime we have the video for new single 'Flash Delirium' here

Freddy Rothman

Mat Riviere - Evening Drive video

Mat Riviere - Evening Drive from Brainlove on Vimeo.

Here is the second single from Mat Riviere's début album 'Follow Your Heart,' this very eerie stop motion flick compliments the industrial tinged song.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Fuck Buttons - Olympians video

Here's the new video from Fuck Button's amazing new single 'Olympians'
the single will be released on April the 12th as a 12" vinyl and digital download and features a remix by Spiritualized's J. Spaceman and Suicide's Alan Vega.
As always the artwork video was directed by one half of Fuck Buttons mr Andrew Hung.
The artwork also contains a hidden 3-d image.

Wooden Shjips – Vol 2 (Sick Thirst Records)

Wooden Shjips originally formed in 2003 when Ripley Johnson had the idea to make psychedelic noise with musicians playing unfamiliar instruments and in some cases people who didn’t play instruments at all. A few albums on and things got a little more serious, they gained a vast number of devoted followers with members of Pavement and the Arctic Monkeys both devoting their love for the band, they have albums out via Sub Pop and are just about to embark on a tour with some dates supporting Pavement at Brixton Academy.

In keeping with their long tradition of doing things just that little differently we have the second edition of their compilation of hard to find Wooden Shjips material featuring two self released European tour singles as well as covers of Neil Young’s Vampire Blues and Serge Gainsbourg’s ‘Contact.’ Compilation albums have a tendency to be fairly poor at best, the kind of B-sides and rarities that were left off of the album for a reason but with Vol 2 it is quite the opposite, Wooden Shjips groove their way through this warped seven song stunner.

Their music creates a trance inducing state of euphoria that you rarely find with most bands and somewhere in the middle of the meandering, repetitive beats, scuzzy distorted guitars, old school organ and droney, mumbling vocals you have here one of the best psych rock albums to be released in years. Their covers don’t just pay homage to the great men that originally wrote the songs, they take them to places that just weren’t possible until these four acid casualties got their hands on them.

All of the old tricks are in place here, there’s lots of wah and fuzzboxes but this San Fran four piece deliver these seven tracks in such an unrelenting fashion that you just can’t stop listening. I was instantly hooked.

Words : Gordon Reid

Nathan Sawaya - The Art Of The Brick

Check out the fantastic works of Nathan Sawaya, a man who creates all of his sculptures using Lego.

Hammock - Breathturn video

Hammock - Breathturn from David Altobelli on Vimeo.

The US shoegazy duo Hammock release the first video from their new album "Chasing After Shadows... Living with the Ghosts", which is coming out May-time.
This really is an awesome track.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Fiorion Lamm

Herer is some fantastic work by Leipzig based designer Fiorion Lamm.
The use of type here is just brilliant.

Hear The New Pornographers 'Crash Years' single on Facebook

In conjunction with their 5th studio album coming out in early May the New Pornographers have released Crash Years as a digital single which can be heard on their Facebook page here

Holly Miranda - The Magician’s Private Library (XL Recordings)

Dave Sitek has become somewhat of an uberproducer of our generation. While still remaining true to his underground credentials, his stamp is now unmistakable having forged an enviable back catalogue of works. TV On The Radio is prime case in point, of course; his own band, and completely produced by Sitek himself, the influences drawn from that permeate damn near every facet of his work. And on introducing Holly Miranda to the world for the first full-length time, he has uncovered an unbridled talent not only willing to be harnessed, but perfect as a vessel to his own more grandiose tendencies. Her saccharine tales of dreamy sleep and forelorn relationships taking a definite precedence

‘The Magician’s Private Library’ has a core theme – that of Holly Miranda’s saccharine tales of dream ridden sleep and forlorn relationships. But with such an opening trident of songs, even the coldest heart could thaw in the presence of her achingly lovelorn tones. The childish nature of opener ‘Forest Green, Oh Forest Green’ is fortified in her romantic similes; throw in Kyp Malone and the track beckons a unexpected yet joyously emasculating experience, with their tandem wails of ‘Who’s got nothing to run from/do you?’ in the songs chorus providing a unison on not just the most obvious of levels. Even from this opener, it’s evident that there will be a haunting opus to come.

‘Joints’ allows Miranda to soar over a horizon of reverberated guitars and a sloping bass line (a staple of the Sitek process) before sliding into a triumphant, Blonde Redhead homage of horns and laid back percussion, while ‘Waves’ takes Miranda’s erly acoustic work and enhances it with soulful drums and subtle woodwind reminiscent of the slower moments of the likes of Sia or even, dare I say it, PJ Harvey. ‘Slow Burn Treason’ again enhances how Miranda’s vulnerable tones are a perfect protagonist to Sitek’s more minimal approach, again perfectly twinned with Malone’s falsetto twinges, while closer ‘Sleep On Fire’ again sways with the wind of the vocal creating a sound akin to the more laid back moments of Arcade Fire/ When you bear in mind that some of those highlights are from the first half of your first listen, it truly is an impressive feat to retain such an potent originality throughout.

Of course, the tradition of the great album is that it’s whole should be greater than the sum of it’s parts – and ‘The Magician’s Private Library’ comes oh-so-close to achieving that status of ‘defining debut album’. But on occasion, the balance is slightly misaligned, with Sitek’s huge ideas overpowering the forte that is Miranda’s tenderness. ‘No One Just Is’, for example, feels like an outlandish attempt at a Bond theme tune – all dramatic strings and misplaced shreds of organs, with the vocal sitting uncomfortably on top as a distant partner to the idea, while ‘Everytime I go To Sleep’ tries leaves Miranda seeming at a struggle to retain the playfulness so beautifully exuded at the beginning of the album. That aforementioned Sitek stamp at points like this are unfortunate, considering the accumulative talent that’s evidently on offer elsewhere.

But in truth, these are merely small points for what is an outstanding debut effort. Miranda’s talents are certainly undeniable, but whether she can creep out of the shadow of the beast that surrounds her will be a worthy test.

Words : William Grant

White Belt Yellow Tag 'Always and Echoes' video

Check out the awesome new video by White Belt Yellow Tag, the single is also out today via Distiller Records

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Three Trapped Tigers - EP3 (Blood and Biscuits)

From a personal stand point, post-rock has become somewhat of a stale genre these days. While it still omits certain nostalgic thought within, it’s hard to picture anyone breaking the glass ceiling born from acts like Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky without the helping hand of something that little bit extra. Three Trapped Tigers most certainly fall into the more electronically inclined bracket. Their sound has been described as everything from leftfield, to electronica, to jazz, to (yes) post-rock. But in truth, such titles seemed unnecessary as the band are a rare breed of musical invention n such a confined genre.

‘10’ opens proceedings with the tribal thump of drums and glitchy soundscapes – nothing overtly out of the ordinary for TTT, but still somewhat slower and definitively more restrained than their rawer and energetic previous efforts. And then, of course, arrives the obligatory drop, heralding a hope that the sting has not left yet. Recent leak ‘11’ epitomises only further just how the band have managed to weld a spazzy, almost Blood Brothers swagger to a leftfield electronic base, before dipping into a romantically tapped guitar lick and unhinged rhythm. On reading such babble, you’d think nothing should make sense. It could be jazz in its heart, yet is structured to within an inch of its life, each sound having a definitive purpose.

But that – now – has become the main bugbear for the band. It’s evident on EP3 that the three are more and more willing to experiment with their electronic base, and ultimately break out of that template that greeted them with unfortunate pretender tags. Unfortunately, it seems a struggle when stood up next to the organic process of their past. ‘12’s anticlimactic crescendo is annoying considering the invention in its synth laden build up, while closer ‘13’ staple drum beat seems out-of-click with their standard level of invention and sounds only poorer in comparison to their angular past.

Such creative adventurism has left things seeming weakened, albeit for arguably the first time in their small yet prolific canon. Chanted vocals seem out of place as intended instruments, endings of songs spiral out of control in a rushed melee of sounds. But this is what can happen when such an artist goes from completely smashing a template and trying to step forward.

It’s still a thoroughly enthralling listen – you shouldn’t expect anything less – but in comparison to their urgent, angular past, things seem slightly dulled down. By far their most complex and lingering effort to date, and by no means a sore thumb on the hand of their back catalogue, there’s a sense that these Tigers are yet to pounce (sorry!). Probably won’t be ready for it when they do, mind, and the attack will hopefully be the most exhilarating mauling we’ll receive.

Words : William Grant

Friday, 26 March 2010

All Tomorrow’s Parties announces Bowlie 2 curated by Belle & Sebastian for 10th-12th December 2010!

To finish ATP's year long celebrations of hitting ten years old they are going back to where it all started. The inspiration for ATP came from Belle & Sebastian's 'Bowlie Weekender' back in 1999 and from then on the guys at ATP took the event on creating what we all know and love today.

The Bowlie 2 weekend will run from the 10th - 12th December at Butlins Holiday Centre, Minehead featuring around 40 bands picked by Belle & Sebastian.

Tickets for BOWLIE 2 are priced at £165.00pp for room only and £175.00pp for self catering and go on sale this coming Monday 29th March from

'Drunk Girls' - listen to the new LCD Soundsystem single

Yes Yes Yes!

Having released 2 amazing albums last decade, James Murphy and his crew have a new record out later this year which is still untitled. First single will be 'Drunk Girls' which you can listen to here!

Freddy Rothman

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Retribution Gosbel Choir - Cargo – 15/03/10

Tonight was a big one, Cargo tucked away in the heart of London’s ‘trendiest’ area of Shoreditch has had some great gigs over the last few years and this was no exception.

First up are ‘These Monsters,’ one of the many exciting bands coming from Leeds at the moment, their debut album ‘Call Me Dragon’ is bringing heavy rock back from wherever it went. The four piece ripped up the stage with a sound so loud you start to think that ear plugs could really be a good purchase. Slick guitar lines complimented by subtle synth work and a good bit of saxophone, they are steadily gaining themselves a decent reputation and with tonights ear achingly live performance it’s only onwards and upwards from here.

RGC aren’t exactly the new kids on the block with 2/3rd’s of them being from cult heroes Low but the fact that they play in both bands is pretty much where the similarities end. Their second album recently out via Sub Pop is a brutally vast and loud record, far from the minimalistic drone of Low, by the time they entered the stage Cargo was crammed full of music lovers watching in awe as the three piece battled it out with pounding drums, vast electric blues style guitar and heavy bass lines.

The crowd seemed split between die hard fans and people who were just curious to see what these guys were up to, new songs such as ‘Workin’ Hard’ and ‘Poor Man’s Daughter’ evoked a great crowd response and also got people properly singing along to the catchy choruses but it was the amazing drum work combined the aggressive guitar work of, bringing the rock songs out into a new and much more epic light.
RGC are the sort of band that are holding the torch for the avid ‘rock’ fan but as yet they still don’t know about what an amazing hidden gem these guys really are, their performance tonight showcased a live sound that would be equally at home at much bigger venues in the capital.

Words : Gordon Reid

Boe Weaver - Boe Weaver (Vu Recrods)

Being a fan of most instrumental music it's always refreshing to hear an instrumental band that have something a little different to bring to the table and not just regurgitating the some ground that Mogwai and co were walking on ten years ago. So when Boe Weaver's weird and wonderful self titled début landed on my floor not so long ago I was a little taken aback at first, possibly because I was expecting a bit more of a standard 'instrumental' release but mainly because I haven't heard music this trippy and psychedelic since I last gave one of my Doors records a spin.

Boe Weaver (a mis-spelling of Boll Weevil?) formed on the Isle of Wight where they still reside in 2008 after they received a brief from the producers of a popular US Tv show. Since then they have continued over the last two years in creating music that resounds around nostalgia yet with a modern spin, their music sounds like it could have easily been the soundtrack to any number of 70's crime drama's which is probably the point as Boe Weaver are working on film soundtracks all over the world . It's projects like these that will keep bands such as Boe Weaver alive and playing music seeing as how radio has always shied away from playing any music without vocals and having obviously found their niche so early on, things are looking very interesting for these guys.

Boe Weaver is a hark back to the past from 60's hippy to 70's funk, 'Let It Die' has an intro I could listen to on repeat all day, a groovy as hell bassline with what sounds like an old school Hammond organ in the background.
A similar essence of funk is portrayed on their first single 'Jellybean' originally released early 2009 this also hits on the funk vibe but there are certain tracks that just totally go off in another direction, such as 'Manhunt Part 2' with synths going wild and the tempo upping from the sort of cool sounds you would hear in a jazz bar to crazy psychadelic nonsense which seems a little out of place but when you consider they play wearing massive animal heads, the crazy parts of the album make a bit more sense.

Boe Weaver's début has come about at a time where everyone is looking for the new 'retro' and shows bold experimentation with a lot of old school tricks of the trade so despite sounding about 40 years old it also sounds very '2010'

Words : Gordon Reid.
Underneath is a mash up video featuring two of their songs.

I Think You Two Should Leave /Green slime mash up! from VU Records on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night (jagjaguwar)

The Besnard Lakes hail from Montreal in Canada and are not widely known outside of North America despite having already released two albums, the second of which 'The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse' was nominated for The Polaris Prize; Canada's equivalent to the UK's Mercury Award. Their third album 'The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night' grasps and enhances their potential and could be the album that pushes them into the limelight.

The album starts off with the first of two two-part suites that appear on the album; "Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent Part 1" and "…Part 2". "Part 1" builds slowly and gracefully before the falsetto of Jace Lasek signals the beginning of "Part 2," which over its 7 minutes provides a thrill-ride of undulating guitars and pounding drums coming at you from all angles. The real treat though is the saccharine chorus which must be one of the most successful fusions of power-pop with dream-pop ever committed to tape. This is the first taste of the luscious harmonies that grace this album. Husband and wife vocalists Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas trade vocal duties throughout the album, but it is when they are combined that they reach their pinnacle.

Rarely is there a wasted second on this album; something is always holding the listener's attention. There is a constant shifting undercurrent throughout the album created by feedback, white noise or just simple bleeps, making the album wholly engrossing. Over the top of this the guitars shift effortlessly from jangly to fuzzy; Lasek even throws in a few guitar solos, but they never sound superfluous or exhibitionist, rather they fit seamlessly into the songs. The bass and drums in the songs cut in and out artfully, never more so than on the magnificently elegant "Albatross," making it seem lightweight yet dense.

The slower, more brooding songs make use of other instrumentation; for example "Chicago Train" consists of little other than Lasek's falsetto floating upon a bed of fraught strings before their trusty guitars kick in at the halfway point and take the song down a more familiar path. The shimmering ballad "Light Up The Night" makes delicate use of piano and mellotron to carry it.

Overall 'The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night' is a triumph. It combines their immense instrumental talents with their pop sensibilities in a formula that provides an irresistible song on almost every occasion. It is rare to find an album that has so much scope yet is so accessible and this is what makes 'The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night' a gem.

Words : Rob Hakimian

New National

Good news folks!

The National are back with a new album, titled 'High Violet' released on the 10th May on 4AD. And today the world has been treated to the first airing of a track set to feature on that called 'Bloodbuzz Ohio'. Click here to listen to the track.

Posted by Freddy Rothman

Friday, 19 March 2010

IKONS - 'Ikons' (Service)

"BASS! How low can you go?"… Ok, that was a pretty lame excuse to slip in that Public Enemy reference. And if you’ve ever listened to Swedish disco-drone septet IKONS, you’re probably wondering ‘how on earth do Public Ememy compare to this band?’ Well the truth is they don’t. Far from it in fact. But however, the reason why I felt the perhaps unnecessary need to quote ‘Bring the Noise’ is that this self titled debut record is so driven by bass that 10 tracks and 40 minutes after the first beat on opening track 'Slow Light', one comes to the conclusion that 'Ikons' is attention grabbingly wonderful.

What instantly drew my attention to IKONS before id even listened to the album, was the unique line up of the band, spanning from 6 musicians and visual artist Patrik Johansson. It was fascinating to hear how their sound would pan out during that first listen of the 8 minute instrumental opening track, that features a through bass coupled with Torbjörn Johansson’s drenching synths which will turn out to compliment each other terrifically 9 tracks later.

Despite lyrics being provided by two of the band members, Ikons is largely instrumental. The few tracks that do include vocals though are very sparsely sung/spoken. ‘Afrika’ vocally is merely a repetition of the line "Hurry On Sundown" which give an almost subliminal message occurrence. The track directly after again includes very sparse, almost mumbling like vocals but that doesn’t really matter as its more for effect. Again the bass guitar dominates the track and here is also where we begin to hear the awesome guitar riffs that gradually develop during the albums progression.

We stumble across the calming influence of ‘Domine’ midway through the LP which breaks it down nicely, familiar with Sonic Youth style interludes. ‘Guns’ is a personal highlight as it adds a fuzzy instrumental riff and the synth adds to the tracks atmosphere. Similar can be said about ‘The Hawk’ in the sense that it sounds like another extremely danceable noise rock piece.

Ikons does have the more vocally listener friendly tracks as well. ‘Imperiet’ for some reason wouldn’t sound out of place at an indie disco club night. Think Kasabian, except it sounds ten times better. And penultimate song ‘Bye’ (which is essentially the last track as ‘Post’ is basically a reprise of ‘Slow Light’) is a fuzzed up shoegazey number where the vocals are drowned out beautifully by the guitars and drums, but strangely stand out due to the fact that continuous vocals are such a rarity on this release.

Ikons is brilliant in that it brings up a wide range of sounds, yet doesn’t sound like its forced to please everybody. It’s a record that would almost sound just as good in outer space as it would in late 1960’s Germany (Krautrock). Just to top it off the reprise of 'Slow Light' (Post) literally rounds off the album, like you’ve been on a journey through orbit.

I look forward to seeing how the IKONS story unfolds in a live capacity as the visuals are meant to be stunning, and you can understand how a band like Spiritualized chose them to open on their Scandinavian tour last year. Once again, they prove that repetition is the key, largely thanks to bass player Eyal Schachar. I salute you sir!

By Freddy Rothman

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Youthmovies farewell tour

So if you hadn't heard already Youthmovies are playing their final gigs together. Along with a whole host of friends supporting and guest djing their tour starts next week and finishes up with an epic show on the floor of the Oxford O2 Academy. These shows will be nights to remember.

Check the dates below:

Tue 23 March - Edinburgh Sneaky Pete's

Wed 24 March - Manchester Deaf Institute

Thu 25 March - Leeds Brudenell Social Club

Fri 26 March - London Borderline (Now Sold Out)

Sat 27 March - Oxford O2 Academy

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Frightened Rabbit - Koko - 10/03/10

I'm going to put it out there right now, I don't like Koko. I think it's an over hyped venue whereby everywhere you stand you're pretty much guaranteed a bad view if any of the band, I don't like the fact that wherever you are it feels claustrophobic and totally cramped but I guess what really gets me is the fact that they now charge £4.20 for one can of beer when you can literally walk down the road to an off license and get nearly four cans for the same price.

Ok that's my moan over because to be fair, I would sacrifice all of those annoyances every single night of the week if it meant I could watch a show as fantastic as Frightened Rabbit were tonight. This was their biggest headline show in the capital to date and it was fair to say the band were slightly humbled by this fact, lead man Scott Hutchinson stopping on a few occasions just to take it all in, things are happening very fast for the biggest thing to come out of Selkirk since...Well I'm not really sure what. Their third album, the Winter Of Mixed Drinks was out a few days before the gig already to huge critical acclaim with all the right people taking about how this could be the big one, Their live show has changed drastically for this album as they welcomed two new members to the band making sure that the venue was full of sound with head honcho Hutchinson throwing himself around the stage and joking with the crowd at every opportunity.

Every time I listen to ‘The Winter of Mixed Drinks’ it does make me realise how close these guys are to having a record that will be adored by the masses in the same way Fleet Foxes were a few years ago, they seem to have that rare ability to write a fantastic song that bridges that neat little gap between something that will be loved equally by pop and alternative crowds alike. The success of Midnight Organ fight is very apparent tonight with the near sold out crowd going nuts every time a song from the album is played, to their loyal fanbase this will always be the album closer to their hearts than anything else with Organ Fight capturing the feeling of that first break up so perfectly it’s almost painful to listen, songs like ‘The Modern Leper’ are backed tonight by the 1,000 or so fans screaming every single word back to them as if it were them that had written it and given time to sink in you can just imagine anthems from the new album such as ‘Swim Until You Can't See Land’ and ‘The Wrestle’ going down with similar outcomes. The extra members that have been added to the band on this album really make their sound a lot more broad and makes for a more full live performance.

I’ve waited a long time to see Frightened Rabbit and tonight really did feel like the night where people started to take note and realise how big these guys could well be very soon. The finale came courtesy of ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ which was the only proper way to end the gig, it’s big crescendo with very open, very frank lyrics. Fantastic

Blur - No Distance Left to Run (EMI Music) / Taking it back... #5 1993

In tribute to the BBC's recent airing of the excellent Blur documentary 'No Distance Left to Run' I felt it was neccessary to feature a 'Taking it back...' special on the Essex Britpop heroes. The film not only features rare unseen footage of the band from their early club shows and early TV performances right until last years comeback shows including London's Rough Trade East record store and at Colchester's East Anglian Railway Museum. But also frank and honest interviews with each member of the band, describing their individual stories behind the groups formation, their emotional break-up, and reunion which I half expected the film to be based upon. Of course it does glorify the Hyde Park/Glastonbury 2009 performances at the beginning and end but it needed to touch upon this slightly and there is more to the documentary than meets the eye.

Now I was going to show a video clip of 'Chemical World' from their second LP 'Modern Life is Rubbish' which for me is their strongest album, just edging their 1997 self titled release. But insead I found this awesomely epic live performance of the track 'Sing' from a 1993 gig in Kilburn, North London. The track features on their debut 1991 release 'Leisure'(and yes, it does feature in 'Trainspotting' also).

If you like Blur and havn't seen 'Blur: No Distance Left to Run' I suggest you watch it here on BBC iplayer, but you'll have to watch it before next Monday (22nd March) otherwise your other choice is to buy the dvd... or you can download it via the link.

Freddy Rothman

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Why? Tour poster

Gordon Reid was recently commissioned by One Inch Badge records and Pineapple Folk to create a limited edition tour print for Why?.

There are a few more exciting updates on the Middle Boop design site

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti release first single for 4AD

Los Angeles four piece 'Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti' who recently signed to fantastic label 4AD have released their first single in the run up to their hotly anticipated new album. The tantalising new single 'Round and Round' will be released on the April 26th but you can hear it here.

Excepter - Presidence (Paw Tracks)

Isn’t phasing in radio broadcasts all a bit 2001? They certainly weren’t the first to do it, but when Jonny Greenwood started messing around with a fuzzy old transistor on the Kid A tour, tuning into whatever he could find and warping the hell out of it, it all felt terribly spontaneous and exciting. Nearly ten years on, and Excepter’s latest release (the second disc at least), winds down to a swirling weather forecast. More than a cheap trick, The Anti-Noah achieves that rare soothing effect that Radio 4’s shipping forecast gets so much credit for.

Any Kid A analogy ends there - Presidence far and away outdoes Radiohead in the experimental adventurism stakes. Album announcer ‘KAL’ is a cauldron of chunky, in-the-red synths, with the kind of echoey moaning of worst-case-scenario dream sequences. Occasionally shifting into more melodious chimes, nerves are never too far from palpable terror.

Disorientation might not be the only plan, but Excepter now how to reap it. ‘GOL’ is doused in dizzying loops. One inappropriate but tangible reference point would be when the FBI famously wrought churning, mega-decibal loops of ‘These Boots are Made for Walking’ onto a group of besieged Davidians at Waco, in their ill-judged foray into psychological warfare. Presidence isn’t nearly as unpleasant as that sounds, but one can easily imagine it having a similar maddening effect to ungrateful ears.

Their eighth LP in as many years, the Brooklyn group are signed to Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks, and for once they actually make their label-seniors sound like the Beach Boys, after so many lazy comparisons. Playing it like a post-industrial Can, this double disc is one continuous, free-form jam – with a Tardis-worth of tools at the disposal, and a penchant for sucking one and all into its sonic black hole. It’s a cop-out to say, but describing this is almost a redundant exercise, such is their delirious scope. Suffice to say, it’s transcendental mood music, and those familiar with Excepter’s often-impenetrable world will likely have made their mind up already. It’s no great flaw that a project like theirs can be swirl from the wondrous to the hideous within the same meandering chant – but this, no doubt, is what they do best.

Words: Finn Scott-Delany

Mi Ami free MP3 - Latin Lover

Here is the first track to be released from San Francisco punk trio Mi Ami's new album coming out later this year via Thrill Jockey 'Steal Your Face.'

Latin Lover

They have also announced a few tour dates in June

Wed Jun 2 Brighton, UK Prince Albert
Thu Jun 3 London, UK Barden's Boudoir
Sat Jun 5 Glasgow, UK Sleazys
Sun Jun 6 Manchester, UK The Ruby Lounge

Photo : Ben Rayner

Monday, 15 March 2010

Computer Arts feature

One of Gordon Reid's recent commissions for Format magazine, which was a project involving work from Brand Nu, MWM and Si Scott has a feature in this months Computer Arts. Be sure to check out the work on his site

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Future Islands - An Apology video

/AN APOLOGY/ from 521studies on Vimeo.

Here is a live video from the wonderful Future Islands, An Apology is a track that features on their new album out next month.

Errors - London Scala – 04.03.10

As I entered the London Scala I immediately felt the hyped buzz filling the venue on this mildly weathered Thursday evening, as an enthusiastic and youthful looking crowd waited in anticipation of Errors biggest London show to date. I can tell you that all the stops were pulled out as a truly tremendous night unfolded, the band looked well rested and finely tuned rehearsal wise as they launched into their progressively layered set ironing out any ironic signs of errors, for the lads from Glasgow sounded tighter than ever.

The layers of guitar riffs and computerised electro fuzz begin to merge and take shape as the group only pause very briefly to thank the crowd for sharing their proudest London headline show. Steven and Simon chop and change instruments throughout their set, even swapping mid-song between Bass, Keyboards, drum machines and guitars.

Errors have this really imaginative way of effortlessly capturing a modern day electro-rock persona, they not only look the part (Greg was donning an African style Mumu) but they create an illustrative way of painting a story for the listener incorporating glitch samples and synthesised beats to the catchy riff melody that instrumentally replaces the vocals. Steven introduces their new single ‘A rumour in Africa’ and the crowd respond well as a few separate groups of students begin shuffling and swaying to one of the bands signature tunes ‘Mr Milk’. The encore capped off a superbly executed performance as the support acts joined Errors on stage for the last song, wielding cow bells, percussive sticks and Tambourines, this gig was special to all who were involved.

Catching up with Simon after the gig he confirmed that it’s the chemistry between him and Steven that is responsible for the main song writing. ‘We come up with the main part of the song then the others add their parts later on’ he went on to mention that Errors hadn’t played a gig since August last year as they currently find themselves a few dates into a non stop 17 day tour.

They have spent months in the studio with their brand spanky new album on offer, the bands career is gaining critical acclaim, having previously earned them support slots with the likes of Mogwai and a main stage performance at Field day last Summer, adding their new title of headlining one of London’s elitist music venues can only mean that these boys have a bright future ahead.

words : Outer Audio Joe
Photos : Francesca Jones

Friday, 12 March 2010

Taking it back... #4 1997

I can only apoligise for the lack of 'taking it back...' episodes over the last few weeks and I promise i'll make up for that in the coming week. In the meantime don't wanna seem like im cheating as the last episode I did featured an awesome clip from Spacemen 3, but having been listening to Spiritualized's iconic LP, 'Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space' properly again for the first time in a few years I feel its worthy of a mention. In addition I learnt that The Spaceman and his crew even performed on Top of the Pops around this time.
Here is Spiritualized, with their radio edited rendition of 'I Think I'm In Love', to rectify what makes pop music television shows like this so missed in comparison to the current crop of music tv programs... even if it was for the cheesiness.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Babe Rainbow - Shaved EP (Warp)

Being relatively new, the vocabulary of dubstep and its many sprawling relatives is still fairly sketchy. Depending on your outlook this is either an immovable roadblock or a great creative opportunity – in a style that has yet to grow out of adolescence, that is unburdened by rules, that is fumbling around in the dark even, then surely the descriptive writing should reflect this. Any creative work which hovers around the avant garde is the same of course, it’s just that dubstep has opened up creative potential so drastically. Like the invention of a new piece of technology, producers have been let loose on a whole new lexicon of sounds, Cameron Reed’s Babe Rainbow finding its natural home at Warp with the release of Shaved EP.

Needless to say, the Vancouver producer is at the deeper, darker end of the spectrum, with a sedate line in fuggy, introspective pieces. Creeping around the peripheries of barely sentient consciousnesses, Shaved EP is in some ways a lot closer to dubstep’s hazy beginnings than one might expect. Low industrial humming is punctured with typical sparseness with that mainstay, the reverberating high hat smack. Where UK scenes have languished in the strangeness of their urban sprawl, Shaved staggers lost, in a placeless territory, picking up its hooks where needs be.

As a Warp release easy comparisons point to label mate Flying Lotus, whose experimentalism is loosely tethered to underground hip-hop rather than dubstep. Using this as the rough starting point, this EP certainly doesn’t get entangled in any stylistic rules. If Burial’s Untrue was the definitive soundtrack to the late-night reality of London, than Babe Rainbow charts the unreality of dreams and the imagination, with all the enchantment, confusion and disturbed imagery that accompany this.

By Finn Scott-Delany

Monday, 8 March 2010

Middle Boop Radar: Woven Bones

On the MB Radar today are Austin, Texas noise mongers 'Woven Bones.'
Brainchild of singer/guitarist Andrew Burr, these guys create raw, distorted psychedelic rock with sinister vocals that have hints of Jesus and Mary chain around them. Their debut album In and Out and Back Again is out stateside on May the 18th.
listen to "If It Feels Alright"

Middle Boop Digital Arts tutorial

and speaking of tutorials, you can also learn how to create the front cover Gordon Reid did for Digital Arts magazine for free here.

Middle Boop Computer Arts Tutorial

The tutorial Middle Boop's Gordon Reid did for Computer Arts a little while back is now available to download from their website Give it a go.

Lone Wolf New video

Lone Wolf - Keep Your Eyes On The Road from Bella Union on Vimeo.

Bella Union artist Lone Wolf's debut video “Keep Your Eyes On The Road” directed by Ashley Dean is a straight up homage to Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Toro Y Moi - 'Causers of This' (Carpark)

As much as I dislike labelling things, in the past few months during the turn of the decade, there has been a wave of artists who have created this electronica dream-pop ambient sound fusion. Many have even categorised this sound into the ‘chill wave’/‘glo-fi’ sub-genre. Musicians such as Neon Indian, Memory Tapes and Washed Out all made a name for themselves in 2009 with their filtered summertime themed synthpop. Meanwhile adding to the ever growing scene we now have South Carolina based Chazwick Bundick going by the pseudonym of Toro Y Moi.

What I like about his debut release; ‘Causers of This’ is how the album progresses from start to finish. The first two tracks ‘Blessa’ and ‘Minors’ embraces a sound that can be familiarised with modern psychedelic soundscapes like Animal Collective. The smooth production at this point is a far cry from the scattered chopped up beats that occur near the end of the record, where the two highlights for me would have to be the penultimate and closing songs. ‘Low Shoulder’ features excellent use of eighties synths and disco-pop vocals where as the title track at the end leaves me with a the nostalgic sense that I’d been listening to mid nineties French disco music. ‘Low Shoulder’ especially I can see becoming a big summer track in 2010 if Toro Y Moi’s management can be persuaded to promote it in the coming months.

Bundick’s use of texture is apparent throughout the LP, however what disappoints me about ‘Causers of this’ is the lack of creativity in the middle parts. From track four (‘Lissoms’) up to track nine (‘You Hid’), each cut could individually hold it’s own on a compilation or mix tape no doubt. But at this stage the album did somewhat leave me disinterested before drawing my attention again during the latter stages. However, as far as blending together an album goes, Bundick does a successful job in doing this, where from a general perspective makes for good listening.

So if 2009 was the start of another movement in alternative dance music I’ll be interested to see how the rest of the year shapes up as the ‘chillwave’ sound continues to develop. Will it stick with us? Or will it simply fizzle out like many other sub genres have unfortunately tried in this millennium? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, lets just enjoy some of what’s being produced at the moment. And I cant seem Toro Y Moi doing any harm here.

By Freddy Rothman

Errors – Come Down With Me (Rock Action)

After their acclaimed debut in 2008 the Glasgow four piece return with ‘Come Down With Me’ a sarcastic pun that suggests the ‘Post Rock’ shackles of the first album are left firmly at the door. This is certainly the case, after nearly two years since the release of ‘It's Not Something But It Is Like Whatever’ things have changed most definitely for the better.

After gaining huge amounts of press to the point where songs were featured on American TV shows and on the Topman playlist sandwiched in between some god awful electro pop nonsense and the latest ‘indie’ hit it could probably be all too easy for these guys to sit back and have a go at writing the next big money spinner, the fact that they haven’t shows the passion and love for their art. (Although I’m sure they could have a fair attempt if they put their minds to it) Instead choosing to go down a much more Krautrock influenced road has certainly helped them evade such pigeon-holing as ‘Post Rock Electro’ or Math Rock and in doing so they have created a niche that along with a confidence in song writing that can only be gained by the success of their previous attempt has made sure that their second album is a benchmark and one that showcases the growth of a very exciting band.

The recording of this album took place over a six month period in their self made studio known as ‘The Freezer’ and you only need to listen to the first song ‘Bridge Or Cloud?’ to see how wisely they have spent their time. Bouncy synths and a much more upbeat tempo really allow the listener to plough through the album with a lot more ease than it’s predecessor whilst their first single ‘A Rumour In Africa’ is a bit more of a hark back to the début with more of a concentration on the jangly guitars but with big beats it delivers a punch that captures your attention straight away and has already had people dancing at their recent gigs rather than standing still and staring.

We are allowed breathing space between such high energy tracks and given a reminder that Errors aren’t just about one single genre or influence with the two back to back tracks ‘Antipode’ and ‘The Erskine Bridge’ which slow things right down giving the listener a bit of a chance for the woozy synths and ambiance to wash over them with the latter reminiscent of Rock Action label mates Remember Remember (to which drummer James Hamilton also plays with.) These two tracks are a welcome break before the tempo is upped somewhat by one of the favourites ‘Sorry About The Mess’ a song which some of you may recognise if you had seen these guys play any of their festival dates over the summer.

The thing that really makes this album stand out is the fact that they have actually solidified a sound that not many others have, there is also a consistency that allows the album to flow so much more easily than before. They have come a long way in a short space of time and with an emphatic live show to boot. Errors are a force to be reckoned with.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Vincent Viriot

La Roux 'Bulletproof' from MATHEMATIC SAS on Vimeo.

Check out Vincent Viriot the excellent work of French star Vincent Viriot who creates stunning design as well as being a member of collective The Holograms

Darwin Deez - Radar Detector Video

Here is the first video by Darwin Deez, shot by the man himself not so long ago in New York, this DIY hit is out on April the 5th just before he heads out on an NME tour with Hurts and Everything Everything.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Shearwater - Scala - 25/02/10

Shearwater had been on my gig hitlist for some time now as their latest album 'The Golden Archipelago' managed to blow me away and I really wanted to see how Jonathan Meiburg could hold down his powerful vocals could live. Fortunately he is just as talented live as he sounds on cd as are the rest of the band and tonight's show was a real benchmark into just how excitingly chilling they can be.

First on was David Thomas Broughton, a man whose loop based comedy acoustics can be known to really engage a crowd in more intimate venues but tonight I felt the novelty of his act was lost somewhat in the vast space the Scala had to offer, he also seemed to have a few technical problems which left me wanting to head straight to the bar. There is definitely something interesting there but I don't feel he's capitalised on it enough yet.

Most of Shearwater's set was a showcase from their latest album, now in some cases I think a lot of fans would hate how much a band had concentrated on the new material but with an album as strong as The Golden Archipelago I shouldn't imagine a single person was complaining. 'Meridian' was met with huge applause as was the epic 'Castaways' with the band seemingly switching instruments every song when they did delve into their already heaving back catalogue it took the gig to the next level with fans watching in awe of the immense spectacle, I even saw one couple both in floods of tears (hopefully this was actually to do with the show.)

The better known songs ‘Leviathan, Bound’ and 'Rook' got an amazing live treatment showcasing the beauty and fragility of a band that really deserve to be selling out venues of this capacity.

Photos : Rob Hakimian