Thursday, 29 May 2008

Best news ever?

Source: Seeing Stars

Breaking across the internet earlier was quite possible the best news, ever. Emerging from an interview with the head of Ed Banger Records, one Mr Pedro Winter, came the comment that Daft Punk are indeed in the studio working on new material. Not unsurprisingly this aside from Winters set alight a fair amount of interest among the music blogs, and in doing so set aflutter the hearts of Daft Punk's many fans.

There is no word on when Daft Punk might come out with their next album, but Winter did comment that they do like to take their time with their projects.

The response from comments already coming out express hope that their next album is not the disappointment that critics found with 2005's Human After All. Speaking for myself, I'm not sure why people were down on it. Human After All still has some corker tracks on it. Technologic? The Brainwasher? Human After All? Robot Rock? People, please! Do not make me bust out the pimp hand.

As an aside, is it even appropriate for a New Zealander to use a term like "corker"?

Either way you have to love how Winter's Daft Punk aside has proven to be much bigger news than his announcing he has stepped down as their manager so he can focus more on running Ed Banger Records and their stable of artists.

Given their sound is swiftly losing it's lustre and their presence almost annoyingly ubiquitous, it would seem that he has a fair job on his hands righting the good ship Ed Banger.

Back to you, Bob.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

If you don't say it, I will





One more time

Source: Noise Porn

It hit me late this arvo, while I was hurriedly finishing a report for work, just how much I miss Daft Punk.

I mean, really miss them.

Sure Daft Punk's Alive 2007 was blaring on the speakers at my desk and track 10 (the one where The Brainwasher and Rollin' & Scratchin' merge to form the perfect song) was in full swing, but the moment just stopped me in my tracks and I didn't really know what to do.

Well, almost. I immediately txted two people who knew what it was to see Daft Punk live. The great thing was how despite existing in different countries and while leading quite different lives we all felt the same thing.

Have any concerts / gigs / club nights left you openly grateful you were there, even months after the event?

It totally sucks that Daft Punk abandoned putting together a tour DVD, but this guy is coming to our rescue because in 16 days he'll be coming out with a free DVD that pulls together a lot of the video footage of their various Alive 2007 appearances together into a cohesive concert experience.

It won't be the same as being there in a field full of people before the awe and majesty of the electro pyramid, but it'll do.

Where are they now?

There are music acts that come and go throughout our lives. Some appear from nowhere (Danger, Kavinsky). Some perish before their time (Curve, Death From Above 1979). Others just disappear from the face of the Earth for no publicly known reason.

Two such acts that leave me openly wondering where they are now are Tom Vek and Colder.

2005's We Have Sound is Tom Vek's one and only album. Ain't Saying My Goodbyes remains a stand-out track for me and ranks on my Top 25 most-listened tracks on itunes.

Websites say he's working on his follow-up album but it's been almost three years now and there have been no gigs to speak of, let alone remixes or internet rumours.

Has he fallen down and can't get up? Has he joined an ashram in search of spiritual peace? Did he give it all up to get a real job? ... in an office? ... with a social committee?

2005's Heat is Colder's second album. It's a good effort with To The Music and Wrong Baby being clear stand-out tracks and reminiscent of a darker more brooding electro.

Assuming you can find google links about him, they only seem to go as far as talking about the release of Heat. Well, for the most part.

Maybe he's gone back to being a full-time graphic designer. Maybe he said all he wanted to say through the medium of music. Maybe he 'grew up' and got serious with his life.

Either way, I'd still like to know.

In the works

A post on Moving Units and their album Hexes For Exes.

A post on acts I quite like that aren't electro.

A post on an emerging Wellington phenomenon: blanket igloos.

A mix showcasing the acts I'll be seeing in Melbourne next week.

Flying to Melbourne.

Being in Melbourne.

Taking a much needed break.

Meeting this guy.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Welcome to Youtube-R-Us!

If Ohh! Crapp can post about music videos, why not me?

Autokratz - Reaktor
I just really like this song and the video makes for decent enough watching.

Teenagersintokyo - Very Vampyr
This is the second video these guys have come out with (the other being Ended It Tonight). The song is great especially when played really loud and from what I've heard it absolutely kills when they play it live. I've loved Teenagersintokyo since picking up Ended It Tonight way back in the late '06 and have been wanting to see them live for a fair while now but our schedules have always conspired against us coming together. They're appearing in Melbourne while I'm over there but alas they're playing the very same night as we're already locked in to see Cut Copy.

Crystal Castles - Courtship Dating
The video is a bit too strobe-dependent, but I really quite like the song. Is it anti-climactic to say something is "really quite ______" ? Kinda like "Turbo" emblazoned on the side of Yamaha scooter?

The Rule Of Two

Source: Complex Blog

Ladies and gentlemen, I put to you that the better music to emerge in recent years has been the product of musical twosomes.

In support of my fairly bald assertion, I submit in no particular order the following acts and their stand-out albums / EPs / tracks / singles / remixes, namely:

Simian Mobile Disco : Sleep Deprivation, Hustler, I Believe
The Presets : My People, This Boy's In Love,
Digitalism : Idealistic, Zdarlight, Pogo
Crystal Castles : Vanished, Courtship Dating, Untrust Us
PNAU : Embrace, Wild Strawberries, Come Together
Justice : Waters Of Nazareth, DVNO, Let There Be Light
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke : Intro, remixing Van She's Kelly, remixing Test Icicle's What's Your Damage
Death From Above 1979 : Black History Month, Romantic Rights, Blood On Your Hands
Designer Drugs : Fuck Yeah!!!, Sex Up My Brain, remixing Hail Social's Heaven
The Black Ghosts : I Want Nothing, Face, Any Way You Choose To Give It
The Ting Tings : Great DJ, That's Not My Name, Shut Up And Let Me Go
Curve : Recovery, Chinese Burn, Some Good Some Bad
South Central : remixing Metronomy's Trick Or Treat, their Exclusive NLLR Mix, remixing The Wombats' Backfire At The Disco
Kap10Kurt : Dangerseekers, their Exclusive NLLR Mix, remixing Dave Gahan's Use You
Autokratz : Reaktor, False Flag Attack, remixing Headman's Running Into Time
She Wants Revenge : These Things, Out Of Control, Spend the Night
Shy Child : Cause & Effect, Noise Won't Stop, Drop The Phone
Royksopp : Poor Leno, What Else Is There?, Royksopp's Night Out
Riot In Belgium : La Musique, The Acid Never Lies, remixing Chromeo's Bonafied Lovin'
Fischerspooner : Emerge, Just Let Go, The Best Revenge
Cassius : Toop Toop, Feeling For You, Eye Water
Chromeo : Bonafied Lovin', Fancy Footwork, Tenderoni
Soulwax : E Talking, NY Excuse, Miserable Girl
2manyDJs : just because
HEARTSREVOLUTION : CYOA, Domino Effect, Prism Effect
Guns'N'Bombs : Nothing Is Getting Us Anywhere, remixing The Gossip's Yr Mangled Heart, remixing Chromeo's Fancy Footwork
Goldfrapp : Road To Somewhere, Strict Machine, Lovely 2 C U
Teenager : Alone Again, Pony, Liquid Cement
Utah Saints : Something Good, Something Good remixed by Van She Tech
The Kills : No Wow, Love Is A Deserter, The Good Ones
Midnight Juggernauts : Nine Lives, Tombstone, Shadows
MSTRKRFT : Paris, remixing Metric's Monster Hospital, remixing their song Street Justice
Oldschoolreunion : Just Robotica, Disco Interface, LOVEstory
Moloko : Pure Pleasure Seeker, Indigo, Familiar Feeling
The Knife : We Share Our Mother's Health, Heartbeats, Silent Shout
Donovan : Yo!, Emotronic, remixing In The Club's Turn Me On
Daft Punk : everything they've ever touched

Did I miss anyone?

Artist of the day : DIGITALISM

Source: Electronic Robots

Today, being Tuesday 27 May 2008, has ended up almost exclusively the discography of German twosome Digitalism, and for good reason too.

Their debut effort last year, Idealism, ranks as one of my favourite releases of last year (after Daft Punk's Alive 2007 and Midnight Juggernauts' Dystopia) because it weaves together a number of strong songs (Pogo, Idealistic, Zdarlight, Jupiter Room, Anything New) into an album that also sounds good from end to end.

They've produced a staggering array of remixes that soar (Munk's Disco Clown, Dave Gahan's Kingdom, Tom Vek's Nothing But Green Lights, Depeche Mode's Never Let Me Down Again) and their set at Parklife last year makes me want to cry for not having been there.

I vote we make today Digitalism Day, so future generations may come to know them as intimately as the rest of us.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

I received an email this morning...

... that suggested I update my penis.

How... novel.

You only have to look behind you

Source: Ladytron's myspace

Ladytron have announced dates for their Australian Tour later this year, but there is no word yet on whether they'll add any New Zealand appearances to the line-up.

Sep 29 – Metro, Sydney
Oct 1 – Tivoli, Brisbane
Oct 2 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Oct 4 – Great Escape Festival, Sydney
Oct 5 – Bakery Artrage, Perth

Would it matter if they did play in New Zealand? I mean, really. They'll no doubt end up playing in the Vector Arena with it's reportedly rubbish sound system to a half-capacity crowd of essentially pointless scenesters. I think I'd rather see them in Australia at a venue with a better than decent sound system and the likelihood of there being proportionately fewer essentially-pointless scenesters in the full-capacity crowd.

It's a matter of quality of experience.

Well, that and I'd rather not bump into amyl-sniffing fluro-clad jocks when I'm dancing away to songs like this...

This just in

Source: Seeing Stars

It could be said the French are no longer cheese-eating surrender monkeys with Sebastien Tellier moving through to the final of the Eurovision 08 with an odd performance of Divine.

As kitschy as it is to have backing singers in beard and sunnies like the main man, he did seem lost on that enormous stage and somewhat unsure of what he was meant to be doing. If Derek's breakdown of a recent Tellier performance in London is anything to go by, Sebastien is his best in a dark and dingy club.

I mean, I almost prefer this version of the song...

Fingers crossed he busts out an epic performance in the final. I'm sure Daft Punk could offer a few suggestions in that department.

A win should be quite the slap in the face of the nationalist politician decrying Tellier's use of a song with English lyrics as France's Eurovision entry.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Does this set your heart on fire?

This is the new video for Cut Copy's brilliant song Hearts On Fire. I fucking love the song. Really. I just don't know that I like the video. Really.

Sure it's great that we have a music video that actually follows a plot, instead of random happenings or animated geekery. It just seems a bit sad sack, really.

Two weeks until Cut Copy live at The Forum. Two motherfucking weeks!

Counting. The. Days.

Hat-tip to Travis and his ever-impeccable taste.

Negro, please!

The Wire screened on TV2 a couple nights back but with the fuck awful timeslot TVNZ have given it, we didn't get around to watching it until last night. Fuck it was good. It was beautiful how as good as things were suddenly becoming, it laid the seeds for how everything would ultimately and disastrously fall apart towards the end. If ever you wanted a contemporary example of the Greek Tragedy, check out series four of The Wire.

Anywho, a scene that has stuck with me ever since series two is the one above with Bunk and Lester getting fed up with all their witnesses claiming they can't speak English. Lester and Bunk are great characters, but then you could say that about most of the characters on the show.

Someone needs to hurry the fuck up and release series' three and four on region 4 DVD.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Are you the Juan?

I didn't really want to post the new video for the Lifelike remix of The Presets' classic track are You The One, because... well... everyone, and I do mean everyone, has been showing mad love to it.

I love The Presets. I love their work. We should do lunch sometime.

I love Lifelike. I love his work. We should do lunch sometime.

I just don't know that I love the Lifelike remix. I do know I much prefer the Van She Tech remix.

I don't know that I love the music video for the Lifelike remix. I do know I much prefer the original video for the original Are You The One.

I know I'd like to embed the video for Are You The One but, I'm not allowed. So go here to check it out.

I know I told you it was better. I know you now believe me.

Yes I am the way, the truth and the light.



I read this earlier this morning on Scoop:

Hans Kriek, Campaign Director of SAFE adds: “The impact of eating meat on our environment, our health and the animals is the single most important issue facing our planet today. With our natural resources running out and our planet heating up, the adoption of a vegetarian life style is the only way forward.”

Shit like that only makes me all the more desperately hungry for culinary wonders like this, this and this.

It's like how all the do-gooder rhetoric about World Environment Day (Thursday 5 June, people) makes me want to set alight a barrel of the crudest oil before heading off to the airport to spread a little greenhouse cheer as my flight to Melbourne forms contrails through the part of the atmosphere where doing so is so much worse than burning barrels of oil for no other reason than spite.

Spite: it's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

New Rave for Newbies

Source: Beat Lawrence

I'm torn on the issue of mixes and mixtapes.

Now, mixtapes used to be a really useful way of finding out about new tracks or coming to hear about new artists nestled between more established artists. They were also helpful for new DJs to ply their craft and promote themselves without the hassle of remixing (officially or otherwise) the work of other artists.

And yet for all they were useful, I'd be lucky to nowadays download even one mixtape every other month. Far too many of them seem to regurgitate the same tracks in much the same way that you are better of just hunting down the individual tracks to save your bandwidth the hassle of a generally underwhelming 70-100mb file.

The NLLR Mixtape Project is helping turn the tide against mediocrity and much-of-a-muchness, but in case you find yourself caught in the tyranny of choice, let me offer you one mix that floated my boat back in the day and arguably still does.

If ever there was a mix that would be your entree to the world of music I so dearly enjoy, Simian Mobile Disco's New Rave Mix would be it.

This mix opened my eyes to New Rave / Nu Rave / Electro / Dance Rock / whateverthefuckyouwanttocallit back in 2006, and was my entree to such acts as SebastiAn, Datarock, Digitalism and Para One.

Supposedly thrown together for NME, the New Rave Mix showcased the best of the best at the time in a mix that doesn't feel dated even if some of the songs on the mix are dated. This mix is but one of a few that I religiously rely on to get me through most days. The others include:

  • Fred Falke's Triple J set
  • The Black Ghosts' mixtape
  • Thee Bang Gang DJs' Grey Disc
  • CASIO's Unicorn War
  • Curtis Vodka's Lady Go Disco Mix
  • Cut Copy's So Cosmic mixtape
  • Danger's live set at Trashbags
  • La Greve Generale's Cheese On Toast and Sambucca mixtape
  • LCD Soundsystem's Melbourne BDO set
  • South Central's NLLR mix

Which reminds me...

A certain someone saw Ladytron in Milan last week (oh to be able to enjoy such acts in such exotically Mediterranean locales) and as instantly smitten and jealous as I was of hearing how good they were (really good), I was left both bemused and confused by the most innocent of asides...

thought of you during 'playgirl'

Now, I like Playgirl (the song, people) as much as the next guy, and yes it does seem a better song to be thought of than, say, Destroy Everything You Touch, Evil, or even Seventeen.

But... Playgirl?

Drowned out by the silence

This is the new video for the song Ghosts from Ladytron's latest album Velocifero.

You'll have to colour me incredibly surprised that this hasn't been doing the rounds of the usual suspects on the blogosphere. I had to find out about this from Popjustice.

I don't want you to think I have anything against Popjustice. Far from it. I just find it curious that the more influential blogs haven't gone near this or their album Velocifero. Murmurs have been almost non existent since Black Cat leaked as the first track off the album.

Now, this really disappoints me because the album really is quite good. Sure, it takes a few listens to really get into it, but then the same could be said for Portishead's Third, much of The Preset's Apocalypso, and The Kills' Midnight Boom.

Have Ladytron fallen out of favour with the blogerati?

Was Witching Hour so great a disappointment that people jsut can't be bothered with Velocifero?

And the video? It's ok. Doesn't really grab me, but then maybe it needs a few views to work it's magic.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Of national pride and distractions from across the pond

Source: Hallensteins

The month of May has been New Zealand Music Month since the furore over music quotas back in 2001, and with every passing year my interest in New Zealand music lessens that little bit more.

Looking at my itunes, the only New Zealand tracks I've got are So So Modern's Synthgasm, Moron Says What!?'s Sleep and Wikipedia and Bang Bang Eche's Time Management and 4 To The Floor. That would be five songs in a library spanning many thousands.

I'm sorry, but I struggle to get into New Zealand music when we can't come up with anything that comes even remotely close to competing with the likes of this behemoth of a track from across the Tasman.

I love Out There On The Ice so much I'm flying to Melbourne in a matter of weeks to see Cut Copy play this at the Forum.

I love Out There On The Ice so much I often have to force myself to listen to other music.

I love Out There On The Ice so much I can't care less about New Zealand Music Month.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

The poor man's Alan Braxe?

This is a youtube clip of Fred Falke's recent appearance in Melbourne as part of his Australian Tour. The clip starts off with 8:08pm At The Beach from his Music For Friends EP (this EP is worth hunting down for the song 'Sanctuary' alone), before heading into his remix of Colours by Hot Chip. Nice.

The question I put to you ladies and gentlemen is this: what do you believe this clip represents?

a) Yet another reason why I should live in Melbourne.

b) Proof that Fred Falke can more than hold his own without Alan Braxe.

c) Another example of why 'French Touch' is so good.

d) An opportunity for me to post a link to a mix he did for Australia's Triple J that is so breathlessly good it helps me get through many a tedious hour at the workplace.

e) All of the above.

Hat-tips to Asian Dan and WAVESATNIGHT for the youtube clip and Triple J mix respectively.

Debunking old sayings since 1978

Source: Oldschoolreunion myspace

I've been meaning to blog about Oldschoolreunion ever since James and Celeste sent me a link for their song Disco Interface a few weeks back. The track was and still is pretty catchy and eminently listenable but bandwidth constraints and the creative constipation soon set in and the post never eventuated.

Well holding off blogging it sooner was probably for the best, because it gave me a chance to trawl through their blog to see what other treats they had on offer. Oh my, what treats they are too...

Disco Interface (zshare) is chock full of stilted synths and runs along a rhythm very similar to what we'd expect from Kavinsky.

Just Robotica (zshare) takes a more sinister ambient sound but is equally as addictive. The Pillage Remix (zshare) isn't half bad although it does replace the sinister ambience with a stronger dance beat.

Painting Pictures (zshare) takes a clearer hip hop route with MC Manik bringing lyrics I can't really compare to other MCs because... well... hip hop doesn't really do it for me.

Birls And Goys (zshare) takes Blur's Girls and Boys and tears it apart with a soft kick beat and swarming Kavinsky-esque synths.

A particular gem they've hosted, blogged and posted is Cyborg Corsair by French act Coal Stairs (zshare). Wow. I don't know how this would do on the dance floor but my ipod loves it. Loves it real good.

I can't wait to see what else these guys come up with.

Mater familias

Source: Flower Style

I've never really got the whole Mother's Day thing, but then I've never really had to. The only important aspect of this annual occasion is that I must get something that would make my mother smile.

I learned this important lesson many years ago when forgetting to get her anything left her really pretty down. So down I was left feeling really guilty about it. So guilty I've made sure never to miss a Mother's Day since.

I'm not saying I get her anything spectacular, particularly expensive or deeply personal. Far from it. One of the benefits of being such an arrogant snob is that one tends to develop impeccable taste in various aspects of everyday life and one particular aspect I seem to have a noticeable knack is that of floral bouquets. I don't put the things together but I do go out of my way to choose the blooms that form the bouquets I buy. This year's bouquet was really something else and it brought out the desired reaction. Suitably appreciative noises from behind a broad, genuine smile.

Therein, ladies and gentlemen lies, my ultimate secret of mother's Day happiness.

Oh, that and arriving on time for the ubiquitous Mother's Day lunch.

And so it was that mi familia dined at Shed 5 earlier today. Although the others seemed to thoroughly enjoy their meals, I was left less than happy. Our waiter was weird, the service generally slow and inattentive, the heat in the dining area left too high for too long, the buzzing and sight of flies here and there was disturbing, and the food itself rather underwhelming.

Now, the beauty of Mother's Day is that it didn't matter what I thought of the lunch. All that mattered was what my mother thought of the lunch, and she seemed to really enjoy it. To be honest, I would have much preferred going here for lunch. I wouldn't go there again if I could avoid it, but if mother wants to go again then again we shall.

Thank god this day only comes to pass but once every year.

Friday, 9 May 2008

This is hardly new...

... but my god is it good.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Robyn Cobrastylin' on Letterman.

Check out her backing band. Not only are there two drummers and a guy on programming but all three have the coolest bear masks I've ever seen.

Do I desperately want one of my own? Hell yes, is the answer you're looking for people.

Important life questions du jour

Source: 80s Actual TV

Who killed Laura Palmer?

He did.

Do I like like I'm in dire need of a haircut?

Very, is the answer you're looking for people.

Should I have shaved this morning?

Oh, dear god, yes.

Do guys have 'front bums'?

Colour me anatomically-naive (if you must), but I didn't think that was possible without employing the tried and true crotch tuck procedure oft-employed by persons of the gender-bending variety.

Should musicians remix their own work?

In support of musicians remixing their own work:
=> MSTRKRFT - Street Justice (MSTRKRFT Remix) : Ok song, much better remix
=> DFA 1979 - Little Girl / Sexy Results (both remixed by MSTRKRFT) : gritty songs made filthy
=> Dave Gahan - Kingdom / Use You (both remixed by Kap10Kurt) : a stretch I know but Kap10Kurt features in Dave Gahan's backing band The Neptunes and he also helped produce Dave's album Hourglass
=> Digitalism - Pogo (Digitalism's Robotic Remix) : love it
=> Jence - Pogo Galactica : said to be the precursor to Digitalism's Pogo, Pogo Galactica shines bright as a brilliant piece of stripped back electro
=> Daft Punk - Alive 2007 : the best album/live act/comeback of last year that arguably qualifies as a remix album

In opposition to musicians remixing their own work:
=> Van She - Strangers (Van She Tech Rework) : a huge let-down
=> Justice - D.A.N.C.E. / DVNO / Waters Of Nazareth (Justice Remix) : ugh!
=> Hercules & Love Affair - Blind (Hercules Club Mix) : woeful
=> Cassius - Toop Toop (Cassius Reggae Rock Mix) : oh god no
=> Partyshank - Penis vs Vagina (Shank Killers Remix) : an ok song made so much worse

End result? No, they shouldn't.

Although the supportive remixes are really good, the oppositional remixes are crimes against music (to varying degrees).

Can bro's 'wear' a keffiyeh?

Seen on Lambton Quay earlier this week, a bro in dress shirt, tie and pants with a pink keffiyeh around his neck. How avant garde. How alternative. Does this make him an alternative bro or simply a bro left foraging among his hipster girlfriend's (oh how the lovely wee things love the darker meat) wardrobe for something to hold off the southerly that afflicts our nation's capital?

If only I'd thought to ask.

If only I'd thought to take a photo.

Why do people still google for porn?

I know I've blogged about this before but the masses still seem to find their way here while googling such endearing terms as "mouth fuck", "bang my whore" and "new zealand whores".

Now I'm not one to deny lonely college students, travelling businessmen and closet perverts their right to the porn of their choice (within reason of course). I just believe that if they are so sexually desperate they can't find porn through any other means than google then perhaps they don't deserve to get laid, let alone enjoy the wondrous delights of onanism.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

I'd like to blog something...

... but lack the motivation, the inspiration and the imagination right now.

Colour me creatively constipated.


And it's fucking freezing too.