OK, here’s the thing. I’m about to go away on holiday, the sun’s occasionally shining outside and I’ve still got a heck of a list of albums that I want to review… because I really rate them. In an effort to do at least some of them justice I’m doing a bit of a round up, with some shorter reviews (something that I’m going to find a bit tricky) with apologies to the people concerned that I cannot give their music more space.
eXXpre$$ion by Boobs of Doom
I first came across Glasgow’s Boobs of Doom earlier this year with the excellent split album they did with Stupid Cosmonaut. Since then I’ve had a chance to delve into their extensive back catalogue, which you can find on their bandcamp page here. As far as I can see ‘eXXpre$$ion’ is the band’s tenth album, and is a rich mixture of urban beats, drones and industrial sounds… all of which come together into a marvellously cranky and freakish mélange that (strangely maybe) reminded me of the later work of two members of Pop Will Eat Itself. It has the complex wackiness of Richard Marsh’s Bentley Rhythm Ace and the sheer darkness of some of Clint Mansell’s work, most notably for me the ‘Requiem for a Dream’ soundtrack. Aside from this there are some lovely melodic moments on this album too. Go listen to it and buy one of the band’s t-shirt bundles here.
Nothing is Always by The Hunted Hare
I first came across Washington DC’s Verses Records earlier this year through this album. It was one of those moments when I felt exposed to a whole new rich seam of music of the sort that I hadn’t really paid much attention to before. The label represents a collective of artists who self-consciously put out “music for music’s sake”, putting aside any commercial considerations; and what’s not to like about that. ‘Nothing Is Always’ is a lovely gentle minimalist album that somehow manages to at the same time give you a feeling of well-being, while exposing you to an underlying unease. Somehow this album just IS… a statement of musical expression that, having listened to it, doesn’t really require any further explanation.
Check out ‘Nothing Is Always’ and the rest of the Verses Records back catalogue here.
Here Lies Man by Here Lies Man
This one seems to have been something of a slow burner, certainly for me. Released back in April it has been increasingly appearing on my social media feeds as more and more people have got wise to how good this album is. From the incredible distinct cover to the full on funky, afrobeat music with more than a tinge of psych to it; this LP really stands out from the crowd as something that is extremely direct. This is music that doesn’t mess about but mainlines right into your system providing you with hit after hit of beautiful feel-good sonic narcotics. Play it and get up and dance yourself into a pure unadulterated oblivion. This is yet another brilliant take on psych that shows that the genre is alive and well and ready for change. Groovy!
‘Here Lies Man’ is available now on Riding Easy Records.
Krautwerk by Harald Grosskopf and Eberhard Kranemann
This album marks the coming together of two German musicians who have been on the scene for years. Kranemann is a founder member of Kraftwerk and co-founder of Neu!, and has recorded and performed extensively under the pseudonym Fritz Müller. Harald Grosskopf was a drummer with the likes of Ashra and Klaus Schulze, before branching out on his own distinguished electronic solo career. The two apparently only met for the first time last year, with the resulting collaboration being a seamless coming together of the electronic traditions that have come out of Düsseldorf and Berlin. This is a really wonderful album that is both contemporary and old school and, I’m sure will both please fans of both men as well as winning them a new generation of listeners.
The album is available now from Bureau B.