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Legends of Motorsport

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Legends of Motorsport – ‘Freedom’ (mp3)

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Were it not for their reputation, a name like ‘Legends of Motorsport’ could potentially put off that section of the music crowd that both hate motorsport and people who describe others/themselves as ‘legends.’ I fall into that category, but it’s hard overlook a band whose debut CD-R Parking Like A Fuckhead came out when I was all of nine years old. Something’s kept these guys together and making music for over a decade – but more importantly, something’s kept people listening. Throw awesome label Low Transit Industries into the mix and suddenly I’m pretty excited about the song that’s landed in my inbox. ‘Freedom’ was that song.

Firstly, this is RAWK music. How can one resist the goofy, over-dramatic delivery given to rather banal line “I can’t believe I never / used to like blue cheese”? If that doesn’t hook you in, the intense “NA NA NA’s” will. Singer Richard Fyshwick throws weight and energy behind lines as comically light as that opener, and the hammy passion he injects nearly convinces you that each is a valid “freedom of expression.” The guitar racket beneath his musings match Fyshwick’s energy as shout-along moments punctuate the song.

If you think Jet rock like no one else in Australia then this probably isn’t for you – but you should listen anyway, just to see how far behind they are.

Castratii – ‘Colours’

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Castratii – ‘Colours’ (mp3)

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Castratii list themselves as “Gospel/Black Metal/Minimalist” on their Myspace. With bands constantly using those generic tags to take the piss, it can often be hard to tell when artists are actually trying to describe their music and when they are lampooning the site’s insistence on categorisation. Add to the confusion that Castratii’s The Music of Chance EP artwork also resembles something you’d expect from a metal band and I’m starting to wonder whether I’ve been sent the wrong EP.

I haven’t; the songs all line up, this is the same band. But the Castratii that I’ve had on repeat the last few days are not metal. The song above isn’t, and neither are any of the others I’ve been happily absorbing. Castratii actually make atmospheric guitar based compositions with strong vocal melodies sung in a falsetto, which rubs against the more industrial clamour of the drum machines in the above song. Elsewhere, they opt for more patient and less beat-heavy compositions, placing greater emphasis on the vocals, which take a cue from Animal Collective’s appropriation of Beach Boys harmonies. ‘Colours’ isn’t the best on their EP, but it’s the most likely to hit you first time you hear it. Check out their Myspace for some more of their “Black Metal” stylings.

MAP: October 2009

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It’s been a year since Jason from The Pop Cop started Music Alliance Pact, a loose group of country specific blogs such as the one you’re reading to showcase to each other’s readership. Each month I choose a song that I think reflect the best of Australian music has to offer to the blogs. They are not necessarily the biggest hits or the most popular songs, but more what I think has the best chance of being listened to in the international blog readership. I hope you’ve enjoyed them because we will continue to do this as long as Jason would want to. I welcome any feedback, let me know if these choices are any good.

My choices for the past 12 months are

November 2008: The Temper TrapSweet Disposition
December 2008: The Philadelphia Grand Jury Going To The Casino (Tomorrow Night)
January 2009: The Middle EastBlood
February 2009: The Crooked Fiddle BandThe Rom Rebellion
March 2009: Leader CheetahBloodlines
April 2009: Lisa MitchellCoin Laundry (link taken down on label request so here’s a remix by No Device instead)
May 2009: Jonathan BouletA Community Service Announcement
June 2009: Dappled CitiesThe Price
July 2009: Boat BeamThe Rain Pauly
August 2009: The Frowning CloudsTime Wastin’ Woman
September 2009: Deep Sea ArcadeDon’t Be Sorry
October 2009:Cloud ControlGold Canary

And here are this month’s MAP entries:

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
LipglossLand Of Lords
This band from Buenos Aires released their first EP a couple of months ago and Land Of Lords is our favorite song from it. Lipgloss sound like they’ve been listening to British rock all their life and you sure can feel the influence of bands like The Stone Roses at the end of the song, with the psychedelic guitars and all. If you like it, you can download the entire EP directly from this link.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Cloud ControlGold Canary
New music from the Blue Mountains! Only it sounds kinda like it originates from somewhere deep in America. Cloud Control always had an earthy, pastoral quality to their music but it sounds all the more temporally appropriate post-Fleet Foxes. Less jangle and more twang. Gold Canary is pulled from their debut album expected early 2010. It has some rootsy backing vocals and yelping, tambourine/handclap percussion, references to family members in the lyrics and then… a synth solo. This song is rad.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
ConstantinaSobe Ladeira
There is something special about Constantina that goes beyond their music. The absence of vocals never leaves you with a feeling of emptiness. It’s just the opposite. The instrumental songs are so deep and strong that lyrics would limit them to what we can express with words.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
The BalconiesSerious Bedtime
It’s almost mind-boggling how good and how talented The Balconies are. They have two incredible lead singers (in brother and sister Jacquie and Steve Neville), both of whom are also astoundingly good songwriters, and they’re backed by one of the steadiest drummers I’ve ever seen. They’ve barely been around for more than a year but they’re generating a whole lot of buzz (their debut has just been released and it’s already charting nationally). Songs like Serious Bedtime make it easy to see why.

CHILE: Super 45
TonossepiaHappy Habibi Te Vez Mas Feliz
Tonossepia (Diego Vergara) is one of the most advanced musicians in the Chilean electronic scene. Constantly evolving in his way of creating music, this year he released his fourth album, Happy Habibi, an effort full of organic textures, warm harmonies and rhythmical variations. By mixing, almost to perfection, IDM and hip hop, Tonossepia has a lot of robot style and rap style.

CHINA: Wooozy
SilkflossMon Amour
Mylène Chan (Muxitu) and Quan Du formed Silkfloss at the start of this year in Beijing. They are electronica, they are trip-hop, they are everything that brings you softness and fills you with love. Mylène also collaborates with many local electronic producers as a vocalist.

COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
Jiggy DramaContra La Pared
Direct from San Andres Island, Heartan Lever – better known in the artistic scene as Jiggy D – comes loaded with cool rhymes and party beats. Jiggy mixes Antillean dancehall with old-school hip hop and Contra La Pared proves that when something is good, it doesn’t have to be forced. The combination of typical Colombian sounds (papayera in this case) makes him the perfect choice to represent the nation in MAP. Jiggy is currently working on his new album, Nerdside.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Sebastian LindStay
A pop natural and excellent singer, 20-year-old Sebastian Lind excites with an enticing mix of singer-songwriter acoustics and crackling electronica. He has just released his first single Stop These Feet, but here’s Stay – a strong contender when it comes time to select a second.

ENGLAND: The Daily Growl
The Voluntary Butler SchemeThe Eiffel Tower And The BT Tower
This month’s song comes from the English Midlands courtesy of awesome one-man-band Rob Jones aka The Voluntary Butler Scheme. He’s a little scruffy around the edges but he serves up a tasty dish of pure pop. Although probably best experienced live, his debut album At Breakfast, Dinner, Tea (how old-school English is that title?) is full of sprightly tunes, huge hooks and amusing lyrics and is well worth checking out.

I’ll Hit HerNoise In Your Mind
There’s not much info about Estonian electro-poppers I’ll Hit Her and Googling that name will probably get you some quite disturbing results. Listing Aqua, 2 Unlimited and Joy Division as influences on their MySpace page, that’s really as diverse as you can get.

The Capital BeatFeel The Reggae
This is not the kind of song you would expect to hear from a Finnish band, but The Capital Beat phenomenally recreate the warm sounds of Jamaica on their first album, A Greater Fire. This eight-piece combo takes Jamaican music to a new latitude and there is only one condition – feel the reggae and do the ska.

FRANCE: ZikNation
Pascal ComeladeTwo Maniaco Depressive Beatnicks Squabbling Over A Jane Russell Mozarella’s Stereokini
Pascal Comelade is a really special musician. He mixes common instruments with some toys he found in a flea market. This way of working gives his music a unique tone and makes the listener feel the soul of his work. In some ways, his music reminds us of Yann Tiersen – nice piano, accordion and a lot of percussion. Two Maniaco…, with its happy leading saxophone and ringing xylophone, is a track dedicated to a happy life, which makes it a must-hear before beginning a day at work.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
Rhytm PoliceGhosttrain
Rhytm Police sound like they live in a metropolis as they reduce music to a strong bass line, synth sounds and sometimes quite snatchy vocals. However, they come from the rather rural Augsburg in western Bavaria. The only way to figure this out is by listening to their songs with German lyrics. But the featured song Ghosttrain shows their international attitude.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
CoinError 687
Coin draw their influences from the Manchester scene of the 80s and American grunge of the 90s. In their third studio album they shift their best qualities into different, equally dazzling guitar-pop shapes, sounding unclenched, enchanting and energetic. Popstitute is a beautifully balanced album filled with tremendously rich highs, unfailingly tuneful music, jagged guitars, drums and bass, which supply the rhythmic pulse and captivating hooks.

ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
FM BelfastSynthia
FM Belfast was formed in late 2005 by Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson (aka Árni Plúseinn) and Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir. For the Iceland Airwaves festival in 2006, the band expanded into a live act with up to eight (or even more) members. The core of the band is now a quartet with Árni Vilhjálmsson (of Motherfuckers In The House) and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason (of Múm). Synthia is taken from their debut album, How To Make Friends, released on the band’s own World Champion Records label last year.

INDIA: Indiecision
Teddy Boy KillTonic
New Delhi’s Teddy Boy Kill represent the new Indian electronica soundscape – instantly international, slick and unrestrained by the need to reflect any inherent Indian-ness. This unsigned act from the country’s capital released their debut album, The Exit Plan, as a free download. Tonic is one of the highlights of the record – an immediately catchy dancefloor anthem that’s as temperate as it is energetic. Get ready to do something stupid.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
The Super Insurgent Group Of Intemperance TalentMoney Making
The Super Insurgent Group Of Intemperance Talent are the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in Indonesia. Their straight-to-the-point songs, killer hooks and good attitude has already seen them play some big venues and sell out concerts, which is very rare in Indonesia.

IRELAND: Nialler9
Trophy BoyfriendBlack Ship
Despite the silly moniker, Gregor Ruigrok aka Trophy Boyfriend still managed to impress us with his first self-titled EP. He’s still at the embyronic stages having not played live or formally released anything in Ireland yet, but judging by the electro-indie of Black Ship, we certainly hope he gets out there soon.

ITALY: Polaroid
Play this song and fly back in time, to around the first half of the 90s, when Britpop was full of hope and strength. Well, this is just how Damien* are today. This young and promising band from Pesaro, on the Italian east coast, is able to mix a post-punk background with a more pop attitude. The incredibly catchy Confidants is taken from their second album, out this week on Suiteside.

HenrytennisValencia Raincoats
Another progressive band in the Tokyo music scene, Henrytennis feature instrumental dynamism influenced by post-rock, IDM, jam and progressive rock. Their members come from such outstanding Japanese bands as 4 Bonjour’s Parties, Hula Hooper, Kuruucrew, Oceanlane and Shugo Tokumaru. Their excellent second album R.U.R. is released on November 11.

MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Shine is the opening track of L’Intent, the most recent record by Radaid. Hailing from Guadalajara, Jalisco, the eight talented musicians produce a peculiar mix of pop and original rhythms. That is why traces of Indian influences echo in Shine, while the vocals are by Sofía Orozco, who not only wrote the English lyrics but also invented the dialect which has nods to the phrasing of Hindu MCs.

NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
O’LovelyA Different Day
O’Lovely are from Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island and they have a glistening, ringing guitar sound on this song that reminds me of some great bands from that city’s past such as Bailterspace and Loves Ugly Children. The band has morphed from the more poppy The O’Lovelys with singer and keyboardist Laura Lee remaining at the centre of the band. She’s joined by Perry Mahoney of Bang Bang Eche, whose guitar gives a darker, noisier feel than the earlier band. A Different Day comes from the five-track Lost Luck EP.

NORWAY: Eardrums
Firefly EffectNever By Your Side
Oslo quartet Firefly Effect recently released their brilliant debut album, Everything Is Beautiful And You Are The Reason, on Perfect Pop Records/Solerød Records. It is full of charming indie-pop songs with organs, boy/girl harmonies and jangly guitars. They call their style “retro-futuristic sunshine pop” which is a definition of their sound I can agree on. Perfect pop!

Emergency BlanketNext Passenger
The music of Emergency Blanket is fully charged with life and energy, taking influences from rock classics from the 60s, 70s and 90s to achieve a vintage yet fresh and original sound. Emergency Blanket recently released their debut album, Combi + Nation, which includes songs in Spanish, English and even a combination of both languages. Next Passenger has taken them to the final of The People’s Music Awards and you can vote for the band here.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Real Combo LisbonenseOh!
Real Combo Lisbonense (Lisbon Real Combo) play music that takes us back to a time when everyone would dress up to dance to the sounds of an orchestra or a small ensemble. RCL is the band you would expect to hear in the casino lounge of an Ian Fleming novel. They remade some Portuguese and international popular classics of 50s and 60s and have become one of the pleasant surprises in the Portuguese indie scene this year. Shall we dance?

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Vive La NoizBird Song
Vive la Noiz could be seen as the usual alternative/indie band. Two girls and two boys starting a band in the finest DIY ethic. However, their eclectic influences and pure, melodic sound label them as post-everything because you can find anything there, genre-free. Dark Clouds And Silver Linings is regarded as one of this year’s most interesting EPs.

MeursaultA Small Stretch Of Land
Edinburgh six-piece Meursault’s otherworldly, experimental folk seems almost tailor-made for the music blogging cognoscenti. But as A Small Stretch Of Land shows, Meursault (pronounced “mer-so”) also know when less is more, stripping the song to just acoustic guitar and vocal with crushingly beautiful effect. It’s no surprise Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison described A Small Stretch Of Land as “one of my favourite songs of last year, or indeed any year”. You can buy Meursault’s album, Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues, and other releases here.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Inch Chua Devotion In Reality
Like the wet leaves after a thunderstorm, Devotions In Reality bring a melancholic hope to past hurts, as the first step after grief into a new light. Inch Chua is more well known in Singapore as the little dynamo of a frontwoman with rock stalwarts Allura. Taking time off to record her solo EP, she brings to the forefront another facet of her versatility, especially on this number that is best described as a cross between Lisa Ekdahl and Stars.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Ameen HarronTechicoloured Oblivion
Ameen Harron is a force to be reckoned with in the South African music scene. He is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, and one of the country’s up-and-coming producers, who has worked with a range of the best local musicians, garnering national and international attention. Technicoloured Oblivion shows not only his skills as a producer but as an artist. He has strong ties to hip hop, which is evident as his combination of hip hop, punk and electro creates his own distinctive sound. The song has an almost soulful feel to it and wouldn’t be out of place on the international charts. Ameen Harron is set to take over. Watch out.

Julia HartKorean Girl’s Winter
Always delightful guitar-pop act Julia Hart decided it had been too many years since the release of their last album in 2007 and consequently released a digital single with a couple of new songs for people to hear last month. One of them, Korean Girl’s Winter, shows Julia Hart at their loveliest and is a perfect indie-pop piece well suited for repeated play hours on end.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
Leaving Mornington CrescentSeventeen
From the sound of Seventeen, Leaving Mornington Crescent have ventured into new territory. Unlike the sunny 60s-inspired indie-pop of April Song from their Cloudberry split CD, Seventeen is a rather heavy, shoegaze number with buzzing and churning guitars and a solid backbeat. Still the vocals retain the cheeriness of April Song with a chorus of “I’m seventeen on the inside, the only difference is…”.

TURKEY: Reset!
Kim Ki OSerbest Kalp Dusmesi
Kim Ki O’s songs are self-written, self-played and self-sung in the name of self-pleasure and self-impulsion. Kim Ki O, which is the Turkish expression for “who is that anyway?”, is a name chosen for its phonetic beauty. The duo like to play with synthesizers and drum machines but do not to use computers in their music, preferring to create all the action live with enthusiasm and tension. The two members of the gang are former high school buddies who had been out of touch for years. Now they are back, clasped together, making great things.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
That GhostThe Red Bow
That Ghost is the musical moniker of one crazy kid from the coast of California. Ryan Schmale, a youthful 19-year-old, creates lo-fi pop that evokes the warmth of bedroom recordings. He has a new EP on the way titled Get It And Get Out that IGIF will certainly be writing more about in the near future.

VENEZUELA: Deaf Indie Elephants
Ulises HadjisLunes
The warm voice of Ulises Hadjis and his guitar are suddenly interrupted by a theremin, a trumpet from a gypsy story and a dialogue between Star Trek’s Captain Kirk and Zulu. These are some of the big surprises you’ll find in his debut album, Presente, which without doubt was one of the best debuts of 2008. His original indie-pop contains lyrics as melancholic as Bon Iver’s or Elliott Smith’s and a musical diversity that in its best moments resembles Beirut or Neutral Milk Hotel. On a Sunday morning this album will be your best company.

To download all 34 songs in one file click here

AFX JIM – ‘The T in Tchina’

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AFX JIM – ‘The T in Tchina’

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4 Reasons to love AFX JIM

1. He has a great name.

2. He also pulls time with other rad Australian bands Founder and The Woods Themselves.

3. Fenella also loves him. (Listen to the SoundLab stream from Sunday night’s program for an interview between the two).

4. Everything I’ve heard from his album ‘Blackout Music’ is fantastic. Some tracks better fit the ‘experimental folk’ tag, while others are more ruminative sound collages. ‘The T in Tchina’ is a bit like The Avalanches on Ritalin, with light tinkling keys and glockenspiels reminiscent of Up In Flames-era Caribou. It never wanders a straight path but doesn’t feels directionless, with the drums dropping in after two minutes to give the kaleidoscopic samples some extra momentum. Like the aforementioned artists, this has way more depth to be considered mere pastiche – the found sounds aren’t thrown in to attract interest in themselves; there’s a precision and intelligence to their arrangement and flow that reflects unquestionable talent.

Exclusive: Cutlass Supreme


dancefloor copy

Cutlass Supreme – ‘Heads Will Roll’ (Remix of Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

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This remix is fresh – as in, it  landed in my inbox apparently only minutes after it finished the mastering process. Though I can’t reveal who Cutlass Supreme are (they’re keeping that under wraps until they release their EP), I can tell you they’re signed to Ministry and are super-duo of sorts, half of whom have received a fair bit of love ’round these parts before. Expect that EP in about month and then an LP early next year.

Above is their bootleg remix of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ‘Head Will Roll,’ which retains the original’s chorus and recognisable organ figure, but makes it even more likely one would dance (and die?). It’s fairly transformative, treating the original like more of a canvas than the paint, adding in synth bass, filtered breakdowns and some original vocals.

Also, they don’t have a Myspace yet.

Dark Bells – ‘Fallen Time’

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Dark Bells - ‘Fallen Time’

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Hot on the heels of Canvas Kites comes Dark Bells, another post-Mercy Arms (and Diamondback Rattler) three-piece based in Sydney. ‘Fallen Time’ sounds kind of like a Howling Bells song mixed with the chorused bass-lines of early 80s (ie. amazing) Cure records – it’s got both a subdued, haunting quality whilst at times also managing to soar. A quick scan of the other songs on their Myspace reveals plenty more modulated, icy sounds and crawling basslines for those who enjoy the sound of the above track. The band have been Myspace members for about a fortnight now, so probably don’t expect a big release from them soon. Whenever it finally drops, I’ll be hoping it sounds a lot like the stuff they’re putting out now.