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Top Albums of 2013: Editor’s Picks

 
By on Monday, 16th December 2013 at 11:00 am
 

It’s amazing how quickly a year can speed by, and 2013 has been not been an exception. While there is no doubt that the biggest, loudest and most annoying press campaign to promote an album this year was the one related to Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’, it won’t appear on my list of top albums. Nope, not a chance. Like all things in life, musical tastes change over time, and judging from the LPs released this year, mine definitely have.

I haven’t decided why the pop and dance worlds not haven’t been able to produce a good amount of excellent albums (notice I said albums, not singles), but I suspect that deep down, it has to do with heart. That said, I wonder if it’s symptomatic of the industry, but I’ve been having a hard time finding albums that I want to listen to in full, over and over again. So here are my top five albums of 2013 that I think everyone should own. Or at least listen to all the way through at least once to make your own judgment about them.

Static Jacks In Blue cover1. The Static Jacks – ‘In Blue’ (Old Friends) – The best albums are those that can span the entire spectrum of emotions for when you need it. The Static Jacks came of age on their second album, writing songs that can act like an old friend who is there to laugh with you or give you a knowing hug when you need a good cry. Not to mention, despite being still pretty young guys (at least they’re legal now, which they weren’t when I first saw them in 2010), they know how to write a memorable pop melody, which, judging from a lot of the rubbish on the charts these days, is a real talent.

It’s all here. You want fun? ‘I’ll Come Back’ and ‘Wallflowers’ are clear standouts, and to be honest, I’ve had such an up and down year, I needed something to cheer me up. ‘People Don’t Forget’ is probably the closest you’re going to get to the best pop song of the year. And lyrically, title track ‘In Blue’ hits in the spot: it’s an emotionally-charged piece of pop, “you try to run from all your problems / it just makes you stumble harder / realise I’m just sorry, and I know you’re still lonely”. Just perfect. Read my review here.

Dutch Uncles Out of Touch in the Wild cover2. Dutch Uncles – ‘Out of Touch in the Wild’ (Memphis Industries) – Oddly, they’re the only ones from their town of Marple from the class of 2010 (the others being Delphic and Egyptian Hip Hop) still standing tall these days. Or maybe this is not odd at all. Breaking boundaries is what Dutch Uncles is all about, having recently put on a series of shows with a string ensemble, in addition to their atypical time signatures that have become their signature, and the uniqueness has paid off.

From the frenetic pace of xylophone in ‘Fester’, the feeling that you’re floating in space when you’ve got ‘Bellio’ in your headphones or my personal favourite, the smooth string –tinged jam of ‘Flexxin’ that caught Pitchfork’s ears, this is an album you’ll want to listen to over and over again, because you’ll discover something new and exciting each time. Oh, and while I’ve got your attention, you might as well get their debut ‘Cadenza’ too: different, but also wonderful. Read my review of ‘Out of Touch in the Wild’ here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHXxKitLdrU

Fenech-Soler Rituals cover3. Fenech-Soler – ‘Rituals’ (B-Unique) – I’ve listened to a lot of dance albums this year, trying to find The One (figuring it’d be easier than finding the right man) and mostly, I found disappointment. Fenech-Soler’s follow-up to their 2010 debut as worth the wait, with massive singles ‘All I Want’, ‘Magnetic’ and ‘Last Forever’, as well as the beauteous ‘Maiyu’.

It also contains quite possibly this year’s best floor filler in ‘In Our Blood’, an uplifting song about an ending relationship. It might be winter right now, but this album will keep your blood pumping all through to the next season of summer festivals. Read the album review here.

Fiction The Big Other cover4. Fiction – ‘The Big Other’ – ‘Effortless’ is the best word I can think of to describe London band Fiction’s debut album released in March. This LP feels like classic New Wave, yet does one better by being not at all heavy-handed: it’s got a lightness that will have ‘80s children feel nostalgic, with ‘Parting Gesture’ and ‘See Me Walk’ feeling like they would have been at home in a John Hughes film.

Regardless of how old you are, young and old should be able relate to (and love) this album because as evidenced in ‘Big Things’ and ‘Museum’, it’s just damn good: rhythmic, melodic, interesting. Read my review of ‘The Big Other’ here.

Arctic Monkeys AM cover sm5. Arctic Monkeys – ‘AM’ (Domino) – Not sure how much they should owe their placement to producer and friend Josh Homme, who basically helped reinvent them into a darker, harder version from the one that I’ll admit used to annoy the hell out of me on ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’.

For me, it’s less about Alex Turner’s vocals, sounding almost rap-like on some of the harder tracks. No, it’s the attitude throughout this album, from the bluesy guitars on ‘Do You Wanna Know?’ and ‘R U Mine’, to the Richard Hawley-esque ‘No. 1 Party Anthem’ and ‘Mad Sounds’. Mark my words, latest single ‘One for the Road’ will be a minimalist rock classic.

After the cut: discussion on albums that disappointed.

Continue reading Top Albums of 2013: Editor’s Picks

 

Video of the Moment #1402: NO CEREMONY///

 
By on Tuesday, 3rd December 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

On ‘AWAYFROMHERE’, a track from their self-titled debut released in September, Manchester’s electro three-piece NO CEREMONY/// collaborated with singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow, who lent his vocals to the atmospheric track. Watch the promo for the song below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZj5c22xNrE[/youtube]

 

Album Review: NO CEREMONY/// – NO CEREMONY///

 
By on Wednesday, 4th September 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

No Ceremony album coverThere seems to always be a veiled edge of mystery from every act that comes out of Manchester these days. Everyone from that town seems to be so scared of being pigeonholed by the ghosts of the city’s past and want nothing to do with New Order, the Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays or Oasis. Electronic trio NO CEREMONY/// are no exception, having wowed festival and gig crowds over the last 2 years and setting themselves apart with their brand of dance music starring bombastic piano, stretched synths and pounding percussion.

But virtually nothing is known about them and even I didn’t know what they looked like until I caught them on day 2 of this year’s Liverpool Sound City. This week, the band releases their highly anticipated, self-titled debut long player. On their own label even, called NOC///. I should probably state here at the start that in case it is not obvious, I am not shouting throughout this review but all the song titles on this album, just like the band’s name itself, are in all caps. Also, yes, I am an editor and I do know where to put spaces, but all the song titles on this album are words smushed together. Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Track 2 ‘FEELSOLOW’ is the best dance introduction to this band (or so I thought), having become a fan favourite of their live shows as of late. It’s also a good example of what this band does well: driving, pulsating, dark dance music equally appropriate for ravers and shoegazers that happen to enjoy dancing. If you’re not a fan of vocals being manipulated, the singing on here could be grating. But in general, if you’re into dance, you understand that vocals – or even understanding them most of the time – is secondary. It’s how the track makes you feel as it courses through your veins and through your body. (However, if you were paying attention, the lyrics of it are pretty good, touching on the heartbreak of asking “is it wrong to make you love me?” and desolate repeats of “you know my heart is gone / you know my faith is gone / I’ll be waiting, I’ll be waiting / nothing comes”. Yes, dance music can be emotional when done right.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtyyO4NCqP4[/youtube]

I bring up previously released ‘FEELSOLOW’ for the newbies. Chances are if you’re a dance fan and you’ve done any sort of following of this band from before they headlined their first headline show in Salford in the summer of 2012, you’ve probably heard many of these songs already online and probably sought them out at a festival. So to me, it’s quite interesting they decided to tap Joey Santiago of Pixies and Irish singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow as collaborators on ‘HEARTBREAKER’ and ‘AWAYFROMHERE’, respectively. Santiago provides admirable guitar lines that vie for attention with the vocals and in some cases, surpass them. McMorrow’s contribution to ‘AWAYFROMHERE’ is a soulful yet occasionally painful sounding falsetto that makes the song stick out like a sore thumb from the album overall. So Santiago 1: McMorrow 0.

What I find rather unusual here is that the band – only known to us by their first names of James, Kelly and Victoria – choose to go with more slower numbers than what might expect to hear at a rave. In that respect, the album comes across more like something the xx (or even James Blake, minus the annoying wubs and handclaps) would be produced and not as heavy beat-wise as I would have presumed. Or would liked for a dance album for that matter. I can appreciate the initial synth beats from the intro of ‘HOLDONME’ as it goes onward to about the 1-minute mark are light as a feather. I’m not a fan of words put through a vocoder (I’m talking to you, Kanye), so I’m not feeling the vocals on this track, but I can forgive based on how the tune steadily morphs into something bigger and bolder, culminating in ordered chaos into the third minute.

Conversely though, I find ‘HURTLOVE’ and ‘WARSONGS’ as missteps, lurching along languidly like weird bookends between faster paced, more interesting numbers. At least ‘PARTOFME’, which admittedly is a slow jam, brings attention to itself with percussion that won’t be denied. And then the payoff comes just after minute 2, as the song opens up and bursts like fireworks. No wonder it’s being released as their next single, dropping on the 14th of October. (Watch the promo video, just released in August, below.) So all is not lost.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUpXXfI2_4s[/youtube]

Clocking in at barely a half-hour (32 minutes if you want to be picky about it), ‘NO CEREMONY///’ is a gentle electronic beast. Sadly, if you want to dance, this isn’t your record. If you’d rather have something to wrap your ears around to expand your mind though, this might just be the ticket.

6/10

The self-titled debut album from NO CEREMONY/// is out now on the band’s own label NOC///.

 

MP3 of the Day (and more!) #774: NO CEREMONY///

 
By on Wednesday, 7th August 2013 at 10:00 am
 

Manchester’s NO CEREMONY///, who I spotted this year on day 2 of Liverpool Sound City, will release their self-titled debut album on the 2nd of September on their own label NOC. Ahead of the release, they want you to have a free mp3 on them.

‘FEELSOLOW’ has become a mainstay of their live festival performances as of late, and now you can listen to and grab the Kiki Balearic remix of the track below. Have a gander at the promo video with the original version of the song below too. Want to see the band live? We’ve included their October headline dates at the bottom of this post.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtyyO4NCqP4[/youtube]

Wednesday 9th October 2013 – London Electrowerks
Thursday 10th October 2013 – Norwich Arts Centre
Saturday 12th October 2013 – Bristol Simple Things
Friday 18th October 2013 – Torquay Attic
Saturday 19th October 2013 – Manchester Deaf Institute

 

Liverpool Sound City 2013: Mary’s Day 2 Roundup

 
By on Wednesday, 15th May 2013 at 1:00 pm
 

Sound City 2013, day 2, began with me waking up to the strains of a Reverend and the Makers‘ YouTube playlist blaring out of John’s iPad. Mission accomplished from the previous night, I’d say. We headed into the convention portion of the festival and my first stop was a radio pluggers’ panel with heavyweights of the radio industry, including 6music’s Chris Hawkins, Radio2’s Janice Long, and 6music producer Julie Cullen. As a regular BBC Radio music listener, it was really interesting to hear the presenters and producers’ takes on why radio is still so strong in Britain.

Janice Long said, “people love the intimacy of radio…[the fact that] they’re being offered something”, and I agree. Getting to know your presenters, I find, is especially important on whether or not I trust or would listen to that person’s recommendations. While by no means do I enjoy every single band that Lammo has trotted out on his New Favourite Band weekly feature, or in the same respect Huw Stephens on his specialist show, there are so many bands I never would have of heard of if either hadn’t played them on their shows. It was also heartening to hear that the panelists all welcome hearing demos from bands, just asking that the CDRs be labelled clearly and properly with the band name and song title, or even better, be provided a Soundcloud downloadable link that can be shared and spread between colleagues, should the song take their fancy and they want to actually play it on radio. I also had a chat with Chris Hawkins and that feature on TGTF is forthcoming soon.

After having some food and drink at a very cool, nonalcoholic cafe called the Brink, it was time to split up again, and then I was off to see Vasco da Gama, named after the Portuguese explorer who circumnavigated around the tip of Africa, not to be confused with the strange typo on the programme of Vasco da Gamma, as if they had some Greek relations. They play a wonky, punky, art rock kind of style that is not all unlike their fellow DIY Liverpudlians Hot Club de Paris, who’ve gone quiet. Vasco benefitted from the delay of the start of Taiwanese band Echo, who were having trouble with their soundcheck just across the way at the Garage. Watch a bit of their performance below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6EiPIrDbfs[/youtube]

The singer of Taiwan’s Echo certainly wins, hands down, the longest note held during this year’s Sound City. Check out the video below. When you’re an unknown band to the city you’re in, you’ve got to really bring it, and Echo’s singer jumped onto the barrier and into the sparse crowd and just let loose this amazing scream. Even if you don’t understand Chinese, there is no denying that the band sound great instrumentally and have a good command of melody, as you will see in the video. Now if they could just record one song in English language…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATPXDaDGH4E[/youtube]

Funnily enough, next John and I ended up at the same place, with John not even knowing I was in the same room. In a true example of regional representation, a selection of Norwich bands appeared at Sound Food and Drink, a cafe that oddly did not vacate its tables and move them in time for the evening’s performances. Bad form. Or maybe they just wanted to discourage people from cramming themselves in there. The premise of Wooden Arms was promising: a band made of mostly classical string instrument-playing members, singing in multi-part harmony. Unfortunately, live they translated to something far more boring than I would have guessed.

So I was off again and to the east to the East Village Arts Club, where the bouncer inconveniently directed me to the wrong place for Manchester’s NO CEREMONY///. Like fellow Mancunians WU LYF, NO CEREMONY/// have tried to maintain a mysterious vibe about themselves, with overly dark, goth-y videos that show no hint of what the band actually look like. So I just assumed the band must be two blokes with oodles of synthesisers. Not exactly. The band live is fronted by a bass-toting woman and while there are two men with synths in front of them, one of them does play guitar. As I did suspect, there isn’t a

It was a bit of a hike from where I was to the Black-E, with 3 nights being curated by local Liverpool-centric football, music and culture Web site the Anfield Wrap and featuring only Merseyside-based bands. But being an Liverpool FC fan, I knew I just had to be there at some point in the weekend. I was not disappointed with the Thespians, with a lead singer that looks eerily like Carl Barat. The band even wear black leather jackets and sound at times very Libertines-esque, including abruptly ending some of their songs in that sort of punky, ‘up yours’ kind of way. They explained that their album had already been put out in Japan and all physical copies had been snapped by the record-buying public over there. If that is truly the case, then we should all probably get on this bandwagon now before it turns into a steamroller.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtJLXDVYwKA[/youtube]

Then it was back west and into the centre of the clubbing life for the Chapman Family at Leaf Cafe. I have a couple friends who are massive fans of theirs, so colour me curious, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. They can be depressing topic-wise, but the sheer power of their live performance, not to mention the incredible magnetism of their frontman Kingsley Chapman, make their live set a sight to behold. A hipster couple who quickly took their places right in front of the stage threw their band tote bags under the stage and proceeded to mosh (is that the right word?) to every Chapman Family song, arms and legs flailing in every which way. At some point I was sure one of them would slip and fall but it didn’t happen, they were just so excited to be there.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3gqTtzL4cg[/youtube]

And then it was back to Wolstenholme Square, where I thought I had arrived just in time for Marple’s Dutch Uncles. Cripes. I am very careful about making sure I don’t have clashes in schedule, so I am positive they must have moved up the Duncles’ set by an hour because when I arrived, Unknown Mortal Orchestra was setting up. To say I was upset by the turn of events, especially after loving the new album ‘Out of Touch in the Wild’, is putting it mildly. I was on the verge of tears. But, when in Liverpool, you carry on. I didn’t feel like running to another venue, so I just hung tight at the Arts Academy for the one major band I definitely wanted to see there, Dutch Uncles’ mates Everything Everything.

When you’re thousands of miles away from home, I don’t care who you are, it is an important and touching moment when a band you have supported and followed for a long time acknowledges your presence. Everything Everything’s bassist Jeremy Pritchard, who has always been extremely kind and nice to me every time I have had the pleasure to meet him, only waved to me down in the pit, but it truly meant the world to me. Prior to this, I had only seen them live once, and in an acoustic setting for a charity show 2 days after my birthday in 2011, so I was raring to go to see them play with their full setup. While I still think new album ‘Arc’ is not as strong as ‘Man Alive’, there were plenty of punters willing to disagree with me at the Arts Academy. I thought it was quite strange that they didn’t play ‘MY KZ, UR BF’, but perhaps they are trying to wean themselves away from their past? Possibly. With singles like ‘Kemosabe’ and ‘Cough Cough’, they can afford to do that.

The TGTF crew ended up, rather accidentally, together at Screenadelica at the end of the night, and you can read John’s descriptions of Arcane Roots and Future of the Left in his day 2 roundup. While we were waiting between sets, Duologue, who I recognised from seeing them in a beer garden at this year’s SXSW, bounded out from backstage at the Arts Academy and into Screendelica, the venue directly in the back of it. This Twitter exchange ensued. And yes, Tim, I will touch your face the next time I’m in your proximity!

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013: Electronic and DJ UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd January 2013 at 11:00 am
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2013 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change.

We here at TGTF have already brought you the pop and pop hybrid acts list and the follow-up addendum, plus last week’s rock, metal and punk acts list. What I had envisioned this guide to be was simply a handy resource if you were wondering which acts to catch at this year’s marathon week of showcases, parties and secret shows. But even if you’re not attending the big event, I hope it’ll also introduce you to the solo artists and bands you haven’t heard of, because that’s the most exciting thing about SXSW: at any one moment, you could walk into a bar, a club, a hotel, a warehouse, wherever…and you might just discover the next big thing in music. And that isn’t limited to one place or one event. You can find new music anywhere.

This week? Part three of the genre section of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013 continues today with electronic and electronic-based acts and DJs. This kind of music is very near and dear to my heart; when I was younger it was dance music, music with a good beat that you could dance and forget the terrible things I was dealing with in my life. It was weirdly appropriate reading an interview with Ed Macfarlane of Friendly Fires many years later, explaining their music as escapist. I never looked at electronic music was that black and white; just like any other music, you get out of it something different than the next person. But electronic music in particular has a way of making me feel alive in a way that many other types don’t. Below is a listing of all the UK acts I’ve classed as electronic or electronic-based, or are straight DJs.

Electronic / electronic-related bands

The Adamski Kid – is it a commentary of our reliance on electronics these days that there are so many bands now that are only ‘bands’ in the live sense? In the case of The Adamski Kid, the act is Adam Karayiannis, mashing up dance and rock in crazy fashion, the way Talking Heads were crazy. Already a fave of Tom Robinson and Chris Hawkins on 6music and BBC Introducing on Radio1 with Jen and Ally, he’ll probably become a fixture in the UK soon.

Sounds like: the product if Django Django and Darwin Deez had a love child and then spray painted his face so he’d look like King Tut.

CHVRCHES – if you never thought the words ‘Scottish’ and ‘electropop’ should be in the same sentence like I did, think again. Having landed in the BBC Sound of 2013 longlist, been voted to the top of Generator’s Tipping Point Top of the Tips 2012, and receiving praise from Pitchfork, my opinion doesn’t count for much. But personally, it sounds too cartoony to me to be serious.

Sounds like: bubblegum pop’s wash put through a synth wringer

Alex Clare – 2012 was a big year in America for Alex Clare, and he has Microsoft to thank for that: the computer giant used the East Londoner’s song ‘Too Close’ on their Internet Explorer 9 adverts, firmly embedding the slow-burning, soulful love song with wub wub wubs into the American consciousness and leading to a sold out tour of North America in autumn 2012. While it’s virtually guaranteed that all of Clare’s appearances at SXSW will be rammed, for sure he won’t be playing after sundown Friday until Saturday evening: he’s an Orthodox Jew.

Chad Valley (added 10/01/13) – Oxford chillwave at its finest.

Dauwd – In an interview with the Ableton Web site, Dauwd Al Hilali describes his musical process as “[finding] a groove in something that perhaps you wouldn’t expect, for example maybe a recording of an object falling and rolling on the ground. There would be an infinite amount of detail in this, where you could isolate any part and work with the ‘natural groove/rhythm’ it creates. This would be impossible to recreate through MIDI alone, and gives a really organic sound.” Hmmm. Electronic, with a difference?

Duologue – electronic bedroom experimentalists that turned themselves into a full-fledged band playing an interesting mix of electronic and guitar rock.

Catch all of our previous coverage on Duologue here.

Eaux – this London trio – formed from the remnants of the Sian Alice Group – make music that’s too dark to be called dream pop, but nevertheless captures your imagination like snowflakes in the deepest, darkest night.

Sounds like: the xx, but more subversive; the Hundred in the Hands, but less dance; Bjork, but less oddball

Fenech-Soler (added 10/01/13) – Originally from Kings Cliffe, the synth-loving foursome that made ‘Stop and Stare’ a massive radio hit in 2010 are ready for their SXSW close-up. They’ve already made a huge stir with new single ‘All I Know’, having landed at #6 on our 10 for 2013 readers’ poll.

Read all of our previous coverage of Fenech-Soler here.

The Ghosts – wonder what happened to the other members of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool after the untimely death of their singer at Pukkelpop 2010? Ex-Ou Est… member Alex Starling is the frontman for this electronic outfit also starring New York trained jazz drummer Ian Palmer and Canadian keyboardist / violin player Rayna Ferner.

K.I.D.S. – Can anyone out there give me some more info on this band? Besides a pretty anonymous Soundcloud, there’s not much else on the net.

Little Boots – Victoria Hesketh’s most recent single releases, spring 2012’s ‘Headphones’ and ‘Every Time I Say a Prayer’, sees the former La Roux sparring partner head into a more dance – and less pop – direction for her new album, out later this year.

All of our previous posts on Little Boots are here.

Man Without Country – Southern Welsh electronic duo with an unusual writing style: you see, Ryan James and Tomas Greenhalf met in university but now live in different cities, requiring long-distance collaboration. Live, they bring in drummer Mike Monaghan, adding an extra element to the duo’s already rich-sounding soundscapes. They’ve already opened for Mute labelmate M83, so all signs are good for them to be well received at SXSW.

Read our live coverage of the duo here.

Modestep – a live dubstep (yes, those wub wub wubs) and electronic band from London. Are they really necessary? I guess we will find out, with their debut album ‘Evolution Theory’ out on the 14th of January 2013 on A&M.

The 1975 – a band from Manchester blending synth into rock? You don’t say! (I readily admit to being completely sceptical about another band from the city that gave us the legendary New Order.) Us here at TGTF actually like The 1975 a lot, especially after they ditched their old name The Big Sleep to avoid confusion with another band from New York of the same name. A number gives you uniqueness, character…something that also describes their music.

Read all of our previous coverage on The 1975 here.

NO CEREMONY/// – you may recall this mysterious Manchester act (why does it feel like I’ve been typing that phrase out umpteenth times?) by the remixes they’ve done for The Good Natured, Zulu Winter, and more recently, their fellow Mancunians the 1975. It’s not clear what those three backslashes are for – maybe they stand for three band members? – but until I physically see any of them live, I’m assuming it’s three skinny English blokes in front of synths and sequencers that together weigh more than they do. Paul Lester wants it to be Natalie Curtis channelling her late father, but I don’t have such fanciful notions…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtNL3Ic30Rc

NZCA/LINES – “A beautiful electronic ode to dislocation.”

Reverend and the Makers – Jon McClure and his merry band from Sheffield will be bringing their high energy, electro-tinged rock to SXSW and not a moment too soon. I was gutted when they pulled out of their Brighton Dome slot at last year’s Great Escape, so it’ll be cool to see them in an entirely different environment.

Read all our previous coverage on the Rev here.

Tropics (added 10/01/13) – a Southampton version of Caribou – chillwave, polyrhythmic, Afrobeat-ish.

Young Fathers – “Ol’ Dirty chose his moniker because there was no father to his bastard style. Young Fathers earn theirs by making something so fresh it doesn’t yet have a name. These are three fellas from Edinburgh who’ve been working together since they were 14, who have an elastic mind meld that mimics their fused sensibility of sound, who one day locked themselves in a dingy Scottish basement and came out with something that’d never been done — a fearless combination of beat, rap and song that smells not only of its dark and dank birthplace, but of discovery and of communion.”

Grab a free mp3 of ‘Deadline’, from their release ‘Tape One’, fom this previous MP3 of the Day post.

DJs

Bonobo – named after and not actually a chimpanzee (that much I figured, but you know how my boffin mind works…) London musician, DJ and producer who have already blown minds around the world, so expect the same in Austin.

DELS – The fastest growing genre at SXSW in recent years has been urban / hip hop, though Londoner Kieren Dickens can be described not just in hip hop terms but also on the experimental scene, mixing his loves of garage, electro, and dance. His Facebook says live he tours with three other bandmates but it remains to be seen if they will be brought over for this year’s SXSW.

DJ Abrantee – he’s the host of Choice FM’s drive time show Monday through Saturday and its Popular and Trending Afrobeats show each Saturday night, has his own Sky TV programme (since 2009, and is an actor. Afrobeats are celebratory, and I’m sure he’ll be bringing his carnival to wherever he’s dropping beats during SXSW.

DJ Edu – Kenyan-born, London-based DJ Edu should be familiar to regular BBC 1Xtra listeners, presenting the Destination Africa show, described on the BBC’s Web site as “bringing the sound of the African underground to the speakers of the UK and the world.” Anticipate the best and latest Afrobeats to be dropped.

DJ Yoda – hip hop meets turntables. FACT Magazine describes his music as “technicolour boom-bap and plenty of notable guest spots.” Make of that what you will.

Girl Unit – neither a girl, nor a unit – it’s one man, Philip Gamble, a dubstep musician and producer. Groan. His 2012 EP ‘Club Rez’ has already been reviewed – and favourably – on Pitchfork, so I think it’s not much of a guess that his SXSW appearances will be rammed.

Jackmaster – Glasgow’s Jack Revill has been DJaying now for a decade, but he’s kept himself fresh by puttin<a hrefg his hand in four labels, a club night, and a day job, besides his DJ gigs. Having DJayed all over the world and having made an appearance late last year at Manchester’s Warehouse Project, he’s more than ready for his close-up at SXSW.

Jam City – identity unknown, but he (?) is on Night Slugs with Girl Unit and interviewed him for this Hyponik feature, so my guess is that their vibes are similar. Just a random guess though.

L-Vis 1990 – James Connolly is the co-founder of Night Slugs, whose roster includes previously discussed DJ acts Girl Unit and Jam City and whose origin arose from a monthly club night he and another London DJ Bok Bok hosted. Though he’s found fame as a remixer for Orbital (grab the remix of ‘New France’ here), Passion Pit, Frankmusik and Crystal Fighters, my guess is he’ll be bringing his blend of Chicago house, drum and bass, grime and Baltimore club to Austin.

Mista Silva – is Boomboomtah you new religion? Then you’ve already heard of Mista Silva. For everyone else though, I was seriously amused by this bit from his official Web site: “Being of Ghanaian origin, Kwame Amponsa was brought up around the sounds of hi-life and its modern form hip-life where artists rapped and sung in their native tongue over hard hitting and melodic beats. Mista Silva later adapted this to Funky House and became known for blending catchy bars inhis native language with common club chants[,] e.g.[,] the crowd enticing “Kelebom, go down low!” Keen to pay full homage to his roots, Silva made the swift transition from Funky House to Afrobeats.“ And that’s all she wrote.

Redinho – London producer Tom Calvert’s formative years in America could be to blame for what he’s doing now: elevating turntablism to an art form, and mixing hip hop and electronic into his sound. He appeared at last year’s Isle of Wight and will appear at Barcelona’s Razzmatazz right before heading over to Austin, so his name, style and reputation should precede him.

Sophie – I’ve no idea what he (?) sounds like, as all I’m seeing online are remixes. But he’s signed to Huntley and Palmers’ label and keeps having shows with other London DJs, he must be doing something right.

Southern Hospitality DJs – DJs Rob Breezy and Superix founded the now infamous Hip Hop Karaoke London, the first of its kind in the UK and an event that has been a road-block every single month at the Social in central London. Recognised for this and many other dance nights their group put on by tonnes of tv and radio stations, newspapers and other media outlets in Britain, they’ve become a DJ force to be reckoned with and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Just shut up and dance!

Sticky – one of the UK’s leading club music producers in the height of the UK Garage scene. His distinctive sound not only made his music unavoidable in the clubs during this era, but also launched the careers of a number of the UK’s leading talents including the 2002 Mercury Prize-winning Ms. Dynamite.

TCTS – Manchester DJ and producer Sam O’Neill offers “futuristic garage with echoes of neo soul and soft whispers of classic Chicago house”.

Toddla T – and speaking of repeat nod surprises, Toddla T gets another nod from SXSW 2 years in a row too, leading me to believe that he’ll again be asked to preside over the dancey DJayed end of some night of British Music Embassy programming at Latitude 30 again. Not really my thing but if that’s what they’re looking for…

Previous coverage of Toddla T are here.

Next week here on TGTF we’ll be bringing the fourth and final genre chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013. On Tuesday, we bring the singer/songwriters and folk artistes. Catch us then!

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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