Hi folks. Just a heads up that BarryGruff has moved after 4 years of blogging to it’s brand new home of barrygruff.com.
I hope you’ll all continue to follow my musical musings at the new haunt & thanks for stopping by at the blog over the past 4 years. It means a lot. 4 years, how did the time go so quickly?
London-based producer Daniel Avery, already wowed us with his excellent debut LP Drone Logic, belated discovery over the festive period. It’s a big old fashioned dance album, in the sense that it revolves around no nonsense synths with house/techno beats in a similar way to Underworld or Leftfield in their pomp, and is nothing short of amazing.
A couple of weeks back, he released this sublime new remix of ‘How You Say’ by Factory Floor, who’s own debut of motorik, bone-rattling analog magic from last year has plenty of it’s own spectacular moments. On this eight-plus-minute remix, Avery applies a foggy-hazy touch to transform the skeletal original into a more lush and blissful track.
‘How You Say (Daniel Avery Remix)’ can be streamed in full below, before its release on April 14th through DFA. Factory Floor also have a string of North American tour dates, if you’re on that side of the pond, check them here.
Following the demise of Pete & The Pirates, a tentative eye has been kept on Thomas Sanders and company’s new outfit Teleman.
Two stunning singles later, ala ‘Steam Train Girl’ & ‘Cristina’, and Teleman are readying the release of their Bernard Butler produced debut LP, Breakfast. Ahead of the album’s May 26th release, the London-based boys have offered up another fine taste of things to come with new track ‘Lady Low’. It’s a limpid, loungey and airy number which also sports a full on saxophone solo in its latter stages and it really works so well. No massive surprise at laid-back, sunken and slumbering nature of ‘Lady Low’, it’s pretty much in keeping with what was so excitable about their previous releases. Effortlessly cool stuff once again from Teleman. Roll on May 26th and their debut LP.
Breakfast will be released on May 26th through Moshi Moshi Records and ‘Lady Low’ is below for your listening pleasure and available in exchange for you email address here.
In early 2011 Simple Kid announced through his official website that there will be no further music nor tours by Simple Kid. Despite this announcement, a new single, ‘The Road’, slipped out well and truly under the radar in the Spring of 2012.
Since then? Nothing. Well not quiet it seems. In November of last year he did it again, with out any fuss or anything really, Simple Kid slid a new song under the radar, called ‘Snakes and Ladders’. The track, commissioned by the BBC as part Radio 4 series ‘Forever Young’, suggests the synths, beats and electronics of ‘The Road’ have been put to one side for the time being. Preferred instead is that recognizable and grainy SK alt-folk sound, as he and an unknown female vocal companion lament the precariousness which is all to real for so many living through the throes Capitalism’s latest crisis. The songwriting is clever yet subtle and the song in general is superb.
Whether this is it, or we shall be intermittently treated to the odd track here and there or, by some stroke of luck might see something more substantial is anyone’s guess. Only the kid knows that for certain.
Hat tip to former Vagabond Dave Phelan for this one.
If anyone out there harbored any doubts concerning Marika Hackman‘s talent, new offering ‘Deep Green’ should dispel them once and for all.
New single ‘Deep Green’ follows on the heels of last years mini-album, That Iron Taste & Sugar Blind EP, and she has conjured up another wonderfully ghostly and dark folk song. ‘Deep Green’ manages to retain the haunting, fragile beauty and predilection for the morose and gloomy, that marked her earlier releases, whilst delivering something altogether more intense and ghostly. Driven by haunting wails, tribal percussion and a rather unnerving sample in the background; Hackman’s quietly foreboding tale unfolds, with her fragile voice still her finest asset. There’s tranquility in this spectral landscape she creates, but it’s a broody calm fraught with neurosis of deep green water. There’s a dark allure to this one, and one that’ll have you hooked.
‘Deep Green’ is taken from the forthcoming Deaf Heat EP, released on April 14th through Dirty Hit.
The Tories are in power, a mighty footballing power appears to be on the wane and if we we’re in need of a soundtrack to this bastard early ’90s re-visitation – Birmingham three-piece Juice are likely to provide it.
A serendipitous discovery on a ramble through the interwebs, or more succinctly, while reading the excellent blog, The Metaphorical Boat. And my, what a find Juice have turned out to be, or more to the point, the band’s debut single, ‘Sugar’. Unleashed online a few weeks back, their debut single is a spellbinding indie-rock tune, navigating a perfect path between sugar-sweet pop and riotous noise. It’s got everything you could want from a song; attitude, aggression, a whirl of scorching riffs, pounding percussion, and a bubbling bassline. Not to mention the concentrated, succulent verses and a chorus that would have the shyest festival crowds singing along. Yes, there is a serious tang of early to mid ’90s British guitar bands, yet it doesn’t sound dated, rehashed or recycled. This is just a tune.
There’s no firm details of a release date as of yet but sure you can stream ‘Sugar’ to your hearts content below.
Leeds band The Sunshine Underground have unveiled the first track from their forthcoming self-titled third album, ‘Don’t Stop’.
It seems the guitars are set for a more peripheral role as they fully commit themselves to embracing synthy electronica, which is no real surprise, previous single ‘It Is Only You’ suggested as much. ‘Don’t Stop’ is packed with blinding synths, heavy dance beats and signature cowbell, all serving to illuminate their knack for inspiring a sing-a-long. This one has shades of LCD Soundsystem about it and like much of their backcatalogue, this is an utterly cool and dance-inducing track.
‘Don’t Stop’ will take its place alongside nine other new songs on their self-titled third album, and its out May 19th. This will be their first album in four years as it goes – it’s good to have them back.
Last year Castle debuted with Gasface, an enigmatic intro to the North Carolina MC/producer’s talent. It offered everything needed from a hip hop record; style, substance, beats, slick production and meaningful lyricism.
Castle is back with a ‘new’ LP, Return of the Gasface (The Has-Lo Passages), which sees his gruff delivery, frank observations cheeky sense of humour undergo a full-length redo from labelmate Has Lo. Such a fan was he of Gasface, that Has Lo re-envisioned an entirely new identity for it, getting Castle to re-record verses, adding his own verses and production style, to create something that sounds a lot different to your usual remix project. The first taste of Gasface re-imagined is ‘Live Action’, originally called ‘No Prep Time’, it indicated in no small way that the reworking is a more than worthwhile exercise. ‘Live Action’ is injected with a new spirit and it’s strength lies in the execution, particularly the two artists willingness work together in tandem for a common goal. Has Lo’s production is flawless, bouncy beats entrance you while the pauses and breaks are perfectly timed to compliment Castle’s delivery and flow. Realized at the most opportune moments, it reinforces what Castle’s got to say, sounding more authoritative and speaking with an authority that makes you pay attention.
Return of the Gasface (The Has-Lo Passages) is released on March 18th with original artwork by Josh Bayer. For now though, you can sample the delight that is ‘Live Action’.
Photo: David Wala
London four-piece Telegram were responsible for one of the most exciting and scintillating debut singles of 2013, ‘Follow’.
‘Follow’ was an unrestrained savage blast of tripped-out psych-punk and the kraut-glam-psych enthusiasts are back with a follow-up ‘Rule Number One’. The pace and ferocity is upped considerably and the distortion pedals are certainly put through their paces. It’s brutal yet beautiful, as this intense psych-punk blitz is tempered by their subtle glam influences. Matt Saunders distinctive brogue aid his vocals, which ring in your ear above the scuzzy riffs and pounding drum-lines. Another phenomenal tune which effortlessly combine all their influences into something akin to falling through an endless, swirling technicolour vortex. Top stuff once again from Telegram.
You can download ‘Rule Number One’ below for FREE & you catch them in the flesh when they support Miles Kane in the Academy, Dublin on April 3rd.
Gruff Rhys is back with a new album, American Interior, and will be accompanied by a book, documentary film and app for a “multisensory experience telling the incredible true story of John Evans”.
The Super Furries frontman’s latest record is inspired by the unusual journey of 18th century explorer John Evans, a young farmhand from Snowdonia who traveled through lands that would eventually become part of today’s USA, in search of a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe called The Madogwys living there. Lead single and title track from the upcoming LP, ‘American Interior’ reminds us how captivating a storyteller Rhys is, who wistfully spins a narrative of being carried through new worlds and visions amid the luscious and beautiful instrumentation. The song suggests that beyond all the chatter about multimedia extravaganza – an exciting album’s worth of new material is on the horizon.
American Interior is released via Turnstile on 5th May – check out the title track for yourself below.
Keys (formerly The Keys) have unveiled their brand new single ‘Bad Girls’, the first to be taken from forthcoming album Ring The Changes, due sometime this May through See Monkey Do Monkey Records.
The band, who hail from the Welsh capital of Cardiff, are kindly giving away new single, ‘Bad Girls’, as a free download. Apparently inspired by Matth Keys’ late night journeys home from college, where he’d be propositioned by ‘ladies of the night. Whatever the case, the single is a glorious, swooning psych-surf pop brew, a tune so catchy, it will stick in your head for days. The surf pop and psych influences run free, harmonious, melodic and subtle; but swirled with psychedelic patterns and freewheeling colourful splashes. It’s fair to say this would sit rather comfortably alongside the likes of Super Furry Animals, The Coral and The Bees.
You can download ‘Bad Girls’ below & Ring The Changes will be released later this year via See Monkey Do Monkey Records.
From his Longford hideaway, operating under the guise of Imploded View, Jerome McCormick has proven a reliable source of experimental, sometimes abstract but always interesting electronic music.
McCormick’s preference has always been atmospheric, downtempo and minimalist electronic compositions with sparse sounds, synths and all manner of analogue trickery. Dark, moody and immediately emotive, the music rarely if ever, emerges from first gear, preferring to meander through a vast and cloudy world of dreamy, chilled sounds and ambient dreamscapes. Having released album #2, Anomoly Domine only last year, this latest work from the Imploded View camp is something quite different.
Mixed View is a remix package (plus two new originals) which sees the entrusting of remix duties to R.S.A.G, Christ, VHS Head, Daithi & Yimino. Of them, the standout’s are R.S.A.G’s rework of ‘The Keeping’ and VHS Head’s remix of ‘Julia Taxi’. R.S.A.G takes probably the most playful and laid-back of all Imploded View’s works and adds pep to its step so to speak, giving it a new lease of life with an irresistible groove, bounce and a swaggering cool confidence of David Holmes or Primal Scream. VHS Head meanwhile, takes the dark, moody melancholy of ‘Julia Taxi’ and turns it into a fascinating, futuristic and impermeable concoction imbued between rumbling sonic road trip of its psychedelic whirls and the dense ear-shaking beats and crunching bass. Just two choice cuts from a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable EP.
Mixed View is out now and available here.