I’ve been pretty busy over the last couple of months, and accordingly I’ve not had a great deal of time to devote to M M & M. This is especially true of the number of things submitted for review. As much as I’d like to give everything proper, in depth attention, I just don’t have the time at the moment. But I thought I’d do a bit of a trawl through some of my backlog, and at least give you some flavour of the music.
ZURAMONE – Spider’s Dance EP (XS Records XS67)
Zuramone is the solo project of a Portuguese drummer called Alex. It’s a free download EP consisting of four short tracks. Each is percussion led with a variety of electronics and guitars giving the tracks a bit of colour. Opening track “Green is Not Our Enemie” comes across like a twentyfirst century Sandy Nelson, but elsewhere the emphasis is on a more abstract kind of electronica which reaches its apogee on the atmospheric industrial sounds of “The Spider’s Last Moment”.
FRENCH WIVES – Dogfight / Halloween (Instinctive Racoon)
This two track single is the debut release of French Wives, a group who deal in the kind of literate indie that is typical of Scottish acts. They are slightly reminiscent of My Latest Novel, combining a bouncy pop sensibility with more sober violin and brass flourishes.
BPOLAR – Subversive Vespers (XS Records XS66)
Another free download from XS Records, Subversive Vespers is a four track mini album that runs for just short of half an hour. If I was to slap a label on it, I guess ambient dub would be the closest. This is music concerned more with texture and atmosphere than it is with melody. “Burning Statement” plods along in a narcotic fog. “Petrol Song” is pure cosmic ambience, while “Encoding Airport” is featherlight. Final track”Cortex Delta” returns to the infected dub of the opener.
PINTAIL – Impulses (no label)
I have no details about Pintail except that he/she/they/it is/are based in Brighton. Impulses is a nine track EP consisting of nine short pieces imaginatively entitled Impulses I-IX. This is instrumental music that is by turns both melodic and abstract, sometimes lush, sometimes skeletal. Influences mentioned include Murcof and Steve Reich – the former is very apparent. Even so, this is a compelling eighteen minutes that ebbs and flows with a delicate piano figure here, and a discordant passage there. It’s strong on atmosphere and restlessly flits from idea to idea.
PUNTO THE FEEF – Spellbound / Trips to Nothing (no label)
Punto the Feef are a Glasgow guitar band who seem torn between being the next Stone Roses and a headtrip psychedelic rock group. “Spellbound” is built on a heady riff that is pure John Squire, but has a good punch to it. “Trips to Nothing”, on the other hand, is a multi-faceted piece that has an almost prog-rock structure, heading back and forth between impish bounce, bucolic folk and acid freak-out over its seven minutes. The sound lacks a bit of punch which is a shame, but they definitely show a lot of promise and, crucially, don’t sound much like anyone else out there at the moment.
More reviews to come soon including God’s Gift, Gate, City of Satellites, En Plein Air, Ian Hawgood, Sleep Whale, Karlheinz Essl and Matthew Ostroski, Vlor and Wes Willenbring.