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Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Asylum at Live Lounge, August 28th 2009

In asylum, bands, jersey, live lounge, music on July 29, 2009 at 16:43
Brobots poster version 1 designed by Brobot 2

Brobots poster version 1 designed by Brobot 2

Visit the MySpace profile of Marvel and you’ll find the emphatic statement SOLD OUT just underneath the cover art of Marvel At This Fiasco EP. There is a good reason for this. The songs of their EP, produced in 2008 with Jersey-based sound designer Sam Falle at the controls, make for a riveting set of post-punk pomp pop complete with indelible vocal hooks, scratchy funk guitars, breakbeats and booming synthesizers. In their MySpace blog there is a strong sense of their determination to make the best pop music ever heard and to have extraordinary amounts of fun while doing it.

Marvel

Marvel

Marvel are Nicholas Baxter, Samuel Falle, Todd MacDonald and Dominic Quaeck. Recently they’ve been touring the UK, recording with Jason Wilcock of Stakeout Studios in Hampton, doing more recordings with John Hall in Leeds and London, and in their choice words experiencing a ‘creative ejaculation’ in which they have generated a lot of material that will be pieced together to form a set of apocalyptic anthems for the next decade. ‘Everything is ridiculous,’ they say, and they have a point.

3d-brobots

3D Brobots

The origins of Brobots are shrouded in mystery, mainly due to the limitations of human thought and language. A translated, fragmentary myth, in which an alien deity called the Spacemaster Bass directs them to Earth with a flashing blue beam before disappearing, followed by his many naked women, smoking cigarettes, seems only to further obscure the lineage of this most enigmatic of all acts to have worked with Asylum.

Brobots is a duo, Brobot 1 and Brobot 2. They are known to be part of a collective that includes DJ Suc Mei Kock and king Kills. They play instruments that cease to function on this planet so they have modified Earth instruments such as keyboards and guitar to create equivalent sounds. While what is produced may be disorienting to human ears it allows an understanding of the music of their alien culture. This is similar to what happened when African Americans took the instruments of the Western orchestra, with its hierarchical structural traditions and the supremacy of the score, and made something non-hierarchical and distinctly free with them, only with space-travelling robots high on helium.

Banquet - Photo by Jonny The Large

Banquet - Photo by Jonny The Large

Banquet, who are Brett Muldoon (vocals and guitar), Chris Mousdale (guitar, synths, loops and vocals), Paul Holt (drums, percussion and vocals), and Scott Kean (bass), have been writing and arranging at a furious pace these last few months. With the file sharing technology of SoundCloud they have been previewing fascinatingly raw works-in-progress from recent sessions. I don’t know how they feel about such experimental material being made public, but it is certainly an interesting insight into the practices of one of the most adept synthesists of computer audio and live performance ever to be heard in the Channel Islands, so here, have a voyeuristic listen: soundcloud.com/banquet

Chris of Banquet has a musical alter ego, Electrolite, with which he deftly explores abstract electronica, random shattered beats and instrumental, minimalist gospel and blues. Electrolite’s sublime music is worth hearing to understand the electronic impulses at Banquet’s heart stripped to the pristine bone.

Banquet are one of several Asylum-affiliated bands who have keenly embraced the networking possibilities of Twitter. The band’s activities on that site are a mix of music tech notes, rehearsal diary and links for interesting new releases by some great artists. Follow them: twitter.com/banquetmusic

Crowne

Crowne

Crowne are Rory Thun (vocals and guitar), Mirek Lenart (bass), Marcin Lach (drums), James Underwood (guitar and organ), and Christian Dellacher (strings and keyboards). To experience Crowne live on stage is to witness a masterclass in musical grace. Their performance at Live Lounge a few months ago, supporting The Light Streams, was one of the decisive peaks of the Asylum series to date. They’ve just released a CD, Nothing Can Stop Us Now, which contains five songs of immaculate, emotionally epic quality. It will be the first record from an ever-growing stack of discs on my desk that I’ll be reviewing in detail for this blog in the coming weeks.

James of Crowne has also produced some fine recordings as Mystery James. His solo works make up a body of cracked, murky, furtive research into instrumental hip hop and song with the voice inscrutably woven in and out of strange textural surroundings; at times delicately pretty and at others obsessively incomplete and unstable. It’s an absorbing set and a great way to examine one fifth of Crowne’s eclectic, yet profoundly complete, musical identity.

Asylum at Live Lounge, August 7th 2009

In asylum, bands, jersey, live lounge, music on July 27, 2009 at 16:36
All together now

All together now

Groovefusers deliver a kind of funk rock that is ambitiously experimental and at the same time irresistibly tuneful. The kitschy retro sci-fi theme of their website’s imagery gives a clue to the spirit of their project. Their recent recordings, available to be purchased from their website or previewed at Groovefusers at MySpace, seethe with inventiveness. Signifiers of ’60s funk – burbling wah bass, phasing guitars like lasers from a space battle scene, taut drumming, vocal harmonies, sparse shading of keyboards – slam into something weirdly modern and very dance oriented.

Groovefusers

Groovefusers

Michael Dryden and Joe Richomme started working together in 2005 for an indie project called Brightsound that would later become 13.53, while Jack Savage joined Josh Yates in The Switch in 2003 to interpret works by Pink Floyd and The Beatles. After both 13.53 and The Switch had broken up in early 2007 the four members of what would become Groovefusers got together as The Good Time Boys, finally settling on a name that perfectly describes the sound and style they currently explore.

The Mulburys, formerly The Echo, are a new band on the scene and they’ve already created a significant impression with their fresh, summery infusion of jazz, reggae and rock at the recent Friends of Vale show at Live Lounge. A week before their next appearance with us they’ll be joining The Empty Seven on stage at Watersplash, Jersey, and the August 2009 edition of style and culture magazine Gallery will contain a feature on them. The Mulburys are Aaron Wheller (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Jack Herbert (lead guitar and vocals), Matt Romeril (bass), and Sam Robinson (drums).

Off Limits are the self-styled best alternative indie band in Jersey, and their claim is justified by a portfolio of recordings that is a supremely confident distillation of Brit beat and punk with clever, urbane lyrics. Off Limits are Jack Moullin (lead vocals and guitar), Geoff Langdon (lead guitar and vocals), Harry A. King (bass), and Ryan Barette (drums). They used to play regularly at Live Lounge and so this performance will be a homecoming for them and their fans.

Off Limits

Off Limits

Gasp’n gus CD cover and photo

In asylum, bands, dinan, jersey, live lounge, music on July 21, 2009 at 15:57

This Friday, July 24th, soul and funk band Gasp’n gus perform at the Live Lounge with support from Jerseybob and DJ Rosbif. The show starts at ten.

for-our-country-cover

Their CD, For Our Country, recorded in August 2008 at Druide Studios, Ploubalay, France, with production by Jeff The Druid, is a terrific set of songs. In the manner of all good pop records, each element and instrument in the mix is clearly represented in spacious arrangements while adding up to a series of performances by a band of friends in synchronous balance. The clarity of the production, and the combination of musical sophistication and raw rock power, recall an era when pop was epic in ambition and full of references to the classic pop canon.

There are many highlights on the record including Rosey, with its reggae-inspired guitar riff, soulful vocal melodies and beautiful violin solo, and Red Hands with a massive drum sound, slap bass, crystalline keyboards and fluid guitar. Check out Gasp’n gus at MySpace and get the album.

Gasp’n gus are Greg Harrison, Maxime Faisant, Antoine Basile, Julian Urtebize, Vincent Faisant and Mikael Marquet.

gasp'n-gus

Jersey Evening Post, July 18th 2009

In asylum, bands, jersey, live lounge, music, oxjam, press on July 18, 2009 at 01:19

Oxjam Jersey news, video and photos

In asylum, bands, fundraising, jersey, live lounge, manchester, music, oxjam on July 17, 2009 at 03:30

A bridge has been built between the Oxjam fund raising project and the live bands community of Jersey. On Saturday July 25th, musicians of Jersey and their fans applaud the work of Oxfam.

There is a large number of acts between two floors and no one need miss their favourite artist. A timetable of the night’s acts will be available from Sara in the ticket booth. Here’s a taste of some of what to expect on the night.

A brand new video from Hedley Le Maistre is scheduled to be shown on the main stage screen at Jersey Live this year. Parts of it will be filmed at this Oxjam event and the audience at Live Lounge will be a prominent part of the video’s storyline. Hedley is a good ol’ bean and we’re very happy to be able to help him out. I’ve asked the barman to get in a bottle of broccoli liqueur especially for the occasion.

BlackStats’ filmmaker dazvibes has recently posted a new video for the band’s song Burning Sons, with a promise of more uploads to come soon. The film is a document of recent studio and stage work by the band. The off-the-wall style of editing suits an evolving sound with increasing compositional complexity. BlackStats performances now feature psychedelic soundscape interludes, buzzing wonky textures, and singing of authentic grandeur. As ever, the mood is one of not too tightly wrapped sexual paranoia and poetic recklessness.

osakadenture has a video of Falenizza Horsepower from a couple of years ago. It’s a photo montage edited to a great song. In hot plasma of electric distortion, cross rhythmic interplay of drums and bass coalesces and dissolves as the music conjures intimations of cosmic catastrophe on the scale of galaxies tipping inexorably together at the turbulent edge of a murky dew-drop we call the universe.

Also working with us at Oxjam are

kevin-2

Kevin Pallot

The Speedways

The Speedways

DJ Phantom Limb

Phantom Limb

Stephan Metcalfe

Stephan Metcalfe

Dave Findlay, sound engineer

Dave Findlay, sound engineer

Brave Yesterday and DJs Carlo and Livingstone are also performing on the middle floor. Entertainment on the newly refitted top floor is provided by amancalledhorse, Andy Manson, Dança da Liberdade, Gotlyrich, Jackson Lee, and Phantom Limb. We expect to exceed expectations of what great dance music can be at the turn of a decade of mashup and genre deconstruction.

Oxjam Music Festival, Jersey, July 25th 2009

In asylum, bands, fundraising, jersey, live lounge, manchester, music, oxjam on July 4, 2009 at 06:53

Oxfam needs your support

Tickets for Oxjam Music Festival are on sale, £5, from the following vendors:

White Label Records, 4 La Colomberie, St. Helier, JE2 4QB
SDS, 13 La Colomberie, St. Helier, Jersey, JE2 4QB

Raffle tickets are available and there are lots of great prizes. I’ll update this blog with a list of the raffle prizes shortly.

Oxfam GB is working to end poverty worldwide. Go to the Oxfam website to learn about their initiatives to support the basic needs of people caught up in the escalating humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, to help millions affected by Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh, to deliver aid to civilians displaced by war in Sri Lanka, to demand action on climate change from governments, and many other vital programmes.

Louise Williams and Chris Almond are promoting the island’s first Oxjam Music Festival. Oxjam is about raising money for Oxfam to tackle poverty all over the world. Holding an Oxjam fundraising event means that we can help people to earn a living, get an education, gain better access to health care and fresh water, and to grow more food. Every pound raised counts.

Oxjam Jersey is a little out-of-step with the national Oxjam calendar which tends to get busy around October. Jersey is happiest in summer and so we’re holding our show in July. What is hoped to be an annual event is inaugurated with a lineup of bands, solo artists, dancers and DJs that is second-to-none.

For the first time since the Asylum nights at Live Lounge began, we’ll be opening the top floor up as well as the middle floor bands area. The recently refurbished top floor, with sumptuous new decor, will be the place to hear some of the best DJs in the island as well as see a fantastic dance performance and lots more surprises.

TOP FLOOR

Jackson Lee

Mesmerising beatbox, loops and samples showcase from the island’s undisputed master of hip hop vocals.

Dança da Liberdade

Capoeira demonstration: A Brazilian fusion of fight and dance techniques encompassing acrobatics, music and song. Makulele demonstration: Once a fight with machetes this Afro-Brazilian dance depicts the life of the slaves on the plantations cutting the sugar cane and lamenting their homeland.

Andy Manson

Andy is the creator of the brilliant Insole nights at Pure where such amazing talents as Cut La Roc, M. I. Loki, and Loop De Ville have joined him in recent months. Andy says “I’m really pleased to be involved with Oxjam this year. I’m looking forward to playing a whole heap of familiar tunes, remixed by some of the hottest jacking, dubstep and wobble producers of the moment!”

amancalledhorse

Breaks, rave and mashup in a futuristic sonic gumbo.

DJ Phantom Limb

Phantom Limb plays other people’s records, scratched charity shop rejects and the type of music that makes grans sit down at weddings.

Gotlyrich

A complete mash-down of old and new designed for the funky generation.

MIDDLE FLOOR

BlackStats

They’ve recently recorded a new set of swaggering, evil glam future classics that reach ever greater heights of rock ‘n’ roll inspiration. BlackStats MySpace

Brave Yesterday

Another band with a huge reputation, and a seemingly unstoppable well of songwriting creativity. Their latest songs are jubilant celebrations of the pop song as art form delivering emotional impact and technical wonder. Brave Yesterday MySpace

FalenizzaHorsepower

Masters of the post post-punk universe, and such indispensable friends of Asylum that almost certainly none of it would happen without them, FalenizzaHorsepower return to the Live Lounge, following their wonderful trio incarnation at Ecuador Challenge, this time as a bass, drums, loops and vocals duo. Get some tuneless wheezing in your life.

Kevin Pallot and The Pinnacles

Ambitious, deep, group-arranged soul pop from one of the island’s best songwriters and a band of talented musicians. Jazz, blues, folk and rock have rarely been blended so fine. Kevin Pallot MySpace

The Speedways

Hear the half-rapped, half-sung vocal of The Speedways’ Lose Yourself, with its disco punk beat and protean guitar riffs that take ska as their starting point and quickly divert to somewhere weird, primitive and lovely, and understand here is another of the island’s innumerable pop pioneers at work. The Speedways MySpace

Stephan Metcalfe

Stephan is a songwriter of unique quality. His songs are literate and wondrously imaginative, and the recordings he has produced are constructed with a consciously punk attitude to objective chance and textural experimentation. Stephan Metcalfe MySpace He is also another blogger at wordpress.com, hello Stephan!

A large banner, 300 cm by 50 cm, has been designed as part of this promotion. Working on such a large document nearly brought my poor, overworked laptop to the brink of meltdown. It features group photography by Roy Yates, amongst others. Two of these banners will be displayed in prominent locations in St. Helier. Thanks to Clare Sullivan and Jane Denney at Prestige Properties for allowing use of their office and curious wooden effigies.

oxjam-banner-copy