Shake your rump to the Plump

LONDON’S Plump DJs just got even plumper – thanks to the release of their fourth album, Headthrash.
The duo of Les Rous and Andy Gardner have always been among the greatest creators of breakbeats around, but sometimes they lacked the accompanying tune for their club-thumping ‘choons’.
However on Headthrash, out June 2 on the brilliant Finger Lickin’ Records label, there is some real meat on these always exquisitely crafted bones.
On System Addict they bake emotive swells and hip hop vocal samples into their already-tasty nu skool breaks pie, Shifting Gears sees funky, soulful string samples come into play and SNAFU sees the group’s trademark beeps and squelches go into skittering overdrive.
Quite simply, Plump DJs are the phattest around.

Ladytron electronica a tonic

VELOCIFERO, Liverpool-based Ladytron‘s fourth album, is the sound of a computer that’s turned on.
Here the electro poppers have crossed sultry, sleazy vocals with mechanical drones and dark, industrial beats, while retaining adding an aloof air of mystery – for example on Kletva, which is sung entirely in Bulgarian.
The group have clearly picked up the baton of edgy, sexy, dancey, indie-y pop from Goldfrapp – who decided this year with Seventh Tree to go sunbathing instead.
In contrast Ladytron’s Velocifero is music for the nighttime – and a dark night at that.

Wombat ball

STREWTH! The Wombats are coming to Loughborough.
Liverpool three-piece breakthrough indie band The Wombats will be bringing their chart-busting sound to Loughborough Students’ Union on June 10.
Admission to see the band, best known for hits such as Moving To New York, Let’s Dance To Joy Division and Backfire At The Disco, costs £15 for non-students, or £14 with an NUS card.
Nikki Shipley, Students’ Union spokeswoman, said: “With the UK tours selling out fast, here at Loughborough Students Union we promise not to disappoint.
“In our 1,600 capicity room we fully intend to have a fully packed venue all adding to an amazing, one off experience that is not to be missed.
“It is certainly going to be an awesome start to the summer months and promises to be a highlight of the year!”
Tickets are available online here, or from Loughborough Students’ Union reception.

Royworld out of this world

ECCENTRIC indie poppers Royworld, who take their name from a Welsh bowling alley, are ready to strike with their debut album Man In The Machine.
For this Buggles-esque release of 80s inspired melodrama is top of the pomps – epic, dynamic and full of more hooks than the classified section of the Angling Times.
Singles like Elasticity and Dust are both radio-friendly and challengingly complex, and completely different from their contemporaries.
Even the band’s structure is a little off-the-wall, with their poignant songs co-written by singer Rod Futrille and his brother Crispin, who is not even in the band.
Ultimately these songs are big compositions, and it would be an injustice if by the end of the year, Royworld are not playing the arenas they would be so at home in.
In the meantime, you can catch them near Loughborough in Nottingham’s Rock City on June 3, and Leicester’s Summer Sundae festival on August 8.


CUT loose and lay back this summer with Loose Salute, music’s answer to the lobotomy.
For the band’s goodtime surf indie is like sunshine encapsulated, but like The Shortwave Set‘s album earlier this Spring, the result is just a bit gormless.
For some people sitting on a sandy backside jobless and grinning in a VW campervan is an idyll.
For me this image is not as nice as Loose Salute would have it.
Sure, it’s nice for a break, but not all the time.

The Lab ab fab

THE Lab’s One, a 10-track sampler from the Manchester-based label, is a successful experiment.
Compiled under the “naive notion that good music will prevail,” the selection is a mixed bag, from the driving rock of North Dakota’s The Wooden Sky to the acoustic tinkering of Vandaveer’s Crooked Mast.
Some of it is forgettable, for instance The Panda Band’s effort which just doesn’t gel for me, but with the likes of the We Are Scientists-esque Secret Broadcast, Snow Patrol-style Soft, the simply awesome Snowden and the star in waiting that is Rod Thomas, The Lab may well have lined up several of my new favourite bands in one fell swoop.
The CD is available from June 2, or you can listen to it here!

Hold a candle for Wax Tailor


FRENCHMAN Wax Tailor‘s blend of trip hop and hip hop, thrip hop if you will, that is Hope And Sorrow finally gets a UK release next month.
The Tailor-made sophomore album from Wax, whose real name is the decidedly Gallic Jean-Christophe Le Saoût, sees a select group of carefully-selected collaborators – such as funk vocalist Sharon Jones and rappers The Others – join the DJ for a slick, cinematic outing.
The result is a mixture of rich, textured, string drenched beats and head-nodding hip hop that proves there’s life for trip hop beyond the city limits of Bristol.

Kraak & Smaak traaks laaking


DUTCH dance collective Kraak And Smaak‘s breakthrough album Plastic People has plastic bagged them some attention in this country since its release earlier this month.
And deservedly so, as their unmistakably European brand of souped-up house with a funky slant in the vein of Etienne de Crecy or Cassius is made for the dancefloor.
Tracks like Squeeze Me and Man Of Constant Sorrow show a group clearly having fun plying their trade.
However not all the tracks have such an appeal, and when the melodies or vocals are less demanding of attention, such as on California Roll or Thinking Back, the drumbeats need to step into the fray more.
Unfortunately they don’t meaning that by the end of the LP, attention can stray – but don’t just listen to a haak like me.
Plastic People is still a craaking album, and one of the best dance albums to land on my desk so far this year, so why not go Dutch.

Just Radiohead

AT LEAST the compilers of this remarkable band’s Best Of had the sense to produce it over two CDs.
For Radiohead, since 1992’s Creep, have forged a name for themselves as one of the greatest, most innovative and creative and yet consistent makers of music since The Beatles laid down their instruments.
There is nothing I could write here about individual songs that you don’t know already, suffice to say all the band’s big hitters are here – Just, Street Spirit, Paranoid Android, Pyramid Song, etc. etc. – minus the latest LP In Rainbows‘ tracks, as EMI didn’t hold the rights.
So as a companion to In Rainbows for anyone who doesn’t know the band’s back catalogue intimately yet, this would be as good a place to start discovering the Oxford five-piece’s songbook as any.