OKAY, I may be a little late to the party on this LP, as it was released way back when this year, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to enjoy myself now I’m here.
Because High Contrast has sculpted a truly exquisite collection with his fourth album, The Agony And The Ecstacy.
Without completely stepping away from his dark drum and bass roots – for example here with the ominous Father, Can’t You See I’m Burning? he could still set light to just about any dancefloor – he has added, as the Michaelangelo album art implies, a high art twist.
His breakbeats are now laced with soaring melodies, his productions dripping with swells of emotion.
It’s no wonder household names like Underworld and Tiesto are lining up to work with High Contrast.
Quite simply, there’s an astonishing beauty to this collection – check out The First Note Is Silent or Return Of Forever, these are feelings not often captured on a DnB track.
The Agony And The Ecstacy – it’s much more of the latter for me.
ANYONE reading this who isn’t aware – the UK has an amazing hip hop scene.
If you think that hip hop and rap begins and ends with the likes of Snoop Doggy Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent et al, drop what you’re doing and listen to some Roots Manuva, some Scroobius Pip, some Sound Of Rum, some Braintax, some Taskforce…
Anyway, the reason I say this is my stumbling upon Great Scott.
The Back To The Future catchphrase-exclaiming crew are an unsigned group from Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, with an old school funky vibe and mic skills and production values which bely their amateur status.
If you want to find out more, there’s a wad of free tracks available at their Facebook page.
THE quids are alright!
According to the Bank of England, Take That bad boy Robbie Williams is one of the names suggested to take pride of place on UK currency.
The Bank of England has produced a list of notable names suggested by members of the public to grace bank notes alongside our Jubilee-toasting monarch Queen Elizabeth II.
Among the musical mentions are classical composers such as Thomas Tallis, Henry Purcell, Dame Ethel Smyth, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten – and of course Sir Edward Elgar, who did feature on the old £20 being taken out of circulation.
However more modern musicians feature on the list – Mick Jagger, The Beatles, and, er, Robbie Williams.
A Bank of England spokesman said: “The Bank reserves the right not to include suggested names. Inclusion on the list does not imply any endorsement by the Bank.”
Thanks goodness for that.
MUSIC First promotor and Hilltop Wizards radio broadcaster David Norris has put together a Soundcast playlist singing the praises of the live and unsigned.
He says: “I’ve chosen a selection of tracks of varying genres, so there’s a little something for everyone. These are some of the best artists we’ve worked with and a great advert for unsigned music.
“Lots of people claim to ‘love’ music but I would say most of those people could only name charting artists. Little do they know that there is a plethora of fantastic music being written, recorded and played live right on their own doorstep!
“In my own personal opinion I would say for every top 10 charting single there are at least 10 unsigned songs that are better. All it takes is being brave enough to take that chance, head down to your local music venues and open your mind to some new and wonderful music!
“Just because a band is unsigned it doesn’t mean they’re not good, remember, Kasabian started at The Shed in Leicester as a band called Saracuse.
“Plus with how social media has developed over the last few years you can now hear most of these great unsigned bands on Facebook, Soundcloud, Spotify and many more. I would say Facebook is the best place to start as most bands have their own pages where you can listen to their music and find out where to see them live.
“So go on you music lovers, get out there and discover a whole new world you never knew existed.”
To hear the playlist listen to the widget below, hear it in Spotify by clicking here, and check out Music First and Hilltop Wizards as well.
FIRSTLY, a little context.
The relaunch of this blog had rejuvinated and rekindled my already ludicrously obsessive relationship with music of late.
And in the past few weeks there’s been some great music released.
For example last Monday alone I was awestruck by the brilliance of I Like Trains’ latest doom-laden synth-soaked LP The Shallows, the raw brilliance of The Royal Headache’s debut, the full throttle rock of Hot Water Music, the folk-drum and bass crossovers of The Imagined Village…
You get the picture.
But there had to be a bad week coming, and I think it’s here – for a start nothing new out this week compares to the aforementioned releases.
And then I’ve got a handful of thoroughly disappointing forthcoming releases to review.
A little more context – I really like Paloma Faith.
I think she’s original, exciting, talented, cute, quirky, funny, totally engrossing with a belter of a voice – she’s like Lady Gaga and Kylie rolled in to one.
I have a lot of time for her.
But all the time I have given to her new album, Fall To Grace, sadly has been wasted.
This collection is just lacking – despite Faith’s best efforts, there’s no stand-out Stone Cold Sober singles, instead there’s too many ballads and yet none reach the peaks of her debut.
Quite simply, it’s luckly that Paloma Faith is behind the mic on Fall To Grace to drag it up to average.
LAST year, two of the best albums released came from the genius of Tom Vek and Bombay Bicycle Club.
So it was without hesitation I jumped at the chance to share this with you, a Vek remix of one of the Bombay Bicycle Club 2011 highlights, How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep
Click here to grab Tom Vek’s Big Beatnik Mix of the track and then reacquaint yourself with both of their albums, by order of Sound Advice.
STANDING astride the singer songwriter world like a colossus is The Tallest Man On Earth, whose soaring Dylanesque acoustic work is sure to lift any listener.
And with a new album, There’s No Leaving Now, coming out next month, Sound Advice can offer up a free download of a new track, 1904.
Make a date with 1904 by clicking here – it certainly shows Kristian Matsson continuining his lofty musical ambitions.