Tasty offering from Simian Mobile Disco


A NEW album from Simian Mobile Disco is a mouth-watering prospect at the best of times, but this first taster of their own record label Delicatessan will have you smacking your lips.
This is no slur on their exceptional oeuvre to date – I am a massive fan – but Delicacies steps away from the gimmicky, guest vocalist side of the duo.
Instead – much like the Chemical Brother’s 2010 album Further – intense, heads-down, dark dance is on the menu.
Nom nom nom.
Pounding, engrossing, extended electronica pervades, making a sound more akin to Deadmau5 or even Autechre in style.
It’s well worth getting your teeth into, and chewing until your jaws ache.

Safe In The Steep Cliffs top


ALTHOUGH I’m a month behind the release of Emancipator’s Safe In The Steep Cliffs, I’m bursting to blog about it.
The DJ came to the fore supporting Bonobo recently after a steady ascent to fame, and you can see how he landed the job – with similarities between this LP and Bonobo’s brilliant Black Sands.
Equally chilled out and possessing the same head-nodding beats, the LP is an abundance of warm, string-soaked, orchestral cinematic electronica, and deserves an equal amount of plaudits.



CONTEMPORARY classical composer Max Richter’s new album Infra is so good it makes me want to do a little dance.
Adapted from his score for a ballet, the album once again sees Richter’s sublime slow-burning string and piano work fused to his delicate electronic studio tampering.
With almost a minimal amount of sounds, Richter draws emotion from the listener to create a compelling ebb and flow throughout the album..
Infra is simply mesmerising, an eerie, atmospheric sound as timeless as it is futuristic.

Champ a winner


THEIR first release A Lesson In Crime, although undeniably brilliant, could be seen as naive, approaching the EP with so much gusto that tracks were saturated with ideas, over before they begun, and the whole effort finished in a quarter of an hour.
Tokyo Police Club’s second, the LP Elephant Shell, took on these flaws with the Canadians taking a little more time – but you could hear they were still growing.
And now the triumphant Champ is their most measured, mature effort to date.
Insidiously catchy, full of high-pitched guitar licks and chunky drumbeats, it’ll be a crime if Tokyo Police Club tracks like Not Sick and Bambi don’t get the recognition they deserve.



AN ACT in its infancy, if Kid Adrift’s Oxytocin EP is anything to go by – and I hope it is – he could grow into something special.
The Scottish musician crafts forceful rock pop songs laced with subtle hooks and brimming with character.
But rather like Mr Fogg’s alt-pop Moving Parts earlier this year and Album of the Year Stateless from 2008, these are then pumped full of atmospheric production, electro beats and other studio jiggery-pokery.
A few listens to Oxytocin, and Kid Adrift will be part of your musical furniture.

Flaws awesome


BOMBAY Bicycle Club’s new album Flaws is an acoustic effort which was recorded in tandem with their debut I Had The Blues But Shook Them Loose.
But despite the self-depreciating name, Flaws can have very few criticisms made of it.
Even more impressive than their indie rock introduction, the band show a real emotive side to their subtle sound when stripped-back, which should be appealing to fans of Mumford And Sons and Laura Marling.
In a way, it’ll be a shame if they plug back in – it’s like comparing the joys of a countryside cycle with motorbike commute.

Half time report – Albums Of The Year 2010 so far

TODAY is halfway through 2010 – my hasn’t time flown – so I thought the time was right for a recap.
Because theoretically around half of my Albums Of The Year 2010 should have been released by now.
But however much as I’d like to be some sort of omniscient music resource, I’ll wager a lot of damn good albums have already passed me by this year.
So here’s my plea – if I seem to have missed any releases you really think I should have covered by now, drop me a comment below or visit the Sound Off forum and let me know your favourites so far.
For your reference, here is a list of my five-out-of-five-rated releases, minus EPs and compilations, from January through to the end of June –
Autechre – Oversteps
Bass Clef – May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way
Bonobo – Black Sands
Blockhead – The Music Scene
Castrovalva – We Are A Unit
Chemical Brothers – Further
Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – The Logic Of Chance
Dead Weather – Sea Of Cowards
Deftones – Diamond Eyes
Foals – Total Life Forever
Four Tet – There Is Love In You
Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
Gonjasufi – A Sufi And A Killer
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
Hesta Prynn – Can We Go Wrong
Jaga Jazzist – One-Armed Bandit
Jonsi – Go
Kvelertak – Kvelertak
Massive Attack – Heligoland
Owen Pallett – Heartland
Polar Bear – Peepers
Six Gallery – Breakthroughs In Modern Art
Sleepy Sun – Fever
These Monsters – Call Me Dragon
Tobacco – Maniac Meat
Trentemoller – The Great Wide Yonder
Valgeir Sigurdsson – Draumalandid
Whitefield Brothers – Earthology

Eyeing up the Deftones


PR COMPANIES take note – being a pretentious music critic, I rarely write about albums after their release date.

However I have to make an exception for Diamond Eyes, the Deftones’ 2010 release – mainly as I have listened to it more than any other album this year, with the possible exception of Bonobo’s Black Sands.
The first record from the Sacramento heavy metal band since bassist Chi Cheng suffered horrendous injuries in a car crash, you would have expected this outing to see them venting their feelings, with angrier, angsty, riff-driven material the order of the day.
But, acerbic tracks like CMND/CTRL excepted, Diamond Eyes is the group’s most mature and complete album to date.

Kvelertak on track


IT IS generally thought that the British Midlands is the spiritual home of heavy metal – but bands like Kvelertak prove it probably holidays in Scandinavia.
I checked out the self-titled album by Norwegians Kvelertak on the strength of the cover art, and as the last time I did that I discovered the amazing Six Gallery’s Breakthroughs In Modern Art I should probably chance it a bit more.
Because Kvelertak is simply amazing – led by chugging guitars and Norwegian vocals, the LP is undoubtedly very metal.
However their sound encompasses all manner of influences, from Mastodon-like prog metal to Backyard Babies-style glam to throat-shredding Gallows punk, and they’re not afraid to break out the acoustic guitars when needed.

Unbeatable Meat


LISTENING to Tobacco may be a dirty habit, but it is very moreish.
I can’t promise that the Pennsylvanian solo artist, also a member of Black Moth Super Rainbow, won’t make you smell, increase your phlegm production or turn your fingers a funny colour – anything’s possible with his scuzzy lunatic mash-up of electro, hip hop and alt rock.
Featuring Beck on two tracks, his second album is a fractured and slightly unhinged landscape dominated by deep fuzzy bass and whirring synth lines loosely pinned together with stuttering beats.
Maniac Meat – you’d be crazy not to tuck in.