Review: Public Service Broadcasting leave you beaming

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THE high-energy sounds of London duo Public Service Broadcasting are sure to leave you beaming.
The group’s unusual music is a sort of synthed-up fast-paced instrumental post rock, akin to Errors jamming with Kraftwerk, resulting in retro vibe like the background music on a 1980s TV gameshow.
Atop this throughout new album Inform – Educate – Entertain are a simply wizard selection of 1930s-sounding samples, giving a Pathe films, BBC World Service feel to proceedings.
Oh, and random banjos too.
The results are simply irrepressible – in fact, I would be doing you a public disservice not recommending a listen.


Review: Los Chinches clinch my attention

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FED up with the same old run of the mill repeated rubbish pumping out of the radio?
I bloody am.
So I was particularly pleased to have a copy of Los Chinches’ Fongo land on my desk.
The group are a London-based outfit, a mixture of European and Latin American musicians who mix cumbia grooves with retro psychedelic-tinged Peruvia ‘chicha’ rock and ska – stick that up your “great music variety”, radio.
And the upbeat retro sound of Fongo harnesses the sunny South American disposition, and the hot rhythms of the continent, to create a good time sound that is at times a bit corny, but always entertaining and most definitely not run of the mill.

Albums of the Year: Basement should’ve been a big seller

IF YESTERDAY’S post showcased a band looking to the future of modern rock in the form of Alt-J, today’s Album of the Year comes from one with a distinct retro outlook.
Basement’s Colourmeinkindness is a blast from the past in every sense – hitting the listener from the outset with a barrage of grungey overdrive.
It’s a tried and tested formula, a path trodden by the likes of everyone from Nirvana to Rival Schools to The Pixies to Nine Black Alps, but here it’s done so well.
If fans of the aforementioned bands gave this a listen, Basement would be a top of the bill act.
That is, if they hadn’t split up after releasing this LP.
If it gets your vote, click on the poll below – and if it doesn’t, let me know in the comments!

Which is the top Album of the Year 2012

Review: When the going gets turf! Grasscut’s sound grows

PRODUCTION duo Grasscut’s debut album was a unique, innovative effort – the Grasscut is even greener on their forthcoming follow-up.
Their first outing 1 Inch:1/2 Mile was akin to the music of the future being broadcast through a 1940s wireless radio, a curio of electronica.
But there’s a bit more to Unearth than the dressing up of retro samples – this is a mesmerising melange of influences meshed together, densely packed like the work of The Avalanches.
But this is no folly – evident amongst all the quirk and oddity are still the hooks and melodies that make this as much a pop effort as your Miike Snows and your Hot Chips.
Quite simply, this is an album with mulch to give.

Review: Simian Mobile Disco are back, way back

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THERE’S a strange paradox to the pattern of Simian Mobile Disco’s music, as shown clearly on their latest album Unpatterns.
The more the duo evolve as artists, the more their sound devolves.
On their debut Attack Decay Sustain Release they started off sounding thoroughly modern, before they harked back to the heyday of dance acts as rock stars, apeing The Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers pop zenith with the guest-laden Temporary Pleasure.
They took it back further on their last LP Delicacies – my personal favourite of theirs – with rave style intense, heads-down, dark dance, and now they’ve travelled back in time to the birth of techno, with a collection of immaculately put together Detroit style minimal techno.
The results are as retro as they are progressive.
But somehow in this it’s a little too clinical in its aims – and as a result I’m just not sure that it’s a step forward for them this time around.

Review: Cate Le Boring

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SIXTIES-influenced singer songwriter Cate Le Bon’s latest LP is like travelling back in time – but no-one enjoys travelling, do they?
Her folky music is stamped with a retro hallmark, with psychedelic swells and grainy production the order of the day. On paper it’s like Syd Barrett’s arranged for Nico to cover some Nick Drake songs.
And there are moments – such as opener Falcon Eyed – where it captures your attention.
But overall the Welsh singer’s results are so subtle, so introvert they become underwhelming and uninspiring – it’s about as interesting as one of those ‘vintage’ shirts made by Primark.