26.6.08

Service Records Roundup


I put together a rather lengthy post on Service Records on the Anthem Online site, and since I know not all of you read that Web publication, I'm excerpting some of it here and offering the same MP3s. Read the full article here.

First and foremost, the Swedes' control of the English language is subversively contrary to ours. When Lykki Li or Jens Lekman sing of love, they express different experiences, conveniently constructed in a pop manner than alludes to unilateral and exact understanding; when Shout Out Louds or Peter Bjorn & John write of relationships and breakups, they transmit entirely different meanings conveyed through the mechanisms of mainstream indie-rock that imply only one meaning.

If only it were that simple! The Swedish experience is vastly different from the American experience, and any word a Swede pens intrinsically contrasts any word an American does.

So don't think of Service Records as another New Order-loving, post-punk-adoring collective that's prepared to pump out electronic pop ballads and guitar-driven rock songs in order to quench our undying need to always have music blasting.

Where in the U.S. will you find a manifesto like Service's, centered around the following slogan?:

Service is a permanent vacation, catalog its only luggage.

Nowhere. These Stockholm natives are in an orbit of their own, and we ought not attempt to bring them under our fold and stick them in our system.

Service brought us Studio, The Embassy, Jens Lekman, The Tough Alliance, and many more creatives, and for that alone, we must be thankful.

Now, the independent label's got a chain of new releases to doll out to listeners or all varieties, and Anthem wants to make sure you all know that and buy in to the utterly from-the-heart company.

First, there's a Jens Lekman remix release, Sipping On the Sweet Nectar, the Epic Remixes. The three-track digital download is a disco reinterpretation of our favorite European crooner. Stream one of the Bogdan Irkük edits [below] and buy the thing already!

Second, there's Jackpot's debut Service single for "Uno Dos Tres." We highly recommend that you give these neo-Kraut-rockers a listen as they're something extraterrestrial and dark, yet bizarrely comforting and familiar.

Third, there's The Embassy's newest single, "State '08," an electronic-infused jam that's reminiscent of New Order cuts of old paired with the beachy vibe of TTA. If you're looking for a sweet and melancholic gem for those Summer days at the beach or road trips down the 1, you've found it with "State '08." Stream the song [below as well].

Fourth, Kool DJ Dust has made a killer joint, "The Quest" that has us finally convinced: the Swedes ain't all that bad on the dance floor. You can download [and stream the single below], but why not head over to the Service page and grab if from them?

Finally, Anthem would like to request that all its readers join Service. For the low price of €21 you'll be granted access to all of Service's digital offerings and opted into a music community that is truly rewarding. Plus, you'll sleep easy knowing you've helped them perpetuate. Sign up!








The Embassy - State '08







Jens Lekman - Sipping On the Sweet Nectar (Bogdan Irkük Love Nectar Remix)







Kool DJ Dust - The Quest

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25.6.08

New Animals Talking


Great Britain's most promising youths, Animals Talking, just finished up in the studio and sent BBBD a couple new tunes that are purely irresistible. "Colours" and "New Dawn" are more contemplative and dark than the gem that is "It Was," but they're certainly no less vibrant or energetic.

Animals Talkings' tunes are a whirlwind of spastic punk riffs, time changes, and sugary lyrics that culminate into something more mature than their collective years. While the cuts are still rather raw and in need of a finishing, their freeness and down-to-earth sincerity is still front-and-center.

Put these songs on your iPod, hop on a bus or a train or just play them for your significant other and be swept away into a world of heart-on-sleeve Brit-pop sonic creations. For all their in-your-face energy, these guys are utterly emotional, and BBBD just can't get enough. Keep keepin' an eye on them. They'll go places.







Animals Talking - Colours







Animals Talking - New Dawn

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24.6.08

Jens Lekman Remixed by Bogdan Irkük


Who would've thought that Swedish darling of lo-fi pop ballads Jens Lekman (MySpace) would sound so good to disco instrumentals?

Rollerboys Recordings' Bogdan Irkük had the bright idea of setting Lekman's sweet vocals to spacey disco beats, with the resultant 12" being pretty awesome. Each edit is a heavy Balearic-infused slow jam that could easily fit in a Studio set or Prins Thomas Italo-disco mix. Check out the Love Nectar mix of "Sipping On the Sweet Nectar" below and buy the whole release on iTunes or at Service Records' online MP3 shop!







Jens Lekman - Sipping On the Sweet Nectar (Bogdan Irkük Love Nectar Mix)

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22.6.08

TieDye


You would think that Sweden's long past with utterly cheesy pop acts and botched disco efforts would catch up with the small nation again and everyone would go soft in the head, form Abba cover bands, perm their hair, and bring back bell-bottoms. Alas, the Swedes are still possibly the slickest people on this planet, and they refuse to release anything that might tarnish their collective identity and name.

TieDye is the latest entry to the sounds-like-Studio category, but the Italians Do It Better Records signees have something unique to their aesthetic, even if they initially sound like copycats. "Nothing Else Matters" is a Mettalica cover, for example, and TieDye's first remix, "I Feel Electric" by Rubies featuring Feist, is about as unorthodox as you can get.

Whatever TieDye's got up its sleeve, BBBD's curious. Very, very curious. A group this good can't just release one 12" (with no b-side!) and a remix and then disappear. TieDye has summer slow-jam wired into its DNA, so here's to hoping they're release more ...







TieDye - Nothing Else Matters







Rubies - I Feel Electric (feat. Feist) (TieDye Version)

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21.6.08

Busy P, "To Protect and Entertain (feat. Murs)"


Ed Banger Records got too big, too fast. In a flurry of hype, I-was-there-first banter, and musical inbreeding, the Parisian collective represented an alternative cool one minute, a trendy frat boy favorite the next, and an utterly passe aesthetic the next. Instead of turning it down a notch, though, and hiding out for a while (wouldn't some woodsheding help with the creative process?), the crew's insistent on touring forever and releasing something new every couple of weeks. While Justice has been laying lower than their labelmates, their embarrassing remix of MGMT certainly isn't helping restore their once strong image.

Busy P (who's on tour through late-August, by the way) keeps pumping out the jams, too: June 23 marks the release of Pedrophilia, an EP featuring two original songs and four remixes. (At least it's not as bad as Justice's "DVNO" release which had what, three hundred remixes of the title track on it?) "To Protect and Entertain (feat. Murs)" is the title song on the record, and boy does it suck. Busy P sets up a snake-charmer-esque, gritty electronic hip-hop beat for Murs to flow over and that's pretty much the extent of the thing instrumentally. I guess the dynamic duo thought it'd be quaint or silly to write a song about how hard they kick it overseas ... "To Protect and Entertain" is a horrendous cut that revolves around name-dropping ("Hit up LAX and got in no hassle/We left there and hit up Cinespace," "Tomorrow morning I'm gonna be on Cobra Snake making out with a chick my girlfriend hates"), astoundingly stale metaphors ("I've got a dick as big as Texas"), and in-your-face flaunting of "coolness," "hipness," and globe-trotting finesse ("DJ AM, Steve Aoki, got the dance floor packed/And it's mostly girls, girls, every day/From Paris to L.A./I snatch one up and we dance for hours.")

"To Protect and Entertain," in short, is one of the most sophomoric and egotistical songs imaginable. Here's the Ed Banger et. al. finally kicking the bucket. Jerks.







Busy P - To Protect and Entertain (feat. Murs)

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Roses, Kings, Castles


It seems a little early to be celebrating the style (or memory?) of Pete Doherty, but that's what Roses, Kings, Castles is attempting ... and they're doing so with success, in flying colors. The Alphaville Records (MySpace), London-based band isn't purely derivative, though -- while their lo-fi recordings, charming and earnest arrangements, and cutely strummed guitar melodies do immediately remind one of some calmer Babyshambles works, the Littl'ans, or heartfelt Doherty demos, there's an ingenuity and uniqueness that makes them stick out.

Interestingly, Alphaville Records is based in Japan ... and the "Sparkling Bootz" single features a Kaji Hideki track on the flip side! Seems unusual for a U.K. indie outfit, but hey, they lads are anything but normal. Check out the killer single below -- it'll be a hit -- and be sure to tickle your eardrums with their other cuts on their MySpace page.







Roses, Kings, Castles - Sparkling Bootz

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18.6.08

Studio, "Yearbook 2"


Studio - Yearbook 2 from Information on Vimeo.
Sweden's Studio (MySpace) enraptured us with Yearbook 1 last year (released on the guys' own record label, Information), and for good reason. Their post-punk-done-electronic-dub style is all at once captivatingly melodious/poppy and experimentally alluring. While most of the songs hoovered near the ten-minute mark, none felt too long and not accessible or radio-friendly. A work of genius, to say the least.

While Studio's yet to release new original material, they did a handful of remixes since they found fame, and chose to release the seven edits as Yearbook 2. The LP flows like an original work ... Studio applies such a unique sound and aesthetic to all music they touch -- whether it's their own or someone else's -- and that's what holds this full-length together. Working with mega pop-stars like Kylie Minogue is no more difficult than sprucing up a folky single by California's Rubies or trancey cut by fellow Swedes, A Mountain of One.

Keep an eye out for more Studio news on BBBD. We've more to bring to you all ... for now, though, just get pumped for the release of Yearbook 2 on June 23, check out this preview video, and download or stream one of the remixes that appears on the release below!







A Mountain of One - Brown Piano (Remake by Studio)

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17.6.08

The Lord Dog Bird


In the earlier part of this millennium's teen years, Baltimore's Wilderness became one of the most important post-punk revival groups, seamlessly melding the old aesthetics of the 1980s angular rockers and the more experimentally-driven and rockier sound of modern times. Wilderness' stuff was, granted, artier than typical post-punk bands (the Cure, Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen), and a little more melodious, edging dangerously close to the "rock" genre. That aside, though, Wilderness was one of the first Baltimore bands to gain national attention, and certainly one of the more oblique quartets out there. Still, they're shrouded in mystery and darkness ...

Colin McCann, Wildnerness' guitarist, has obviously been a little bored since Vessel States, an oddly emo-twinged work ... so bored that he went off an made his own solo album under the moniker, the Lord Dog Bird. Whereas Wilderness' output is hyper-complex and obviously the work of an especially able bodied studio ensemble, the Lord Dog Bird is a bedroom recording of an unusual variety. The nine tunes were recording primarily with a four-track, and definitely sound it. There's a simplicity and delicateness to the tracks that is topped off by distortion and atmospheric echoes, ghost sounds, creakings ...

Listen to a couple songs below and see for yourself. This is magical stuff -- and really emotionally accessible -- that represents a slight departure from Wilderness' usual ambiance and a definite switching up of the usual formula solo lo-fi artists incorporate into their pieces.







the Lord Dog Bird - No Security







the Lord Dog Bird - Walking (With You)

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16.6.08

Little Boots, "Meddle"


To be brutally honest, BBBD wasn't into London's Little Boots when the singer hit several months ago. Our outlook has morphed, though: this chick is pretty friggin' great, and the new single, "Meddle," is proof of her fresh talent.

Little Boots is the culmination of our current fascination with Italo-disco, 1980s girly pop, and grimy, dark, atmospheric electronic grit. "Meddle" is a stark and magical pop gem that stands out not only for the downright sexy vocals, but also for the snake-charming jazz melodies, techy yet mystically organic beats, and nontraditional arrangements. Catchy and alluring through creepiness and spacey uniqueness. Ach, it's killer. With breath baited, we wait for more, more, more!






Little Boots - Meddle

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14.6.08

Dirty Pretty Things Return


Talk about uninspired returns ... Dirty Pretty Things (MySpace) -- long known as the other band to splinter from the Libertines -- is back, but this time they've completely lost their bite. The appeal of Carl Barât & co. was that they represented the clean, the stoic, the knowing that the Libertines and Pete Doherty lacked. Dirty Pretty Things, with their delicate arrangements, intricate guitar melodies, consciously distorted rhythm guitar lines, occasional horn and string arrangements, and sweet, sweet hooks positioned themselves as the band to succeed and be in it for the long haul.

Now, not so much. The London quartet's returned with one heck of a pub-rocking single, "Tired of England." Equal parts psych-rock haze and deliberate, extra-straight bar band rock. There's an iota of a hook and a lovely little bridge in the middle of the track, but aside from that, the song is a half-baked thought about British nationalism (that's an oversimplification, but you'll get it once you hear it).

"How can they be tired of England?" How can we be tired of you, Barât?







Dirty Pretty Things - Tired of England (Album Version)

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13.6.08

Ladyhawke Says "Paris Is Burning"!


What BBBD believes to be a "summer jam" is oftentimes quite different from others' conceptions of the surefire pool party hit. That Julian Casablancas, Santogold, and Pharrell tune, "My Drive Thru," for example, was hailed by Stereogum, but is, in actuality, a steaming pile of crap.

There're plenty of instances, when BBBD's preferences overlap with other bloggers', critics', and general music listeners', though, and New Zealand's Ladyhawke is (fingers crossed) just one such case. She's got an album coming out on Modular Records, and while the two singles so far ("Back of the Van" and "Paris Is Burning") have been spectacular odes to ramshackle funk cuts and Abba-infused post-punk dance tracks, the LP as a whole might not hold muster, unfortunately. But that is the reality of the one-hit-wonder, so deal with it!

For those of you who've not heard the original "Paris Is Burning," download or stream it below and get your feet tapping on this sweltering hot day. It'll only get hotter, sweatier, and brighter, though, and when that times arrives, crank up the Cut Copy remix of the original -- it'll get you fist pumping to the stars and showing off a few more moves than the minimal head bob. As usual, the Australian trio has dolled out catchy space-disco beats and synth ditties for this edit, conforming the song to their futuristic aesthetic while reverently maintaining and hailing the strength of the remixed artist's work. Ladyhawke ought to sing on one of their compositions.






Ladyhawke - Paris Is Burning






Ladyhawke - Paris Is Burning (Cut Copy Remix)

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12.6.08

Don Simon, "Summer Kick Off Mix"


There are exponentially more mixes made during the summer months than any other season of the year, for obvious and good reason: July through September is hot, sunny, marks the fiscal year's halfway point, and is endowed with far more galas, BBQs, rooftop pool mixers, and and offers a much-anticipated excuse to whip out the blender and make some margaritas! With all the festivities, tannings, and general good will, mixtapes are inevitable.

BBBD is very impressed by don Simon's "Summer Kick Off Mix." The Swedish producer/DJ put together an hour-long, thirteen-track set that features a substantial number of his compatriots' work (i.e. Lykke Li, Sally Shapiro) and plenty of artists one wouldn't expect to find on such a light-hearted party jam (i.e. Kelly Polar, Booka Shade, Justus Köhncke). Somhow he brings it altogether with a distinctly summertime aesthetic and tasteful energy that doesn't overwhelm or exhaust. This is perfect. Download it, please. A tracklist can be found after the jump.







don Simon - Summer Kick Off Mix 2008

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"Summer Kick Off Mix 2008" by Don Simon

1. Sally Shapiro - Jackie Junior (Junior Boys remix)
2. Headman - Hostage
3. Kelly Polar - Entropy Reigns (In the Celestial City)
4. Lykke Li - I'm Good I'm Gone (Fred Falke remix)
5. John Dahlbäck - We Are The Duo
6. Claude VonStroke - The Whistler
7. Solomun & Stimming - Eiszauber
8. Booka Shade - Dusty Boots
9. esa axel - Asthma Star (Socket Science remix)
10. Justus Köhncke - Parage
11. Marascia & Dusty Kid - Sineless
12. Swen Weber - The Pusher
13. Steve Angello & Sebastian Ingrosso Vs Laidback Luke - IT

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The Kid


Sweden's Hybris just can't stop releasing awesome stuff! Sayonara, Labrador Records -- Hybris is the new stronghold of Swedish tunes. From the quirky and lo-fi melodies of Elias & the Wizzkids to the Michael Jackson-esque ballads of Juvelen to the bizarre a capella of the Sweptaways to the sweet pop music of Kalle J, the smallish label simply can't turn out an unwanted single, EP, or LP.

Now they're proudly releasing the Kid's sophomore album, Transient Blood. This is BBBD's first time listening to the Gothenburg quartet, but boy are they good. Imagine Sambassadeur merged with New Order circa 1987. The Swedes have a penchant for churning out tracks with heavy, super-catchy bass lines, playful synth riffs, and rhythm guitar parts that sound so in motion, so fresh and not boring like rhythm guitar tends to be. And the Kid does it best. The first single off the record, "Transient Dance," is a stunning jam that's reminiscent of cutesy European exports like Bonnie & Clyde and more recent New Order cuts like "Krafty." It's charming beyond belief, and the rest of the release holds muster well.

Transient Blood is out on June 18, and you must purchase it if you hope to have an enjoyable summer ... or if you're looking for that perfect soundtrack for a house party, BBQ, whatever. It'll work. Listen.







the Kid - Transient Dance

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11.6.08

Atlas Sound Remixes the Chap


America's strangest musical entity, Bradford Cox, AKA Atlas Sound/frontman of Deerhunter, has worked his remix magic on the Chap (MySpace), London's closet thing to the Sparks, 2008. Atlas Sound, known for its bizarre breed of flowing, atmospheric shoegaze, constructed in a soft-spoken and shy lo-fi/bedroom recording sort of way may not be the most likely remixer for the Chap's "They Have A Name," but the result is more compelling than one would originally thing.

Whereas Mega Breakfast's opening track is a gooft kraut-rock-inspired sing-along sort of ditty, the Atlas Sound interpretation is a glitchy, laptop-pop, "folktronic" sort of mix that's a bit more soothing and melodious. It's completely different (there are no vocals on the Atlas Sound remix, for example), but well worth a listen.

Grab both the Chap's original tune and Cox's altered one below.







the Chap - They Have A Name (Atlas Sound Remix)







the Chap - They Have A Name

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Windmill


What Friendly Fire Recordings lacks in size, it duly makes up for through the awesomeness of its roster. From Asobi Seksu (which actually recently left the label) to the Faunts to the Whitsundays, Friendly Fire has never hit a sour note, and continually releases strong albums and EPs from no genre or style in particular.

London's Windmill (MySpace) is the latest addition to the ever-growing family, and, as to be expected, it was a good idea, bringing this one-band-band on board.

Thomas Dillon -- the man behind Windmill -- writes and records these really emotive, ballad-y pop tunes that are all at once haunting (that high voice!) and mesmerizing in their depth, complexity, and wonderful lyricism. Imagine Isaac Brock going solo and writing sad songs on an old piano while pulling some help from Iceland's Seabear or something. These songs are delicate, fragile ... but somehow they're all held together by Dillon's skeletal, piercing vocals. Hmm ... a little difficult to describe! How about you listen to the below cut and buy the new Puddle City Racing Lights LP, too.







Windmill - Tokyo Moon

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9.6.08

Prins Thomas Presents "The Greatest Tits Vol. 1"


It's a stupid name, sure, but Prins Thomas' forthcoming Full Pupp compilation, The Greatest Tits Vol. 1, is pretty spectacular.

The Norwegian space-disco innovator put together a twenty-five track two-disc release that is mesmerizing in its ability to keep you listening even though every song is ultra-slow, relaxed, and chilled out. The Italo-disco/space-disco/whatever-disco resurgence we've seen over the past couple of years is alluring and baffling for that very reason: listening to any good cut by the likes of DC Recordings folks or Lindström or Prins Thomas or Glass Candy or whomever is like listening to a jam band circa 1997. The stuff chills you out and is purely aesthetic ... something to facilitate your mind's wandering and sedate you like no drugs can. It's almost unfortunate that some critics and fanatics try to over-conceptualize the music -- there's just not a whole lot going on there!

"The spirit of a DJ bio is boring, self-centered, and egotistical. Prins Thomas knows that all too well and fears the result: someone who makes him sound like the best DJ in the world ... although most people would love such a comment on their skills." In short, Thomas is just trying to construct some tracks that'll ... get you jamming and nothing more. So ... sit back and indulge in these sultry, warm disco experiments and buy the deluxe compilation when it's out!







Blackbelt Andersen - Sirup (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)







Diskjokke - Gadgets







Prins Thomas - Goettsching

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6.6.08

Ross Blake


Those of you who have been reading BBBD for longer than just the past few weeks (whoops, I wrote some left-field stuff!) may remember Buttonhead, the London, U.K. experimental and spastic rock band we loved to death and accidentally omitted from one of our many year-end best artists lists.

Anyway. This post is not about Buttonhead, but rather Ross Blake, one of the members of the above mentioned quintet. While Blake is still an active and integral part of Buttonhead, he's gone off to pursue more fine art endeavors, namely composing the soundtrack to a new play entitled The Dybbuk. Judging by the glowing reviews and enchanting musical work, it's both very good and quite haunting as well.

We don't mean to draw too many comparisons, but would like to note here that when we first wrote about Buttonhead, we mentioned the group's likeness to Deerhoof in some regards. Isn't it quite the coincidence, then, that both bands have interacted with theatrical productions at some point? Hmmm ... we're feeling a transatlantic collaboration coming on ...

Back to the soundtrack. The Dybbuk O.S.T. is reminiscent of a Danny Elfman score with the quirkiness and off-kilter penchant for spasm and wall-of-sound noise barrages that only a modern London pop musician could churn out. The technical abilities of Blake must be pretty stellar, anyway, considering the complexity, depth, and dense construction of the fifteen-song score. It's incredibly expressive and enigmatic, which is all at once alluring personally -- this is some great standalone music! -- and a concrete reason to check out the actual production. But alas, BBBD resides in L.A. and can only hope to catch this on tour (not going to happen). For now, we'll just anticipate an Owen Palette/Deerhoof/Ross Blake supergroup.

Check out a few MP3s below or just download the entire album!







Ross Blake - Batey







Ross Blake - Dybbuk Finale







Ross Blake - Mountain Escape







Ross Blake - Night Song

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Lykke Li/El Perro del Mar/Anna Ternheim Film


Lykke Li/El Perro del Mar/Anna Ternheim from Anthem Magazine on Vimeo.
Some of you may have already seen the Lykke Li/El Perro del Mar/Anna Ternheim video I assisted in making for Anthem Magazine, but if you've yet to check it out, then click here and be amazed.

As expected, the three were a pleasure to meet and work with, although Lykke Li was a little tougher to deal with. Their respective performances were jaw-droppingly stellar, too ... Lykke Li is the energetic, overtly expressive "child" whereas El Perro del Mar and Anna T. are more mature, subtle. All three performances offered phenomenal insights into their characters and songwriting talents, aptly complimenting the interviews.

Anyway ... enough yappin', just check the film out!

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3.6.08

Watch N° 2


It's been said many times before, but today's pop music scene is one dominated by producers rather than musicians. (Yes, that's an overstatement, but the core point remains: the music that surrounds us is made with the notion that a good producer -- and not necessarily a good artist -- is what makes a hit single.)

BBBD's expressed a love and adoration for Erol Alkan several times before, but we want to solidify this opinion into something a little more meaningful and substantive. What makes this guy so good? We all know that he (1) took a promising young band, Late of the Pier, and rejiggered them into the spastic club-meets-post-punk-pop they are today, (2) picked up the Long Blondes before they embarked on the hyperbolic sophomore slump and spit them back out as an angsty, hook-riddled, ultra-clean and concise outfit, (3) gave Mystery Jets a shiny waxing and through them reinterpreted the nuggets of the 1980s in a totally not cool-because-it's-ironic sort of way, (4) spun decaying Klaxons in an unexpected manner, and (5) is supposedly producing those aged hipsters representing the Sound of Scotland, 2008, Franz Ferdinand ... but we don't really look at his technical prowess and admire what he's doing behind the mixing boards; for all we know, he could be just a lucky guy springboarding of his long and successful club circuit in the right place at the right time.

Alkan is applying what is noticeable old and tried to an era of music that is in constant denial of its place in history and the tradition of pop. It ought to strike us all as slightly strange that so many music journalists, critics, and tastemakers -- BBBD included -- note that the best bands of today always sound like someone else who was most likely cooler than them, more authentic than them, and more original than them. A sweeping and broad statement, yes, but comments like, "Franz Ferdinand sounds like a band right out of 1980" or "Long Blondes could've opened for Gang of Four in 1979" isn't necessarily flattering; it's a bit condescending and discredits the fact that such acts are living in their own time, making their own music, and doing their own thing. All music is derivative, but that doesn't mean that we have to make such comments front and center.

So, Alkan takes the old and doesn't attempt to imagine himself a musician or producer living through the times of Martin Hannett ...
Furthermore -- and this is the yeah, duh remark -- he applies the techniques he picked up as a renowned DJ to every track he works on, a characteristic that is readily pointed out, but rarely highlighted as one of the most important facets of his work. Alkan reappropriates an aesthetic that no one else before him could've ever injected into music -- there was no London scene quite like the one he matured in ever before and there was definitely no club Trash until 1997. Alkan took advantage of the situation he prospered in and catapulted to success by merging his unique gifts from his nightclub tenure and the dedicated study of the Old Master he had under his belt.

So listen to these Long Blondes b-sides as they're absolute proof of his genius. "Five Ways to End It (Erol Alkan 12" Mix)" is the most obvious testament to Alkan's dance music abilities, and a solid one at that. "I'm Coping" is one of Long Blondes' greatest lyrical achievements, and really deserved to be on Couples. Is this song about cutting off a relationship or quitting heroin? Hmm. Considering the explosion of Strokes-infused guitar jangling at the end, it's primarily about the latter, but thinly veiled (how does the intial jolt of heroin running through your veins feel any different?) Spectacular. "Whippet Fancier" is a song that could only be composed and performed in the U.K. (who the hell talks about whippets here?) Again, the fills are more club than rock, the lyrics more disco than post-punk, the synth line more theme-song-esque and gimmicky than serious garage; Alkan's production leads one to believe Long Blondes are copycats, imitators of the greats of three decades ago, but dig beneath the surface and you'll find much more going on. The magic this guy works on his bands is awe-inspiring ... absolutely mystifying. He should make his own group with "wizard" in the name, yeah? What card will this wizard reveal to have up his sleeve next?







the Long Blondes - Five Ways to End It (Erol Alkan 12" Mix)







the Long Blondes - I'm Coping







the Long Blondes - Whippet Fancier







the Long Blondes - Never To Be Repeated

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