I Prefer The Obscure Remix Blog

When will the madness end?

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So I got to interview Final Fantasy yesterday. 30 minutes on the phone with him, and what do we end up talking about for most of it? The Omnichord, and the Juno! Total nerdfest, but great fun. He told me a mate of his, Jenny from the Barmitzvah Brothers has made a solo album under the name Jenny Omnichord. And yes, you guessed it. She made it on an ……..
Yeehaw!!

Owen Pallett is a total dude! Had a really good laugh with him, and he was pretty interesting. An edited version of the interview will be in next month’s Totally Dublin. I’ll hopefully put the whole interview up here once the piece has ran.

Final Fantasy will be coming to Dublin shortly, and the line-up for the night is excellent. Joining him on the bill are Miracle Fortress and A Hawk And A Hacksaw in Vicar St. on December 11th. Thanks to the Foggy Notions guys for another brilliant show.

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November 28, 2007 Posted by | Final Fantasy, Jenny Omnichord, Omnichord | 3 Comments

Menomena, doo doo, de doo doo

Pesky deadlines have prevented me from posting recently, but that’s all over now, I’m back! Since then, Jape has managed to rack up a rather impressive, thoroughly deserving 3/4’s of a million views on youtube for his new video to accompany the release of Floating. Go on Richie! Well, there’s no point posting that vid now really, but to continue the theme of food, fruit, food fights (nope, still a rather tenuous link) here’s the video for Rotten Hell from the fabulous Menomena. I’ve been screaming about this band for quite some time now. Hell, back in the day when Pedro and I were thinking of starting a label they were one of his first choices (so the credit should go to him). Their latest album Friend and Foe is a complete masterpiece. I must be right about this because Pitchfork said so too and they’re never wrong, it’s been scientifically proven or it’s in the Geneva Convention, I forget which. Enjoy.

I just finished a review of the new Silje Nes album on Fatcat for Totally Dublin, and it’s really lovely. Definitely worth checking out. The album that is, not my review.

November 28, 2007 Posted by | Menomena, Music, Rotten Hell, Video | Leave a comment

Who’s the man? Dan’s the man.

I didn’t get a chance to post about the Caribou gig on Tuesday night in Whelan’s, but Nialler already has a rather fine piece and some pics up. He’s right about the drummer thing too, it’s really interesting to see a drummer front of stage, and the drums being a real feature of the live show. All round nice guy, Dan Snaith wrote and played virtually everything on the new Caribou album, Andorra (he also joined the drummer on several occasions on a stripped down drumkit of his own, very exciting!). It’s a bit of a change in direction from his previous albums, especially his first under the Manitoba moniker. I was a big fan of Start Breaking My Heart, but not so much Up In Flames. The switch to current name Caribou was enforced, after a lawsuit was brought against Snaith by Handsome ‘Dick’ Manitoba (not very punk rock).

Andorra completely caught me off guard. I was not expecting this technicolor, pop-infused psychedelic classic. Nor was I expecting Tom Dunne to play first single, ‘Melody Day’ every night for nearly 6 weeks. So the second single, ‘She’s the One’ was released yesterday. It features a nice Hot Chip remix, but the original is still the best version. City Slang have just popped the video up on their youtube page, here you go.

I’m pleased this track got released as a single, as it features vocals from Jeremy Greenspan, lead singer with Junior Boys, another band I really love. Here’s the best single off their last album on Domino, ‘In The Morning’. This single featured one of my all-time favourite remixes, by Glasgow goldenboy Alex Smoke. Well worth seeking out.

And back to Caribou briefly, here’s an older video for Yeti. It was made by that talented Dublin collective of all round nice guys, Del9.

November 24, 2007 Posted by | Andorra, Caribou, Del9, Hot Chip, Junior Boys | 3 Comments

My New Favourite Blog

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I’ve really gotten into the Pampelmoose blog lately. It’s updated daily by Dave Allen, the bass player from Gang of Four, but it’s not about Gang of Four exclusively. Allen posts mp3’s, podcasts, and generally talks a good game on a broad range of subjects. I have to say I was quite surprised by his diverse taste in music. He’s also pretty honest and savvy when it comes to the ‘industry’. Most of all though, I admire his decision to put up demo recordings of the new songs that G4 are currently working on. A brave move, and ultimately a very wise one I think. I find myself checking in regularly to catch up on the latest G4 news, listening to his recommendations, and keeping an eye on what’s going on in the Portland music scene (the next Toronto/Berlin I reckon). Allen’s blog is quite balanced and informative, and you get the feeling he’s also learning alot himself as he’s going along. He’s not afraid to embrace new technology, methods of communication, and ultimately, innovative new ways to promote, distribute, and market his band/music. It takes alot of guts and confidence to make the rough demos of new tracks available to the general public. Reaction and criticism will no doubt be varied, but it’s a unique experience for me, that much I can say. This is the first time I’ve ever had the opportunity to engage with a band during the writing/recording process. It’s not a party we’re generally invited too, and it’s all the more interesting because it’s Gang of Four. I feel they have alot more to lose than most bands by releasing new material, as their early recordings are so revered, and so relevant over the last few years. It would be much easier for them to just milk their back catalogue via the live circuit, but I don’t see that happening. So get yourselves over there and have a listen to what is going on in the world of G4. You never know, you may play a part in shaping some of the new material.

It was on Pampelmoose I first read about the Band of Horses standoff with corporate bad boys Wal Mart, and Allen had some interesting views on this also. I’m sure Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan got there way ahead of him, but I like the fact that it was Dave Allen who informed me, and it’ll probably be a long time before the novelty of Dave answering my comments wears off.

A fine blog.

November 24, 2007 Posted by | Blog, Dave Allen, Gang of Four, Music | Leave a comment

No! Stop it Dad. You’re embarrassing me! Part 2

I’ve been up to my eyes, but dying to write some stuff for the last week. I’ll be back soon though, with lots of irrelevant posts.

It’s getting near the end of year poll time too, and my mind is racing already. So many choices! Will it be MIA, will it be Menomena, will it be Matthew Dear, who knows. Watch this space. For now, I’ll leave you with this fine piece of footage that fits rather well beside the Peter Hook post from a few weeks ago. Now that MIA is cancelled, there’s a gap in my diary. And what better way to fill it than Duran Duran on December 5th in the Phoenix Park Marquee. I still remember winning a music quiz in school when I was 9. My teacher granted me one wish, any album I wanted I could have. I went for Seven And The Ragged Tiger by Duran Duran. It was 1984, and The Reflex was unavoidable. The jacket, the video, the water, the glove, the mullets, the remix even! It was like nothing I’d ever seen or heard before. When people talk about great British singles bands, Duran Duran rarely get a mention. Their releases from the 90’s on should be completely disregarded, but up until then you can’t really argue with them (can you?).

Girl’s On Film, Rio, Hungry Like The Wolf, Save A Prayer, Is There Something I Should Know, Planet Earth, Union Of The Snake, The Reflex, Wild Boys, Notorious, and A View To A Kill, all hit singles in the 80’s.

Talking to a friend last night at the Caribou show in Whelan’s (great gig), he tipped me off about what to expect on December 5th. And here it is!

Did they destroy their cred in the 90’s? Did they ever have any? Will they have any after this? Who knows? But I can’t wait, it’ll be hilarious!

So much for the post on why I love Soul Jazz Records so much. That’ll have to wait for another day. Back soon….

November 22, 2007 Posted by | Duran Duran, Music, Phoenix Park | 7 Comments

Over and Out(put)

Many months ago I wrote a review of a forthcoming Output compilation, V/A – I Hate Music. The review ran in Totally Dublin at the time, but the CD never got a release. Well, I’m glad to announce that it’s finally out today in the UK, so it probably came out last Friday in Ireland. This is quite an interesting release, as Output Recordings ceased trading over a year ago. In a rather explosive press release to Pitchfork last September, label boss and founder Trevor Jackson cited several reasons for this decision. Here’s a link to the full statement, it’s an interesting read.

I was a massive fan of a french artist signed to the label, Colder. Marc Nguyen Tan made two great albums for Output, Again (2003) and Heat (2005). I bought Again in the fabulous Road Records pretty much on the basis of the cover, and a quick skip through a few tracks on the deck. With the demise of Output, several artists and bands were left homeless. At the time I assumed Colder would be snapped up by some trendy label, but it’s been impossible to locate any information about the elusive Nguyen Tan. I know he’s a really well respected graphic designer and video producer in France, so maybe he’s returned to his day job, but if anyone knows anything about future releases, or if you are better at searching google than I am (which is very probable), do drop me a line. Here’s the video of a track off Heat, called To The Music. One of his finest moments, and best experienced on the dancefloor, VERY loud.

And for what it’s worth, here’s that review from Totally Dublin’s May issue.

Output Recordings: 1996-2007 RIP.

Various Artists – I Hate Music (Output Recordings)

Steady on Trevor! Surely this is some kind of mistake? You couldn’t possibly hate music. Look at all the evidence! For years you’ve recorded as Playgroup, and churned out remixes under the moniker Underdog. Your record label, Output Recordings, is one of the most respected and revered, fiercely independent, forward thinking UK labels of the last decade. And if that’s not enough, whatever small amount of spare time you have is spent designing award-winning record sleeves for friends and cohorts. You hate music? Rubbish!

Oh, hold on, what’s this piece of paper on the floor?

Headline: ‘Trevor Jackson’s Output Recordings Calls It Quits’.

In a statement to Pitchfork late last year, Jackson announced he was shutting down his label immediately. Why? Simple. He hates music. To quote the man, ‘Running a record label started as fun and ended up as a nightmare. I saw people I thought were my friends turn into monsters…individuals I thought were affiliates stab me in the back without even thinking twice…I never wanted to have all my passion and enthusiasm knocked out of me, but somehow it’s happened’. The loss of Output probably won’t even register on the industry’s radar. However, those of you who think they discovered artists such as Four Tet, The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, Colder, Zongamin, Black Strobe, and MU, well you’re wrong. Jackson found them all first, and gave most of them their initial break. ‘I Hate Music’ is definitive proof, and clearly illustrates the importance and impact this label had on the last decade of independent music and movements. It is a fitting end, and worthy tribute. From jazz tinged electronica to punk funk, electro disco to new wave, garage rock to experimental techno, Output had it all, and always had it first. This compilation is virtually a snapshot of the coolest party ever thrown, and practically essential. But if you’re curious as to who some of the backstabbing sycophants and monsters may be, look no further than those who didn’t receive an invite to this final of final parties. There is one glaring omission.

November 13, 2007 Posted by | Colder, Music, Output Recordings | 5 Comments

The future is bright, the future is….Omnichord

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My good friend over at Experimental Audio Studio recently invested in an Omnichord from e-bay. It arrived yesterday, and when we got to the studio it became an instant hit! I fear we may have to scrap all the work that went into our new album, and start fresh. I’m thinking something more along the lines of this, but it’s gonna be a long time before we reach the standard set by this guy. He’s in a league of his own!

According to Wikipedia – An Omnichord is an electronic musical instrument manufactured by the Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation. It typically features a touch plate and numerous chord buttons. The most basic method of playing the instrument is to press the chord buttons, and strum the touch plate. Omnichords often feature preset rhythms with a tempo control which the player may use as accompaniment. Other features may include a selection of voices, and effects such as vibrato and sustain, as well as a chord memory in more advanced models.

All hail the Omnichord!

November 8, 2007 Posted by | Music, Omnichord | 3 Comments

Stop it! You’re making me blush

It’s so nice to see all the kind words and comments about my blog. A big, warm thank you to all those who have taken the time to say something nice here, or on their own blogs. Thanks Sinead, Jim, Niall, Pedro, The Silent Radio Show, Red, Donagh and Conor, Donal, Damien, and anybody else I’ve forgotten. I started this blog for several reasons. 1 – I only started writing recently and I’d been really enjoying it, but then I had to write an article where I was practically told what to write (which I did NOT like), so this was a natural reaction. 2 – I eat, sleep, and breathe music. 3 – I made a conscious decision about a month ago, NOT to turn on the TV anymore. 4 – I’m a massive fan of music blogs, and learn so much from them.

It has been a really fulfilling experience for me, and it’s nice to see some people actually read or listen to what I have to say, whether they agree or not. But that’s the whole point isn’t it? To spark debate and dialogue on a subject that we all care for deeply, but in completely different ways. I think my better half would thank you all even more, now that she doesn’t have to listen to me rant about music so much anymore. A classic example being earlier tonight. The poor girl was barely in the door, bag still on her back, and I’m standing over the stereo throwing a tantrum because the new Neon Neon single sounds like Erasure. To which she replied, “you say that like it’s a bad thing!”. Legend!

So in the spirit of goodwill, I’d like to share something special with you all. The lovely people over at Ever Records were kind enough to give me a sneak preview of the video for the new Amiina single, Hilli. Anybody familiar with the album, or anyone who made it down to the Button Factory will know this one, but the single version is a little bit different, and special. The vocal was recorded by none other than the late, great Lee Hazelwood. Apparently it’s the fnal recording he ever made, and it’s a fitting tribute to a great talent. I hope you all enjoy it, and thanks once again.

November 8, 2007 Posted by | Amiina, Blogs, Hilli, Lee Hazelwood, Music | 6 Comments

It’s a song for the advert, it’s an advert for the song!

A good friend of mine recently managed to get a track onto a very high profile advertising campaign. The novelty still hasn’t worn off, any time it comes on the TV I get very excited, and somewhat proud. Here’s the advert, I’m sure you’re all familiar with it by now.

The song is Augustine, from the Jeff Martin album, Spoons. Spoons is an amazing album that got passed over when it initially came out. It’s a travesty as it’s such a fine work, but I’m hoping he’ll do a Jose on it, as it’s known in ‘the game’. I was running a record store when Veneer initially came out. I remember taking a box of it from the lovely people over at Vital. The contents of that box sat on the shelves for quite some time, much to my dismay.Then one day some lunatic released 250,000 coloured ping pong balls down a street in San Francisco. The rest as they say, is history. Since then, people like Peter Bjorn & John have managed to pull a Jose, even Regina Spektor. So why not Jeff? You tell me, I don’t know, there’s no justice.

Here’s another advert currently causing a storm in the world of advertising. I think it’s great (but you have to remember I’m a drummer), but nobody I know is able to remember what the product is when asked if they are familiar with the advert. Funny that.

And this is an advertisement for, well nothing really. It’s just a tenuous link to a clip of a dumb kid who clearly possesses none of the grace or elegance of the gorilla from the previous clip.

Ouch!

November 6, 2007 Posted by | Advertising, Jeff Martin | 3 Comments

I’m all out of love part 3

So I finally have a chance to get back to moaning about gigs. Saturday the 27th of October was my third of that week – Les Savy Fav in Crawdaddy. Previously I’d heard from some people just how good a live band these guys really are. Seemingly they stole the show at ATP during the summer, and Crawdaddy was no exception. Also, it’s not every night you get accosted by Amy Winehouse (unless that is, you live in London and frequent every awards ceremony going). I should explain, a large portion of the crowd arived in fancy dress. Amy, Wolfman, and Robot Girl seemed to enjoy LSF immensely, so they informed me afterwards. But nobody seemed to enjoy themselves more than LSF’s larger than life frontman, Tim Harrington. While his wit and posturing can be annoying at times, his performance and delivery is stunning. The band themselves are super tight accomplished players, and their set packed a real punch. The operative word here is energy – the energy of the band, and the crowd. It was hectic stuff, played hard and fast. The band fed off the crowd, and vice versa. If Johnny Giles had been there, he would’ve said the crowd were like a 12th player! Gigs like this make you wish you were in a band – this band.

A sold out show, a crowd as ‘up for it’ as the band, and a wealth of excellent songs played and received like each one was an anthem. No wonder The Ticket gave it Gig of the Week. The title of this post is completely irrelevant, I hang my head, I love live music!

The clip below pretty much sums up the night, “The Sweat Descends”. How apt!

November 5, 2007 Posted by | Crawdaddy, Dublin, Les Savy Fav, live | 2 Comments