The Veteran trio from Japan Yura Yura Teikoku is celebrating their 20th anniversary. Since their beginnings in 1988 the band has cemented their solid reputation as key figures in the Nippon underground psychedelic scene. A decade since the landmark record ’333′ redefined their sound, adding a strong, more accessible pop element that reached a much wider audience; the band is still keeping an experimental stride that combines the teachings of classic rock with more avant-garde trends. But whereas fellow Japanese experimentalist such as Cornelius or Boredoms went and conquer alternative circles around the planet, Yura Yura Teikoku remained confined within the boundaries of their country, becoming one of its popular music’s best kept secrets…until now.
The ever exciting DFA label, always scouting for the most challenging music around, it’s finally giving the band a chance for international exposure by releasing ‘Hollow Me’, their tenth and most recent studio album - in a special edition that also includes their latest ‘Beautiful EP’ - a taste of which can be heard here.
After last week’s massive shake up our UK pre-release chart has been very quiet. The top 5 remains unchanged with Chipmunk’s ‘Oopsy Daisy’ still on top. With only one new entry at the bottom of our Top 10, ‘aNYway’ the first smash produced by Armand Van Helden and A-track collaboration project Duck Sauce.
Not content with discovering the likes of Bloc Party, Late of The Pier, Florence and the Machine and Friendly Fires (we could go on), Moshi Moshi Records continue to bring us vital new music in the form of The Drums. Recalling the sun drenched melodies of Brian Wilson accompanied with jangly post punk guitars, the four young men’s debut single ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ is the perfect introduction to their sound.
Taking from the sublime ‘Summertime’ EP, the track will make you clutch at the final remaining hours of summer we have left and has the catchiest whistling riff heard since Peter Bjorn & John’s ‘Young Folks’.
The band head to the UK in October for the following dates:
Tuesday 20th October – In The City Festival @ Night & Day, Manchester
Wednesday 21st October – Deaf Institute, Manchester
Friday 23rd October – Club NME @ Koko, London
Saturday 24th October – SWN Festival @ Dempseys, Cardiff
German label !K7 have, in recent years, given us some indispensable mixes through their DJ Kicks brand. Hot Chip, Tiga and Erlend Oye are just some of the names that have compiled albums for the series. !K7 now continue their high standards with 80′s funk obsessed synth-duo Chromeo.
As to be expected with Dave 1 and P-Thug, the album is a route through some lesser known 80’s gems. Opening with the Italo Disco of Kano’s ‘Ikeya-Seki’ could be seen as a fashion conscious nod to the recent increase in popularity of said genre; however, as the tracklisting shows, Chromeo have never been ones to jump on the band wagon. They even find some space for the ever mocked, former Big Brother contestant, Leo Sayer and to suprisingly cover The Eagles on ‘I Can’t Tell You Why’. As always Chromeo turn the ridiculous into the sublime, crafting an infectious blend of unheard gems. Read more…
After delivering one of the debut albums of 2008, New York’s Vampire Weekend have announced details of their second long player ‘Contra’, set for Release through XL Recordings in January 2010. While at first combining indie music with African influences seemed like a strange combination, the foursome – who met whilst studying at Columbia University – quickly became favourites throughout Europe and the US. Several new tracks where debuted when the band supported Blur this dummer and hinted at an album that could quite easily live up to their self-titled debut.
The tracklisting for ‘Contra’ is:
2. White Sky
4. California English
5. Taxi Cab
8. Giving Up The Gun
9. Diplomat’s Son
10. I Think Ur A Contra
As to be expected, the tracks are being kept under wraps at the moment, so let’s remind ourselves of why we fell in love with these guys in the first place.
While the British press has baptized 2009 as the year of the girls in spite of a new wave of fresh female talent. The autumn is round the corner and the newcomers are giving way to the veterans. From long awaited comebacks (Whitney Houston; Barbra Streisand; Shakira) to high profile follow-ups and breakthrough albums (Leona Lewis; Nelly Furtado –see video above-), this season is shaping itself as the battlefield for another war of the divas. The battle will be even fiercer in Non-English speaking territories where the biggest local stars are prepared to rival their most famous International counterparts for the top of their nation’s charts. After the jump we take a look at some of the most popular contenders around Southern Europe. Read more…
There seems to be a new trend among filmmakers all over the world to set their eyes on the DJ world, with an increasing number of high-profile projects being launched. Last year we enjoyed the Soulwax documentary “Part of the Weekend Never Dies”, and more recently Romuald Karmakar presented at the Venice Film Festival the third instalment of his electronic music trilogy, dedicated to the works of Ricardo Villalobos.
Now it’s the turn for Detroit’s minimal techno master Richie Hawtin and the artists from his label Minus Records. The imprint celebrated its 10th Anniversary by hitting the road with the CONTAKT world tour, a series of shows focused on free flow DJ improvisation and state of the art visuals. Hawtin himself has directed alongside Ali Demirel a documentary that follows the show’s ups and downs across some of the globe’s most happening cities.
The Contakt documentary will be previewed, followed with a Q&A session with DJ and director, at London’s ICA on 25 September; one day before the 02 Academy in Brixton hosts the much anticipated London Contakt Special event.
Jason DeRulo‘s smash ‘Whatcha Say’ remains on top of the US most tagged tracks for the third consecutive week, keeping Jay Sean and Michael Franti at bay. This week our chart sees new entries from Drake, David Guetta Feat. Akon and Fireflies.
We didn’t expect to hear from them until 2010, when their next album is scheduled for release, but Birmingham’s favourite psychedelic, dreamy electro-pop pair have put an end to their silence with a new mini-album intriguingly named “Broadcast & the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age”. The work is in collaboration with the founder of the Ghost Box label, Julian House -aka The Focus Group-, a specialist in Library music and English folklore; both genres heavily influence the band’s aesthetic. A five minute sample MP3 –see video above- is available as a free download from Warp Record’s website.
“Witch Cults” can already be purchased as a download, with CD and vinyl formats hitting the shops on October the 26th. Meanwhile, Broadcast are also getting ready to embark on a US tour with Atlas Sound.
An almighty shake up in the Shazam UK Pre-release tag chart this week as we have a fresh number one and a barrage of new entries. Chipmunk, who’s already marked himself out as one of the breakthrough urban acts of 2009, claims his first Shazam Pre-release number one this week with ‘Oopsy Daisy’. Meanwhile new music comes from Cheryl Cole, Medina, Jordin Sparks and Robbie Williams; who’s looking to re-energise his rep with his latest single ‘Bodies’ after the so-so ‘Rudebox’ album and the return to all-conquering success of his ex-band, Take That. Check here for the full chart