Archive: May 2006

  1. Revisiting, revising


    the man
    Jamie LidellWhen I Come Back Around – Live feat. Jimmy Edgar
    So, it seems like ages ago but just over a year ago I posted about a young master of blue-eyed-soul from the UK named Jamie Lidell. In fact, it was this very same song, in album-version form. Originally, the song comes from his full-length, Multiply, released by the stalwart UK electronics label, WARP records.
    Since that time, Lidell has had his music featured on grup-favorite Grey’s Anatomy, he has released a remixes album, called Multiply Additions (which came out this week actually), and has been touring like crazy. I mean like CRAZY. Playing all over the place. I was fortunate enough to have seen him this Winter at Rothko, where I had my mind not-so-delicately blown. See, Lidell came out in a shiny robe, and sang – I mean really sang – some sweet soul into the mic, all the while fiddling with some electronics on stage, seemingly without much effect. Then he launched into more songs, but this time, he started be beatboxing, and used the gear on stage to loop his voice, chop it into bits and feed it back to us. It was pretty amazing listening to him twist his songs into entirely new, freaky live versions, and was quite an experience overall.
    A lot of other people I talked to loved what Lidell did live, and probably just as many hated it. They just didn’t get into it at all. Most of those folks also don’t get that into electronic music in general – they wanted more soul-croon-Lidell – to which I say “fair enough,” you know, to each his own and all that.
    SO, with that in mind, here is Lidell, doing “When I Come Back Around” live, beatboxing and all that, with the electronic-tweekery of Detroit’s Jimmy Edgar (who I also featured here, back in January of this year) backing him up. I’m definitely jealous of the folks who got to see and hear this happen (at last month’s Bowery Ballroom show here in NYC). As I said before, Jamie Lidell live performances seem to make audiences pretty divisive, which is fine by me – love it or hate it, that’s up to you. I happen to think he’s on some genius-level-shit myself.
    Are you feeling it too? Then buy Multiply and Multiply Addtions from iTunes, or from WARP’s download-store Bleep, or get them in physical form via your favorite indie retailer.
    I’m off to surf-camp, so I’ll catch you cats later.

  2. in japan, find you fresh tunes.


    Aus- Sonorapid AusSmall Time.
    The air conditioning continues to break in my office. The maintenence crew will come on Thursday and the unit will be broken again by Friday. It’s easily 85 degrees of dead heat in there. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it certainly makes it unpleasant, ya know? So thank god fo Aus. This is just the coolest album, and I mean that in a literal sense. It’s a record that really snuck up on me. I burn through a lot of promo CDs in the course of a given day, and not many make it back in there for a second round. And while Aus didn’t immediately jump out at me, I found myself returning to it time and time again, just to cool off.
    Turns out it’s an amazing little record. 9 songs, 42 minutes. All of it just wonderful, quiet beauty. The band is actually one guy – Yasuhiko Fukuzono from Tokyo. This is his third record, and I haven’t yet had the opportunity to hear his others yet. His latest, Sonorapid is just wonderful. Everyone I play it for falls in love with it. I mean, what’s not to like? Listen for yourselves. It’s quite delicate and sparse, but never cold or informal. It’s like a nice glass of lemonade, and not in some old fashioned country kinda way.
    At any rate, the fine folks over at Music Related records have decided to put this out here in the states. And I can’t blame them one bit. I have no idea who they found Yasuhiko, or how any of that transpired (although it seems they travel to japan a lot). Their putting out the record on June 20th. You can head on over to the shop and pick up a copy*. Highly recommended.
    *it would appear that the ML dudes are over in Japan as we speak, finding new music. They’ll be back on the 7th and you can buy whatever you want next Monday. Cheers!

  3. Kompakt, Russian-style


    SCSI-9The Line of Nine
    SCSI-9, the Moscow tech-house duo of Anton Kubikov and Maxim Miluytenko, is back with another release on Köln’s Kompakt label, with this, the title track from their second full length album The Line of Nine.
    These guys are great representatives of the Moscow club scene, and have been torchbearers for techno and house music there since the mid-90s, releasing work on Salo, Trapez, Force Tracks and Kompakt (you may recall hearing their massive 2004 track “Mini” here a while ago). Kubikov also runs his own imprint with an American who lives in LA (supposedly they’ve never met face-to-face, but set it all up via the internet), called Pro-Tez.
    Anyway, the new record, released this last week, is full of all kinds of deep stuff: subtle drum patterns, skittering hi-hats, super deep basslines, delicate synths – all of which harkens back to their first album, 2003’s Digital Russian, released by Force Tracks. This song was a standout for me, because of the lilting vocals provided by Katya Ryba, but there are a bunch of others that provide for great listening – I’ll also highly recommend you check out the mesmerizing “Little Leaves Fall” and the album-closer, “Ne Contsom a Coltsom,” which shoots straight for classic Detroit.
    The Line of Nine is available now on CD and double-vinyl at your favorite independent retailers, via mail order through the Kompakt website, or for high-bitrate download through Kompakt MP3 Net. Highly recommended.

  4. Did I leave something behind?



    Nashville-based band Lylas are just … well, lovely. I know that’s a dumb word for such things (as is, uh, “dumb”), but really, this is shiny, pretty music that still hits you where it hurts. It’s lovely.
    Lylas – Tiny Echos.
    Though this kind of shimmery, lo-fi indie-folk has been around for a long time, I think the Shins really started something when Natalie Portman told everyone about how they changed her life, or whatever stupid thing she said. The point is, music for wimps was once again fashionable, and the world is somewhat better for it, though no one should have told the guy who picked music for the Gap.
    Lylas’ debut record Lessons For Lovers came out last month, and it’s very good. Things are kept short and sweet, so you’re left wanting more, which really is the trick with music like this. It leaves little traces of songs behind, and later you find yourself humming a song that you forgot you heard in the first place.
    This a nice way to get your Friday started, before Blair comes in with his end-of-the-week dance track to make you shake your groove thang in the break room. (Pressure’s on now, Blair!)
    You can buy the lovely (you can’t make me stop saying it!) Lessons For Lovers from Amazon and Insound.

  5. Radio was playing, Desmond Dekker was singing


    RIP Desmond DekkerDesmond DekkerPretty Africa
    R.I.P. Desmond Dekker
    Desmond Dekker died today.
    He was THE MAN who first had an international reggae hit–The Israelites. Given the global influence of Jamaican music, Dekker’s impact cannot therefore be understated. But more importantly, his voice and music are just really damn fun and beautiful. Going to his website, you’ll see that he still had dates booked for this summer–he was working at it until the very end. Read more here.
    Robots love to Desmond’s family and friends.

  6. More = Tonight


    aaaaaand, Part Two:
    Since I’m in NYC and can’t go to that SMD party in London, here’s a couple of items for tonite in my locale.
    This evening there is an early show by some folks we’ve had here on MFR (here), Athens, Georgia-based Venice Is Sinking. They’re touring in support of their great soon-to-be-released full-length album, Sorry About The Flowers. The record comes out in early June, but they’ve made it available for download via Athens Music and iTunes.
    The show is at Pianos (Ludlow at Stanton), and is early (around 6:30). So since it is another beautiful Spring day, once you get off work today, you should jet on down to the LES spot, grab a cool drink and enjoy the show – maybe I’ll see you there?
    Here’s ‘Buried Magnets’ from the new record to whet your appetites.
    Check their site for full tour-info.

    And here’s your reminder for tonight’s late-night jammy jam, featuring me and James F!@#$%^ Friedman (Go Commando! / Refused!) – we’ll be just down the street from Pianos at Cake Shop (Ludlow btw Stanton and Rivington) – we’ll be rocking the robo-disco and techno-insanity all night long – we start after the last band is over (around midnight) and will go till close…
    Take tomorrow off. Do it.
    If yer in Boston, you had better be going to see this Modeselektor + Jan Jelinek show at Enormous Room tonight. Seriously, that should be coo-coo-crazy! —

  7. I’m a hustler baby


    Simian Mobile DiscoHustler
    Okay, so here we go. It is Thursday, the week is nearly over, the OC is done so my Thursday nights are now free… I’ve got a bundle of goods to get out to you, so let’s start strong!
    First off: Yes! Fresh disco freakiness, of the Simian Mobile Disco variety… “Hustler” is probably one of the most complete, fun and interesting original tracks these monkeys (James Ford and Jas Shaw) have produced – and as you know if you’ve been following along, us robots love the Simian Mobile Disco (and those of you that haven’t been following along, yes, SMD is the distillation of former-psych-folk-rockers Simian, going it alone and making amazing dance music; see their Ladytron and Air remixes as reference). Anyway, “Hustler” features the vocals of NYC-based singer songwriter Char Johnson, and some of the fiercest basslines and acid-tweakery ever to leap and bound from your speakers. It has been circulating amongst some of the DJs I know for a minute now, but finally, June 5th actually, it sees an official release.
    Based on the quality of the song, it should come as no surprise then that this track is the newest Kitsune Records 12″ – for the real heads, there hasn’t been a Kitsune record released that isn’t worth owning (seriously, Digitalism, Tom Vek, Cut Copy, Black Strobe, all on one label?), and this one, with “Clik” on the B-side, is another essential piece of wax for the DJs out there. The song will also appear on the newest compilation, Kitsune Maison 2, which comes out in a few weeks.
    NOW, to celebrate this release, the SMD boys, some of their musical friends, and our pals at Modular UK are throwing a party TONIGHT in London – SMD will be there along with the Klaxons, Mystery Jets, Good Books, and the Modular and Ten Dead Sloanes DJ crews – the jam is at Sin (144 Charing Cross Road – WC2H 0LB) and costs six pounds in advance or eight with your student union card.
    If you are in London, be there or be square. More to come in a few…

  8. It’s OK Girl

    1 Comment

    Certified Bananas - SprangtCertified BananasCall Around You
    So, over on the other side of the country, in my home territory of New England, a couple of guys named P.Nice and Audiovandal have been crazy busy making this spring’s finest mix. We get a lot of mixes shoved under our door here at Robots, and while a lot of them are good, not many have that special something that sets them apart, ya know? Like, remember last summer when Certified Bananas made that August Mix last summer and you could just feel the sticky-ass humidity of a northern summer frying your speakers? Well, it happened. And they’re back.
    The new one is called Sprang and you can pick it up for a measly 9 dollars. So, rather than let us post the whole mix, P.Nice slipped me this little teaser mp3 that drops a few minutes into the full-length. When he first pitched it to me I was skepitcal. Tortoise? And Usher? You gotta be shitting me, right? But damn if it didn’t turn out to be crazy good. I love that Tortoise track, and somehow it lends credibility to Usher that he just doens’t normally have. The whole thing just makes sense, and they build this big song together. I don’t know how these dudes came up with it, but this one of the better blends I’ve come across in recent memory (most of these things come off gimicky and stupid but every once in a while some next level type stuff comes along — I’m thinking that Alicia Keys over Gregory Isaacs from a few years back).
    Anyway, you should head on over to the Bananas’ site and check things out. They’ve got some free mixes kicking around and some other fun stuff. And it should be noted that P.Nice is one of the magicians behind Miss Fairchild, which you know is one of my favorites.