Review: Following the release of Iggy Pop's last full length, Post Pop Depression, the much loved punk professional has teamed up with pioneering electronic dance musos Underworld (think "Born Slippy") via the request of Rick Smith. Album opener, "Bells & Circles", sees Iggy relive the days when you could smoke on an aeroplane, and in his case pick up an air hostess, while a rich and throaty yet somewhat forlorn 'hey' in "I'll See Big" offers a classic, almost narrated number of nostalgia, with a hint of reverb adding a sweetness to a not so bitter regalement of times gone by. Meanwhile, "Get Your Shirt" pitches the bliss of 80s new wave with mid-90s rave to create a glittering, electro pop jam fit for the stadium or Soho club. The glory years may be a memory for this formidable tripod however their sounds, combined, still hit the sweet spot.
Review: Time for a re-up on Unknown Mortal Orchestra's everlasting, debut, self-titled album from 2011. It's clear from the get-go that UMO were, and are, full of musical influences and dialogue. Take "Ffunny Ffrends", a wonderfully lanky charm of an opener that moves into the jangley, surfy, guitar rock and subtle stomp boxing of "Bicycle", to, furthermore, the lazy funk of "Thought Ballune" and ever-freshness of "How Can You Luv Me". The album comes from a time when indie music was arguably at its most popular peak, and while many groups and their sound from this period have persevered, or gone by the wayside, there's something in the timbre of Unknown Mortal Orchestra's music that's here to stay, as playful and avant as it is.
Review: Unknown Mortal Orchestra deliver a second album for 2018 and this instrumental missive as the title suggests, was recorded in Hanoi, Vietnam, with the help of local musician and percussion aide Minh Nguyen, who added some traditional instrumentalism and flair to the album's seven tracks. It follows this year's Sex & Food LP, with the New Zealand psych rock group taking this extension of the LP that extra-step by adding a class of exotica to their radical sound. From grungy Dirty Beaches-like tracks to fourth world experimentalism in the vein of Jon Hassell, there's a profound world of sound to be further discovered here.
Review: The New Zealand-born, Portland-based Ruban Nielson initially made a name for himself by marrying psych rock and lo-fi styles in a messy, Beefheartian manner, with jam-band wig-outs vying for attention with expressive songcraft. On 'Multi Love', however, he's both reined in the excesses of yore and sharpened up his songwriting, and the result is a veritable tour de force. Pop-tinged melody and emotional candour make for impressive bedfellows on these nine expansive and inventive ditties, which take as much inspiration from Prince or Janelle Monae as they do The Grateful Dead or Zappa. 'Multi Love' marks the place where Nielson genuinely makes his presence felt as a modern-day psychedelic visionary.
Review: The result of a chance meeting between renowned producer and vinyl connoisseur David Holmes, composer Keefus Ciancia and chanteuse Jade Vincent, Unloved sees an obsession with Hollywood glamour being made manifest in sumptuous and exotic style. Taking Holmes' long-established flair for both beat-driven groove and cinematic flair and marrying it to Vincent's femme fatale demeanour, the trio throw such disparate influences as '60s girl-group tempestuousness, Morricone-esque grandeur and radiophonic strangeness into their mental melting pot to create an overwhelming and somewhat Lynchian sweep of sound, equal parts savagery and luxury.
Why Do I Lose My Mind When I Have Something To Say? (3:37)
Incidental Boogie (1:30)
Pearly Gates (4:01)
Review: Through her 'U.S. Girls' project, Toronto-based Meg Remy has released a consistently high quality run of albums that explore issues of femininity with a shaded and angular avant-pop sound. New record 'In A Poem Unlimited' sees Remy continue to explore identity politics, but in a comparatively warmer and more free sound as she collaborates with improvisational group The Cosmic Range. Structurally, the album enjoys an unpredictability of form that sprawls across skulking grunge, found sounds, crunching horn-sections and synth-driven industrial disco. Highlight track 'Incidental Boogie' exemplifies this binding of elements; the contrast of stomping, distorted with Remy's breathy and swaggering vocals is an intoxicating one. The breadth of Remy's palette makes this album an exhilarating listen, and - both as a vocalist and writer - Remy shines as an arresting and formidable talent.