Breton – Other People’s Problems
LABEL: FatCat Records
Breton are primarily film-makers with cutting-edge video and sound design work under their belts, delivering innovative remixes for the likes of Local Natives, Tricky, Tom Vek and Temper Trap, as well as being award winners and regular fixtures at film festivals for their independent short films.
The single “Interference”, featured on the album, has already received solid support from Radio 1 with DJs Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens and Annie Mac playing it on their show. The band also recently toured with Tom Vek and Ghostpoet, and they are headlining a sold-out show at Corsica Studios, London on 28th March, followed by Manchester on 29th and Leeds on 30th before they go on to gig in Europe, Canada and America.
Predicted to be the “UK indie upstarts” of 2012 by Sound on Sound, Breton are a band to watch out for this year.
Q – “Elegant strings and brass, recorded by Hauschka, creep like ivy around this all-consuming debut’s clipped beats, pummelles basslines, shimmering synths and fluttering pianos and harp.” 4 stars
Notion – “Schizo, sample-driven experimenta with choruses: oddly compelling”
Orchestre Super Borgou de Parakou – The Bariba Sound
LABEL: Analog Africa
GENRE: World – African
Analog Africa returns to Benin – a journey that began with the African Scream Contest compilation – this time to Parakou up in the North Eastern part, to bring you The Bariba Sound from Le Super Borgou de Parakou.
Bariba and Dendi linguistic folklore, alongside Islamic-influenced melodies, fused with soul, Pachanga, breakbeats, rumba and afrobeat, Super Borgou’s sound has a penetrating and unpolished directness, blurring the line between the erstwhile rhythms of the devout village and the modern grooves infecting the forward-thinking city.
Check out “The Bariba Sound” here (iTunes album purchase comes with a booklet!):
Batida – Batida
LABEL: Soundway Records
GENRE: World – African
Soundway release the debut album from Batida, the brainchild of Angolan / Portuguese DJ Mpula aka Pedro Coquenão. A distinctly modern and vibrant project with its feet firmly rooted in the past, Batida combine samples from old 1970s Angolan tracks with modern electronic dance music. Music is the starting point but through dance, graphics, photography, radio and video, Batida expands, taking in politics and social commentary but always bringing it back to the party. Being the first of a string of brand new projects, this eponymous first album sees Soundway taking a slightly different direction in 2012 and beyond.
Batida have received radioplay from BBC Radio 1 and 3, 6 Music and XFM, as well as support from press such as the Sunday Times, Independent and DJ Mag. Batida’s high energy live show features dancers, percussionists, DJs, MCs alongside visuals and images (both archive and new) of Angolan streets, war and fragments of tribal life. You can catch Batida at the Soundway 10 Year Party on 20th April – more details to be confirmed.
Championed mostly for their work in un-earthing and re-releasing classic, rare and vintage tropical recordings, Soundway have started signing new acts that have drawn on and been inspired by the kind of music found on the label’s groundbreaking compilations and re-issues. What originally started out as a radio show designed to promote new African music has slowly evolved into a collaborative project crossing continents. Whereas nearly all of kuduro (Angolan electronic music) has no links with its country’s musical heritage, it is deeply engrained in Batida’s music.
Various Artists – Swing Electro
LABEL: Believe Digital
GENRE: Dance – Electro
Swing Electro is a compilation of tracks from the musical genre electro swing, marrying together electronic machines with swing vinyls of the roaring Twenties. Featuring the likes of Swing Republic, Parov Stelar, Belleruche, Django Reinhardt, Future Swing Stories, The Correspondents and Tape Five, this selection of 25 songs is guaranteed to get you dancing.
The compilation album has received support from Electro-swing.com, the first website dedicated to electro swing music in France. You can check out “Swing Electro” here:
Loretta Heywood – The Boy Across the Road
LABEL: Far Out Recordings
GENRE: Pop – Singer Songwriter
Loretta Heywood releases her debut studio album ‘The Boy Across the Road’ on Far Out Recordings as an exclusive digital release. The album is a collection of songs representing a fourteen year period of Loretta Heywood’s life with all its personal ups and downs, spiritual growth and perseverance to complete this particular life cycle over ten deeply personal tracks.
Beginning in 2000 Heywood began working on new beats and acoustic sounds that formed the start of this decade-long labour of love, starting the writing and recording process with members of Bugz in the Attic, Wai Wan and Victor Davies and producing some of the finest West London sounds, “I Can’t Sleep” and “Keep Your Head to the Sky” amongst them. However, it was producer Andy Mitchell and Will Worsley – Sade’s engineer – who mixed and brought together previous tracks written during a decade of Loretta life to form ‘The Boy Across the Road’. Andy embellished and re-recorded the original songs with Loretta, adding his own vision and production skills to create a romantic, acoustic sound with a contemporary twist which includes elements of jazz, folk, soul and dance.
This long-awaited album release is a gently acoustic and electronic debut featuring the single ‘Little Angel’ (released on Nancy Tango Records) and standout tracks ‘Butterfly’, ‘This Boy That Girl’, ‘Winter in July’ and ‘Suspicious Minds’ – written with David Arnold (James Bond soundtracks/Bjork) are here, alongside exclusive bonus mixes of ‘This Boy That Girl’ with remixes from Daz-I-Kue, Adam Hurst, Aaron Jerome aka SBTRKT, an extended mix from Chris Franck and a beautiful A Cappella version.
“Smooth as you like soul jazz-a-go-go from the ever-dependable Loretta Heywood” iDJ
Sleep Party People – Chin
LABEL: Blood and Biscuits
GENRE: Alternative – Indie Pop
“Chin” is the first single from the band’s forthcoming album “We Were Drifting On A Sad Song”. Sleep Party People are a post-rock band, but in fact “Chin” sounds more like evensong-with-beats than it does Mogwai. With its church organ synths, and vocals that sound very much like an alien’s attempt at the Catholic liturgy, it is ecclesiastical indeed. The single also reached no.2 on the “most popular music on blogs right now” list on hypem.com.
Sleep Party People is the bedroom project of Brian Batz, based in Copenhagen. However, for live shows Brian performs with an orchestra of 5 friends, all clad in bunny masks, to enlarge and expand his adventurous sound. The band will be busy gigging in the UK and Europe in April, kicking the tour off on 16th April in Manchester and finishing in Amsterdam on 28th April.
Carter Tutti Void – Transverse
LABEL: Mute Artists
GENRE: Alternative – Electronic / EBM
NME – “Brilliantly diabolical”
UNCUT – “Compelling in its sustained vision”
THE STOOL PIGEON – “spontaneous and visceral”
THE QUIETUS – “hypnotic”
“Transverse”, a unique collaboration from Chris Carter & Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle) and Nik Void (Factory Floor), is out today. “Transverse” was created especially for the legendary Short Circuit presents Mute festival at the Roundhouse, London in 2011.
The tracks were prepared in the studio and then performed and recorded live in front of an audience. Outside of the trio, these recordings were unheard prior to the festival and the popularity of the performance left many being turned away at the door.
Mute is proud to make this groundbreaking recording available and to be working again with two of electronic music’s true pioneers and one of its new trail blazers. Said The Quietus of the performance: “…a warm embrace, creating a deep connection… Carter at the back manipulates the electronics while on either flank, Void scratches noise with bowed guitar and Tutti plays while singing vocals that she mangles and distorts… there is no nihilism in this noise, nothing but a deep and wonderful sense of love.”
Mute plan a series of releases from Short Circuit presents Mute at the Roundhouse in the near future. More details to follow.
DAT Politics – Blitz Gazer
LABEL: Sub Rosa
GENRE: Dance – Electro – Minimal / Tech
Their remarkably energetic live shows explain the cult-like enthusiasm that surround the electronic combo as they’ve been touring the world extensively over the years. DAT Politics channel a rough-edged turbo pop mood through their laptops to create some of the most unexpectedly catchy and lively music ever assembled by digital means.
New album “Blitz Gazer” is an exhilarating reboot in the band’s career. Entirely recorded in Berlin in 2011 by the newly formed duo, this release contains twelve tracks with their share of synthetic 80’s hits, catchy loops and bouncy drum machines. Less expected, but pleasantly surprising is their ability to turn the voltage level down by chanting neon lite robo ballads. Some dreamy melodic breaks rise in a rhythmic electric storm, and we can explore a brand new aspect of the band’s wide influences and possibilities.
“French laptop DAT politics have double-clicked “the party” icon on their desktops and the results make for absurd, infectious fun.(…) even a beardy old grouch like me can’t help but be seduced. (…)” – The Wire (UK)
“In terms of songwriting, they play it straight, and ultimately demonstrate a knack for memorable tunes(…) they bop around and shout and let the playful sense of fun take over completely.” – Pitchfork (USA)