RELEASE ROUNDUP: PICCADILLY RECORDS
Well, we’ve got another release week of heavy hitters, this time sees modern post-punk take a front seat, and some more mellow sun-dappled melodies to relax with afterwards. A summer selection box, if you will. Enjoy! – Barry, Piccadilly Records.
Jon Hopkins – Piano Versions
If Nils Frahm’s ‘Felt’ was more your kind of thing than his more synth-heavy crescentic offerings of late, then Hopkins’ ‘Piano Version EP’ might be well up your street. Brittle piano covers of a variety of well known ‘tronica classics including the mindblowingly excellent ‘Modern Driveway’ by Luke Abbott. Think slowly played acoustic piano, echoing room sounds and perfectly evocative ambient echoes. From the Balearic offerings of ‘Opalescent’ twenty full years ago, through the modern classical drone ambient of ‘Insides’ and onto the more dancefloor orientated bangers of late, Hopkins has provided the goods, and this just goes to show how flexible he is, and how far his considerable talents stretch.
Snapped Ankles – Forest Of Your Problems
This is Snapped Ankles’ third outing, with their previous couple flying off the piccadilly shelves as fast as they came in. So what to expect from these London-based post-punk heavy hitters? Well, the sweetly swooning organ is still in situ, as is their roaring crescentic songwriting style, building layers of snappy rhythms on top of one another until they coalesce into a chaotic finish. ‘Shifting Basslines Of The Cornucopians’ is a perfect example of their embrace of the more clashing industrial influence into their sound, with syncopated hits and orchestration build from nothing into a cataclysmic but perfectly cohesive maelstrom. Absolute madness, brilliantly inventive and absolutely essential.
The Go Team – Get Up Sequences Part One
The Go Team’s bombastic brand of off-kilter poptronica certainly has an affinity to sunny days and ‘Get Up Sequences Part One’ rings out perfectly when strolling through a sun-dappled city, head nodding and back sweating. It’s perfect then, that this lands on my desk on what feels like the hottest day since I was born. Tinny synth grooves and huge guitars ride atop a tropical backdrop of panned conga and steel drums. It’s classic go-team fare but strangely even MORE brimming with musical optimism, bright and dynamic and perfectly good fun.
Bobby Gillespie And Jehnny Beth – Utopian Ashes
We all love Primal Scream obviously, so i’m reasonably sure Gillespie is well known by most, and Jehnny Beth crafted a number of huge hits with her band, Savages but who would have thought a combination of these two potentially disparate voices could work so well? ‘Utopian Ashes’ is a beautiful demonstration of a collaboration being more than the sum of their considerable parts with Gillespie’s drawl being perfectly offset with the more light relief of Beth’s vocals, and both parties laying down a wide ranging and transportive suite of instrumental accompaniments. A brilliantly fresh and wonderfully emotive set, and one that reveals more with each turn
ACR – EPC
As one of the city’s most legendary bands, ACR have been at the forefront of musical invention for some time to come and this, the second EP of a three-part collection shows exactly why. This time we get three collaborations with The Emperor Machine, Mariah Uzor from Sink Ya Teeth and Chris Massey, with the fourth track being a tribute to one of our most beloved musical pioneers, Andrew Wetherall. It’s perfectly balanced with ACR’s snappy post-punk roots being perfectly accentuated with the industrial momentum of The Emperor Machine, while there are lighter moments in YOYOGRIP, that show the breadth of stylistic variation effortlessly displayed by Moscrop and co. It’s impressive to spend four decades in the business and to come away sounding as fresh and relevant as ever. PLUS, they’re an absolutely lovely bunch too. HIGHLY recommended.