ARTIST: The Marbles Jackson
RELEASE: Notes To The Dust
RELEASE DATE: 05/04/15
RECORD COMPANY: Feline Frequency Recordings
Every musical artist worth their salt with a dream of recording & releasing a body of work physically either on Vinyl, Cd or Tape will eventually run into a brick wall when it comes to funding their musical adventure’s because in every walk of life imaginable the mantra remains the same - ‘Money Makes The World Go-Around’. These days artists have a wealth of ways to generate cash (without gigging themselves to death) with one medium also allowing them to expand their fan-base at the same time! That pretty cool medium of garnering funds is called - Crowdfunding. One such act to do so are UK based sonic adventurers ‘The Marbles Jackson’ who after a successful crowdfunding campaign, raised enough funds to not only release their debut album ‘Notes To The Dust’ digitally but also fund a Vinyl release! Hailing from Hakney over in London Town - ‘The Marbles Jackson’ are: Terry Kirkbride - Guitars, Vocals, percussion & Mouth Organ, Naoko TakaHashi - Guitars & Backing Vocals, Smon Gwynne - Keys, Guitar & Sound Effects & Mikey Belfast Gibson - Bass and what they have created musically is nothing short of beautiful. Most of the tracks were written by Terry Kirkbride & Naoko Takahashi except - 'Nowt Will Ever Be The Same' & 'I Want Never Gets' by Kirkbride and 'What Remains' by Simon Gwynne. The album was Produced by Kirkbride and Takahashi, Engineered, Recorded and Mastered by Mark Jasper @ Sound Savers, Hackney, London & Mixed by Takahashi @ Shabby Road Studio, Hackney, London.
We have picked a few of our favourite tracks from ‘Notes To The Dust’ for the purposes of this review and you can read what we thought about them below:
Track 1 on this very impressive release opens up a portal to a world of daydreams, shoegaze & dream-pop. ‘If Symptoms Persist ( Nothing Wrong With Me )’ is a slice of laid back sonic heaven on a grand scale reminiscent in parts to early 90’s musical stalwarts such as Spiritualized & The Verve. Anyone new to this band is in for a treat as this is the entry point to a musical adventure you could only ever dream about. Beautiful in its conception with dreamy vocals and addictive guitar lines, it will evoke memories of life & love and have you floating on a wave of tone & reverb. Absolutely blissful.
Light & dark tones are magnified to shimmering brilliance on the albums second track - ‘Murder Mile Sunshine'. This is stunning. You stay fixed on the main vocal while a maelstrom of swirling effected guitars, immense backing vocals, lazy drum beat & hazy samples immerse you in a world of dreamscape infused shoegaze with immense psychedelic swirls.
‘Requiem For The Have It All’s’ - is a journey track. Beautiful vocal harmonies lead you in and caress your eardrums with intricate guitar lines, delayed tones & stunning ethereal vocal swells all intertwined around it's post-rock 'esque core. One for the headphones! Check it out:
Passionate, emotive & immense are all words that can be used to describe the feelings you get when you listen to track 8 on this stunning release. ’Running Man’ is a blissful ride through addictive guitars stabs, beautifully immersive reverb drenched vocal lines & swirling backing tracks that tells a sonic story through the medium of sound waves. Check it out:
It’s a strange thing these days for any band to touch this listener as deeply as ‘The Marbles Jackson’ have. Their attention to detail on every single one of the epic tracks on this release will stay with you long after you have finished listening to them & that’s a great thing in my opinion. Somehow they stick in your subconscious and you end up humming their tunes or speaking their lyrics at absurdly different & weird times of the day & for me that’s the mark of a great song and the total embodiment of a great band. I’ve been following the journey of this band intently ever since they got in touch with me about airplay on a radio show in early 2014. They haven’t disappointed & this album is a stunning body of work by a band that will leave you with a sweet taste in your mouth after every listen. Sonically sound & immensely beautiful ‘Notes To The Dust’ is album that every music fan should have in their collection. If you missed out on pre-ordering the album during their crowdfunding campaign, don't panic, you can still get your hands on a copy of 'Notes To The Dust' as it is available to order on Vinyl through www.RoughTrade.Com & will also be available via iTunes & the labels BANDCAMP PAGE from the release date.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave, but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. He also currently writes for Canadian based online music webzine ReplicantEars. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
by Primal Music
Artist: Lava Lite
Release: Lava Lite EP
Release Date: 23/04/14
Record Company: Unsigned
Lava Lite are a Shoegaze/Dream Pop band, formed in Saint-Petersburg, Russia in 2011. They are: Sergenty Timoshenko - guitar, keys & vocals, Nikita Tarakanov - guitar & keys, Paul Kostyaev - bass & Eugene Kulikov - drums, percussion & backing vocals. This band have slipped under the shoegazing radar but from the very first listen it sound's to me like they've put their boots on, kicked down the door & unleashed a mesmerising whirlwind of beautiful shimmering shoegaze on their latest 5 track, self-titled offering. We've chosen 3 tracks from this EP and you can read what we thought of them below:
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'Fear Of Silence', the first incredible track on the EP, with guitar nods to nirvana and bass lines similar to the ilk of dare I say it - 'Twiggy Ramierez'(Marilyn Manson) circa 1996, it's also got the fire of the smashing pumpkins! Check it out:
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Track 2- 'Have You Ever', is somewhere between 'Waterfall' by 'The Stone Roses' & 'Kevin Is Gay' by 'Giant Drag'. This song meanders on a little bit and is by no means the best offering to the shoegaze gods but it is a solid second track. The one thing I really like about this track is the vocal line as it sears around the tracks like water around a stone in a running river.
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On 'Can't You See', the third track on this epic EP we are treated to sparse bass lines, octaving smoothly as if they were lounging around in a funk track. It has an energy to it thats similar to the 'Brian Jonestown Massacre' but with its own vitality. It invokes a sort of 'post rum libido' for that special someone you only met 3 hours ago at the local bar. This track also comes with the standard wailing unison bend that we all know and love, the lazy guitar line that refuses to change key and the bass line's are playing very nice with the drums. This epitomises what shoegaze is all about & its one of my fave tracks on this lovely EP.
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From start to finish this EP is a display of music made by a band who have embodied the sonic culture completely by the way that they consume the music of the sophmoric shoegaze era ,eating other modern bands for dessert. The musicianship and production values on this EP are fantastic plus the songwriting is lush and the lead singers voice is immense. What I would love to hear from them is music in their own language, but moreover I can't wait to hear what they come up with next. Their sound is already very mature and their production impressive. 'Lava Lite' are ones to watch.
The EP was recorded & mixed by Vladimir Nosyrev at the Petersburg Recording Studio, Saint Petersburg, produced by Lava Lite & mastered by Andrey Subbotin at the Saturday Mastering Studio, Moscow and is available up on their band camp site - www.LavaLite.Bandcamp.Com
Robert Von Ciaran is the Vocalist, Guitarist, Producer & Engineer in Irish heavy shoegazers 'Tuath'. Hailing from Galway in Western Ireland Robert's musical influences span numerous genres and are far reaching. 'Tuath' are quietly establishing themselves as forerunners in Ireland's shoegaze & psych-rock scene.
Italian shoegazing is on the rise as far as we're concerned here in the Primal Music Blog HQ. Every one of our contributing writers are in agreement. Italian 'Nu- Shoegaze' bands are creating some of the best sonic sounds around, not only in Italy, but in our opinion, some of the best in Europe!
CLUSTERSUN are an Italian based band riding the crest of the Italian shoegaze tidal wave right now. They create sonically astute, washy, loud shoegazey reverberations infused with blissful walls of sound, cold wave atmospheres & crystal clear dreamy melodies. The band are Marco Chisari - vocals & bass, Mario Lo Faro - guitars, Piergiorgio Campione - synthesizers, keyboards & backing vocals & Andrea Conti - drums. Hailing from Catania, Italy, the band have been together since the beginning of 2013. Their first selfproduced single “Be Vegetal” was included in the CD Summer Sampler 2013 published by american indie label Custom Made Music (Peter Hook & The Light, Freebass, Ringo Deathstarr, Dead Leaf Echo). After that they got signed to the italian indie label Seahorse Recordings for the release of the first album “Out Of Your Ego”. We caught up with the band as they prepare for their first American East Coast tour ( April 23rd to May 3rd - New York, Boston Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Providence, Lancaster, and Lowell) & asked them about their influences, band history & future plans. Check it out:
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Who are you? Tell us about your band and how you originally came together?
CLUSTERSUN are basically four long-time and really close friends from Catania, Italy, that enjoy making loud noises together. Everything started at the beginning of 2013, when all us four began to rehearse together just for having fun and playing loud. Very loud! We instantly found a wonderful feel and interplay between us: that comfortable sensation of speaking the same musical language, with cranked amps, reverbs and eyes pointed at our feet. So our strong human interconnection and common musical background helped a lot in moving things really fast. We soon self-produced our first song, "Be Vegetal" and put it on Soundcloud. The wonderful Dave Allison of U.S. indie label Custom Made Music heard it and appreciated it: he included it in CMM Summer Sampler, a compilation of shoegaze, post-punk, psych, garage from great acts of all over the world. That really pushed things up and was a big spotlight for us. A few weeks later we signed with Italian indie label Seahorse Recordings, run by Italian underground legend Paolo Messere: he brought us in the studio at the end of 2013 for recording our first album "Out Of Your Ego", which came out in April 2014.
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Describe your sound?
We try to mix shoegaze, dreampop, coldwave and psychedelia with hypnotic-obsessive bass lines, dark and cold drum pattern, a strongly expressive guitar with a range that goes from ambient ethereal mood to fuzz-and-reverb madness, fat analog synths and dreamy vocal melodies. Our album "Out Of Your Ego" came out with a distinctive airy-spacey-dreamy-ethereal mood that we love, but we are now at work exploring our fuzzier, grittier, dirtier side in the live renditions of the album tracks and especially in the new material that is coming out at rehearsals. We hate to stand still.
What do you love about shoegaze?
Shoegaze is a music that can bring you to another dimension, sonically and mentally. It lets you a lot of freedom and big room for experimentation, allowing your creativity to expand in many directions. From a musician’s point of view is like a place where you’re encouraged to breaking borders and pushing things at their limits.
Your song ‘Hipnosis’ is on the compilation ‘REVOLUTION – The Shoegaze Revival’. How did that come about and what does this all mean?
We were delighted to be involved In “REVOLUTION - The Shoegaze Revival”, which is an international compilation put together for Ear to Ear Records by a great artist and friend Shauna McLarnon – she is the vocalist in one of the bands we love most, Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma. We were glad to contribute with our single “Hipgnosis”, that sits in excellent company alongside stunning tracks by 30 amazing bands from 16 countries of the world, covering 5 of the 6 inhabited continents: Orangenoise (Pakistan), Sounds of Sputnik (Russia), The Yours (Hong Kong), Trementina (Chile), Ummagma (Canada-Ukraine), Digilite (Indonesia), Jaguwar (Germany), Stellarscope (USA), Spool (Japan), Wozniak (Scotland), Ether Feels (Japan), Hideous Towns (Australia), Lights That Change (Wales, UK), Damascus (Indonesia), Weird. (Italy), Hermetic Delight (France), Rev Rev Rev (Italy), The Evening Primrose (Hong Kong), Stella Diana (Italy), Seaside (Indonesia), Blood Lips (UK), Magao (Japan), Clustersun (Italy), Duelectrum (Brazil), Intenna (Indonesia), Robsongs (Brazil), Slow Motion Picture (USA), Thud (Hong Kong), Sharesprings (Indonesia), and Puna (Peru). This compilation was released on British label Ear To Ear Records and the Indonesian label Gerpfast Kolektif – this is one of the major shoegaze events of 2015, a detailed representation of what shoegaze was, is and also where it could go, as confirmed by the great endorsement and support by legends like Creation Records co-founder Joe Foster, Graham Bonnar (Swervedriver/ Brian Jonestown Massacre), Stephen Lawrie (The Telescopes), and Louise Trehy (Swallow/ Strata Florida). We are so proud to be part of this. [Editor’s note: check out our recent interview with Joe Foster here].
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Why is it important for the world to hear your music? What kind of message would you like to share with international listeners?
We can only say we make visionary music for visionary people, in the most genuine and honest way; we don’t pretend to deliver a particular message to our listeners, maybe an aesthetic ideal.
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Musically, what are your bands plans over the next year?
2015 is going to be a really great year for us! In just a few days we’ll announce our first American tour, 9 gigs on the East Coast between New York, Boston Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Providence, Lancaster, and Lowell, from April 23rd to May 3rd. After that we’ll plan touring in Italy and Europe for summer. We are also still at work on new material and it's a very productive and inspiring time for us. We have completed a bunch of new songs that are coming out in a grittier, edgier and more aggressive mood compared to the ones on the album.
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Can you name some bands from your country or elsewhere as recommended listening?
So many great emerging acts to discover in our country, we highly recommend Rev Rev Rev, Stella Diana, Novanta, My Invisible Friends, In Her Eye, A Modern Way To Die, Weird, La Casa Al Mare, The Crackers, Kimono Lights, 86Sandals, Sonic Jesus, Snow In Mexico, Last Movement, Electric Floor, Allie’s Dope, Winter Severity Index, Klam, Ash Code, and Geometric Vision. You will be able to hear (and download) many of them on the compilation out this week from Shoegazin’ Your Waves.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Keep following CLUSTERSUN at the links below.
Release: Shades of Sadness And Sorrow
Release Date: 03/03/15
Record Company: Patetico Recordings
Hailing from Philadelphia, Stellarscope bring a high octane, super charged sonic sound to the underground post-punk, shoegaze infused musical table. With numerous releases under their belt & firmly stabled to the amazing independent record label 'Patetico Recordings', Philadelphia's finest, Stellarscope, are the forerunners to the massive underground post-punk/shoegaze scene that has graced the modern day City of Brotherly Love. Stellarscope are a well structured band, with experience behind them to take on new directions and challenges whilst retaining the core of their output. They craft psychedelia, onto tightly constructed rock songs, which take them into completely new & unheard of before musical landscapes, thus in turn, creating new musical sub-cultures! Stellarscope’s energetic live performances has garnered the band serious accolades from peers, as well as fans. They are made up of: Tom Lugo - Vocals, Guitars, Bass & Bob Forman on Drums. Their latest album entitled 'Shades Of Sadness And Sorrow' gets it's official release on 03/03/15 on 'Patetico Recordings'.
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Stellarscope are a staple of the indie rock scene with their unique brand of post-punk indie rock. Their music is dark and emotive yet it still has a pop sensibility to it. Stellarscope’s energetic live performances has garnered the band accolades from their peers as well as their fans. With multiple releases under their belts they continue to march forward and evolve with the times. Their music has appeared in many compilations and tribute albums, documentaries as well as on MTV, A&E, Discovery Channel, Alli Sports TV, and more. For fans of Joy Formidable, Silversun Pickups, Wavves, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division, Interpol & Ramones. Below are a few of our favourite tracks taken from this Immense release.
With an energetic swagger, the very distinct vocal tones of 'Tom Lugo' herald the arrival of a behemoth. The opening track on 'Shades of Sadness And Sorrow', entitled 'Dug This Hole', pulsates with post-punk anger & noise-pop swirls. It's a full on whirlwind of aggression & angst with addictive guitar lines & thundering drums. Check it out:
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Hints of shoegaze effected guitars introduce us to the second track on this latest 'Stellarscope' release, but don't be fooled! 'Never Hated Like This' remind's me of very early, debut album, 'Nine Inch Nails' but with a modern day twist. This track also ventures into Trent Reznor territory lyrically too, with Lugo again expressing his anger at the world. This is gripping stuff. Go check it out:
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A full on wall of sound greet's us on track 3. 'Living In A Haze' explores Stellarscope's old-school gazing side with an immense slow burner of a track that explodes on the chorus's whilst introducing quieter moments throughout it's verses - Yeah, I did say "Quieter Moments", but this is Stellarscope after all, so their "Quieter Moments" would still register on the richter scale!! This is a stunning track & probably my favourite on the whole album.
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You can listen to any track on this album and still get a feel for what it is that Stellarscope are trying to achieve. Their angst ridden assault on your earholes are designed to heighten your senses & shake your inner core. Take a listen to the three tracks above again & then listen to 'Farewell, Eat Your Heart Out, Broken To Pieces, Ocean Of Storms, It's All Gone, Soul Disturbance' & the brilliant 'Face First In The Dirt' to hear exactly what I mean. 'Stellarscope' continue to release relevant, pioneering & awe inspiring music, not only for todays bands to follow but also for future bands to get influenced by & in turn start the process of creating their own brand of music all over again.
Del Chaney - The Primal Music Blog - February 2015 - Dublin, Ireland.
Find out more info about Stellarscope by following the links below:
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo 'Analogue Wave', but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Noise-Rock & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm, 'The Primal Radio Show', has gained considerable respect from band’s and promoter’s alike since it’s conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he's passionate about. He also currently write's for Canadian based online music webzine www.ReplicantEars.com. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
Artist: Elastic Sleep
Release: Leave You EP
Release Date: 28/04/14
Record Company: FIFA Records( IRL) & Big Tea Records(UK)
Back in early 2014 I had the privilege of hearing a brilliant new, fresh sound coming from Cork in Southern Ireland. In March of that year Elastic Sleep's blissfully immense tracks were a regular on one of my earliest radio show's - The Quiet Room for RadioAktiv, with one track in particular, the beautiful cover version of 'You Only Live Twice', frequenting the airwaves & causing quite a stir with my regular listener's at that time. Elastic Sleep have a sometimes dream-pop, sometimes full on shoegaze infused sound and they are, in my opinion, the forerunner's in Ireland 's own new wave of gaze or as it's being called worldwide - The Shoegaze Revival.
Elastic Sleep are Muireann Levis (vocals), Chris Somers (vocals/guitar), Brendan Riordan (guitar), Ruairí Dale (bass) and Brian Kiely (drums), & are former college friends who, after different formations, bands and projects, became Elastic Sleep. Back in April 2014 they released what should go down in Irish musical history as a game changer of an EP entitled 'Leave You' through Irish independent record label FIFA Records, based in Cork, & over in the UK on Big Tea Records. Elastic Sleep's sound travels across darkness and light; from the tranquil to the uncontrollable taking influence from Broadcast, early Goldfrapp, My Bloody Valentine with a lush cinematic quality that has was won them much praise over the last 18 months.
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The EP open's up with the rather impressive 'Leave You'. With the haunting tones of Muireann Levis stunningly beautiful vocal, floating on a very addictive guitar line, this track lead's you into it's core with a false sense of security before unleashing a wall of sound so beautiful, it washes you clean of impurities and wraps it's sonic goodness around your entire body. Backing vocals on the chorus lines, from Chris Somers, add to this hauntingly good track. I kid you not! For first time listener's to this brilliant 5 piece band from Cork this should be your entry point! This is brand new Irish shoegazing, this is the new wave:
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Track 2 entitled 'I Found Love', is heavier in it's origins but stunning all the same. I can hear early Sub Pop era Sonic Youth with it's creeping guitar swells and exploding chorus parts. This track is a crawling monolith with Somers taking the lead vocal & Muireann Levis backing vocal swirling menacingly in time with the exploding wall of guitar & drums. I really, really like this track! I found love ....... Check it out:
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Track 3 is a different animal all-together! 'Deep And Blue' is four minutes & twenty-four seconds of pure unadulterated dream-pop. It's a stunning soundscape all built around Muireann Levis addictively beautiful main vocal. 'Deep And Blue' is sonically divine, with it's hazy guitars & pounding 60's soundtrack like drumbeat. Reminiscent in parts to Australia's own 'Luna Ghost' or Wales based outfit 'Golden Fable', this track is immense. Check it out:
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With it's growling guitar intro, track 4 on Elastic Sleep's 'Leave You EP' entitled Tzar 'Bomba(No More Tears)' reverts back to a heavier, angrier sounding Elastic Sleep but still addictive all the same. This track has a harder edge to it & pushes a grungier sound to the fore. Again the backing vocals from Levis cut through the heavy guitar lines & pounding drums, lifting the track on the chorus parts! Bloody good though!
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'Splish' announces itself onto the musical landscape with Muireann Levis haunting vocal sitting on top of a post-punk inspired bassline. Track 5 on this stunning EP is a full on emotive, early 90's shoegaze infused masterpiece, with both Levis & Somers taking vocal duties whilst the guitars and drums swirl & explode like fireworks! Probably my favourite track on this EP, musically it reminds me of early 'Pale Saints' with it's experimental guitar lines & effected parts. Very cool track! Don't take my word for it though, go check it out for yourself:
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The EP' closes with a slow burning, very stylish, 'Velvet Underground meets Nico' inspired track entitled - 'Stay'. It's 2 minutes plus of psychedelic sound waves written especially for people like me to daydream to. A strange track to close this immense EP with, but brilliant all the same.
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2015 is shaping up to be a big year for Elastic Sleep. Having received much praise for their debut EP they were chosen to perform at Whelans ‘Ones to Watch’ 2015 and have also been hotly tipped by the Irish Times, the Thin Air, Hot Press and Golden Plec for big things this year.
Their Leave You EP shows that they are making some of the best sounds in Ireland right now. - THE IRISH TIMES
The dream-pop scene hasn’t been so alive in decades and this Cork five-piece take things into the realm of nightmares. Delightfully atmospheric and exquisitely beautiful stuff. - Hot Press
Back in November 2014 Elastic sleep release a brand new track to the masses! Entitled 'Slip' this track gave us all a little insight into whats to come from these Irish gazers in 2015 & beyond. Check it out below:
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To coincide with their biggest headline gig to date Elastic Sleep have released a live video ,shot by Blair Alexander, covering Jon Hopkins modern classic 'Open Eye Signal' at a recent gig.
Hot off the back of Whelan's 'Ones to Watch 2015' Elastic Sleep return to the legendary Dublin venue for a headline gig in the main venue this Friday 20th of February. Support on the night comes from Other Creatures.
Del Chaney - The Primal Music Blog - February 2015 - Dublin,Ireland.
You can find out more info & check out Elastic Sleep here:
Artist: Youth In Bloom
Record Label: Mayfly Records
Release Name: Shell EP
Release Date: 17/12/14
Shoegazing is Escapism! It’s a modern day, anti-hype, full on emotive, romantic genre of music that offer’s hope in a sad, mad & bad world. It makes you think about life & love and it gives you a way out of all of those dull, moronic, every day, conveyor belt moment’s that life can throw at you. Shoegaze washes over us all in waves of reverb laden goodness. It lift’s the spirit’s on a cold, damp winter’s day and it transport’s you on a sonic wave to someplace warm. You can walk around a busy city with headphones on listening to it’s swirls & flourishes just thinking about life. It’s not just about staring at your shoes, it’s also about reaching for the stars. Every once and a while a bunch of track's collectively released on an EP or album grab me by the ear's and throw me around my living room. I've said this before and written about it many times, but it's true! 'Youth In Bloom' are a new band to me, & in my opinion they have released a shoegazing masterpiece! Their 'Shell EP' seriously need's to be heard in it's entirety for people to realise that this resurgent shoegazing scene is not going away easily & every week a new band surfaces with a release that will blow it's listeners away!
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With an almost 'Chapterhouse' like intro, the opening track on 'Youth In Bloom's' debut release 'Shell EP' will give you a clear understanding of what this band are about musically. 'Unwind' is a sonically immense track with a duel vocal to die for! Listen carefully to the traditional shoegaze production technique's on the vocal line's! They are way back in the mix just floating on a sea of bliss & riding a wall of guitar, drum's & bass. This is heaven.
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'Crescent Waves', the EP's second track, greet's us with, in my opinion, the only Alt-Rock influenced track on this EP. It explodes on to the musical canvas before opening up with the absolutely stunning vocal line - "Pale blue like dreams of you, Old stories we tell are becoming new, Pale blue like dreams of you, Pleasures of the mind will see you through". A duel vocal again carries this track on a wave of sonically beautiful tones into the amazing chorus line. Check it out:
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Three track's in and we're hit with a shoegaze classic! 'Finder' is the bedrock on this immense release. It has all the qualities of a classic gaze track and cements 'Youth In Bloom' firmly into the shoegaze genre elite. The drum track alone on this song is worthy of singular praise as it takes us on a four minute 5 second journey through the spirit of shoegaze & it's many guises. Again, vocally sublime, this band can do no wrong in my opinion and they deserve our respect.
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The dreampop element's of Youth In Bloom's sound come to the fore on the brilliant 'Dismantle', the forth track on this amazing EP. Opening with the sweetest of vocal's sitting on top of hauntingly beautiful guitar swell's, this track remind's me so much of Irish shoegazing outfit 'Elastic Sleep' who record, produce & release similar soundscapes in the dreampop/shoegazing genre. The drums explode with menace and bring the curtain down on a really great track but ultimately it's all about the vocal. Sublime!
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'Shrouded' is the closing track on this EP & in my opinion, 'Youth In Bloom' have saved the best for last. This is a stunning piece of music & possibly my favourite track on the 'Shell EP'. Full of expressive shoegaze qualities & subtle dreampop flourishes, 'Shrouded' comes to life after we are introduced to & guided through a Dreampop masterclass into a full on Nu-Gaze heavy hitting classic track. This is stunning in every way and I have to commend 'Youth In Bloom' for the way in which they've presented this track. It has peak's & trough's that are full of swirling sonic goodness & again, that vocal track is to die for! This track alone has everything that I love about the shoegaze/dreampop/nu-gaze genre's of music & it is also a track that I will keep coming back to again & again.
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Hailing from Williamsport, PA & signed to the immense Mayfly Record's, another amazing independent record company nurturing the underground gaze scene over in the States with aplomb, 'Youth In Bloom' combine shoegaze, nu-gaze, dream pop, & 90′s alt rock to perfection. This EP will appeal to fans of Whirr, Tamaryn, Wildhoney, and Pity Sex but it will also appeal to fan's of the first wave of shoegaze respectively!
You can check out 'Youth In Bloom' for yourselves here:
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave, but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Noise-Rock & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm, The Primal Radio Show, has gained considerable respect from band’s and promoter’s alike since it’s conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he's passionate about. He also currently write's for Canadian based online music webzine www.ReplicantEars.com .Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
Artist: Cross Tabou
Release: Illusion And Paradise
Release Date: 06/02/15
California is producing some epic sound's these days, away from the mainstream tripe & most especially in the psychedelic/shoegaze/dreampop genres of music. One such act hail from San Jose and are a collaboration of two fantastic musicians, the amazing songwriter Miss Sofia Vondell & the equally talented underground artist Horizontal Halfspear. Labelled as 'Cross Tabou', they have just released an absolutely stunning collection of 5 tracks on an epic EP entitled 'Illusion And Paradise'. Their debut 10 track release, 'Cross Tabou', graced our ears back in September 2014 and quickly became a favourite of the online radio community because of it's genre spanning diversity and psychedelic quality, all wrapped around the stunning Miss Vondell's vocal line's. 'Illusion And Paradise' move's a tentative step forward from their impressive debut and take's the listener on a psychedelic journey, leaning more towards the post-punk/shoegaze side of their sound, but with a more traditional dreampop highlight.
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Track one is straight out of the Velvet Underground songwriter's handbook. 'Last Flight' is absolutely stunning. Vondell's vocal abilities take the lead and sit on top of a hauntingly beautiful guitar line. This is the entry point to what Cross Tabou can actually achieve & new listeners to their sound will instantly fall in love with them. It's an amazing intro track. Check it out below.
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Next up is the brilliant 'Into This', probably my favourite track on this EP. This track alone has everything that I love about this genre of music - Shoegaze, Post-Punk & DreamPop! Again the spotlight shine's firmly on Vondell's ability to sing. The traditional shoegaze production techniques on the vocals are pushed to one side to allow Sofia the space she deserves up front in the mix. The guitar swells are addictive and that early 90s sounding drum sequence is exquisite! A masterpiece! Check it out.
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A short interlude with the gaze infused instrumental 'Illusion And Paradise', bring's us nicely to the industrial sound's of track four on his EP, 'Writing On Wall'. On my first listen to this track I could hear Queens Of The Stone Age but without the growl! I kid you not. But it open's out into a track with a multitude of thing's going on in it. Post-Punk flairs litter it's production. It has a gothic feel to it too but it stick's firmly to its psychedelic roots. Sofia Vondell hold's it all together with her almost Debbie Harry like vocal qualities & the production on this track is expertly achieved. Very cool track & one that need's several listens before it really hit's home. Check it out.
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The closing track on his EP has me very intrigued indeed. We're back to the Velvet Underground theme that captivated us early on in this EP's opening track, but with the epic 'Void' there's something else going on here entirely! There is a tiny post-rock edge to this track that is very addictive indeed. Sofia's almost post-punk vocal lines sitting on the church organ are immense. It hark's back to the hazy days of experimental LSD & full on factory parties. A truly captivating track. This is church music for the damned. Immense!
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Overall this is a stunning piece of work by a collaborating duo who have plenty more in the tank to give as far as self releasing artists go. I'll expect to hear more from this band towards the end of this year and I know individually they are releasing an immense body of solo work too. Do go and support them.
You can get your hands on this EP & Cross Tabou's debut release HERE.
Del Chaney- The Primal Music Blog - February 2015 - Dublin, Ireland.
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave, but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Noise-Rock & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm, The Primal Radio Show, has gained considerable respect from band’s and promoter’s alike since it’s conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he's passionate about. He also currently write's for Canadian based online music webzine www.ReplicantEars.com. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
Release: Pikes Peak EP
Release Date: 09/06/14
Record Company: Morningside Young Team Records
From the very first note in the opening track of Wozniak's new EP, Pikes Peak, I knew that i was in for something great!
I'd heard murmurings around the internet, especially up on the Twittersphere, about this band but could never find any music, just constant chatter about a proper Shoegazing band playing Shoegaze the way its meant to be played! Having been around for the end of the first wave of Shoegaze in the late 80's where Cocteau Twins, For Against and Jesus And Mary Chain were a constant on my turntable, to the early 90's assault on my cranium by Loop, My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Ride etc etc, I can safely say that from the very first listen to 'Pikes Peak' I got uber excited about how good it really is. It sucks you in and caresses your ear drums in preparation for the sonic blast that's to come.
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'El Maresme', the lead track from the EP, is sheer musical brilliance! Coming in at 6 minutes 59 Seconds this track swoops and soars like an eagle. Layers of lush guitars explode into the atmosphere sitting atop a steady bass and drum pattern that somehow seems to keep the whole show fixed fast to the earth. Add a dreamy vocal into the mix and we're instantly transported to a different world. A world where sonic layering is king! This is Shoegazing at its very best!
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The EP Powers along and stuffs its second track 'Paper Hat' in our faces! It has that 'Slowdive' feel to it but with a driving pulse that's straight out of the 'MBV' mould. It's a brilliant Instrumental track and it's another treat for fans like me. A reminder of how it should be done!
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Track 3 is immense! - 'Kreuzberg' has instrumental 'Loop' all over it and after listening to it on the headphones, I'm reminded of 'Loop's' epic album 'A Guilded Eternity' and again I have to wonder what music 'Wozniak' were listening to during the writing and recording stages of the EP? I'm taken aback at how good Wozniak really are! 'Kreuzberg' ends with a magical piano line to settle your nerves and prepare you for the next aural onslaught. And it comes in the form of 'Columbo's Car', a monster of a track that picks you up and throws you against the wall in a good way! Its a sonic onslaught, a bloody great track and probably my second favourite track after 'El Maresme'. It too remind's me of another great band, a band who I'm a big fan of called 'Ghost Box Orchestra' and especially their 2013 LP 'Vanished'.
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Track 5, and the final track on the EP, has 'My Bloody Valentine' connotations all the way through it. 'Gesamtkunstwerk' is a blissful track. Looping and arcing all over your ear drums. And although I hate to use him as an example, It's as though Kevin Shields himself had stuck his fingers in it and crafted the layers of sound that streak through the track!
It's a triumph, a really great track and a fitting end to the EP. My recommendation is that you should listen to it with headphones on, sitting in a darkened room, for the total 'Wozniak' experience! It's Just brilliantly crafted ShoeGaze in its purist form!
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Hailing from Edinburg, in Scotland, Wozniak are a breath of fresh air to this listener! They are a four piece band, formed 2012 and are in their own words, 'working hard to cause terminal tinnitus through the medium of epic, effects laden guitars, bamboozling bass and pounding drums' which is by no means easy in this modern day, washed down, re- hashed trite that they call the Shoegazing scene! This is old school Shoegaze! I'm Hearing Loop, Lush, MBV, Ride, Chapter-house, Slowdive and The Telescopes! All bands that that got me excited about music in the 80's/90's and indeed bands that I started playing on 'The Quiet Room' for Radio Aktiv, in the early months of the show! It's not that often that a band really grab me and shake out memories of early 90's Gaze but Wozniak have done just that. Im Impressed at their level of understanding, either by a fluke of nature or purposely composed, of early sounding Shoegaze and I can honestly say that this EP is a must have in any music collection. And I'll stand over that statement
Wozniak's Pikes Peak EP is out June 9th on Morningside Young Team Records and you can pre order the EP or download the lead single 'El Maresme' from the bands bandcamp page here: www.wozniak.bandcamp.com
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze Dream Pop Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.