• Ever wanted to hear NINJAS playing music? Pilot of the Future: "Final Ninja Suite"

    15 Jun 2009, 09:24 by Deepspace_

    It's finally out here:
    We hope you enjoy it.

    Jeremy and Mirko
  • Tunng with Tinariwen - Manchester Academy II. 20th March 2009

    26 Mar 2009, 10:47 by stalactite

    Fri 20 Mar – Tunng with Tinariwen

    Great concept this, an attempt to meld the very English of Tuung and the electrified rebel songs of Tinariwen. I, for one, was unsure what to expect. I love the work of both of these bands separately and have seen Tunng live before on which occasion they were excellent.

    Tonight (and throughout this tour) Tinariwen were a three-piece of guitar, bass and percussion (there can be as many as 8 members in the full line up). As the band(s) took the stage there was a palpable air of expectation from a sold out Academy 2.

    Mike Lindsay began by explaining that they bands had been together just a week so my hoped for new joint compositions seemed a bit unlikely and that's how it panned out.

    For, perhaps, the first three songs there was a sence that, understandably the musicians were finding there feet. But, feet found, the sound became tighter and there was an obvious chemistry between the two groups as they alternated between Tuung and Tinariwen compossitions with the opposite numbers added their distinctive sounds and vocalisations to great effect.

    This experiment could have become an awful, po-faced, self congratulatory "we're so multicultural" love-in but the respect evident between the artists and just the joy they have in making music shone through and although this was not the creation of a new sound it was a great new way to hear the always fascinating music of two distictive groups both at the top of their games.

    Catch them on the rest of the tour in the UK:
    26th March - Koko, London
    27th March - Concert Hall, Reading
    28th March - The Rainbow Warehouse, Birmingham

    If you can't manage that there are some free downlads available at Tunng's myspace:
  • LastFM sucks finally!

    25 Mar 2009, 11:47 by metawirt

    Another attempt from the UK+US to exploit the rest of the world (but still bewaring of the Hun)???:

    Non-US, -UK or -German users are forced to pay for streaming tracks now (!)

    slashdot writes:
    "The popular online radio service Last.fm has announced that users outside of the UK, USA and Germany will need to start paying 3 Euros (about $4.40 USD/£2.80 GBP) per month to continue streaming music on their service. Last.fm doesn't offer much of a reason as to the change, other than writing on their blog that '[t]here will be a 30 track free trial, and we hope this will convince people to subscribe and keep listening to the radio.' Already, there appears to be quite a backlash in responses so far, amongst subscribers and non-subscribers of all nationalities — has this killed Last.fm's appeal, globally?"

    Some comments from the last.fm blog:
    - "Not a surprise. Of course we from third world will pay for USA, UK and Germany, as usual."
    - "Last.fm is going dooooown…. I’m a former subscriber, and soon i’ll be a former user…"

    Thinking about a capitalist bitch last.fm boycott, too...

    ps. It's not about paying fees for listening to streams. It's about that kind of "Apartheid".
    All or none!

    +++SPREAD THE WORD!+++

  • Efterklang - Live at the Ruby Lounge, Manchester 1st April 2008

    17 Dec 2008, 10:55 by stalactite

    At long last I have managed to get these live tracks sorted out and on my blog here. The ever wonderful Efterklang, perhaps the best live band around at the moment, put on another joyous show at the Ruby Lounge back in April. There are ten tracks recorded live available for download here.
    (If anyone can help me with the names of the first two it would be much appreciated. I know I should know but hey it's only taken me almost 10 months to get this far!!)
  • John Peel 30 August 1939 - 25 October 2004

    24 Oct 2008, 12:03 by stalactite

    Tomorrow, Saturday 25th October 2008, is the fourth anniversary of the death of John Peel. Much has been said about Peel's contribution to music in the UK and there is little I feel I need to add. On a personal note though John Peel is by far the single greatest influence on my musical journey. As music is central to my very existence that makes him very, very important indeed. His influence undoubtedly lives on but nothing has, or could come, close to replacing him. I for one miss him very much.

    I have posted a small selection of session tracks on my blog. I expect that most of these tracks are already out there and I apologise if I am not adding to the greater sum of Peel show mp3s. This, though, is by way of a personal tribute.

    On 19th October 1988 Peel broadcast a Sonic Youth session in which they only played Fall covers. Somehow this seems to encapsulate a great deal of what music meant to me back then.

    You can download Psycho Mafia, My New House, Rouche Rumble and Victoria here.

    or link to stuff about the originals by the 'mighty' Fall - Psycho Mafia, My New House, , Rouche Rumble, and Victoria

    Way back in 1975 (on 19th May), before I was listening to John Peel shows, Can recorded two session tracks; geheim and Mighty Girl. It would be about 10 years later that I got seriously into Can and othe bands via a mate's love of all things Amon Duul.

    you can download Can - Geheim here

    A band that I remember Peely having a particular fondness for were Quickspace. They released just three albums but recorded four sessions. For me, they never got the attention they deserved. Here is the last of those sessions from 29th September 1999.

    download They Shoot Horses Don't They?, The Lobbalong Song, The Flat Moon Society and Gloria Clip > here

    Finally, less than six weeks after John's death the BBC put out a session by Shellac. Their song The End of Radio is incredibly poignant.

    download it here

  • Hagar the Womb - The Word of the Womb EP 1984

    22 Oct 2008, 14:13 by stalactite

    One of the earliest releases on Mortarhate (MORT 2) the label founded by Conflict, this is a terrific EP by Hagar the Womb fuelled by anger but never despair. Sometimes it feels almost like an historic document of a time when people still felt thay had the power to change society through positive action and constructive revolt... and through music. But the songs do still resonate today with powerful critiques on celebrity culture and the empty pursuit of fame, the dangers of religious fundamentalism, personal freedom and our unceasing willingness to subjugate ourselves to a flawed system.

    As it says on the sleeve: Be aware, be happy, be optimistic - THINK!

    downloads available from my blog
  • UK D.I.Y. Post Punk - an update

    17 Sep 2008, 08:35 by stalactite

    It was a fantastic surprise to get an email from Geoff Watts once of The Different Eyes and Hibi Yaki who had come across my entry about the Tuzmadoner DIY post punk compilation 'Folk Music'. He very kindly provided additional info about the various bands on the LP and the scene happening in North London in the late 70's and early 80's. I think the most appropriate thing for me to do is to post Geoff's email in full (with a few comments and links added by me). Cheers Geoff:

    'Simon Gilham and Royston were at school together in north London, Des McManus and Geoff Watts met whilst working at WH Smith and met up with the other two.
    Simon, Des and Geoff (Bass, Drums, Guitar) formed The Different Eyes (later the DIFFERENT I's) and were driven to rehearsals by Royston. The Different I's rehearsed and performed live around North London around 1977-1979, recording various sessions and releasing two records - Shish EP and Folk Music.
    As a side project, Royston sang some songs backed by the Different I's but as a different band. Royston never gigged.

    The four members were friendly with Scritti Politti and regularly met up at Scrittville in Camden north London and drank and swapped musical tales with the Scrits, Gang of Four, Door and Window as well as many individuals, Simon Booth as well as a net work of musicians including Robert Wyatt. Inspired by the Desperate Bicycles (great link here), this band of merry musicians set about in 1979 to record the London Collective LP. Many bands were at the time releasing their own funded releases. The London Collective was a fraught notion - we spend many months and meeting discussing "why" rather than "how" and as a consequence it was abandoned.

    The Shish EP was recorded in an attic room in Streatham, South London, recommended by Robert Jones of The Upset and The Bureau. Two additional tracks remain unreleased, one probably lost forever now.

    Simon was now squatting with Mark O Brien, and another allegiance formed - Simon and Des backing Mark on his songs. Again Mark never gigged.

    I can't recall how Simon met his partner in in Chancellor of the Exchequer but they took then selves off and recorded the two tracks.

    Infra-Red Ice Cubes was Royston's project with Tim and Tom (names long gone) and Des on drums. They failed to record two tracks for the album artwork in time so we gave them names and they recorded songs to fit!

    Mark O Brien was responsible for the cover art.

    The EP received some acclaim, and fan letters were received from as far afield as Germany and Holland .

    The Different I's were the main musical core of the collective and after a break and reunion they went their different ways.

    Geoff and Roy as you state to Hibi Yaki who recorded around 3 - 4 demo sessions and gigged in north London. Simon you have the details and toured Canada with Colin Newman of Wire and then formed Interferon (check U Tube)'
    There are 2 free downloads from the Tuzmadoner compiliation 'Folk Music' at www.tearsandmemory.co.uk/blog
  • Wilco

    26 Aug 2008, 07:15 by masque7

    When I first saw Pitchfork's 10/10 review for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, I'll admit I was intrigued. No, this isn't a clichéd Pitchfork rant. YHF is a good album, and I listened to it quite frequently.

    "Impossible Germany" however must be the worst song recorded in the last 2 decades. Their other works seems to have this horrible pretentious mentality. I watched a live video in the studio (looked like someone's bedroom) of the aforementioned song, and even the whole posture of the band was ridiculous.

    My main gripe however was Jeff Tweedy's interview after the song. You know, the usual

    "What's this song about?"
    "How did you write it?"
    "what does it mean?"

    Jeff couldn't answer it. "I had a poem.. and i uh.. i.. uh.. worked the song around the poem... about uh... how impossible.. a country can get..."

    It was if the guy asking the questions had caught Jeff at a bad time or something. But let's face it; Jeff Tweedy, Wilco, and all associated bands are pseudo-intellectual elitists believing they're cultured, making superior alternative music; yet are unable to give the fans a simple analysis of a song they've written.

    Are any Wilco fans out there feeling the same? Surely you can't sit through double-disc albums (of which, hey, you've gone out and bought on vinyl, of course) without feeling like the music wasn't written from the hearts or minds of the musicians but created in such a pretentious manner that could only have been constructed within the depths of the shithole that is Wilco.

    What kind of genre is 'alternative country' anyway? Isn't 'country' or 'rock' good enough for fans to dub the band? It's too clever, too intelligent, too artsy to suffice for such tags isn't it? I think we should all start tagging Wilco as "Superior country"

  • Last.fm artist Deepspace being released by Hypnos!

    14 Aug 2008, 09:33 by Deepspace_

    Electronic/Ambient label Hypnos, who have released albums by Vidna Obmana, Robert Rich, Jeff Pearce, Alio Die and Numina are releasing the new deepspace album "The Glittering Domain"

    Here it is on the Hypnos news page:


    Deepspace began as an ambient project, that started largely on last.fm, where I uploaded and promoted a series of self-released albums. So thanks for listening.

    Stay tuned for the release date.

    Thank you,
    much ambient love.

  • New Review for Deepspace "Subantarctic Sessions EP"

    27 Apr 2008, 11:52 by Deepspace_

    This review will be on the Electroambient Space site in a few days:

    Deepspace “Subantarctic Sessions”

    (www.deepspacehome.com, 2008)

    7 tracks, 53.48 mins

    I continue to marvel at the high quality of Mirko Ruckels’s floating ambience as Deepspace. Subantarctic Sessions is in a very similar vein to The Barometric Sea and The Barometric Sun, dark and formless much of the time, but with a deeply calming influence. Beautiful simple piano, heavy on the reverb, adds loads of atmosphere to “Arctic Sun and Weather Experiment,” a fantastic lead-off track that sets the mood. “Subantarctic Phenomena” is even quieter, bringing even fuller relaxation. Minimal drones, whooshing wind, and soft synth pads create a soothing ambiance. It doesn’t develop much, but it doesn’t need to. “Voyaging Iceberg” sounds as cold and towering as you might imagine, though it is unexpectedly soothing as well. Even more calming is “Chrysanthenum Planet” (sic), which skirts the fringes of new age without fully going there. From here the disc just seems to get even smoother and dreamier, if that’s possible. “Mirror Sea” and “Deserted” are wonderfully evocative of deep space and pure floating. Perhaps coalescing into a bit more substance sonically speaking, though still quite gelatinous, is the equally relaxing “Crustacea Parklands,” which makes a fine finish if you haven’t already drifted off into dreamland by then.

    © 2008 Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

    Listen to the EP, or download it on last.fm here:

    Visit Electroambient Space here:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/res7m910/electroambientspace222/index.htmlDeepspaceSubantarctic Sessions (EP)