Monthly Archives: March 2013

Sinkane Returns to UK for Headline Show

Following the release of Sinkane’s debut album at the end of last year, Ahmed Gallab has now returned to the UK for a headline show, Rough Trade East performance and a DJ set.

Ahmed Gallab has made a mini-documentary to tell his fans what to expect from these shows. The video can be viewed below.

The shows come in the wake of a fantastic trip to SXSW this year when Gallab was invited by the Afghan Whigs to join them and Usher on stage to perform SINKANE single Runnin. You can watch the clip from SXSW below.

Gallab is known in musician circles for having been the touring multi-instrumentalist for Of Montreal, Caribou, Born Ruffians and Eleanor Friedberger but he didn’t start there. Gallab’s family left Sudan when he was a boy, immigrated to the US and moved all over the country. He went to high school in Kent, Ohio. There, he found his first musical community in the town’s unsung but thriving post-hardcore scene.

You can see Sinkane live on the following dates:

April 2  FR Paris Point Ephémère
April 3  GB London Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
April 4  GB London Rough Trade Shop (East)
April 4  GB London Birthdays (DJ SET)
April 6  NL Rotterdam Motel Mozaique Festival
April 7  NL Antwerp Trix
April 9  DE Frankfurt Zoom
April 10  DE Hamburg Kampnagel
April 11  DE Berlin Festsaal Kreuzberg
April 12  DE Cologne King Georg
April 13  FR Dijon Kill Your Pop Festival
April 14  FR Lille La Peniche
April 17  NL Amsterdam Paradiso
April 18  LUX Luxemburg Exit07
April 19  CH Aarau Kiff
April 20  IT Milan Circolo Arci Biko
April 21  FR Lyon Le Transbordeur

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Junip Release New Single Your Life, Your Call

Junip have announced the release of their new single Your Life, Your Call. The single is taken from their self-titled second album set for release on April 22 through City Slang. The launch of this new track comes as the band add a new London date at Shepherd’s Bush Empire after swiftly selling out Village Underground.


Artwork for Junip’s Your Life Your Call

Your Life Your Call sees Junip take the listener through harmonic melodies and smooth synth beats which eventually navigates you to the dance floor. The single is different from Junip’s previous release Line of Fire which was more solemn. The chorus “It’s your life, it’s your call/Stand up or enjoy the fall” shines brightly through displaying Junip’s ever-loved ability to produce songs and lyrics that can be applied to everyone’s life situations. González explains their new sound best: “It felt like trying on new clothes when we first listened to it – it took a while to get comfortable with it but now I like it a lot.”

See Junip live:
April 30        HU        Budapest        A38
May 1       AT        Vienna        Szene
May 2       CH        Zürich        Plaza
May 3        DE        Heidelberg        Karlstorbahnhof
May 4        DE        Munich        Kammerspiele Theatre
May 5        DE        Berlin                Astra Kulturhaus
May 6        DE        Hamburg        Uebel & Gefaehrlich
May 7        NL        Amsterdam        Melkweg
May 8        BE        Brussels        Orangerie
May 9        LUX        Luxembourg        EXIT07
May 10        D        Cologne        Stollwerck
May 11        UK        Brighton        The Haunt
May 12        UK        Manchester        Band On The Wall
May 13        UK        London        Village Underground *SOLD OUT*
May 14        FR        Paris                Trabendo
September 18        UK        London        O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

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Lumerians Announce Release of New Album The High Frontier

Lumerians announce the news that they will release their new album titled The High Frontier on June 10 through Partisan Records. The name for the album comes from a term coined by Gerard K. O’Neil in his illustrated 1976 book depicting human colonisation of space. The High Frontier contains Krautrock inspired exploration, Afrobeat’s ritualistic rhythms, post-punk guitar noise and cracked-glacé synth lines culled from perverse 1970’s sci-fi soundtracks.

It’s a cacophony of sound in which Lumerians acknowledge the role noise and rhythm has always played in transcendent and ecstatic rituals the world over, from the repetitious drums of tribal animists to the penetrating electronic pulses of neon dance clubs.


The High Frontier artwork

As the first video to make its way online, The Bloom reveals a band who, not content with the intensity of the space rock sounds, also believe that sound and vision are parts of a greater whole. Since forming in 2006, Lumerians have gained notoriety for their intense performances, stunning live visuals and thematic otherworldly releases.

The six tracks and 33 minutes that make up The High Frontier were recorded and produced in Lumerians’ self-built studio/brewery: a room housed in a converted store-front church in a neighbourhood affectionately referred to as the “Murder Dubbs”.

Lumerians is Tyler Green, Chris Musgrave, Jason Miller and Marc Melzer. Formed in early 2006 while most of the members were working at an experimental music label in San Francisco, their shared affinity for Krautrock and esoteric occult mythologies resulted in after-work jam sessions and recording.

After self-releasing their debut EP in 2008, they signed to Knitting Factory Records in 2011 for their debut LP release Transmalinnia – a record which, during the two years it took to record, was almost entirely scrapped and re-recorded several times. In 2012 supplementary small-pressing instrumental records Transmissions from Telos Vol. IV and The Weaning and the Dreaming quickly sold out in the hands of collectors.

Now in 2013, with a wealth of live experience with the likes of Wire, Killing Joke, Butthole Surfers, BEAK> and more under their belt, it’s time for Lumerians’ first proper UK release.

Lumerians will be playing some UK shows starting next month. The dates are as follows:

Apr 30 – Sheffield, UK – The Harley
May 1 – London, UK – Corsica Studios

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Sunderland alternative rock trio Rayne announce the release of their free download single. Fallen is taken from the bands debut album, The New Enlightenment and was released on March 3. It’s available to download from Noise Trade.


Alternative rock trio, Rayne

The Sunderland trio are Ben Potts (bass/vocals), Adam Dagg (guitar/keys) and Steven Naisbet (drums/samples). Having formed whilst at school 16 years ago, Rayne have raised over £20,000 for charities, won four Battle of the Bands  (at a national level) and were also runners-up at the 02 Live & Unsigned final out of 10,000 bands. The band also won an Outstanding Contribution to Music award at Red Dreams Music Awards in 2010.  So, as you can see, this band could be set for big things.

Fallen is your typical alternative rock/indie song. It has a catchy chorus, explosive guitar riffs and a great atmospheric sound. Potts’ vocals are soft, emotional yet strong. Rayne have a solid sound that will stick with you. You can hear Fallen here. The single was released on March 3.

Rayne are currently writing and recording new material for their forthcoming album release planned for late 2013.

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Dear Reader – Rivonia Review

It’s a brave artist who seeks to take as their inspiration one of the most complex and controversial aspects of recent international history, but this is what Cheri MacNeil (aka DEAR READER) has chosen to do with her third album, Rivonia.

As a child, South African born Cheri MacNeil spent 11 years studying at a small primary school in the north of Johannesburg, not far from what was once an isolated farm called Lilliesleaf. Growing up, she knew nothing of the nearby settlement but it was within these grounds that, on July 11 1963, a dry-cleaning and flower van parked beside a thatched cottage and disgorged a squad of armed policemen. They’d received a tip off from a neighbour‘s son about unusual comings and goings, their suspicions further aroused by the fact that these involved both black and white individuals. It had taken them a while to locate the place: initial reports spoke of a place called Ivon and it was only after searching the area that they found an old, weather-beaten sign from which three letters were missing. It had once said ‘Rivonia’, the name of the suburb in which they stood.



That day, police arrested 19 members of the African National Congress, the underground organisation run by Nelson Mandela – who had already been imprisoned – which sought to overthrow the ruling apartheid government. It was a pivotal moment in South Africa’s history. Cheri MacNeil later learned that these events had taken place around the corner from the building where she had for so long been educated.

This is the story that gives the latest DEAR READER album its name. Rivonia is a moving and complex album that discusses issues surrounding the apartheid. The songs illustrate the personal implications it had on those that were unwillingly surrounded by the events. Rivonia highlights through the lyrics how people were directly affected by the segregation and slavery that happened.

Track two Took Them Away starts with a solemn piano piece and beautiful lyrics that build a narrative. It tells the story of a girl who is confused by everything that is happening around her, she can’t make sense of it all. She visits her friends house to find white and black men sitting together in a barn, “Nicholas invited me to visit at the farm/We were playing in the yard I saw them in the barn/White and black together sat/I just stood and stared”. She then has tea served to her at this family’s home by one of the men she saw in the barn, “David in his overalls came in to serve the tea/I had seem him in the barn something wasn’t right/As I told my father late that night.”  You can assume that this family is anti-apartheid and people are using their barn to be able to fight against the segregation and be as one. The song tells the story of the apartheid through a little girl’s eyes which makes it an emotional and touching song.

27.04.1994 is a fantastic track that indicates how significant this day was in South African history. This was the day the first democratic election was held in South Africa where all races were allowed to vote. The simple music accompanied by the story telling lyrics make this song a must hear. There is nothing over complicated about the music in this song, it is the lyrics that make it what it is.

Man of the Book is quite different musically from the other songs, it has a much more folk feel to it. This song tells the story of the Great-grandfather of a baker who was a man of the book. The lyrics tell the listener that the Great-grandfather follows the  apartheid rules believing God wants it all to happen but then he begins to feel guilt for his actions and decides he needs to save his soul. The narrator analyse’s his behaviour and believes he should have used his own morals and not those written in a religious text. Being good doesn’t come from following what a religion says, it comes from the heart, from gut instinct. The Great-grandfather tries to right his wrongs so when Mahatma shows up at his house needing somewhere to rest his head, he lets him in, “There was no room at the Inn for men with darker skin/Great-grandfather of a baker shared his bed with a stranger/As the Lord has instructed/He was a man of the…” He believes this is actually what God would have wanted, not the segregation.

Victory is the last track on the album and it ends Rivonia spectacularly. This is an acapella song which uses a choir to create a haunting yet strong sound. The song speaks of two armies (presumably black and white) going into battle against each other where they believe they will either win or die trying to change things, “You pray to your God and I’ll pray to mine/And we’ll see whose God is listening this time…Saddle up the horses/Give us the victory/Give us the victory/Give us the victory/Saddle up the horses/Give us the victory/And if he does not we will join him…”

Rivonia is the first album this year that has made me stop and think. The lyrics are beautiful, passionate and thought-provoking. There is real meaning behind every song which pulls at the heart strings. The album covers a devastating time in history. This is a huge task to undertake and get right. MacNeil has managed to produce an album that highlights just how unfair and disgusting the apartheid was. She doesn’t simplify it or dramatise it in anyway, she has taken what’s there in history and has turned it into a wonderful form of art. This is the best album of the year so far.

Rivonia is released on April 8 2013 through City Slang.

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The Physics House Band Release Debut EP

Brighton prog-psych-rock band The Physics House Band are releasing their debut EP on April 15 through Pink Mist label Blood & Biscuits.

Their debut EP titled Horizons/Rapture is a 26 minute prog-rock psychedelic masterpiece.  The EP consists of six different tracks all showcasing a perfect blend of musical styles, moods and aural textures. Despite the band members only being in their early 20s, their style of music spreads way beyond their years. Taking influences from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, The Physics House Band produce music that is mature and developed. Blending the psychedelic 60s with the prog years of the 70s and adding in just a pinch of tech metal from the 80s and 90s post-rock, The Physics House Band’s experimentation of music ends up with them producing filmic compositions which burst at the seams.

The Physics House Band

The Physics House Band

The Physics House Band have been compared to the likes of Yes. Their music definitely does sound like something from the 70s prog-rock era, it’s a sound that gradually faded but now it’s back.

Kick-starting the EP is ObeliskMonolith which is like a punch in the face, there’s no avoiding this track. Hollow Mountain is track three and is a pleasant, relaxing blend of sweeping tones and gentle riffs. It’s cafe music. Teratology sees the EP pushed back into full swing. With a mild beginning, Teratology suddenly becomes one of the more aggressive tracks on the EP. The Spectral Beyond is the shortest track on Horizons/Rapture consisting of a beautiful, soulful piano piece.

Horizons/Rapture is a fantastic debut EP which really shows what The Physics House Band is all about. You can see The Physics House Band live on the following dates:

Sat 13 Apr LEEDS Dirty Otter Festival
Tue 16 Apr MIDDLESBROUGH Mixtape
Wed 17 Apr GLASGOW Bar Bloc
Thu 18 Apr YORK The Basement
Fri 19 Apr LIVERPOOL MelloMello
Sat 20 Apr MANCHESTER Kraak Gallery
Sun 21 Apr NORWICH Hog in Armour

The Physics House Band

Horizons/Rapture artwork

Mon 22 Apr GUILDFORD Boileroom
Tue 23 Apr BRISTOL Louisiana
Wed 24 Apr WINCHESTER Railway
Thu 25 Apr SOUTHAMPTON Avondale House
Fri 26 Apr PLYMOUTH White Rabbit
Sat 27 Apr CARDIFF Buffalo Bar
Sun 28 Apr BRIGHTON Green Door Store
Mon 29 Apr UK LONDON Old Blue Last

Horizons/Rapture is out on April 15.

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Diamond Rugs Release Debut Album

Diamond Rugs, the super-group featuring members of Deer Tick, Black Lips, Los Lobos, Dead Confederate and Six Finger Satellite, released their self-titled debut album yesterday.

Robbie Crowell (Deer Tick), Ian Saint Pe (Black Lips), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Hardy Morris (Dead Confederate) and Bryan Dufresne (Six Finger Satellite) have quite some calibre between them including collaborations with the likes of Tom Waits, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello and The Replacements. Individual members can also boast multiple Grammy Awards and prime-time television appearances on the likes of Letterman, Leno and Later with Jools Holland.

The group began when McCauley and Dufresne met Saint Pé at a Black Lips show in Providence, RI. After a night of drinking beers together and discussing Rock ‘n’ Roll, the three of them decided to start a band. A couple of weeks later, McCauley attended a Los Lobos show (one of his all-time favourite bands) where he made his way backstage and met Steve Berlin. Once Berlin heard about the band, he wanted in and Diamond Rugs became official. Over the course of the next month, McCauley recruited Hardy Morris who had opened for Deer Tick on  tour and Deer Tick’s Robbie Crowell to play bass on the album. From there, it naturally fell into place.

Diamond Rugs

Diamond Rugs artwork

Now the band have released their first album and it is a marvellous mix of everything great about Rock ‘n’ Roll and modern country music. This self-titled debut, produced by Adam Landry and Justin Collins (Middle Brother, Deer Tick), features the unique elements of each musician which together forms something both familiar and fresh. It features Gimme A Beer which received heavy rotation on British radio stations at the tail end of 2012 but this isn’t the best track on the album by far.

Single Hightail kicks starts the debut off while track four Call Girl Blues really starts to bring in the true Rock ‘n’ Roll feel. It has a fantastic swing-a-long melody and tells the narrative of a man who misses his call girl. It’s a great little number which completely shows off how interesting this band is.

Country Mile is one of the heavier tracks on the album. It’s a lot darker than the other bubbly songs that come before it. It’s one of the more experimental tracks with the verses being distorted and unnerving but leading to a chorus that has particularly happy, upbeat music.

Totally Lonely is a fantastic track that is sure to bring nostalgic feelings for those of you who had the chance to experience the 60s. It’s like a mix of Elvis and Johnny Cash. The music is simple and it’s the vocals that carry this song to the forefront as a reminiscent song from the debut.

Blue Mountains sounds quite modern compared to the other tracks on the album. The beginning has a particularly Brit-pop 90s feel to it while the chorus strips it back to its country and Rock ‘n’ Roll roots. It has a great beat and even better lyrics that tell the story of two lovers who meet at a dance. It’s one of those tracks where you can read between the lines of the lyrics and produce your own romance and characters.

Blue Mountains is a track that stands out. Some of the other tracks blend into one but don’t be put off by this statement, the album is far from boring. Blue Mountains just breaks the repetition and freshens everything up for a superb last few tracks especially 100 Sheets that uses the old style Rock ‘n’ Roll echo on the vocals. The last track, Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant is easily something the Pogues may have written. The narrative is fantastic and the song itself completely separate from any of the songs on the debut. A real triumph.

Diamond Rugs have produced a flawless debut. There isn’t a song on there that is mediocre or plain. Every track entices the listener. Diamond Rugs do have a really unique sound. All they need to do now is ensure the big record companies don’t snatch them up and drain that out of them.

Diamond Rugs self-titled debut album is out now through Partisan Records.


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