on Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Another one of those bands who's sound fits in incredibly well with the snowy weather. Each note sounding like a drop of snow settling wherever it can find itself a home.

It's not quite grabbed me as much as Kurr did, arguably one of the prettiest albums ever, however it's still incredibly beautiful material. The singles stand out, particularly What Are Waiting For which features more actual vocal presence, as in actual words, than I believe I've previously ever heard. And whereas vocals on mainly instrumental bands tracks normally turns me right off, this is done so well that you could be forgiven for thinking that this was múm at their very best.

Púsl and Mambó twinkle like we've come to expect from Amiina, chiming away like your mothers music box and somehow always reminding me of "The Steadfast Tin Soldier". In the Sun is pure anotonym of its own name, icy and Icelandic in sound, with occasional approving glances expected from the likes of Vashti Bunyan and Efterklang if their wasn't so many of them or if simply major record labels did not exist.

Sicsak is darker and perhaps perfects the sound that I wished and that Textile Ranch once threatened to make on a consistent basis.

Go take a walk in the snow with this as your companion, you will not be disappointed.

on Monday, 29 November 2010
I can't imagine a weekend more suited to acquiring a Warmth Terminal, since the snow has settled it's been so cold I can see my own breath inside the house. It's the time of year to get wrapped up and sit by the fire with a good book, or take long soaks in warm baths (assuming your boiler is up to it). David Lancasters invitingly named Warmth Terminal are a perfect accompaniment to such efforts to keep the cold out. Clean and warm drones as we've come to expect from the delightful Hibernate label, four tracks that wrap you up like cotton wool. One of my favourites on the label so far.

Spoiler :What Boomkat Said:
Getting Closer is the debut release from UK-based ambient artist David Lancaster, who unveils his Warmth Terminal project with a collection of four melodic and accessible drone-based compositions, mastered by Ian Hawgood. Avoiding the customary sense of stasis hanging over these sorts of releases, Lancaster launches with 'On That Day', a quarter-hour work that swells through bright, sustaining passages of tonality whilst evolving through an unexpectedly tuneful, somehow aquatic sounding progression. On this opener, the presence of synth-string chords and a guiding bass presence sets Lancaster's sound apart from the dominant "micro" tendencies of the ambient genre. Serving up a shorter second piece, 'They Sat Down And Sighed Happily' (try to ignore the cloyingly twee title) is full of glowing major-key harmonics and a continuous field recording of what seems to be rainfall. It's all very pretty and highly musical, once again readily coming forward with a sense of melodic development nestled away at the heart of the drone. 'It's All Around Us' takes these notions of subtle, tuneful motions to a new extreme, installing a sense of time-lapse euphoria that probably has as much in common with a Robin Guthrie production as it does electronic drone music. Finally, 'See In Slow Motion' rounds off the album in similar style, drifting through nine minutes of icy, hypnotic waves. Limited to 200 copies.

Read full review of Getting Closer - WARMTH TERMINAL on Boomkat.com ©
on Sunday, 28 November 2010
For the last year or so, Grouper have hogged the top spot of my Last Fm Top Artists for the last rolling 12 months, I don't check every day but for a long time my love affair with Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill has left all other artists lagging behind...until this week that is, when Grouper finally made way for, of all people, Belle and Sebastian.

I find it almost hard to believe that the first band (well maybe second or third, as Blur and the Foo Fighters filled much of my early teen listening years) I ever really obsessed over have stuck so firmly in my playing selection. I say this because I'm the kind of person who always wants to hear something new, always ready to discover something different and I get easily bored of albums. Seven or eight years ago i could firmly tell you my 5 favourite bands, that being Belle and Sebastian, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hefner, Clinic and The Delgados, these days Iseem to be able to discover five new bands a week, i could hardly begin to squeeze down to a solid list of my ten favourite bands, maybe not even 20. Since these humble beginnings my tastes have evolved through indie pop, electronica, post rock (to the point of boredom), drone and more recently dubstep and even house and yet subconsciously and admittedly with the help of a new album, Belle & Sebastian are still doing it for me, more so than any other band over the last 12 months it would appear.

on Saturday, 27 November 2010
The highly consistent Under the Spire label deliver another slice of droney pie in the form of Ibreathefur's excellent Every Day You Look Different, the four tracks here are wonderfully wintry and gravelly in sound, similar in sound to the experimental drones of Wixel and perhaps Ben Frost especially towards the end of Through Turbines, the grating static, churning it's way through imaginery nets and slipping into your receptive ear drums.

Find more artists like ibreathefur at Myspace Music

Spoiler : What Boomkat Said:
4 track EP on CD-R in hand-stamped & numbered recycled card packaging with two inserts. 100 copies only* Ibreathefur is the project name of Chris Spearman, here delivering a work full of tension and dynamics, one minute pummelling you with harsh electronic noise the next soothing you with calm and fuzzy drones. A maelstrom of electronic noise hits you as this lovely 4-tracker opens, bringing to mind the more glacial sheets of noise Tim Hecker has perfected over the years. 'Nylon Light Bleed', quietens down with a manipulated acoustic guitar that falls back into a swirling hiss over mellow drones. The EP finishes with beautiful field recordings, rounding off a lovely release from this interesting new artist.

on Saturday, 6 November 2010
Any band that has made as big an impression as Belle & Sebastian did when they hit the scene all those many years ago is bound to meet with mixed reactions by the time they reach their seventh studio album (I'm excluding compilations and soundtracks here). Generally the reception will be frosty with no real basis, quick conclusions that the album is poor after little more than half a listen. So called "real fans" will complain that it's not a replica of Sinister but then if they were "real fans" wouldn't they like everything the band did? One for those elitists to ponder over.

The truth is that if anything, this album is closer in sound to Sinister than anything they've done in a while, yes it's shinier and many of the songs are "jauntier" but in comparison to The Life Pursuit, an album that disappointed many but in time grew in to a real winner, there are a number of slow simple songs, such as Calculating Bimbo that could easily have been taken from an early Belle and Sebastian release.

Whereas you may long for another Sinister, the truth is that Belle & Sebastian aren't going to be the band that do that, someone else will come along and create something that causes such a stir, instead we should see the progress and the fact that so many albums in the band are still making great pop songs albeit with the controversial assistance of Norah Jones! Arguably the whole album isn't incredible but in a generation where there are so many albums available and so many ways to get hold of them, this album deserves your attention, like back in the day when you'd buy the album the day it was released and listen to nothing else for weeks on end until you could recite every word.

Stand out tracks are the excellent Come on Sister which along with the opening I Didn't See It Coming showcases a more prominent keyboard presence and some fantastic backing and choppy guitars, without doubt one of their finer moments, though of course Belle and Sebastian are not short of such. I Want the World to Stop is reminiscent of Waiting For The Moon to Rise but on a better budget with a bassline that makes it dance floor friendly and begs to be remixed. The string of songs, Write About Love, I'm Not Living in the Real World and The Ghost of Rockschool are particular highlights, Write About Love is lyrically brilliant and the guest vocals of Carey Mulligan are a polite reminder that despite what we all expected, they've never really looked back since the departure of Isobel Campbell. I'm Not Living in the Real World is not typical B&S but is a triumphant two and half minutes of call and response ba-ba-ba, oooo-weeee-oooo pop brilliance that will seemingly never grow boring. The Ghost of Rockschool finishes the trio nicely, effortless in sound, casually brilliant, the classy guitar licks and bass line are the icing on the cake as this builds and builds into yet another brilliant track.

The closing brace of I Can See Your Future and Sundays Pretty Icons are a lovely pair of tracks that are so catchy and yet i think they'll take a few plays before you actually realise how good they are.

All in all, a very good album from one of my favourite bands of the last two decades, despite what some will say. Give Write About Love a chance, you might be surprised, even the Norah Jones song is pretty good if you can look past the initial concept.

Belle and Sebastian - I Want The World to Stop Source: Draw Us Lines
Belle and Sebastian - I Didn't See it Coming Source: Whale in a Cubicle
Belle and Sebastian - The Ghost of Rockschool Source: Whale in a Cubicle
Belle and Sebastian - Write About Love Source: Planeta Pop
Belle and Sebastian - Come on Sister Source: The Glorius Hum
on Thursday, 4 November 2010
Over the last year or so, several bands have managed to recreate the magical sound of the sixties girl group/garage pop sound, the multiple vocalled harmony laden hand clapping, foot stomping, feel good, sing-a-long sound. I mean bands like Magic Kids, Strawberry Fair, Gigi, Fergus & Geronimo, The Cave Weddings, Stolen Hearts to name but a few. Add to that reliable list of pop loveliness the less than pop soundingly named Cults.

With Go Outside Cults have produced a summer classic which in my mind is somewhat a less succesful but equally euphoric pop classic as Peter Jon and Bjorn's Young Folks, the Brainbheats remix giving it an extra dancy edge rather than blending it into an unrecognisable mush. Twinkling glocks draw you in before it inevitably explodes into pop perfection.

Definately a band to look out for.

Cults - Go Outside mp3 - Source: I Guess I'm Floating
Cults - The Curse mp3 - Source: The Citizen Insane
Cults - Oh My God mp3 - Source: The Citizen Insane
Cults - Most Wanted mp3 - Source: The Citizen Insane
Cults - Go Outside (Brainbheats remix) mp3 - Source: Mostly Junk Food

Spoiler : What PFork Said :
There's more information on the wrapper of a candy bar than there is on the Internet about Cults. The band's got an un-Googleable name and no MySpace page in sight. They do, however, have a sparse Bandcamp page, where their first 7" is listed for release on December 23, 2012. We have discovered that they are a boy/girl duo, that they live in New York, and that they are both film students. And we know that they have a killer song on that 7" called "Go Outside".

The song's opening suggests that Cults have a slightly sinister sense of humor. Where the title suggests fresh air and a proactive trip into the sunshine, we first hear a quote from the ultimate cult leader, Jonestown figurehead Jim Jones: "To me, death is not a fearful thing. It's living that's treacherous." What follows, though, is pure butter: "Go Outside" has the innocent and balmy feel that brings to mind Swedish indie pop, with a tinkling glockenspiel cutting through humidity, an appealingly lazy bassline, and joyous sing-along vocals. But for all its simplicity, there's some deep feeling coarsing through "Go Outside", and Cults transcend the song's Free Design-inspired 1960s pop origins. "You really want to hole up/ You really want to stay inside and sleep the light away," the song chides, surrounding the voices in enveloping reverb, before following with, "I know what's good/ Exactly 'cause I have been there before." And then it takes you there.