In an effort to continually seduce your ears, Clash has rounded up the cream of the music that is spoken about in this issue and slapped it on a download album. Booya? Indeed.
The Clash Cross Section Album is a lovely slice of what’s been making the Clash office tick and an invaluable sonic artefact detailing the key releases in February 2009. From the delightful LCD Soundsystem cover version by Magic Arm to the unconventional bootleg Balkan beats of Beirut, this is what Clash would sound like if you shot through it via a perfect swan dive from way up on Cloud Nine.
Check out the songs, then follow the link at the end to get your tunes gratis!
Taunting you like some kind of ’70s funk-drenched US detective series theme tune, Hockey soon cut their vibes into a buoyant melting pot typical of the current crop of Americans. With fast rapped dialogue and punchy instrumentation recalling the party vibes of Stereo MCs or the baggiest of baggy bands, they are a band riddled with a playful spirit. You can tell they love a jam and their experimental nudges and investigations stick two fingers up to any concept of structure. Hockey are here, and Hockey are game.
We love Andrew Bird at Clash… He’s actually the best whistler we have ever met. And we adore simplicity. Here, the stripped-back glory of ‘Oh No’ will stagger your own pursed lips as he runs whet rings around conventional notions of self-wrought fleshy melodies. Backed up by his electrified blues and contemplative ascent into your mind via softly caught airborne lyrics, he’s come up with the goods again. Positively flying, sir!
‘My Night With The Prostitute’
Zach Condon returns with his hybridised and often fictionalised Balkan folk gypsy eulogies. What we love about him is not just his melancholic verve, his tear-inducing brass parts or his bittersweet baritone voice, but his flagrant disregard for his own Eastern European concept and willingness to slip into some lush synth-led electro pop. Like here, with an homage to an evening with a lady of the night. And he’s only twenty-three. Tsk!
‘Into The Chaos’ (single version)
With a dash of Kim Deal, some stretch from Elastica and the orchestral majesty of Arcade Fire, Howling Bells are ringing in their changes for 2009. Ignore the fact that they sold one of their songs to Hollyoaks, and soak up their new visceral indie pop. Here ‘Into The Chaos’ provides a perfect and haunted compliment to 2009’s staggering wholesale uncertainty across all industries and economies. Escapism will reign.
Warrington’s finest keep up their solid broaching of immortality with nuggets of firm indie gold. Despite being called Keith, they have climbed over many in their path to garner the attention that such a hard working band deserve. Here their piano leads the way with spiralling keys providing enough glitz to cover the vocal swagger. Lucid indeed, these boys also write children’s stories and help make the Power Rangers programme.
‘Brandy Of The Damned’
Solo projects are the new buses. You wait for The Strokes to do something again only to be hit in the face by Albert Hammond Jr., then Little Joy, and now Nickel Eye. As the rhythm section now line the sonic stops on the way to our hearts, we have to take our hats off to Nikolai Fraiture. Here the bassist leads with his native talents in a sunny jaunt that could equally be Laibach or some Prozac-sponsored Joe Strummer picnic.
Xrabit & DMG$
Force two Texan MCs to communicate with a rabbit living in the inner city ghetto of Dalston and stand back. Ba da bing! Xrabit’s future-hop productions were never gonna stay on MySpace for long as his skills are LIVID! Rappers Cool Dundee and Trak are gonna have to stay smoking to retain this rabbit’s sick beats as he hurls everything from old beats to drones to stepping rhythms into their mad pan-Atlantic mix. Serious stuff for February.
‘Low Club Anthem’
It doesn’t get any bigger than this. Grooving, swathed in bass and riddled with snapping percussion, Fulgeance drops a mighty record, which may just have helped describe a niche genre of hip-hop thus far lacking a name. Yet whether ‘Low Club’ becomes the next chapter in pigeonholing music is irrelevant - this track has it all from iPod rocker to super slow club smash. History right here and the front wave of yet more underground French dance music.
‘I Need Release’ (Clash edit)
(430 West Records)
A perfect shot of Detroit techno delivered straight into your pulsing jugular. Deep, grooving, and percussive, with an understated vocal from longterm collaborator and city legend Anne Saunderson, ‘I Need Release’ is a compact yet explosive edit of what Octave One are all about. After their last album, which displayed their love of all beats from hip-hop to electro, their latest album, ‘Summers On Jupiter’, reaches for their core skills: destroying dance floors anywhere in the world. Brothers in divine rhythm.
Jesse Rose ft. Hot Chip
‘Day Is Done’ (Jesse’s exclusive Clash edit)
The man credited with naming ‘fidget’ house drops his long, long-awaited debut album. He also trims down ‘Day Is Done’ into an exclusive Clash edit to burn in your ears even brighter. Here Hot Chip’s Alexis shakes us down with an earnest call to brotherhood whilst Jesse’s crate-dug keys and staccato rhythms comes hurling at us like The Neptunes full of dance drugs. Wonky grind. His bucking beats and flagrant disregard for conventional song structures is like petrol in our ears.
‘Daft Punk Is Playing In My House’
(Switchflicker / Peacefrog)
Curveball! Magic Arm’s electrocuted folk is a perfect lo-fi hot bed for LCD Soundsystem’s starched cool to rub off on. Here this slowed-down vocal homage to Daft Punk is given an acidic yet pastoral makeover with kitchen sink percussion, chirpy synths and slowly picked guitars. Quirky but well chosen, this cover shows off Magic Arm’s dextrous straddling of genres. Maybe it might spurn the lazy French legends into recording MORE MUSIC!
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