A friend of mine, a cult musician, recently posted on Facebook a request for any good Deerhunter, having only listened to ‘Halcyon Digest’, and wondering if “that was the album where they turned shit”. I immediately had to leap to the band’s defense, and tell him that ‘Cryptograms’ is the best guitar album of the last few years (fortunately he loved it), but I also had a feeling that ‘Halcyon Digest’ hadn’t quite lived up to the hype.

Another prominent musician, Karen O, once likened seeing a Deerhunter gig to “a religious experience”. If this is the case, and Deerhunter are the most cultish of bands, I was lapsing, partly due to the band’s abandoning their earlier experimentalism and adopting more conventional sound structures, possibly because every band and their roadie seems to be drowning their pop songs in a wave of reverb.

On a Monday night in Glasgow my faith was triumphantly restored.

Support band the Lower Dens were a four piece from Baltimore, the only unusual thing about them being that the singer/songwriter stood to the left side of her band. Moody if unspectacular, they’re probably the kind of band where you have to know the songs to really get the show.

Deerhunter however, came on with a song that no-one had heard before ‘Glasgow 90’, a tribute to the city that they’d written in the sound check, and a promising precursor to what was to come. In what I thought was another act of generosity, they did the guitarist’s song from ‘Halcyon Digest’, Lockett Pundt’s ‘Desire Lines’. As Pundt and Cox subtly played with their with their array of effects pedals through a song that I felt was a bit of a filler on the album, it took on new life as a genuinely irrestible piece of psych pop. Indeed, seeing Deerhunter doing it live tonight, seeing them take these songs that hinge on different genres and eras from the Everly Brothers to shoegaze, and layering them in washes of sound, I realize for the first time that their last album is at least as good as the hype, and they’re still ahead of the game.

At one point they morphed ‘Nothing Ever Happened’ into Patti Smith’s ‘Horses’, and it was as thrilling as it was unexpected, a true possession of one of the most iconic songs. One of the reasons they can get away with this is their sheer talent as musicians, Moses Archuleta’s truly propulsive drumming carrying all before it, pummelling the crowd into willing submission.

The band returned to ‘Halcyon Digest’, with songs like ‘Helicopter’ and their Jay Reatard tribute ‘He Would Have Laughed’ brought to a sonic splendour that their recorded versions had only hinted at, for me anyway

For their encore they went back to ‘Cryptograms’, doing an epic version of ‘Octet’, building from cathartic minimalism to sonic onslaught. If it began with Bradley Cox possessing the stage as lean and angular as his music, by the end he and Pundt were kneeling on the stage, transfixed with their effects and pedals, almost in a state of reverence, as were the audience.

Words by Brian Beadie

Entry is now open for the Online Music Awards a new forum for breaking talent.

Music award ceremonies tend to be little more than an industry love in, a celebration of who can pour the most money where. Cutting music into genre and regional lines, few manage to get it right.

The Online Music Awards is a new ceremony which aims to celebrate up and coming talent. Anyone can enter, providing that the musical act is not signed to a major label and writes original material.

The ceremony will have seven categories, of which five will be decided to industry experts. The shortlist will be decided by public vote – allowing fans to have their say.

Voting opens in May, with the final winners due to be announced on June 25th. Anyone over the age of 18 is allowed to enter, with the entire competition taking place online.

Entrance and nominations take place across the internet, but in addition to this voting, awards presentation and acceptances take place online. The largest web based music ceremony, the Online Music Awards aim to shed light on some less frequently explored genres.

St Helier Cider have stepped in as the main sponsor, marking a major collaboration with the Online Music Awards. The final ceremony takes place on June 25th, with a number of special guests.

The Noisettes are set to take part after being invited to join the award ceremony. Due to present one of the main awards, the band will be joined by Roll Deep and Radio One personality Tim Westwood.

For more information click HERE.

The St Helier Online Music Awards take place on June 25th.

Hype Williams are due to release their new 12 inch ‘Kelly Price W8 Gain Vol.II’ through Hyperdub.

One of the most secretive groups in the UK, Hype Williams have an extremely selective discography. With their identity still largely unknown, the band’s material is equally difficult to find.

A series of cuts have been released, often in very limited quantities. In keeping with producers such as Toro Y Moi, the London / Berlin based duo have a nostalgic, slowed down feel that borders on psychedelia.

However their beats are more like warped hip hop tracks, with a definite R&B twist. Preparing for their first – and apparently last – British tour, Hype Williams are now set to release a new 12 inch through Hyperdub.

Rumours of the collaboration have been circulating for some time, but FACT now reports that Hype Williams are due to release ‘Kelly Price W8 Gain Vol.II’ in late April / early May time.

The four track release contains a mixture of re-worked and brand new cuts. ‘Rise Up’ was previously released on the ultra rare ‘Second Layer’ 12 inch – given a limited edition run of only 50 copies.

Other confirmed track titles include ‘Boss Man’, ‘Farthing Wood Dub’ and ‘Badmind’. Meanwhile, Hype Williams have also confirmed a session for Benji B’s Radio One show on April 30th.

The release is another sign of Hyperdub’s diversification, with the label moving away from a pure bass viewpoint. Of course, it always did boast an eclectic roster but album releases from Darkstar and others have helped dispel the notion that Hyperdub = dubstep.

Hype Williams are due to release ‘Kelly Price W8 Gain Vol.II’ in late April / early May. Tracklisting:

A1. Rise Up
A2. Boss Man
B1. Farthing Wood Dub
B2. Badmind

Leeds based dance rockers The Music are to part company after a final farewell tour.

The Music were never a critics’ band. It is far too easy to scoff at the band’s lyrics, where a perceived lack of depth has often been their shortfall. However as a live experience, the group could be truly thrilling.

Battling against the industry, The Music packed out venues across the North of England when still unsigned. That early momentum saw them pick up a deal with Hut, who released their self-titled album back in 2002.

A Top Ten hit, The Music became festival favourites. Touring across the world, the band’s hi-octane live show sat somewhere between early Verve and Led Zeppelin, mixing electronics with huge riffs.

However trouble set in when singer Robert Harvey succumbed to addiction. Admitting problems with drink and drugs, a spell in rehab took The Music off the road for almost two years.

Stalling the momentum of their career, a lacklustre third album ‘Strength In Numbers’ followed in 2008. Since then, the band have struggled to regain the sense of purpose which fuelled those early live shows.

Now the band have announced that they are to part company. In a statement The Music said: “We’ve come so far together and now it’s time to end things the right way and in the place we love the most – onstage playing live. We’re going to give it our all for these last times together and it’s going to be emotional, but were really glad to get back to Japan one last time where people have been so good to us over the years, and we send our love and thoughts to everyone there who has been affected by the terrible events of March 11th.”

“We’ll be saying thankyou to so many people over these dates and we’ll start now by saying thanks to anyone who’s been with us on this incredible trip. We’re all looking to the future and what comes next, but we’ll always be grateful for the years, times and experiences we’ve shared. We’re going to make these shows as much of a party as we can, and we hope people turn up to celebrate with us.”

Split between Japan and the UK, The Music are to play the following shows:

July
25 Osaka Big Cat
26 Nagoya Club Quattro
27 Tokyo Club AX

August
4 London Shepherds Bush Empire
5 Leeds O2 Academy

Click here to buy tickets for The Music!

Canadian Blast is set to breeze into London for a one off show starring The Hidden Cameras and more.

The past decade has seen Canadian music reinvent itself. Once upon a time acts from the country would pretend to be American, re-writing their heritage to avoid the stigma of being Canadian.

Now, if anything, American acts are boasting of their Canadian bloodline. As the recent Juno awards aptly demonstrated, Canadian music is now an international – and not just a local – concern.

Canadian Blast is a celebration of new music from the nation, with a host of Canadian acts set to descend on London. Taking place on July 2nd, the show in the Barbican will contain some special appearances.

The Hidden Cameras are close to releasing their new album, with the multi-member choir due to drop by the Barbican. Set to premiere new material, the band will be joined by a variety of guests.

Woodpigeon are due to appear, alongside Devon Sproule and more. A film based on Chilly Gonzales will be shown, while a free stage will contain five acts who are making waves on the Canadian scene.

The Hidden Cameras and Woodpigeon have agreed to play just one London show this summer – and it’s this one. Due to make a special appearance at Canadian Blast, the two groups are also set to collaborate on a special, bespoke encore.

A cross section of the Canadian indie scene as it currently stands, Canadian Blast coincides with Canada Day and aims to demonstrate that the recent flood of talent from the Northern nation is set to continue for a long time yet.

Tickets are on sale now.

Canadian Blast takes place:

July
2 London The Barbican

Click here to buy tickets for Canada Day!

One of the undergrounders keeping true, groove-based house music alive, US producer Harvard Bass dishes out the delights in the latest Clash DJ podcast, relaying some of the dirtiest, jumpiest house you’ll hear this side of Chicago, Detroit or anywhere else for that matter. Jacking is indeed the word, and then some.

Take, for example, the seedy ruminations and manic pulse of Green Velvet’s delicious ‘Flash’ (here remixed by Jamie Jones), or the minimal, knockout groove of Prince Club’s ‘Humpty Dumpty, or perhaps Harvard Bass’ own ‘Pruno’, with its obscenely huge acid line. Impeccable picks, arrived at through some delightfully fluid transitions

As for Harvard Bass himself, despite having been producing music for only three years, the San Diegan prodigy seems to be content with quietly but resolutely pushing the hackneyed fidget-house paradigm – and all of its components – where it should have gone several years ago, blending it with ghetto-tech and booty house to make something uniquely satisfying.

Utterly impossible to resist, not that you’ll want to after pressing ‘play’.

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$link = ‘http://media.clashmusic.com/music/djmix-podcasts/ClashMusic-DjMix-Podcast-harvard-bass.mp3’;
$text = ‘Click here to Download the Harvard Bass mix’;

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print l($text, $link);
}
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print l (‘You must be a registered user to download this album – Click to login or join’, ‘user/register’);
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(On a Mac hold Ctrl +click and select ‘Save link as…’)

(On a PC right click and select ‘Save link as…’)

Harvard Bass DJ Mix Tracklisting

1. Sei A – White Rainbow 

2. Max Bett – Pool Party

3. Alton Miller – Inner 8 (Gerd’s No Vox Mix)

4. Green Velvet – Flash (Jamie Jones Remix)

5. Depressed Buttons – Superstructure (LOL Boys Remix)

6. Oxy (Style of Eye Remix)

7. Harvard Bass – Pruno

8. Prince Club – Humpty Dumpty

9. Jori Hulkkonen – Threats

10. Brodinski – Tramp

11. Max Bett – Red Pigs

12. Hackman – Made Up My Mind

13. Harvard Bass & Bart B More – Listen To This (Jan Driver Dub)

14. Harvard Bass & Bart B More – Listen To This

15. Djedjotronic – Fritz

16. Harvard Bass – Helado
17. High Powered Boys – Udon (Julio Bashmore Remix)

Check out the previous episodes of our Dj Mix Series on iTunes HERE or individually on ClashMusic.com HERE

Seasick Steve is set to play an intimate show in London to raise funds for a homeless charity.

A hobo, an itinerant traveller, a musician with no fixed abode. Seasick Steve has travelled the world but has not always had a roof over his head, sometimes sleeping rough in the streets on his journeys.

Sure, the bluesman might immortalise the experience in song but deep down he knows what we all know – sleeping rough is not fun.

In Britain right now, homelessness is on the rise due to spiralling rents and growing unemployment. More and more people are forced onto the streets, with charities struggling to help them.

Now a wealthy performer, Seasick Steve isn’t about to forget his days on the streets. The bluesman has confirmed a special one off show in London in which he will premiere material from his new album.

Due for release on May 30th, ‘You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks’ is a typically stripped down affair. Seasick Steve is on rich form, with Jack White stepping to give the record a Stateside release on Third Man.

Before that, though, Seasick Steve will play London’s Electric Ballroom on May 26th. Headlining this year’s Streets of London Concert for Homelessness event, the bluesman will play to a crowd of just 200 people.

All proceeds from the show will go to The Connection at St Martin’s, a day centre near Trafalgar Square that provides specialist support to more than 200 homeless people each day.

Speaking about his appearance, Seasick Steve said: “I hope you all come, I believe this is for a real good thing. At least, I’m gonna be there”.

Seasick Steve is due to play the following show:

May
26 London Electric Ballroom

Click here to buy tickets for Seasick Steve!

Watch a video trailer for the Beach Break Live festival presented by that beatboxing wizard, Beardyman.

The festival takes place at Pembrey Country Park in South Wales from 16th-20th June with headline acts this year including White Lies, Tinie Tempah and Magnetic Man.

Find out more about the festival HERE.

Courtney Love has ruled out a re-union of the original line up of Hole, after the band appeared in public together.

Formed before her relationship with Kurt Cobain, Hole have always been linked to Courtney Love. Working with co-songwriter Eric Erlandson, the pair outlived the grunge boom with their sheer pop presence.

Always close to imploding, Hole splintered almost a decade ago. Since then, the original band members have rarely been on speaking terms, usually preferring to let their lawyers communicate.

Asked to speak on a panel at the Museum Of Modern Art, the original four members of Hole re-united for the first time in over a decade. The results were fiery, as Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, Melissa Auf der Maur and original drummer Patty Schemel re-united.

Recently releasing a solo album, Courtney Love had angered former members after using the Hole name. Speaking at the event, Schemel explained that the topic of a full re-union had not been discussed.

“We haven’t really discussed [a reunion] between each other much,” she told the crowd at the MoMA. Rolling Stone reports that the drummer then explained: “I’m not against it … There’s been little rumblings.”

This comment provoked a scornful response from Courtney Love. “Rumblings!” she said. “There’s no rumblings. You’re making a rumbling.”

Fresh from her latest solo album, Courtney Love is keen to put the past behind her. “If something’s not relevant, I don’t want to do it,” she explained. “As much as I love Patty, and I would play with her in five seconds, (I would not play old material).”

Continuing, Courtney Love did leave the door open for the group to work on fresh songs together. “If it’s not miserable, and it’s going forward, and I’m happy with it … ” she said. “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Hole were speaking to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where the new documentary ‘Hit So Hard’ – focussed on Patty Schemel – was due to premiere.

Friday

Global politics really should introduce a transfer system, like the football one, so Britain can put a big-money bid in for Estonia’s president. Not only does Toomas Hendrik Ilves pop up in person to open this year’s TMW – the annual showcase of music from Estonia and beyond – but it turns out he knows his onions too.

This becomes apparent after the festival’s opening night party, which features the one UK act on this year’s bill, singer-songwriter Alan McKim. McKim looks like Wolverine’s more bohemian older brother, has a diverting stage presence and a kazoo, which he eventually flings away dismissively, like Liam Gallagher used to do with ladies’ phone numbers. The Prez, seated in a corner of the venue and sadly blocking our path to the nibbles, is quite taken with him, and is later to be heard discussing the finer points of his chord progressions. It’s a cracking good place, Estonia.

The still little-known nation’s own artists are splendidly hit-and-miss, and often head-scratchingly odd. We get off to a good start with Aides – pronounced eye-des – whose frontman begins their set wielding a double-bass but discards it after one song (not by smashing it over the monitors, sadly). Aides’ regular stuff – enlivened by excellent Darren Aronofsky-like visuals – is funky, punky power-pop, played with such passion that the drummer manages to knacker his kit at one stage, after which they bring on another five young drummers for added oomph. These are presumably known as Aides’ aides.

Nevesis also possess plenty of spunk, and are fully paid-up members of the grunge historical re-enactment society, all plaid shirts and Cobain-like stripey tees. They’re more pub-rock than pain-wracked angst, really, but go down well all the same. Badass Yuki, on the other hand, are so laid-back they look likely to stop playing altogether at certain points, as their frontman drifts about the stage slightly distractedly, occasionally fiddles with a bit of kit and pulls some arty shapes over their impressively varied beats. He looks pleasingly unconcerned that umpteen foreign industry types are in the building.

Helsinki is a short ferry ride from Tallinn, and next up are a couple of the many diverse Finnish bands in attendance. French Films do an enjoyable strand of surf-pop – I’ll refrain from mentioning the popular US band they’re frequently likened to – although the most interesting thing about them is the tribute act devoted to them back home: French Milfs. Murmansk, meanwhile, are named after a remote Russian city but are well worth a visit: this is dark, dynamic shoegaze fronted by a small, shy lass who when onstage becomes a woman possessed. It’s like watching a fuzzy-guitar-based exorcism. Excellent.

Saturday

One of the annual TMW highlights is Check My Demo, which concludes the daytime conference programme but should probably be called Demo-lition given the spectacular kicking some of the hopeful CDs get from the assembled panel of industry types. It’s mainly the derivative stuff that’s dissed, in fairness, and there are clearly some intriguing new sounds and concepts emanating from the Nordic/Baltic region. Indeed, at the hotel bar later that evening we’re standing beside a chap in an elaborate lizard costume, complete with mask, tail, suit and shades. He, it turns out, is the focal point of a jazzy combo called Fredator, and the name itself gives a couple of Nordic types nearby a good laugh (it sounds a bit rude in Icelandic). Anyway, Clash misses the lounge lizard’s set but it’s reportedly rather good, and his scales, I bet, are perfect.

Also rather striking are Cleaning Women, a keyboard and drum duo whose visual touchstone would appear to be crazy-haired old music hack Simon Price; the music is moody and moogy and often quite mesmerising. The hotly-tipped Amoeba have given their look some thought too: ambitious haircuts, an array of dorky shades while the lead singer shoots lasers from his gloves. Shame the music is so forgettable.

Kosmofon have the look/sound thing nailed rather better. Imagine if The Young Knives were massive Kraftwerk geeks, as opposed to just massive geeks – that’s about the sound of it. Nicely turned out in an array of sports jackets, they make a very agreeable prog-dance groove which, being instrumental, is unencumbered by the awkward lyrics that sully several otherwise promising acts over the weekend. Splendid stuff.

To finish, the biggest hope for a crossover sensation right now. Iiris is a bit Kate Bush, a bit Marina Diamandis, with a captivating stage manner and a memorable voice, if also an uninspiring live set-up. When the band bugger off and she’s left alone at the keyboard, it’s a whole different, much more interesting proposition. Iiris might be better off either going it alone, or looking further afield collaboration-wise: anyone fancy taking a charismatic Estonian under their wing?

That’s the overriding impression from this year’s TMW then: lots of unpolished gems, some clearly itching for global success, others more than happy in their oddball Baltic niche, and all power to them. Mind you, lizard-based musical movements might just be the way forward for all we know. Modzilla, anyone?

Words by Si Hawkins