The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (Deluxe Edition) [Reissue]

pumpkins

As part of the extensive reissuing of The Smashing Pumpkins back catalogue, we now come to the 4th album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. This follows Gish (1991) and Siamese Dream (1993) last year and Pisces Iscariot (1994) reissued during the summer. As per the previous reissues, the release of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness has been remastered from the original studio tapes and has a wealth of additional material bundled with it. Continue reading

Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes [Video]

While Flying Lotus prepares Until The Quiet Comes for launch in a little under a months time we’re yet again teased, this time visually, with the bizarre yet beautiful short film by director Kahlil Joseph. From the three Flying Lotus tracks on show here; See Thru To U (feat. Erykah Badu), Hunger (feat. Niki Randa) and Getting There (feat. Niki Randa), it appears Steven Ellison has taken Flying Lotus to a whole new level with a thoroughly cinematic feel throughout that may or may not be aided by Josephs exciting and thought provoking visuals. It’s exciting and at a mere three minutes and fifty seconds, all too short.

Until The Quiet Comes releases on 1st/2nd October via Warp Records. I won’t go into too much detail as we covered the album the other month, but below are some tour dates for your diary.

September
23 Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Bowl (w/ Animal Collective)

October
07 New York, NY, Terminal 5
12 Montreal, QC, Neon 
13 Toronto, ON, Danforth Music Hall
15 Detroit, MI, Majestic Theatre
16 Chicago, IL, Metro
18 Denver, CO, Ogden
19 Salt Lake City, UT, Urban Lounge
22 Vancouver, BC, Fortune Club
23 Seattle, WA, Neptune
25 Oakland, CA, Fox Theatre

November
04 Amsterdam, Netherlands, Paradiso
05 Leipzig, Germany, Conne Island
06 Paris, France, La Machine du Moulin Rouge
07 Fribourg, Switzerland, Fri-Son
08 Berlin, Germany, Gretchen
09 Manchester, UK, Manchester Warehouse Project
16 London, UK, The Troxy
23 Makuhari Messe, JP, electraglide festival 

The Lumineers [Listen & Watch]

This band has done a good job of being heard in the States, and they’re about to bring their stomping feet and country strings to Europe. I discovered them from a cool blog called instagigs – worth checking out.

Lumineers released their self titled debut album in April this year, and managed to squeeze into the top 10 of the Alternative Chart position. They even recently played on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno .

“The Lumineers walk that line with an unerring gift for timeless melodies and soul-stirring lyrics” 

A few tracks on the album stick out for me. I really appreciate short, well strung songs, and Flowers in Your Hair and Ho Hey are both under 3mins, and are probably the two most catchy tunes. The band are known for wearing their hearts on their sleeve; the general themes are of broken relationships and unfair love – but somehow you still feel good when listening

One song from the album that stands alone for me is Flapper Girl, this is the kind of song that would be on the B-Side of an EP. It’s subtle melody with relaxed vocals breathes a warm breeze into the album as it nears towards the end.

The band are currently on tour, and are set to play in the Uk on the 17th of September at the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen. Click here to treat yourself to their album – it’s a good investment for when the sun is shining and you’re swinging in your hammock.

Check out their newly released music video for Ho Hey. Simple idea executed very nicely:

Sounds of the Summer Olympics [Listen & Watch]

While here in Britain we cannot guarantee the summer weather, we can count on some high calibre musical acts to craft the sound of the London games.

First up we have the official song of the games courtesy of Muse. Survival channels all the pomp and ceremony of Muse at their most Queen-like into five minutes of all the over-the-top rock anthem you could wish for. It’s oh so slightly overblown, but so are the games themselves. The track builds and soars in all the appropriate places, to quote Matt Bellamy “it expresses a sense of conviction and determination to win.”

It will be broadcast when the athletes enter the stadium and in the period before medal ceremonies. The track is also set to appear on the group’s next album The 2nd Law, which will be released in September.

A nice promo with archive footage from previous games has been released, can viewed below:

Next we have The Chemical Brothers, I’ve always associated the duo with tearing around tracks at high speed – ever since repeatedly listening to the track Loops of Fury whilst playing Wipeout 2097 on my Playstation in the 90s. So, it seems apt that they’ve been tasked with creating the official Theme For Velodrome. The track takes its cue from Tour de France by Kraftwerk, but builds upon the sound with some heavier beats and some robotic voices. As with the Kraftwerk track the repetitive nature of the songs electronica fits nicely with the pace and movement of the sport. I can already see it sitting well on round-up highlight clips of the cycling.

Unfortunately, it would seem even penning an official tune for the games won’t get you any tickets for the event – “We did ask but no one’s come through yet. At the moment neither of us has any …” revealed Ed Simmons.

Listen to a radio rip from  Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show here:

Other official Olympics songs include: Good Morning to the Night by Elton John vs Pnau, and Good Life by Delphic.

As for the television coverage, the BBC are running their own idents for the broadcasting of the games and have approached the band Elbow to write the theme. This makes perfect sense as their track One Day Like This has pretty much been featured on every sporting broadcast by every broadcaster since its release in 2008. Elbow have composed a six-minute track called First Steps, with a choir taking on the vocals.

The track is suitably epic and has a main melodic theme that can be pumped up for the victorious moments and toned down for the quieter more contemplative losing reactions.

A rather nice ident has been created by RKCR/Y&R and it can be seen below, along with a clip of the Elbow track:

Muse band website

The Chemical Brothers website

Elbow band website

BBC 2012 website

Emil Friis [Listen & Watch]

Emil Friis is a solo musician from Copenhagen, Denmark. He started out wanting to be a filmmaker, but states that, “For some reason which I’m still not quite sure of, I started writing songs”.

I came across his music while watching a fashion promo, and was completely drawn to the very atmospheric and filmic sound. The track’s called Sand In Your Eyes and there’s a video that’s been made for it, which in my opinion is very well executed.

He’s released three albums which you can stream here. He also has a bunch of recordings on his Soundcloud. I’d recommend checking out a track called The Man In The Wind which sounds like it was recorded in a bar – it’s a good’n.

Ladies and gents I give you Sand In Your Eyes

2012 Highlights in Music: Quarter One (January – April) [Feature]

It’s already been a busy year for releases and with the constant slew of new music it has been far too easy for things to fall by the wayside. I hope you are all suffering from a heavy chocolate hangover right now; hair of the dog doesn’t seem to have the same effect with this one unfortunately so why not spend your lazy sunday afternoon/evening reading through our run down of some of the highlights 2012 has had to offer so far! Lets hope the rest of the year continues in the current fashion! Without further ado and in no particular order:

Lilacs & Champagne – Lilacs & Champagne

Lilacs & Champagne’s self titled dropped at the tail end of January and we thought it was rather superb.

[Lilacs & Champagne] have managed to craft one of the most interesting and promising debuts I think I’ve ever heard. It’s a rich tapestry woven from samples and organic pieces strung together perfectly to create a sound that’s incredibly fresh.To put it crudely, if you take the Grails template from their recent efforts and give it a hip hop, sample focused twist, this is what you get. 

It’s followed up with some more excellent reviews from various other publications. We can’t recommend it enough!

Quantic & Alice Russell With The Combo Bárbaro – Look Around The Corner

Will Holland reunites with Alice Russell, backed by the ever excellent Combo Bárbaro. As you’d expect it’s packed with Columbian grooves, soul soaked vocals, smooth strings and brassy funk. It’s a graceful fusion and throw in Quantic’s sublime production and it will bring sunshine to your stereo whatever the weather. This is another album that’s escaped a proper review for the moment, but it hasn’t left my CD player since it dropped on my doormat so expect one soon. Highly recommended!

Dodgy – Stand Upright In A Cool Place

90’s band Dodgy reformed for a new album after eleven long years. Think Crosby, Stills & Nash combined with all the good Britpop you’ve ever heard, then add a little Fleet Foxes and a dash of excellent song writing. It’s a winning combination and perfectly executed, if not released a little early as these songs sound like summer anthems through and through.

Errors – Have Some Faith In Magic

The four-piece band from Glasgow released their brilliantly catchy full length follow up to 2010’s Come Down With Me. It’s catchy electro-indie at it’s finest and really builds upon the sound they’ve made their own over the two previous records. Bold, pulsating rhythms and bright keys aside it comes across as a rather organic sound and most importantly a finely crafted album.

The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow

I still have yet to review this album, it’s been one of the best of the year so far on many levels. Stripped and spacious, John Paul White and Joy Williams have managed to bring together one of the most intimate sounding records I’ve heard for a while. It’s primarily acoustic, largely without any form of percussion and effortlessly straddles both modern and old creating a timeless album that should appeal to a great many people. It’s beautiful stuff indeed and shifts between mellow, tender tracks and bluesy roots tracks with ease. I believe it’s been out for a year across in the States but we’ve only had it over here for a short while so if you’ve missed it, now’s the perfect time to catch up.

Django Django – Django Django

The British Quartet sprung almost out of nowhere with this infectiously catchy psychedelic indie-pop debut. It’s hard not to mention legendary group The Beta Band but throw in a little Metronomy as well and you’re half way there to Django Django’s sound. Deep, detailed, throughly danceable, quirky yet entirely accessible, this album should not be overlooked and was a real surprise highlight of the year as yet.

The Shins – Port of Morrow

If any of you have read my review of Port of Morrow you’ll already know how highly I regard this album. James Mercer returns with a finely crafted and absolutely stunning slice of Indie Pop. Its addictive melodies, beautifully written choruses and superb production contribute to arguably the strongest Shins record yet. 2010’s Broken Bells diversion with Danger Mouse is evident with a more electronic influence and helps to bring the Shins sound forward. Miss this album at your own loss!

Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself

Quirky, beautiful, haunting, charming. A mish-mash of various styles coming together to form something quite wonderful. It’s almost traditional yet thoroughly modern and has some killer whistling solos. Yes, you read that right, whistling solos. This was my first instruction to Andrew Bird and after reviewing it back in the first half of March it’s become a regular in my CD player. Blending traditional folk with a more modern rock approach it flits effortlessly between the two, forming an interesting flowing album that’s rich and detailed.

If you’ve made it this far hopefully you’ve either found something you’ve missed this year, or even better, maybe discovered something new. Let us know in the comments box if we’ve missed anything! I know I have!

Happy Easter from the Universal Wax team! I’m off to eat some more chocolate.

New Black Moth Super Rainbow track and album to follow [Listen]

After a two year break – Black Moth Super Rainbow, the experimental electro-psych pop group from Pittsburgh are back with a new track Spraypaint and the announcement of a new album.

The sound on the track has the familiar serene and warm soft fuzzy acid sound of previous releases, along with heavily Vocoder drenched vocals.

Although there is no definite release date for the upcoming and as of yet untitled album, frontman Tobacco has hinted at the record dropping in the summer.

Listen to Spraypaint here:

 

A clip from Like A Sundae

Band website

Tashaki Miyaki [Listen+Watch]

It’s not often I fall head over heals for an artist, but listening to Tashaki Miyaki’s cover of one of my favourite Dylan songs put them at the top of my playlist for the week.

I blame the summery vibes ringing in the London air at the moment that’s fuelling my current shoegaze phase. Tashaki Miyaki have a chilled out dreamy sound blended with well paced vocals which compliment each track perfectly – and I really mean that. The band are often compared to Best Coast, who I always ‘sort of liked’, but Tashaki Miyaki have that special thing which make them in my humble opinion far more enjoyable. I hope they come play in the UK soon.

The two girls behind the name, Lucy and Rocky are both from California. Their latest EP,  is released by UK based label The Sounds Of Sweet Nothing – the same people that released the new Halls EP. I have to say those people know how to find quality music.

What squeezes the icing on the cake for me is Tashaki Miyaki have quality music videos too. As a filmmaker myself, I see the importance in having good, tasteful visuals to this genre of music. So often with bands you see the cliché kaleidoscope of images badly processed through After Effects, (even on a zero budget, there’s no need for that). However their frequent director, Juan Iglesias has done a stellar job in producing very fitting videos for them, I salut you sir.

Check out their latest cover of Bob Dylan’s song, If Not For You:

This is a video for their track Best Friend, I also recommend checking out their video for Somethin’ Is Better Than Nothin’:

Bon Iver – Towers [Watch]

Fresh off the back of his Grammy wins for Best Alternative Music Album & Best New Artist (not sure how they work that latter one out but whatever, the guy deserves it) and continuing the trend of beautifully shot Bon Iver videos, here we have the rather nice new video for Towers courtesy of Nabil Elderkin. Stunning cinematography combined with an excellent song from one of last years best releases.

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Bárbaro – Look Around The Corner [Watch]

I mentioned this superb track a few weeks ago but now it has a nice and intimate live video to go with it. Sounds of the summer right here folks. The album’s out 2nd of April and the single is available now from various places on the net!

Live dates are as follows:

March
15th – 17 – SXSW Showcase Info TBA
22nd – Los Angles
24th – San Francisco

April
24th – Paris
25th – Massy
26th – Marseille
27th – Nice
28th – Bordeaux

May
2nd – Koko, London
3rd – Picture House, Edinburgh
4th – Band on the Wall, Manchester
5th – WDR Anniversary, nr. Cologne, Germany
6th – Hare and Hounds, Birmingham