Koreless – Lost In Tokyo [Listen]

Fans of minimalist dubstep will no doubt be very exited that Glasgow based producer Koreless has finally released another track. If you have never heard of Lewis Roberts AKA Koreless before, then you would file him next to James Blake, Mount Kimbie and Four Tet in your record collections. His debut 12” was released last year on Pictures Music and is now considered quite a collectable as both tracks on that record have been very highly rated ever since their release, and many people, myself included, have been eagerly awaiting new tracks from him.

Finally late last year, Jamie xx featured a new track in his BBC Essential Mix. That track has now finally had a digital and vinyl release. It is aptly called “Lost In Tokyo”, as I imagine it’s the perfect music to listen to while cruising round Tokyo on a night bus. The vinyl is being released on Jacques Greene’s Vase label and his remix of Lost In Tokyo is on the B-side. You can stream the original track below along with the mix that Koreless did for The Boiler Room, which is one of my favourite Boiler Room mixes and contains both the tracks of his debut 12”.

Koreless – Lost In Tokyo

Boiler Room Mix

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The Revival Hour – Hold Back [Listen]

Fresh back from a week spent exploring the rainy Cornish coast and I already have a pile of releases mounting on the side of my desk. Before beginning the trawl through the precarious mountain beside me and whilst doing my usual weekly round of bandcamp, I stumbled upon The Revival Hour and their outstanding debut single Hold Back / Run Away.

Hold Back is big in every sense of the word, opening line “I am the lonliest climber of them all” sets a brooding tone which continues through; combined with gospel backing, rising choruses, swelling strings, deep brass, staccato piano, D.M. Stith’s brilliant falsetto voice and finally complimented with some seriously smooth production and this track just begs to be played loud. It’s powerful stuff, full of soul and incredibly intense. Lyrics question and demand, “Am I right to hold back?”, as the song rises and builds into something really quite wonderful. It’s dark, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s also crackling with suppressed energy. Bold stuf indeed.

The Revival Hour’s other half is completed by John Mark Lapham (The Earlies, The Late Cord) and with contributions from members of The Earlies, My Brightest Diamond and Shearwater, they are looking like they could become something really quite special. The single was released on 24th October of last year and after digging on facebook it appears the duo are working on release number two, a full length and a forthcoming tour. It couldn’t come soon enough as I can see myself exhausting this song pretty quickly if tonights play count is anything to go by!

Hold Back / Run Away is available to download for $2 (USD) from The Revival Hour’s bandcamp page.

Gem Club – Breakers [Review]

There are few albums that I would call truly beautiful, Helios’s Eingya and Gregor Samsa’s second full-length Rest spring to mind; and now, with Gem Club’s debut Breakers, Christopher Barnes, cellist Kristen Drymala and vocalist Leva Berberian have crafted quite simply one of the most systematically heartbreaking, haunting and outright beautiful albums to have graced my system in a long time and it can comfortably sit within that list.

There’s an unbelievable subtlety to this album, it’s got room to breathe and every note written sounds considered and then considered again. Stripped to a combination of rhythmic piano, calming vocals and brooding cello it can feel incredibly pure. I hesitate to say it verges on bleak with an almost melancholy feel. Go into this album in an optimistic mood and I’m sure you will take a different view compared to heading in full of pessimism.

It can be a worry with music similar to this that it comes across as a pretentious wash of sound but Gem Club manage to hold their focus and the songs here bleed with emotion. Pacing is key and although this may not be an album for every moment of the day it’s one that’s of little effort to listen to and at just shy of fourty minutes is the perfect length, never outstaying it’s welcome. Drums punctuate at the right moment and vocals soar when needed, it’s smart stuff and works very well.

Penultimate track 252 are where things really gather together and show what Gem Club can really do. It’s beautiful, a little friendlier and stands out strong on an album of already stellar tracks. The vocals lift and there’s a warmth that fills the sound that isn’t present prior.

It’s a difficult thing to review this album without listing a string of adjectives revolving around the word beauty but at it’s core this is what Breakers delivers. It was never going to be an album for every moment of the day and that’s ok; it’s an album to slip some headphones on and simply listen to. Don’t let this one fall into the background, it yearns to be heard properly.

Head over to Gem Club’s bandcamp page for a full listen, like them on facebook or have a poke around their website iamgemclub.com.

New Cast single “See That Girl” [Listen]

I’ve had a bit of a Britpop renascence this weekend. It started by seeing Shed Seven play a blinding nostalgia fuelled gig at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Saturday, supported by the excellent Chris Helme (ex frontman of the Seahorses).

If that wasn’t enough mid nineties reminiscence, Britpop stalwarts Cast have released their first single in over a decade. Fresh off the back of the 15th anniversary gigs celebrating their debut album “All Change”, they have recorded a new LP “Troubled Times” via PledgeMusic. The album will have a physical release in the new year whilst the digital version was available to plegers in November.

The single “See That Girl” has the familiar tone of the bands previous work and jangly guitar sound of vocalist, John Power’s former band, The La’s. Whilst not breaking any new grounds, anyone who is nostalgic for 60s pop or the Britpop sound will enjoy this.

The single is available digitally from iTunes & Amazon and has a live version of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” as a b-side.

Cast Band Site
PledgeMusic

Mindthings remix of Dakent – Noon [Listen]

mindthings, the chillout / electronic producer Clément Peres from Bordeaux, France, has thrown another new remix out into the wild, this time for Dakent’s track Noon.

It’s a bright, vibrant track with a nice guitar lead and warm production; a great way to start your Thursday morning. It’s also a free download.

mindthings.net

Seth Lakeman – Tales From The Barrel House [Review]

I was late to the party on this one, I’ll admit that. Worst of all, I heard about it via my parents. I figure when you hear about an album by a musician you really love, especially when they’ve been one of the regular artists to grace your sound system over the last few years, the last people you expect to should hear it from are your parents.

I’ve been a big fan of Seth Lakeman and his pop folk fusion since the release of his third album Freedom Fields back in 2006. It’s a great combination of that truly british classic folk story telling, beautifully combined with the catchy hooks and melodies of good pop song writing. Over the course of his five previous records Seth has pushed this through not only his superb song writing, but with increasing bombast and slick production. What he has created can easily cross the divide and appeal to both the snobby folk muso and the casual listener [parent]. This is why, when the new album finally landed on my doorstep and I began my first listen I was quite shocked to find a back to basics approach with an incredibly raw sound.

What becomes clear is that this may be one of the most honest sounding album’s I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in a long time. It’s almost effortlessly confident in it’s telling and execution. The liner notes inform that the opening track, More than Money (catch the video after the jump) was recorded down the George and Charlotte copper mine at Morwellham Quay, Devon and the rest at The Barrelhouse – also at Morwellham Quay. At its core, this is what Seth Lakemans music is all about. Its folk music, it tells a tale. There’s always been a story there in the lyrics (that’s stating the obvious) but the context of these songs are really pushed to the forefront knowing where it has been recorded. It’s a romantic concept but it also serves a purpose and really brings the relevance of those lyrics to life.

The songs themselves are typical Seth Lakeman fare with foot stomping, fiddle and tenor guitar all there. If you’ve heard any previous albums you’ll know what to expect and this is no bad thing. Catchy sing-a-long choruses, addictive melodies and verses that tell the tale made easier by crystal clear delivery in vocals. Soft ballads slow the flow of the album and punctuate the more uplifting tracks and the sombre Salt From Our Veins builds wonderfully, a real highlight on the album.

Compared to Hearts and Minds (2010), this is a very different album. It is closer to the 2004 release Kitty Jay in terms of sound and execution and this is a great thing.

Seth Lakeman continues to impress and while this may not be a chart contender, it’s a far more relevant and subtle album that really conveys the author’s passion and ideas. I look forward to hearing what’s next.

 

Seth Lakeman is on tour in the UK right now, you can catch him at the following (follow the link for more dates!)

15.12.2011 SOUTHAMPTON The Brook
16.12.2011 HOLMFIRTH Picturedrome
17.12.2011 FROME Cheese & Grain

http://www.sethlakeman.co.uk/category/gigs/

Album Links:

http://www.propermusic.com/product-details/Seth-Lakeman-Tales-From-the%20Barrel-House-68397

‘More Than Money’ official video