The Staves – Winter Trees [Watch]

The Staves Winter Trees

Directing duo Karni and Saul have collaborated with The Staves to create an absolutely stunning video for the first single from their debut album Dead & Born & Grow (November 2012). It’s wonderfully organic with a mix of techniques including hand drawn imagery and flash animation and gives a brilliant sense of depth and although the woodcut style is obviously an influence it apparently contains no stop-frame animation. It’s a very literal take on the subject and its beautiful animation and quirky characters are charming to behold.

The Staves are off on tour shortly with dates primarily across the UK, with a few European ones thrown in for good measure. Follow this link for a full list. Their debut is out now through Atlantic Records, available in all the usual places.

Sources: Creative Review Blog

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The Universal Wax Top 12 of ’12 – Part Two

Welcome back for part two of the Universal Wax Top 12 of ’12. Our twelve albums of the year and why you should check them out. Part One covered Sams four albums of the year which included Beth Orton and her wonderful return with Sugaring Season, De La Mancha The End* of Music, Lilacs and Champagnes self titled debut and finally the outrageously catchy Port of Morrow from The Shins. Martins four album choices are up next and run with a theme of bands who have not only extensive back catalogues, but exceedingly strong ones that spread decades in some cases. Again, if you are already familiar with them let us know what you think of our choices and why not drop us a list of your top 12 albums of 2012? We’d love to hear yours and might even discover something we missed.  – Sam

Top 12 of 12 Covers-Part Two
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The Universal Wax Top 12 of ’12 – Part One

It’s that time of the year again when music blogs worldwide take a few paragraphs to discuss their favourite albums of the year and make a comprehensive list out of it; who are we to break the trend, so without further ado I present to you the Universal Wax Top 12 of ’12. In no particular order and over the course of three parts, each of us will be taking four of the albums released this year that we are particularly fond of and devoting a few sentences to why you should check it out. If you are already familiar with them let us know what you think, why not take the time to let us know your top 12 albums of 2012?  – Sam

Top 12 of 12 Covers-Part One

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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

Catching Flies – The Stars EP / Mt. Wolf – Life Size Ghosts EP [Listen]

Today I have two electronic EP’s from London based musicians linked here by a remix from which I followed the trail back to the source, in turn discovering two bright relatively new acts myself.

So without further ado, first up (if you’re not already familiar with him) let me introduce you to London based producer Catching Flies. Continue reading

Poppy Ackroyd – Escapement [Review]

Poppy Ackroyd has had a busy year it would seem. Many will know her as the talented violinist and pianist of the Hidden Orchestra whose superb second album launched in September to a positive review from us, however there appears to be a lot more to her than that. The classically trained Edinburgh based musician is now close to the release of her debut solo effort Escapement (due December 2012). A heartbreakingly beautiful record of intricate and very delicate compositions made exclusively, bar the odd field recording here and there, using the piano and the violin. It’s a wonderful idea and is executed to perfection to the point if you weren’t aware this was the case you probably wouldn’t question it. Continue reading

Darkstar – Timeaway [Listen]

Darkstar the northern english electronic music trio return with their new track Timeaway from the forthcoming album News From Nowhere. The group rose to prominence with the 2009 track Aidy’s Girl Is a Computer which was featured on the influential Hyperdub Records compilation 5: Five Years of Hyperdub. The group’s unique sound blended the style of the emerging dubstep movement with an uplifting melodic synth pop edge. Continue reading

Tor – Glass & Stone [Listen]

First of all it’s probably apt to introduce Loci Records, the new label of Douglas Appling (Emancipator). In a statement from the Emancipator website;

“Fellow Music Lovers,

For years, I’ve found great purpose and pleasure in producing music as Emancipator. To have reached so many people along the way who resonate with my sound is incredibly inspiring. I’d like to build upon this response and cultivate a community of shared musical taste by introducing my own record label. As its name suggests, Loci Records is a meeting place, a point of convergence for myself and others who share a similar musical vision. Its focus is on the crossroads of melodic downtempo, instrumental hip hop, and electronica.”
– Douglas Appling

This is exciting news of course, Douglas Appling is considered the king in many respects of the more thoughtful, organic instrumental hip-hop/downtempo crossover, mentioned in his statement, which has been cropping up more prominently in recent years. In the last eighteen months it’s been a consistent occurrence to see Emancipator cited as a main influence in many of his peers album descriptions so by all accounts a label from the man himself should bring some more high quality music of a similar nature. What’s most exciting however is what is coming from Loci Records.

After his collaboration on the Emancipator Remixes album from last year, Tor is first out the door with the superb single Glass & Stone, a considered and beautiful slice of exactly the combination of genres Doug is setting out to represent with Loci Records. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric affair with layered beats and some nice use of female vocals. It sounds fresh and is of excellent quality with subtle production and a level of sheen which is what I was hoping from Loci Records. It’s also a FREE download, so head on over to the label bandcamp page to grab yourself a copy.

Glass & Stone is the first single from Drum Therapy which is due on the 11th of December.

“Ten years in the making, this record promises to bring a soulful, cerebral blend of instrumentation that I believe to be a great representation of what Loci aims to curate. Drawing influence from across the globe, Drum Therapy is slated to entrance listeners with thought provoking harmonies and dusty samples that resonate long after the tracks end.”
– Douglas Appling

If this taster is anything to go by, we are in for a rich and detailed treat in time for Christmas and the promise of great things from Loci Records in the future.

Fat Freddy’s Drop – Silver And Gold [Listen]

Here’s a little something for the weekend, Fat Freddy’s Drop have returned with Silver And Gold, the first single from new album Blackbird, due early 2013. As has been the case throughout the bands thirteen year career, it’s a fabulous marriage of dub and blues with grooves that belong on the dance floor. The album’s not far off and Silver And Gold is one hell of an exciting tease. It’s also a FREE download, so grab it while it’s hot!

Jasper Byrne – Hotline Miami EP [Listen]

I’ve been dabbling in the seedy 80’s neon criminal underworld of Dennaton Games’ superb top down, 2D, PC killathon Hotline Miami for the last couple of weeks and along with being essentially the playable version of the motel/lift scene from Drive, it also has a killer soundtrack that’s more than a nod to Nicolas Winding Refns slick thriller. There are more than a few artists involved with the soundtrack including a wide range of styles and genres, however the title track from Jasper Byrne is one of the best. The Hotline Miami EP is, although sadly a little on the short side, a fantastic slice of electro with deep bass and 80’s style synths that moves between sounding upbeat and almost positive to menacing and grimy. Check it out! Definitely for fans of the 80’s revival we’ve been hearing the last couple of years.

The Hotline Miami EP can be grabbed for $4 over on bandcamp