It’s The New Thing

Une Mixtape De Nouvelle Chansons

  1. Tapes ‘N Tapes – Hang Them All
  2. Born Ruffians – Hummingbird
  3. Cadence Weapon – We Move Away
  4. Foals – Tron
  5. The Futureheads – The Beginning of the Twist
  6. The Kills – The Last Day of Magic
  7. Be Your Own Pet – The Kelly Affair
  8. These New Puritans – £4
  9. Late of the Pier – The Bears Are Coming
  10. Atlas Sound – Recent Bedroom
  11. Cut Copy – Lights & Music (Boys Noize Happy Birthday Remix)
  12. Crystal Castles – Through the Hosiery

Greetings, today at 2.42 I bring you this group of 12 songs. If anyone is wondering why the title is in French it’s because it purely looks better than “A Mixtape of New Songs” which is the translation. Basically, each of the 12 tracks is off the band’s new album or single, and each track is great in its own right. Tapes ‘N Tapes return with a jangly, organ laden track in Hang Them All. Recent Bedroom is my personal favourite track off the Atlas Sound (Bradford Cox of Deerhunter) record, Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel, with its hazy atmosphere and sharp, echoing guitars. Ex-Pitchfork journo, Cadence Weapon features with We Move Away, off his second album, Afterparty Babies, and Foals’ epic closer Tron is also incorporated in the mixtape. Every track is amazing, it would just take me too long to describe them all to you now, especially at this late an hour. But do DL them all, they are all worth it, and a special mention goes to £4 by These New Puritans for being the most played song on my iTunes.

P.S : all these mp3s are now “right click and save as…” ones, which should make things a lot easier, tell me there are any problems.


Album of the Year 2008?
February 19, 2008, 5:13 am
Filed under: Angular Records, Beat Pyramid, These New Puritans

35 minutes of refined innovation. That is Beat Pyramid is a sentence. Released in January this record is already stating its claim for album of 2008, because it really is that good.

These New Puritans have never been your average bunch of British musicians. The Southend quartet’s debut EP, Now Pluvial, was released in the winter of 2006 after they came to prominence playing at the now defunct Junk Club in their hometown. Signed to the Angular Recording Corporation the band came into the scenester’s line of vision after an appearance of a free CD in the NME. But unlike the rest of the artists you will find in the NME, TNPS are not arrogant, not boisterous and produce music that is 99.99% original. While The Enemy mention for the umpteenth time how much of an influence bands like Oasis were on their music, and bemoan the lack of “working class” music, TNPS sit inside listening to Steve Reich and watching David Lynch movies. The results are clearly different between the two bands, while The Enemy produce second rate, football terrace pseudo-anthems, TNPS forge unique and abstractly structured masterpieces.

TNPS grab influences from everywhere; Jack Barnett even admits that the infectious drumbeat on “Swords of Truth” is ripped of Timbaland and Vybz Cartel. Hip-hop influences are clear on the pulsating “Numerology” and there are some moments where Jack Barnett’s voice resembles that of Mark E. Smith of The Fall. On “Numerology” the band create an almost hip-hop-rock track, with the structure of the track a perspicuous nod to the hip-hop genre. A hard-hitting guitar riff replaces an electronic sample and Jack Barnett’s chanting of “What’s your favourite number? What does it mean?” replaces what could’ve easily been a rap. Latest single “Elvis” is resonant of The Fall, but TNPS seem to adopt this style and construct perhaps their only song capable of fitting in with the mainstream. TNPS vast knowledge of music is clear throughout Beat Pyramid and the band appear to have to the priceless ability of being able to fuse different aspects of musical genres together to devise tracks that almost create their own genre.

Beat Pyramid has allowed the blindingly astute musicians of TNPS to expand further on their ideas. Now Pluvial was a definite achievement, but with Beat Pyramid a masterpiece has been created with TNPS blatantly having access to better recording facilities than those used to record Now Pluvial and early demos. The intricacy of Beat Pyramid is most evident on Barnett’s preferred track “Swords of Truth”. The chorus of which is a beautifully chaotic layering of vocals and drilling guitar combined with syncopated keyboards. The complex entanglement of the instruments on “Swords of Truth” gives the track a unique and hypnotic aura. This hypnotic atmosphere is also present throughout the entirety of Beat Pyramid, mainly due to TNPS’ repetition of lyrics and parts of music, the lines “We wrote all the numbers in your body” and “I am in the rain, I am in the rain” that appear of “Swords of Truth” will be known to hardcore TNPS fans to have appeared on the original version of “C16th”. The 45 seconds on “Colours” taken from “Navigate, Navigate” and the opening and closing tracks of “…ce I Will Say This Twice” and “I Will Say This Twi…” add to this circular feeling on Beat Pyramid that Jack Barnett is questioned about in every single interview he does. This is another one of the aspects of Beat Pyramid that makes the record such a unique and enticing one.

Lyrically, TNPS are a breath of fresh air. For 35 minutes, no stories of the morning commute to work, no tales of all-nighters in Northern city centres, essentially TNPS are not trying to turn the mundane activities of a 9-5 life into 3 minute pop-rock hits. TNPS lyrics are distinctly abstract and these metaphysical lyrics are most apparent on “Swords of Truth” and “Infinity ytinifnI”. “Swords of Truth” focuses on the rituals of inscribing indecipherable codes in the air, “I’m writing on the airwaves, I’m writing on the air, I’m writing on your memory.” And the track’s immediacy does make you feel like its writing on your memory and takes you to another world where all this could really be possible. “Infinity ytinifnI” is “an imagined celebration of the melting of the polar ice caps. TNPs descend from a helicopter, melting the icecaps and cause global disaster. Then we fly off to Everest and safety and start our own civilization,” to put it in the words of Jack Barnett. The track’s medieval-esque chords and loud driving drums create an ominous atmosphere that fit the conceptual lyrics perfectly.

The fact of the matter is that Beat Pyramid is a masterpiece. The intricate song structures, the infectious drumbeats and fresh abstract lyrics, all contribute to make the record as a whole a true musical behemoth. The other day, a misguided individual said about Beat Pyramid, “it’s nothing I haven’t heard before.” Well, this person must be living a parallel universe where These New Puritans have hit the mainstream, that universe must therefore be a utopia.

Mp3: Elvis

Mp3: Swords of Truth

Mp3: Numerology

Mp3: Infinity ytinifnI

Buy From PureGroove

P.S Sorry for the sendspace linkage, I’m currently waiting for Boxstr to get back up and running and to start an account with them so you can right click and DL the mp3s.

\\\\One From The Archives////
February 18, 2008, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Bloc Party

To signal my return (and half-term) I bring you Bloc Party’s first ever ever ever single. With only 500 copies printed on clear vinyl, the 7″ single is by far Bloc Party’s rarest release. The single was released on Trash Aesthetics who have now grown up into Transgressive Records. This version of She’s Hearing Voice is far from the slickly produced version on Silent Alarm, and features a slightly modified drum beat to the album version of the track. The track isn’t anything mind blowing if you’ve already heard the album version of She’s Hearing Voices, its purely interesting to see the stages that She’s Hearing Voices went through before it became the polished, pulsating track that we all know and love.

Mp3: She’s Hearing Voices (7″ Version)

Once More Unto The Breach…
February 5, 2008, 9:20 pm
Filed under: fatigue, top albums 2007

Please excuse my absence over the last month and a bit, I have been bogged down to say the least with AS modules and Othello coursework, and so yeah… haven’t had time for this place for a while. You can see my immensely fatigued look above. But hopefully some form of regular posting with commence as of this week. Which is good news (?)Oh and if anyone was wondering what my actual top 25 albums of 2007 list was in its entirety, I will post it below for all to see.

  1. Battles – Mirrored
  2. Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
  3. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
  4. Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
  5. Deerhunter – Cryptograms
  6. Liars – Liars
  7. Burial – Untrue
  8. Justice –
  9. Radiohead – In Rainbows
  10. Panda Bear – Person Pitch
  11. The Field – From Here We Go Sublime
  12. Thurston Moore – The Trees Outside the Academy
  13. M.I.A. – Kala
  14. Simian Mobile Disco – Attack Decay Sustain Release
  15. The National – Boxer
  16. Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
  17. Daft Punk – Alive 2007
  18. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
  19. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
  20. Holy Fuck – LP
  21. Bloc Party – A Weekend In the City
  22. Health – Health
  23. Au Revoir Simone – The Bird of Music
  24. No Age – Weirdo Rippers
  25. A Place to Bury Strangers – A Place to Bury Strangers