Die Popkolumne aus London
Student Discos and Emotional Machines!
Here in the UK November tends to be somewhat cold, wet, dark, and pretty fecking miserable. Even a cursory glance at those poor unfortunate fools that prowl the streets of London shows that the scowls are getting longer and this season’s fashion trend appears to be depressive and downcast. Those who do smile, giggle, or, God forbid, laugh, immediately expose themselves as tourists and will justifiably find themselves experiencing the unbridled joy of some good old-fashioned London violence. By JOHN BITTLES
We, the inhabitants of this great city, drown the horrors of this brutal month with sarcasm and vast quantities of alcohol. Some tend to hibernate over the next four months, while others will engage in hard drugs. Still others will attempt to dull the pain through the playing of charades, or by watching marathons of The X Factor on TV until they feel that, actually, it might not be just so bad to die.
Luckily this year will be different! I can feel it in my bones. Why? Well, this November will feature a plethora of excellent new releases sure to delight even the most bitter of souls. So what are these new records that I should be rushing out right now to buy, you ask! Well, if you’re in such a hurry then I think we should begin.
So it Goes by David Shaw and The Beat is a roaring electro beast of an album which demands your undivided attention and rewards repeat listens with some of the best electronic pop music we’ve heard since the glory days of Depeche Mode. Its ten tracks skilfully fuse all the greatest elements of Indie, Pop, and House into one gorgeous whole, I really cannot recommend this album enough. The likes of Infected, and No More White Horses feature choruses to die for while closing title track So It Goes is a 10 minute plus Krautrock-like masterpiece.
Out on the 5th of November on the always excellent Ki Records, Saints by Monokle is a soft, sensual, listen that is chock full of melodies that will hang around in your head for months to come. Presented within are nine tracks that have been created with precision to win over the heart and make you pine for that one true lost love. This is House music made for dancing with your eyes closed while you contemplate how you are all alone in the world. Is this a good thing? You had better believe it! Seriously, melancholy has never sounded this good! The dub undertones combine gloriously to create a thing of wonder that is almost too fragile to touch.
Next up is newcomer Ivano Tetelepta with True Colours which is coming out on Fear of Flying on the 11th of November. This is mellow Techno music where listening to it feels like receiving a long warm cuddle from someone you both trust and love. Fear of Flying is one of the most reliable and exciting labels in the UK right now, and this is their debut album, so expectations were pretty darn high. True Colours doesn’t disappoint. If anything it actually surpasses everything that has gone before as Ivano has created a sublime long-player that sounds like a trance-like dream from which you never want to wake up.
November is also the month for huge (in more ways than one) compilations arriving like a little ray of sunshine into our lives. That Berlin clubbing institution Watergate celebrates ten short years in the business by giving us a very generous present in the shape of Watergate X which should be hitting your local record shop shelves right about now. It features two CDs full of exclusive cuts from some of the artists that have been lucky enough to play in that hallowed space, (yes, I am looking for a guest list spot, please). Henrik Schwarz, M.A.N.D.Y., Maceo Plex, DJ Sneak, and many others are at the top of their game as they present the listener with some deep groove-some delights.
Also celebrating ten years, those thoroughly lovable people at Eskimo Recordings release a five (yes 5) CD set in the form of Eskimonde – A decade of Eskimo Recordings. Two CDs of classics, one CD of brand spankin’ new remixes, and two fresh and vibrant mixes from The Glimmers combine to create a humongous package that has a little something for more or less everyone. And it is not just quantity that you receive here, its quality too.
Two other compilations worthy of note are Kern volume 1 which is compiled and mixed by the legend that is DJ Deep, and Classic Through the Eyes of Severino. Both are full of filthy House goodness that is guaranteed to satisfy even the most demanding of dancefloors. Neither is really made for home listening though, unless you fancy giving yourself a sore head. They are a must for DJs since they come both in a mixed and a very handy un-mixed format. Take these collections to your local discothèque and announce that you wish to DJ at their establishment. Play tracks from said albums mixed together in an exciting sequence. Then demand £2,000 per night! Should this fail then you can be sure that the club in question is a little bit crap.
Automaton by Fairmont is also coming out this week and is brought to us by those bastions of the dancefloor My Favorite Robot. With a wide range of influences from Can to Boards of Canada, to Roxy Music, Fairmont’s 3rd album could be considered the highlight of his career so far. Listening to the record, it wasn’t long until I found myself grooving while contemplating the very nature of our existence. My cat quite liked it too!
This Many Boyfriends hail from that fabled land of Leeds and have just released their sparkling new album, the rather imaginatively titled This Many Boyfriends. Fresh, fun Indie-pop nuggets feature in abundance in an album so freaky that you want to crash your local students’ union just so you can pogo along. I don’t like you (cos you don’t like The Pastels) is an obvious highlight. And an opening line of ‘You love pop songs about love more than being in love in the first place’ should tell you all that you need to know. Go out and buy this! Now!
Egyptian Hip Hop delight and frustrate in equal measure. After a debut EP, Some Reptiles Grew Wings, which was rather over-hyped in my opinion, they now return with their first album Good Don’t Sleep. It’s a brave and exciting record that mixes elements of disparate musical genres to devastating effect until it resembles one huge opiated mess. With vocals hidden in the background of the lush soundscapes the listener has to work hard to untangle the complex web. Yet the time spent doing this is immensely pleasurable, as you discover previously hidden depths. Join this together with some awesome songs and you come to the realisation that this may just be the most important album you have heard all year.
Last but definitely not least is Dominik Eulberg who has a new four track EP Ein Stueckchen Urstoff coming out on Traum on the 12th of November. The amount of emotion which this man can squeeze out of machines is always a thing of wonder to me. I have literally cried listening to this man’s music, and I am in no way embarrassed by this fact. Any new producer wishing to make electronic music should be made to listen to this set and told that if they can’t produce something just as good then they really shouldn’t bother. Harsh, but fair!
Till next time!
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