Remember people, when we send you an invite to an art show opening or a gig or indeed to our back garden (if we had one) and ask you to bring you own booze, it is only a work event, nothing more, don’t get confused now.
All the striving and the doing it, on we go, the Five music things thing yet again (and again) for whatever it still might be some kind of worth. Five? There’s something rather compelling about five, cross-pollination? Five more? Do we need to do it again? Is there another way? A cure for pulling cats out of hats? A new editorial yet maybe? Is there a rhyme? Is there a reason? Was there ever? What do reasons make? Again and again and again (and again). Five more, same as last time (and the time before) five, and no, we never do and the proof of the pudding is in that proof reading. When we started this thing, oh never mind, it doesn’t matter and like we asked last time, does anyone bother reading the editorial? Does anyone ever actually look down the rabbit hole or is it all just method acting? We do listen to everything that comes in so you don’t have to, we are very picky about what we actually post, we did just listen to the new Jethro Tull release to save you from doing so, likewise Alex Lifeson’s new band Envy of None. Cut to the chase, we could just cut ‘n paste the editorial from the last time, there’s loads of music further down the page, well five or so pieces of music that have come our way in the last few days and cut cut slash and cut to the damn chase, who needs an editorial? Here’s your five for today.
We would say in no particualr order but Crows are back…
1: Crows – Today, London four-piece Crows share new single Slowly Separate, their first new music in three years, plus announce their highly-anticipated second album Beware Believers out 1st April 2022 via Bad Vibrations Records. Again again again, it has been some time and it would be easy to say something about them breing jsut another of those Idles type bands that there are so many of now but Crows have always had something extra, they’ve always stood out a little from the crowd and this, I think you’ll agree is a fine return. They sound wired, slightly anxious, they sound like it matters. Crows are sounding ferocious, good ot have them back
“Talking about new track ‘Slowly Separate’, Crows frontman James Cox says: “Slowly Separate is about living in London, working a job you hate and just going through the mundane routine of hand to mouth living. Don’t get me wrong, I love London. It’s been my home for 13 years, and this song translates to any city and anytime you’re working a job that doesn’t fulfil you. When it gets to the end of the month, all your rent and bills come out and you’re barely left with enough to get through the next month. It gets to you, I’m sure a lot of people can relate. It just makes it sweeter when you are finally making changes in your life for the better and you can leave those feelings in the past.”
That is a damn fine video as well –
“Creative team Sambu, made up of 404 Guild (Dirty Hit) member Taylor Devenny, and Ben Hughes, are behind the dark video – taking the message of living to work and turning it into a visual. The duo say, “Our immediate reaction to the song was that of anxiety and repetition, the feeling of things never getting better, only repeating. Yet there is certain comfort to be found in this endless cycle. We represent this idea through two anonymous business men dragging manifestations of their guilt and shame throughout the city, only ever fixated on their own demons and the burdens they carry. They meet at an undisclosed location to release their frustrations before the cycle repeats, time and time again. We see this repetition and release as a form of catharsis, or a way for them to express themselves, which in the city, they are unable to do.”
2: Gapeseed – Project 64, Gapeseed’s second full-length album, was released on February 1, 1997. “The New York band toured, produced videos, recorded interviews and worked tirelessly on their craft” so said someone. The album just got reissued by Silver Girl Records who did send us a number of decent releases by people like Everready back in the 90’s, they never sent us this one back then though which is a damn shame, I rather suspect we would have made quite a bit of noise about it at the time, instead we’ll quietly shout about it now. You can find it on Bandcamp.
“Built on friendships this trio of New Yorkers began assembling into Gapeseed in the years following college. Across their time as a band, Gapeseed brought to bear their interest in exploring punk, detuned post-punk, math rock, and a whole lot of dissonant noise. Gapeseed has become recognized over the years for their brilliant songcraft that rushes along nervous, twisting, and frenetic paths”.
3: We Broke The Weather are from Somerville, Massachusetts, this is a first taste of what sounds like an ambtious debut album. Just one track available now, the whole thing comes out in February. “This album is the culmination of three years of one of the luckiest musical encounters between complete strangers ever. Formed with next to no agenda or specific sound in mind, the members of we broke the weather simply connected over the shared music we love and the individual influences we could bring. The result is an eclectic set of sounds that continues to evolve, spanning the classic progressive rock of King Crimson, Yes, and Rush, contemporary prog of The Dear Hunter and Thank You Scientist, modern stoner, psych, and garage from the likes of Elder, King Gizzard, and Ty Segall, nu-jazz and fusion, math rock, post-rock, and so much more.” We await further developments, we’ll hopefully sit on the fence and wait for more than just this one impressive track. More details
4: Focus Pool are from Kentucky, their debut album came out this week, it feels rather warm, I hate to say nice, I hate it when someone says a piece of my art is “nice”, they are though, in the best possible sense, Focus Pool sound nice. They sound soothing, “We hope that these songs can make some of your future days a little better. Please enjoy” they say. Soothing, slightly progressive, mellow post/prog rock with a bit of an edge, a warmth, a delightful warmth, nothing revolutionary, slight homemade, delightfully nice in the best of ways and you know we only like to feature music we feel good about. More
4: Ben Marc – The headline on the press release today reads “Ben Marc announces debut full length‘Glass Effect’, shares heady new single ‘Mustard’ Previous Jonny Greenwood and Mulatu Astatke collaborator to release follow up to the acclaimed ‘Breathe Suite’ EP in Spring 2022″. More details here, the track released today is rather beautifully recorded, it does have a lot of time and space to just breathe amd unfold, it is rather refreshing, forward looking, a first hint that Spring might be around the corner sometime soon..
and there are a couple more tracks from the forthcoming album up on his Bandcamp page where it says “Producer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Marc, who’s emerged as a key figure of London’s cutting edge jazz scene, has just announced his debut full length, a follow up to last September’s widely acclaimed Breathe Suite EP. Glass Effect is an assured and accomplished 13-track realization of a singular vision that unifies a multitudinous profusion of influences (free-jazz, broken beat, hip-hop, electronica and beyond) into a sublime whole, underscoring the evolution of his quest for a distinctive sound: lambent, low-key, and yet dizzyingly intricate.
It’s a rare talent that can link Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Ethio-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke, Afrofuturists Sun Ra Arkestra, and grime legend Dizzee Rascal, but Marc has long blurred musical worlds and criss-crossed boundaries. One of the reasons that he started writing Glass Effect, says Marc, was going to nightclubs in Ibiza and experiencing the heady sun-dappled euphoria of a summery dancefloor, as well as the beat-driven production of artists like Four Tet, Bonobo, Machinedrum, DJ Shadow, and Madlib”.
“Marc grew up splitting his time between Birmingham and Carriacou in the Caribbean: at school in the English city, he started taking classical music lessons aged 10. After touring the world in school orchestras, Marc moved to London to take classical double bass at the prestigious Trinity College of Music, where Fela Kuti once studied, under the tutelage of double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku. It wasn’t until a chance meeting in Brixton with Gary Crosby, linchpin of Tomorrow’s Warriors – the crucial London jazz educators that connect the UK new wave luminaries, from Nubya Garcia to Moses Boyd – that the possibility of jazz shone like a beacon. “He was Black and holding a double bass, so I went up to him on the street and tapped him on the shoulder to find out what he was doing,” says Marc. It was the start of a game-changing journey that would see him play first with smart jazz group Empirical and then led him to forming the free-jazz trio Zed-U, alongside Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming) and drummer Tom Skinner. With Zed-U, Marc’s passion for electronic music began to bubble up. He and Hutchings would frequent London nightclubs together, soaking in the sounds of garage, broken beat and drum’n’bass at iconic former spots such as The End and Plastic People. He even took Hutchings to his first house and techno night, where DJs like Sven Vath and Ricardo Villolobos would man the decks – influences that led Marc to produce a house EP for the London-based label Atjazz. His work with other key figures has been building up, too: last year, he joined keysman Ashley Henry on the latter’s track ‘The Mighty’, which Marc wrote and produced.”
5: Necking – This one sneaked out right at the end of last year, if had bee npaying attention it might have made our best of the yerar round up, “heavily percussive, bombastic soundscapes from a San Diego-based ensemble that deconstructs rock music into ominous, apocalyptic visions”. Find it via Bandcamp (Bandcamp really should pay us for all these plugs and links, we do have a rather underused donation button). How gloriously good is this rather well crafted noise? “Necking is Amy Cimini, Nick Lesley, and Scott Nielsen. Necking was formed in 2004 by Nick and for years included a shifting roster of musicians. After 10 years in Brooklyn, NY, the band reformed in San Diego, CA.”
5: Meer – And talking of things we admit we missed last year, hey, even we can’t be in all places at all times, Meer are from Norway, this is their 2021 album, some more than decent forward looking beautifully detailed proper prog. Okay some of it might be a little polite and dangerously “neo” whe nyou’d like them to bite a little more but, when they get out of the middle of the road, it is rather good, there’s something in their melodic detail, little bits that just hold it all. Meer “started out as a duo in Hamar, Norway in 2008, and since then the duo has expanded considerably to become what it is today – an eight-piece eclectic collective whose music is a mix of orchestral pop, classical music and progressive rock”. more here
And while we’re here, we do like to close these Five features with something specail….