ORGAN: Five Music Things – Black Country, New Road don’t really need us now, Datapuddle maybe do? Loraine James is Whatever The Weather, Bank Myna, Wet Leg, new Animal Collective, Pendant, Nova Twins… five right? More? Whatever…

All the striving and the doing it, on we go, the Five music things thing yet again for whatever it still might be worth. Five? There’s something rather compelling about five, cross-pollination? Five more? Do we need to do the editorial bit again? Is there another way? A cure for pulling cats out of hats? Is there a rhyme? Is there a reason? Was there ever? What do reasons make? 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, we do it so you don’t have to, we are very (very) picky about what we actually post on these pages or play on the radio or hang in a gallery. Cut to the chase, 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.

Black Country, new Road

1: Black Country, New Road – Ants From up There (Ninja Tune) –  Black Country, New Road clearly don’t need our words or radio play now, they have had rather a lot, their debut album was one of our albums of the year last year and this follow up,Ants From up There, is probably, once we’ve let it all unfold properly, just as good. That press release full of glowing quotes from the mainstream press tell us we’re not really needed here. Ants is as full of that adventurous drama as that debut album was,  they’re as epic as last time, as richly expansive, as dramatic, as full bodied again and as willing to not be too obvious as that debt album was, this sounds massive actually. from the intro to the twelve and bit minutes of album closer Basketball Shoes, everything sounds big. Black Country, New Road are way too colourfully expansive (dare we say progressive?) to be dismissed as nothing more than the next post-rock darlings the mainstream press want to pigeonhole them as. if Meat Loaf had actually been a very English sounding (indie) band from Cambridge who tasted a little like Pulp rather than a big bloke from Texas – they are dramatic, they are mesmerising, they do tell stories. They clearly don’t need us now though, this is pretty much an afterthought, they probably never did really. Once again the album is delicately detailed, alive with uplifting character, it is maybe just a little less multi dimensional than last time, it is as adventurous though, Good Will Hunting does get a touch positively aggressive as it unfolds, we’re not really need ed here though, it came out last Friday, listen to it on Bandcamp and make your own minds up. Yer man Will say we’re not needed with our idle habds now, he’s right….         

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2: DatapuddleMooncave – This is rather beautiful, rather reflective, rather refined, Datapuddle probably do need our time and space a little more than Balck Country, well they don’t, they sound like they don’t need anything from anyone, they sound like they’re just getting on with it all, just enjoying the view without a care in the world. Not sure ehat the first trac kon the album is warning us about, this is as easy as watching the clouds, a beautifully restrained mostly instrumental (save for the occasional spoke word narration or maybe found sound). Dare we say a bit of a Lemon Jelly feel? A touch Mike Oldfield, Air maybe, more organic though, warm cello, electronica, beautiful construction. Hey look, you have ears, you have a heart, you have a mouse, all you really need from us is a link to their Bandcamp.

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2: Whatever The Weather – Following her critically-acclaimed 2021 LP, Reflection, Loraine James announces the eponymous debut album under her ambient-minded alias, Whatever The Weather. A fascinating change of pace for the North London producer, the material finds her using keyboard improvisations, stuttering production, and vocal experimentation to shape atmosphere, mood, and tone. The music moves with an intrinsic fluidity, akin to sudden weather events passing over a single environment. Airy, transportive, and unpredictable, tracks freeze, thaw, and bloom in varying degrees, as reflected in the temperatures of their titles. The collection sees release this spring on Ghostly International. Order details should you need ’em, or Bandcamp

Here’s the lead single “17°C” with a music video directed by Michael Reisinger.

“I’ve always wanted to make a video to a track like this – one with lots of movement and texture in any given moment. The still-unformed concept in my head was one of a “hyperedit” – a video precision-cut down to each frame to match everything going on in the song. A few years ago I started listening to – and obsessing over – Loraine’s music. Not only was it dense with ideas, it also had heart and soul. I reached out to Ghostly to see if they could connect me, and it just so happened they were planning a side project with Loraine herself. The stars had aligned without me knowing it.
 
“I listened to every track on the album and loved this change of pace for Loraine. Most of the album was very meditative. But I pushed hard to make a video for 17°C because, well, it was perfect for the “hyperedit” concept. The specs from Ghostly was to make a video that highlighted nature and had visuals that could tie into the rest of the album’s ambient tracks. We had just moved from the west coast to Colorado, so finding a natural environment was pretty easy. I knew almost right away that the area around the Great Sand Dunes was perfect. It had mountains, high plains desert, and dark skies. ” Michael Reisinger
 
Loraine James has processed the last two years of turbulence through her art. She started a monthly show on NTS radio, shared several projects on Bandcamp, and recorded two Hyperdub releases, the Nothing EP and Reflection, the proper LP follow-up to her 2019 breakthrough, For You and I (which landed James, then a teaching assistant by day, the top spot on year-end lists by Quietus and DJ Mag). She also returned to a distinct creative terrain uncharted since her teenage years. In contrast to her club music sensibilities, this mode embraces keyboard improvisations and vocal experimentation, foregoing percussive structure in favor of shaping atmosphere and tone. From this divergent headspace emerged new coordinates and climates, a new outlet: Whatever The Weather. A longtime fan of ambient-adjacent Ghostly International artists such as Telefon Tel Aviv (who she’d ask to master the album), HTRK (whose singer Jonnine Standish features on Nothing), and Lusine (whom she remixed at the start of 2021), James saw the label as the ideal home for this eponymous album of airy, transportive tracks as they began to formulate.

The titling on Whatever The Weather works in degrees; simple parameters allowing James to focus on the nuances as a mood-builder. Her suspended universe fluctuates; freezing, thawing, swaying and blooming from track to track. James describes her jam-based approach for the sessions as “free-flowing, stopping when I felt like I was done,” allowing her subconscious to lead. The improvisations have an intrinsic fluidity to them, akin to sudden weather events passing over a single environment — the location feels fixed while the conditions vary.

The album opens at “25°C,” a sunshower of soft hums and keys. As the longest piece, it serves to establish stability, the inflection point where any move above or below this temperate breeze breaks the bliss. Given James’ proclivity for organized chaos in her production, this scene is fleeting, naturally. From that utopia, we plummet to the most melancholic read on the meter, “0°C,” its isolated synth line traversing a hailstorm of steely beats and static. Next, the dial jumps for the propulsive standout “17°C.” Like a timelapse of springtime in the city, the single accelerates across a frenzy of frames; car horns, screeching brakes, and crosswalk chatter fill the pauses between rapid jolts of multi-shaped percussion.

For portions of the work, James leans neo-classical, rendering pensive vignettes of cascading piano keys and warm delay. “2°C (Intermittent Rain)” ends the A-Side on a short and stormy loop; a resulting sense of reset permeates the B-Side’s opener, “10°C.” The producer mingles intuitively on echoed organ, locking into and abandoning atypical rhythms that suggest her jazz-oriented interests. “4°C” and “30°C” display the range of James’ vocal experiments. The former chops and pitches her voice to a rhythmic, otherworldly effect, the latter reveals James at her most straightforward (she cites Deftones’ Chino Moreno and American Football’s Mike Kinsella as inspirations), singing tenderly and unobstructed for nearly the duration before beats collide in the climax.
Whatever The Weather closes at “36°C,” while a sweltering heat by any standards the track eases along comfortably on a chorus of synth waves, acting as an apt bookend for this evocative, sky-tracing collection that started in a similar state. Cyclical, seasonal, and unpredictable, true to its namesake.

Loraine James grew up in Enfield, North London and was drawn into the world of music-making through her mother’s eclectic love of music, and she thanks the multiculturalism of her city, for ‘broadening her ears’ in her teens. She took piano lessons as a child, while classes at college, and later on Westminster University’s Commercial Music course, facilitated her encounter with the basic tools for digital production, her musical approach displays voracious musical curiosity and an exciting, peerless approach to making music.

3: Bank Myna – more from the rather dark sounding band from Paris, we did feature them a couple of weeks back, ORGAN THING: Paris-based dark post-rock band Bank Myna have just released a rather fine single ahead of the promise of their February album…. You can find our more via that link you jsut passed, this is another track off the new album that’s out at the end of the month. This one has a bit of a Godspeed You! Black Emperor feel to it, that’s no bad thing is it?

4: Wet Leg – “Oh No” from the album ‘Wet Leg’ out 8th April 2022 on Domino. Everyone’s favourite band at the moment so it seems, good on ’em, they don’t really need us either but hey, like I said, everyone’s favourite and we do like a healthy slice of beautifully coloured pop music..

5: Animal Collective are set to release their new album Time Skiffs this Friday, (well last Friday now) and today (well the other day now, I was bust painting flowers) they share a final preview, the new single “We Go Back” alongside a video created by the director and animator Winston Hacking. “It was a thrill to work with Animal Collective – they trusted our sense of play and commitment to spontaneity which is mirrored in their sound,” says Hacking. “The video is composed of scanned locations, miniature sets and collage cut outs that embrace the low-fi 3d aesthetic inherent in photogrammetry.” 

5: Pendant – A slice from the new album, Harp out April 8, 2022 on Saddle Creek. More info right here, and more wordery under the video should you need it…

Here somes the hypes “Los Angeles-via-Oakland musician Chris Adams who makes music under the moniker PENDANT (all caps) has announced his Saddle Creek debut Harp, available April 8thWatch the video for the first single “Thorn”. Directed by Joey Breese and starring Adams, the video is “Sabotage” meets Falling Down featuring classified files, motorbikes, and more within the backdrop of Los Angeles.

A lush, surprising new body of work from the producer and songwriter, Harp connects 90s house and rave music with hip-hop, shoegaze, and pop, and which serves as a culmination of years of painful emotional work for Adams brought on by the death of his father over 10 years prior. Though Harp is Adam’s sophomore album as PENDANT it feels like a starting point. The release of his 2019 debut Through a Coil was marred by the messy, public dissolution of the record label it was released on the day it was to be released. A year later he was burnt out. Attempting to tour the album had been hard on his voice, and the structures of rock music, which had dictated his entire life as a musician, were beginning to feel claustrophobic.   

PENDANT’s salvation came, ironically, in the form of the pandemic. Adams was ready to make new music but was both mentally and physically marooned, unable to reach the tools he would ordinarily use to make music or the headspace he would ordinarily inhabit. Without a guitar, the crutch that had supported much of his music-making in the past, he was forced to sketch out Harp’s world in a more impressionistic, free-associative way. Long a fan of dance and electronic music, he was suddenly without any good reason to not venture into that beat-heavy, synth-drenched world. The resulting Harp recalls the precise but emotionally rich landscapes of Arca or Oneohtrix Point Never, rendered in the watercolors of My Bloody Valentine” 

5: Nova Twins – That is five now isn’t it? A new single, from the forthcoming album, here’s the link for more, here’s the UK and European tour dates, here’s the video, our work here is done.

Here’s more

That’s enough, more when we have more or want more, if you want more that is? More were a damn fine band, East London Metal, More was their name, volume was their game, come on now….

Here you go, three hours of it, the deck is uneven right from the start…. you play the hobby horse..

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