Swan Sounds: week 29

Yes. Dance. Especially after this horror of a weekend; sincere condolences to all affected Norwegians. Obviously I too felt disturbed, but not just because of the tragic loss of life, equally because Europe has actually started feeling like a union, and such a tragedy  isn't a Norwegian burden alone, rather a drama that affects and worries all of us in the EU. I feel that we need to work together even more, and profess a culture of tolerance and understanding by means of education accessible to all; but also by admitting that some parts of society demand that much more attention and care should we instill, in all, absolute values about life and how to cherish it.

This weeks tracks aren't your typical dance anthems though; gang gang dance- mind killa  has the familiar beat but the vocals and the relentless pulse of the hook will either drive you mad or leave you wanting for more. Then some  Jamie XX - NY is killing me, bit sombre for a dance tune but if you know how to move that bod, slow and deep will do. Finally, SBTRKT - hold on is equally minimal but again drives on that same reservation, caged sensuality so to speak. So I say, let's dance, celebrate life and all those things we take for granted.. Be good to each other! 

r.ip. Winehouse, I never liked your music, but your interviews do show a side of
you I hadn't suspected. Hungry for life, genuine, emotional and fragile, and all I 
have ever seen was a complete and utter ruin of a human. Bravo media.

Gang Gang Dance- mind killa

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX - NY is killing me

SBTRKT - hold on

Review: Incubus - if not now, when?

The men of incubus have for a long time held a particular spot in the world of rock music. A cross-over act that started out with an edgy mix of all that was good about heavy rock, funk and hip-hop (owing to the scratching and lyrivcal delivery), evovling to spacy grooves, ocean side views and finally into the quaint soundscapes of a crow left of the murder and its less endearing, though still amicable sibling, light grenades. There was often a sense of novelty with the work of incubus, the last of such being the move in style between morning view and aclotm. However the vibe has not progressed much between their last two albums, resembling somewhat the relation between make yourself and its follow up. With their final installment incubus do not quite shake the umbra which they seem to have picked up with aclotm. The somewhat staccato bass loops, the almost invariable song structures and the increasingly theatric presence of Brandon Boyd sound all too familiar. According to main composer & guitarist Einziger, this was the album that would challenge the fanbase, and while he may be right, all those who have embraced the proficient bits spawned in the  indie scene, or for that matter are familiar with the broad catalogue of all things mid-tempo and hearty, will be underwhelmed with if not now, when? Going for more dramatic, deep and slow sonics, incubus delivers highlights  far and wide. The band bestows the songs with sufficient layers and the performance is tight, but to a weathered ear they sound contrived & bland. The delivery by Boyd is not heartfelt. He sounds as too much of a performer to carry a song on his own. Simplicity begs for spirit, tortured souls or a voice beaming with character.. Boyd's voice works better as company to energetic and vivid instrumentals, rather than being the lead all the time. However, Boyd alone is not to blame here, the band as a whole underperform. The rhythm is plain, the melodies textbook, and the virtuosity a distant cousin. All in all, inn,w? is the work of band that is exploring new grounds, but delivering a record that feels dated and unimaginative. They would do well to pay attention and allow themselves to be impressed by other, I dare say newer, artists before they make the next album; because stale and irksome, if not now, when? is indeed what they should be asking themselves.


Oh while you're here, you might as well check my latest blog about how observing emotion sparks emotion and beats jealousy... you unwilling to browse sweethearts:

Swan Sounds: week 28

This week we went for some well crafted, finely layered, mid-tempo chunes, which next to the aforementioned, have nothing to do with each other. Take the Zero 7's  track, it has that familiar 07 groove yet the percussion is thicker and more interwoven with other rhythm instruments.Then we've got crystal castle's empathy which starts off as anything you might hear on a dancefloor anywhere, and then takes a stroll into faux/ambient leaning on quirky bass & spatious rambling. Try fitting this one into a playlist for any particular mood. Moving onto the vervy And so I watch you from afar. This particular song is something of a mellow moment on the otherwise all out attack that is Gangs, the LP they released in May. What an absolute treat of vitality that is.. not quite something that an average listener (someone who doesn't spend hours upon hours daily going through new music) can go throughout without getting a bit nervous or overwhelmed I imagine.. It's perhaps best consumed as housing @ work for a first run...but definitely an earopener this little bundle of joy!

Zero 7 - Everything Up (Zizou)

Crystal Castles - Empathy

And so I watch you from afar - 7 Billion People Alive at Once

Swan Sounds: week 27

On  25th of May Silverchair (who?) announced they are taking an indefinite nap.
We weren't exactly 'fans', but we shared some nice moments.. Even seen
them live in Auckland, NZ. Great show, tight band! Daniel, very much a showman!

They've started out when they were, 14? 15? Daniel's a 30 y.o. now..
Still pretty young for someone who rocked alongside Cobain..figuratively speaking.
Yeah. Silverchair.. Started off as a decent cut on decent bands but have, over the last 3 records,
found a distinctive sound, much akin  to Daniel's side projects.. Last we heard of them
were a few live shows down under..Machina Collecta featured heavy vocal distortion, leaving Johns with bot-appeal! Oh if Bubmlebee was a gaybot, he'd chase that voice far and wide.Yeah, anyway.. the Chair's out and we figured we'd dedicate a post to them alone..A Silverchair Tribute of sorts.

Here's a brief catalogue review, a song a piece!It might seem a lot more coherent than it really is.. we picked the songs we liked.. we've left most of the hardstuff out..

Suicidal Dream (Live)

Abuse Me

Emotion Sickness

The Greatest View (Get an mp3, the audio fidelity is terrible on this one)

Those thieving birds (pt1)

Swan Sounds: week 26

Sometimes words don't do justice to emotions. Here's Sofia - Heart Shaped Box (the covers of nirvana mixtape: via music is art & Antiquiet)

* for the original (and better) version, do check the music is art blog.

Swan Sounds: week 25

We're a week behind schedule, things were cookin' up @ the university and we had to
get serious. Anyway it's cooked and we're catching up! The last few weeks were thrilling
musically. Radiohead coughed up a new track during 'the basement sessions' and it's a goodun! Give it a listen, and if it's not instant love, give it two more listens, leave it for a week, and come back to it. It's that good. On  the whole other end of the spectrum, in every sense, limp bizkit ! dropped 'gold cobra'! We picked 'angels' because next to 'walking away', 'loser', and 'my own cobain' it's the only one you won't feel too bad 'bout likin'!! For the rest of it, leave your ethics somewhere nice and warm and just get stupid with the Bizkit! The album is a banger! Finally, Dutch grime trio; Dope D.O.D. (duo of darkness), coincidentally opening up on the Bizkit's Cobra, tour examines the state of rap with "what happened?". Filth. Filth. Ego tripping. Bass.Bass.

Enjoy the sounds of week 25:

Radiohead - Staircase

Limp Bizkit -Angels (Available on Gold Cobra Deluxe Edition from Amazon, Itunes & BestBuy)

Dope D.O.D. - what happened?