Monday, 26 March 2012

The ABAGA label - this keeps getting better

Edinburgh's ABAGA label has started the year with the kind of flying start that, if it were an athlete, would put them top of the list for a drugs test. You may have heard the Tactus remix from the magnificent Profisee EP in my Dandelion Radio show earlier in the year, and out now are releases from Jammin J and the ever-wonderful TeKlo, both of which feature in April.

Remarkably, they offer some of this stuff for free, as is the case with the recent Square 1 EP from Bristolian Quektis, a track from which opened the show in March. The track in question, a remix of the tune from Dumbo that soundtracks the most bizarre and nightmarish non-Pinocchio sequence in Disney history, twists and re-casts the tune into something that, incredibly, enhances its troubled brilliance. You can hear a similar artistic countenance at play on a cartoonish rendention of Shirley Temple's 'Lollipop' and a sublime re-working of Bob Marley's 'Sun Is Shining'.

The latter also makes an appearance in my April show. It's not often I find room to cram in three releases from the same label, especially in what is an absolutely storming month for other new releases, all of which exemplifies what an incredible high ABAGA are on at the moment. Join me in looking forward to what they come up with over the rest of 2012. But join me first in my April show and grab a listen to something from three of the year's finest releases thus far.

Mark W

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Amstatten Bedroom Punk

The more music I hear the more I realise it just can't get too abrasive, so long as that abrasiveness comes in a package equal parts jerky, jagged and distorted to hell. I knew nothing about Amstatten Bedroom Punk until I stumbled across them following a recommendation from the Drug Punk blog, but I now realise they've been doing this kind of thing better than pretty much anyone else, and doing it for much longer than I originally suspected.

They're from Hungary, and their sound reminds me of the one I used to get in those days when, as a child, they put me to sleep with gas in a dentist's surgery, and I slipped into some horrible half-dream filled for some reason with rubber springs, while the ghostly dim fuzz of the dentist's drill buzzed threateningly in the background. Except Amstatten Bedroom Punk push the drill right up to the top of the mix and render the dental dream nightmare so garish it becomes perversely present, in a thrilling, self-immolating kind of way.

Their substantially unpronounceable vxcfsxa EP is available for free download at their bandcamp site and you might be advised, when there, to check our their Osterreich Uber Alles and Nine Inch releases from 2011. You can hear their Ciganydome track in my Dandelion Radio show this month.

Mark W

Thursday, 1 March 2012

In session in March - ANT

It's almost twelve years since ANT recorded his one session for the John Peel show, though of course he appeared on that programme many times as Antony Harding - drummer with Peel legends Hefner. He also recorded a session for Tom Robinson in 2006. This month, these all too rare appearances receive a timely follow-up when ANT's first session for Dandelion Radio is broadcast in my March show.

The Peel session coincided with Ant's first solo album and since then there have been a whole procession of releases across Europe and Asia on a range of different labels. His new album is set for release on the Italian We Were Never Boring label and versions of two tracks from the album feature in the session, together with a magnificent cover of a Caroline Lufkin song and the entirely exclusive 'Light This Love & Watch It Burn' which you can't get in any form at the moment and won't be able to for some time. So the only way to hear it is to tune into the show.

Ant's tunes are of the softly laconic variety but with a subtle barb always lurking below the gentleness. For all my respect for the work of those whose mission in life is to assault our eardrums (and you can hear plenty of that in the show - I give you Fat Janitor, Your Enemy and Amstatten Bedroom Punk for starters), I've always reserved a special affection for those who are able to do such wonderful things beneath a cloak of apparent gentleness. Ant has this in abundance and I'm pleased to say that his session offers a glimpse of him at his very best.

Mark W