Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Katie Gately/Tlaotlon - Fat Cat Split Series #23

For the penultimate instalment in their Split 12" Series, Fat Cat dig out one of the most astonishing releases of 2014, bringing together LA-based sound artiste Katie Gately and antipodean electronic manipulator Tlaotlon in an intoxicating marriage of musical ideas.  ‘Marriage’ in its most idealistic sense is probably not the right word, but when applied to the kind of relationship where you smash plates over each other’s heads before generating an impassioned and very loud beast with two backs, it seems entirely fitting.

Last year, Katie wowed us all with her extraordinary ‘Pipes’ release on Blue Tapes', which Dandeilon Radio listeners voted into the top twenty of last year’s festive fifty.  Gately's broad appeal is both reassuring and telling: however challenging her music, it’s easy to find yourself captivated, drawn in and submerged into her blissful soundscapes.  It’s what makes her a unique artist – she can absorb you effortlessly while leaving you gasping at the audacity of it at pretty much the same time.

She’s on similarly fine form here.  ‘Pivot’, like its illustrious predecessor, doesn’t so much give you a tune to listen to as take you on a whole musical journey.  Gately’s tunes can be hummed in the bath (I’ve done it) but they offer so much more: this is music to be immersed in, to surrender to and, if the opportunity presents itself, to build your entire day around.

Tlaotlon offer music of a similar substance but something different all together.  This is electronic music of stunningly detailed intensity, offering rhythms that punish and pulsate in roughly equal measure, fragmented stabs of caustic sounds as opposed to Gately’s bewitchingly weird sonic manipulation.

What they both have is that remarkable awareness of how the world can be simultaneously a very dark and a very beautiful place, together with the rich ability to express this in sound.   It demands to be heard.  I'll be playing the Gately track in my November Dandelion Radio show, which will be streaming from Saturday, and you can cop the rest of it by getting a copy of the release in all its 12” glory or as a download here

21 Songs for John: 21 - Ollo

Ollo – Lord Lucan is Still Missing

The Dodgems' original was a firm Peel favourite back in 1979.  In 2005, the Twelve Apostles label put out an EP of remixes of the song in 2005, including this version by Australian duo Ollo, which reached the dizzy heights of number eight in the One Music festive fifty of that year.  Their most recent album Ape Delay was released this year via the Metal Postcard label. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

21 Songs for John: 20 - The Wedding Present

The Wedding Present – Two Bridges

Peel once credited 'the boy Gedge' with shaping his musical direction, high praise indeed from a man who perhaps shaped more musical directions than anyone in history.  He also credited David Gedge with writing some of the best love songs in modern music. The Wedding Present appeared in session nine times for John Peel between 1986 and 1992 and, following a hiatus while Gedge concentrated on the Cinerama project, returned with the Take Fountain album in 2005.  'Two Bridges' saw them achieve their 51st appearance in the festive fifty and their first number one when it was voted as the best release of 2013 by Dandelion Radio listeners.

Monday, 27 October 2014

21 Songs for John: 19 - Dub Sex

Dub Sex – North By North East (Peel Session)

A band who clung to the fringes of the late eighties Manchester scene, Dub Sex always defied easy categorisation and were consistently fascinating.  Their initial recorded output amounted to a single album, Push!, in 1987 and they came to a halt with the classic 'Swerve' single in 1989, which gave them their only festive fifty appearance.  They've now thankfully reformed and released the single 'Over and Over' for Record Store Day this year.   Dub Sex recorded four Peel sessions and this, from the last one in 1989, has never been released until now.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

21 Songs for John: 18 - R.O.C.

R.O.C. – Come Back Jonee (Devo cover)

A unique musical project with a healthy desire not to be constrained by any stylistic preconceptions, R.O.C. sounded like nothing else when their self-titled debut album came out in 1995, and still don't.  By that point, 'The Girl with the Crooked Eye' had already delighted and disturbed in roughly equal measure and had duly secured a place in the 1994 festive fifty.  1995 also brought the group's only Peel session.  Recently, the Metal Postcard label has reissued their startling first album and there is the promise of new material in 2015.  'Come Back Jonee', a previously unreleased track, sees them characteristically making this classic Devo tune sound entirely their own,