Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Penthouse Preview

This Thursday 2nd July me and Fokka Wolfe take to the Penthouse, Brighton (above the Freebutt, y'all!) for an immense night of Not For Resale mayhem!

All new demos and new releases from the likes of:

Magic Wands
Adam Lygo
Teeth Mountain
Lunar Testing Lab
Black Moth Super Rainbow
Rainbow Arabia
Quad Throw Salchow
Mount Kimbie
Emperor Machine
93 Million Miles From The Sun
Ebsen & The Witch
Palm Springs
Old Mayor
Sylvester Anfang II
Heavy Winged.....

..................................and more more more!

See you Thursday.


Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Monarque: A Canadian Black Metal Master

I realise we may have been remiss here at the NFR blog; in dereliction of duty in not putting up anything dark, bleak, black, grim and fucking riffy in any kind of way. Well, this is about to change all that in one feel swoop (of a raven's wing?)

Where better to start than Canada; The country currently producing an immense array of the heaviest, grimmest, most wild and violent wilderness in black metal out there - and it always was, from the excesses of Conqueror onwards. But there is one man doing his best to blot out any warmth that might reach it's shores and forge the paths of metal ahead whilst remaining resolutely Black Metal to the core.


Monarque is one prolific musician who with a host of collaborators has spent the last few years amassing an intimidating catalogue of seriously arresting work. The overarching aesthetic to all these outfits is of an aggressively effective simple approach, traditional in sound and form but embellished with modern flourishes, effects and references. Drawing from several of the subtle increments in the artform's development since its inception in the Norwegian 90's, each of these four projects takes that original sound as it's platform then branches it out into a different strain.

Blackwind - World At War (For Satan) (Demain, L'Apocalypse, Mankind's Demise)

Blackwind - the earliest band to feature Monarque is, quite rightly for a first outing into the wilderness of Canadian BM, focused into a primitive obsession with violence, hate and human stupidity. Relentlessly furious from their first demo in 2002 up their full length Demain, L'Apocalypse album in 2008, this comes on with the brutality and unyielding force of a band like Teitenblood but without the sunny disposition of the Spanish.

Monarque - Un Essaim de Corbeaux (Ad Nauseam, Sepulchral Productions)

Monarque - The most ornate, regal and symphonic of the man's incarnations, the eponymous band Monarque is heavily indebted to Emperor and Immortal as well as the more ancient atmospheric French sound of bands like Deathspell Omega. Still loaded up on spikes, bullets and blood there is an intensely heavy core to these songs, yet there is a sprightliness to the tempo changes and overall feel that gives it a more menacing feel that if it went straight for the jugular all the time.

Carrion Wraith - Vers Une Nouvelle ère (Carrion Wraith, Ars Magna Recordings)

Carrion Wraith - A more conceptually arced project based around the Carrion Wraith, a character spreading rot and darkness through his wintry forests. The musical conception and recording of the album was limited to a 7 day period of spontaneous writing, meaning the entire thing is almost a free solo jam session with a lot of parts conceived and set down on first take. It is totally devotional Burzum worship interspersed with the samples of natural environments, drilling it's naturalistic point home pretty hard through the sound of birdsong, riverbanks and of course forests. Beautifully composed drum machine patterns shift through tempos and underlay the textural guitar work with a perfect balance of elegance, aggression and hypnotic momentum. That combination is underpinned by basslines that really get the grooves moving and throw some uncharacteristic but hugely effective shapes - especially in Vers Une Nouvelle ère, which is why we put it up for you to hear. it sounds like someone rapt in their own world with the absolute peaks in performance committed to tape. The spontaneity is further embodied in the delivery of the lyrics which alternate across the hour long record in both French and English. The standout out recording of all these projects, it is pure unpolished cold Northern trance as it was always intended.

Sui Cadaere - Le Cercueil (Thrène, Sepulchral Productions)

Sui Caedere - Their sole album Thrène is a tribute to Émile Nelligan (French-speaking Quebecois poet), a man who saw beyond the paradoxical worlds of dream and waking life. He was also a little bit blasphemous. The band name is Latin for 'suicide', but the music doesn't go down that melancholic drone route, instead it displays the most dynamic shifts in mood and tempo with a sense of scale and grandeur that eclipses the other three through it's shifts from ambience and atmospheric passages into devastating intensity.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

THE GAA GAAS "One Eyed Stranger"

Brighton's lurkers of the night and the general oddsbodies of bedsit garage The Gaa Gaas have a new video for their song "The One Eyed Stranger". Featuring a replica Resident and his adventures! About 3 minutes into the song he enters Brighton's Jobcentre Plus and gets removed by security.. a hilarious moment!!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Lonely Ghosts 7" and Video

One of our favourite Brightons acts, Mr Tom 'Help She Can't Swim' Denney's Lonely Ghosts has two new releases on the horizon.

On 20th July One Inch Badge release a bumper sized four-track double A-side 7" with 'Come Down from the Mountain' and 'Ghosts of Mice', taken from his full length album 'Return from the Search Party'due out later in the year. It also features 2 new tracks exclusive to this single; 'Forever Distortion' & 'Game Faces On'.

There is a beautifully lit and shot video for Ghosts of Mice made by Dan Nixon (www.dannixon.com) in a forest and a city somewhere near Brighton.


MySpace - www.myspace.com/lonelyghosts
Last.fm - www.last.fm/music/Lonely+Ghosts

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Engineers - Three Fact Fader

Three Fact Fader

It's been five years since this 4-piece released their debut EP (Folly) and album (Engineers) in 2004 and now, after a long period of constant on-off recording and label wranglings they finally follow it up with Three Fact Fader. Actually completed to near perfection in 2007 it has only just found its way on to the Kscope label. Fully mixed and mastered by the band along with Ken Thomas who has handled desk duties for atmospheric scene setters such as M83 and Sigur Ros, this is a band who have clearly been ahead of the curve for some time and it's maybe fitting that this has been held back until now.

Like the Horrors’ ‘Primary Colours’, Engineers have created an album that collates and collages a record collection and are not ashamed to say so. This album is 13 tracks clearly indebted to their influences but they never overshadow the band’s own character that develops across the first listen and is present form the start on subsequent replays.

The sense of a Northern grittiness and concrete hard dark urbanity at the centre of every song echoes - Mercury winners no less! - Elbow especially on their Asleep In The Back debut with an edgy, sombre sense of pace weighting the progress of the vocals. Engineers have battled the same cursed recording and label dramas that plagued that Elbow record too, so the comparison plays out further than the sound alone. The epic shimmery cinematic foregrounds that colour and texture the tracks are very much of the shoegazey revival moment; songs like the radiant Helped By Science? and swooning Brighter As We Fall are suspended in the same liquid bliss as Atlas Sound; when the sound opens out into a wider more spatial environment in Hang Your Head they echo the freewheeling headspace and druggy drone of the Dandy Warhols, and when the pace picks up with a bit more over sensitive aggression in Sometimes I Realise they display an attention to detail similar to a latter day Flaming Lips album (song title giving a little clue to the source material too). The title track features a prominent Gary Neuman-esque electro throb, and though it may be buried under layers of retroactive pillowy fuzz, it’s a cold and futuristic electro heart that beats underneath.

A really immersive and beautiful soundscape of an album made all the more satisfying for its' grounded setting at the street level of the city.

Engineers - Clean Coloured Wire
Engineers - Brighter As We Fall

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Magic Wands - Magic, Love & Dreams

Magic Wands
Magic Love & Dreams
Bright Antenna

Magic, Love & Dreams is the new EP from LA duo Magic Wands and it's another addition to this shoegaze revival scene thing that's supposed to be going on, but this one comes in at a different angle to bands like Pains of Being Pure, Cheval Sombre, M83, Dreamtiger, Crocodiles and Inverness - not that any of those are too similar to each other, but they are all tied together with a lot of delay, reverb, echo and a sense of nostalgia. There's not enough Ride or Slowdive in any of this to call it a Shoegaze revival so I don't really know what's happening out there in musicmedialand to make it so***, but it's all fairly dreamy and pretty or fey and twee to different extents.

Anyway, point is; Magic Wands bring the beats.

Recorded at the studio of producer John Hill (who has worked with Santogold, Lykke Li and Nas) this was creating with the same drum machine used on Prince's Purple Rain. I have the same model drum machine The Shamen used to record Boss Drum, but not the same machine. That would be too much. But Prince's old beatbox isn't here making super sexy satin staining sounds, although it is pretty sexy, smoothly rounded, deep and bassy in all the right places it’s primary purpose here is in adding a pulse and groove to a sound of cosmic dream-pop going super nova. Teenage Love features walls of white noise guitars with a proper dancefloor bent to the rhythm and hooks - so much so that the melody line sounds like the sister to a CSS song - a coincidence or anything more...sinister...will be revealed when they support CSS in October in the UK. Sound clash!! Final track Kiss Me Dead brings some of the aforementioned sass to a lyrically gothic hook and ends off the EP with a sense of humour as dark as the fabric of the universe whilst remaining as light as the brightest star hanging from it. As overwhelming as that sounds, the track that stands out the furthest and fulfils their aims of a supermassive twinkling sonic tapestry is Starships. Inspired by the Phoenix lights it’s a heavy lidded hypnotic skyscraper of a tune – and we present it here for you so you get sucked into this band instantly, irretrievably, black hole style:

Magic Wands - Starships

***, no wait - I do know why - it's because Siltbreeze and Slumberland who were putting it out first time round are active in this wave too