Caught in the Net: Pick any tune, must be in Bb
Friday 31 July 2009
Daren Solomon, who plays with Science for Girls, put out a call for people to post a video of themself performing – singing or playing an instrument – a simple composition in Bb major for 1-2 minutes. He then chose 20 of them, including some of his own, placed them all on a webpage, www.inbflat.net, and left an instruction for the audience: "Play these together, some or all, start them at any time, in any order." The combinations are endless. As he instructs, you can choose how the pieces flow and you can control the volume giving a sense of mixing the various elements. Following on from the Israeli musician Kutiman and his project thru-you.com, it's another excellent use of music on YouTube to create something innovative and new. While Kutiman's effort can be likened to DJ Shadow's mesh of samples on 'Endtroducing'. Solomon's has the feel of minimalism. I happened to listen to Terry Riley's piece "In C" before encountering "In B Flat" and it certainly seems indebted to Riley – a while later I twigged the reference in the title; I was having a slow day.
Malone goes solo
TV on the Radio guitarist Kyp Malone is perhaps best known for his sky-scraping falsetto and an incredible beard, though these obviously are not his only talents, given the integral role he plays in the Brooklyn band. Malone is now going on a solo run with a new venture called Rain Machine. In September he will release an album by the same name on Anti-. The first song from the record has emerged. Called "Give Blood", it is perhaps not as immediate as TV on the Radio's most recent efforts, but it occupies a similar terrain to the band's more experimental work and is certainly worth a listen – to my ears it's a grower. Hear it at tinyurl.com/nec92t.
If all the swampy blues rock of Jack White's latest, much-hyped venture, 'The Dead Weather', gets a bit too much, perhaps listen to this discombobulating remix. Baltimore producer Diplo (right) has stripped out virtually all recognisable elements of the band's raucous rocker "Treat Me Like Your Mother" (aside from snippets of the vocal yelps by White and Alison Mosshart) and recast them in his own glitchy electro image; get it at tinyurl.com/l4y3ry.
Where was that iconic sleeve shot?
Pop culture magazine 'The Word' has a nice feature on its site called "Album Atlas". It combines the power of Google Maps with the music knowledge of its readers, who have been adding to a database that locates on the map where "iconic album cover photographs" were taken. A fairly pointless exercise you could argue, but also an easy way to waste half an hour clicking through numerous album covers and their locations: www.wordmagazine.co.uk/album_atlas
I wrote about one of The Big Pink's earliest singles (a dark and droney electro-rock affair) last year and have been waiting to hear what would come next from the well-connected London band. Finally, their debut album is recorded (in New York), named ('A Brief History of Love'), and ready to be released (on 4AD) in September. Their new single is "Dominos". It's in a similar electro-rock direction of previous efforts but has a rather poppy sheen. A small part of me can't help but feel it bears the influence of early Kasabian, which, despite what Mercury Prize judges might say, I don't think is a good thing. Still, it's pretty catchy and whets the appetite nicely for the full album. Download it for free at musicfromthebigpink.com.
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