Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Damon Albarn // Everyday Robots - Review

If you like Blur, you may want to look away here.

If you like, or rather appreciate, good music, then you're in the right place. Damon Albarn's debut album comes after 19 side projects spanning 89 years in the business (some of that isn't true).

The music itself is mightily impressive. Mixing electronic drum beats with a very cool array of percussion makes something pretty unique - see Lonely Press Play for a perfect example. His warbling, mumbling at times voice may not be appreciated by some, but it suits this music.

Mr Tembo is very uplifting, with the heartbeat outro from Lonely Press Play leading into it perfectly. The ukulele buzzes along the song like a child on a train ride through an exotic paradise. That, is what this album creates: vivid imagery, with inventive (at times) lyrics. The keyboards and piano are worth of note, as they aren't always part of his work - they go with the usual guitar you hear, but this acoustic album is less about that; it is more about Damon himself.

Those voice samples are pretty weird too, eh? I love the one he does himself towards the the end of Mr Tembo: "football pitches" comes across as a Blur era comment.

The music you find on the album is like nothing he has done in the past. This is his most personal effort yet, obviously. It isn't his best, but it is definitely worth a listen at the very least.



Credits to spin.com for the photos.

H x

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Record Store Day 2014 // Collection

Very dreary and boring title, I know. I was up at 7, okay? That is pretty darn early for a student.

Anywho, here we are again. Or perhaps the first for some - but alas, this is my third Record Store Day I have been to, and again, it was excellent. The vibe around any record shop today compared to the rest of the year is akin to a gig venue before and after the last song. Which is pretty sad really, as this is more than likely my last visit (or rather purchase, as I do love looking through stores... to see what I haven't downloaded) to an independent record store this year.

Moving on from that slightly sad state of affairs, feast your eyes on my below haul of records.

Above are, from top left clockwise:
- Nirvana - Pennyroyal Tea/I Hate Myself and Want To Die (£12, 6,000 produced)
- elbow - Charge (£10, 1,000 produced)
- London Grammar - Hey Now (£8, 2,000 produced)
- Bombay Bicycle Club - To The Bone/Reign Down (£12, 500 produced)

Pretty remarkable that Billericay managed to get in some of these, don't you think? I went particularly with an eye on the BBC record. I have "To The Bone" already, as it came with "Easier" (yet to be released elsewhere, officially) in the boxset of their last LP. The London Grammar LP has a lovely design to it, which I have attempted to capture below - the photo doesn't do it justice though. Not sure on them calling it "this side" and "other side". There's trying to be cool, and then there is trying to alter the bible.

The elbow one, well, I just bloody love Elbow. It has a lovely engraved etching of the album cover on the b side.

The Nirvana record has a particularly interesting history to it - it was a cancelled release 20 years ago after Kurt sadly died. Their were images of the records produced in Germany, but the release was cancelled. They claimed to have destroyed all the copies, but mysteriously a few vanished.

"mysteriously", eh.

Here we are now, 20 years on, with a Record Store Day release. Something that in its day would have been sought after, but now easily obtainable on one day of the year. To top it off, today alone I can see an eBay account which shall not be named has sold 5 copies for $40 dollars, making a 500% profit on each record sold. Extortinate; Kurt is most definitely turning in his grave.