Friday, 21 May 2010
It's my first ever gig in Manchester tonight, for TERRORIST at the Purple Pussycat, on Bridge St off Deansgate. This is gonna be fun! I really like venue, its small and intimate, very neon and deliberately tacky. I'll be playing live, residents Chris and Wes will be DJing, and there will be a guest DJ set by Daniel Donnachie, of the Cosmic Dancing blog. If you're about come down - it's free!
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Being new to the Manchester area it's good to get out and experience some local culture. That's what the doctors keep telling me anyway. So here's a little run down of the gigs I have caught while I have been here.
On Saturday May 8th I went to a gig at a great venue called the Islington Mill. It's an artist's collective-type space akin to the Chateau or the Glasgow Social Center that lies pretty much bang on the border of Manchester city center and Salford. For those who don't know, Salford is a separate city to Manchester and has been for a very long time - expansion of the towns during the industrial revolution has brought them right to each others' doorstep.
There were three bands on the bill - Kingfishers Catch Fire, Suzuki Method and The Arch Nazards, and while I saw all of them (in part anyway) there was only one I cared about, and that was The Arch Nazards. The band is fronted by one Adrian Flanagan from Sheffield. Fans of modern electro-pop might recognise the name - Adrian also records under the moniker Kings Have Long Arms. I have been a big fan of his work for a while now, since we randomly got sent some KHLA promos at Discopia back in about 2005. What really sealed the deal was the awesome video for the equally awesome track "All Hail Satan" (a modern classic IMO). Weirdly the video is not on Youtube (wtf guys?), so instead here's a link to KHLA's "Rock'N'Roll Is Dead" featuring some bloke called Phil Oakey.
I'd been dying to catch one of Adrian's shows for a while, as he has never played in Glasgow (again wtf guys?) so it seemed like synchronicity that they'd be playing on my first Saturday night in town. His new(ish) band has a more full sound than his KHLA output, with not one but two synth players (crazy!), drums, guitar, bass, backing loops, and the dulcet tones of Mr Flanagan himself. So uptempo disco-pop rubs up against John Barry-esque strings (such as their cover of Olivia Neutron Bomb's Let's Get Physical), classic 60's-style pop hooks are interupted by stabs of brass, and everything has that wry northern twinkle in its eye. You might not be sure if he's going to kiss you or hit you, but in the end Mr Nazard made sure it all turned out right. Check this actual clip of the gig for proof:
The following Thursday I went to see the African band Konono Numer One playing at the Manchester Academy (part of the Manchester Uni students union), accompanied by Lee Mann, the bass player from the Arch Nazards. Konono Number One were ably supported by Little Rock favourite Bass Clef. I shouldn't need to tell you about the Clef, as we have featured him more than once on the blog and radio show. All I need say is that he's wicked, and I am glad to have caught him live finally.
Konono No. 1 were great too - having read about them but not heard them, I wasn't sure what to expect, but they rocked it. With an unusual musical set-up of snare.hi-hat drummer, congas and three amped-up thumb pianos, their style can definitely be described as unique. What started off as a slow crowd gradually got moving, and by the end everyone was havng a great time, dancing to a sound that may have been strangely staccato, but was none-the-less full of life. And their epic tracks (10 min, 15 min and 20 minute numbers!) actually performed the rare feat of getting better the longer they played them. Usually it's the other way round, right?
Interesting discussions of the Manchester scene abounded during the night - according to Lee (below) it's getting harder and harder for small, independant nights to get off the ground here. The kind of nights where people really care about music, and not just about haircuts or expensive jeans. Sounds a bit like Glasgow then. Ho-hum. Lee should know, for the last 10 years he has been running the Manc clubbing institution Chips With Everything (now weekly Saturdays at the Deaf Institute). Thay've put on practically everyone at that club - so many that there's no point trying to list them, instead, head over to their myspace to see the list.
The Deaf Institute was where I found myself on Saturday, in the company of another Little Rock fave, Ali Renault, who was playing as part of the Future Everything festival. Future Everything is a rebrainding of Future Sonic, which has been on the go every year in Manchester for the last fifteen years. Granted, they manage to put some impressive bills together, but I have heard grumblings that the bills nowadays aren't as forward looking as they could be, which is a shame considering that Future Everything is one of the most heavily council-funded festivals in the city.
As ever, Ali played a blinder, ably backed up by the DJing skills of Peter Mangalore of Human Shield records. He dropped a couple of new tracks in there too, including the very evil Cat's Penis, inspired by the sounds of his two kitties fighting and which apparently never fails to make his human partner spin out. Next up was live act Cosmic Force from Utrecht. Though a bit too techy for my liking at times (where were the basslines?) he played a good set of 80's funk-inflected raw electro, ramping up the tempo as it progressed and ending on some very nice acid house. Most impressively he had a vintage Korg synth with him, and and quite a lot of other kit that left us wondering what it was for. Cosmic Force was followed up by a laptop DJ set by Skam Records' Rob Hall, which ranged across the spectrum from brutal to even-more-brutal. It was not my cup of tea (though it had its moments) so I migrated downstairs to the Chips With Everything room and danced to some P-Funk and Northern Soul.
My vague initial impressions of the current Manchester music scene is that it is very polished. almost corporate. Clubbing and gigging are an everyday part of life here and the live music scene feels very institutionalised and fairly regimented. It's not suprising really, as 20 years ago it was THE city for music in the UK (seeing so many Happy Mondays and Factory records in the shops here remind me how much of an influence it has been on me personally too) - but that also means that its reputation is now so well established that it has been hugely assimilated into the mainstream UK music industry, for better and for worse. Access to that kind of industry infrastructure is something I have always felt that Glasgow lacks, but living amongst it now I can see how hard it can be for things to flourish of their own accord in that atmosphere. While there are venues like the Islington Mill here, there doesn't seem to be that many - I keep hearing that people here are dying for something new and original to come up from the underground again. Perhaps the Tories will drive everything back there where, without the glare of the media, it will have a chance to thrive?
Monday, 17 May 2010
So it's done - my release for Black Lantern Music as "Metatron". I was waiting on one particular contribution that didn't happen in the end (next time!) so instead of this being the "Archetypes" EP I have called it "Creation Myths". There's 3 tracks in a dubstep(ish) style, with elements of rave and breakbeat too. It should be out officially on BLM very soon, but for my blog followers here it is in advance:
METATRON Creation Myths EP
1. So Subliminal
3. This Is My Body
METATRON Creation Myths EP
1. So Subliminal
3. This Is My Body
Sunday, 16 May 2010
And here it is! As you can see it's more old school than KZ's mix, with a lot of actual, genuine cash-in horror movie disco theme remakes, though it all has a pretty tongue-in-cheek, "spooooky" fun vibe. Enjoy!
THE NIALLIST Disco Argento Mix by Menergy Mixes
Kid Zipper has just put online his "Cannibal Italocaust" mix for Menergy, in time for the Menergy Italo Horror Party a fortnight on Saturday. Grab it kids, it's shit hot!
KID ZIPPER Cannibal Italocaust Mix by Menergy Mixes
My own horror disco mix will be coming soon too...
Saturday, 15 May 2010
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Just finished off a remix for one of my favourite acts - Ben Butler & Mouse Pad. I have blogged about them before, as I have done a guest vocal on one of their tracks ("Infinite Capacity"), and am hopefully doing more.
The track is called "Future Tent" and I have put a disco spin on it, something akin to a Maurice Fulton production or something on one of the Norwegian house labels like Full Pupp or Smalltown Super Sounds. It's slightly more wonky than that though, and unfortunately wehn I sped the original up to house tempo some of the synths didn't sound right so I had to edit them. I find BB&MP's music to be so melodically rich that even keeping 50% of that intact is enough. It's why they are so good and why I like working with them! That and the synth sounds they use.
This remix will be part of an upcoming remix compilation of Ben Butler stuff, and the original of "Future Tent" is out now on 7" on the label dodpop. Here's the remix, and below a great picture of the band, though Joe seems to be missing?
BEN BUTLER & MOUSEPAD Future Tent (Niallist Diskotents Mixx) by theniallist
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Saturday, 1 May 2010
After a month of slog over on Shallow Rave, with a blog post on a different band every day of this month, FUCKNO (the sequel to NORAVE) is here at last!! It's 31 tunes ranging in genre from breakcore to ambient, from thrash punk to wrong-pop, and veering in tone from nose-bleed to sleepy-time. So same as the last one then. Only this time its BIGGER and BETTER! I'm well happy with this comp, and would like to extend much grattitude to all the acts involved, on behalf of myself and everyone at Little Rock. I'm gonna try and get this onto Last FM tonight, but in the meantime if you want to download it here it is:
Lil060 Various Artists FUCKNO
AVERAGE JOE STALIN Montelle Gets Things Done
BOY ARMY Love Without Brains
BLUE SABBATH BLACK FIJI Love Lagoon
BLOOD OF THE BULL She Smokes Opium
DALAI DAHMER Danger Is Dropping
DAM MANTLE Purple Arrow
DIVORCE Juice Of Youth (Niallist Remix)
DR NOJOKE & KID RITALIN Sublimacy
GATR LSD (DMT Remix)
GEOFF BEFORE DISHONOUR Cro Magnon
GERMLIN Marousa Remix
GUMMY STUMPS Piecemeal
HANNAS BARBER The End Jump
HEADLESS KAMIKAZE La Crise vs La Macroeconomie
KIDS ON TV Cockwolves (Yss Sir Idol Remix)
KYLIE MINOISE Wizard Puke
LOUTS For Stupid Forces
MIAOUX MIAOUX Hrvatski
MINUS TWO QUARTET Untitled (Extract)
NOISY PIG Silly Pepper
NORIHITO KODAMA Momiji
SILENI Thunder/Sun Live
TEXTURE A Dark Wind Blows
THE RADIATION LINE Brandishing The Light Eternal
TOKAMAK Untitled 1
ULTIMATE THRUSH Complex Cat (Live At Optimo)
VARS OF LICHI There's Movement From The Kitchen