Ladytron – Ladytron

When discussions arise about twenty-first century innovators in music, Ladytron‘s name gets missed far too often. Which is a crying shame as their single-minded approach at crafting intelligent, electronic pop with a leftfield twist deserves its place on the highest pedestal. From 2001’s debut 604 – a record which felt like a breath of fresh air against an onslaught of homogeneous nu metal and acoustic drudgery – to their most recent long player Gravity the Seducer a decade later, they’ve continued to surprise, inspire and more often than not, shine like stars in an otherwise murky sky. However, nearly eight years have passed since the aforementioned Gravity…, and in with the musical landscape changing at a rate of knots ever since, is there a place for Ladytron in 2019? Of course the simple answer is YES. In fact, there’s probably never been a better time for them to return. [embedded content] Nevertheless, an understandable degree of trepidation between releases – not to mention a parting of ways with previous label Nettwerk – left the band unsure themselves whether their fanbase would still care. So last March, the band announced their sixth album was ready to go via Pledgemusic and while fans snapped […]

Lee Gamble – In A Paraventral Scale

Since 2006 Lee Gamble has been making forward-thinking electronic music. Over the years he’s found the balance between abstract electronic compositions and fuzzed- out bass, that has as much in common with musique concréte and Karlheinz Stockhausen as it does with Carl Crack and his current home Hyperdub. He’s starting 2019 with a series of concept EPs that are a satire on modern day society, due to form one album called – for some reason – Flush Real Pharynx. The first part is called In a Paraventral Scale but instead of a messy collection of bass thumps and ambient drone, Gamble has crafted something that is touching and tender and feels like a drunk Vangelis. with the following two parts continuing to build on this theory. ‘Fata’ Morgana’ opens In a Paraventral Scale with hazy synths and murky melodies. As a dense fug builds motifs pierce through it showing Gamble’s masterplan in full, before pulling the curtains back. Effectively Gamble is showing that this isn’t going to be a bright and clear album, and buried deep in its darkened hue there are glorious melodies but you have to hunt them out. Or it could just be a musician enjoying layering […]

Ian Brown – Ripples

Ian Brown’s career trajectory has been one of fighting back. Back in 1998 when the embers of The Stone Roses’ car-crash disbandment were still smouldering, expectations for his solo career were set staggeringly low for a lead singer who transfixed, captivated and inspired millions during the band’s zenith. Against these unlikely odds, his debut solo album Unfinished Monkey Business was a ramshackle and fascinating triumph – bristling with ideas and glistening with confidence. Follow-up Golden Greats was even better – slinky, shimmering and gloriously funky. Since then however, Brown has tended to fall into a formulaic, though still intriguing pattern of loping beats and home-spun wisdom that often seems to tread overly familiar ground, studded with the odd sparkling single to hold the interest. Ripples – his first album of new material in nine years, and fresh on the tail of his former band’s glorious comeback shows – struggles to assert itself in that it presents as a curious, inconsistent and overly lightweight beast – attempting to straddle Brown’s well-known love of dub and reggae but holding little of the social and musical weight that these genres typically carry, and far too-often weighted down by cliched and tired lyrical themes. […]

MENT 2019: The DiS Preview

It’s not even February, but here at DiS we’re already on festival no. 2 of the year. After the sprawling madness of Eurosonic comes MENT, a smaller, more focussed three-day showcase in Ljubljana where regional and Eastern European artists are given a chance to shine. Now in its fifth year, previous editions have always thrown up the weird alongside the wonderful, and led to some fantastic discoveries such as The Homesick, Glintshake, and The Sweet Release Of Death. [embedded content] This year, the lineup is no less diverse or eclectic, with established stars like Sevdeliza and Iceage opening the festival before all manner of artists take over the Metelkova cultural centre and surrounding venues. Who to see then? As always, it’s a tough choice, but some acts who jump out include the angular post-punk of Squid, the dark experimental electronica of Camilla Sparksss, the uncompromising electropop of ManMachine, the avant-garde experimental accordion and jazz of Yegor Zabelov, the riotous punk din of Charlie & The Lesbians, the turbo-folk/R&B mashups of КУКЛА, the playful techno of Isama Zing, the death metal of The Canyon Observer, the pounding, industrial techno of Skeletonium, and the fantastically named Rosemary Loves A Blackberry (an interdisciplinary […]

The Moonshine Sessions: Episode 4

Smaller, regional venues and studios are the lifeblood of the music industry, and it’s never been more important to support live music – in all its forms – and local promoters. Nottingham has a particularly vibrant scene, and Drowned In Sound is extremely proud to partner with Gigantic Tickets and Alchemistic Records for The Moonshine Sessions, a series of candid interviews and performances with artists currently on tour and passing through the city. Gigantic are an independent ticket agency working with a huge range of artists, promoters, and venues selling tickets up and down the country. Partnering with Alchemistic, who themselves are a collective of musicians, producers, videographers, and photographers, has bought them closer together through a shared love of live music. The sessions are filmed at Nottingham’s state of the art Rofl studios. For the fourth Moonshine Session we had Australian trio Middle Kids in the studio giving us some of their radiant, anthemic indie rock. Alongside ‘Salt Eyes’, taken from last year’s debut album Lost Friends, they played a slow, pared-down cover of the Cyndi Lauper classic ‘Time After Time’. The band also sat down for a wide-ranging chat with our very own Dom Gourlay, which you can […]

Go Dark – Neon Young

On paper, the concept of prismatic duo Go Dark sounds like the cyberpunk rebellion we need for these fractured times. It’s a timeless story, really: the displaced youth (played by Ashley ‘Crash’ Gallegos) finds a new calling among the art circles of Chicago and Oakland, while a veteran outsider (played by Adam ‘Doseone’ Drucker) finds an explosive new talent to collab with. And to be fair, Neon Young gathers tons of noble ideas together, bumping pop into hyperdrive to keep up with the entrenched misogyny of America. But as much as our heroes strive to pound messages in our ears, the actual impact gets garbled in the shuffle; for all her energy, Crash barely scrapes out of her own skirmishes. It’s bizarre, really. The moment that you first plug into ‘The Blade’ feels like sensory overload, even if you could spot Doseone’s helter-skelter beats from a mile away. Yet, by the time we reach ‘Numb’, the frantic ping-pong of one song’s three hooks begins to blur with the table tennis of another song. Moments stand out before actual melodies, like the momentum behind the vow “I am murderous”, or the point when Doseone growls “and they like ‘em dumb in […]