Review: Zun Zun Egui – ‘Fandango Fresh’


Artist: Zun Zun Egui
Release: Fandango Fresh
Label: Bella Union Records
Year: 2011

I stumbled upon some music the other day in my search for something fresh and exciting and I discovered it on Soundcloud which I just had to share. Bella Union Records have done it again and signed yet another fine musical outfit going by the name of Zun Zun Egui. I asked the guys at Bella Union when the Zun Zun Egui album ‘Katang’ would be out and they said in a couple of months. They meant the 3rd of October 2011 it seems from the fine info over on their website.  So I wait in anticipation of an album which, if this track ‘Fandango Fresh’ is anything to go by, will sound like some of my favourite bands all blended into one.  Sounding like The Ex meets US Maple and a little like Shellac in places with sprinklings of XTC and even Talking Heads I’m hoping this album will be something special. If Bella Union keep this up they may slip into the realms of ‘best label ever’ and rightly deserved at that.

ALBUM REVIEW: This Gaunt Story by Gaunt Story



A beautifully crafted, well arranged, well recorded album that speaks for itself. The songs grow on you, over time and then never leave you. It’s an album that I was quite privileged to be a part of and makes me feel proud to also be Rob’s friend.

Listen for yourself and if you like it keep watch for his new album ‘Companion Waves’ which is set for release anytime soon- it’s a corker 😉

Gaunt Story – Official Website

REVIEW: ‘Electronics’ by Arcs


Electronics by Arcs

Boom! These guys know how to open up. I reviewed ‘Freckles’ by Arcs a while ago now and before that I also wrote some words about their single.  This time I’m having a listen to ‘Electronics’. There aren’t many electronics in it that I can hear but I think they’re being smarty pants with that. It’s a stripped down, raw, Sonic Youth meets The Ex at a Radiohead gig underneath the stairs of  Clinics’ house. I can even hear some Cardiacs in there. Maybe even some Shellac and Rage Against The Machine on ‘Broken Homes and Goldfish Bones’…it’s that bendy bass. Some great transitions. My fave track.

The production on this recording is top quality and cranked up loud it’d really get you rocking if you were out and about getting lathered on shots and booze. It’s got a classic feel to it that reminds me of all the gigs in Manchester I used to go to- high energy, lots of toms, crunchy guitars, screechy solo’s, passionate vocals, shouting and breaks and some great structures.

I recommend having a listen and rockin’ out for yourself. It’s not your average music which is what makes it appealing to me – it’s got that alternative edge that keeps you listening because you never know what’s coming next. 8/10

Jay’s weekly new music discovery- Arcs ‘Freckles’ EP.


Freckles by The Arcs
REVIEW
Arcs
‘Freckles’
Release date: 29/11/10

Well if ‘Freckles’ doesn’t wake you up in a morning you’re dead. It blasts open with a Sonic Youth meets the Cure style track called ‘Murderer’. Distorted bass, guitars, driving drums…rock through and through.  And it’s got sexy toms in it.

‘Out of Breath’ is like The Ex powering up The Foo Fighters with a bunch of guitars reminiscent of a lot of the 90’s new wave movement. The vocals are very up in the mix which I’m not sure fits this particular track quite as well but I like the accent. It stops it from sounding american which it very well could if it was sung in a different way.

‘Fall out of Bed’ makes the Super Furry Animals jump out at me which then suddenly dives into a Smashing Pumpkins-esque break. Some good tempo changes which seems to make it sound like Faith No More. I seem to be citing a lot of music that spawned out of the nineties with this E.P. I’m not  saying this a negative by any means- it just has that vibe about it.

Whether this kind of music will stick as well as it would have done in the new wave, post-rock era’s that have come and left we will have to see but it still holds its own purely with the vocals giving it the edge.

Next up on ‘Freckles’ is ‘Morleys’. I like distorted bass and murmuring, droney guitars. This track has those things!  Pumping like some modern day Kraut-rock the production on this track is great. It repeats a bit which I hoped would have had vocals over the top to break it up a bit but you still can’t beat a good meaty instrumental. I’ve heard a lot of music like this in my time and I wouldn’t say it is totally original- it has a real alternative Manchester feeling about it which has been alive for a number of years now but it doesn’t take away the ROCK oozing out of it.

Finally ‘Something for Nothing’. This is my favourite track from the EP. It’s like early Genesis mixed with Sigur Ros and Sonic youth coupled with  a bit of Mogwai and Do Make Say Think. Lovely vocals with some great harmonies drenched in reverb. It does blast into a rocky sounding Pere Ubu but then comes back into a softer tone with nice glockenspiels in the background. I love glockenspiels. To me this is the direction i’d love to hear the band going with less of the Foo Fighter / Wheatus style driving guitars and more considered dynamic tunes. More harmonies and vocal melodies. But that’s just me. Maybe i’ve listened to too much music.

It’s funny but some of the the vocals remind me of The Son(s) in places. It’s that Elvis Costello thing I think.

All in all ‘Freckles’ is a well accomplished, well recorded EP. Not entirely original but still great music with an edge that gets your feet tapping. And probably gets you dancing if you were stood up listening to it.

‘Freckles’ will be released on the 29/11/10 and will be available from Bandcamp and all major download sites

Jay’s weekly new music discovery – ‘brownorangeblue’


It’s bizarre but living in Lancashire in the Northwest of the UK you sometimes wonder how anything exciting can exist. Okay there is beautiful countryside, interesting locations but the hidden gem, the real hidden part of it all, is the art. It’s all over the place.
I’m not going to go into detail about the paintings, sculptures, shops and other things – as amazing as they all are – instead I am going to talk about the music.
Brownorangeblue are one of the many musical artists around here, particularly Burnley & Pendle, who are just top-class.
‘Knowsley and Mercer’ by
brownorangeblue

First up is ‘Let’s go to the Library’. It’s like Paul Simon being regurgitated through squidgy clarinets by a white African drumming with all his might for an audience of Marimba bashing Animal Collective fans. Lovely melodies float around over the top.
‘Makeshift Simple’ has a few similarities to ‘Let’s go to the Library’ almost like a continuation. A nice bass melody drives the song along as Simon Turner’s vocals whisp and whirl over the top. Daniel Watson’s amazing drums hold it all together and it suddenly stops with an ambient field recording of someone walking…nice 🙂
‘Bad Blood’ has metal bashy things in it, acoustic guitar and an almost ‘Talking Heads’ feel about it all. Again the drums across this whole album are accomplished, played in such a fantastic and original way and really push the songs into another stratosphere. Quirky synths twiddle around, follow the main melody now and again and then drone off into some great Tabla playing which then builds up into a great wall of music and Toms. Some great synth breakdowns too.
Mezzanine Recording’ reminds me for some bizarre reason of ‘Magoo’ being covered by the local gamalan gang. Lots of drums and nice melodies push it along. Short and sweet.
God I love organs and melodicas and stuff like that. Especially when combined with acoustic guitar and tabla. ‘Lindow Man’ has exactly all those things. Plus a trumpet. It even has tambourine in it and has an almost Caribbean feel about it. In fact most of this album has a tropical feel about it. Very upbeat and fruity. I’d love to see this performed live.
‘A Disappearing Trick’ is pure bossa nova. It has a Stereolab vibe about it fused with Gastr Del Sol. I like the introduction of female vocals on this track- really nice brass sections too that really work. Brings to mind sunglasses, big hair, psychedelic girls and spinning optical illusions.
I’ll leave the rest of the album up to you but I can assure you- it’s worth listening to and buying. Spread the word about this band. They deserve every listen they can get.

Jay’s weekly new music discovery- ‘Peter Lehndorff’


I’m a sucker for love songs. I really am. But when there’s a love song with a twist or if it’s unrequited, if it’s love lost or love gained then i’m in. I’m there. I love it!

I came across Peter Lehndorff on soundcloud a few weeks back and i’m so glad I did. His music is like a cross between Eels, John Martyn, Tom Waits and Willy Nelson. Great lyrics, lovely songs and gentle and light hearted this man just feels so pure and honest.

You can’t get any better than honest music. Music that really comes from the heart and when its coupled with intelligent lyrics that are crafted and funny, heart warming and sensitive, you can’t help but enjoy listening to Peter Lehndorff.

Have a listen to this track which is called ‘Tonight I Wish’ and you’ll see what I mean. Lovely chord changes, wonderful little rhymes and picturesque. Like living in the American countryside… (not that i’ve ever lived in the American countryside of course but that’s what I would imagine it inspires.)

Song below and please visit his main soundcloud page and listen to his other stuff.