Technical break

Since I have too many ‘compulsory’ things to do (unfortunately, Sound Arkive is not my full-time deal but you might know that), Sound Arkive will go fishing for some months but will return in a new, pumped-up, enhanced form. (Keywords: radio, digital magazine.) More to follow. See you again as soon as possible.

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News: Listen to and download the new Gorillaz track made for Converse

Rumor’s been out about Gorillaz being up to something. First there was a picture of 2D sitting with a notebook and toy synth on his lap, then a great-sounding collaboration between the band and Converse was announced (in the form of several sneakers designed by ‘the band’, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett that is). Shortly after came the great new that the collab would blossom as a new track titled ‘DoYaThing’ featuring Andre 3000 and James Murphy.

(image via gorillaznews.tumblr.com)

You’ve seen the shoes, you’ve seen the pic, now you can listen to the song, a bit before its official release. Here below:

UPDATE: DOWNLOAD THE SONG BY CLICKING THIS
Also, there’s a making of footage before the video for the song drops:

News: Blur are definitely back

At last night’s BRIT Awards Coldplay happened to be the best British band and Adele went on to win both

Blur performing live in 2009

in the female and best record category then made yet another dumbass move. Among other things.

But what really might matter to us music nutheads is that Blur got the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ (at last) and the classic quartet with a little help from their friends performed 5 songs at the show. After some gossip that the band might be working with producer William Orbit on a new album and then Graham Coxon’s confirmation thereof made everyone hope for a triumphant comeback with new material. Then, for charity organization War Child, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon performed a short set and there they played a new song. (Video below.)

All this could be considered great news but what’s really reassuring is the faces of the members of the band during all the 5 songs that were played at the BRITs: it definitely looks like they enjoyed every minute of being on stage and playing such great songs.

And before I forget: Blur will be performing at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics after The Specials and New Order.

This one will be a good year.

The spot-on poster for the Olympics closing concert:

The performance at the BRITs:

The new song, ‘Under The Westway’:

Download and listen: Deepfunk remixed Gus Gus

On one hand, there’s house-soul-electronica veterans from Iceland, Gus Gus who released a beautiful

Deepfunk (image taken from Beatportal.com)

and rather impressive tech house effort titled ‘Arabian Horse’ last year. On the other, there’s a house/IDM producer from Malta who’s had releases on DJ legend John Digweed’s label Bedrock. (Amongst others.) He’s Deepfunk.

Possibly the best thing happened: Deepfunk published an unofficial remix from ‘Selfoss’, the opener from ‘Arabian Horse’. Now it’s evident, that the original is no short epicness and wit but the remix has a clever twist in it, a notched up beat here, some clicks and clacks over there and we have a version suitable for radio play (at least in those late-night DJ mixes they all have nowadays) as well as e.g. running.

Being unofficial, the remix can be listened to as well as downloaded on Soundcloud, and here on Sound Arkive as well.

(Pretty much more on Gus Gus coming soon!)

 

News: Gaz Coombes readies solo album

Many of us were really bummed when the news came in about British supercool rock band Supergrass

Gaz Coombes ca. 2008 (image: Wikimedia Commons)

breaking up. The band’s principal songwriter mastermind did not really rest however, as he has posted something really reassuring on Facebook:

Hello folks. Just a quick note to say, that after the past year & many adventures down the rabbit hole looking for new noises & stories, my record is finished & it’s ready to go !…..So excited about y’all hearing it & I’m currently rehearsing for Spring live shows which is going great.
Tracks, vids & more info to come…
Tick-tock !
GC x

(http://facebook.com/GazCoombesPresents)

Supergrass was stylish and enjoyable as a whole but let’s hope some flavour will return on Gaz’s solo effort as well.

Here’s one of the last Supergrass videos for the lead single of the last album ‘Diamond Hoo-Ha’:

Featured Video: Nels Cline (Wilco) rig rundown

Premier Guitar has done a great favour to us guitar enthusiasts when they opted for a rig rundown with the one of the most exciting, avantgarde, yet greatly popular guitarist, Nels Cline from Chicago alt-rock band Wilco. See the 36-minute (!) video below:

Nels’s setup in 2005 from his own page’s ‘Tech Talk’ section:

Review: IamOmni: IAMOMNI

I was reading some older music magazines the other day and was really happy to discover IamOmni’s work as I was looking for some really cool hip-hop thing. I read up on the release and found out that this self-titled effort was produced by none other than Tricky. Later I found out that this fact is the best and worst scenario IamOmni could’ve imagined or created.

IamOmni is no newbie when it comes to music, apparently this is his 6th record but the first under the IamOmni alias. (He was known simply as Omni before.) He comes from Los Angeles and his flow is definitely West Coast with a twist. Mainly because of the clever lyrical content of the songs. Rhymes are great and it’s not just the music’s achievement that the album has sort of an apocalyptic atmosphere. As it is written in the album’s description on the production’s bandcamp page : “As we fashion the future from the rubble of the 20th century, our hearts and minds are the frontline of the new war, and the enemy has become part of us. IAMOMNI is IAMOMNI’s call to arms for the youth to claim control of themselves, and to understand that in a world where nothing seems real, they are the only thing left that is.” Hard words which seem appropriate for an album released right after the 2011 England riots had settled. IamOmni surely shows an exceptional openness, sensitivity and some genuine concern when it comes to the subjects above and delivers accordingly. And there’s a great roster of collaborators as well: Tiki Lewis is a central figure on the album and has a huge role in the production, just as much as Kassia Conway but there are others: Japan’s Shingo2, and Suffa from Australia hip-hop crew Hilltop Hood.

I wrote that the girls have an important role in the production and that’s what leads us to everything else other than lyrics and emceeing. Because the Trickster has everything else under control. Extremely great musical solutions, effects, guitar solos and the usage of woman voice in the choruses to ease on the stiffness of the songs are definitely signs of Tricky’s production habits and while this is not a general outline of how every song goes Tricky’s signature moves are definitely present throughout.

Tricky’s music (or more precisely: a more focused and more straightforward version thereof), IamOmni’s valid thoughts on today’s world and his solid rapping. 34 minutes of goodies.

Listen to the album below:

Watch a video:

BEST SONGS OF 2011: #03

Seems like 2011 was a good year for those who love creative opening tracks as number 3 on our 2011 songs’ list is also a track 1-side 1, this time namely ‘Art of Almost’ by American alternative rock band Wilco. I would not really steal the show from the review or from the album description, it’s quick and straightforward enough to say that ‘Art of Almost’ is not only a flawless piece of work because of the exceptionally well-constructed broken beat played by drummer Glenn Kotche throughout the majority of the song, or Nels Cline mad guitar solo, John Stirratt’s rock-solid bass-rule, or the many this-and-thats added by Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen… The greatness of ‘Art of Almost’ predominantly lies in its capability of fitting in with other songs of an album with completely different instrumentation and of completely different moods.

Album version:

Alternative take:

Live version performed on ‘…Letterman’

BEST SONGS OF 2011: #04

When looking at today’s popular music, the work of Elbow certainly stands out as one of the most forward-thinking, yet traditional and moderate groups of musicians with beautiful, elegant arrangements, deep and well-thought-out lyrics which are easy to feel for, as much as they are really easy to chant at concerts.

Their latest album ‘build a rocket boys!’ was a critical success and it’s no secret you’ll meet it among the best albums list for last year as well.

‘The Birds’ is an unusual opening track: it builds up slowly, its mid-tempo rumbling with Guy Garvey’s soothing vocals gives a laid-back, yet lively basic atmosphere and after the shift, it becomes evident: there’s life, creativity and will to prove even after a lengthy and acclaimed career and the Mercury Prize. Elbow is the most elegant act around.

Album version:

Live at Reading Festival 2011:

BEST SONGS OF 2011: #05

“Besides touring heavily with now two albums to perform songs off, the band recorded their third album ‘The Cold Still’ at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios with producer Ethan Johns and engineer Dom Monks. The album shows a different aspect of the band’s sound, a certain openness in instrumentation which gives a musical proof of the band marching from smaller venues to concert halls and arenas. The interesting dialogue of acoustic and electric guitars in ‘Cause For Alarm’, the darker-than-usual soundand pumping rhythm section of ‘Step Out Of The Car’ and the stadium-filler ‘Organ Song’ and the dramatic ‘Both Sides Are Even’ all stand out from a generally solid effort.”

(feature article on Sound Arkive)

The song performed in a hotel room:

And on the album: