More exciting music for 2010


Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus looks ahead to 2010

January can often seem like a fairly dead month for new music. Part of the reason for this is that people invariably have less money and aren’t going out. I’d be willing to bet that for many whilst resolutions about losing weight, drinking/smoking less etc.. go by the wayside fairly quickly, the money-spending stays low because, well, there isn’t much of it.

There’s been a handful of releases so far this year -both Delphic and Vampire Weekend have already cracked the UK album chart top 10 with their new releases (good, if not amazing), and there’s many more releases that will hopefully keep the Wolf from the door of your local independent record shop. Future weeks will bring forward releases from Massive Attack, The Futureheads, Liars, The Soft Pack, Kathryn Williams, The Dawn Chorus, Shearwater, Paul Vickers and the Leg, and Efterklang. Hell it’s even rumoured that the White Stripes will be releasing a new album this year. (Not to mention 17 Seconds Records coming into the album releasing fray). I was also privileged to hear the rough mixes of the new Aberfeldy album the other day, a mere 12 hours after completion was finished. It sounds awesome.

Domino Records are also extremely busy too, having released Owen Pallett’s Heartland already in January (AKA Final Fantasy), there are forthcoming releases from Quasi, To Rococo Rot, Lightspeed Champion, Four Tet, to say nothing of a Pavement best-of, which they have been running a competition to let fans guess the tracklisting. And they’ve also made the Dirty projectors 7″ available as a free download. Respect.

So feast your ears on this…

Quasi -‘Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouller.’ mp3

To Rococo Rot -‘Working Against Time.’ mp3

Owen Pallett -‘Lewis Takes Action.’ mp3

Dirty Projectors -‘Ascending Melody.’ mp3

Dirty Projectors -‘Emblem Of The World.’ mp3

Pavement -‘Gold Soundz.’ mp3

Album Review: To Rococo Rot

Album Review: To Rococo Rot -‘ABC123’ (Domino)

I’m not an authority on To Rococo Rot, but I’ve enjoyed the bits that I have heard previously in the past. I have to say my worst fears were aroused when I read the accompanying press release that said this mini-album had arisen out of a commission relating to the 50th anniversary of the Helvetica typeface (I understand this is a big deal in design circles, and there’s an exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art). The potential for this to be horrendously pretentious sounds high on paper.

But on putting it into the CD player, it’s quickly clear that it actually is great electronica. Whereas previously To Rococo Rot have specialised in more analogue sounding electronica, they have here worked only on acomputer and keyboards. The bass sounds that emerge are still fantastically pleasing and have managed to balance that difficult relationship between experimental and listenability.

At only twenty monutes long, it doesn’t hang about, but it’s a rewarding listen. Much of the best electronica comes out of Germany (think Kraftwerk, and the enduring influence of the so-called ‘Krautrock’ bands) and this is certainly a very Eurpoean record. For my money, ‘lvx 4’ is the best track here. If you want to hear what this band are about, this is an excellent place to start. Don’t let the thought of the inspiration put you off…

ABC123 is out now on Domino

From ABC123:

To Rococo Rot -‘Freitag.’ mp3

To Rococo Rot -‘lvx 4.’ mp3

Two older tracks from To Rococo Rot:

To Rococo Rot -‘Rock On, Lovers.’ mp3

To Rococo Rot -‘Cars (Variant).’ mp3

To Rococo Rot’s Myspace