Wednesday 31 October 2012


Yeah. I know what you're thinking. "What can you do with all that stuff? To what is it testament?" Well, it's a video from one of my favourite artist of recent times, Tamaryn. Not only does she make these funky videos (wait, there's one below), brimming with all the lo-fi, flashing images of an 80s indie-pop video, but she makes some pretty beautiful music, too.

I've written about her before, about her lovely song 'I'm Gone', but since then her album, Tender New Signs has been released. The below video is for the newest single from that selfsame album, 'The Garden'.

Beginning with a lazily fluid wall of distorted guitar chords, soon the slow-day vibe that characterises Tamaryn's music kicks in. Using simple melodies, the guitar licks provide pretty setpieces against the harshly distorted chords. And in the middle of it all, her vocals float out like words spoken in a dream. There's a heavy amount of echo and reverb on this, but it's nothing bad, and certainly nothing to be afraid of, it just makes the vibe more dreamy than ever. We're in the clouds!

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This is the Wikipedia entry for Tamaryn
The Facebook page of Tamaryn
Tamaryn on SoundCloud
Follow Tamaryn on Twitter!


Dark and moody. That's the direction of a lot of electronic music now. Granted, it's still kind of sitting in the corner like a withering wallflower, but it's gaining popularity. What better way to get you dancing than out of some sense of vague fear. Do not run from your demons, dance with them. Is that a saying? No, it isn't.

But in any case, here's Frost with something new. Got you there didn't I? Because the song's called 'Something New'. And I said "something new". They're, like, the same. It's the latest single from their album Radiomagnetic (released September 2012), and it's a good one indeed. Gnawing at you with ice cold trance synths yet keep keeping it all cushioned with some sub-zero bass, and getting you all anxiously excited with frenetic hi hats on speed, the vocals speaking like a ghost through a radio, the song is an unexpected foot-tapper with some lovely screeching build-ups and fading come-downs that keep this 8-minute doozie flowing and interesting. Layering helps, too, like the snare sound later on in the song that sounds like some phantom of the past dragging its feet along concrete corridors. Spooky and chilly but cool. I'd check their album out on Spotify, too, if I were you, plenty more beats and clever electro trickery await you.

The bizarre video fits the song perfectly. But what's it all about? Well...

The footage is part of an obscure documentary project entitled ‘Ghost Radio Hunter’ – a collaboration between Carl Critical, Russian underground filmmaker Kostya Shamshin and Frost, covering an expedition into the Arctic looking for the source of mysterious radio signals that were the inspiration for the making of the album ‘Radiomagnetic’.

There you go. Frost are Norwegian, by the way, and have actually been around for 1997 - of course, they're pretty well known in their motherland, but for us their sounds are as new as a polished baby.

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Frost on Facebook
Frost on Twitter
Frost on SoundCloud
Frost on Tumblr
Frost on YouTube
Frost on Myspace
Frost's official site


Guitar music is in a bit of a slump at the moment - or so it seems. Everyone is loving electronic things, myself included, but whatever happened to the good old fashioned three piece? Three piece, you know? Not a three piece suit, nor a three piece suite, but a three piece band. A person on bass, another on guitar, and another on drums - one or more of them sing. It's a romantic image, nostalgic even, like the memory of listening to Blink 182 and noticing for the first time that Mark and Tom were taking it in turns to sing. Or like... well, who cares. Tangled Hair is a good three piece.

Above is their video promoting their Japan Tour 2012, featuring a song from their EP Apples, 'I'm Calmer Than You Are'. It's great. Great song. Complicated rhythms abound thanks to some intricate, and frankly very impressive drumming, but this is the feature piece for guitar work that is sometimes as simple as whacking one chord for a few bars. Even the guitar is filled with contrast, moving from that simplicity to splash around with some fabulous guitar tapping (always impresses me) and deliciously delicate noodling. The bass moves up and down in waves, sometimes following the guitar, sometimes bringing up the rear with an earthy groove that sounds oh so very marvelous in your eardrums.

That's them playing another song, 'Forty Winks', live at Banquet Records in Kingston (my ends). The technical wizardry involved in creating a song like this is nothing short of very cool - the groove in this song is too head-boppable for words.

I listened to the rest of Apples. It's well, well worth a listen. I sincerely recommend it - check their Bandcamp page (below) to do so. Or search on Spotify if you have it.

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Tangled Hair on Facebook
Tangled Hair on Twitter
Tangled Hair on Bandcamp
Tangled Hair's official site

Tuesday 30 October 2012


This is the sound of Beat Connection, a Seattle-bred band touting themselves as "Tropical Psychedelic Pop" - I'd say that their self-diagnosis is quite accurate. If you like comparisons — if that's your thing, if that's what you're into, if it makes you click the play button — then think of them as hybrid of Delphic / Friendly Fires / Vampire Weekend, except less of the pop and more of the tropico-psychedelic or psycho-tropical. The song above, the dance-driving, samba-toting, delectably rhythmic 'Saolo', is a perfect example of the kind of wooden-hut-and-tiki-lights vibe that weaves its way through all of the music on their album The Palace Garden, released 6th August this year. It's a song that moves from the daylight chillfest of holidays in the sun to the glowing humidity of an equatorial night in the space of 3 minutes 37 seconds.

In the above song, 'Invisible Cities' the vocals of the singer are shown off. It's decidedly a more sombre affair than 'Saolo', though still full of afrobeat rhythms and beautiful harmonies that turn it into a soaring dreamtime chillout session. These two show the range of Beat Connection: one minute you're jumping up and down, another you're swaying or nodding your head. It's a shame that nobody seems to have picked up on these guys because their album The Palace Gardens is full of more chilled, tropical electro that shows a side of the band that's rather partial to a bit of dancefloor storming: 'Think Feel' (featuring guest vocals from graphic designer Chelsey Scheffe) illustrates this more than adequately - listen to that HERE.

Show these guys some love and share their sounds with your friends!

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Beat Connection on Facebook
Beat Connection on Twitter
Beat Connection on Myspace
Beat Connection on SoundCloud
Beat Connection's official site