Monday, 20 February 2017

Album: B. Splash - One Nation to Never Divide Between Us

B. Splash - One Nation to Never Divide Between Us Brock Splawski

Info: From Saint Paul, Minnesota, Brock Splawski, formerly known as Midwestern Bass Machine (who we adored here), has hit the reset button and embarked on a new solo project under the moniker of B. Splash. Whilst the reset button has been pressed, not all of his sound has been discarded by any means. Splawski has consistently been the most impressive international DIY artist I've come across over the past 3 years, and One Nation to Never Divide Between Us confirms what didn't need to be confirmed already.

Beginning with a reverb-soaked soundwave and a sampled monologue on the inexplicable love affair our species has with destruction, One Nation makes an early impact with 'Entrances'. B. Splash then engages in creating the type of atmosphere he is so adept at, ethereal and spacial, a Kubrickian suspension in space looking down on Earth with 'Figurine'. As the title suggests, the keys twinkle like a Victorian ballerina box, and everything is in the most beautiful slow motion. 

Suitably settled in at this point, something quite amazing happens on third track 'Encounters', Splawski is an expert at taking moods from the past and making them incredibly visual, on this track it's a 1940's dancehall band and backing singers, the accompaniment of acoustic guitar and electronic sound make it all the more surreal. On 'What Are You Going to Do, Die? Yes' and ' A Strange and Depraved Night at the 10th Floor Pool' classic black and white American cinema and television are sampled, and then on the latter we are brought into a funky rn'b medley that is both chaotic and majestic in equal measure, we're in Mount Kimbie territory now.

'Rachel Like The Band' and 'Exits' both begin with disorientating distortion, before beautifully making way for some very soothing instrumental compositions, all to the backdrop of a lapping static that sounds like rain on a window. The album's title-track sees B. Splash in full abandon mode, it's a wild psychedelic cartoonish bossa nova explosion of colour and sound, almost a million miles away from the start of the recording but an absolutely logical destination. We finish with 'Melted Snow', his urge to indulge in echoed and distant piano movements making a brief and joyous appearance, I could listen to this on loop for a lot longer and still not be satisfied. 

Whilst still notably different to his releases as Midwestern Bass Machine (do yourself a huge favour and check out Don't Want To Live Here from 2015) One Nation to Never Divide Between Us is a celebration of sheer abandon and a determination to make great music, absolutely unhindered by the thoughts and perceptions of others, an album made for music and not people.

Video: Kingdom of Crows - Sculptor's Run

Kingdom of Crows Sculptor's Run

Kingdom of Crows - Sculptor's Run

Info: Dublin dark rock act Kingdom of Crows who are built around the twin song-writing talents of guitarist Stephen Kelly and vocalist Lucy Earley have released their first single of 2017, 'Sculptor's Run'. Both visually and musically the new single is markedly different from previous releases, whilst staying loyal to their trademark ability to create dark atmospheric landscapes. 'Sculptor's Run' exudes more attitude and increases the intensity of the pace we have come to expect from KoC. 

Thick mechanical bass-lines feed the rhythm as synths fire sporadic wisps of sound around Earley's vocals, unsurprisingly everything is slick and perhaps the most interesting aspect of the track is the new-wave angle to their sound, it works intriguingly well and confirms that Kingdom of Crows have no intention of sitting on their laurels when it comes to pushing their sound, excellent stuff once again.

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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Listen: EP - Gareth Quinn Redmond - Home Recordings Vol 2: Just Home Now

Gareth Quinn Redmond - Home Recordings Vol 2 Just Home Now

Gareth Quinn Redmond - Home Recordings Vol 2: Just Home Now

Info: Gareth Quinn Redmond is a Dublin solo act who recently released his second self-made EP, Home Recordings Vol 2: Just Home Now, the follow up to last year's Vol 1: It's Just Noise. The E.P was recorded sporadically over the course of the month of November 2016. Hope you enjoy on a Samson CO3U, and officially released on January 28, 2017. Opening track 'All Too Aware' contains lyrics written by Fin Divilly, who also performs vocals on the song. 

It's a beautiful and impressively produced collection of four tracks, mixing contemporary traditional folk with classical music, soft-rock and electronic sounds, such as on final track, 'Home Now', overall a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.