The NBT Review 68

Fly Gallery – Frequency Theater (independent release)

One mans journey into the heart beyond the switches, travelling along the giddy current, he rides the dark sparks into a unique messy world.

The intro hints at the disturbance to follow, ancient voices saved perhaps from apocalypse, counterpoint the alluring lethal future siren full landscape.

Fragile mechanical rattle shivers for a few seconds then POW the song explodes, driving martial foot-stomp brave, call to arms call to dance call to PoP over artifice, call to commercial breakthrough, the chorus will save us.

Then we feel the wave motion, sultry swim of the Modern Myth, recalling the exact moment the young boys from the Depeche machine, plugged in, tuned out and lost their innocence and found a wry sense of melody.

                                Ahh the poignancy of the retro electronica, the percussion slinks in, all criminal rough telling us this ballad is being lead, willingly, lovingly to the slaughter.

This Theatre loves the chaos, but loves the sadness too, hear how the almost drum and bass chaotic rumbles detached as a gentle tune unfolds. This is Frenzy sure, but a wry thing indeed.

The vocals are unwrapped from their steel camouflage, allowed to be flimsy even personal, within a song that dares to be modern soul, the orchestral syrup of the latter day urban.

The pilot of this rocked up spaceship, Nathan Butler has a keen ear for hooks and a steady grasp of the human emotional behind the flickering effects. These are chart songs shooting down from a cool planet.

Finally the squelch slow build as we are pushed Over The Edge, sculpted tension the song spirals seductively outward.

The bodies undulate, the trance smokes in, and all too soon the song gurgles out.

Take a breath.

Press play

Begin the journey again.

http://www.frequencytheater.com

Hear tracks from this album and thoughts from Mr Butler on the NBT Dark Electric Podcast going out on the 17th June 2010

http://nbtdarkelectric.podbean.com/

And later in June on the NBT Flagship Podcast

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

                              If you use Internet Explorer you can stream snippets of a couple of Frequency Theater’s Tunes here

                               http://www.nextbigthing.co.za

                           (After the intro Click on the ‘#Just want to look around# text it will take u thru to next page)

                             A chart made up from browsers rating and listening to the song streams can be found here:

                                      http://nbttopten.podbean.com/

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The NBT Review 57

Looking For Landmarks – Two Loons For Tea (Sarathan)

I started this as a normal review. This word went here; these thoughts there. Then I realized, sometimes albums should not be dissected, no aural autopsy done. Rather the ‘letting go’ and then just…try, describe the journey.

Put on this music and this movie plays.

She drives through a landscape of rapidly changing storms. Escaping the thrum of her sweet nightmare, sometimes the sunlight sparkles on the cold metal, sparkles turn to sparks, blue sky to night. It was easier when she just believed him.

Subtle scene change, the camera zooms swoons over the car abandoned, the girl is gone and the boy is lost. The sound of reason, the sound of the past, the sound of mothers and lovers beat slow steady (deliverance) in another room, but he just can’t quite get up.

In a flash, the house is empty, no I take that back there is a Newsom ghost, a rock n roll Johanna, dusty sensual dancer, haughty almost even in the dying, even in the fade.

Cut to the city and strangely drifting along with a Roy Orbison mood she finds her self aging delicate, the prizes wrapped in unclear memories looking kind of ugly now in the intensity of her gaze.

This is all about adults looking for the children they were. And the children dreaming of the beautiful adults they may just become.

And then.

What is actually found.

A balance of regret and nostalgia, the rainbow breaks through the sepia and the colours bleed all over everything, the blur shifts and the band shudders into focus.

Finally this reverie explodes outward, the fragile characters in this movie twist and vanish and in a song named after a women who bound herself in words and wordplay and language and the paths of communication, sensual dangerous and enticing, in this song, the music speaks.

Then the writing is done, the album complete.  I listen to the sounds of a quiet room, a church bell ringing far away, a typewriter creating not so far away. I savor the calm as it stretches over the minutes of my thoughts.

Then I press play and begin the journey again.

Find out for yourself about this collection here:

http://sarathan.com/artists/twoloonsfortea.html

Buy Two Loons For Tea

http://tinyurl.com/NLD-Amazon

http://tinyurl.com/LoonsL4LAmazon

Songs from this album will be featured on a very special broadcast of the NBT Podcast

Going out on the 8th April 2010

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.org/

Also read about Sarathan Records on the NBT Portal Website

http://nbtmusic.de/page10.php

The NBT Review 55

Thunder Buffalo – Thunder Buffalo (Dig/Sarathan)

Switch on the stereo of giddy distorted, pick up the speakers as they howl and throw them out of the window, this is the sound of them falling. Hitting the ground and bouncing UP back, into the room.

Like the 13th Floor Elevators, tripped up even more, Thunder Buffalo bend these songs into squawky- screechy bubblegum shapes, as the Butthole Surfers, the Residents hoot and howl and jive along.

All is not chaos and glitter though, swooshed up in eternal 3am sinister reverb stolen from the nightclub of the lost phantoms, Gloomy In Us All swings like a 50s rockabilly ballad time warping into nugget era America. Several songs too evoke the spirit and the sheer infatuation with the blues that Jeffrey Lee Pierce had when he pushed out Gun Club screams into the world.

And if there is some kinda justice in the world then in a year’s time, YouTube will be swamped with earnest young mad men women attempting the pathos of the fragile If I Leapt.

Sure this is not always a comfortable listen, but is delicious and noisy and fuck it really  makes me want to dance. A personal favorite.

http://sarathan.com/artists/thunderbuffalo.html

Thunder Buffalo — Gloomy Download
http://sarathan.com/thunderbuffalo/gloomy/

Turtles EP – War Tapes (Sarathan)

One night REM playing within their most PoP defined pose mated with an Interpol dressed in the finest dark glitter hooks. The resulting child was this new collection from this (for now) LA based band.

We sit enthralled in a cinema full of shadows, the slow burn drama of the song catching on to the light stream, this is bedroom epic, bathroom poetical intense, the harmonies, the illuminated and the secret entangled smooth.

The percussive echo, the heartbeat of the extremely nervous or the over thoughtful, his voice effected, the ragged man asks the ghost to join in the dance, and the music builds, the stormy noise tornados around, around, around, till all is the whip, the wind and the breathing. This is a song for those who want, need, perhaps, the freedom of being scared.

This is a crush on fear, adoration of the vulnerable, and the love of the fatal paths that we sometimes slip down, it is the sound of: when COOL bangs up against warmth and ricochets straight into our studied detachment.

The War Tapes have the potential and yes, the will, to straddle both the mainstream airwaves and like the gloomy magnificence of Michael Gira’s Swans capture the heart and soul of the alternative scene.

Watch out for their debut full length release coming out in May

http://sarathan.com/artists/wartapes.html

War Tapes, Turtles EP:
http://tinyurl.com/itunesWTturtles

Listen to tracks from both these bands on a special broadcast of the NBT Podcast going out on the 9th April

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

Also in April read about Sarathan Records, listen to tracks view pix and vids on a special feature showcased on the new NBTwebpage portal

http://nbtmusic.de

The NBT Review 53

A Little Closer To The Truth – Dizzy Gotheca (Independent Release)

The first song is salvation. The music is fine tension wrapped around this (maybe) angel; I hear the end of the things for the ragged person she is singing to. Will she push him alive or is she taking him further down his destruction? It’s complicated yes, (she sings that and it is true) but it’s also simple. The First song is salvation.

The slow motion of the disco dancer, every detail of the dry ice, the coloured lights, the reflections the darkness just off the floor, the other tumblers tumbling, spinning too, are blurred howls, and every movement leaves delicate traces. You long for the explosion into focus, the release of pressure, but beauty like this has a price and instead you stay, still, entranced, haunted. This is Little Beat.

This is that angel watching an elegant version  of the hedonist game of drinking like its suicide, it is the vibrations of losing it forever and what is on the other side of those vibrations, the angel is the girl and the girl is questioning always questioning, and the music is stretched tight across the exits  allowing the thoughts,  the emotions,  to bounce there in the spaces of the room.

The drama is in the shadows, in the space, in the near empty, the indefinable drop, fall into this and allow yourself the freedom of not knowing, where this seduction will take you.

The musicians take this fear and make hymns. Modern electronic hymns.

http://www.dizzygotheca.com

Catch Dizzy Gotheca on the NBT Dark Electric podcast

http://nbtdarkelectric.podomatic.com/

Illusia – DarkLily (©Vyolette Svana)

Do you fear, but love the dreaming, the letting go? Do you dread and desire travelling into the strange virulent mists of some unknown ‘other’ world? Do you find this fear enchanting, and with deep breath and heart beating hard, wish to succumb utterly to it.

Then this collection is for you.

Sometimes we enter sepia tinged room full of old sunlight and hear the piano making crooked echoes against the cobwebbed experiments , sometimes we are shown through a haze, tragedy and despair, disasters from ‘ago’ taken from fading pages and made new, not shiny though, heartbreaking yes.

The gloom of mythology, the heaviness of this sweet relationship prison, in the drama and wonder of that hell, the singer/composer finds slithers of bright white hope in the sweet torment, makes it quietly erotic exotic mmmm we can almost hear her smile.

Deeply romantic, unafraid of the poetical, darklilly keeps her stories and sighs firmly rooted in the speculating, questing soul of the modern electronic artist. Her creations are measured and classical almost aloof, yet never too detached, they engage us, bombard us with thoughts and regret and deliverance.

You can download this exquisite album here:

 http://www.darklily.co.uk/

Illusia is the NBT album of the month for April

http://nbtmusic.de/page11.php

Darklily can be heard on the NBT Dark Electric podcast

http://nbtdarkelectric.podomatic.com/

AND the NBT Flagship podcast going out on the 1st April

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

The NBT Review 50

With The Eye Of A Skeptic… – Bill Price (Grass Magoops Records)

This is old time Country dance, girl boy harmonies against a roots rocking band led by the jubilant skitter of the Cittern (a sort of large bodied mandolin.) This is not all though; this is the personal political, the thoughtful, the wishful, the dreamer making songs, the watcher singing.

We hear about the Junkman who learns about life in the bits and pieces he collects, the secrets we throw away without even knowing it. We debate within a blues swing room about the soul of modern art then to the strains of a lilting lullaby like tune we are taken flying.

In his dreams, in this flight,  years roll by jumbled, villains are given the chance to be heroes , history is scrambled and re-sighed re-written and hope is rescued from the cynic’s prison.

Price may see these things, these choices, with the eye of a skeptic, but his belief in good, in the right decisions maybe being made, the fact that the future is really fragile and can be broken into something beautiful; is what makes this collection a gift.

In the song ‘’Foot In The Dirt’’ the simple act, the lucid description of how it feels..Just to cast away the heavy of the day and ..Walk, touches this listener because that escape has often been MY escape too.

So jump slow and jump calm into these songs and stories, get caught up in the seemingly effortless virtuoso playing of all involved and welcome this gentle raconteur into your home.

http://www.billprice.info

Analog Love – Cassis and the Sympathies (Wunderblumenmusik)

Benign, serene coming down from the clouds willfully we slow dive into Analog Love, a neon lit lounge, default setting on sultry, though  soon enough we allow the lady to take our hand and dance us into a wide open cinema land.

This is new wave old romantic, ambient, impulsive, addictive, a darker Julee Cruise, a content Nico, still slightly dangerous, a sweetly lethal bubblegum, deep blue tripping over the rhythm disguised as sighs.

There is that skewed perspective that Lydia Lunch gave on Queen Of Siam, though this time the chanteuse is backed by a mixture of Yello and seemingly old time wicked jazz musicians playing for their souls.

In these songs disturbing desire is just, always JUST,  a finger click away. These are invitations to a languid version of Hell, an acceptably edgy version of Heaven. Piano and Accordion entice and bewitch in the guise of slick warped ballads, tears and escape, they urge us to close our eyes and

Sink.

A cool journey away from the modern normal.

http://www.cassisvision.com/

Hear Tracks from BOTH these albums on the NBT Podcast going out on the 23rd Feb 2010

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

The NBT Review 48

Some Moths Drink The Tears Of Elephants – Boister (Piano Parasite Productions)

Ah this delightful disturbance, this redemption in the darkness. Do you know how ghostly carnival lights seem, from a distance, on a rainy night? This is the soundtrack to that feeling.

Produced by legendary maverick/storyteller Jim Dickinson, who once channeled the sweet twilight of Big Star into something eternal, this collection, seems to be ancient Pop, perhaps even tomorrow’s Americana, Though with wonderful contradiction,  there is a fragmented European soul breathing between the lines too.

It starts with a languid gasp perhaps sigh , definite slow motion thoughts catching up to the moment, the music subtly builds, the room the picture fills with detail, the story unfolds ragged yet elegant. Funeral music that makes you feel very much alive.

Then a lullaby morphs into a sly grin take on Brecht, the band swaggers, the curtains, windows, thrown open onto a vibrant street gathering, a party full of tension.

Then a drum thing that seems to be slowed fractured down sympathy for the devil grooving into horns and guitar, washing up against the vocals, then without noticing we have slid into a perfect rock song sway, a gift with gentle hooks that we will be humming months from now.

These are tunes that are built fragile, crafted intricate standing there, the title track: quick take a snapshot before it all falls down, but it never falls down, no matter how harsh the rhythms that swirl around it, rudely affectionate.

Then the weirdest thing: I hear the east, the far east, not east America, but also: I hear almost a ska thing going, I hear the islands, come on dance and Thank You.

Then invited into this strange tent at this strange market, we shiver into an exotic fumbling before the band throws another cruel ballad or three our way, and as they are wrapped in the most beautiful melodies, we catch them easy, we are captured easier.

Layered and complex, yet never contrived this is a near perfect release.

http://www.boister.net

Catch tunes from this release on the NBT Podcast going out on the 23rd Feb 2010

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

The NBT Review 43

wordpressreview 43

Secrecy and Sex – Readers Wives (360degree Music)

You have to love the slow build pop song, the one that curls Out and stretches cat-like steady, ready soon for the leap, sure and controlled and fierce, straight into our fickle hearts. Add  deadpan humour carefully calibrated to be not TOO clever (which would snap us from our trance) or TOO self-aware (which would merely itch and irritate) and BOOM, a sly BOOM at that, we are sexually attracted to this music.

As the bar man once said, it’s the kind of collection that make the boys smile and the girls dance.

Then ok, this is Costello for the new century, NewWavePub-Rock sharp bitter Bubblegum, hey forget the fast twist away, this has hooks that are shiny sharp and lets face it, we ALL want to see a song called ‘Advertising Heroin’ knock the latest X factor off the top of the charts.

It’s a rare pleasure indeed to hear hints of the Last Shadow Puppets socializing with bits of Randy Newman all within one EP.

Then walking out of the chaos of the gig, we discover the poet bum outside suddenly insightful, minimal Jamie T, we stop and listen, feeling weirdly touched, caught out in a very good way.

There is tenderness when needed and ice cold detachment when desired. It’s a collection that rewards with every new listen.

Cant wait for the album.

http://readerswives.360degreemusic.com/

Hear a track or two from this EP on the NBT Podcast going out on the 28th October 09

 And then more in depth on the show going out on the 10th November 09

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

Sounds Of The 504 – Broken Keys (Independent Release)

Intuitions

Feelings.

Images conquered up by the music, hazy for a while, jelly-dreamlike then slowly solidifying, Polaroid snapshots, the picture shimmies across the surface.

The Beats the thing.

Swing  with him, there is water in the air, summer perhaps, sticky bright, the ballroom hints of sadness, ‘We Miss You’ indeed.

Time travel down the banks of the great river, we glide past great trees and old houses, the drummStutter is our uneasy machine, the song the very fadeout even full of a quiet longing.

Rise up fallen soldiers,  reach out for the hands of the grieving and shy ladies,  elegant but jerky ballets for the almost forgotten, these things are more than mood, more than beats laid down for some future sonic adventure. (Though listen hard and listen long and in some song played  weeks, months years from now there they will be)

They are sonic captures of what twists and crawls and dances in the heart of the music-maker.

Find out more

http://amiestreet.com/music/broken-keys/sounds-of-the-504/

hear tracks from this collection of beats and sounds on the NBT podcast going out on the 3rd November 09

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/