(Video) The Static Hand – ‘One Double One’

Illusive Berlin based producer The Static Hand has come up trumps with his new single, ‘One Double One’ & video to boot.

Comprised of a series of synths, glitches and beats, ‘One Double One’ is a dark, eerie and decidedly unnerving creation, something the video certainly expands on. The video certainly brings to mind the creepy cut scene’s you get in BBC Three show Ideal. A perfect inclusion for the day that’s in it, being Halloween and all.

‘One Double One’ is taken from The Static Hand’s new album Short Bursts From a Starting Gun which is out now.

You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

10 Hidden Treasures From The Vaults

Last week State compiled a list of 50 musical ‘Hidden Treasures’ from it’s contributors, including myself (you can read it here).  Afterwards I got to thinking about what other obscure or underrated material lurked in the dark corners of my music collection.

Now I don’t mean obscure for the sake of it. I mean the kind of record you were just lucky to pick up, get passed by a mate or something you just happened across online, which was overlooked or now all but forgotten. So, in no particular order, here’s a quick run through of 10 Hidden Treasures from the BarryGruff vaults, some of which may be familiar to you while others probably won’t.

Sluts of Trust – ‘That’s Right…That Cat’s Right’

This one from Glaswegian two-piece Sluts of Trust is taken their one and only album, We Are All Sluts of Trust, released back in 2004. ‘That’s Right…That Cat’s Right’ captures everything that’s great about them and the album, few, if any, match their raucous energy and sleazy somewhat perverse sound. It’s a great shame they more or less disappeared off the face of the planet after this, such a waste.

Duncan Lloyd – ‘Suzee’

Solo side-projects are one of the greatest sources of hidden gems, how many have slipped out with anyone barely noticing, as artists exorcise their creative demons? Step forward, Duncan Lloyd. Best known as the guitarist in Maximo Park, he released his solo LP Seeing Double back in 2008 which was as far cry from the high energy bowler hat hijinx of the day job. ‘Suzee’ is easily the catchiest and melodic cut from the album, capturing the rough, raw and no frills approach. And, yes, in case you’re wondering, no one really paid any attention to this.

Zero Boys – ‘Livin’ In The 80s’

Zero Boys are one of punk’s many underrated unsung heroes. Their 1982 LP, Vicious Circle is littered with loud, fast and raw punk rock anthems. ‘Livin’ In The 80s’ is just one of many snarling renditions but you’ll get the idea. 30 years later and Zero Boys still sound dangerous.

John Power – ‘Jumping Bean’

More noted for his time with The La’s and Cast, Power did however forge a credible, if overlooked solo career between the years of latter splitting and subsequently reforming. It was with Willow She Weeps, his second solo album, which saw him come into his own. Turning away from his pop/indie past in favour of powerful country blues. If one song shows this metamorphosis it’s ‘Jumping Bean’.

Ben Human – ‘Take Me To Las Vegas’

Ben Human is an illusive character, with mystery surrounding his real identity but rumour has it, he is in fact Ben Addison from the bands Corduroy & Boys Wonder. Regardless of who he is or isn’t, he has two albums of easy going and fun, sample filled electronica under his belt; Go Human Not Ape (2002) and Out Of Towner (2005). Taken from the latter, ‘Take Me To Las Vegas’ shows he’s quite exceptional when it comes to uplifting jazzy electronica.

Grantura – ‘Waves’

So far as can be reckoned Grantura released one album, In Dreams and Other Stories, in 2008 before disappearing into the sunset. Their album and brand of Americana is filled with cheerful melodies and intricate musicianship; it could easily soundtrack a sun soaked summer. ‘Waves’ is one of the high points from the LP with it’s vocal harmonies to melt even the iciest heart. Grantura are actually from London, although you’d never know on listening to them.

The Things – ‘Hold Me Down’

The Things will be a familiar name to anyone knocking about Dublin in the mid 00’s, others however, may not have been that lucky. A mix of rock ‘n’ roll and punk rock, they were fast, loud, and all with a dash of chaotic fury. ‘Hold Me Down’ is taken from their one and only LP, Some Kind of Kick, for shortly afterward the release they sadly parted company. Another great Irish rock ‘n’ roll band consigned to the annals of history.

Filthy Dukes – ‘Nonsense In The Dark’

Filthy Dukes might be a familiar name to some, due to their numerous remixes over the past few years but their debut album Nonsense In The Dark deserves some respect in it’s own right. The title track from the record saw them enlist vocal help from Orlando Weeks, of ‘The Maccabees’, to create a captivating piece of indie-influenced electronica that’s utterly chilled from start to finish, a real classic.

You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

Lo-Fidelity Allstars – ‘Battle Flag (Feat. Pigeonhead)’

Released in 1998 through big beat specialists Skint Records, How To Operate With A Blown Mind from the late ’90s was one of those dance records ‘okay’ for scruffy young indiekids to listen to. While the album is still a decent listen after all those years, ‘Battle Flag (Feat. Pigeonhead)’ remains a fine cut.

You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

Ian Pooley – ‘Bay of Plenty’

Pooley maybe a more recognizable name than others, a twenty year music career will do that. Anyway ‘Bay of Plenty’ is taken from the German producers excellent album Since Then (2000), which could be loosely defined as house music but it, like the album, has an unmistakable feel good samba vibe going on.

You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

Album of the Week: Stealing Sheep – Into The Diamond Sun

It’s difficult to know where to begin with Stealing Sheep but eclectic would be a good start. The Liverpool trio’s debut album Into The Diamond Sun is a heady cocktail of sounds, rather than been a scattered or confused, it is neatly sown together with layer upon layer of harmonies and a splendid array of psychedelic folk influences.

Into The Diamond Sun manages a perfect balance between the catchy and the interesting. Everything thing about their folk-tinged pop revolves around their vocal arrangements and the wonderfully dreamy three part harmonies, which are simply sublime. The album flows very nicely, peppered with electronic drones, hand claps and lavish guitar effects; it is these experimental eccentricities which embellish the record.

It feels both spooky yet somewhat uplifting, from the meandering ‘Circles’, ‘Gold’ and ‘Shark Song’, to the touch more lively ‘Genevieve’ and ‘Liven Up’. It is all crafted with a deft touch, like intricate brush strokes coming together to create a wonderful portrait. Lyrically too, Into The Diamond Sun is a just as colourful patchwork of vivid imagery.

Into The Diamond Sun is instantly lovable, in fact, it is utterly contagious. All in, a superb first effort.

You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

Imploded View – Dark Is The Light (Feat. Livi)

Hot on the heels of Imploded View‘s excellent debut album, Picnics With Pylons comes the brand new single ‘Dark Is The Light’.

Taken from said album, ‘Dark Is The Light’, is a calming, peaceful and tranquil piece of downtempo electronica, Imploded View’s MO after all. It differs from the album track with the addition of wonderful vocals from Livi, a composer and singer living in Saint Louis, which accentuates the sheer tranquil nature of the track.

‘Dark Is The Light ‘is out on November 12th through Psychonavigation.  

You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

#Keepingitpeel: The Flaming Stars – ‘Cash 22’

This year’s #keepingitpeel marks the eighth anniversary of John Peel’s passing, and for the third year running the John Peel Day for bloggers is taking place.

Peel was probably the greatest radio DJ in history. Peel’s influence on music fans and bands alike can’t be quantified and his love of, and attitude toward music makes him a unique figure. It would probably be more fitting to introduce some new artist or other, but as that’s what happens here most days, here’s one introduced to me by the man himself; Cash 22 by The Flaming Stars.

‘Cash 22’ appeared in some John Peel list or another, a number of years ago and it just grabbed me. There’s no bullshit bravado, just a track of real and genuine emotion that will make the hairs on your neck stand on end. This is ‘indie music’ at its very best. Since their first EP in ’95, The Flaming Stars went on to release a slew of albums yet remain something of unknown quantity, in fact, I still know very little about them, bar this song obviously.

Also there’s a special KeepingItPeel Podcast, ‘Peel Acres’, which you can listen too and download right here.

Introducing: GEM_DOS

Originally from South East London, now living in Dublin, GEM_DOS is a hard one to place in one genre or another.

Broadly speaking this is electronica but it is peppered with techno and drum and bass elements throughout. At times it is deeply atmospheric but always delivered with a real swagger and confidence, especially the clever and classy use of bass. There is a certain Orbital or 808 State character to some of it, especially ‘Get Found Out’. Meanwhile ‘Embrace The Fear’ is a dank, clanker of a tune with tiny shreds of light threatening to break through, only to be quickly suppressed by the shroud of darkness.

GEM_DOS has managed to create hugely addictive jams suited to any time of the night or day, all in all, this is very impressive. Why not download GEM_DOS’s EP Trials for free? It’s here.

Slow It Down & Elijah Collins – Alright (Elijah’s Dub)

Glaswegian disco duo, Slow It Down and the London-based house veteran Elijah Collins, are gearing up to release their collaborative EP, Alright, released through Retrospective.

In the run up to the release Elijah Collins has also found time for a reworking of ‘Alright’. ‘Alright (Elijah’s Dub)’ is a super slicksmooth and irresistible slice of disco house, running along a bubbling bassline, it is bursting at the seams with positive energy. While not included on the 4-track EP, it more than deserve it’s own release, no doubt about it.

You can download ‘Alright (Elijah’s Dub)’ gratis below or you can stream the entire EP here.

Competition: The Unusual History of Ether in The Riverbank

The Unusual History of Ether, play The Riverbank , Newbridge next Thursday, November 1st. Having been introduced on the blog last week, The Unusual History of Ether have kindly offered BarryGruff readers the chance to go and enjoy the show in The Riverbank.

There are two tickets up for grabs. No silly questions, just email your name to barrygruff [at] gmail [dot] com with ‘Riverbank’ as the subject title. Winners will be drawn at random and the competition closes at 12:00 on October 30th 2012. 

The Unusual History of Ether is a songwriting partnership between Rebecca Collins and Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug. The fruits of this union is fresh, slightly dark but profoundly beautiful indie pop songs, which are sung with passion, performed with grace and recorded quite beautifully. The Unusual History of Ether do, at times, recall the noir-ish, Gothic parts of Anna Calvi’s irresistible self titled debut from last year. 

Tickets are €10/€12. Doors at 8pm & support comes from the ever brilliant Sive. Here’s a few choice cuts from the band.

Introducing: Coves

Formed less than a year ago, Coves, are a two piece comprised of Rebekah Wood and John Ridgard. The duo already have a tour with Echo & The Bunnymen under their belt and are about to go out on the road with Eugene McGuinness.

Coves’ sound could lazily be classified as indie, but there is in fact, a bit of everything at play here as they explore a dazzling array of styles and colourful textures. Their songs are characterised by busy electronics and an imaginative foray through a whole host of electro-rock, psychedelia, shoegaze and post-punk sounds, with an overlaying of beautiful dreamy vocals from Wood. Coves even find scope to squeeze in some rather striking eastern influences on ‘Cast A Shadow’ and most notably, ‘No Ladder’.

An unmistakably joyous, imaginative and, above all, hugely enjoyable set of songs. Hopefully there is an album before too long.

Coves’ brand new EP Cast A Shadow is out now through and you can pick it up here.

We Are Losers – ‘Salt Lips’

Fuzz pop aficionados, We Are Losers are back with a new single ‘Salt Lips’, accompanied by an acoustic take of ‘Moany’.

We Are Losers have been sitting on ‘Salt Lips’ for ages apparently, recorded for a planned single, they have generously decided to put it out for free. ‘Salt Lips’ is a slice of melodic upbeat indie-pop, complete with infectious choruses and beautiful harmonies, just what we’ve come to expect from Elsted & company. ‘Salt Lips’ is a bit more suited to the summer months than a dreary Monday in October, that said, it is sure to brighten up your day. 

Be sure now to grab both ‘Salt Lips’ & ‘Moany’ for free below.