King Kong Company – ‘BagPuss’

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Some may remember King Kong Club from their admirable attempt to release a brand new track a month in 2011, after reforming following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.  

To celebrate their latest Irish tour, of which began with a sell out performance in their hometown of Waterford, King Kong Company have released their latest track ‘Bagpuss’. What it’s got to do with ’70s UK children’s television series is beyond me but it is yet another no nonsense club track and dance floor filler, aided by Sue O’Neill on vocals.

You can catch King Kong Company live next month when they play Cyprus Avenue, Cork on Saturday, March 2nd & Pogo at The Twisted Pepper, Dublin, Saturday, March 16th.

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Album of the Week: The Pictish Trail – Secret Soundz, Volume 2

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Ever wondered what the greatest album to be recorded in a caravan was? Didn’t think so, but the latest effort from The Pictish Trail, Secret Soundz, Volume 2 has to be the front runner for this, the most unlikely of accolades (if there are others, answers on a postcard please).

Touted as the follow up to 2008’s Secret Soundz, we find The Pictish Trail, the alter ego of Scottish musician Johnny Lynch, in a contemplative, often meloncholic mood, concerned with life’s ups and downs. In contrast, musically Secret Sounds is rather chipper, spurred on by a glorious melange of oddball sounds, sparks of frazzled electronics and instrumental breaks.

Opening with the bright and bouncy, instrumental electro ‘Secret Sounds #6′, this introduction is a bit misleading, it’s with ‘Sequels’ that the album kicks into gear. The oddball sounds and electronics remain but what’s clear is, they are not the focus here. They are but a platform, with Lynch’s wonderful singing voice firmly in the foreground. The premise firmly established, the album gently cascades through folk-influenced balladry and warm electronics of ‘Of Course You Exist’, ‘The Handstand Crowd’ and ‘Michael Rocket’. It is a real bag of tricks but never losing of the balance between curiosity and melancholic it is interspersed with equal doses of both.

Although a sequel, one doesn’t need to need to be acquainted with it’s earlier sibling. As a stand alone record it is magnificent record; warm, inviting and full of charming quirks from an artist of genuine exceptional talent.

(Video) Primal Scream – ‘2013’

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Primal Scream are set to return with new album More Light, their 10th album and first in almost five years, which will be released on May 6.

Bobby Gillespie & co. spent most of the past decade serving up pretty mediocre records, although spattered with some quality individual songs, they just seemed to lose their way. All that aside, ‘2013’, the first cut from Primal Scream’s forthcoming record is excellent. Driving along a warped saxophone, beats and stunning guitar work from Kevin Shields, it serves as a sort of ‘state of the nation’ address. Gillespie hisses and barks, denouncing everyone from “Thatcher’s children” to the “chairman of BP” while berating the fact that “every generation buys the lie just like the one before!”. There is obviously more, just give it the 9 minutes attention it deserves.

Hopefully ‘2013’ isn’t a false dawn, but judging by this 9 minutes of untamed political anger, Primal Scream may have rediscovered their way and not before time.

Introducing: Chemistry Lessons

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Chemistry Lessons are an electro duo from the Welsh Valleys, now based between Cardiff and Bristol. 

The duo (of Gareth Burke & Mavis) have been involved in other musical projects for the best part of a decade, but it was in the summer of 2012 that they decided to get creative with distorted synths, drum machines and some cheap organs from eBay. The fruits of this creative spurt see a blend of big boisterous beats, flamboyant synth riffs and 8-bit electro sounds working in tandem to create something that lies between the realms of French electro, latter day Prodigy & a kid with a Gameboy. ‘Kobi’ in particular, is a wonderful example of what they are all about.

Chemistry Lessons are currently putting the finishing touches to a new EP. Until then, there are a few choice cuts below (including the aforementioned ‘Kobi’) which serve as a rather neat introduction to the world of Chemistry Lessons.

Pete Beat – ‘Borderline’

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Tyneside producer Pete Beat has apparently been knocking around for a number of years under various different guises, under which he was more concerned with breakbeat and house styles.

On his new EP, Doctor Doctor however, there is a new beginning of sorts, embracing what he calls himself “80s tinged electro pop”. This new change of tact is one that works if ‘Borderline’ is anything to go by. The standout track from his new EP, ‘Borderline’ is a majestic piece of electro pop with sweet harmonies slinking along bumping, funky beats with slumbering subdued vocals combining to create this tidy and utterly lovable track. While I’m not so taken with its companions from the EP, ‘Borderline’ deserves to be singled out for praise in its own right. 

‘Borderline’ is taken from Pete Beat’s Doctor Doctor EP, which is released on 19 March 2013.