Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Motown Mixtape



Whilst ensconced back home I decided to make a mixtape in between reading and eating Twiglets.

Having been brought up listening to Motown (and a strange amount of prog) I've always been a little obsessed, so here's a little mixtape I made of some of my favourite songs to come out on the label. I decided to choose songs that weren't massive hits because everyone has a Motown compilation with those on there right? You'll probably know some (or maybe all) of these songs, they're not all super obscure - b-sides to big singles/ used on a KFC advert etc etc. Anyway, hopefully these songs aren't too played out and this mixtape will be of some interest...

1. 'Bye Bye Baby' – Mary Wells (Released December 1960)
2. 'Jamie' – Eddie Holland (Released October 1961)
3. 'Contract On Love' – Little Stevie Wonder (Released December 1962)
4. 'There He Is (At My Door)' – Martha & The Vandellas (Released July 1964 – b-side to ‘Dancing In The Street’)
5. 'You’ve Been A Long Time Coming' – Marvin Gaye (Released January 1965 – b-side to ‘I’ll Be Doggone’)
6. 'My Baby' – The Freeman Brothers (Released mid-1965)
7. 'You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me' – The Miracles (Released November 1962)
8. 'Put Yourself In My Place' – The Elgins (Released December 1965)
9. 'Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)' – Chris Clark (Unreleased – recorded 1966)
10. 'Just A Little Misunderstanding' – The Contours (Released 1966)
11. 'I Like Everything About You' – The Four Tops (Released July 1966 – b-side to ‘Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever’)
12. 'Mother You, Smother You' – The Supremes (Released October 1966 – b-side to ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’)
13. 'Since I Left You Girl' – The Monitors (Released November 1966)
14. 'I Think I Can Change You' – The Marvelettes (Released December 1966 – b-side to ‘The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game’)

DOWNLOAD - MOTOWN MIXTAPE DECEMBER 2009 (YOUSENDIT LINK)

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Banjo or Freakout Christmas Album



AC Milan fan and all round lovely Italian Banjo or Freakout has made a beautiful Christmas album including all the hits - 'White Christmas', 'Jingle Bells' and 'Blue Christmas'. You can download the whole thing from his blog LINK

TRACKLISTING:
01 White Christmas
02 Merry Christmas, Baby
03 Jingle Bells
04 Christmas Is Coming
05 Must Be Santa
06 Silent Night
07 Come On Ring Those Bells
08 Joy To The World
09 Blue Christmas

Recorded first take at home between December 3rd and December 13th 2009 apart from Silent Night (Dec 2008) and Blue Christmas (Dec 2007).

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Dirty Hearts Club - Jan 05-Dec 06






A few years ago I started DJing and working on the door of a friends night on Canvey Island. It was called Bored and was on one Thursday a month, then every other Thursday. It was run by my friends in Thee Harmacy (Canvey Island's weirdest and possibly hardest working lazy band). We put on some ropey bands that played ska and what was referred to as 'alt-rock'. In between though we (Thee Harmacy and I) DJ'd, playing things like Roxy Music, The Stooges, MC5, The Fall, Sonic Youth etc etc. It was good fun, got pretty popular cos there was no other 'alt' night around and we had a very slack attitude to the over 18s rule the club imposed...



Bored ended when we were given a Saturday night cos loads of people started coming. We got monumentally drunk and accidently blew the entire soundsystem by turning up the Flaming Lips' 'Talkin Bout The Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues' until everything was in the red (and forgetting to turn it down for the rest of the night).

My friend Dean and I then decided to start a night in Southend, we called it Vive Le Rock (after the Adam Ant song), it was a shit name. We admit it. We did this night at Saks basement on one Tuesday a month. Nobody came and when they did we'd scare them off by playing The Clean really loud.

We then moved to the Royal Hotel after the owner decided he needed more nights there and asked us to come down (one Wednesday a month). There was a recently started night there called Junk (we went to the first couple, there was always about 6 people there who didn't like outsiders).



Anyway, after six months of hardly anyone coming we managed to blag a Saturday night (third Saturday of every month). With this new night we decided we needed a new name. So we replaced shit name with shit name and the Dirty Hearts Club was born.

We started on the third Friday of January 2005 (don't know why). It was instantly popular, which was an odd sensation for us.

The night went from strength to strength, getting three times the capacity in there, creating a very, very sweaty club. When Black Wire played we had far too many people there, followed by an amusing after party at somebody's house which ended with a load of umbrellas up a tree and Tom from the band sucking red wine out of the cream carpet with a straw...



In that time we put on some good bands and some shockers. We put on first gigs by These New Puritans (its funny to read now that they say their first gig was at fellow Southend night Junk, which came a year after they'd played every night in London and Dirty Hearts three times...), Hadouken and stuff. We put on Kaito's last ever gig and brilliant early gigs by Good Shoes, Les Incompetents, Blood Red Shoes, MIT, The Violets etc.

Klaxons, Shitdisco, Dandi Wind and Roland Shanks all pulled out due to illness/ shit managers last minute too. We also turned down The Automatic, Arctic Monkeys and Vincent Vincent & The Villains (several times) to play too and I'm pleased we did.

It lasted from January 2005 to December 2006. We decided from the first one that club nights turn shit after 2 years and we would end then.

The DJs every night were me, Dean and our friend Anthony Vicious (now owner of Hottwerk Records). I've made a Spotify playlist of some of the stuff you were likely to hear on an average night. There's lots missing that isn't on there (loads of weird white label remixes and what not). But if you click this link you can get a flava:

DIRTY HEARTS CLUB SPOTIFY PLAYLIST (BEST LISTEN ON SHUFFLE)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Nite Funk




Dam Funk + Nite Jewel = Nite Funk. Clever.

The first track to come out from their collaboration, 'Am I Gonna Make It', sounds like those moody scenes in Miami Vice where Crockett drove around in his convertable contemplating his failed marriage and the conflict he has with going back to his family or protecting them via his dangerous job. Emo. Phil Collins would usually do the music for these scenes with some awesome sounding drums, but Nite Funk do a good job of filling in, making it sound like an Imagination slow jam.

NITE FUNK - 'AM I GONNA MAKE IT' MP3 [SENDSPACE LINK]

Via XLR8R

Monday, 16 November 2009

Alex Bleeker & The Freaks



Alex Bleeker (bassist in Real Estate and all round nice guy) and his Freaks will be releasing their debut long player on the always amazing Underwater Peoples in the coming weeks. Having been lucky enough to hear it, I can safely say the Neil Young & Crazy Horse/ Grateful Dead comparisons are not over the top. Its rambling, timeless music for driving along long lonely roads and sitting, staring at mountains and stuff.

This video from Sawyer of Underwater Peoples explains more, with 'Summer Epilogue' playing in the background:

Monday, 9 November 2009

To My Boy 'Us + The Wind'



A couple of years ago.To My Boy released an underrated synth pop album, instead of the now almost obligatory Yazoo referencing, they sounded more like an electrocuted Devo playing OMD songs too fast. But there was always an undercurrent of melancholy in Jack's voice that hinted at a darker future.

So after their debut album the band (Jack, Sam and laptop) returned to university to study nuclear physics. Not much was heard from them until Jack sent me over the new album. It's an astonishing leap forward, a concept album about when the world runs out of natural resources and has to find a new planet to inhabit. It's a really great record, which conjures up images of disused nuclear bunkers on the grey plains of Northern England, The Quiet Earth and Phillip K Dick's existential angst.

Below is a link to 'Us + The Wind', further songs will pop in time:

TO MY BOY - 'US + THE WIND' MP3 [YOUSENDIT LINK]

Friday, 6 November 2009

WOODS



WOODS are in the UK from Sunday as part of the Shred Yr Face tour (with Espers and Cave Singers).

They recently had a chat with Drowned In Sound, where they talk about tapes, Wavves, dating music lovers and what not. Click here to read it.

They'll be playing an instore at Pure Groove in Faringdon this Sunday (8th) at 3pm, which is here (FYI)

08/11/09 : Pure Groove (3pm) – London (UK)
08/11/09 : Lexington - London (UK)

09/11/09 : The Farmhouse – Canterbury (UK)

10/11/09 : Hare & Hounds – Birmingham (UK)

11/11/09 : Crawdaddy – Dublin (EIR)

12/11/09 : Speakeasy (Radar Club) – Belfast (UK)

13/11/09 : Stereo – Glasgow (UK)

14/11/09 : The Electric Circus – Edinburgh (UK)

15/11/09 : The Cluny – Newcastle (UK)

16/11/09 : The Brudenell Social Club – Leeds (UK)

17/11/09 : Academy 3 – Manchester (UK)

18/11/09 : The Freebutt - Brighton (UK)

19/11/09 : Fleece – Bristol (UK)

20/11/09 : ULU – London (UK)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Real Estate live at CMJ

Some more Real Estate videos from CMJ. Pitchfork have also upped the entire set from their gig at the Market Hotel (MP3s below).

Real Estate - "Fake Blues" from Flipswitch on Vimeo.



'Basement' live at Pianos. Which will appear on their upcoming 12" on Mexican Summer

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner: Real Estate [Part 3 of 14] from Ray ConcepcioƱ on Vimeo.



You can download the whole set from the Pitchfork gig at the Market Hotel below. The tracklisting is as follows:

01. Pool Swimmers
02. Basement
03. Beach Comber
04. Younger Than Yesterday (mp3 mislabeled)
05. Suburban Beverage
06. The Mall [Ducktails cover]
07. Fake Blues

DOWNLOAD HERE

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Surfer Blood/ Holiday Shores

Two bands that really caught my ear last week were Surfer Blood and Holiday Shores. Both have that beach pop thing (you could probably tell that from their names), but they back that sound of now with really, really good albums.



Surfer Blood were one of those 'buzz bands' that music industry people like to talk about at CMJ.

I caught one and a half songs at their early afternoon slot at Cake Shop, couldn't see a thing and was kinda jetlagged so went to get an organic smoothy (Very Berry FYI) and sit out front of an expensive clothes shop watching people go by. Fortunately I managed to catch them again at Pianos, where they truly hooked me, and again at the Pitchfork party at Market Hotel.

There's lots of bands at the moment doing this beach pop/ lo-fi thing, but where Surfer Blood really stand out is the fact they have a lot of really good songs. Sounding a little like the Shins, a little like Weezer and a lot like a band people will fall in love with.

Pitchfork posted 'Swim (To Reach The End)' a few weeks back (download below), which is also my favourite track from their debut album 'Astro Coast' (out soon on Kanine)

DOWNLOAD - 'SWIM (TO REACH THE END)' MP3

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Fresh from being on the cover of the New Yorker's arts section Holiday Shores played a bunch of shows too, after many misses I managed to catch them at that same Chocolate Bobka/ Underwater Peoples/ Two Syllable showcase the Real Estate video is from.

Having had the album for a while, I was keen to see how it's lo-fi Baroque guitar pop sounded live. They also drew quite a crowd. It was a pretty great show, the melodies that make the album so timeless and so 2009 were all there, it was pretty impressive to hear a band so easily nailing it.

The album is out now on the brilliant Two Syllable records, I suggest you go get a copy. And to entice you a little more, here's two of the many great moments from it, an MP3 and a video:

DOWNLOAD - 'PHONES DON'T FEUD' MP3 [SENDSPACE LINK]

Holiday Shores - Edge Of Our Lives from Chocolate Bobka on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Real Estate 'Black Lake' live at CMJ



Real Estate played a bunch of shows at CMJ last week, one being the Chocolate Bobka/ Underwater Peoples/ Two Syllable showcase at the Delancy (basement - grotty sweat box playing host to lo-fi bands/ upstairs - DJs playing mashups and Lady Gaga).

They went on around 3am, after great sets by Holiday Shores, Pill Wonder, Frat Dad and some others. Everyone was pretty drunk and sweaty by this point, but they managed to play one of the best sets of the week, where the ever excellent Chocolate Bobka got this footage:

Real Estate - Black Lake from Chocolate Bobka on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

LCD Soundsysem 'Bye Bye Bayou'



I love LCD Soundsystem, as in proper nerdy love. Both albums are up there as two of my favourite's from the last few years. And, let's face it, 'Losing My Edge' is the best song of the last 10 years.



Anyway, LCD Soundsystem have covered Alan Vega's 'Bye Bye Bayou', from his pretty patchy debut solo album. Although to be fair, the dude's about 900 years old and he was in Suicide so he can be forgiven the odd ropey album (although 'Saturn Strip' is pretty awesome). LCD's version turns it in to a pulsing 7 minute long disco tune. You can download the MP3 from here

There's also due to be a new album in March next year.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Weed Diamond



WEED DIAMOND, who will be the other side to the Ancient Crux 7" we're putting out, is Denver, Colorado based Tim Perry. His songs also take in the lo-fi 60s pop thing, although these tracks are more stoner psych jams with long forgotten doo wop bands' melodies floating around behind the fuzz.

Weed Diamond's side of the split 7" will have his heartbroken prom song 'Nothing To Write Home About', which is up on his myspace to listen to (and download if you know how to work the internet)

You can download 'Mr Vacant Stare' below, which sounds like a lost 60s San Francisco garage band playing spooky electric folk:

WEED DIAMOND 'MR VACANT STARE' MP3 [SENDSPACE LINK]

You can order his 'Sweater Kids' tape on Mirror Universe, limited to 100 copies so get in quick.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Ancient Crux



ANCIENT CRUX is primarily 19 year old Travis Von Sydow (also of LA punks Rapid Youth), he writes, records all the Ancient Crux stuff himself, but plays live with a couple of other dudes. We first stumbled across them on the No Pain In Pop blog a few months ago. We instantly fell in love with the lo-fi Roy Orbison pop of 'In Teen Dreams', sounding like it should've soundtracked Jason Priestly's mercurial (if tragically short lived) turn as Buzz Gunderson in 'Teen Angel'.

So, next year we'll be releasing that song (which is on the Ancient Crux myspace if you want to hear it) as a double a-side split single with Denver, Colorado based Weed Diamond (more on him later). In the meantime, you can download 'Vanisher' from the 'Interracial Coupling EP' on Family Time Records.

ANCIENT CRUX - 'VANISHER' MP3 [SENDPACE LINK]

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Julian Lynch 'Seed' video

Julian Lynch who released one of my favourite albums of the year, the psych soul and electric folk of 'Orange You Glad' (buy from here) has just posted the new video for 'Seed', directed by Amy Ruh.

JULIAN LYNCH "SEED" VIDEO from OESB // FUTURE SOUND on Vimeo.



Download his Cyndi Lauper cover here: JULIAN LYNCH 'TIME AFTER TIME' MP3 [MEDIAFIRE LINK]

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Walls



Earlier this year we released a 12" EP by Banjo or Freakout called 'Upside Down'. One of the remixes we had done was by London club night running/ blogging/ label running/ DJs Allez Allez. Which turned the title track in to an extended Kompakt-esque techno wonder (download from RCRDLBL)

Well, since then Alessio and Sam from Allez Allez have got together to form a band called Walls

Below is the first fruits of their labour and brilliant it is too:

Walls - Gaberdine by wallsjams

Friday, 2 October 2009

Banjo or Freakout 'Left It Alone (Becoming Real Remix)' MP3



After Pinglewood tipped us off about London's Becoming Real and his Blank Dogs via Dilla lo-fi dubstep, we knew we had to get him to fuck with something we're involved with. So, below is his reinterpretation of the upcoming Banjo or Freakout single 'Left It Alone'. It'll be available on iTunes and whatnot as part of a digital EP in a few weeks.

Becoming Real has also just done a little interview on Fader, where he talks 9/11 and the Microphones.

Banjo or Freakout 'Left It Alone (Becoming Real Remix)' MP3 (Sendspace link)

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Fool's Gold



Fool's Gold released their debut album this week on IAMSOUND. I've only had it a couple of days and it's already in my top 10 of the year.

Having initially been put off by their name, thinking they'd be some baggy, Madchester shit (which I hated at the time and still hate), I thought I'd give it a go as I'm a giving kinda guy. What I wasn't expecting was a 7 minute African pop song, all high-life guitars and Hebrew/ English vocals.

'Surprise Hotel' MP3

(via Pitchfork)

Here's the video to the song, if you can't be arsed with downloading free music. It's got old men spraying Fanta and Coke at each other, lizards, girls in a pool and the band mooching around. Everything you need in a pop video:

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Ganglians



I love Ganglians. 'Monster Head Room' and the self-titled 12" are two of my favourite releases of the last year.

They've been on tour with Wavves in the US recently and called in at Todd P's Market Hotel in Brooklyn, the ever excellent Chocolate Bobka filmed this video of 'Never Mind' (labelled as 'Never Mine' though):

Ganglians - Never Mine from Chocolate Bobka on Vimeo.



There's also this unknown song:

Ganglians - unknown song from Chocolate Bobka on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Banjo or Freakout 'Left It Alone' MP3



Banjo or Freakout's new single 'Left It Alone' is out on Monday 19th October on transparent vinyl and download. If you buy the 7" and want the mp3s drop us an email - us at halfmachinerecords dot com - and we'll send them over to you (same goes for all our releases). Or, you could just download the a-side from below and the b-side from Pitchfork

LEFT IT ALONE MP3 [SENDSPACE LINK]

PRE-ORDER THE 7" HERE

Monday, 21 September 2009

Ducktails 'Landscapes'




Ducktails just released his new album 'Landscapes' on Olde English Spelling Bee, following on from the singles and tape comp 'Backyard' and the recent Not Not Fun released self-titled. Having seen him mesmerize the Old Blue Last in May with a mixture of new and old songs, this new album is going to be amazing. Check out the live video of 'House of Mirrors', a downbeat 6 minute guitar pop jam, which features on the new album:

Ducktails - House of Mirrors from Chocolate Bobka on Vimeo.



And buy all of the albums and stuff from Matt HERE.

Matt also plays guitar in Real Estate, who's debut album is out on Woodsist in a couple of months and is everything you wanted it to be. New version of 'Green River' is a slowed down, autumnal pop song that should be the theme to the Royal Tenenbaums 2.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Jumbling Towers 'Kanetown City Rips' MP3



Jumbling Towers' debut single, 'Kanetown City Rips' b/w 'Gilberta', will be available on Monday 2nd November on 7" and digital download. Available only on the Half Machine shop, in independent record shops and iTunes.

Download:
Kanetown City Rips

Jumbling Towers' current project is dedicated to the fictitious world of 1981 Kanetown City, and the group of exiled youth who made the music soon to be heard. Their story is one of passion, poverty, and racial tolerance. The Towers themselves practice neither passion nor poverty but are certainly advocates of racial equality.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Ray Concepcion/ Sore Eros/ Ducktails/ Titus Andronicus/ Smith Westerns

Ray Concepcion is making the best live videos around at the moment. After the beauty of his Real Estate videos and Woods videos, he's done a load more that we love just as much:

Sore Eros:

Chocolate Bobka: Sore Eros from Ray Concepcion on Vimeo.



Ducktails:

+Ducktails from Ray Concepcion on Vimeo.



Titus Andronicus:

Monster Island: Titus Andronicus from Ray Concepcion on Vimeo.



The Smith Westerns:

Monster Island: The Smith Westerns - 'Be My Girl' from Ray Concepcion on Vimeo.

Real Estate 'Fake Blues' live in New York City

Real Estate - Fake Blues from Chocolate Bobka on Vimeo.



Filmed at the recent Big Troubles/Zola Jesus/Desolation Wilderness/Real Estate gig Saturday at Silent Barn, New York.

"It's not summer music people, it's life music."

Via the ever excellent Chocolate Bobka

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Banjo or Freakout 'Breathe Out' MP3



The b-side to the upcoming 'Left It Alone' single, 'Breathe Out', has been posted up as an MP3 on Pitchfork. You can download it by going HERE

Real Estate live on WMUA Radio



Real Estate , whose debut album is out soon on Woodsist (and sounding incredible), recorded a live session (sans Bleeker) for WMUA radio, you can download the set below. It's a more stripped back acoustic affair than usual and still awesome.

What's great about it is they play the new, slowed down version of 'Green River', which will appear on the album and some Ducktails tracks, including the new song 'House of Mirrors'.

You can download the whole thing from WMUA's website HERE

The tracklisting is:

1. Green River
2. Younger than Yesterday
3. Fake Blues
4. Beach Comber
5. Backyard
6. House of Mirrors
7. Let's Rock the Beach
8. Pizza Time

There's still some 'Fake Blues' 7"s available, so get one whilst you can.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Woods in the woods



Filmed last week at Party in the Pines, a low-key festival northern California forest presented by Kemado Records, Mexican Summer and (((folkYEAH!))).

via Fader

Friday, 4 September 2009

Banjo or Freakout 'Left It Alone'



We are pleased to announce the release of the new Banjo or Freakout single 'Left It Alone', backed with 'Breathe Out'. The a-side is up on BOF's myspace to listen to or using this fancy widget below:

Left It Alone by halfmachine

Released on 7" and digital download on Monday 19th October on Half Machine Records

Pre-order the 7" here

Us at Reading Festival 2009



Featuring: Christopher Bellam, Sam Eldridge, Radiohead, Natalie Judge, Craig Ainsley, My Ex-Boyfriend Records, Satan, Vampire Weekend, Richard Onslow, Adam Buxton, Magistrates, Jon Wilkinson, Ellie, Stephen Hallowes, Lizzie, Nikki from Big Brother, Harry Potter (in the gas mask) Lucy Stehlik, Faith No More, Hannah Overton, Ruth Barlow, Rosie Ware, Imran Ahmed, Gareth Simpson, Samuel Strang, Mike Clewley, Patrick Johnson, Hannah Gould, Phil Laslett, Caroline and Ben Beardsworth, Stephanie Haughton, Daniel Turner.

Video by this chump

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Pure Ecstasy



Pure Ecstasy are from Austin, Texas where I've spent one of the best weeks of my life and one of the worst. They have just released their first 7". There's only 50 pressed, with spray painted sleeves. Get one here

Nate from the band, kindly sent me the tracks over so you can download 'You're In It Now' by clicking on it. Awesome.

The excellent Friendship Bracelet blog describes them thus:

Pure Ecstasy tows the line between the golden shimmers of current heads Real Estate and Alex Bleeker & the Freaks, but with more vocal reverb, almost reminding me of It Still Moves-era My Morning Jacket in its warm echo slack, which is saying something since It Still Moves was one of my favorite records at one point.

However, Pure Ecstasy stays away from the whole down-home Kentucky country thing in favor of a more muffled and less technical vibe. These sounds should soundtrack roadtrips. Not the beginning or end of roadtrips, but the hearty portion of middle America one must pass through to get from one side to the other. This is waiting music for those who like to hit the snooze button, those who enjoy limbo rather than certainty, those who would rather be in it than at the end of it. Forget the beach. Summer's almost over. Time to cruise through the farmland, the endless waves of cultivated soil, cattle, silos, lone powerlines, sun-soaked and sun-baked cornfields.

Friday, 21 August 2009

The Babies



The Babies are Cassie Ramone from Vivian Girls, Kevin Morby from Woods and Justin Sullivan from Bossy. They're awesome and 'Meet Me In The City' is the first track to pop up (stolen wholesale from Pitchfork).

Download it by clicking here

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Woods 'Rain On'



Did you know that 'Rain On' by Woods is the 497th best song of the last 10 years? Well it is, look.

'Rain On', coincidently, is the b-side to the Woods single we've just put out. THE B-SIDE!! IF IT'S ONLY THE B-SIDE, HOW GOOD MUST THE A-SIDE BE?? Why not buy a copy for the reasonable price of £2.99 from here?

Monday, 17 August 2009

MIT 'Rauch' remixes




Last year we released the debut album by MIT, three Cologne based teenagers we met a couple of years previous at a shit all day festival at LSE in London. It was their first UK gig (and second ever gig), Tamer played a battered old Moog Rogue, Edi played bass and screeched/ sung and Felix played drums. They sounded like Whirlwind Heat, needless to say we loved them.

We kept in touch and eventually helped out with distribution and press on their debut release ('Deine Eltern' 12" EP), which our friends at Haute Areal, the Berlin based label who MIT were now signed to released in 2005(?). After several UK (London) gigs at places like White Heat, Trash, Fabric, and our own Dirty Hearts in Southend, we followed up with the 'Good Book' 7", which picked up some fans and good reviews and what not. At this point MIT were still essentially a synth/ noise/ punk band - like a less screechy Crystal Castles (before Crystal Castles existed).

We agreed to do the album and were eagerly awaiting it. What we wasn't expecting was the band to return with an almost instrumental Krautrock album. Highly stylized, late-night Autobahn, Bowie/ Kraftwerk/ DAF/ Holy Fuck/ Tangerine Dream inspired propulsive synthscapes. Basically we fucking loved it. It got good reviews too -

“An intriguing little rocket of an album” – Dazed & Confused
“Make MIT the massive stars they deserve to be!” – Artrocker
“MIT are indeed the thinking mans electro outfit” – BBC
“Coda is an intense and rewarding trip – 4.5 out of 5” – Gigwise
“This is an eminently palatable album – 8 out of 10” – Drowned In Sound
“There's no denying that Coda is an excellent album which manages to stay minimal while simultaneously bursting with ideas – 4 out of 5” - MusicOMH

And a great review of their 2am gig at London's Kill 'Em All night:

“Whether you want to call it post-punk, art-rock or whatever might be this year's latest label, it's of an artistic standard that massages all the good parts of the brain. It leaves me stumbling out onto a cold Sunday morning London road, all fired up with the potential of music, the glory of all creation, the genuis of rock 'n' roll and all that other jazz that goes through your brain at such a tender and emotional time – 9 out of 10 live review (London Barfly)” – Whisperin & Hollerin

We set about getting some remixes commissioned for a single release, everyone agreed we'd do 'Rauch' as the single. So we ended up with remixes from Border Community signed Luke Abbott , Shitdisco (friends of MIT from a German tour), COMA (Kompakt affiliated minimal techno pop) and Basque electro weirdos Crystal Fighters. What we didn't plan on was never releasing the single. So for the past year we've had these remixes sitting on our computers not doing anything.

So, here you go a taster. Below you can get the Crystal Fighters remix and my favourite of all the mixes, Luke Abbott's remix:

Luke Abbott remix - Zshare

Crystal Figters Remix - Zshare

Woods - Shred Yr Face UK Tour



WOODS , whose debut UK single is out now have been confirmed for their first ever UK tour. They'll be joining Espers and The Cave Singers on the third annual Shred Yr Face tour. Details below:

ESPERS // THE CAVE SINGERS // WOODS

We are very excited to reveal the line up for the third Shred Yr Face tour that follows in the footsteps of previous amazing Shred Yr Face tours (Shred Yr Face 1 - Los Campesinos!, No Age and Times New Viking. Shred Yr Face 2 - The Bronx, Fucked Up and Rolo Tomassi). This Autumn's tour takes a more laidback, lush, psych-folk vibe with ESPERS, THE CAVE SINGERS and WOODS confirmed to play.

As ever, the tour will fully embrace the team mentality created on previous tours and fans and attendees can follow the tour's progress via Twitter (@shredyrface3) and a collective blog. The "super day" on instores will, once again, happen with all three acts playing record stores in London on the same day (times and venues tbc).

08/11/09 : Instores – London (UK)

09/11/09 : The Farmhouse – Canterbury (UK)

10/11/09 : Hare & Hounds – Birmingham (UK)

11/11/09 : Crawdaddy – Dublin (EIR)

12/11/09 : Speakeasy (Radar Club) – Belfast (UK)

13/11/09 : Stereo – Glasgow (UK)

14/11/09 : The Electric Circus – Edinburgh (UK)

15/11/09 : The Cluny – Newcastle (UK)

16/11/09 : The Brudenell Social Club – Leeds (UK)

17/11/09 : Academy 3 – Manchester (UK)

18/11/09 : TBC

19/11/09 : Fleece – Bristol (UK)

20/11/09 : ULU – London (UK)

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The Feelies




The Feelies are one of my favourite bands. I Listened to 'Crazy Rhythms' at the back of the Canvey Clipper bus to college when I was 17 on repeat. Even Eastern Lane did a passable cover of 'Fa Ce La' on that Rough Trade compilation from a few years ago.

Apparently they got back together a few years ago, but as far as I'm concerned if a band from years ago aren't 20 years old, skint and malnourished anymore I ain't interested.



The reason for me talking about the Feelies is that Domino Records are reissuing their first two albums - the perfect 'Crazy Rhythms' and the patchy 'The Good Earth', which is great news. If they come to the UK to play I might grudgingly go along and grudgingly admit they've still got it.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Woods




The Woods single comes out today, sort of. The vinyl is a little delayed but should be in shops by next week. We're getting them tomorrow so if you've ordered from us you'll get it in a few days.

In the meantime, here's the iTunes link, should you be that way inclined (it's only £1.29 for both tracks):

Woods - To Clean - Single

EDIT 12/08/09: RECORDS ARE HERE NOW AND HAVE SHIPPED. IF YOU'VE ORDERED FROM THE HALF MACHINE SHOP YOU SHOULD GET IT WITHIN A COUPLE OF DAYS. PROBABLY BE IN SHOPS NEXT WEEK. AWESOME.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Banjo or Freakout 'Upside Down' video

Finally, after releasing the EP a couple of months ago and doing literally nothing in the way of getting a video done, Blake Salzman came along and made one for us! Which was very kind of him.

It's below for you to see. It has the beach, the sea, some people in costumes and stuff:

Banjo or Freakout - Upside Down (Official Video) from Blake Salzman on Vimeo.



There's still a few copies of the 12" HERE, or you can get it from iTunes:
Banjo Or Freakout - Upside Down EP

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Woods 'Rain On' live in New York City

Ray Conception who filmed the beautiful Real Estate live videos, has filmed Woods performing 'Rain On' live in New York City:



The Woods single is out on Monday 10th August, available to pre-order from these places:

HALF MACHINE SHOP
ROUGH TRADE
NORMAN RECORDS

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Jumble Sale ... presenting Jumbling Towers


















Do you remember Eerie Indiana? A show that sees a young actor called Omri Katz (loved by most pre-pubescent girls, but most of all my sister) move to a fucked up town called Eerie, home of all sorts of ghoulish and other worldly inhabitants, there to scare the shit out of you every Sunday morning. Well, in these days of rehash and remake, I'm sure it's not long before it is brought back with a a shiny new Disney Club star as the lead role, for us all to enjoy all over again... if it does, let's hope it'll be soundtracked entirely by St. Louis' excellent Jumbling Towers.

Recorded, like all the best music in the world, in a garage, we hear Mercury Rev meets Clap Your Hands Say Yeah style vocals collide with marching nursery rhyme melodies. Their forthcoming album is written about a non-existent city called Kanetown, that conjures images of a middle America desert town with greying post apocalyptic horizons (as seen in the recent PS3 nuclear shooter Fallout 3..I swear I'm not a virgin) Its the sort of music to listen to whilst you share a ball of spasm flavoured ice cream with your girlfriend who has buttons for eyes.

Half Machine are proud to announce the release of "The Kanetown City Rips" backed with "Gilberta" on 7" released on Sept 10th 2009. You can pre order the single by visiting our shop and download Gilberta by clicking this. We hope the bass line makes you bug out as much as we did.

pj

The Magic
























The Magic are one of my favourite bands, I've listened to them almost every week for the past year or so.

Formed by brothers Geordie and Evan Gordon who also back one time Unicorn Nick Thorburn's new band Human Highway (who I once, drunkenly, insulted for no real reason when Islands were playing in London).

They were also the best band I saw at this years SXSW. After getting an excited phone call telling me the Magic were splitting Human Highway's set and would be playing across town in 15 minutes, I ditched my strawberry frappuccino (a boy needs to keep cool sometimes) and hot footed it over to the other side of town to see their power disco pop in all it's glory. They looked incredible:























Anyway, I love the Magic. You will too.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Alex Bleeker & The Freaks



Alex Bleeker & The Freaks is Bleeker's (bassist in Real Estate) solo thing. Sounding much more 70s Neil Young country folk rock than his other band, but still with that lovely beach pop vibe.

The Freaks backing him here are Martin Courtney (Real Estate singer/ guitarist) on bass and backing vocals, Matt Mondanile (aka Ducktails) on drums and Julian Lynch, who's putting out a split 7" with Ducktails soon, on guitar.

Get the 7 minute "Summer Song > Epilogue" (Live At Silent Barn) from Stereogum

Monday, 20 July 2009

Real Estate on Pitchfork/ Sunday Times



Real Estate, whose debut UK single is out today have been interviewed on Pitchfork for their Rising section, where they said things like " Real Estate specialize in hazy, shimmery summertime pop music. Rather than using tape hiss as a punk affectation, Real Estate's muffled sound lends their songs a dreamy, faraway oldies radio feeling. Their songs don't bash, they unwind gently"

Pitchfork - Rising

There was also a couple of lines in the Sunday Times Culture's Hottest Downloads section this week- Sunday Times Culture

Order the single:
HALF MACHINE SHOP
ROUGH TRADE
PURE GROOVE
NORMAN

Real Estate - Fake Blues - Single - Fake Blues

There's also a review of Real Estate's gig with Woods on Chocolate Bobka

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

How's That Song Go? Mixtape



We made a mixtape of stuff we're in to at the moment (track list below). Listen to it whilst cruising around San Dimas on your skateboard, or have it playing on your boombox whilst macking some hottie you met at the beach.

Download - How's That Song Go? (re-upped on Sendspace)

Tracklisting:

1. Ducktails – ‘Backyard’
2. Here We Go Magic – ‘Only Pieces’
3. Best Coast - ‘Up All Night’
4. Holiday Shores – ‘Phones Don’t Feud’
5. His Clancyness – ‘So Bored’
6. Beach Fossils – ‘Vacation’
7. Pearl Harbour – ‘Lost @ Sea’
8. Neon Indian – ‘Deadbeat Summer’
9. Ganglians – ‘Voodoo’
10. Real Estate – ‘Fake Blues’
11. Girls – ‘Lust For Life’
12. Nodzzz – ‘Is She There’
13. Audacity – ‘Teenage Town’
14. Fergus & Geronimo ‘Tell It (In My Ear)’
15. Fungi Girls – ‘Pacifica Nostalgia’
16. The Smith Westerns – ‘Girl In Love’

Props to Gorilla vs Bear and Chocolate Bobka for the heads up on some of these.

The Smith Westerns
















Like T-Rex recorded in a wet cardboard box in 1978. Awesome.

Monday, 6 July 2009

WOODS - 'To Clean' b/w 'Rain On Radio' 7"


















‘To Clean’ b/w ‘Rain On (Live on WVKR)’ 7” and download

Released Monday 10th August 2009

Half Machine Records, Cat no. HMR015

“Consistently awesome lo-fi pop” – Gorilla vs Bear

“A distinctive blend of spooky campfire folk, lo-fi rock, homemade tape collages, and other noisy interludes, all anchored by deceptively sturdy melodies.” – Pitchfork

WOODS are set to release their debut UK single on Half Machine Records on Monday 10th August 2009. The lo-fi Flying Nun-esque,‘To Clean’, backed with the skeletal psych folk of exclusive acoustic version, ‘Rain On’, recorded live on WVKR radio.

Both tracks feature on their recently released fourth album, ‘Songs of Shame’, released through their own Woodsist label and cassette tape label Shrimper.

WOODS are primarily the duo of Jeremy Earl (owner of Fuck It Tapes and Woodsist) and Jarvis Taveniere (Meneguar and Wooden Wand), and aided live by friends G. Lucas Crane on tape effects and Kevin Morby.

Jeremy’s Brooklyn based label, Woodsist, has recently released Vivian Girls, Wavves, Kurt Vile, Sic Alps and Crystal Stilts, among many others.

BUY

DOWNLOAD


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Real Estate 7"























The 'Fake Blues' 7"s turned up today. They look and sound hottt. Order one from here. It's only £2.99. That's well cheap.

Click to download the b-side 'Green River' HERE

Peter Gordon & The Love of Life Orchestra

















Peter Gordon's Love of Life Orchestra kick off James Murphy and Pat Mahonie's Fabric mix with 'Beginning of The Heartbreak', the perfect opener to any mixtape (with added sax solo).

Friend and collaborator of Arthur Russell, LOLO have been around forever (well, since the 70s) and released very few records. They are still pretty fucking great though. You can download loads of stuff from Peter's website, where you can also read about his soundtrack work for Desperate Housewives, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Joe Versus The Volcano. It's probably one of the ugliest website on the internet, but still...

Anyway, download 'Beginning of The Heartbreak/ Don't Don't' here