Archive | January, 2015

Sound Breakers: Suzuki Method

31 Jan

(Published 9th December 2013 in City Life Extra)

The future certainly looks bright for Salford’s Suzuki Method. Recently completing a nationwide instore tour of Fopp Records to promote their EP release NATIVE, the five-piece are no strangers to exciting opportunities coming their way of late. Take, for instance, their debut EP, NATIVE, which was recorded at The Charlatans’ studio with producers David Tolan and Jim Spencer no less, credited with the likes of Primal Scream, The Doves and New Order.

Suzuki Method publishedVideo for single Sherbet, filmed by Vantage Point and Dredd director Pete Travis atop the roof of the Renaissance Hotel, came about by sheer fortune when he saw them play an intimate show at London’s Barfly and decided to squeeze in the video shoot before jetting back to the USA for his next major project. Sherbet has also welcomed some high-brow remixes from Hercules & The Love Affair and Swiss Lips.

The band’s uplifting and infectious indie dance sounds speak for themselves and have seen them grace the airwaves of XFM, BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio. If Suzuki Method aren’t on your radar yet, take this as a written warning & rectify pronto! You can see them supporting Alabama 3 at Manchester Academy 2 on 18th December.

Sound Breakers: Three Dimensional Tanx

31 Jan

(Published 4th December 2013 in City Life Extra)

3D TanxWith members hailing from Lancaster and Manchester, Three Dimensional Tanx have been delivering high energy psych and garage rock across the North West and beyond since 2000.

Channelling the likes of The Stooges and Can, alongside a vigorous measure of warped Doors-esque keyboard melodies, their sound is retro, robust and intense. With a live reputation that precedes them, gigs are a suitably wild, thrilling affair, leaving both band and audience reeling with eardrums all round buzzing from copiously distorted guitars and arresting vocals.

Career highlights to date have encompassed some exceptional performances; being hand-picked by Spaceman 3’s own Will Carruthers to provide sounds for a Natty Brooker exhibition, plus a set at the Tate Britain with Linder Sterling. This year 3D Tanx have kicked up a ruckus at Stirling’s Doune The Rabbit Hole festival and the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. Finishing touches on their latest album are underway with release expected by the end of this year, shortly followed by a 7” vinyl release of I Am Go/Loose ID Syd in the new year on Sunstone Records. Witness 3D Tanx set Manchester alight at The Bay Horse on Thursday 5th December. A dead cert date for your diary.

Sound Breakers: Puppet Rebellion

31 Jan

(Published 29th November 2013 in CIty Life Extra)

Some straight-up, no messing rock & roll for you this week from Manchester five-piece Puppet Rebellion. Although only formed earlier this year, their relentless riffs, tight rhythms and fervent vocals ooze the stomping potential that could easily find you raucously jerking your way round an indie club dance floor. Move over Bloc Party and Interpol, there’s a new guitar sensation in town!

Whilst Puppet Rebellion may be relatively new on the block, the members have plenty of musical experience under their belts, having previously made up acts Turrentine Jones, The Children and Daystar.

They’ve certainly crammed a lot into 2013 so far, having supported Catfish & The Bottlemen back in August, followed by the release of EP ‘Chemical Friends’ in September. With tracks from the first EP being played at half-time at Old Trafford and featuring on TV programmes , you can see why the chaps are keen to share more of their ruckus inducing sounds and fortunately a second EP is already in the pipeline and set for release in January 2014. Prolific indeed!

Catch Puppet Rebellion live at Dry Bar on Saturday 16th November. If their live performances are half as electric as their punchy songs, then you’re guaranteed a treat!

Sound Breakers: The Age Of Glass

31 Jan

(Published 14th November 2013 in City Life Extra)

The Age Of Glass publishedThe quirky and quite marvellous threesome that form The Age Of Glass are certainly a colourful bunch, both in appearance and musically. Driving the crowds wild at festivals galore this summer including Glastonbury, Kendal Calling, Boomtown Fair, Secret Garden Party and Beatherder, their sound definitely encompasses the hedonistic, feel good vibes associated with festival revellers.

Described as “live electronic rave dub funk punk explosion”, a phrase that The Age Of Glass chaps will themselves admit is rather a mouthful, they are undoubtedly difficult to pigeon-hole or categorise. And that’s what makes them really rather wonderful. Breathing fresh air into the Manchester music scene for over 3 years now, they will be taking their unique brand of stomping goodness to Holland this December for 5 dates, supporting Will & The People. In early 2014 their eclectic whirlwind returns to the UK for a further series of gigs.

Latest EP ‘Live At Castle Rock’ was recorded live in just one day, perfectly encapsulating the band’s spontaneity. The whole process was filmed too and is available for your viewing pleasure via label Whetstone Record’s YouTube channel. So go on, give your eyes & ears a sensation they’ll never forget and tune into The Age of Glass.

Sound Breakers: SEAWAVES

31 Jan

(Published 21st October 2013 in City Life Extra)

SEAWAVES publishedWhen Si Van Brussel and Dan Traynor came together to form SEAWAVES in 2012 it was indeed a meeting of the minds; the duo both fascinated with the emotional perceptions obtained within dreams. The result of their union is quite aptly summed up as ‘dreampop’ and this they deliver with deft precision. Electronic beats and resonating, chiming synths ebb and flow in intensity and tempo, whilst breathy and enchanting vocals aid your journey into their musical soundscape.

Currently working on their self-produced debut album ‘The Pistol Star’ due for release in late 2013, the pair may be newcomers to the Manchester scene but they certainly have ambitious plans and ideas afoot. With live shows involving a projector screen displaying footage shot by Si and Dan themselves, they intend on bringing their ethereal music to life; merging their sonic and visual dream-like states to create a unique and surreal atmosphere for the audience. Wow!

Tracks ‘Born To Fly’ and ‘I’ll Love You All The Time’ have already received regular airplay on Amazing Radio and XFM, and it’s only a matter of time before SEAWAVES follow in the footsteps of their Mancunian predecessors. Their forthcoming gig at Manchester’s Dry Bar on 23rd November is set to be a spectacle so book your tickets while you can.

Sound Breakers: Lisa Ella

31 Jan

(Published 3rd October 2013 in City Life Extra)

This week Sound Breakers takes you back to the old skool with talented Mancunian vocalist Lisa Ella. Her sound combines the key essences of the heydays of the ‘90s, when piano house and deep bass grooves were still in their infancy. For those readers young enough to have bypassed the full 1990s rave revolution, then Lisa’s music offers an ideal taster of what you’ve missed out on. And for those who were there, it’s a very welcome blast from the past.

Lisa Ella publishedKeeping it in the family, working alongside producer brother Kardanski, Lisa’s soulful vocals fit perfectly with the grinding basslines, infectious piano melodies and Balearic style beats. The duo are definitely bringing the dance anthems of Rozalla, Inner City and Baby D into the present, with a modern day R&B twist.

Currently tying up loose ends in the studio and writing new material, Lisa will be unveiling a video for track ‘Underestimated’ shortly too, also produced by her brother. The busy pace continues with an acoustic showcase at Tiger Lounge on 12th October. So if the old skool era holds a special place in your heart, then Lisa Ella’s good-time grooves will make for an essential addition to your iPod.

Sound Breakers: Goma

31 Jan

(Published 19th September 2013 in City Life Extra)

Goma publishedRich in driving bass, dubstep danceability, hip-hop spitting of the most accomplished order and party vibes by the bucketload, Goma are indeed a mixed bag of influences. Oh, did we mention the African, Caribbean and Afro-French inspired beats as well? Seamlessly melded into a signature sound like no other, Goma are undeniably making ripples on the Manchester music scene.

Made up of a core of 4 members, the production team regularly welcome a myriad of gifted accomplices from the city’s urban music folds including CROWN, One-Da, Jon Kenzie, amongst others. Perhaps the most stimulating element of the Goma story is that they play their mind-blowing brand of dance music 100% live; no loops, sequencing or backing tracks.

Their mission statement is to bring human grooves back to the dance floor and I for one salute them in their quest! In fact all tracks featured on their recent EP were tried, tested and approved by a live audience before the recording process even started.

Already scoring highly on the BBC Manchester Introducing agenda with lots of airplay under their belt, they will also headline their monthly gig at The Ruby Lounge on Friday 27th September. Make no mistake; this date needs to be a dead cert for your diary!

Sound Breakers: The Mouse Outfit

31 Jan

(Published 5th September 2013 in City Life Extra)

The Mouse Outfit publishedIf you like your new music with a generous helping of old school big beats and slick rhymes, then this week’s column is for you. Manchester hip-hop act The Mouse Outfit dextrously brandish this hallmark sound and inject their distinctive dose of velvety soul, funk and jazz as well. Smooth vocal flow and delivery combined with tight musicianship is paramount.

Although made up of 3 core members; Chini, Defty and Pitch, on the live circuit they’re a 9 strong force to be reckoned with. With Dr Syntax and Sparkz currently part of the fold, their music is kept continually fresh by the array of collaborations welcomed from various musicians and vocalists.

Debut album ‘Escape Music’ released in May has been on the receiving end of many glowing reviews to date, whilst their live show has been causing nothing short of a stir across the UK festival scene this summer, with slots at Bestival and Boom Bap still on the agenda, not to mention a handful of Autumn tour dates around the UK.

With new material in the pipeline, it won’t be long before The Mouse Outfit are tantalising even more eardrums. Don’t be the last to the party!

Sound Breakers: JJ Rosa

31 Jan

JJ Rosa published(Published 22nd August 2013 in City Life Extra)

Hailing from Stockport, JJ Rosa was first bitten by the music bug when, aged 7, she gate-crashed her sister’s piano lessons. These days, she deftly lays down powerful and soulful vocals that straddle a broad and diverse range of styles, but her signature sound is predominantly infectious pop melodies combined with edgy rock riffs. With the striking looks and vocal chords of a feisty star in the making, it’s easy to see why JJ Rosa (aka Jessica Rose Hancock) has instantly piqued the interest of record labels S-Curve Records in New York and Warner Bros in the UK.

Previously one part of Manchester unsigned band The Jessie Rose Trip, her former bandmates now contribute to complete her robust and catchy sound. As with most of the songs created by JJ to date, including her EP ‘Live At The Deaf Institute’, one listen will ensure they are firmly implanted in your head for weeks to come. Working with a production team behind hits for Duffy and Bat For Lashes has certainly done no harm in fashioning sing-along smashes and establishing a praiseworthy
catalogue to date.

With another studio EP in the making, not to mention a hotly anticipated debut album, put JJ Rosa on your radar.

Sound Breakers: Literature Thieves

31 Jan

Lit Thieves published(Published 8th August 2013 in City Life Extra)

With delightful, stripped-back sounds full of cheerful and exuberant harmonies, it’s no wonder that Literature Thieves have been welcomed into Manchester’s Red Deer Club stable. Garnering interest off the back of single ‘Waves That Weave’ and EP ‘Moon Stories From Glass Mountain’, the off-kilter female trio have justifiably been championed across the airwaves on BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 2 and Folk Radio UK in recent months.

Lyrics inspired by nature, the moon and fairy-tale treasures all sit atop a diverse array of instruments including mandonlins, ukuleles, glockenspiels, organs and acoustic guitars. With a jaunty drum beat carrying the songs, you’ll be fighting to stop your ferocious toe-tapping and grabbing the nearest stranger to break into a jig.

Aside from wholeheartedly winning the Soundbreakers seal of approval, the girls are currently in the running to play at Green Man Festival as part of their Rising initiative. Forthcoming singles ‘Rain’ and ‘King Of Cups’ are due to be released later this year on Red Deer Club. And if Literature Thieves pique your curiosity, why not do yourself a worthy favour and check out the other treats the folk label have to offer, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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