Lewis Idle – “The Night We Almost Fell In Love” (Audio)

March 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

“He loves you with that everlasting love. True love.” – Donna Hayward, Fire Walk With Me. 


Though Valentine’s Day is consigned once more to its annual past, love’s lamentations have not yet been lost this year. Yes, courtesy of Trashmouth Records we have this hard-edged innocence by Lewis Idle, New Malden’s mysterious and felt tip pen-wielding balladeer who, 13-seconds in, had me lit up like it was the first day of Summer. As the title suggests, The Night We Almost Fell In Love is nostalgic, but in both senses; a tale of missed opportunity with ‘50s-era sensibilities and sonic style updated by thundering guitar punctuations. Sounds like: The Jesus And Mary Chain crooned a $5 shake for my ears. And so, 2014 may very well not see romantic regret pitched in such authentic derivation again, but that’s something we can lament next year, along with this year’s lost loves.




Pheed: The Right Ingredients For All Your Social Media Sustenance?

January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment


When new social media platform Pheed launched three months ago, it took mere days for Forbes to confidently propose it as a Twitter rival and serious threat to the social media landscape. And indeed, with its celebrity endorsements from the get-go and inarguable new media pedigree (Pheed is self-funded and founded by CEO and new media entrepreneur, O.D. Kobo), it certainly seems like the precocious kid on a daunting block. But while Pheed has won the popularity contest user-wise (350,000 unique visitors in its first few days and big-name advocates such as Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus touting its wares) and impressed with its tech credentials (the iPhone app made Apple’s top apps chart within a month), critical reception has been divisive. I’ve been speaking with the man behind this hyped machine, O.D. Kobo, to get the additive-free view of its motivations and aims.

As the ultimate mix of all your favourite flavours (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube), many people will wonder in the first instance, of course, if it is even necessary, and what, if anything, it can offer that is fresh to the table. Pooling these micro-mediums in the wake of Google+’s infamous tumbleweed disappointment and MySpace’s dubious resurrection may seem risky at best, but Kobo believes Pheed holds the user-based temptations to succeed where these others have faltered. The most obvious and unique difference is its in-built business model, whereby users (Pheeders) may charge for access to content. The platform would then take 50% of the fees made from either the monthly subscription or pay-per-view options, but what Kobo does stress is that this is entirely optional on the otherwise-free service and that first and foremost it is an alternative, all-inclusive, social media platform. What he also stresses is that the motivation is neither financial nor egotistical; it was never, he states, launched as a rival to Twitter, Facebook et al, as has been reported, and he seems genuinely happy for the business model to fall secondary to what is essentially an invention born of user-based frustration.

And it is this frustration that has led to the tweaking of the converged mediums for what he believes will be the ultimate user experience. Where Pheed may not necessarily be covering any groundbreaking territory just yet, the Pheedees appear to be striving to perfect platform functionality, adding social elements where otherwise lacking and providing optimal technical response with, for example, greater video conversion rates. There is also the option to copyright Pheeds, more open social integration (Pheedback) and extended character chatability (420 v Twitter’s 140.) And in light of the recent fallout from Instagram’s lambasted licensing announcement, greater user control will doubtless be hugely welcomed. In addition, Pheed is currently closed to new user sign-ups (both app and web sign-ups will be available again shortly) while it takes stock of feedback, adjusts, and rolls out extra tech goodies like the forthcoming Android app and image filters.

But can it be as delicious as it seems? Potentially, yes, and after all, what’s not to like about a free platform that offers your favourites, user-polished, with emphasis on creator-controlled and potentially-monetized content? For me, one thing: it’s hard to see the gold for the glitter. Kobo refutes any press insinuations that celebrity endorsements have been paid for, but rather that it was grassroots product-plugging and word-of-mouth that gained this startup notoriety. But with honest product belief and an open embrace from big-draw names, I can’t help but fear pandering to such a demographic and, therefore, an image, could be detrimental to Pheed; one’s aesthetic or cultural meat is another’s poison, and never is this truer than in the fickle world of media where connotations can be a seriously damaging force. What has clearly been instrumental in garnering Pheed all-important noise and swift growth may conversely prove to be its fatal detraction as, after all, a celebrity feeding frenzy isn’t going to be what brings everybody to the social media table. But with Instagram cooking up a recipe for disaster and Instagram-owning Facebook continuing to actively disrespect all concerned with its perilous ‘too big to fail’ attitude, and Pheed vigorously bucking this with its open and attentive approach, Pheeding time could be now.



Two Fingers – “Razorback”/ “Magoo” (Big Dada)

October 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

If you imagine Mantronix as a Kenworth K100 truck, Two Fingers is what happens when the truck turns into Optimus Prime.

And there could be no more applicable audio accompaniment to that quote from Big Dada than today’s release from the double A-side single, Razorback. Alongside Sweden and from their just-released Stunt RhythmsRazorback is a glitchy frontrunner on an album that has seen 3 years pass since bi-collaborators Two Fingers’ last release. Fitting Amon Tobin’s departure from his celebrated A/V soundscapes, Stunt Rhythms is a gluttonously-heavy audio-caterer.


And from the same album, Magoo booms like robotic West Coast:



Special Request – “Lolita (Warehouse Mix)”

October 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Earlier this year, prolific UK producer and DJ Paul Woolford unleashed a fresh nom de guerre onto the music scene. Though his better-known alias may still be Bobby Peru, Special Request’s March vinyl-only release, Lolita (Warehouse Mix), has done sufficient damage to render this limitless and energetic new moniker bound to the consciousness. As the title suggests, this is warehouse-appropriate party-fodder, but with a bassline so playful it’s addictive, it comes with mood-enhancement guaranteed.

Available from Phonica Records.

Angelo Badalamenti – “Pretty Fifties” (Audio)

October 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

And the angels wouldn’t help you, because they’ve all gone away.”

Raycord (Ft. Stab) – “Chaman” (Phonosaurus Records) (Audio)

September 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

For one of the last days of Summer, a dreamy, downtempo trip-hop track from Canadian producer Raycord’s album Ruban-Ruban, out now on Phonosaurus Records.


London Design Festival 2012

September 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Beginning today, Friday September 14th, London will play host to ten days of annual design-based events across the capital, showcasing leading movements in the cultural, the commercial, and the creative. With a remit of courting design democracy, London Design Festival is open to all and largely free of charge, and with the launch of its Global Design Forum this year to mark its 10th anniversary, the focus is very much on emphasising the importance and impact of design within socially and economically-sensitive contemporaneity.

Encompassing talks, trade stands, installations, press events and parties, this celebration of design creativity will see some of London’s best-loved venues and public spaces devoted to pushing this global sphere and London as a hub within it. Among the hundreds of events on offer from the 14th – 23rd, a few of the usual and important design suspects will be Decode (celebrating its fifth year this year,) Tent London and Design Junction, all of which I will be attending, imbibing the best of contemporary design.


“El Resquicio” (Trailer)

August 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

“17-year-old Tomás, and his younger sister Marcela, leave home to attend a fancy dress party. She never comes back. A year later, Tomás and his family go on a trip to an isolated country house, intending to heal their wounds…”

“…But in the hauntingly beautiful countryside, the trip will soon turn into a collective hell. The isolation unearths the memories of Marcela’s death; one son’s deep attraction to his aunt; another son’s hatred for his brother; and the dark fantasy that completely envelops the family’s 10 year-old twins, based on the macabre stories that their aunt tells them before bed. Soon the family members are sunk into a state of nightmarish insanity that some of them may not survive.”

Though there is currently very little info surrounding the release of El Resquicio  (literal translation “The Opening”) and thus far no English subtitles for this Colombian-Argentine film, the atmosphere in the trailer alone is enough to convey that this is one family for whom a healing trip away is backfiring with ample sufficiency to delight fans of cinematographic, isolated family madness.



Shed – “I Come By Night” (50 Weapons)

July 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Released today and marking the artist’s debut on Berlin’s 50 Weapons, Shed’s confidently-titled third album, The Killer, looks set to capitalise on its audio-murderous intent. Stalking you like a stealthy techno assassin, I Come By Night is the third track on this consistent release and my pick for its delicious darkness, weight, and haunting synth floatation. Absolutely merciless.

Available to download at 50 Weapons.

Bixio, Frizzi & Tampera – “Nucleo Antirapina”

July 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s hot in the city, and I have an urge to go on a stakeout, spaghetti-style. Relevant theme music does not come better than Nucleo Antirapina, I find.

Image from Neil Krug’s Pulp series.