July 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hello. I’ve made an 8tracks dedicated to some of the electronic music which has, over the years, given me the Poe-style tears, both directly and indirectly. We shall know it as TEC_TONICS, because it’s important to feel overwhelmed by beauty from time to time, I think.

Kubrick’s Space Odyssey is, of course, the imagery, partly because astronauts are probably the most iconic visual synonymous with the scientific endeavours and achievements of mankind, and partly because HAL broke my heart (“Daisy, Daisy…”) Also, I was lucky enough to see it at London’s Royal Festival Hall last year with live performances by the Philharmonia Orchestra and Philharmonia Voices, which only served to underscore what a flawless accomplishment it was. I cried my eyes out the second it started, and the fear of never experiencing anything close to it again has left me on a beauty-comedown ever since. Anyway, for your listening (dis)pleasure…

“Cardinal Burns” (DVD Review)

July 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

He’s Seb Cardinal (above, right) and he’s Dustin Demri-Burns (above, left), and together they are…Cardinal Burns! Yes, it’s the eponymous TV debut from this highly gifted comedy duo which recently premiered on E4 and was, quite simply, the best of our homegrown genre since League Of Gentlemen.

Having long been treating sell-out audiences to live performances of their idiosyncratic humour, the Cardinal Burns series saw Seb and Dustin’s writing and performing talents brought to the small screen for the first time. Containing violence and scenes of a sexual nature, this character-driven sketch show is not for the easily-offended, but throughout its incredible spectrum of humourous delights lies something very beautiful indeed.

Occasionally silly and often obscure, there’s a darkness running through it that will please fans of the League Of Gentlemen ilk. It’s a slightly surreal and magical world with one-off sketches and recurring characters (Charlie the inept office pussy-chaser and his charismatic mentor, New Guy, offer both a sweetly-developed narrative and gem of a structural device), sharp writing, sensitive social observation and beautifully-realised characterisation full of attentive mannerisms and vocal inflections. Even the send-ups like the self-centred reality drama-bitch you hate to love, Rachel, privileged spoken word tit Switch, Homebase-frequenting, lovable dullard Banksy, and the spot-on pseudo-Indie Kookyville (featuring an inspired Joe le Taxi rendition) are constructed with a certain derisive affection.

But is it funny? Yes, often laugh-out-loud funny (I laughed until I cried at Gary Hall’s class of rock-wannabe simpletons), but it’s so much more than that; there’s a lovable charm to it that transcends the inherently subjective nature of sketch comedy, and Seb and Dustin have such an innate and effortless talent as performers, both individually and with a rare and boundary-defying chemistry together, that they are always a joy to watch. So much so, in fact, that you cannot help but be reminded that comedy can exist as an art form as well as pure entertainment. Their comedic range is impressive to say the least, with a vast and abstractive imagination that asks only for a suspension of belief (the Scottish folie à deux in a “beautiful, well-stocked cafe” is one such impeccably-delivered treat.)

Directed by Ben Taylor and with a very pleasing production from all involved, Cardinal Burns could well be your wisest comedy purchase since the last time you purchased something this good. Be sure to check out the extras where you will find some behind the scenes action, slightly tipsy and informative commentary from Seb, Dustin and sometime-contributors Chris Hayward and Nat Saunders (they of Misery Bear, Worm Hotel, and now added Cardinal Burns live show fame) and, above all, Minor Mishaps in the cut sketches section (it’s probably the single most endearing comedy creation I’ve yet seen.) To conclude: it makes me glad I haven’t died yet.

You can catch up with the entire series now on 4od, and for those who will be in or able to get to London for September the 27th, they will be performing their acclaimed live show at Kings Place on that very evening.

Buy at Amazon.



Semtek – “Bento” (Scott Fraser’s Decompression Dub)

July 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Recently released on the ever-pleasing Awkward Movements label is Semtek’s latest output, Bento. The London-based producer and founder of label Don’t Be Afraid has delivered another round of his idiosyncratic tech house sound with this anticipated track.

Accompanying Semtek’s release is Scott Fraser’s Decompression Dub remix, which sees the producer end his hiatus with the kind of audio assault that’s so deliciously relentless as to make us truly thankful he did. Pushing a near-obscene level of gratuitous bass, this stand-alone variation sees the Wave/Black Nation artist return in stellar sonic form.

Shamelessly filthy and yours to download now at Juno.





Stellar Kinematics – “The Escape”

May 29, 2012 § 2 Comments

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears – Edgar Allan Poe.

And so it is that this video from French record label and digital art-mongerers, Stellar Kinematics, caused me to have the tears pertaining to that which I find beautiful. This clip is raw from Camera E-8 on the launch umbilical tower/mobile launch program of Apollo 11, July 16, 1969. This is an HD transfer from the 16mm original. More at http://www.spacecraftfilms.com/Music by Dusty Brown – This City Is Killing Me.

Free download of Dusty Brown’s This City Is Killing Me EP available on their website, http://www.dustybrown.com/

You might also like…to play and download this Stellar Kinematics release by Playground.





Glass Diamond – “Girls & Boys” (Medicine 8 E-Street Vox Mix) (Audio) (Trashmouth Records)

May 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s a beautiful day in London today, and I recommend an audio garnish of Medicine 8’s suitably uplifting remix of their own recent signing, Glass Diamond. Courtesy of the London-based duo’s Trashmouth Records and available as a digital-only release on June 3rd, Girls & Boys is doubtless the sweetest Disco-infused portent of Summer you’re likely to hear. Please enjoy irresponsibly.

Get your downloads here.





The Simonsound – “Transmission No.1” (Audio)

May 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sci-fi/ Library mix from the UK’s electro/sonic conjuring duo, The Simonsound:

The first Simonsound Transmission …… from inner space to outer space. Features music from pioneering electronic composer Fred Judd, Canadian pop-psych group The Sugar Shoppe and British jazz artist Bob
Downes amongst further library mood music, spaced out rock and electronics.







Phon.o – “ABAW 723” (50 Weapons)

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Track from Berlin-based producer Phon.o’s recent ABAW 723/Sad Happiness EP on 50 Weapons.

Image by Max Capacity.

Boomkat download.



Thom Yorke – “MoneyBack Mix”

September 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Michele Abeles – “Caught In A Secret History” – “6th Of April”

September 26, 2011 § 1 Comment

The entry 6th of April from Brooklyn-based photographer Michele Abeles’ Caught in a Secret History project.



Paul White – “Gentle Freak” (One-Handed Music) (Audio)

September 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Because it’s sunny in the city today. Photography by Lina Scheynius.