Blimey, even a month is a long time in music, eh? When I wrote /Tuesday Ten/398, there was a gathering storm on the horizon, so to speak, and since then, pretty much everything has ground to a halt unless it happens in your house, or on the internet. But, music is still being released.
/Tuesday Ten/403/Tracks of the Month/Mar-20
/Tuesday Ten/Tracks of the Month/2020
Which is why I’m continuing with my posts, including these /Tracks of the Month posts. Indeed, perhaps these are more important than ever. We need to find ways to help artists out while they aren’t touring, be that by sharing new music, buying new music, even streaming new music. So consider this part of my own assistance for the greater good. As many of you may have noticed, I’m uninterested in sticking to particular styles of music. My tastes in music don’t fit into one particular box, and thus what I write about here won’t be confined as such either.
A quick explanation for new readers (hi there!): my Tuesday Ten series has been running since March 2007, and each month features at least ten new songs you should hear – and in between those monthly posts, I feature songs on a variety of subjects, with some of the songs featured coming from suggestion threads on Facebook.
Feel free to get involved with these – the more the merrier, and the breadth of suggestions that I get continues to astound. Otherwise, as usual, if you’ve got something you want me to hear, something I should be writing about, or even a gig I should be attending, e-mail me, or drop me a line on Facebook (details below).
/Track of the Month
/Ten Grand Goldie
/Alles in Allem
At last – at least for those of us unable to join the latest Supporters phase for one reason or another – the mighty Berlin machine rolls into life again. Their first new album proper since Alles Wieder Offen in 2007 (apparently Lament doesn’t strictly count as a Neubauten album!), there is something of a thrill as the sound fades in, and N.U. Unruh’s as-unorthodox-as-ever percussion gettings things rolling. According to announcements thus far, the album is something of a concept around their home city of Berlin, and quite what Blixa is on about with “ten grand goldie” I’m not yet sure, but I have a hunch it might be about some character they’ve encountered in the city. There some elements not common to Neubauten – vocal samples and loops for a start – but Blixa’s scream is present and correct, and this song is almost fun, with an energetic rhythm and a generally loose feel. It’s truly great to have them back.
/The Yankee and the Brave
It’s not been as long waiting for new material from RTJ – particularly as they’ve done a number of fantastic collaborations with DJ Shadow in particular since RTJ3 – but the tease for RTJ4 feels like it has been going on for ever, and at last, this past month, we had two new tracks from it drop. The lead track, The Yankee and the Brave, has the kind of frantic energy that powers the best RTJ tracks, and rather feels like the curtain raiser for what to expect. If it’s all as good as this, bring it the hell on.
Ex-members of Cop Shoot Cop, Unsane and Swans? Sounds like this emerged ultimately from the morass of the BC35 recording sessions, but it’s no less brilliant for it. It rather does what you might expect going on the group’s origins, too. Hulking drums, filthy, dirty basslines, and equally threatening guitars that back up Jim Coleman’s sneering vocals. Frankly, this is fucking great, and the full album is well worth hearing. Thanks to my friend Kenneth for the headsup on this one, otherwise I’d have missed it.
/Stealing the Future
“We got to reclaim the future…now”
This song rather takes on a new light in the current circumstances, but either way, it’s a warm welcome back to Asian Dub Foundation – this is their first album since 2015, even if they haven’t perhaps been in the public eye anyway in recent times like they were around the turn of the millenium. This is a furious, drum’n’bass’n’punk take on recent politics, that right now feels like an eternity ago, but in some respects is something that is absolutely going to be raised again. This is comment on the stolen future of the young, whose prospects have been stunted in the past decade by austerity, Brexit and now COVID-19, funding cuts chopping away at support networks, international opportunities swept away by isolationist Brexiteers, and fragile job opportunities. Even without COVID-19, the future for the young was bleak enough. What next? ADF don’t pretend to have the answers, but they have a thrilling way of asking the questions.
/Randolph & Mortimer vs ROÜGE
/Union of the Faithful
The latest release from Randolph & Mortimer leans heavily into the industrial-techno interests of the group, with four broadly sample-free collaborations that are all impressive pieces. There’s a lot to digest here – and the best part of twenty-five minutes of music across the four tracks – but the most impressive one here is by a nose the shortest, with French techno artiste ROÜGE, which has a bright, optimistic-sounding build and some absolutely thumping peaks. If only we could hear this in clubs right now, eh? Also, if you needed another reason to buy this, the group have confirmed that all profits for the first four weeks go to Disability Sheffield.
I’m not going to lie – until I saw the release announcement and new single/video from Dais Records, this was an artist I’d not heard of before. At least from their bio, they are Utah-based (or at least of Utah origin), and they make indie-synthpop, and both elements are in evidence. The jangling guitars take me back to whimsical eighties indie – way before Britpop, probably before most of them even began bothering the mainstream, never mind the indie charts – and the thin, deliciously retro synths and handclaps take me back to a similar age. Their most remarkable element, though, is vocalist Adam Klopp. His soaring, sweet voice reminded me instantly of the late Billy MacKenzie, from the Associates, and this is no bad thing. This song is one of those that creeps into your brain, and rather hasn’t departed yet.
There’s something of old-school Future Sound of London in this (maybe distant echoes of “Papua New Guinea”), a bright-sounding tech-house track that feels like it is heralding the beginning of summer, especially as I write this, it is about 20ºC outside on a gloriously sunny day. Much like FSOL, too, even at their most upbeat moments, it resists the charge to the dancefloor, leaving skittering, restless percussion to lead the way, and this less-is-more approach makes for a fantastic track.
/Fire for Water
/Child Soldier: Creator Of God
An interesting and unexpected announcement this past month was that of a new solo project from Greg Puciato. Following the dissolution of Dillinger Escape Plan, he had retreated thus far into the smooth, dark electro of The Black Queen, so this first, raging taste of his solo work is rather unexpected. Apparently entirely recorded by Puciato, with the exception of the drums (by fellow DEP-alumni Chris Pennie), this track oscillates between industrial atmospherics and hyperactive hardcore, and has a different feel to DEP, even if it is using some of the same base elements. At points during Black Queen shows, there was a distinct feeling of Puciato itching to let loose – this is first evidence of how he’s done so.
/Fall from Grace
I must admit that I’ve blown somewhat hot and cold on recent Paradise Lost output, as they’ve made a determined drift back to their earlier, gothic doom days (as if the intermediate period featuring synths, which they’ve been susprisingly defensive about in interviews, never happened). But this is maybe a better balance of styles again. Sure, it’s a molasses-thick trudge of a groove, but Nick Holmes unleashes his clean, quite great singing voice for a characteristically brilliant chorus that instantly reminds how much I’ve long loved Paradise Lost. Interestingly, apparently there is at least one “guaranteed dancefloor-filler at any discerning goth nightclub” on this upcoming album, too. I can’t wait to hear the whole thing.
/TIME IS THE FIRE IN WHICH WE BURN
Recommended to me by a friend in the US, this is impressive stuff. Is Doomgaze a thing yet, as it looks like it should be. This track manages to invoke both My Dying Bride and Slowdive in the first thirty seconds, chugging and chiming away before abruptly and unexpectedly switching time signatures without losing the thread of the song. It is also notable for resisting the temptation to lose the clean vocals, which I think actually suit this sound better than any growling might do. This song has an impressive humanity amid the swirling chaos, and the rest of the album also comes highly recommended.