July’s Music

A fairly varied set of tracks for the month:

This album is a revelation! Seriously, it blew my mind – it’s so many 80s-and-90s-alternative music styles. Some songs are The Jesus and Mary Chain, some songs are The Cure, some are Fields of the Nephilim and Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry goth-flavoured. There’s not a single weak moment on the album. Certainly the best download of the month, maybe the best download so far this year.

I’ve always loved industrial music, but let’s face it, it’s pretty much music made (mostly) by European white men, and that gives it a kind of sameness. So I was really thrilled when I discovered Android Lust a couple of years ago. Bangladeshi-born, NYC based Shikhee is Android Lust. Women in Industrial are a minority. Asians in Industrial even more so, particularly South Asians. As you might imagine, a South Asian woman in industrial is almost impossibly rare. But I’m not gushing about Android Lust because she’s a South Asian woman – that’s just icing. Android Lust is excellent. This is the remix album of her debut, and it’s just fantastic. In places quietly menacing, in other places super aggressive, but almost always unsettling and creepy (the way early Velvet Acid Christ albums were unsettling and creepy).

Really mellow, latin-jazz-influenced down tempo. At times riding the edge of too jazzy for me, but really excellent over all. Perfect [chillout]; music, as the raver kids say.

Ambient, creepy, haunting and beautiful. Grouper’s debut is wonderful, but only hints at the magnificence that is yet to come. (Yes, I’m talking about Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill.)

Not quite as good as Uber Alles but still tons of ridiculous over-the-top fun. Choice song titles include Kaiser von Shizer, Disko Fire Scheiss Messiah, and Scheissway to Hell.

Red Sparowes’ debut album. Epic instrumental rock with a metal edge – imagine Mogwai, Isis and Pelican had some kind of mutant gene-spliced child and you get some inkling of Red Sparowes.

Red Sparowes’ second and third albums respectively, I listened to these two back-to-back so they kind of blur together for me. Somewhere along the ride, that hard Isis-style edge rounded off a bit, much to the music’s benefit. Still heavy, but not quite as bombastic.

Yet another so-called post-rock band (have I mentioned how much I hate the term post-rock?), but different. Where Yume Bitsu did psychedelic, where Mogwai does epic, where Mono does introspective, The Six Parts Seven does pretty. And it really is very pretty music.

M83 co-founder Nicholas Fromageau left after their second album, Before the Dawn Heals Us, and has stayed under the radar for the past seven-or-so years. Team Ghost is his return to making music, and his M83 roots are clearly apparent. But where M83 progressed, Team Ghost is mostly the same. This EP sounds a lot like it picks up right where Before the Dawn Heals Us left off. Musically the EP is terrific, but the vocals are rather weak. It’s a shame, because they hurt an otherwise enjoyable EP.

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