Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Releases: January 2011

Round up of the most interesting albums and singles released in January 2011 with useful preview links:


ANNA CALVI - Anna Calvi
IRON & WINE - Kiss Each Other Clean
WIRE - Red Barked Tree
FUJIYA & MIYAGI - Ventriloquizzing
THE GO! TEAM - Rolling Blackouts
ESBEN & THE WITCH - Violet Cries
COLD WAR KIDS - Mine is Yours
GANG OF FOUR - Content
SOCIAL DISTORTION - Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes
TAPES 'N TAPES - Outside
BRITISH SEA POWER - Valhalla Dancehall
CLOUD NOTHINGS - Cloud Nothings
DEERHOOF - Deerhoof Vs. Evil
ROBERT POLLARD - Space City Kicks
JOHN VANDERSLICE - White Wilderness
SMITH WESTERNS - Dye it Blonde
BARDO POND - Bardo Pond
CAGE THE ELEPHANT - Thank You Happy Birthday 
TALIB KWELI - Gutter Rainbows
THE GET UP KIDS - There Are Rules

Singles & EPs

PJ HARVEY - The Words That Maketh Murder
GLASSER - Mirrorage - Lindstrom Remix
BEST COAST / WAVVES - Summer Is Forever
THE GO! TEAM - Buy Nothing Day
SONIC YOUTH - SYR9: Simon Werner A Disparu
DAVID LYNCH - Good Day Today / I Know Remixes
THE VACCINES - Post Break-up Sex
SIX SIX SECONDS - She can't say
RAEKWON - Shaolin Vs. Wu Tang
RICHARD ASHCROFT - This Thing Called Life
FIRST AID KIT - Universal Soldier / It Hurts Me Too
DUNGEN - Oga Nasa Mum/Highway Wolf

And a taste of things to come: At the end of February we're expecting Lykke Li's sophomore album "Wounded Rhymes", produced by Peter Bjorn & John's Bjorn Yttling. The first two singles from the record, last year's awesome "Get Some" and the brand new pop gem "I Follow Rivers", have raised our expectations and if the rest of "Wounded Rhymes" is cut from the same cloth then it'll definitely worth it to shell out about 40 euros or 55 dollars to get the limited edition collectors set. Here's the great looking video for "I Follow Rivers", directed by Tarik Saleh and starring a barefoot in the snow Lykke Li and Swedish Lebanese actor Fares Fares. It was shot on the island of Gotland, Närsholmen, the same place where Andrei Tarkovsky filmed "The Sacrifice":

Lykke Li - I Follow Rivers

And here's David Sitek's remix:

(mp3s via pitchfork and stereogum)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mater Suspiria Vision: the horror...the horror!

As their name implies, Mater Suspiria Vision really dig horror movies. And as their latest video creation for new track "The Trip Garden of El Diablo" makes clear, they're also big fans of "Black Swan", '70s Czech movies and early Jennifer Connelly (who isn't?).

The mysterious witch house act (I really have no idea who is behind this ace, Dario Argento-inspired name) with a knack for creating blood-chilling soundtracks to b-movie collages is about to release the vinyl album "Inverted Triangle I" on Clan Destine/Phantasma Disques, while they also have in the works the "Fromrussiawithaids" split CDR which includes the track behind this blood-stained tribute:

Mater Suspiria Vision - The Trip Garden of El Diablo

Visit their blog for more twisted fun and definitely NSFW horror clips. My favorite? The video for "Ghost House of Eugenia" from the forthcoming "Inverted Triangle I" starring Rita Calderoni:

Mater Suspiria Vision - Ghost House of Eugenia

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gatekeeper at the Gates of (H)e(l)lectro

Follow the dark musical path connecting Cabaret Voltaire, Front 242, Detroit techno, John Carpenter’s soundtrack work and the modern day witch dance of Salem and you’ll eventually cross paths with Gatekeeper guarding the Gates of (H)e(l)lectro. The experimental techno duo from New York/Chicago recently released the retro-futuristic six track "Giza" EP on Merok accompanied by a VHS (!) video collection. Check out the video for the opening track "Chains" below and go here to watch the rest of them.

Here’s the mp3 for "Serpent" via Altered Zones where you'll find more info on Gatekeeper:

Gatekeeper - Serpent

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Words That Maketh Murder

The first great single of 2011 is here:

PJ Harvey - The Words That Maketh Murder

The 7" will be released on February 7th backed with the exclusive b-side "The Guns Called Me Back Again", while the album "Let England Shake" is coming the following week, making it the ideal Valentine's Day gift!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vintage Tracks 8: Archers Of Loaf - Web In Front

Just read the news about Archers Of Loaf reuniting for their first show since 1998. This certainly brings back a lot of memories...a sweaty gig in the tiny Garage venue in London circa '94...their excellent debut album "Icky Mettle" the previous year...listening to the awesome "Web In Front" single on the John Peel show for the first time - a perfect two-minute slice of punk-rock bliss with a pop heart...the great guitar bands of the early '90s. Archers Of Loaf was certainly one of them and here is exhibit number one:

Archers Of Loaf - Web In Front

Friday, January 14, 2011

Trish Keenan R.I.P.

Very sad news today. Here's my all-time favorite Broadcast song, the single "Come On Let's Go" from their 2000 debut album "The Noise Made By People":

Broadcast - Come On Let's Go

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Soft Moon Rising

This is why I really dig the sport of list-making - you never know what you're going to discover by paying attention to what other people are listening. Sure, sometimes something that seems interesting on paper (LCD screen, to be exact) turns out to be a huge disappointment when you actually get to listen to it, but the few times that you stumble upon something great that had somehow slipped through the cracks, makes the time-consuming endeavor of going through countless lists truly rewarding!

Case in point, The Soft Moon's self-titled debut that was released on Captured Tracks at the end of November - an album which despite its late arrival, managed to make a few appearances in some year-end lists here and there. And rightly so, since Louis Vasquez's one-man band makes an inspiring racket, fueled by the best bits of early '80s post-punk and hell-raising goth. The ghosts of Joy Division and primary Cure are trapped in a kraut-rocking, repetitive limbo and brought back to life, kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It goes without saying that this album should become a part of our own 2010 list as soon as I am done going through the long list of albums that I should check out before making its final version, which will appear in due time over here. Meanwhile, here's a taster from this awesome debut, the official video for the mesmerizing "Circles", a killer track that certainly owes a little something to "She's Lost Control":

The Soft Moon - Circles

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2010 Review: Top 30 Albums of the Year

Happy Twenty-Eleven everybody! Cool Music Central continues the long standing tradition of kicking off the New Year with a post dedicated to the best albums of the year past (since 2000 to be exact, from a different URL back then - anybody still remembers Netscape websites?).

In our 2010 Review we have presented so far our favorite albums from the veterans and the newbies, the Top 100 Tracks of the Year and the first part of our Top 60 Albums of the Year. Time then to turn our attention to the Best of the Best - C.M.C.'s Top 30 Albums of 2010.

As early as April it became clear to me that unless something truly extraordinary was released in the next eight months, then The Fall (still The Best New Band In Britain after 28 albums as this NME review correctly pointed out) would claim once again the Number One spot of my year-end list (the first time was twenty years ago with "Extricate"). And although we did listen to plenty of excellent records in the remainder of the year, nothing really could measure up to the renewed fire and fury of Mr. Mark E Smith and his ever-changing group. As I was writing in our May review "what remains constant throughout the album is the band's unflinching focus and unrelenting intensity, resulting in its best work since The Unutterable back in 2000, an LP that found its way in our Top 20 Albums for the '00s. I’m convinced that a similar achievement for the new decade is more than possible thanks to the mighty roar of Your Future Our Clutter".

While the top of our 2010 list is claimed by a legendary group with a long history, the new breed has a strong presence in the rest of the Top 10 with the amazing debuts of Glasser, Dum Dum Girls, Sleigh Bells and Salem earning a place among the best albums of the year and, more importantly, showing quality that promises even greater things for the future. No Age, Beach House and Wolf Parade also produced brilliant albums that stand out as career highlights. Arcade Fire's ambitious concept album "The Suburbs" may not surpass the quality of their previous efforts, but it's sufficiently strong to lead the band for the third time in one of our year-end Top 10 lists. As for The National, their fifth effort "High Violet" proved to be the best of their decade-long career, an album that was becoming even more addictive and necessary the more you listened to it.

To read more about our favorite albums of the year, check out our Listening Habits posts of 2010 here. And here is the complete Top 30 list based on what we've been able to listen to so far:

Top 30 Albums of 2010

1.   Your future our clutter - THE FALL
2.   Ring - GLASSER
3.   High violet - THE NATIONAL
4.   I will be - DUM DUM GIRLS
5.   Treats - SLEIGH BELLS
6.   Everything in between - NO AGE
7.   Expo 86 - WOLF PARADE
8.   The suburbs - ARCADE FIRE
9.   Teen dream - BEACH HOUSE
10. King night - SALEM
11. Crystal Castles (II) - CRYSTAL CASTLES
12. Sisterworld - LIARS
13. Grinderman 2 - GRINDERMAN
14. Transference - SPOON
15. The fool - WARPAINT
16. High Places Vs Mankind - HIGH PLACES
18. Nerve up - LONELADY
19. Gemini - WILD NOTHING
20. Forgiveness rock record - BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
21. Root for ruin - LES SAVY FAV
22. Wilderness heart - BLACK MOUNTAIN
23. Crazy for you - BEST COAST
25. Total life forever - FOALS
26. The flexible entertainer - PIT ER PAT
27. Sea of cowards - THE DEAD WEATHER
28. Majesty shredding - SUPERCHUNK
29. The Soft Pack - THE SOFT PACK
30. Sleep forever - CROCODILES