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VIDA DE-sign by Michael Buckingham, aka Mick Muttley

Dear friends (yeah really, one of those) I have become a women's wear designer for VIDA! http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/ ...

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

SubVersion Stop 246: Balloon Ascents + Duotone @ The Bullingdon, Oxford, 23.01.15

Balloon Ascents + Duotone @ The Bullingdon, Friday 23rd January 2015

A duo tone, and a balloon ascent, both point to a shape or colour. Musically the monikers Duotone and Balloon Ascents seem equally sharing of colour and shape, as Barney Morse-Brown and the fast rising, late teens indie starlets prove on this double bill from Tigmus promotions.

Duotone, usually a one-man band, evade soulless pomp and on his first track lifted from 2012's "Ropes", the chirpy cello opener "Walking To The Shore". Barney beckons in well-orchestrated loops and exact delivery of his vocals in the manner of the record, but with a sense of place that is warming in the newly-refurbished confines of The Bullingdon. Speaking to the music promoter in the intermission, there seems wanting to put the previously pretense-heavy screen of the "Art Bar" name-change intent aside and make the bullingdon THE venue for live music in Oxford. With a start to the show like this from Tigmus, Barney at least hits his stride with the lilting loveliness of "Little White Caravan", one of Nightshift's tracks of 2015 so far. Peppered with two standouts from his first album "Work Harder..." - "Greetings Hello" and "You Don't Need Church", the result of the crowd's salute to Duotone tonght is shaping and colouring of ambient pop, in the eyes of one mass that doesn't need religiousity to power its group function.

And what a group function Balloon Ascents are in a longer linger around the clouds of shoegazey, dub-inflected indie that post-rock left behind. Subconsciously seeming to owe much bassline-wise to King Tubby, the wandering waltzes never meander in their own shadow, or fall over from friction between instrumentalists. The players all appear to be doing their job with a smile and this energy translates to the crowd. This is Balloon Ascents single ep launch since their Nightshift cover story
in September and the four tracks are "Cutout" and glued into the narrative tonight. Starting with that lead, then working systematically through to my personal highlight, "The Only One", for once a short, sharp shock of a 2-3 minute length works less well for the band, as they stretch their sonic intent further than the clandestine Radiohead influence. So while post-rock has been flipped out of the fold in terms of its peak/trough nature, the progressive nature of Balloon Ascents tracks
remains a strong connector that pushes their work further than genre limitations allow. This makes it sound fresh and exciting, for one, and also in terms of a live experience, they inject more welly into what may come to them by way of wonder. And wonder, duos of tones and shape and colour is certainly what their set is full of this evening.

Monday, 19 January 2015

SubVersion Stop 245: Storyteller + Autumn Saints + Little Red @ The Wheatsheaf, 16th January 2015

Storyteller + Autumn Saints + Little Red @ The Wheatsheaf, 16th January 2015

Just like tonight's headline act name, each performer in tonight's It's All About The Music showcase has a story to tell. Whether they succeed or not, at least on the merits of tonight's landmark crowd attendance (back to a packed 100) is debatable. But for this reviewer, each performer makes a greater sum than the parts, and a defiant showcase all their own.

"Defiant" isn't a word you'd normally associate with the generally wispy songs of folk trio Little Red, but tonight they are lacking a performer in the delicately-voiced Hayley Bell. Narrowing the track selection - seeing as the tunes are built on interplay between gender - say, "What Say You" which features halfway - and underpinned by a dark, bubbling core that deals with themes of love, hope and sometimes even quiet despair. Frontman Ian Mitchell and producer/guitarist Ben Gosling make the most out of a compacted message: more energy - playing to that well-worn stereotype of male strength - and less of the feminine charm that doted their warmly-received "Sticks And Stones" LP from late last year. As a result comparisons with Fink and even Level 42 support The Mercurymen on two of their new tracks bears more weight, but if the over-talkative crowd could shut up while they play so we could hear them in their best light, that would be most welcome.

"It's all vaporous my friend" is a lyric that can also barely be heard from second band, the Americanans Autumn Saints, and despite their set being fairly interesting, pretty much sums them up. They improve as they go, and although the majority are into it, and the Hawkwind/Jethro Tull-esque worded delivery of the vocals sometimes strikes attention, much is show and no substance, and they need a proper rhythm section and astute instrumental variation to reward patience. The Fender Rhodes keyboard style guitar notes that dot throughout the middle of the set brings the quality up a notch, as do the moments where clarity over loudness gives the band the knowledge of what works and what doesn't. They show promise, in short, but we sometimes wish they'd be autumn saints for real, not autumn leaves, blowing in the wind.

Headliners Storyteller take to the stage with a nippy blast of saxophone as the Sheaf upstairs reaches near maximum capacity. Their intriguing mix of jazz, ska and punky pub rock starts out brilliantly as does the turning of a Booker Prize novel. By the end though, with a nicking of almost the entire chorus of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" comes the catch 22. That is, like a story full of ideas, a novel chock full of pages, there's often a lot of chaff that could be edited down. Besides Little Red, who I really enjoyed, and the appreciated energy gradient of the night, Storyteller sometimes pen too many sentences into their sonic diction to leave you a little lost. They have all the elements to really go places, and a dab hand interplay between guitar and saxophonist. But like oversized books, autumn leaves and even maybe a little red, the vapour needs condensing for the ideas to fully blossom into something special.

Monday, 12 January 2015

SubVersion Stop 244: Ideologues Quotes And Clips Pt 3 - Foci's Left - Future Past (EDM Variation 29.12.14) (Unreleased)

003 Foci's Left – Future Past (EDM Variation)

Clip length: full track
Complete track length: 2:16
From: Unreleased, free www.soundcloud.com/subversion-2 dls

"Remembering the past can bring hope to the present". ~ Our Daily Bread.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

SubVersion Stop 243: Ideologues Quotes And Clips Pt 2 - DZA - Sakura (Big Bang EP)

002 DZA – Sakura 

Clip length: 2:30 128kbps
Complete track length: 4:41
From: "Big Bang" EP
Link: https://how2make-rec.bandcamp.com/album/dza-big-bang-ep-luxurious-edition

"Early in his career jazz player Herbie Hancock was invited to play in a quintet with Mies Davis, already a musical legend. In a interview Hancock admitted being nervous but described it as a wonderful experience because Davis was so nurturing. During one performance when Davis was near the high point of his solo, Hancock played the wrong chord. He was mortified. But Davis coninued as if nothing had happened. "He played some chords that made my chord right", Hancock said. What an example of loving leadership. Davis didn't scold Hancock or make him look foolish, he didn't blame him for ruining the performance. He simply adjusted his playing and turned a potentially disastrous misttake into something beautiful." ~ Our Daily Bread.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

SubVersion Stop 242: Ideologues Quotes & Clips - 2015 Personal Archive - Pt 1

Ideologues Quotes And Clips – 2015 – www.kapsil.net/muttley

The premise is simple: to extend the 'Clipticisms' concept from The Dastardly Diaries in 2007 with a audio/visual/textual counterpointing for each piece of information in this www.kapsil.net/muttley folder. A personal archive and document of 2015. Encompassing music you should all hear about; texts that are worth reading ornately; quotes that inspire, self-penned or otherwise.

This folder-bound project will be the book-styled equivalent of the year, whereas the 15 Minutes Of Fame Mixes will have another dedicated folder. That's in the same directory.

Let's kick things off on an ambient tip with my forte music of choice: ambient.
001 36 – Stasis Eject (Version)

Clip length: 2:30
Complete track length: 12:11
From: "Pulse Dive EP"

"The immediate future will always be conducive to shallow reward - the immediate past, less so. It has had time to ferment, to be human" ~SV / www.subvertcentral.blogspot.co.uk

"Ideologues, Quotes And Clips" will appear throughout the year on that last address. I hope you gain something out of them.