New Soundbites: March album reviews – part one


March is always a particularly good time of year for records. But this one reached another level when Liverpool’s Mugstar dropped their latest on our doormat. Gonsasufi, Lightspeed Champion, Pantha du Prince, Errors and Smoking Hearts also come under the spotlight.

Mugstar: …Sun, Broken… Album of the Month
Important Records
In a perfect world the crowd that gathered at Korova for last Friday’s New Young Pony Club gig would have showed for Mugstar‘s album launch the following evening.
Feisty, young felines throwing their hair around, ruching up their dresses while pouring various liquids down their faces and generally coming over all panther-style hot.
They’d have loved it too – 40 minutes of 23rd Century spacerock complete with samurai warlord keys and grooves so progressively funky the loins would be crying out for relief.
The incessant grind of Furklausundbo – a 13 minute moog monster which would put Oneida to shame in the maths department – nails flute and viola without every relenting on the darkness, ensuring St John’s staff were on standby should the heavy breathing get out of control.
Sadly, the sweat-caked, bearded musos lapping up Saturday’s thunder weren’t much of a turn on. By contrast, Mugstar’s latent menace and colossal take on sonic warfare certainly was. There’s a reason they’ve signed with Important Records, make it your mission to get involved.

Gonjasufi: A Sufi & A Killer
True story: Head of Warp Records gets lost in the desert, takes shelter in a tramp’s cave, said tramp unveils his mystical way around all manner of technology and ancient musical commodities while feeding him copious supplies of homegrown plants. His ears go pop and his head goes bang.
Next thing you know tramp emerges from his sandstorm exile and has released a mind-altering, slow jam record with TWENTY THREE mini trips which work for late night boogies or as a bath-time accompaniment.
My fave is Change, a crackly striptease number which sounds like the early 70s bottled up and given a shakedown by Isaac Hayes.
Gots to love Warp.

Lightspeed Champion: Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You
Every interview you read with lil’ ol’ Dev Hynes concerns his desperation – lack of pennies, lack of time for the industry and lack of regard for his output. I’m wondering if he should hook up with a career advisor as he’s clearly not getting much out of this music lark.
He always looks pretty rad in hats, maybe there’s an opening for him there – kinda like those guys who model their hands. It’s a niche market and there can’t be many people that rock the dude in deerstalker/trucker/leather aviator/Russian ushanka better than Dev.
I don’t mind if he carries on making music, there’s always at least a handful of perdy tracks on his records and this latest one is better than his last when it really works but tails off considerably, putting it pretty much on a par overall.

Pantha du Prince: Black Noise
Rough Trade
Did Carles invent chillwave?
Kinda bummed out that the alt-bros didn’t catch on and ‘utilise’ their position of strength to form a relevent brand. Will chillwave have a second wave, and become post-chill?
Did AmAppy see a marked upsale in bank during the rise/birth/infancy of chillwave in the last quarter of 2k9?
Was the demise of chillwave in the first quarter of 2k10 responsible for the Great AmAppy Riots?


Errors: Come Down With Me
Rock Action
Wonder what it’d be like if Mogwai just turned up to their Celtic dungeon and bashed out a disco record just for the craic?
Oh, hello!

The Smoking Hearts: Pride Of Nowhere
George Street Records/Cargo
When we used to put gigs on hundreds of stinky-bottomed teenagers used to show up in cut off denim jackets, sweatbands, biro-ed tatts and ambitions of swilling Jack Daniels out of one hand while making a complete demolition ear-racket with the other.
Unfortunately by the time most reached the age of 18 they’d dropped out of college and started stacking shelves in late night petrol stations.
The Smoking Hearts are at stage one – lets hope they stay committed to the cause.




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