One still resides there the other has just recently been ceremoniously deported from there, but our Istanbul natives Sean Bw Parker and Ayfer Simms are brought together once again in spirit, with this mini post of reviews.
Ayfer articulates the shoegaze reverberating visions of Postcode, whilst Sean meditates on NFL3‘s soundscapes and imagines two titans of contemporary, digital glitch-addled avant-gardism, coming to blows over who’s the most disenfranchised maverick; yes Sean mischievously reviews the new Aphex Twin and Thom Yorke in his inimitable style.
NFL3 ‘Pink Renaissance’ (Prohibited Records) 6th October 2014
The sound of instrumental experimentation on urban/francophone overdrive, NLF3 – putting out records for fifteen years – thus drop their latest, Pink Renaissance. If Air were less bothered by money and having hit singles, they might have been chained to a metro train and circle Paris for a month while listening to Steve Reich on repeat…and here we would be.
No review of an ambient/musique concrete album is admissible without mentioning the Godfather Of Directionless Sound himself, Brian Eno. Yes, Pink Renaissance positively reeks of him – well he did lay the foundations – and his wonderful ‘Making Space’ is a useful counterpoint in reference to standout track ‘The Stellar Friendship’.
The ‘Hardcore Air’ point definitely works though – NLF3 are creatures of melody for sure, and the different lines twist and turn through each other, creating a 21st century baroque all of their own making – with the occasional, jaunty ‘ooh aah’s tossed about for good measure. Music for music’s sake is alive and well it seems – and long may it remain so.
Postcode ‘Year Of The Zebra – Part One’ (Small Bear Records)
An upbeat and cheeky vocalist confidently leads the six-tracked “experimental” indie rock polyphony. Reminiscent of the Hole era, while equally wild and carefree as Courtney Love’s sound and particularly vocals, Postcode’s tracks are more humble and less insurgent in many ways. The most charmingly imperfect vocals of the lead singer offers a “feel good” vibe, a territory of exploration with an obvious fun mindset. While the music is good, it is probably the vocals that render these six tracks original as if driven by the witty personality of that voice, wandering and open to possibilities. ‘Blue Fluff’ is almost theatrical, bright and amusing, ‘Erocarbez’ is a short musical track with, and perhaps, “reversed” guitars effects, and intriguing fast beat music gets the chance to shine on its own.
The first track, ‘Yggdrasil’ with its title borrowed from the 13th century mythology offers the perfect example of intertwined vocals, ample guitar effects and an appealing melody. The lyrics are sometimes eaten by the general tempo but phrases like “today I am leaving you” or references to the mischief of politicians, sets the tone to a rebel attitude.
Classical in many ways of the indie bands from the 90s, Postcode show a clear impulsion to experiment, test the soil and combine a genre they are fond off with other unknown, uncharted sounds, ways of singing and use of instruments.
‘Letting Go’ is, a slow guitar and a slightly twisted vocal tune which has an almost self-derisory edge to it, while the last track ‘Boardwalk’ offers a darker face with a general tone that blends deeper into the distant instrumental atmosphere.
It is very appropriately that this EP is called “part 1”, as one has the feeling that yet another dimension will be added to the parts to come. A band boiling with ideas and energy, we are hoping they keep that dash alive for the subsequent endeavor.
Aphex Twin and Thom Yorke Discuss Their New Albums
(Richard D James and Thom Yorke are sitting outside a cafe by Exeter Cathedral green, sipping cappuccinos under a Coca Cola umbrella. Yorke is puffing on an electronic cigarette with a 5 year old copy of Mojo open in front of him, while James is smoking a pipe while reading Bret Easton Ellis’ ‘American Psycho’ on his ipad. They are both sullen behind their massive fringes, and in duffel coats despite the hot Devonshire sunshine)
Thom Yorke: ‘What’s with those song titles man? I mean, ‘fz pseudotimestretch+e+3’, are you really sure?’
Richard D James: (glowering heavier behind fringe) ‘It’s mysterious, innit. And that’s what the file names were recorded as on my laptop. Poetic titles are very nineties, imo’
TY: ‘Did you actually just say ‘imo’ as an abbreviation? I thought you could only do that in writing, because you were lazy and didn’t like clichés, like. Simples’
RDJ: ‘Did you just waggle your index fingers in the air while you said ‘imo’? Isn’t that too a bit clichéd? Anyway, how do you get your tracks to sound so much like Jean Michel Jarre and Scott Walker jamming with a colony of amplified ants being played in the middle of the night from the next room?’
TY: ‘Well thank you, thank you. I just want to push the envelope, try doing things a bit differently, you know’
RDJ: ‘So why has everything you’ve been involved with sounded the same since ‘Hail To The Thief’ then?’
TY: ‘Oh you heard that? I didn’t imagine they had any HMVs left in Cornwall’
RDJ: ‘Course we do! Anyway I bought it at Our Price in Bristol. Hang on, no I didn’t, I got it for free off Bit Torrent last week when I knew I was going to meet you’
TY: ‘Um, glad to hear that. I wonder how on ‘syro u473t8+e (piezoluminescence mix)’, and on all the other tracks to be honest, you manage to make a dishwasher falling down the staircase of a gothic mansion in 9/7 time recorded with a barely earthed microphone sound, well, so hypnotic?’
RDJ: ‘It’s mysterious, innit. Got any tobacco?’
TY: ‘Sorry, no time. Got to go and meet Chris Cunningham to talk about a video for ‘The Mother Lode’
RDJ: ‘You what? Fucking little bitch, I’m gonna kill him…you first though’
(James launches himself across the table at Yorke, who is bowled over backwards, smashing his skull on the cathedral steps. James freezes, looks around quickly then sprints off into the Exeter backstreets. From around the corner of the cafe, Chris Cunningham quietly switches off his iphone camera and walks away.)