Thursday, 30 April 2009

Discoveries: Laleh

Iranian musicians know how to do it, especially when they are outside Iran. I can name you at least five Iranian performers, who have done great in the music niche. Now it is high time I met you with Laleh, an Iranian young female singer living in Sweden. I found her by accident, but after listening to a few tracks by her I realized that this girl needs more attention.

Although she is not new, already two albums released, she is less known outside Scandinavia, which is quite a pity. She sounds like Björk meets Regina Spektor, but with less piano and more vocal experiments. She may not fit everyone's taste, especially if you are more into more radio-friendly voices, but don't ignore her if you are ready for some more indie, mixed with anti-folk, acoustic and alternative. Plus her music has plenty of originality of its own and hides more surprises the deeper you go.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Review: Jenny Wilson - Hardships!

Jenny Wilson may not be the queen of the European indie scene, but she is an excellent singer-songwriter hailing from Sweden, who deserves your attention! Wilson's music is a fine example of how lyrics meet composing creating a world of memories, feelings and a future saturated with acoustic purity. Apart from her solo work Jenny became famous for her duet with her friends and fellow Swedes from The Knife "You Take My Breath Away". In 2005 she released her debut album "Love and Youth", which was overwhelmingly accepted by Scandinavian critics and her album became one of the best releases in Sweden for the same year. Four years later she is back with "Hardships!", which I dare say makes a strong request for one of the best albums in the indie genre.

"Hardships!" is not your typical singer-songwriter album to be lost and forgotten somewhere in between the releases of Tori Amos, Regina Spektor or the alikes. Wilson offers something more than an enriched with instruments and intelligent lyrics album. Every song has its very own special place and still perfectly fits the whole elegantly elaborate structure. Wilson surely doesn't posses the vocal abilities of Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, but her voice is soothing, inspiring and deep. So deep that you actually hear the lyrics first and afterward you realize that there is soft poetry.

I thought that "Love and Youth" is excellent in any possible way, but I guess I just had to listen to "Hardships!". Wilson didn't disappoint me even for a single song and despite being still so underrated she didn't give up! "Hardships!" is the story for all the strength, atrocities, positivism and despair in life, the unique way they intertwine and the lows and highs we fall into.

I may write about this album for hours, but the best thing is to hear it yourself. Prepare in advance at least one hour free time, a glass of your favourite drink and imagination ready to leave this body immediately and endeavor on a journey to emotions near and far.

Songs to hear: "Like A Fading Rainbow", "Clattering Hooves", "The Path", "Only Here for the Fight" and "Porcelain Castle"

Personal rating: 9 out of 10

Monday, 27 April 2009

Discoveries: Little Boots & La Roux

New music! Yay! This time I am posting three of my newest discoveries, which I hope will soon grow on me. They are both British, both female and both are promising.

Little Boots

Little Boots is the stage name of Victoria Hesketh, a British electronica musician born 1984. Her music career began at the age of 18, when she took part in Pop Idol, but never made it through round 4. After that she formed a jazz trio, toured Europe and afterward formed the electro-pop all-girl band Dead Disco. She was named Little Boots after watching "Caligula", which is little boots in English. Hesketh has worked with the British band Hot Chip. In January 2009 she won the BBC Sound of 2009 award, which had previously been granted to Adele, Mika, Keane and others.

La Roux

La Roux is not your typical synth duo as it actually isn't a duo, but the collaborative work between singer and synthesizer player Elly Jackson and the co-writer and co-producer Ben Langmaid. La Roux is French for "red-haired one" and it is a direct reference to Jackson's typical hair style, thus the projects name. They draw inspirations from such bands as Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Eurythmics and The Human League, interpreting the music of the 80s in the electronic world of the 00s. La Roux is expected to release an album in June on Polydor, although an EP has already been made available.

Embedding has been disabled, which is why I am posting only the links:
In For the Kill

New albums to expect

Here is a new list of album that are scheduled for release in the next two months. I have added a few albums that have already been slated, as well as projects that are expected this year, but still await confirmation and addition information.

Future Memories – ATB 1st May
Entertainment – Fischerspooner 4th May
The Promise – Bif Naked 5th May
Sehnsucht – Lacrimosa 8th May
Fistful of Metal – Anthrax 11th May
Journal for Plague Lovers – Manic Street Preachers 18th May
Kingdom of Welcome Addiction – IAMX 19th May
Back on My B.S. – Busta Rhymes 19th May
Veckatimest – Grizzly Bear 26th May
Amanda Leigh – Mandy Moore 26th May
Inshalla – Eskimo Joe 29th May

The Bachelor – Patrick Wolf 1st June
Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King – Dave Matthews Band 2nd June
Homre Lobo – Eels 2nd June
Crossing the Rubicon – The Sounds 2nd June
Hands – Little Boots 6th June
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum – Kasabian 8th June
Battle for the Sun – Placebo 8th June
The People or the Gun – Anti-Flag 9th June
Lines, Vines and Trying Times – Jonas Brothers 15th June
Rebirth -Lil Wayne 16th June
Old Crows / Young Cardinals – Alexisonfire 23rd June
Black Clouds & Silver Linings – Dream Theater 23rd June
Far – Regina Spektor 23rd June
Octahedron – The Mars Volta 23rd June
La Roux – La Roux 29th June
Wait for Me – Moby 30th June
Cradle Song – Rob Thomas 30th June

Before I Self Destruct – 50 Cent (June)
Tha Carter IV – Lil Wayne (December)
Come to Life – Natalie Imbruglia (August)
Cosmic Egg – Wolfmother (September)
No Baggage? – Dolores O’riordan (August)
Shaka Rock – Jet 25th (August)
Sneaky Sound System - Sneaky Sound System (12th August)

To be announced:

Alice in Chains - Fall 2009
Christina Aguilera - Summer 2009
Basement Jaxx
Barenaked Ladies - Fall 2009
Blink 182
Cypress Hill
Eminem - Relapse 2 - Fall/Winter 2009-2010
The Gossip
Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3
Mary J. Blige - Technical Difficulty
Massive Attack - Weather Underground
Michelle Branch - Everything Comes and Goes
Muse - Winter 2009/2010
Pearl Jam
Stone Temple Pilots
Velvet Revolver

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Discoveries: Hadouken!

There is nothing better than browsing some new music and from time to time you get to find some good stuff...similar is the case with my newest discovery and love: Hadouken! The band name is spelled with an exclamation mark, which adds more genuine essence to the whole project.

Hadouken! is an electronic grindie project which hails from Leeds, UK. Until couple of day ago I had no idea what "grindie" means, but after a full check up on the band it turned to be a contraction from grime and indie, which is a direct reference to the genre crossover they create. It all began as a self-financed project of James Smith and Daniel "Pilau" Rice, who met at Leeds University. Fortunately their efforts were not in vain and very soon they were discovered by MTV2 and gained fame after the song "That Boy That Girl" became number one at the weekly NME chart.

Just a year ago Hadouken! released their first studio album, after a successful EP and a growing fan base. The album received predominantly positive reviews, which boosted the bands image. Stylistically they are situated in the new rave/indietronica niche, although they could be considered as the godfathers of grindie (it is still a subject of discussion).

Somehow they are both similar to Klaxons for their electro-rock influences and to Lady Sovereign for the grime lyrics. Of course, Hadouken! is not an entirely grime act, they vary from alternative to indie-pop, but they stay true to the electronic sound garnered with guitars.

Enough talking, time for music! Enjoy!

My concert experience: Pain

Yesterday I had my newest concert experience: the Swedish industrial metal project Pain. Despite not being any close to a die-hard fan of Pain I enjoyed myself a lot and still have a mild headache from the mind-blowing sound. For those of you, who don't know what Pain is here is some useful information: Pain. I cannot say that I couldn't wait to see Peter Tägtgren live as I knew only about his solo project and had no idea that he was such a big name in the Scandinavian metal scene. Tägtgren is responsible for the development of the dead metal genre and the establishment of such bands as Hypocrisy (his own band), Dimmu Borgir, Amon Amarth, Marduk, Dark Funeral, Children of Bodom and many more. In other words Peter is a big deal!

Going back to the concert itself I had no idea what to expect, which sometimes is better as you cannot be really disappointed (or can you?). I was there at sharp 20:00, which was the announced time for the gig to begin. Of course, the organization was rather crude and they wouldn't start letting in for the next two hours and a least I got in at 22:30. Fortunately I had someone to spend the time with otherwise I might have gone back home, had dinner and come back again and most probably I would still had spare time. The concert found place at BlueBox club, which hosted the Combichrist concert just a month ago. I was quite surprised to see that many metal-heads waiting for Pain, having in mind that ummm industrial music is not that popular among them...later that evening I came to realize their majority, after all Tägtgren is an important figure for the music they listen to. I am still not very sure, but I believe that most of them were there to see the frontman of Hypocrisy and in the mean time to see his side project Pain.

The Bulgarian alternative metal band Culn were supposed to be the support, but either the entrance flow was very slow or they played just a few songs as I didn't get to hear or see them at all. Actually when I was in the hall sound check was already running and the whole place was packed...I didn't expect to see that many people, for real.

The show started at 22:40 and it blasted my ears as it began like a dead metal concert. Let's say that the first three songs sounded to me absolutely alike and if it wasn't for the short paused they made I wouldn't have realized that they are separate. Honestly I wasn't very pleased to listen to growling and speedy guitars as headbanging has never been into my blood. I wondered if this was really a Pain concert, or a surprise Hypocrisy show, which was going to turn my brains into soup. I assume that once a dead metal singer, you always stay one and that it explains why most of the live versions were trashier, faster and included less electronic elements that your average industrial act. Of course, the majority didn't care much as they were there for the wire and the disturbing vocals of Tägtgren, who had no mercy on them. Obviously Peter has realized that the people that come to watch him live are less interested in electronica, which explains the lack of an actual synthesizer, although some songs began with their original electronically influenced intros.

Either the equipment was bad or the acoustic in the hall was horrible, but I could hardly hear the vocals and for most of the time the drums were not to be heard. The sound was too high for such a small venue (it has a capacity of some 800 people) and some of the songs were indistinguishable until the chorus was sung. There were some problems with the microphones as well, but I assume that some of the equipment belonged to the organizers and Pain had come only with the instruments.

Still, the concert had a plenty of highlights, which no doubt were their best known songs: "Shut Your Mouth", "Same Old Song", "Just Hate Me", "Dancing with the Dead" and of course my personal favourite "Bye/Die", which was as expected played at the very end. I was very pleased with "Bitch" from their new album, "I Don't Care" and "End of the Line". Honestly I am not sure if "Eleanor Rigby" was played at all and I have no idea which were the opening three songs, but it doesn't matter anyway.

I am not looking forward to seeing Peter Tägtgren's other band Hypocrisy, but I might see Pain live again some time in the future. Oh, yeah, and sorry there are no photos, but I decided that metal concerts are not the best place to bring my camera, if it is going to make photos of Madonna or Ladytron.

Stuck in my mind: Pain - Bye/Die

I just came back from the concert of the Swedish industrial metal project Pain, whose sole member is Peter Tägtgren, better known as the frontman of the dead metal band Hypocrisy. Anyways, the concert was just fine, although from time to time I had the feeling I was at a gig of Hypocrisy not Paint, but fans wanted both, although they couldn't possibly have them. Right now I am too exhausted for a full story of the concert, but as soon I come back to this life you'll get a full report on my newest concert experience. Right now I can just post you my most favourite song "Bye/Die", which fortunately was played at the gig...and just as expected as the closing song. Probably this is one of Pain's poppiest song and among his best known.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

Karen O is back to kick some ass! Three years after Yeah Yeah Yeah's last studio album "It's Blitz" comes to surface as a fresh breath of dance-punk and dream rock. Although I have never been a big fan of the band I dare say most of their stuff deserves a good load of listening and happens to be way better than the majority of wannabe rock bands hailing from the States and Canada. As I am not following their career too much and I had no idea they have had already released the album and got to hear it just a day ago, but it immediately made a good impression...not that I had a bad one before.

From a first listen you can prove yourselves that the album is better in composition, has less stylistic detours and lyrically explores more topics. With this release Karen O shows more singing and less screaming, which is a big plus at least to her vocal abilities. She definitely can sing, but spent annoyingly too much trying to make us deaf. "It's Blitz" is not a leap to a more commercial niche, but rather an example of maturity and taking music for real. For most of the time the instruments create a structural harmony, which was hard to be found with their first releases, which sounded more distorted and less professional. Definitely time has gad its impact on Yeah Yeah Yeahs and "It's Blitz!" proves that even the biggest party-crashers can come up with some genuinely original. Of course, this doesn't mean that Karen O and company have grown into a bunch of old nagging rockers, who hold up to their old rusty glory. Yeah Yeah Yeahs is still one of the most promising alternative rock bands to hail from the States and I am pretty sure that there is more and more to come.

There are a few weak points but they are rather insignificant to the concept of the album, that they could be easily omitted when listening to the whole product. The title "It's Blitz!" may be a direct references to the German word Blitz (Eng. lightning) a connotation of the album's striking content filled with electrifying energy. Karen O is polarizing the whole atmosphere with her aggressively charming attitude towards your brain-cells, which either have to shake to the rhythm or are going to bring you to a dull life.

Songs to hear: "Zero", "Head Will Roll", "Dull Life" and "Shame and Fortune"

Personal rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, 24 April 2009

Bulgarian horror turned into a song with Snoop Dogg

Words fail me to give the exact description for this collaboration:

I have never been into hip-hop, but from this very day on I feel sorry for Snoop Dogg. Surely he was paid a lot of money to take part in this "song", otherwise I just don't see a better explanation for this insult. My ears bled at the end of "Dime Piece" and if I want to stay sane I shall never play it on purpose. Of course, the majority of you has no idea who Lilana and Big Sha are and you are very lucky. Nevertheless, you need this "vital" information as this video may appear on TV stations near you.

Lilana is a Bulgarian wannabe singer, who has spent years trying to become someone in the Bulgarian music bizz. Her career started with the girl duo L.A., which had two moderate hits and afterwards went into oblivion. Later Lilana came back solo, but no one actually showed interest in her efforts and she went places in desperate attempts to be found and appreciated. Obviously someone has seen something in her or as rumors have it started banging her and she got a deal to record "Dime Piece".

Big Sha (previously known as Misho Shamara) is a Bulgarian rapper, who had the peak of his career at the beginning of this decade, but after the downfall of commercial Bulgarian hip-hop he ceased making music...or at least we hoped he had. A couple of years ago he came back with a new album and a new name looking for some new found glory. What he didn't had in consideration was that hip-hop was not hip anymore and house music (apart from pop-folk) was (unfortunately still is) the music that ruled the nation. Sha realized that no matter who has he worked with and what he has done in the States for the last few years, people didn't care at all.

I have no idea how come Lilana and Big Sha, two fine examples of wannabe musicians, collaborated with Snoop Dogg, who no doubt is among the biggest in his genre. Official sponsors (understand producers) for Bulgaria is Nescafé as they promote "Dime Piece" as "3 in 1: Unexpectedly good combination". Mmmm, not really...unexpected - definitely, but good - think (listen) again. Apart from Snoop Dogg, the whole song is a disaster. Are there no musicians surrounding Lilana to tell her once and for all that she just cannot sing...she's not even pretty to compensate for her talentless singing. Do you think that Big Sha is actually rapping? To me his "rapping" sounds like mumbling some mambo-jumbo, which in comparison to the techniques of Dogg sound quite pathetic.

Give your best to pay attention to the meaningless text sung by Lilana and try to figure out what is she actually whining about as I had no idea what she meant...and I am pretty sure she did as well. Of course, you may like the song, but most probably it would be just for Snoop Dogg. Tomorrow you wouldn't even remember the rest and it is advisory not to.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Review: MSTRKRFT - Fist of God

MSTRKRFT (pronounced Master Craft) is the dance project of Jesse F. Keeler (ex-Death From Above 1979) and Al-P, which came to surface after the official break up of Keeler's previous band. Stylistically the band is somewhere between electro and house, having both vocal and instrumental tracks. MSTRKRFT draw influence from hip-hop, big beat, indietronica and electro-rock, creating a unique combination of dance. I cannot say that "Fist of God" is a long-expected album, but it definitely surprised me. For just a couple of years MSTRKRF have matured and become more of just an experimental electro band.

"Fist of God" may not be the dance album of the years, but it contains plenty of excellent club tracks as well as quality disco sound. I was quite disappointed with their debut "The Looks", which was way too house for me, and I had doubts about the quality of the new material as well. Luckily, MSTRKRFT didn't repeat the same mistake (at least for me) and had outdone themselves. The songs are not annoyingly long and do not exceed the bearable dance length. Of course, the album has a few low points, which is quite normal and the good news is that they are less than half of the tracklist (consisting of 10 songs).

Stylistically the album can be defined as a fusion between electro, hip-hop and house. Most of the collaborations are with rappers, which could be a flaw to some and a big plus to others, but it proves that Keeler and P are still on the search for their music niche.

Songs to hear: "Bounce", "Heartbreaker", "It Ain't Love" and "Word Up"

Personal rating: 6 out of 10

Review: Bat for Lashes - Two Suns

Bat for Lashes (real name Natasha Khan) is among the fresh names in the British indie scene, although she has already established herself as one of the most promising names of the new alternative wave. I, personally, have never been interested in the whole singer-songwriter stuff, but being influenced by the few that I have ever listened to I decided to check her out. I started from the single "Daniel", which happens to be quite a nice song. The quality of "Daniel" made me believe that "Two Suns" would be quite an experience. Let's say that my expectation were just a bit higher that the album turned out to be and still it deserves your attention.

I am not very experienced with the music of Bat for Lashes, but as soon as I heard her voice I just couldn't stop thinking of Sinead O'connor. Is it me or Khan has really got the voice of O'connor? Even after I listened to "Two Suns" several times I couldn't take this idea out of my head. Anyways, this was just a plus for me as I am an avid fan of Sinead's works.

"Two Suns" is the journey in a world of emotions of Khan's alter ego Pearl, who according to the official press-release is "a destructive, self-absorbed, blonde, femme fatale of a persona who acts as a direct foil to Khan's more mystical, desert-born spiritual self." The name of the album is a direct reference to the duality of live, which offers two sides of almost everything. The content of "Two Suns" is lyrically rich and stylistically various stretching from more downtempo to up-beat alternative tracks.

One of the major flaws of "Two Suns" is that it lacks genuine originality. Despite all the efforts put in the creation of the album it perfectly sounds like a compilation of songs made by various singer-songwriter artists, among which Tori Amos, Cat Power or Regina Spektor. It is admirable that Khan draws influence from prominent singers, but she has to try out to sound a but more distinctively or people might mistake her constantly and her music image to stay vague in their minds. Still Natasha is young and has her time to find herself in the music world...if not...well...

Songs to hear: "Daniel", "Glass", "Moon and Moon" and "Peace of Mind"

Personal rating: 7 out of 10

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Placebo with a new album, free stuff and tour dates

"Battle of the Sun" is Placebo's sixth studio album, which is going to be released on 8th June 2009, after three years of silence. This time Placebo have worked with the Canadian producer David Bottrill, who has produced bands like Tool, Silverchair, Coheed and Cambria and Muse. The eponymous first single can be downloaded for free at On the 1st June the second single "For What Is Worth" is coming out officially, although it already made its radio/TV premiere on 20th April. I am not very impressed by their new stuff, but I guess I have to spend some more time listening to it before having a final opinion.

The new album will be supported by a tour, which includes 28 dates in 19 countries. Japan is the only country out of Europe to have a concert. For Bulgarian fans information the nearest gigs are in Romania, Greece and Turkey. For more information check

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

David Guetta with a new song

David Guetta is one of the few house Djs that I can still listen to and to be quite frank I like most of his stuff quite a lot. Not really looking forward to seeing him live, but I keep up with the material he releases. Today I came upon Guetta's NEW song, which is probably going to be included in a possible future album. "Love Takes Over" is the title of the new track and vocals are provided by Kelly Rowland (ex-Destiny's Child), who came back to business with the Freemasons remix of her song "Work". I am a bit surprised of such a collaboration, but I guess both parties could use some extra fan-base or at least more media attention. "Love Takes Over" is not utterly impressive or ground-breaking, although I am pretty sure it is going to be quite a hit in the next few months...IF Guetta/Rowland play their cards well. Plus it is always nice when artists from different music scene work together...well, it is even better when they come up with something amazing and still have to be thankful that this song is not a total disaster (at least to most of us).

Monday, 20 April 2009

Recommendation Weekly: Adrian Lux

Adrian Lux is another fine example that Swedes know how to make music...even when it comes to house. I have never hidden my despise towards house music, but now it's the moment to admit that from time to time the house scene has something interesting for me as well. By some Lux has been hailed as the successor of Eric Prydz, another Swedish house DJ, and as one of the fresh names to emerge in the past few months. Honestly, I have never heard of Adrian Lux...not until yesterday when I was told about him and had the chance to watch the video to the song "Can't Sleep". I cannot say that I was extremely fascinated by the track, although I actually liked the whole concept of the video, which shows that love is boundless and anyone deserves to love and to be loved no matter what.

Enough with the is the video and if you like what you hear check out the rest of his songs.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Stuck in my mind: Klaxons - Golden Skans

Klaxons is one of the hype new bands to emerge during the "new rave" wave in the UK, which took over Europe by storm in no time. For less than three years the London-based project managed to draw enough attention and gain popularity among electro/indietronica fans, who were just getting over after the downfall of the electroclash scene. Klaxons may not offer something unheard and still be one of the most important factors for the development of the new rave music culture, which brought to light other names like Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Shitdisco, Hadouken! and Late of the Pier. Anyways, time will prove the quality of this new music generation, which draws influences from electro, punk, indie and alternative, thus creating a style, which no one can tell what it will turn into...sooner or later.

Moby with a new album on the way and a new video

Less than a year after the release of the album "Last Night" Moby announced a new studio release on its way. The name of the album is "Wait for Me" and it is going to be produced by his label Little Idiot. The official date as stated on is 30th June and the first single to be available is "Shot in the Back of the Head", which is available for a free download at The accompanying video is directed by the famous American film director David Lynch, thus offering quite a change to the usual Moby videos.

Here is a part of the official statement published on Moby's website:

"i have some friends/guests singing on the record. they're great singers, but unless you live in fort greene or washington heights you might not know about them, as they're relatively unknown(because i've found that working with friends is almost always nicer than working with rockstars).

i started working on the album about a year ago, and the creative impetus behind the record was hearing a david lynch speech at bafta, in the uk."

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Norwegian wood is not the only good thing to come out of Norway

When it comes to music Norway has never been a hit-producer, but the music made in the country of the fjords carries its very own charm. Perhaps it has lots the race with Swedish production, which is no reason Norwegian music to be underestimated or just overlooked. I am pretty sure you will have certain difficulties of coming up with more than two Norwegian bands or performers, which may not be the case with Sweden...unless you are a true metal fan and listen to loads of Scandinavian groups. Norway is home to more guitar-based music and less electronic acts, which may be a flaw to some and a big plus to others. I am somewhere in the middle as I am just deepening my explorations in the realms of Norsk musikk.

Since the end of the 90s Norwegian music has become a vital member of the European (to some extent international) popular scene. First bands to come to prominence were mainly jazz and metal bands, which made it possible for electronic and pop artists to come to surface. Among the most popular names are Apoptygma Berzerk, Combichrist, Röyksopp, Burzum, Darkthrone, Dimmu Borgir, Turbonegro, Kings of Convenience and many others. As you can see for yourselves some of the best known Norwegian bands are metal (death, black, symphonic, pagan) and no wonder as Scandinavia and Germany have given to the world an immense quantity of quality heavy music. However, the next few videos are some fine examples of what else is produced in Norway and whoever seeks finds.

I have omitted Röyksopp on purpose as most of you have heard quite enough about them from my blog.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Stuck in my mind: David Bowie - Starman

David Bowie is among those singers that have influenced whole generations of musicians and has been one of the most important figures in the 70s, 80s and 90s and to some extent even in the 00s. I have never showed any certain interest in his music, but these days I have spent some quality time with production long before my birth (fyi 1987) and David Bowie was one of the top names I had to check out. I am still adjusting to his music, which is quite a diversion from my usual taste. However, after a full listen to his Best of Bowie I could easily pick up songs that fascinated me with their originality and lyrics. For the time being my top favourite track by Mr. Bowie is "Starman" from his Ziggy Stardust era, which brought him to fame in no time.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Stuck in my mind: Goldfrapp - Hairy Trees

Excuse me for this very short post, but today I am just not in the mood for long posts...from time to time have my lows and need some quality songs to fit my mood. That is why now I share with this astonishing Goldfrapp ballad as it tells it all for now! Keep up with me! I hope this mood will pass in no time!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Music for free?

Piracy kills music! Does it? No doubt piracy violates someone's copyright, but on the other hand it is among the major stimuli for the energetic development of the festival/concert culture.

You remember the times when a single album managed to sell over 10 million copies for just half an year and constantly a new record in the music sales would be set? Well, obviously that was long time ago as internet piracy has become the painfully slow slayer of music as we used to know it. In some countries sales dropped as much as near 50%, which brought major changes in certification and what used to be silver is now considered as gold, or even worse - platinum. The global network allowed people to check for themselves the quality of a new release before deciding whether to give away money or not...especially when it comes to fresh names in the bizz. The whole buying culture rapidly changed for less than a decade and there is no doubt that sales will steadily be going down bringing many to their knees and probably at some point even bankruptcy!

If you were a singer whose sales have been anything but satisfying what drastic measures would you take? Take your time...don't rush the answer (Why not really think of a solution for the next few minutes?). Obviously many real performers and bands had quite a time pondering and many of them came to the conclusion that at some extent music has to be made available for free. Music for free? A blasphemy to ones, but a salvation to others. When people are not willing to pay for you music, you have to force things a little...or a lot. Anyone would love to have a free preview of your new stuff and decide for themselves whether they would open their wallets wide or will shut you out...either ways you will manage to draw some attention. The last few years have seen bands rising thanks to the internet community, which has a constant demand for new names on the block.

Blogs and social networks as Facebook or Twitter have allowed people to build a new music society which belongs to no labels, has never signed a contract and shares thousands of free tracks in exchange for other songs...I am not talking about piracy...I refer to absolutely 100% no-charge original music that you can download from MySpace, Blogger and even official websites. The trend is not just among struggling new groups or singers but goes as far as established bands as Nine Inch Nails or Radiohead, who distributed whole albums for free. I am pretty sure they have enough fans to buy those records, but in a world where more than 80% of all the music is downloaded illegally, playing stupid is not very original. For the time being the majority of record companies still pretend to be unaware of the situation and keep on printing as many as possible physical copies of albums and singles, but sooner or later they will have to realize that people nowadays are not what they used to be before internet went global.

Definitely sales will keep on dropping, thus creating a greater need for festivals and concerts, which supposedly will compensate most of the losses from poor market performances. More thoughts on the concert-is-my-salvation tendency soon to come!

Warning! This post is not an attempt to jusstify piracy and copyrights violations, it is just the same problem from a different angle! Music piracy is still illegal (for now)!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Stuck in my mind: Joy Division - She's Lost Control

Joy Division is among the bands that I have known for years, but have never actually listened to them. I have given them a few tries, but never made it to the center of my heart...not until today. One song made it closest to the bull's eyes and given me the fuel for a further exploration of their music, which has become a cult. Of course, time will have to pass before the band really grows on, but at least a couple of tracks have won my fan support. The song that immediately drew my attention was "She's Lost Control", which is a fine example of the pure post-punk movement that later inspired the whole gothic scene. Probably many of you cannot make the connection if they haven't listened to some gothic bands, but if it wasn't for bands like Joy Division many other contemporary acts would have never seen the light (for good or worse).

Friday, 10 April 2009

Review: Peaches - I Feel Cream

The official release of the album is May 4th and this review is based solely on the leak of the album, which came to surface just a day ago.

Peaches is feeling cream, but I felt quite bored after listening to her new album a few times. Merrill Nisker is among my most favourite bitches in the music business and after the pussy-and-tits-galore she offered with "Impeach Mu Bush" I was ready for her to sexy me up and make a little whore out of my electronic soul. The electro slut of a whole generation either needs some fresh ideas or she is changing direction...and I am not very happy with her experiments.

"I Feel Cream" is definitely electronic, but has nothing to do with the electroclash scene to which she was like a Godmother. I guess this album is her official departure from the aggressive electronic sound, heading to a more mild beats, less distorted vocals and more original singing. The whole albums feels like Merrill has lost her wild temper and has become a member of a pacifistic sisterhood. Ok, ok, I am exaggerating a little, the lyrics explore mainly sex topics, but it just doesn't feel the same...

Looking on the bright side every singer needs a change, otherwise they will be too predictable, which is kind of annoying, but to be honest Madame Peaches needed no change or at least not a major one. Anyways, "I Feel Cream" has a few high points, although in comparison with previous releases they are like The Alps to the Himalayas. The album contains no club smashers as "Fuck The Pain Away" or "Tent In Your Pants", and from time to time you might feel like changing to the next track, but still needs you attention - especially if you are a real fan or at least support the electro scene.

Songs to hear: "Relax", "Talk To Me", "Mud" and "Billionaire"

Personal rating: 5 out of 10

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Sertab Erener vs Madonna

No, this is not an episode of Celebrity Deathmatch, just a little showdown, which includes an original and a cover version of it. Even if you don't like Madonna there is a high probability that you have heard her song "Music" at least once in a lifetime. On the other hand you have never actually showed interest in the Eurovision song contest or kept track of the winners Sertab Erener will be of no significance to you. She won Eurovision 2003 in Riga, Latvia with her song "Everyway That I Can", although she has been a prominent name in the Turkish music scene for quite a long time. Anyways, what matters now is the original cover of "Music" she has made and that I got to hear as I watched "Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul" by Fatih Akın. The rendition carries the spirit of Orienta mixed with the electronica of the West and to be honest I do like the final some extend it sounds even better than the original, despite being sung by the one and only Madonna!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Stuck in my mind: London After Midnight - Kiss

London After Midnight is not among my fabourite bands, but these days I have been spending more time with their stuff and slowly but surely they are growing on me. Although I am not an expert of their music for years I have liked "Kiss" and now I dare say I am in love with it! Enough with the explanations, "Kiss" is not just my song for the week, but my track for the month! Amazing! Listen to the text very carefully, please!

Unfortunately this is the only acceptable video I could find on YouTube - Live at Mera Luna Festival 2002, but actually it is even better to hear Sean's vocals without any studio modifications! :)

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Review: Ayumi Hamasaki - NEXT LEVEL

Ayumi Hamasaki is the best well-known J-pop singer out of Japan, not that the rest is of poor quality...she just turned out to be the lucky one. Anyways, I started listening to her after downloading a few compilations with remixes to her songs and I have been listening to them for two years before I've decided to give her a serious try. Well, I do admit that I have never listened to her full discography, but dare say I have heard enough of her in order to be able to say a few words on her newest release "NEXT LEVEL". I have always found it quite funny how most J-pop singers have an album almost every years, I guess the competition there is great and people tend to forget those who are missing from the scene for too long.

"NEXT LEVEL" is Hamasaki's tenth studio release and two weeks after its release it has sold more than 300,000 copies, solely in Japan, which is quite an impressive figure for European standards. After a few listens I am quite satisfied with the is not the great discovery of modern pop music, but it is full of catchy tunes, electronic beats, a bunch of ballads and of course fillers. There is nothing impressive or innovative, and most certainly I have listened to much better pop albums, but "NEXT LEVEL" is anything but boring. No wonder Hamasaki is that successful in Asia, the majority of the songs are potential hits in her homeland as stylistically they go from pop through electronica to order words there is at least one suitable track for J-music lovers.

In the next few weeks I expected her to gain more popularity as the single "Rule" is chosen as the official international theme to the movie "Dragonball Evolution" which will premiere at European and American cinemas/theaters this very week.

Songs to hear: "NEXT LEVEL", "Green", "Rule", "Sparkle" and "LOVE 'n' HATE"

Personal rating: 6 out of 10

Monday, 6 April 2009

Stuck in my mind: God Is an Astronaut - Fragile

After founding Sigur Ros for my music ear I decided to check out some more post-rock acts and from the first time I hit the jackpot! God Is an Astronaut, deserve to have this name as the music they make is as ambient as the transcendental existence of the divine deep in ourselves. My words may sound a bit too exaggerated but this happens to be only the second entirely instrumental group that I have liked (Boards of Canada is the first) and the video that I am posting really hooked me up.

Apart from the excellence of the instrumental itself the video is nearly a masterpiece, despite how simple it may seem to you from first viewing. After watching it at least 2-3 times you can feel its impact and give a thought on what good to nature humans are actually and how cruel we can be towards everything, despite the pretended innocence. No wonder the name of the track is "Fragile" as we are so fragile, but still so mean to each other and as destructive as no other creature on this planet has ever been.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Stuck in my mind: Mylène Farmer - Rêver

Today I watched for the very first time the official DVD to the Mylenium Tour...the whole concert perfectly matched my mellow mood, that has been haunting me for the last few days. Anyways, it was just now that I've realized the power of the song "Rêver" and despite not knowing French, nor the lyrics it just reached out for me and fascinated me to the fullest. The friend that I was watching the concert with told me that it was dedicated to her deceased brother, who died at a car accident years ago. Perhaps, it is no big deal to most of you, but this helped me understand the message without even knowing the words. I will spare the story that I connected it with as "Rêver" expresses most of the genuine emotions surrounding it!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Discoveries: Trash Yourself

As I was browsing for new music (how regular of me!) I stumbled upon a free downloadable EP provided by Electrocute themselves at and afterwards I spent some time checking what's else available. Of course, I immediately headed to the electronic section and started pre-listening to streamable tracks and it was just then when I first heard Trash Yourself. Trash Yourself is an electronic duo, hailing from Oklahoma, USA and consisting of Heidi Cannon and John Bourke. They are currently not signed to any labels, but I am sure that soon they will be offered a contract, cause they just deserve it. Stylistically I would define them as electroclash with a pinch of new-rave.

I am posting all of their available songs...the last one is a collaboration with The Toxic Avenger and it's a cover of "Song 2" by Blur. If you like them here is a link for their free tracks at trueanthem:

Preview: Depeche Mode - Sounds of the Universe (BG only)

This preview is only in Bulgarian, but I promise that the full review of the album, when it officially comes out will be entirely in English.

Много обичам албуми да лийкват, просто ми се изпълва душицата, защото като стане дума за музика и съм много нетърпелив. Та, нали си имам вече билетче за Депеш Мод и отдавна исках да чуя за какво съм си дал парите и мига, в който лийкна "Sounds of the Universe" вече беше на харда ми - зареден за прослушване. Изчетох една камара мнения как това не било окончателната версия, как на албума му предстояло ремастериране, миксиране и тем подобни, но малко невъзможно ми се струва месец преди официалното му издаване той да е още на ниво студийни записи. Кааакто и да е, да не се впускам в излишни размисли за самия лийк.

Въпреки, че не съм някакъв супер-дупер фен на Депеш Мод съм доста добре запознат с творчеството им, а и дори да не съм това не значи, че нямам две уши и един мозък :lol: , с които да оценявам чутото. Предварително вече съм слушал "Wrong", която си е зарибяваща и която ме обнадежди за албума. Да, ама не! "Sounds of the Universe" е всичко друго, но не и космичен. Съжале буку, но албумът след няколко слушания продължава да ми се струва скучен, муден и предсказуем. Саундът към повечето парчета е зарибяващ, но вокалите веднага го обръщат в някаква монотонна ревалка. Нямам нищо против баладите, но нека да са в умерено количество, все пак името на албума подсказва, че трябва да има вселенско разнообразие. В толкова минорна вселена не ми се живее, че тя дори и до депресия не може да ме докара.

Разбира се, че албумът си има и добрите моменти, като моят избор се спира на "Wrong", "Peace", "In Chains", "Miles Away" и "Come Back", до колкото могат да минат за фаворити. Останалото поне за момента ми идва повечко като пълнеж, но всеки с вкуса си. След като имах времето да го чуя обстойно и да ми престои поне 2-3 дена в главата, реших да прочета други впечатления от албума. Според някои той е по-добър от "Playing the Angel", за други по-слаб от "Exciter", трети още го преглъщаха. Аз няма да тръгна да го слагам по лични класации, но със сигурност не успя да надхвърли качеството на "Playing the Angel", който поне мен успя да ме зариби.

Хайде, стига вече съм мрънкал...ще чакам официалният релийз на албума, който пък може наистина да е ремастериран и подобрен, но честно казано дълбоко ме съмнява. Добре, че си купих билета за техния концерт в София основно заради Лейдитрон. Дано и да пеят достатъчно много стари парчета или поне тези да ги раздвижат, че ще се караме.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Icelandic muic - godsend or just pure perfection?

Isn't it amazing how a country with a population of about 320,000 people has given so much to music. In comparison Bulgaria has some 7,770,000 citizens and has never managed to break into the mainstream with a single singer or a group. Although the majority can think only of Björk, who has become a trademark of the country with the thousands of gazers, Iceland is home to other excellent music acts among which Sigur Rós, múm, Gus Gus, Emiliana Torrini, Amiina, The Sugarcubes (although again with Björk) and others more or less known to us. Is there something in the air or just Icelanders know how to create excellent music? Probably it is both as this mystical land of elves has some much to offer and we know so little about it...and still Icelandic music is a portal to the visions and dreams of this Nordic people, who have preserved their culture as pure as possible.

These are a few fine examples of the high quality of Icelandic music...I have omitted Björk (solo career) on purpose, because almost everyone has heard at least one of her songs. Despite the fact that Sigur Rós are the most famous band to come from the island country, I was very surprised to find out that many have never heard of them.


Thursday, 2 April 2009

Download now! Manson's song for free!

I AM NOT DISTRIBUTING ANY ILLEGAL MATERIALS! It is all for free, at least for now, so hurry up and register at and have your free copy of his new song "We're From America". Nah, this is no praise anthem in the name of almighty USA...Manson is back in business with a kick-start. Although the single is no biggy I enjoy the sound and perhaps "The High End of Low" is going to mark his return to industrial music, less commercial and more aggressive with a pinch of his excellent lyrics, which (my fingers crossed) are not going to be mostly about the highs and lows of love (check Eat Me, Drink Me).

Don't hesitate anymore and go for your free song!

Blank post

This post is to fill for the deleted by Blogger my post "Preview: Depeche Mode - Sounds of the Universe", which included nothing more than a link to a third party distributing the leak of the album itself. I shall not apologize for violating any copyrights as I have not uploaded this leak myself, but Blogger could have written a message before permanently deleting the post as I would have immediately removed the link. Obviously Blogger deletes first and afterward sends you a kind message explaining the irrevocable deletion of the post. Anyways, this is not going to stop me posting, but next time I will just point you out where to download the leak, not that you cannot find it for yourselves.