Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 20 Singles- Readers' List- 1981

1.Ultravox- Vienna 
2.The Cure- Charlotte Sometimes 
3.The Human League- Don't You Want Me 
4.Siouxsie and The Banshees-Spellbound 
5.New Order- Ceremony 
6.Soft Cell- Tainted Love 
7.Ultravox-The Voice 
8.Talking Heads- Once in a Lifetime 
9.Duran Duran- Planet Earth 
10.Depeche Mode- New Life 
11.Japan- Quiet Life 
12.Duran Duran- Girls on Film 
13.Depeche Mode- Just Can't Get Enough 
14.Simple Minds- Love Song 
15.Soft Cell- Memorabilia 
16.Kraftwek- Computer Love 
17.Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark-Souvenir 
18.b-Movie- Remembrance Day 
19.Heaven 17 -We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang 
20.The Human League- The Sound of the Crowd

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pet Shop Boys Announce a New B-side Compilation Album

Pet Shop Boys will release a brand new b-sides compilation on February 6th, 2012, on Parlophone. Entitled 'Format', it celebrates the duo's prolific song-writing and recording by collecting 38 b-sides and bonus tracks originally released on singles from 1996 to 2009.The album will be available digitally and on double-CD. All tracks have been remastered and the CD booklet features an interview with Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe by Jon Savage.

Section 25 Art Exibition

As part of the’2011 Blackpool Art Fair’ at The Grundy Art Gallery Blackpool.The Grundy will be featuring a special' foyer'exhibition of Section 25’s back catalogue including album artwork by Peter Saville,band memorabilia and a history of the band from early days up to the present.The show will also include a tribute to the art of Larry Cassidy, a founder member of the band who sadly passed away in 2010.The exhibiton will run from 19/11/11 until 14/01/12.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

80's Duets: Yello feat. Shirley Bassey- The Rhythm Divine

Back in 1987, Yello approached Shirley Bassey regarding a possible collaboration on one of their song which written specially with her voice in mind. She agreed to do the duet and so "The Rhythm Divine" was released during the same year and it also appeared on Yello's album 'One Second'. Billy MacKenzie, lead singer of The Associates, who had previously worked with Yello on several occasions, also contributed on this song and he provided the backing vocals. 

This year was great! We hope for another good one!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In Conversation: The Silent Section

The Silent Section is a three piece group from Denmark consisting of Nicolas Calrsen, Morten N. Carlsen and Morten Møllebjerg. Their music is balancing between sensitive and fragile expression to powerful and noisy rhythms. They are one of the finest acts on the Danish label Tryghed & Tristesse through which they released their debut album in 2009. Their brilliant new album entitled 'Contour of A Passing Dream' was released this Autumn. In an exclusive interview for our blog the lead singer Morten N. Carlsen reveals more information about the musical background of the Silent Section, the influences and further plans in music.

01 The Intoxicated Joy by Tryghed & Tristesse

1.What inspired you to take the name Silent Section as a group name

It was through my work at the local hospital I came up with the name for our band. At the department there was this mystical silent-section where no one really knew what went on. We also thought that the name The Silent Section seemed broad – and a name that wouldn’t keep us locked up in a certain style. The name has given us an opportunity to take our music to many different places. Last but not least, we all thought it sounded good and worked as a contrast to the rather noisy music we play.

 2. What is your musical background, how did you guys start making music together?

Actually we started more or less from scratch. We shared an interest in music since childhood, but at the time none of us had played music in more serious manner. The music Nicolas and I listened to in our childhood home (we are brothers) were popular of Danish rock and pop musicians and songs from the Eurovision Song Contest. When The Silent Section was formed in 1999, Nicolas sang in a local band that most of all performed cover songs. Earlier he had also played a bit of drums but never live. Morten Møllebjerg and I who met in back in 1997 had at the time no experience in playing or performing. All three of us were very much into punk and post-punk and with our minds set to the punk ideology, which claims that “you should start playing even though you don’t have the skills”, we began playing music. The most important things to us were the feeling, the nerve, and the engagement. We did not have a certain goal, but we all really wanted to play. We shared big dreams and believed that we could go far. We started out playing cover songs over the first couple of years. As we learned how to master our instruments we began to write our own songs and we developed a style that sounded like post punk. I remember the first years as a struggle. First of all we were not good musicians and secondly we struggled to arrange the songs and we used great deal of time making it happen. Furthermore we had to play on rented instruments from the local community centre. Very few people thought our musical project was a good idea and it was so difficult to get an opportunity to play live. I remember the first four years as being frustrating and filled with anger towards the world and also between us members within the group. The turning point came in 2003 when we mailed a copy of our first demo to Peter Peter (founding member of Sort Sol and at the time front man in the band The Bleeder Group) and asked him for his opinion and some advice. We did not really expect an answer, but after a few days we got an e-mail from Peter Peter. He liked our songs and our approach to the music and came up with different suggestions. To get a positive critique from one of our biggest idols and one of Denmark's greatest guitarists gave us new hope. From that point on we found a much more personal expression and our songs became of a higher quality. Peter Peter is one of the most important reasons for us playing music today.

 3. Who do you consider as a major influence?

It’s hard to pinpoint what inspires us. We are inspired by many different artists, styles and genres. But if we have to mention a few of the artists who have influenced us over the years, it must be Bruce Springsteen, Sort Sol (1977-95), Bleeder, Chris Isaak, Mike Oldfield, Martin Hall, Sune Wagner and Ennio Morricone. The new album has also been affected by more simple acts such as long gone names as Clausen & Petersen and Laban plus Robin Gibb.

 4. Where on a music map can we find the Silent Section?

It has always been difficult for us to define the genre we play and to be frank I do not wish to. As earlier mentioned we are inspired by many different things and places. But we never aim for a certain sound or style when we compose and that makes it hard to explain what sort of genre we play. Our only goal is to make a sound that we all like. If I really had to name a genre it would simply be rock music.

 5. Who writes the songs and what are they about?

As composers we don't follow a certain pattern. Sometimes we make music that involves all three of us in the writing process. Other times one of us writes and composes songs entirely by himself. Basically it’s a close collaboration between all band members - we all influence the direction of the songs before recording them in the studio. Actually, no one supplies the band with more songs than others. We have chosen to register all our songs as a product of the band since we all participate in the final creation of every track. Our lyrics are often connected to existentialism – the big things and thoughts that touch us throughout life - including the shady sides. We often write about terms like fear, nostalgia, love, isolation and the society that surrounds us.

 6. In 2009 the Silent Section released their debut album 'A Final Delirium'. Did your music change since your first release? 

The general feeling is the same but many things have happened to our music since ‘A Final Delirium’. The songs from our first album were written over a period of almost five years, so the songs are much different from each other due to different sources of inspiration. There is higher degree of coherence between the songs on ‘Contour Of A Passing Dream’. Besides that I think the new songs are much less complicated and more direct. We wanted the new songs to be shorter than most of the songs on ‘A Final Delirium’. Another thing is that we have moved away from the industrial inspiration and tried to add our songs a certain finish and a completeness which make the songs on ‘Contour Of A Passing Dream’ seem more classically composed.

 7. Your new album reveals many different tones. Some songs are emotional and soft and the others are rather noisy and turbulent. Which songs do you personally prefer?

That depends on what mood I’m in. None of the tracks would have made it on the album if we hadn’t all agreed that they were good. I have a good feeling about all of them. I kind of like how different they are, but still fit together on the album. If I really had to name a favourite it must be ‘No Admission To Dream’. This track really sums up who we are and according to me it contains the best individual achievements.

 8. How does music affect you and the world around you?

Most of all music is a way to canalize emotions – whether it is rage, love, or sorrow. Music can move you emotionally and bring back memories. Some songs remind you of a certain period of time and you instantly get the same feelings, as you did years ago. You’re able to comment on the society and time we live in through music. For instance one of the songs on ‘Contour Of A Passing Dream’ is about homeless people and life from their perspective.

9. What is your favorite album of the year so far?

Actually I rarely buy new music right after its release. New songs and albums have to grow on me. Sometimes it seems like music gets better over time. However one album in particular has caught my attention this year – ‘Raven In the Grave’ by The Raveonettes. Another masterpiece from the hand of Sune Wagner. In the most beautiful way The Raveonettes return to the style and sound they introduced on “Lust Lust Lust”. Only the overall topic – “age” – differs. Described in the best way on the album’s last song ‘My Time Is Up’.

 10. Tell us about your next live shows and tour plans.

We try to put a number of concerts together in 2012. Among other things we plan to play a few shows with an American Shoegaze band.

 11. How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?

You can find our tracks, news, info plus photos of The Silent Section on the following pages:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Best of 2011- The Album List

1.Duran Duran- All You Need is Now [S-Curve/ Edel]
2.John Maus- We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves [Upset the Rhythm]
3.Lykke Li- Wounded Rhymes [LL]
4.The Horrors- Skying [XL]
5.PJ Harvey- Let England Shake [Island]
6.Crystal Stilts- In Love With Oblivion [Slumberland]
7.Mirrors- Lights and Offerings [Skint]
8.Ssion- BENT- digital file 
 9.Cut Copy- Zonoscope [Modular]
10.Austra- Feel It Break [Domino]
11.Still Corners- Creatures of an Hour [SubPop]
12.Claps- Wreck [Guilt Ridden Pop]
13.Ladytron- Gravity the Seducer [Nettwerk]
14.Silk Flowers- Ltd. Form [PPM]
15.Cold Cave- Cherish the Light Years [Matador]
16.Keren Ann- 101 [EMI]
17.Architecture in Helsinki- Moment Bends [Modular/ V2]
18.Future Islands- On the Water [Thrill Jockey]
19.The Silent Section- Contour of a Passing Dream [Tryghed & Tristesse]
20.Girls- Father, Son, Holy Ghost [True Panther]
21.Kate Bush- 50 Words for Snow [Fish People]
22.Class Actress-Rapprocher [Carpark]
23.Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues[Bella Union/ SubPop]
24.The Dears- Degeneration Street [Dangerbird]
25.Adele- 21[XL]
26.Dirty Beaches- Badlands [Zoo/Sones]
27.Metronomy-The English Riviera [Because]
28.Spoons- Static in Transmission [Universal]
29.Adventure- Lesser Known [Carpark]
30.White Lies- Ritual  [Fiction]

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Best of 2011- The Singles List

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Instant Hit: Section 25- Je Veux Ton Amour

Thirty years ago Section 25 released their third single "Je Veux Ton Amour", a french version of the track "Friendly Fires" which appeared on their debut album 'Always Now'. "One True Path" appeared on a flipside, and for this release it was translated in Hawaiian becoming "Oyo Achel Ada". It was produced by Martin Hannett and released through Factory Benelux. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vince Clarke and Martin L.Gore Announce Details of VCMG collaboration

After 30 years working on their respective ongoing music projects, Vince Clarke (Erasure / Yazoo / Depeche Mode) and Martin L. Gore (Depeche Mode) come together for the first time since 1981 as VCMG to release a brand new album preceded by a series of EPs.VCMG is the fruit of initially tentative discussion and subsequent enthused collaboration where Vince and Martin, both influential as pioneers in electronic music, get to exercise their lifelong love of the genre as the techno inspired VCMG. 
The writing and recording of the album was done in a typically unique way with the pair working alone in their respective studios, communicating only via email, exchanging files until the album was ready. It was in May 2011 that the pair met for the first time to discuss the project when they both performed at Short Circuit presents Mute festival in London.
The first VCMG EP 'Spock EP1'is available now! 

 More info:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We Are Watching: Scratch Massive feat Jimmy Sommerville - Take Me There

Jimmy Sommerville has a brand new website and currently, he is finishing a new EP which will be released at the start of 2012. In the meanwhile check out this great collaboration with Scratch Massive from Paris for the song "Take Me There". The first video clip from their new album "Nuit de Rêve" which is out now.

Warning: The video contains scenes of nudity!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Next Wave: Space March

Space March is an Australian synth-pop project of Craig Simmons, an artist and designer who has released three solo albums as Space March. His debut album was ranked #1 by music critic Ann Sterzinger in the Chicago Reader's 'The Best Music of 2004' year-end feature. This time Space March has teamed up with legendary producer Mark Saunders whose production and mixing credits include artists like Erasure, Depeche Mode, A-ha, David Byrne, Freezepop, Pnau and also includes seminal albums such as Tricky’s ‘Maxinquaye’ and The Cure’s ‘Wish’. 
The new Space March album 'Monumental' is out now.You can listen to the new album 'Monumental' on SoundCloud in full: