Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Here's a few tracks, new and not so new, to check out.

Gloves, the electronic solo project from (the now defunct) Damn Arms' Yama Indra, is finally delivering some original material for us all. Gloves has been very busy touring and remixing for a whole bunch of artists, including huge names such as Van She. Seems like Modular's recent acquisition of Bang Gang 12 Inches has really got the ball rolling for the artists involved, with both Ted & Francis and now Gloves releasing singles within a month of each other. Either way I'd be lying if i said I haven't been watching everything Indra has been doing since i first heard the Damn Arms' epic swan song, Destination, last year.

This track, Too Much To Dream, is the b-side from his new single PYX. If you liked Destination this song is very much in a similar vein, chill electronic with catchy vocals.

Too Much To Dream - Gloves

Here's a track from Lupe Fiasco's upcoming album, said to be due December this year. The album, titled Lasers, is reportedly part one of a 3 album project, and by the sounds of it, is going to carry on exactly where The Cool left off, lyricism focused Hip-Hop with a strong focus on great collaborations. As such, this song, Shining Down, features Matthew Santos, who is best known for his guest vocals in Fiasco's hit single from The Cool; Superstar. Fiasco seems to have gone the auto-tune route here, with parts of the song sounding uncannily like Kanye West's latest LP, 808s & Heartbreak.

Shining Down - Lupe Fiasco

Discovery is a collaboration between Ra Ra Riot's Wes Miles and
Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend. Unlike both of their regular stuff, Discovery takes a very electronic, vocoded approach. I must admit I picked this album up without actually knowing any of this, having only heard their cover of the Jackson 5's I Want You Back. It was one of those times when the album cover and artwork really sold it to me, with the inside booklet featuring a really cool graphic direction, colourful pixel art and interesting typographic work.

This track is called Osaka Loop Line, from their debut album, LP, juxtaposes distorted beats with very delicate vocals. It's definitely an interesting sound.

Osaka Loop Line - Discovery

And finally, a song from Cut Copy's first EP, which, if memory serves, was back when it was just Dan Whitford. The EP, titled I Thought Of Numbers, is a pretty interesting indication of how far Cut Copy have come from those early days. The song is Rendezvous, definitely a stand out on the release.

Rendezvous - Cut Copy

More to come.

Friday, August 14, 2009



Ready For The Weekend is the second album from Scottish Electronic artist Calvin Harris. Known for making appealing Electro-pop tunes with catchy if somewhat obvious lyrics and never in danger of taking themselves too seriously; Harris' music is designed to get you dancing more and thinking less.

Everyone's heard I'm Not Alone by now, arguably the most impressive song Harris has created and with its fair share of commercial success, which is in this case definitely warranted. However those hoping for an album of I'm Not Alones will be disappointed. I count myself among them.

The opening track, The Rain certainly starts on a high note, kicking off immediately with a rising synth line that leads straight into a saxophone solo that is sure to impress. The sax then breaks apart into a thumping beat with layers of high pitched whirring. The chorus, destined to be sung-along-to at the top of everyone's lungs on dancefloors all over the world before too long, is one of the strongest on the album, so savor it.

Next up is the title track and second single from the album, Ready For The Weekend. I really want to like it, I do, but the vocal work really comes across as irritating. It's not so much Harris here, the auto-tuned pre-chorus is actually quite appealing. It's the chorus itself that really brings the track down. There are two things that we thankfully no longer have to deal with now that the 90's are over: People wearing baseball caps backwards and Tina Turner-channeling female vocalists in electro tracks. So why the hell is Calvin Harris dragging this shit kicking and screaming from its grave and into the middle of the track that is intended to define his whole album's manifesto?

The rest of the album seems to be created in Ready For The Weekend's image, rather than I'm Not Alone's. It really is a bit of shame because this album really had so much potential for greatness. Flashback serves as double-edged sword, undeniable in its quality but also a disheartening indication of what could have been, if only Harris maintained the strength established by the first single's established mood and style.

Tracks like Worst Day almost hit the target, but don't quite make it, with some rather awkward parts, such as the Flight Of The Conchords sound-alike first verse. The rap bridge, thankfully not attempted by Harris himself, serves as an interesting contrast against the rest of the album and the chorus is quite strong, it's just falls a small, albeit noticeable distance short.

Limits is a pleasant surprise, with Harris' filtered vocal work really coming out well. The similarly altered backing vocals create effective levels of interest, and the symbiosis of the beat and the lyrics ties the whole thing nicely together. The track has a very jittery robotic feel to it.

Those looking for Dance Wiv Me, last year's incredibly popular one-time collaboration between Harris, Dizzee Rascal and Chrome, will find it here too. Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La, the track famously used in a recent Coca-Cola commercial, is a definite nod to the sound and styling of Harris' debut I Created Disco; incredibly catchy and well worth a listen.

For a second effort, Calvin Harris could have done a hell of a lot worse. It's not so much that the tracks are bad, they just aren't amazing. It almost feels like Harris is playing it safe at times, when he should really be pushing the boundaries. The tracks lack character, and at times sound very similar to those adjacent.

Is it worth your money? Short answer yes. In the long term however I can see this album becoming rather disposable. Buy it now, have your fun with it, and join me in waiting for the next album I guess.



The Rain - Calvin Harris

Ready For The Weekend is out everywhere August 16th.


Thursday, August 13, 2009



Temporary Pleasure is the sophomore album from English Electronic duo Simian Mobile Disco. From the start this is a far more atmospheric album than their previous effort. The lyrical work is slightly more high-brow, the beats and electronic blips echo through cavernous locales established in your mind's eye, and overall it just seems like a more mature endeavour from James Ford and James Shaw.

The first thing you'll notice is the all-star cast of collaborators this time around. We've got Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals, Chris Keating from Yeasayer, Beth Ditto from Gossip, Jamie Lidell, Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip fame, Young Fathers and Telepathe. It's almost too much talent to handle, but Ford and Shaw clearly didn't just pluck these names out of thin air, they had a well planned role for each of them.

The opener, Cream Dream, gets you suitably excited for the nine tracks to follow. The slow, mechanical build-up, adding layers as it goes, really serves to lead into the track, in which Rhys' vocals slot into rather perfectly. The flow of the sung lyrics in this track is particularly compelling, and reminds me somewhat of Heads We Dance's You Are Never Alone With Model 21. Audacity of Huge follows directly afterwards, a well publicised single from the album. This track, while though initially rather grating, is very much a grower, although i still believe the pitch altered vocals featuring heavily in the chorus distract from the quality of the rest of the song's elements. Cruel Intentions is the next big track, with Ditto delivering her iconic and always compelling vocal talents, there isn't really anything left wanting in this one, one of the best tracks on the record.

Which leads me to Off The Map. I'll admit right now that I have a major soft spot for Jamie Lidell and all he does, his name on the list of contributors alone made me really give this album my attention in the first place. The track has a dark, moody beat that is quite unique within the rest of the songs on the album, and it really compliments Lidell's voice perfectly. Both he and Simian Mobile Disco did everything right here, definitely the strongest track on the album.

While I'm not normally a fan of Hot Chip, Bad Blood, featuring Alexis Taylor, is another standout song. The dark beats that seemed to be somewhat of a major feature of this album really work well with the vocal choices Shaw and Ford elected. Turn The Dial is likely the closest track spiritually to Simian Mobile Disco's debut Attack Decay Sustain Release, with strong big beat influences, especially in the use of Hip-Hop/Rap orientated vocal work. Can't say it's my favourite track but those coming in hoping to hear another A.D.S.R. may find some solace here. The album finishes with Pinball, which pulls no punches on the Telepathe-esque sound. If you're a fan of the female electronic duo you'll love this track, if like me, not so much; hell, you'll love it anyway. A great closer for a great album.

For someone who played I Believe almost as many times as they skipped every other track on the first album, I'm happy to say that Temporary Pleasure is an altogether much more enjoyable listening experience. Sure there's no glorious Simon Lord-Simian-days-of-old throwback anywhere on here, but the forward momentum shown seems to be very much in the right direction; it's clear Simian Mobile Disco will have great things in store for us in the future.



Cruel Intentions - Simian Mobile Disco

Temporary Pleasure is out August 17th. Buy it.




Kate Moross is essentially living my dream life. She is a freelance 23 year old London based designer, who, by the looks of her work, is generally given somewhere between ninety-five and ninety-nine percent creative freedom. Her design runs parallel with her musical influences and her musical endeavours (she runs her own record label). Having worked for some of the biggest names in electronic music these days, such as Midnight Juggernauts, Simian Mobile Disco, La Roux, The Teenagers, Telepathe, Punks Jump Up and many more; Moross seems to be sitting in one of the most desirable niches for young designers these days.

Heaps more on her Website, including an online store packed with music and clothing, really worth a good look.


James Jean is a Californian designer/illustrator wielding a resume that's basically the who's who of pipe-dream clientele. Jean has worked for Prada, Target, Nike, Playboy, Time and many more. Chances are you've already seen something from him you just didn't know it at the time.

Heaps more on his Website.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Perth Psychedelic rockers Tame Impala are currently in the process of putting together their highly anticipated debut album due out early next year.

But while we wait, they've been kind enough to release the double single Sundown Syndrome / Remember Me. The track drawing everyone in will likely be the former, with Sundown Syndrome featuring the dreamy 60's inspired psychedelia that has really made everyone sit up and take notice of these guys. It's also one of the only tracks in the last...well, ever, that has achieved effective and compelling use of the Kazoo.

Of course that's not to say that the Blueboy cover; Remember Me, will not impress. This song has been a favourite of the band to play during live shows, and it's really quite an interesting rendition.

Buy it from iTunes and decent record stores now.


Sundown Syndrome - Tame Impala
Flow - Tame Impala




Filthy Dukes' debut album is hit and miss. It's probably best to get this out of the way as soon as possible so nobody is confused. There's a lot of potential here, and lot of missed opportunities, but don't let that ruin the great tracks on Nonsense In The Dark.

The album begins with the insanely catchy opener, This Rhythm, featuring the vocal talents of Late Of The Pier's Sam Eastgate. It's a really strong start that carries through the first four tracks on the album. Messages is the next big track, featuring jittery electronic beeps and sing-along-lyrics, definitely one of the highest points on the album. Then comes the fall. It all begins to break apart, only six tracks in, with Tupac Robot Club Rock. The cheesiness of the lyrics is only rivaled by their repetitiveness. The edge the faux-rap vocals attempts to add to the song only works against itself, and It ends up sounding a whole lot like a bad Groove Armada tribute song. Following directly is another track of note, Nonsense In The Dark, but its positioning within the album's continuity is its undoing. With a slow, expansive melody and the soft, down tempo vocal work of The Maccabees' Orlando Weeks, the title track seems like it would belong at the end of the LP, making it a really effective closer for the album instead of a jarring come-down from the "excitement" of Tupac Robot Club Rock.

And its downhill from there. The remaining tracks on the album just fail to get anywhere, whether it's the anti-climactic build up to nothingness in Cul-De-Sac, or the 80s soft rock inspired Don't Fall Softly. It really seems like Filthy Dukes used up all their great ideas early on and just had to make up the rest of the album that was left with waste from the cutting room floor.

So whether you can justify buying the whole album depends on what you want from this album. If you can tolerate the downplayed electro and frankly puzzling vocal choices that plagues the release; go for it. If you're looking for an record of indie-dance with catchy lyrics and even catchier beats you'll do well to just stick to the singles.



Messages - Filthy Dukes



The Big Pink
are about to drop their debut album on all our heads and as well as their tendency to put naked women on all their CD sleeves, they seem to have it going on musically too.

If you like bands like Delphic, and really, who doesn't, then you're going to enjoy these guys.

The Big Pink's debut A Brief History Of Love comes out September 14th. Make sure you pick it up.


Dominos - The Big Pink
Velvet - The Big Pink



Johnathan Zawada is basically in charge Modular Records' aesthetic identity. In my opinion Modular are one of the most switched on music labels design-wise and it's largely due to this man. I'll let his stuff speak for itself.

Check out heaps more of his stuff on his website.


Here's some recent and solid tracks that might interest you.

From Red Riders' recently released sophomore album, Drown In Colour. Which is damn good by the way.

Ordinary - Red Riders

A track by Indie-Electro outfit Hey Champ. Think somewhere between Van She and Digitalism and you have an idea of what to expect.

Cold Dust Girl - Hey Champ

Van She recently released a remix EP bundled with the re-release of last year's near perfect debut LP, V. Titled Ze Vemixes, it's basically Van She Tech completely reworking most of the tracks from the album to sound like heavy techno versions of themselves. This particular track, the last on the EP, takes a completely different route.

Virgin Suicide (Acoustic Mix) - Van She

Anoraak is a french electronic artist part of the Valerie Collective, for some of you that will be information enough. For the rest, think heartfelt and meaningful electro heavily inspired by everything 80's.

Never Ending Romance Disaster - Anoraak

Bombay Bicycle Club are a UK band taking everyone by storm at the moment, they've only just left school as well so it's even more impressive how confident they seem to be at such an early stage in the game.

What If - Bombay Bicycle Club

And finally a rather old track that was remixed in 2005 for Depeche Mode's Greatest Hits album. It's remixed by Digitalism but it sounds very much like Justice or Boys Noize. It's a really cool re-invention of the song actually.

Never Let Me Down Again (Digitalism Remix) - Depeche Mode

Remember to support these artists. Buy their albums and go see them live.



The self-titled debut LP from Bad Veins had me somewhat taken aback. I'd recently gotten into the habit of acquiring albums of artists I knew nothing about, hoping I'd recreate the magic that occurred the day I picked up this album called "Silent Alarm" way back in 05. It was an overly romantic notion and with each subsequent album I listened to being worse overall than it's predecessor I was starting to get the feeling that this technique of stabbing wildly in the dark was getting me nowhere.

Then I listened to Bad Veins.

To say this album did not disappoint doesn't do it justice, because so rarely do you find an album with a quality that spans every track, rather than a few highlights in the form of future singles. In fact if I had any complaints about the album it would be that there is no real definable stand-out moments on the album. No figurehead to lead these fantastic tracks into the hearts and minds of anyone clued in enough to search them out.

The album ticks a lot of the necessary Indie-Rock album check boxes, melancholic lyrics dealing with heartbreak and loneliness, guitar and drum heavy tracks and some subtle electronic sprinklings which every release can't seem to go without these days.

Now for the lead vocal comparisons that every bad review can't go without. Lead singer Benjamin Davis' voice will initially remind you of Brandon Flowers, but further listening indicates that juxtapositions to The Bravery are likely more fitting. Some also may argue that the filtered-out and sung-through-a-megaphone quality to the vocals is Casablancas-esque, but you may have to search pretty deep in the soundscape to justify such connections.

As previously stated, the album really goes from strength to- well to some sort of point exactly equal to the strength of the last track. It's actually really difficult to pick out a highlight in the album because it's all really solid overall. Every track is likable and there's something for everyone who can appreciate well constructed Indie-Rock. Gun to my head I'd say that Dry Out will impress most. Whether it's the incredibly catchy lyrics (which reach their zenith at the chorus) or the impressive layering of the stuttering electronic beat, guitar, backing vocals, synths, piano and drums into a very accessible package, this seems to be the point where it all comes together for the duo from Cincinnati.

Clocking in at roughly 38 minutes, the album rocks up, shows you its stuff, and then departs before it overstays its welcome, leaving you wanting just that little bit more, like a good LP should. If you're at all a fan of The Bravery, The Killers or The Strokes these guys could be what you're looking for.



Dry Out - Bad Veins



The folks over at Modular have just released their third mixed/unmixed 2 disc Indie-Dance compilation, Leave Them All Behind III, filled with the latest and greatest tracks of the year.

The first disc features an in-house Modular DJ set, including both original and remixed tracks, spliced together and lovingly segued into a very solid 73 minute effort that's sure to get the right type of people excited.

The second disc is a selection of songs and bands to keep an eye out for in 2009. It's a bit of a shame that many of these tracks have been floating around on the net for some time, and as such this tracklist hardly comes across as cutting edge. Still, one thing you can always be sure of with Modular Records is that only the coolest songs are on it, and the end result is very much style focused.


Lisztomania (Clasixx Remix) - Phoenix
Triangle Walks (Tiga's 1-2-3-4 Remix) - Fever Ray
Blue Snakes - Canyons
Solid Gold - The Golden Filter
Kilometre (Aeroplane Italo '84 Remix) - Sébastien Tellier
Brash And Vulgar - In Flagranti
Fringe Element - Beni
Release The Beast - Den Haan
Shooting Stars (Siriusmo Remix) - Bag Raiders
Be Brave - Luis La Roche
Discotirso - Knightlife
Forget My Name - Jesse Rose Featuring Hot Chip
Changes (Vemixed) - Van She
True No. 9 Blues (True Romance) - Golden Silvers
Of Moons, Brids & Monsters (Holy Ghost! Remix) - MGMT
I'm Not Alone (Burns Rewerk) - Calvin Harris
This Is Not The Fire - My Tiger My Timing
Yes Ma'am (All Nite Long) (Trentemoller Remix) - Visti & Meyland
Raveo - WhoMadeWho
One Day - The Juan MacLean
Audacity Of Huge (Naum Gabo Remix) - Simian Mobile Disco
Kicking And Screaming (Andee & Oohee's Acid Punch Mix) - The Presets
Dog Days Are Over (An Optimo (Espacio) Mix) - Florence And The Machine


What You Need - Tiga
Sleepyhead - Passion Pit
Skeleton Boy - Friendly Fires
Never Get Enough - Das Pop
Heads Will Roll (James Iha Remix) - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Courage - Whitest Boy Alive
One More Chance (Alex Metric Remix) - Bloc Party
Tonight's Today - Jack Peñate
Love Don't Live Here Anymore - Ladyhawke
Oh Missy (Extended Mix) - Woolfy
Get Over It - Solid Gold
Deli - Delorean
Live Alone - Franz Ferdinand
Counterpoint - Delphic
GBG Belongs To Us - Air France
London Girl - The Invisible
15 To 20 - The Phenomenal Handclap Band


I'm Not Alone (Burns Rewerk) - Calvin Harris

You can buy it in stores across Australia right now, and online from the Modular Store. Do everyone a favour and get it now.


INTO THE GALAXY is a MUSIC / DESIGN / STYLE blog with the aim of bringing new music to your ears, impressive design to your eyes and much needed style to the masses. Because let's face it, there really aren't enough of these fucking things on the internet already.