In his latest NME Radar column, Friendly Fires’ Jack Savidge takes us through the out-there sounds he’s had on his stereo recently…
Ashworth has crammed a lot into his career in music, comprising half of Joe and WillAsk? and engineering for dozens of budding techno doyens (myself among them) from his gear-crammed bunker in Stoke Newington. After a brace of well-received 12”s on Arkhive and a spell of artistic bridge-pinching, he’s ready to proudly announce the commencement of Album Time. The first taster is ‘Cork’ where a lovely mud pack of cascading pianos throws an analogue-led hiccup into sharp relief. I dare say this and a lot of other tracks from his forthcoming full-length will be all over the Croatian festivals like so many discarded N2O canisters in the summer months.
The perma-sold-out record is becoming a thing in record shop culture. The process runs as follows: Record becomes huge via being hammered by a big DJ/prominent spin on Boiler Room. There will be an announcement that 100, and 100 alone, are coming on sale (no represses). It’ll go to pre-order, in which one per customer is allowed, and thus the record will be sold out before it’s even released, the artist and label gets hype and probably sells a bunch of held-back stock at astronomical prices on Discogs. Then the whole thing repeats when someone “finds a few in the warehouse”. Anyway, one such current record is ‘Thinkin About’ by Joe – an edit of vocal contortionist Bobby McFerrin’s charming improv jam. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great record and the screaming reaction of the ravers on Four Tet’s Boiler Room when it’s dropped is a joy to behold, but I can’t help thinking the self-imposed scarcity of records like this benefits very few, leaving potential buyers dissatisfied and stores unable to capitalise on demand. Of course in this case there will be an issue with copyright lawyers if any serious money is made so… Anyway, food for thought there. OR IS IT?
A 12” that’s caught my ear over the last month has been the Moiré / Neversleep remixes 12” on Phonica Records’ in-house imprint. A-side ‘Mouth Shut (Moiré remix)’ is a scuzzed-up party of mod strings, brick-walled 707s and FM radios being tuned to distant rap stations. Going back into Moiré’s back catalogue there is no shortage of the same quality. His ‘Shelter’ LP on Actress’s Werkdiscs label from last year carries the same heft and power as this set. I’m sure many people are looking forward to more.
I’ve banged on about Swedish label Karlovak in this column before so may as well continue where I left off. Their latest 12” from DJ Jes is another one right in the sweet spot. Check ‘Para Usted’ for 6 mins of crunchy disco-house joy.