Fresh Faves: Batch 59

This week’s Fresh Faves are reviewed by special guest Andy Von Pip from The Von Pip Musical Express:

Hello!  Thought I’d better quickly introduce myself, I’m Andy from the Von Pip Musical Express Blog.  We’ve been around for about five years and spend most of our waking hours immersed in new music!  We’re based in Liverpool, but the music we feature pays no heed to post codes or lines drawn on maps – our ethos is simple if we love it, we feature it.  This coming week you’ll find me wandering around Liverpool Sound City festival, so if you are attending do say hello, I won’t bite (unlike a certain footballer)  !  But that’s enough about me let’s get down to this week’s  Fresh net faves

CLASSIC PLASTIC – Bucket and Spade Escapade

Apparently, this track was already featured as a Fresh Fave back in November last year and it’s somehow managed to creep back in its stocking feet again!  Saying that it’s obviously popular and the people have spoken.  I’m getting a definite XTC, Electric Soft Parade feel here, plus a bit of early Blur Brit pop, and even a dash of The Dandy Warhols.  Although it’s a tune that wears its influences on its sleeve, it doesn’t actually sound retro in the slightest!

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DARK DARK HORSE – Mercury Nevada

Not to be confused with Brighton’s enigmatic Dark Horses, Dark Dark Horse have already previously impressed Mr Freshnet himself, Tom Robinson, and on the basis  of ‘Mercury Nevada’ the reason why is fairly self evident.  This is quite simply a wonderful dark, slow building elegiac electronic symphony with a vocal that manages to sound pragmatic yet wistful.…  Whoever said electronic music was cold and unemotional was clearly a buffoon.

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DARK PATRICK – Cotton Mouse

There’s a spooky Tubular Bells style atmosphere to this track which boasts elements of electro, trip hop and eastern european folk music all bubbling under the surface. With such disparate influences, it’s rather difficult to pin this down to a particular genre.  This may explain just why the band who consists of Ukrainian Eva Purpurovska and Englishman Paul Chilton describe the genre on their Soundcloud account as simply ‘eclectic’.  Moreover, I guess when you fuse Bandura, Hurdy-Gurdy, Uilleann Pipes, Whistles, Harmonicas , Synthesized sounds and spacey electronica what else could you call it ;)

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KID KIN – Le Prieur Rockets

‘What we tend to forget is music is often felt as well as heard,’ so says Pete Lloyd aka Kid Kin and he’s certainly succeeded in producing music that does exactly that.  This is soaring wide-screen cinematic Sigur Rós meets Public Service Broadcasting post rock ambience of the highest order.  If I were to go all Paul Morley, I’d probably talk about “transcendental beauty” and such like.  ‘Le Prieur Rockets’ is proof positive that egregious caterwauling and the “power ballad” are not the only ways to express emotion via music.  Subtly and depth are often far more rewarding and there’s something rather noble and moving about this tune.

The inspiration for the song is French Lieutenant Yves Le Prieurs who invented rockets to be fired from French or British biplanes against German observation balloons during world War I. ‘Le Prieur Rockets’ is taken from Kid Kin’s self released début album ‘New Dusk at Dawn’

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KILL FOR COMPANY – Black and White

Being from Liverpool I run the risk of being chased into the Mersey by a puce-faced pitchfork/ torch wielding mob, but it has to be said the current Manchester  music scene is without doubt one of the strongest in the country.  I’ll have to add Michael Banfield and Mark O`Donoughue, aka  Kill For Company to my list of Mancunian bands to keep an ear out for as this tune is hugely impressive.  Rather like Blood Red Shoes, it’s hard to believe that just two people can produce such a huge fully formed sound!  Apparently, they’ve also created a hybrid guitar/bass – a Guibass, or maybe a Basstar (d)?  This is essentially a lead guitar with two bass strings at the low end.  I’ll be checking them out via their Soundcloud, which you can access like all the other artists here- via the link below.

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MOSQUITO – (the) Fall

It seems to be the week of musical duos, this time in the shape of Kevin Imbrechts and Nico Kennes collectively known as Mosquito.  Hailing from Belgium, they whip up a paranoid edgy post apocalyptic musical storm and sound like the sort of act who’d be extremely impressive live!

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter


NATIVE TONGUE – Between Heaven & Hell

I like a good anecdote, so if you’re sitting comfortably..I’ll begin   …Legend has it that Native Tongue were invited to tour with Kaiser Chiefs despite never actually having played a solitary gig before! Their drummer Josh Williams worked for a dog sitting company and as chance would have it, Kaiser Chiefs drummer Nick Hodsgon was one of the clients. Inevitably, their conversations turned from Barbara Woodhouse and Victoria Stilwell towards music and when Josh played Nick one of the bands demos he decided pretty much on the spot to invite them on tour!  And if ‘Between Heaven And Hell’ is indicative of what Native Tongue have to offer they certainly wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the bigger stage! Epic and anthemic without ever sounding bombastic or trite!

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SKINNY DREAM – Alloa

One of my fave tracks amongst another outstanding selection of tunes on Fresh on the net.  With ‘Aloha’ Southend’s Skinny Dream have created a perfectly realised shoegaze anthem, full of  yearning, imbued with a fluid hypnotic languid kind of grace.  It’s as hazy and shimmering as the summer sun refracting off a calm undulating ocean.

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STILL CAVES – Dutch

I’m a sucker for scuzzy garage guitars and so this tune has an obvious appeal for me.  Its raw and ramshackle but it sounds alive and also gives the impression the band are having an absolute blast.  Still Caves may have been selling themselves a little short when they said ‘ I don’t think we really write songs -we just play.’  Yet in a world where everything is airbrushed and polished to within an inch of its life spontaneity is frequently the first causality. It’s all very well trying to manufacture a perfectly produced moment, but often the best music is produced by happy accident and a willingness to experiment – Not via a focus group meeting  :)

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ZORZILLA – CALMER WATERS

This gets better after every listen; initially I was going to suggest the vocal had a kind of Anika style sensibility until I discovered that the vocalist is actually a chap!  Ooops!

‘Calmer Waters’ has a distinct ethereal psychedelic atmosphere but this appears to be something of a one off in Zorzilla’s musical canon. The bands other tunes available on line  are far more explosive, incendiary affairs and listening to tracks such as ‘Empower‘ and ‘Freedom’ actually conjures up Liam Gallagher fronting Queens of the Stone Age.

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Andy Von Pip
Fresh Faves reviewed by
Andy Von Pip from the
Von Pip Musical Express

PS from TR: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t made the Fresh Faves you’re welcome to re-submit it again. But if you have been a Fresh Fave in recent weeks could you possibly hold back for at least six weeks before sending us another one. If you keep sending us great tracks every week it leaves less room for new names who haven’t had a chance yet…

VonPip

In his first flush of youth a cherubic fresh-faced young Andy fell in love with something his parents described as a ‘god awful cacophony of talentless, directionless anger’. Yes he had fallen hook line and safety pin for the musical enema that was Punk, a savage incendiary explosion that effectively flushed away the egotistical histrionics of becaped hippies obsessed with Arthurian legends, who regularly produced spirit crushing self indulgent wankathons known somewhat grandly as ‘rock operas.’

Although too young to experience the first wave of punk it inspired young Andy to form a band, dye his hair various shades of red, blue and yellow and wear a safety pin through his ear. This made his parents VERY proud. His band the little heard, barely talented Distant Echos was built primarily around Andy’s distinctive songwriting style which could be described as “a mesmerising folly of epic proportions”.

In 2007 his music blog the Von Pip Musical Express (VPME) was born under the slogan “asking dogs how they feel about lampposts so that you don’t have to”. Since its inception Andy’s humble musical organ has been voted in the BT Digital Music awards top ten music blogs and nominated in the Record of the Day Journalism and PR music awards, being named as runner up in 2009. Andy was also a member of ‘The BBC’s Sound Of 2010 taste-makers panel’ and has had press accreditation for numerous gigs and festivals including Liverpool Sound City , The Great Escape And Glastonbury. He is also a some time promoter in his home town of Liverpool putting on gigs featuring some of the most exciting up and coming bands about these here parts and beyond. The challenge still remains, to try and give great new bands a platform and to loosen Cowell’s cankerous grip on popular culture. It’s a tall order, but somebody has to try for f**ks sake. Who’s in ?

2 Comments

  1. Tom

    Thanks to the legendary VonPip for a great writeup this week…

    Quick reminder: as well as sending in tunes via this blog, UK artists also need to upload them to BBC Introducing if they want to be considered for BBC Introducing airplay. No upload = no chance of airplay.

  2. Thanks to Andy from the
    ‘Musical Von Pip Family’
    Great Write up Sir!

    Zorzilla & Classic Plastic blew me away this weekend.

    The Listening Post always offers a little Magic, regardless of you personal taste in music. How can we raise awareness just enough without spoiling the magical community feel and flooding the track submissions?
    I think that targeted advertising towards the ‘Music Listener/critics’ is key.
    Can you get Lammo, Lauren and more of the r6m clan on board to boost this truly magical piece of the net ?
    Honesty with ‘Ape Love’

    Dan (Vox) Gmaj xo

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