NBTMusicRadio TWO reviews 2

nbttwo 2

In which Marc Presley embarks on a nostalgic voyage and delivers an intricate review of Andrew Kay’s new album. This is bookended by two short mini reviews by Martin Smit (creator/owner of the NBTMusicRadio) of tracks from artists featured across our 24 hour stream

Anilore – Mimicry and Murmur (from the album ‘’Lull’’)

In the Bandcamp notes for the album, Andrew Malenda calls the music ‘lonely’, but I will have to respectfully disagree, this (and especially this track) is all about contact, with like minds, battling against the timid, the ignorant, the vast deliberate unknowing. It is children holding hands in a storm, adults sharing half secrets once hidden in shy smiles. Uplifting and beautiful the song creates victory from quiet tragedies. It is rare to find such a balanced almost non dramatic mood inside the so called ‘shoegaze’ genre or such (rock) weight within ambient pieces and while the music recalls both the Rachels and Charalambides, there is a clutter and sigh that is all their own.

https://anilore.bandcamp.com/

 

Andrew Kay – Brand New Suit  (A Review By Marc Presley)

(buy it here: https://nbtmusicradio.bandcamp.com/album/brand-new-suit)

I don’t recall the first time I met Andrew, but I do remember the first time I saw him play. It was at the Rhodes University Great Hall in 1983.
I don’t recall the main act that his band, New Releases, was supporting, but I think it may have been Via Afrika. The reason I don’t recollect what the headline band was is that New Releases were so startlingly inspired and original, that they owned the event.
At the time, Rhodes was heavily inhabited by “Rhodesian” expats: mostly bitter, racist frat boys, and Andrew spat “The Rugger Bugger Rap” at them while Mark Osborn ran around like a mental patient freed from his straitjacket, in pyjamas, bashing a steel tray with an Old Brown Sherry bottle.
I was in awe.
I grew up in Uitenhage, a small, conservative town. For me, South African music was dudes in pubs playing “Hotel California”, and Juluka’s hard-to- find first record. After seeing New Releases and Not Even the TV, I was utterly blown away. I would never have picked up a guitar, nor ever stood in front of a microphone (unless being questioned by the police) without those two bands.
We became really close when I failed Sociology 3 and had to repeat. Andy was doing the same course, and we had immense fun with a prissy new lecturer, Afrikaans, who was slathered in make-up, wearing high-heeled shoes straight out of a porn movie, fresh out of uni, teaching the course on, of all things, Marxist feminism. We would sit together in her class with our feet up on the desks, chain-smoking, snarling and flicking ash on the floor. She once asked us, incredulously, “are you ALLOWED to smoke in here?” Andrew’s like, “we’re lumpen proletarians!” I’m, “It’s the means of production!”. That kinda stumped her. The poor woman.

After moving to Johannesburg, I formed Live Jimi Presley, and Andrew and Mark Osborn formed a two-piece, Pulse. Later Mark went on to spawn Sparky’s Magic Piano, and even later Mark and Andrew teamed up with Tilo von Brandis to create Tardishead. We were all very close. Hung out together, and shared rehearsal space.

Apologies for the rather long-winded introduction, but it is needed as a caveat for any perceived bias. Andrew’s one of my dearest, most beloved friends, yet I shall, in all honesty, try my best to give an objective critique of the record.
Here goes, then.

Firstly, don’t expect any information in or on the album’s sleeve. There is none. There is a small ball on the front and back, and the colour of the ball varies, depending on which edition you got. Inside, there is a song listing. That’s it. No production credits, no songwriting credits, no musician credits, no blurb; nada, zilch, just sweet fuck-all.
And I love that. It’s only the songs. That’s what Andrew’s always been about: the songs. Nothing to see here. Just put it on and listen.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: the songs. Because you know, songs are kinda the most important thing about a record. I hope nobody minds my comparisons to other bands, as Andrew’s influences are abundant and clear.

#1: We’ll be together

I have a special fondness for this one. I’ve always maintained that in another time and another place, it would have been a chart-topper. Most pop songs sound simple, but try playing Beatles and Abba songs.
I played rhythm guitar live on a couple of occasions as a guest for this song, and I had to practice for weeks. It’s pretty complex. I think it’s gorgeous. What I like is that Andrew has retained his original guide vocal; gritty and edgy. The slide guitar is magnificent. However, I have two problems with this production: 1:The brass is great, but I would have liked to hear the original guitar riff over it on occasion. 2: Remove the “baybeee”s. Try it. It sounds much better.

#2: Lucy in the sky with headphones

This is the best production on the record. Lush and gorgeous. It showcases how Andrew is one of the very few indie SA artists who can actually sing and harmonize. A marvelously constructed piece of psychedelia.
Produced by Tilo von Brandis. Respect

#3: God refused to hear

Excellent lyrics, but I just can’t get Santana out of my head when I hear it. Lame ending. Marc refused to hear.

#4: Book of love

I’ve said this before: the guitars sound like The Verve; the vocals Gabrielesque. It’s nice.

#5: Friday morning month end

The most intensely personal song on the record. I have a great admiration for artists who can document the everyday with sincerity and honesty. A good little country song, reminiscent of Neil Young and Kris Kristofferson’s more candid moments. I want to cry every time I hear the Max lyric.

#6: Superboy

David Bowie circa Aladdin Sane. I’m surprised Andrew hasn’t been sued for this. Still, a solid pop song, though. Andrew writes good pop songs. Lovely piano.

#7: Ear of an innocent

Hmm. Seagulls. That’s original.
I find the verses a little Syd Barretty, but the chorus is sublime. Love the bongos or congas or whatever they are.

#8: Long dark road

My favourite. What Andrew has done here is miraculous: combined the sadness and melancholy of traditional Country with lilting, joyous instrumentation. The incongruity and contradiction is astounding. A very clever and virtuosic piece of music, with a bit of Rock ‘n Roll thrown in for good measure. I’m always astonished to hear non-Americans play Country so well.

#9: Fat Elvis

Solid pop song. Great brass. A tight piece of Rock that may have been better as a ska song. Just my opinion.

#10: Easy

A nice Britpop Beatles thingie. Sounds too much like Oasis, though.

11: Revolution of love

I like this one. It’s one of Andrew’s older songs. Lenny Kravitz guitar with Ministry vocals. One of the less retro songs on the record.

12: Baiting Mr Big

I’m torn here. Whilst I love this song and was involved with Sparky’s Magic Piano, I cannot fathom why it’s on the record. It’s great that it’s getting out to an audience that have never heard it, but it’s a Mark Osborn song. Andrew doesn’t even play on it.

13: Big time love celebration

A great song. Andrew in celebratory mood. He tends to do that under the most dire stress. The most positive person I’ve ever met. But stop with the fucking “bayyybeees” already!

In conclusion, Andrew Kay is probably the most unrecognized, inspired and eclectic pop artist to come out of my generation. The fact that he is a consummate musician as well as a wonderful person, notwithstanding. The record is technically flawless. He just writes fucking beautiful music.

Again buy it HERE:  https://nbtmusicradio.bandcamp.com/album/brand-new-suit

you can also buy it in a bundle with the NBTMusicRadio Compilation (25 songs from 9 countries) AND the NBT theme song single..at huge discount.

Ric Gordon – I Will Always Be There (from the album ‘’ Standing Here’’)

Mr Gordon runs the Russian Winter Records label which is as eclectic with its roster as is NBT with its playlist, shoegaze, punk and electro all find a happy home there, but with this EP he takes a different route. Combining elements of Byrd like jangle attached to a Nick Lowe way with melody and lyric, this could almost be called acoustic new wave and this track in particular would have found a most welcome home on a Stiff Records compilation back in the day. Remarkably it is not at all dated nor does it have that feel of the deliberate ‘retro’ that sadly is now so in fashion, rather it is honest, timeless and rather damn catchy. Lovely stuff

https://russianwinterrecords.bandcamp.com/

all this music can be found  swimming freely deep down in the ocean of sound that is the NBTMusicRadio-Two

http://nbtmusic.de/

http://nbtmusic.de/2ndradio/

(Always: wonderful works in progress)

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The NBTMusic Review 141

Older Reviews (1 – 123) can be found here

Child Of Ancestors – Sarah Jane Mary Hills (Sjambok Music)

Written by Jacobus Rossouw aka 88KOS

Every month, I read every music magazine and website and blog end to
end. It’s a search for albums that are personal, stripped of ego,
beautiful and honest. On my twitter account I ask questions, hoping
that the crowd will source these beautiful albums for me… And every
so often I’ll come across Warpaint or a rare perfection like Mountain
Man’s “Made the Harbour”, but more often than not I’m disappointed by
the anodyne starch that is served up as music so regularly.

Then, out of the blue I see a post about Sarah Jane Mary Hills’ new
album, Child of Ancestors, on NBT’s Facebook feed. I loved the work
she did with Sunways and so it was an easy decision to buy the album
immediately from her bandcamp site. After listening to the opening 5
seconds I was hooked, and when NBT Music Radio asked me to do a review
I jumped at the chance.

This is a rare album, so deeply honest and personal that it’s an act
of courage (and perhaps catharsis) to release it to the public. The
arrangement is simple and the production sparse, and combines with
introspective lyrics to produce an intimacy that is arresting and
inspiring.

Though this is a solo album the collaboration with the Legendary
Warrick Sony in terms of the final product is worth mentioning. Hills
and Sony have worked together before with Hills contributing vocals to
two Kalahari Surfers albums – One Party State
(http://kalaharisurfer.bandcamp.com/album/one-party-state) and the
recent Agitprop (http://kalaharisurfer.bandcamp.com/). For this album,
Hills recorded the vocals and guitar before sending the songs to Sony
to add final musical touches after which he did the final mix and
mastering.

Sony’s genius is that his contribution is light and sensitive thereby
adding to the album’s haunting beauty. The layered vocals and the
simple guitar figures against a background of sweeping soundscape is a
trip into someone’s soul.

Hills’ writing is superb, never over the top and never straying from a
sound that suits the album’s themes. The subject matter is sometimes
emotionally tough but ultimately leaves this listener with hope and a
sense of peace. This may make it sound like a “difficult” album but it
is extremely accessible and you will find yourself humming the songs
long after listening.

This is not an album for anyone that is fond of aggresive posturing or
frivolous pap, but for those who appreciate simplicity and beauty it
is a rare find and I encourage you to make your way to Hills’ bandcamp
site with your credit card ready.
(http://sarahjanemaryhills.bandcamp.com/). Child of Ancestors is
another superb Sjambok Music release and while you’re in a buying mood
make sure to check out other albums released by one of SA’s finest
labels at http://www.sjambokmusic.com

Tracks from this cool album can be heard all over the 24 hour stream that is the NBTMusicRadio

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/
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