NBTMusicRadio TWO reviews 1

nbttwo 1

And so we are back. The ever famous, mysterious and quite often cool NBTMusicRadio Reviews, in which we take a highly personal deep dive into tracks created by artists featured within the eclectic murky waters of the NBT 24 hour stream.

True, we actually never really went away, lurking in the shadows on other platforms and blog hosts, but right here has always been our real home, and we, even as the difficult children we were, finally realized that.

Most of the words below are written by Martin NBT the creator/owner of the crazy spaceship of indie radio that is NBTMusicRadio Two, but from time to time other deviants pop up with their thoughts of wonder and delight.

All this music can be found here, newly playlisted alongside music of an independent nature from past and present, and created by many huge stars of the near future.

And oh yes, as always… Here Be Fragments

The Blue Hour – One More Mystery

We are falling fast, with the mindless focus of rumbling missiles, through thunderstorm clouds perhaps, into a world not quite known, a lost tribe’s lament perhaps. The perfect mix of crystal clear voice, a whirlpool of beguiling strings all engaged in a somber interplay with smoky disturbing electronics.  As the  entrance into the band’s latest collection ‘ Awake’ this sets the scene for an evening of temptations and enchantments.

https://thebluehour.bandcamp.com/

SNMT – Melting Music

This Project’s music is described on Bandcamp as ‘’ Queer/Trans Noise. Psychedelic post-no wave/post-melt/post-modern classical memecore trashy shit’’ And People that really is just a start . We here at NBT have been fans for a long while now and would recommend  https://snmt.bandcamp.com/album/deep-cuts-2006-2016 as a good starting point into the extreme eclecticism on offer. The track we are writing about here today, created from free Android apps, is a bitter sweet lullaby perchance played to a child just before a long night of uneasy dreams, the kind that mixes fascination and fear, or is this sweet thing a grandparent’s longing made into a warped pop tune? You decide.

Radioactive X Girlfriend – Species Number Five

Ok now this (from the upcoming release ‘’ Volver Arriba’’ ) is the ideal song to listen to while frantically gulping coffee down and reading about this insecure world of ours imploding slowly into chaos, as weak madmen, now somehow leaders, threaten each other with death and destruction. Orchestrated ingeniously by Andrew Joslyn (Mark Lanegan, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) this is a quirky and mischievous soundtrack to the apocalypse, down there in that Disco in the Dark.  It’s a mad glad head-rush mix of electronics and strings marching anarchic like across the troubled landscape of our imaginations.  And Beautiful too.

https://www.facebook.com/rxgf1/

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The NBTMusicRadio Review 143

Review 1 april 2014

 

At long bloody last, the writer part of the NBTMusicRadio brains-trust slides slowly back into action, here with some thoughts on some of the latest releases currently gracing our 24 hour stream. Here be Fragments, Random Joy and unrestrained excitement, here will be attempts to listen between the chords, read between the lines, to discover the stories and dance with the ghosts in the music.

Right let’s get down to it

Older Reviews (1 – 123) can be found here

Reviews 124 till now right on this very blog.

I am writing about SONGS here although most of these tracks come from fine albums which you can discover by simply following the links like the good curious reader you should be.

The Frown – This Is How The World Ends (I AM NOIZE & DESTRUKTO Mysterio Mix)

I have to admit, I like my club music to be slightly menacing and moody, yet still able to deliver the release needed for the dance floor fanatic to lose themselves under the mirrorball darts. This is all factory throb and sly tension yet never succumbs to the dreary tank crawl that some industrial tracks mistake for ‘passion’

https://soundcloud.com/destruktorobots

Stoney Spring  – That’s Not An Ice Cream Truck , That’s God

Coffee House piano battles a creeping otherworldly synth, then weirdly morphs into something Hudson and Manuel would get down into on a good night with the Band. You can almost hear Dr John thinking about singing over this as he passes on his way to his spaceship in this alternate universe.

http://www.stoneyspring.com/

Galleons – Rise

This is slow burning, slow building, song circle intimate harmonies, the dreaming, the soft desire for the dreaming, then release perhaps even surrender.  Most bands would leave it at that, but the Galleons push forward, ever higher till it’s not just a bird, it’s a sleek air jet of a song, modern and shiny.

http://thegalleons.com/

Andrew Kay – Bernoldus

Like all four tracks here, this is a shape shifter of sorts. It flirts with loss, but is more about legacy, the most fragile call to arms we have yet to hear from a singer who balances the gleeful with the late night heaviness. Deceptive in its simplicity, like all good music, it catches you unaware and all of a sudden you are making plans to change the world.

http://www.reverbnation.com/andrewkay7

You can catch all these songs and oh so much more on the NBTMusicRadio’s 24 hour stream

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The NBTMusic Review 142

review 143

The Random Playlist Experiment

Older Reviews (1 – 123) can be found here

So I thought I would try something different, Take three very talented, very different artists, throw all their new songs into a folder and let my player spit out the music at will, and I will attempt to convey my emotional, my sensual, my heart’s response to what hits me, and for three tracks from each artist I shall discover what private movies are created, what memories are triggered. I shall leave the technical dissection for other worthy critics; they have my permission, to conduct strenuous autopsies upon the verse and chorus of each song.

The three albums I will listen to are:

Monsters by Dudley Saunders (Strange Troubadours)

Tokyo’s Fifth – Tokyo Rosenthal (Rock and Sock Records)

Long Way Home – Max Carmichael (Independent Release)

So as a famous pair of lips once said in a cult film one dark rainy night, ‘’let’s get to it boppers’’

The first track up is Rosenthal’s ‘’What Did I Used To be’’ a reflective dark start to the proceedings.  3AM fragile where sunrise seems a lifetime away, and the hope that kept the younger man going seems in short supply. What surprises is how gentle this is, perhaps this is how depression hits us not with blunt force, but cloaked in sweet melody.

Saunder’s ‘’ What Rats Are We’’ stays in that temperamental time zone,  part of the night where time slows to a crawl, but this is  jazz romantic, neon sign reflected in puddle moody, kinda hip as the ghosts of Marlon Brando and Miles Davis are evoked. These too are lost men, but watch for the proud tilt of the head, the small wicked smile.

And so we leave the street and enter a packed club, An impossibly cool band whose members all look like Max Carmichael are playing on a tiny cramped stage, the song is, ‘’ Yellow Mud’’, we think of the Beatles, but not in Hamburg, rather in CBGBs, Jonathan Richman looks on and takes notes, a yuppie in the corner is loudly demanding a coloured drink, perhaps because his girlfriend is paying too much attention to the band.

Speaking of the Beatles, Tokyo takes back control of their ‘’Helter Skelter’’ but with none of the affectation of U2. This is country fiddle joyful, recalling a glorious time in the mid 70s when the American charts were full of country rock boogie, sing along anthems devoid of guile, you know, like when the Doobie Brothers were NOT slick, NOT polished, and there wasn’t a genre called adult contemporary.

Carmichael’s ‘’Plateau’’ comes skipping in, keeping the party vibe going, Everly Brothers overdosed on Paul Simon sanctioned subliminal afro rhythms, the singer enjoying the insecurity of sunshine through clouds,  we feel we are on a roundabout ,things become a pleasant blur, tension and giggles in equal measure.

Dudley Saunders brings back the fear, but oh how tactile, stirring seductive he makes it, in ’’ The Man In The Game’’ we cuddle up nervous next to one of his curiously broken characters, find an understanding for the approaching horror, glory in the detachment, this is how nightmares should be written, not with screeches and bombast, but rather with a slightly dangerous empathy.

Rosenthal’s ‘’Waste Of A Heart’’ with its traditional Oprey feel, and shy lilting harmonies from Andrea Connolly, makes us wish that Leonard Cohen, had written more Country songs. Regret and acceptance he moves out towards the dawn at last

In ‘’Zero Out (In These Boxes) ‘’ by Dudley Saunders,  we discover how memories can trap the soul, how powerful inanimate objects can be, as if they are magic, that just by looking at them, taking them out of that box in the attic or the top of the cupboard, they bestow the not  completely welcome gift of time travel. This for me is the most personal track on this album and all the more beautiful for it.

And finally we head down into Max Carmichael’s ‘’Rifted Valley.’’ What amazes me here is suddenly we are no longer in the artist’s beloved New York post Punk Loft dreamscape, but somewhere deep in that intellectual alt Americana that folks like Andrew Bird inhabit. It is fitting that this is the last song of this random journey, because the music is epic, growing, dense and like all that we have heard today, full of ideas, but never disregarding the raw emotion of it all.

Find out more from these artists right here:

http://www.tokyorosenthal.com/tokyo_rosenthal/home.html

http://www.dudleysaunders.com/index.php

http://www.maxcarmichael.com/

And you can hear LOADS of tracks from these three albums on the NBTMusicRadio 24 hour stream

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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

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The NBTMusic Review 140

Older Reviews (1 – 123) can be found here

Light in Cages – album launch Zack’s, Wilson’s Wharf 28 October.

By Helge Janssen

I first came across Rowan Stuart when he opened for a Jaspar Lepak gig @ St. Clements in Musgrave Road more than a year ago. He had already become well known via Cynosure a “quirky fun-pop-rock band” in the words of Rowan himself. At St. Clements, he had a way with creating guitar loops and backing beats that grew the sound beyond he and bassist Jared Collison’s stage presence. All the while Rowan’s eyes would dart around: audience to guitar, drum beat/loop to audience, microphone to foot pedals….as if he was looking for something unfathomable, seemingly out of reach. At the same time he was having fun experimenting before a highly appreciative audience. But quite clearly the glint in Rowan’s eye (a single eye peering through the curtain of his fringe) was searching for a greater challenge.

Light in Cages – Rowan’s solo project alias transmuting into a band for performances – literally burst onto the Durban rock scene @ Zack’s on a rainy Sunday night. Heading the line up was multitalented Rowan (lyricist, vocals, lead guitar, synth programming); Jared (bass); and Jude Kendrick (drums). I sensed immediately that there had been a shift in Rowan, a shedding, displaying a masterful command of his performance that was grounded, driving, inimitable. He has been hard at work, realigning his planets and taking stock of his life, allowing his lyrics and songs to speak for themselves. As such, this break-away venture bares all the courage of self-exploration within a context of philosophical portent. But I also sensed there is a lot more in dynamo Rowan – in perfect voice, a voice with a range of which great legends are made – that wants to kick ass. He certainly has rock star looks and style, wearing black shirt, black skinny-jeans and hipster black and white checked belt. Long time collaborator Jared was solid on bass, complimenting Rowan with confident ease. Newcomer Jude gave a vigorous and beat-perfect performance on drums.

There is certainly light – and darkness – with immense intelligence in the lyrics, which are most epic. The melodies are haunting and memorable. There is magnificence in the musical arrangements that are many-layered, which I see (given time) being performed with full orchestral accompaniment. Time will prove just how far ‘Light in Cages’ has raised the bar in this genre and as such this is indeed an exciting and much needed addition to South Africa’s rock scene.

The CD cover is a direct link to this projects name: a man in a state of ecstatic abandonment with light emanating from his chest cavity, and who is surrounded by a bleak landscape swathed in darkness. The immediate impact is of a soul trapped in a human body yet forever free. It is of note too, that while the rib cage is an ‘entrapment’ it is also a flexible protection.

The CD has been expertly produced and recorded by Rowan with Brent Quintin mixing and mastering. The talents of Sidney Rash were used on drums, with Rowan completing the range of backup musical instruments: bass, guitars, programming.

I have at least two best best favourite tracks: “Symphony” and “The Labyrinth”.

Here are the lyrics courtesy of Rowan:

SYMPHONY

They say that we were once beasts
Who rose from the ground
We were bound and displeased

They say our thirst never died
As we grew in our numbers
So we grew in our pride

I say that beasts we may be
But blessed with the ability to better are we

So come on, come on baby please
Won’t you close your box of vanities
Cause there’s a symphony
It’s called Humanity
And every note, every beat
Is an angel reborn

If we choose to live and let live
To create and to wonder
And take less than we give

We can break from these cages of skin
Becoming humane and not merely human

So come on, come on baby please
Won’t you close your box of vanities
Cause there’s a symphony
It’s called Humanity
And every note, every beatIs an angel reborn
Is an angel reborn

There’s a symphony
Called humanity
And every note, every beat
Every note, every beat
Every note, every beat
Is an angel reborn

————————-

THE LABYRINTH

Curse of birth or gift of the divine
Sworn to walk this trying maze of mine

I’d just watch the sky to stay strong
And dreaming between the stars
I’d forge on

Cause I could never stop this search, it is my fate
To walk the labyrinth

And every time you tear me down I’ll recreate
Myself inside of it
The labyrinth
It’s in my veins now

Whispers and stirring bones
Of those before
So few find the prize
We die for

But I could never stop this search, it is my fate
To walk the labyrinth

And every time you tear me down I’ll recreate
Myself inside of it
The labyrinth
It’s in my veins now

This is rock music at its fledging best!

If Rowan were a fine artist, I would call this the world’s first rock instillation art piece!

It is going to be interesting to see if Rowan will succeed in enticing people to buy into his music rather than into his name or image, or whether there is a calling of which he himself is as yet unaware. After all rock music is very much about lifestyle and performance that marries and drives home its liberating message.

On its own, the CD is an astounding achievement. Get your copy now!

Visit Light in Cages web site at: http://www.lightincages.com/fr_music and get a free download of a track.

You can also visit the Facebook page at:
https://www.facebook.com/LightInCages?ref=ts&fref=ts

Tracks from this album can be heard all over the NBTMusicRadio 24 stream, specially though, during the hour of 7 PM Berlin time (that’s 6 PM UK,  1 PM New york)

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The NBT MusicReview 138

Older reviews (1 – 123) can be found here

Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet – Piano Magic (Saint Marie Records)

dismissed in some circles for not being ‘indie’ or minimal or pure enough (depending on the ”intellectual” creds of the writer/blog) the latest release from Piano Magic, is a slow burn alternative universe collection, exuding  a shimmering calm that only comes before or after some kind of exquisite tension.

This is the gentlest bitter, a restrained anger, no overblown dramatics, rather a sensual hypnotic even devious journey into the soul. There are words of warning here for the dishonest, the reckless, and the self satisfied, whispered with a smile rather than shouted in futility.

The band has not given up on that (previous label) 4 AD mystery, but now adds a bit of soul, a touch of world, a lot of restlessness to the mix. Imagine if you will a midnight wedding tween a New Order pop song and a David Sylvian willful experiment with just a hint of the more masculine side of Dead Can Dance and then dream on, listen on, from there and let the surprises take you at will.

The title track give a clear indication of what the writer and the band hope to convey, achieve, charting that ambiguous dangerous time, where self doubt and hopelessness can push one to the very edge, and yet somehow you pick yourself up and keep going, keep creating keep trying to express yourself.

This new album is full of such intimate ideas expertly told and wonderfully played.

Trax from This Album will be featured on the NBTMusicRadio during the following hours:

2 PM 6 PM Berlin Time (1 PM/5 PM UK and 8 AM/ 12 Midday New York)

And Both Midnight Madness Hours (midnight Berlin Time (11 PM UK) and also midnight New York Time)

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The NBT Review 135

Whitehorse – Whitehorse (Six Shooter Records)

Let’s mood swing for a moment into this new dream. Old time radio filtered captured thoughts, a lazy ghost drifting across wild western desert or is this hazy vision really Russian winter bleak? The music hints that both worlds could be here, within this fragile opening.

We are taken from this delicate tension, (almost Wim Wender Serene Soundtrack like) into the echoed dramatic of, ‘’Killing Time Is Murder’’ the ghosts become rock n roll real, a finger snapping delightfully urgent harmonic surge, the girl boy balance fine tuned, so it’s not truck driver macho or even ethereal femme detached, but rather that space in between.

Even when Luke Doucet takes on lead vocals, there is enough of Melissa McClelland’s dream pop sensibility to make these songs a wonderful fantasy version of what Okkervil River might sound like mixed lovingly with Beach House.

What delights here is that, just when you think you have tied down this duo to some genre or other, they jump/dance away from the label and throw in something else. There is haunted rock-a-billy here, there is AM radio power pop,  there are slivers of wounded wondering Folk songs and there is even that old time roots pop that the Loving Spoonful got so very right which makes their version of Springsteen’s ‘’I’m On Fire’’ a natural marvel.

Indeed they construct rare beauty in songs that make the listener think of Ryan Adams for a few seconds, then KD Lang for a few more, while never losing their own trance logic, an ‘other’ worldly shimmer that is their own.

Find out more about this incredibly seductive band here:

http://www.whitehorsemusic.ca

You can hear tracks from this album spread ALL over the 24 hour stream that is the NBTMusicRadio

But specially during the ‘’Essence Of The Song’’ Hours which go out every day

3 and 4 PM Berlin Time for our European listeners (2 and 3 PM UK Time)

And 9 and 10 PM New York time for our USA and Canadian Listeners.

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Burner – TERRANOVACAIN (Independent Release)

I confess to have succumbed to the jagged post punk soul of this album, so my thoughts are those of the converted, are purely spiritual , personal, chaotic random and deep as thought can be in the moment of the music, so critical detachment, a cold clear look or listen is not what happens here. But maybe like this collection, it is something more, more true to the ambition inside the rhythms

This is all oiled machine flirting though with the rust of hard use, it is all friction versus the fluid, the darkest sigh against the pounding hammer. It’s Stax era funk, folded smooth into white boy need, jittering and jerking, animated clown, loose limbed new wave under the mirrorball at 4 am in the morning.

It’s disco with abrasive guitars, it’s the Bass as half robot half panther, these songs never stop prowling, disturbing, they are electro shock without terror, but embracing the fear as a wicked jive partner.

These songs are songs of hope from a cynic’s point of view, where defeat is ever on the edge of its seat, grinning with excitement only to be surprised by the magic and love, the ultimate daring of what comes next.

My job is to listen to those that call themselves ‘’Independent’’ and I have noticed how few earn that title.

TERRANOVACAIN wear it with pride.

Find out more:

http://www.reverbnation.com/terranovacain#!

You can hear this band’s music ALL over the 24 Hour stream that is the NBTMusicRadio

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