Black Rivers – Voyager 1 (Applescal Dub)
Manchester heavyweights Doves went on hiatus in 2010 and March of last year saw the release of lead singer Jimi Goodwin’s debut solo L.P. ‘Odludek’ on Heavenly Records. now comes the turn of brothers Jez and Andy Williams who made up the rest of Doves. This is a remix of their latest single, by Dutch producer Applescal, adding a driving groove to spiralling keys and ethereal vocal sounds. they’re called Black Rivers and their self-titled debut album dropped Monday the 9th of Feb.
Last Harbour – Fracture/Fragment
Channelling Ian Curtis and Nick Cave, lead singer K. Craig paints a picture like a David Lynch movie. The tune builds from a brooding beginning to a dark and hopeless crescendo. It’s an intense listening experience but ultimately a rewarding one. Last Harbour’s 6th full length: ‘Caul’ was released on Manchester record label Gizeh on the 9th of Feb.
Shield Patterns – Silver
Shield Patterns tread a path not dissimilar to Portishead, Darkness and Light wrestle for control, neither succeed, and it’s a good thing too. Claire Brentnall’s vocals bears more than a passing resemblance to Beth Gibbons’ but it’s no easy feat to make tunes with this much space feel so intimate and close. The duo’s last L.P. ‘Contour Lines’ has been out since June last year, the new E.P. ‘Violet’ follows on the 9th of March. This is the second track on this list released by Gizeh, get to know.
Ash Mountain – Long Hair Down
A whole lot of fun. Ash Mountain make music in Manchester direct from the swamps and porches of the deep south. This is my favourite from the Manchester Spins #1 record. Manchester Spins is a vinyl-promoting project from Yvonne G. Rybka Erskine and associated Manchester artists (based out of the Bay Horse in the Northern Quarter). The artwork for the sleeve is designed by Trevor Johnson who has done the same for a host of Manchester legends (808 state & New Order to name just a couple). The record was launched on record store day last year and although there’s no news of a follow up, here’s hoping they’ll release another this year.
Punctum – Cocaine Juggernaut
The name alone tells you this is one to take notice of. The track is an assault of bass and drums but somehow space and echo take centre stage. The tune is a monster full of brooding menace and I loved it from the first second.
Punctum is the recording moniker of a certain David McLean, head of Tombed Vision, a label that releases cassettes of some truly incredible music. Expect to see some of their releases in this space in the coming months. This track is from the ‘Unexplained Bleeding’ tape from March 2014 on Salford cassette label: Tesla Tapes.
O>L>A – Fold Time
Dreamy, fragile and emotive, but with a groove and a drive nonetheless. ‘One Little Atlas’ make big picturesque tunes and it’s no surprise they’re a favourite of Video Jam, who are putting together an hour long series of collaborations between musicians and filmmakers for the reopening of the Whitworth Art Gallery on Saturday (14th). There’s going to be an amazing amount of stuff happening over the whole weekend so get yourself down. This track is from their debut self-titled album with Desty Records released last year.
Thom Bellini – Don’t Be Shy
Thomas Bellini was a member of insanely catchy indie band Egyptian Hip-Hop, initially as a session musician and later a more prominent member involved in songwriting. It’s another dreamy soundscape and it’s probably the most beautiful track on this list. Vocals and guitar dance and echo around each other while the bassline has a hint of the G-Funk about it which throws the tune left off the beaten track. It’s a wonderful little number. Bellini Plays Megajam at Soup Kitchen on Friday (13th) along with old band mate Aldous RH and Irma Vep. This track is from the ‘A Lost Art’ E.P. released on the 5th of January this year.