Cocaine Piss: Steve Albini teams up with one of Belgium’s best bands to beef up punk for 2017
Kurt Cobain once said that the only producer Nirvana could have accepted to work with was Steve Albini, because he was the only one who could give the band a great sound while keeping it natural and raw. And so it makes sense that a band like Cocaine Piss would choose to head to Chicago to work with Albini himself for their latest record, The Dancer.
Cocaine Piss perfectly epitomize the original spirit of punk; they’re loud, reckless, provocative and aren’t afraid of being hated. They come from Liége, Belgium, a city that has seen the growth of a large number of crust punk bands such as Hiatus, but they don’t seem to be influenced by dark tones or d-beat drum rhythms.
Instead, they try to retrace a certain musical primordiality that perfectly pairs up with the relentless wildness they show on the stage. It’s hard to figure out what kind of people they could be in everyday life, but every time their singer, Aurélie, grabs the microphone, she turns into a raving beast. Everything she does – consciously or unconsciously – ends up shocking the audience in an authentic yet unexpected way.
Her lyrics are savage and fun at the same time. Take “Average Romance” for example, where she mercilessly screams: “You got married sent résumés swallowed some pills still no fun!”. And it’s really hard to choose which of their songs is the most crudely realistic. Everything in Cocaine Piss is meant to shock and surprise the audience, and if you add a good amount of fun to all of that you have the perfect recipe to keep playing punk in 2017.
The Islingtons: For fans of Modest Mouse and Elbow
The Islingtons remind me of Modest Mouse in its salty and lonesome guitars and Elbow in its booming vocals. This album would go well with some body of water and bad memories.
Eslam Salem: for fans of ‘Hail To The Thief’ and other moody jams
The latest release from Cairo’s Eslam Salem is a somber affair, with twitching beats and guitars supporting a mournful voice with quite a range. The results echo Radiohead’s ‘Hail To The Thief’ in that you can hear human pain behind manipulated sounds.
Oh! Nullah: Hong Kong punks’ digital-only 2015 release will now be physically released via Sweaty & Cramped
Our good friends over at Sweaty & Cramped are physically re-releasing two Oh! Nullah tracks from its 2015 digital-only album ‘Jaded Summer.’ Fans of S&C’s Asian Emo compilation will also dig this Hong Kong band’s melodic guitars and driving drums.
From band member Ben Tse:
“’Jaded Summer’” is a song I wrote for a friend whose mother passed away, and ‘Last of My Mistakes’ is about accepting that no one is ever immune to failure or disappointment. ‘Restitution’ is the restoration of something lost to its original owner and a concept that these two songs attempt to grasp and convey.”
Зарница: pronounced “zarneetsa,” this is danceable Moscow punk filled with post-punk influences and irreverence.
Russian screamo has always had a few defining characteristics carving out its own place and fanbase all over the world: a certain tundra-inspired post-rock influence, dark yet hopeful and moving atmospheres, epic guitar riffs, and broken-hearted screaming. It’s a recipe that repeats itself over and over but rarely gets boring. Therefore, it’s quite a surprise to find out that Зарница, a new Russian all star band featuring members and ex members of well-known screamo and post-rock acts such as Namatjira, Sen Deni (from Minsk, Belarus), Totoro, Маяк and more, doesn’t play screamo.
Зарница, which means “summer lightning” and is pronounced “zarneetsa”, is a four piece based in Moscow. On their first EP released in 2016, В доме престарелых, one can certainly find a lot of influences that necessarily derive from the musical background of the band’s members, especially when it comes to the ultra-melodic and uncontainable guitar riffs. However, the post-punk driven rhythms and the drunken La Dispute vocals change the settings of Зарница’s imagery, and the final result is much more similar to early The Cure or to Makthaverskan.
The contagious liveliness of Зарница, together with their queer-oriented appearance at their own concerts, shows just how much its members needed to get off the dark tones and themes they were used to. Their songs are summer tales about being bored, getting drunk on wine, and missing the last metro home. But behind the excitement of their fans jumping at their shows, an almost unnameable fear grows through the band’s disco-punk riffs: it’s the fear of growing old and tired, of forgetting youth’s pleasures and ideals, and most of all of the always disquieting Russian winter approaching every time the summer ends. Honestly, though, Зарница’s music is warm enough to survive that as well.
Shika Shika: fostering global collaboration between artists across continents
From Bandcamp bio:
“Shika Shika is a record label without owners for music without borders. We want to bring together producers from around the world exploring the line between organic and electronic music. The platform aims to foster global collaboration between artists, designers, videographers, product designers and creative minds across continents.”
And a full statement on the label’s latest release ‘Mare Insularum’:
“Today marks the dawn of a new era in the politics world and 2016 saw monumental shifts in how the world is shaping up for the future. Inspired by an atmosphere of desperation, frustration and a lack of hope we went to music to seek solace, inspiration and a reminder of the incredible things humans are able to do if they are open minded, work together, cross borders and get creative.
Mare Insularum translates as Sea of Islands and also the name of one of the many lunar seas. In line with Shika Shika’s vision, the album not only showcases music that is blurring borders and genres, seeking inspiration from past and present, but also music that offers hope, escape, inspiration.
We believe in the power of music and we believe in the power of collaboration. Despite the shift in the white house and the apparent slide into a dangerous new world, at Shika Shika we also believe 2017 is going to be a year of resistance and of hope.
We want to say thanks to all the artists for contributing new tracks, edits and pieces directly written for this compilation.”
Bargou 08: “a unique blend of popular Tunisian music with modern, hard-pumping rave”
Wonder what post-‘Think Tank’ Blur would sound like if they spend more time in Tunisia? Bargou 08 is your answer. “Mamchout” is the first single off new album ‘Targ,’ which comes out February 17th via Glitterbeat Records.
“[This] Belgo-Tunisian band plays a unique blend of popular Tunisian music with modern, hard-pumping rave. The meeting between the heavy synth groove and the sound of the melismatic flute, reaches an even higher level with the playful rhythm section and the charismatic front man strong vocals. A musical journey through the almost forgotten popular landscapes of north – west Tunisia, an isolated region between the Tunisian mountains and the Algerian border. [They take] the listener to a journey through this musical heritage, so close to extinction, and perpetuate it through a celebration of authentic lyrics, melodies and dance, combined with modern beats and electronic sounds.”
lightcraft: “an antidote for rainy days, sleepless nights, mournful moments, lovelorn phases and sleepy mornings”
Jakarta’s beautifully moody lightcraft has released a new EP ‘Another Life’ ahead of its upcoming third LP. As someone who’s more familiar with Indonesia’s hardcore scene, finding a dreamy indie band that reminds me of the ‘Your Name’ soundtrack caught me off guard in the best way possible.
From the Bandcamp bio:
“a band that thrive under sadness and melancholia, inspiring them to craft their trademark anthemic melancholic sound, crafting atmospheric songs out of sadness and joy.”
Agrim Agadez: Sahelsounds’ latest field recordings focuses on Niger’s guitar music
Agrim Agadez is the latest release from Sahelsounds, an archival project started by Christopher Kirkley that explores the contemporary sounds of West Africa’s Sahel region. This latest batch of field recordings focuses on Niger’s guitar music.
From the Bandcamp bio:
“Agrim Agadez is a compilation of contemporary field recordings of guitar music from the Sahelian empire of Niger. Focusing on guitar music throughout the country, from meditative starlight ballads, fuzzy Hendrix covers, rag tag wedding bands, to political minded folk guitarists. A beautiful encapsulation of the diversity of guitar as it exists today, recorded over years of travels.
Like most of the Sahel, the guitar is found in every corner of Niger. Whether acoustic, electric, or built by hand, guitars are highly prized possessions and continue to inspire. Every corner of Niger has particular languages, customs, and cultures, and each corner has taken the instrument and transformed it in its own special way: from bar bands of the southern Hausa land, pastoral flock owning village autodidacts, rag-tag DIY wedding rock musicians, to political minded folk guitarists.
Agrim Agadez follows the sounds overheard playing on cassettes, seeking out the once legendary local heroes in their hometowns, and stumbling upon musicians in accidental chance encounters. The resulting record is a document of the guitar as it’s heard, experienced in the open air studios of Niger with a single microphone – with backdrops of children’s voices, crickets, and village ambience.”
David Peretz: ambient-like music from Israel that flutters and floats
David Peretz is an Israeli musician who makes ambient-like music that flutters and floats, like the bird on the cover of his latest release. It broods, yet it’s a sound I enjoy getting lost in.
From the Bandcamp bio:
“musician, producer, writer and ‘cultural gardener’, based in Be’er Sheva -on the edge of the desert in the south of Israel. He was the leader of ‘Blueband’ – a melancholic slow core band, and participated in many other alternative projects. Nowadays he leads a musical solo career”