Humm Bugg – Blue Laser

Is it a bird, is it a plane…. dunno? we’re in 8 bit so it could be a flying saucer. Yes, 8 bit quirky tunes floating on a backdrop of FM waves, if that floats your boat, be the Commodore and read on…

Very much in the realms of the home-grown; 8-bit music has always had a certain fan base within the experimental scene. It’s an area of music I sometimes drop into with open mind and a little excitement as generally you will never be sure of what you are gonna get. Generally you get the ‘Mental’ in ‘Experimental’.

I certainly let out a “Hmm” when I dropped on the ‘Humm Bugg’ Bandcamp page. Met with 8-bit imagery , the cover of ‘Blue Laser’ is straight to the point. This is exactly what you are going to get. Chip tunes a plenty, short and sweet buzzing, tweaks and mods all the way.

There are 10 tracks mostly a little over 2 minutes with just the one track exceeding 4 minutes (Undiscovered Bird Planet). Very tuneful, quirky as expected from this format. I like the feel, as always from chip tunes. It’s not meant to be serious or deep music, this is fun and should draw a smile.

There are some clever twists along the way showing the programming is much deeper than what appears on this chirpy surface. Call it Sine language (sorry, can’t help myself). Seriously though, some clever stuff going on here.

There is an element of B-Movie horror going on at times. I can visualise opener, ‘Clash Manor’ dropping into an Ed Wood jr tribute. ‘Everybody is Dead Dave’, playing over the Red Dwarf cruising through deep space. The slightly more serious sounding ‘Blood’ accompanying some mad alien doom game.

The shortness of the tracks add to the appeal along with a certain comedy aspect to some of the themes. ‘Blue Laser’ is a happy, feel good experience, although short, it feels a like a shot in the arm, a quick boost of happyness to get through the day.

Currently available via Bandcamp and soon to be released on all platforms –

Bandcamp

Facebook

Matthew Dear – Beams (Extended Edition)

Beams of light may shine over this synth pop extension release…

beams

At times you’d be fooled into the era your ears are in. It does have a flashback style of sorts projecting back into the 80’s but in essence has all the credibility of current time and space. There’s also a pace to this, no rush at all, more of a canter throughout with no urgency or direction. It meanders on in a bubble of electronic melodies from one song to the next.

Opening track ‘Her Fantasy’ is the real stand out of all. It clearly transcends the relative polite mediocre that follows. This really is a feast in synth pop heaven, a trip back to times gone by when the original electronic wave collided with pop and all was cool with a chic swagger. Think ‘Fade To Gray’, Soft Cell the heart of New Romantics… Its one cool track.

The rest follows dutifully but nothing ascends the heights of the opener. Its not bad in any shape or form. All quite good really but the hedonistic feel loses ground rapidly and the temptation is to replay track 1. The following offerings take more than on the fly to appreciate as I did on the second and third play.

There is a lot going for Beams and it does grow on you. Excellent production all the way but for me it needed at least another as good as the opener, at least one would have given it shift to another place. A very good album but not a classic, certainly worth the playlist though.

 

 

 

Joy Division – Closer (Remastered)

Oh hell, this has been covered a thousand times over but I’m diving into the abyss to revisit an old favourite of mine, Closer.

If you have not heard this legendary cornerstone of indie music then go sit in a corner and suck your thumb. If you’ve never heard of Joy Division then shoot yourself in the nuts with a Taser gun…. twat.

“This is the way step in side“ chimes out of my speakers with nasty glorification and a massive smile spreads across my face. There really is no words for this, it is pure originality that went before the history of clone heads. Paved the way for a new music revolution in sound. Post punk godliness and not a muso in sight. Errors n all to digest the magic.

Remastered

The stories I’ve heard over the years about this album are legendary and too numerous to account for here but I started to hear all sorts of things way back in the day before I ever played it. Most notably are the ones about having listened once and dare not replay due to suicidal thoughts. I heard this first hand from a close friend who thankfully is still around. I do understand the reasoning as it is very dark and thought provoking. Personally it makes me happy, I want to drive through cityscapes and urban jungles with Colony and Heart and Soul blasting out. I’m young and angry all over again.

Johnny Come Latelys – Collateral Damage

What a surprise! Bands come & go, some fragment and morph into other forms and carry on the crusade. Just when I thought Johnny Come Latelys had done all three, here they are with a return to the fold.

History in brief: Johnny Come Latelys release two EP’s Messiah Complex (2016) and Judas Factor (2017). They reappear in 2019 as Distance From Zero including the excellent What’s it Worth. Each release grew from the other, almost a follow on, raw, fresh and none conformist. We’re back with JCL and it feels right and so the mission continues.

10 track album ‘Collateral Damage’ is a rage at society and all that is wrong. Delivered with venom, it rocks out all the way, snarling bass lines and chopping distortions smash through your speakers and slap your ears with the likes of ‘Suicide Club’ and ‘Wake Up’.

I think this is the best JCL release to date, I’m loving the sub synth melodies that float in and out whereas before it was more of a chord. The political samples are a release too. I’ve been fortunate to have been spinning this pre release for a while now and expect it to be in my playlist for some time to come.

Grab your free copy over on Bandcamp – Collateral Damage out now

Mr Strange – Contact

Stranger than fiction…

A recent jaunt over on the Isle of Wight has me drinking coffee in the Sports Centre at Sandown. Flicking through a local news paper I came across an article about one of the Islands bands plugging their new release. I’m intrigued by the ‘Mr Strange’ name so iPhone in hand, a quick dive into Apple Music and I have ‘Contact’, literally, that very same album in the plug.

Mr Strange - 03

Well this is a bit different from my more recent listening, almost a bit of a throwback at times with layers of influence sometimes difficult to pin down. I hear all the way back to 70’s in places, its funky, electronic, rock, indie with a sprinkle of strangeness.

You could arguably compare (this album) with many other bands but only for fleeting moments during whatever track is playing. The Cramps, T-Rex, Zappa, Julian Cope and a whole boat load more of whatever your background brings to this table; I dunno? Psychedelic  glam could coin it… Also, it’s lovely and ‘goth’ throughout.

‘Contact’ keeps you interested and plays with you in strange ways. It has humour, fun and even a dark serious side. This is the 6th studio album from Saul, Damian and Ant Strange so I’m gonna have to go check their other stuff after I’ve worn this one out.

Mr Strange - Contact 01

I like Mr Strange, they remind me so much of many other bands I’ve loved over the years. Not being able to nail their genre is probable their best appeal, so I guess they are one of the few out there doing their own thing, (cool) and this is something I’ll always gravitate to.

Highly recommended album, go grab a digital copy or a CD…

Links –

Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/album/3oorwv5aQ2Zm5uSBQZUWaw

Apple Music – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/contact/1497233341

Website- http://www.mrstrangemedia.com

Bandcamp – https://mrstrange.bandcamp.com

 

Lazars Finest – We Become The Sun

Gravitate to the shining star…

Casting back to Canned Static Review April 2019 (Miss Lily Olay) my ears became acquainted with a wonderful neo-psychedelic Dutch duo named Lazars Finest. A breath of fresh air in an over populated World of sound-a-likes. I was immediately drawn to them for one simple reason… They are out there doing their own thing.

Lazars Finest-WBTS

A heavy influence of the 60’s is stamped throughout their work (another reason to like them) and this time round with ‘We Become The Sun’ I hear a move to a more progressive psychedelic rock feel. Much more of a late 60’s era jangling in the backdrop; think ‘the Beatles’ or ‘Traffic’ meet ‘The 13th Floor Elevators’ and you’re in the zone, you’ll dig it once you’re tuned in.

‘We Become The Sun’ is cool, unpretentious and best of all; ‘Lazars Finest’ are out there doing what they do for all the right reasons. Get over to their BandCamp page and buy this single and check out their other releases too.

https://lazarsfinest.bandcamp.com/track/we-become-the-sun

 

 

 

 

Lana Del Rey – Born to Die

I heard this was the biggest selling 12” vinyl of 2012, I’d also heard this was a cool alternative album sprinkling something different, a taste of fresh air etc

Lana_Del_Rey_Born_To_Die_vinyl_600x

I dived into Born To Die with so much expectation as I have not really got the bite recently from something new and exciting and from the off, I got to say I did not gel with this. Not new and certainly not very exciting, in fact somewhat predictable pop with a sprinkling of many other well trod methodology from the bubblegum pop world.

Dressing this up as alternative, trying to be the cool kid on the block; it don’t wash with me. I know Born to Die has had many favourable reviews with some very well known review platforms but I can guess how these well known platforms operate.

If mainstream teeny pop is your bag then got buy it…. nuff said here.

Astronauta Slow Dance – DIY – Single

It’s space but not as we know it…

Alternative experimentation in zero gravity with an atmosphere denser than Venus, Astronauta Slow Dance really is out of this World.

Astronauta-Slow-Dance

I’ve been playing this download from Apple Music for quite a while now and I gotta say it’s mesmerizing. There’s so much going on in and around the background, lovely delayed guitars, shimmering synths and so much warmth.

DIY Single, released as a single in 2016 features 3 tracks so in reality its almost an EP. Nothing is straight forward about ASD. Delving deeper I find a helmet wearing Astonaught playing guitar surrounded by gear. It looks bizarre, a look that goes well with the sound, it adds a certain mystic charm to the whole package.

Astronauta Slow Dance 1

Back on Earth or rather back in Peru is where ASD makes these wonderful sounds with a British Novation synth in the middle of it all. Plenty of atmosphere, it’s a breath of fresh air, go grab a copy of D.I.Y. Single over on the following links –

Spotify     Apple Music     Amazon     Deezer

 

 

 

Maasai – Maasaï

Casting way back to the 2nd of November 2015 saw the birth of Canned Static music blog with our very first review from Canadian rapper SHAM (check out SHAM – Fast Life Cafe). The lyrical wizardry of SHAM first came to my attention with the Illmatic influenced Street Tape. Other releases include Chains of Freedom & LOST. Since the 2015 release of LOST we literally did loose sight and sound of SHAM the man until now.

June 2019, enter Maasai, an electronic experimental Hip Hop duo from Montreal featuring Emmanuel Dusautoir (Drums) & SHAM (Vocals).

Maasai

Freaking wow, this is very different from what I expected. It has all the hallmarks of a ‘Fast Life Cafe’ but with so much more edge. It’s a musical roller coaster that crashes and explodes but keeps going, you’re on for the ride and don’t wanna get off. It’s dark and light, good & bad ass.

Opening with ‘I woke Up’, a minimal experimental rap with sparse bass, “I woke up in the morning in a bag of roaches, I know death approaches”, “I just wanna blow my mind”. Sets out the feel of the entire album, rebellious, abstract and out there in head space.

‘Astro Trip’ hits a tribal feel with a subtle swelling bass drone (another thing I’m diggin with this album… the subtle bits in the backdrop), its originality is rife and I just wanna keep it spinning. The spirit of Maasai is here, the tribal feel is just brilliant. ‘Lion’ follows in the same spirit, the African Maasai tribe would dance to this in their PJ’s, I love it and can’t get enough

Maasaï the album & band need to be seriously checked out. Real just got more real, go and grab this fantastic release over on Bandcamp, it’s a steal at a mere $5, also if you are in the Montreal area look out for these guys live.

Steam or Download Maasai on BandCamp

 

Lingua Lustra – Sonic Being

When it comes to the World of drones and experimental sounds most people take to the hills but then again, Canned Static is not like most people so if you are open to the new frontiers in sound, read on.

I cannot put my finger on how I came to discover this album, I may have seen the initial link on one of the ambient and experimental Facebook pages I frequent. A few weeks ago I downloaded it via Apple Music and have recently walked around for a few days (in a daze) with Sonic Being feeding my ears through a set of JBL cans.

Sonic Being

The whole album is around 55 minutes long with just 4 tracks, the shortest being just over 7 minutes. Those stats alone should give you a clue to the type of listening experience ahead.

Immersing yourself into this lovely album is an experience and almost a journey that involves your own imagination because it certainly takes you to some place, sort of astral travelling with drones and harmonics. I love the rich textures that evolve and wash over you like a warm tide.

Ambient composer Albert Borkent is the man behind Lingua Lustra and it appears he has a prolific catalogue of albums which precede this current 2019 release. The official statement accompanying this release reads “Beyond the Sentinel lies a wondrous realm of light, colour and deep oscillation”.  “Yes”, I’d go along with that, its a journey of your own mind which takes you out there and beyond.

‘Sonic Being’ is a wonderful listening experience, I’ve been immersed in a dream like state yet functioning. It’s a good place to be and unlike so many other drone clad albums, this one is warm and gently uplifting rather then falling into dark ambience like so many do.

A highly recommended listening experience that deserves to stand out in an ever crowding World of sound.

Links –

Apple Music

CD Baby

Bandcamp