James Blake. Dubstep’s newest conquerer has wobbled the genre into a new direction.

Minimalism and jazz has suddenly made dubstep and house cool again, all thanks to clinical perfection of James Blake’s production. His debut album was released in February, and it’s much to be desired. However, Blake’s song writing needs cleaning up a touch.

Over the past couple of years, it’s been hard to deny, or even question the impact such artists like Skepta, Vaski, Rusko, and more recently, Magnetic Man, have had on modern day music. In the summer of 2010, especially, dubstep was being shot out of every sub around the country. It became as common and as popular as regular drug use, and the recreational burning of english literature anthologies. Alas, as of late, dubstep has over stepped the mark, in some sense. Just as rock music managed to in the early 1980’s, every dubstep track just started to merge together and sound the same. Instead of dancing to dubstep, teenagers have turned the volume down, and let the bass fade solemnly in the background of the party room. It’s just not exciting anymore. For James Blake, however, it’s never been about the excitement of the snare punch, or the adrenaline surge of the woo boost. It’s simply been about the song production, and thinking about the creation of the music. Thus enter, the Nat King Cole of Dubstep.

 

Upon his debut single release, his cover of Feist’s ‘The Limit to your Love’, the general public thought they were just listening to some awkward piano playing singer-songwriter stringing out a Jazz arrangement of a virtually unheard of song. Following Blake’s trilly, and matured vocals over his resplendent fingering on the echoey grand piano, teenage ears pricked up again. Out of the blue, the puncturing sub bass blasts through the speaker mesh, and slams on your ear drums like a tidal wave. Blake manages to convey the subtlety and beauty of a mixed modern jazz piece, with the darkened dancey edge of dubstep and house. As anticipated, ‘The Limit to your Love’ features in his self titled debut album. Unsurprising that radio guru Zane Lowe named ‘The Limit to your Love’ as ‘Hottest track in the world’.

 

When James Blake’s debut record hit shops on the 7th of February, peaking at number 9 in the album charts, each buyer exchanged money with the knowledge that each of the 11 tracks would be filled to the brim with cochlea weakening sub bass and jazzy textures. However, the mood of the album slices the common theory into pieces. As it turns out, Blake brings more jazz and house music into the mix, rather than just the dubstep on it’s own. On tracks like ‘Give me my mouth’, Blake opens with an jazz club like piano sequence, which softly harmonizes with his moody vocals. Blake reflects his awkward, and shy persona in his lyrics almost perfectly, swooning out lyrics like “I never told her where the fear comes from”. Says it all, really, doesn’t it? There’s nothing unusual about his songs writing as an empathising jazz piece, aiming at common misconceptions and flouted pleasures, for example, his very teenage look at love. He doesn’t sugar coat the idea, he just hides behind the concept, just as he hides behind his piano.

 

Blake’s musical ability as a producer really excels expectations on tracks such as ‘To Care’. Using various vocoding, looping’s, and vocal transformations, Blake pans out his textures from ear to ear, and to be perfectly honest, he gets the balance just right. Without stunting the songs entity, Blake’s deep, moody vocals carry off the song as sad house piece, as he casts way from the obvious nature given from ‘The Limit to your Love’. Instead of covering song, Blake shows that he can write songs of his own. On his second, and highly anticipated single, ‘The Wilhelm Scream’, Blake’s minimalistic song writing skills balance out the contrast with his complex and direct production attributes. Each snare pad is equalized to be as tinny and as punched as he wants it to be, every electronic organ note is tuned the way he wants it, and every vocal panning is layered and dis placed in the mixing, again, the way Blake wants it done. He may be hiding behind his piano, and keep his eye line at the keys, but he definitely knows he’s in charge of his music, and he knows how he wants to make his music. I don’t know what you think, but it’s something to be admired.

 

James Blake has delivered an album worthy of veneration in the workings of his production, but as a complete piece of song writing, his production talents shine through the cracks of his song writing. There’s something about the way he composes his Jazz music which doesn’t seem entirely ready for the crossed mainstream, individual target audience Blake is aiming for. His debut record is a beautiful piece of song writing, but the unusual nature of the way Blake writes his music is something for another time in the eyes of the chart followers. For those who wish to indulge and gorge on the sublime and subtle distinct Blake production. Feel free to dig in.

 

Hard copy: James Blake – Album review

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The Arctic Monkeys: The Beatles Of Our Generation.

On October the 9th, 1940, John Winston Lennon was born, and along with him, a musical revolution that would soon take over the world. A man with no qualifications, a broken down family, and just a Gallotone Champion acoustic guitar strapped around his wait, he ceased to be simple skiffle group leader, dismissed himself from the Quarrymen, and became one of the four Beatles. Music had sprouted a four new famous names, that have remained just as famous today as they did in the 1960’s. Lennon, the cornerstone behind the group, as the main songwriter, of course, along with McCartney, Lennon composed some of the most influential rock ‘n’ roll over pop songs to date. There talent and impression on modern day music has been celebrated for decades, and continues to spread into new generations. In the short space of just 12 years, Lennon and The Beatles shot from the cold streets of Liverpool to nearly every CD cabinet in Britain. They were working class hero’s, who wrote working class songs, for a working class, British audience.

 

Alas, this is something that modern day artists have failed to conquer. American-esque perceptions on life, romance, and sexual orientation have blown into the ear drums of the great British nation. Instead of listening to the gritty, raw, post-punk guitar mania, infused with pop beats and the memorable lyrics that independent ears crave, we get given the overproduced, over censored corporate bullshit that producers and artists have been feeding us for years. However, in 2006, The Arctic Monkeys released the debut album, Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not, and Britain was no longer musically malnourished. Our ears hunger for the dirt off of the street being fed through the crackle of the microphone, and the sound of the guitar tuning, had been well and truly satisfied. The man behind the Arctic Monkeys genius, Alex Turner, said amongst their introduction to fame “We live in Sheffield and we write about the things we see here. What else is there to write about?”. That’s exactly what he said, and it’s what he and the Monkeys have given us.

 

Growing up in High Green, Sheffield, Turner was subjected to the normality of northern England, and led an unglamerous childhood. Turner was first exposed to music and given his first guitar on for Christmas in 2001, by his parents, both teachers, David and Penny Turner. Living next door to Turner, Jamie Cook would often find himself as a young teenager shut away in his bedroom, surrounded by The Smiths and Oasis records, broken guitar strings, and dubiously used tissues scattered around his room. Overtime, Cook and Turner would listen to each others records together, and let their interest in indie and rock music flourish. It wasn’t long until they started jamming, and fragments of the Arctic Monkeys began to cerment together. During their time at Stocksbridge secondary school, the pair met Andy Nicholson, the orignal Arctic Monkeys bassest, and they soon became a threesome, interested in making and expressing their broad passion for music. Matt Helders joind the band shortly after they had established themselves as a three-piece. Helders was quoted that the reason he was in the band playing drums, was because “that was only thing left to do”. At the Packhorse pub, Green Hill, Sheffield, in 2002, over a frosty draft pint, the Artic Monkeys as a full four piece band were born, and with them, a new kind of street-smart individual rock.

 

Upon the release of Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not, it answered the question brought up in the bands debut EP, Who the fuck are the Arctic Monkeys? For the people of Britain who had been given what felt like an eternity of orchestral pop love songs, ‘jazzed’ up with retro drum beats and snythesised swirls in the chorus, more commonly known as every single Robbie Williams song, it was more than refreshing. It was a musical rescue. Alex Turner and the Artic Monkeys did what the Libertines did a few years before, and essentially, made music good again. Listening to their debut record, you’d think it was recorded down an alley way the other side of Greggs on the streets of Sheffield. The rawrety and grit put into the production is what, in my opinion, makes the album much, much more than just a regular indie rock album. It’s a piece of art, grafted from the working class, for the working class. Just like the Beatles managed to do, 50 or so years ago. Turners lyrics mirror thoughs of a street-smart teenager, which, at the start of the bands formation, is what the band were. Simpley, they were just a small group of beer drinking, post-student teenagers who wanted to make music. The opening track of Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not, ‘The View From The Afternoon’, the band don’t even try to hide what they are as working class four piece. Turner, fresh from Hill Green, sings with a strong Sheffield accent, and makes every single lyrics feel real. Every single chord is strung out so beautifully and rife with overdistorted mess, the very sound that points them out as a rock band. Cook carries out the lead guitar harmonies with Turners croaked, and throaty voice to perfection. Turner belows “I want to see you take the jackpot out the fruit machine”, and you can hear the fluency of his words spread out over the lead track, showing his listeners exactly what he means. He shows his listeners in the only way he can, and in a way he can relate to himself. No American pop “oh baby baby” bullshit lyrcis, just something that Turner probably picked up off at the pub and wrote down on a napkin before finishing his pint of Carlsberg special brew.

 

The Monkeys first single, ‘I bet that you look good on the dance floor’, was released on the 17th of October, 2005, and peaked as the UK number 1. Compared to the regulars in thw chart, it was a big surprise to nation. In turn, this surprise factor helped to get more people to listen to the track. Hidden behind the loudly distorted guitars, and the punchy snare kicks, ‘I bet you look good on the dance floor’ is about going on the pull in a night club, and catching the eye of a girl from across the bar. I bet you Westlife never wrote a song like that. Well, actually, I bet you that Westlife never wrote a song, period. Turner opens the verse with “Stop making the eyes at me, and I’ll stop making the eyes at you”, and puts a pin in modern day romance. He highlights the initial flirty awkwardness of firstly accidental eye contact with the opposite sex, and turns into a sexually suggestive phrase, that has been harmonised from gig to gig by every fan at one of the Arctic Monkeys show.

 

Prehaps the most emotionally complicated song on their debut album, ‘Mardy bum’, targets the argumentative nature of relationships. Looking at how America has glamorised love as a craved concept of simple perfection, It was new seeing a band challenge this idea. And the Arctic Monkeys were just the band to do it. Cook plucks out an ecsquisit guitar melody in the intro, which leads sublmiely into Turners harmonised lyrics. Turner crinkled guitar playing reflects his throaty, deep vocal line as he sings “that reoccurs, oh when you say I don’t care. You know I do, I clearly do”. He portrays the argumentive as naturally and realistically in his lyrics as it would be done in a film. His listeners. know exactly what he’s talking about.

 

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not Is the fastest selling debut album to date, and it’s not hard to see why. Since the Beatles, there hasn’t been a band that has flaunted their chemistry, aggression, jittery indie beats better, ore more modestly, than the Arctic Monkeys. They carried their heigh and peak in fame and success into their second album, using their profile not as pressure, but as motivation. However, only three members managed to survive the “Monkey Mania” of the first album. Andy Nicholson left the band shotly before the bands North American tour, due to fatigue, and struggling to cope with the bands success and fame. Soon after, Nicholson announed that he had formally left the band. Nick O’Malley, the touring replacement for Nichilson, was drafted as the perminant replacement, and new Arctic Monkeys bassest. From their debut single from Favourite worst nightmare, ‘Brianstorm’, fans new without even reading or listening to the song caption, new it was the Arctic Monkeys. The rumble and aggression of their loud guitar music was more distinctive as ever. Turners Sheffield baritone bellowed back through the speakers, as he calously called out “Brian, top marks for not trying”, before sending the song into it’s violent verse. From this, the Arcitc Monkeys were growing as a band, and they started to think about what they were doing more and more musically. Produced by James Ford, who had previouisly produced Klaxon’s debut album, Myths of the near future, the band wanted every single note to sound the way they wanted it to. Every split second of feedback to be counter acted by every single tightly wound harmonic, and every tomtom to bounce with the punch of the snare. Like painting a picture, the Arctic Monkeys looked at their canvas, and they took control of the paintbrush, and painted a picture of their future. With over 700,000 sales, Favourite worst nightmare hit the top of the charts in UK and Ireland. Turner stated following the release of Favourite worst nighmare, “We want to do things our way, and people think it’s arrogance, so it’s inevitable some people will get tired of us.”, and he lets face it, he’s right. It’s so easy for a band to crawl up their own arces, and grown a strong sense of vanity over their own work, especially following similar levels of success that the Monkeys had, but Turner and co never did that. They’re always remained as modest, and as, I hate to phrase it this way, but, normal as the people they want their music to be listened to. With further singles from Favourite worst nightmare, ‘Flourescent adolescent’, and ‘Teddy picker’ blistered straight out of the amplifiers, and won two more top 20 spots on the UK singles chart, with ‘Florescent adolescent’ peaking at number 5. After the release of an impressive second album, the Monkeys earnt themselves a spot on the pyramid stage at Glastonbury, and a shot at the big time. Which, as you could imagine, they took, grabbing it with both sweaty hands.

 

After the release and further success from Favourite worst nightmare, the Monkeys took something of a holiday break, and went in an informal hiatus, which, to be frank, worried fans around the country. It’s always a worry when bands take a break, because you never know how long the hiatus could last. More to the point, Turner was having a good spout of success with his side project with Rascals frontman Miles Kane, and The Last of the Shadow Puppets. Thankfully, it only took two years until the band announced that they were back in the studio recording a third album with producer James Ford. However, the Sheffield foursome had worried fans by recording their first album away from British soil. The gracious heights of New York city would be the next chamber of secrets awaiting the recording, mixings and production of the Monkeys new album. It’s fair to say, that many fans were both excited, and nervous at this news. The result? Well, it has a mixed review of feedback.

 

Some percived the Arctic Monkeys third album, Humbug, as an Americanised take on the Arctic Monkeys, with a darker twist, and a different style of production, muting down the sound, but still keeping the Monkeys jittery beats, and aggressive guitar nature. ‘Crying Lightning’, the albums first singal, was just as broad and as battering to ears as we’ve learned to listen and love from the foursome. With the new darker, filtered production techniques, the album sounded much moodier than their pervious work. Humbug showed an inconsolable anger to the Arctic Monkeys, with such lyrics like “what came first, the chicken or the dickhead?”, on ‘Pretty Visitors. Such tracks as ‘Secret door’, and ‘Cornerstone’ portayed a contrasting, sentimental side to the Monkeys, that only really previouslypoked through their profile in songs like ‘Mardy bum’, ‘When the sun goes down’, and ‘Florescent adolescent’. Turner sings “I smelt your scent on the seatbelt, and kept my short cuts to myself” on ‘Cornerstone’, which glistens with the harmonic gargle and chorus of Cook’s guitar harmonies. This more American idea of love and pop song style still met a good reception with most dedicated Monkeys fans, but angered the more scepticle fans, into thinking that Turner and co had turned into Americans. Turner, especially, started to transform, much like Lennon did in the late 60’s. Humbug was the Arctic Monkeys take on Sgt Peppers lonely hearts club band, and Turner was taking a Lennon-esque turn. He threw away his polo t-shirts, and swapped them for Grandad shirts, and skinny beige chords, along with long, wavey brown locks. The Arctic Monkeys were growing up away from their known conforts in Sheffield, and a divide in their fans weren’t happy about it.

 

If you ask me, Humbug still remains a part of the Arctic Monkeys almost unbelivable influence on music in the modern age. As soon as they announce that they are back in the studio, or headlining Reading and Leeds festival, or tourung again, fans are straight onto the Arctic Monkeys fan page checking dates, information, and scrapping at links leading them to every single extortionate Asian porn website known to man, looking for leaks and demo’s. The Beatles gave us rock ‘n’ roll music in a way it was never presented to us before. The Arctic Monkeys did the exact same thing, just in a different way. They stuck two fingers up a modern pop, and showed our generation that guitar music wasn’t just cool, but that it was expressive. It showed us that song writing holds no limits in the modern day. Instead of using dance kits, midi-controls, auto-tune to create a record that modern day music lovers will adore. The Arctic Monkeys flaunted the facts, and re-wrote rock music in just three albums, and there is much more to come. This week, the band leaked their new single ‘Brick by brick’ on the internet. Just like Humbug, the single is already recieving mixed reviews from fans and critics. What’s next for the Arctic Monkeys? Only time will tell. As for their brilliance, it’s off the scale. And As far as I’m concerned, it’ll always be that way.

(Image from Google)

Hard copy of article: The Arctic Monkeys – The Beatles

 

Ollie Judge interview

Ollie Judge

Twin Empire’s puppet master on touring, sex, clay pigeon shooting, and recording an album on the moon.

Defying the known laws of human physics and breaking past the realms of what mankind knowns to be impossible has always been something of an obsession for Ollie Judge of Twin Empire. I mean, he’s toured with Crystal Castles, produced singles for Egyptian Hip-Hop, Wild Palms, and more recently, mixing the dark dubstep duelings of a certain Mr James Blake. It’s a safe bet to say that Ollie Judge has found himself very much running his own theatre of dreams, away from the comforting arms of his band, Bitter End Boat Club. Of course, his new found independence has stirred up debate and heated discussion from indie kids around the country. Surely, Ollie Judge is having something of an affair on his beloved Bitter End Boat Club? Ditching his role as flowing Indie bass guitarist, for the woo boost of producing and creating his very own dubstep tracks. In the usual Big iSounds fashion, we thought it was only fair to track Mr Judge down, and get this dubstep business sorted out once and for all. We met up with him at a London cafe, and asked him why he’s decided to pull his own strings, and drop his own beats.

So, you’re a dubstep artist now? “I guess so” he says with a cheeky smile on his face. As the waiter comes over, Ollie immediately orders a peppermint mocha, with a hint of grated cinnamon sprinkled on the surface. I ordered the exact same thing. I mean, wouldn’t you? Without hesitation, he removes his dappy hat, and ruffles his golden brown hair, before sipping from his mug of molten mint coffee. What tipped your departure from Bitter End Boat Club? Was it a number of factors? “People keep saying that I’ve betrayed the Club, and that I’ve left completely. I’ve not, and the lads know that. Well, at least I think they do” [laughs]. The annoyance in his voice couldn’t be less obvious. “Basically, without going into private matters too much, I just wanted to do something on my own. I love my band, but I also love making music independently. Other band veterans-gone-solo-artists will tell you the exact same thing. Making music in a band means that you have to get the approval of everyone in the group. On your own, you can do exactly what you want, exactly when you want”. It’s fair to say Mr Judge makes a fair point. It’s not the first time that members of a popular band go off and do their own thing. Alex Turner, for example, nearly broke the hearts of the entire working class community when he swapped punky guitar riffs for swooning orchestral symphony’s with Last Of The Shadow Puppets, but he was back being a cheeky Arctic Monkey without another year or so.

Were you nervous at all in telling the lads that you were veering off on your own for a while? “Not really,” he shakes his head whilst removing his cutters choice from his duffle coat pocket. “The guys have always liked my solo stuff, and they’ve appreciated that I’ve always had my own ambition. Just because I’m messing around with a bit of dubstep doesn’t mean we’re not a band anymore, or they’re a three piece without me. We write the Clubs songs together, or not at all”. Well, now that we’ve got that mess cleared under the carpet, I think it’s about time we take more of an interest in Twin Empire, and what’s turned Ollie away from Indie-pop beats to dirty dubstep drops.

How did Twin empire come about then? How did it all start? “Well, It’s been something I’ve always been interested in, you know?” He takes another sip of his mocha, and wipes away his creamy moustache. “Me and Joe [Sgroi, drums, Bitter End Boat Club] started doing some work on some beats and rhythms and made a couple of demo’s on my attic”. His modesty shines through his words without him even realizing. When he says he wrote out and recorded a few demo’s with Joe Sgroi, he really means that he recorded Twin Empires debut self-titled EP. Where did you go from then on? He starts his sentence with an uncomfortable, but flattered smile. “I never really expected people to take in what I was doing, or even really listen to it”. Seeing as Ollie only released his debut EP under the name Twin Empire around eight months ago, the fact that he’s packed out London’s Colston Hall, and rumours of an album release in June are rife. Modest is one simple and majestic way of describing Ollie Judge and Twin Empire. Whether or not he can be described as a genius, is something that we’ll just have to wait and see.

Hard copy:interview (15-1.2.11)

Total Life Forever. It most certainly is.

(Image from Google)

It is fair to say that many artists and bands discover their sound by accident. One classic case is Jimi Hendrix. While he swooned and slid through the New York blues and jazz scene in the mid 1960’s, he remained content with playing the now-jazz-sound of the time with cleanliness and clarity, sticking to the tight-packed pentatonic rules, like every other blues guitarist in the 1960’s music circuit. It was that only until he was spotted, by Linda Keith, that “British bird” whom Keith Richards was dating, in a small New York jazz club, messing around with some amplifiers and blasting out some sharp feedback. Without really knowing much about it, or really even meaning to, Jimi Hendrix had managed to create a whole new genre of blues, jazz and rock. And all he really did was turn his amp up a little bit, fiddle with his whammy bar and pinch a few high-octave harmonics.

The same jinxed gift applied with Foals, way back in the Indie guitar and pop-crazed year of 2007. They burst out of Oxford doing exactly what they wanted to do, which was making weird guitar music. As it happens, they accidentally ended up writing a couple songs, like “Hummer”, “Two Step, Twice”, and “Mathletics”, which a few modern, hipster indie kids decided they could dance to. Ridden with anti-social and plucky guitar harmonies, syncopated funk-like drum beats and mind cutting abstract lyrics, the numerical and post-dance punk sound of Math Rock had been secreted onto British soil, straight from an Oxford flat specked with cigarette butts and the singed remains of post-party students’ hair. It’s safe to say, that Yannis Philippakis and co. made more than just a Mercury Prize nominated contribution to indie music in 2007. “Antidotes” bore us the brain fuzzing funk/dance cross overs of “Cassius” and the trumpet contrasted guitar floor fillers “Balloons” and of course, the techno indie dance house of “Astronauts ‘n’ All”. Foals made guitar and drum music exciting again.

It’s been a fantastic three indie-dance and wobbly-bass years since the release of “Antidotes”, and when Foals burnt a bloody big cigarette burn through the pretentious and over exposed pop faces of Robbie Williams and Lady Gaga. To put it plainly, you can either paddle in the safe shores and money drenched banks of corporate pop culture, or you can scramble up a great big run-up, and dive-bomb straight into the murky waters of musical talent and genius, sending ripples all over the underground indie, and “real”, fan base. Foals dropped themselves in right at the deep end, and sent splashes everywhere, especially for such a young band. Three years later, they’ve taken off their arm-bands, and they’ve dived down into deeper waters. Through “Total Life Forever”, Yannis and his pals have taken a slight step back from raw indie dance tunes that Foals are accustomed to, and instead they’ve thrown themselves straight at the blackboard, dragging their syncopated snare beats and funk influenced bass-line with them.

Straight from the first track, “Blue Blood”, it’s made completely obvious how differently the Oxford fivesome have composed themselves, and the song writing, in this record. The rippling ringing of reverberated electric guitars the intro to “Blue Blood” gives the tingling impression of a watery glockenspiel. Right from the off, Foals have started thinking about and being particular about how they want each note to sound. Yannis’ lyrics seem as awkward and clinically catchy as ever. Yannis uses the same black and white lyrical style, but he strings each syllable together more fluidly than he did in “Antidotes”. As he bellows “You’ve got the blood on your hands, I think it’s my own” he still gives the same vibrating post-adolescent throaty pronunciation on each word. The tightly thwarted echoed guitar plucking is smashed by the deep and lacy funk bass and Foals’ trademark syncopated dance beats race into play following the intro to “Blue Blood”, and trust me, it has your feet tapping to the rhythm, that i can promise you. Foals give a delicate and more submerged sound to the opening of the record. By jumping head first into deeper waters, they’ve got some splash back on their instruments. The album sounds like it’s been recorded under water, purely from the sheer amount of flexed reverb and panning echo that is stapled to each track.

Yannis and co. fumble the mid-teenage awkward and perpendicular anthology of today’s youth culture beautifully in the self-titled track “Total Life Forever”. The edgy break-beat and almost hip-hop like beats will get moody teenaged heads bopping all over the country. More complex cross over funk rhythms are sketched in on the raw and fluent chemistry of Yannis Philippakis and Jimmy Smith then used on “Foals”. Just as they were three years ago, they manage to scribe some beautifully crafted Math Rock guitar harmonies and textures, panning from one ear to another. The pair still play with the same gorgeous “help-me-to-help-you” phonology and technique, but they still give a wet sense of complexity and a more carefully drawn out plan with each melody and harmony cross road. Yannis rings a symphony of alarm bells in each of the country’s youths with the very bold and realist lyrics of “Cause total life forever, will never be enough, no…”. A simple, dead pan line, which manages to nest itself in your mind as you listen. This line, contrasted to the cross-rhythmic red hot beats of the main tune, is simply beautiful, in the most realistically un-beautiful way.

For nearly 8 whole minutes, Foals manage to deter themselves from their normal indie guitars and dance beats, in the albums first single “Spanish Sahara”. In my opinion, this is the most astonishing track on the album. The very uncharacteristic slow start pulses with a shore line sample and echoed foot-step like beat. At first listen, you don’t really grasp that this is really Foals playing a typical Foals song. Only when the gritty vocals of Yannis Philippakis come in does the concept take hold of you. As the track progresses, the new, more mature sound of Foals really establishes itself. The swirly, electro arpeggio’s on the keyboard and the striking flowing guitar solo contrast sublimely. By far, the bravest Foals recording to date.

Away from the technicalities and complex production, techniques used on the album, the grit and teeth of it is simple. It’s an astonishing record, filled to the very brim with panning dance drums and funky bass lines we’ve come to expect and love from Foals. Away from the norm, they’ve thrown in more complex and thought laden harmonies and melodies which burn away at your senses. It’s big. It’s Beautiful. It’s Foals. Its’s “Total Life Forever”. And it will remain firmly in our minds forever.

Hard Copy: Coursework – Informative piece – Music Album review – Draft 1 – (17.10.10) (Mr Boaler)