14th September
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Last month I attended a Town Portal warm-up before a Polvo show. To be honest, there wasn’t anything interesting to bring back from the Polvo show, but I’m glad that Town Portal was there to make it worth going.

Town Portal is a 4-piece instrumental math-rock band from Copenhagen that doesn’t mind mixing in a bit of heavy influences. But they keep their musical expression from suffering any single discourse, instead allowing for experiments into fragments of epic and fragments of off-beat rhythms and fascinating guitar textures.

Deserves loudness and repetition!

Town Portal - Vacuum Horror
self-released, september, 2011

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3rd August
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From France, Vialka combines folk music in a guitar/drums duo and sounds absolutely outstanding. If you like The Evens, you’ll LOVE Vialka. I’ve had the joy of listening to their two latest albums, Science & Superstition (2011) and La Poursuite de l’Excellence (2010) both of which are excellent. A real tribute to a world of so many different and beautiful cultures. And they’ve got a discography of 9 releases to check out!

Vialka - Science & Superstition
self-released, 2011

Similar stuff: the evens

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7th May
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Things not to miss in 2011: Revolution in the Middle East, Lionel Messi, and The Earth is a Man, a debut releasing instrumental act from Chicago. If you’re crazy about fago.sepia, Ghosts & Vodka, Pele, Redneck Manifesto etc.. yes well.. this magazine does not compromise on quality, nor does it go far beyond its focus on instrumental, technical, and balanced music. You know the kind that combines geeky musicianship with creativity and passion. So the point is, when you listen to this band, you know it’s being played by really nice people who are having a good time together. I don’t know them. Assumption confirmed!

Get the debut on bandcamp! before all the hipsters get to them.

The Earth is a Man - s/t
independent, February 2011

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24th February
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65156695-1I’m streaming it all the time. That’s because it’s only for sale as a 12″ in the US, and there’s no apparent digital release.

Hume is prog-rock by means of flow and length, but the sound can be described as largely indie-rock, and it’s not dull or depressing. It’s refreshing like their label-mates Buildings. Maybe it could sound like a prog’ed version of Maps & Atlases. Oh well, listen.. it’s good. That’s why it’s here.

Head over to Ruffian Records for free downloads of their older releases »

Hume - Penumbra
Socket Records, August 2010

24th September
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About a year ago or something, I mentioned Tall Ships, I think with references to From Monument To Masses. On their debut EP from May (on Big Scary Monsters) the reference still goes, but even though I can hear so many similarities in the sound, the absence of FMTM’s political themes makes it a totally different feeling. With a debut EP like that, who needs a full-length? I mean, all 4 tracks are wonderful, and this autumn they’ll be out touring UK with Maps & Atlases and Northern Europe with 65daysofstatic. So that’s nice. And I think it’s a shame to compare them with contemporaries like Battles and Foals, which is just typical press-release bullshit. This band is cut out to ride their own wave, if they continue the path of playing around in the uncharted depths between post-rock, indie, math, story-telling lyrics and movie-samples.

Tall ships – Vessels (from the first EP)

Remember when FMTM released On Little Know Frequencies and added lyrics, and it fitted perfectly and we thought “why didn’t they do that before!?”. Okay fuck the references.. this is Tall Ships showing off a different dimension than the other tracks on the EP.

Tall Ships – Chemistry (second EP, released on Oct. 25)

Although it sounds very soft and Foal-ish, I’m hopeful for some more of the powerful melodic progression and playfulness that the previous EP carried to an extend that made it one of my favorites this year. The same track is used in the video below, featuring a collage of all pictures taken during the recordings.

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8th August
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room204headerRoom 204 is an instrumental noise-rock duo from Nantes. 14 minutes. 8 songs. Each song is so packed, it becomes journey where time has no meaning.. maybe content-wise this feels more like 2 hours of music. Or maybe I’d put it like this: It plays really well on nonstop repeat. Shellac should listen to this record. Albini would want the cover signed.

So after spending a good month with this album, I’ve grown younger, wiser and happier.

Room 204 - Balloons
Kythibong, 2010

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3rd July
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3066578973-1Apparently a little 6-man band from Connecticut made a self-released EP last June, put it on bandcamp for free and pressed 100 copies, that deserve selling out.

The sound is tight at times and shows off a big, but well-timed and balanced group, at other times a bit more like a jazz-jam. They sound similar to their contemporaries from Antarctic and Enemies and their predecessors in Pele, embracing a light-weight sound with charismatic, playful instrumentation. The cool new thing about Fugue, is that they have a broader palette of instruments than most bands in this genre, where often the most appreciated skill is to get the more out of lesser instruments and band members.

It’s 17 minutes packed with driving melodies and explosive outbursts, but nonetheless doesn’t seem too calculated, as they embrace enough genres to be both entertaining and emotive.

Fugue - Ancient Glass EP
self-released, 2009

Similar stuff: antarctic, enemies, pele

22nd June
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I was actually ordering the new Imperial China when I thought about making something from the shipping costs in the Socket Records store. So I picked up bldngs’ debut EP and that should not go unnoticed! The sound is happy, trippy, techie, instrumental.. awarding patience with the same amount of freaky, joyous eruptions.

Here they are playing some stuff they wrote after the EP…

Btw… Bth Pttrns nd bldngs rmvd thr vwls nd thy bth snd grt! S th cnnctn?

buidings - endless (EP)
Socket Records (Washington DC), Summer 2009

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22nd June
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sciencepinataSorry that I’m late with this… PTTRNS are from Cologne and have had a few songs out on a 7″, 2 splits and 2 casettes. Their sound is a musical alloy best described as DC post-hardcore, funkier and more fluent than for instance Q and Not U ever were, even on “Power”. And a bit out of time, akin Pit Er Pat. I heard the 3 tracks from People I Adore 7″… it was promising.. didn’t totally catch me, but nonetheless I found myself putting it on once in a while for a year or so.. and after putting PTTRNS into rotation again, I decided that they must’ve released something new by now. The band was doing small releases for 32 months before finally releasing Science Piñata this April. I’m still waiting to hear all of it, but whatever… I trust what I’ve heard.

Band says:

Long time no speak. But not for no reason: we just finished mixing our LP with the awesome Guido Lucas at Blubox Studios. It‘s really good. It‘s called SCIENCE PIÑATA and it will be out on Altin Village & Mine Records on April 1st. Recording was difficult and tiresome – Benjamin and Daniel both fell ill in the process so we had to get Sting to lay down some bass and that guy from Arctic Monkeys to play the remaining drum parts. However, Guido is a wizard and edited it all. You probably won‘t be able to tell the difference. Get into it!

PTTRNS - Science Piñata
Altin Village & Ursa Major, April, 2010

Similar stuff: q and not u, ter haar,

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9th May
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Here’s a mention that qualifies for 2009’s best release… i’ve been sitting on it for a little too long, but just the more to ensure that this is a masterpiece durable for long term exposure and health benefits.

Antarctic’s debut was a long process, already anticipated more than a 1½ year ago when their music was only available as 4 demo tracks on myspace… and calling them demo tracks immediately set the bar high.

The album is a continuous flow of creative guitar and bass work and firm, lap-tapping delicious, tricky drumming. It crosses borders of genres just the way we like it, but without ever sounding unnatural or pretentious. It’s a joy to go hunting for details in. For instance how almost every of the 9 tracks flow seamlessly together: I’m sure it’s something that they’ve been working a lot with, so I’ll give them an ad hoc pinnacle delicious sound award® for that.


Antarctic - s/t
Hello Sir, 2009

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