Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Swell Maps

Two hot new albums are rocking dis boat at the moment. We Can Create by Maps is a swirling, swaggering, modern shoe-gazing classic and, by the power of Greyskull, it is growing on this eager punter with every listen. I appreciate the fact that We Can Create was created and written in the Northampton bedroom of someone called James because its euphoric, insouciant swagger suggests a more epic origin. I forced my MP3 player’s headphones deep into my ears ce matin, cranked the volume up to onze and shook to this album as I did the weekly shop at the Coles’ supermarch√© of choice. Against the backdrop of these dreamlike and evocative numbers, selecting the appropriate detergent proved a joy. Well done!

I’m also mightily impressed by Tromatic Reflexxions by Von Sudenfed, a splendid collaboration between The Fall’s Mark E. Smith and German techno pioneers Mouse on Mars. I confess that I told someone last week that it was Smith and Modest Mouse that had got together and made this recording; I feel foolish to have confused my Mittel-European electronica with my po-faced US indie but the sensation/guilt will pass. All these mice! I digress. Tromatic Reflexxions is a superb collection of funky, bluesy, hip-hoppy ‘tronic sounds, mumbled over by Smith’s laconic drawl and wit and underpinned by a fabulous sense of riddim, and, importantly, melody. It works.

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