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2010 ‘Artists to watch’ Preview

February 4, 2010

Originally written for LSBU Magazine

Toys on technology: #2

So with a whole month having past us by, it is with this advantageous position that we bring you our artists to watch out for in 2010. 14 artists from various genres, there really should be something for everybody here. Some will breakthrough into the mainstream, other will remain underground in the hidden gems category – but all are of high quality and ingenuity – so get your notepad ready for some severe jotting. The following are in no particular order; the numbers are there just so you don’t lose count and think we’re lying in regards the final 14.

Be sure to check out a playlist at the bottom of the article too.

Wow, when you type in Bold AND Italics, it sure does look patronising sometimes.

1)    Joy Orbison – www.myspace.com/joyorbison

Flying the flag for South London, electronic producer Joy Orbison, real name Peter O’Grady, creates a dubstep-esque sound that smashes through the genre and drags in hypnotic house tones, chopped up looped vocals – and yet remains oddly uplifting. Must listen track Hyph Mngo spread internationally like a rampant STI in Mclaren House towards the latter end of ’09, a floor-filling jam that catapulted the Croydon one into the spotlight. He still works in the mailroom there ya know, saying he prefers music to be a relief from work, rather than work itself.

2)    Alex Metric – www.myspace.com/alexmetric

Alex Metric’s CV: Producer. Songwriter… as well as a singer. Oh, and a DJ – on radio and in the worlds best clubs. And a Remix demon. So, jack-of-all-trades, master of none you might say? No no no. The electro fiend released some of the best 80’s infused synth-pop of last year, striking a delicate balance between accessibility and straight-up dance-floor beats. B-sides such as Gusto muster something dirtier, in the vein of Justice; whilst monster lead singles boast choppy-synths, short, sweet and sharp – with hooky vocals. That describes Daft Punk, yes? Debut album hitting you’re local store hard early this year.

Pulled Apart By Horses

3)    Pulled Apart By Horses – www.myspace.com/pulledapartbyhorses

Simply put: The best live band in Britain. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing them, you’ll know what we’re saying. Post-hardcore at it’s ugly, raucous, larynx-bursting finest. Front-man Tom Hudson jumps, screams, postures, wretches with every fiber in his body, writhes about on the stage floor, invades the audience, screams some more; just general anarchy – and a huge amount of fun. Oh yeah, and the music isn’t too bad from the South Yorkshire quartet – catchy, crunchy guitar riffs and screeching vocals that exhaust the listener – an antidote to some of the shall we say, blander guitar bands out there right now.

4)    Ellie Goulding – www.elliegoulding.co.uk

Miss Goulding is already establishing a name for herself in the mainstream, having won the notorious BBC Sound of 2010 poll – which did feature some top of artists, but overall stayed on the ‘safe’ side. Lazily heralded by some as these years La Roux, or Little Boots, she fuses traditional sing-songwriter sensibilities with an electronic edge – or if you insist on increasingly ridiculous genre names, Folktronica. For further listening, check out the superlative Under The Sheets (Jakwob Remix) – set to do for Goulding what Skream did for La Roux with THAT remix of In For The Kill. Type it into Youtube/Google now. Right now. Go on. Only sheer incomprehensible waffle will be typed until you do. Afshdhfadshfahdfhag. Ahjshal. Buh. Done it yet? Good.

Esben & The Witch

5)    Esben & The Witch – www.myspace.com/esbenandthewitch

Brighton based Esben & The Witch provide the soundtrack to one of your more visceral, haunting nightmares in a way that can only be described as beautiful. Their brand of downbeat well-blended electronica posses such a thick, fantastical atmosphere, with ethereal qualities you could write a book on. Influences such as Portishead and Thom Yorke are evident, and the vocals are spine-chillingly haunted. Previous EP 33, available for free currently, posses a refreshing sound that creeps under the skin, and manages to disquiet, enthrall and remain somewhat mysterious, mostly at the same time. Glorious. Also, go see them live, they have an array of olde world objects on stage, including an owl who we’ve been reliably informed is called Gemma. Fact.

6)    Delphic – www.delphic.cc

Another band hotly tipped in indie circles (actually, indie-types would probably prefer Dodecahedrons, being indie-types) Delphic provide a fine slice of melodic electro. With debut album Acolyte already out, the shuddering synths and stuttering guitar rhythms add up to a perfect chunk of Indie-pop. Plus, lead single Doubt is a humungous humdinger of a tune.

7)    Theophilus London – www.myspace.com/theophiluslondon

Listening to Theophilius (actually his real name) for the first time is such a memorable experience – the sheer surprise at the blend of genres on offer and slightly bizarre, acrobatic lyrics are a treat. Based in Brooklyn, traces of Hip-hop are evident with blaring synths and 80’s beat, conjoined with hypnotic bass lines.

Nedry @ Truck Fest - Day 2

8)    Nedry – www.myspace.com/nedrymakesmusic

London based Nedry could be brothers of early mentioned Esben & The Witch – though the little ‘edgier’ brother that likes to stay up later, eat all your food in your cupboard, and listens to dirty Dubstep. Again firmly entrenched in camp electronica, it’s the synergy of disquieting minimal soundscapes in tandem with a grimey, glitchy beat-driven undertone that captures the attention of mind and body respectively. Post-night out music for when you’re not quite ready to finish your night.

9)    We Have Band – www.myspace.com/wehaveband

Describing themselves as a ‘Disco-rock trio’, We Have Band write infectious hooks that infuse the dance-ethic of Hot Chip and the sheer funk of Talking Heads, as well as a passing similarity of David Byrne’s vocal style. They dream-up the kind of foot-spasming four-to-the-floor that will have many leading remix demons (Erol Alkan, Simian Mobile Disco etc) clamoring to disassemble their tracks, and build a monster hit. On a Fabriclive CD soon, for sure.

10)    La Shark – www.myspace.com/lasharkband

Yet another South London assemblage, you’ll find them just down the road from here on the 453, in the baddest of badlands that is New Cross. Fun is the key word in the sextets outlook, sugary keyboards with a slight psychedelic twist adding up to something fresh, yet familiar. You can see them performing at their regular club night, Deptford Darling, shockingly found in Deptford, Darling.

11)    Jay Electronica – www.myspace.com/jayelectronica

Unique is the most overly used word in music journalism; how can anything be truly ‘unique’, given the vast array of covered genres and plethora of artists? Well, US hip-hop artist Jay Electronica is the closest thing an artist warrants to this tag. He makes use of percussionist film soundtracks whilst creating abstract raps over the top. For example, in 15 continuous minutes of music, without drums, he builds from the soundtrack to the film Eternal sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, featuring spoken words segments from friends and looped samples. Jack Kerouac-ian in style – just have a listen.

12)    Toro y Moi – http://toroymoi.blogspot.com/

The brainchild of South Carolina’s Chaz Bundick, Toro y Moi sound like a warm blast of evening sunshine wrapped up in prozac; If The Beach Boys were to run away with Animal Collective and have an impromptu jam by a campfire, this would be the result. Splendid pop tones and gentle electronics make for comforting ear candy, yet full of subtle surprises and disorientating harmonies to boot. Check out his blog (above) that he runs – full of his own sun-baked photos and words; the type of chap that constantly creates.

13) Gold Panda – www.iamgoldpanda.com

A myriad of influences are on offer from Gold Panda, a project from leftfield producer and remixer Derwin; from techno, glitch, electro, noise and even pop, he creates dreamy, challenging electronica that always remains, dare I say, pretty. Minimal lush beats and distorted loops are dipped in old records and VHS from charity shops, which Gold Panda savages frequently. An elective fellow, having played Fabric recently, yet you get the feeling he’d be equally comfortable in the bar in Star Wars (that’s Chalmun’s Cantina, kids) surrounded by the dangerous characters of Tatooine. Or something.

14) Local Natives – www.thelocalnatives.com

Local Natives are the kind of band that you’ll be listening to, and your dad will walk in the room and say ‘Oooh, I like these, who are these?’. See also: Fleet Foxes. In fact, that lazy comparison is probably a fair one for the LA-ers – there crossover appeal evident, with melodic barbershop hairy harmonies, but added with the rising, emotional sound of The Arcade Fire.

Supa-playlist download here


*Photography by me, if you give a lengthy string of piss. (Apart from the ESOTSM still, obviously)

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