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Camden Crawl 2012: Editors Picks

May 10, 2012

Posted on The 405
Niki & The Dove @ Camden Crawl 2012

Actress

Darren Cunningham was forced to face a soul-destroying decision at the tender age of 19 years old; to retire form professional football having signed for West Bromwich Albion. Out of that, we assume, the young man form Wolverhampton threw himself into the music world, becoming an obsessive Detroit techno and classic house fan. Thus starting a long musical journey full of broad inspiration, ultimately culminating in something of a masterpiece in 2010’s Splazsh LP.

You are the sum of your parts as the theory goes, and from this elective background an equally elective and layered album was produced under the moniker of Actress, a myriad of influences bubbling under a hugely textured surface, that had critics struggling to define this extraordinary sound. This month sees the release of RIP (so called as he describes as feeling ‘dead’ whilst creating his tunes), featuring even further genre-twisting-hybrids and amorphous beats.

Recently he has soundtracked installations (at the Tate Modern), only to then assault dance floors such as Plastic People; so it’ll be fascinating to see what he’ll be serving up at CC.

Toy

Neu That’s What I Call Music. Yes, I have been itching to use that weak pun in ages – perhaps not so weak for our Belfast-based readers though. The krautrock-indebted troupe are something of a buzz band, whatever that means, having garnered a pedal-thrashing load of attention from the music world with just the one release. But you know what? It’s deserved.

The London-based quintet known as Toy have shared the stage on many an occasion with The Horrors, whilst also sharing a musical ethos in terms of dark synth-tones and hypnotic, metronomic rhythms. ‘Left Myself Behind’ demonstrates this marvellously (track of the year contender much?) – and is even more breathtaking in a live setting with a classic-krauty extend outro. So don’t you miss ’em – especially as this time next year they’ll be moving onto larger venues no doubt. Plus you can smugly tell your friends that you saw them when they were on the verge of something special.

Odonis Odonis

Toronto has been a very useful friend to the music world, and once again the mighty city what flirts with the Northwestern shore of Lake Ontario is being a generous entity – giving us Odonis Odonis. The band is the brainchild of Dan Tzenos, and they create one helluva racket, a rich and scholared racket steeped in the throws of astute noise-rock influences. A barrage of misty-noise boasting the ethos of The Pixies bathed in the feedback of The Jesus and Mary Chain frothing with the acerbic bite of Big Black scream their way to the fore.

That’s what debut-album Hollandaze showcased from the reverb-loving trio anywhat. The above description may sound as if they are rather overt in their plundering of 80’s musical history, and you’d be right; however they do it so darn well, and with a menacing sui generis twist that makes them a thing of utter brooding excitement.

Weird Dreams

Some artists tend to opt for an amorphous, vague moniker. To eschew obfuscation, if you will. Though not all; Doran Edwards of Weird Dreams chose the name as he tends to, well, have lots of weird dreams. This feeds into the sounds of work to date, the David Lynch-inspired four-piece creating hazy, powerful yet vague pop melodies wrapped in a lucid mass of cotton wool.

Yeah, it’s psychedelic-60’s heavy – but not in any way trite or tired as can be; a rare verve and subversive element is present, with debut album Choreography a rewarding and sublime journey into the consciousness of varied noises. Soft guitars and dreamy (duh) vocals ebb their way across a lo-fi soundscape, with the result a very promising career start for the East-London lot.

Novella

Italian Beach Babes Records know their slacker noise-pop like a slacker knows their retro consoles. They also have quite a penchant for taking my money from me – as one knows whatever they put out will very much be worth your time; and that is very much true of the recent IBB release from Novella.

Hollie Warren and Suki Sou make-up Novella – both formally of Brighton though now plying their craft in the capital of England. To date the creators of delicious pop-nuggets have shared a stage with other such awesome acts as Veronica Falls (also playing CC), Old Forest, Female Band and Male Bonding. Yup, you can tell what you’re gonna get – trashy guitars, cooing melodies – though laced in a vibrant psych-wallpaper. Go listen to ‘Don’t Believe Ayn Rand’ if you know what’s good for you (and a fine sentiment the title is too)

Get the Rory Atwell-produced EP via IBB here.

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