Saturday, August 28, 2010

Review: Tubelord - Tezcatlipoca EP

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I've so far spent my weekend (heck, everyday is the weekend right now) listening to some of my favourite records of the year, from the amazing debut album by These Monsters to the brilliant EP by The James Cleaver Quintet. But none has captured my attention more than Tubelord's new EP, the impossibly-spelled Tezcatlipoca.

We are treated to four tracks from a band whose expansion from a trio to a quartet has translated to a new musical direction. One is a demo recording of a song many might have heard before from their recent tours ('De2' or Desquared), which has the most familiar Tubelord sound you'd expect after spending some hours with their 'pop album for rock kids' debut, 'Our First American Friends.' Everything else points to what can be a very interesting second effort of an album.

The record switches from gentle murmurs to pop epics via big riffs and intense climaxes with almost no effort at all. Arbor, Ratchet and Bazel are all distinctly different from each other. Ratchet even has trumpets (!).

We always knew Tubelord is a band that musically can go anywhere at any given time. Some fans will be irritated at this change of direction, but this beast of a band cannot be contained and restrained with genres, subgenres and classifications. They're absolutely unique, and that's why they're one of my favourite bands of all time.

Download one of the tracks 'Ratchet' for free from their last.fm profile HERE.


Signing out

Over and out

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Free Downloads: Series 2

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Here's my second installment of free (completely legal) free downloads that I think are worth your downloading bandwidth.

When I do this, it's usually because I'm lacking content (or lazy). So you know, if you think there's anything worth sharing, hit me up at mujahidjohar@gmail.com

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http://kytes.bandcamp.com/

Kytes's debut EP is a monster. Part math rock, part post-punk, part insanity, this two-track effort makes Kytes one of the new bands you should definitely keep an eye on in the near future.

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http://meberob.bandcamp.com/

Meberob is a frustrated frontman who went solo, as he chronicled in one of the songs. The witty, tongue-in-cheek self-referencing humour in that song 'To Do List' is typical of the four-track EP 'Party For Two.' It's a delightful mix of wit, catchy tunes, and post-punk folk.

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http://www.last.fm/music/Tubelord

You can download two tracks from Tubelord's newest EP, Tezcatlip┼Źca, from their last.fm page. Titled 'Ratchet' and 'De2' (De-squared), the new EP seems to herald a new musical direction for the quartet.

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http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/The_Drums/track/Down_By_The_Water

The Drums are indie pop rock perfection. The band have a knack for creating unashamedly catchy, pop songs. Down By The Water is by no means a new song from them, but it's one of their best.

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http://humanfly.bandcamp.com/

I am absolutely in love with the Leeds music scene. This track from prog-rock riffmeisters, Humanfly, is one of the reasons why.

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https://fan.musicglue.com/sale/promoproducts.aspx?productid=ee754b32-0404-4266-9fd7-8d4bcfdf9208

For a band called Arrows of Love, they're not what you would call romantics. If you're a fan of Arctic Monkeys, then check Arrows of Love's EP 'Burn This Town' out. You won't be disappointed.

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http://codesintheclouds.bandcamp.com/

Codes In The Clouds have been endlessly compared to Explosions In The Sky and 65daysofstatic, and the comparisons aren't unjustified. Yet they have a distinct style of their own, crafting songs that build up to climaxes that can only be described as epic.

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https://fan.musicglue.com/sale/promoproducts.aspx?productid=064cd1fe-e4ea-47ea-a8be-9ceb52c05561

The Xcerts claim that they play 'distorted pop.' I claim they play satisfyingly delicious alternative pop rock.

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We Are The Dead by Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Does It Offend You, Yeah? is giving away the track, 'We Are The Dead' from their upcoming album, 'Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.' Click on the arrow on the right of the embedded soundcloud file to download.

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http://fractionsofone.com/pakistan/

Okay, this one isn't free. BUT (and this is a very big but) it's for a very good cause. For five british pounds, you can have 13 tracks from 13 of the best (mostly) British bands. And all proceeds will go to helping the victims of the Pakistan floods. Spare a fiver if you can. That's less than 50p a track, and what's more, it's going to charity.

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That's it for now. You can check out the previous FREE DOWNLOADS post by clicking HERE.


Signing out

Over and out

Monday, August 16, 2010

Interview with Adi Rani: Projectunes, BeAT, & Manchester United

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Adi Rani is a pop musician, producer and co-founder of record label Projectunes. I'm honoured to have interviewed a person who is one of the leading names in Brunei pop right now, while taking under his wings upcoming talents such as Juju Junaidi, Feez Madea and Aziz Harun.

Citing influences such as Pharell Williams, Paolo Nutini and Timbaland, Adi has produced and performed with many such as Lo Ryder and Wilma Moshek (which I have covered HERE), stamping his own brand of acoustic pop with a passion.

- What's your role in BeAT (Brunei Authors & Composers Association)? What excites you most about it's establishment?

I’m one of the pre-selected directors for Brunei’s first royalty collection agency. What excites me the most will be how this will help the local music scene as to give authors & composers the respect & rights to their written/published materials. For the first time ever, they will be receiving royalties for their work.

- How do you think BeAT will help the music scene in Brunei?

Since BeAT will be enforcing royalties/rights for both local & international authors/composers, those who has been licensed under BeAT Berhad will hopefully start playing local composition as this will help both Brunei’s economy (as money will be paid back to local composers) and also make people more aware on how Brunei have the same quality as what they have overseas.

- What's next after BeAT? Do you have anything planned?

The official launching of BeAT Berhad will be sometime after Hari Raya, so stay tune as will keep everyone posted via Facebook (BeAT Berhad) and the soon-to-be launched official website.

- Tell us about Projectunes. You've got some exciting names in the label. What kind of qualities do you look for when looking to sign someone?

Projectunes Records is an Independent music label started by me (Adi Rani) & Diana Latip back in 2000. Our first hit single was Diana’s “Don’t Wanna (featuring Reza_” which has earned recognition in the Kristal FM international chart & Kristal’s listeners choice award for Best English Song & Best Group/Duo.

We are proud of our repertoire of artists namely NJ, Juju, Spade, Ali Morphine, Khairy, Aziz Harun, Nafee (producer), Diana & myself. We all have different approaches to music so this what makes us more distinctive in the music scene.

Being different & with raw talent is what we usually work for, not those who just want fame, as according to my personal belief, it won't get you anywhere.

- Do you have any new or upcoming releases we should be excited about?

We’ve received tremendous support from the fans after the release of Khairy’s “Hanya Kamu” and now we’re excited to be releasing a new upcoming artists Aziz Harun & Yean (winner of Who’s Got Talent Season 2). Both of them definitely bring something different to the table so everyone should be excited as we were producing their very first single.

- As a producer, who did you enjoy working with most? What's a typical session when collaborating with someone?

I probably enjoyed most of my producing session with Nafee. We try to say whatever we can that will help make the best possible sound and music. Most of the time it's just us both getting into each other's headand making fun of each other's creations, and then there are those that lead to great tunes. Nafee is undoubtedly one of the best in the business and we’re at Projectunes are so proud to have us be the home of his music.

- When did you start learning to play and make music? When did you start thinking you can be a producer?

I was in primary school when I learned my first guitar chords - thanks to my oldest brother - and in 2000 I was then approached by Diana to do a remix of her new single. And the rest we can call it history.

- Who would you like to collaborate with?

I know it’s a long shot but I would love to work with JT, Usher & Jason Mraz (I would like to put MJ but that’s just over shooting it). hahaha

- Who are your idols? Who was the person that made you think "I want to make music"?

My parents, though they’re not musically inclined but they’re the one that always believed in what I can do and proud of what I have achieved be it in music & career.

- What do you listen to in the car? How about your workout music?

50% of the time, both my daughters screaming for formula and the rest is just what the missus usually decides to burn onto the CD. She has a really great taste in music, no wonder she decides to marry one.

Workout? Is that a trick question? haha

- the Projectunes line-up (you especially) did brilliantly in the 2010 VIMAs. How did it feel to receive regional recognition? How do you think it has helped you and Projectunes?

Honestly I wasn’t expecting to win anything during VIMA. I was invited to perform and that itself is an achivement for myself and our artists. Winning the crystal award is just icing to an already delicious cheese cake.

- Are you a gadget freak? What are you favourites?

I am totally a gadget freak. I have a never-ending wishlist of gadgets. Currently I have my iPhone, Macbook Pro & Lumix GF1 to satisfy my lust. Haha

My birthday is coming soon… (12-core Mac Pro anyone?)

- This has nothing to do with music, but I gather that you're a Manchester United fan. What do you think of their prospects this season?

Have you been stalking me? Hahaha

I have a feeling this will be an MU season. Last season was bad with loads of injuries in defence but watching them in pre-season games in USA, Mexico & Ireland, I must say MU is the team to beat.

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You can find Projectunes's official website here, and Adi Rani's profiles on various social networking sites.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Like This. You Should Too

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Oh look, what's in my inbox. A song by Leeds sound-merchants Bearfoot Beware. Why if I remember correctly, I saw them supporting the wonderful Two Door Cinema Club about a year ago. Ah yes, they did. Now I remember perfectly. Isaid that they sound like as if "Anti-Flag had wild, wild... urm... flirtations with Youves and resulted in this monster."


What's this fresh meat they've sent my way?


I better press play...







The Love Life of Trevor Bennett by bearfootbeware


I'm liking this. I'm really, really liking this.


For some reason I can't put my finger on, this reminds me strangely of The Cure. That is, if The Cure was being covered by Los Campesinos! Yes, I like my band+band comparisons, but in this case, this is honestly the first thought that came to my head.



The boys of Bearfoot Beware probably didn't intend for that, but I can tell you what they want to do. They want to make you jump around, move your body and embarrass yourself to the sounds of their poppy, bouncy, mathsy tunes. And by Odin, I think I might have freaked out the barista when she served me my mocha latte. It looks like I might have to find another cafe to 'write my screenplay' in. If that semi-real anecdote didn't make it clear, I love this song.


It just goes straight into the pit from the first second, and stays till the last. I don't know who Trevor Bennett is, but his romantic life (or lack of) does make for a wonderfully catchy song.


My mocha latte is getting cold. And the barista is looking at me weird again. I better go.


Signing out


Over and out