Posts tagged ‘UK post-rock’

Yet More Papa Sprain (and Butterfly Child)

Butterfly Child - Tooth Fairy

Butterfly Child - Tooth Fairy

Nice little post on H.ark! records from Friendsound.

January 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm 2 comments

Mix CD: Dream Rock & Noise Pop 1985-93 (Vol. 2)

Dream Rock & Noise Pop Vol. 2

Dream Rock & Noise Pop Vol. 2

Some time around Christmas, the original Dream Rock & Noise Pop compilation went fully (or at least partly) viral. This strange occurrence seems to have had its origins in a re-blog posted by a Tumblr site dedicated primarily to post-punk. From there, things went a little bonkers.

Embarrassingly, the onset of bonkersness happened to coincide with the Bubblegum Cage III Sub-Committee on Mix CDs issuing its official report on Dream Rock & Noise Pop Vol. 1. The report stated: “It’s alright, I guess but a few of the songs on the second half are a bit shit, aren’t they?” It continued: “Compared to the blog’s signature UK Post-Rock compilations, this seems a bit thrown together. And besides, isn’t this what they call ‘shoegaze’ – a term which most reputable sources define as ‘post-rock with all the good bits taken out’. ” Who writes this stuff?

Never mind. A subsequent Sub-Sub-Committee’s report on the report stated that this judgement was “a bit harsh, really” but also decreed that a second volume would have to be carefully compiled, to address some of the problems that had arisen with the first one. A Sub-Sub-Sub Committee was formed, to oversee the compilation of the compilation and mere weeks later, the track-listing for Dream Pop & Noise Rock 1985-1993 Vol. 2 was finalized. Who says that pointless bureaucracy is slow-moving and inefficient? Not ’round these parts it ain’t!

Anyway, the members of this Sub-Sub-Sub Committee unanimously agreed that the first half of Vol. 1 was actually pretty killer. Consequently,  most of the artists represented there reappear on the new volume. This is no mere re-run, though. Some big names that were conspicuous by their absence from the first volume finally show up on Vol. 2. About time too! You have to wonder why Swervedriver got left off the first time around. And Sonic Youth, for God’s sake! What band could be more central to this loose continuum of raucous, dreamy and immersive indie/avant rock bands from both sides of the Atlantic (circa 1985-93) ?

Actually, there’s a sorta good-ish reason for SY’s initial exclusion. The original compilers were trying to prevent overlap with a mix CD of late-80s/early-90s US indie rock, which was being compiled at the same time. This was also the reason that sublime tunes like Drop Nineteens’ “Winona” and Ultra Vivid Scene’s “Special One” got left off Vol. 1. Luckily (or not, depending on how you look at it) the indie rock playlist was accidentally deleted and that whole project was abandoned, which has facilitated the creation of an extremely tight second half of this compilation (something, you’ll remember, that was sadly lacking from the previous volume).

You may notice that this super-tight second half (again, conspicuously) avoids a few of the central acts from the British shoegaze scene. In fact, the compilation, as a whole, largely avoids shoegaze per-se. The Sub-Sub-Sub Committee made considerable attempts to engage with some of the more generic shoegaze bands (these compilations being essentially an ongoing investigation into the origins and nature of that very genre) but the results were largely negative. Chapterhouse? Hopelessly derivative! Adorable? Anything but! Moose? Actually, not that bad! (Srsly: “Suzanne” stands up pretty well, even when you play it right after My Bloody Valentine’s singularly mind-bending “Don’t Ask Why”.)

For the most part, though, Vol. 2 is very much the mirror image of Vol. 1 – same artists, different songs. If there’s a Vol 3., it’ll explore much further afield, honest – but there are mixed feelings among this here blog’s vast bureaucracy about whether there should be a Vol. 3. On the one hand, nobody wants the Bubblegum Cage III to become a mere repository for mix-tapes. On the other, somebody has to make a compilation featuring “Tomorrow’s Tears” by Cranes. Great song but so, so easy to forget about until it’s too late.

Whatever happens, the third volume still isn’t going to feature Seefeel, Papa Sprain, Flying Saucer attack or any of the other dreamy avant rock acts that have featured on Bubblegum Cage III’s UK Post-Rock compilations. Again, this is all about avoiding overlap and redundancy.

In conclusion then, what the Sub-Sub-Sub Committee has come up with (in its infinite collective wisdom) is a collection of stuff that isn’t quite post-rock but isn’t quite shoegaze. In terms of quality, it should be every bit as good as any of the UK Post-Rock compilations. Still, it’s hard to get away from the suspicion that it’s fundamentally not as interesting as any of the volumes in that series. The chances are you were already familiar with some, if not most, of the artists featured on the Dream Rock & Noise Pop compilations. The UK Post-Rock comps, on the other hand, are likely to represent an undiscovered world of strange and marvellous wonders, for most listeners. And for that very reason, this here blog is giving all of y’all the opportunity to download every single bloody one of those magnificent post-rock mixes, directly from this very post. Scroll down for the links.

In the meantime, you can click here to download Dream Rock & Noise Pop 1985-1993 Vol. 2 in its glorious entirety or right-click (ctrl-click on the Mac, yo) to snag the individual tracks you want from the track-listing below.

1. The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Some Candy Talking”

2. Spacemen 3 – “Losing Touch with My Mind”

3. My Bloody Valentine – “Emptiness Inside”

4. A.R. Kane – “Suicide Kiss”

5. Sonic Youth – “Teen Age Riot”

6. Loop – “Black Sun”

7. The House of Love – “I Don’t Know Why I Love You”

8. Ride – “Drive Blind”

9. Cocteau Twins – “Iceblink Luck”

10. Lush – “De-Luxe”

11. Ultra Vivid Scene – “Special One”

12. Pale Saints – “Sight of You”

13. My Bloody Valentine – “Don’t Ask Why”

14. Moose – “Suzanne”

15. Swervedriver – “Rave Down”

16. Drop Nineteens – “Winona”

17. The Boo Radleys – “Rodney King (Song for Lenny Bruce)”

18. Slowdive – “When the Sun Hits”

And here are those UK Post-Rock compilations…

UK Post-Rock Vol. 1
Featuring Disco Inferno, Butterfly Child, Insides, Laika, Moonshake, Flying Saucer Attack, Bark Psychosis, Scorn, God and Main.
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 1

UK Post-Rock Vol. 2
Featuring Papa Sprain, Flying Saucer Attack, Bark Psychosis, Disco Inferno, Moonshake, The Third Eye Foundation, Experimental Pop Band, Pram, Fridge, Techno Animal and Piano Magic.
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 2

UK Post-Rock Vol. 3
Featuring Disco Inferno, Transformer, Adventures in Stereo, Stereolab, Snowpony, Moonshake, Scala, The Third Eye Foundation, Movietone, Papa Sprain, Bark Psychosis, Scorn, Terminal Cheesecake, Main and The Hair & Skin Trading Company.
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 3

UK Post-Rock Vol. 4
Featuring Bark Psychosis, Disco Inferno, Hood, Amp, Moonshake, Flying Saucer Attack, The Hair & Skin Trading Company, Long Fin Killie, Papa Sprain, Butterfly Child, Piano Magic, Spoonfed Hybrid and Earwig.
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 4

UK Post-Rock Vol. 5
Featuring Insides, Long Fin Killie, Telstar Ponies, Disco Inferno, Papa Sprain, Epic45, Scorn, Seefeel, The Third Eye Foundation, Ice, Terminal Cheesecake and Bark Psychosis. This is the least downloaded of all the UK Post-Rock comps but it’s actually one of the best. Don’t sleep on this one! In fact, you should probably START WITH THIS ONE!
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 5

UK Post-Rock Vol. 6
Featuring Deadstock, Locust, Ian Crause, Broadcast, Bows, Screeper, Echoboy, Electrelane, Bovine Over Sussex NE, Rothko, Juicy Eureka, Experimental Audio Research, L i ght, Crescent and The Third Eye Foundation.
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 6

Phew, what a big pile of awesomeness for you dig through! If, in the process of doing so, you find any links that take you to the wrong place, or simply don’t work, please mention it via the usual channels. Oh and if your music is included on any of these compilations and you don’t want it to be, just get in touch and it will be removed before you can say “What an unusually efficient example of old-school bureaucracy!”

Bubblegum Cage III: Bringing wonder back to the Internet, one hastily written, poorly proofread post at a time.

January 17, 2011 at 9:00 am 18 comments

Trish Keenan R.I.P.

Trish Keenan of Broadcast

Trish Keenan of Broadcast

Sad news.

Broadcast & The Focus Group – “The Be Colony”

January 14, 2011 at 10:22 am Leave a comment

Dept. of OMFG!

Disco Inferno - The 5 EPs

Disco Inferno - The 5 EPs

Later this month?

Seefeel - Seefeel

Seefeel - Seefeel

February 2011!

Disco Inferno – “Summer’s Last Sound”

Seefeel – “Faults”

November 20, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Post-Rocktoberfest: The Future Was Hung from the Hooks of the Past

Disco Inferno

Disco Inferno

Bubblegum Cage III sincerely hopes that you enjoyed Post-Rocktoberfest 2010. If you haven’t been keeping up with the action, be sure to at least read our overviews of the work of Kevin Martin and The Third Eye Foundation. You might also be interested to learn that all six volumes of the UK Post-Rock compilation series are now permanently available for download via this here link. Maybe there will be another volume available this time next year. But who knows?

Disco Inferno – “Next Year”

October 30, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Post-Rocktoberfest: UK Post-Rock Vol. 6

UK Post-Rock Vol. 6

UK Post-Rock Vol. 6

Volume Five in the UK Post-Rock compilation series (available again as the bonus feature for this very post) presented a pretty thorough overview of the genre’s key acts, most of which had already been featured on previous volumes. Consequently, the original idea for Volume Six, was to compile tracks by bands that hadn’t featured on any of the previous volumes.

In reality, there may have been a little cheating on that front and some of the (even) more obscure British bands from the period may have been left out, as have some of the more recent descendants of the original scene. Oh well, maybe Volume Seven will explore those murky corners a bit more thoroughly. For now, you might consider this volume to be the bonus disc to Volume Five – the “DVD extras”, if you like.

Having said that, the first half of this compilation is pretty tightly packed with hits. Tracks one-through-eight probably represent the poppiest sequence of tunes to appear in this series so far. Things get distinctly darker and more abstract in the second half.

Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 6. Thanks to members of the UK Post-Rock Group, for their suggestions – at least a few of which made the final cut.

1. Deadstock“Nobody”
An early project from Baron Mordant of Mordant music. Actually, this sounds very much like it could have come from MM’s excellent Symptoms album.

2. Locust – “Your Selfish Ways”
Mark Van Hoen – aka Locust – was a founder member of Seefeel and now he’s a totally awesome  solo artist. Go buy his latest album Where is the Truth?

3. Ian Crause – “Head Over Heals”
Solo single from the Disco Inferno main-man. Hardly as revolutionary as the classic DI material but a stirring tune, nevertheless.

4. Broadcast – “America’s Boy”
Hard to pick a favourite track from Broadcast’s Tender Buttons album but this is probably as good as any. The sound of a band coming into its own.

5. Bows – “Uniroyal”
It’s the bloke from Long Fin Killie, innit? Nice mix of drum & bass and dreampop. A bit dated but still lovely.

6. Screeper – “Can Fever”
Very, very obscure band from Portsmouth. Recalls that brief moment when shoegaze decided to “go dance”. Only good. Great, actually.

7. Echoboy – “Canada”
Led by some bloke who was briefly the bass player in Oasis! Surely the only example of a UKPR/Britpop crossover?

8. Electrelane – “To the East”
This band could be a bit samey but when it got outside the comfort zone (which usually meant including some vocals), things could get pretty interesting.

9. Bovine Over Sussex NE – “Rock and Chock”
This is where things start to get weird. Massively obscure lo-fi act, with an annoying habit of slightly changing its name between releases.

10. Rothko – “For Danny”
What was it with post-rock bands and having multiple bass players? Usually worked out okay, though. Lovely, atmospheric stuff.

11. Juicy Eureka – “Air”
Much better than the band name suggests. A solo project of Neil McKay of Loop and The Hair & Skin Trading Company.

12. Experimental Audio Research – “California Nocturne”
Sonic Boom and friends. Main to Spacemen 3’s Loop, if you catch the drift. The (essential) album this is from (Mesmerised) was recently re-issued. Go get it!

13. L i ght – “Tale of White Passage”
One of the lesser known bands from the Bristol scene. Associated with Flying Saucer Attack. Lovely rural space-rock.

14. Crescent – “Star”
Another lesser-known Bristol band. Associated with The Third Eye Foundation and appropriately gloomy in tone. This track would seem to be the basis of…

15. The Third Eye Foundation“Crescent, Superconstellation”
Okay, so The Third Eye Foundation has already appeared on more than one of these compilations but as previously discussed, this remix is astonishing.

(And as promised, you can click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 5 and here to see the tracklisting).

October 27, 2010 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Post-Rocktoberfest/The Re-Ups: UK Post-Rock Vol. 4

UK Post-Rock Vol. 4

UK Post-Rock Vol. 4

Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 4.


UK Post-Rock Vol. 4.
1. Bark Psychosis – “The Black Meat”
2. Disco Inferno – “Keep it Together”
3. Hood – “You Show No Emotion at All”
4. Amp – “Get Here”
5. Moonshake – “Gravity”
6. Flying Saucer Attack – “The Drowners”
7. The Hair & Skin Trading Company – “Kinetic”
8. Long Fin Killie – “(A) Man Ray”
9. Papa Sprain – “U Swell”
10. Butterfly Child – “Juice”
11. Piano Magic – “The Fun of the Century”
12. Spoonfed Hybrid – “The Sun Always Changes My Mind”
13. Earwig – “Every Day Shines”

Today’s bonus feature is this here blog’s recent “shoegaze” (and “proto-shoegaze”) compilation Dream Rock & Noise Pop 1985-93 (Vol. 1). This mix specifically doesn’t feature any actual UK post-rock but it does act as a handy guide to some immediate precursors and related innovations.

Click here to download part one of Dream Rock & Noise Pop 1985-93 (Vol. 1) and click here to download part two. Please note that these are the original temporary links, so they will expire at some point. Hopefully, they’ll be replaced by permanent links, before too very long. (The links are now permanent.)

Dream Rock & Noise Pop 1985-93 (Vol. 1)
1. The Jesus and Mary Chain – “You Trip Me Up”
2. Cocteau Twins – “Aikea-Guinea”
3. My Bloody Valentine – “Slow”
4. A.R. Kane – “Baby Milk Snatcher”
5. Loop – “Arc-Lite”
6. Spacemen 3 – “Revolution”
7. The House of Love – “Destroy the Heart”
8. Ride – “Chelsea Girl”
9. My Bloody Valentine – “Loomer”
10. Slowdive – “Catch the Breeze”
11. Pale Saints – “Throwing Back the Apple”
12. Lush – “For Love”
13. Medicine – “A Short Happy Life”
14. Black Tambourine – “Throw Aggi Off the Bridge”
15. Swirlies – “Pancake”
16. Secret Shine – “Temporal”
17. The Boo Radleys – “Upon 9th and Fairchild”
18. Lovesliescrushing – “youreyesimmaculate”

October 24, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Post-Rocktoberfest/The Re-Ups: UK Post-Rock Vol. 3

UK Post-Rock Vol. 3

UK Post-Rock Vol. 3

Click here to download UK Post-Rock Volume 3.

UK Post-Rock Vol. 3
1. Disco Inferno – “The Last Dance”
2. Transformer – “Outdoor Miner”
3. Adventures in Stereo – “There Was a Time”
4. Stereolab – “Fluorescences”
5. Snowpony – “Golden Carriage”
6. Moonshake – “Second Hand Clothes”
7.  Scala – “Remember How to Breathe”
8. The Third Eye Foundation – “Universal Cooler”
9. Movietone – “We Rode On”
10. Papa Sprain – “Flying to Vegas”
11. Bark Psychosis – “I Know”
12. Scorn – “White Irises Blind”
13. Terminal Cheesecake – “Oily Hot Knife”
14. Main – “There is Only Light”
15. The Hair & Skin Trading Company – “*”

Today’s bonus feature is Papa Sprain’s Live at the Marquee 91 bootleg, which sees history’s most tragically under-appreciated avant rock band on absolutely storming form and surpasses anything the band ever actually released. Click here to download Live at the Marquee 91.

Papa Sprain – Live at the Marquee 91
1. “Rich”
2. “Fireworks”
3. “Flying to Vegas”
4. “You Are Ten Million Needles Pierce”
5. “I Got Stop”

October 18, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Post-Rocktoberfest: The Third Eye Foundation

Matt Elliott was one of the prime movers in Bristol’s early post-rock scene. He was a sometime member of scene cornerstone Flying Saucer Attack, as well being involved with lesser-known acts like AMP and Movietone. But Elliott is most recognizable as the fellow behind The Third Eye Foundation, one of those acts (see also Scorn and Main) that typified the artistic trajectory of UK post-rock, by starting off rock and ending up post- (“post-” usually being a broad euphemism for “electronic”). In Third Eye’s case, the catalyst responsible for this transformation was the then-revolutionary sound of drum & bass/jungle.

The Third Eye Foundation - Semtex

The Third Eye Foundation - Semtex

The first Third Eye Foundation album was called Semtex (also, confusingly, the title of a 12″ Elliott released around the same time). Aptly named indeed, Semtex certainly was explosive. The album’s opening track, “Sleep”, was what brought Third Eye to the attention of many listeners – a combination of massive, churning guitar riffs and stuttering faux-drum & bass beats. It sets an air of menace that Elliott manages to sustain very effectively for the rest of the album.

The Third Eye Foundation - Ghost

The Third Eye Foundation - Ghost

Semtex was followed by In Version, basically a remix album, with Elliott going to town on songs by a handful of other Bristol post-rock luminaries – Amp, Crescent and Flying Saucer Attack – plus Hood from Leeds. In Version is often overlooked when the Third Eye story is being told, which is a crying shame because its best moments are truly excellent – especially “Amp, Short Wave Dub” and the monumental “Crescent, Superconstellation”.

The next album proper was Ghost. The remixes on In Version suggested that Elliott was taking an increasingly electronic approach – and Ghost confirmed that impression. Essentially a collaboration with Debbie Parsons (aka Foehn), Ghost twists found-sound samples (creaking doors and chairs feature heavily) into nightmarish webs of minor-key melody. The still-rather-ham-fisted drum & bass rhythm tracks, meanwhile, sound like they’re trying to beat a hasty retreat. Overall, the aesthetic of tracks like “The Out Sound from Way In” is suggestive of My Bloody Valentine’s “Touched” getting kicked to death by hooligans then eaten by zombies.

The Third Eye Foundation -You Guys Kill Me

The Third Eye Foundation -You Guys Kill Me

If things in Third Eye’s world seemed to be getting darker and darker, goofy titles like “The Out Sound…” and “I’ve Seen the Light and It’s Dark”, showed that there was at least some gallows humour leavening the gloom. This element – and indeed all the elements – came into clearer focus with the release of You Guys Kill Me. Featuring cleaner production values and noticeably improved drum programming, this album did a great deal to expand Elliott’s worldwide audience.

You Guys… is still pretty unrelenting but the overall effect is energizing rather the enervating, as it could occasionally be on his previous albums. The opening “A Galaxy of Scars” is one of those tracks that makes you feel strangely compelled to break into a spontaneous round of applause. Impressive.

The Third Eye Foundation - Little Lost Soul

The Third Eye Foundation - Little Lost Soul

All of the good work Elliott had been doing up to this point was effectively consolidated with the 200o release of Little Lost Soul. On this album, samples are woven into Gothic tapestries, much as they are on Ghost but with greater sonic clarity and musical sophistication. The drum programming, meanwhile, makes another quantum leap, with Elliott building and releasing tension brilliantly (almost like a proper jungle producer) on the absolutely storming single “What is it with You?”

Unfortunately, by this point in time, jungle/drum & bass was running out of steam and UK post-rock had been pretty much consigned to the dustbin of history. Little Lost Soul was to be the last proper Third Eye album, for the time being. The following year’s I Poo Poo on Your Juju offered a ragbag of collaborations and remixes (including a bonkers head-to-head with Christopher Morris, an excellent Blonde Redhead remix and an absolutely gorgeous cover of Jonathan Richman’s “When I Dance”).

Matt Elliott has continued to release albums under his own name. These have documented a surprising return to the more song-based approach he seemed to have abandoned after Semtex. His first solo album, The Mess We Made, is a fairly effective collection of sample-based sea shanties, psychedelic Gypsy folk dirges, and Kid A-style avant rock anthems. By 2004’s Drinking Songs, though, the samples had given way to a fully organic, fairly conventional folk sound and many listeners simply lost interest.

Still, the work Matt Elliott did throughout the ’90s stands as some of the most truly individual, passionate, funny and often downright scary music of the era. Don’t doubt that he’s got another great album in him yet. And in fact, there’s a new Third Eye Foundation album – titled The Dark – scheduled for release next month. Can’t wait!

October 16, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Post-Rocktoberfest/The Re-Ups: UK Post-Rock Vol. 2

UK Post-Rock Vol. 2

UK Post-Rock Vol. 2

Another UK Post-Rock compilation re-up for y’all. Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 2. And as a by-popular-request bonus feature, you can click here to download a Butterfly Child Peel Session.

UK Post-Rock Vol. 2
1. Papa Sprain – “See Sons Bring Some More Out Tomb We Enter”
2. Flying Saucer Attack – “Everywhere was Everything”
3. Bark Psychosis – “Blue”
4. Disco Inferno – “Sleight of Hand”
5. Moonshake – “City Poison”
6. The Third Eye Foundation – “What is it with You?”
7. Experimental Pop Band – “Universe”
8. Pram – “Cumulus”
9. Fridge – “Long Singing”
10. Techno Animal – “Flight of the Hermaphrodite”
11. Piano Magic – “I Came to Your Party Dressed as a Ghost”

Butterfly Child – The Peel Session
1. “Violin”
2. “Led Through the Mardi Gras”
3. “Ship Wreck Song”
4. “Neptune’s Fork”

October 12, 2010 at 9:00 am 2 comments

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