Author Archives: jimgriffin

The Antiswarm, October 2015

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”Albert Einstein

Antiswarm’s Top 10 Lists of 2014

Albums

  1. Vermont – Vermont
  2. Ty Segall – Manipulator
  3. Temples – Sun Restructured – Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Reanimations
  4. Matt Berry – Music For Insomniacs
  5. Royal Blood – Royal Blood
  6. Lone – Reality Test A
  7. King Grizzard and the Lizard Wizard – I’m in your Mind Fuzz
  8. Objekt – Flatlands
  9. John Steel Singers – Everything’s a Thread
  10. Cheatahs – Cheatahs

 

As a format the album’s relevance is rightly questioned these days but I still seem to be listening to a hell of lot of them. So if you enjoy an album too and you can be arsed to listen to any of the above you’ll hear there’s quite a lot ambient stuff in there especially Vermont, The Temples remix album (both masterpieces in my opinion) and special mention has to go to Matt Berry who turned in a soundscape album with head nods to Pink Floyd’s spacier moments and KLF’s Chill Out. There are only 2 tracks on it, both 23 minutes long so what with his Toast of London series the man is a god in the Antiswarm’s household right now. Continuing the good work done by Tame Impala, Jagwar Ma and Pond, fellow Aussies King Grizzard release their 5th album and it’s killer, chocked full of weird detunings and probably the most adrenalin fuelled tunes of all year. The first 3 tracks all run together and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Also from that neck of the woods, The John Steel Singers (terrible name, ignore it) produced an african tinged, melodic Krautrock masterpiece. Something in the water over there on the groovier end of the spectrum right now I think.

 

Singles

  1. Trash Talk – SOS
  2. Greys – Use Your Delusion
  3. John Steel Singers – Everythin’s a Thread – Live At The Plutonium
  4. Foxygen – How Can You Really
  5. Beck – Heaven’s Ladder
  6. Tweak Bird – A Sign of Badness
  7. Ital – Endgame
  8. Hookworms – On Leaving
  9. Hercules & Love Affair feat John Grant – I try to Talk to You (Seth Troxler Extended NYC Mix)
  10. Action Bronson – Easy Rider

 

Singles wise it’s not been the greatest year for the angrier end of music with some significant ball dropping by Fucked Up, Cerebral Ballzy and The Datsuns to name a few. So I thought I’d include a few adrenalin soaked tunes here to try a redress the balance. Shouts then to Trash Talk for delivering a classic in the shape off SOS that shows a different, more atmospheric take on their normal straightforward hardcore (it probably just sounds like shouting to you but give it a go eh?). Greys pick up the baton where Metz left off and Everett True, the featured voice of the John Steel track delivers a harrowing time travelling story of mental anguish with tongue firmly in cheek (I hope!) Elseware, Foxygen’s marvellous ‘How Can You Really’ gets included despite delivering the most disappointing album of the year in the shape of ” …And Star Power”. After last years amazing effort this seemed like someone had let the praise go to their heads and then forgotten to put any effort in. A big mess and not in a good way. C Minus! Beck hogs his sheet music album’s best track and to great effect in Heaven’s Ladder. Despite being lyrically a bit clunky it’s as close as he’s ever come to the Beatles. Great tune. Finally the massively under rated Tweak Bird turned in a slow burner of an album in the form of ‘Any Ol’ Way’. A sign of Badness was the most immediate tune that jumped out with it’s restrained tempo full of malice like the best Bonham beat. The rest of the album is not so shabby either. Check it out.

A great year as ever if you dig hard enough. Roll on 2015!

The Antiswarm’s Top 10 Tracks of 2013

1 – Through Me – Tom Rolands

A track so awesomely jackin from the taller half of the Chemical Brothers that it begs only one question: In the studio what the hell does Ed do?

2 – Stumbling Room – Dawn Hunger

Sadly now defunct but this track is testament to the power that  Andrew Hung and Claire Inglis had as a duo. A stuttering apocalyptic rhythm frames the wailing vocal and builds to a stunning ending. Like nothing else you’d have heard all year

3 – Big Room Tech House DJ Tool Tip! – Joy-O

I realised the genius of this tune at about 4am in a tent at the Eastern Electric festival. Got to be the best bassline of the year. Annoyingly only released on Vinyl

4 – Big Love – Matthew E White

This tune makes me wish I played bass better. Also it has a chorus of back-up singers swearing their heads off. Makes of the rest of his album seem really bland

5 – GoGo Bop (A Trip To The Bodega) – Cheeba Starks presents The Toupe Committee

A breakbeat techno masterpiece with a genuinely un-nerving sample. A small girl asks over and over ‘About the date we’re having. Come to my house, bring a lot of money’. Unsettling in all the right ways

6 – Clear the Air – Jacco Gradner

From the amazing Cabinet of Curiosities album this track wrong-foots you with a  discordant chorus that runs against the happy flower power verse. Good like Pop Levi’s ‘Blue Honey’ and recommended for fans of Foxygen

7 – Gallows – Dogstate

The only band to make it into both my album and track chart. This tune makes me want to drive very very fast and shoot guns and do badasssss shit. This is the type of music Josh Homme should be making if he still had balls

8 – Inter – Function

A beautifully sparse ambient techno track that has stopped everyone I played it to in their tracks. vaguely like the Orb at the height of their powers. It has other stuff going on behind it that you can’t make out. Intriguing

9 – Cheap Beer – FIDLAR

This LA skate punk band school you about their drinking habits in this 2.25sec rabble-rousing song. Good enough to open an Antiswarm show then it’s more than good enough for this list

10 – Headache – Metz

Another show opener, these guys remind me of the never talked about Nirvana ‘Bleach’ album only better. Very powerful live. The album all sounds the same – in a good way

The Antiswarm’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

1 – Foxygen – We Are the 21st Centuary Ambassadors of Peace and Magic.

Just a fantastic journey from start to finish that has just the right measures of nostalgia and innovation. If you have the Winter blues then this is the album for you. Also a European tour cancelled for ‘Creative health’ reasons heightens the mystique

2 – Jagwa Ma – Howlin

A great mix of ‘baggy’ tripped out early acid and beach boy vibes. I prefer the tunes that favour the former but it’s a very listenable album that got played in the garden a lot this year. Try the 12 minute Pachanga Boys remix of ‘Come and Save Me’ for the ultimate blissed out version

3 – Jonathan Wilson – Fanfare

For fans of 80s pink Floyd CSN and post Beatles solo projects this album, like it’s predecessor is an embarrassment of riches. I found it required a few listens but the songwriting just gets you. Try Dear Friend as a taster.

4 – DaftSide – Darkside Daft Punk Remix album

This came out about 3 weeks after the original, is totally unauthorised and shows that there is a decent album somewhere in the original. If you think you wouldn’t like a acid reggae mix of ‘Get Lucky’ – Think again!

5 – Holydrug Couple – Noctary

Just really good. If you like Tame Impala you’ll like this. Also they are from Chile. Track 3 is a killer – “Follow Your Way

6 – Valient Thorr – Our Own Masters

Any year with a Valient Thorr album is a good one. Probably their most commercial single ‘Torn Apart‘ blazed the trail showing that as well as their punk metal sensibility these boys can carry a tune too. I always describe their sound as somewhere between Thin Lizzy and Gallows. Probably the most enthusiastic band live at the moment

7 – Pond – Hobo Rocket

Billed as the band ‘Tame Impala aren’t brave enough to be’, this 5th offering from the Perth Aussies certainly pushes some boundaries. It lurches from blissed-out psych ambience to Sabbath style riffs at the drop of a hat. More of this please!

8 – Black Angels – Indigo Meadow

I was never that fussed by these guys but after a sojourn as Roky Erickson’s backing band they’ve come back much more interesting. Like a mix of early Floyd, the Doors and any good stoner band you can think of.. Great live as well. Try this single “Don’t Play with Guns”

9 – Dogstate – Let It Loose

These guys described their sound as ‘Stripper Music’ to me followed up by a big dirty laugh. I think they’re selling themselves short as fans of Danzig, The Cult, Led Zep and Soundgarden will find things to like in here. Josh Homme would cut off his right arm for a riff like “Gallows” right now

10 – Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is a Killer

Like Valient Thorr, a new DEP album is a blessing, all-be-it a very dark and aggressive one. I’ve come to think of them as the math rock equivalent of the Ink Spots in that a lot of their tunes start off the same. But it’s the detail and intensity that follows that sets them apart from all other bands at the moment. Probably my gig of the year at Kokos in October

NYE 2012/13 mix : The Antiswarm

New Years Eve, the Russian roulette of celebrations. Will it be great or will it be shit? Spin the wheel and take your chances! To take the guessing out of the equation the Antiswarm has performed a public service and made a New Years Eve mix to end all mixes. If you don’t default to house/electronic as your go-to party music this is for you. Careening from Elvis to Foo Fighters to the Beatles to LCD Soundsystem this is a musical pinball machine designed to make drunk people happy. Enjoy