Hard News by Russell Brown

44

Fridays are for Music

Ben Howe at Arch Hill Recordings has launched his new Arch Hill Free Range project – that's real records downloadable for free – with The Haints of Dean Hall's Sleeper album (you can buy the CD of the album for $15 if you like it).

My geek friends: here is a music guy doing something interesting in response to the new realities. Go and have a look.

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I've never really got Radiohead, but I do like this remix of 'Reckoner' by Leftside Wobble, one of the producers I follow on Soundcloud. It's a free download, but be aware that it's a WAV file, so it's 58MB. You can try it out on Hype Machine.

Of the current spate of mash-ups of The Xx 'Intro' and various hip-hop trackss, I think none takes the juxtaposition further than The XX Gon' Give It To Ya (DMX Vs The XX) . The usual terrifying bellowing from DMX, against the comforting tones of your favour London hipsters.

And to chill y'all out after that, this: Hercules & Love Affair, 'Blind (Frankie Knuckles Dub)', which is serious damn gorgeous.

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Julia Deans came into be interviewed for Public Address Radio (7pm Sunday night, Radio Live). Her new album, Modern Fables showcases her fine songwriting and remarkable voice in a way that Fur Patrol didn't quite do for me. If anything, it's perhaps lacking a little production juice, but it's still quite a record. I hope it does well enough for her to be able to give up her day job in a clothes shop in Melbourne,

I asked her whether she had any thoughts on what seems to be wave of strong female voices, both locally (she's touring with Lisa Crawley soon, and of course the Flip Grater album was out last week, and Jan Hellriegel's earlier in the year) and internationally. She observed that she'd been reading some commentary about the relative weakness of male pop stars.

It goes like this: On one hand, there's Gaga and M.I.A., and on the other, Justin Bieber and his clones. There hasn't been a male pop star with a hint of fibre since Justin Timberlake, for goodness sake. You might find Lilly Allen irritating, but show me a boy pop star who's been half as interesting.


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Speaking of M.I.A, I've got half her new album, Maya via MP3 blogs already, so I know what I'll be getting when I buy the CD this afternoon. I'm constantly surprised by her range and her nerve. Have you ever seen, for instance, anything else like this on Letterman?

You may also be interested in an older M.I.A. track, with Blaqstarr: 'Way Down in the Hole' (a version of Tom Waits' theme song for The Wire), apparently originally recorded for the new album, but unavailable for conventional purchase. There's an MP3 download here.

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Righto. Post yours. Go wild.

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