Game On: Germany vs Mexico

Ooof, here we go. Are Germany going to win their 5th World Cup as defending champions or is someone else somehow going to manage to get past them?

Representing Germany, we’ve got Cold Leather, a group of excitingly noisy punks who absolutely get the job done and in a quite entertaining and aesthetic manner to boot. Their album Smart Moves is well under 30 minutes long but contains 100% of your RDA of grit, yelling and frantic guitars.

Representing Mexico, we take a long draught from the well of doom metal witchcraft with Spacegoat. They’ve got my favourite combination of heavy riffing, huge female vocals and esoteric lyrical themes. I recommend you start with Transmuta to experience a bit of doom metal en español. 

 

Die Mädchen aus dem Weltraum – Berry Lipman

Well. I bet you weren’t expecting this. While doing a spot of music research for the next Listen Outside radio shows over on Radio Six (Christmas specials!) I happened upon this and sat, listening, rapt for the whole hour.

This is the incidental music from a TV series called ‘Star Maidens’ or ‘Die Mädchen aus dem Weltraum’ which ran for 13 wild episodes in 1976. It is astonishingly groovy. The German language spoken word interludes and the lithe synths combine to illustrate the sexy, role-reversed retro-future that we used to look forward to.

The composer, Berry Lipman, has a discography stuffed with the sounds of shagpile and polyester shirts. Sadly, this seems to be his only TV compositional work. Imagine what the man could have done to late 1970’s Doctor Who?

Make yourself a gross 1970s cocktail (snowball? something with creme de menthe?) and enjoy this album. Especially Sex World, the greatest Bond theme never to have bonded.

Take Him Back – Y’Akoto

Y’Akoto is a fantastic soul singer who I’m surprised isn’t HUGE all over the world. She splits her time between Hamburg, Paris, Stockholm, Los Angeles, Dakar, Accra and Lome – but I suspect that we’d like to hear from her in Glasgow, London and Manchester too.

She’s five years and three albums into her musical career, and her latest album Mermaid Blues weaves together mythological references, complicated emotions and allusions to the stories of refugees. She deserves to be massive. She’s currently on tour – catch her if you can.

Y’Akoto has a website

Y’Akoto is on Facebook

Video

Flicker – Lxandra

Eurovision fans will have been listening to a lot of slightly melancholic modern pop not-ballads recently. Here’s another particularly fine example from Lxandra of Finland & Germany. I think there’s quite a lot here for fans of City Lights to enjoy. I particularly enjoy the huge echoing clock tick sound which has replaced the kickdrum, the vast mechanical breakdown and the refrain ‘Time, the killer’.

Lxandra is on Soundcloud

Lxandra is on Facebook

 

Video

Game on! Mexico vs Germany

And we’re on Day 2 of sport in Rio, but we’ve still yet to see the opening ceremony. There are six games of football on tonight – the most intriguing of which is Fiji vs South Korea at midnight (imagine!) but the most Listen Outside match is Mexico vs Germany. I’ve developed a real soft spot for Mexico after doing an extended business trip there (it was the food that got me) and I’m really glad to have an excuse to listen to some Mexican indie.

For Mexico we have Natalia Lafourcade, who is a huge Grammy winning star and wonderful songwriter. Hasta la Raíz is her latest single, which is beloved enough to have a 1300 word wikipedia entry and is just absolutely gorgeous acoustic pop.

For Germany we have Sebastian Block, who is a former indie band member turned solo artist. I don’t think he’s the guy trying to attend the totally Pinteresty birthday party in the video, but I think he might be one of the chaps playing the guitar at the end. Either way, this is super cute and one of the nicest German language indie-pop songs I’ve heard in age

Which country had the better song? Mexico or Germany?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Hasta la Ráis – Natalia Lafourcade [Dreamy acoustic pop]

Halb so schlimm – Sebastian Block [Adorable folk pop]

Video

Killer Road – Soundwalk Collective with Jesse Paris Smith & Patti Smith

I am… not entirely sure what this is, even on the fifth listen.

Let’s start with the facts. This is a piece called Killer Road by an international group called Soundwalk Collective, previously known for creating psychogeographical poetry tours of major cities amongst other pieces of hauntological sound art.

The vocals on the track are spoken by Patti Smith (yes, that Patti Smith) and there is music by Patti’s daughter Jesse Paris Smith. The words themselves are either about or by Nico (yes, that Nico) and concern her death in Ibiza. The live setup looks like an secret ritual taking place in the Radiophonic Workshop and then there’s this video which is, I think, part of the live art piece that this track is part of.

So here we have it. At the intersection of hauntology, psychogeography and weird ASMR music we find Killer Road.