The good news: Our set went pretty well. We had a few people trainspotting, a bunch of heads nodding and even though the gear was a huge headache we had a good time doing it. The bad news: Some snafu, either with the recorder we were using or the output on the board we hooked it up to, left us without a recorded set. I still want to deliver some sort of mix after hyping it, so expect a bedroom version of the set sometime soon.
Von Südenfed, “The Rhinohead” [Domino Records]
So I know I’m supposed to be pitching a tent over Von Südenfed, the side project of Mark E. Smith and the guys from Mouse On Mars, but what I’ve heard so far has left me nonplussed. Now I’m not a huge MoM fan (in fact I’ve heard a total of one song to date), so I don’t know whether the production here differs from their usual aesthetic; but with Von Südenfed, it meets rock halfway at the junk store and they both dive in. Once the ostinato piano, choked squeals of guitar and MES’s intoxicated drawl get out of the way, “The Rhinohead” takes a surprisingly rocky turn. Everything still sounds rather scuzzy, but the simple, repeated progression is practically pop in nature. A few sharp-cornered guitar leads and the ping of an oscillating synthesizer hardly stand in the way; it’s like Smith at the helm of the Stone Roses 2k7.
Von Südenfed, “Flooded” [Domino Records]
“Flooded,” on the other hand, pisses in the mouth of pop babes and moonlights both in grime (!) and lo-fi electro beats. While Mark grumbles and gurgles about a club he was supposed to DJ and the extreme lengths he took to make sure he did, trashed out drums clench and stutter, a sickly synth line inflates and deflates and pulsates until it fries on the floor (Wiley is psyched). It would almost be charming if it didn’t sound so half-assed. If listeners have the same tolerance with this group as they do for some of The Fall’s more liberal moments, Von Südenfed could be a hit. For me, it sounds like three guys tossed in a room with a couple of ideas and discarded gear just mucking around. Perhaps the full-length is more focused, but right now I can’t say I’m in a rush to find out.
Donnacha Costello, “6.6” [Minimise]
Studio 1, “Neu 3” [Studio 1]
Jurek Przezdziecki, “SSL (Science Secret Limit)” [Whirlpoolsex Music]