Helm – Silencer

August 23, 2013

helm silencer

Every time PAN announce a new release I get giddy with excitement like I used to as a child. The label seems to be going from strength to strength. The curatorial precision that goes into every release just makes it one of the most exciting experimental electronics label around. Enough gushing though (for now).

Yeah, the next in a long line of excellent releases is a new 12″ from Helm called Silencer. Following on from his long player Impossible Symmetry that came out last year, again on PAN, Luke Younger has taken his Helm moniker on another journey through a densely layered noisescape. It’s moved away from that industrial setting that he’s used before and ventured into a slightly less harsh environment. A thick, dense drone uses layers and layers of noise to create an almost calming, hypnotic track. Initially a very beat heavy piece, the rhythm just seems to melt away into a rich, warm drone that takes us the rest of the way. The ten minute piece felt like it lasted both two minutes and two hours. Completely lost my head in it, just zoning in on the subtle nuances he manages to string throughout the track. There’s no point in hoping that the rest of the 12″ will be of the same caliber as I know for a fact it will be.

Silencer is out September 9th on PAN.


I’ve been waiting a while for this one to arrive, the debut EP from Newcastle’s Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.

What we have on our plates is a 22 (almost) minute freak out mashing together a driving motorik beat, crunchy riffs and echo laden vocals. Stanegly, it manages to sound both out of control and fairly restrained at the same time. Difficult to explain I guess, but I think it’s partly due to how great the recording is. None of that Lo Fi mess here, this is a really well made recording and it plays to their advantage. I’m going to listen to this another twenty times, I suggest you do the same. All hail Pigs x 7!

Also, can I just point out, that artwork is fucking sick!


September 25, 2012

If you frequently visit this blog (which I doubt), you will have noticed all has been quiet recently. There are a number of different reasons for this, most of which revolve around the idea of time.

The day job combined with other projects seem to be taking up a lot of my time, hence the neglect I’ve shown to this blog. I’m not giving up though. I’m still going to be writing/updating whenever I find something particularly interesting that i feel obliged to share with you. Look at it this way, I’m going to Tusk Festival and ATP Festival in the coming months which are sure to be incredibly reviewable.

One of the main things taking up my time and leading to my absence is a new art project i’m involved with. It’s sort of quiet and only in the beginning stages. But still, I wanted to share it and, hopefully, get some involvement from the public.

It’s called Youth and Experience and for now, the less you know, the better. All I’ll say is that I’d be humbled if you’d keep an eye on the website, check back for updates and get involved when the time comes. Hopefully it’ll be your cup of tea.

Until then.


A new release from Newcastle based psychedelic outfit Haikai No Ku has caught my attention recently. Yet another outing from the busiest man in Newcastle; Mike Vest, this time with the help of Jerome Smith and Sam Booth.

It’s typically experimental and has that standard ‘underground’ feel, whatever that means. Extremely lo fi recording techniques are present throughout, as you would expect, but that’s probably why I like it so much. I always try to get myself involved with what’s going on in the world of DIY music, especially in Newcastle, but there is just so much I find it difficult to keep on top of it all. This is a gem though. The release is made up of three tracks, all with a very psychedelic outlook and a very spatial feel. The overloaded, feedback laden guitar guides us along a lengthy but ultimately enjoyable journey through sound. I could sit and listen to it for hours on end trying to pick apart every little noise or every single guitar part but instead I think you should judge it for yourself.

It’s been released as a CDr on Fuckin’ Amateurs who, in the past, have put out stuff by Bong & Jazzfinger.

More details here.


December 2, 2011

Good morning. I’ve just come home from a two day ‘holiday’ in Manchester.

Really though, I went down for the Thurston Moore gig. Which was incredible. But I’ll write a full review for that soon.

Manchester is a brilliant city, one which I thoroughly enjoyed spending my time in. I spent a lot of the time walking around the streets in search of fun things to do. As usual, most of the time was spent searching through record shops. Manchester had some very fine offerings in this respect.The streets and streets worth of vintage shops and art shops had me filled with excitement only to be taken away when I realised that I couldn’t afford to buy anything.

In between these fun filled activities, we ha to take some time out. Lunch was provided by the brilliant Deaf Institute washed down with some delightfully tasty Brooklyn Brown Ale. Also, some lovely little independent coffee shops helped warm us up in the cold winter day.

After the show, we ended up back in the Deaf Institute drinking ourselves silly like ‘The Dude’ with a plethora of drinks inculding the famed White Russian.


One of the highlights had to be the Christmas market. Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually a Scrooge, but this was different. We warmed ourselves with mulled wine, gorged on German bratwurst and stuffed ourselves with all the free samples of cheese and olives we could find.

Of course though, like any city, Manchester wasn’t all smiles. The usual mindless idiots trawled the streets. Ranging from horny teenage wrongcocks ‘spitting in girls faces’ in the middle of the night to the regular drunken shouts from attention seeking halfwits I still didn’t feel that I was in the ‘perfect city’. Maybe I’ll have to search some more before I find that.

Since Tuesday, I have been on the Megabus fo more hours than I’ve slept. So I think it’s time for some well deserved rest…..


November 27, 2011

Even the mundane can look good