Monday, 23 January 2017

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: TYCHO - EPOCH

ARTIST: TYCHO
ALBUM: EPOCH
Epoch is the final album of a trio to come from Tycho, aka Scott Hansen, a 39 year old from San Francisco, California. Following on from 2011's 'Dive', and 2014's 'Awake', the new record is a further continuation of Hansen's journey from solo artist to now performing with a full live band.

Available through the Ghostly International label, the 11-track album was produced and recorded by Hansen himself in his studio in Berkeley, CA, alongside his co-collaborator Zac Brown.

The record's main style comes from electronica, but combines with rock, branching out from there into a plethora of different ambient sounds that rise and fall in tempo and direction.

As a body of  work it holds together pretty well, with Epoch definitely hitting more than it misses. A mention too for the artwork, designed by Hansen, with the striking image and colours designed to reflect the album's output. Catch Tycho playing two nights in London at the Electric Brixton in Feb.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

MUSIC LIBERATION TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2016

 1. Preoccupations - Preoccupations

Preoccupations are a Canadian four-piece from Calgary, Alberta who are releasing their self titled new album through the Jagjaguwar record label. The band will be familiar to some already since they released their debut album under a different name - Viet Cong - back in early 2015. The quick name change since has done little to alter the band's stock and ability to create some fantastic post-punk ambient noise, which you can hear on this new record's 9 tracks and it's near 40 minute length. A clear and obvious example of this is 'Memory', an 11-minute opus which transcends different melodies and sounds with a real understanding and confidence.

 2. Douglas Dare - Aforger

Aforger is the new album from Douglas Dare, a 25 year old singer songwriter from Bridport in Dorset. Aforger is an introspective affair, with Dare recounting his relationships and sexual orientation, over a backdrop of dark electronic beats amongst piano, synths, and harmonica. It's bleak sounding but there's plenty of melodies and soaring climatic moments to restore the balance.
 
3. Dangers - The Bend In The Break

'The Bend In The Break' is the third album to come from Los Angeles hardcore punk band Dangers. The 13 track album was recorded straight to tape at the Atomic Garden recording studio in San Francisco, with the band turning to friend Jack Shirley for producer duties. It is an engaging and dangerous listen, with the band combing loud, aggressive music with lyrics detailing their thoughts on what they see as cultural degradation.

4. Junk Son - Beginning, Ending, Pretending

The 11-track record is available through 37 Adventures and was recorded at Junk Son's own studios in South London. It is a sprawling journey through electronica, dropping into trip-hop, darkwave, and dream pop along the way. There's a multitude of beats, synths, and bleeps, held together by the distant and softly delivered vocals from Amy Spencer. Beginning, Ending, Pretending is a strong debut record, deftly produced and delivered to the highest standard.

5. Greys - Outer Heaven

Greys are a noise punk rock 4-piece from Toronto, Canada who this week will release their 2nd album 'Outer Heaven' through Carpark Records. There's some straight up punk tracks, a couple of more rounded indie ones, some shoegaze, and some noise rock. It feels like Mike Rocha has really harnessed that raw dissonant sound the band had on their early work and combined that with moments of calm and space within the chaos.

6. Big Ups - Before A Million Universes

Before A Million Universes is an uncompromising and at times difficult record to get your ears around, but it's a vital listen and statement of intent from a band that keep kicking down doors, pushing boundaries, and daring to confront today's issues and problems through their music.

 7. Asylums - Killer Brain Waves

'Killer Brain Waves' is the debut album from Southend's Asylums, there are 12 tracks on the album, some we've heard before, some not, but as a body of work it all pulls together really well. It's nostalgic as anything, darting around from diy punk pop, indie rock, and britpop, with cleverly written and on point lyrics.

8. The Slow Show - Dream Darling

Dream Darling is the new album from The Slow Show, a 5-piece from Manchester that are signed to the German label Haldern Pop Recordings. Dream Darling is a carefully thought out album which sounds equally sparse and all encompassing, cleverly allowing the band to tell their stories not only through the vocals but the music itself too, and for me it's going to be getting regular spins this forthcoming Autumn.

 9. Shura - Nothing's Real

Shura is Aleksandra Denton, a 23 year old singer-songwriter-producer from London, who grew up in Manchester and has Russian heritage. The 13 track album is a lush, full bodied, wholesome indie pop record that spans times gone by, the current zeitgeist and a whole other future world that only Shura seems to know about. Influences and reference points can be found with the likes of Grimes, Bat For Lashes, Goldfrapp, as well as a whole spectrum of 80's and 90's pop.

10. Is Tropical - Black Anything

The music found on Black Anything is a mix between electronica and rock, and as you might expect from an album with such a different recording process there is much variation to be found. It's a record which sounds wholly positive and upbeat but always seems to maintain a darker edge, flirting between gorgeous pop melodies and deep basslines with grittier guitars and off rhythm beats.

Head over here to view all the albums covered on Music Liberation in 2016.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: TANYA TAGAQ - RETRIBUTION

ARTIST: TANYA TAGAQ
ALBUM: RETRIBUTION
https://open.spotify.com/album/1DjnaTWrUENp7OUhCvaeOd

'Retribution' is the latest album from Tanya Tagaq, a 41 year old Canadian Inuit throat singer and songwriter. The new record is available through Six Shooter Records and was produced by Jesse Zubot, who also contributes violin. It contains 10 tracks which offer much in terms of dynamics and variation, with a host of guests appearing on the album from Radik Tyülyüs, Ruben Komangapik, rapper Shad, and Taqag's own daughter Inuuja.

There's a multitude of vocal aspects, from whispers, to shrieks, whilst the music itself is bold, ranging from electronica and folk. Retribution is challenging, thought provoking and compelling, difficult at times to listen to but ultimately rewarding for artist and listener.

Catch Tanya on her European tour in January 2017.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: JUNK SON - BEGINNING, ENDING, PRETENDING

ARTIST: JUNK SON
ALBUM: BEGINNING, ENDING, PRETENDING
LABEL: 37 ADVENTURES
https://open.spotify.com/album/35e4nCrLX8aXxw1AVNGbex
We tipped London's Junk Son at the start of the year in our Future Sounds Of 2016, and at the end of the year he's delivered his debut album 'Beginning, Ending, Pretending'.

The 11-track record is available through 37 Adventures and was recorded at Junk Son's own studios in South London. It is a sprawling journey through electronica, dropping into trip-hop, darkwave, and dream pop along the way. There's a multitude of beats, synths, and bleeps, held together by the distant and softly delivered vocals from Amy Spencer. Beginning, Ending, Pretending is a strong debut record, deftly produced and delivered to the highest standard.

Friday, 28 October 2016

EVENT/NEWS: LUCY ROSE DECEMBER 2016 TOUR + LIVE ALBUM


We're happy to help announce that Lucy Rose will be releasing her latest album 'Live At Urchin Studios' on 9th December through Rose Records via Red Essential.

We first discovered Miss Rose back in 2011 and have been following her ever since, and so we were really quite proud when her second album 'Work It Out' made the top 10 last year. In support of the new album Lucy will be doing a short acoustic tour of libraries across the UK during December.

Fri Dec 9 - Idea Store Whitechapel Library, London
Sat Dec 10 - Bristol Central Library, Bristol
Sun Dec 11 - Liverpool Central Library, Liverpool
Mon Dec 12 - Lancaster Library, Lancaster
Tue Dec 13 - Barrow Library, Barrow

Pre-order Live At Urchin Studios and purchase tickets for the December tour now via Dice.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DANGERS - THE BEND IN THE BREAK

ARTIST: DANGERS
ALBUM: THE BEND IN THE BREAK
https://open.spotify.com/album/0V1sPBa3x3AyVMBeYDiwca

'The Bend In The Break' is the third album to come from Los Angeles hardcore punk band Dangers. The four members (Alfred Brown, Justin Smith, Anthony Rivera, Chris Conde) have been together since 2005 and having self released two albums and two EP's through their own Vitriol Records, the new record is their first through Topshelf Records.

The 13 track album was recorded straight to tape at the Atomic Garden recording studio in San Francisco, with the band turning to friend Jack Shirley for producer duties. It is an engaging and dangerous listen, with the band combing loud, aggressive music with lyrics detailing their thoughts on what they see as cultural degradation. Available on CD and Vinyl, which has packaging with a spot varnish and a die cut on the LP jacket. It also comes with a 12 page 11x11 inch booklet/insert.  

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DOUGLAS DARE - AFORGER

ARTIST: DOUGLAS DARE
ALBUM: AFORGER
LABEL: ERASED TAPES
https://open.spotify.com/album/6I6Lw6w9089xmp4FlOgoOA

Aforger is the new album from Douglas Dare, a 25 year old singer songwriter from Bridport in Dorset. The new record follows on from his 2014 debut 'Whelm', with the 10 track album once again being released through Erased Tapes. He's currently on tour supporting Wild Beasts and will be headlining London's Electrowerkz on November 8th.

Aforger is an introspective affair, with Dare recounting his relationships and sexual orientation, over a backdrop of dark electronic beats amongst piano, synths, and harmonica. It's bleak sounding but there's plenty of melodies and soaring climatic moments to restore the balance.

There's comparison to be drawn with the likes of James Blake, Ghost Culture, Antony Hegarty, Keaton Henson, and his aforementioned tour pals Wild Beasts. The album was mixed at Abbey Road Studios, and produced by Dare's long time collaborator Fabian Prynn. It is available on MP3, CD, and vinyl, with a limited edition clear 12" the pick of the bunch.

Monday, 17 October 2016

EVENT: BAND OF SKULLS UK TOUR OCTOBER 2016


We're happy to help announce that Band Of Skulls are about to head out on a UK tour. We first caught the Southampton 3-piece when they headlined our favourite independent festival, 2000trees, back in 2014. This run of shows is likely to see the band playing a majority of material from their new album 'By Default', with the tour culminating at London's Roundhouse.

Here's the full dates (With support from Bones):-

Oct 20 Leeds Stylus
Oct 21 Manchester Albert Hall
Oct 22 Newcastle Northumbria Uni
Oct 24 Bristol SWX
Oct 25 Nottingham Rock City
Oct 26 London Roundhouse

Nov 17 Southampton Engine Rooms

You can purchase tickets for the tour here - https://bos.lnk.to/BoSTickets or check out the album - http://bos.Ink.to/ByDefault  // Band Of Skulls