November 18, 2009

MIIKE SNOW @ Lido / Berlin 17.11.09

Tuesday night, past 10pm. After the opening act NNBS (Naive New Beaters) had finally left the stage and the equipment was interchanged, Miike Snow started their show. Dressed in white masks and black bomber jackets, a handful of guys entered the stage. Andrew Wyatt came last, easily recognisable, being the only long-haired in the band.

I watched and listened and kept thinking: who do these guys remind me of...La Roux? Maybe because of these catchy synth melodies. Underworld? Possibly through that same use of constant repetition in their tunes, compositions similar to those in techno tracks. Elton John? Yeah...they share this certain pop potential.

But then again, Miike Snow are completely different from the above mentioned. They are by far more underground than Elton John (not too difficult) and less electronic than Underworld. With regards to La Roux, well...I guess you wouldn't be off base to call Miike Snow the next La Roux.

That's not merely due to their musical proximity, but rather their habitus. Both bands function as zeitgeisty artworks. Their music is just a part of the big picture. Besides that, their performances, public appearances, websites, blogs, music videos, etc. play a similarly important role. In times of globalisation you find an unmeasurable amount of bands and bedroom producers at every web access in the world, and all of these guys want to be noticed. Some of them have realised (after analysing the Madonna phenomena) that an artistic synthesis is a must in our times. A musician has to be available everywhere and at any time, but also has to personify his/her uniqueness. Add a considerable amount of pop to this and it won't be too hard to become a No1 act. Miike Snow, you are almost there!

It is sad in a way, but at the same time it gives people like me the opportunity to discover new talents in the infinite pool of musicians. By the way: Miike Snow played one of the best shows since I went to see Animal Collective last year.

Miike Snow (myspace)

Miike Snow (English site)

Miike Snow (German site)

Miike Snow Burial

November 17, 2009

November 14, 2009

The Herbaliser Band @ Lido / Berlin

Last night I went to see some of my personal all-time-favourite musicians, THE HERBALISER. When I started to listen to and buy electronic dance music in the late 90s, their "Remedies" album was one of the first in my collection. At that time, Ninja Tune (together with Wall Of Sound, MoWax and Pussyfoot) was the ne plus ultra among the TripHop/Downbeat labels coming from the UK. Coldcut, DJ Food or Fink released killer tunes one by one. And so did THE HERBALISER.

With "Session I", released in 2000, THE HERBALISER transfered their sample based music into a live context. They put together a band that performed their instrumental HipHop tracks in the studio and on stage. Now, 9 years and 4 longplayers later, THE HERBALISER brought out "Session II" on the Berlin based !K7 label. Reason enough to come over for the first gig in Germany for a long time.

Drums, Saxophone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Bass Guitar, C Flute, Keyboards and of course: Ollie Teeba on the wheels of steel. Vocalist Jessica Darling and MC ICON backed up the band. THE HERBALISER played a solid show, didn't leave out any of the classics from "Who's the Realest" to "Missing Suitcase", but in some parts I found it a bit too gratuitous. I mean, since that Amy Winehouse Soul revival I can't really tell all these tracks from Mark Ronson, Adele, Joss Stone, etc. apart. Yesterday night it's been merely the songs with Jessica Darling that didn't cast a spell over me. ICON, an MC from New York did a good job on his two appearances on stage and handed out the most hilarious flyers after the show. Ollie "Scratchy Noise" Teeba showed his incredible skills on the decks and the rest of the band, well...they are great musicians. Enough said.

The Herbaliser (myspace)

The Herbaliser Band The Sensual Woman (DL)

November 12, 2009

November 07, 2009

Ayers/Harris/Hampton/Astatke - the vibes!

What a great but often disregarded instrument the vibraphone is...or short: the vibes. They unfailingly valorize every song they appear on. First marketed by a US company named Leedy in 1921, the "vibraphone" quickly became popular and caught the attention of another company who then developed a similar, enhanced instrument and gave it the name "vibraharp". Although this version from the late 1920s outmatched the "vibraphone" with regards to its popularity and is still used as a template for all similar instruments until today, the name "vibraphone" got stuck in people's heads. Either that or simply: the VIBES. (

Now, when I discovered STEFON HARRIS' new album "URBANUS", which he recorded together with his band Blackout this year, I again realised how exceptional the vibes are. Harris himself once joked about it when he said that a vibe sound would turn every track into a christmas song. And although said for fun, he's not wrong. Indeed, the vibraphone provides a tune with a very special warm feeling that reminds me of a snowy winter day. Luckily, vibraphone sounds work just as well on a hot summer day.

Harris belongs to the younger generation of vibraphinist and just like I said, I only discovered him this year. Below you find a selection of the grandmasters of the vibes: ROY AYERS, MULATU ASTATKE and especially LIONEL HAMPTON, who created "the first known Jazz recording using the vibraphone" in 1930. (

Roy Ayers The Ringer (buy)

Stefon Harris Shake It For Me (buy)
Mulatu Astatke Yekermo Sew (buy)

Lionel Hampton & Stan Getz Jumpin' At The Woodside (buy)

November 03, 2009

iN tHe MiX XI: dJ Connect-I-Cut


Adolf Noise Rousing '95

Milosh Your Taste

Latimore Let's Straighten Things Out

SCSI-9 Moses' Tale

The XX Infinity

Djali Zwan The Number Of The Beast

Jose Gonzales Storm (Pocketknife's TuBa 303 Rmx)

Dave Brubeck feat. Paul Desmond Koto Song

Boozoo Bajou Pflug

Metronomy Not Made For Love

Mojib In A State (Notwist vs. Unkle)

Mayer Hawthorne Green Eyed Love (Classixx Rmx)

Kings Of Leon Knocked Up (Lykke Li vs. Rodeo Rmx)

Wild Beasts All The Kings Men

November 02, 2009

Onesongonepic VII