I’m not sure if it’s because they’re putting something in the chips, but there seems to be a growing collective of interesting electronic producers inhabiting the Brighton area at the moment.
Japanese Sweets consists of approximately one half of ambient-pop-noisesters Speak Galactic, namely Owen Thomas. In his current incarnation, Thomas deploys exploratory electronics to investigate a variety of textures and moods. While any existent melodies are implied or masked beneath more liberal auditory pleasures, we’re still not in the vicinity of outright noise. There’s nothing particularly vicious about the sonics, in the end it’s only as obtuse and challenging as you decide to make it for yourself. Certainly, if you have a stomach able to withstand the less rhythmic movements of Harmonia, the more ambient degrees of Mouse on Mars, or the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s “Blue Veils & Golden Sands”, you’ll find much here to dissolve along to.
Just relax into a comfortable shape, think of it like head music for the not-yet-quite-exploded.
If anybody reading this has experienced any unexpected potato based hallucinatory episodes on the south coast recently, let me know. Or just listen to Japanese Sweets. Yeah, that’s the one.
Brighton-based alternative quartet Kins make unique sounding tunes full of warm tones and off-kilter grooves. It’s not too often you hear a new band whose influences are weaved together in such a way that they defy comparison to established artists. But Kins pull off that Houdini-esque feat with real ease throughout their song Aimless.
Thomas Savage’s voice is enticing – a lovely and distinctive honeyed croak. His diction, often closer to a murmer, disguises some of the lyrics on the first couple of passes, creating an impressionistic feel amongst the rich tapestry of instrumentation from plucky guitars to lush brass. Jacqueline Collyer’s cool kitsch keyboards loom large on the off-beat. They create a drunken sway before wandering off to carve stark atmospheric melodies against the punchy backdrop of Kieran Savage’s rasping, distorted bass and Alex Knights tribal-esque, high-hat-heavy stick work. It’s a magical ride. There’s nothing aimless about it.
I have been following Brighton’s Eyes & No Eyes since they began as the solo project of frontman Tristram Bawtree. Developing into a full band shows a clear progression from early records. Their debut single, If No One Else Saw It (Willkommen Records), is five minutes of somewhat experimental folk music, drawing on their folk origins with the addition of a neo-classical string arrangement and noise inspired guitar work.
With ‘If No One Else Saw It’ Eyes & No Eyes are firmly in place as part of the Willkommen Collective. Their first album is due for release later this year, alongside talks of an experimental EP.
To an uninitiated country bumpkin like myself, The Lunchtime Sardine Club might suggest the midday pursuits of a racketeering band of gentlemanly penguin spivs. Instead, this most excellent of monikers represents the solo work of the seemingly willfully undercover Oliver Newton, drummer with long-established expansive post rockers Yndi Halda.
Slightly unexpectedly then, “Rumours” is a summery if introspective slice of not-too-oblique electric storytelling, punctuated with a vocal whose inflections and harmonies lilt like a slightly more lo-fi Field Music; proper crafted songwriting with a deadpan delivery, drifting along sweetly in 6/8 time.
Apparently there is an release in the oven, “Icescapades” to follow in the the meteorologically incorrect month of August on the Sonic Anhedonic Recording Company – on proper black stuff too – hopefully this transpires not to be a red herring! Some dodgy fish-based punnage right there, over and out.