Thursday, 2 July 2020

Reviews for Album Club Remixed #7:


Kid A was a turning point not just for Radiohead but also for me and my relationship with music. I loved OK Computer and wanted more stadium sized songs I could wallow in, but when confronted with the icy landscape with apparently no hooks, I immediately dismissed it. Fortunately for me, I liked Idioteque enough to keep coming back to the album. Over time, small details started to win me over. The discordant strings which suddenly silence themselves and create a moment of absolute calm during How To Disappear Completely was one such moment. Over time these small details I had missed weaved themselves together and I embraced the album. It took several years, and I had to mature in my music tastes and become more adventurous and open to new things, but I got there. 


Had Radiohead not made such a defiant about turn, had they simply churned out another set of fine songs as they had on their previous two albums, then I doubt that they would be revered as they are today. They might be another blast from the past treading the boards of the smaller festivals along with Travis, Reef and Dodgy. Instead they are, in my opinion, my generation's Beatles, willing to experiment and push their comfort zone, constantly looking to evolve and never rehashing the same formula to diminishing returns.
-Matthew




The album that followed The Bends and OK Computer and I’m sure people that had caught onto those albums were expecting more of the same. But Radiohead went against the grain and produced something ‘arty’. Introducing many electronica elements and turning down the guitar-rack. Good for them I say, kudos for trying something different. However, in the car my wife asks “can we listen to something else?”, which is the moment to try and understand how she cannot appreciate what is being played or is it indeed pants. If you liked Radiohead for one thing can you still like them for another, this is the question hovering over Kid A? For me, I’m glad they gave it a go, but the tunes sound half finished and the album is missing a ‘big’ song or two. It sold a bucket load…so what do I know?
-Marek




Although often cited as Radiohead's "In Utero" (i.e. a conscious effort to not be commercial), the majority of these tracks would not be out of place on OK Computer. Even when trying to be inaccessible, Radiohead can't help but write excellent songs! Thom Yorke's method of randomly selecting phrases to use as lyrics adds to the detached feeling of the album, but nothing sounds jarring or out of place.


This heralded the era of what we now think of as the Radiohead sound - "Optimistic" is the blueprint for the majority of Radiohead songs after this, and would not be out of place on In Rainbows.

The Bends, OK Computer and Kid A all worked perfectly as a complete album - it took Radiohead a few goes after this to achieve that complete package again (only hitting gold again on In Rainbows). Kid A mixes the electronic influences (notably Aphex Twin), soundscapes and straight up songwriting beautifully, in a way they tried to replicate on albums like Hail To The Thief and Amnesiac with only fleeting success.
-Joe






Saturday, 27 June 2020

Homework Sheet July 2020


The Album Club Remixed July 2020
"Kid A" by Radiohead (2000)

Listen!
Be it MP3, vinyl or  cassette it goes without saying that we’ll get the most from the discussion if you have a good listen to the album in the run up.



The two key tracks* from the album are:

Track 1: Everything in its Right Place
Track 8: Idioteque

*These are tracks we’ll focus on, but we do want to talk about the whole album. 

Write!
Please can you let me have a three bullet point review of the album (by email) by 12 Noon on Thursday 2nd July or submit something via this blog.  This will help to prompt the discussion and give us something to get the ball rolling.

You can say what you loved, what you hated, what you don’t understand, how you felt, what was missing...

How it works...
You will receive an email invitation to participate via cleanfeed (you should use a WiFi/4G connection and headphones). 

We will start with some introductions and any questions before we kick off.

The discussion will take in- a bit of an overview, a discussion framed around two key tracks, comments, thoughts and views on the album. It will last for 20 mins and then be edited to form the future radio show.

The session will be hosted by James Sandy from Switch Radio and is planned to air on Tuesday 7th July 2020 @7 pm as part of regular arts & culture show The Unseen Swerve


Thursday, 25 June 2020

The Album Cub Remixed #7



The Album Club Remixed is a regular virtual music discussion with recorded contributions and reviews from a growing band of volunteers.

The next album up for discussion is "Kid A" By Radiohead (2000).

The next recording session is planned for Friday 3rd July 2020 at 6.30 pm.

You must notify us by email if you would like to take part (oh yeah, and do some homework).

The final edit of the discussion will feature in The Unseen Swerve scheduled to broadcast on Tuesday 7th July 2020 @7 pm on Switch Radio.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Reviews for Silent Alarm by Bloc Party





Energetic and vibrant, it is an enjoyable listen to any fans of guitar based rock. I think that it came at a time where guitar rock was perhaps in its death throes and having one last big resurgence amid contemporaries such as The Libertines, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys etc. As part of that whole movement, they come across to me as the equivalent of what a band like Echobelly were to the whole Britpop thing. They were fine, they sort of did what their contemporaries were doing, but to a less fulfilling extent. They didn't score the big singles nor albums, but they were there at the time, and that's nice for them. There's leaders and there's followers, there are innovators and copiers, and I think Bloc Party fall into the latter of each set of groupings.  
- Matthew

"A new one for me. They had not crossed my path before even though this album is some 15 years old. It is ‘sitting on the fence’ time for me. I don’t dislike it, but there again I find few things that would have me rushing out to add it to my collection. If I was at a festival, standing in a field with a some cloudy cider watching this band for their 30 or 40 minutes, I think I’d quite enjoy that. But listening to the album in isolation I don’t hear any standout tunes and the vocal doesn’t stand out either (things that would possibly have me wanting to explore further). If you listen to BBC 6music during the day, their schedule is full of very similar bands (and that current indie sound) and it is very difficult to differentiate between them all”.
-Marek

Thursday, 4 June 2020

The Album Club Remixed #6


The Album Club Remixed is a regular virtual music discussion with recorded contributions and reviews from a growing band of volunteers.

The next album up for discussion is "Silent Alarm" By Bloc Party (2005).

The next recording session is planned for Friday 19th June 2020 at 6.30 pm.

You must notify us by email if you would like to take part (oh yeah, and do some homework).

The final edit of the discussion will feature in The Unseen Swerve scheduled to broadcast on Tuesday 23rd June 2020 @7 pm on Switch Radio.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Album Reviews for Kraftwerk's 'The Man Machine'


I’d been aware of Kraftwerk from their ‘Autobahn’ single a few years earlier, but nothing else. As the punk scene began to fragment at the end of the 1970’s the pace-setters to come next were the New Romantics and the New Wavers. They were looking for new sounds and styles and the synthesiser was readily available and harked back to the punk ethos of “anyone can do it” because of its ease to use. But the newer bands were still melding electronic music with traditional band line-ups. Kraftwerk had been doing their thing for at least a decade at that point, ignoring the two guitars, bass and drums set up and indeed with someone who could sing. The main point of ‘The Man Machine’ was that Kraftwerk had begun to introduce beats that you could dance to. I can remember this album getting played to death at Birmingham clubs such as Holy City Zoo and The Rum Runner.
-Marek





The sound of Der Mencsh Machine is, to me, like cities made of glass crackling with blue tongue licking lashes of electricity.

It is the most pop leaning record of the band's career to that point, with "The Model" being perhaps their best known piece and representing the band's success in honing the new technology they had been working with into instruments which could be accepted and embraced by generations of musical purists.

The Krautrock revolution, as it has become known (though when I mentioned the term to a German friend she did not know it and thought it rather insulting) was the sound of Germany looking to put it's past behind it, but not by jumping on the bandwagon of the popular American music dominating the airwaves. It was the search for a new identity from the ruins of a troubled history.


Its influence is far reaching. I could name LCD Soundsystem and Daft Punk songs that directly lift some of the melodies from Metropolis and The Robots without apology.
-Matthew

Thursday, 21 May 2020

The Album Club Remixed #5


The Album Club Remixed is a new format for our regular music discussions which now happens virtually with recorded contributions from a growing band of volunteers.

The next album up for discussion is "The Man Machine" by Kraftwerk (1978)

In part a tribute to Florian Schneider who dies recently.

The next recording session is planned for Friday 29th May 2020 at 6.30 pm.

You must notify us by email if you would like to take part (oh yeah, and do some homework).

The final edit of the discussion will feature in The Unseen Swerve scheduled to broadcast on Tuesday 2nd June 2020 @7 pm on Switch Radio.