Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Quick Hitters:: The Black Ghosts & The Presets

Now it's time for everyones favorite kind of post here on the hill: the kind where I talk about Australia dance music. Well, kind of. A couple of weeks ago I talked about Aussie electro-funk freakers Cut Copy (and also James Pants, who is not a Socceroo) in an effort to cover some of the indie-dance music we're sent, and so I thought it was high time for another foray into that territory. So why not feature another act from Down Under? I see no reason, so we'll discuss The Presets along with an act from across the opposite pond, London's The Black Ghosts.

The Presets are in fact the Aussie duo of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes who are based in Sydney (as an aside, are there any bands in Australia not based in Sydney, like is this a piece of information I should even bother giving? That has to be the only country which is worse than Canada for the touring: "hey mate, let's play a show in Perth! Sure thing, it's only a 4000km drive, we'll be there in a week!" But yeah, I digress). They are signed to Aussie label Modular, home to acts like The Avalanches, Cut Copy and Wolfmother, and from what I can gather they are kind of a big deal down there. If the success Cut Copy has recently experienced is any indication, they are likely on their way to success in many other places as well.

Apocalypso is the bands second full-length album, and it was released here in Canada a few months ago. As far as the albums sound, to me, it sounds like dark, 80s-influenced, house. The tempo is brisk, and the synths often have an aggressive, almost industrial edge to them, and the vocals bring to mind the kind of over-the-top delivery of 80s new wave. To be honest, the first time through the album I wasn't really into it, but after re-visiting it I can see why songs like My People, This Boy's In Love, and Talk Like That are blowing up for the band. My favorite songs on the album are the less aggressive, more funky songs like A New Sky and Yippiyo-Ay, but check out Apocalypso for yourself.

Despite the fact that their name is more ominous, The Black Ghosts sound is a little warmer and I was pretty into it from the first song. The Ghosts are British duo Theo Keating and Simon Lord, who you might recognize from such films as The Wiseguys and Simian (films or bands, whichever). I suppose most folks will recognize Simian from that pair, but I remember loving a couple Wiseguys songs ages ago. Anyway, the pair's debut EP entitled Anyway You Choose To Give It created a fair bit of buzz, and they have just released their self-titled long player which will likely do fairly big things for them.

The Black Ghosts are certainly an electronic, dance-oriented act, but they are a little more beat-centric act which is what you might expect from a British act, and is more in my wheelhouse. Some Way Through This sounds like it could be a Mike Skinner song, and this is good in my book. The guitar-powered bounce of Repetition Kills You is pretty catchy, and there's also a vocal cameo from Damon Albarn. The styles are also varied on this album, with Until It Comes Again having big, fairly hip hop sounding drums, whereas I Want Nothing is a synth heavy club track, and the airy Don't Cry utilizes some lovely strings. It also bears mentioning they're planning to release a video for each song on the album, if only to mention they have the coolest Lego video I've ever seen for Some Way Through This. All in all this is a solid album, and perfect for summer listening I would say.

So there you go, your latest hill-powered dance-fix. Go ahead and get down for yours.


The Presets - This Boy's In Love

My People - The Presets

The Black Ghosts - Repetition Kills You

The Black Ghosts - Anyway You Choose To Give It

The Black Ghosts - Some Way Through This

Posted at 1:36 PM by naedoo :: 3 comments

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At 10:00 AM, Anonymous dex willer did sayeth:

well, cut copy for one are form melbourne. so are midnight juggernauts. so are the avalanches. most aussie acts i can think of are from melbourne actually... ;)


At 10:15 AM, Blogger naedoo did sayeth:

Well are Melbourne and Sydney close though? If they are my point kind of remains the same. If not, well, that wouldn't surprise me, I know nada about Australia.


At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

welllll dont go giving sydney credit for any of these acts. melbourne shits on sydney.

enjoyed the post tho.


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