Loadstar

Link To The Past / Rapidas
Ram Records

It’s always a source of nervousness when two producers get together to form a collaborative project – will it be amazing or will it career into the gutter with too many styles vying for their place on the track? Thankfully, Lomax and Xample’s Loadstar proves to be very much the former. Already both hyped in their own right, the duo have released Link To The Past and Rapidas on the ever-brilliant Ram Records and have delivered two slabs of banger.

Link To The Past kicks in soon after the intro begins with its gritty bassline’s crescendo, unrelentingly humming over the crisp beats underneath it. Having already been dropped by numerous DJs including their label boss and highly influential Andy C [who showcases their talent in his upcoming Nightlife 5 mix], it’s easy to see why this track gets so much love in the clubs. Four minutes is gone in no time which is testament to the powerful throb of the track and leads perfectly into the second track on the CD.

Rapidas is slightly more of a bubbler with an understated intro kicking off proceedings before the vocals enter the fray. As ever with big D&B tunes, as important as the build-up is, it’s all about the drop and Rapidas manages to include such a drop whilst not veering off into the thunderous b-line of its predecessor. An altogether mellower track, it still packs a punch and has plenty for the headphone listener to pick up on.

This is just a taster of what’s to come from Loadstar and 2011 promises to be a big year for them both.

Ichiban Waifu

Minus The Bear

Omni
Dangerbird Records

www.myspace.com/minusthebear

Minus The Bear’s latest album ‘Omni’ has passed by the media with little/no fanfare but their fans and interested parties have been taking note of the band’s latest addition to their catalogue and the video for their latest single ‘My Time’ is sure helping. Slightly bizarrely featuring break-dancers and a stark white background, it’s kind of retro and kind of unexpected.

The song itself is typical Minus The Bear in its lo-fi electro feel versus guitar-riffs aesthetic but is somewhat funked up with keyboard riffs that are rather more catchy than is usually the case with MTB. A sort of call and response vocal which packs a punch as the repetition of the refrain builds up really provides the main hook in this song and will worm its way into the permanent bank of bits-of-songs-that-whirl-around-your-brain.

Arty but with the talent and tunes to back it up, Minus The Bear have a solid cult following but by rights they really should be picking up a whole new fanbase with tracks and videos as good as this.

Winegums.

Lucy Love

Last time I checked, Copenhagen wasn’t slap bang in the middle of East London. Yet when you listen to Denmark’s Lucy Love you’d be forgiven for thinking the CD had been mislabelled with a Shystie record. This is absolutely no bad thing, with her hard hitting delivery piercing through the basslines of her tunes.

With a brilliant stage presence, as seen at her performance at London’s Tabernacle, the diminutive MC makes up for her lack of height with great delivery and the energetic way she runs through her tracks. The album features some nice dub-influenced tracks which allow her to ride the vibes, but it is the more upbeat tracks that stick in the memory as instant bangers.

Daddy Was A DJ and No VIP are the two tracks that do this perfectly, more electro than dub, with impossibly catchy melodies and sing-a-long choruses. Below is a video for a live performance of Daddy Was A DJ which tells you all you need to know about Lucy Love. It’s fun, it’s vibrant and it’s just plain good. Make sure you check out the two OK Formula remixes for some full on party bassline gubbins.

She could easily be a grime rapper from London, but the fact she’s Danish and can blast shit like this out is testament to her ability. Big!

Abjekt.

Young Guns

2009 was quite a year for Buckinghamshire’s Young Guns. And 2010 could be even more remarkable if its start is anything to go by. The band are opening up on the massive Kerrang! Tour and have received over 30,000 plays of the video for this forthcoming single on YouTube as I type this.

Winter Kiss’ is more of what we’ve come to expect from Young Guns – big rock hooks and anthemic melodies. Their approach is classic rather than faddy and each song crafted by the band has the potential to win over a heftier legion of fans than the last.

As Young Guns’ music is brought to the masses through their unrelenting touring schedule and some hefty media exposure, their fanbase is sure to snowball. ‘Winter Kiss’ is a great place to start, topical as it is and characteristically riff-driven with layer upon layer of catchy hooks to latch on to. Watch this space. It’s a void in British rock music and it’s kind of Young Guns shaped.

You can download the track absolutely free by clicking HERE.

Winegums.

So Many Dynamos

An introduction to So Many Dynamos’ jaunty indie-rock with electronic undertones, ‘New Bones’ is a disconcerting yet highly addictive track. It pulsates with a rather regular beat yet the band create a seemingly patternless variety of bleeps, jarring riffs and random notes which are layered on top of the pulsating foundations.

The other constant in the song are the hypnotic vocals that you automatically feel yourself humming away to and spiral round in your head endlessly even after the song has finished. This is a band that’ll almost certainly be a brilliant live act so it’s just as well they’re heading over to the UK soon.

The band tour the UK on the following dates:

February
18th – Glasgow, UK @ Captain’s Rest
19th – Middlesborough, UK @ Uncle Albert’s
20th – Nottingham, UK @ Stealth vs Rescue
21st – Leicester, UK @ The Firebug
22nd – Birmingham, UK @ The Flapper
23rd – London, UK @ Buffalo Bar
25th – Brighton, UK @ Jam
26th – Oxford, UK @ Bullingdon
27th – Southampton, UK @ Joiners

Winegums.

Musee Mecanique

Another in a seemingly endless string of new and unique musical gems spawned amongst the hubbub of Portland, Oregon is Musee Mecanique. This, their debut single, “Like Home” will lull you gently into the beginning of 2010 with it’s subtle and elegant folk-pop.

First conceived in a museum of antique arcade machines, this quintet play sepia-tinged nostalgic melodies that you could compare to the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel or Beirut, but that’d be unfair because their magic is entirely of its own creation. Paying a glance to decadent times gone by but with their eyes firmly fixed on the future, Musee Mecanique’s multi-instrumental enchantment is one of Crossfire’s main tips for the start of the next decade.

We recently witnessed Musee Mecanique playing as a stripped down two-piece and was amazed to find that, rather than playing less instruments, Sean Ogilvie and Micah Rabwin simply play them all at once, by themselves. Their hushed and magnetic set saw Rabwin at one point playing glockenspiel with one hand, keyboard with the other and bass drum with his foot which, aside from being quite a spectacle to behold, is just a token sign of the ridiculous talent Musee Mecanique have to offer. Check them out!

Trotty P.

Lil Wayne

A lot of people hate Lil Wayne. A lot of people love Lil Wayne. Is he rap marmite? Possibly, but the fact of the matter is, Weezy is a bonafide star and arguably the biggest rapper in the world right now.

What makes the Cash Money rapper such a hot commodity is that there is no-one on the planet that sounds like him. Sure, he can sound disinterested and croaky, but that’s why he’s so great. Sure, some of of his lyrics make about as much sense as a chocolate teapot, but that’s why he’s so great. Not only that, but the man is prolific.

After clocking up sales of a million albums in a week if reports are to be believed, he could easy sit and milk Tha Carter III for all it was worth, but instead he continues recording and the No Ceilings mixtape which was released for free across the web is proof that his levels don’t dip outside of studio albums.

The track you can hear on the player is Wayne rapping over Jay-Z’s D.O.A. and doing a great job of living up to his namesake’s high level.

Abjekt.

Bad for Lazarus

Flailing limbs, orbiting guitars, buckling microphone stands, sweat-sodden shirts and ripped up skinny jeans. Hardcore, doo-wop, psychobilly, surf punk, grunge and metal. Comedy, melody, energy, vision and visceral passion… Rough around the edges but bursting with ideas, Bad for Lazarus are Crossfire’s newest and most exciting musical discovery.

Steadily building a reputation for their raw energy and straight up balls-out punk rock, we urge you to check them out ASAP. There are few bands out there right now who can compete with the young Brighton quartet’s testosterone, cider and nicotine drenched stage shows, not to mention their punchy, to-the-point pop outbursts.

It’s early days with this, Old Rats on a New Ship, being their first ever single release and whilst it doesn’t quite capture the fever pitched mayhem and unpredictability that we love about their gigs, it certainly marks them as an act to keep an eye out for.

Trotty P.

Grab the track here: