Wednesday, 25 June 2008

From the blogs

Obviously, I'm not the only blogger trying to find new talents.

Arjan Writes is a very respected musical blog, and even had a key part in an MTV award. Understandably, we have to give to weight to his picks.

He is a keen proponent of home-grown talent such as Spree Wilson, and Little Jackie. The latter Arjan thinks is Amy Winehouse similar - and I must agree to an extent. I think the Brooklyn based group are a bit closer to hip-hop than our own little crack addict, with Crying for the Queen being a bit "talking over music" - that said it's got a proper funky backing track, and is very catchy as a result. Listening to the obligatory myspace, they're all in a similar vein - but it's that soulful music I like (See the last Unsung). Don't know if they want to try and crack this side of the Atlantic, but it's music that could appear on the playlists of both Radios 1 and 2. That tends to mean it'll be popular...

Arjan also ventures away from his own American shores. Jamie Lidell (myspace) is described as a "British techno soulman". By such a token, you'd imagine he fits into the same genre as Little Jackie - but his music is what I'd describe as more 'classical' soul than a modern equivalent. Some of his tunes could easily be sung by Stevie Wonder (especially Little bit of Feel Good) or Lionel Richie. I'm not saying that as a bad thing - it's certainly praise - but in this day and age I think that bit of modernisation and creativity is required. Hurricane goes that way to an extent, but not greatly. It's good music, but I don't think it's appealing enough. Which might explain why, despite several albums, I've not actually heard of him...

"This is so fresh. Even the Brits haven't found out about it yet." - that's how The Aikiu is described. He's French, but don't hold that against him, as it's cracking music. The Red Kiss is a bit of 80s Retro, IMHO; and then Let me Freakout is early 2000s Indie - that's what I call varying styles. A diverse and catchy range of songs feature, and whilst I can't really say that's there's any stand out tracks or immediately memorable choruses, they've enjoyable - which at least is a start. Will the obvious talent spread from the little country over the Channel? I hope so at least...

Obviously, there's other bloggers out there - including a brand new name to the blogosphere, but not to music - that of Steve Lamacq. He recently talked about "misfit bands", featuring Fight Like Apes. I think the best word to describe their music is 'crazed'. Not crazy, crazed. It's manic, and it's certainly an acquired taste - for instance Knucklehead sounds like someone accidentally let Lordi into the studio. That or they invaded. Lammo states about the band "The first time I saw them - a year ago in north London - they seemed like too much of a mess to make sense to anyone. It was like watching re-runs of The Goodies." However, I'm always saying that I like the different, and the band ticks this box perfectly. Would I listen to the music regularly? - probably not. But as a special treat once in a while, yeah, it's good stuff.

Finally, Winston is back, and looking at the melange of styles that is The Unstoppable Team. They're a new band - but they're definitely going places - by places I mean the Late 'n' Live stage at Glastonbury. I feel like I've gone full circle referring to hip-hop again, at personally it discourages me. But when they're being tuneful, it's pleasing stuff. Most of all, it's creative. They're brave enough to try it. So, I'm brave enough to listen.

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