As the clock ticks down to the release of her sophomore record (Nocturnal; due Oct 29th on Verve), the next milestone in what has been an absolutely phenomenal year for Ms Yunalis Mat Zara’ai, the pint-sized Subang Jaya native must be feeling that life simply can’t get much better than this. And who can blame her? Just a few years ago the Universiti Teknologi MARA graduate was still playing to tiny audiences for free at humble acoustic venues in the margins of her home city. Yet, earlier this month she did no less than perform for four sold-out nights at Kuala Lumpur’s Istana Budaya, the Malaysian equivalent of London’s Royal Albert Hall. Were you to plot this on a time-based graph, the resulting curve would probably appear asymptotic.
Yuna’s decision to uproot herself to the United States, effectively the introductory chapter to her spellbinding rags-to-riches tale, has been a journey of wonders thus far. Having released her excellent debut album stateside under the Fader label (whose representatives flew all the way to Malaysia to convince her to sign for them), the Malaysian lass appeared on the radar of world-renown producer David Foster and was subsequently signed to his Verve Music Group – the same label that plays host to the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, and Carla Bruni. Her star shone brighter still when she was contracted to perform both a cover of The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun” for Oliver…
Wo Fat are one of the most acclaimed stoner rock acts today. The Texas-based trio have rapidly risen to the forefront of the genre, blending fat, fuzzed-out riffs with hints of psychedelia and Southern rock flavors. The success of their latest effort, The Black Code, allowed the band to reach a wider audience, touring Europe for the first time. Amid a busy schedule, guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump found time to answer a couple of questions for SputnikMusic.
For those unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe it in a few words?
Basically speaking, our music is heavy, riff based, and blues influenced, but one thing that is a very important part of our music is the balance that we have between structured riffing and song writing on the one hand and improvisation and jamming on the other. Both things are important to us and we try to strike a balance between them. We also really believe in the importance of the groove, and, above all, we try to make music that grooves and feels organic and earthy. I think that some heavy music has lost that important primal element of funkiness and groove that originally came from the blues, and, which was really also a key part of the early days of heavy rock and metal. Listen to early Sabbath and it’s inescapable. That’s the roots of it all, and we try to keep that tradition going in our music.
I’m always curious to hear how others describe our…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 17, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
The Band In Heaven – Caught In A Summer Swell (Decades Records)
Bill Callahan – Dream River (Drag City)
Billy Currington – We Are Tonight (Mercury Nashville)
Carcass – Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast America)
Chris Young – A.M. (Sony Nashville)
Cloud Control – Dream Cave (Votiv)
Crystal Stilts – Nature Noir (Sacred Bones)
Delorean – Apar (True Panther Sounds)
The Devil Wears Prada – 8:18 (Roadrunner Records)
The Dirtbombs – Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey (In The Red)
Factory Floor – Factory Floor (DFA Records)
Felix Martin – The Scenic Album (Prosthetic Records)
Five For Fighting – Bookmarks (Wind-Up)
The Flatliners – Dead Language (Fat Wreck Chords)
Grouplove – Spreading Rumours (Atlantic)
Gwar – Battle Maximus (Metal Blade)
Islands – Ski Mask (Redeye)
Jack Johnson – From Here To Now To You (Universal Republic)
JD Eicher & The Goodnights – Into Place (Rock Ridge Music)
Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back (Hyperdub)
Justin Moore – Off The Beaten Path (Valory)
Keep Shelly In Athens – At Home (Cascine)
London Grammar – If You Wait (1-2-3-4-GO!)
Mark Lanegan – Imitations (Vagrant Records)
Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands – Tess (Candy Cross)
Maybach Music Group – Self Made Vol. 3 (Atlantic)
MGMT – MGMT (Columbia)
Múm – Smilewound (Morr Music)
The Naked & Famous – In Rolling Waves (Republic)
Sporting 13 tracks and clocking in at 75:07, The Red Paintings’ The Revolution is Never Coming, which was mixed on four separate continents (I assume Antarctica was out of the running) by eight different producers (including the late Bryan Carlstrom, who worked with Anthrax, The Offspring, Alice in Chains, Queen, and Social Distortion, among others), is now out via Bird’s Robe Records/MGM Distribution, and will soon be released through The End Records (USA), and Rough Trade (UK/EU) on October 1st.
The group continues to gain notoriety for their extraordinary live show, which typically includes paper and human canvases, costumed stage shows, and other exquisite visual projections in order to facilitate the music to listeners’ auditory and visual senses.
The Revolution is Never Coming features a 35-piece orchestra, a 22-piece choir, and lesser-seen instruments such as the theremin to help propel the quintet’s music even more.
We’ve been very fortunate to work with some absolutely brilliant people, namely our friends at Two Fish Out of Water (whose clients also include Clutch, Henry Rollins, The Jezebels, and Fearless Vampire Killers), to give readers the opportunity to win a free copy of the debut record!
There are three (3) copies of the album up for grabs.
Artwork courtesy of the immensely talented Scott Scheidly, FlounderArt.com
If this artwork looks familiar, it might be because this image was posted to We All Inherit the Moon’s last.fm page in 2008; however, Scheidly commented
A long, long time ago
I can still remember how
The forums used to make me smile
And I knew if he had a chance
Ramsey could showcase his talents
And maybe we’d be jammin’ for a while…
I’m not really sure what bastardizing Don McLean lyrics has to do with anything, but as a friendly reminder, links to Mars Module’s music are located at the very bottom of the post or embedded throughout the feature for your convenience.
When thinking back to when the forums were far more lively than they are today, we’re rewinding by a good 6-7 years.
Knowing what I know now, and given the ability to travel back in time, I’d punch 7-years-ago me so hard in the face to ensure that my life would be more Groundhog Day than Hot Tub Time Machine (although, even if I had to relive the same day over and over again, I’d still somehow manage to screw things up).
Talk to anyone who joined Musician Forums before Sputnikmusic launched in 2005 (anyone with a later join date and tries to tell you what’s up is just a poser who cannot be trusted), and you’ll probably get some decent information along with a lot of hilariously-distorted revisionist history.
However, this entry isn’t entirely dedicated to site history. As wonderful as nostalgia can be in moderation, the thought of reminiscing about a site I’ve frequented for 11+ years makes me want to barf.…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 10, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
2 Chainz – B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time (Def Jam) Arctic Monkeys – AM (Domino)
Babyshambles – Sequel To The Prequel (EMI Import)
Balance & Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing (No Sleep Records)
The Black Watch – The End Of When (1-2-3-4-GO!)
Body/Head – Coming Apart (Matador Records)
Covenant – Leaving Babylon (Metropolis Records)
Earth, Wind & Fire – Then, Now & Forever (Sony Legacy)
Emiliana Torrini – Tookah (Rough Trade US)
Farewell, My Love – Gold Tattoos (Standby Records)
George Jones – Amazing Grace (Welk Records)
Gloria Estefan – The Standards (Sony Masterworks)
Goldfrapp – Tales Of Us (Mute)
Human Parts – Human Parts (No Idea Records)
J. Roddy Walston & The Business – Essential Tremors (ATO Records) Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady (Bad Boy) – Greg “the booty doesn’t lie” Fisher
Joanna Gruesome – Weird Sister (Slumberland Records)
Kaskade – Atmosphere (Ultra Records) Katatonia – Dethroned & Uncrowned (Kscope) – Kyle Ward
Keith Urban – Fuse (Capitol Nashville)
Man Man – On Oni Pond (Anti Records)
Mark Knopfler – Privateering (Universal)
Miniboone – Miniboone (Ernest Jenning Record Co.) Ministry – From Beer To Eternity (AFM Records)
Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs – Stand Together, Fall Together (Cameron House Records)
Sheryl Crow – Feels Like Home…
My Metallica experience went something like this: I downloaded St. Anger on a whim in my first year of university, listened to them for the first time, and was blown away by how awesome it was (before I continue any further let me assure you that I know much better now). I then went on to borrow the band’s entire discography from a post-graduate friend – who still listened to them on his trusty old Discman – and proceeded to devour the entire thing over the next couple of months. All this happened when their soon-to-be ninth studio album was still in its infancy and Mission: Metallica represented the zenith of artist-fan online interaction. It was, as I now believe, a particularly good time to become a new Metallica fan, as the development of Death Magnetic - famously billed as Jaymz and co.’s attempt at constructing a second half to Master of Puppets - also brought with it a strong degree of hype that had been virtually absent throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.
When Death Magnetic eventually came out I jammed it so much and so hard – godawful mastering and all – I wouldn’t be surprised if this mild ringing in my left ear is a direct result of listening to that album a few times too many. Fast forward a few more months to November 2009, and the World Magnetic Tour was already on my chilly Ottawa doorstep. I recall turning up…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 3, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Ariana Grande – Yours Truly (Universal Republic)
Califone – Stitches (Dead Oceans)
Celestial Shore – 10x (Hometapes) Chelsea Wolfe – Pain Is Beauty (Sargent House) – Angel
Glasvegas – Later… When The TV Turns To Static (BMG Rights Management) Gorguts – Colored Sands (Season Of Mist) – Sobhi Youssef
Grooms – Infinity Caller (Western Vinyl)
Holograms – Forever (Captured Tracks)
Jackson And His Computerband – Glow (Warp Records)
Jonathan Rado – Law And Order (Woodsist)
John Legend – Love In The Future (Columbia)
The Julie Ruin – Run Fast (The Julie Ruin Records)
King Khan & The Shrines – Idle No More (Merge Records)
Lonnie Holley – Keeping A Record Of It (Dust To Digital) Modern Life Is War – Fever Hunting (Deathwish Inc.)
My Ticket Home – Strangers Only (Rise Records)
Natalia Kills – Trouble (Interscope Records)
Nedelle Torrisi – Nedelle Torrisi (Nedelle Torrisi)
Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You (Anti Records)
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks (Columbia)
North Mississippi Allstars – World Boogie Is Coming (Songs Of The South)
Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium (ATO Records)
Pink Frost – Sundowning (BLVD Records)
Richard Buckner – Surrounded (Merge Records)
Ryuichi Sakamoto and Taylor Deupree – Disappearance…
“Anger and frustration can be really great vehicles to propel momentum and energy in music,” confesses Erik Wunder. He’s done precisely that with his two seemingly dissimilar projects. The sprawling progressive black metal of Cobalt and the potent dark Americana of Man’s Gin may occupy two different sonic spheres, yet they share the same sense of authentic, if bleak intensity. Erik’s latest accomplishment as Man’s Gin is aptly titled Rebellion Hymns. Adroitly elaborating on the outfit’s previous output, the album represents another resounding triumph for the Colorado native, ranking among the most powerful artistic statements in music this year. Here’s an in-depth interview that not only sheds light on the oeuvre of this immensely talented artist, but also depicts him as a fulfilled musician who’s genuinely committed to every endeavor he’s involved in.
I’ve always admired musicians who are able to divide their time between different projects. What was the reason behind forming Cobalt, and what motivated you to form Man’s Gin?
Well, Cobalt started out when Phil and I got back together and started working on new music after our previous band had broken up. We are both pretty intense, angry people. Especially in those days.
We had already been playing in bands together since we were young teenagers, playing punk/crust and metal music, so we already had a working relationship and obviously a friendship. Our prior projects had dissolved, with…
If you're thinking, "Hey, isn't this picture a little creepy?" please let me assure you that every picture of Ariana Grande is creepy. She's definitely like 8 years old.
Alright, folks, listen up, because I’ve got a cutting-edge pop music opinion for you all to devour and regurgitate elsewhere: Ariana Grande is awesome. She only has real two singles to her name: “The Way,” catchy and vibrant but with a bearable-if-you-sorta-just-ignore-him set of verses from Mac Miller, and “Baby I,” not completely new but still unreservedly awesome, the type of song so good it gets you pumped for an album by the girl from…Nickelodeon’s Victorious? Whatever: this thing sounds like Mariah Carey cosplaying as Sonic the Hedgehog, with mile-a-minute percussion, luxurious synths, and an astounding display of vocal agility from Ms. Grande herself, who may yet turn out to be the first new pop star worth the hype in quite a while.
Antlered Man won me over last year with their debut full-length Giftes Parts 1 & 2. The London four-piece has an uncanny knack for combining dexterous heavy rock with decidedly Eastern melodicism. Their music has been likened to System Of A Down, Mr. Bungle and Future Of The Left, capitalizing on creativity rather than stale song structures. The band’s genre-bending tendencies find their presence felt on “GDZ.” The track integrates the massive walls of distortion with sudden moments of relief and an infectious bridge midway through, proving that Antlered Man can be irresistibly catchy in their wildly experimental output. Both gargantuan in scope and highly infectious, “GDZ” is a fantastic indicator of what’s going to follow on the outfit’s upcoming album The Devil Is Them set to be released on October 14th through New Heavy Sounds. Stream and download the song for free via bandcamp.
Let me make one thing absolutely clear: the average Malaysian music lover hasn’t been feted like this in a long, long time, and we probably have the unlikeliest of heroes to thank for it. The recent launch of “Visit Malaysia Year 2014″ by the deeply unpopular ruling coalition, in addition to the designation of 2013 as its preparatory year, single-handedly took the country from its longtime status of international concert pariah to one of South East Asia’s premiere destinations virtually overnight. September alone will feature The Killers, Yuna, Robin Thicke, and Lamb of God (!), while October brings with it the prospect of Mew, Explosions in the Sky, Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, and also Crossfade. It’s quite a bit to stomach – and I haven’t even started talking about that mouth-watering Urbanscapes weekend in November yet. Elsewhere, the month of August has been no slouch either, as evidenced by the upcoming one-two punch of the Linkin Park and Metallica shows and, of course, the subject of this blogpost – the recently-concluded Good Vibes Festival.
For a country to whom the concept of music festivals is still a relative novelty, the Good Vibes weekend promised to be a blast from the get-go. Organized by Future Sound Asia, the festival publicly stated its aim of bringing the best of international music to the country, and immediately made good upon its promise by announcing The Smashing Pumpkins as its headlining act a few days later.…
A favorite thing of mine to do when listening to albums is to mentally track along with the drums, often using my steering wheel as a makeshift snare and hi-hat and the gas pedal as my bass (my ‘94 Accord goes). Being the cockmaster that I am, I generally believe I can play along to most songs I listen to; the reality is I rarely get around to doing it, and when I do, I’m hilariously out of time and out of my element. It’s one thing to listen to a song and think you could jam along with it, or perhaps get inspired and, you know, do something worthwhile with your creativity. It’s an altogether different beast, though, to actually go out and act on those influences, to create something fresh that pays homage to your favorites yet isn’t controlled by them, and then put it out for the world to see. Maybe they laugh at it (my drumming), hopefully they groove to it. That’s the difference between electronic artist Depth Connection and myself – I’m content to be the driver’s seat Neil Peart; Depth Connection just released a badass EP that takes hints from Tycho, Lone, and a number of other artists to create a quietly gorgeous amalgam of live studio sounds and finely textured electronic beats.
The brainchild of Colorado native Tanner Lichty aka Sputnik user twlichty(ex-Solterra), Depth Connection describes itself as “a collage of unfamiliar yet…
After hearing about the possibility of a new No-Man record coming up soon, I contacted Tim Bowness (singer, songwriter) to ask him about his latest projects, personal favorites and the new album in the works. For those unaccustomed to Bowness’ discography, he has released (besides No-Man of course, which started as a main project all the way back in 1987, with Steven Wilson) a myriad of collaborative records such as Flame (with Richard Barbieri), California, Norfolk (with Peter Chilvers), Warm Winter (with Giancarlo Erra of Nosound, under the moniker Memories Of Machines) or his latest, the second Henry Fool record, Men Singing, among many others. He has also released a solo album, entitled My Hotel Year, in 2004 and is in charge of Burning Shed, an independent record label.
- You have been active for over three decades in the music industry now. How much has the music world changed in your opinion? What do you like and dislike about these changes?
In some respects, it’s changed massively. The business of music and the technology involved in making it are almost unrecognizable from the early 1980s when I started.
In terms of recording, it’s been a change for the better. Studios can do more yet are far simpler to operate. The technology allows a much more direct way of capturing ideas.
The shifts on the business side have meant that it’s become harder to make a living from music for many people and that music itself has…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 6, 2013. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Amanda Shires – Down Fell The Doves (Lightning Rod Rec.)
Anna Rose – Behold A Pale Horse (White Pony Records)
Asking Alexandria – From Death To Destiny (Sumerian)
Barbarossa – Bloodlines (Memphis Industries)
Blondes – Swisher (RVNG International)
Brendan James – Simplify (Noble Steed Music)
Brett Eldredge – Bring You Back (Atlantic)
Centuries – Taedium Vitae (Southern Lord)
Chick Corea – The Vigil (Concord Jazz)
The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars (Sensibility Recordings/Columbia Records)
The Dangerous Summer – Golden Record (Hopeless Records)
Dead Letter Circus – The Catalyst Fire (UNFD)
The Defiled – Daggers (Nuclear Blast US)
Eric Copeland – Joke In The Hole (DFA Records)
Exhumed – Necrocracy (Relapse)
Explosions In The Sky & David Wingo – Prince Avalanche (Temporary Residence)
Hugh Laurie – Didn’t It Rain (Warner Bros.) The Icarus Line – Slave Vows (1-2-3-4-GO!) – Greg Fisher
Iwrestledabearonce – Late For Nothing (Century Media)
Jake Bellows – New Ocean (Saddle Creek)
James LaBrie – Impermanent Resonance (Inside Out US) Karnivool – Asymmetry (Workhorse Music) – Jacob Royal
KT Tunstall – Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon (Blue Note Records)
Kyle – Beautiful Loser (Indie-Pop)
Long Lost – Save Yourself, Start Again (No Sleep Records)
Lumerians – The High Frontier (Red Distribution)
Medicine – To The Happy Few (Captured Tracks)
Moderat – II (Mute)