Rupert Lally & Espen J. Jörgensen: Paradise Once and a Busy Summer


Long-time collaborators Rupert Lally and Espen J. Jörgensen are set for a busy summer, with contributions to Stuart McLean’s The Dark Outside event, the worthy Mitra – Music For Nepal compilation, the soundtrack to the Rebuild 3 game and a new album, Paradise Once. Check for more details.

(c) 2015 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence 

Renegade Connection – I’ll Surrender (Le Coq Musique single, 2015)

Renegade Connection 'I'll Surrender' 7" artwork

Renegade Connection is a collaboration between Gary Asquith (Renegade Soundwave, Mass, Rema-Rema) and Lee Curtis from Lee Curtis Connection. I reviewed Curtis’s Psyclops Trees single ‘All Back To Spikes’ for this site last year and at that point this collaboration was on the blocks ready for a release later in 2014. Manufacturing and artwork issues prevented the single seeing the light of day last year, and this will now be released to coincide with Record Store Day on 18 April 2015.

‘I’ll Surrender’ finds Asquith in an emotional mood, delivering a tender, warm-hearted love song over a loose, heavy dub groove that links this back to both the dub albums of Renegade Soundwave material but also back to the type of soul-scarring music reaching these shores from Jamaica way back in the Seventies. It’s a new direction for Asquith, and one that works really well. His voice is well-suited to this type of romantic outpouring, even if that seems something of a surprise after being so used to his vocal having more of an aggressive, nihilistic edge.

The flip, as is traditional in this genre, is a straightahead dub version, containing all sorts of springy effects and sonic trickery, as if the ghost of King Tubby had been meddling in the mixing desk.

The B-side to ‘I’ll Surrender’, ‘White Flag Dub’, can be heard below. The single will be available from Rough Trade and the Le Coq Musique webstore.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Gary again for a forthcoming Electronic Sound feature; that feature will appear later this year. 2015 is set to be a good one for Asquith followers – on the same day as ‘I’ll Surrender’ gets its release, two Rema-Rema 12″ singles will see the light of day. The first 12″ pairs ‘Entry/Exit’, a track from the original Rema-Rema sessions that begat the Wheel In The Roses 12″ for 4AD, with an instrumental version; the second 12″ (What You Could Not Visualise) sees Asquith collaborating with Takatsuna Mukai on Renegade Soundmachine remixes of the track ‘Rema-Rema’.

Rema-Rema 'What You Could Not Visualise' 12" artwork Rema-Rema 'Entry / Exit' 12" artwork

Asquith is also working on a new, as-yet-untitled project with Michael Allen (Rema-Rema /  Wolfgang Press) and Andrew Gray (Wolfgang Press). More details will follow in due course.

Renegade Connection 'I'll Surrender' postcard

(c) 2015 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Maps – A.M.A. (Short Story, 2013)

In 2013 I reviewed Vicissitude by Maps for Clash, which turned out to be my favourite album of that year. My review can be found here.

It is one of the few albums in recent years where, when I listen back, I still 100% agree with the high score that I gave it. Others that I won’t mention haven’t lasted the test of time, but this one has. I revisit the album every so often and it still stirs something up in me that I can’t fully identify, some strange cocktail of optimism and melancholia that appeals to my outlook on the world as I approach my forties.

James Chapman‘s third album had such a profound impact on me that I was inspired to write a very short piece of fiction loosely related to the track ‘A.M.A.’. I’ve written short fiction before, but never one inspired – however obliquely – by a song. You can read and download ‘A.M.A.’ below.

A.M.A. (inspired by Maps) by MJA Smith

My other short stories are no longer online. If you desperately want to read them, please get in touch.

(c) 2013 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

MG – Europa Hymn (Mute Records single, 2015) – Official Video

Mute Records today revealed the animated video for ‘Europa Hymn’, the first single taken from the forthcoming Martin Gore album MG which is released in April.

I had the great pleasure of getting to interview Martin earlier this month; that interview will be published online ahead of MG‘s release.

(c) 2015 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Electronic Sound Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Electronic Sound

Electronic Sound, the iPad magazine that I’m proud to contribute to, has started a Kickstarter campaign.

In addition to producing the go-to destination for anyone who loves electronic music, the magazine is setting up The Electronic Music Club. For anyone pledging over £35, backers will get 12 copies of the magazine plus an exclusive clear 7″ by Meat Beat Manifesto’s Jack Dangers and ex-Kraftwerk man Wolfgang Flür. The 7″ is limited to 750 copies and unless you want to pay hugely inflated prices on eBay further down the line, you should really pledge now. Right now. The British state pension is worth nothing these days – if you want to eat or heat your home in retirement, consider this an essential investment.

Look how pretty…

Jack Dangers / Wolfgang Flur 'Staying In The Shadow'

The Kickstarter campaign can be reached here.

Beth Jeans Houghton – Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye (Unreleased Home Recording, 2010)

Among the unreleased 2010 home recordings of Beth Jeans Houghton – sorry, Du Blonde given her latest guise – lurks this beautiful cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye’ from the Canadian singer’s 1967 debut album, Songs Of Leonard Cohen.

Beth put this on YouTube back in 2013, augmented by a simple rough-cut video with shots of everything from bathroom stalls to graceful Californian windfarms taken from a passing car.

Watch / listen below.

Post (c) 2015 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Mono Life – Dark Star Theory

I have reviewed Mono Life’s exciting debut album Phrenology for the next issue of Electronic Sound. This is the stand-out ‘Dark Star Theory’, taken from the album.

Phrenology will be released later this year.

Content (c) 2015 Mono Life / Mark Osborne
Post (c) 2015 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence