Northwest Music News — Sounds From The Other City, Sways Records + more

Feature by Simon Jay Catling | 26 Feb 2015
Sounds From The Other City Reveal First Names...

In a month of festival announcements, one of the Northwest's most cherished DIY ventures Sounds From The Other City has divulged the first names of who'll be appearing at its multi-venue, multi-curational all-dayer down Chapel Street in Salford. A typically broad range of promoters, from nationally-focused heavyweights like Now Wave, to local enthusiasts like Comfortable On A Tightrope and newcomers such as comedy troupe Sham Bodie have already been confirmed; among the opening line-up announcements meanwhile are London-based experimental group Shit & Shine, a Faux Discx takeover at the Angel, featuring Sauna Youth and Cold Pumas, returning progressive house producer D/R/U/G/S and a Gizeh Records/Little Red Rabbit collaboration stage featuring Last Harbour. Additions are coming every day, but the full line-up thus far currently looks like:

Menage A Trois
Shit & Shine
Denim & Leather
Sauna Youth
Cold Pumas
Last Harbour
Lazarus Clamp
Sara Lowes
Black Josh
Ruf Dug
Paddy Steer

Head to the Sounds From The Other City Twitter for continuing updates, with the full list of promoters available here.

...As does Africa Oye

Returning to Sefton Park for another weekend of good vibes, the bright and brilliant Africa Oye has revealed its first headliners for the weekend of 20-21 June, with the legendary Omar topping the bill, as well as Malian collective BKO Quintet and Lindigo from the tiny Reunion Island east of Madagascar. Previous Stevie Wonder collaborator Omar is the obvious pick of the three, but Lindigo's mix of creole call and response vocal melodies and rhythmic syncopation promise to intrigue as well, the indigenous music's heritage such that it was banned until the 1980's after becoming a symbol of resistance for the slaves brought to work on the sugar plantations in the 19th and 20th centuries.

New music from Stealing Sheep

Liverpool's Stealing Sheep haven't rushed around to getting the follow-up to the kaleidoscopic pop of 2012 debut LP Into The Diamond Sun out, spending three years putting together the forthcoming Not Real. Now confirmed to come out on Heavenly Recordings on April 13, however, the trio have revealed the title track and it's a gloriously cosmos searching three-minute cut of blossoming psychdelic whimsy. 

Sways Records return...

2014 was a transitional year for Sways Records, with the usually outspoken label keeping a relatively low profile following the enforced closure of their fabled Bunker HQ, the likes of Bernard + Edith following Pins and Money onto Bella Union, and nothing yet to substantially show on record from their current chief concerns Naked (On Drugs) and Kult Country. 2015 has began with a bang however, with the label announcing a stage at Sounds From The Other City, and their first physical release in a year (sort of), with new Emperor Zero track Heart of Iron coming out on a silver pedant (of course it is). Emperor Zero, the vehicle for the dark poetic musings of Matthew Boswell, came about as a slightly cleaner at the heel garage rock band in 2013, however Heart of Iron is a vast shift, Boswell recounting a late night tryst gone wrong over discomforting percussive shuffles and brooding bass.

Staying on a Sways Records tip (sort of) and the recently Bella Union-signed former alumni of the label Bernard + Edith have announced their debut LP Jem to be released on 11 May. The atmospheric melancholy pop duo take their cues from minimalism, Kate Bush and Twin Peaks, to name a few, and first track 'Tidal Wave' gives a pretty good indicator of that.

Meanwhile Islington Mill's ever chameleonic experimental dwellers Gnod have served notice of their impending LP — unbelievably, given how busy they've been live and with their label Tesla Tapes, their first since the re-packaged Chaudelande Volumes II and II in 2013 — by streaming the title track from Infinity Machines over at The Wire. Long dismissive of the psych tag many bracketed them with following their collaborative release Drop Out, with White Hills, Infinity Machines is set to kill that pigeonhole stone dead with its meditative mix of industrial stomp, spoken word and textural drones.

Digital Crate Digging

In Atoms - Telegraph I — Are You Able?

There's an incredible warmth to the tape loops of In Atoms which supplants the simplicity of what's going on structurally within the music, the nuanced tones of each repetition becoming the focus rather than where it's going. Telegraph I — Are You Able? is a perfect example of this, announcing itself at the track's very beginning before fading away, forcing the listener to seek out the differentiations.

Elsewhere in the northwest
  • Liverpool Psych Fest has announced the first names for its fourth year, and the addition of District to Camp and Furnace. Who's their first confirmed headliner? Find out here.
  • Another festival announcing its plans was Beacons, but there'll be no August trip to Skipton this year — the event will instead take place across a series of shows over 12 weeks between Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. More here.
  • Red Bull Music Academy has announced that it will be coming to Manchester in April. Head here to find out who'll be joining Mount Kimbie at the event.
  • Cinematically-minded Mancunians TenFiveSixty have premiered their new video to sweepingly gorgeous track Dashboard Light. Check it out here.