A Tour Retrospective (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

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Hello.

We recently went on a little tour around Germany and Denmark, supporting the very nice James Vincent McMorrow. He’s a good and very talented chap. Here are some photographs that we took in our time travelling around. Not time-travelling around. That’s another album. I’ve said too much.

I see myself as a kind of travel writer in the spirit of James Bond or the like or any other kind of James Bond character you might wish to think of. In that spirit, then, I give you something like a James Bond’s film but with still images instead of exploding cars and with a sense of gnawing despair rather than an international assertion that British people are still good at anything other than greasy sex in a turn-of-the-century fireplace.

phoria1 A Tour Retrospective (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

Here we have the world’s largest Space Invaders tribute, put into action by a series of giant robot owls. We were a little confused when we saw these, as we (obviously) are used to the English style of giant robot owl. I think it’s amazing how you get this kind of art installation on The Continent®, and is the kind of thinking I’d like to see more of back at home, especially in relation to the dissemination of electric power. These owls are connected by ‘slavery ropes’ which help them stay in time. You may have seen these being used by the incredible BoyBand on their latest fourth comeback tour and t-shirt. I don’t know who was playing this but the giant robot owls (or ‘Space Invaders’) look close enough to the ground to suggest that h(s)e has lost. What a twit (t’woo!)!

Now it’s time for our next picture:

phoria2 A Tour Retrospective (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

This is me, Jeb, and a grey pole backstage in Hamburg getting ready to go for a run. I like to play with perspective in my mind with this one, and pretend that Jeb is innocently sniffing my left index finger while with my right hand I am sticking a fingernail in his ear and shouting at him to listen to my suggestions about the band and the way in which he insists on living his life. He eats pasta four times a day and to be honest I am sick of it. As well as a grey pole in this photograph, you may also notice that there is a radiator in there. Staying cool is very important on the road so we often insist that there is a radiator in each dressing room that must be turned off. Also, if you take them with you, radiators can be used to smuggle industrial quantities of heroin over an international border (we don’t do it)! There is also a floor in this photograph as you can see which I am standing on, and which Jeb is insisting upon sitting on a chair on. The floor is as important as a run when running when on the road.

Now it is time for our next picture:

phoria3 A Tour Retrospective (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be just off-stage behind Ed with us? Well thanks to the career of our cameraman, now you will. As you can see, Seryn insists on having his square hat moored to the ground so it never leaves his head. This is onstage in Hamburg so you can see from Jeb’s posture that the run has done him the world of good. We drove to Hamburg from Brighton and that took us fifteen hours and we made the good mistake of having a drink the night before so here we are tired but we have adrenaline and the force of the sun to help us. In the centre of the picture and elsewhere dotted around the stage you will also see automatic machine gun turrets installed by me to get everyone to play well. The turrets will fire on activation by audience applause (which I consider to be bad). Ed is downloading some better music than us on BitTorrent and kind of doesn’t look bothered. There were more people in this photo but we couldn’t fit everyone in.

Now it is time for our next picture:

phoria4 A Tour Retrospective (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

This is a picture of when we sent everything Ed loves away from Ed on a boat which is a very important part of any tour. As you can see, Ed looks very unhappy but is dealing with things very well. Hang in there, Ed! We’ll be in Copenhagen very soon and then you can listen to your music. As you can see we removed all land from this picture so the boat will keep travelling away from Ed forever.

Now it is time for our next picture:

phoria5 A Tour Retrospective (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

As you can see, lighting technicians have no fucking clue what they’re doing. It might look like we are in action in this shot but we are actually not because I stopped the show to get everyone to look at my hair. I’ll do that now, aswell. Also you cannot see but I am so cool that I surfed up to the keyboard across the surface of a paddling pool, that I insisted on having, in order to play my essential F# which without which we could have ruined the song. Seryn insisted on displaying an old man’s wig on a spike at this Copenhagen gig, the reasons for which I am afraid must have left with the old man (unlike his dignity!)! Still, I am sure it instilled fear in the audience which is what we seek to do.

As you can see we are all friends in this concert and that is important when you’re on the road like we were. We spent the evening after the gig in the house of a stranger who we met outside and he gave us beer and beds and conversation and played us lots of great music in his Copenhagen attic. It’s amazing how few people are willing to violently threaten you with knives as soon as you step into their house.

Now it is about time for our next picture:

phoria6 A Tour Retrospective (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

There are quite a few shots of us onstage in this collection but guess what, we are a band. James Vincent McMorrow has a violent obsession with tea and biscuits so all the time in sound-check we had to manouvre around PG tips teabags and a giant rich tea which to me looks like it has spoiled. At the end of the show quite often James would rip the rich tea from its frame and try and eat it but then shout at us for not finding a cup big enough to dip it in. You can tell I am upset from it in this picture because I am sat down and my hair looks average. Trewin is feeding wires into the underside of his chin (to ‘begin to coincide with her’) which I think is healthy and Jeb and Seryn are clearly indulging in banter about backstreet abortions. Ed cannot be seen in this picture because he is out of shot.

This was Berlin, which was the biggest venue we played.. We were held up in traffic on our way to the venue because a political leader of some sort was being taken through town in a large convoy and the whole city shut down. This made us late so it was very stressful and I think this energy of stress and urgency really comes across in this picture.

Now get your tissues out because it’s time for our last image:

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Here Jeb found a confused Asian man waiting in the park for some ducks to feed or perhaps eat. If you use your imagination you can think what might be in that box.

Well thanks for reading. I hope it was as informative for you as it was for me which is very informative indeed thanks to the joint collusion of words and pictures.

Perhaps you can join us on an image adventure another day.

I hope.

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This post was written by Tim Douglas of Phoria, as part of their Takeover of Indie Music Filter.  Follow them on twitter here.

phoria1 A Tour Retrospective (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

Review: Caribou – “Our Love” (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

Review: Caribou – “Our Love” (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

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Caribou: Our Love

Until last week, my awareness of Caribou consisted seeing them a couple of times at festivals and putting them on my ever expanding ‘I must remember to look them up when I get home’ list. I made the fortunate decision of picking up Our Love and have been struggling to take it off my proverbial record player, and by that I mean my Steve Jobs Music Box Classic, ever since.

The man behind the curtain, Dan Snaith, is intriguing in the respect that he doesn’t fit the musician archetype in the slightest – a teetotaller with a doctorate in maths, he reportedly keeps his band entertained on tour by inviting lecturers onto their bus to give presentations on Marxism and economics. Hendrix he ain’t, but boy can the man make music.

The album opens with ‘Can’t Do Without You’, maybe the most straightforward offering of the collection, initially adhering to a deceptively simple house structure, the bass synth builds the track into a gorgeous Bonobo-esque maelstrom which lets you know you are in for a ride.

A key component of the record is subversion – many of the songs start on a road well travelled and end up in a bizarre cul de sac. ‘Our Love’ starts as a deceptively simple club anthem, before the detuned vocals build a poly-rhythm of their own, and bursts of orchestral flourishes, courtesy of the avant-garde pop nutter Owen Pallet, used so sparingly you could have almost have imagined it. ‘Second Chance’, the ear bending key change sends ripples down the song, turning what could be 90s Christina Aguilera into a weird breed of wonk pop.

There are a couple of curious instrumentals, like ‘Dive’, which is reminiscent of Purity Ring’s brand of post-RnB (again my own nomenclature) and ‘Julia Brightly’, which sounds like it would belong on the soundtrack if Danny Boyle made a good film again. These interludes that may on first listen may sound like a wasted opportunity, add colour to the album on repeat listens.

One of the triumphs of the record is that at moments (such as in ‘Mars’ and the closer ‘Your Love Will Set You Free’) it sounds like a 70s proggy afrobeat demon playing different film soundtracks at the same time, yet somehow it never loses cohesion or purpose.

My personal highlight is ‘Back Home’, which channels the simple modern soul songwriting of Jungle and the pulsating synths of Jai Paul and mixes them in what David Brent would call the melting pot to glorious effect. Here Mr / Dr Snaith has somehow turned something private and confessional into something warm and celebratory, which is no mean feat.

Using the official Phoria rating system as created by this fine young man, I give this shimmering spectral sex-pop album four Mickeys!

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This post was written by Jeb Hardwick of Phoria, as part of their Takeover of Indie Music Filter.  Follow them on twitter here.

phoria1 Review: Caribou   Our Love (PHORIA TAKEOVER)

Video: “Tools” by Yellerkin

Video: “Tools” by Yellerkin

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Last month, I came across the song “Tools” from Brooklyn band Yellerkin and got hooked on the song.  Perhaps it’s because I’m a big fan of Hooray For Earth, which I hear in Yellerkin‘s killer single here.   As of last week the song has a video, which has the band freaking out in the woods under spotlights.

Band to watch at CMJ for sure, wish I were going!

New EP From KASHKA feat. “Salmon Arms” (Acoustic)

New EP From KASHKA feat. “Salmon Arms” (Acoustic)

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Kat Burns, aka KASHKA is celebrating the one year anniversary of her album “Bound” by releasing an acoustic EP of select tracks.  The EP, “Bones” will be released on the 28th of October on her own imprint, Play the Triangle Music.  Fans can pre-order the album as of the 21st of October, with special limited edition treats up for grabs; from a hand made CD version to a original painting of the fan’s name, signed by Burns.

KASHKA will be performing an acoustic set, and an electro set on November 9th at the Drake Underground.  Tickets for that are available at Soundscapes or here.

Currently Listening To: Cash+David

Currently Listening To: Cash+David

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Tim Ross (Cash) and Liz Lawrence (David) are London electronic duo Cash+David, who are about to release a new single (“Bones”) on December 8 2014, through their own label.  “Bones” is the follow-up to previous single “Pulse”, which topped Hype Machine’s charts (which I evidently missed the boat on).   Better late than never.