in this issue: PlayRadioPlay!, Ratatat, Unknownn, Sussie 4, Astrobotica Supra De'Nova, Ti Corley
Welcome back, one and all, to musicOMH.com's fortnightly guide to all
things unsigned and own-label.
Over the last seven editions we've
highlighted 46 bands and solo artists from the unsigned jungle, but with
(I'm reliably informed) 100,000 acts trying to get noticed at any one time,
you can be assured that there's plenty more to come..
Perhaps it's the nature of current musical tastes, or of the way certain
genres publicise themselves, but it's far easier to find unsigned 'boys with
guitars' than anything else.
So with that in mind (and
with musical diversity to the forefront) this edition of the unsigned guide
comes to you with an electronic flavour. Partly because we love it. So sit back, relax, and dig those machines...
* If you're an unsigned or own label artist, why not let us know about you for
the next edition, on 12th June? unsigned@musicOMH.com
PlayRadioPlay! is one Texan youth (Dan Hunter), his Apple Mac and a
couple of guitars. These simple ingredients add up to a crystal clear
electro-pop sound that floats by with its crisp drum loops and vocals
recalling the criminally underappreciated Postal Service.
The resemblance to that electronic supergroup would probably hold Hunter
back in terms of getting a record deal, but since he only does it for fun
that probably doesn't matter too much. For the casual listener, a click to
his MySpace page offers some downloadable treats in the vein of free, and
rather charming electronic pop music.
This is music to take your breath away. Calm, stately and majestic,
Ratatat brings a Múm-esque Icelandic swathe of relaxed electronica to
a graceful musical conclusion, that also shows a serious debt to the ambient
works of Aphex Twin and M83.
I can imagine some people would be bored by this type of music - it's
certainly not Radio 1 playlist material. But for those looking for
electronic music to chill out to in the wee hours, in a darkened room, with
headphones and a cigarette of your choice - you've just found the perfect
Moving on swiftly to trip-hop, The Unknownn are making music that walks
along a knife-edge. Gone is the chilled-out vibe of the last two acts, as
this Oxfordshire group build a sinister tension in all their music. It's
music to give you nightmares - in a good way.
The tracks on their MySpace page exhibit stunning production skill. To
make songs that are at once to delicate and still menacing is by no means an
easy task, but between The Unknownn and their producers, they have managed
it admirably. To say that The Unknownn don't deserve their moniker would be
cheap, but nevertheless accurate.
And now from darkest Oxfordshire, we're off to warmer climes:
Guadalajara, Mexico to be exact. Ok, so you're unlikely to catch this house
duo in a club near you, but just take a listen to their sun drenched house
music stylings - given the right exposure, there's no doubt that these guys
could be pretty big.
Hed Kandi take note: Stars or Can U Feel Me just belong in a
packed summer club, this is proper Beach House - it's making me look forward
to my summer holidays already!
Astrobotica Supra De'Nova
A bit of a mouthful in name, but a wonderful earful of sound - this is
instrumental shoegaze with size 12s - poignantly beautiful stuff. Synths and
beats yes, but also a carefully strummed and picked guitar here and there
for all those beginning to tire of the electronica.
Astrobototica's music is deliciously laid-back and pensive, it strays
into post-rock here and there with echoes of Mogwai - reminding this
writer (listener?) of Unsigned 4's 66e. Again, it's hardly
commercial, but who needs that when you've got such a winsome aural treat -
just listen to Gossip Burns through to the end, trust me.
In a complete departure from the electronic theme of this edition so far,
perhaps those looking for a more, conventional sound would enjoy Tim Corley.
Jason Mraz thinks he has the voice of an angel and I'm inclined to
agree. Experimental electronica it aint, very acceptable indie it most
All I Have shows a debt to 'anthemic' British bands like Coldplay
or Athlete. It's not groundbreaking or anything near, but it does the
quiet bit/loud bit alternation with admirable skill and builds into a
sumptuous indie-pop song - a little light relief for all those that prefer
their music to be of the organic, instrumental variety.
So there you have it, another six unsigned treats for your perusal, only
about another 999, 948 for our consideration - we'd better get cracking!
Until next time, happy listening.