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musicOMH New Music Guide: 8



Welcome back, one and all, to musicOMH’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…

PlayRadioPlay!

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 under-appreciated 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.

Ratatat

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 match.

The Unknownn

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.

Sussie 4

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 therefor 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.

Tim Corley

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 toagree. Experimental electronica it aint, very acceptable indie it most certainly is.

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.



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