instant hits

now defunct pop blog; archived

Brit Award Nominations Revealed; World Yawns

The Best of British

OK let’s kick this thing off with a great big BLAH. Yes, the Brits are necessarily a big old corporate shambles. Yes, we know what they’re for. Annie Lennox. Nothing new. BLAH.

But, come on, wouldn’t it be nice if they weren’t so predictably rubbish every year?

Elements of this year’s list are Not Awful compared to some recent years, but mostly it’s just all so DULL. Is that because music is dull at the moment – if so I hadn’t noticed – or that the charts are (perhaps)>?

Anyway.

BRITISH MALE
Crappest nomination: Robert Plant (sorry to any Dads reading)
Surprise nomination: None
Yawn: Paul WellAH, Mark Ronson
SHOULD win: Tinie TempAH.
Will win: Plan B :(

BRITISH FEMALE
Crappest nomination: Rumer
Surprise nomination: Laura Marling
Yawn: Cheryl Cole, Paloma Faith, Ellie Goulding
SHOULD win: ?!? Marling is the least yawn.
Will win: Ellie Goulding

BRITISH BREAKTHRU”’
Crappest nomination: Mumford & Sons (runner up: Rumer)
Surprise nomination: None
Yawn: Ellie Goulding
SHOULD win: Tinie Tempah or The XX
Will win: Mumford & Sons :(

BRITISH GROUP
Crappest nomination: Mumford & Sons
Surprise nomination: None.
Yawn: Biffy Clyro, The XX
SHOULD win: Gorillaz
Will win: Probably Take That, but that’s OK

BRITISH SINGLE
Crappest nomination: Olly Murs v Scouting For Girls
Surprise nomination: None, this is alway inexplicable
Yawn: All of it, especially Florence and Plan B
SHOULD win: PASS OUT
Will win: Something godawful like Florence or Plan B

BEST BRITISH ALBUM SUPPORTED BY MASTERCARD
Crappest Nomination: Mumford
Surprise nomination: Emphatically none
Yawn: Plan B, Take That
SHOULD win: The XX (or Tinie Tempah)
Will win: Plan B or Mumford

INTERNATIONAL MALE
Crappest nomination: Bruce Springsteen in 2011 (not that I have anything against The Boss in general, mind)
Surprise nomination: Not sure Guetta counts given his omnipresence
Yawn: Cee Lo Green, Eminem
SHOULD win: KANYE
Will win: I have literally no idea

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE
This category is actually really good, but in fairness it would be really, really hard to fcuk this up
Crappest nomination: None!
Surprise nomination: ROBYN :)
Yawn: Kylie in 2011 perhaps? Alicia Keys now and then
SHOULD win: A MILLION TIMES ROBYN
WILL win: Rihanna, which will suffice I suppose

INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHRU”’
Crappest nomination: Bruno Mars
Surprise nomination: Glee Cast. WTF?
Yawn: The National, The Temper Trap
SHOULD win: None of them
WILL win: Justin Bieber

INTERNATIONAL GROUP
Crappest nomination: The effing Script
Surprise nomination: None
Yawn: Kings of Lyawn, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire
SHOULD win: Oh I don’t know, Black Eyed Peas?
WILL win: Arcade Fire

INTERNATIONAL ALBUM
Crappest nomination: Kings of Lyawn
Surprise nomination: Katy Perry
Yawn: Arcade Fire, Eminem
SHOULD win: Oh I dunno, is Cee Lo’s album any good beyond the single?
Will win: Arcade Fire

I’m skipping over Critic’s choice. We’ve all had that conversation.

BRITISH PRODUCER
Crappest nomination: I had to look him up, but “Ethan Johns” does not sound like My Kind Of Guy
Surprise nomination: Mike Pela (Sade I think)
Yawn: John Leckie, “Markus Dravs” (Arcade Fire)
SHOULD win: Stuart Price!
Will win: Oh I dunno.

The only bet I’d place on the back of this is that all my predicted winners will be wrong. Occasionally something even worse will happen, but mostly we’ll just go ‘meh’ and continue throwing things at James Corden’s face.

Hopefully Robyn will sing, then everything will be OK.

AM I WRONG?

Video: Danny Byrd (ft. Netsky) – Tonight

Nice little collaboration between two DnB producers from opposite ends of Hospital Records’ lifespan (Byrd has been around practically since the start, Netsky burst onto the scene last year with stuff like the amazing Eyes Closed.)

Some great sounds on this one, and Netsky’s spaceship-about-to-take-off production is very much in evidence. Scattered across the track though are hints of Discovery-era Daft Punk. Most obviously in the vocals (especially the breakdown 2/3rds of the way through), but also the little flickers of synth-guitar throughout. Probably a bit Marmite to start with, but it sounds pretty massive to me.

Wonderfully mismatched (yet at the same time perfectly matched) Granny/Bingo-centric video too.

Video: Niki & the Dove – Mother Protect (Line of Best Fit Session)

I love Niki & the Dove lots. In fact, enough to have named Under the Bridges as my favourite track of 2010. Mother Protect came out a few months after the triumphant Under the Bridges/DJ, Ease My Mind debut, and only further reinforced my love.

Up until now, video evidence has been largely confined to blurry clips that don’t feature the band. The excellent Line of Best Fit website have therefore performed a pretty great service to humanity by providing us with a proper high quality video to stare at. Nice work.

Don’t let the art gallery location and Malin Dahlström’s ‘kooky’ stylings put you off; this is really exceptional and beautiful pop music. Please investigate further.

Original tracks below for your further listening pleasure:

Niki And The Dove: Streaming tracks by Oohbrilliant

Video: Mums of Death – Golden Axe

Reasons to press “play”:

1. AMAZING retro 8-bit gaming goes clubbing video. Honestly, the overhead shots remind me so much of playing games on the C64 when I was a kid that I kept expecting the screen to freeze and the tape deck to make terrifying buzzing noises.

2. MUMS OF DEATH (Mumdance + Drums of Death) is the way you do this “two dance producers into one name” thing. Take note “ROBORTOM.”

3. It’s “banging”.

10 Tracks: 10 Years of Ladytron

So, yesterday I posted some remixes of the new Ladytron single Ace of Hz. I must be in a nostalgic mood this week, because it’s spurred me on to another retrospective post. So, in honour of the upcoming 00-10 best of, here are my favourite moments from Ladytron so far…
Read the rest of this entry »

Those Dancing Days – I’ll Be Yours

I was recently at the Belle & Sebastian-curated Bowlie 2 Weekender (yes I am secretly that twee). Aside from larking around in Butlins, I saw some bands. One who seemed to be remarkably central to the whole thing were loveable Swedish young-‘uns Those Dancing Days. Their 1am set on the Friday night – or what I can remember of it at least – was the most fun I had all weekend. Stuart Murdoch showed up for some guest vocals, and Linnea repaid the favour by showing up for a show-stealing turn on Lazy Line Painter Jane the next day.

Anyway, I raved about them back in 2008, and was amazed by how great a live band they were at the time. They’ve now got even better, and have the tightness and raw energy of a Northern Soul outfit.

Yesterday Spinner premiered “I’ll Be Yours”, a highlight of the ATP show that I most certainly CAN remember. Stepping their usual frantic energy down a notch, it floats along on a wave of 80s synths and reverby guitars before launching into an ecstatic chorus. I’d urge you to pop over there and have a listen. If the rest of their upcoming second album is half as good as this, it’ll be a classic round these parts at least. If not, the single’s already looking like a shoe-in for my 2011 end of year list…

While I’m at it, I must have missed the video for the rather excellently titled Fuckarias, back at the end of last year. Let’s remedy that:

But please do go listen to “I’ll Be Yours”, because it’s amazing. Ta.

Ladytron – Ace of Hz (& remixes)

The lovely, lovely Ladytron are about to put out their Best Of (guaranteed amazing – more on this theme tomorrow) called Ladytron 00-10, which has a nicely appropriate binary feel to it.

In the meantime, as well as working on their fifth studio, they’ve just unleashed a couple of remixes for their latest single Ace of Hz, out tomorrow. You can buy it with money, listen to it (and some remixes) below, or head over here to download an MP3 of the Punks Jump Up radio remix. Which is pretty decent.

My pick of the bunch below though is the Tiesto mix, which takes the original’s (slightly excessively) glacial vibe and drags it kicking and screaming into some massive arena. Of course it does.

Ladytron – Ace Of Hz EP

Ladytron – Ace Of Hz (Punks Jump Up Remix Radio Edit)

Beth Ditto – I Wrote The Book

As anyone who heard last year’s Cruel Intentions will know, the Beth Ditto/ Simian Mobile Disco combination works quite nicely. Beth’s voice is actually rather pretty when layered over some tasteful downbeat dance music, rather than shouting over some predictable old garage rock.

Anyhow, she’s about to release her debut self-titled solo EP, again with help from those SMD chaps. Here’s the first taster from it. Not going to change the world, but enjoyable enough.

Listen below to the full version of “I Wrote the Book” and a sampler of the rest of the EP.

Beth Ditto – I Wrote The Book

Beth Ditto EP preview

Yelle – Safari Disco Club

This is just daft really isn’t it? Animals dancing at a Safari Disco Club. OK. Twee-lectro. French Twee-lectro.

I thought Yelle was supposed to be trendy a few years back?

Anyway this IS very daft, but also quite catchy. So OK then Yelle, you can stay.

Safari Disco Club

The MP3 is available as a freebie over here.

10 Tracks: The genius of Gonzales

Yesterday I posted the video to Gonzales’ excellent new single You Can Dance. I thought now was as good a time as any for a run through a potted history of Gonzo. As a producer, songwriter, performer and self-proclaimed Entertainist, he’s been involved with some of the greatest (and occasionally silliest) moments in leftfield pop for over a decade.

Click below for 10 videos, featuring Feist, Peaches, Jamie Lidell, James Blake and of course the man himself.

I’ve also put together a slightly longer Spotify playlist, featuring all the tracks below plus a few more gems from over the years.

Read the rest of this entry »