Santiago Street Machine – Noisemaker

Manchester alternative electro three piece Santiago Street Machine released their debut single, Noisemaker, today.

Alongside a rampant, thumping, grit fuelled, bassy monster of a track, they’ve linked up with some very talented photographers, videographers and graphic designers to bring a triple threat track, video and artwork.

The single artwork features a photograph by Cambridge based photographer Tom Mayle with graphics from London based designer Ed Chandler. It’s an explosive photo which sets off the explosive sound of the track well.

No single release is complete without a music video, and London based duo James Gough and Steve Roberts (Master Original Dub) have delivered an intriguing watch to accompany the track. The steps needed to make that “noise” with your debut offering can ride on the flip of a coin decision, as the video portrays. Some young acting talent on show too from Alex Payne and Isabella Lueen.

You can pick up the single now on iTunes, Amazon and all the other big download sites. Next live show is at London hot spot Cargo on Saturday 17 December.

Mosca – Done Me Wrong / Bax

I didn’t really latch on to Mosca first time around. Releasing his debut offering, the Square One EP, on Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990’s club night turned label, Night Slugs, in 2010, I heard the hype but just wasn’t being pushed over the edge into euphoria for the music like others seemed to be.

And I mean, this EP got plaudits. The “b-side”, Nike got voted superblog XLR8R’s track of 2010, and when you have five (you can only just count ’em on one hand) remixes of the title track on your debut release from names like Roska, Julio Bashmore, Greena, L-Vis 1990 and Bok Bok, there’s clearly something nifty going on.

So, the record collection was still awaiting it’s first Mosca purchase. Needless to say (you may have seen this coming), it’s now happened. Marking the 16th release on the Numbers label, Done Me Wrong / Bax is a heady throwback to garage sounds from 10 years ago muddled with an assortment of tropical bells and elastic dubby stabs.

No Mars bars will be awarded for guessing the influences that have gone into these tracks, they’re pretty clear. What I like is that there are so many and that they come together in such a coherent way. There’s mellow moments, the face is screwed in appreciation at others, and you’re definitely stepping the whole way through.

You’ll undoubtedly hear both of these tracks jammed into sets up and down the land for the rest of the year. If you’re up late after a club session next Wednesday night, I highly recommend tuning into Benji B where Mosca will be having a chin wag and tickling us with a 30 minute mix.

Done Me Wrong by Mosca

Bax by Mosca

“Come on!”

Picture Book

I’ve decided to keep it close to home for my first blog post. Every month until the end of the year, I’m going to fill you in on four top drawer artistes – a band, a producer, a singer and a photographer – all of whom I am fortunate enough to know personally.

First up is one of my favourite bands on the scene today. They’re an eclectic trio, two brothers from New York / Liverpool (I think they’re actually from Manchester) and 1/50,000 of the population of the Faroe Islands. Individually they are Ash, Dario and Greta. Collectively, they are Picture Book. Their music is, well dance music, simply put. Crowd rockers like Explosions and Make A Move get you doing exactly what their titles suggest. But there’s diversity within their style, as songs like My Love and Sunshine showcase a more dramatic and heartfelt side. The way they stitch this all together in their live show is what sealed the deal for me.

I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember the first time I saw Picture Book live, I think it must have been at a sparse mid week gig in Night & Day Cafe, Manchester. The crowd might not have been many but the compulsion to dance was unavoidable. Ash flew between guitar, drum and keys, his snake like dreads attacking the air just as the mythical Medusa’s locks once did. Greta twisted and twirled physically, vocally and with the stroke of her bow, drawing you in to the dance. The fact that all three of them were on their feet as they played (Dario commands the beats from an SPD-S, kicking the bass pedal with the back of his foot), made it impossible for the audience to do anything but the same and join them on the floor.

Picture Book are a live experience, constantly upping their game to make the live shows bigger than the last. Since seeing them at Night & Day I’ve found myself returning time after time to get another fix. In that time I’ve seen full scale stage invasions, the addition of a string quartet, a legendary saxaphone solo from the one and only “Shwood” and the most unexpected but insanely delivered outro / breakdown to their show at the Paul McCartney Auditorium. My advice (for what it’s worth) is check out their gig listings – here – and get your ass along to a show. You can thank me for the tip later.

I guess all that’s left is to offer you some snippets to try for yourself before you head out for the live Picture Book experience. So, check out some sounds and let them know what you think on their facebook page, cos they love to get involved with their fans.

Sunshine by Picture Book

Explosions (Son Of Kong Remix) by Picture Book

Picture Book are signed to Blue Horizon (Warner), their debut release is (I hear) coming very soon.