Pete Woods’ Mixed Up Christmas

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Now that we’re well into December and things are starting to get a bit more Christmassy, I decided to do a bit of a blog post about my favourite Christmas tunes. We’ve our Origin Office Party on Saturday 20th in the Menagerie, with me and DSNTs Seb Munroe going back to back and Chris Hanna headlining! You can also catch me and Jonny doing them decks the night before at Gigantic as well!

Starting off I’ve picked ‘River’ by Joni Mitchell, because I wanted to get the slow, beautiful ones out of the way before things took a turn for the worst.

I love the way you can just about hear the Jingle Bells riff on the piano chords, and Blue is just one of those albums I don’t think I could ever tire of. I remember as a kid my mum and dad playing it once a month, almost like a tradition. The second best Christmas song of all time in my book.

Next was a toughie for me, because every single track on this album is worthy of a mention. I went for this one because I don’t think that out of any of the Phil Spector artists Darlene Love gets enough recognition.

Everyone knows how incredible the Crystals and the Ronnettes were, but her voice kills it differently, it’s a lot less polished and poppy and because of that, the emotion in this song is so powerful. Thank you Phil Spector for that wonderful Christmas gift by the way, 51 years later!

Right, now onto the crap, and boy is there a lot of it. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 songs that should never, ever have seen the light of day, but fuck am I glad they did. Prepare your sides.

We start with some J-pop (or is it K-pop? I’m not sure) with DMX on hype man duties [WHAT?] There’s a video of DMX going hard with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer I’ve included as well, but this is just surreal. WHERE MY ‘DEER AT?!

Large up Evan Green as well with his delightfully witty comment of “X gon give it to ya. Christmas presents, I mean.” that I definitely would have stolen had it not been so high up the page.

Remember crunk? Unfortunately Lil’ Jon managed to rebrand himself as EDM’s “drop alert” man, taking his habit of shouting random shit from Usher songs to DJ Snake’s ‘Turn Down For What’ and continuing to steal a living in the music industry. Fortunately however, his cohorts the Ying Yang Twins have dropped off the face of the planet. We still have this to remember them by however! Undoubtedly one of the worst pieces of music ever recorded.

Noticing a pattern here? Hip hop artists love them some Christmas, as evidenced by Afroman’s entire ALBUM of novelty Christmas music. I’ve opted for the seminal ‘O Chronic tree’ but other highlights include ‘The 12 J’s of Christmas’, ‘Afroman Is Comin’ To Town’, ‘Deck My Balls’, and ‘Violent Night’. Phenomenal.

Full album is here, if you’ve just smoked a 20 to yourself and have absolutely nothing better to be doing!

Again, there’s a pattern here. Crass sexual references aplenty, and another Christmas classic butchered. RIP Eazy!

I put myself through finding this so you wouldn’t have to. I wanted to find the worst remix of any Christmas song I could, and I found some truly horrific pieces of music but none more so than this. If you can make it past the first drop, fair play. Let’s just say I won’t be playing this out this holiday season, or ever again if I can help it.

I will, however, be playing this. Everyones favourite techno tune, Xmassed up. Class video of Surgeon playing this as his last tune in Glasgow on Boxing Night a good few years back included also. Big Jeffrey on this coming Boxing Night as well, bit special.

Pete

Throwback Thursday: Right Outta Space

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OK, it’s time to bring Throwback Thursdays down from orbit. They’ve been off in space for the past while, their absence filled by Friday Bangers. As a tribute to the fact that they have been harbouring in the cold recesses of the universe, today is a space theme.

Kicking the post off, we have the first Space Dimension Controller track we ever heard. It was merely a taster for the galactic funk madness that was to come on his debut album Welcome To Microsector-50. We also wish he’d bring back that dress sense. Outlandish.

We were then inspired by that track to post this one from Antoni Maiovii. It’s from his sort of concept album Shadow Of The Bloodstained Kiss, which we strongly recommend investigating. It’s dark, moody italo disco of the finest order.

And to round off the space theme, there is a remix of the usually untouchable David Bowie. It’s actually pretty subtle, and has a tinge of the 80s in there too, which is always welcome.

Bet you thought we were gonna post up Babylon Zoo too…

Friday Bangers #44

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Kapow! It’s the weekend up in yo face! To get your party started, here is a dose of Friday Bangers. Make sure you take them with plenty of water, OK?

First up is a bit of a throwback banger. This tune came out way back in 2006, but you know what? It never got big enough. It should have been HUGE! Just listen to it ffs – a big clappy breakdown, humungous synths, and sexual bass. What more could you want? Men, Women & Children only put out one album, but you should defo make out with it right now. And just for fun, have a listen to Glassjaw after, then do some research to find out why that is a geg (unless you get the reference already). Also, for an Irish tip, if you dig this you should check out Ed Zealous, who are like the Belfast Men, Women & Children (Paul Irwin, amirite?!).

Credit for this next tune has to go to Kelly Hunter who brought it to our attention earlier this week. It’s proper fresh, just out for a few weeks. Really digging the subtlety in this song, it skips along merry as anything, and throws dashes of texture into the mix when it feels like it. Hopefully hear a new Lonelady album in 2015.

And this tune is inventive dance music that has one foot in the past, and one foot in the present. It is doused in Detroit fumes and Chicago soul, full of depth and kick. And you might think that is a diva singing, but it’s just Shamir and his wondrous falsetto. The whole Northtown EP is well worth your investigation, and there is way more to it than dance vibes.

Tonight, the FAUX DJs are kicking it at Gigantic in Belfast, and if you’d like to head to the club, hit up the Facebook page for guest list.

Jonny.

Saturday Looks Good To Me #2: Cheesy Bangers, Guilty Pleasures and Disco Kickdrums

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So, Oisin O’Brien is the guest blogger for today. He gave us a copy of his bio in order for us to know what to write about him. However, at no point did it use the term Real Cool Guy, and therefore we feel it is completely inaccurate. It did say stuff about how he is the owner and director of DSNT, and then used a load of buzz words to talk about what they do, and who they have worked with. It’s a cool operation and you should check them out. However, what we are more interested in is the Oisin that we see from time to time giving it the full whip on the dancefloor at Gigantic, requesting stuff like Gloria Gaynor and Diana Ross. It’s like he drops his techno infatuated persona for one night, and embraces the ridiculous. That’s why he is a Real Cool Guy.

Today he is picking out some songs that make Saturdays fun and worthwhile. Read on and feel his vibes.

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Cheesy Bangers, Guilty Pleasures and Disco Kickdrums (plus a few other things I also like)

For this Gigantic Blog post I figured it was a great opportunity to have a look through a collection of my favourite tongue-in-cheek rave trax, guilty pleasures and total disco bangers.

To start off nothing is more appropriate than Michael Forshaws breakbeat remix of ‘I Love Horses’, because you know, I love horses, best of all the animals, they’re my friends.. It takes a bit of time to get to the good bit but the bassline around 1.20 is totally worth the cringe.

Next off Blacknecks for some italo kickdrum gold. Blacknecks is a collaborative alias of Truss and Bleaching Agent, self-described as “toe tapping minimalism, knee jerking industrial, tear inducing melodies, fist clenching hoovers, a novelty track that really shouldn’t have made it onto the record and a whole mess of shite that they would be ashamed to release under their own names.”

First off is their track To the cosmos lets go, which is probably the most “hands in the air” combination of right on the borderline of cheese but infinitely amazing at the same time.

Next off I had to include Easy Lionel purely because it gives me an excuse to share the video that likely inspired the track name..

“Here big man, you take some E’s or summat, Easy, Easy Lionel”

Following on from this is ‘Gayer than Berghain’ manband – Bearforce1, who have managed to roll up all of your favourite disco anthems into a medly of manlove. The video is complete gas too, complete with tacky lens flairs and badly choreographed dance moves. They are trying to get into Eurovision please vote for them because it would be total lel : http://esc.srf.ch/en-ch/bearforce1-0?sorting=alpha

I think after that brilliant tragedy its probably necessary to fire in something that is genuinely fuckin sweet, enter The Immortals – Ultimate Warlord:

“Put on something nice, just incase you die, you’ll leave a pretty corpse behind, yippi-caayoh-cayaee.

Going to a show-down x8 – Chorus

Bring some jungle gin, Just incase you win.” – Yes these are the actual lyrics to this, SRSLY.

This wasn’t really in line with the theme of the blog post originally, so that’s why I added in other stuff I like, but it’s also in because it is that sound.

To finish things off I’ll end with this, which like the above track, is also sound. Neubauten is pretty hit & miss for me, I can appreciate some of the concepts in a few of his albums but they arent the type of thing I could listen to on a daily basis, however I will never tire of this track because its class.

Oisin

Friday Bangers #43: Pete Woods Picks ‘em Out

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It’s Pete Woods Gigantic Blog debut today, and the boy has done good. A fine selection of absolute bangers. He’s on DJ duties in the club tonight. If you’re in Belfast and want to check him out, hit up the Facebook or Twitter for guest list action.

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First ever Friday Bangers from me, so I thought I’d start with one that eminds me of being 18, in the Ballroom, going absolutely nuts. Good tiiiimes.

I’m a massive fan of proper RnB music, and theres 2 women who’re nailing it right now; Tinashe and FKA Twigs. DJ Mustard on production too, responsible for probably the most banging RnB and Pop instrumentals at the moment (see T-Pain – Up Down for more DJ Mustard goodness).

Anyone who’s seen me play under my Iczisha alias will know I’m a big grime fan, and the fact that this is getting serious daytime radio plays makes me ecstatic. The whole album is one of Wileys finest to date, well worth checking out.

My ultimate party tune, I don’t know anyone who wont get down to this.

I cant think of something to write for this, but its a bit of a weapon isn’t it?

Pete.

The Best Band You’ve Never Heard Of #1: Ought

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Recently, we’ve been working a new approach to the Gigantic blog. The idea is for it to operate as more as a sort of online fanzine, where rather than being obsessed with only new music or releases, it is just obsessed with good music. Think about it, your favourite albums and songs are the ones that stay with you, that you always go back to, and you never tire of. It doesn’t matter when it was released, it just matters that it is good.

Picking up this idea today is a new writer for Gigantic, Kika Johsson. You can usually find Kika writing for Nothing But Hope And Passion and Exberliner, so it’s a real pleasure to have her contributing to Gigantic. In her first post, she has nailed the idea of digging out music you might not know yet, but that you will love. This was the first time we had heard of this band, and we are instantly in love.

Follow Kika on Twitter here.

Jonny.

There’s a current writer’s sanction on making any kind of pun-related or otherwise humorous headline when recommending a band named Ought, okay? For real. This post-punk quartet based Montreal (but not actually containing any Canadians) debuted with their excellent More Than Any Other Day, on Constellation Records. Only eight tracks long (but most over five minutes!) they will speak to any fans of angry, demanding rock with drawn out guitars. Ought has the borderline-spoken-word lyrics that you wanted to scream at your parents when you were fifteen. If you are into Television, the less melodic Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, or early Walkmen, give Ought a spin. The best song is the title track: “Today More Than Any Other Day,” which begins with slow, single guitar notes, and then the percussion comes in. The song switches tempo at just under the three minute mark and becomes a combination rant about modern life/reassuring cheer/ end of life reflection, which crescendos into “Everything is gonna be okay!/ together, today/together, today/ together, okay/ together…”
Give it a listen if you find passion and conviction lacking in modern music. You should. You really should.

Kika

Come Down With Me: Autumn

This post should really be called Cone Down With Me, as it is the first Gigantic blog post by the equally handsome and hairy Brian Coney. Brian is the creator and Editor of The Thin Air, a wonderful music website that has also recently evolved into a print publication. Check it out here, and read on to enjoy Brian’s music autumnal selections.

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Autumn: a time of hibernation, transition and – for many – hyper-inspiration. Soul-enhancing sights and smells abound and with that, the very best of sounds. Whether you create yourself or are more than content to throw yourself into those of others, everything seems to sound better on those twilight-lit treks through the city and the looming night, earplugs firmly in ears. Here’s three of my favourite tracks for said solitary soundtracked wanderlust, each definite with a certain Autumnal magic.

BEAK> – Battery Point

An ambient drone masterstroke and no mistake, ‘Battery Point’ by BEAK> summons and lures like few other pieces of music. Conjuring a lush, immersive weightlessness over seven wonderfully unravelling minutes, it is, after many years, my “go-to” track when heading out the door for a trip to the shop or ’round to a friend’s. Just majestic.

Disco Inferno – Footprints In Snow

One of the real forerunners of the first wave of post-rock English trio Disco Inferno concocted some truly mesmerizing sounds on their 1994 album, D.I. Go Pop. Released via Rough Trade, it culminates in the masterfully lo-fi fumblings of ‘Footprints in Snow’. Sure, “snow” is more winter but this track screams Autumn.

Brokeback – Another Routine Day Breaks

Almost meditative in its composition and delivery, ‘Another Routine Day Breaks’ by American instrumental band Brokeback distils, for me, a certain wistfulness (and not necessarily a sad, bad one) that is pretty much irremovable from this time of year. The chord progression, the tone, the ambient twists and turns – it’s all here.

Brian

Two For Tuesdays: Holy Ghost!

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This weekend I revisited both of the Holy Ghost! albums, and it reminded me again of just how much I love them. If you’ve not heard of them before, they’re an electropop duo from New York who are part of the DFA Records stable. So far they’ve released two records, and both are completely perfect. They have that canny knack of taking sonics from the best parts of the 80s, and refracting them through a modern prism of influences. If you’re not a fan yet, you should make friends with both their debut Holy Ghost! and the follow-up Dynamics.

Rather than post up anything from those two albums, I’ve picked out two different tracks. This first song is actually the first Holy Ghost! song I heard, back in 2008. It was their debut single, and a different version of the track actually appears on their debut album. This mix is longer, funkier and more disco-drenched than the LP cut. They had me at hello.

I’ve been playing this next track in pretty much every one of my DJ sets lately. It’s not secret that I love the original by Drake, and being able to play a more beefed up synth heavy version of it pumps me right up. I also like playing it because it gets people who have probably never heard Holy Ghost! before out on the floor to cut it up. Mission accomplished.

Jonny.

Dan The Man

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Dan Snaith is the most brilliantly unlikely, totally charming star – a balding maths geek (he completed his PhD at the same time as his second album) who doesn’t drink or take drugs and is unfailingly polite to his fans and journalists, and yet he has made some of the most intoxicating dance music of the last half-decade. His 2010 album Swim was his most dancefloor-focused, and also his most successful up to that point, but before that he’d absorbed a grab-bag of influences including Can and Neu!, DJ Shadow and Alice Coltrane, the Beach Boys and Pink Floyd, and made some beautiful music as a result. It’s a discography worth diving into: here are a few of my favourite moments.

Snaith first recorded and performed as Manitoba, until a grumpy dude with a vaguely similar name sent him a cease-and-desist and he switched to the equally proud Canuck moniker of Caribou. Up In Flames, his second album, was released in 2003 under the original name and this track is one of the highlights. If it sounds like it was intricately pieced together by one person, that’s because it was, on Snaith’s computer, and so like most of the album it’s not very streamlined. But damn if it isn’t gorgeous, and Snaith’s sweet, unschooled vocals are totally endearing. It all sounds a bit slight on record but when I saw them in Dublin shortly afterwards the double-drums attack nearly took my head off.

Snaith had clearly been listening to a lot of Krautrock before making his second album, The Milk Of Human Kindness, because the iconic motorik beat is all over it, not least on Bees. Listening to it now, you’d never guess it was by the same guy that did Can’t Do Without You – it’s rough around the edges with twanging folk guitars, loads of hiss and… is that?… yes, it’s a fucking recorder. It’s cute, it’s warm and it’s hypnotic but to be honest Beck could probably sue.

I’m deliberately avoiding the big tunes here, but this has always been one of my favourites from Swim, undoubtedly one of the best albums released this decade. As Snaith explains in this Pitchfork feature, he had got back into dance music in a big way by this point and you can hear it, but it’s strange, idiosyncratic dance music: of the genre but cocking a snook at convention. Snaith is too much of an individual to follow the rules under the Caribou name at least. I assume Bowls is named after the percussion instrument heard all the way through the track, but what makes it is a bassline that grabs you instantly and won’t let go. It’s a masterpiece of building tension, as Snaith teasingly drops elements in and out, each one a mini-release, the cumulative effect nothing short of euphoric. It’s even better live.

You want ‘proper’ dance music? This is proper dance music. Snaith has used his Daphni alias for a while, DJing under the name and releasing dancefloor-focused 12″s and remixes, plus the full-length Jiaolong album on his own label of the same name. Initially the idea was to give himself tracks to play while DJing but the project has taken on a life of its own and resulted in some great music. Here, he remixes himself, and turns an emotional track which tiptoes onto the dancefloor into an unfuckwithable, taps-aff, certifiable all-out banger. Acid house with eyes for nothing but the floor.

Chris Jones

Friday Frecknall Bangers

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Tonight will see the Gigantic DJ debut of Dave Frecknall. He is a DJ veteran, and a mainstay of Lavery’s, and he has excellent taste in music. What you might not know, however, is that Dave used to be in a number of notable Northern Irish bands. As a result, today’s quick Friday bangers are tracks from acts that Dave played in.

First up is a song from The Jane Bradfords. I actually didn’t know this cover version existed until about 15 minutes ago, and I’m glad I found it, because it is actually ace.

And next up is a song from the musical project he was involved in after The Jane Bradfords – Nakatomi Towers. Another excellent tune.

You can now catch Dave DJing in Lavery’s near every weekend, but most importantly you can do that tonight at Gigantic. Le woop!

Jonny.