Thursday, 2 October 2008

The Pony's Return / The Nag's Last Furlong

Yup. It happened, summer got swallowed by a Bestival mud creature and T4 is only on at weekends again. Pony got well lax over the end of the break there, apologies for the silence- here's a guilty pile of new-term freshness and nods towards gigs. Plenty to come on the Brighton City Festival etc. also, and news of the next submission date.

Gig: James Yuill @ Digital
Monday 4th Oct, £6.

Previous gracer of these pages and overnight sensation thanks to an indulgent Radio 1 session this week, the man of the hour crops up in Digital on Monday. Worth it just to see how he controls so many sounds while singing calmer than a kite in the breeze- here's a link to the video of the summer's folktronica anthem No Pins Allowed, cos we're not meant to give the song away. It's on a lovely Moshi Moshi 7" anyway, which you can no doubt buy at the gig. And get signed in lipstick if that's your thing.

Video: James Yuill - No Pins Allowed


OK, got work to do. More later.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

First to go

Just to let you know that you can still get your hands on the last few Issue 1's at our local resident records. 

How about that.


Monday, 21 July 2008


Yeah, thats right...Ratatat's latest offering comes in the form of 'LP3' and it is a beast of a record. The New York based trio, famed for their dazzling guitar tracks and hip-hop influenced electronica, have done it again and most probably better. Regarded as one of the most influential artists to have come out of the East Coast of America in years, their self titled debut and follow up 'classics' have even seen them open for daft punk.

Look out for tracks 'Mirando' and 'Shempi' on LP3 and 'Lex', 'Wildcat' and 'Loud Pipes' on Classics..Mmm

Ratatat/Audio/Friday 25th July
Tickets are £6+bf and available from Resident, Rounder and TicketWeb

I know it's early to be posting this but you can't miss out, even if you have defrosted that mackerel for supper.

Mp3: Ratatat - Shempi

What? more?... yes...a huge hip hopping free download from their site!

14 new remixes featuring Bun B, Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, Slim Thug, Devin the Dudr, Young Jeezy, T.I., Beanie Sigel, Pimp C, Ludacris, Young Buck, Saigon, Juvenile, Z-ro, Memphis Bleek and Kanye West.


Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Britons Do It Wetter

Another weather-related post. I'm half expecting to come home and find the level underwater, pikeys floating around on a raft of empty K-cider cans powered by two paddling mongrels.. Something to lift the mood then, and what better way than this: a Californian female disco duo, with vocals by Feist, remixed by Swedish outfit Tiedye, on the impeccable Italians Do It Better label. A serious feast of head-down shut-eyed festival ecstasy, or at the very least a smirk-inducing slice of shamelessly proportioned electro pop. As a bonus, her's a personal favourite from a few months ago- Them Jeans (another bunch of well-tuned Swedes) on the re-edit of Juan Maclean's Happy House. Does exactly what it says on the tin, and hits me right in the solar plexus. I hope you can share the joy- maybe you never got the Robert Miles piano thing first time around, and it all sounds a bit wack? Just scroll down and listen to the Rustie mix instead, we're mutli-genre beasts you know.

MP3: Rubies - I Feel Electric (Tiedye mix) [buy it here]

MP3: The Juan Maclean - Happy House (Them Jeans TrimTheFat edit)


The deadline for submissions remains 30th July, you remain talented, why not make the connection?

. . .

Monday, 7 July 2008

Something Special Sir?

It's not likely there'll ever be another post devoted to rum, so lap it up.. Some things just have to be said. Appleton 21yr is ridiculous, if you ever get a chance, get one in. Especially if you're not in Brighton or London, cos you'll probably be able to afford it. It'll remind you why you got so many tastebuds up in that mouth o'yours.

Degrees of Abstraction

Though undoubtedly filled with good music (and no other blog's carried that Unitz track yet, score), the last Pony post smacked of easy pickings. Where were the underground exposés, the truffles of delight only the Pony can deliver? Time then for a follow-up post, this time based on artists linked to those mentioned last time, but who you hopefully haven't heard of. Starting with an affiliate of Flying Lotus then:


Long-time associate of the oft-touted glitchmobbers, and tight as camden trousers when it comes to beat production. A bit more of a hiphop swagger than Lotus, and more cheek too- check this out on Imeem, floppy rhythms that somehow stay completely in check. (While you're there check this version excursion. Not for all, but those that know, you KNOW, right?) If he can turn that monstrosity into something approaching beauty then his own material must be fit, yes? Shocker, it really really is. Try this for size, then pop over to the Myspazz for some more, and a link to the very reasonably $10 mixtape. Interestingly, he's signed to Hyperdub over here, more commonly associated with them dubstep folk- let's hope some prime UK talent like Lukid will get caught up in the progress.

MP3: Samiyam - Moon Shoes
[edit: new link now posted, apologies for the dead one]


This next one came about by linking Fleet Foxes to Beach House (lovely, shimmering popscapes), them to Lazarus (solo folk experimenter), then Red Leaf Black Bird (more folk, less twiddle, lots nice), and finally to:


Their line-up has changed more often than the weather since their 1999 inception but the strength and simplicity has remained. I saw them support Kimya Dawson at the Cowley Club one privileged morning a couple of years ago, and they've grown no more popular since, leaving their fragility and languid resolution intact. Theirs is a life lived in a lower gear, the uphill grind just an excuse to free-wheel all the way home, legs and caution spread to the wind as trees and fields flash by.. It's summer, it's winter, it's your life as a cup of tea and you're the digestive. Their site will keep you informed of future dates, as will we- try and pick up most recent recording Tigers On Fire, released on Tract.

MP3 - Tigersaw - Postcards and Letters
(via - right click to download)


Now to something not altogether different. Wildbirds and Peacedrums are a hard act to follow, but someone whose voice can play the UK corner is:

Rozi Plain

Maybe it's a shameless plug for someone I vaguely know (did foundation together, wave if I see her floating past on the ferry round Bristol docks), maybe it's just great music. Wildbirds are a hard one to draw comparisons with anyway, so I figured it's better to try and find a compatriot rather than competitor- Rozi certainly is that. Recently things have gone up a gear, with coverage on 6Music and even Radio 1 (good ole Huw Stephens), so jump on board before the media grabbing for the next Lykke Li decide that maybe it's her turn in the spotlight.. The Myspace has all the expected goods, and there's an album out on Fence records shortly. Wonderful songs, brilliant voice redolent of lablemate Rachel Dadd (but far more listenable in my world), and unshakable charisma to boot. None of that Joanna Newsomy wimping around like a malnourished butterfly- good old fashioned musicianship without the image crisis.

MP3: Rozi Plain - Cherry Tree


There's not much point trying to get you to look at other dubstep comps because they are without exception incredibly behind the true face of what's being dropped- just subscribe to Plastician and Skream podcasts on RinseFM here, and watch the subgenres unfold before your very ears. The sound of someone far more used to hours locked up in a basement with only a bag of weed and some well-tuned monitors for company trying to hold together a three hour radio show is always entertaining too.

Still to come: Pony Two's deadline is 30th July now, so whatever excuse you had for not submitting last time, just crumbled before your lazy sun-scorched eyes. Y'all missed White Denim play Audio- there'll be words+pics of that on the way, and plenty more new music. Hurrah.

PS: Apologies to Verity who put on what was by all accounts a magnificent gig at the Hope on Thursday, I failed to mention it on here as promised: if anyone has pics or comments please do send them in.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

_*_ Huge Summer Update_•_

Pony will keep going through the summer, in the form of longer, monthly posts, rather like this one in fact. There seems to have been a splurge of incredible new music in the last 3 months or so, a lot of which has got the coverage it rightly deserves- just to make sure you don't miss out, here's an impeccable rundown of things that'll make you bite your bottom lip to stop it trembling..


Flying Lotus - Los Angeles

Truly a modern masterpiece. His last release, 1983, set him apart from the glitch-mobbers, Dabrye and Prefuse by being simultaneously deeper, more melodic, simpler and intricate; ultimately, an extremely creative, exciting record. So what's new? Well, everything's the same, just better. Tighter beats, ingratiating basslines, melodies that leave nothing to the imagination.. it's truly cinematic, built more of atmospheres than beats. Prefuse came close- Detchibe is evocative, but still rather simple; Lotus has completely changed the way we can think about hiphop and beat culture, injecting the whole scene with an optimistic urgency after this finely wrought throwdown. If Burial was the soundtrack to your winter gatherings, this is truly the colour of your summer. Check the taster below, but get straight on the album here after.

MP3: Flying Lotus - Parisian Goldfish


Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

Already the toast of the leftie press and bloggers everywhere, Fleet Foxes should need to introduction. But if you've been living in a cave, take note, and if you didn't believe the hype, start believing. It's a bit of a grower, but nurture it and you'll never look back. There's a lot of moments where you think "hmm, that sounds exactly like this bit in this record, and the vocals are bit like this, and that guitar sort of sounds like..." but then you loved all those records, so stands to reason this one is, well, better, mathematically? True bearded delight from start to finish.

MP3: Fleet Foxes - Ragged Wood


Wildbirds and Peacedrums - Heartcore

Another ridiculous recording. A Swedish duo signed to Leaf, they battered the emotions the first time I heard them, leaving me unable to form proper words and cooing gently like a climaxing pigeon. It's basically just percussion and vocals, but with vocals that happily join Kate Bush, Antony Hegarty and Bjork in the league-of-their-own, um, league [tautologies are entirely appropriate here], the lack of complication makes a lot of sense. It's pointless to try and pen them in with contemporaries- better to let them run free, frolicking in the sunset round some burning maypole atop a mountain. With a faun. Absolutely choice. Catch them live at the End of the Road festival if you get the chance.

MP3: Wildbirds and Peacedrums - I Can't Tell In His Eyes


Deerhunter at the Barfly this Friday 20th

Feeling mesmerised and sublime, if a little confused? No? Well come along on Friday and top up your wonder-count. The earnest trippyness is the right side of drone irritation; really they're just a jangly indie band with extra fun fuzz, perfect for a summer's evening, especially when there's so few other gigs going on.

MP3: Deerhunter - Lake Somerset

Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline

The first compilation put out by the husky-voiced Radio 1er brought a carefully chosen range of tracks together under the same umbrella, to devastating effect. JME's Pence rubbed shoulders with techno from Andy Stott, and worked well. Here, an almost identical formula has been applied- substitute Claro Intellecto for Andy Stott (on the same label aren't they? Not a hard decision then!) and Wiley for JME, and churn it out. Well, not quite. Throw in the Unitz record The Drop (exclusive, not available on vinyl), Ligma VIP, and a glut of other stand-alone brilliant tracks, and you have an album that simply can't be passed over. The Souljazz Box Of Dub comps always seem a bit barren, and contain tracks that've been around for ages; MAH has obviously flexed her not inconsiderable influence to get the freshest of produce, so don't miss out.

MP3: Unitz - The Drop *web exclusive* (96k version, buy the album for real quality)


There's also the White Denim album, Dirty Projectors, Mae Shi, James Yuill new single, all that stuff we already told you about, remember? Coming soon though, Bestival best-of, to get us all in the mood, and Show Pony II- deadline 30th June, get your submissions in soooon.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Toddla T? Kindergarden K***!

So I got introduced to Toddla T's soundtape killin' mix a few months ago, and rinsed it on the iPod ever since. To absolute death. Now it sounds rather juvenile and unispired, making me wonder where all that excitement came from. Anyway, if you have a similar hollow patch of brain reserved for hiphop bashmenteering, you could do worse than fill it back up with this: men o' the moment Rustie and Hudson Mohawke (Hud Mo occasionally, also Heralds of Change) have put together a mix for Dazed Digital, and damn does it bang. Where Sheffield's favourite infant pushed the boundaries of taste as far back as possible, this Glaswegian pairing whip it right back into the future, glitching it to pieces to stunning effect. I was literally slack-jawed with excitement after each transition.. that drop at 4.59? And don't even talk to me about 11.01! Ridiculous, and leaves a sweet taste, unlike the sour tang of self-loathing the T inflicted. Now where can I get a tracklist...

MP3: Rustie and Hudson Mohawke - Drunk Mix (via Dazed Digital)


PS- Don't forget the Showpony deadline for the month is 30th June, send all material at 300 dpi to Whythankyou.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Golden Silvers

Only a very short post because I don't yet own any music to go sharing around- just click here to visit their Myspace, listen through the generous amount of songs on there, and patiently join the back of the queue to part with your hard earned.

In other news, White Denim's album is almost out, as is the new Flying Lotus. Essential.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Yuill be surprised

James Yuill has been around a little while but is starting to gather a bit of momentum. He's had two albums already, easiest found on iTunes- The Vanilla Disc, his 2005 acoustic debut, and Turning Down Water For Air, out in 2007 from which this single came. The second record jumps into lo-fi electronics, fleshing out his acoustic and sounding like a diligent user of the Postal Service Home Music Kit (Lite). Cruel comparison but inevitable; they're still joyful little melodies. Check out the last single below, and look for the Moshi Moshi signed July release "No Pins Allowed". He's playing at Latitude too.

MP3: James Yuill - No Surprises

Friday, 23 May 2008

Just Yes.

The pony bog has had a rather haughty, literarily suspicious tone of late, for which apologies are in order. No let-up lexically this time, but musically something far more concise: an oldie from Proxy, employing filthy DnB tactics in a familiar Ed Banger framework. We thought is was all over but apparently there's still some legs on it: push synths to their utmost grubbiness and voila, a genre is given a worthy swansong. Enjoy, hate, whatever yeah. Arrogant bastardation at its pinnacle. Disgusting bliss, as Chris Morris once said.

MP3: The Proxy - Dancing In The Dark


Ps: Watch Dancer In The Dark, the immense Bjork film by Lars Von Trier from which this song culls it's title. It will make you sob uncontrollably with tears of ecstatic pity.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Something In The Ice...

Most Pony readers are probably familiar with Sigur Ros, many with Múm, and some with Mugison. New to all but the most ardent of pleasure seekers will be Borko, another Reykjavik dwelling tunesmith deserving a share of the geographical limelight. He's released a 12 on Resonant, and has an album imminently available over here. It's been put together with help from Múm members, but has an atmosphere beyond their distilled beauty. There's a much more limited (read 'traditional') range of sounds but they're worked with a broader deftness- try out the tune below and make your way sharpish over to his Myspace to hear more. Its the way in which he's re-imagined the sound that defines his peers, and added new levels of energy without breaking the concise, tremblingly ornate mould that makes him irresistible. When there's an album that can be bought and kept for ever we'll shout it from the rooftops.

MP3: Borko - Shoo Ba Ba

PS: To keep up to date with other Icelandic flights of fancy, pop B-town Hit Parade in your bookmarks. OK, you can't understand the words, but trying to is fun, and the music is often excellent. There's something pure about not being able to understand why you're being told a song is good, but then liking it anyway. Isn't there? Surely there is.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Wayfarers Run Their Course

There's something inherently wrong about fads that carry over from one year to another. The initial peak of unity in irony, accompanied by a wry smile as you pass a fellow follower in the street, is replaced by the grim fact neither of you have moved on in 12 months, causing feelings of hollow failure. Perhaps. A little. Fact is, the return of Ray Ban wayfarers to our attention was a funny if lazy distraction last summer- now they just look like they should have a fake nose and tache attached. No wait, Topman, don't actually go make them... On girls they still look pretty fresh, especially the more subtle, oval curves like Giles Deacon's pair for New Look. Cheap and cute, making them fairly indispensable. For the discerning man however, cast your eyes above to Pony's pick. The top and bottom pair are by AM Eyewear, an Aussie brand that takes slick , mature styles and gives them a macho chunking up; in the middle are Tom Ford's genius Miami yachtsman staple. A natural progression from 80s city-boy Ray Bans to ex-pat Canary Island tax exile, right? The lanes are sure to be stacked with knock-off versions, as are H&M et. al; for the real deal, go to Bromptons opposite the Dorset.

Restlesslist Vs Cloud Cover

Woh, major buzz kill man.. this grey shroud can go straight back to Croydon where it belongs. Until the beach gets viable, why not enjoy some indoor sunshine, courtesy of Restlesslist. They're local dontchaknow, and make ridiculous, sublime, seasidey bursts of 3minute joy. Metronomy opened a small place in everyone's heart for some organ-led twiddle, and Restlesslist are here to build an extension- lots more rock oomph, more character, and more overall appeal, for me anyway. There's the single, below, and their myspace has some other tasters (ignore the shit video though). They're signed to LIE records (that's Life Is Easy, also local), and the album Rise and Fall of The Curtain Club came out in February. Maybe you saw them at their secret outdoor gig yesterday, or at their Great Escape show- I didn't, and can't wait for them to play the Hope, June 13th.

MP3: Restlesslist - Butlin Breaks


Friday, 9 May 2008

Art: Often Quite Good

There's a double bill of unmissable shows in Brighton, not often you can say that. Phoenix gallery has an excellent print show called Press & Release, with a huge volume of work and something inspiring for everyone. Quantity over quality but still extremely, um, rich, without meaning to sound like a smirking douche. Check.

Also just put up is the Modern Toss show at Ink_d, that mini gallery next to the tattoo place that you always wish you had the time/cajoles to actually look round. This time it's worth the detour, with a show dedicated to the local mischief makers running as part of Brighton Festival. There's a lifesize Alan, amongst other cocky delights.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


Apologies for the blog's rather static status recently, launch party distractions and abject laziness are lethal in combination. No matter, as normal momentum now resumes: first, with news of ATP's venture across the pond. ATP NY, an ideological homecoming of sorts given the origins of the name, looks rather more mature than the legendary Butlins parties they throw over here. Gone are the fibreglass dinosaurs that watch you eat and two-man chuckle brothers bikes, in favour of Kutsher's Country Club, boasting 18 holes of golf in the Catskills Mountains. The line-up, headed by My Bloody Valentine, is decidedly adult too, including Tortoise, Polvo, Low, Thurston Moore, Shellac, Wooden Shjips, Autolux... A concise strand of American Psych/Prog, no doubt ideal for those Manhattan dwellers able to stump up the $300+ tickets and accommodation bill. However, given the state of things financially, you can probably do it for around £400, including a few days shopping and SoHoing. Here's Shellac from a decade ago, reminding us that however hard you try, post-rock itself is amusingly unmarketable:

MP3: Shellac - Didn't We Deserve a Look At You the Way You Really Are
via Motel De Moka

Pony 1 released, Pony 2 in the stalls..

Well, Showpony One is out and about. If you didn't get a copy at the [frankly wonderful] launch last week they are now available in Resident, and the Grand Parade shop. Check out the photos here, you really are an attractive bunch when you make the effort! More to follow, from a professional snapper no less. Not ones to rest on our laurels, issue two is planned to drop before the end of term. The theme is D.I.Y., and we're accepting submissions before May 13th. Get involved: everything considered.

Monday, 21 April 2008

/// Showpony Launch Party ///

Showpony launches tomorrow night at Heist! 8pm for mag launch, bands at 10, and dancing til the early hours. Tickets are £4 including a copy of the magazine, on sale in Grand Parade foyer tomorrow and pon the door too. Come see what we're really made of... Check us on facebook here to find out more and RSVP. Pony UP!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Mewgatz @ The Sanctuary

I’m trying really hard to get into all this glitch-tronica. I’m pulling all my best entertained/deep-in-thought faces and buying what I think are all the right albums. But on closer inspection I think it might actually exist better as an abstract concept, or confined to the tastes of boys with thick rim glasses, than as a staple of my record collection.

Mewgatz, in the form I saw them, was a guy (sat down!) with various little instruments, toys (!) and pedals. I think he played guitar at one point. He sang very gently about dissatisfaction with artificial modern life (breaking new ground then) and being a bit of a moody bugger. There’s nothing wrong with that, but a bit of charisma never goes amiss. Some people might find him endearing, maybe even lovable. But personally I’ve got enough woes about my love affair with Microsoft windows without this guy chipping in.

Its sparseness felt more like an absence of some key ingredient (like chopped tomatoes?).

I would criticize the self-indulgence of only having one member (the other female counter-part was ill or mourning or the dog ate their key-tar or some other such made up excuse-unprofessional in my opinion) but I recently got into that new Crystal Castles album. Maybe that’s the problem; I feel saturated by pummeling electronica these days and unfortunately the minimal, disjointed tenderness of Mewgatz failed to make an impression on my fractured little mind.

For all their quirky instrumentation and happy-go-melancholy lyrics, I was just a bit bored. The whole audience was ultra quiet, and there was a cringe, rippling through the room like a Mexican wave when Ed (I’m not on first name terms, I just looked it up on MySpace) got out his fisher price spelling toys. I felt like I might be having more fun at home listening to Fourtet or musically masturbating myself on “garageband”.

Final verdict then: Good, not great. Nice venue though.

MP3: Mewgatz - Photocopy
OIB Records

Words: Jack Decie

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Camper than a Spiegeltent

Those not in 3rd year/ on roundabout routes through Brighton will be unaware of the Spiegeltent, a truly magnifi-tent (sorry) structure that jewelled Brighton Festival's crown for many years. Replaced in the last two by the ex-E4 upside-down cow thing, Udderbelly, we're proud of all involved to announce the Spiegel's return. It's a collapsible wooden tent with stained glass art-deco bar and an atmosphere that really doesn't compare to anything else. This year it'll be on the green outside St Peter's church, and amongst the usual prgramme of cabaret and folk is Hercules & Love Affair. Their super-hyped album release on DFA barely raised my eyebrow, but this could change things. The thought of seeing Anthony Heggarty (of he and his Jonsons fame) hip-swing through some smirky nu-disco while enjoying the second half of a bottle of merlot on a sticky May evening is supremely appealing. Listen to the song below, picture it... if it ain't working out you could always look out for Seth Lakeman, Los Albertos or Alice Russell gracing the creaky boudoir. Dates and details to follow.

MP3: Hercules & Love Affair - Hercules Theme

Full festival round-up nearer the time. Talking of which, Great Escape is soon, buy a ticket before the loan goes double figures.

Missing Inaction

Erk. Showpony blows a little, having failed to wield influence in getting Radar Bros. tickets. They may be indie shmindie of the Shins ilk, but song writing brilliance and a deft avoidance of cliche put them in a worthier bracket. Plus they are playing at the Marlborough Theatre, upstairs at Three and Ten on St James', the definition of tucked away and perfect for their cosy melodies. No time for tears; unless you've already got tickets you aren't going either, and if you are going, please please send the 'Pony some pictures/words after. Meantime, here's a mouthful off the last album Auditorium.

MP3: Radar Bros. - Warm Rising Sun


We're also late to these parties, though festivities are far from over: Firstly, White Denim, who narrowly got dropped from the SXSW post for being too well known. Tight times, and horribly unfair ones: their particular wave hasn't broken yet and we should all be there when it does. Rocking a breadth of influences as expansive as theirs is usually a turn-off, but they've made sloppy arhythmia, gravelly party vocals and sunkissed tie-dye melodies into a comprehensive turn-on. That's Hendrix-era tie-dye, not 90s glasto bucket-hat crusties. RIP them btw, not big Jay-z fans apparently. More likely they're just getting in their vans and heading somewhere European where the mud won't clog their mono-dread and the drugs are cheaper. Anyway. White Denim are from Austin TX, are 3 (men), and wear vests in a way that bisects irony. Listen to this and scan for the album, Workout Holiday, out June 23rd on Full Time Hobby:

MP3: White Denim - ShakeShakeShake

Another faction of the over-ripe glut are Man Man. Don't be scared if words like 'pirate' and 'gypsy' start poking out- they're just misunderstood, not dangerous. Gogol Bordello might have the Romany spotlight right now, but if their ragged swagger has run into novelty for you then here's a solution. This lot've been around for two albums already, and have both long term potential and immediate punch. They meld jaunty, fiddly merriment into something comfortingly recognisable, approaching the predictability of Wolf Parade for moments before jumping back aboard their rummy rock schooner. Album Rabbit Habits is out now on Anti-, and they play Cargo [<-- scroll down for tickets + details] on May 13th.

MP3: Man Man - Top Drawer


Thursday, 10 April 2008

WMC Miami? Meh.

Well, Miami happened, it's a global launchpad for the summer's big dance tunes. Yeah, exactly. There's better tunes to be found than those you'll hear coming out of some kids mobile on the bus come August, and there's a reassuring gap between them and the mainstream. In the hope of offering something interesting and a bit progressive in the face of dance music's rather tragic, slow-motion death scene, here's a mix of stuff that you might not otherwise hear. Glitchy bay-area hip hop, crispy bassline stuff and some dubstep pleasancy, optimistically rammed together. Most tunes were bought at Juno Download, with others coming from XLR8R's excellent MP3 section, and more from Curb Crawlers, an island of delights in the post-electro wasteland that is blogsville. Tracklist is below, obivously. Apparently some people like dancing aswell as chin stroking, so next week brings a mix from the gurnier side.

MP3 - High Horse Mix


Powell – Dimension X
Kelpe – Shipwreck Glue
Ooah – Stomp The Yard
Portishead – Machine Gun
Robert Logan – Grinder
Digital Filth – How It Is
Deadbeat – The Heckler
Justin Martin – The Fugitive
KiNK – Badman (The Bulgarian mix)
Secret Agent Gel – Booker
Sharps – Night Work
T + + - Allied
Ikonika – Please
Innerling – Intercom
Zomby – The Lie
Aaron Spectre – Music Is The Weapon
Modeselektor – Raveanthem (UPS edit)
King Tubby – Rock On Time Dub


Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Holy Fuck- Feedback

Holy Fuck know what they want, and how to get it. Eeking steady, driving drones from a rotating cast of electronics, they are a band with tight collective understanding. Every track starts nowhere and ends everywhere, with constant, meticulous growth. Nothing is wasted and nothing goes too far; predictable the cacophonous endings may be but never disappointing. It's no mean feat turning fully live electronics, especially with a human rhythm section, into something danceable and rigid. Too often the shifts from regularity can grate and kill the momentum; no such problems here, their organic synth jams and tight pulses driving a dense symphony. The use of multiple keyboards and sound generators stayed within the bounds of practicality, without turning into a gimmick. Only the appearance of a melodica, for some reason an "Alt band" staple at the moment, begged to differ. A 16mm film score editing machine took centre stage, an analogue soundtrack tape being pulled through it to make haunting, slow wails or sharp, jerky warbles. This typified the performance- mastery of machinery, for sound not show. If you get a chance, take it- they'll tweek a right party out of you.

PS- Video link to follow when I can extract it from my hard-ball playing camera. Click the photos above to make 'em big.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Efterklang / Holy Fuck, live and local

Efterklang are back in Brighton, hurrah! Most of their fans probably caught them when they played a couple of months ago, but the gig was delayed and then cut a little short on the night I'm told. This time the promoters have a super-special late opening from Pressure Point this Thursday, so no-one has to go home until they've completely had their fill of powerful Danish wonderment. Tickets were still going (just) yesterday at Resident, pop on down. It's a tenner but heh, the loan has to go somewhere. Support is rather cheekily from Our Broken Garden, comprised of Efterklang band members. The latest album Parades (available here) is emphaticly beautiful. Compared to American beauty merchants like Explosions In The Sky they have the advantage of a Scandinavian sensibility- less washy, epic guitars, more lump-in-throat clarity. If that weren't enough, get your ears round this, check out more on their download page, buy their stripped-back earlier EPs and watch this live video. Oh, and you can buy tickets here if you're quick, 10 left at time of writing.

Mp3: Efterklang - Cutting Ice To Snow

PS- Efterklang means 'reverb' in Danish. Bet you'll never find a time to bring that up.


Also in town are Holy Fuck, next Monday at Digital. All round super-promoters Lout are the first to scoop them, hats off. They're Canadianly reticent (no vocals, in a good way) and tread a nice line between experimental and 'proper band'. It's hard to describe the elements that make up their sound without making them sound like an over-egged disaster-toy samples, drum machines, large chords- this is very unfair on them, and perhaps a reason the press were a little luke-warm. Trust though, buy it, you'll listen to it loads, end of. Tickets available here, live clip here, song below, shake it all about..

MP3: Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen

All for now. Show Pony as in, like, the printed magazine and everything, is coming out real soon. This space is already blushing cos you're watching it so much...

Thursday, 27 March 2008

WXSW: Bristol's (gentle) return

Bristol's been in hiding for the last decade or so. The trip-hop and drum'n'bass' heyday is a distant memory. Massive Attack popped out an album since, toured it and slunk back into hiding before anyone's curiosity wore off; by the time we collectively went "oh, that's actually pretty weak" they were safely back in whatever bar it is they run now counting pennies. All hail, then, the return of Portishead.

Massive Attack were basically not relevant any more- their sound had no bearing in the musical world it dropped into, rather like the Prodigy's Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned. Portishead however have managed to carry on their signature atmospheres in a way that not only makes sense today, but actually pushes things forward. Single Machine Gun, downloadable below, sounds a bit like the mass-appropriating Various Production, in its references to paranoid dubstep sparsity, a natural progression of Portishead's THC infused night rattle. Most importantly though, they still have that unidentifiable knack for turning hollow, uncomfortable sounds into something far beyond the sum of its parts. The album, called Third, drops April 28th. I'm only posting this song for free cos I know you'll go out and buy the LP, yes..

MP3: Portishead - Machine Gun


Continuing the Bristol theme: another absentee from the SXSW feature was Fuck Buttons (pictured above), mainly because I'm a pussy. Anyone looking for something satisfying in a post-Battles time of high expectations and open minds though need look no further- where Foals went lite (and should never really have been compared anyway), the Fuck Buttons hold their deconstructive ground. They really are an album band, so take a wallow in this blissful drone snippet then go check out Street Horrrsing on ATP records.

MP3: Fuck Buttons - Sweet Love For Planet Earth


There's a swathe of artists just below the mainstream in Bristol, all sustained by the city's self sufficient gig circuit and refreshingly unambitious ethos. Multi-instrumentalist SJ Esau may be signed to internation label Anticon but Bristol remains his home, physically and musically. Show Pony asked him firstly, what's his opinion of Bristols insular nature, and is it a bad thing?

I’m not really sure. I certainly think that some of the bands / artists
from around here should be getting to more ears but I can’t really imagine
them (the ones I like anyway) getting too much attention from the NME etc.
I’m no expert on this sort of thing though. There are hundreds of bands
here and I’ve only heard a tiny percentage but some very enthusiastic
promoters and a bunch of excellent artists and bands keep things very

•If you had to pick a few, whose music are you enjoying from Bristol at the

Off the top of my head – Twocsinak, Safetyword, North Sea Navigator,
Knowledge Of Bugs, Lacuna, Bronnt Industries Kapital, You & The Atom Bomb,
Gravenhurst, Manyfingers, Matt Elliott, Team Brick. I haven’t been going to
many gigs recently so I guess I’ve got some catching up to do.

•Boomkat called your Anticon signing 'brave', which got me thinking- do you
ever picture who's going to be listening to your music? With a larger
audience for it, and being rather personal in nature, has this consciously changed how you approach making music.

It’s best for me not to think about it (though not always easy). It’s
probably quite an easy trap to fall into, to start trying to please the
people who are going to be buying the records but that’s just going to get
in the way in the end. To be honest, it’s something I’ve been struggling
with a bit because I’m recording the next pile of stuff at the moment and
sometimes I find myself thinking “Some people REALLY wont like this” but
fuck it, I’m just carrying on as I was before and some people liked that

•If you had to write a song about your day so far, what would it's title be,
and what instrument would it be played on?

It would be called Procrastination Expert and it would be played on several
cups of tea.

There's loads of downloads on SJ's site here. The album Wrong Faced Cat Feed Collapse came out on Anticon last year. This track is a collaboration with lablemate-du-jour WHY?:

MP3: SJ Esau - Note

Lethal Brizzle may be stoned a lot of the time, but when things get done, they're pretty damn good. A Brighton feature is in the pipeline, so keep em peeled, and send us suggestions of local treats we might be missing.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Project Jenny, Project Jan (SXSW Reprise)

It was inevitable that someone would slip through the net when I put together that top ten, and embarrassingly it was this fine duo. Project Jenny, Project Jan are from, wait for it, Brooklyn, but blow their artsy boho contemporaries out the water. They recently played with neighbours Vampire Weekend, and put on a joyously loose live show, like Hot Chip with the rod extracted from their backside... The song below is painfully infectious, and you sound like a special case trying to sing along, but screw your dignity, it's worth it. Head to their site and listen to Train Track too, its even better. The album's out now (buy here), and keep an eye on their myspace in case they plan to enlighten our shores anytime soon. Go on now, get ridiculous..

MP3: Project Jenny, Project Jan - 320

Quick bit of news- Efterklang are back in town at the Pressure Point on April 4th, more to follow but get tickets quick!

Monday, 24 March 2008

SXSW gets a round up

You're probably aware of the Texan industry frenzy that is SXSW. Every year thousands queue in the street to miss their favourite bands, while down the street next year's biggest thing plays to three cowboys under a hail of plastic pint cups. Glad I saved myself the trouble of actually being there (ish).. Handily most of the line-up post a song on the website's time table to help people pick what gigs they go to, so I've scoured the entire line-up for things worth knowing. All of it, indiscriminately, in case a Mexican opener turned out to be The Big Find. That's a lot of watching loading bars creep across the screen, and a whole load of press releases. What did we learn?

• That every band has a friend with a 10mp camera and Photoshop, so every band photo can look as similar as possible- you know the look, super-smooth skin that's made to look a bit green (example above)

•Bands with shit names are nearly all shit (see above: The Dexateens)

• That nearly everyone in Brooklyn makes pretty good music. Seriously, something in the water.

•That the best bands don't write a press statement. Those that do, especially those listing "Bowie, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem" as their influences, suck beyond belief.

•That those who can, beard. Those who can't, fringe. (as above. again. sorry Dexateens but you really are the purest of average).

88 promising acts became 30 became 16 and finally, my top 10 here. They're all here because they're interesting and stood out- there were bigger bands who you've probably heard of already, and smaller bands who might well be awesome if you like Norwegian metal, but these are the ones that fit the Show Pony's hard line on sheer goodness. Hit the links, there's YouTube footage from the festival wherever possible. Nuff talking, peruse these lot:

Dr. Dog - The Girl mp3
myspace // Youtube: Live at SXSW

Grand Ole Party - Look Out Young Son mp3
myspace // YouTube: Live at Fiesta Del Sol

High Places - Shared Islands mp3
myspace // YouTube: Live with projections by David Horvitz

Jay Reatard - Hammer I Miss You mp3
myspace // YouTube: Live at SXSW

Slaraffenland - Polaroids mp3
myspace // YouTube: Live at Roskilde (very good)

TheDeathSet - Negative Thinking mp3

The War Against Sleep - Blippity Bloop mp3

White Williams - Going Down mp3
myspace //YouTube: Live at SXSW

Woods - Be Still mp3

YACHT - See A Penny (Pick It Up) mp3
YouTube: Live at SXSW

So there we have it. Hopes you likes: next up, Miami WMC, and summer term preview fun.

Friday, 29 February 2008

Friday Friday

Quick notes on the fun ahead:

Radioactiveman at Concorde this Saturday. Coming out of fellow Lone Swordsman Andrew Weatherall's shadow, there should be plenty enough analog electro to go round. Also on Saturday, DatA plays water margin for a meagre fiver. Old vs new school electro then, if you're not still reeling from our party on Wednesday..

MP3: Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot (DatA remix)

MGMT (pictured) reach our shores finally on Monday. Hotly tipped, and from the same Brooklyn stable as Yeasayer, the gruesome twosome is not to be missed. See if you believe the internet babble- try the taster too:

MP3: MGMT - Time To Pretend

Listings for the rest of the week on Monday.

Check the 'Pony facebook for photos from Wednesday's pack-out party btw, a right treat it was...

Monday, 25 February 2008

Show Pony Gymkhana!

It's all true. Show Pony are going live, with bands, DJs and prancy antics, this Wednesday night at Funky Buddha. Editorial lovelies are selling tickets in the foyer today/tomorrow/wednesday, get down fast cos it's not the biggest place in the world. The line-up keeps shifting for the better, check back here for updates. Suffice to say it'll be ridiculous to miss out: there's a pinata. Tickets are the usual £5 for two, £3 lonely folk.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Great Escape news

The annual weekend away for Londoners (presumably the reason for the name?) is actually looking pretty good this year. For those of us living around Brighton it's rarely seemed worth it, being held in venues that we visit anyway and with only a handful of decent headliners, resulting in huge queues for bands the majority of ticketholders wanted to see. This year though the line-up's better than ever, and spread across the board. Wombats, Joe Lean et. al and the Teenagers should soak up a lot of the crowds, leaving everyone else time to catch some of these highlights:

Superlative rock sense from Secretly Canadian's reliable roster. January's second album moved them on from acute rock standards to more atmospheric, all engrossing waves of rock essence. Tongue out or tongue in cheek? No matter, make sure not to miss them. They'll be at ATP too, so watch out for some London gigs around that time. Enjoy Tyrants in the meantime:

Too many touch-stones to mention, and at times the all encompassing mush starts to grate but this is one of their finer moments. Should be a breath of fresh air live too, with not a Lyle+Scott jumper in sight! 

Tidy femme fourpiece from London. Don't let the fringes put you off, they're crisp as a well starched collar and having supported The Liars and Siouxsie Sioux, have the pedigree to prove it. Watch their video for Harmonise here:

Both semi-mainstream these days, and both still a big reason to part with some hard-earned. Tunng's third album, though fired off fast, went to prove folking around with new and old can have true longevity when done with such craft and excitement, something the Adem's of this world are now lacking. By contrast, trad-folk and proud, Iron and Wine are still making delectably morose songs, teetering between joy and despair with the composure of old masters. Watch some tour footage on PlayedLastNight for further proof. 

Video Podcast-Tunng Videos and animated joy

It's hard to know what to make of Monobright, most of their information being in Japanese- if I'm going to watch stompy danceable indie joyfaces though, this is exactly the form I want it in. A bit Dungen-y in the vocals, a bit Mustang Sally, a bit wrong.. check their video here, and follow the links to more. See you down the front, poloshirted, pogoing and utterly bemused.. 

From the first bar you know you're in love, or at risk of changing teams.. The less than saccharine nature of the lyrics, impeccable delivery and casually off-kilter back track make you realise just how unattractive faux-Essex Kate Nashery really is. Who wants estuary bitching when you can be beaten down by a viper-tongued Parisian chanteuse? It's insipid, it's daft, and it's superb. 

What a way to finish. Awesomness oozes from this noisy rabble like jam from a donut. No matter how you're feeling they will make forget, forgive, and embrace your uncertain future. Not bad for a Brooklyn fourpiece, who can be caught at the ICA on March 6th for those too impatient to wait. Download this, then go buy the album. 

So ends our personal highlights: check the full line-up here for more information, and buy your tickets in Resident, they deserve the support. If you're there, take photos, write things afterwards, and send them to us. Just, beautiful. 

Friday, 15 February 2008

Friday Premonitions

New feature! Friday seems a good day to give you a guide to the week/end ahead gig and other wise, so that's exactly what we'll do. Good'uns will then get reviewed and posted about the following Thursday. Most of the time. No-one's perfect.

Tonight is Kode9 + the Mystikz at Concorde2, Super Dubpressure stylings and all that goes with it. Wobble along to future bangers, then watch T4 with the subtitles on cos your ears have gone to mush. Competition is from Born Bad, Komedia's sweaty tribute to rock'n'roll from a time when that meant something. Equally good in opposite ways, and makes crystal castles seem the rather damp, forgettable option- no offence but don't put yourself down: unlike yesterday, you can do better.

Saturday's Kissy Sell Out (@Digital) vs. Adam Freeland + Evil9 at Concorde. Compare notes by listening to Kissy's podcast here, and checking out the Marine Parade label site's podcast here. I'll be doing the mailing list at Concorde, so giz a wave if you make it. Another hard choice and both over a tenner for mortals, so maybe it's another houseparty for most...

Next week sees Cazals at the Barfly on Monday, with support from Cut Off Your Hands (check their video for Still Fond here). Not everyone's cup of tea, but bound to be a lively knees-up at least. For a quieter evening, try the British Animation Awards tour in the Sallis Benney- it's on Sunday and Monday evening, and should be packed with goodness: for a sample, there's a clip of Best Student Film nominee Milk Teeth here, and Best Comedy nominee Cat Man Do here.

Tuesday sees Cut Copy at Digital. Last time they played the gig got moved at the last minute, an impressive convoy of fans trudging through town to Ocean Rooms to finally catch them around midnight. Slicker, bigger tour this time and a new album to plug (In Ghost Colours). You can download a shiny happy taster here:

Cut Copy : Lights and Music (Original Mix)

Or visit their site.

On Thursday you can pay £20 to see Mark Ronson at the Dome. God knows what that gets you- presumably he can't round up even half the vocalists off that last album which leaves you watching.. a DJ set? Lord help us.

Not the hottest week in the world, true, but check back tomorrow for the longer range forecast: there's plenty to get excited about in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Kenneth Ishak at The Hope

As well as covering the cultural output of Brighton students, anything on the periphery that deserves a shout will get just that. Anyone organising/playing in/ doodling the flyer for a gig, please get in touch and we'll sort you some coverage.

Kenneth Ishak sounds a bit like a Norwegian Ben Gibbard (Death Cab, Postal Service), which is surely a good starting point. His pop balladry draws closer the comparison, albeit with a frosty melancholy seemingly exclusive to Scandinavians. Shimmery goodness, and perfect for those hungover from Audio on Monday night (more on this later). Support is from the jangly, earnest and utterly American Champ Of The Day, and Man Ray Sky, the more promising (and local) warmer upper. Get down early for Cups also- Doors 7.30, on Feb 7th.

Thursday, 24 January 2008


Show Pony Feedbag is live. And coming soon.