Archive | June, 2013

Looking Back: No Trend

26 Jun

No Trend: the post-punk band that redefined rebelliousness. Emerging through the hardcore punk scene in Washington DC during the 1980’s, these guys were quickly rejected by the punk clique for their noisey, brash nature. Even punks can be conventional. Whereas many artists will seek to make live gigs as pleasurable an aesthetic (and thereby conformist) experience for the audience as possible, No Trend did exactly the opposite; allegedly once putting runway lights at the front of the stage for a gig. Most of their songs are unpredictable, raucous bundles of noise.

The history of various members is still elusive to this day, but No Trend was one with the spirit of true anarchy, questioning and scrutinizing every tiny detail about society.  They never sought acceptance, even from the punk scene that first made their name. In ‘Teen Love’ – their most popular song – they narrate the life and death of two teenage lovers, depicting every element of teenage years ‘He had a stylized speech pattern/She used all the newest slang‘  before going on to describe how the couple are brutally killed in a car accident ‘They never got a chance to fulfill their “career dreams”.’ In ‘Too Many Humans’, only three sentences are screamed throughout the entire song: ‘Too many fucking humans/You breed like rats/And you’re no f*****g better“.

Record companies didn’t want to work with them; indeed their final LP ‘More’, released in 2001, took fourteen years before a record company (albeit a small, indie one, Morpheus Archives) would touch it. No Trend couldn’t care if people wanted to listen to them or not, they played anyway.

Listen here: http://grooveshark.com/playlist/No+Trend+Various/87955098

Copyright disclaimer: The editor(s) of Crash Music blog do not own rights to any images or media shared. Content is shared out of mutual admiration and not distributed for financially profitable purposes. The owners and/or license-holders can request removal at any time. Contact info here.

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New Release: Jon Hopkins – ‘Immunity’

13 Jun

Having previously worked with a wealth of artists and producers (Brian Eno, Imogen Heap and Four Tet, to name a few) in theory ‘Immunity’ is Jon Hopkins’ fifth studio album. After earlier albums failed to receive critical acclaim, the record is somewhat of a wildcard for the master composer; but thankfully it shows the classically-trained musician at the very peak of this game.

The album starts off with synth-based percussion that lunges knee-deep into techno-crafted melodies with ‘We Disappear’. The pace slows somewhat for ‘Open Eye Collider’ – arguably one of the best songs – as Hopkins draws you into with its rattle-snake beat before attacking with grimey dub-base lines.

Despite his rising status as a house DJ, Hopkins never veers far from his pianist-background (he once paid his way through entering piano competitions). ‘Abandon window’ is an elegy to human emotion, featuring hauntingly beautiful piano compositions that offer brief repose from heavy beats. The pace quickens again with ‘Form by Firelight’ and I couldn’t help but detect a little reggae-influence in the base-line. ‘Sun Harmonics’ is a fitting contender for Summer soundtracks, invoking female vocals and harmonic beats, while the closing track ‘Immunity’ (featuring King Creosote) sees Hopkins return back to piano melodies.

Somehow I think the only way the experience of listening to ‘Immunity’ could be bettered is by seeing Jon Hopkins live; fitting, since he has a string of live dates planned all over Europe this Summer.

You can listen to the full album here (on Grooveshark).

Copyright disclaimer: The editor(s) of Crash Music blog do not own rights to any images or media shared. Content is shared out of mutual admiration and not distributed for financially profitable purposes. The owners and/or license-holders can request removal at any time. Contact info here.