Making Music

Posted 15th June 2021

Gigs might not be back yet, but the music-making is continuing in earnest for MK’s creatives. Here’s a look at some of the recent releases breaking out through the concrete…

The Broadway Twisters have a tasty new album for you to wrap your ears around. Well, when we say new, it is and it isn’t. ‘South By South West 2’ was set for release last April, “…but Covid knackered that,” says guitarist/vocalist Adrian Stranik.

So, while this debut album has been on a soft release since September, the CD version is fresh to the racks just now. 

There’s an album worth of decent songs here (and fans of the Urban Voodoo Machine will be thrilled to find a cover of Cheers For the Tears among them), but what gives them the added edge is the delivery; it’s all swagger and sensational execution in this rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll fusion.

Adrian and his brother in noise, bassist/vocalist Bill Mann call their output ‘swamp-rockin’, garage-a-billy, country-trash’.

There’s an urgency in these tracks, and you can almost feel the sweat beads forming in the studio where this was created. 

In their years together The Broadway Twisters have supported Tex-Mex types Los Pacaminos, and stage-shared with artists including Shonen Knife, John Otway and The New York Dolls’ Steve Conte. They entertained at Muse’s end of Drone tour party in the capital, and pre-covid they featured on Urban Voodoo Machine’s covers album, Friends and Family, which saw them on plastic alongside the legend that is Wilco Johnson.

They might not be able to twang in public right now (that sounds rather rude, does that), but they can still entertain you if you take a copy of ‘South By South West 2’, and do it you should. 

If only to hear the only rockabilly-tinged track you’ve ever heard about CMK (‘Probably North 10th Street’) which also features a cracking organ accompaniment by Long John.

Who will this album appeal to? “Aficionados of quality and distinction,” promises Adrian, “And anyone with any self respect.”

‘If Eddie Cochran had read Jack Kerouac whilst experimenting with LSD…’ said our pals from New Boots, which is a fine summary. If you like the sound of that, and still like to feel the needle hitting the groove, then take your copy on the strictly limited edition, very tasty looking ‘beelzebub red’ vinyl. CD copies are steal at nine quid a pop.

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Our Man in the Bronze Age bassist Andi Jackson spent lockdown making new noises and his studio time has paid dividends with the release of a second solo album, Sub Horror.

The multi-instrumentalist has a busy mind, and he’s poured his musicality into this sterling new release, which is noisy, naughty and very nice.

‘Overall the album has an immersive, hypnotic quality throughout; each track playing its part perfectly, by drawing you into Sub Horror’s groove towards a more focused unknown, the album is shot through with a generous helping of free spirited explorative swagger, but stopping just short of losing itself into the vortex of over thought bewildering avant-garde,’ declares the accompanying press bumf.

That swagger is evident on Living Dead, a sax-y, frantic bass fusion, and the bass bites down hard again in the instrumental number Substantial Horror.

This release really is something to get excited about.

Sub Horror is out on the DIY Fr33zehead label formed by Jackson and fellow former MK dweller Beanie Bhebhe.

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Friend of Pulse Music Rise Bailey Rise has a couple of new tracks to dig into, starting with ‘Not Like the Other Ones’, which is out now.

“It’s my song for the misfits, of which I include myself,” Rich Patmore, the man behind the release, told us, “It’s ok to be not like the other ones. Let’s stop wasting energy on hate and be excellent to each other…”

Keep your ears open for remixes by Steve from Sir-Vere: “I’m pleased that Steve has found some time ahead of the release of the new Sir-Vere album to add his very own ‘uplifting filth’ to my track,”. Also tackling remixes, house DJ and Tahanan founder Lee Clarke. Back when MK had a decent nightlife, Lee was on the decks at promos including Ultra Vegas and Coco Loco. Heady times and sunnier climes.

Fans of Sohn and Low Anthem might be partial to this delivery, whereas those of you who enjoy a bit of Coombes and co. should find something to enjoy in the Supergrass-esque ‘Unexploded’, a slice of guitar-fuelled indie-rock finery out at the end of May.

Recorded remotely during lockdown, Rich called on respected MK players Andy Hunt (bass and additional synth), Alex Wesley (additional guitar) and Caedmon Salter (drums) to play on the track. 

As for the supporting vocals? Rich kept costs low by roping in his kids!

“I first started this idea back in 2011 when I read an article in Wired magazine about all the unexploded WWII bombs they find around London when digging foundations,” Rich said, “I happened to be sitting in an apartment in Istanbul when I read the article, so it always stuck in my mind. I then took various phrases and imagery related to the title and gave it a more emotional spin.

“My favourite line is ‘I think the oxytocin just kicked in.”

> Have a listen:

Earlier this month Simon Turner & Associates dropped the ‘Crisis of Confidence EP’, a charity fundraiser issued to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.

Musician and photographer Simon (who plays the bass strings with Jonny & The Mental Breakdowns) has battled depression and anxiety, and this release is him giving back to those that supported him during the difficult times – by swelling the coffers for the mental health charity Mind.

In 2017 he delivered the Top of the Punks compilation for the same worthy cause.

This three track EP features reworked songs originating from demos recorded way back in 2003. Simon says it was a cathartic act of therapy as much as it was an artist venture,
“…undertaken at a time of great personal change, self analysis and of course isolation.

“The intention was always to make good on a promise I had made to myself,” Simon said.

“I have watched and often helped many good friends front their own projects and have been astounded by their ability and confidence to do so. I never thought I could summon the will to do it myself,” he says, “It took every ounce of confidence I could find and the love and support of my friends.”

Catchier than Covid, but with only positive symptoms, opening track ‘Nova Scotia’ was arranged, produced and mixed by drummer and percussionist Ben Gordelier, who works with The Moons and The Modfather, Weller. Northampton-based big band Jazz Colossus bring the brass.

‘Don’t Stop Your Heart (From Beating)’ has a chorus that you’ll be humming days after meeting its acquaintance (we were), and we found ourselves adding poor harmonies to the reimagining of the Nat King Cole classic ‘Unforgettable’. Remember Manson? 

This evokes memories of them rather than the US pianist and singer past. A clever cover, nicely played with.

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