30 June, 2007

Britain's latest Rapping Talent

Before Plan B came along you wouldn't have thought it possible to lay down a quality hip hop tune over the top of nothing but an acoustic guitar. Bringing rap down to its bones, he pledged that it didn't always have to be about complex, over the top beat structures- rather simple, traditional foundations usually produced the best music. In similar fashion, fellow white UK rapper, Shameless experiments with delicate guitar picks, sometimes even an entire backing band - his very own "PaddyRagga band", in producing his rapping delights.

Forthcoming debut album "Smokers Die Younger", comes with a stern warning. Indeed the album is packed full of messages and (a little cliched) tales of life in the gritty urban arena of East London [a victim of his own environment], [they came back with knives]. Though void of any engineering originality this is a guy with a dynamic voice and some tunes to boot.


You Gunna Want Me - Tiga

To sum up Tiga. He owns his own record store, his own record label, has worked with a host of artists including the Scissor Sisters, is widely known for his remixes and released his debut album, Sexor last year. He's a singing/songwriting, electro pioneering producer and remixer. Oh and he's Canadian if case you're wondering.

But for an artist so involved within the music scene, Tiga is no household name. His first solo LP snaked through the music press, never really coming under the spotlight, and consequently sold only modestly.

With his status as an electro solo pop artist, comparisons will inevitably be drawn to Calvin Harris. But while Tiga's dirty yet slick brand of electro dance is easily digestible, it doesn't have the mainstream stamp of a Harris production. Every song on Calvin Harris album has the potential to be a chart success, though only a handful of songs on Sexor possess this mass appeal formula.

That's not to say Tiga's in anyway inferior. You Gunna Want Me with its driving bass line, relentless beat and very effeminate vocals, oozes with sensuality and The Ballad of the Sexor rivals New Order, with its zapping snyth, echoing lyrics and simple rhythm.

Tiga's talents belong in the clubs rather than the waves of mainstream radio. Nonetheless he's a quality pop act through and through.


28 June, 2007

I think i miss my metro - The Wombats

I don't care if you've heard of The Wombats. If you like them, if you hate them. That is to say if you could - which you can't - as, like their furry counterparts, they're too cute and cuddly to possibly render infavourable thoughts about them. So whatever you've heard of the liverpool threesome, forget it because i'm going to tell you about them.

They are delightful, sweet, crisp and wonderful. Never has twee been so acceptable than in the pop masterpieces of The Wombats. If I sound like a moron singing along to [carrots make you see better in the dark], shoot me, I'll sing along to anything with a wombats melody.

Too many blogs try so hard to reach out to the darkest regions of the internet to bring you something different - the latest remix by some obscure DJ of some little known indie tune. You don't need that. What you need in your life is The Wombats. They deal with simplicities, everyday trivial affairs, songs about youthood innocence and shamelessly exploit our love of things bright and cheerful. Is it so wrong these days for an artist to put a smile on your face? These guys will, and leave it on there for weeks.


27 June, 2007

Quirky pop - Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man

They're still working on some proper recordings, a functional website and have only just played their first ever festival in Glasto but Ox.Eagle have already won me over. Having heard good things about Les Incompetents - the now dissolved band- that bore at least two of the members of Ox.Eagle. I thought I'd check out this new band on the Camden Crawl back in April and I think its fair to say they left their mark on me.

Lead singer Fred's incredibly distinctive and well pronounced vocals dominate while compelling you - forcing you, to sing along. You'll find yourself singing along to some pretty out there stuff too. There's no tales of drunken nights out or first kisses in the Ox.Eagle camp. Cynicism, pessimism and megalomania all play a part in the ox.eagle tales, [we're all just hypocrites waiting to happen], [money doesn't buy you friendship but it can sure as hell buy you friends].

But while the lyrical content is anything but light and bubbly its easy to take on the chin and instead appreciate the simple yet absorbing melodies and calculated use of effects and synth. The songs are in need of a bit of a polish, but this is early and very promising stuff.


Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man - I am the Future
Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man - A Matter of Timing and Skill

25 June, 2007

With lashings of sex appeal...

If sex sells then I can't understand why The Whip - the sexiest thing to ever hail from Manchester - are still unsigned. They're so hot I'd snap up their signatures in a flash.

Thats not to say the haven't released any material yet. They've already worked with the highly fashionable french electro label Kitsune, to produce latest single, the incredibly seductive rave/dance anthem Divebomb.

The only fears I have with The Whip are that they are going to be associated with the whole rave fad thats apparently sweeping across the world. What started off as a joke by one of the Klaxons has turned into this obsession with all things bright and synth. Every week a new band is declared to be riding the crest of this wave.

But The Whip's popularity doesn't come from their brightly coloured attire. They are the first band to actually produce music that you could call rave. And they do it well.

"Trash" is a masterclass in electro rock pop. A conglomeration of electro samples, simple guitar picks, thudding bass lines and provocative lyrics [I wanna be trash] - it delivers a deliciously sounding pop hit.

Lyrics hold a peripheral role in the Whip's constructions - indeed the band prove they're anything but essential in Divebomb. An Atlantis to Interzone esque sound sample is supported by a sprinkling of keyboard notes and a relentless bass drum to create a tune thats as addictive as it is powerful. Its the first single they've released since they've really come into the limelight, so expect to be hearing it around.

I first saw the whip supporting touring with the Sunshine Underground, where a support slot really didn't do them justice. They've have however just played at Glastonbury and have a hectic summer touring all the UK festivals so be sure to catch them.


The Whip - Trash
The Whip - Muzzle no 1

23 June, 2007

Standing up for good pop - Air Traffic

If there's one direction NME has been heading over the past couple of years its down. Gone are its days of ruthless independant journalism and music criticism. What we're left with is a gossipy magazine that follows round the week's latest flavour. "We once flew a model helicopter around one of a gig's venues!" pips the lead singer of Hadouken!, on page three of the weekly music magazine.

But while bands - whose fame rest heavily on the supply of glow sticks to the hands of 14 year old kids around the country - receive full backing, Air Traffic, a band with an actual career in music ahead of them, aren't "cool" enough.

Once again its the whole -"I could see this type of person liking this band so I better stay well clear to maintain my credibility". The poor band haven't even got an album out yet but their already being dubbed as the next mum band, following on from the success of bands like Snow Patrol.

But while they do label themselves as a piano led indie band, their songs still maintain an air of rockiness about them. First single Charlotte, which just about crept into the UK top 40 - at 33, has the potential to be a slow burning indie dance floor classic. Void of the deadly keys of a piano its almost frantic pace just stays above chaotic to deliver a indie pop gem. Pianos take a back seat and don't obstruct the pace of the record like in Just Abuse Me - and even when they do feature prominently like new single shooting star, its still an excitable affair. Shooting Star is probably a better reflection of the album, rather than the sheer velocity of charlotte; its strengths are instead drawn from its winding vocal melodies spun on a warming piano score.

I caught up with Air Traffic at the Colchester Art Centre

“This has never happened before!” declares frontman Chris while holding his broken keyboard pedal just minutes into the band’s performance at the Colchester Arts Centre.

It was a problem that proved haunting for the Bournemouth born singer. While the majority teenage fans were more than happy to make do and enjoy the show , Chris – frustrated and clearly dissatisfied with the help received from the stage crew – regularly undermined the band’s performance with his exasperated outcrys and constant apologies to the audience.

But technical difficulties and bad moods couldn’t hide the talent of the upcoming indie foursome.

Early material such as the independently released “Just Abuse Me” were hungrily devoured by the animated traffic enthusiasts, while new tracks from the bands forthcoming debut LP “Fractured Life” rang with an air of familiarity, owing much to the band’s hectic touring schedule.

Before finishing on new single Shooting Star, fans were treated to a special extended version of charlotte. Booming bass drumming and some frantic rifts brought the night to a well executed closure.

The fact that the band were so well received on a toubled night only pays testimony to the indie rockers' potential.


The Pop Register is Born

Welcome to Pop Register, an unbiased, unpretentious and above all honest report of new music.

Pop Register doesn't believe that pop music should be rejected by music enthusiasts. We believe it can be as inspiring and artistically credible as any other music out there today. The great paradox with pop is that its often rejected by music fans because it IS appealing.

But pop isn't always about selling out, dumbing down and hitting the masses. Not all pop groups value consumership over art. Forget the stigma - pop music is about making fun, accessible and catchy music. There are countless bands doing just this today. Here are a few....