Sunday 31 May 2015


Stillhound are a Scottish four piece whose debut track Seethe Unseen is an electronic pop marvel that I can't stop playing at the moment. In parts New Order, with bits of the Pet Shop Boys circa Introspective popping up now and again, Seethe Unseen  is an absolute cracker. Listen below and also have a look at the video which beautifully compliments the track.

Check out the band's Facebook page ( for more info and go and sign up at their site too ( )

Seethe Unseen sounds a lot like the start of something very special indeed.

Stillhound Twitter

Thursday 21 May 2015


Glasgow duo Very Very Small Inclusions produce quite wonderful music that draws influences from many genres including electronic music, ambient music, post rock and many more. The many different styles come together to superb effect on their debut album Dispersions which is a release that calls you back time and time again because, with every listen, something new comes to light. I've really got into it recently after reading a review on Scottish Fiction and, happily, the band allowed us and Scottish Fiction to use their track Rain Rain on the recent Almost Scottish Fiction Volume 2 release which you can grab for free here

Once you've fallen for Rain Rain, check out the band's superb video for the equally superb Winter Solstice below.

Finally, get yourself over to vvsi's Bandcamp page ( ) and get Dispersions. Like me, you'll love it.

Friday 15 May 2015


Hot Chip return with a sixth album, recorded against a background of the band’s concerns about whether or not they remain relevant in today’s dance and electronic scenes. They really needn’t have worried however as Why Make Sense?  is an album that once again shows how lucky we are to have a band like Hot Chip. They don’t have to worry about fitting in or remaining relevant as they’ve always been their own men; aware of their influences but always producing their own sound and feel. Here, they do that once again and in doing so have made one of the albums of the year - Why Make Sense? is Hot Chip’s best album yet.

Opener Huarache Lights is a hugely impressive start. Like many great Hot Chip tracks, on first listen there’s a lot to take in, but on each subsequent play it grabs you and doesn’t let go. It’s indicative of what’s to come as it’s fairly short, punchy and crammed with superb musical moments and melodies. Love Is The Future follows, adding Pos from De La Soul for a mid-section rap that, unlike many other bands attempts to do something similar, doesn’t detract from the song at all. The nod to Kraftwerk’s Computer World both in the electronic stabs and “Connection…Correction” vocal is a nicer touch too. The first truly great track comes next with Cry For You which is a combination of 80’s pop and New Order in their prime. It’s magnificent and has a chorus which has one of those melodies that irresistible – you’ll recognise it when you hear it. Started Right initially recalls the band’s earliest work with the electro-funk bringing to mind the excellent Playboy before yet another killer chorus pops up and strings appear, giving the song a Studio 54 disco feel. As ever, the band aren’t scared to mix up their influences and, as ever, it works and works beautifully. The slowest track on the album, the Prince like White Wine and Fried Chicken comes next before the album’s stand out track Dark Night arrives.

Hot Chip have recorded many, many great tracks but this is their best. A flawless exercise in electronic pop music, Dark Night is a stunning song. It starts with, oddly enough, feedback, before opening into perfect synth pop and a lead vocal by Joe Goddard. At 1 minute 42 seconds in when he sings “Don’t say a word/I don’t think they’d understand” and the music surges towards the chorus, you are witnessing greatness. It’s beyond sublime and this track will easily be the best thing I hear this year. Magcial.

Dark Night alone is evidence that Hot Chip really shouldn’t have worried at all when recording this album and the remainder of the record only serves to confirm that. Easy To Get is another perfect exercise in pop that again recalls Prince in places and, once again, has a chorus that is a joy to the ears. Recent single Need You Now is up next and it continues the theme of 4 minute electronic pop genius, adding an Al Doyle vocal part which brings to mind the magnificence of New Build’s Do You Not Feel Loved? and the penultimate So Much Further To Go follows that perfectly, slowing the pace a little with a wonderful vocal from Alexis. All that brings us to the last track, the title track Why Make Sense? which is a superb electronic wall of noise which adds layers and layers of electronics as it builds to a wonderful climax, ending the album on a high and demanding that you immediately start playing it again and again.

There aren’t many bands that reach the stage of releasing a sixth album these days and even fewer who seem to get better with each album like Hot Chip do. They should be recognised as a genuine national treasure and Why Make Sense? should be heard by everyone. This is a genuinely brilliant, ten out of ten album. 

Why Make Sense? is out now on Domino records on vinyl, deluxe vinyl, cd and download. Each vinyl pressing is unique due to the colour schemes on the covers all being somehow different.

Thursday 14 May 2015


Hot Chip are one of the best live bands I've seen. Their shows are always an event and never fail to get crowds jumping around in one sweaty mass which is a great thing to be a part of. Usually, that would mean the Barrowlands or the O2 Academy in Glasgow, but on Tuesday, the band played a warm up show at the Art School in front of what can only have been around 500 people at the most. To see the band play such an intimate show whilst playing a full set was really something very special indeed.

The show was a mix of old and brand new tracks with previews of material from Why Make Sense? which is out on 18 May. They opened with Hurrache Lights from the album and immediately got the venue jumping. The song was a beefed up version of the album track and set the tone for a superb set. One Life Stand followed before a superb Night & Day blew my sonic socks off. The new album, after my first couple of listens, is filled with beautiful melodic electronic pop and the tracks plated from that at the gig, such as Easy To Get, Started Right and the quite stunning Cry For You really stood out. 

Of the older tracks, Over And Over and Ready For The Floor were as crowd pleasing as ever, but I was most impressed by Flutes and Alley Cats, for the purely selfish reason that I love those tracks. After a seemingly non stop main set, the band came back for a brief encore ending with an electronic take on Bruce Springsteen's Dancing In The Dark which was marvellous.

It's such a joy to have Hot Chip back again and this gig was the perfect appetiser for the forthcoming album. I've already got my tickets fro 16 October at the Barrowlands and, based on the show on Tuesday, that will be another stupendous Hot Chip gig. If you haven't seen them live, change that as soon as you can as there are very few bands around who can put on a show as good as this.

Tuesday 12 May 2015


Paper Dollhouse are an East London based duo comprising Astrud Steehouder and Nina Bosnic whose second album Aeonflower has just had a vinyl release on Glasgow's Night School Records, a label you may recall me going on about before. It really is a label worth checking out as it's currently on a run like early Mute records, firing our brilliant electronic music again and again with albums from the likes of Happy Meals, Apostille and Sally Dige. 

Aeonflower fits perfectly onto the Night School roster. The album is a mixture of dark electronics, ambient sounds and, in places, an unsettling vibe that comes together to produce something very special indeed. Opener Oracle is a sedate, twinkling two minute or so electronic instrumental that flows straight into the beautiful Stand, which has a post rock feel albeit one from the outer reaches of electronic music. Helios is a joy too, mixing pulsing synths with experimental feeling vocals quite hypnotically. So far, the album is a soothing experience but that changes with the almost industrial feel of Psyche which has echoes of the likes of Throbbing Gristle throughout. It's a startling track, especially given the music that has come before, but it's a cracker and is a track that has grabbed me. 

Your Heart and Diane return us to a less industrial landscape, both tracks mixing sparse electronics with distinct hints of a poppier feel, albeit one that remains unsettling but somehow welcoming. Silence and In The Sun follow, with the latter recalling Joy Division and early Factory Records in feel and mood which is never a bad things. Black Flowers then strips the music back to complete basics leaving us listening to minimalist ambience if such a thing exits before the marvellous Siren closes the album, cinematic in feel and offering glimpses of sunshine as we leave the, admittedly superb, claustrophobia or the preceding 9 tracks. 

Aeonflower is one of those albums that is quite an experience to listen to. There's nothing necessarily instantly catchy or boldly melodic, however the first listen grabs you, leaving you intrigued and subsequent plays only serve to reveal more and more and to pull you further into the record. It's something you should really hear.

Aeonflower by Paper Dollhouse is available on Night School Records here

Wednesday 6 May 2015


Ok so this is more new to me than new in general as Jon Cooper a.k.a. Turtle has rightly been making waves for some time with his beautiful brand of electronica. His new e.p. Colours comes out on Monday May 11th and the whole thing is streaming on Soundcloud. Have a listen below

As well as the digital release next Monday (, the e.p. is available on limited edition white vinyl 12" which you can pre-order here (

The e.p. itself is a wonderful thing. Songs like The Floor and Lavender simply exude electronic beauty whereas Us and Silent Weapons are more ambient in places but still have an edge to them that is quite brilliant. Hugely inventive and inspiring stuff all in and something that you all must check out 


Some Swedish Depeche Mode fans recently put together a film called A Film Of Faith And Devotion which features interviews with a number of Swedish Depeche fans who show off their rather superb DM collections. Even for someone like me who has collected quite a bit of Depeche Mode merchandise ( I recently mistakenly bought a second copy of the limited edition German cd of World In My Eyes for example) there is lots to see and add to the want list in this film. As ever, Martin Serenstrand leads the way with what must be one of the biggest Depeche collections on the go.

Here's the film with English subtitles if that's your native tongue. If they don't work, look for them in the settings section. It's well worth a look for any Depeche Mode fan. Who knows - it may inspire you to start collecting. Enjoy!


Shards are an Edinburgh based duo consisting of Stephen McLaren and Sean Ormsby who produce a what they deem melancholitronica, a melancholic take on electronica. Their debut track, Just To Get Something Started is available as a free download from their soundcloud page (link below) and it's a really cool track that's well worth checking out. Combining an ambient feel and experimental electronics with pop sensibilities, Just To Get Something Started is a hugely promising debut track and we're looking forward to hearing much more. Watch the video below then head to soundcloud to bag your self the song. The band will be releasing more tracks throughout the year.

Monday 4 May 2015


Following the success of Almost Scottish Fiction Volume 1, we and Scottish Fiction are delighted to announce the release of Almost Scottish Fiction Volume 2. For this release, we've increased the number of tracks from 4 to 6, giving you 50% more new Scottish music that is entirely free to download, listen to and fall in love with. Once you've grabbed this, go and check out the bands' websites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, see them live and buy their music. This month's tracks are:

Apache Darling are a synthpop duo from Glagsow who produce some of the finest pop music the city has produced in ages. More Than Me was the first track they released and it rightly gained a lot of attention. Apache Darling are a genuinely thrilling prospect and More Than Me captures all that is great about this band

very very small inclusions - RAIN RAIN
With a band name taken from the grading scale used to judge the clarity of diamonds, you'd expect crystalline clear music from very very small inclusions. What you get is a dispersion of influences and ideas, with themes of introspection. This track, Rain Rain features heavy tom-toms, with pure and acoustic sounds, and airy vocals. This track is taken from the band's album Dispersions.

Tongues is Tim Kwant from Kill The Waves solo project and Anymore was his first release. The song was a smash on Soundcloud and the buzz it created spread far and wide. A slice of laid back electro pop with a huge chorus, Anymore will grab you straight away and never let you go.

BEAM is the glorious sounds of singer and songwriter Amy MacDougall, who has been in the past better known for contributing to other people's music; for example King Creosote. However, Hex is the sound of her own music, mysterious vocal loops, cello, piano and an overall dreamy feel.

The Insomniac Project have kindly allowed us to use a brand new track, Breakaway and it is a cracker. Disco fused with LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip, Breakaway is destined to get anyone grooving. The band play a headline show at Stereo in Glasgow on May 30 - go along and watch Breakaway work its disco magic

Coming from the Aberdeen four piece's album Tyto Alba, Newark is a perfect illustration of the effects laden ambient music that Seas, Starry produce so well. Taking influence from the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Errors, the band drag the listener's ear to the furthest edges of electronic instrumental music

Thanks very much to the band's for allowing us to use their tracks and once again, thanks to Findlay at Burnhouse Industries for the artwork. 

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