Category Archives: albums

18+ ( from a 30+ point of view)

18+ , ” boy” and “sis “


The duo from Los Angeles was formed in 2011 within  a mystery about their identities. Their first recordings, a trilogy of mixtapes entitled M1xtape, Mixta2e. and Mixtap3, were launched under the anonymous titles of ‘Boy’ (aka Justin Swinburne) and ‘Sis’ (aka Samia Mirza). 18_plus_Trust_Album_Art_750_750_75_uiimgwatermarkswatermark-750_album-week.png_sIn August 2014, 18+ released their first single, ‘Crow / Horn’, on London nightclub Fabric’s record label Houndstooth, which was followed by their debut album named Trust in November 2014.

They refer to 18+ as a platform used to navigate the ambiguous grey areas and paradoxes between public and private spheres of technologically-mediated socialization. They created internet personas and art projects in order to release disturbing and sexual electronic music.  That sounded convincing enough  for me to buy a ticket to see them performing live their debut album at CorsicaStudios.

If I really had to describe their style then I would say American minimal hip-hop and RnB with experimental electronic beats and alternating lyrical duets. Their lyrics are strong, some times even provocative and they talk about sex as much as proper sex addicts. 18+-Press-Shot-lo-res-1-e1422552179290They both remain committed in their roles, cold, serious without showing emotion while their visuals are projected on their faces and on the wall.

The duo’s aesthetic often mixes humanoids (mostly big-titted) with images of real -live people and blends avatars with home footage. Despite how disturbing that might sound, the outcome is impressive, provocative, memorable. Ironically or not, I have never thought that I would like a project called 18+.



copeland_1393426582_crop_550x550“Because I am worth it “

Alina Astrova is a tiny girl who likes to keep her distance. I saw her performing @Plastic People in Shoreditch last May, at the launch of her album ‘Because I Am Worth It‘, which she released by herself and not on any label, avoiding any patronising experiences.

Alina was born in Russia and lived in Estonia until the age of 17 when she moved to London to study art criticism at St Martins college. She became the vocalist of the duo Hype Williams (Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland) but she now performs solo under the name Copeland.

Tracklist /
01. Faith OG X 
02. Advice To Young Girls feat. Actress
03. insult 2 injury 
04. Serious 
05. Fit 1 
07. Inga 
08. l'oreal

Alina uses minimal sounds derived from her environment.  The use of lurching synths stuck on the same two notes, a continuous high-pitched buzzing and the noise of rain on a window or a toy drum (maybe) describe her sound as experimental electronic, far from the easy listening category and she rushes to make that clear by using a sustained bleep in the opening track called ‘Faith OG X’.  She uses delayed drums to create a refracted club groove and she flirts with dub and hip hop  but always with a bass producer’s perspective.

She talks about her heartbreaks, the power of the feminine presence and contradictions of personality. In Advice To Young Girls, she encourages young girls to sneak out during the night put on makeup and take the city. In “Inga,” Copeland sings “The significance in what we do… everything’s being judged in numbers/ Looked at,”


I found her word-like vocals cold, almost unemotional and I was wondering if that reflects to her personality, but she did smile when I told her that I liked her album.

Her imperfect vocals , the atmospheric loops,  the familiar noises of the city , the sharp  use of synths, made me really love this album. If you disagree, that’s only your problem (or your prerogative). Because she is worth it,,,

9 months later… (Tune Yards)

right… so where were we?

Influences:...New York, Connecticut, Montreal, Oakland.   Then….Eleanor Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin, Ruth Garbus, Bert Brecht, Bjork, Todd Rundgren, Fela Kuti, you.


Merrill Garbus is definitely my new crush. To date, she has three full-length studio albums and her project, Tune Yards, is currently signed to the British independent record label 4AD.

Tune Yards is Merrill Garbus (drums, vocals, keys, ukulele) and Nate Brenner (bass, synths, vocals). Merrill samples and loops herself, tuneyards_jpg_627x325_crop_upscale_q85creating sounds that she plays and loops again almost in a self-absorbed kind of way. Some might argue that her lyrics are flirting with the ” small talk ” category, but to me the way she chooses to present herself through her last album Nikki Nack is invigorating and real.

She is the real thing, she sounds like the real thing, Joke’s on you, all askew, heard her name in Timbuktu.

Tune Yards are touring Europe now, so catch them if you can (preferably in intimate venues rather than open spaces, I hear they failed to impress at Glastonbury)


New Album – Tindersticks


Tindersticks – Across Six Leap Years
Across twenty-one musically vibrant years, the band from Nottingham marks their anniversary with the release of their tenth studio album. Across Six Leap Years  becomes part  of the proud list of albums recorded in Abbey Road Studios by bands as famous as The Beatles or Pink Floyd. The sound of a band can change over twenty years and if these ten songs from the past were first recorded today, this is how they would sound.

The message that this isn’t an attempt to correct old songs is established by the first two tracks. Both Friday Night and and Marseilles Sunshine retain their originality while gaining fresh layers of new sound. Stuart Staples’ baritone voice keeps seductive and sentimental with a new sense of confidence, only a result Abbey Road studio can bring. He has one of those riveting voices that you would find yourself being hooked by its timbre even if he was just reading a shopping list out loud.

The new ending of Sleepy Song with the dithyrambic trumpets, violins and cymbals, is almost like an emotional outburst of the song itself after being trapped for many years in a pre-sleep state. Dying Slowly, originally written as a response to Cobain’s death, seems to lose its former negation of life and becomes, instead, an emotional narrative that tells a story. If You’re Looking For a Way Out brings a new swing and Say Goodbye To The City gains new life with the female vocals.
With two decades of experience, reworking old songs while keeping their essence solid can yield great outcomes. On this occasion, even if the only difference had been the Abbey Road recording, undoubtedly it was worth it.  This album is for fans and for fans only.