About The Cold Cut...

The musings of a teenage audiophile. Indie, Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap, Dance, Dubstep, Garage, Metal... music crosses all boundaries. The Cold Cut is devoted to giving you a taste of what's going on in music at the moment.

About Me

A 17 year old taking his first tentative steps into the world of blogging. In my first year, its been up and down, from the slow first months to a busy time around the one year anniversary.

Halloween Howlers: Scare Tactics?

Just a quicky to wish a very happy, or should I say unhappy (in the spirit of tradition) Halloween. Addressing my target audience, I don't really know how old you are, but I'm sure the younger readers will be out egging houses whilst the older ones will be hiding away, trying to give out the smallest amount of sweets as possible to save the pennies (I commend you, we've all got to save money somehow!).

Like most of the music blogs in existence, I am marking this day by nominating one scary song to help you reach that "Oh, I'm about to shit my pants" moment which we don't experience a lot these days, given the crappiness of modern horror movies (Saw IV anyone?).

Pulp- I Spy

This is a truly disturbing song by none other than Pulp: "I Spy", off Different Class, about a man's affair with a married woman, every day praying for her husband to come home in order to face up to the predetermined outcome.

"And in all that time I just wanted you to come home unexpectedly one afternoon,
and catch us at it in the front room.
You see I spy for a living,
and I specialise in revenge,
on taking the things I know will cause you pain."

Hope you all have a great Halloween, and sorry for the rushed nature of this post, but I have my own plans for today. Have fun...

The Remix Reel...

There's been a definite change in direction for the music industry: any song that makes it onto the charts has it's own set of remixes before you can say "cash-cow". I made it my job today to dig through the mountain of material and find some of the real gems:

Rihanna Ft. Chris Brown- Umbrella

This is an interesting one: I shamefully admit that I'm a massive fan of the original, and Chris Brown is a solid addition, slotting in his computer-enhanced voice and some original lyrics:
"Baby girl you can be my Cinderella, ella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh"
It was a brilliantly bold hip-hop song to begin with: add Chris Brown, some more 'direct 'lyrics and you have an even superior version... but please don't spoil the magic and re-release it (as if Rihanna needs more money anyway?).

Feist- My Moon My Man (Boyz Noize Remix)

You might spot the trend (yes, I only just wrote about Boyz Noize), but this is a lot more than I expected from him on the remix front. You have to have balls to mix Feist's whispy voice with a bloody great voice synth, but the bravery pays off. I've listened to this about 15 times and I can't see any reason to dislike it- someone influential get a hold of this, I beg you, and give credit where it's deserved (Yes, Zane Lowe, YOU, if for some crazy reason you're reading).

M.I.A Ft. Battles & Akon- Boyz (Diplo Remix)

The sign of a skilled DJ/MC is that they can remix a song with an artist you hate an make you love them 3 minutes later. I have always been quick to show my confusion towards Battles and their space-rock- how else can you describe it?- and Akon has been a thorn in my side since 'Lonely' clogged up MTV Base. Mix these together with M.I.A.'s insanely brilliant Boyz, however, and you have something which miraculously works, and even sounds less 'out-there' than most of Kala, her latest album. Please let me know how you feel about these songs- isn't Boyz Noize remix awesome?

So there you have it: some DJ's do themselves proud and outdo the numerous "Jazzy Phizzle produc-shizzles" which get dumped on the music industry each year.

Boyz Noize, Out 'D-Punking' Justice one gig at a time

Deep down inside, it really pains me to say this, but Justice are no longer the clear heirs to Daft Punk's large pyramid shaped throne. In fact, I would say they are close to being usurped from their 'temporary' position by Boyz Noize, a one man synth-king who regularly blows audiences away with his live performances.

I was incredibly surprised when I saw Justice at Lowlands this year, and it was much more of a 'performance' than I expected from two people. Their set-up was awesome, with two massive decks, a huge stack of speakers and their trademark neon cross. All in all, they gave a mind-blowing performance, linking songs together so that the sound was uninterrupted for an hour... but as good as Justice were, they didn't live up to my earlier claim as the rightful heirs to Daft Punk's legacy. In fact, when you hear them live you can tell quickly that theirs is a different style of dance music altogether.

My feelings have changed, but that's not to say that I don't believe Justice will go far with their unique style of music. The only thing is in Daft Punk's (extremely long absence) we all miss someone with their style, and in Boyz Noize, we may have found our substitute. Boyz Noize has obviously inherited their talent with samples: check out the tracks below for some clear proof. If you like his catchy dance tunes, "Oi Oi Oi", his new album, can be purchased here. Also, check out his myspace for a few more tracks (I have yet to dislike one of his remixes... check out Feist's "My Moon My Man" in particular).

Boyz Noize- & Down
Boyz Noize- Let's Buy Happiness

Duran Duran and Justin Timberlake? Hmm... Mildly Amusing.

Duran Duran ft. Justin Timberlake- Night Runner (produced by Timbaland)

Duran Duran, how low you have fallen. Resorting to a Timbaland beat to revitalise your career? Shameless...

As much as I know I should despise this song, it has 'guilty pleasure' written all over it in big bold letters. The calling card for it is that for every horrible element there is something to bring it back from the brink. Take Simon Le Bon's lyrics, for example. These are truly horrible:

"You're nocturnal, only come out at night,
Can I put my hands on you tonight, I must be feeling something"

However, Justin Timberlake saves the day when he laces his voice over Le Bon's Its obviously no mistake that the song sounds like an extended out-take from 'FutureSex/LoveSounds'.

Timbaland easily completes his normal task of dropping a great beat, which at least makes the song interesting for a few more seconds than is usual for a Duran Duran song. Check it out; you wont (/will) be disappointed... Duran Duran's latest album 'Red Carpet Massacre' is out next month...

5 'Hip Young Things' to watch out for next year

  • Remi Nicole- Well, there's a bit of a story behind this one: my sister and brother live in the same flat block as Remi, who'll be a star by next year's festival season at the latest. Granted, living next to her is a bit of a claim to fame, but the real message I want to get across is her music, all catchy summer pop with honest lyrics (like Kate Nash, but more upbeat). Her campaign for mainstream success is slowly picking up steam, both from her live performances last summer at Glasto and with the release of summer hit 'Go Mr. Sunshine'. Download that below for a taster... also watch the video here on Youtube: don't we all just want a milk crate robot? You can pre-order her debut album 'My Conscience And I' (to be released on December 3rd) here.
  • Remi Nicole- Go Mr Sunshine
  • Whitest Boy Alive- I might be bending the rules a bit by inferring that these guys are 'young', but they are most definitely hip. The brainchild of Erlend Øye (a heralded "indie genius"), I prefer their re-vamped sound; since forming in 2003 Whitest Boy Alive have been on a slow burner, steadily removing all the programmed elements of their music. What now remains is a chilled out backing band accompanied by Øye's fey vocals. A great combination, and in my opinion one that deserves some credit over the coming months.
  • Whitest Boy Alive- Burning
  • Cajun Dance Party- 'Amylase'... come on, I know you've all heard the one... how many other songs are named after an enzyme? With an intriguing lyrical style (some might say its 'incosistent', for use of a better word) and a fairly unpolished sound, there's a lot of potential here, considering the band haven't had time to release an album yet as they are still doing their A levels! So young, but oh so talented...
  • Cajun Dance Party- Amylase
Dont Underestimate The Power Of Youth
  • Pull Tiger Tail- Thus far, all four of Pull Tiger Tail's releases have been singles, and as one of their anxious fans I'm patiently awaiting the release of an album. Showing your worth over a 3 minute single or three track EP is great, but I would love to see how this band fares over 12 or so tracks. A band with a worryingly infectious set of songs that are bound to make it big.
  • Pull Tiger Tail- Hurricane
  • Mumm-Ra- Not so much a band to watch out for as one to help hit the mainstream, Mumm-Ra have already released their debut album-"These Things Move In Threes"- to strong reviews but comparatively low sales. Sounding like stellastarr* on steroids, we can only pray that they don't befall the same fate and fizzle quietly out of existence. Buy their album, NOW.
  • Mumm-Ra- The Sick Deal
All the files above can be downloaded from the following project, or by following the links individually.

The new Hype Machine- Head on over there now

Music enthusiasts, unite. The new Hype Machine is being instated as we speak, but wont be open to the public until 10000 people are looking at the homepage at once. Got all that? In short, get over there now, and we wont have to wait an age to be back in touch with the music world again. Roll on 10000 viewers...

There's more than a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow...

Artist: Radiohead
Album: In Rainbows
Rating: 9/10

[Slow Clap] Well done, guys, you've done it again. Not only is 'In Rainbows' a massive triumph over the machinations of the music industry, its quite possibly the best collection of Radiohead material recorded since the bands formation. The "you decide" price marketing scheme has garnered so much publicity that this album could be mediocre and still change the music industry, but rather than being eclipsed by it's own publicity, Radiohead have produced a 7th which is as strong as its marketing ideas. As well as producing the most bravely controversial albums of the year they've also produced the most musically accomplished offering thus far (well worth the reasonable £5 I paid for it)- 'In Rainbows' is a serious contender for album of the year. 'In Rainbows' shouts clearly to the world that in Radiohead, we have a band who buck the trend, and for that matter, don't give a damn what said 'trend' is.

With all the publicity surrounding this release, you could get so wrapped up in it all that you forget about the musical content of this album; however, for the purpose of this review, I'm going to assume we all know about the price of the new album, or should I say, lack of one. After flying through the registration process yesterday, I was greeted by a long link to download the album, which was playing within 5 minutes of purchase. Things open in Kid A fashion with '15 Step', which starts with processed beats and then tricks the listener seconds later once the full band come in, moving swiftly into Hail To The Thief territory. But fear not, things are mixed up again half way through as Thom Yorke howls and we are thrown back to Ok Computer. To finish things off, we have an echo effect, some more eerie synths and even a group of shouting children in the background. So, all that in one song? Well, '15 Step' is a brilliant opening track, but the rest of the album is much the same: In Rainbows is a masterful mix of all their previous styles- The synths of Kid A and Amnesiac are mixed with the eerie guitar-trio of The Bends, OK Computer contributes atmospheric falsetto from Yorke alongside the overall polish of Hail To The Thief.

'In Rainbows' is such a dense collection of songs that I really have my work cut out describing them to you: as you've read, summing up 15 step took me upwards of 150 words, and thus I'm not going to give you a full track by track description, rather a condensed idea of what the band offer here. Following 15 Step, a distorted baseline announces the arrival of 'Bodysnatchers': this is text-book Radiohead, all wailing falsetto, but I suppose you could call it the weak spot. But, hey, what a weak spot: most other bands would kill to produce music so sonically diverse, and its a testament to this album that such a brilliantly crunchy (listen to it, then comment) song can be considered weak. Next comes 'Nude', a real standout track, with a procession of falsetto ooh's and acoustic guitar solos that rise higher and higher until Yorke is singing in his trademark falsetto at the end. I can't really express how beautiful this song is, but I'm sure many of you have heard live versions, and if not, download it and have a listen (below). We are brought back down to Earth by 'Weird Fishes/Arpeggi', another one of my favourites, but listening here I realised I had only heard half the album. Possible singles from the second half include 'Reckoner' and 'Jigsaw Falling Into Place'.

As I said earlier, 'In Rainbows' doesn't need a track-by-track runthrough, rather a confident assurance that this is a brilliant album. It's been a long hiatus for the band, but listening to this album, you can see its been well spent. As if it weren't obvious already, Radiohead have firmly cemented themselves as a great band once again: all said and done, 'In Rainbows' presents an even better combination of the band's styles than Hail To The Thief, an album which most felt was brilliant but more of a stepping stone than a progression- agreed?

Just a few seconds ago a little pop-up appeared on my Digg widget stating that 'In Rainbows' has already gone platinum, just days after its release. What more can I say? The numbers speak for themselves... Take my word, buy the album for a price of your choice, and enjoy listening to this album both for the music and what it stands for. I'm not including any tracks because defeats the idea of this experiment, but here's a link to the download website...

In Rainbows- Download

*Okay- I couldn't resist posting at least one track: its available for a very short time only, so download it quick by following the link

Radiohead- Nude

Lazy Day- Music

I'm not feeling up to a full length post today (hard day at school, what can I say?) but I thought I'd upload a few tracks that I'm listening to at the moment.

Common (ft. Dwele)- The People

Fallout Boy- Hum Hallelujah
Placebo- Running Up That Hill

Bloc Party's 'Flux'- True to their nature...

Bloc Party- Flux
Blackbox Remix- Positive Tension
Bloc Party- Hero
Bloc Party- 13 Version 2.0
Bloc Party- Skeleton

I think Bloc Party should take the award for most prolific band: you would be hard pressed not to like at least some of the tracks off of their last couple of albums. Since mid-2004 they've released:
  1. Bloc Party EP
  2. Little Thoughts EP
  3. Silent Alarm
  4. Silent Alarm Remixes
  5. Two More Years EP (Stand-alone single)
  6. The Present (Song for Help: A Day In The Life: recorded in 24 hours)
  7. Weekend In The City
  8. Weekend In The City Bonus tracks (one for all 13 different released versions)
  9. Flux (out November 12th, another stand-alone single)
The latest announcement (number 9) from the band came during their recent live performance at Madison Square Garden (during the later stages of their US tour), where they played 'Flux' and announced that it would be released on November 12th with 'Emma Kate's Accident' and 'The Once And Future King' as b-sides. I'm going to go with my initial reaction- as different as this track is, I really love it for what it is: a simple way to inject some variety into things before the band start recording their new album. Performing live, Gordon (Moakes) replaces the usual basss line with synthesisers, and Kele's voice is fed through a vocoder to create an interesting song with a really strong dance beat to back up the telling vocals.

"We must talk about our problems
We are in a state of flux."

I've decided to break out some of the Bloc Party rarities that have been sitting around on my iPod for a while now- enjoy, and leave your comments on 'Flux'... songs at the top, follow the links to download... (Flux downloaded from Good Weather For Airstrikes)

In other news, Kele's long lost brother Paul Sackey played really well in the rugby against Australia today- what a talented family, hey?

Foo Fighters- Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace Review

One of my recent acquisitions was the latest album by Foo Fighters, named Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. Honestly, I was expecting it to be a bit samey/turgid like many of their previous offerings (aka a few standout tracks but on the whole disappointing). In short, I was badly mistaken- this album is by far their best to date, and has you wondering where the real Dave Grohl has been since the days of Nirvana.

A couple of weeks back I gave in to the constant nudging of my friend Joe and listened to the first single off this album, The Pretender. If you haven't heard it, listen up (and download it below)- its a heart-attack inducing whirlwind of a song, all heavy guitar riffs and soft interludes- sounds weird, but trust me, it works. Having a brilliant video can't have done any harm either: heavily played on MTV, the song features the band facing off against a parade of riot police with some extra-special CGI magic to cap it off (watch it on youtube; you wont be disappointed). But back to the album- The Pretender opens in theatrical fashion, and for the next few songs it doesn't let up. Next comes Let It Die, another song which walks the line between a heartfelt ballad and heavy metal classic to great success. Followed up by the well crafted duo that is Erase/Replace and Long Road To Ruin, these first 4 songs set the initial tone for the album, one which is smashed a few songs later by the acoustic Stranger Things Have Happened, harking back to the band's overlong In Your Honour days. From this point on, various styles find their way onto the album, most obviously on the guitar duel (minus vocals) that is The Ballad Of The Beaconfield Miners, about the collapse of a mine in Australia last year.

The only negative thing I have to so say about this album is the fact that the second half of the album is a little rock-less, but when you put this into the context of the first few songs (all intense) you feel you can forgive them for it. On the whole, this is by far their best album to date, combining classic rock characteristics with more sentimental elements into a series of different songs which together produce an album of perfect length; not something you often get with the Foo Fighters- up until now its definitely been the 'bigger is better' mentality, which is unfortunately not the case with music. I was a bit worried after the excessively lengthy and poor In Your Honour, but Echoes, Patience, Silence & Grace has restored my faith in the Foo Fighters as one of America's great no-nonsense rock bands.

Foo Fighters- The Pretender
Foo Fighters- Let It Die
Foo Fighters- Long Road To Ruin
Foo Fighters- Stranger Things Have Happened