Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Pink Floyd have revealed the tracklisting and artwork for their new album, The Endless Guitar Solo, which will be released on November 10.

The Endless Guitar Solo tracklisting is:

1) Things Left Unsaid (Said)
2) It’s What We Do (Play Guitar Solos For Quite a Long Time)
3) The Ebb and Flow (Of My Frankly Quite Impressive Guitar Solos)
4) Sum (Royalties Plus Tour Profits Plus Merch Sales Plus Expenses Equals?)
5) Drumskins (Pounded Hard To Be Heard Over The Top Of The Loud Guitar Solos)
6) Unsung (Non-instrumental Version)
7) Sounds A Bit Like A Retro Radiohead This One
8) The Lost Art Of Conversation (Sorry, Couldn’t Hear You, I Was Busy Playing One Of My Signature Guitar Solos)
9) On Guitar Noodle Street
10) Night Light (For When I Need To Play Guitar Solos In The Dark)
11) Baloney pt. 1
12) Autumn’68, I Remember It Well, I Was Practising My Guitar Solos
13) Baloney pt. 2
14) Talkin’ ‘Bout Guitar Solos
15) Calling All Guitar Bores
16) Fingers To Guitar Strings
17) Resurfacing, Once Again, To Remind You Of My Unequalled Guitar Soloing Abilities
18) Louder Than Words (My Guitar Solos Are)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


One consequence of the ascent of the information superhighway is that the ideal music review is no longer the best one but simply the first. With that in mind, what I’ve done may not be entirely legal but it at least means that SPINAL BAP has successfully bagged THE VERY FIRST REVIEW OF SYRO BY THE APHEX TWIN. Security around this release is tighter than Barry Hogan’s purse strings after a festival cancellation so how did I, a lowly hack with just 300 Twitter followers and a Tesco pay-as-you-go SIM card, snatch this exclusive scoop? Naturally, I broke into the roof of Warp Records’ headquarters in the dead of night, lowering myself down from the ceiling like a taller, prettier and less theologically misguided Tom Cruise. I tip-toed over and limboed under countless high-tech laser censors. I pacified the slavering guard dogs by feeding them Aldi bratwurst and swapping Battles for Eno on the office stereo. Searching high and low, I rifled through thousands of abstract artwork posters. I rummaged around in a gigantic pile of unsold Maximo Park CDs. Eventually, there it lay, concealed under sheets and sheets of sexually-explicit doodles scribbled by TV’s Christopher Morris. Yes, Warp Boss Steve Beckett’s personal laptop! I tried several passwords. “Gonjasufi”. “Nightmaresonwax”. “LFOremix”. After just a few hours I cracked it: “SonDEremawe”. Simple as that! I searched for SYRO, downloaded the files to my iPod, and got out of there quicker than you can say “Petiatil Cx Htdui”. So after great personal risk, may I present to you, dear readers, ahead of this weekend’s listening parties, the very first, track-by-track review of Aphex Twin’s long-awaited new album:

01. minipops 67 (source field mix)
An understated opener. There are no drumbeats. No synths. No samples. It’s basically just a 4-track recording of Richard James plucking the same ukulele note over and over again while an anonymous assistant rubs sandpaper across his greying beard. Existentially haunting.

02. XMAS_EVET10 (thanaton3 mix)
Here we go, SYRO’s first proper banger! It’s like a ‘Mt Saint Michel + Saint Michaels Mount’ for the nihilistically apathetic post-Only God Forgives cultural milieu. Imagine taking drum & bass, halving it, multiplying it by Flying Lotus, and then adding three-fifths of an ex-Napalm Death member who now dabbles in techno. The track’s only drawback is the gobbledegook chorus sung by Charli XCX wearing black lipstick and torn Topshop fishnets.

03. produk 29
A bit like trying to destroy an early twentieth-century washboard using only your teeth and one pipette-drop of hydrochloric acid. Best on headphones. Unless you’ve got shit headphones, of course.

04. 4 bit 9d api+e+6
A radical departure for the ‘Twin. This is a jaunty brass-backed summertime ditty that nods to likes of Mumford & Sons, Jake Bugg, Elbow, Bon Iver, and Fatman Scoop’s early material. ‘4 bit 9d api+e+6’ could’ve been Aphex’s biggest crossover hit to date, had the repeated vocal samples not been quite so openly anti-Quaker.

05. 180db_ 
An ear-shatteringly abrasive pastiche of hyperspeed quasi-gonzo hedgerow funk. Comes with a free sticker-book and set of six mauve pencils.

06. CIRCLONT6A (syrobonkus mix)
This one is kinda like waking up in an abandoned laboratory to find you’re the middle section of a human centipede with Wolfgang Voigt sewed to your arsehole and Kevin Drumm up the front. It turns out that William Bennett off of Cut Hands is the mad scientist behind this spliced atrocity and he keeps feeding Drumm with Jamie Oliver’s peppered courgette fritters while screaming, “I’m not a bloody racist, all right?!!!”

07. fz pseudotimestretch+e+3
You know that second track on Autechre’s third EP? The one you pretended to like as a student? This is basically its sequel, with a more foreboding subtext of strained aquatic grief. Oh, and there’s a pretty nifty Rubiks solo to boot.

08. CIRCLONT14 (shrymoming mix)
If you enjoy the sensation of having your ears coated in custard skin while Squarepusher milks an albino platypus with a faulty purple dustbuster, then this is the twelve-minute Bhangra symphony for you!

09. Informer (Radio Mix)
A surprisingly faithful rendition of Canadian reggae star Snow’s 1992 chart smash.

10. PAPAT4 (pineal mix)
An unlistenable cacophonic fusion of glo-fi synths, jungle beats, Afro-Luxembourgian timpani, 2-step sellotapewave, harsh Seoul-soul, bubblegum krunk, post-Calpol don’t-wop, emo fingerjazz, lowercase lounging thug-bop, Mafiosi minibilly, disembodied voices that sound like floating Cornish satsumas, and a sample of something you heard while browsing the chinos section of Urban Outfitters. Skippable filler.

11. s950tx16wasr10 (earth portal mix)
Harks back to Selected Ambient Works Volume II, if you were to replace the words “Ambient Works Volume” with “Out Of Hell” and “Selected” with “Bat”. Now older and fatter, Richard James embraces operatic soft rock, singing about Harley Davidsons, dashboards, fast women, Frankensteins and lemons. Doesn’t really work in context with the rest of the album.

12. aisatsana
Originally titled ‘stsn’ in tribute to Bobby Gillespie who once took so much Sudafed that he thought the vowels were going to crawl off the front of an album cover and eat his top two layers of skin, a trauma which inspired the cautiously-named XTRMNTR by ‘PRML SCRM’. However, James reinstalled his vowels after realising that ‘stsn’ was an utterly unpronounceable and frankly silly title for an Aphex Twin song. A poignant closer, full to the brim with jangling ketchup clicks and swelling humpback Klimt-core viola. Leaves you thinking, “yeah, that’ll do, see you in another thirteen years, mate.”

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


“As I’m sure you’re aware, we’ve always maintained a strict ‘no dickhead’ rule for our events,” explained a spokesperson for All Tomorrow’s Parties. “Unfortunately, founder Barry Hogan caught sight of his own reflection in a mirror at the weekend, so Jabberwocky had to be cancelled without delay. It was like at the end of Dorian Gray, but with extra vomit.”

Thursday, 10 July 2014


The Arctic Monkeys are among a range of successful musicians who have been named as part of a controversial tune avoidance scheme.

A secret database leaked to The Times newspaper revealed around 1,600 people who tried to shelter their wealth of melodies through an “aggressive tune avoidance strategy” known as “pulling a full Barlow”.

The Times reports that since the release of their debut album, the Arctic Monkeys have been hiding between 557,000 and 1.1 million of undisclosed tunes, having chosen to share only their most humdrum and monotonous morsels with the public.

Katie Melua and George Michael are also accused of using the scheme, the latter having failed to give the world a decent tune since about 1994.

Thursday, 15 May 2014


The leader of the 1791 Haitian Revolution, Toussaint L’Ouverture aka “The Black Napoleon”, has resurrected himself and immediately opened a lawsuit against Michael Gira and his rock group Swans.

The point of contention is a song entitled ‘Bring The Sun/Toussaint L’Ouverture’, a thirty-five minute morbid rock dirge that is the centrepiece of Swans’ latest critically-adored album To Be Kind. L’Ouverture’s lawyers hope to secure a substantial sum for damages as well as a stake in all future Swans music and merchandise royalties. They accuse Gira of violating L’Ouverture’s intellectual property rights, defamation of character, and misappropriating L’Ouverture’s name. 

L’Ouverture was reborn last Thursday in Port-au-Prince via an elaborate voodoo ceremony involving painted skulls, rosary beads, a bunch of really freaky-looking masks and Baron Samedi from Live And Let Die.

A press statement from L’Ouverture reads:
“Since dying in imprisonment at the hands of the French in 1803, I have witnessed countless reprehensible actions from the vantage point of my wicker throne in the netherdimension. The country whose independence I secured through the only successful slave revolt in history has suffered under countless internal and external threats and misfortunes. The French resisted our bid for freedom and even had the gall to attempt to reconquer us. The Americans refused to recognize our independence until decades after their own civil war and then occupied us in 1915. We’ve been ruled by merciless dictators. We’ve been blighted by earthquakes, tropical storms and devastating famines. And to make matters worse, in 2010 Wyclef Jean off of The Fugees turned up wanting to be President. Now this is the last straw. Michael Gira waving his arms around pretending to be me. What’s he playing at? Shouting my name. Acting like he’s channelling my spirit. It’s not on. Everyone has a go at Avril Lavigne for that Hello Kitty song but I don’t see any critics accusing this Gira pillock of cultural appropriation, just because the Swans are actually good. Well that’s no excuse.”

Should the lawsuit fail, L’Ouverture plans to form a rival group of post-no wave droners with members of Earth, Throbbing Gristle and Oxbow so that he can compose his own overlong indulgent slab of dawdling metal in which he repeats the words “Michael Gira, Michael Gira, Michael Gira, Michael Gira” over and over again in an authoritative baritone while vehemently refusing to change chords.

Thursday, 17 April 2014



After pledging their “strongest commitment to the arts we’ve made in a generation”, the BBC has announced that it is to relaunch its faintly alternative digital radio station 6 Music under the exciting new name ‘Elbow FM’.

Henceforth, the majority of the channel’s airtime will be taken up by Elbow frontman Guy Garvey playing his favourite records, his friends’ favourite records and his favourite records made by his friends, interspersed with banal anecdotes about how many of his musical heroes he’s met, seen in concert, collaborated with, or befriended. In the scant moments when Garvey is not DJing, the station’s few remaining presenters will spin their own favourite Elbow tracks, encourage listeners to phone in with ‘unforgettable Elbow memories’, and narrate in-depth documentaries about the band Elbow. So pretty much the same as it is now.

Speaking about the announcement, the humble Northern everyman Garvey said, “I remember I was in a Los Angeles deli with Laura Marling when I heard the news. She was finishing her blackberry pancakes and I had just ordered my signature cocktail. It’s called Grounds For Divorce Woah Woah Woah Woah Woah Woah Woah. I’d like to thank the BBC for all the support they’ve given to Elbow, Elbow’s friends, and all the other groups out there who sound exactly like Elbow. Anyway, I’ve got to go now, I’m meeting Badly Drawn Boy for an sneaky ale and then I have to interview Bob Dylan about his all-time top five Elbow albums.”