Pendulum Man

I can't tell you anything at all / And that's the biggest joke of all.

Posts tagged The Raveonettes

Mar 21

Rave On

"Some people still don’t get what we’re all about so let me explain just a little. When we started out in Copenhagen in 2001 our initial intention was to hire 2 stand-up drummers and an additional guitarist. We wanted the stand-up drummers because of our fascination with the raw and primal beats of The Cramps. We actually wanted female drummers who had a certain burlesque feel to them. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to find 2 drummers, cause we had a tour lined up, so we settled on one really amazing jazz drummer instead. For years we toured as a 4-piece and then as a 5-piece. When that started getting out of hand and the initial idea behind The Raveonettes seemed to get lost in drunken days and drugged-out nights, we decided to start all over again and did some touring as a duo and then finally as a 3-piece with the stand-up drummer we always wanted. Our beats have always been ridiculously simple cause that’s the way we like it, so when people write that we use "…boring, old drum-machines…", they’re partially right. Boring is just a shitty word for simple and the word old refers to that the fact we pretty much only use old jazz samples from Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Max Roach. We do however use many electronic drum samples as well. We love Suicide too hence the use of simple, raw electronic beats. Everything we do is made with computers and samples. We perform live using an Alesis HD 24 which runs all the beats, various percussion and sounds. We love electronic music such as Atari Teenage Riot, Primal Scream, Miss Kittin, Trentemoeller, Shizuo, Alec Empire and Nic Endo’s solo stuff. We’re 50% electronic and 50% organic(sorry I have no better words for it) and that’s the way it’s always been. We also have a deep fascination with surf music and the Pacific Ocean. The American West symbolizes a mystic and restless notion of the end of the world, perhaps the end of everything and the beginning a something new, a state of rebirth, if you will. It is the theme of many of our songs. We love the simple and powerful songwriting style of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens and a lot of our sound is borrowed from these two geniuses. If you listen to "Everyday" by Buddy Holly, you’ll hear the familiar glockenspiel and the simple "hands on knees" beat which is basically what we’re all about. Our fascination with noise comes from Sonic Youth and Atari Teenage Riot. We sometimes use noise as a background layer(Attack Of The Ghost Riders and Sad Transmission)like The Mary Chain used to do so beautifully but mostly we use noise as another solo instrument like Sonic Youth. Sometimes we go all out like Atari Teenage Riot and in my opinion ATR will always be the masters of noise, no doubt about it! Having said all this, I wanna make it clear that we’ve never been opposed to change either so whatever happens, happens!

These are exciting times in the music industry as the old regime has been torn down by newer and better powers. The worlds have changed and the artist is finally back in control of everything, the way it should have always been. This means that if you’re a prolific and creative band you can really please yourself and others by letting everything flow in a continuous stream of interesting music and that’s exactly what we intend to do! Why wait another year or two for new material from your favorite band when we now have the opportunity to release new tunes whenever we feel like it? That’s right, 2008 will see the release of not only “Lust Lust Lust” but also an additional 3 EP’s each containing 3-4 new tunes. The first EP is set for release in September, then October and the last one in November.. We have no idea what direction these EP’s will take as of yet but they’re all gonna be fucking brilliant! Basically think about the glorious year of 1977 when The Ramones released two of their best albums “Leave Home” and “Rocket To Russia”, I wish bands would still do that. we’re taking it all back from the man! It’s time to be in control! Rave On!”

-Sune Rose Wagner, April 6th 2008.

No real criticism meant whatsoever, but I actually thought the Raves were relatively flat when they were touring during this Lust Lust Lust era. The three tranches of touring after that have seen something sparkier, more punchy, less restricted; for a band who have no real creative limits to impose them anyway always seemed a bit of a shame. I do still love Lust Lust Lust though. It captures a really primal conflict between euphoria and brutality, and only Sune and Sharin could ever have made it.


Jan 4

Top 20 Albums of 2012 - 5

The Raveonettes - Observator

image

"You are always there to remind me I feel loved - I’m the enemy. I’m the enemy."

In a sense, it’s actually quite difficult to write about the Raveonettes. I could just repeat myself for the nth time about how they’ve never put a foot wrong over a decade of relentless experimentation, how their calling card of noise and beautiful vocals is reliably sublime, how they tamper with different interpretations of the same aesthetic, and therein lies the joy and reward, etc. etc.

But this time I was wondering what I would think of Observator had I no background with this band, a fresh slate, nothing to thank them for. What I think I would find would be the freshest form of derivativeness imaginable; affirming singing amidst the washed out scuzz (Young And Cold), jet black noire pop (Curse The Night) and - although I wouldn’t know it for definite - one of the best songs that this aloof, anachronistic band would surely ever have come up with in You Hit Me (I’m Down). It’s a jewel. The tones are simply astonishing. I always moan that I was born 15 years too late; but this could very well be as close as I will get to living through the contemporary noise that matters, that will stand any test of time.

What a record Observator is. Sune and Sharin can do no wrong. They have never let me down in any sense, ever. They’re masters of their art. They have nothing but my total, undivided attention, and I love them oh so, so much.


Sep 12
"For so long, I tried to capture a new muse and carve out a path forward for us. I travelled thousands of miles to find it and experienced all kinds of insanity along the way. Yet all the while, the future of The Raveonettes was in the people, the occurrences, and the relationships that were immediately around me. It’s not an LA album. It’s not even a New York album. It’s a collection of observations that occur in life and as I’ve learned, life happens everywhere.”
-Sune Rose Wagner

"For so long, I tried to capture a new muse and carve out a path forward for us. I travelled thousands of miles to find it and experienced all kinds of insanity along the way. Yet all the while, the future of The Raveonettes was in the people, the occurrences, and the relationships that were immediately around me. It’s not an LA album. It’s not even a New York album. It’s a collection of observations that occur in life and as I’ve learned, life happens everywhere.”

-Sune Rose Wagner


Apr 10

Standard Raveonettes fare, i.e. genius.

x


Jan 12

Top 10 Albums of 2011 - 0, and some that didn’t make it

Here’s a self-indulgant recap of my top 10 for 2011.

10 - Talvihorros - Descent Into Delta
9 - Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip
8 - Conquering Animal Sound - Kammerspiel
7 - The Raveonettes - Raven In The Grave
6 - Epic45 - Weathering
5 - I Break Horses - Hearts
4 - Chris Tenz - Frozen Arms
3 - The Victorian English Gentlemens Club - Bag of Meat
2 - Rob St. John - Weald
1 - Esben And The Witch - Violet Cries

But, dear readers, there’s a twist in the tale…

0 - Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow

I was halfway through the lazy process of writing up my top 10 when I heard 50 Words For Snow. I knew at that point I was fucked, really.

Maybe it was for the best. I don’t want to compare this album to anything else; it’s right and proper that it sits by itself, all alone. It’s the work of a total, total fucking genius - that most tired of tired epithets. It’s so haunting, so beautiful, that I don’t even know if I prefer it to Esben’s Violet Cries, or to Rob’s Weald, or to whatever. It just exists on it’s own terms, and that’s that.

No words can describe what this record sounds like. I think that is a large part of the point of the ethereal; it is imagined, and experienced, not described.

Some That Didn’t Make It

The Horrors - Skying

Thoroughly decent third album from a band who thrive on changing their aesthetic like rain; this Nuggets-esque swirl of Krautrock and psych is compelling, but not as downright fun as Strange House and not as overpowering as their Geoff Barrow-supervised shoegazeing opus Primary Colours. It’s still fucking great, mind.

Friendly Fires - Pala

Dancing shoes = on. A worthy follow up to a brilliant first record, Pala is more concerned with layers and smooth groove rather than raggedy, Liquid Liquid funk. It’s done so well that I really don’t care.

Jeniferever - Silesia

Jeni are getting better with every record, and Silesia has the most staying power of anything they’ve cranked out yet. It doesn’t contain anything to rival From Across The Sea, but then what does? Hearths is gorgeous, the opening title track striking, with all sorts of shades of violence and chilling atmosphere in between. This album was a brave move, and a brave assimilation of influences - the only way post-rock can even hope to remain interesting. Explosions In The Sky and all the rest of you tedious old wankers, take note.

Mirrors - Lights And Offerings


Impeccable pilfered 80s electro from some of the ex-Mumm-Ra crew. The standard influences (Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk) are so obvious that it’s almost not worth pointing them out, but when there are formidably well-written pop tunes like Ways To An End, Hide And Seek and Searching In The Wilderness, who cares? Joy is precious these days. Grasp it.

Alex Turner - Submarine

Suck it And See was mainly a festering piece of turd, so it was a relief to see Al Turner’s proper songwriting surface in some form, even if his band are now above and beyond the pale. This mini-EP drafted in Bill Ryder-Jones and Owen Pallett, but primarily existed to provide a soundtrack of quiet, maudlin heartbreak for one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time. It’s remarkably affecting and despite it’s brevity, it was teetering on the edge of the top 10.

The Kills - Blood Pressures

Every time The Kills release anything, I want to love it dearly, with all of my heart. Luckily, their last attempt at weirdo grime-hop, Midnight Boom, was my favourite record of 2008 and my favourite thing ever done by one of my favourite bands. Less luckily, Blood Pressures has incredible, signature tracks, but lacks the insane invention of its predecessor, and to my impatient ears, it’s just OK. As I did with the Dead Weather’s second release last year; criticise your idols more than anyone else. Be harsh, demand more. The Kills are capable of so much better than this. It’s clearly still a great album. It’s just a step downwards, and this saddens me beyond measure.

S.C.U.M. - Again Into Eyes

S.C.U.M.’s live performances are exhibitions of wondrous, withdrawn violence and enviably brilliant shoegaze tones; I dubbed them as potentially the new Bark Psychosis earlier in the year, and I can award no higher praise. Inevitably, the resultant album never stood a chance of recreating this aloof, sullen chaos, but it is still something to be savoured nonetheless. Whitechapel remains as brilliant as ever.

x


Dec 28
Shoegaze 101
(From bottom to top)
Amusement Parks On Fire - Amusement Parks On FireAmusement Parks On Fire - Out Of The AngelesBark Psychosis - HexChapterhouse - WhirlpoolCocteau Twins - Head Over HeelsCocteau Twins - Heaven Or Las VegasCocteau Twins - TreasureCurve - DoppelgangerEsben & The Witch - Violet CriesGalaxie 500 - TodayJesus And Mary Chain - PsychocandyMy Bloody Valentine - Isn’t AnythingMy Bloody Valentine - You made Me Realise EPMy Bloody Valentine - LovelessThe Raveonettes - Raven In The GraveRingo Deathstarr - Colour TripSlowdive - Holding Our Breath EPSlowdive - Morningrise EPSlowdive - Just For A DaySlowdive - Souvlaki
x

Shoegaze 101


(From bottom to top)


Amusement Parks On Fire - Amusement Parks On Fire
Amusement Parks On Fire - Out Of The Angeles
Bark Psychosis - Hex
Chapterhouse - Whirlpool
Cocteau Twins - Head Over Heels
Cocteau Twins - Heaven Or Las Vegas
Cocteau Twins - Treasure
Curve - Doppelganger
Esben & The Witch - Violet Cries
Galaxie 500 - Today
Jesus And Mary Chain - Psychocandy
My Bloody Valentine - Isn’t Anything
My Bloody Valentine - You made Me Realise EP
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
The Raveonettes - Raven In The Grave
Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip
Slowdive - Holding Our Breath EP
Slowdive - Morningrise EP
Slowdive - Just For A Day
Slowdive - Souvlaki

x


Dec 19

Top 10 Albums of 2011 - 7

7 - The Raveonettes - Raven In The Grave

The Raveonettes are becoming a treasure. It’s all appropriated shoegaze, sure. We’ve known that for years. What Sharin and Sune have mastered is exploring the different aesthetics that could be applied to a very limited sound; take a simple beat and simple chords, and amass a litany of approaches, a catalogue of method. Like Peel said of The Fall; always different, always the same.

This is the third in a sequence of very different records indeed. Lust Lust Lust was an evil, harrowing wash of vile feedback and ghostly vocals. In And Out Of Control, still possibly my favourite of their records, was pure bubblegum pop with a horrifying thematic twist (“Those fuckers stay in your head”). And Raven In the Grave; well, Raven shines.

Ever present is the use of straightforward beats and signature melodies; opening track Recharge & Revolt is colossal, but surprising only in length and the absence of Sharin on lead vocal. Ignite is an embarrassingly good impersonation of late 80s MBV, and for all the recycled Phil Spector chord structures that statutorily complete any Raves work, there’s plenty here that I didn’t think they would have gambled with. I think it all works.

Best of all might just be My Time’s Up - the Raves archetype to end all archetypes, but somehow more graceful, less brash, letting the gorgeous sustain speak for itself. They’ve grown, in their own way, sitting and watching the setting West Coast sun.

The closest thing here to the poisonous malignancy of the lyrical themes of In And Out Of Control is Sharin’s acerbic aside, Forget That You’re Young; an unsettling, ghostly refrain that invites the listener to analyse it as negatively as their own twisted psyche allows, thereby creating the haunting effect that it’s not her that’s firmly out of line; it’s you. Sune Rose Wagner declared the record to be “bleak, depressing and beautiful - it’s one of those albums that makes you wanna blow your brains out”. Notwithstanding Sharin’s lingering interlude, his tongue must have been firmly protruding into his cheek. This stuff makes me happy to be alive - no more, no less, darkly.

PM x


Dec 1

Miserable Christmas 2011

I recently set myself a challenge - compile a CD of Christmas tunes designed to instill melancholy, bitterness and other assorted forms of narrow-minded, lip-quivering nostalgia.

My criteria haven’t been too narrow, a result of deciding that the first priority needed to be that everything on here should actually be a great song. So, then - cover versions are fair game, and explicit Christmas references aren’t necessarily a condition of entry - snowy ambience will do just as well (or even just a vague association with the relevant time of year). Also, no Fairytale Of New York. That’s too obvious.

Tracklisting -

1. Clem Leek - Snow Tale #1
2. Arab Strap - Xmas (Baby Please Come Home)
3. Gary Jules & Michael Andrews - Mad World
4. Mew - Snowflake
5. Galaxie 500 - Snowstorm
6. iLiKETRAiNS - Last Christmas
7. Low - Blue Christmas
8. Jacob Golden - Feeling Like Christmas (Again)
9. Frank Sinatra - It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
10. The Raveonettes - Christmas Song
11. An Insection - Awake/Alone On 25
12. Conquering Animal Sound - Not Til The Snow Has Gone

Ladies and gents, I am very proud to present Miserable Christmas 2011. Download it here, and may all your Christmases be blue.

PM x


Jul 12

Roskilde Festival 2011

Posting this a bit late due to recent Slavic soirée-ing, but here is my review of this year’s Roskilde Festival for the kingly Nordic Festivals.

Read about the folly of Foals! The jenius of Janelle! The apathy of the Arctic Monkeys! Read about Music for Complete Rejects! Or maybe about the perfection of Portishead? Clicky below…

Roskilde Festival is undeniably a bit of a monster. Attendance demands the ability not to get immediately overawed – there are over 100,000 people – and kingly reserves of stamina – it’s nine days long, four of which are mostly musicless excuses to get into a variety of states of nocturnal disrepute.

PM x


Apr 7

Raven In The Grave

Happy to say that this has arrived -

The Raveonettes don’t make bad records. At all. But this first listen is jolly impressive, even for them. It’s as different in feel and texture to In And Out Of Control (their finest hour, for me) as said bubblegum pop-gone-really-nasty record was to Lust Lust Lust, the densest and darkest the Raves ever managed.

This one is far more sweeping, far more anthemic than before. And yet it still manages the sadistic, brooding mid-LP lull. Recharge and Revolt's cocky Holden Caulfield strut risks being as dislikable as said character (and as boring as that fucking horrible book), but in context it isn't anything else than euphoric. War In Heaven ends in a blissful squall of deafening noise. Then there’s tender, Bark Psychosis-like guitar work in the remnants of Summer Moon. Ignite, gloriously, wonderfully, sounds much like Isn’t Anything-era MBV. And for all the recycled Phil Spector chord structures that statutorily complete any Raves work, there’s plenty here that I didn’t think they would have gambled with. I think it all works.

Best of all might just be My Time’s Up - the Raves archetype to end all archetypes, but somehow more graceful, less brash. Letting the gorgeous sustain speak for itself. You know how Van Morrison abruptly grew up, ditched the hyperactive rockabilly blues and made Astral Weeks? Well, these kids are not like Van The Man. In any form, way or shape. But I have a suspicion they’ve grown, in their own way, sitting and watching the setting West Coast sun.

The closest thing here to the poisonous malignancy of the lyrical themes of In And Out Of Control is Sharin’s acerbic aside Forget That You’re Young, an unsettling, ghostly refrain that invites the listener to analyse it as negatively as their own twisted psyche allows, thereby creating the haunting effect that it’s not her that’s firmly out of line; it’s you. Sune Rose Wagner billed the record as “bleak, depressing and beautiful - it’s one of those albums that makes you wanna blow your brains out”. Notwithstanding Sharin’s lingering interlude, his tongue must have been firmly protruding into his cheek. This stuff makes me happy to be alive - no more, no less.

PM, Igniting x


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