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SPEEDY WUNDERGROUND / [PIAS]

Coming hot on the heels of last November’s debut single “OGO” – which won enthusiastic support from Stereogum, Loud & Quiet, DJ, NME and Rough Trade – Slice is a four-track snapshot of the duo’s first two years of existence. “Slice” and “Grouchy” turn sax and drums into pneumatic patterns of riff and rhythm that draw from the muscular viscerality of metal and the dancefloor dynamics of build and drop. “Moon”, meanwhile, snakes a limber saxophone line through a variety of dub production styles. And the closing “ATM” takes up a familiar melody with subversive intent, repurposing it into something that swings from beauty to rage and back again.

Says Tash: “We played loads of gigs before we ever got in the studio, so we had lots of tracks to choose from. We picked these four because they’re all quite different from one another, while showing off all the styles we like to play.”

The pair recorded the EP live with Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey at his South London studio. Following the recording, the three subjected the tracks to an array of post-production tricks, making full use Carey’s enviable selection of vintage dub production units. “Dan’s got a full collection of spring reverbs, tape delays, digital delays, bucket brigade delays and plate reverbs,” says Joe. “We don’t see ourselves as a dub group or anything like that, but we both really love heavy, bass-driven music, and none of this stuff would exist without King Tubby.”

As the circular simplicity of their name suggests, O. are a true self-contained unit. They formed in London during lockdown, when Joe and Tash – both veterans of a string of London ensembles – found themselves in a bubble together. When they started jamming, it was with no preconceptions: don’t overthink it, just play and see what happens. Before long, though, they were augmenting live instruments with effects – Joe routing his saxophone through a pedal board, Tash treating her drums with reverb and delay. As their sound grew and grew, it gradually became clear there wouldn’t be space for anyone else.

O. played their first show at Brixton Windmill, and the venue’s booker Tim Perry invited them back to support Black Midi. Immediately after their set, Black Midi’s Morgan Simpson invited them out on tour around the UK and Europe – a true trial by fire. “I think our fifth gig was at Alexandra Palace – it was terrifying,” remembers Tash. “But the main thing we learned was that we can be as weird as we want to be. Black Midi’s whole approach is that it’s OK to be playful. We both really liked that, because there's a playfulness to our music, too.”

It was this experimental urge that saw Joe and Tash run their own nights, O Zone, at Brixton Windmill – collaborative live sessions that saw O. improvise onstage with luminaries including Nerija’s Rosie Turton, Edna from Goat Girl, Melt Yourself Down’s Pete Wareham and Steam Down’s Wonky Logic. Following a tour with Dublin’s Gilla Band, though, O.’s music has just been getting heavier, louder, more intense. “People have come to see us and said they’ve enjoyed the fact it feels about two centimetres from falling apart,” says Tash. “With two instruments, you have to push yourself, physically, right to the edge to keep it interesting. But we enjoy that challenge.”

TRACK LISTING

1. Slice
2. Moon
3. Grouchy
4. ATM

Miss Tiny

DEN7 (EP)

    Miss Tiny is a brand-new musical project featuring acclaimed record producer and Speedy Wunderground label founder Dan Carey (Wet Leg, Slowthai, Fontaines D.C.) alongside Ben Romans-Hopcraft of Warmduscher / Insecure Men / Childhood fame.

    A spiritually, and methodically united front, Miss Tiny’s universe is a thoroughly explored romance between heritage, rebellion, and years old friendship; a triptych of variables all gravitating towards one signalled output, with no real sense of time, or external pressures. Having spent the best part of a decade orchestrating haphazard jam-sessions, Carey and Romans-Hopcraft would eventually go on to discover a fundamental principle of their own. One which would come to define Miss Tiny, throughout her various forms and guises.

    “We called it anti-recording,” continues Carey. “Only doing it for the pleasure of doing it”. When fully committing to this practice, the music meticulously follows two courses; refine, or degrade. Perfect the moment, or let it go; never to be heard, or re-lived ever again for fear that the action of pressing record, would inevitably take ownership of the occasion and lead the experimentation into a downward spiral towards something all-together tangible.

    The irony of a seminal producer and critically revered musician banding together out of mutual distaste for recording, is not one that’s gone amiss. In fact, they’ll be the first to proudly call it into question- and yet still, Miss Tiny holds her own despite all peripheral associations, and would eventually go on to be documented. These aren’t ‘sit-down-and-write-a-song’ kinda songs. These spurts of spontaneity which would, in time, ultimately form the duo's debut EP ‘DEN7’, are years’ worth of trial and error. Trial and elation. A process in which strong technique and melodic-manipulation are the sole foundations required to reinvent the meaning of memory; be it guitar and drums, or flesh and blood.

    Produced and recorded at Carey’s ‘Speedy Wunderground’ studio in Streatham, ‘DEN7’ is a masterful introduction to a group whose members need none. Through chopping, editing, and re-defining their improvised segments into songs which they could eventually go on to learn, Carey and Romans-Hopcraft by chance, stumbled upon gold-dust. Like Alice and her looking glass, our two protagonists effortlessly pass through all notions of engineered logic in order to see beyond the expected. The bigger picture perhaps. Or the magic in the small things that matter most.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Liam says: New mega EP from super producer Dan Carey and Ben Romans-Hopcraft of shop faves Childhood and Warmduscher, Miss Tiny's 'DEN7' is scuzzy slice of choppy post-punk that is full of groove and intriguing ideas - don't sleep on this!

    TRACK LISTING

    1. River Hands
    2. Sailing
    3. The Beggar
    4. The Sound
    5. Grit

    Moreish Idols

    Lock Eyes And Collide EP

      Coherence is overrated. Especially if keeping things hazy, and not smoothing away all the rough edges, and allowing all the seeming contradictions to find their own unique harmony with each other in their own time can result in the heady magic of Lock Eyes & Collide, the second EP from South London-based quintet Moreish Idols. Across these four tracks, Moreish Idols deal in tangles of hyper-melodic guitar, sleepy-eyed murmurs glowing with unassuming poetry, blossoms of wise saxophone, rhythms that pulse and purr to their own inarguable logic. You could spend days trying to define what exactly it is they are doing over these fifteen or so minutes, but you’d be wiser to just lose yourself within Lock Eyes & Collide’s laser-guided twists and turns.

      Pulling into focus. They passed tracks from initial collaborative song-writing sessions along to Dan Carey, who signed Moreish Idols to his Speedy Wunderground label and produced their first release on the label, the Float EP, in the summer of 2022 (they’d released a pair of self-released 7”s before lockdown). Restless, jerky, jagged and rhythmically centred, many of Float’s energetic pleasures bore the influence of their earlier flirtation of post-punk, but the ruminative When The River Runs Dry spelled deeper treasures lay within, while the erratic, wonderful Speedboat spoke to Moreish Idols’ essential gift for mystery. Lock Eyes & Collide is something else altogether, though – a looser constellation of ideas, a clearer hint of the group’s future.

      The elements that compose the EP – swooning tremolo guitars, prickly melodic riddles, erudite saxophone improvs, loose and flexible rhythms – make perfect sense together, on vinyl if not on paper, sounding like Watery, Domestic-era Pavement one second and some bucolic Canterbury Scene prog the next, but always, always like Moreish Idols most of all.

      The future that is undefined is limitless. If Lock Eyes & Collide captures Moreish Idols’ present, what do they see in their future? “If we’d just made Float II for our second EP, people would be, ‘Oh, they’re the band that does that,” says Tom. “I’m so glad we’ve made this weird alter-ego of our first EP; now we feel we can do whatever we want.”

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Nocturnal Creatures
      2. Between These Ears
      3. Green Light
      4. Chum


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