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Argh! ! ! !  It has been an age since the last post on blueair (so lets make this a lengthy one eh?!)….. and even longer since my last post, although I blame this on it being my final year at uni, the year of the stress head for sure!  However thats all in the past, I’m now a free man with nothing better to do during his day than watch the grim Scottish weather empty volumes equal to the entire of the North Sea plus some uber winds that can actually pull down trees(!), also watching Sean Bean in game of thrones (which is epic by the way!) AND most importantly listening to all the brand spanking new records that have been released lately!

So…. these records I speak of…….. in particular are; the Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Commitee (part 2) and Peste Noire – L’Ordure à l’état Pur.

The Beastie Boys have done it again, their first rap orientated album since 2004’s “to the 5 Boroughs” (hot sauce is better in my opinion!), is an absolute corker where they prove to the world that you can rap into your late 40’s and remain at the top of your game, with 16 tracks they show absolutly no signs of giving up!  Eclipsing the RnB style embraced by the masses these days – to you fickle people: this is real hip hop!!  However, I shall continue onwards with a mini review of Peste Noire’s new album – as I’ve just listened to it today for the first time!

Not exactly the most popular band in the world, but in two words Peste Noire (from France if you hadn’t guessed already) are Fucking amazing!

Essentially they are a Black Metal band, perhaps more correctly termed; collective headed by the ever present guitarist/vocalist/song writer/multi instrumentalist – La sale Famine de Valfunde; or known simply as Famine – thats him rocking out in the photo to the right.  To say their style is simply black metal would be a big mistake, as they have continuously evolved through time (something I like in my music – when done well like in Famines case, is the sign of a truly talented unique musician) and to be honest it would pretty hard to come up with a couple of words to describe their style, although most people term them – Medieval (Musical style), Nationalist (lyrical content – GCSE standard French is not ideal to aid in your understanding) Black Metal.

So the new album: L’Ordure à l’état Pur, track by track:

  1.  Casse, Pêches, Fractures Et Traditions – The perfect opener, showcases the new Peste Noire style but is still easily recognisable from a classic Famine riff that kicks in after a slow 2 minute build up.  One new element imidiatly jumps out here: the addition of brass instruments and an accordion in an almost “oompapa” breakdown fashion… plus some well placed uses of wolf howls and sword clashing noises add tons to the atmosphere – the outro is killer!!….along with the use of chicken noises!
  2. Cochon Carotte Et Les Sœurs Crotte –  Some of the drumming on this track wouldn’t sound too out of place in a nightclub, This is peste noire as you’ve never heard them before!  After one listen I really didn’t know what to think but then 2nd time round I found myself rocking out.  This song starts in a typically manic fashion then moves on to some good solid riffing, dancy drum and bass, some well placed screams topped off with yet another rather special outro; this is highly original stuff chaps and chapettes!
  3. J’avais Rêvé Du Nord 1 – Awesome start with famines dirty sounding guitar riff pausing for several shotgun reloads before the song kicking in with the shot being fired.  Again this song has a very dancy electronic drum beat but then pauses for a mandolin (possibly?), acoustic guitar interlude with strings and clean female vocals kicking in also.  The song then resumes although faster than before; more typically PN.  For such an insane song with astronomically contrasting sections it works perfectly!
  4. J’avais Rêvé Du Nord 2 – Possibly the most “traditional” black metal track on the album along with a little acoustic breakdown, its also the shortest one at just under 7 min.  Both fast and down beat sections, a really good solid song plus some cracking guitar composition!  Has an epic sing along “lalalalalalala LA LA” section in which you feel compelled to join in with!
  5. Sale Famine Von Valfoutre – This song wouldn’t sound too out of place on any of PN releases.  Has just about every style of black metal ever conceived in one song! Pure evil!
  6. La Condi Hu – The 30 second intro is almost beautiful and far removed from most of the raging insanity of the other songs, once the riff properly kicks in the only way you can describe it is from the feeling of sadness it oozes straight at you!  The riffs change and theres some really good accompanying string sections in places.  Simply put this song is amazing!  Famine has traditionally rounded up the previous three outings with a cracking tune and this is no exception!!!!  Also I think it worth while noting that Famines vocals are possibly at their best on this album as whole!
This album is awesome I give it 10/10 due to the originallity, variation, brilliant composition and how close to a perfect record that this is!  If you like music that is wild, distorted and varied not just from song to song but within the songs themselves you should give this album a spin.  Anyone who thinks black metal (or metal in general for that matter!!) is bland and boring or was dead and buried in the 90’s; this is my message to you! Listen to Peste Noire, without doubt one of the best in the business!  Last but not least heres a YouTube link to the last song off the album “La Condi Hu”:
or available for purchase from http://www.lamesnieherlequin.com  (or)  http://www.mesnieamerique.com
Lee, signing off.

Virus

Posted: September 21, 2010 by Lee in Uncategorized
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So.  Its been a while since I’ve taken a wander in these parts….. basically its been a pretty crammed summer.  However I’m now back at university and have returned to the endless hours spent in front of the monitor  so I thought I’d put all this time to good use and chat about some music!

If I’m honest I haven’t spent a lot of the summer listening to brand spanking new music: mainly solidifying and expanding my love for old school norwegian black metal – bands like Darkthrone, Mayhem (in the picture to the left) and Enslaved are staples!  A mainly misunderstood genre which everyone, for some reason, presumes is all to do with goth and Satan worship etc etc.  Its far from.  All these blokes care about is stringing some epic riffs together, playing really fast and screaming like something out of the lord of the rings about topics such as death (obviously!), Viking sagas, apocalyptic wars and battles.  The music is all about setting an atmosphere which is much like that of the norwegian landscape itself: cold, dark, desolate and most importantly; uniquely spectacular.

However the band I wish to thrust upon thee today is called virus.  They are a 3 – piece outfit from Norway, with two albums “carheart” 2003 and “the black flux” 2008.  Inspired by black metal, they have managed to create a unique blend involving some of the black metal elements but with the addition of a new post metal/avant garde sound.  I can’t say I’ve heard anything like these guys before.  The music has the simplicity of black metal but loses the screaming and uber fast drumming.  The guitar work is right up my street and the riffs that they come up with sound as though they are being woven right in front of you.  Much Unlike many other metal genres.  Where their only worry is cramming in as many complexities and solos as possible without even thinking about anything else.  Which after 2 songs is repetitive and very, very boring.  All in all Virus are an epic listen and discovery on my part I must say as they are pretty underground.  I’ve added a couple of their songs onto spotify: Blue Air Songs of 2010 but here is a link to youtube just in case you don’t have it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQLHiXRRUSY

And most importantly theres plenty of atmosphere and cold sounding songs…..I see myslef listening to this band a lot in the coming months! Enjoy

Sooooo the world cup has been taking over everyones lives for a good few weeks now and after last nights result, which I shall breeze over, I think the less we talk about football the better!  I just want to quickly give a shout out to (a homage to his epicness!) how amazing Sir Christopher Lee is!  It seems appearing as some of the most iconic characters during the the past 60 odd years of film simply isnt good enough for Lee who is now 88!!  Now in honor of his bloodline stretching back to the Frankish King slash first Holy Roman Emperor: Charlemagne, he has recorded “in the universal language of metal” – a Symphonic Metal concept album with the dark age overlord as the theme.  He has worked with American metal act Manowar on the project of whom he has previously worked with and confessed to being a fan of for some time.  Plus he is currently over the moon with this work as hes just won a Metalhammer award and for topping the british metal charts!

Although musically its not my favourite style of metal I can’t stress how epic it is seeing someone who was already 50 when the earliest metal records were being released embrace the genre but not only that, love it enough to inspire him to use his epic “Saruman vocals” to create a metal record….. truly amazing!  Please please please do a black metal album on Lindisfarne – 793 AD  that, I think chaps, would blow my balls clean off!

Website —— >    http://www.charlemagneproductions.org/

Happy listening!!

Paul Grey R.I.P

Posted: May 26, 2010 by Lee in Uncategorized
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Yesterday I was hit with the terrible news of the latest death in the music industry! Paul Grey; age 38, aka number 2 and long term bassist of slipknot – one of my favourite bands.

He died on the 24th May while staying at a hotel in slipknots home town of Des Moines, Iowa.  Police released  they were not treating the death as suspicious.  The earliest results from the autopsy have shown that his death seemed to be natural as no foul play was detected however time will tell.  Slipknot broadcast a live myspace message regarding the subject last night (May 25th).  It was clear to see despite being a band of 9 they all mean a lot to each other.  The message was tearful in parts as you would expect after 11 years together cruising through the world of metal.  If your a fellow fan and want to see what the band say on the matter then heres the link: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=3646959&blogId=534898253.  He leaves his pregnant wife behind, carrying their first child.  All this shows an unfamiliar human side to the often inhuman look the band adopts for their masked stage persona’s.

His death follows Ronnie James Dio (As himself and with the post Ozzy Black Sabbath) and Peter Steele (Type O negative) all within a month of each other!…a trend my sister pointed out was initiated by Michael Jackson almost a year ago.

The question people will now ask: what is next for slipknot?  Will they call it a day now that the stable line up since 1999’s self titled debut album has been broken.  I remember Corey (vocals) before they released All hope is gone (2008) stating they didn’t want to become a bunch of 40 some things pretending they’ve still got it.   That is clearly not the case as the album demonstrated that they are still as intense as ever!

As a tribute to Paul I have added the song Gently off slipknots second album Iowa here —– Blue Air Songs of 2010. The songs driving force is his bass riff – Paul you will be missed!

So.  I bring ye all the third instalment of our summertime music blueair playlist specials!  Again just like Adam and Ferg’s the songs I have chosen can be seen and listened to for free(!) on Spotify; just click the link below.

I’ve gone all out and random with this one but I think the selection works as summer is such a random, epic time of the year.  The overlying genres being rock, dance, metal and chillout but as you’ll find; its not quite as simple as those four words.  I could quite happily listen to this playlist all summer (surprisingly as I did make it) –  which in the UK is confined to one whole week of June.  I’ve followed the same layout as the others and not just restricted my choices to recent tracks.  In fact only about half of the songs were released within the last year.  And I apologise for not cutting it down to 10 songs!  Still it gives you one more song to listen to… a bonus track!

Listing is:

  1. Holiday – Weezer (from the blue album, 1994)
  2. We Want War – These New Puritans (from Hidden, 2010)
  3. The Battle of Hatin – Breed 77 (from Insects, 2009)
  4. Soft Temple – Grails (from Burning off Impurities, 2007)
  5. Heir Apparent – Opeth (from Watershed, 2008)
  6. To Binge – Gorillaz (from Plastic Beach, 2010)
  7. Risk – Deftones (from Diamond Eyes, 2010)
  8. The Negotiation Limerick File – Beastie Boys (from Hello Nasty, 1999)
  9. Sun Hits the Sky – Supergrass (from In It For the Money, 1997)
  10. Hope Is Gone – Moby (from Wait For Me, 2009)
  11. Slowdance – Soulwax (from Any Minute Now, 2004)

Lee’s Blueair Summer Playlist (<– the link to the playlist)

…I also thought I would add a nice summery pic to rival Adams but also follow on Ferg’s theme.  So yeah heres me jumping into the eastern Mediterranean sea.  So sit back in ze sun (or at your desk, on your computer will do fine) and enjoy some prime summertime listening!!

Lee

Everyone knows/has heard about gorillaz – “yeah its that bloke from blur with some cartoons”.  Having shot to fame internationally with gorillaz, something he didnt quite manage on the same level with blur, the stakes were high on the back of the two previous hit albums Gorillaz (2001) and Demon Days (2005).

In reference to Adams last post I would argue that this  would be my Premature Summer Album of choice for 2010!  It has everything you want for summer listening:  The opening two tracks consist of a short orchestral piece that flows into a 70’s tinged collaboration with Snoop Dogg.  I think this sets the tone for the rest of the album rather well.  Damon manages to bring in hip hop, pop, rock, soul artists as well as orchestras, and then wrap it all up in the form of – Plastic Beach.  Despite hip hop being a prominent feature on past gorillaz albums I think he takes all of his collaborations to new heights on this album.

The music definitly has more of a (I don’t want to use this word!) pop feel to it -but in a good way a kind of classic pop feel – not uber sell out like pop has come to mean over the last decade.  It uses that familiar Gorillaz sound but has that different edge to it.  I reckon this album does show up many younger musicians lack of imagination these days – and if you had no idea who gorillaz were I bet you wouldn’t think the music was made by a 42 year old?! definitly sounds like someone in their 20’s.  Its like Damon just wanted to give them all a lesson on how to make a good pop/rock record!

I can see myself driving around a lot in the summer sun listening to this record.  Highlights definitly include White flag, Superfast Jellyfish, the title track and the two collaborations with Little Dragon – To Binge and Empire Ants.  The latter remind me of modern equivalents to being a wee nipper listening to Brit pop albums in my garden in the 90’s….good times!

Anyway; yes this album is great, yes you should listen to it ….. and yes its out now!

enjoy (P.S where are Oasis these days…. I thought they were supposed to be the really talented ones? hahahaha)

Well this is the case with Varg Vikernes’ new album, out today!  Before actually metioning the music I feel I should perhaps enlighten you to the situation?….

Heres the song Belus’ Død, the second track from the new album, to listen to while you read.

The year is 1992.  Burzum, Vikernes as a 19 year old released his first album.  He became a prominent figure in Norway’s black metal scene.  Around the same time he joined another famous black metal band; Mayhem.  In 1993 he murdered Mayhems guitarist (and main man)  Øystein Aarseth (or Euronymous as he was known).  He claims that this is because Aarseth was plotting to kill him.  If you read his explanation and with evidence to support him you realise maybe he is actually telling the truth?  He was convicted in 1994 and in jail he remained until mid 2009.  Interestingly Mayhem’s delayed  album (delayed obviously due to the events) “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” was released in 1994. It contains Aarseth on guitar and Vikernes on bass – murderer and the victim playing side by side – a situation, I presume that has not occurred a great deal  in the music industry?!

Despite finding the time to make two albums while in prison, he was restricted to only using synthesisers.  That would have driven any other musician insane yeah?  Especially as he plays and writes everything.  And you can actually detect some of the riffs on the new album in these previous works.  So the new Burzum album – “Belus” is released and is the first time Vikernes has been able to let loose in quite some time.

Belus does not disappoint.  It is pure raw black metal with burzum’s atmospheric touches.  You feel like you’re back in the old days when black metal sounded fresh.  He still stands by his principles of low production quality which I feel adds so much to the atmosphere of black metal.  Many bands have ditched this in favour of a more polished sound along with adopting a more punky metal style…. Satyricon, disappointingly being one of the names to do so.  Its clear to see Varg is doing it purely for the music and  not as some post prison money grabbing exercise.  Being 16 years in the making this has to be worth a listen! Varg I’m glad you’re back!

Burzum – Belus, is out today (8th March 2010)