All Fun And Games Until Everyone Goes Blind
Springing from southend’s buoyant music scene (nothing but thieves, youth club, david woodcock) usselman is the moniker for multi-instrumentalist chris usselman – who, has written, arranged and produced a debut album of glittering alt electro-pop ‘all fun and games until everyone goes blind’
Ten futurist-tunes drawing from the synthesized gold mine of giorgio moroder, sparks and depeche mode, with the millennial edge and depth of rodion, ulrich schnauss and tycho on tracks like ‘mountains’ ‘wolf’ and sure-fire festival belter ‘the valley’
Includes singles to date ‘tongue tied’ and ‘with the tides’ and ‘wolf’ which have received radio support from steve lamacq bbc 6 music, producers pick at bbc introducing essex, whilst international stations have supported radio alpa (france), byte fm + couch fm (germany), artefaktor radio, eu radio nantes (album of the week) as well as various college radio stations.
Mixed in london and oslo by kev feazey and nick terry – usselman’s ‘all fun and games until everyone goes blind’ could be the lost soundtrack to a sci-fi cult classic or a ready-made art-pop playlist – and is a welcome addition to the electronic unit of blow up records (baltic fleet, aspic boulevard, daiquiri fantomas).
Pre-orders of the LP and CD come with a signed post card by David Woodcock -Exclusive to Blow Up shop, while stocks last.
The vinyl is a limited edition of 500 copies, pressed on 180g heavy weight black vinyl and includes an album download code.
My Sweet Movida
Alfa 9 return with their third album ‘My Sweet Movida‘. The Newcastle-under-Lyme based four piece are back with their Morricone-esque tinged cosmic country psych rock, that’s layered with vocal harmonies delivering what the band believe to be their strongest set of songs to date.
This their first release since ‘Gone To Ground’, which made Vive le Rock and Sound of Confusion best of the year lists in 2013 and saw the band featured in various magazines including Classic Rock and Shindig. They were interviewed by Steve Lamacq for his ‘New Favourite Band’ feature at BBC 6 Music around the album release and El Morocco (taken from Gone To Ground) later hit the BBC 6 Music playlist for a month as the band performed live at the Liverpool Psych Fest.
Of the band’s debut ‘Then We Begin’ Clash described this as “A fully realised and hugely ambitious debut which succeeds on every level” whilst Shindig said “one of the best albums of the last decade”. The title track ‘Then We Begin’ and ‘Flasher’ from the album more recently surfaced in key sequences of the auto-behemoth that is The Grand Tour.
A first taste from My Sweet Movida’Smile Dog’is already receiving radio support from Gideon Coe and Guy Garvey at BBC 6 Music.
‘Moog Maximus’ see the welcome return of The Bongolian, AKA multi-instrumentalist and Big Boss Man front man Nasser Bouzida. His fifth album under the Bongolian moniker continues the musical journey where 2011’s ‘Bongos For Beatniks‘ left off, taking us through the fractures of time like fellow traveller H. G. Wells. Nasser has now landed in ancient Rome, armed with a bank of Moog synthesisers over a bed of heavy grooves in a wildly eclectic fusion of Funk Soul Hammond Beat Jazz and a Sci-Fi Boogaloo.
Back in 2001, Nasser Bouzida disappeared into his studio and created a solo set of recordings which resulted in the birth of his alter ego The Bongolian. Drawing on influences of Funk, Latin, Soul and Jazz, Nasser produced an inspired selection of recordings blending elements of grinding percussion and heavy Bongo rhythms. The eponymous debut ‘The Bongolian‘ was released early in 2002 to much critical acclaim, and followed up by the albums ‘Blueprint‘, ‘Outer Bongolia‘ and ‘Bongos For Beatniks‘. The albums have become record box essentials for DJs, finding a wide appeal from Dance and Hip-Hop to Rare Groove and Funk 45s fans.
Nasser has also assembled a high calibre five piece live band with which The Bongolian have toured USA, UK and Europe.
Nasser Bouzida’s most recent release was with Big Boss Man whose 4th album ‘Last Man On Earth‘ which received strong support at BBC 6 Music (Cerys Mathews, Craig Charles, Gideon Coe, Nemone) with the band touring Europe extensively since it’s release. The Bongolian also collaborated with Fay Hallam for the album ‘Lost In Sound‘ (Fay Hallam & The Bongolian).
The Dear One
Transitioning from the industrial backdrop of the last album ‘Towers‘, The Dear One is set in the Pennine wilderness where an early 19th century diary of the same name is discovered providing the inspiration for a psychedelic tinged electronic soundscape. The new sound draws influence from the likes of New Order’s Movement, Daft Punk’s Homework, The KLF, Talking Heads, Boards of Canada and Tangerine Dream. The record documents a musical imagination of the lives of characters from the diary and blurs the lines between the diary and life here and now, touching on religion, loss and escapism.
The album was recorded in Baltic Fleet’s now relocated home studio in Lancashire with additional tracks laid down at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool institute of Performing Arts by the long term friends that make up the live band. With an expanding array of vintage equipment analogue and digital synths, drum machines and effects Baltic Fleet sculpted a new sound that took in electronica, ambient but also reflected the new, heavier sound of the developing live set.
Baltic Fleet is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist and DIY producer Paul Fleming. The new album follows his critically acclaimed debut ‘Baltic Fleet‘ (a Rough Trade Shop ‘Albums of the Year’) and his second album ‘Towers‘ which also made several End of Year Polls and was nominated for the Liverpool Music Awards Album of The Year. Baltic Fleet is also a winner of the annual Liverpool GIT Awards. Both previous albums have gained UK radio support particularly from BBC 6 Music (including Steve Lamacq, Gideon Coe, Stuart Maconie & Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley who invited Baltic Fleet in for a 6 Music session), and BBC Radio 2 (Janice Long) as well as international airplay. Baltic Fleet were also nominated for a Music Week Sync Award.
Includes the singles ‘Open Secret’, ‘Same Things’ and ‘Beggars Can’t Be Choosers’, which have had strong radio support from key UK tastemakers, Steve Lamacq – “A great little pop record” – (BBC 6 Music), John Kennedy (Xfm X-posure Hot One) and Gary Crowley (BBC London + Amazing Radio)
David’s songs are steeped in the classic British song writing tradition epitomised by the likes of Ray Davies, Steve Harley and Ian Dury. Lyrics filled with humour, pathos, wry observations and a riotous energy – in David’s music there’s certainly an air of Ian Hunter rockin’ it up with Mott The Hoople, Vivian Stanshall as a drunken Harry Nilsson, Pete Doherty with a clean bill of health or Damon Albarn in young, cocky scamp mode. Live, David works the room to the max. He gives us tales of lost love, lust, jealousy, memories, regrets and of living life to its messy limits and all the consequences that entails. On record the energy remains. Turn it on, pour a drink and revel in the world of David Woodcock!
Following ‘Lost In Sound’, Fay Hallam’s acclaimed collaboration with The Bongolian, Fay returns to Blow Up Records for a new solo album ‘Corona’.
Fay wrote the majority of the songs in a two day whirlwind writing session after returning from a tour of Italy, which ultimately inspired this atmospheric eclectic album. ‘Corona’ has absorbed Fay’s love for the Bossa Nova of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto, the experimental productions of the Carpenters and the eclecticism of Beck. There’s even a nod to the 50’s pop of Frankie Laine with ‘Giving Myself Away’ and a sole cover: Paul McCartney’s classic ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ joins the new set of songs.
With thoughts still fresh of driving through the Alps and soaking up the ambience, the songs took on a reflective mood displaying a softer, more atmospheric side to Fay’s music. An almost nocturnal feel prevails at times, exemplified by album opener ‘Se mi Ami’, perfect for late night listening, whilst her love for Soul and Rhythm & Blues still shines through on songs such as ‘Let Me Into Your Soul’ and ‘Sunny’
Originally from Wolverhampton, vocalist and keyboard player Fay Hallam has performed over the years in acts such as Makin’ Time (with a pre-The Charlatans Martin Blunt), The Prime Movers, Phaze and The Fay Hallam Trinity. She has worked with Billy Childish, Graham Day, Alan Crockford and other luminaries of the Medway Scene where she has lived for many years. She has toured the UK and Europe extensively.
CREDITS: ‘Corona’ was produced, recorded and arranged by Fay, with the accompaniment of her group of long time trusted musical collaborators for the performances. Recording took place over several months at various locations with additional production and mixing by Kev Feazey.
Blow Up presents Yéyé Existentialiste – a compilation of the recording highlights of one of the world’s greatest exponents of lo-fi pop – Stereo Total.
EARLY ORDERS FROM THE BLOW UP SHOP HERE (LP & CD) COME WITH A LIMITED POSTCARD SIGNED BY THE BAND >>
Stereo Total is the Berlin based French-German duo Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring, whose playful eclectic music incorporates anything from New Wave, Pop Electronique, 60’s French pop mashed up with trashy garage Punk Rock and Disco to form the band’s distinctive sound:“We’ve got a special sense of aesthetic. Cheap and cheesy, but still cool and chic.”
‘Yéyé Existentialiste‘ has been compiled by Paul Tunkin in conjunction with Cactus and Brezel for Blow Up Records. Stereo Total were always a favourite act to book for Tunkin who has promoted shows with the band in London since the 90s at various locations for his Blow Up club night. He approached the band about a new compilation album and now here we are… The double album (released on heavyweight double LP, CD and digital) features 28 recordings that span their twenty year career: including tracks from their first album ‘Oh Ah’ (1995) to their last studio album ‘Cactus vs Brezel’ (2012). It also includes several new mixes including a radically reworked – ‘Everybody In The Discotheque (I Hate) – (Blow Up mix)’. Both CD and Vinyl contain new liner notes about the tracks contained and lyrics. All the recordings have been re-mastered by Noel Summerville at 33/45 Mastering London.