lcd soundsystem

Comment: Franz Ferdinand covers get a remix and some videos

Last year Domino put out an EP of cover versions from Franz Ferdinand's Tonight album for Record Store Day, with versions by Stephin Merrit, Peaches and LCD Soundsystem amongst others. They are now about to release a series of remixes of these cover versions and have recently put out a video for each cover.

The remixes themselves feel a little bit hit and miss but the most exciting is certainly Brennan Green's remix of 'Live Alone', which draws from the original as well as both LCD Soundsystem and Debbie Harry's covers. Check it out:

The above mixes are taken from 12" 2, you can check out the other mixes here.

Of the 'original' covers I'm predictably smitten with the LCD one - if you haven't heard it check out the new video directed by Gabriel Pulecio below:

The remixes come out on 19 March and Franz Ferdinand are to headline London's Field Day on Saturday 2 July.

The Obligatory Best of 2010 List - Part Two

Following on from Part One, here they are... Our favourite nine albums of 2010:


9. Crooks & Lovers - Mount Kimbie

This year saw dub step evolve. Having previously felt like an excuse for people who should know better to listen to garage some of the genre's pioneers began to, well, actually pioneer. And the innovation really came from combining the music with other genres. Mount Kimbie's debut is a perfect example - tempered with a bit of intelligent soul you suddenly had a classic on your hands, particularly on the standout 'Before I Move Off'.

8. Total Life Forever - Foals

It shouldn't really have worked... Following their acclaimed status prior to the release of their debut album (and subsequent fall from grace when it disappointed some), Foals returned with a more melodic, accessible and populist album. And it was also the best thing they have produced yet.

Criticism has been levelled at Total Life Forever on the basis that it contains too many songs to appeal to summer festival goers. Which basically means it has too many songs people will actually like. Go figure.

By stripping back the math-rock and building some actual songs Foals made an album containing several of this year's best songs. And it isn't just the sings that shine - the production work from Luke Smith is sublime - a gorgeous, melancholic, sun-bleached feeling runs through the record from the dip-in-the-pool-refreshment of 'Blue Blood' through to the desperate 'What Remains'. With not just one but two completely killer tracks ('Spanish Sahara' and '2 Trees') Total Life Forever is already shaping up to be one of 2010's most overlooked albums in the end of year roundups.


7. InnerSpeaker - Tame Imapala

Whatever you think of Tame Impala - little more than plunderers of the past or innovators kick starting a new genre - it's difficult not to get caught up in it all. Sure, the production is epic - thick basslines, rhythms punched out of solid steel and guitars that encircle the listener in proggy bliss - but it is the songs that will keep you coming back, particularly the apathetic bluesy closer 'I Don't Mind'... It's the stoner equivalent of La Roux's 'Bulletproof' and the weird rave bit halfway through never fails to surprise. Genius.

6. Black City - Matthew Dear

Potentially Dear's magnum-opus, Black City builds on everything that has come before and turns it into something original. Darker than ever, it straddles a variety of emotions, at turns alienated, sexually depraved and wounded and needy. 'You Put A Smell On Me' is like Nine Inch Nail's 'Closer' re-made for 2010 - pure, unadulterated filth of the sort that will have you singing things you really shouldn't in public.

5. The Suburbs - Arcade Fire

BlackPlastic still isn't sure if The Suburbs is as good as either of the last two Arcade Fire albums but the fact that the question even lingers means this is an album that deserves a place on the list. A cleaner and sparser record, but potentially all the more weighty for it. On first listen it seemed to lack stand out moments but repeated listens just demonstrate that this is simply because every track is a highlight.  


4. Klavierwerke - James Blake

Not an album but still one of this year's most significant releases, James Blake seems to be making it his personal mission to upset hardcore dub step fans by tearing up the rule book, taking the genre's best ideas and running off to make something entirely new with them. 'I Only Know (What I Know Now)' is the sound of a man learning from his past mistakes. It is also this year's most emotive five minutes.

3. Vampires With Dreaming Kids / Color Your Life - Twin Sister

Not an album but really a double pack EP, this nonetheless was the sound of one of 2010's most promising bands. With the stripped back aesthetic of the XX, the rawness of early Yeah Yeah Yeahs and what sounds like sterling taste in 1980s pop music at their best the influences combine to make something marvellous, as on the slow burning 'The Other Side of Your Face'. Twin Sister will be ones to watch in 2011.

2. This Is Happening - LCD Soundsystem

If albums were judged on artwork alone This Is Happening would have owned this year. With its minimal type combined with that picture of James Murphy flying through the air in his suit it really felt like a statement of intent.

Whatever. This Is Happening is regardless one of the best things to come out of any stereo this year. With greater focus than Sound of Silver LCD's latest release felt more like a proper album. And with the monstrous bass of 'Dance Yrself Clean', the middle-aged-guy-having-an-epiphany gut-wrencher that is 'All I Want' and the subtly epic 'Home' it also had the tunes. It may not have another 'Someone Great' but it's the sound of one of our times' best bands all grown up.


1. Cosmogramma - Flying Lotus

It says a lot when a record has increasing amounts of praise heaped on it the longer it has been out. He may not have won a Grammy but he has made 2010's best album - a record that fuses genres like they don't even matter. The J Dilla comparisons are perhaps inevitable but Cosmogramma is no mere re-tread - it demonstrates that Flying Lots is one of the most innovative producers of our time.


So what are your thoughts? What did we miss?

Album Review: This Is Happening - LCD Soundsystem

All I want is your tears. Sometimes it's the spaces in between that define the thing.

It is fair to say that over the past ten years LCD Soundsystem have done much to define what 'rock music that makes you dance' is. Together with his collective, James Murphy has become a central spoke for a change in music that sees crowds of fans at concerts a mix of indie kids, ageing musos and clubbers all enjoying the same thing but for different reasons. And here, on the cusp of what may (or may not be) the last LCD Soundsystem album, it is worth contemplating what has been before. Take ten of the best LCD Soundsystem songs and listen to them and you would have a varied set of tracks that stands up to the catalogues of many far more prolific bands.

But sweeping all of this to one side, what is important is that This Is Happening is another beautiful record. LCD Soundsystem make songs that sit somewhere between so funny it hurts and so painful it's funny. A desperate attempt to be heard above everyone else in the room that evolves like a kid who needs the girl so bad that he chips off the lame to leave only the cool. And one thing is sure - James Murphy is still cooler than you.

Make no mistake - This Is Happening is a subtler album. Sound Of Silver got into thing with the building, growling 'Get Innocuous'. Here things are kicked off with a slacker rock James Murphy who sounds like he can barely be bothered to sing... At least, until the base kicks in at which point 'Dance Yrself Clean' transforms into awkward needy blissful electro. And yes, no vowels is still cooler than replacing the word 'you' with 'u'.

And say what you want (and Vice magazine did) - yes, 'Drunk Girls' sounds like 'White Light, White Heat', but isn't that the fucking point? And does it make it sound any less infectious? And are the lyrics ('drunk girls know that love's like an astronaut - it comes back but it's never the same') not genius? And is the hook not perfect? And if you see it live isn't it even better? Yes, yes, yes and yes (and yes). But more to the point, the lead single to Sound Of Silver was 'North American Scum' and BlackPlastic defies anyone to say that was a better single.  It isn't. And what does this prove? Vice magazine are a bunch of hipsters far more desperate than Murphy.

Much of what follows continues the trend from the sassy yet ultimately more constrained sound of LCD's first album proper (just the first disc) towards the more organic music of Sound Of Silver. Sadly nothing manages to scale the heights of 'Someone Great', 'All My Friends' or 'New York, I Love You' but the David Bowie's 'Heroes' does 'Here Come The Warm Jets' of 'All I Want' sure as hell gives it a shot.

Ultimately that is as good a sumation of This Is Happening as any. It may not have the three standout tracks of the last album but it has a greater artistic vision and a more consistent overall quality. Everything on here outshines the lesser tracks on Sound Of Silver and more importantly there is an apparent vision for the album. Where Sound Of Silver flitted from one genre to the next like a teenager playing with their parents' record collection This Is Happening basks in a warm organic glow that makes it sound much more timeless - whether it be on the warm disco grooves of 'I Can Change' or the tightly rhythmic 'You Wanted A Hit'. Sometimes it's the spaces in between that define the thing.

This Is Happening might not be perfect but it still manages to be more exciting and vital than almost anything else you will lay your hands on this year.

BP x

This Is Happening is out on EMI on 17 May, available for pre-order from on CD, LP and MP3 [affiliate links].

Video: Drunk Girls - LCD Soundsystem

It's not that we are biased, it's just that LCD Soundsystem are still more exciting than everybody else. Check out the video Spike Jonze has made for new single 'Drunk Girls' as it's probably Jonze's best in years:

Very punk. Love it.

Forthcoming album This Is Happening is out on 17 May, the This Is Happening EP featuring 'Drunk Girls' is out now, both are on EMI.

Stay tuned - we will have a full review of the album on BlackPlastic soon.  The album can also be streamed in full over at the LCD Soundsystem website.

BP x