Album Review: If You Know What's Good For Ya!! - Woolfy

Woolfy's first album (as Woolfy vs. Projections) totally passed BlackPlastic by and if the fanfare that greeted this release, If Ya Know What's Good For Ya!!, is anything to go by then it's no surprise. Released on DFA/Rong with very little marketing (just why can't DFA send emails to their fans, huh?) last month Woolfy don't even seem to have had much coverage from the blogging world.

Which is a shame because If You Know What's Good For Ya!! is pretty bloody good as it happens. With a sound that perfectly encapsulates the two labels collaborating on its release - the slightly tongue-in-cheek, indie dance of Rong and the gritty rocker chic of DFA all in one package.

Whilst there are a couple of tracks that fail to standout this is generally down to the quality of everything else on offer. The sleazy garage funk of opening track 'The Warehouse' sets the pace nicely and it is clear from the off that this isn't an album made for the dancefloor, it's made for the grimey come down afterwards or sun-baked afternoons laying in the park.

And the pace doesn't really let up - 'Oh Missy' is all angular gutars and yelped vocals and whilst the progressive sounds of cosmic disco on 'Loa The Disco' break the run of catchy vocal tracks you can't really deny its quality.

If Ya Know What's Good For Ya!! is actually at its best when it is serving up more contemplative numbers. The dreamlike 'Looking Glass' sounds like MGMT collaborating with the Chemical Brothers on one of those blissed out numbers they normally get Beth Orton in for towards the end of the album. The result is very striking. Equally brilliant is the battered and bruised 'Sonic Monday', with the vocalist capturing Bernard Sumner's stilted delivery on New Order's 'Temptation'. It's a track that sounds so hot you could stick it on and work on your tan.

So it may not be grabbing headlines but If Ya Know What's Good For Ya you'll grab this. Ahem. Sorry.  But seriously, don't sleep on Woolfy.

BP x

Album Review: Notwave - Various

The DFA still effortlessly piss all over all other record labels in the cool stakes just like your best friend's cooler older brother did when you were eleven. No matter how much they try, no other label quite manages to nail the maturity combined with experimentalism of a DFA release. Notwave sees them team up with Rong Music to revisit the NY No-Wave scene of the late seventies...

...Only instead of peddling some cuts from thirty years ago we get a fresh batch from current artists. With the exception of a cut from James Chance and the Contortions, one of the bands actually present for the original movement, these bands are drawing inspiration from a scene that passed away years ago but the tracks themselves are all bang-up-to-date.

So you get some nice, spikey, angular rock like the muted 'Unwelcome Guest' from Quad Throw Salchow and Freshro's dark and sexualised cover of Spoon's 'I Turn My Camera On' that just make great, intelligent, pop records. Tim Love Lee turns in two mixes in the form of the free-falling 'No Search No Entry' by Striplight and Circuits' 'Pistols at Dawn'. The former sounds like Republica re imagined as a post-punk roller coaster whilst the later is a throbbing crescendo to a climatic vocal call that results in the record descending into a tribal rock breakdown. Both are utterly fantastic.

Notwave is the DFA's best compilation in ages, possibly ever. Streamlined and beautiful, it boasts a fantastic atmosphere that drags the listener through more sounds, places and genres than you could find in most entire record shops. From clipped dub workouts like Tussle's 'Elephants Meandering' to the dark and evil re imagining of the Peter Gunn theme that is Welcome Stranger's paranoid 'Smoke Machine', Notwave is never less than exhilarating.

BP x