Category Archives: Nites

Familiars of the Forbidden Zone

Featuring : Lord Boyd + Nites

Time trapped in the Forbidden Zone of our gilded capital affords plenty of opportunity to cultivate that particular blend of alienation that’s only curtailed by the mp3-playing-device welded to our pockets.  It takes a special brand of familiar to keep the calluses from forming on our dark souls – something that sits on the wrong side of the bus window offering out its claw through the steamed-up glass.  At least your Oyster still works.

Lord Boyd‘s tape warped Eastern strings looped and cut over a pounding dub beat takes us by the hand through the rapidly chilling commuter mornings.  Brutal economic realities flooding through the streets, removing the life from the well preserved edifices.  The gloriously named Space Jordan 96 providing a suitably epic swagger in its brief three minutes and ten seconds.  Thumping in-ear soundsystem wars to sate the threat of the expensively maintained streets of zone 1.

Lord Boyd – Space Jordan 96

If this had replaced the cloyingly ‘other’ Dylan cover that haunted the later part of BSG there may have been some hope for the fuck-we’ve-run-out-of-money-let’s-have-them-sit-around-drinking episodes that closed out the otherwise loveable series.

Nites return to these pages with a far more minimal approach to Dub than the frenetic Lord Boyd above.  This is weekday, 3AM, financial sector music.  Empty office buildings and no one around to look disdainfully as you gaze up and lose yourself amongst the shimmering forms of glass against the orange black sky.  It’s as if someone created a space subtly repellent to people, only bearable when swarmed in large numbers and a citadel to social function when not in use.  Amongst these towers you can snatch moments of being truly alone in an overcrowded metropolis and with 20JFG’s mp3-player-of-choice abstracting the experience further it can be glorious.

It is an Excuse to Get Hurt and to Hurt timestretches half remembered delirious Synthpop fodder and makes it lonely and ethereal; vaguely creepy and beautiful.  A heavily distorted vocal stalks through the empty space between the crunching drum machines, reverberated instructions completely unintelligible and faintly tragic as a result.  The determinedly upbeat shimmering melody undermined by its own glacial pace.

Nites – It is an excuse to get hurt and to hurt

A Faust for the Senses

We have a storied history with Brighton/London duo Peepholes. One of the founders of 20JFG makes music with Nick from the band as Thee Four Horsemen, a label run by some of us put out an EP by them and they’ve been friends of the hive mind for many years. So we’re completely biased in their favour. But then, this entire endeavour is based on a series of interacting biases. An objective blog would be rather dull, no? Not to mention the veracity of our claims is a mere click of the play button below…

That paragraph of full disclosure out of the way, we return to the fun stuff.

Carnivore is an epic by Peephole’s standards: seven minutes of whirling crushed drums and frantic synths scrambling for their lives. The reverbed synth that underpins the celestial opening stalks through this track, constantly looming, orchestrating – a spectral presence that knits together the ascension of the cacophony as the motorik destination comes into view. These red-lining drums fall over themselves as they hurl forward in a fair impression of a what, in a revelatory moment, sounds like House – admittedly, half glimpsed House: dance music’s ghost flickering among the red-lined bars. Until it dies. It all dies, the utter destruction of the last minute unleashing god knows what upon a masochistic world. Divine.

Carnivore is taken from Peepholes’ latest release for the excellent and much covered-in-these-webpages Upset the Rhythm. The release itself is a split LP with APATT and should be out at some point in August. More info here.

Peepholes – Carnivore

A mere few days after we visited Hotel Mexico‘s delicate looping guitar cascade, It’s Twinkle, we were contacted by Nites and provided with their subdued, almost industrial remix. Here the source’s suggestions of Jesus and Mary Chain via proto-House are re-calibrated to throw the force of that reverbed guitar in the direction of something harsher, more resigned.

Strange what spaces are created by the judicious application of reverb: what was once delicate, cascading beauty is now the blue streets of dawn, Springsteen-ian heroes, hands in jacket pockets, moving along ‘sidewalks’ the world’s weight temporarily shifted by the loneliness of early morning. Triumphant in its own strange way, the track becomes the coda to a deep struggle only barely glimpsed and mostly off-screen.

Hotel Mexico – It’s Twinkle (NITES Remix)

The Chap‘s absolutely gorgeous ‘b-side’ on new(ish) EP Even Your Friend is all drifting Spanish lilt in place of the band’s usual clipped English (itself an anachronism in a sea of transatlantic drones). Written by the band for a German filmmaker who couldn’t get the rights to a Robert Wyatt cover of a Cuban love song the providence belies the beauty. Or maybe an English band writing and recording in a language they’re not proficient in, for the soundtrack of a German film that would go on to screen in competition at the Berlin Film Festival, is the perfect formula. Either way, for the non Spanish side of the 20JFG mind, this yearning and actually rather rousing love song will fill many a nostalgic dream for boss nova pre-sets and wall size sunset prints – a facsimile of equatorial romance but perhaps more affecting for it.

The Chap – Friendo for Life