Saturday, August 29

Band spotlight: RELICS

One of my great disappointments on my recent trip to England was that I missed the opportunity to see one of my favourite new bands, Relics. An uncompromising art noise sound with roots in shoegazing, tempered with industrial styled echoes, makes their live show an exciting prospect. Though we've had very few artifacts to prove their worth, their early demos have been exciting and memorable, with a diversity beyond expectations: from the heart-melting daze of newest song 'What To Feel', to the Factory drone of 'Close Your Eyes', they are definitely a band with more good ideas than they know what to do with, and style to match their unique sound. However, much as I am enamoured of their dark fashion, it must be said that like any good art band, Relics are best experienced if you follow the instructions on their MySpace... 'close. your. eyes'.

Friday, August 28

Ipso Facto to split

Finally it's official: Ipso Facto are to break up. Since everyone involved except lead singer Rosalie Cunningham has already moved on, she has started a new project: it's called Ketu, and it's progressive rock-influenced, which sounds like something we'd like to hear. Sadly, it looks as though Ipso Facto's debut album, and the already-recorded single 'Queen Sophia the Last', will never see the light of day. Their final performance will be in November, possibly as a collaboration with Artrocker magazine - watch this space for more details.

Wednesday, August 19

Ipso Facto moonlighting casts doubt on 'hibernation period'

Here's an interesting trend from the last couple of weeks: members of Ipso Facto (present and past) getting involved with projects outside the band. Former keyboardist Cherish Kaya, who left acrimoniously earlier this year, has collaborated with Faris Badwan of The Horrors under the name of Lumina to cover the Black Lips song 'I'll Be With You' - the haunting results can be downloaded free from Pitchfork. Meanwhile Victoria Smith, the Ipso Facto drummer, has joined forces with An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump's D-Bird under the name of Blue on Blue, after a Bobby Vinton song; they're also due to be produced by Jerome Watson of Hatcham Social.

Add Samantha Valentine's current spell as R O M A N C E bassist, and the future of Ipso Facto outside the person of guitarist and singer Rosalie Cunningham begins to look doubtful. The official line is that the band are in a 'hibernation period' to record and release an album before the end of the year, and recent successful live appearances as well as a scheduled slot at Offset Festival next month are positive signs, but when two out of the three members are sowing their creative wild oats outside the band you have to wonder what's going on... As ever, watch this space.

Monday, August 10

R O M A N C E News

Stirrings from London's angst-ridden up-and-comers R O M A N C E: a new bassist, an upcoming single, and a Japanese release. First: the departed Joseph Eakins has been replaced on bass by none other than Ipso Facto's Samantha Valentine, who is to continue playing with her other band as well for the foreseeable future (including an appearance at Offset Festival and a forthcoming album). Second: R O M A N C E are to release the mini-album Arikara in Japan on 26th August, and are also due to make an appearance in Japanese Vogue magazine in the near future.

Third, and maybe most exciting: R O M A N C E's limited debut 7" single Another Place is set for release on DiscError Recordings in October or November, with 'The Art of Losing' as b-side and special artwork; it's been recorded with Finn Vine of White Rose Movement and producer Robert Harder. All appearances point to great things for R O M A N C E; keep an eye out.