Single Review: Foca Master Sarajevo - Soul Mekanik

This is the kind of big room bothering Balearic nonsense that BlackPlastic should probably frown upon but frankly it just pushes our buttons too right and too hard for us to resist.

'Foca Master Sarajevo', out on Wonk, is long and strong. Starting as a warm, percussive number it initially feels underwhelming if pleasant enough. The world probably doesn't need more deep and tribal house but if it did, this is serviceable. What makes 'Foca Master Sarajevo' work then is where it goes: the break that emerges three-minutes in. It transforms the track from formulaic to genuinely loveable house that feels like it truly deserves a spot on the White Isle of old, rather than the jaded joke the island's clubbing scene has become. If anything there are elements of Tears For Fears in the piano refrains and muted guitar that rear their heads throughout the track's length. And that has got to be a good thing when it comes to being Balearic

BP x

News: New Cut Copy track 'Where I'm Going' is out there...

So when Cut Copy recently alluded to the fact that they had been listening to Fleetwood Mac's Tusk a lot whilst making their new album BlackPlastic wasn't all that surprised. In fact BlackPlastic had always heard strains of Fleetwood Mac in the Copy's sophomore record In Ghost Colours.

But then we hadn't quite expected this. Cut Copy have just released the free download of 'Where I'm Going' on their site in exchange for your email address and it's a pleasant surprise. The influence of producer Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley) is immediately apparent - the sound is generally more spacious, ambient and psychedelic - and the whole feel of the song is more organic, less electronic. And its bloody marvelous.

What makes Cut Copy so great is that every time they release a new record they sound like a brand new absolutely fantastic band. This track makes BlackPlastic super excited for the album.

Head over to the official Cut Copy website to download 'Where I'm Going'.

BP x

Album Review: Serotonin - Mystery Jets

If Twenty One threw a splash of eighties passion on the prog-rock experimentalism of the Mystery Jets' debut then Serotonin, with it's Talk Talk-esque cover, is an eighties-soaked emotional Molotov cocktail.

The trade-off is most apparent on second track 'It's Too Late', the first proper ballad the band have ever indulged in. And an indulgence it is - one that has turned off some reviewers and may alienate some older fans. How you feel about this one track will probably affect much of your view of Serotonin itself - it's either an unimaginative mainstream retread or, in it's unashamed honesty and willingness to leave aside unnecessary agendas, an irresistible emotional anchor for the album that lets the boys love for the eighties bask in centre stage.

And maybe BlackPlastic is just a sucker for a romantic agenda, but we can't help but plum for the latter. To accuse Serotonin of lacking variety would be fair, yet the result is an album that feels in many ways even tighter than its predecessor if less exciting. From the running-so-fast-you-might-trip opening of 'Alice Springs', with its rousing chorus of "I'd stand in the line of fire for you / I'd bend over backwards for you / I'd do anything that you want be to do / 'cos I don't have nothing if I don't have you my love" this is an album wearing its heart on its sleeve:

Sometimes some people love some other people. And the Jets have clearly fallen head over heels somewhere along the line because every song on here deals with this most basic of emotions in one way or another.

On the whole it's a storming success - the beauty being in the variety of takes on love that the album illustrates. 'Flash A Hungry Smile' is bumbling and hopeless bare-cheeked lust. Title track 'Serotonin' feels like coming up from underwater - the drugs analogy is obvious but BlackPlastic will place faith in the reality being that this song is noting the similarity of love to drugs, and celebrating the former's natural ability to mimic the latter rather than the other way round.

Best of all is 'Show Me The Light' - a celebratory anthem-to-be complete with bouncing house beat. It's the sound of boundless enthusiasm: sure, things may not work out... But then, they might, right? It's so blinkered and keen that it's bloody difficult not to be won over.

Serotonin may feel like a curveball after the maturity and relative subtlety of Twenty One. It is certainly less ambitious but it's inability to do anything other than express just how much it has a crush on you is pretty charming. If you've ever gone a bit gooey over someone you may find it tough to resist the feeling of Serotonin.

BP x

Serotonin is out now on Rough Trade, available from Amazon.co.uk on CD, LP and MP3 [affiliate links].

Competition: Win tickets to see Agoria at Cable

We Fear Silence will be teaming up with the acclaimed Balance Series of mix CDs to bring the noise to Cable in London on Saturday 17 July 2010 and we have a pair of tickets to give away.

Agoria, fresh from releasing the rather nice Balance 016, will be headlining in a four hour back-to-back set with fellow Frenchman Oxia.  They will be joined by Jozif (of Wolf + Lamb) and Emerson Todd. In the bar will be Get Down Good with Tom Bulwer, Greg Sawyer, Jo Sayers and guest Jimpster.

To be in with a chance of winning simply drop an email with the subject line 'Cable competition' to competitions@BlackPlastic.co.uk. Please ensure you include your full name so we can add you to the guestlist.

Closing date is Thursday 15 July 2010 - good luck!

More information on Cable and the event here.

BP x

Comment: mflow enables you to monetize good taste

So BlackPlastic love to recommend music. Aside from covering music here we are also kinda playlist whores on Spotify and like to bend the ear of anyone that will listen in real life due to the compulsion that comes from trying to find someone the favourite song they've never yet heard. We can get quite competitive. Which makes mflow as a concept a little bit perfect.

If you haven't check it out it enables you to connect with friends and other users and 'flow' (i.e. recommend) tracks to people. Your followers then get to listen to the track and, even better, if they buy it then you as the 'flow-er' get a kick back to spend on more music on the mflow store. It's actually relatively easy to get credit - BlackPlastic sold a couple of songs before we'd even bought any music - and so if you got lots of followers you could almost certainly fund you habit. Pretty much all the music you can buy is DRM-free and thus iTunes friendly.

The downsides? Sadly to flow a whole track (rather than a sample) then you gotta buy the full track on mflow. It's understandable yet still inevitably a frustration if you have tens of thousands of MP3s already that you can't flow to your followers. Also you can only listen to a track someone flows once. It is early days but the catalogue is noticeably smaller than other MP3 stores and even Spotify, though we expect this will get better.

Still - if you enjoy sharing music as much as BlackPlastic does it's definitely worth checking out. If you give it a go add BlackPlastic - we will be trying to flow as much music as possible based on what we blog about so it will be an easy way to check out samples.

BP x