John MOuse - INHEAVEN - Phantoms VS Fire - Super Hi Fi

John MOuse - Bunkbeds and Broken.

Background -  After a successful fan funding campaign, John MOuse releases his fifth album ‘Replica Figures’ out through Keep Me In Your Heart Records on the 19th of February 2018.   For ‘Replica Figures’  John returns to work with original band member Sweet Baboo. It's been 15 years since the two worked under John's previous moniker JT Mouse and the result is a touching album with glimpses of John's black humour, which has been a signature throughout his career.

"We had talked about working together but other commitments had taken president. This is the type album I have been wanting to release for some time.” Says John of his decision to work with Steve Baboo “Steve understood straight away what I was trying to achieve and we worked really quickly on just letting the songs breath and be themselves. Nothing was over thought or overworked."

‘Replica Figures’ features Steve Black (Sweet Baboo) on piano and bass, former guitarist of early 90's indie band Hopper (who were signed to Tony Wilson’s Factory Too records), Paul Sheppard, and John's daughter Maggie Lola on backing vocals. The album circulates around the concept of memories, different memories, how they are created, the lack of memory, enforced and false memories...

"We wanted the album to have restrictions in place, a limited palette of instruments and sounds, and most importantly a vocal performance to capture emotion and the moment.” Says John about recording the album “We are so used to listening to perfect vocals and I wanted to create a snapshot, much like a memory." FACEBOOK.

'Replica Figures' is one of those rare albums that starts out well and genuinely just gets better song by song. Somewhere near the mid-point we have 'Bunkbeds and Broken' a track that gives some good flavour of the whole, an anchor point if you like, however I really do urge you to check the other songs out, even if the shared song only registers a little.


INHEAVEN - Sweet Dreams Baby.

Background - After a year in which they fulfilled several landmark ambitions, INHEAVEN today share their brand new track ‘Sweet Dreams Baby’ – their first new material since their critically acclaimed debut album was released last summer.

‘Sweet Dreams Baby’ is an anthem for those who are hoping for better things to come in 2018. “Ever wish you were someone else? Every wish you were somewhere else?” begins frontman James Taylor, expressing desires that many will identify with. Subsequently joined on vocal harmonies by Chloe Little, the duo’s lyrics remind people not to lose sight of their aspirations.

Sonically, ‘Sweet Dreams Baby’ echoes a succession of timeless American influences – from the insistent percussion of the great 60s girl groups to Springsteen’s yearning and the widescreen hooks of Kings of Leon. The track was produced by INHEAVEN’s regular collaborator Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood, Pixies, The Amazons).

After selling-out London’s Scala in the autumn, INHEAVEN return to the road at the end of the month for a UK headline tour. The band will also embarking on their first North American tour alongside fellow British indie darlings Pale Waves. WEBSITE, FACEBOOK.

31st – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

1st – Portland Arms, Cambridge
2nd – Esquires, Bedford
3rd – Moles, Bath
5th – The Boileroom, Guildford
6th – The Face Bar, Reading
7th – The Forum, Tunbridge Wells
9th – Arts Centre, Norwich
10th – Mining Institute, Newcastle
12th – Deaf Institute, Manchester
13th – Arts Centre, Wolverhampton

19th - White Oak Music Hall - Houston, TX
20th - Dada - Dallas, TX
23rd - Rebel Lounge - Phoenix, AZ
24th - Soma Sidestage - San Diego, CA
25th - Constellation Room - Santa Ana, CA
26th - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA
27th - The Chapel - San Francisco, CA
29th - Hawthorne Theatre - Portland, OR
30th - Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver, BC
31st - The Crocodile - Seattle, WA

3rd - Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO
5th - Recordbar - Kansas City, MO
6th - Ready Room - St. Louis, MO
7th - Lincoln Hall - Chicago, IL
9th - Velvet Underground - Toronto, ON
10th - Skully’s Music Diner - Columbus, OH
11th - U Street Music Hall - Washington, DC
12th - The Foundry - Philadelphia, PA
13th - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY
15th - Sonia - Boston, MA

We featured INHEAVEN twice last year and ahead of the bands tour we now have 'Sweet Dreams Baby'. Once again we have a mature sounding rocker, where the production and clarity of sound is retained however much the energy levels build. With plenty of hooks the song quickly develops and insists on a second listen way before the closing chords.


Phantoms VS Fire - Starfish.

Background - Electronic music artist Phantoms vs Fire has announced a new expanded version of ‘Swim’, his debut album set for release via Hypersoma Records. This special edition, available exclusively on Bandcamp, is called ‘Deeper Swim’ and includes two additional tracks not available on the original version.

Phantoms vs Fire is the solo project of Italy-based Brazilian multi-disciplinary artist Thiago C. Desant. Both a composer and graphic artist, Desant focuses on melodies that incorporate traditional musical instruments, synthesizers and orchestral arrangements.

While Desant says that the artists who most strongly influenced his composition are Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Max Richter, Trent Reznor, and Gustavo Santaolalla, Phantoms vs Fire's output is very distinct from any one of them. Tastefully blending electronica and ambient with dreamy classical influences, this album is bound to appeal to fans of Tycho, Com Truise, Youandewan, Bonobo, Philip Glass, Japan, and Mike Oldfield.

Clearly blazing his own remarkably beautiful path, Phantoms vs Fire engulfs the listener, who journeys with each composition from introspection and relaxation to reverie and intensity in the best tradition of Philip Glass, Japan and Ryuichi Sakamoto. This is the perfect soundtrack to late night stargazing, capable of lifting you to greater sonic heights. WEBSITE, BANDCAMP.

To often we receive electronic based music that in all honesty, is not really even at the demo stage if your serious about taking it further. 'Starfish' typifies the quality to be found in Phantom VS Fire's music, and whilst we are not here to lecture anyone about their music, this album may well inspire some original ideas for others to develop.


Super Hi Fi - Dub to the Bone (Live in The Greene Space).

Background - Brooklyn, NY's funkiest, ambassadors of dub Super Hi-Fi are back with a genre melding new LP called Blue and White. By mixing elements of reggae, rock, world music, and jazz, Super Hi-Fi have created an album that feels as vibrant, dynamic, and undefinable as the boroughs of New York City. Holding true to their reggae roots Blue and White promises plenty of low-end heaviness and the dual trombone power that has come to define Super Hi-Fi's signature sound.

Super Hi-Fi- an underground supergroup of sorts whose members have backed a diverse collection of artists ranging from Beyonce to Donovan to Bill Frisell to the Skatalites- mixes jazz-inflected trombones, the heavy rhythmic thump of Jamaican dub and touches of afrobeat, funk and rock for a mix memorably described as an ‘imaginary soundtrack from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, The Specials and Led Zeppelin.’ Led by bassist and composer Ezra Gale, whose last outfit, the San Francisco-based Aphrodesia, took their take on afrobeat all the way to Femi Kuti’s Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria, Super Hi-Fi has been making waves in the fertile New York music scene since 2010, releasing records nearly non-stop since their debut full-length album, “Dub To The Bone,” in 2012.

Deservedly acclaimed both for their prolific recorded output and their live show, Super Hi-Fi’s unique double trombone-led sound is equally at home at a raucous dance party or an intense listening session. Applying the improvisatory dub mixing approach to live performances of the band’s original compositions and inspired covers, the group has shared stages with John Brown’s Body, Rubblebucket, Beats Antique, Debo Band, Meta and the Cornerstones, Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad and many others at venues like the Brooklyn Bowl, Maxwell’s, the Mercury Lounge, the Rocks Off Concert series and elsewhere.

Super Hi-Fi’s new release, “Blue and White”, will feature original songs and will have a stunning cover design from printmaker Robert Swainston, who designed a cover that will be printed on each album individually. “Each one will be a little different but will come from the same source” explains Gale, “which echoes the aesthetics of dub music where you have different pieces made from the same song.” It’s a different perspective and more ambitious than most, but it’s clear by now that there aren’t many challenges Super Hi-Fi isn’t interested in taking on. WEBSITE, FACEBOOK.

We have a live version of 'Dub To The Bone' to share with you, it's the third of twelve tracks on the studio album and the featured version is a fine representation both of the original and also of the high calibre album as a whole. This is a band that can traverse genres whilst retaining a vibrant, uplifting and often highly energised sound. If you are going to name yourselves Super Hi-Fi then the production really ought to reflect that, and the band do, with plenty of sonic delight all round.