Découvert via le groupe tourangeau Toddi Wellman (“Tano” sur la compilation “Flottante tension d'éclipse”) - groupe avec lequel il partage quelques accointances - The Dictaphone s'illustre depuis plus de cinq ans sur une demi-douzaine d'albums aussi mystérieux que passionnants, publiés sur des labels comme Kill Shaman, Tolmie Terrapin Press, Sweet Rot ou Cocktail Pueblo. Des bizarreries en chambre des débuts au kraut-wave cosmique d'aujourd'hui, il n'y a qu'un pas. The Dictaphone multiplie les expérimentations punk, pousse à l'occasion des envies psychédéliques à leur paroxysme et flirte régulièrement avec la minimal wave, le kraut, le garage ou la surf avec une frénésie minutieuse. Tour à tour sombre, sinueux, inquiétant, dansant ou allumé, The Dictaphone est imprévisible et inclassable. Crudités Tapes est fier de vous présenter le nouvel album “Tp Hss” qui sort presque simultanément avec un autre album, “Hazmat” (sur le label autrichien Totally Wired), enième preuve d'une créativité aussi débordante qu'enthousiasmante.
"une avalanche de morceaux aussi géniaux que bancals" - Hartzine
"Did you hear me? Endlessly relistenable. I’m not lying." - Critical Masses
"Genuinely a great composition and worth infinite listens" - Lost in a sea of sound
"I cannot stress enough how badly you need to be rocking this one out of your speakers, like, now." - Raised by GypsiesYou can order the limited edition cassette over here !!!
Blue "s/t" CS60 (CRU 008)
Premier album solo du guitariste des regrettés floridiens d'Electric Bunnies (groupe particulièrement caméléon avec un album sur Florida's Dying et des singles sur Sacred Bones, Columbus Discount et Die Stasi). Basé à Los Angeles, Space Blue (possible référence à une chanson de Suicide) est de dominante électronique mais poursuit aussi le psychédélisme tordu et intriguant d'Electric Bunnies. Neuf morceaux comme autant de galaxies ou de jardins tropicaux, dont les ambiances acides se dévoilent doucement mais sûrement. Un album artisanal mais minutieusement construit, notamment les textures, les voix et les enchaînements. Space Blue prend le temps de vous surprendre et les sensations qu'il procure n'ont rien d'évanescentes.
"Entre post-proto-post-techno, proto-post-post
techno et post-rock (ironique), cet ancien membre des Electric Bunnies
prolonge en quelque sorte une oeuvre qu'on désespérait d'entendre
prolongée quelque part en 2015 - celle de Black Dice et de son petit
génie de leader Eric Copeland - et ça, c'est pas rien." - The
fondateur du groupe psyché The Electric Bunnies, responsable notamment
de l’album Through The Magical Door en 2009 sur Floridas Dying, le
néo-Californien Space Blue ouvre avec la longue Awareness, pétrie d’une
monotonie électronique absolument captivante, son premier LP cassette
sur SDZ Records. Parsemé de quelques bribes de voix, et parcheminé d’un
beat s’arrachant progressivement des décombres d’un orgue carillonnant,
ledit morceau plante non innocemment le décor pour les huit suivants
(...) entre effet lysergique des boucles rythmiques, acidité des
paysages sonores et minutie des arrangements." - Hartzine
"Loin des fulgurances psyché-punk de son groupe The
Electric Bunnies, la californien Space Blue nous fait plonger avec son
premier album solo au titre éponyme, dans un univers aux volutes
experimentales ambient captivantes. Dès le track d’ouverture Awareness,
les boucles aux sonorités vaguement indus tournoient dans l’espace,
pour se muter en une mélodie cristalline appuyée par une rythmique à la
cadence langoureuse, montant progressivement vers des cieux traversés
de pertubations électriques. Space Blue fige le temps dans un
immobilisme mobile, élaborant des compositions au minimalisme rêche,
enrobées de déflagrations à la retenue sous-jacente. Proche d’artistes
comme Demdike Stare, Huerco S. ou Patricia, l’américain propose une
oeuvre squelettique au système nerveux traversé de ramifications
incandescentes, faisceaux drones mouvants aux saveurs tumultueuses,
nous plongeant avec malice d’un titre à l’autre vers des contrées
imaginaires au pouvoir catalyseur, changeant constamment de direction
sans jamais nous perdre dans son dédale de sensations et d’émotions.
Une oeuvre cathartique aux battements cinétiques. Très fortement
"Space Blue, if that is his real name, is a straight-up banger, wetting his beak in several styles and never shrinking from the challenges presented by creating electronic music in a crowded field of competitors. “Lonely L.A.” is just one of the impressive compositions afoot, but its wiry frame and fascinating underbelly aptly represent why this tape is so unique: Its contents ever-so-patiently form a cocoon for the ear, fluffy and cushioned by all manner of digital distraction. “A La Luna” also tweaks the ear with a lofi drum-machine beat and strange flora/fauna that seem to bark at the listener. Quite the trip, quite the intrigue; Space Blue cracks enough codes to deserve a spot on your tape shelf, at the very least." - Consequence of sound
Blue, a solo electronic offshoot of Florida’s Electric Bunnies, gets
me, I think. His new tape is a deep, dark look at the cosmos, that part
of space that you see looking out of the window of a craft (like New
Horizons maybe! If it were built to carry people, I guess). It’s dark,
your field of vision isn’t overcrowded with romantic sci-fi imagery,
and the only way you’ll get to see anything remotely up close is if you
perform some severely advanced mathematical equation to get there.
Space is freaking big, you guys – if you ever went out in it, you’d
probably get that.
So “Awareness,” then, drops you right in the middle of nothing, its barely-there beat glitching along, making you wait for any payoff. The song glides along on this for a while before adding a heavier bottom end, but even then it just propels itself forward, making you think for yourself instead of telling you how to feel. Are you awake in your spaceship? You’ve got a lot of time on your hands. You’ve got eleven minutes of this song. Maybe this song is the soundtrack to your own awareness.
“Venus of” doubles down on the intensity of the rhythm and mood, and lumbers through its machinations in only seven minutes, but those seven minutes are among the most bracing you’ll ever experience while in deep space. I’m not sensing any danger in the track, so just enjoy it, knowing that you’re puny, and human, and you’re at the mercy of something other than yourself. Space Blue says, you’re not in control, sucker! Listen to my awesomeness. “I Remember Something You Told Me While We Were in the Singularity,” great title aside, feels like time stops, especially after the great one-two opening punch.
“A La Luna” has a similar feel to “Venus of,” but way more industrial, and it’s a fun, scrappy mood switch after “Singularity.” There’s another version of the song, later, dubbed “(Mix Ambiente),” and it teases out a much more gauzy, ethereal center than its predecessor. The two tracks work nicely as juxtapositions of each other. “Green Eyes” almost sounds like a tossed-off Animal Collective track, and it even has vocals! An unlikely but welcome surprise, throwing just a large enough spanner into the works to cause your CPU to hiccup then resume. “Relax” ends the album on a beautiful ambient note, with chimes and a female voice whispering unintelligible words in your ear. Perhaps in your hibernation tank aboard your vessel? Who knows, what am I, Isaac Asimov? Go finish your lunch.
This is a wildly promising debut from Space Blue, and something I could listen to over and over again on headphones. I mean, seriously, that one-two opening punch of “Awareness” and “Venus of” takes me to all the right places. I’m gonna have to keep my eye on this fella…" - Critical Masses
The Mantles New single OUT NOW !!!
"Memory" b/w "Undelivered" 7" (SDZ 018)
co-released with Slumberland and Les Disques Steak
online / Commande en ligne
Since their 2011 SDZ single "Raspberry Thighs", San Francisco's The Mantles have kept on creating their own sound, somewhere between 60 garage and psychedelics, Kiwi sound of early Flying Nun releases and the false frivolity of C86 bands. If their approach seems more "pop" since their second album "Long Enough to leave" (Slumberland, 2013), the guitars remain razor sharp. Neither lunatic nor fully melancholic, the band is all about chiaroscuro, as you can hear in the two brand new songs featured on this single, "Memory" and "Undelivered". This single is a joint release between SDZ, Les Disques Steak and Slumberland. It has been released in time for The Mantles first tour in continental Europe in Fall 2014.
Depuis leur single "Raspberry Thighs" (SDZ, 2011) les Mantles ont continué à forger leur son, mélangeant subtilement influences garage et psychédéliques 60s, le kiwi sound des premières sorties du label Flying Nun et la fausse frivolité de certains groupes anglais de la scène C86. Si leur approche semble plus pop depuis le deuxième album "Long enough to leave" (Slumberland, 2013), les guitares restent tranchantes comme des lames de couteau soigneusement entretenues. Ni lunatique ni franchement mélancolique, le groupe de San Francisco joue sur les clair-obscurs avec une grande habileté comme le prouvent les deux nouveaux morceaux étincelants de ce single, "Memory" et "Undelivered". Un single qui sort conjointement sur leur label américain, Slumberland, et deux labels parisiens, SDZ et Les Disques Steak. Un disque sorti à l'occasion de la tournée européenne à l''automne 2014.
du Velvet, des Feelies mais aussi des groupes Néo-Zélandais tels les
Bats, Chills et autres, réjouissez-vous : SDZ Records en partenariat
avec Les Disques Steak, petites structures parisiennes passionnées,
sortent le nouveau single de The Mantles : Memory/Undelivered. Soit
sept minutes d’une pop à guitares cristallines de haute-volée sous
influence Velvetienne (troisième album et au-delà) et Flying Nunienne
agrémentée d’un soupçon de Go-Betweens (flagrant sur Undelivered).
A l’écoute de ces deux morceaux, autant le dire, le charme agit immédiatement : une face catchy, sautillante, légère, très jangle pop, l’autre plus mélancolique mais non moins classe, toujours aussi jangle mais lorgnant également vers l’indie pop de Yo La Tengo. Bref, avec ce single, vous avez l’assurance d’écouter une pop simple, sur l’os, de facture très classique mais extrêmement addictive." - Addict Culture
"...perfectly crafted hybrid of
the Buzzcocks and Real Estate (...) “Memory,” the A-side, is a
chilled-out but sensible post-punk song with just a hint of a surfy
vibe that reminds me of a sunny Saturday afternoon—damn you San
Franciscans and your eternally pleasant weather. The B-side,
“Undelivered,” is just as mellow but a bit more folky, hinting at the
roots of English psych. Anyhow, however you want to define them, or not
define them, the Mantles are some killer songwriters..." - Boston
"It’s quintessential Mantles, complete with a Peter Buck–inspired jangly guitar line, Dan Treacy–esque mumbly vocal melodies, and a precise yet unrefined guitar solo from Justin Loney—the Luther Perkins to Michael O.’s Johnny Cash" - Flood Magazine
"The Mantles are one of many fine rock bands in the Bay Area with their own unique twist on jangly, infectious garage-psych. New single “Memory” reminds us that the Mantles’ particular twist involves faint echoes and a fervent post-punk edge. This is an immensely likable rock ’n’ roll song, playful yet melancholy, jaunty in tempo and catchy as hell." - Stereogum
OUT NOW : V/A Quadrature du carré EP !!!
V/A Quadrature du carré EP (SDZ 019)
Co-released with Les Disques Steak / Les Disques Flow / Killedbyanaxe Records
Order online / Commande en ligne
This record is a limited edition (400 copies) compilation EP featuring unrealeased tracks by four french bands: Anteenagers M.C, Pierre & Bastien, Subtle Turnhips and Bosom Divine. It's been released on November 15, 2014 on the day the aforementioned bands played a show at an event called "Quadrature du carré" at Cirque Electrique in Paris. This record is co-released by the four labels who were organizing the event: SDZ Records, Les Disques Steak, Les Disques Flow and Killedbyanaxe. Fun night, fun record, don't sleep on this!
Ce disque (limité à 400 copies) est une compilation 45tours comprenant quatre morceaux inédits des quatre groupes français suivants: Anteenagers M.C, Pierre & Bastien, Subtle Turnhips et Bosom Divine. Ce disque est sorti le 15 Novembre 2014 quand les quatre groupe pre-cités ont joué à un évènement intitutlé "Quadrature du carré" qui a eu lieu au Cirque Electrique à Paris. Ce disque est une co-production entre les quadre labels qui organisaient cette soirée: SDZ Records, Les Disques Steak, Les Disques Flow et Killedbyanaxe. Soirée fun, disque fun, ne tardez pas si vous le voulez!
OUT NOW : the debut album of Old Mate !!!
Old Mate "It Is What It Is" LP (SDZ 017)
Order online / Commande en ligne
Available in North America from Easter Bilby
Available in the
UK from Norman
Old Mate is originally the solo project of Pat Telfer from australian band Bitch Prefect (two albums on the Bedroom Suck label).Formed in Adelaide but nowadays based in Melbourne, Old Mate here presents its first album, "It Is What It Is" following a self-produced EP in 2012 and a debut 7" single on Major Crimes in 2013. Still centered around founding member Pat Telfer, Old Mate are now a strong cast of 7 - 10 musicians including members of Peak Twins and Wireheads. From their early songs Old Mate have kept a certain melancholy that spices up this debut LP. Eight songs all in false flat, constantly and brilliantly defying an infinite monotony. Suspended on the fragile life line floating on the horizon, these not-so-calm songs are often stirred up by the thick limbo of permanent doubt. Frequently staring at the blind spot, the reality spot, Old Mate have conceived an album for the heaviness of the daily grind. A saxophone is sometimes warmly welcomed by the band, like sparkles in the Baudelairian spleen. One might think sometimes of Syd Barrett, Lou Reed, "Dreamy"-era Beat Happening, The Go-Betweens or some contemporary bands of the great australian scene like Dick Diver and Kitchen's Floor. Oh and some weird funky stuff too (check below the video for "Stressin"!). A first album with a great deal of character.
Old Mate est à l'origine le projet solo de Pat Telfer du groupe australien Bitch Prefect (deux albums sur le label Bedroom Suck). Formé à Adelaïde, Old Mate est maintenant basé à Melbourne et ce "It Is What It Is" est leur premier album après le EP autoproduit "Word is bond" sorti en 2012 et un 45t sorti fin 2013 sur le label Major Crimes. Toujours centré autour de Pat Telfer, Old Mate est désormais composé de sept à dix musiciens dont des membres de Peak Twins et Wireheads. Des ballades de ses débuts, Old Mate a gardé une mélancolie qui donne tout son sel à ce premier opus. Ces huit chansons tout en faux plat défient avec brio une monotonie infinie. Suspendues sur la fragile ligne de vie qui flotte à l'horizon, ces chansons sont parcourues d'intenses tremblements, dans les limbes du doute permanent. Le regard souvent perdu dans l'angle mort, celui du réel, Old Mate a conçu un album pour l'enclume des jours. Un spleen qui s'embrase parfois au détour d'un sursaut magnifié par le groupe, aidé de temps en temps par un saxophone de bon augure. On pense parfois à Syd Barrett, Lou Reed, Beat Happening (époque "Dreamy"), The Go-Betweens mais aussi à quelques contemporains de la bouillonnante scène australienne comme Dick Diver et Kitchen's Floor. Oh et à du funky bizarre aussi (regardez la video de "Stressin" ci-dessous!). Un premier album qui ne manque pas de caractère.
Mate on Facebook
"“It is what it is” becomes a mantra on ‘Medicine
Man’, the first track off Old Mate’s debut LP. At over 10 minutes, the
song’s plodding wrangle gives a false impression of what’s to come.
It’s an odd choice, but this is odd music. And even if ‘Medicine Man’s
dumbness gives no indication of the genius that lies ahead, it doesn’t
make it any less a master stroke. What it does is draw the listener
under a warm blanket with Old Mate. From here he can introduce you to
the soundtrack of your coming weeks on this strange earth. It Is What
It Is gives the impression of nonchalance, but this is a meticulously
plotted master class in songwriting.
Second number ‘Requesting Permission’ is a sonic hammock. Pat Telfer’s glossy vocals and lazy guitar strokes bob away as the current gently draws the song through a perfect solo to a beautifully logical solution. The strumming pace is upped for the next tune, ‘Something’, but the thing’s still cotton-woolly enough to tie it to what we’ve heard so far. The rhythm swirls around and around as a slightly off-kilter voice bangs on about not much at all – more a case of the vocals acting as a secondary percussive instrument than revealing anything beyond inanity. Lonely-man lament ‘February’ comes next and this time the lyrics sit prominently in the foreground. The dusty desert vibes and the drop in tempo here draw a line back to the opening song, but this one barely lasts long enough to get stuck in any kind of whirlpool of sound. Our friend simply says his piece and disappears into fading light.
The second half of the record – it’s only eight tracks but, with an average length of over four and a half minutes, they’re generous offerings – kicks off with the hypnotic ‘Stressin’’. This track is so chilled it makes the diazepam of earlier number ‘Requesting Permission’ feel like an early-morning drug raid. Again, the few lyrics that appear on the song are of no real consequence, but they break the pulse of the beat just enough so you can catch your breath and give it all for that last 10 seconds of boogie at the end. The pace comes up again for ‘Know What He Wants’ and a bit of sax combines with a snappy beat and dabbly guitar to create a somehow cohesive slow build to oblivion.
‘Him’ takes this record to a whole other place and it’s borderline celestial. The song’s lyrical simplicity glows over a smouldering clatter of spare drum beats, awkward guitar pokes and horn honks. This is pop writing that could easily translate into commercial-radio-playable, hit-factory-type stuff, but Old Mate’s treatment of the song, as with so much of this record, is so sinister and off-putting that it makes for a far more satisfying experience. From the ashes of ‘Him’ rises ‘Truth Boy’ – a denouement of sorts – which assembles the constituent parts of the preceding songs and presents it all as one fabulous chunk of post-punk boldness. It’s flawless." - Mess+Noise
"Old Mate began as a solo-project by Bitch Prefect’s Pat Telfer. They now became a real band that consists of 7-10 different musicians including members of Peak Twins and Wireheads. "It Is What It Is" is an album of loose rock music that’s brimming with personal lyrics about the dreariness of everyday life and failed relationships. One of the most impressive things about this album is how Old Mate balances "monotony" and "variety". The "monotony" part is made with stripped-down, repetitive structures. When it comes to "variety" the songs show several different influences ranging from indie, post-punk, blues and psych. The sporadic use of piano and saxophone leave an airy mark on the songs, but in spite of all that instruements the songs never sound busy. There’s a certain atmospheric quality to this record that is difficult to describe and that's one of it's main secrets." - Ride A Dove
"Man, I like this. It's kind of like the moody
melodrama of Bauhaus or Nick Cave gone dolewave, which is a great
combination for a bloke like me that never trusts people who are too
far one way or the other and i like bands that understand life is about
Is What It Is? Really, Oldmate? You do realize that’s what
the ad director at The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y., said to me as he
was laying me off in 2008 right (the idea being: layoffs are what they…
are?)? No? OK then, you get a pass for drudging up that memory because
your smoky post-blues messenger service is quite effective at
delivering the sort of rock you just don’t hear much in the underground
nowadays. But consider this a warning wrapped in a query, the latter
being: Is there a market for Oldmate in this day and age? I say maybe
not, and that’s just about the highest praise I can give a young artist
in a world of sound-a-likes. Creating music so far outside the
periphery of what’s purportedly ‘happening’ is one of the best ways to
organically make things ‘happen.’ The main problem is, most bands
simply don’t have the guts to attempt the forbidden; it’s so much
easier to settle for a solo synth album or an electronic mash-up of the
indie-dance telephone book. FUCK THAT, play guitar, bass, and drums and
GET YOUR GODDAMN ROCKS OFF, like Oldmate. The only problem on my end is
coming up with apt comparisons for y’all to hitch your ‘should I buy
this?’ wagons to. As I said before, it’s been so long since I sat back
and let such a restrained, hearty blues-rock album roll over me I’ve
got zippo for ya, save this entirely ridiculous stretch: Stephen
Merritt fronting a slow Fresh & Onlys tune? The label that also
brought you El-G’s La
Chimie had absolutely no right to drop this anomaly off at
my door, and I’m glad they did." - Tiny
"It’s another great piece of down in the dumps,
black and blue rock. Australiana meets Americana. Songs soaked in box
wine and cheap beer, set decrepit neighbourhoods and between shitty
relationships. There is a rhythm here that moves, a rhythm that one
must keep when moving through life to avoid being left behind.
Old Mate is the newest outfit helmed by Pat Telfer (Bitch Prefect). What originally started as a solo project has now expanded and features members of Peak Twins and Wireheads. It Is What It Is is the debut LP from the group, coming after an EP in 2012 and a 7” in 2013.
It’s another great piece of down in the dumps, black and blue rock. Australiana meets Americana. Songs soaked in box wine and cheap beer, set decrepit neighbourhoods and between shitty relationships. It’s a nice departure from the jangle and strum of Bitch Prefect, reflecting more the day drunk desperation of Kitchen’s Floor.
This is a terrific album thanks to some cunning instrumentation and a willingness to add flavour to the bluesy murk. Piano, saxophone and other intriguing bits and pieces create some airy texture over the fundamentals. Telfer’s brooding croon is exquisite. His purposefully flat delivery adds gravitas to his tales of daily monotony, over drinking and failed relationships.
The music helps to lift the vocals above the subject matter; for example, the sax on ‘Know What He Wants’ adds a sense of urgency to, what I gather is, the tale of a man seeking to take from others without consideration. The album seems to look at abusive relationships in society; abuse of substances, abuse of the self, abuse of others – it’s all pretty grim yet there is an interesting dichotomy at work with the instrumentation, preventing the listener from getting bogged down in the grittiness. We are made aware of the topics at hand, but are constantly moved along by the strong musical current.
It Is What It Is seems to be about the exploring the hard facts of life but not being able to do anything about it. Life is what it is; you can’t do a damn thing about it but live as best as possible. This album is about trying to do that but not always being successful. This is a largely entertaining album, I can imagine it transitioning well live – an experience I hope to catch soon. There is a rhythm here that moves, a rhythm that one must keep when moving through life to avoid being left behind. The road points straight ahead, where it leads is anyone’s guess. Old Mate walk the road, playing I Spy with what they see along the way; observant and honest music and something to treasure." - Weirdo Wasteland
"Les 8 morceaux du disque font preuve d’une maitrise impeccable du rythme, de la mélodie et des ambiances, même si l’on discerne clairement les influences : de Giant Sand à Beat Happening, de Lou Reed à Rhythm Activism. Les compositions sont très riches et offrent des surprises à chaque nouvelle écoute. En résumé, le disque idéal de la rentrée." - Contre-Cultures
"On a parfois un peu de mal à se repérer dans la
masse de groupes qui arrivent en flux tendu d'Australie, tous
passionnants, et qui manifestent un certain penchant pour l'endogamie :
side-projects de side-projects, all-star bands de types inconnus, il ne
se passe pas une semaine sans qu'on tombe sur un machin sorti du Bush,
monté de toutes pièces avec des morceaux d'autres formations, qui nous
mette peu ou prou à genoux. Une méthode qui a fait ses preuves consiste
à envisager ce territoire sauvage comme un ensemble de scènes locales
juxtaposées, et à rattacher des groupes à une ville (en général
Melbourne ou Brisbane). Aujourd'hui, Adélaïde, cité populeuse de la
côte sud, dont Old Mate fédère un certain nombre d'acteurs : Pat
Telfer, son fondateur, est membre de Bitch Prefect, groupe gentillet de
jangle pop qui a essaimé dans Peak Twins et Wireheads, tout ce beau
monde collaborant sur It Is What It Is, premier album de cette
formation d'une dizaine de musiciens qui paraît sur l'excellent (mais
un peu rare) label français SDZ Records (Cheveu, Plastobéton,
Il faut toutefois prendre un peu de hauteur pour appréhender la musique de Old Mate, qui s'éloigne du son d'Adelaïde comme de certains de ses compatriotes (Twerks, Dick Diver), et sort des sentiers balisés de cette jangle pop qui compte ici des ancêtres plus glorieux qu'ailleurs (The Church, The Go-Betweens). Old Mate est bien décidé à ne pas se résumer à un genre, et présente un album dont aucun des huit titres ne ressemble à un autre : c'est un album à tiroirs, à chausse-trappes, mais qui contrairement à d'autres fourre-tout plutôt réussis (le premier Total Control) ou ratés (le second Total Control) trouve une cohérence dans le ton, une manière de se répéter dans la variation qui tient essentiellement à l'immense mélancolie de l'ensemble, la tristesse inconsolable de celui que les gens et les choses ont irrémédiablement déçu.
It Is What It Is, donc, « c'est ce que c'est » et pas autre chose : constat tragique du fait que le réel est le réel, sans arrière-monde. Sur la monotonie d'un univers indifférent (figuré par les structures répétitives des morceaux), il s'agit de broder des motifs inédits, fragiles, comme des châteaux de sable finement ciselés que la prochaine vague de déceptions aplatira, mais qui reflètent autant d'humeurs passagères, autant de variations sur le spleen. C'est bien la mélancolie la plus tenace qui donne sa teinte à ce disque d'« atmosphère », du blues chamanique au milieu des crotales de « Medicine Man » au post-punk fatigué de « Truth Boy », en passant par la sublime ballade « February » (voix de cronner à la Lee Hazlewood, mal maitrisée, presque fausse, comme Beat Happening à l'époque de « Dreamy ») à « Stressin » et son clip lynchien, faux dance-rock au groove toujours parasité par une forme d'engourdissement, de langueur abattue. Si vous cherchiez un Vieux Pote pour pleurer sur son épaule, Old Mate est là." - Chronicart
"Après le Toulousain Armure, SDZ records change
d’ambiance et de continent en s’entichant de la superbe nonchalance
rock de l’Australien Pat Telfer, échappé du groupe Bitch Prefect, et
s’entourant pour ce premier LP d’Old Mate It Is What It Is de membres
de Peak Twins (lire) et Wireheads. Et quoi de mieux que de citer à
nouveau le patronyme choisi par Telfer, Old Mate, pour embrasser la
langueur délicieusement monotone de ce projet faisant passer Malkmus et
sa bande pour des maniaques du bpm ? De l’introductive et obnubilante
Medicine Man à Requesting Permission, mis en images par l’intéressé
lui-même, tout est mise en oeuvre pour que, de ce côté-ci de
l’hémisphère, l’été se prolonge pour quelques temps encore, perdu dans
les volutes de quelques réminiscences, flottant entre Syd Barrett et
Lou Reed." -
"On Old Mate's debut LP It Is What It Is, Pat
Telfer (of Bitch Prefect fame) has transformed himself again. With help
from engineer Tom Spall, the album is pierced with spacey synths and
tape machines that warp traditional blues, country, pop and garage
numbers into some compellingly strange terrain.
Opener 'Medicine Man' is an evil ten-minute plod that delivers a tale of a despoiled doctor. If the previous 7" on Major Crimes had traces of Leonard Cohen's broken heart, then this track comes through as an epic worthy of The Bad Seeds at the height of their gothic western infatuation. This is especially true through to the last minute of murky delay and decay where the album's title is repeated in mantra-like menace.
Pat's voice is always captivating, both in its stretch of registers and the conviction with which he uses it. It goes from low and monotone in songs like 'Something,' to creaky and near falsetto on the mournful Neil Young-esque ballad 'Him'. It always seems open to revealing honest strains and failings. “And I know that it's sad, and you know that it's true,” from 'February', which is a lonely and sombre tune with whispers of Bowie's 'The Man Who Sold The World' throughout it's only verse.
One last anomaly (but an excessively enjoyable one thanks to its excellent video) is the penultimate track 'Stressin'.' Its smooth and idling groove eventually gives way to the shaking of 'Truth Boy' where they play with phrase boundaries, rock and roll piano and the rumbling guitar fuzz to summon visions of a grand visitation, or the righteous return of a strange lost soul arriving home." - The Thousands
"One band that seemed to both be confined by and
outstrip the ill-fated "dolewave" genre pigeonhole was South
Australia's Old Mate. It may have been in the name; it may have been in
the droll drawl that lead Pat Telfer (Bitch Prefect) delivered his
sometimes-weary, sometimes-jacked-up lyrics. But just as many of the
bands that were tarred with that brush over the last two to three years
have moved on by incorporating stranger tics and tricks to their bag,
Old Mate's new album It Is What It Is (out through SDZ Records)
explodes, its core aesthetic spreading in every direction like the
impact of a paintball on a white wall. Don't let the kangaroos boxing
on the cover dissuade you from acknowledging that we are entering a
whole new world.
'Medicine Man' is a gargantuan jazz blues number - seriously. Sure, it's used and abused and flung in the corner to dry, but the 12 bars, the solos, the howling space, the husky vocals are all present and accounted for. It's a strange opener - it's a strange choice, considering the band's back catalogue - but then nothing should surprise you with these guys (remember the other half of Bitch Prefect is the chameleonic Liam Kenny...). From then on we are taken to one surrealist vignette to the next, in a battered limousine al Carax's bizarrely brilliant Holy Motors film from 2012, with Telfer the ever-present ringmaster of the macabre. 'Requesting Permission' is back on terra firma, a downer jangle with dour vocals a la Brisbane act Dag, with a melancholy that reminds me of the solo work of Neil Young in his early years - really - or that first recipient of the Grant McLennan Fellowship back in 2007, Charles Curse. But this isn't the needle and the damage done. We step up with 'Something', a vocal that sounds like Macka from The Onyas having a go at an acoustic number. It isn't overtly funny though - the tempo, the backing vocals, the 'hey hey hey hey hey heeeey, hey' lending a desperation to proceedings. 'February' is a lament in a netherworld saloon - the Gothic drawl reminiscent of another dormant Aussie act, Nikko - holding that plodding, maudlin beat for its entirety, and drags you down with it.
Then we hit a sonorous contemplation with 'Stressin'', a lysergic percolation of languid rhythms (for some reason Im tracking back to some of those subterranean grooves the Stone Roses often doled out) in what is generally an instrumental track, except for some growled, rolling-around-the-mouth vocals (and yet another video featuring that post-Soviet kid in the nightclub, which really looks like a sequal to the film Orphan); the sax burbles into the fervour underscoring 'Know What He Wants', a fine addition here; 'Him' re-enters the Young orbit, albeit in a warped fashion, offering layered nuance that promises more than it gives, with lyrics that imply never learning from mistakes; and closer 'Truth Boy' evokes another crooked minstrel of the Australian musical landscape, Nathan Roche, although there are no Sydney references in sight, just some Aussie sardonic sneers...
It Is What It Is is a bizarre and inexplicalby attractive record. The title tells it all, thus making this review, or any really, redundant. Old Mate, Telfer, the music - it is what it is. Deal with it." - Sonic Masala
"The band’s bluesy, sombre rock – in contrast to
the bright jangling of Bitch Prefect – is the kind best listened to
with a swishing glass of cheap whiskey in one hand, and a burning cigar
in the other." -
"Of Lou Reeds many contributions to popular music,
his embrace of the dirty and noisy is surely chief among them. While
his hippie contemporaries were spreading the message of peace and love
to the rhythm of chirpy modern blues riffs, Lou and his ilk recounted
tales of heroin, prostitution and sexual depravity to the tune of
guitar drones and corrupted black rhythm. While it is debatable whether
the trajectory of rock and roll would be much the same without Reed, it
is very clear that Pat Telfer and his crew would not.
The first release from the “seven to ten musicians” that make up Old Mate, ‘It Is What It Is’ succeeds in recasting obvious (but impeccable) references over eight tracks. Opening with the burlesque – Bad Seeds swagger of the slow burning Medicine Man, the album lurches from melancholy singalong (Requesting Permission) to wistful drunk stumbling (February) through macabre funk (Stressin’).
Although displaying no shortage of individual character, for my money, the best tracks are those in which Old Mate has worn its influences most clearly on its sleeve. On the irresistibly chunky twang of Something, Old Mate nail the cool drawl and laconic riffage. On Truth Boy, the band captures the Velvet’s hypnotic squall to a tee.
RIP Lou." - City & Sound
"Old Mate is the solo project from Pat Telfer of
Bitch Prefect, which has, as it usually does round these parts,
transmogrified into a band of regular Australian kickabouts featuring
members from Peak Twins and Wireheads. Telfer, originally from Adelaide
is now mainly based in Melbourne and has just released It Is
What It Is, his debut album following a self produced EP and 7” over
the past two years.
The album is a compilation of honest admissions regarding broken relationships, broken hearts, drinking, being drunk and feeling uncomfortable by an acute awareness of the mundane difficulties of reality.
Opening track ‘Medicine Man’ a 10min reverb drenched rolling slow jam, reminiscent of early Black Lips circa ’04-’05, assumedly about being the man with all the drugs you could need but may not necessarily be able to procure.
Scratchy, grimy guitar work with deep percussive rhythms and beautiful, catchy lighthearted synth, glock and sax (at times) layered above it all, an aspect of the music that really diversifies and breaks the drone of its core.
This shines through particularly in the track ‘Stressin’.
‘Him’ is a Brian Jonestown-esque circular trawl through weary mud-caked paths, complimented by buzzing, vibrato sodden delay, whizzes, whooshes and saxophone. The song closes out on a bare, honest acknowledgement of pointlessness.
A personal favourite from the album is the closing track ‘Truth Boy’. Its lo-fi, continuous drum splash and rolling bass rhythms combined with the repetitive phrasing of the lyrics make it a catchy madcap ramble, not to mention the myriad of other instruments that fill out the rest of the song including a piercing and anxiety inducing whistle or recorder of some description.
All the songs have a distinctly Australian story-to-be-told song writing inclination evident in countless classic Aussie singer/songwriters. This is a sentiment shared, and most eloquently expressed in the simple truth of the albums title It is what it is.
This album is a fine collection of honest unembellished songs about fears and difficulties we all experience being a 20-something year old person living in uncomfortable forbearance with the tumult of reality." - Throwing Frisbees
"The debut album from Pat Telfer of Bitch Prefect,
recording as Old Mate, is titled It Is What It Is. And if one
plays with the title to turn it into a question, it provides a nice
segue into the quality of the album. That is, what is It Is
What It Is like? The answer for me is that it is an
strikingly good record. Telfer doesn't pretend to choose a
sub-genre of indie rock, resulting in an appealing variety of
music. And each song makes a convincing case for your
attention. The opening track "Medicine Man" is a bluesy
roadhouse jam that sprawls for ten minutes -- and doesn't feel one
second too long. "Requesting Permission" (stream below) is a
relaxed guitar pop tune, with Pat's southern Australian drawl supported
by barely-there female background vocals and an organ. line.
"Something" is an urgent, chugging track that brings to mind Jonathan
Richman and the Modern Lovers. Melancholy singer-songwriter
sensibility infuses the sparsely adorned "February".
The second half of the album kicks-off with "Stressin" (video below), which is a somewhat jittery instrumental for 2:45, before the simple admonition that "Sally's stressin". Driven by Telfer's baritone, the following "Know What He Wants" has a vibe that hints at Nick Cave or the Velvet Underground. Like a ray of light, "Him" begins with a chorus of female and male voices, and continues the enigmatic refrain accompanied predominantly by a bass guitar, drum and occasional guitar strokes. The album ends with "Truth Boy". a strutting post-punk gem that builds and then recedes with deserved confidence.
That's it. Eight tracks, but a fair measure of running time. The tone is a bit sinister and decadent, owing only partially to Telfer's voice and the arrangements. The true skeleton of this record is astute songwriting. Telfer doesn't hit you in the head; he just lets the words and atmosphere seep into your skin. Lay out some cash for this album, and you'll be richer for it.
Originally a solo project, Telfer now relies on a group of 7-10 musicians to flesh out Old Mate. It is a credit to Telfer's vision and the players' discipline that the songs are focused and efficient, with no hint of competition for time or attention. It Is What It Is is out now via French label SDZ Records." - When you motor away
"Last night, I copped a lift,
one of life’s simple pleasures. There isn’t anything better than
thinking you’re going to have to trek it, and then someone lets you hop
in the car and turn an hour trip of nail-biting depression into 15
minutes of jovial, four-wheeled harmony. Whilst in said car, I chucked
on a song by Bitch Prefect, the excellent “Bad Decisions”. And the car
fell silent. But it wasn’t an awkward, painful silence. It was a
silence in which a simple song was appreciated in simple silence.
That’s the best thing about basic music. There’s no expectation, no
need to catapult and overwhelm everything. Whilst a wailing guitar solo
and banshee cries can be exhilarating, sometimes all you need is a
broken guitar, and an equally broken soul to hush you. Fuck love, the
sobs of a shattered soul are way more realistic.
That’s what you’re getting on Old Mate’s debut LP. It’s the solo project from Pat Telfer, a member of the aforementioned Bitch Prefect. But whilst Bitch Prefect almost confine themselves to scratchy, de-tuned musings, Old Mate is more diverse in the offerings, the seafood platter to BP’s BBQ. Also, whereas Bitch Prefect like to keep things at least a little upbeat, and inject some morbid humour, Telfer is as depressed as they come. Someone, give the guy a hug.
Now, that might sound a little forward. I mean, I don’t know the guy. How can I make assumptions about his life, and about what he’s trying to say? Mr. Telfer could be a bounding lil’ ball of energy for all I know. But the Adelaide aesthetic is there, and it sings loudly, especially in the lyrics. On “February'”, Telfer opens up, “Home’s where I’ll be, if you’re not next to me. I’ll stop myself from drinking beer. I’m holding in my tears…I’m lonely, but only without you”, as miserable, rain-soaked cowboy strums resound with funeral-esque finality.
And then there’s “Requesting Permission”, which has to be one of the finest songs released from a purely Australian perspective. It showcases Telfer as a modern day Paul Kelly, a poet with a guitar, a knack for putting the guilt in our throats, and creating a chokehold of emotions. “Every day I go away, and I wish that I could stay. Every now and then, I find that I’m going out of my mind”, points to a guy who’s tearing his hair out, and knows that he’ll never find a solution. He’s stuck in a rut, a trap of his own creation, and getting out of there is going to be harder than breaking Han Solo out of Jabba’s Palace. Throw that curveball of truth next to a brilliantly simple guitar solo, an alien whistle and more wistful regret than that shot of Patrick Swayze looking out at the Byron Bay surf in Point Break.
There are a few kinks to be worked through on the album however, namely the constant changing of tones. Although that does make for a constantly evolving record, it makes things messier than the results of giving a 2 year old a week-old, unrefrigerated chilli con carne. Don’t get me wrong, this album has more heart and originality packed into it than the majority of records, but there’s a bit of a lack of clarity and cohesiveness to the middle of the record.
However, maybe that’s the point. This isn’t a professional record. Rick Rubin didn’t twist knobs with his tentacle beard, and there wasn’t a guest verse from A$AP Rocky. It’s a vibrant mix of noise, sadness, confusion, and self-defeatism. There is so much going on in Pat Telfer’s brain, and the bloke has condensed it into something that reeks of originality. He’s taken sadness, something that at this point seems passe, and he’s made it interesting and gut-wrenching again. Like a car-lift, Old Mate is a simple pleasures that releases a lot of pain and stress. Who needs shit like Morrissey or Robert Smith when you’ve got Old Mate?" - Soundly Sounds
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