Tag Archives: Delphic

Review: Suzuki/Method – Native EP

25 Oct

Suzuki Method Native

A few years ago, before this blog developed into the site it is today, we heard and fell in love with an album by a band from Manchester. That album helped pave the way for a resurgence in a hybrid indie-dance-rock-pop sound that saw guitars, synths, electronics and beats go head to head in a battle for the ages. Our ears were buzzing with excitement and it’s a sound we’ve found ourselves coming back to time and time again in a legion of different guises. One of the latest guises comes from another Manchester band (Salford to be precise) Suzuki/Method who have dipped into the Delphician well and enlisted their producer David Tolan (as well as Jim Spencer) to work with them on this debut EP, Native.

Each of the five tracks is crackling with energy and has more hooks than a ‘Villains of Peter Pan’ convention. Drawing from the heritage of Manchester and beyond, dance fuses with pop fuses with rock fuses with funk fuses with, well you get the idea. It’s like a trip through electro pop history from Kraftwerk to Delphic via Duran Duran (and bands beginning with other letters as well). Electronics tumble and shatter while digital and analogue flourishes and accoutrements’ embellish and add depth to the drum-bass-guitar combo.

The band, comprised of brothers Adam and Glen Leishman as well as Michael Mathews, David Boyd and Ben Hounslow, came together during the Salford riots to make the EP, so it stands to reason that Native should be a powder keg of adrenalin and energy. “Sherbet” is like flying through a rainbow of sounds, it is to music what the Holi Festival is to colour; vibrant, crazy and frenetic. It’s a euphoric celebration hidden at the bottom of a bassline.

Similarly frantic is “Cruel To Be Kind”, an urgent, blood pumping song that races like the cheetah chasing down the fleeing antelope as the song is evolving. Drums outstripping bass, vocals surging past both and then an electronic mutation gives it the edge, bringing the antelope down, a phylogeny of music in just over 4 minutes shown in full HD.

The pace never abates, tracks simply hand the baton on to the next leg of this lightening quick relay. “Country Cousins”, “Strangelet” and “You Asked For The Moon And You Got It” drive along at breakneck speed, all compulsive and danceable. But the whole thing is a bit like that, a chemistry lesson of an EP, a myriad of multi-coloured sonic potions and powders are fizzing and flashing everywhere you look, making your pulse quicken with excitement.

’Native’ is out now and is available to buy here.


Stalk Suzuki/Method: Facebok / Website / Twitter

Review: Delphic – Collections

29 Jan

delphic

First things first, Collections is not Acolyte redux. Not even remotely. When announcing the follow-up to their exceptional 2010 debut, the band said; “We didn’t want to make an album that replicated ‘Acolyte’, that more-of-the-same-again approach seems all too abundant at the moment and it doesn’t interest us in the slightest, so we set out to challenge ourselves”.

And challenge, they have for Collections is musically very different, with a much greater emphasis on the beat and almost none on the dance-rock sound that brought them to the dance in the first place. Influences come from all over, as if the guys have spent three years listening to every other musical style out there and choosing which ones to use. It’s a bit of a kitchen sink approach, with hip-hop, overblown future rock, dubstep, banghra, 80’s pop, ballads, dance and many more all evident across the 10 tracks.

While this does serve to show the new diversity of Delphic, we don’t think that a confused ‘huh?’ was the reaction they were hoping to illicit from listeners but for the first couple of spins, but that’s exactly where we found ourselves. It doesn’t have the instant accessibility of Acolyte which hit you square between the eyes from the opening moments of “Clarion Call”, and seems to lack cohesion, it doesn’t feel like a single whole like you would expect an album to.

Evidently though, this is by design, as Rick explained to XFM. “Collections is a collection of songs that don’t necessarily sound the same, which challenges listeners to get out of their boxes. It’s why people have shuffle, so they can hear different songs on their playlists”. So it’s an album that is designed to be listened to in a different order each time?

It’s an interesting concept, to deliberately create an album that isn’t designed to be enjoyed as an album, but one that makes some sense given the public’s predilection for disposable music and preference for downloading singles only. It’s like a less technologically advanced version of Gwilym Gold’s Bronze format which promised listeners they would never hear the same version of a song twice.

So, we decided to give it a spin or two on shuffle and the result was interesting. The lack of cohesion, of a singularity across the music, no longer mattered. We didn’t know what was up next so that randomness, the variety of styles felt fresh rather than confusing. We were able to enjoy the tunes for what they were not for what they didn’t do. “Bayia” felt sexy and energetic; “The Sun Also Rises” like Yeasayer had penned music for a rousing BBC montage; “Tears Before Bedtime”, featuring heartache via voicemail, feels more poignant when it precedes rather than follows “Atlas”, which itself is a multi-headed hydra spitting musical styles like fireballs.

We’d have to say, shuffle is the way forward for Collections, though we are honestly not sure if that is a good thing or not.

Collections is out now and available on iTunes or directly from the band.


Stalk Delphic: Facebook / Twitter / Website / Soundcloud

Watch: Delphic – “Baiya”

19 Dec

delphic

The Delphic boys are well and truly back. Following a successful UK tour in the autumn where they showcased some new material, and the news that their long-awaited second album was on the way, they recently debuted the video for lead single, “Baiya”.

The track is a great blend of orchestral strings, pop hooks and hip-hop style beats. The electro side has been played down but it is still there to a degree but the pop aspect has been turned right up. It is certainly properly radio friendly and sounded fantastic when we saw them play live a few weeks back. The reaction has not been universally positive mind you. The guys have had something of a mixed response to their new stuff, with a roughly 50/50 split of people decrying its departure from what they loved about Acolyte or embracing and rejoicing the new direction. Here at Alphabet Bands, our tastes being as eclectic as they are, we love it. It doesn’t stop us from thinking Acoloyte was amazing and our minor obsession with that album doesn’t prevent us from appreciating their new stuff either.

The video, which was filmed in Paris, looks stunning and with the guys all suited and booted and fighting one another in a stop-motion style, it’s like Morph-meets-The Matrix. Which frankly, would be amazing.


Collections is released on 28 January and can be pre-ordered here.

Stalk Delphic: Facebook / Twitter / Website / Soundcloud

Delphic Promo New Album – Collections

1 Nov

So here we are, breaking all our own rules and dropping some news almost as soon as it is announced. Well what are rules for, if not for breaking? Especially when the news is this exciting…

Having spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening last week grooving to both old and new material from Delphic, we were very excited to receive an email this morning formally announcing a new album, Collections. In the mail, sent out to mailing list subscribers, the guys discuss the time they have taken to write and record the album, and their relative change in musical direction.

“We didn’t want to make an album that replicated ‘Acolyte’, that more-of-the-same-again approach seems all too abundant at the moment and it doesn’t interest us in the slightest, so we set out to challenge ourselves. In many ways this album has been a process of re-learning what we thought we knew”.

Collections will be released on 28 January 2013 and you check out a video trailer here and the tracklist is below.

Collections
1. Of The Young
2. Baiya
3. Changes
4. Freedom Found
5. Atlas
6. Tears Before Bedtime
7. The Sun Also Rises
8. Memo
9. Don’t Let The Dreamers Take You Away
10. Exotic

While we are talking Delphic, treat yourselves to a free download of “Good Life” (Lone Remix).

Gig Review: Delphic, Norwich Arts Centre – 25/10/12

27 Oct

Expectation can be a bitch sometimes. When heading out to see the band responsible for possibly your favourite album of the last three years, a band you’ve seen live and been blown away by before and the best small venue in the country, you expect to see something special. Without them even knowing, you are putting a truckload of pressure on the band to live up to your, probably, unrealistic expectations.

Tonight Delphic will take to the stage at the Norwich Arts Centre in front of an excited and expectant audience. It has been nearly three years since they last performed here, shortly after the release of their white-hot and near faultless indie dance debut, Acolyte. It was supposed to be just the beginning for the boys from Manchester, tipped by many (they placed third in the BBC Sound of 2010 poll and the Guardian named them on of their 10 bands to watch) but after touring the album they dropped off the radar for quite a while. After taking their time writing new material they are back and ready to share the fruits of their labours.

A hush descends on the crowd as the light dims and the band steps on stage, a few whoops and cheers burst forth as the first sort of new track, it was released in the summer as one of the official tracks of the Olympics, “Good Life” opens the set. “We Wait/We Wait/We Wait/We Wait” they sing, echoing the thoughts of the crowd, so grateful to have them back after so long. It’s a high energy opening with a track that will prove to be a bridge from the old to the new.

The band moves seamlessly on, urging us to dance with “Halcyon” before dropping the first new track proper and the first indication of their new sound. “Baiya” is a sexified funky track which, as with all the new songs, downplays the dance and brings in new elements from other genres. Here it is a bit of hip-hop and a tight, Peaches sort-of vibe. Soaring synths and uplifting choruses it may not have, but it goes hard and doesn’t feel out of place in the set.

They may have been away from us for so long, but they are sounding as tight as ever and the drum patterns are crisper than Gary Lineker’s wildest fantasy. Banter is kept to the barest of minimums, the odd thanks is about as far is it goes as they prefer to rattle on. Tracks from Acolyte are played with, blended into one another, given extended mixes or breakdowns and the crowd laps it up. The instantly recognisable introduction to “Doubt” is slowed to a near standstill, giving it a surprisingly dark, sci-fi edge, as if it were the soundtrack to Prometheus, before kicking back in and hitting maximum warp.

New tracks are dropped in at opportune moments and met warmly, each one varying in style from the last. There is more rock, more wailing guitar, more hip-hop, more urging to “move sucka, dance sucka”, more relaxation, less corporeal, less dance and less synths. The crowd nods, dances, bounces its approval. “Atlas”, appropriately, sounds huge. A vast sprawling song that lurches in a variety of directions, collecting sounds from each location and getting bigger as it goes. It’s breathtaking stuff.

The evening draws to its close as old favourites “Counterpoint” and “Acolyte” finishes the set to leave the crowd buzzing. The time away has not hurt Delphic, they may have chosen a new musical path but they have not sacrificed quality in doing so. Expectations have been met and instead we feel only excitement for the old and new and hope that we won’t need to wait quite so long for their return.



Delphic played:
“Good Life”
“Halcyon”
“Baiya”
“Red Lights”
“This Momentary”
“Memeo”
“Clarion Call”
“Doubt”
“Atlas”
“Changes”
“Counterpoint”
“Acolyte”

Read More
Listen: Delphic – “Good Life” / Oh boy, this is good – Delphic Review

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