Ivan Smagghe Reviews…


Well, what do we have here? Ivan Smagghe has stumbled upon the wonderful world of the promotional inbox at Ransom Note towers. All hell has since broken loose as he battles obscure pop, grammatical errors, edm 'tunes' and more… However, there is absolutely no fun in us simply telling you that, we'll let him explain his findings himself… 


"You've been sent a file by Technicolour". I don't know why I find this funny. Probably because I associate the word to Douglas Sirk, not "Jay, now 25 years old, has become one of the leading artists in the latest generation of Detroit electronic music-makers". I also find the "now" funny in that phrase. Always had a love/relationship with the Moodyman (i always put ns as well) school of non-rock, since the day he told, live on my radio show, that his music was for black people and when I told him it was only white people, including me, buying his records, he left. Then, at the club, he asked to DJ behind a curtain, I left. Sorry, the new generation is not responsible for its elders, They just get to pay the price even if Jay is a "young man seemingly oblivious to the weight of expectation associated with the pantheon of music-makers hailing from his hometown".
Which, in the present case, is a quite hefty bowl of noodles "founded on loose-knit, shuffling breaks".


Sometimes, the work of the reviewer is to let the artist talk for himself.

"On ‘four ethers,’ the third single to be taken from blisters, serpentwithfeet wonders aloud what it would feel like to be violently transparent, and finds him in pursuit of a rare honesty. Huge swathes of strings and percussion emphatically rise and crash turbulently against Wise’s questioning voice as he ultimately asks: “How can I touch somebody who wont even touch themselves?” ‘four ethers’ might be serpentwithfeet’s most powerful and dramatic work to date."

24K plays.


I like Magazine. I like John, he's a friend, he drums with Battles and he hates being reminded that he was a drummer in Helmet. I don't like being reminded I liked them. I like 27 minutes drones though so I skipped the metal to 5.3.1901. I think a lot of people may do that. It's very good, may be because it reminds me of the tape music I've done for RSN and then sold to someone else for no money. 


This is the generic "Mexican chug", their biggest export after tacos and Lokier. I love watching cool stuff becoming dire conformism, it's sad but common. Revelation: this has acid lines "wandering arpeggios", plastic rock drums and a track called "apocalypstick". If we are gonna have an electroclash revival (we'll come back to that), can we not start it in reverse?

*** Edited version by the editor: "This is the generic slightly slow-druggy-rocky-acid-4/4 music hailing from Mexico, one of their biggest exports after tacos and Lokier. I love watching cool stuff becoming dire conformism, it's sad but common. Revelation: this has acid lines "wandering arpeggios", plastic rock drums and a track called "apocalypstick". If we are gonna have an electroclash revival (we'll come back to that), can we not start it in reverse? 
If you read the comments, you may learn, as I did, that "chug", commonly used here to describe that precise genre is a derogative term for Native Americans, especially in Vancouver and in slang dictionaries. I did not mean to racially offend though I also used "chug" as kind of derogatory in its musical sense. I wonder what will happen when I get some "Jungle" or "Ghetto house" to review. Case closed.


I'm partial to a bit of sixties sectarian paedo-pop. That's not the promo company talking, that's me. You know what I mean: dangly guitars, angelic choirs, slightly weird atmosphere. I though this was when I quickly skipped through it.. It's not. This is just kind of happy pop jazz that reminds me of Mike Flower Pops without the twist (and it's all in the twist), or Kendrick Lamarr for white people. Hang on, K.L is for white…


Ali is crafty. He picked the promos in order for me to badmouth my friends. Young Daniel knows I'm not into "deep techno". Or I am but then you need a submarine. There's something of a contradiction in this genre: dancing without a groove. And there's no snare. I like this remix though (I'm not being an hypocrite). It's slightly weirder and has 3 kicks. Abdulla is actually called Anthony, he's Swedish but, quote, "Abdulla Rashim is a name I made up out of a long interest for the Arab World, in particular Levantine culture and politics". Still no snare though.


"we're glad to announce our newadd into our family: Leæther Strip, one of the most influential artists on the international electronic music scene!". I liked this one a lot, the link doesn't work.
Oh no it does, it's a teaser that looks like Call of Duty with pseudo EBM trance. In an alternate universe, I'd be making this type of music, chained to a wall and fed rusty water and nails.


I've got quite a strong bond with Tel Aviv. A lot of friends, from music or not. It's a very complicated city. I like it a lot. I did not know it had a Cafe Del Mar though. That's being a bit nasty but That's not the Tel Aviv I know. Nor the morning actually.


We're taking family here. I met Andrew Thomson years ago. He used to take the bus from Glasgow to come and see me at Fabric. He's such a genuine Glaswegian, the product of the best out-of-school musical education in the UK. I'm glad he's made it. Lena is family too, I mean it's LE SALON DES AMATEURS, Vladimir, Detleif and the anti-digging school of musical knowledge. I hate proper diggers. Someone commented on a track I posted on FB: "this is normally the kind of hush hush track that you don't post" the other day. What a load of bollocks. You can dig, but if you don't share, where is the point? I like her Aksak Maboul remix a lot more than these but that's fine, they'll understand.

Editor's note: "I need a drink".


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