Rad Releases ’10- Aulos

December 23, 2010

 Of course with the involvement with the 2-piece progressive band Aulos and this being a part band journal for the guys it would be very wrong not to include Aulos in this end of year special. Our last main feature was their very own feature coinciding with their debut EP release, you can revisit that personal interview here- http://circuitsweet.blogspot.com/2010/11/aulos-feature-oli-montez-ace.html 

 Circuit Sweet spoke to both musicians of the band to find out their personal favourites and plans for the new year.

 Two-Ten revealed some amazing releases for me, some I have been waiting over 3 years for and others just appeared out of nowhere. Being asked to limit to a top 5 has been a nightmare so I will be doing a top 20 for Sound Guardians shortly after finishing here.
5. Daughters – Self Titled [Hydra Head [March 9]]
No doubt one of the heaviest records of the year. There is so much power channeled through this album that by the end of it you will not know what the fuck just happened. Ever since catching them live in 2007 touring “Hell Songs” with The Fall Of Troy I have been a devoted fan of Sadler’s ripping octave tracked guitar lines being backed by the most intensive low end I have experienced.
 Stand out tracks on the record include: “The First Supper” to get a taste of the full dynamic of the band. Also, “The Unattractive, Portable Head” to hear how creative they are with there setup. A kind of drowsy organ sound builds throughout to end the record in a truly unique fashion. 
4. El Ten Eleven – It’s Still Like A Secret [Unsigned[September 11]]
I don’t know if it’s due to my current musical situation or tradition but
I really do love 2-piece bands; Especially when they pull as much weight as El Ten Eleven. I found this band incredibly inspiring due to being in the same boat for a time this year – having to self-produce a record. Their methods were somewhat more impressive than my own by practically selling everything from phone calls and lunch dates to plane rides and producer credits.
 As for the music – this is battling for my attention as favorite brainchild of theirs alongside “Every Direction Is North.” Being slightly more raw than earlier releases the technicality is still delivered true to form in beautifully structured, poppy fashion with just the right amount of balls to nod your head to. “Indian Summer” is a big winner on the record just for the structure alone. Youtube the live version and all will be explained.

3. Fang Island – Self Titled [Sargent House [February 23]]

This record makes me feel so good that every time I hear a track off it I instantly put both hands in the air and smile. Nicholas (Andrew) Sadler jumped into my top 5 twice this year and despite seeming like the biggest fan-boy in history he deserves it.  
 This record takes every good feeling from any song you can think of that means the world to you and makes you feel amazing; then crams it into half an hour of happiness. I sadly had to test this record on some trying times this year and it still put a smile on my face and made me sing along.
 This will forever be one of my favorite records and I long to see what the future holds since it is rumored Sadler has jumped ship from Daughters.
 Stand out tracks: EVERY FUCKING ONE! But if you hear only one make it “Life Coach.” The vocal harmonies will make you invincible.
2. Enemies – We’ve Been Talking [The Richter Collective [June 11]]
 Out of fucking nowhere this record became exactly what I wanted to hear this year. Especially from this band. The Richter Collective have had an absolute steamer of a year also putting out records from “The Redneck Manifesto” and “Adebisi Shank” (Indecently both also very high in my top 20).
 This record is incredibly emotive and accessible. Drawing the finer points of the “Math Rock” label that was slapped on them for going out of the confines of 4/4 on “Alpha Waves” and toning it down into something that the tamest to the tallest of instrumental fans will pick up and enjoy.
 The record flows effortlessly from start to finish and is produced to perfection.  The stand out point in this record is clearly toward the middle starting on the track “Gabbi Gabby” with one of my favorite song introductions of the year. Followed by the slow building piece “Gingerly” that blossoms into a powerful attack for the peak of the record.

1. Maserati – Pyramid Of The Sun [Temporary Residence Limited [November 4]]
 Anyone that knows me could have guessed this blind. Without this band there would be no Aulos let alone any music from me anymore. Turning back to “Inventions” was the luckiest choice I ever made and I am forever grateful for how this band brought me back to a life in music.
 When I heard about Jerry Fuchs tragic and untimely passing I was heartbroken. Losing people you admire even if you don’t know them still can hurt. We played a show the night news got out and dedicated it in his name and patiently awaited the choices the band were making whether to continue or not. I believe that when you begin to make a mark to a lot of peoples lives with the choices you make or the work that you do it doesn’t belong to you anymore. It comes to a point where you owe it to everyone else to perform your duty and carry on in spite of what is happening around you. What better sentiment to Fuschs passing than making a powerful and involving and completely memorable record.
 Teaming up with recent Split EP buddies “Zombi” for some serious Krautrock synth action has boosted the sound to another dimension. Matt Cherry really does belt out some seriously fuzzy riffage on this record but it was an intentional choice which does break up the record on tracks like “Pyramid Of The Sun.” If I could show anyone only one track this year it would be “Oaxaca.” No doubt.

 Two-Eleven? Aulos? A break maybe? Get some time to finish new songs? Please? Haha, no for real I am taking January OFF. Making room for as many instruments I can learn to play. Some epic tribal drum action, more synth, and more looping.
 Hanging with The Peppermint Hunting Lodge, Tallulah Fix, Clay Statues.  Working up to Christmas Eve 2010 in the studio to get a web-release single out with hopefully some radical remixes – GREAT WHITE BUFFALO.
 Hoping for some touring action, also catching up with some distribution contracts and get this baby worldwide! Keep on pushing for EP IC II!

 Deciding on my 5 favourite albums of 2010 was a difficult decision for me. Partly because I almost never pay attention to the date of when an album is released so that kind of came back round to kick me in the ass as I had to go through a shit load of albums and find out when they were released. But mostly because after going through my itunes, I realised how much amazing music has been made these past 12 months. But in no particular order, here’s what I came up with.

1. Heligoland – Massive Attack  

This release meant a lot for me. Growing up around Bristol and with parents who have always immersed themselves in the Bristol music scene I got introduced to Massive Attack from a very early age. Only while I started becoming interested in music as a subject did I realise how much I liked their stuff. And even though Blue Lines and certainly Mezzanine will always be amazing albums for me, Heligoland has quickly become my favourite. Massive Attack are a band who change and evolve every album and I can’t pinpoint why, but this one had it down for me.
 My personal favourite track of the album is without doubt, Paradise Circus. The composition itself is so simply, but texturally it’s amazing. Where the bass and drums come in and sync together, the clap samples, the vocals. It’s an entrancing track.
2. Black Sands – Bonobo
A friend introduced me to Bonobo after he found out I was a Post- Rock fan, I’m not sure why he landed on this. But he nailed it. It became my ‘soundtrack’ to this summer almost instantly.
 The grooves in the whole album are just unmatched, and after seeing the man and his band live at Big Chill I was sold as a fan completely. For an album of this style, sort of electronica wrapped around jazz and down tempo, the instrumentation is amazing, it just works. In many ways it appealed to me the same way Heligoland did.
 My favourite track is probably ‘Eyesdown’ featuring Andreya Triana. I’ve always liked Dub reggae and the way those bass lines just flow liked treacle and this track provided that but with all the groove and vocal soul you could want. It’s a winner, and live, it’s amazing.

3. Omar Rodriguez Lopez & John Frusciante – Omar Rodriguez Lopez & John Frusciante
 This album was a big deal for me; I found it around the time I was super getting into The Mars Volta and Omar Rodriguez Lopez in particular. When I heard he was working with John Frusciante I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never been a RHCP Pepper fan, and I had never heard his solo stuff at this point but the album showed a whole different side to John’s playing which I loved. The record has all the ambiance and thought of what an experimental album like this should have, and the fact they allowed it for free download (or donation) is just extra icing on the prog cake.
 Favourite track is definitely ‘0.’ It has a beautiful mix of acoustic and electric guitar and you can hear each of these guys’ styles so clearly. The sampled percussion works amazingly, and the guitar parts themselves are so subtlety intricate, I’ve been trying to work it out and piece it together for a while and I still haven’t got it.
4. The Letters EP – And So I Watch You From Afar
 It was only between late last year and early this year I truly started getting into instrumental music, and ASIWYFA were a big part of that. They have all the dynamic and technicality of an instrumental rock band, but all the balls of any rock band around. The Letters EP was a clear progression as a band from their album, some of the stop/ start rhythms in there are nuts. I have watched their BRFM session more times than is healthy and the heaviness those 2 guitarists can get out of 2 telecasters is ridiculous.
 It’s clear to me that this is a release they poured sweat and blood into and still do while performing it.
My favourite track, after some thought, has got to be ‘K is for Killing Spree (An Ode To).’ It shows them off as a band perfectly, it’s noisy, hairy, epic, complex and heavier than the sun. If there was one track to psych me up for anything, this is it.

5. Pyramid of the Moon – Maserati
 This album meant more to me sentimentally than musically. Oli Montez introduced Maserati to me, and after months and months of drowning myself in their discography, and ‘Inventions for the New Season’ in particular, I was instantly excited about this record coming out. Especially when knowing of the death of their drummer, Jerry Fuchs. Who is currently and has been for a while, a huge influence on my double (or triple? Fuck knows) identity as a drummer. Fortunately his drum tracks were finished before his passing and the other band members finished the record partly as a memorial to Jerry. Taking their parts in it in the direction they think he would’ve wanted.

 My favourite track is probably ‘We got the System to Fight the System.’ It has the dancey grooves and feel that Jerry embraced and bought to the band, but it has the older styles of Maserati. Space Rock through and through, I find it strange that a track on a newer album would make me want to listen to their past ones. But because of it I usually can’t listen to Pyramid of the Moon without listening to Inventions straight after.

 2011 looks to be an interesting year for me. I’m finishing my ND Music course and provided my audition goes well, moving to Bristol to start a Certificate in Professional Musicianship as the first year of a BA (Hons) Degree. I don’t really know how any of this is supposed to work but I’m looking forward to it, 24/7 studying guitar? Shouldn’t be too bad. The next year should also hold some really amazing stuff for Aulos, there are some awesome bands running around the U.K. right now, and the fact that some of them (a few of my favourites too) have heard of us really excites me. It’s difficult not to be vague, but in short I plan on spending the next year working my ass off on guitar and behind the kit.

 Personally I know there is still a fuck load to come from Aulos over the next year and then some. There is something about working with these musicians that inspires me, I work alongside the two but I see just how much work behind the scenes goes into Aulos.
 After this trying but rewarding year Aulos and everyone that we’ve met over the year, played with, supported us, spread the word, representing our merch, buying and playing our EP’s, it makes it all worthwhile so thank you.
  There really is no rest for the wicked as from tonight until the hours of Christmas day arrives the band are back in the studio recording their new track and more goods ready for 2011.

 Become a fan of them on facebook to follow what their up too and to find out about their last gig on 2010 and more. Click HERE.

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