Thursday, 29 December 2011

Seasonal Affective Disco - #1

 Work Them's series of mixtapes returns with our first ever Seasonal Affective Disco. Perhaps a little more subdued than our clubbier effort, this hour of music new and old is still designed to satisfy tapping toes as well as any general sense of melancholy. Call it night bus, night in or nice night out, SAD encompasses ambient, electronica, proper indie and disco - featuring music from Burial, Beach House, Joe Goddard, Seahawks and more.

 The new mixtape is available below, and embedded at the side of the blog for easy access comparable to that of a walk-in bath. Downloads are available around the top left of the player, and we hope you enjoy the mix.

Work Them - Seasonal Affective Disco #1 by Work Them

 Don't forget, ar from hibernating until Spring however, Work Them will be back in it's body warming club night mode on Friday February 3rd, at our anything goes den down the alley, Kraak Gallery. As well as us DJs, the night will see the debut live performance in Manchester from London's patten, who hides one of the most exciting and experimental minds in electronic music behind his lower cases. His album GLAQJO XAACSS was one of the underground highlights of last year, earning plaudits from the likes of FACT Mag and The Line Of Best Fit, who both placed it high on their end of year lists.

 Tickets, priced just £4 in advance are available from WeGotTickets now

 Keep your eyes out over the next few weeks for more astute musical recommendations from all over, accompanying witterings and a review of what happened when we enjoyed/endured the final 17 hours of Warehouse Project. Will I finally confront Store Street car park owners with receipts for four pairs of ruined Converse, will we have an epiphany in that weird void near the toilets and we conclusively reveal how many spinbacks it will take for the back room to get sweaty enough to develop a minor strain of malaria.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Patten LIVE at Work Them

Hello there, hope you're well and haven't had your annual listen to The Waitresses' 'Christmas Wrapping' too early, meaning you'll only have walnut whips, Babycham and hard, ill advised acid to reignite your soul by Christmas Eve.

Anyway, all's well at our end. In fact, we're ready to announce the first of several artists we have lined up to compliment our usual clubnight bizznezz, namely Patten. Having released one of the most promising, distinctive and diverse albums of the past 12 months in the shape of GLAQJO XAACSSO on No Pain in Pop, we're very pleased to bring Patten to Kraak Gallery for his debut live show in Manchester. And we hope to see you there, and then, the then being 3rd February.

A one man force of experimental, but fluid electronica Patten's music is both blissful and baffling, recalling such broad influences as Broadcast and Aphex Twin - jittering, unpredictable beats layered above striking shoegaze guitar work. Matching his recorded output, Patten's live show is a raw blend both digital and analogue influences, as anyone who saw him earlier this year on Boiler Room will surely attest.

Full ticket details, artwork and so on are to follow later this month, but for now, check out Patten's stunning and eclectic FACT mix for a 40 minute preview covering his influences and favourite records, each chopped up and compressed into his distinctive style.

We're also working on a new mixtape which will be arriving within a few weeks, which means our original Somewhat Essential Mix will be disappearing for a while. Mixing up everything you can expect from Work Them, (and at 90 minutes, happilly, less) it's still available to stream and download from our Souncloud, and perfect complimentary audio fodder for the sort of seasonal social occasion that you apparently have agreed to have at your house. Why offer a party favour, when you can give the gift of exciting background music?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Work Them Roundup

 A huge thank you to everyone that made it down to the debut Work Them last week at Kraak, we had a brilliant time - got to play loads of good records, you danced to them, can still afford to get our parents something or other for Christmas, jobs a goodun'. Also a big thanks to Dan Nolan and Citylife for our feature in the MEN, which dealt with our personal inspiration for the night/where and who we steal all our ideas from. You can still read that here, if you missed it and are interested.

 We'll be back in February to begin what we hope will be a regular run of 'Work Thems' ("a gaggle of Work Thems") over at Kraak, as well as a possible event of the record playing kind in the party void known as January. Upon our return, we also hope to present a small but golden selection of special guests to reflect our ethos, which we're currently working on, as well as a new mixtape... Anyway, enough cryptic hyperbole, we'll be posting plenty of interesting and fresh music here in the meantime.

 Maria Minerva's A Love So Strong, remixed here by Not Not Fun label boss Ital, proved to be the surprise hit of the night around 2AM last week. Starting off slowly, a good portion of the crowd soon found themselves lost in Minerva's beckoning vocals and hail of chimes, even going for the weird old bit towards the end when the track sounds as if it's reversing in on itself. On later and more sober listens, it becomes clear that this happens a few times throughout, and offers a good example of why the lo-fi dance music of Maria Minerva, Peaking Lights, Grimes and so on has seemed so fresh this year, offering real groove and heart, and still finding time to willfully muck about with conventions.

 Like we said, while our 'Ethos' is a loosely defined, work in progress, we do know what we like; and Tearjerker, a three piece from Toronto, we certainly like. A Bandcamp wild card find, with little information available, Tearjerker describe themselves, in rather meta fashion, as follows;

 'Tearjerker plays music that has been described by various people as indie rock, shoegaze, chillwave, glo-fi/lo-fi and other subgenres that Tearjerker hadn’t really heard of before.'

  'Strangers', a gently touching, almost shoegaze record is the one caught my attention, and something I had on heavy rotation this time last year. It holds off on the fuzziness just enough for you to appreciate the record for what it is, a creepingly melancholic, electronic tinged haze fest. The fuzziness itself, produced by a wonderfully warm and almost droning bass playing with the snare, is one of my favourite aspects of this record; it feeds through the album, leaving you almost enveloped in, well, any other word that equates to 'vibes'.

 In May this year, Tearjerker released a 'self re edit' of Strangers. Track for track re recorded, and slightly tweaked, the result was a lighter, but not necessarily polished version of an already gorgeous record. It retained the fuzziness, but had more clarity, and a generally more airy feel (there's no way I could say 'airy air'), picking up on the track 'Wave' and carrying on. It's interesting that on the two records, different songs stand out more. In my opinion, 'Wave' and 'Downtown' are the stand outs on Strangers, while on Strangers Remade it's 'Slip Away Remake' and 'Best Remake', that I love the most. Possibly something to do with the flipping in tone, they almost turn the lighter heavier, and vice versa with these tracks. That's not to say the original Strangers is 'dark' or 'heavy', it's just a more 'hazy', yet equally layered counterpart. Essentially it comes down to release dates, 'Strangers Remade' is the Summer version of 'Strangers', both wonderful and haunting records, yet without excessive melancholia, it's almost like we have a AW10/11 and SS11 collection of shoegaze, chillwave, glo-fi/lo-fi and other subgenres that Tearjerker hadn't really heard of before, but probably won't stop hearing about from now on.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Peaking Heights

Our favourite local record store and yours, Piccadilly Records, have just released their Best of 2011 list, a trusted annual compilation of the 100 best albums released this year, spanning weirdo indie, disco, post-punk, psych, and everything else we love to play. Hitting the coveted #1 spot this year, just ahead of such luminaries as Metronomy, Maria Minerva and Wooden Shjips, is Peaking Light's stunning debut LP, 936. Piccadilly Records succinctly explain why...

"... Originally out at the end of February on Not Not Fun (now reissued on Weird World), "936" became an instant Piccadilly hit, working its post-punk twisted psych-disco charms on pretty much everyone here - I'm sure you'll love it too. If you do, make sure you check out Maria Minerva and Washed Out as well - all three sit together under the synthwave / chillwave umbrella (whatever that is!)"

Indeed, since it's initial release (ooh, get us) when the LP floated to us down blog river as another promising and doubtlesssly oddball release from Not Not Fun recordings, both of your Work Them hosts became rather obsessed with the album, not to mention it's disinctive cover art, which in itself perfectly encapsulates the warm, heady feel of the album. As the winter nights draw in, it still sounds as great as the soundtrack to another late night ill advised aspirational Amazon purchase, as it did in the summer, strolling through the town centre or hanging over after a night at Primavera Sound in Barcelona. Having seen Peaking Light's music described as 'other-wordly' this year, I would disagree with this assessment of an admittedly hazy sounding record.

The husband and wife duo behind the band have instead recorded a psych-pop record that is far from self-indulgent or meandering, and in possession of very personable, even romantic touches, dreamily singing of 'tiger eyes' and 'all the sun that shines (shines for you)'. This winning formula hit it's stride throughout the album's stand-out track, 'Amazing and Wonderful'.

Unsurprisingly for a band who sound to be cautiously, dreamily swaying at the side of the dancefloor, even without quite jumping in to the action, a remix compilation arrives next month, simply entitled 936: The Remixes. Release information and even a streaming selection of the reworked material, coming from both hip hop and house heads and beyond, is available at the band's new online radio station, We've included a remix of 936 cut 'Hey Sparrow' below, which is dubbed out and mystical beyond a hippy teenager's wildest dreams.

Peaking Lights grace Manchester in person for a headline Now Wave show at The Deaf Institute, on Saturday December 9th. Perhaps the only gig this year I am comfortable guaranteeing the quality of using the word 'vibes'. If you purchase the LP in Piccadilly Records itself, you'll also be able to purchase a ticket for the gig for just £6.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Seasonal Affective Disco - #1

Hello, and welcome to the first edition of Work Them's Seasonal Affective Disco. Remember, anything you express here is completely confidential amongst the group.

I often find myself musing, like a shit observational stand up comedian, "What if Jesus had been born in June?" Winter is inarguably miserable. Some of you might disagree, but as I said, 'inarguably', so therefore it is decided. The arrival of Christ coincided with our climate's most unequoivically grim time of year, and without the pomp, circumstance and selection boxes he has gifted us, what would we have to look forward to? We've put together a selection of winter-not-Christmas music to pump through your ears in an effort to stay sane on a Saturday whilst walking down Market Street. Although, we fear our selections may not be enough...

Of course, like all records currently stemming from the bass music genre, whoever has uploaded our first choice, has also included an accompanying photo of a sexxxayyyy lady who also likes music. It's bit of an off trend, but is at least honest in it's connection between young men interested in experimental electronica and young men interested in hopelessly masturbating. Synergy.

The alias of a well-known and much respected producer off of the clubs and the radios, Juk Juk's Winter Turns Spring is unfortunately a good 4 or 5 months early from maximum relevance at this point, but it's a subtle, strange and warm record that manages to encompass it's title without wearing shorts to walk the shop at the end of February. It also has a fantastic kick of fuzz half way through that may knock both pairs of your socks off.

 Another record courtesy of two producers operating under a different alias, although the identities of this pair are admittedly a little better known, Winter in June from Beyond The Wizards Sleeve is a reliably atmospheric slice of psychedelia overlayed with the vocals of a kindly gardener interview by a journalist. I've competely forgotten the source of the sample, but this is a pleasantly optimistic record that's also full of handy tips for maintaing a garden througout a harsh winter, if you were to need them.

Winter Beats was the lead single from I Break Horses, which sounds like a ketamine fuelled rave with no commercial future, but are in fact a feedback laden indie band with no apparent interest in the stuff. Back upon it's release in August, this sounded less relevant than it does as I type, in the dark, at 4PM. It contains just the right measure of both winter and beats for my money (For transparency, that's pproximately 35:65 beats:winter)

Nicolas Jaar will certainly be getting more than a few plays from us at Work Them. Adept at handling both weird electronica, gentle piano led ballads and disco bangers, this frosty and emotive remix of The Bee's Winter Rose has just come out of our seasonal record retirement box. Unfortunately, the accompaying photo here is markedly less sexy than that of Juk Juk. I don't know why when otherwise faceless DJs and producers get an opportunity to do some photos, they'll always lean up against something and pretend not to give two bloody hoots.

Work Them starts this Friday at Manchester's Kraak Gallery, just off Stevenson Square. If you fancy it, or you need further details and devices of persuasion, do us a favour and let us know at our Facebook event here.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Infinity .Wavs

Whilst our last post dealt mainly with nerds on keyboards, we now wish to encompass the other end of the spectrum... nerds with guitars. Of course, guitars and keyboards are occasionally seen collaborating side by side, but in recent times, keyboards have begun to distance themselves from their stringed associates, with a Casio source (who did not wish to be named) citing them as "square" and predicting a long spell of absence to allow both parties to move on with "all that shit that happened with Brother/Viva Brother." However, some recent unions still manage to hold this delicate truce in balance.

K-X-P are a Finnish duo who fall, seemingly voluntarily, under the genre of 'electro-rock', and, no seriously keep reading. They make super rythmic cosmic-guitar music that reminds us of both The Fall and Wooden Shjips in part, but with a more concious 'party' element bubbling under the surface at all times. They were one of the last acts fortunate enough to play touchstone Glasgow clubnight, Optimo, who also remixed them.

Their debut album recieved a fair few plaudits, including a 7.8 by Pitchfork, dontcha know. Then again, that same review also praises the 'Gary Glitter style drums', which might be why the band had slipped under so many music press radars this past 18 months. Regardless, the group have just released a fresh new EP, 'Easy', which hopefully won't go so unnoticed, if justice is done (for K-XP that is, not Gary.) We'll certainly be banging it out. Catch the short and sharp clip below.

Now also seems like a good time to mention the blistering new single from Factory Floor, Two Different Ways, which needs not much more attention at this point, but well, is proper fucking good. Unlike previous, also fucking good releases, on their DFA debut Factory Floor focus more exclusively on the elements of Detroit-techno driving their dancey post-punk setup, and deliver a real head-spinner by it's near 10 minute conclusion. James Murphy must have been thrilled to sign a record that sound like Liquid Liquid retouched by the brothers Dewaele, and takes you all the way up, and all the way back down again, and then all the way up once more... Why, watching the video, you'd wonder what sort of state Factory Floor had in mind for this record... 

Finally, we draw your ears to The Soft Moon's 'Alive.' If 'K-X-P' sound like a mid-American soft rock station founded in the mid 1980s, then 'The Soft Moon' sound like the sort of new-romantic shit they'd undoubtedly be airing. Perhaps not one for Martin Kemp, The Soft Moon represent the 126th release on Brooklyn's Captured Tracks recordings, a label synonymous this year with putting out records that are exclusively designed for wandering around the summer countryside and city parks in a melancoly/drunken/stoned haze. Unfortunately, I have stifling hay fever, so hooray for this from their winter collection - 4 tracks of moody, throbbing, rythmic and surprisingly industrial cuts. The highlight, and the only one featuring a suitably strange vocal contribution is 'Alive', just below.

Don't forget, Work Them starts in less than two weeks. If you're planning on coming, let us know here, where all the details are available as standard. Our Somewhat Essential Mix is also still available on the left index. <<<<<<<<< (Or, this link here. Don't say we don't give you options.)

Work Them

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Jimmy Saville & FaltyDL

Hello. First of all, thanks for all the Facebook support and mix downloads so far, we hope you enjoy them as much as we sheepishly apologise for pestering you with them.

We now have flyers in circulation around Manchester, and the debut edition as pictured to the left. Soon enough, hundreds of sodden archive images of Sir Jimmy Saville will be trodden into the gutter of Oxford Road, no doubt. Why not pin him to your wall instead. Jimmy famously dry cleaned his Mother's clothes yearly between her death and his earlier this month, so would theoretically act as a safe omen. In regards to advertising our clubnight with the image of a recently deceased, beloved philanthropist, Saville was in fact a key player of early UK club culture, as acknowledged by the mysterious asteriks swooping in on his head.

During the 1940s, he was one of, if not the first DJ in the world to utilise two turntables, and although this has been disputed, he soon ran a small empire built on musical enthusiasm and 'good times'. He was also infamous for leading troublesome punters down to a basement on a Saturday night, tying them up and not releasing them until Monday morning. However, whilst Work Them will be utilising Saville's twin turntable innovation, we will not be subscribing to his full mantra. At this point...

Anyway, as a blog, we'll mainly be posting new and old releases we suspect we'll be spinning at Work Them itself, and so that's how we'll begin today. We'll also endevaour to feature guest mixes, interviews and longer pieces relevant within our remit, but I'm afraid this is to be a flurry of Youtubes for the moment.

FaltyDL is regarded by many as one of the most innovate producers out of the US in many years. As a young New Yorker once obsessed with UK garage, he was the exact opposite of me, and perhaps you, - A Northern teenager bored of UK garage and obsessed with New York indie rock and roll.  More constructively, he has carved out a distinctive sound that verges between dubstep, glitchy electronica and even melancholy tinged disco, on this year's 'You Stand Uncertain'. His new EP, Atlantis, is a real treat, and his most engaging work yet, and possibly his most weird. At a sort of nu-disco tempo, although massively unlikely to be ever charted by Aeroplane, the highlight is 'Can't Stop The Prophet', which takes elements of classical, RnB and even finishes up with a bit of big drum n' bass.  Enjoy...

Throwing everything against the wall, and dancing to what sticks is easier said than done, unless you're Skrillex, in which case it's done and then you warm up for Korn whilst pretending to be a robot. The above record fortunately served to put me in mind of another, Simon Bookish's remix of 'Keep The Dog Quiet' from Owen Pallet's 2010 album 'Heartland'. Already just one piece of an indie-instrumental epic about an ultra-violent farmer in an imaginary realm called 'Spectrum', Bookish takes the delicate strings and tension of the original recording, and creates something absolutely manic, and crazy fun, that sounds something like the Halle melting.

Owen Pallett - Keep The Dog Quiet (Simon Bookish Remix)

And finally, perhaps better known but just as bold, Flying Lotus' 'Do The Astral Plane'. Still perhaps the only producer alive to send audiences fists into the air with the chord of a violin.

Expect this sort of thing, and alot more (pretentious) and alot less (pretentious) at the night itself, December 2nd, Kraak Gallery, 10:30PM, 3 quid in. Christ, I expect those details to haunt my fingertips in my next round of inane data entry work. Peace. x

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Work Them - Somewhat Essential Mix #1

Testing. This is the first post for the Work Them blog, the online outlet of a new alternative and electronic club night launching on the 2nd of December, at Kraak Gallery in Manchester. Here, we'll be posting articles, relevant Youtube (less cats, more weird stuff) and writing in relevance to our little project. As we exist primarily for aural purposes, we thought it'd be a good idea to begin with a mix of what to expect from Work Them.

It's pretty bumper, but we've left the tracklist below so you can skip over anything you don't like, unfortunately we won't be operating this policy on the evening, so you'll have to take a risk with when you have a fag. In line with our musical 'policy' (urgh), the mix encompasses everything from disco re-edits, pop edits, post-dubstep and more. 'Eclectic' can be a dangeorus word, but we hope it flows cohesively. Eclecticism can lead to exciting musical discoveries, but it's also theoretically responsible for say, a collaboration with Lou Reed and Metaliica.

The mix is downloadable at the moment, just select that downward arrow. It encompasses everyone and everything from Lindstrom to The Fall, Space Dimension Contoller to Arthur Russell. 

Visit back this week for more groove, more thoughts, more formatted text magic.

Work Them - Somewhat Essential Mix #1 by Work Them


  • Pylon - Yo Yo (The Calvinist Saved Mix)
    Arthur Russell - This Is How We Walk on the Moon
    Poolside - Do You Believe
    The Fall - Hit The North
    Warpaint - Undertow (Blackbird Blackbird Remix)
    Nicolas Jaar - Hey Boy
    Radiohead - Little by Little (Caribou Remix)
    Matthew Dear - You Put A Smell On Me (Photocall Remix)
    Space Dimension Controller - Transatlantic Landing Bay
    Eliphino - More Than Me
    Bicep - Love Comedown
    Willd Beasts - Bed of Nails
    Midnight Magic - Beam Me Up (Jacques Renault Remix)
    Hudson Mohawke - Pleasure
    Best Coast - Boyfriend (Lindstrom Remix)
    Kink and Neville Watson - A Saturday In November
    Joe Godard - Gabriel (Compound One Remix)
    Mosca - Done Me Wrong
    Mark E - Call Me (Tensnake Remix)
    Mount Kimbie - Carbonated
    Disclosure - Blue You
    Jacques Greene - Another Girl
    Youth Lagoon - Daydream