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.