MP3: Slow Club – “It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful”
MP3: Casiokids – “Gront Lys I Alle Ledd”
MP3: The Wave Pictures – “Just Like A Drummer”
Moshi Moshi Records started off as a hobby in 1998. Set up by three friends who had jobs working for major record labels. It was intended as a means to work with the bands that they loved but which didn’t fit in with the agenda of the day-job taskmasters. Early single releases from Zan Lyons, Kathryn Williams & Pedro and J Xaverre earned the label some plaudits. And sold a few records. And over the next five years Moshi Moshi slowly started to build a reputation for interesting, slightly leftfield, low-key releases. Then in 2004 things changed. For a starters, Moshi Moshi stopped being a hobby and became a full-time job. Then very soon after Hot Chip and Bloc Party arrived. Now Moshi Moshi was a name known to more than a few. Chart success followed with Yeti and The Rakes and higher-profile album releases from Architecture In Helsinki and Au Revoir Simone helped lift the label onto a new level. Then from 2006 onwards came Hot Club De Paris, Mates Of State, Lo-Fi-Fnk, Tilly And The Wall, DNTEL, The Mae Shi… the list goes on.
In late 2006 the two remaining Moshi Moshi founders decided they wanted to get back to their one-off 7″ release roots and the Moshi Moshi Singles Club was started. The intention was to try and release one 7″ each month by a new up-and-coming artist. It would be limited to 1000 and only be available in a select group of indie stores. The artwork would be restricted to one colour and be designed by the bands themselves. Now some 20 releases later the singles club’s roster makes an impressive list – (including) Kate Nash, Late of the Pier, Friendly Fires, Lykke Li, Florence and the Machine, Casiokids, Thecocknbullkid, Team Water Polo, Slow Club, Danananackroyd……
Looking back on the Moshi Moshi roster (particularly since going full-time in 2004) it’s a collection that bears comparison with any of its peers. And for a label run by two people with no financial backing it is an inspiration, especially in an era of major label-owned-fake indies. In October 2008 the label celebrated its 10th birthday with a party at Matter in London featuring Hot Chip, Kate Nash, Florence and The Machine, Tilly And The Wall, Mae Shi, Slow Club and the Wave Pictures.
Moshi Moshi is now continuing to celebrate its 10th anniversary, albeit slightly delayed, with a US Summer package tour featuring three of its current artists, Slow Club (UK), Casiokids (Norway) and The Wave Pictures (UK). The tour includes a big bash at the South Street Seaport in New York City as well as a two-night Moshi Moshi party in San Francisco. Promos from these artists are available upon request.
MOSHI MOSHI 10TH ANNIVERSARY SUMMER TOUR!
Aug 04 Schubas Tavern Chicago, IL *
Aug 05 El Mocambo Toronto, ONT *#$
Aug 06 La Sala Rossa Montreal, QC *#$
Aug 07 South Street Seaport New York, NY *#$
Aug 08 Spaceland Los Angeles, CA *#$
Aug 10 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, CA *#$
Aug 11 R Bar San Francisco, CA #$
Aug 11 Doug Fir Lounge Portland, OR *
Aug 12 Media Club Vancouver, BC *
Aug 13 Crocodile Café Seattle, WA *
* = Casiokids
# = Slow Club
$ = The Wave Pictures
Old analogue and trashy keyboards, pop melodies and a digital & shadow puppet theatre make up the Norwegian electro-troupe that is CASIOKIDS. The band sprung out of an idea of making electronic music more visual, but has developed further into being a collective of theatre blended with pop melodies often sung in their native language and influenced by afro-beat, techno and out-and-out pop. The music draws similarities and takes inspiration from Paul Simon’s Graceland, Ivor Cutler, King Tubby, Bob Hund, Cornelius and Fela
October 27 saw the historic release of the first ever Norwegian language pop single in the UK. Refusing to accept the notion of B-sides, Casiokids released the Double A sided single Grønt lys i alle ledd/Togens hule on Moshi Moshi Records. The band became the latest in a select band of artists to have released through Moshi’s Singles Club including names such as Late of the Pier, Lykke Li, Florence and The Machine and Kate Nash. The success of the first single will now be followed up by the second in a series of 7″s the band has released in 2009. Verdens største land/Fot i hose was released on Moshi Moshi on February 16th.
Since their creation in 2005, Casiokids have experienced everything from playing for hundreds of Norwegian
youngsters on a 12-date kindergarten tour in Norway to promote their first album, to playing for more or less
grown up indie and electro kids all over Europe. They have also made a name for themselves as providers of
sound installations and workshops, as well as DJs and have played numerous renowned festivals and venues in Europe and North America.
With the release of their second single Casiokids seem poised to be the latest in a long line of artists from the
celebrated Bergen scene to rattle the cages of jaded audiences and industry. Think Røyksöpp, Datarock, Annie, Kings of Convenience and The Whitest Boy Alive and you have some idea of the international potential contained in this rainy city on the west coast of Norway which Casiokids call home. And it seems certain that the band will be spending less and less time there as word spreads about their sensational live shows, indietronic extravaganzas and catchy-as-hell tunes.
About Slow Club
From the outset there is something immediately familiar and yet vitally inventive about Slow Club; the riotous rallying calls of “Because We’re Dead” and “Dance ‘Til The Morning Light,” the unlikely anti-folk ‘epics’ “Giving Up On Love” and “Our Most Brilliant Friends;” songs built on skiffling ‘Crickets’ rhythms and the lost art of a good middle eight. Throughout the album the twin voices of Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor conspire with an unmistakably youthful vigour, bookended by the deft ballads “When I Go” and “Boys On Their Birthdays,” dexterous soliloquies of admission and humor.
A string of single releases on their label home Moshi Moshi, and crucial development time on the live circuit has made Slow Club an irresistible prospect. Live as on record, Charles and Rebecca enrapture audiences with the same involuntary joy and simplistic rush that they themselves imbue. Their highly developed partnership delivering sweet harmonious hooks, rockabilly beats and exuberant yelps and yips, that spill out across the album.
As with Slow Clubs early singles, Yeah So was recorded almost entirely within the bosom of their hometown Sheffield, with Richard Hawley’s long term live and studio engineer Mike Timm at controls. His involvement according to Charles, was vital “Being a duo its often difficult to ‘let go’ on certain decisions… Mike has been really important providing a ‘buffer state’ between us.”
There is occasional instrumental and vocal assistance from David Glover, and a closing track appearance by Brian O’Murchu (drums) and Jamie Morrison (glass bottle!), but Slow Club are defined by a their own distinct and powerful partnership. Charles with bruised vocal, rasping guitar and disarming lightness of touch; Rebecca with her dash of Northern Soul and sharp wit, playing stand up drums amid a wild array of percussive apparatus – wooden chairs, glass bottles, and spoons.
These two are more than charming anti-folk troubadours or the lo-fi acoustic end of the Sheffield scene; they are the real thing. That spontaneous intangible ‘thing’ that comes jumping off records and crackling off the stage, hanging crystalline for fleeting moments to confound and intrigue.
About The Wave Pictures
“Scenes are generally to be avoided,” declares Wave Pictures frontman David Tattersall “We were borne out of complete isolation. Consequently, I’ve always been suspicious of scenes.”
In a considered timbre not dissimilar to his singing voice, David talks with mild-bewilderment at ‘scene centric’ London. “They always seem to have more to do with clothes than music, and seem built to restrict the amount of different kinds of music you are supposed to admit to liking. They are also obsessed with the new. The new is valued above the special.”
But The Wave Pictures are special, and they are unconsciously happy to point out the influences that make them so. These are no ‘Guilty Pleasures’; a chord progression from Dire Straits, a hint of African pop group the Bhundu Boys, Mississippi John Hurt, the country of Townes Van Zandt and even a harmony that they gleefully recognise as a kin to Take That’s ‘Back For Good’.
David and bass player Franic Rozycki grew up together in Wymeswold near Loughborough, Franic meeting drummer Jonny Helm at University in Cardiff, they formed The Wave Pictures in 2003. Living apart for
some time, the band would come together to tour and record with musical soul mates Herman Dune and Darren Hayman of Hefner, before ultimately moving to London as ‘mutual ground’ a year ago. Recording,
performing and writing has always been second nature, countless CDR’d ‘albums’ have circulated between friends, fans and fellow musicians. All the while music was compulsion and songwriting an essential
reflex, never contrived to act as occupation, career, or a route to stardom, but always an innate instinct.
Their ‘debut’ album was recorded with the minimum of fuss in the basement studio of The Duke Of Uke music shop on Hanbury Road; an ad-hoc gig venue, meeting place and musical haven from prevailing winds
of the mainstream. A record comprised largely of live takes, with overdubs reserved for the odd backing vocal, violin, brass or guest appearance, it has a wonderfully spontaneous and natural presence.
Here is the simple spacious recording of early blues and country records, the essential Garage band ‘roots pop’ of the Crickets, the proto-punk of Jonathan Richman and the influence of their musical compatriots Herman Dune. Allowing David’s twisted love songs to evoke the grubby romance within the very fabric of English life,
basking in the invigorating quality of youth that is purely The Wave Pictures.
They’re gloriously unaware of how great they are; of the delicately be spoiled romance in “January And December” and “Red Wine Teeth;” of their timeless Englishness on “Friday Night In Loughborough;” of the
absurd pop whimsy that graces “Avocado Baby” and “Strange Fruit For David;” and the unparalleled eloquence of their unwitting zeitgeist slapping, “Leave The Scene Behind.” The album is so lyrically of its time it should be placed in the Blue Peter time capsule, and yet it’s production is timeless, it’s touchstones myriad and the performances little short of virtuoso.
MOSHI MOSHI LINKS:
Label Page: moshimoshimusic.com/news/
Casiokids on Myspace: www.myspace.com/casiokids
Slow Club on Myspace: www.myspace.com/slowclub
The Wave Pictures on Myspace: www.myspace.com/thewavepictures