wears the trousers magazine

hk119 vs. bit-phalanx: fast & cheap mixes (2010)
February 3, 2010, 10:09 am
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , , ,

HK119 vs. Bit-Phalanx
Fast & Cheap Mixes •••½
One Little Indian

The coherence of a remix album depends on a few important boxes being ticked, boxes that are very demanding to shade in simultaneously. The first hurdle is to preserve the charm of the original song and the elements that made it unique; the second, to contribute something of one’s own, something definitive that’s not only in harmony with the basic motive but also adds a new point of view. Moreover, the effort required to seamlessly juxtapose different genres seems rather Sisyphean. Like everything in art, it’s a tricky challenge. Indeed, retaining the originality, variety and magic of a whole album in alternative dress can be just as demanding as creating a brand new album from scratch.

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voice on the verge #44: douce angoisse
January 23, 2010, 12:36 pm
Filed under: feature, voice on the verge | Tags: , , ,

voice on the verge #44: douce angoisse

visit Douce Angoisse on Myspace

Mentalists don’t come much more French, petite, or armed with razor sharp, tongue-in-cheek, pseudo-erotically charged bilingual electro than East London-based artist Adeline Battistutta, otherwise known as Douce Angoisse (that’s “soft anguish” to non-Francophones).

Over the last two years, Douce Angoisse has carved something of a fierce reputation for herself around the London live circuit, and beyond, for her unpredictable and highly charged shows. As a taster of her antics, she can frequently be found distributing leaves of individually autographed toilet paper from a handy dispenser around her neck to her audience, or pelting them with cotton wool buds. As you do. Following a support slot with Finnish electro-pop minx HK119 early last year, Douce Angoisse has gone on to join the ranks of new electronic netlabel Bit-Phalanx, and can currently be found duetting and remixing HK119 on the label’s latest project, as well as working on her own forthcoming releases.

Wears The Trousers managed to pin down the excitable Adeline for ten rare minutes of quiet to get her to answer our trusty questionnaire. Little did we expect…

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free music friday: hk119
December 4, 2009, 11:55 am
Filed under: free music friday, mp3 | Tags: , ,

fmf_hk119HK119 vs. Bit-Phalanx
‘Fast & Cheap Über Mix’

Proclaimed in 2005 as “the perfect blonde woman” and “favourite new act” by none other than Björk, Finnish artist Heidi Kilpeläinen (or rather her conceptual, futuristic creation HK119) had a lot to live up to to warrant such a glowing reference. Following a raw, DIY debut, two years of notable gigging and collaborations with the likes of Warp Records’ Leila Arab, HK returned in 2008 with Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control, an upgrade to a more accessible, glossier, I-Monster co-produced electro-pop sound. One of year’s finest buried gems, it proved that Heidi could proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Róisín Murphy. As she retreats to conjure her third incarnation, a collective of new electronic artists that goes by the name of Bit-Phalanx has teamed up with One Little Indian Records to bring us the self-explanatory Fast & Cheap Mixes, out December 14.  Here Bit-Phalanx’s in-house DJ, star delta, compiles a six-minute medley mix of the album to get the ball rolling. MP3 after the jump.

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hk119: live at festival of sins, camden 14/02/09
February 28, 2009, 2:30 pm
Filed under: live, review | Tags: , , , , ,


Festival of Sins, Camden ••••
February 14, 2009

It has frequently proved to be a prudent move to dress up for the occasion when attending the gigs of Finnish electro-pop minx HK119 (aka Heidi Kilpeläinen). Her colourful performance history has taken her multimedia extravaganzas into gay bars, student unions, warehouse installations, private galleries and festivals. Even a wing of the National Gallery has hosted her unique shows. No two gigs have ever been the same. Tonight’s gig at Camden’s grungy Purple Turtle is hosted by the venue’s regular Festival of Sins night, a decadent affair happily lost in a haze of classic Goth, a student union piss-up and a Torture Garden fetish ball. Today’s sin of choice: Envy. An ideal way to spend an alternative Valentines evening.

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hk119: …meanwhile, back on earth
September 29, 2008, 12:01 pm
Filed under: feature, interrupting yr broadcast | Tags: , , , , ,

interrupting yr broadcast: hk119

On a rainy September evening in East London, a woman with a body like a Cadillac is dressed in fetching white spandex, a red visor cap and sashes. There’s a slightly cyber-ish edge to her but, platform wedges aside, she looks ready to run a marathon. Thrashing her blonde hair from side to side with a wild grin on her face, she gyrates, slides, crawls and robots around a stage while lifting dumbbells and spinning giant foam letters, ‘H’ & ‘K’, above her head. The projector screen behind her explodes into a whirlpool of colour as two more digital versions of our sporty songstress appear on screen to dance, mime, exercise and smoke along to the highly infectious electro-pop that emanates from the speakers. The curious crowd had no idea what to expect, and they certainly got the unexpected.

A few weeks earlier, on a muggy weekday evening in Notting Hill, a pretty blonde lady sits quietly by herself in a quaint coffee shop, dressed in a casual but distinctive blue dress/poncho hybrid. She is quietly fighting with balls of bright red wool and yanking an endless thread of it out of her handbag. She explains to me that she’s knitting a “blank, activist’s patchwork blanket”, and describes in vivid detail the design, structure and meaning of the final piece that sits in her lap, currently barely the size of a Post-It. She is interrupted briefly by a delivery of Marmite on toast, and once we’ve had the love/hate Marmite debate we quickly jump into the difference between Heidi Kilpeläinen, the bubbly, polite artist from Finland who likes Marmite and knitting, and HK119, the pop bitch from outer space who hates propaganda, mobile phone radiation and probably Marmite too, whose eponymous debut was released in early 2006.

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trouser press: ani difranco, psapp and more

in today’s trouser press:

– free Ani DiFranco live session
– Psapp reveal all about new single and album
– Duffy contributes to new War Child compilation
– female artists band together for Congo benefit
– remix HK119 to your heart’s content
– new Asobi Seksu single out in November
– Shelly Poole has a new band 

* * *

Ani DiFranco recorded an exclusive session for Daytrotter a couple of days ago, and you can now get lovely live versions of ‘Present/Infant’ and ‘The Atom’ from forthcoming album Red Letter Year (out on Monday) as well as takes on older songs ‘Coming Up’ and ‘Subdivision’. Download them for free here.

It’s actually been a bumper week for Wears The Trousers favourites on the website. Check out new sets from Jaymay (including two brand new songs) and White Hinterland while you’re at it.

And while we’re on the topic of free MP3s, some kind person sent us this recording of Tilly & The Wall performing a cover of Erasure’s ‘A Little Respect’ on tastemaking US radio station KCRW earlier this week. Enjoy.

FREE MP3: Tilly & The Wall – ‘A Little Respect

* * *

Cat-mad duo Psapp have a whole boatload of new animals to sing about on their upcoming third album, The Camel’s Back, out October 27th through Domino Records. Having found that fame is something of a double-edged sword, Galia Durant and Carim Clasmann present their latest batch of songs as tales from the other side and their starkest effort to date. Songs like the title track and ‘Screws’ are affectingly honest portrayals of triumph over adversity. But it’s not entirely a beast of burden. First single ‘The Monster Song’ (out November 3rd) is crammed with uplifting pop hooks, and album opener ‘I Want That’ is as enthusiastic as any of the brightest moments on 2006’s The Only Thing I Ever Wanted.

The Camel’s Back
01 I Want That
02 Part Like Waves
03 The Camel’s Back
04 Fickle Ghost
05 The Monster Song
06 Somewhere There Is A Record Of Our Actions
07 Marshrat
08 Fix It
09 Mister Ant
10 Screws
11 Homicide
12 Parker

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trouser press: emiliana torrini, inara george and more

– listen to the new Emiliana Torrini single
– Inara George teams up with Van Dyke Parks for new album
– Juliana Hatfield preps ninth solo album and autobiography
– Holly Throsby coming to the UK, new album
– HK119, Rose Kemp and Land Of Talk feature on free album
– new Ida EP details
– new Jennifer O’Connor album details
– All Girl Summer Fun Band return after four-year absence
– Lily Allen rumoured to be working with Lindsay Lohan

* * * 

Wears The Trousers favourite Emiliana Torrini releases her third international album, Me & Armini, on September 8th. Produced by long-time collaborator Dan Carey, the album is said to be “a hugely ambitious and aspirational pop record” (so presumably miles away from 2005’s hushed and intimate Fisherman’s Woman).

The album’s first single, the summery title track, will be released on August 18th, followed shortly after by ‘Jungle Drum’, a “surging, breathless” beast of a song, on September 29th. That’s all we know so far, but you can listen to ‘Me & Armini’ on Emiliana’s Myspace RIGHT NOW.

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