Posts Tagged ‘Bright Club’

Review: Conquering Animal Sound – On Floating Bodies

Conquering Animal Sound

Conquering Animal Sound - On Floating Bodies
“Something new with an old shape”

In 2011, Scottish folktronica act and loop pedal enthusiasts Conquering Animal Sound burst into the consciousness of the Scottish music scene with their first LP Kammerspiel, released on Gizeh Records. It was an experimental record to be listened to without distraction, attention focused on Anneke Kampman’s delicate vocals amidst a chaotic symphony of crackles, bells, and synth hums co-created with James Scott.

Kammerspiel was an album that instantly hooked me. It presented something completely different from what I had come to expect from Scottish music and it brought great pleasure to me to see the duo shortlisted for the inaugural Scottish Album of the Year award in 2012.

Off the back of their critical success, the wait for Conquering Animal Sound’s follow-up album has been mercifully short-lived with the release of ‘On Floating Bodies’ on Chemikal Underground Records last week. The duo’s second outing features the familiar clicks and glitchtronica that define the CAS sound, whilst retaining the focus on Anneke’s enchanting Bjork-like vocals – a genuinely unavoidable comparison, sorry, Anneke – at the forefront of every song. However, ‘On Floating Bodies’ is a fuller, more confident record which has broken free from the shackles which kept Kammerspiel so finespun.

Speaking to Stu Lewis about their latest LP on The Tidal Wave of Indifference, James exalts: “We wanted more overtly electronic elements…to create more rhythmic sounds, and that came out in quite a direct fashion.” ‘On Floating Bodies’ certainly achieves this, expanding on their pre-established sound with layers of electronic loops, chirps and chimes which are entirely more striking in comparison to their previous outing. The far-reaching ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ is rife with 8-bit frills and Super Mario-inspired notations that trick my brain into thinking that I’m listening to the layers of this song converge to a catharsis, inside a busy arcade.

‘On Floating Bodies’ takes a curious though pleasant turn in its second half as CAS’s new found confidence starts exhibiting surprisingly poppy hooks. ‘Gloss’, ‘Treehouse’ and ‘A Noise Remains’ are all evidence of this, the last of these in particular standing out as Anneke repeatedly proclaims the line “move back and back and forth” with authority. The lush melodies on these tracks showcase Anneke’s vocals in a way that will be alien to those who are unaware of her recent solo work as ‘ANAKANAK’ and further demonstrate the influence of Anneke and James’s solo projects on this record. James, of course, is the man behind the swash electronic sounds of

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The unique soundscapes that I fell in love with in ‘Kammerspiel’ are still present in ‘On Floating Bodies’ but they have been noticeably altered in accordance with a confidence and enthusiasm for music-making that the band has developed over the past 18 months. Anneke and James have managed to preserve the haunting qualities of CAS’s previous work, but have unfettered the electronic elements to instil more vibrant melodies and textures to their music.

This is by no means a reinvention of Conquering Animal Sound, though; it is a further expression of the qualities they possess which made people sit up and take notice.

On Floating Bodies is out now and available to purchase from Chemikal Underground Records.

What’s Going On In Comedy: Cry Baby Comedy Present Airplane


Comedy in Edinburgh outside of the festival is currently undergoing some way of transformation.

One of the freshest and most exciting of these changes comes in the form of a new night at the Cameo hosted by Cry Baby Comedy. The idea of the night is to use the wonderful venue for live comedy, with performances provided by some of the best Scottish Talent emerging today, headlined by a classic movie of mirth, with both elements fused into an interactive experience to liven up the usual and, comparatively dreary, cinema experience.

I have a rule: when you are offered a life jacked and greeted by a nun playing a guitar, you know you are in for a good night. Cry Baby Comedy did not disappoint.

Cry Baby and Leslie Nielson: The new face of comedy in Edinburgh.

Guests on the bill for the debut Airplane special were magnificent, with well known names if you have been keeping your ear to the ground, including Chortle Student Finalists Hari Sriskantha – who effortlessly and intelligently juggles with expectation and race using some well written observations and one liners – and David Elms. Elms brought the house down with his subtle intonation and Basden beating guitar-scapades, has clearly grown in confidence with the festival, and will doubtless soon be a household name, mark my words.

The ladies themselves are developing their own sassy voice as part of the Edinburgh scene. Compère Cat Wade can”t help but enjoy herself as she manages to balance a genuine, edging on excessive, enthusiasm for life with a sharp wit and natural badinage with the audience that would be the envy of most professional compères.

One of the highlights of the night came in the form of another of the Cry Baby organisers Gemma Flynn, who has become a regular favourite at another comedy venture for Academic Performance the “Bright Club” – here she is performing with them at the BBC tent during the festival, with the same Gangster”s Paradigm routine that went down so well at the last Cry Baby Show:

Alongside this remarkably astute comedy, variety was provided with some poetry and sketches. Clearly inspired by acts like Dan Le Sac, poetry was a welcome incorporation, and although this didn”t quite match the standards set by the other acts (by his own admissions, he wasn”t a stand-up and hampered slightly by technical problems) one can see this going down well with a bit more polish and stage presence.

Similarly, although not all the sketches were as well received as could be, the Edinburgh Revue provided some welcome respite with a section of solid skits. Having clearly grown as a troupe from their well received Festival outing, all of the performers working together admirably, perhaps most exciting of all were glimpses of sharper writing suggested this group had plenty of potential yet to be fulfilled. Between these, Adam Todd, doubling as both sketch and stand-up, is another act who, like Elms, is growing into his character with remarkable ability – a surreal man child who chooses whimsy over hate – and I cannot wait to see how his unique way of thinking develops as more material and ideas inevitably drip-feed into his routine.

At most gigs, this would have been more than enough for an enjoyable evening, but to top it all off, the headline act just happened to be one of the funniest movies of all time – the always hilarious Airplane. Despite being broken up by some technical problems – the film stock almost inevitably falling apart being now thirty years old – nothing could hamper the enjoyment of a clearly buoyant audience that left.

This is what live comedy should be – everyone together, involved and enjoying the night for what it is, a whole heap of fun. If this is the new face of comedy, then you”d best get used to seeing smiles all round.

Follow @CryBabyComedy on twitter to find out about

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their next outing.