Moderat – II

You’re probably more familiar with Moderat by now than you are with the two artists who formed to make this supergroup, but it is in fact a collaboration between the dark and experimental Apparat and the more accessible Modeselektor. Since 2009, they have been in regular collaboration, and their second album II turns five years old this week.

It opens inauspiciously, with a short instrumental called The Mark, before launching into the deep, dark, and somewhat grimy pop of Bad Kingdom. If, like me, you skipped Moderat (2009) and jumped straight to II (2013), you will have been very pleasantly surprised at this point, finding that this is very new-sounding electronic pop music.

So it continues – Versions is brilliant. Some of these tracks could easily have fitted on an album in the mid-1980s, and yet they don’t sound dated either – just somewhat timeless, and very, very good indeed. Moderat may not have ever quite made the charts (II and follow-up III peaked at 73 and 53 respectively in the UK), but they definitely deserve a very healthy cult following.

Let in the Light and the longer Milk are less dramatic – they’re still good, but they don’t grab you by the throat in quite the same way. After Bad Kingdom and Versions, though, I feel as though this album is allowed a few duller moments. Therapy is much the same – long, dark, and largely instrumental.

The middle section of this album has a whole load of this actually, and it would probably sound great in a club, assuming whatever drugs you happen to prefer are compatible with lower tempo music, but on an album it’s a little hard to swallow after a while. Aside from moments of genius which you do pick up from time to time, GitaClouded, and Ilona are all relatively dull unfortunately.

But we’re close to the end already – Damage Done is a pleasant, laid back vocal track, which is something there probably isn’t enough of on here actually. And then finally, we get This Time, another gentler instrumental piece to close the album. On some editions you might also get Last Time tacked on the end, which is absolutely a better way to close the album, but it didn’t start off on the album.

So there you have it – II is a good album, but it’s not a great album, unless long, deep, and dark instrumentals are what you’re looking for. But when Moderat are good, they are very good indeed, and that’s something to keep an ear out for.

You can still find II at all major retailers. Get a version with Last Time on the end, if you can.

Preview – Dirty Vegas

Well, Dirty Vegas, after floating around in the background for however long, have decided to give us a career retrospective, perhaps somewhat predictably entitled Days Go By. It comes with a disc of hits and another disc of mixes. I’ve saved you the bother of listening to all the dull remixes and found what seems to be the least dull, Human Love:

Chart for stowaways – 23 June 2018

Here are the week’s top singles:

  1. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  2. Ladytron – The Animals
  3. Tracey Thorn – Dancefloor
  4. Simon Mills – Poke EP
  5. The Radiophonic Workshop – Things Buried in Water
  6. Sparks – Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)
  7. Shakka feat. AlunaGeorge – Man Down
  8. Tiësto / Dzeko / Preme / Post Malone – Jackie Chan
  9. The Beloved – Looking to the Future
  10. Erasure – Still It’s Not Over

NME Awards – 2009-2011

Between 2009 and 2011, the NME Awards were still clinging onto their rock obsession, but started to have a few interesting nominees.

Shockwaves NME Awards 2009

Hosted at the Brixton Academy on 25 February 2009, by Mark Watson.

  • Godlike Genius Award: The Cure
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music: Elbow
  • Best British Band supported by Shockwaves: Oasis. Also nominated: Bloc PartyThe Last Shadow PuppetsMuseRadiohead
  • Best International Band supported by 4music: The Killers. Also nominated: Crystal CastlesKings of LeonMGMTVampire Weekend
  • Best Solo Artist: Pete Doherty. Also nominated: LadyhawkeLaura MarlingLightspeed ChampionJay-Z
  • Best Live Band supported by Red Stripe: Muse. Also nominated: The KillersKings of LeonOasisRadiohead
  • Best New Band supported by Bench: MGMT. Also nominated: GlasvegasLate of the PierVampire WeekendWhite Lies
  • Best Album supported by HMV: Kings of Leon, for Only by the Night. Also nominated: Bloc Party, for IntimacyGlasvegas, for GlasvegasThe Killers, for Day & AgeOasis, for Dig Out Your Soul
  • Best Track supported by NME Radio: MGMT, for Time to Pretend. Also nominated: Kings of Leon, for Sex on FireThe Last Shadow Puppets, for The Age of the UnderstatementThe Ting Tings, for That’s Not My NameVampire Weekend, for A-Punk
  • Best Dancefloor Filler: Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris, for Dance Wiv Me. Also nominated: Bloc Party, for MercuryCrystal Castles, for Courtship DatingFriendly Fires, for ParisLate of the Pier, for Bathroom Gurgle
  • Best Video supported by NME TV: The Last Shadow Puppets, for My Mistakes Were Made For You. Also nominated: Late of the Pier, for HeartbreakOasis, for The Shock of the LightningRadiohead, for House of CardsVampire Weekend, for A-Punk
  • Best DVD: Arctic Monkeys, for Live at the Apollo. Also nominated: Foo Fighters, for Live at Wembley StadiumKaiser Chiefs, for Live at Elland RoadMuse, for HAARPThe Rolling Stones, for Shine a Light
  • Best Live Event: Glastonbury Festival. Also nominated: Isle of Wight, Reading and Leeds, T in the Park, V Festival
  • Best TV Show: The Mighty Boosh. Also nominated: Gavin and StaceyThe IT CrowdNever Mind the BuzzcocksSkins
  • Worst TV Show: Big Brother
  • Best Film: [not stated]. Nominated: The Dark KnightJunoQuantum of SolaceTwilightWall-E
  • Hero of the Year: Barack Obama. Also nominated: Alex TurnerBrandon FlowersNoel FieldingNoel Gallagher
  • Villain of the Year: George W. Bush. Also nominated: Amy WinehouseGordon BrownJohn McCainPete Doherty
  • Best Dressed: Alexa Chung. Also nominated: Alex TurnerBrandon FlowersNoel FieldingNoel Gallagher
  • Worst Dressed: Amy Winehouse. Also nominated: Brandon FlowersJohnny BorrellKaty PerryPete Doherty
  • Best Website: YouTube. Also nominated: Bebo, Facebook, Last FM, MySpace
  • Best Venue: London Astoria. Also nominated: Brixton Academy, Manchester Apollo, Glasgow Barrowlands, London O2 Arena
  • Worst Album: Jonas Brothers, for A Little Bit Longer. Also nominated: Britney Spears, for CircusColdplay, for Viva La Vida or Death and All His FriendsRazorlight, for Slipway FiresScouting for Girls, for Scouting for Girls
  • Worst Band: Jonas Brothers. Also nominated: Fall Out BoyOasisScouting for GirlsTokio Hotel
  • Sexiest Man: Matt Bellamy. Also nominated: Carl BaratKeith MurrayMiles KanePete Doherty
  • Sexiest Woman: Hayley Williams. Also nominated: Alison MosshartKate JacksonLykke LiStephanie Dosen
  • Best Album Artwork: Muse, for HAARP. Also nominated: The Cure, for 4:13 DreamGuillemots, for RedThe Killers, for Day and AgeWe Are Scientists, for Brain Thrust Mastery
  • Best Band Blog: Noel GallagherOasis. Also nominated: FoalsLightspeed ChampionLittle BootsRadiohead
  • Philip Hall Radar Award: The Big Pink

Shockwaves NME Awards 2010

The awards took place at the Brixton Academy on 24 February 2010, and were hosted by Jarvis Cocker, with performances by Kasabian with Noel FieldingThe SpecialsBiffy Clyro featuring Marina DiamandisThe Big Pink with Lily Allen.

  • Godlike Genius Award: Paul Weller
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music: The Specials
  • Best British Band: Muse. Also nominated: Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro, Kasabian, Oasis
  • Best International Band: Paramore. Also nominated: Green Day, Kings Of Leon, Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Best Solo Artist: Jamie T. Also nominated: Dizzee Rascal, Florence And The Machine, Julian Casablancas, Lady Gaga
  • Best New Band: Bombay Bicycle Club. Also nominated: The Big Pink, Mumford & Sons, The xx, La Roux
  • Best Live Band: Arctic Monkeys. Also nominated: Kasabian, Muse, Radiohead, Them Crooked Vultures
  • Best Album: Kasabian, for West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. Also nominated: Arctic Monkeys, for Humbug, Muse, for The Resistance, The Cribs, for Ignore The Ignorant, The Horrors, for Primary Colours
  • Best Track: The Big Pink, for Dominos. Also nominated: Animal Collective, for My Girls, Arctic Monkeys, for Crying Lightning, Florence + The Machine, for Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up), Jamie T, for Sticks N’ Stones
  • Best Video: Biffy Clyro, for The Captain. Also nominated: Arctic Monkeys, for Cornerstone, Kasabian, for Fire, The Maccabees, for Can You Give It, Oasis, for Falling Down
  • Best Live Event: Blur at Hyde Park. Also nominated: Jay-Z at Alexandra Palace, Muse at Teignmouth, Oasis at Heaton Park, The Dead Weather at Shoreditch Church
  • Best Festival: Glastonbury Festival. Also nominated: Download, Reading and Leeds Festivals, T In The Park, V Festival
  • Best TV Show: The Inbetweeners. Also nominated: Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Peep Show, Skins, True Blood
  • Best Film: Inglourious Basterds. Also nominated: (500) Days Of Summer, In The Loop, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Where The Wild Things Are
  • Best Dancefloor Filler: La Roux, for In for the Kill (Skream Remix). Also nominated: Dizzee Rascal and Armand Van Helden, for Bonkers, Florence + The Machine, for You’ve Got The Love, Lady Gaga, for Poker Face, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, for Zero
  • Best DVD: The Mighty Boosh Live – Future Sailors Tour. Also nominated: Kings Of Leon, for Live At The The O2 Arena, Flight Of The Conchords, for Complete HBO Second Season, The Killers, for Live From The Royal Albert Hall, Nirvana, for Live At Reading
  • Hero of the Year: Rage Against The Machine. Also nominated: Beyoncé, Noel Gallagher, Matt Bellamy, Alex Turner
  • Villain of the Year: Kanye West. Also nominated: Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Simon Cowell, Lady Gaga
  • Best Dressed: Lady Gaga. Also nominated: Liam Gallagher, Noel Fielding, Florence Welch, Karen O
  • Worst Dressed: Lady Gaga. Also nominated: Matt Bellamy, Katy Perry, Liam Gallagher, Elly Jackson (La Roux)
  • Worst Album: Jonas Brothers, for Lines, Vines and Trying Times. Also nominated: Green Day, for 21st Century Breakdown, Lady Gaga, for The Fame, U2, for No Line On The Horizon, Arctic Monkeys, for Humbug
  • Worst Band: Jonas Brothers. Also nominated: Green Day, Oasis, Paramore
  • Hottest Man: Matt Bellamy (Muse)
  • Hottest Woman: Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
  • Best Website: Muse.mu. Also nominated: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, GreenDay.com
  • Best Album Artwork: Kasabian, for West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. Also nominated: Muse, for The Resistance, Green Day, for 21st Century Breakdown, The Cribs, for Ignore The Ignorant, Manic Street Preachers, for Journal For Plague Lovers
  • Best Band Blog: Radiohead (Radiohead.com/deadairspace). Also nominated: Muse (Muse.mu and Twitter.com/muse), Noel Gallagher (Oasisinet.com), Los Campesinos! (Loscampesinos.com), Paramore (Paramore.net)
  • Giving It Back Fan Award: Lily Allen, for her Twitter ticket treasure hunt. Also nominated: Kasabian and Noel Fielding for free Vlad The Impaler video, Danger Mouse for leaking Dark Night Of The Soul, Arctic Monkeys for their Oxfam golden tickets, Vampire Weekend for giving away Horchata from the album Contra
  • Phillip Hall Radar Award: The Drums

Shockwaves NME Awards 2011

Hosted by Angelos Epithemiou at the Brixton Academy on 23 February 2011. Performances by My Chemical RomanceHurtsPJ HarveyCrystal Castles, and Foo Fighters.

  • Godlike Genius Award: Dave Grohl
  • John Peel Award for Innovation: Crystal Castles
  • Philip Hall Radar Award: The Naked and Famous
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music: PJ Harvey
  • Best British Band: Muse. Nominated: Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro, Foals, Kasabian
  • Best International Band: My Chemical Romance. Nominated: Arcade Fire, Kings Of Leon, The Drums, Vampire Weekend
  • Best Solo Artist: Laura Marling. Nominated: Florence Welch, Frank Turner, Kanye West, Paul Weller
  • Best New Band: Hurts. Nominated: Beady Eye, Everything Everything, The Drums, Two Door Cinema Club
  • Best Live Band: Biffy Clyro. Nominated: Arcade Fire, Foals, Kasabian, Muse
  • Best Album: Arcade Fire, for The Suburbs. Nominated: Crystal Castles, for Crystal Castles II, Foals, for Total Life Forever, My Chemical Romance, for Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, Two Door Cinema Club, for Tourist History
  • Best Track: Foals, for Spanish Sahara. Nominated: Cee Lo Green, for Fuck You, Gorillaz, for Stylo, Janelle Monae feat. Big Boi, for Tightrope, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl., for Bang Bang Bang
  • Best Video: My Chemical Romance, for Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na). Nominated: Arcade Fire, for We Used To Wait, Brandon Flowers, for Crossfire, Chase & Status, for Let You Go, Gorillaz, for Stylo
  • Best Festival: Glastonbury. Nominated: Download, Reading And Leeds Festivals, T In The Park, V Festival
  • Best TV Show: Skins. Nominated: Misfits, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Peep Show, The Inbetweeners
  • Best Film: Inception. Nominated: Get Him To The Greek, Kick-Ass, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, The Social Network
  • Best Dancefloor Filler: Professor Green, for Jungle. Nominated: Crystal Castles, for Baptism, Kele, for Tenderoni, Plan B, for Stay Too Long, Tinie Tempah, for Pass Out
  • Hero of the Year: Lady Gaga. Nominated: Gerard Way, Julian Assange, Kanye West
  • Villain of the Year: David Cameron. Nominated: Axl Rose, Justin Bieber, Nick Clegg, Simon Cowell
  • Most Stylish: Brandon Flowers. Nominated: Hayley Williams, Lady Gaga, Liam Gallagher, Noel Fielding
  • Least Stylish: Justin Bieber. Nominated: Cheryl Cole, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Liam Gallagher
  • Worst Album: Justin Bieber, for My World. Nominated: Cheryl Cole, for Messy Little Raindrops, Katy Perry, for Teenage Dream, Kings Of Leon, for Come Around Sundown, My Chemical Romance, for Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys
  • Worst Band: Jonas Brothers. Nominated: 30 Seconds To Mars, JLS, Kings Of Leon, Tokio Hotel
  • Hottest Man: Matt Bellamy. Nominated: Alex Turner, Billie Joe Armstrong, Dominic Howard, Jared Leto
  • Hottest Woman: Alison Mosshart. Nominated: Emily Haines, Hayley Williams, Lady Gaga, Shakira
  • Best Album Artwork: Klaxons, for Surfing The Void. Nominated: Foals, for Total Life Forever, Gorillaz, for Plastic Beach, MGMT, for Congratulations, My Chemical Romance, for Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys
  • Best Band Blog or Twitter: Hayley Williams. Nominated: Frank Turner, Kanye West, Lily Allen, Theo Hutchcraft
  • Best Book: John Lydon, for Mr Rotten’s Scrapbook. Nominated: Carl Barât, for Threepenny Memoir, Jay-Z, for Decoded, Keith Richards, for Life, Russell Brand, My Booky Wook 2
  • Best Small Festival (50,000 capacity or lower): RockNess. Nominated: Bestival, Kendal Calling, Latitude, Underage Festival

See also

I Monster – Neveroddoreven

Just to make one thing clear before we get into this too deeply: I Monster are clearly certifiably insane. That’s pretty obvious from the intro to Some Thing’s Coming, in which a crowing cockerel gets hit on the head with a frying pan. Conventional really isn’t in their vocabulary.

When they get going, though, they really are rather good – inventive, clever, and very unusual, but also extremely good – Some Thing’s Coming turns out to be a great song, with a slightly grimy bass part and a rhythm that reminds you of the 1970s. Then the brilliant Daydream in Blue, their one and only hit single, in which they heavily channel Air, but do it so cleverly that you can hardly blame them.

I Monster had first appeared in the late 1990s, initially on a series of underground Sheffield compilations, and by the turn of the millennium had already released their debut, the now ultra-rare These Are Our Children (not to be confused with the track of the same name – more on that later).

Neveroddoreven first came out in 2003, fifteen years ago this week, with a very different track listing, although broadly the same collection of tracks – for the purposes of this review, we’ve stuck to the better-known 2004 reissue, but even that hides some secrets – rewind from the start of the first track on a compatible CD player, and you’ll find Cells hidden at the beginning, and Lucifer You Are a Devil at the end.

So next comes the Glamour Puss mix of single Hey Mrs., a glorious glam piece which should really have hit the top of the charts. As with most of the album, it is a bit unconventional, to say the least, but it’s also fantastic on every level. Then Everyone’s a Loser is a glorious song about the life of awkward people.

On any other album, by this stage, you would expect to find something a bit conventional, but here, even that is exceptional – I think the slower and more subdued Heaven might be my favourite track on here, and then Who is She? is entirely exceptional. Drawing heavily from a 1968 track called The Vengeance of She (Who Is She?) it comes together brilliantly.

Even the filler tracks are great – the short interlude A Scarecrow’s Tale is delightfully rustic, and carries us through to the curious electro-didgeridoo-blues of Stobart’s Blues. This is, for the first time, a slightly weaker track, but given the overall standard of this album, that was inevitable, and it’s hardly a bad thing. So, in fact, is The Backseat of My Car, now remodelled as Sticky Black Vinyl Mix, which somehow, while perfectly good, doesn’t quite seem to work.

But then we’re back to the perfection again – the song These Are Our Children (not, as I said earlier, to be confused with the album), is a beautifully dark ragga piece with children’s vocals. Then the more subdued Sunny Delights makes a late entry, full of sweet flutes and growling synthesisers.

Right at the end, you get the long version of The Blue Wrath, the daft jazzy piece that originally appeared in Shaun of the Dead. It’s a great closer for this album – completely ridiculous, of course, but also a lot of fun, and musically brilliant too.

So Neveroddoreven, with its palindromic title, is an exceptional album, however you look at it – and there’s a good chance that even if you know it already, you probably don’t know the hidden extra tracks quite as well. Well worth owning on CD, if you don’t already.

You can still find Neveroddoreven at all major retailers.