Entries tagged with: Mazes

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Ultimate Painting @ CMJ 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Ultimate Painting

Ultimate Painting, aka Jack Cooper from Mazes and James Haore from Veronica Falls, released their appealing debut album this year via Trouble in Mind and were last in the U.S. during CMJ. The band will be back in North America this spring to play SXSW and will be touring around it. They'll be opening for Twerps on a few shows, including both NYC ones: March 13 at Rough Trade and March 14 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday (12/12) at noon with an AmEx presale begining Wednesday (12/10) at noon.  All dates are listed below.

Jack and James gave us Top 10 lists for 2014 and both said they listened to more songs than albums, at least of new stuff. So we get Top 10 Songs, plus a little commentary/context about their lists. Check those out, along with a stream of Ultimate Painting's album, below...

Continue reading "Ultimate Painting give us their Top 10s of 2014, touring with Twerps around SXSW (dates)"

by Bill Pearis

Hookworms' MB @ BV CMJ 2013 (more by Chris La Putt)
MB of Hookworms

Hookworms just released their terrific new album The Hum which further's the band's motorik psych, taking last year's adrenalized "Radio Tokyo" single (which they re-recorded for this LP) and further stepping on the gas. It is, as they say, a blast. While the band are signed to Domino's Weird World label, they do almost everything in-house. Frontman MJ produces the records in his Suburban Home studios (he produces lots of other UK bands too, like Joanna Gruesome and Eagulls), and the sleeves are all designed by guitarist JW. Hookworms' members, who stick to initials, all have day jobs and have no plans of giving them up for rock n' roll stardom.

That said, they'll be taking leaves of absence when they tour North America this Spring, including two NYC shows in April. Tickets to Palisades on 4/18 are already on sale, and tickets for their Rough Trade show on 4/17 go on sale today (12/5) at noon. Hookworms' shows are loud and intense and not to be missed.

The band's bassist, MB, talked with BV about The Hum, balancing their DIY spirit with growing acclaim, in-jokes, recollections of playing Death by Audio, his Top 10 albums of 2014, and more:


The Hum is a more upbeat record than Pearl Mystic. Was that intentional?

100%. We realised after we'd finished the last record that a lot of it was very slow numbers. We only ever played Away/Towards, Form & Function and Preservation live from that album, which is only a third of the record. We wanted the new album to be more representative of our live show, so we started writing some faster songs that would work well in the set. Radio Tokyo was actually written before Pearl Mystic was even released, and that became the starting point for the album; we enjoyed how people reacted to that song live. Our band definitely has a funny thing where when we're playing, you look up and see a crowd of people stood perfectly still with their arms crossed, then the second the set finishes they all rush up to tell you how amazing it was. I'm not saying we want people fighting and head-walking while we play, but we realised that was perhaps our fault for not being particularly upbeat.

More below...

Continue reading "Hookworms talk 'The Hum,' DIY, DbA, Top 10 of 2014 and more in BV interview"

by Bill Pearis

Ultimate Painting
IMAGE

James Hoare and Jack Cooper hit it off when their respective bands -- Veronica Falls and Mazes -- were on tour together and decided to work on songs together. Ultimate Painting was born. Says Cooper:

... we began figuring out where we could take the whole thing and what sort of music we'd like to make. Demos were exchanged and we hit on some synergy in the songs we were sending each other. After a fairly disastrous first attempt at recording, we reconvened and recorded what became the song 'Ultimate Painting', a vague theme song for the band... everything began to fall into place; us both singing and playing guitar, me playing drums and James playing the bass. Our ethos was; if it wasn't working, don't push it; so some sessions ended before they began... oh and the music won't be touched my anything digital till it needs to go online or something"
The result is Ultimate Painting's debut album which will be out this fall on Trouble in Mind. The record has a clean gentle vibe, showcasing the pair's ear for melody and understanding of the understated (think VU, The Bats, Jonathan Richman). Ultimate Painting's "vague theme song" will be the first single and it makes its premiere in this post. Stream it below.

Ultimate Painting will be getting some quick exposure as openers for a few dates on Parquet Courts' UK tour. Those are listed below.

In other news, Hoare's other other band, Proper Ornaments, will release their second album, Wooden Head, on July 8 via Slumberland. This new one is a little more volumized than last year's terrific debut, Waiting for the Summer, but still with a lazy pastoral bent. Stream "Magazines" from the new album below.

Also: if you missed Mazes' 2013 album Ores & Minerals it's worth catching up on too (do that via Rdio). Ultimate Painting and The Proper Ornaments streams below...

Continue reading "Ultimate Painting (mems Veronica Falls & Mazes) ready debut LP; Proper Ornaments releasing new LP (streams)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

DOWNLOAD: Sebadoh - Skull (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sebadoh - Rebound (MP3)

Sebadoh @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Sebadoh

Barlow's songs like "Freed Pig," "Soul and Fire," and "Magnet's Coil," made their expected appearances, but it was the Lowenstein songs that were the true highlights of the night. Playing with such speed and energy that belied his age, the songs seemed as fresh as they must have in the early 90s. Even "Sister," off 1993's Bubble and Scrape, took on new life as Lowenstein's crushing vocals and bass work seemed even improved from those early lo-fi years.... As they made their way through songs like Bakesale's "Got It," "Rebound," and "Careful" -- which Barlow referred to as the best Sebadoh song- it was evident that this was a triumphant night. -[One Thirty BPM]
Sebadoh played two NYC-area dates over the weekend with Mazes, including 11/11 at Maxwell's with Risk/Reward and 11/12 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Dichroics. Pictures from the latter adorn this post. Sebadoh have no other dates in their near future other than an appearance aboard the Weezer Cruise in early 2012.

In related news, Lou Barlow's bandmate in Dinosaur Jr, J.Mascis, is preparing to release a new 7" with Sub Pop on 11/22. Stream "I've Been Thinking" from said 7" (the flip is a cover of Edie Brickell's "Circle") below and look for J aboard the Weezer Cruise as well.

J.Mascis and Dinosaur Jr. tour dates, that song stream, and pictures from MHoW are below.

Continue reading "Sebadoh & Mazes played Maxwell's & MHOW (pics)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

The Hairs @ Fulton Stall Market
The Hairs

The Hairs is the latest music project from Kevin Alvir who has previously masterminded NYC indiepop bands The Lil' Hospital and Knight School. Even though the band is pretty new, The Hairs already have a 7" on Portland's fine Magic Marker Records that contains four scrappy, charming songs. One of which, "Duh x 12," has gotten some attention for its video which was directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp who made internet sensation Marcel the Shell. [Bill Pearis]
The Hairs played a free and slightly rainy show on Sunday (7/3) at Fulton Stall Market, the second of four shows presented by This Week In Indie/Sound Bites scribe Bill Pearis. Pictures are in this post, as is the "Duh x 12" video (below).

If you missed it, you can try again when The Hairs play Glasslands TONIGHT (7/5) with Mazes, Beige, and Country Mice. Look for The Hairs also at Shea Stadium on Thursday (7/7) with Radical Dads, and at Littlefield on 7/13 with Glitter and Great Lakes (the show description merely reads "Summertime! Indiepop! Fun!").

Mazes' (not to be confused with the similarly monikered band featuring Frankie Beverly) played Bowery Ballroom on June 25th as part of their with White Denim. Glasslands is your last chance to catch them before they return to their native Europe where they'll be doing more touring this summer.

All Mazes tour dates, more Hairs pictures from Fulton Stall Market, the video and a stream of even more Hairs songs, below...

Continue reading "The Hairs played Fulton Stall Market @ The Seaport (pics), playing other shows (like with Mazes tonight)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Archers of Loaf - What Did You Expect? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Art Brut - "Lost Weekend" (MP3)

Archers of Loaf @ Sasquach 2011 (more by Josh Darr)
ARchers of Loaf

This weekend marks the return of '90s indie legends Archers of Loaf who play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday (6/25, sold out) and Webster Hall on Sunday (6.26, you can still get tickets). Opening both shows are Mr. Dream which is as perfect an opener as you could imagine.

I didn't care for their later records (or Eric Bachman's Crooked Fingers) but Archers of Loaf's 1993 debut, Icky Mettle, is an indie rock classic that stands tall alongside No Pocky for Kitty, Slanted & Enchanted, There's Nothing Wrong with Love and Sebadoh III. 1995's Vee Vee is pretty awesome too, and both records are getting the expanded reissue treatment from Merge Records in August. You can download "What Did You Expect?" (a 1994 7"-only release) at the top of this post.

Speaking of Mr. Dream, despite the Voice saying that the lineup was final, they added Mr. Dream today to the upcoming 4Knots Fest at South Street Seaport, and DJs and an indoor lounge too...

The Village Voice is excited to announce the addition of the 4Knots Indoor Lounge during the 4Knots Music Festival on Saturday, July 16, 2011. The lounge, located at 210 Front Street, will be open from 2PM till Midnight with free admission, 21+ only. DJ Sets will take place all day from: Yeasayer, Dan Deacon, Finger on the Pulse, PUNCHES, Brahms, and others TBD. Drink specials from Sailor Jerry and Bud Light will be available along with a PopChips photo booth, and much more.

The inaugural 4Knots Music Festival with also include live music on South Street Seaport Pier 17 from 1-8pm. The Black Angels, Titus Andronicus, Davila 666, Oberhofer, Eleanor Friedberger and Mr. Dream and are all scheduled to perform on the outdoor stage at the free, all day, all ages music festival.
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Mazes

While we're in the '90s milleiu, Mazes are here opening for White Denim on Saturday night (6/25) at Bowery Ballroom. I'll just quote myself here:

When you think Manchester, England you may think Stone Roses and The Smiths, but in the case of Mazes, it's more Sebadoh and Soul Asylum. Not unlike Yuck, this trio owe lots to '90s indie rock as can be heard on their debut album A Thousand Heys which came out in April.

A Thousand Heys is full of catchy singalongs -- like their current single "Summer Hits" -- and well worth checking out. (Samples from the album are streaming at their label's website.) You can download a previously unreleased track, "Brunswick Stack," at the bottom of this post via a Soundcloud widget.

And if you can't make it this weekend, Mazes return for a headlining show at Glasslands on Tuesday, July 5 where they'll play with Beige, Country Mice, and The Hairs.

Art Brut
Art Brut

What else? Art Brut are on tour and played Maxwell's last night and will be at Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday (6/23). The band's new album, Brilliant! Tragic!, finds Eddie Argos taking it down a notch and almost singing. Almost. It's really more of a whispery type thing -- not unlike Jarvis Cocker -- and for the most part I think it works pretty well. I especially like the single, "Lost Weekend," which you can download at the top of this post. More than anything, I think the music is the best Art Brut have come up with since their debut. And the band remain a lot of fun to see live. Argos is the real deal.

Sic Alps
Sic Alps

Sic Alps roll through town on Friday, playing Death By Audio with Spectre Folk and Weekends. As previously reported, founding member Matt Hartman -- who was half the band originally -- has left the group which is kind of weird Mike Donovan is carrying on with the name with Eric Baur and some kid named Ty Segall (who had briefly joined the band a couple years ago). Shouldn't they be called Sic Andes or something now?

Granted, Mike Donovan did most of the singing (and maybe wrote most of the songs) and I'm gonna bet this new version of the band is pretty awesome. Sic Alps most recent album, Napa Asylum, is another smoldering, thick stew of swamp garage. A lot of bands use the low-fi thing as a crutch, but Sic Alps have always used sludge like it's a member of the band. A new 7", perhaps the first fruits of this new line-up, is out in August.

Fulton Stall Market in 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
Fulton Stall Market

And finally, a little shameless plugging. Sunday afternoon, June 26th, is the first of my four Sound Bites Series shows which take place at the Fullton Stall Market down at South Street Seaport. You can get your vegetables and jingle jangle indiepop all in one place. This Sunday the latter is provided by scene stalwarts My Teenage Stride. The fun (which includes me DJing before the band) starts at 2PM, and it's all free. Do come down and say hi.

This is the full Sunday show lineup:

JUNE 26: MY TEENAGE STRIDE
JULY 3: THE HAIRS
JULY 10: pow wow!
JULY 17: HOSPITALITY
July 10th is also the first of six free shows at Beekman Beer Garden which is at South Street Seaport too. The free Friday Seaport shows begin this Friday, but more about that below.

Some additional daily picks follow:

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22

Iceage play a free show at Other Music today.

THURSDAY, JUNE 23

Black Dice's Eric Copeland, McDonalds and Regal Degal play Secret Project Robot. It's a record release party for both Copeland and McDonalds, so do check out the merch table. The Copeland record, Waco Taco Combo, is only a 500 copy pressing.

Dinosaur Jr. are at Terminal 5 performing their classic 1988 album Bug (that's the one with "Freak Scene") in its entirety. And probably some other songs as well. Many people will be going just to see Fucked Up, not to mention Off!.

Beach Fossils and Javelin play Santos Party House. It's a free show if you RSVP.

continued below....

Continue reading "Archers of Loaf, Mr. Dream, Art Brut, Mazes, Sic Alps, Iceage, Sundays @ The Seaport & more in This Week in Indie"

by Bill Pearis

Mazes

When you think Manchester, England you may think Stone Roses and The Smiths, but in the case of Mazes, it's more Sebadoh and Soul Asylum. Not unlike Yuck, this trio owe lots to '90s indie rock as can be heard on their debut album A Thousand Heys which came out in April. You can stream the whole thing over at FatCat Records' website.

The band played a lot of shows at SXSW this year and were one of my highlights of the fest. Mazes return to the U.S. later this month for their first U.S. tour, opening for White Denim. That tour hits NYC on June 25 at Bowery Ballroom. All tour dates are below.

Continue reading "Mazes touring w/ White Denim (dates), new LP still streaming"

DOWNLOAD: White Denim - "Anvil Everything" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: White Denim - "Drug" (MP3)

White Denim at Downtown Records Anniversary (more by Brook Bobbins)
White Denim

Psyche-funky garage-rs White Denim's will release their new LP D via Downtown Records on May 24th featuring both "Drug" and "Anvil Everything" above. The Austin band has dates scattered across the country in celebration, including a West Coast run on their way to Sasquatch. The band will play Bowery Ballroom on June 25th and tickets go on AmEx presale at noon on 4/20 and hit regular sale on Friday. The NYC show is part of a TBA tour with Mazes. All currently known dates are listed below.

White Denim recently released a mixtape with music ranging from Amon Duul II to George Duke to Emmylou Harris (who recently announced a show with Levon Helm at Summerstage). Check out that mixtape below, alongside the new video for "Drug", song streams, and all tour dates.

Continue reading "White Denim announced a new LP, released a mixtape, new video & tour dates"

by Bill Pearis

Yuck @ Barbarella (BV Party photo by Amanda Hatfield)
Yuck

Moving on from Wednesday... Thursday, in some ways, was a bit of a bust for me. I blame St. Patrick's Day, one of my least favorite holidays. It is amateur hour. Attendance was up 40% at SXSW this year, and I'm guessing a lot of that was college kids on spring break all of whom already seemed to have had enough to drink by the time I hit 6th Street after the BrooklynVegan-curated portion of the Day Stage. It was a day spent trying to avoid getting puked on or punched.

Anyway, I headed over to our other Thursday afternoon event at Barbarella/Swan Dive, which was crowded but chill, arriving just in time to catch the end of Fergus & Geronimo and Beans' sets. Trying to navigate between the two connected clubs -- blazing sunshine at the patio stage, pitch black for the Barbarella inside stage -- was a bit tough.

I watched most of Yuck's set and thought they sounded great. Not the most exciting band to watch, but that's okay, not everyone can bounce around the stage like Superchunk to whom they owe more than a little sonic dept. Speaking of, Mac McCaughan was their for their whole set which I thought was kind of awesome. I asked him if he was there to collect royalties from Yuck. He laughed and said, "No way, I love these guys!"

Obits @ Barbarella (BV Party photo by Amanda Hatfield)
Obits

From there it was out to the Patio for Obits' set. There's something about their pedal-to-the-metal rock that sounds a little better in Texas. Plus they played the two songs I really wanted to hear: "You Gotta Lose" from the new album Moody, Standard and Poor, and their first-ever single "One Cross Apiece."

After scarfing down some tacos (courtesy of the El Diablo truck in Barbarella's backyard, yes a sister truck to the one here at Union Pool), I caught a little of Screaming Females, rip-roaring as usual, and Menomena before heading East to pick up my Fader Fort wristband. Probably a mistake to go to the one place with truly unlimited booze on St. Patrick's Day, it was a phantasmagoric scene of oversized spectacles, day-glo clothing, long lines, and marketing. And booze. Oh...and bands. Mazes, who I'd seen the night before, were playing and not many people seemed to be paying attention.

Most people seemed to be having the Best Time Ever but it was just a little much for me, so I opted for the green grass and relaxed vibe of the French Legation to catch Edwyn Collins which was just a pleasure. With a shit-hot band, including legend Dave Ruffy on drums, we got a 40-minute or so set, half of which was from his new album Losing Sleep, the rest from his back catalog, mostly from his Orange Juice days.

Missed opportunity: they didn't play OJ classic "The Day I Went Down to Texas." But otherwise no complaints. Just like at his Rock Shop show, the set's highlight was Losing Sleep track "In Your Eyes," with Edwyn's son Will singing co-lead, the part sung by Jonathan of The Drums. The Drums' Jacob Graham came out and played guitar with them too. Like his dad, Will Collins has pipes perfect for croony melodrama. Get this kid his own band!

Edwyn Collins @ French Legation
sxsw

I zoned out at the Legation for a while before heading to Beauty Bar to see Swedish soft pop band Pacific! I love Pacific's first album, Reveries, a melange of '78-'82 soft rock influences, but had no idea what their live show would be like. I certainly wasn't expecting them to come out in cloaks and hoods. Backlit, they looked like Grim Reapers, albeit ones making music that would fit right in beside Air Supply and Falco.

From there it was off to Emo's Jr. to catch San Francisco's Magic Bullets. If you are ever in need of a pick-me-up, go see this band. Their singer is the dancin-est frontman I have ever seen, and the whole band really seems to enjoy playing...which is infectious. They ended their set with a cover of Altered Images' "I Could Be Happy," which fit right in with the band's sound (that owes more than a little to early-'80s Scottish pop).

Austra was playing at Emo's proper so we went to catch them. Buzz is just started to build for them but I think when their debut, Feel it Break, hits they will be unavoidable. The record is all hits and they've got a really good live show too, including identical twin sisters as backup singers. Eminently danceable, with soaring choruses, Austra have got it. I left before the Kills who went on next at what was the Domino showcase.

From here I met up with friends at Palm Door, near the Convention Center, and caught the tail-end of We Barbarians' set. The Long Beach trio's sound is not a million miles away from Bear Hands or Local Natives, dancefloor friendly rock. I thought they were pretty good. They hit New York in a couple weeks for two sold-out shows with Foster the People and Grouplove: Mercury Lounge on April 8 and Knitting Factory on April 9.

"You ready for some killer dubstep?" That's Shaun Durkan, bassist/singer for Weekend, who were up next. He kids, he kids. Intense and very, very loud, Weekend take a load of post punk influences and really do make them their own. They are just so good at what they do. You're knocked back by sheer force as Durkan's vocals swirl in and out as if from a parallel dimension. Easily one of the best sets I saw at SXSW. Weekend are in town in two weeks, for two shows: opening for Wire at Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 5, and then an early show at Mercury Lounge on April 6 with Toronto's Little Girls.

We decided to end the night with Gayngs at large outdoor club Mohawk who are supposed to be on at 12:30 but are still setting up equipment an hour later. With what seems like 30 people in the band, I can see how it would take so long but my energy flagged and I took off before they played, deciding to catch the Night Owl bus back to my friend's apartment instead.

A few more photos below, some video, and applicable tour dates...

Continue reading "Bill's Week in Austin (Day 2 - Yuck, Austra, Obits, Edwyn Collins, Weekend, Magic Bullets, We Barbarians & more)"

by Bill Pearis

Colourmusic
SXSW

"It is what it is." I must've heard that phrase 30 times during SXSW -- be it in reference to alloted set times, equipment, sound or the free food at whatever day party I was at. You have to, as Diamond Dave once said, roll with the punches to get to what's real. Or at least have a good time.

So this year for this year's fest in Austin, I attempted to be as stress free as possible. I mostly avoided anything that would be a pain to get into, be it the hyper-hyped (James Blake, Odd Future), already popular (Strokes, Kanye), or overly hip (Fader Fort, PureVolume House). Which is probably why this was probably the most fun SXSW I've attended yet, with almost no dud bands seen.

I flew into San Antonio this year, where friends picked me up and we then drove down to Austin with a pit stop on the way for lunch, which got us to the Convention Center around 2pm to pick up our badges. First stop: The Palm Door to catch Austin locals Ringo Deathstarr whose album Colour Trip is one of my favorites of 2011 so far. I call a lot of things shoegaze, but these three have the classic '90s sound -- including Kevin Shields' glide guitar style -- down pat. Some seriously catchy songwriting keeps it out of pastiche territory. They are good and loud on the Palm Door patio, my first of many Lone Star tallboys of the week in hand, and it's a great start to the fest.

From there I headed over to Emo's for the first of BrooklynVegan's many day parties. Got there just in time to see the tail end of Mr Heavenly's set. I stuck around for Surfer Blood who I expected to play a bunch of new material but instead gave us an enjoyable hits-packed set from their first album.

Guides and sched.org were scrutinized over dinner, as the evening was planned out. First stop was to Beauty Bar for the Moshi Moshi party, specifically to see electronic duo Beat Connection who sound like they're from Sweden but are actually from Seattle. Not a lot of stage presence (two dudes behind keyboards, one of whom looks like John Daly from Freaks & Geeks) but they sound great and it's already a dance party in Beauty Bar at 8PM.

We next stopped by the Oklahoma showcase happening at Friends. Stillwater's Colourmusic lay down some awesome Can-style prog, made extra heavy with two bassists. Flaming Lips, early-'90s psych influence casts a shadow on them too. Some crazed (drunk) superfan from their hometown jumps on stage, takes off his shirt and joins the band on the mic, making for the best picture I took all week. Easily one of my favorite performances of SXSW 2011. Their album, My ____ is Pink, is out next month on Memphis Industries and is very good.

While there, a woman comes up to me and asks if I was at SXSW the previous year. I answered yes, to which she then says "Remember me? I was dressed as a hippie rooster and danced all around you." Nope, sorry lady, don't remember that. And I think I would.

Leaving my friends, I hit Maggie Mae's to catch Glaswegian electronic outfit Errors, part of the Creative Scotland showcase. I was a big fan of their first album and had been wanting to see them ever since. Kinda like the Scottish version of Ratatat, their instrumental electro-rock translates well to the stage. Worth the wait. You can see Errors all over the U.S next month on tour with Mogwai (whose label, Rock Action, they're signed to.) Tour dates, two nights at Webster Hall included, are at the bottom of this post.

Looking back over things, Wednesday was maybe the best day for me overall. Next was London's Mazes who make superior '90s style indie rock. (Not to be confused with 1900s offshoot Mazes who have since changed their name I think.) The obvious comparison is Yuck, but it's less GBV/Sebadoh and more Pavement/Number One Cup. Also like Yuck, they're not the most energetic band I've ever seen but they sound great.

I close out the night at Red Eyed Fly. Sky Larkin have been telling me to go see fellow Leeds band Pulled Apart by Horses for nearly three years, warning me I might not want to get too close. I now understand why... they are an explosion on stage, bouncing off the walls, bounding into the crowd, climbing trellises, singing on the bar and other wild behavior. No puking, thankfully, which I hear has happened on occasion. Kinetic and spastic as they are, Pulled Apart by Horses' music -- thrashy, mathy, riffy, shouty -- is not really my cup of tea.

Pete & the Pirates were supposed to be on at 1AM but things were running very late. I'd been up since 3:30AM -- my flight had left at 5:45am -- so when it hit 1:30, I opted for a much-needed full night of sleep. Slightly disappointed but I'd see P&P later in the week anyhow...it is what it is.

A few more pictures, video of Colourmusic's performance, and those Errors tourdates (with Mogwai) are below.

Continue reading "Bill's Week in Austin (Day 1 - Errors, Ringo Deathstarr, Beat Connection, Mazes, Colourmusic & more)"