S IS FOR SOUTH

A complete change of direction with South. A largely acoustic electronic band, strangely signed to Mo’ Wax in the 1990s. For those downtempo moments. Despite a Sabres connection, not that good. I preferred Turin Breaks, which is not a band that history regards well.

The electronic trio South began out of a bond between friends. Joel Cadbury, Brett Shaw, and Jamie McDonald met as teenagers while attending Haverstock Secondary School in London. To beat the doldrums of working-class life, they opted to start a band. All are multi-instrumentalists — McDonald takes on vocal duties whereas all three participate in playing guitar, bass, percussion, and keyboards. South first delved into professional music by remixing cuts, later tinkering around with Ian Brown. UNKLE’s James Lavelle was the one who was most impressed by these young lads’ intricate talents and took them under his wing, signing them to his Mo’ Wax Recordings by the near end of the ’90s. Several 7″ limited-edition singles were released alongside a 12″ EP, leaving NME, Melody Maker, and Flipside praising South to be one of the major facets of music for 2000.

Of course, this led to their stunning debut, From Here on In, which took shape later that spring. It was an impressive mix of dark acoustics, hushing vocals, and breezy yet rough-cut dance beats. Lavelle’s love for South also allowed the band to collaborate on the soundtrack to Jonathan Glazer’s thriller Sexy Beast in early 2001. Breaks spinning at Fabric and Damian Harris’ Big Beat Boutique also electrified the trio’s double musical stance as dance innovators and cross-cultural space rockers. In 2003, South returned with the Dave Eringa-produced With the Tides. The limited-edition Speed Up/Slow Down EP marked South’s first release for Young American Recordings in late 2005. For South’s third album, 2006’s Adventures in the Underground Journey to the Stars, the English trio did away with its signature electronic layers for a stripped-down, straightforward pop affair. North American dates with Something for Rockets and Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s coincided with the album’s April release date. The band’s first-ever concert CD/DVD package, Safety in Numbers: South’s Tour Diary, followed six months later. In 2008, South released You Are Here. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, All Music Guide

A few tracks from the turn of the millennium, starting with a remix by ex-Sabres of Paradise member Jagz Kooner:

South – Broken Head (Jagz Kooner Mix)  

South – Paint The Silence  

South – Better Things  

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Picture: http://www.headleydesign.com/

~ by acidted on December 9, 2009.

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