LXXII – Best New Label Of 2015?

Mark Whitby thinks LXXII is the best new label of 2015? Here he tells us why with his arguments backed up with rock solid examples.

I sometimes worry that music will one day just dry up, run out of ideas, become sterile … in fact, sometimes I think that’s already happened: I go for days, finding only the insipid, the derivative and the dreary in my inbox.

Then something like the LXXII label announces its arrival.

I say ‘something like LXXII’, but by far the best thing about them is that they’re doing things that nobody else is quite doing. Of course, there’s a lot of wonky electronica around, much of it hovering on the verge of sterility and some of it falling in, but very little that can, with three singles, let the sun in on 2015 quite as brilliantly as the first three releases on this label have done.

On hearing the first of those releases – Videa Gam’s ‘Get To Know Me’ (above) – I pretty much assumed that was it: that the sumptuous layers that permeate the wonkiness meant this label was peaking early, against which the other stuff would surely fail to inspire. I was completely wrong. Videa Gam generates sound collages that offer far more than the collisions of interesting but ultimately doomed noises the term often denotes: the collage in his hands is home to an intoxicating and woozy framework of melody.

Deflection Pulley (above), who are responsible for the second single, are a different proposition altogether: there’s a jagged artlessness, in a good way, about what they do, within which nothing quite so clean as a melody is given space to reside. Their ‘Looming’ is music of cruelty, pummelling the senses and leaving an intense chasm into which your own presumptions concerning what the hell is going on in there can swim.

Finally, Wiicca crank up the surprise factor still further, utilising MBV guitar patterns that find themselves up against sometimes formless white noise to produce collision and conflict that manage, for all their uncompromising textures, to result in something eminently listenable. The result – ‘Heather? (Why Am I So Distant) comes out sounding like the best indie pop in the world has fallen into a concrete mixer turned by Throbbing Gristle and lost all the least interesting bits in the process.

And there’s plenty more where this came from, I understand. Worth keeping an eye on lxxii.co (or @l__x__x__i__i on twitter), I suggest, because, judging by what we’ve heard so far, they’re going somewhere very interesting indeed and I, for one, want to go there with them.


All words by Mark Whitby. More writing by Mark on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Mark is one of the DJs on Dandelion Radio and can also be found on Twitter as @markwdandelion.

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Mark Whitby is a regular DJ on Dandelion Radio. In 2005, his book 'The Festive Fifty', chronicling the history of John Peel's famous end of year chart, was published. He's tried being in bands but gave up after his surf-punk combo The Beached Whales ended in acrimonious failure in the late nineties, after which he decided to concentrate on listening to and spreading the word about music that was actually worth listening to. After hosting short-lived radio shows such as The A-Z of Punk, The Diamond Mine and Idiot Jukebox, he joined the Dandelion staff in 2006 and has been with them ever since. Among other things, recent obsessions include the Hungarian punk scene, short-lived and much-missed Isle of Man band The Chasms, Fuck Buttons and Jeffrey Lewis.


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