Alt Track
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"Alt Track - A Nation Is On Fire Download (DE)"

Eigentlich wollte ich schon vor vielen Wochen, nachdem ich sie im Juli auf dem Hafen 2 Festival gesehen hatte, einige der Alt Track Stücke posten. Irgendwie fiel das ganze dann aber doch der Sommer-Lethargie zum Opfer. Dort auf dem Festival war das junge Duo aus Bradfort, UK, vor ihrem Auftritt die große Unbekannte. Das Publikum auf der Wiese hatten sie dann jedoch mit ihrem Mix aus Hip-Hop und Elektronika schnell im Griff. Ihr in Eigenregie 2009 produziertes Album-Debut „Silence Is Approval“ hatten die Jungs an diesem Tag gegen selbstgewählte Spenden unter das Volk gebracht. Konsequenterweise stehen auch viele ihrer Stücke zum freien Download auf Soundcloud. Auf dem Album finden sich viele, ruhigere Trip-Hop Nummern. Besonders gut gefallen mir Alt Track jedoch wenn sie es wie bei „A Nation Is On Fire“ richtig krachen lassen. Die Jungs sind sympathisch und haben Attitüde! Das wissen nur leider immer noch viel zu wenige…

(Translation)

Actually, I wanted many weeks ago, after I in the port 2 Festival July she had seen some of the Alt Track mail pieces. Irgendwie fiel das ganze dann aber doch der Sommer-Lethargie zum Opfer. Somehow fell all but then the summer lethargy victim. Dort auf dem Festival war das junge Duo aus Bradfort, UK, vor ihrem Auftritt die große Unbekannte. There, at the festival was the young duo from Bradford, UK, before taking the stage the great unknown. Das Publikum auf der Wiese hatten sie dann jedoch mit ihrem Mix aus Hip-Hop und Elektronika schnell im Griff. The audience on the lawn but then they had with their mix of hip-hop and electronica quickly under control. Ihr in Eigenregie 2009 produziertes Album-Debut „Silence Is Approval“ hatten die Jungs an diesem Tag gegen selbstgewählte Spenden unter das Volk gebracht. Your in-house produced 2009 debut album "Silence Is Approval" had brought the boys on this day to self-chosen donations to the people. Konsequenterweise stehen auch viele ihrer Stücke zum freien Download auf Soundcloud. Auf dem Album finden sich viele, ruhigere Trip-Hop Nummern. Consequently, many of her pieces are also available for free download on Sound Cloud. On the album there are many, quieter trip-hop numbers. Besonders gut gefallen mir Alt Track jedoch wenn sie es wie bei „A Nation Is On Fire“ richtig krachen lassen. I especially like old track but if they like "A Nation Is On Fire" can really rip. Die Jungs sind sympathisch und haben Attitüde! The guys are friendly and have attitude! Das wissen nur leider immer noch viel zu wenige… The only know, unfortunately, still far too few ... - Ex Und Hop - Das Blogmagazin fur Ausgehtipps Im Untergrund


"The Hop"

It’s a mere shimmy through the bar to get to room 2 in the Love Apple although at first it appears that a couple of young scallywags have broken into the venue and are about to nick off with the upcoming performer’s instruments; stop thief! Oh wait, sorry its only room two’s opening act ‘Alt Track’. The duo surprise on two counts; firstly, telling them to act their age and not their shoe size would probably see little difference in behaviour; secondly, their on stage confidence and performance is that o two performers way and above their age. Drowning out the inevitable ageist gags with a sweeping, IDM backed, atmospheric opening track, it’s clear that Alt Track are a band with bags of potential; seeing the route lead by the likes of 65 Days Of Static, Errors et al and thinking “yeah we’ll have a slice of that”. One ill-advised rap aside from the younger looking of the two, this is a set high on ambition even if at times they fail to quite reach the heights they’ve set themselves. Even so there’s plenty of time for the duo to grow and develop and exciting times are set to be ahead for them. - God Is In The Tv


"The Fly - Regional Roundup"

Since their post-rock debut, Alt Track have stopped staring at their shoes and started dancing in them. In turning the drums, bass and adrenaline up, they could have dropped a few IQ points and relied too heavily on pure beats. Instead, they've come up with an intricate D'N'B trip-rock album with a conscience. If Bob Dylan and Slash went raving together, this is how the night would unfold. - The Fly


"Fly Regional - Leeds/Bradford"

There's something less polite about this K-town two-piece these days from their beginnings as slightly nervous shoegazers. New elements of hip hop and techno suit them, and now they're easily my favourite Wild West Yorkshire band. - The Fly


"Alt Track - Silence Is Approval"

Electronic/punk/breakbeat outfit Alt Track are a duo that hail from Bradford. Comprising teenagers Micky Dey and Pete Williams, this outfit chuck out modern techno with drum’n bass rhythms and all manner of wild gaming based sequencing that sits alongside their firebrand, punk influenced tempos. There’s a hard-hitting, uncompromising but astute attitude throughout, fuelled by their quick fire raps and squashed, spine tingling semi-distorted synth set pieces. Nothing quite matches the power and thrust of opening track “A Nation Is On Fire” as the band explore other genres and a lower bpm. The modern dub of “I Don’t Think We’ve Thought This Through” is however, where they succeed in establishing their more melodic and restrained ideas perfectly. - Manchester Music


"Forget Kaiser Chiefs and The Pigeon Detectives - Here Are 10 Reasons Why Leeds' Music Scene Is Thriving"

This teenage genre-bastardising pair are both political and danceable, just like Chumbawamba aren't. - NME.com


"Beatherder Festival"

Drum n Bass DJ supremo Andy C’s Saturday night set made it impossible to get anywhere near the Stumblefunk tent, but that was fine by me, as I went to see Alt Track rip up the eclectic New (aka Random) Tent, who despite having a malfunctioning keyboard managed to set the crowd on fire with their haunting melodies contrasting with huge crescendos and massive beats. Oh and they’ve got a conscience as well, their lyrics actually mean stuff. Completely electric.?? - Counterfeit Magazine


"Moor Music Festival"

Highlights of the weekend for me included the precocious Alt Track, a pair of 18-yr-old lads hailing from Skipton who play out a heady mix of punk, d’n’b and trip hop as a backing track to their emotive and impassioned lyrics. A little too emotive and impassioned, perhaps – I’d love to see them pare back their polemic with a little more subtlety. Nevertheless, it was a more than accomplished live set, gutsy and powerful. Definitely one to watch out for. - Digiyorkshire.com


"Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition Finalists"

Driving drum and bass powered rhythms with synth and guitar adding plenty of punky muscle. With chaotic outspoken prose, Bradford's Alt Track sound like Joe Strummer re-born 30 years later with a frantic robotic backing crew. Scary. - Q The Music/Glastonbury ETC


"The Fight Before Christmas"

Alt Track
Silence Is Approval
Why wail and moan about the world’s problems (Chris Martin take note) when spitting unity over deep and dirty drum n bass, and taking the odd piano-led breather, sounds so much more like a call to arms? Mixing post-rock, hip hop and thoughtful politics that extend far beyond what they do onstage, Alt Track are one of my favourite bands full stop, let alone in West Yorkshire, for making you think as you watch them that if only they could reach the right sets of ears, the world might be a better place. (KW) - Vibrations Magazine


"Alt Track - Silence Is Approval"

Alt Track have a sound career and an outstanding album in them. Unfortunately this isn’t it, but there is more than enough promise here to hint of great things to come.

As an entity in its own right, it’s a bit of a game of two halves. Musically, this bristles with the excitement, invention and endless wide-eyed possibility of youth. There are some genuinely thrilling moments here, with a frenetic pace set from the off, that arcs and veers in a fashion that hints to what it must feel like to co-pilot with The Red Barron.

However, this same youthful enthusiasm is also evident in some occasionally wince-inducing lyrics. Whilst the passion and sincerity are certainly laudable, the politics here – which probably make perfect sense in the 6th form common room – are awkwardly exposed on disc.

But this is a relatively minor quibble. The musical scope displayed here, which ranges from the engaged guitars ‘n’ beats of Asian Dub Foundation on A Nation On Fire, through to the semi-ambient A View From The Mountain (its lovely vibe only spoilt by an ill-advisedly obvious Martin Luther King sample) illustrates both the abundant strengths and occasional weaknesses of this record.

A worthy introduction, but their next record should be awaited with greater interest.

Rob Paul Chapman - Vibrations Magazine


"Alt Track Live @ The Hi Fi Club"

With their hands on tonight's top spot, Alt Track are another two piece and look keen on the challenge. I've got to say straight up that these spritely young lads stole the show. It may not have been the biggest crowd at 360, but in no way did they let this hamper a fiercely energetic show, and they nailed the bottom line of it, good solid fun. Their sound is brave; an uncompromising sonic arsenal of drum and bass breaks, thunderous rock guitar and rap. Darting between guitars and laptops the dynamic duo don't shy away from taking the club floor for a more upfront, engaging performance, perhaps showing an affinity for hardcore punk acts . They seep confidence and have obviously honed their live craft on a level above most other unsigned acts. Nice to see a politically aware band as well, proving there is still room for music with a brain attached amongst the detritus of mindless toss. A band deserving of some recognition. - Leedsmusicscene.net


"So take a good look at their face, you’ll see their smile looks out of place, if you look closer, it’s easy to trace…ALT TRACK and their fears…"

Take two hip-hop-breakbeat post-rockers, add the prospective mayor of Bradford, The face of CHaneel 4’s anti-BNP campaign, a pair anarchic political irritants, and a vloke who proposes replacing all of Bradford’s retial units with the world’s largest network of pound shops, and how many people do you have? That’s right, still two. Kate Wellham talks to the double-headed musical wrecking ball known as Alt Track. Mark Collett not a fan apparently…

I’m already beginning to regret pushing Alt Track for the election issue of Vibrations, and we’re only one question in: which way are they planning to vote?
Pete wants to swap his vote for a shag from the Skipton Labour candidate: “She’s 21, quite a hottie, I’d vote Labour for that any day.”
“We’re not in it for the politics, we’re in it for the pussy. Put that on the front cover of Vibrations,” says Micky.
It’s not a great start, and seems about to get worse when Pete admits that actually he doesn’t know who he’s voting for at all…
“No, I mean I’m giving my vote, have you heard of GiveMyVote.org? They go to foreign countries that our Foreign Policy affects – through climate change, international trade, war – and give them an idea of where the main British parties stand. On the morning of the election I’ll get a text saying ‘this gentleman in Ghana would vote Lib Dem’, so I go and register the vote for him.”
*Phew*. I’ll level with you, Vibrations readers, I’ve been hassling to get Alt Track in the mag for a while now, simply because I think they’re a great band; that’s no secret. But when the political issue was suggested, I wasn’t alone in suggesting they’d be perfect interviewees.
Their breakbeat / hip hop / post rock output is overtly political, for a start. Either dreamily idealogical (‘One’, ‘View From A Mountain’) including Martin Luther King soundbites, or righteously furious (‘A Nation Is On Fire’): ‘product placement, whatever sells / define yourselves in html / meaningless nothing, whatever fulfils / how do you sleep whilst your brothers and sisters are killed?’. It’s a call to arms, which has also had airplay on Radio One – a rare combination, since the best of intentions can so easily come off as cheesy a la Coldplay.
“’A Nation Is On Fire’ is sort of a ranty, polemic, obviously political song,” says Pete. ”But a lot of the statements aren’t necessarily literal. There’s this one line ‘land costs lives, don’t steal, don’t lie, Gaza, who’s wrong, Darfur, too long’, it’s not me saying ‘don’t steal, don’t lie’. It’s not me telling the world how to live because I’m in no position to. I don’t have the wisdom or experience to tell anyone how to do that.”
“Yeah we were pretty young when we wrote that,” explains Micky.
How old are you now?
“19.”
But lyrics are the easy bit. Alt Track put their money where their mouths are, which is what lends sincerity to what they say onstage. Whatever pisses them off – Aldermaston’s weapons plant, the demolition of Bradford Odeon, Burma, the BNP – if there’s a counter demonstration, they’re there. If there isn’t, they’ll start one. Micky recently facilitated a series of meetings about the English Defence League’s proposed visit to Bradford when nothing else seemed to be being done to deter it. His reasons are simple: “These people shouldn’t be able to invade our city. They don’t come from here, they don’t understand it, we’ve done our best to pick up the pieces from the Bradford riots and they don’t see the positive things that we’ve done.”
Pete sees it as a logical conclusion that whatever stirs them to write, stirs them to action: “I think there’s a definite responsibility, not just as a musician” says Pete. “I don’t mean every musician has a political responsibility. Some people want to write love songs, that’s fine, that’s what inspires them to pick up a guitar and write a song. I just think you’ve got a responsibility to be true to yourself.
With us, I don’t know if political’s the right word – more just observational. We’re both vehemently anti-racist. Everyone’s a product of their environment to a certain extent. Like when we were packing the car outside Micky’s house the other day this black woman walked past pushing a pram, and there were these white girls on the other side of the street, about 12 or 13 years old, and they were going ‘Pakis, Pakis’, and she was African, firstly, which is just bad geography, and this poor woman was just pushing a pram. It makes you sick.”
Yorkshire having been the county responsible for electing the first BNP MEP, it’s a fight that needs to be fought, and Alt Track – whether deliberately or not – are aiming for (and popular amongst) the same target audience as the BNP.
“The main people who are ignored by the mainstream political parties – and the whole political system – is the working class youth, and this is the recruiting ground for the BNP, for the EDL. They can feed them figures that are completely manipulated, taken out of context, and sometimes just an utter lie, and they believe it.
“It’s like a quote from ‘Mein Kampf’ which Nick Griffin has quoted in some of his speeches, ‘tell a lie and if you shout it loud enough and say it enough times, eventually they’ll start to believe it’, and this is essentially the philosophy of the BNP. I was reading their election manifesto today, and if they were in power they’d retract all foreign aid, every penny we give they’d just take it back and say ‘no, it’s not a British problem’, which is quite a dangerous thing, they want to withdraw from the UN, from NATO, from the EU. They want to bring back capital punishment. It’s just an awful political system. They don’t have any of the knowledge or experience, they couldn’t run a country if they actually got thrust into it, there’s no economist who’s a member of the BNPNP who could take care of the economy, there’s no foreign policy expert, there’s none of these people, they’re just a fucking bunch of arseholes.”
True to form, gobby Pete’s fronting a Channel 4 anti-BNP campaign after applying for it when he was ‘really quite fucked’.
Pete: “I don’t remember what I wrote on the form but I got a call from a Channel 4 producer and it’s all gone horribly far out of my hands. I’m thinking I’m going to have to do it.”
Micky: “By ‘him’ he means ‘we’, and by ‘we’, he means ‘me’.
Pete: “I said to Micky ‘I’m going to need you to do all this shit; emailing, photocopying…’”
Micky: “All the substance, essentially”
Pete: “And I’m gonna to take the credit. I’m the face.”
What’s wrong with Micky’s face?
Pete: “We could be here all night.”
On paper, they could be the dullest, most pious pair of yoghurt-weavers, or a couple of bitter crusties, but in actual fact they’re a lot more fun than that, which is why they could be so dangerously effective given a platform.
For example, Pete is bursting with excitement at the news that BNP publicist Mark Collett has just been arrested over a plot to kill Nick Griffin: “I’m friends with Mark Collett on Facebook, I thought it would be funny because I think he’s a proper silly racist, and I thought maybe I could subtly mock him. So I wrote on his wall ‘you’re trying to kill Nick Griffin mate, you’re a fucking hero’, and he’s blocked me.”
Micky, on the other hand, has decided to run for Mayor of Bradford, something he’s in turns serious and then not serious about: “I’m going to demolish the Odeon, put a big pool in the city centre that nobody needs or wants, waste all our money on that. More offices, more parking, more fucking coffee shops and chain bars and pound shops. I don’t want to have to count more than a quid. Why is it only every other shop that’s a pound shop? Why not every single one?”
Playing since they were pre-teen, they’re musically mature beyond their years, having gone through several bands separately already between them, and found their niche as soon as they got together, complimenting each other perfectly, and arguing constantly. Micky plays keyboard, Pete plays guitar. Micky sings, Pete rhymes. Micky is quiet and polite. Pete is… well, not.
They’re not unusual in Bradford, where the combination of relative poverty, a reputation blighted by racial tension and a strong DIY ethic – through necessity as much as choice – has led to the growth of a thriving counterculture based around places like the Treehouse, the 1in12 and the Playhouse, which are heaving even when Walkabout was forced to close through lack of business.
Random Hand are friends, sprung from the same small Keighley scene – notably the place where Griffin gave the speech that saw him arrested for inciting racial hatred – and it can’t be a coincidence that they, too, make seething social commentary their main muse. Pete agrees: “Anyone can do an anti-racist song, but I was talking to Barney from Sonic Boom Six, and he says when he hears ‘British’ by Random Hand – you know, ‘stand up for the anthem, salute the flag’, hitting back against blind patriotism – the reason he loves that tune so much is that you can tell when they’re singing it that they’ve grown up around it, it’s a real sincere statement.
“No modern music would have existed if we’d all stuck to ourselves and our culture, we’d all be Morris dancing. It’s fucking boring. It’s disillusioned as well, you can’t go back to the 1940s, and Britain wasn’t perfect then. People say ‘during the war we didn’t have these criminals’, but millions of our young people died during the war, we were fighting a fucking war. I was talking to Captain Hotknives’ mum, she actually said this, she said “Ooo there wasn’t all this fighting during the war!” - Vibrations Magazine


"Now Hear This"

Since their inception in 2007, alt track, a genre-hopping alternative duo from Bradford, have steadily been kicking up a frenzy in the north of England, part due to constant gigging, and in part due to the maturity in their songs and the politically charged lyrics within. Their debut EP, released in 2008, A Nation is on Fire, is a self-produced, self-funded and self-released,affair which gained respect and kind words from fans and independent publications alike with its mix of Radiohead's experimentation, Muse's theatrics and Rage Against The Machine's political nous.

2009 shows Alt Track in no mood of slowing with a debut album Silence Is Approval ready for release and a summer UK tour pencilled in for your town.
- God Is In The TV


"Alt Track - Silence Is Approval"

Alt Track are a two piece genre hopping UK band who since the debut release of EP 'A Nation Is On Fire' have been making themselves a household name throughout the Yorkshire music scene with a constantly growing list of upcoming gigs that haven't seen them slow down once since they first broke onto the scene in 2007. Their latest release and first album, 'Silence Is Approval' follows their previous release in terms of their DIY approach to self-release and promotion along with a donation per CD to a charity of their choice.

While 'A Nation Is On Fire' showed a band at their early stages, flitting between post-rock and the grandiose that we have previously heard from Muse's 'Absolution' album. The release, while well executed often felt bugged with a slightly under-par production and an unconfident vocal delivery. 'Silence Is Approval' however shows a huge growth with Alt Track distancing themselves from the Muse tag with the use of a busy drum machine and pounding bass lines underpinned by the delivery of confident political vocals that no one would of expected had they heard Alt Track previously.

Such a change in style and delivery isn't without its drawbacks though, while 'A Nation Is On Fire' may have been flawed, it was endearing, each song conveying a sense of well-timed emotion. 'Silence Is Approval' can however, at its worst, come across as extremely cold, littered in manufactured samples and voice overs rather than emotional poetic lyrics leaving some tracks feeling like 'fillers' rather than rounding off a complete album.

At the height of it's success, 'Silence Is Approval' contains the same brilliance in its delivery as we have seen within the likes of The Prodigy's 'The Fat Of The Land' and Massive Attack's 'Mezzanine' with the punk diy attitude of Pete Williams powerfully rapped vocals questioning the current state of the world as Micky Dey creates melody underneath with the help of some much needed(and very well sparingly used) female vocals creating the emotion that was, as previously mentioned, missing within the samples. Alt Track are unpredictable without being overly experimental and while they may be trying to shake the Muse comparison, they still have a way of bringing a song to stadium heights with the old fashioned use of a distorted guitar often cutting through and overshadowing the frequently used laptop samples. 'Silence Is Approval' also see's the introduction of two acoustic songs, 'Can’t Sleep' and 'Silence Is Approval', which while may not be hugely memorable, add a different take on the band offering a slight breather from the electronic sound and are great additions to this album.

'Silence Is Approval' is Rage Against The Machine in a dance club, Unkle and Dj Shadow but with more melody and memorability. While this won't be the best music Alt Track create, it is certainly a fine place to start and there aren't many unsigned bands that show this amount of direction and promise. So make 2009 Alt Track's year to remember, buy 'Silence Is Approval'.

4/5 - God Is In The TV Zine


Discography

A Nation Is On Fire (2008) (EP)

Pedestrianised
A Nation Is On Fire
Lazarus
The End

Silence Is Approval (LP) (2009)

A Nation Is On Fire (Radio One Airplay 2009)
Ghost In The Machine
No More
Beats & A Plan
View From A Mountain
Can't Sleep
One
Castle
I Don't Think We've Thought This Through
Silence Is Approval

Photos

Bio

Since their inception in 2007, Alt Track have cultivated a sound as unique as it is eclectic, mixing the rhythms of contemporary dance music with the energy and conscience of punk rock. From explosive but poetic bursts of politically charged electronica, to ambient IDM-laden soundscapes, Alt Track constantly seek to fuse their influences and cover a previously unexplored musical direction.

Informed equally by records such as Refused's 'The Shape Of Punk To Come', Bob Marley's 'Exodus', Radiohead's 'Kid A' and Massive Attack's 'Mezzanine', Alt Track use dance beats as the canvas for their musical landscapes, building a multitude of different textures and ideas within a track. Truly a band best appreciated live, rather than opting to hide behind laptops, you'll find them on the gig floor, with an energy more closely associated with a punk band. Their performances have been called 'A furious splurge of flailing energy', and they are said to '...seep confidence and have obviously honed their live craft on a level above most other unsigned acts.' The band keep a seemingly busy live schedule, regularly playing all over the UK and Europe to rave reviews from the likes of NME and The Fly Magazine, equally at home in a rock club or a squat party, electronic or as their acoustic alter-ego in a cafe, or on the street busking for some extra petrol money.

2009 saw the release of their self produced, self funded debut album 'Silence is Approval' which has recieved numerous glowing reviews. Radio One's Steve Lamacq called the opening track '...a very forceful, polemical piece of pop music', and The Fly described the record as '...an intricate D'N'B, trip-rock album with a conscience. If Bob Dylan and Slash went raving together, this is how the night would unfold'. Alt Track allow fans to pay whatever they can afford for the record, in order to reach as wide an audience as possible uninhibited by economics.

In 2010, the band have self-boooked and toured the UK fully numerous times, taking in alot of new cities and winning people over all across the country. They came into the final 20 in the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition, out of 1600 entrants. Among the judges were Radio One's Huw Stephens, Q Editor Paul Rees and Michael and Emily Eavis. They also independently toured Europe in the summer, and had the best experience of gigs and touring they had ever yet encountered, and found the new territory to be exciting and filled with new potential. As of summer 2010 Alt Track signed to Bomber Music Publishing, joining the ranks of friends and excellent UK punk bands such as Random Hand, Crazy Arm, The Skints and Mouthwash. Now the pair aim to continue their intensive gigging schedule and begin work on a second record. The opportunity to cross the pond and play over in the states seems like the only natural step.