Skibunny
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Skibunny

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Alternative EDM

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"Skibunny - album launch live review"

It feels like every other gig these days is celebrating the launch of something or other, so Skibunny and label Smalltown America have taken drastic steps to ensure their album is given the show it deserves: specifically, the show is on a barge on the Lagan, and it's free. So far so good. We descend into the hull, impressively decked out for the occasion with full PA and lighting rig, and are greeted by a woozy DJ set by Coney Island Sound, once of Olympic Lifts.

After a very eclectic DJ Set from Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite, Skibunny, looking slightly nervous, take to a Belfast stage for the first time in months. Whether it's the occasion, the setting or a deliberate shift, the Skibunny live sound is bigger and more muscular than I remember - the playful, gentle single Aah Ooh is positively raucous; Walk Don't Walk ("here I am again!") is even a bit menacing - and newly confident live drums have moved to the fore, having previously been somewhat hidden behind the programmed beats and synths. A problem with Skibunny's live show in the past was that they could sound like a backing track with a band playing over it, but as Tanya thrashes at her Les Paul, Skibunny feels more like a band than it ever has before.

Remote Control's chorus - "Take my hand / I want to go far away from here" - is genuinely lovely and it sounds all the better for being performed as a simple guitar-pop song, and there's a change of pace with the almost funky swagger of Up Down.

The clever live visuals add to the sense that this is less a gig, more an event, and the set is crowned by a joyous version of No Diggity, complete with cameo from Team Fresh's Slaine Browne. What could easily be an absurd novelty cover is instead the perfect way to end the night; focus on Mark's fringe flopping around and you could be back at the club where Skibunny made their name. I mean that as high, high praise. - BBC Radio Ulster


"Skibunny - I'll never forget my first time"

Mark Gordon was friends with my big sister, they went to Uni together and he had our home number. For some reason, he heard I had a copy of the brand new single from Fatboy Slim. Working on a magazine called Blank with Colin Murray, I'd been given a few CDs to review and Mark really wanted to drop what was set to be a massive hit, before it became played out and essentially uncool. This was around April 1998, a long time before everyone downloaded whatever they wanted, even longer before online blogs.
If I didn't give him that CD, the much discussed track wouldn't be played in Belfast that night. Simples.

So, keen to be involved, I got a lift up and went to Vicos for the first time. Straight to the middle floor, where I handed the CD... to the wrong DJ. A very confused techno aficionado (possibly one Pete Donaldson?) kindly suggested that The Rockafeller Skank may not fit in with his set and pointed me in the direction of the bottom floor, where Skibunny, a club-within-a-club, had just started.

In the next ten years, I'd attend Skibunny around 200 times. The club would move from Vicos to Auntie Annies and become pretty much the only way I'd ever spend a Saturday night in Belfast. No one else mashed up daft electro, party hip hop, old-skool indie and scuzzy rock quite like Tanya and Mark. No one else got the party started quite so hard. 2manydjs hadn't quite been invented at this stage, so as far as I was concerned what Skibunny did was utterly unique. In fact, it was. More’s the point, I met and hung out with some of my best friends at that club. We always had fun, occasionally embarrassing ourselves through the medium of daft antics and silly dancing. We couldn't get enough of it.

Then they wrapped it up. Suddenly, Saturday evenings were spent either at home or doing something a lot less fun than what I'd become accustomed to.

As part of the compensation package, Tanya and Mark started to remix, reworking their/my favourite local acts - LaFaro, ASIWYFA, Oppenheimer et al. Even better than that, they'd kick start Skibunny - the band.

12 years of my life, right there. Sign posted by nights out in their club, their first remix, their first gig. In a way, it's all been building up to... this week, really - the release of Skibunny's debut album, Hugs.

Now, as you'd expect, after years of hounding them with requests and generally being an unavoidable feature on the Skibunny dancefloor, I got to know Mark and Tanya quite well. I'd get to work with Mark and still rate him as the best DJ I've ever shared a bill with. Honestly. Myself and Tanya would become... good friends.

I'd get to go on an adventure with Tanya - hitting Coachella in California. I put myself through Ted Leo in the blinding sun in exchange for her company during the first ever gig by Gnarls Barkley. We'd both go a wee bit mental during Daft Punk's first go in that crazy pyramid. Good times.

Point is though, now that I consider them good friends, there's a fair chance they'll never know just how much I love their album. For a start, I can't even review their live shows for ATL, let alone their recorded music - that wouldn't be appropriate, as you can imagine. And no matter what I tell them, they'll always assume, as a good friend and a polite sort, I'd have "said it was good anyway".

Probably true, but it IS good. In fact, it's incredible. Dark and sweet in equal measures, musically all over the place yet somehow as "complete" and together record I've heard this year. I can't stop listening to it. And I know I'm not alone, a good pal of mine (who notably, had never laid eyes on Tanya or Mark) also nabbed a promo copy and can't get it out of his CD player. Thing is, I wouldn't have thought he'd have had any interest in "that type of thing" either, but I guess he just knows quality.

So what do you reckon, then? Would I say it’s good even if I was secretly disappointed? If YOUR mates made a record, would you tell them it's good, forgetting what you really think? Possibly. So with regards to my real feelings on this album, I guess only I know the truth, eh?

Anyway, do yourself a favour, give it a chance. No obligation to love - that'll happen of its own accord. I promise.
- BBC Radio Ulster


"Skibunny - Hugs"

Smalltown America has had some year, with the likes of And So I Watch You From Afar, Le Faro and Fighting With Wire all drawing some well deserved attention to the independent Belfast label. Their latest release, the debut album from duo Tanya Mellotte and Mark Gordon AKA SkiBunny bears little resemblance to those acts, however, their bright, bouncy and trivial electronic pop having more in common with the label's alumni artists Oppenheimer and Hooray For Humans. Those aren't entirely fair comparisons either though, as SkiBunny's sweet chill out tunes and dance-worthy indie electro tracks twinkle with a hazy production sheen that makes them much more user-friendly.

Both former students of Edinburgh University, the synthesised strings of 'Stand Up' seem to echo the Scottish sounds of The Delgados in an effervescent, distinctive manner. Meanwhile, distorted guitars give 'Up Down' a more indie rock edge, which continues through the stomping 'Walk Don't Walk' alongside fast-paced beats and driving bass. The Go! Team's Kaori Tsuchida lends her vocals to the quirkier sounds of 'All In This Together' but they seem sharp and harsh in comparison to Mellotte's soft, mellifluous voice, which is doubled up to form gratifying harmonies all throughout this record.

Sure, these kind of lightweight pop songs are relatively throwaway, particularly considering rehashed lyrics like "Here I am again, walk don't walk/Here we go again, talk don't talk" convey little meaning, but with songs as infectious as 'Aah Ooh' and 'Remote Control', you certainly won't want to throw 'Hugs' away any time soon. - Entertainment.ie


"Skibunny - Hugs"

Since the rise of the likes of Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem there has been a sort of revival of dance influenced synth pop, and Belfast’s Skibunny are riding this wave. Already the duo has amassed quite a few impressive support slots, having shared the stage with the likes of Holy Fuck and Bonde de Role. And have also earned the compliments of critics and peers such as Steve Lamaq and Rob Da Bank.

Skibunny were initially known moreso for their remix skills, having graced the stage as dj’s rather then a band. The close attention to production and mix that comes with being good dj’s has certainly transferred to their stab at original material, its hard to find a flaw in the sound throughout the albums 11 tracks. Hugs is a slice of electronic, euphoric pop; a musical sound for the digital age. By way of comparison, Skibunny certainly bear similarities musically to their southern counter parts Cowboy X and [the now defunct] Dry County, the sound of a band that has embraced electronics. Lyrically the album seems slightly underdeveloped, but lets be honest, this music isn’t about lyrics, it’s about the tunes and production and clearly the pair have put vast amounts of effort into the production side.

Having already gathered quite a following one would suspect Skibunny to make waves across Europe in the coming year, no doubt appearing on a few festival bills next summer. If Hot Chip and the Postal Service float your boat then Hugs should bring joy to your ears. Hardened dance nuts and tech heads should best avoid though, no four to the floor bangers here. - State Magazine


"Skibunny - Hugs"

The appropriately named Hugs by Skibunny in many ways does exactly what it says on the tin. It is fun, warm and generally easy to listen to music from the Belfast-based duo who make music designed primarily with the party in mind. Well-known in Northern Ireland for their parties, Skibunny are more than just a band; they are DJs, promoters and remixes as well. With this in mind therefore, Hugs is as carefully crafted as you might imagine, staggered somewhere in between The xx and Broken Social Scene (but much more cheerful), and with plenty of catchy hooks and foot-stamping melodies. Standout tracks include the powerful, chugging guitar-based ‘Walk Don’t Walk’ that would fit anywhere in Metric’s back catalogue, the echoey choruses of latest single ‘Aah Ooh’ and ‘Sun Sun Sun’, a song just so cheerful even the most miserable person would find it hard not to smile. It is very hard to listen to this album without getting it stuck in your head for a very long time, and this is a very positive characteristic indeed.

Naturally, for a band famous for throwing wild parties, they have decided to celebrate the release of Hugs with a party not only in Belfast but also in Edinburgh. However, what Hugs does perhaps lack is a bit of punch. – at times there seems to an airy feel to a lot of the album. It is of course conceivable that this is the kind of music that really should be played in a club rather than through a CD player to get the full feel of its impact, and their live shows have certainly achieved a lot of rave reviews. The problem is that although there are some very good tracks on this album, the majority of this album is distinctly average and fairly same. A fantastic party band they may be, but a fantastic recording band they are not. However, this is still an enjoyable record, and they aren’t far off something very good. - The 405


"Skibunny "Hugs" Released Today"

Belfast duo Skibunny release their debut album today. Entitled 'Hugs' the LP is a delightful fusion of crunchy, electronic pop and washed out indie cool. (Think Goldfrapp crossed with New Order).
Particular highlights include the blissful opener 'Aah Ooh' and the ingenious re imagining of The Afgan Wigs classic ‘Miles Iz Ded’.
‘Hugs’ is an optimistic record, full of uplifting sonic gems, there’s the odd surprise thrown in there too, a delightful guest spot from Kaori Tsuchida from The GO! Team being a case in point. With the album getting plenty of attention already, a Bestival appearance in the bag and several upcoming live dates on the horizon, Skibunny will undoubtedly be busy… ahem… bunny’s over the next couple of months.
The album is available on Itunes from 27/09/10, hit the bands website or myspace for more info. - Glasswerk


"HOTPRESS - Remote Control review"

It's a good 'un. A sort of Daft Punk-lite affair, it's a playful, gentle, sparkly and spacey number that's one of those rare dance songs that would work equally well as a euphoric floorfiller or a blissful chillout number. HOTPRESS - HOTPRESS


"Aah Ooh review"

4/5 - Floating comfortably somewhere between The Orb and Four Tet, Skibunny’s ‘Aah Ooh’ hovers with an air of contentment upon a cloud of euphoria. GIGWISE - GIGWISE


"Irish News feature"

CELEBRATED DJs, talented remixers and
now a real live indie band – Mark Gordon and Tanya Mellotte of
Skibunny are two busy people.
With two superb singles under their
belt and an album in the pipeline, the pair have no problem in mixing up their musical duties and will leave the live show to one side this weekend as they DJ at the Glastonbury festival.... - The Irish News


"NME - Club of the week"

Belfast's most popular way to spend a saturday night. - NME


"BBC Radio 1, Rob Da Bank"

Absolutely wicked! - BBC Radio 1-Rob Da Bank


"BBC Radio 1 - Introducing with Huw Stephens"

(SXSW review) For the second hot day of hot music busy-ness, I start with Northern Ireland’s Skibunny; promoters, remixers, dj’s and a mighty fine band. They make a kind of disco-shoegaze sound, exhubarant and exploding into feisty tunes that sound good. - BBC


"Irish Times - SXSW review"

(SXSW review) I’ve known of Mark and Tanya for many years as Belfast indie club DJs and promoters, but didn’t realise until recently that they were also two-thirds of a band called Skibunny. Fine, top-drawer crunchy electro-rock with big choruses which shout in your ear about a party going on in a house six streets away. - Irish Times


"Toronto Independent Music Awards"

1am CENTRAL, SKIBUNNY: go see them out of curiosity at the least if you get the chance. They are highly acclaimed and are probably not going to be back in Toronto anytime soon. We like “Robot on Disguise” Remix - Toronto IMAs


"Dallas Observer - SXSW review"

Songs varied from straightforward power pop to keytar-rock with dance beats. The trio features a sweetly charming brunette singer and guitarist/keyboardist, bespectacled dude bassist and a perky blond who never stopped smiling as she kept up the beat. It was easy to get a long look at them, as the very narrow downstairs area has about 20 feet from the stage to the soundman. That would feel cramped with a heavier rock band, but the forced intimacy turned out to be a good thing: everyone was moving. The catchiest song of the night had a chorus that went, "Don't forget, don't forget, don't forget the alcohol" they sang. Singer Tanya gamely exchanged high-fives with audience members after nearly every song.

The Verdict: Fun but fluffy pop-rock.

Uncomfortable moment: A guy kept yelling, "Your drummer is hot! Yeah, drummer!" Surely that's a foolproof way to pick up musicians. - Dallas Observer


"NME review Sept2008"

"Belfast's no.1 remixers, promoters and commotion causers.... they do something pretty special to the crowd" - NME


Discography

"HUGS" LP released 26th Sept 2010 on Smalltown America Records.

"WALK DON'T WALK" EP released 14th June 2010 on Smalltown America Records.

"REMOTE CONTROL" (7"/Itunes) released 26th May 2008. Also features DJ Supermarkt remix.

"AAH OOH" (7"/Itunes) released 28th Jan 2008. Also features Handsomeboy Technique remix.

REMIXES:

Paloma Faith "New York" (SONY)

Tilly & The Wall "Falling without Knowing" (Moshi Moshi)

Them:Youth "Halo" (Dirty Boots)

And So I Watch You From Afar "Don't Waste Time Doing Things you Hate" released April 20th on Smalltown America.

Dag For Dag "You Holler You Scream" released May 4th on Saddle Creek.

Robots In Disguise "The Tears" released Sept 08 on President records.

Handsomeboy Technique "Magnificent Mass" released Jan 08 on Second Royal Records.

Clone Quartet "Carousel (SKIBUNNY remix)" - released May07 on Tigertrap Records.

Skibunny "My Bad Heart" - included on the New Music from NI compilation, this track has received extensive radio play on BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio Foyle.

Oppenheimer "Breakfast in NYC (SKIBUNNY remix)" - used by NIKE online, Australian Fashion Week and released on Bar/None Records Autumn07. This track has received extensive radio play across the US and on BBC Radio 1/Ulster/Foyle.

Photos

Bio

*Just confirmed - CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK showcase, 9th-13th March 2011*

*HUGS album released 27th Sept on SMALLTOWN AMERICA!*

From John Peel faves to globe trotting DJs turned prolific remixers, SKIBUNNY’s Mark & Tanya have come full circle and now present their live band. With one eye on tunes and one on the dancefloor, the music is dark electronic pop with an uplifting heart.

As DJs, Skibunny have toured across Japan, Europe & UK and appeared at festivals like Glastonbury (Dance East), Oxegyn (MTV stage), T In The Park and Rockness.

As a live band, they’ve played alongside bands such as Casiokids, Har Mar Superstar, Holy F**K, Bonde Do Role and David Holmes (Tanya contributes vocals to 2 tracks on his recent LP The Holy Pictures) and they've released two sold out 7” singles.

As producers, they’ve remixed people like Tilly and the Wall, Forward Russia and Robots in Disguise and as promoters they have been responsible for the debut Belfast shows for bands like The Go! Team, James Yuill, & Kidda. All this has led to the NME calling them "Belfast's no.1 remixers, promoters and commotion causers, they do something pretty special to the crowd" NME

In March 2009, Skibunny showcased at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, and were picked by the Toronto Independent Music Awards as one of the “must-see” bands of the festival. At SXSW in Austin, Texas, they played a massive 6 shows, yet still finding time for Tanya to do a bit of singing on stage with LA band The Mae Shi! Back in the UK, they played to a capacity crowd at The Camden Crawl, with Radio 1’s Huw Stephens twittering like mad about their performance.

The debut LP is now released on Smalltown America Records and includes guest vocals from Kaori Tsushida (The Go! Team) and James Chapman (Maps).

“Belfast's no.1 remixers, promoters and commotion causers, they do something pretty special to the crowd” NME

“promoters, remixers, dj's and a mighty fine band. They make a kind of disco-shoegaze sound, exhubarant and exploding into feisty tunes that sound good.” BBC RADIO 1 Huw Stephens

“Fine, top-drawer crunchy electro-rock with big choruses which shout in your ear about a party going on in a house six streets away.” THE IRISH TIMES, Jim McCarroll

www.skibunnyclub.co.uk