The band Lip Critic
Credit: Julia Mason

SXSW: Partisan Records showcase bursts forth with exhilarating performances

Partisan Records was co-founded in 2007 by Tim Puttnam and Ian Wheeler. It’s an independent label which is home to a diverse range of artists including Beth Orton, Ezra Collective, Cymande, Fontaines D.C., Geese, John Grant, Idles and Laura Marling. They showcased just some of the talent on their roster at Cheer Up Charlies during the week of SXSW in Austin, Texas.

YHWH Nailgun
The quartet of Zack Borzone (vocal), Jack Tobias (synth), Sam Pickard (drums), and Saguiv Rosenstock (guitar) were born during lockdown in Philadelphia. The band began as an experimental project between Borzone and Pickard, and on the evidence of the performance these experimental roots still exist. The two moved to New York and added Tobias for their debut self-titled EP, which was produced by Rosenstock, who was then integrated into the band. You suspect an innate intuition exists between the four as their almost feral soundscapes are blended with calmer sections, which at times almost came to a complete standstill. They held the crowd who were entranced by this combination. For those on the UK side of the pond, YHWH Nailgun will be playing The Great Escape in Brighton. Do take a chance on this most intriguing of bands.

Angélica Garcia
Los Angeles’ pop experimentalist Angélica Garcia will release her debut album for Partisan Records in June. Entitled Gemelo (translating to “Twin” in English), it challenges the idea that singing in English is a prerequisite for creating American music. Gemelo is sung almost entirely in Spanish and acknowledges her familial roots, her parents being Mexican and El Salvadoran. Angélica lives and breathes her music, it’s so obvious from her performance. It doesn’t matter that the majority of this audience don’t understand the lyrics. The interpretation is there with her delivery and her performance. Angélica has added a drummer for her live shows and the prominent beats in her music are amplified by having the instrument onstage. What a feast for the senses, and another artist who is headed to The Great Escape in May.

Body Meat
Watching an artist who is unknown to you is what festivals are all about. Freed of expectation, watching the twists and turns of Body Meat and not knowing what is going to happen next is a glorious experience. In fact I even had to duck at one point as furniture was thrown about the stage! Opening with a saxophonist who then exited, Body Meat continued one minute having ants in his pants, the next sitting at synths and keyboards. Watching Chris Taylor (aka Body Meat) jumping around in the crowd and flipping out onstage created such a fun vibe. Body Meat has no fear in mixing genres as evidenced on his two previously released EPs Truck Music (2019) and Year of the Orc (2021). He will release an album this year on Partisan Records this year – expect the unexpected.

Lip Critic
Having interviewed Lip Critic in Edinburgh last year before their gig in Sneaky Pete’s, it was a thrill to see this band in Austin. NME gave their London gig a 5 star review and it’s not difficult to see why. They combine electronica, hardcore, dance music, breakbeats, punk – throw it all into the mix and the result is wild. With two drummers (Danny Eberle and Ilan Natter) onstage, the performance created a mosh-pit, at 5pm! Lead singer Bret Kaser is difficult to keep track of: in the crowd, at the keyboards, messing with the drumkit. Chuck in Connor Kleitz (synths and sampler) who could not help himself, getting in on the act by standing on the speakers, it’s easy to see why a certain Steve Lamacq from BBC Radio6 Music was in the crowd. This set was over in a flash, way too soon. Lip Critic have their debut album Hex Dealer out this summer. If they come anywhere near your town, do not miss.

For more information on Partisan Records please check out their website.

For more information on YHWH Nailgun please check out their instagram.
For more information on Angélica Garcia please check out her instagram.
For more information on Body Meat please check out their instagram.
For more information on Lip Critic please check out their instagram.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.