31.12.11

On The Strength


Thanks to a modest windfall this winter, our tape buying frenzy has never been more ridiculous - Liz and I got each other a whole drawer full of the things. Among our haul was Justin Peroff's debut effort, Tape One, as Junior Pande (as opposed to Broken Social Scene, with whom he drums) and a receipt for (our preordered copy of) prolific Canadian underground producer Don Cash's latest album, Epic, courtesy of the newly launched Spring Break Tapes. Peroff's ambient beats and noise cocktails on Tape One are a powerful combination with Cash's eclectic repertoire, the one captivatingly elegant and the other unrepentantly experimental, careening across the range of contemporary and retro art rock and hip hop. Highly recommended.

Don Cash - On The Strength by springbreaktapes 

Junior Pande - Lisbon by springbreaktapes

24.12.11

Another Old Ugly Christmas

As my winter nostalgia for long lost West Virginia rises, Edmonton, Alberta's Old Ugly Records offers a Christmas themed mix from their amply forested hometown, following up on last year's much "beloved" first An Old Ugly Christmas mix. Of course, in Alberta I imagine everyone's far less enthused about all things wintery (their winter temperature averages in the Northern part of the province tend to be around about −11 °F), so take their (surely feigned) Christmas spirit with a grain of salt and just imagine the Santa above as if he were stealing the items he's loaded down with.

23.12.11

Brutus The Backup Reindeer

According to Phil Radiotes of Phil and the Osophers, It's Christmas Time with Phil and the Osophers was "an exercise in writing pop songs, in the tradition of Christmases I had growing up", so if you're not afraid of some God fearing pop with your Christmas and the stuff of less usual kilter isn't scratching the right kind of itch, give these tunes a try. Having said that, if you're smiling and having a good time driving, and your car looks like the one above, stop driving it immediately. That thickish brown line isn't even surrounding the entire ambiguous-gray-field-as-interior-bits sort of thing going on.

Download the entire EP for free here.

ISO50 Holiday Covers EP


Making music for Christmas can't be easy. People's "traditional listening" holidays seems to vary radically and the risk of sounding sappy seems to be something near the top of a lot of minds, so I've tended to find a lot of the really good Christmas mixes out there, are also tremendously short. Ages ago, Jheri made a five song Christmas mixtape that was pretty rad (in spite of it's grotesquely unseasonable cover). Last year, Jakub Alexander - the music curator for ISO50 and the man behind Moodgadget - put together such a mix for the former, composed of only six songs. Featuring the Beautiful Bells, Sun Hammer, Foxes in Fiction, the Depot-Tones, Weed, and Direwires, there are just enough nods to convention to keep it feeling wintery and plenty of avant-pop noise and craziness to make sure you'll be having weird Christmases as long as it lingers on your hard drive.

Download the entire mix here.

21.12.11

Video Premiere: Parentz - Back It Up


Parentz had a fun time with 2011 - with two editions of his debut cassette sold out, the later of the two from Chill Mega Chill Records, and rumors abounding that mainstay Jeremy Sullivan is getting a "real job" somewhere in the SF Bay, it has to seem like an important year and Sullivan's chosen to end it with a video. Shot on location in Oakland, featuring special guest appearances from "Claude at Sinema Girl, Yalls, James and Evander, Kia..." (Kia sings in the band) "... Dre..." (presumably Dr. Dre) "... and everybody else in the video and who smashed things" (probably means ever smashed things). Although filmed over last summer, I'm presuming that the seasonal climate in the Bay is just barely perceptible enough for the professionally-homemade video to look like a different time of year to anyone from the area, but it's just cold enough for me to not envy Jeremy when the water balloons let loose midway. 

Video: The Parallax View - Dark Wrath (feat. Doc Ra)


[created by: The Parallax View]

Animals

The animal kingdom is beginning to stir more and more these days. The knowledge of the world's end being but a year away seems to have its adverse effects on the world's fauna. Body Cheetah & Messed Up Coyote have begun to demonstrate their frustrations in their new EP release via Woozy Tribe, titled Clang. Five fairly short tracks merge zonked out beat crafting with somber blues to create a dark, based vibe like nothing we've heard from either party yet. This is certainly a duo I look forward to hearing work together more.

MP3:
Body Cheetah & Messed Up Coyote - Animals
Body Cheetah & Messed Up Coyote - Emily Jane
You can grab Clang in full as a free download via Woozy Tribe.

Russian Girlfriends

The folks at French Express just dropped off Perseus' new EP, Russian Girlfriends, with some holiday cheer. Since The Magician's Magic Tape Twelve, Perseus has been wowing us with his soulful & tropical sample work. So much so that The Magician has continually gone back to Perseus for new tracks on various Magic Tapes, permitting us this short EP which collects his three most recent beauties. "Running Back To You" just dropped on yesterday's Magic Tape Eighteen and features some stellar sampling from Ashanti's "Foolish". The track is just brilliant enough to have me asking for an Ashanti comeback (though maybe with less Irv Gotti at her back.)

MP3: Perseus - Russian Girlfriends EP
01 Cool Runnings
02 Russian Girlfriends
03 Running Back To You
Head over to Soundcloud to check out Magic Tape Eighteen, as well as any of the previous Magic Tapes.

Video: Fear Of Men - Doldrums


[director: Natalie Gravy]

"Doldrums" is from the Alice Munroe Demos tape, which is unfortunately already sold out. Here's crossing our fingers for a re-issue.

20.12.11

Video Premiere: Zoos of Berlin - Kingston Gates (Color Controller Remix)


This is a prolific time for the East Bay, particularly Dan Casey of Yalls and his new guise with Man/Miracle's Dylan Travis, which will hopefully be a serious vehicle for that output in 2012. The addition of the two's new visual work, reflecting the texture of their new Zoos of Berlin remix in constantly fragmenting shards of light and complex patterns, makes the prospect of a live set and new material all the more captivating.

In related news, Zoos of Berlin's Pallister Chant EP, where "Kingston Gates" originally appeared, can be streamed for free on their bandcamp courtesy of Time No Place.

Devil's Pie (Fuck The Slice)

We're long-time fans of zoney beatsmith Silky Johnson over here. Lately we've also been quite enamored by rapper Deniro Farrar (see DMFv2), so last week when the two teamed up with Emilio Rojas to release "Devil's Pie" I was a little more than excited. Silky's beat on this one is subdued, relying on the minimal yet hazy vibe he's becoming more and more known for. Farrar jumps hard on the beat, starting things off with a slow paced recanting of his own dealings with the Devil. As the beat gains energy so does Farrar, shaking off any hesitations before speaking about the twisted ways of governments. Emilio Rojas also impresses on this one; this is the first I've heard from him and you can already count me as a fan. From the start of his verse he goes in hard with a "fuck everything, I came to get mine" attitude. The point is certainly proven, in the end we all want more than just a piece of the Devil's pie.

MP3: Deniro Farrar x Emilio Rojas - Devil's Pie (Fuck The Slice)

19.12.11

PBUH034: Dope Mountain Fuck Vol. 2

About a year-and-a-half ago I first met Dwight and his then girlfriend Liz while touring with Born Gold (then Gobble Gobble). It was obvious from the first handshake that I had just discovered two of my best friends in the most unlikely of places, West Virginia. It was upon this first meeting while smoking a bowl on the front porch that the idea of Crash Symbols was born. Fast forward to now; we've released around twenty tapes, our first vinyl release (both a 12" and a 7"), plus Dwight and Liz got married! The three of us couldn't be happier with everything we've accomplished in so little time. To celebrate we bring to you today the second volume of our inaugural mixtape, Dope Mountain Fuck. With just as much energy and twice the confidence, DMFv2 is a symbol of achievement for us. It features new bangers from Main Attrakionz, Oxykitten, Ghibli, changemod, Gahza, Ricky Eat Acid & more; as well as remixes from Emily Reo & Ryan Hemsworth and a Deniro Farrar cut over a previously unreleased Clams Casino beat. This is potentially our most ambitious mixtape to date and we're pretty damn proud of it. 2012 belongs to us and ours.

MP3:
Oxykitten - 50 Times Higher Than Any Normal Man
Main Attrakionz - Brock Lesnar (prod. Joe Wax)
Brown Bread - Ah (Emily Reo Remix)
Head over to the Crash Symbols bandcamp to snag all twenty-five glorious tracks from Dope Mountain Fuck Vol. 2!

17.12.11

Fresh Arrest

Today is Fresh Arrest and we're helping our buddies at Dingus on Music and Meme Movement with the event. As they describe it:
"Yes, this is easily going to be the best thing going on in NYC tonight. Yes, you are still welcome at our party. No, you cannot shit in the porta potties.

Itchy Hearts, No Shoes, Large Lady, Newport Reds, Sitting Ducks, The Jean Jackets. And all the booze you can handle. Fifteen bucks gets you in on the all night open bar."
If you can handle all of that and can make it to 1717 Broadway in Brooklyn this evening, you should seriously consider it.

16.12.11

Premiere: Mathieu Santos - I Can Hear The Trains Coming (Superhumanoids Rework)

"I Can Hear The Trains Coming" (which received a ridiculous, candy-coated video treatment over the summer) comes from Massachusetts 2010, the solo debut from Ra Ra Riot co-founder and bassist Mathieu Santos, conceived in 2010 and finished this year. Superhumanoids' remix blows out the original's casual elegance into a moodier slowburner across a new bassline, much changed from the spareness of Santos and all the better supplement for being so.

Massachusetts 2010 is available as of this fine 2011, from Barsuk.

15.12.11

Lying In State

Queens three-piece Island Twins recently put out their first release, a self-titled album complete with solid, well-structured pop melodies, awesomely fuzzy bass lines, and a catchy mix of male and female vocals. So far, my favorite song might be "Lying In State", a fast-paced opener with some shoegaze qualities and a little surf flair, but the whole album is worth repeat listens. I can't wait to see what they do next. RIYL: Black Lipstick, Violent Femmes, and Turbo Fruits.

You can stream and buy the full album at their bandcamp.

14.12.11

PBUH030: Good Amount - Opening Eye

Christian Filardo, aka Good Amount, is more than just a friend, he's a blinking glowing media being... an internet chrysalid waiting to plug into the supermind. Opening Eye is a new manifesto of Filardo's ever shifting anticipation of that union; ambient soundscapes littered with clustered bell tones, projecting a sense of monoliths. Big ideas and big narratives to draw them out, from our digital hierophant, Christian Filardo. Proudly hastened into your presence by Crash Symbols.

Preorder the limited edition cassette here.

13.12.11

In Processing

Technological Epidemic is a Johnstown, PA based quartet and among the flagship bands from the locally operated, hugely prolific multimedia arts collective, My Idea of Fun. They were kind enough to send me their and MIF's latest physical release, a 7" that preserves what are actually two b-sides, pressed up to accompany their slightly older LP of earlier this year, Hollow Cost. The palette here is solidly DIY pop and lends plenty of fuel to immediate comparisons with the durable genre-core of Elephant 6, further held up by idiosyncratic vocals and personal lyrics. Definitely a winner.

Download the single from the widget above and grab the vinyl here. Hollow Cost is available in its entirety for free.

Reindeer's Time

I've already conceded my sentimentality so maybe my goal to cover a few good Christmas releases this December is not altogether unexpected, but that there would be so many worth covering wasn't something I expected. It's lighter fare than some others I'm planning on covering, but Idiot Glee's Christmas EP Reindeer's Time is an honorable addition to the recently less robust corpus of genuinely good acoustic holiday covers.


Video: The Russian Apartments - Gods


The Russian Apartments' single "Gods" fantastically rendered alongside Polish animator Piotr Kamler's opus Chronopolis. Download the original single here.

Premiere: Twin Steps - Pinkie Promise

Merry Christmas, boys and girls! Twin Steps' debut album Serial Parade comes out today on Cola Bruin, as both a digital release and a beautiful matte green 10" record (I'd grab one soon, because there are only 300 of them). We were lucky enough to see Twin Steps perform at a house show in Oakland a few months ago, and we've been huge fans since. Their music is a bit hard to classify (it's been called "violent soul" and "thrashwave"), but whatever genre it may be a part of, these songs are really, really, really good. Of the four tracks and two "interludes" on the album, my favorite is probably "Pinkie Promise" -- it's just over six minutes of blissful, updated 60s pop, a few samples, and Drew's idiosyncratically perfect vocals, all punctuated in the middle by a musical car crash of sorts. This is one of my favorite albums of the year, and I suggest listening to it when you're having a drink/smoke and feel like getting swept away by something strange and wonderful.

Buy the lovely 10" vinyl right here, and stream four of the six tracks over there if you like.

12.12.11

The Rise of Gahza

Gahza makes sped up pop of a character I'm definitely interested to hear further explored. So far as I know, this is not playing at the wrong speed and that it does often play through at a faster rate radically changes the tone of his music. Some tracks seem to reference the lighter experimentation of the more electronically inclined pop punk producer, though as the chronicles of Gahza unfold on his self-titled debut, slower songs like "Gahza Loves" keep the whole thing from flying apart at the seams. "The Rise of Gahza" is a nice cross section of the album, uptempo and upbeat, with Gahza's idiosyncratic vocals and an incredibly charming string section.

Click through to bandcamp to download Gahza for free.

The Great Unknown

Perhaps I should start off by saying that I'm not usually into the "singer/songwriter" genre, or at least not tunes that include both falsetto male vocals and charming piano work. However, The Black Bull (real name: Matt Perri) seems to have hit upon something different. His song "The Great Unknown" is a sort-of-lengthy expedition through an auditory winter wonderland -- introductory finger snaps and bass kicks are joined by minimal, tinkly piano, smooth bass, and strong vocals that deliver lyrics about possessiveness and uncertainty perfectly. I can't shake the image of stepping out into the first deep snow of the season, your shoes sinking in slightly while you're "stepping into the great unknown".

For now you can check out two other tracks at his Soundcloud; a full album is expected sometime this winter.

Video: Sigur Ros - All Right (Rivka Edit)

Rivka put Sigur Ros through the ringer and set the results to footage from Jaromil Jires' film adaptation of Vítězslav Nezval's novel, Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, and Victor Luminera's less well known Psyched By The 4D Witch.

Teapot

Skoal Kodiak exists in my mind mostly through "Tinsel Tongue", their face melting debut single taken from Moon Glyph's Minneapolis-area psych compilation, Regolith Volume 1, and the occasional odd rumination from their good tempered facebook page. I've listened to that song hundreds of times across three or so computers. Every day for at least a year of college. Kryptonym Bodliak, their first emission since a limited 12" years back, follows up the more recent b-side beautifully, comfortably setting my high watermark for noise pop in 2011. "Teapot" eases the experienced "Tinsel Tongue" listener into the album's more angular grooves with vocals culled from exploding packets of razors, edging their way into the cavity left by brain boring beats.

Grab it on CD and LP from Loaded Records.

9.12.11

Fightin' For Your Life

British musician Gypsy Tongue is a creator of super lo-fi, DIY indie garage-folk -- he says he even recorded everything in his actual garage, including the "paint tins" he used for percussion instruments. His self-titled, self-released five song EP is quite the enjoyable collection of dusty tunes, including "Fightin' For Your Life", a simple acoustic ditty that, despite its name, might be one of the more upbeat tracks on the album (probably due to the friendly chuckles sprinkled throughout).

Download the whole album for free here! Seriously, do it.

8.12.11

Video Premiere: Nomadic Firs - Vines


The Nomadic Firs exude "chill vibes and rainbow colored squawk", though the vibes from their upbeat psych-pop aren't particularly chilly. If anything, the Nomadic Firs are among the most aggressively positive people I've ever (not really in person) met, even more so because they would stalwartly deny insight into why I think they're so upsettingly nice. They even made a protest song for the 99%. "Vines" is the first single from their upcoming debut album on our very own Crash Symbols, so mosey on up to the video and get acquainted.

Video: Ensemble Economique - Everything I Have To Give, I Give To You


[video by kohnkepik]
Ensemble Economique recently released his newest LP, Crossing The Pass, By Torchlight, with Dekorder. Last year's Psychical on Not Not Fun was one of my favorite records of the year; having introduced me to the wickedly ethereal spacescapes of Ensemble Economique. With this new record we see EE expanding on the musical worlds he creates, seeming to add life where there wasn't life before. Things feel sparse, and at times completely desolate; but other moments in the record lend to a sense of activity springing forth in a somewhat youthful manner. Perhaps we are witnessing Ensemble Economique grow young again. With only six tracks the record still clocks in at just under 40-minutes. The above clip was put together using footage from the film Don't Look Now and it is for the shortest track on the record, giving you merely a light taste of what's in store. If you're at all familiar with his previous works then it's a no-brainier to just grab a fork and dig in.

Crossing The Pass, By Torchlight is available now on LP and digital via Dekorder.

7.12.11

Premiere: Sporting Life - Immigrant

San Francisco-based band Sporting Life recently released a collection of songs recorded over the past year and a half, simply titled Singles. The first, well, single from the album is "Immigrant" -- a smooth, mature take on slightly retro-tinged indie rock. Chilly, metallic guitar riffs are paired with even, laidback layers of Shins-esque vocals and exacting bass and drums; the subcutaneously existing shifts in "Immigrant" are hypnotizing and beg for the brief song to be put on repeat.

You can name your price for the whole fantastic album here.

Premiere: Catamaran - Pastels

MJ MJ Records is the perfect home for Catamaran, boat and berthing jokes aside. Catamaran's dramatic atmospheres and crystalline beats seem entirely at home on the label's roster, contrasting nicely with the more maximalist sensibility on their recent album with Yalls. At nearly 48 minutes long, it even has equal heft and at least much internal variety - despite the unity of a consistently restrained beat and relaxed synths, Catamaran punctures its contemplativeness periodically with a heavier lean on the keys and a sense of deliberation that comes across in frequent moments of pleasant artistry as in "Pastels", though I'll concede the name may seem alarming to some.

MP3:
Download the album for free and preorder the limited edition tape here.

Premiere: Philip Seymour Hoffman - No Man Is An Island (On New Babylon)

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language..." (John Donne, Meditation XVII)
Thus spoke Donne, one of the 16th and 17th century's most positive people, who only descended into darker pieties after the death of several children (after which he wrote but did not publish a compassionate defense of suicide, while still a clergyman) and his beloved wife. Philip Seymour Hoffman transmits that sentiment in "No Man Is An Island (On New Babylon)", a title originally inspired by Donne. Animated primarily by a spoken quotation from a 1963 interview with gypsy politician Vaida Voivod, espousing an unbounded view of humanity and of human interaction, unencumbered by crass political division.

If you don't buy the tape (out now on the inimitable Kassette Klub), at least considering reading more of Donne.

Video: Libraries - Get Real


Factory Fodder

This fantastically noisy electronic pop track just dropped into my inbox about thirty-minutes ago, and I am quite enamored. Grinding metals spin around the duo, cranking together to create danceable rhythms for the duo of Danny Sanchez & Elizabeth Anne Martin, bka SEVERIN. A somewhat tribal, somewhat hip-hop back beat guides you on your tour through the machine-built world these two have created for us to play in. As Martin's vocals carry us the rest of the way home there is no doubt in my mind, I'm in love with this song.

MP3: SEVERIN - Factory Fodder
The debut EP Everything Breaks drops this March via Tip Top Recordings.

Avenue

Stroll On Records just announced the pre-order for their newest release, a brilliant 7" from LA bedroom pop duo Fantasy Island. Set to drop on February 27, the dreamy a-side slowly builds into a heart-wrenching pop track that won't leave your head the second it touches your ears. A wonderfully soulful harmony blends with subtle textures and longing melodies that almost leave your head spinning. Stroll On has struck gold a third time with this beauty.

Stream: Fantasy Island - Avenue

You can pre-order the Avenue 7" now via Stroll On.

6.12.11

Ghosts Outside of Argentina

Brian Miller is a forever busy kinda dude, and he keeps it that way. For many being a part of the drum & vocal legends Foot Village would be enough, but Brian also toils away on other things like his record label, Deathbomb Arc, and various side projects such as Back To The Future The Ride. It's been a while since we last heard from BTTFtr, but yesterday Miller released Chatroom Enhancing Drugs. The album is a collection of singles and compilation tracks, as well as 3 previously unreleased tracks (one of which is a remix from tik///tik alias SatisHouse of entire BTTFtr album Neutrino Based Lifeforms.) With Miller as busy as he is it's always exciting to hear new music from him, so we'll try to keep his schedule in mind as we beg and plead for the next album to come ASAP.

MP3:
Back To The Future The Ride - Ghosts Outside of Argentina
Back To The Future The Ride x SatisHouse - Science Mirror

Chatroom Enhancing Drugs is available to download in full, for free via the always stellar Deathbomb Arc.

Premiere: Horrible Present - Damaged Droplets (Welcome Back Sailors Remix)

This past summer Horrible Present put out a fantastic two-song EP that fortunately does not live up to the name. Into The Grove shows two extraordinary sides of Horrible Present. "Blank Out" has a furious psychedelic energy to it, leaving a somewhat meditative residue behind that leaves the listener in a haze. "Damaged Droplets" moves in a much more delicate form, inciting feelings of waking up early just as Spring is beginning. Our friends from Welcome Back Sailors just recently gave the second track a dizzying remix, gleaning every bit of psychedelia from the track and pouring it haphazardly over a huge dance beat.

MP3: Horrible Present - Damaged Droplets (Welcome Back Sailors Remix)
You can grab the Into The Grove EP (as well as the more recent Four EP) from Horrible Present's bandcamp. If you haven't heard Welcome Back Sailors' YES/SUN yet make sure you grab that one too, also via bandcamp.

The Hood Internet

Some days I act like I'm too cool for stuff like The Hood Internet, despite the fact that it's totally not true. It's undeniable that at 5am, when you're stoned as fuck; still awake; still smoking; and heading to the best breakfast biscuit place in town, there is just nothing better to blast in the car. Mash-ups have never quite been my thing, but The Hood Internet knows how to combine tracks in a way that I've always found uniquely refreshing. It's somewhat hard to believe that this duo has been combining tracks as The Hood Internet for about four years now with no actual full-length release under their belt. Thanks to the folks at Mishka, however, that has finally changed.

MP3:
Freddie Gibbs, Class Actress & Telli Gramz - VCR [prod. by The Hood Internet]
BBU (feat. Das Racist) - Please No Pictures [prod. by the Hood Internet]
Head over to the Mishka Bandcamp now to snag The Hood Internet in full and for free.

Raw Gore

On February 7th Ghostly will release the new full-length from Brian Lindgren, bka Mux Mool. Planet High School is filled with dizzying electronic beats that mix in soulful sounds in a way often lost to electronic music. The first two tracks released from the album are exemplary of this. The initial groove of "Palace Chalice" starts off jerky, leaving you uncertain of how to feel about it, but within moments the flow works itself out and induces a floating feeling typical of chillwave without necessarily placing itself inside the genre. "Raw Gore" begins on a harder edge that is easily danceable and slowly works into more soulful palpitations.

MP3:
Mux Mool - Raw Gore
Mux Mool - Palace Chalice
Planet High School drops February 7 via the inimitable Ghostly.

Super Saiiiyan (Rokrillen)

I still remember rushing home after school in 7th grade to catch Toonami on Cartoon Network, and more specifically Dragon Ball Z. Apparently Carl Miller was miles away, tuned in with me. A few nights ago Miller caught a DBZ marathon and decided to throw a verse down with candid references to the show as well as other 90's pop culture mixed in. Call this one a nostalgia inducer if you will, but there's no doubt this is just Carl showing off on one of the best flows I've heard him spit yet. It's a one-off throwaway that leaves me excited to hear more from Carl Miller in the future.

MP3: Carl Miller - Super Saiiiyan (Rokrillen)

Untitled V

Moon Glyph has announced their final release of 2011. No Man Moves is a new cassette from Deep Earth's J. Shaver, aka Beyond. Beyond creates ethereal spacescapes with a full on charge to them that seemingly paints a vivid future buzzing with activity. Something has me thinking Demolition Man before all the demolition, though the bits of static interference might just be Wesley Snipes creeping into the edge of consciousness. Moon Glyph describes this interference to us as "the twitching machine; the centralized workings of the unseen, formidable whole." One thing is certain, this track goes from settled to unsettled, yet never leaves the listener faltering or unwanting.

Stream: Beyond - Untitled V

No Man Moves is available in cassette format now via Moon Glyph.

Retrosexual Moments: Welcome the Plague Year

"We were a special generation," he said. "Born just in time to see the end of the world, the chosen people," he said.
"But what does it mean? What does it mean?" we cried.
"Not a damn thing, not a damn thing."
A breath of resignation escapes your lips as you realize the end is nigh, as it clicks in your head that there is nothing you can do to change the way these things played out, the way you lived your life. Embrace it; make love to it. Take the locusts and the cancers and make them your new mistresses. Welcome the Plague Year. In 2003 they formed from the ashes of Joshua Fit For Battle and Neil Perry, and they were amongst the first bands to make me fall in love with the genre of skramz; the first to make me understand that the soundtrack in my head existed somewhere physically. The fury that comes with that sense of teenage angst, the slow sounds of doom that came with your first existential breakdown, the serenity that came with the realization that it would happen anyway, and all you could do was accept.

MP3:
Welcome the Plague Year - Behold A Pale Horse
Welcome the Plague Year - Doomsday

5.12.11

Video Premiere: AyGeeTee - Other Alien


[video by Jónó Mí Ló]
For the past two years Andrew Gideon Thomson has been weaving some of the most beautiful ambient bangers I've heard; first as AGT, and now as the long-form AyGeeTee. His newest full-length, Is It Safe?, just dropped last week and is seeing the tape treatment via AMDiscs next month. The always stellar Jónó Mí Ló from Dior Nights recently gave standout track "Other Alien" this accompanying video, playing off of the disjointed vibes and colorful sounds to create a clip that perfectly matches the song. It's easy to get lost in this one.

MP3: AyGeeTee - Other Alien
Pick up Is It Safe? now in digital format (for free) at bandcamp, and snag a cassette copy next month via AMDiscs.

Coming Soon: Birdhouse Song Swap Slumber Party


C O M I N G * S O O N

beating4U (in a different way)

o F F Love just posted a new track to his soundcloud this morning. The title of the track, "beating4U (in a different way)", lends to a humorous notion; though the addition of "in a different way" makes me wonder which thought he assumed would come first. It's all sex and love anyway, so let's just get it twisted. Regardless of all that, it's a pretty rad track with a real slow-burner vibe. Something about the pulse pushes me to my feet, allowing the music slowly contort my figure. "beating4U" won't appear on the album, but that means you can just throw this ear candy on whenever you'd like. Now seems fitting.

MP3: o F F Love - beating4U (in a different way)
While this track won't be on Probably Love, you can still look forward to that this January via M=MAXIMAL.

2.12.11

Video: Minden - Gold Standard

Although others will probably think all of that dancing is amazing, this video stands for me on the strength of some killer facial expressions and the thought of choreographing the lead gentleman's bouncing. It's also definitely delivering a much more consistent focus on the hairy male than you might be prepared for, so live it up and considering linking this to November beard jokes. "Gold Standard" comes from Minden's new EP of the same name, available for free over yonder thanks to Overland Shark.

1.12.11

27 - 25 Blues

Happy December, everyone! As a winter gift to you, I'd like to introduce Cornish rockers The Black Tambourines. They play an impressive brand of dark-hearted, grungy psych-rock that's definitely captured my attention. They're set to release their third EP in a couple of weeks (the exact date being December 19th), on Art Is Hard Records, and I highly suggest snagging a cassette because I'm guessing they won't be around very long. The first single off the album, titled Chica EP, is "27 - 25 Blues", an exactly three-minute long rock & roll lo-fi rollick with a hint of garage-surf. Get it while it's hot.

You can stream and pre-order the album here if you like (the tape comes with two bonus tracks!).

29.11.11

Photos: Future Islands @ Cat's Cradle

[All photos © Audrey Melton]
Last night Future Islands played the Soapbox here in Wilmington, and the night before they were tearing down the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro (there they saw the largest ticket sales they've seen on this tour). Their energy is always astoundingly brilliant, with frontman Sam Herring always putting the "show" aspect into live shows. While I'm too much of a dancer to have snapped any photos last night, Audrey made sure to shoot some beautiful pics of the show at Cat's Cradle, so stay tuned after the jump for more visual stimulation.

MP3: Future Islands - Before The Bridge
On the Water is still available in LP, CD and MP3 formats from the awesome folks at Thrill Jockey.

28.11.11

American Gutter

For years Waylon Thornton has been providing me with some of my favorite dirty garage bangers. While Heavy Hands typically features his wife Meg banging on drums, their new album American Gutter shows Waylon covering full band duties. I can only assume Meg was keeping an eye on their son Dex, whom I predict will be the biggest rock star of 2028. While there is plenty of Waylon's usual furious screaming and blown out guitar, American Gutter also features a few instrumental tracks that prove Thornton is more than just a fast-pop writer. He's a true song smith. As per Thornton's usual motif, it's a pretty short album. You can still get more fix, however, with the No Chew No Rip EP, which was recorded in an improvised fashion the day after American Gutter was finished. Waylon tells me that he and Meg will be hitting an actual studio soon to start work on a more realized album, so let these treats tide you over until.

MP3:
Waylon Thornton and the Heavy Hands - American Gutter
Waylon Thornton and the Heavy Hands - Skeletons At The Gates
American Gutter is available to download free at Bandcamp.
Waylon Thornton and the Heavy Hands - No Chew No Rip
The No Chew No Rip EP is also available to download free at Bandcamp.

Video: Forest Fire - Future Shadows

"Future Shadows" has more hook and less folk than the tracks on their debut release (although I loved that album, too), and this awesome stop-motion video by Craig Murray involves cute plastic dinosaur skeletons and a sweet volcano. The track comes from Forest Fire's sophomore album Staring At The X, out now on FatCat Records.

26.11.11

Swing Saw Santa Klaus

Creepy Marbles' latest, ddrrrr3333ml4nd EP, sounds like the band's most cogent release to date; their consistently organic sounding glitch-hop has more confident vocals with an infectious, sludgy beat conducting the course of a progressively weirder trip, ending in the ten minute pulsating perfection of "Dreamland Dithyramb". Appropriately enough, it sees the band joining the hallowed roster of Holy Page, which is surely a match made in heaven for the two endlessly prolific and multifaceted entities.


23.11.11

PBUH029: Yalls - Vapid Glitch Vow

Thanks to Dan Casey, aka Yalls, my wife and I can breath safe at night. Thanks to him we're still alive today, sucking down good Oakland air in the East Bay (more commonly the "Easy Bay" to those who call it home), while he might have just left us to die where our US Airways flight dropped us off in San Francisco, still fresh from West Virginia. So, it's no exaggeration for me to say that thanks to Yalls, America will win the space race. As plans unfurl for a new Yalls-absence-suppressor in more solid form , Crash Symbols is proud to inaugurate its new series of lamentably fake 12"s with "Vapid Glitch Vow". More than just an anagram of my name, it is uniquely Yalls; soul-funk poptronica driven by Casey's incredible idiosyncratic beatwork, and lent further support by the inclusion of a totally indulgent ten minute extended mix that is absolutely necessary for fullest enjoyment.

Listen to the new track above and download the entire single, including (I repeat) a ten minute extended dance mix, over yonder from bandcamp.

18.11.11

Premiere: Video Thrills - Sports Park USA

My mind immediately gravitates toward the word "churning" to describe the last year's outcroppings of lo-fi dance music - ambient sound collages shift and move, punctured by swollen beats and ever accompanied by the repetition of, more likely than not, bizarre VHS loops. Video Thrills, a new side-outing from the guys in Honeydrum, pioneers that sound at its best, emphasizing compositions with slow cycles, luxuriantly textured and dwelling extra long on each interconnected segment before each song ends sharply like a paused movie.

MP3 ::
The band's self-titled debut will be out on cassette from Animal Image Search and CD from Inyrdisk in December.

Premiere: Paula - Even If It's True

Next Tuesday, Montreal label Arbutus Records will release Relaxed Fit, the debut LP from Paula, the new solo project of David Carriere (formerly of the honorably defunct Silly Kissers), on its Movie Star imprint. Underneath layers of reverb Carriere's new album sounds like a fine continuation of Silly Kissers, but its real joy comes in shifting a similar vein of upbeat electronica into a more fast paced synth-punk.

Look for it here on Tuesday.

PYRAMIDVRITRA

This Monday Stroll On Records will drop Pyramid Vritra's The Story Of Marsha Lotus on vinyl. The entire album features Vritra's heady approach to production; soulful grooves with tracks that might just leave you dizzy by the end. But beyond that is the story he weaves with words, telling the tale of Marsha Lotus. The album's title track rings in at just under fifteen-minutes, though it breaks up into chapters leaving a sort of album within the album. Vritra's flow is subtle, often lying just behind the beat, forcing you to listen closer. He apparently has an excess of material, as he just dropped a mixtape last week to give the Marsha Lotus release a little more umph. Titled simply PYRAMIDVRITRA, it also features co-production on a few tracks from fellow NRK member Pyramid Murdock.

Stream: Pyramid Vritra - The Story Of Marsha Lotus
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Pick up The Story Of Marsha Lotus via Stroll On now.

MP3: Pyramid Vritra - ??? (prod. by Pyramid Murdock)
You can stream and download PYRAMIDVRITRA over at the NRK Bandcamp.

17.11.11

Video: I Do Not Love - Selfish

Whistle Bait: A Fake Quentin Tarantino Film

While collecting music for an unrelated project, our raging super friend Eric Steuer, of uniquely honorable mention, remembered that he's aces with the mixes, and in an instant conceived a project that only he could adequately: the soundtrack to a fake Tarantino movie. Eric says...
"So here's music from 'Whistle Bait', which, if it were real, would have come out in the summer of 1995, between 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Jackie Brown.' It would have starred Asia Argento (in the role that would have made her a star) as a young private eye with a penchant for violence, Angela Bassett as her thrice-as-sadistic mentor, and Sean Penn as a lawyer/coke dealer/their friend. Pretty sure Samuel L. Jackson woulda been in it too. And, like, Arliss Howard in a small part."
It's perfect - beginning with Screamin' Jay Hawkin's lead track, it fits perfectly the pace and expectations of a Tarantino film, once again emphasizing Eric's depth of vision and extreme command of historical tuneage.

1. Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Temptation
2. Wendy Rene - Bar-B-Q
3. Average White Band - One Look Over My Shoulder (Is This Really Goodbye?)
4. Boney M. - Daddy Cool
5. The Sonics - Dirty Old Man
6. Dorothy Ashby - Come Live with Me
7. Willie Nelson - Night Life
8. Shocking Blue - Never Marry a Railroad Man
9. The Bar-Kays - Holy Ghost
10. Maria Muldaur - Midnight at the Oasis
11. Marci Lee & Johnny Otis - Castin' My Spell
12. Madeline Bell - If You Didn't Hear Me the First Time
13. Bill Doggett - Hold It
14. Riot - Put Your Gun Down Brother
15. Sanford Clark - The Fool

Download it via this incredibly direct link here.

Why Lie, I'm 35

This set of "archival" recordings from Noah Wall seems like the shambolic introduction to a 16 year old progression, culminating most recently in his first LP, titled Hèloïse. The noise, the modest vocals, and distinct layers of instrumentation find their nativity in these less produced tracks, sporting a voice I'd like to think is noticeably softer, more restless, and somehow boyish compared to the 35 year old crooner-Noah that we have making more complex pop in this current year of our lord. What else can I say but "double take with jazz hands"? Check out the album through the crazy widget above (Amen).

L'appel Du Vide

Get ready for a real auditory treat, y'all. Luke Donovan's latest musical expedition, Spectral Park, just released its first single, "L'appel Du Vide." Translated roughly, that means "the call of the void", which apparently refers to the urge to jump from high places. Matching that sentiment, the synth and percussion work on this track is wild, jerky, and fast-paced, not to mention the almost non-stop vocals that call out pleadingly, "I assumed you would change..." while sucking you further and further into swirling oblivion. There's said to be a full album in the works, so we'll definitely be keeping you posted.

Download the track, plus a demo song, here. You can also check out a music video for the track over there.

Mixtape: BlackBlackGold Mix for PURGE

While I typically stay away from dubstep music (it just ain't my thing y'all), I can usually dig the harsher wobbles riding along hard synths. I guess I just like it hard. Gucci Goth head rep BlackBlackGold likes it just as hard and equally trance inducing. When bass is reverberating through your chest it's difficult to stay put, and that's something BlackBlackGold exploits all across his new mix for PURGE, the Berlin-based production company. He also hooked us up with a sick mashup that features the swirling textures and vocals of Dead Can Dance weaving in and out of Main Attrakionz track "Take 1", featuring ASAP Rocky absolutely killing the first verse.

Stream/Download: BlackBlackGold Mix for PURGE

MP3: Dead Can Dance, ASAP Rocky & Main Attrakionz - Song For Sippin' Lean (BlackBlackGold Mashup)

Are You In Paradise?

The first Whitehaus Family Record was one of my favorite releases of last year. Now with Volume 2 here , there is no doubt in my mind that Whitehaus Family Record has some sort of brilliant compilation making elves locked in their basement, slaving away over the freshly made masters of the world's most delightful secrets. Twenty-five heart warming tracks from the likes of Fey Rey & Freedom Sound, The Needy Visions, Michael Collins, Shira E., Shane A. Myrbeck and plenty more will keep you wrapped into this record for days.

MP3:
Shane A. Myrbeck - Suite from 'Sent Forth'
Michael Collins - Let Go
Listen to more of The Whitehaus Family Record Family Record Vol 2: Are You In Paradise? and pre-order a copy on vinyl over at bandcamp.

16.11.11

Premiere: Messy Hopping

As the bald black high flying phoenix of MJ MJ Records continues its meteoric rise from a dolorous, albeit temporary, dissembly of life, tapes issue forth on wings of bald black high flying phoenix matter - most recently, the above offering from Tree Hopping and Messy Sparkles, appropriately titled Messy Hopping, and we can hardly imagine a better pairing. The two halves mesh seamlessly, united as much by recording styles as content; bombastic pop made either by able multi-instrumentalists or teams of multiple, perhaps drunken, single-instrumentalists, cycling into and out of ambient excursions and acoustic freakouts.

MP3 ::
Buy the cassette from the MJ MJ bandcamp, bearing in mind that the label's currently running a buy 2 get the 3rd for free special on their tapes. I recommend doubling up for a customized buy 4 get 2 for free. Instructions for taking advantage of the special are literally right in this very spot.

Mix Premiere: Sea Things - In Rare Form

Michael Floering, bka Sea Things, has hooked it up with an absolutely stunning mix of wavy jams. Featuring the likes of Tokimonsta, Silky Johnson, Main Attrakionz, Spaceghostpurrp, Western Tink, Shlohmo and more. The mixtape ends with the premiere track from Cyberdreams, a new venture featuring Sea Things along with Julian Wass. Things also lean obviously toward Green Ova on the mix, whom both Floering and Wass have worked frequently with. One thing is for certain; the title In Rare Form uses the word 'rare' in comparison to the rest of the world, as Sea Things can always be found going this hard.

Stream: Sea Things - Mix #2: In Rare Form

MP3 Download: Sea Things - Mix #2: In Rare Form

MP3: Cyberdreams - Nothing Ventured