Absent Fever, the amazing digital label run by Tyler of Flashlight Tag and Eloise of verb/re/verb, gave me the drop on this beautiful clip for the lead single from their upcoming release, Wonder Bear's Avalanche. Put together by Library Voices, the video uses brilliantly edited ski footage that leaves me pining for slopes I've never explored. Avalanche drops in just a week on June 6, so hopefully this gem can hold you over until.
Wonder Beard recently announced the first physical release from Gutter Parties, the solo project of a fellow who answers simply to Saul. According to Wonder Beard, the album is full of sounds such as "djembe drum, a 60 year-old banjo, a quarter nylon guitar, a poor quality ukulele, a harmonica, meditation balls, a tambourine, bells and the voice of a guy who can’t sing but wants to tell you something." From the first track it's an incredibly endearing release. Something about even the quirkiest samples on this one feels heartfelt. It's a warm quality that feels unforced, and even refreshing.
Gutter Parties - Pelle Morbida
Gutter Parties - Placid
Gutter Parties drops on cassette June 20 in a limited run of 50 via Wonder Beard, but you can hop on that pre-order now.
There's a substantial part of my brain that will never be able to lose the weird sense of dissonance at hearing that a really strong release, one that I know could bulldoze any market, is coming out on cassette. The novelty is unshakable and god willing running a cassette label and acquiring the things faster than necessary will never manage to, but who knows if it'll ever be as great again. Casey Burge's Triumph is definitely one of the peaks. Tight recordings, sublime vocal harmonies, and capable songwriting create what - as far as I'm concerned - is one of the strongest cassette releases of the year and one of the best albums of true, classical sounding pop I've heard since high school.
Preorder the cassette edition underneath the Overland Shark bandcamp thingy.
Our homie Cheeze Ball, aka Hips, fka Hips Like Cinderella, just dropped his new album today. This is the first release that finds him heavily exploring noise and atmosphere, so while the tracks still feature those catchy hooks, they're pretty buried. I'm not even willing to see what this sounds like through laptop speakers; there is no doubt this one is for headphones or an excellent system. The title, Youth On Pills, gives an instant idea of what the album might sound like. Things feel a bit slower than they normally might. Certain sounds stand out in an almost uncomfortable way, but somehow they remain pleasant. The spirit of getting fucked up to fight boredom is captured almost perfectly on this album.
Hips - it's cool
Hips - antidepressant
Youth On Pills is available now over at Bandcamp.
I recently got this noisy pop album from Pretty Bird. Rules is full of blown out percussion, beatboxing, and vocal chants stacked upon one another. The songs sound as if the group is capturing moments of hysterical energy. It's easy to make a Foot Village comparison, and I think it's obvious how much I love those guys. According to the email Pretty Bird sent over, the band hails "from Athens, GA, which means we're from somewhere else." I figure it doesn't really matter where they're from since we're all from the internet, so let's just blast this one together, eh?
Pretty Bird - beeeeeallllyourrrrpotenchall
Pretty Bird - flex
Grab Rules in it's entirety via Bandcamp
There's not a whole lot more gratifying than receiving new stuff in the mail, under all circumstances, but when it's a demo or a review copy of something, it's even more special - at least to someone else. Still, it's a bit mystifying when they arrive with silica gel glue keeping a marked up notice (like the one above) affixed to a cassette (also much like the one above), all of it fit snuggly into a sleeve made of heavy brown paper covered with a childish scrawl and the barely legible signature "Lew." Though barely clear from the packaging, it turns out that this is Give It To U, the second cassette from Lew, following Creadle to Greave (available here), which comes in its own similarly eccentric packaging. The music is some of the more explicitly outsider stuff I've heard recently, sometimes dark and sometimes joyous, though its Austin origins lend the whole thing a silent urban dimension that begs for comment.
Our friends over at Denmark Records just tipped us off on their newest drop, the Distal Cues EP. It comes from Brooklyn-via-NC based producer Matt Jones, aka It is rain on my face. Beat driven ambiance should sound this soulful more often, though just knowing he's from NC may bias me a little. Peep the stand-out track "When You Left" below, which samples heavily from Jefferson Airplane, despite the tracks feeling more on that Starship elevation.
MP3: It is rain on my face - When You Left
Grab the full Distal Cue EP in free digital format or as a super ltd (15 copies) cd-r, all thanks to Denmark Records.
One of our favorite producers as of late, Ryan Hemsworth, dropped a new album yesterday titled No Plans with our homies over at LAND and The Villa. We've heard a few of these bangers (and even premiered one of them), but finally having it all in one collection is a true delight. The album almost serves as a mixtape of sorts, showing off Hemsworth's tremendous talent for sampling across various styles of hip-hop and electronic music. No matter how you spin it, this is a brilliant collection of tracks that will leave you drooling for more.
Ryan Hemsworth - Laboratory Ruins
Ryan Hemsworth - Nowt Redneval
Grab No Plans in full for free at Bandcamp.
Grass Mirror just hit me up with this new release. He describes it as a "collection of sounds I've been working on as a homage to my hometown." It features some of the most eclectically fresh beats I've heard in a minute. Space-age whirs and hums clash with a nostalgic tropicalia in a cave somewhere beneath a volcano as Pocatello rages on.
Grass Mirror - Muriel
Grass Mirror - Dave's Canyon
Grab all of Pocatello for free (as well as few other swag drops) over at bandcamp.
I was sent this new Wise Blood track about a few hours ago with zero information. I'm half inclined to make all the info up, but our homie Connor, over at I Guess I'm Floating, seems to have the skinny for us. The track is from the upcoming EP, These Wings. From the song's title it is pretty easy to assume this track is for the social network nation. Despite its jovial nature, the song focuses on the depressing aspect of being famous for one aspect of your personality and feeling as if all other aspects are hated. Still, with a beat-driven step full of ambient swells, it's hard to let Wise Blood do anything other than keep you dancing on this number.
MP3 :: Wise Blood - @fuckwiseblood
These Wings EP comes out sometime, and I'm excited to hear the rest.
If I ever have moody teenage children that play music too loud, I pray that this is what they're listening to in their padded rooms. Hobbledeions is Scott Martin, the noise-king of Nashville as I've taken to calling him (if they don't call him that, they should), and his debut album, Capisce, on No Kings, has quickly become one of my absolute favorite albums. With sporadic high-speed drum attacks, overwhelming and then simplistic rhythms, the album juxtaposes his capable playing with drones and effects for a satisfyingly visceral experience that is nothing short of intensely beautiful.
I think I have to start this post by seriously recommending that you listen to this with headphones. I'm not one of those purist "you haven't heard it till it's coming through your $500 transparent Shures" or anything, but tonally speaking ArnHao's Soul Train Mix really soars through a pair of headphones. Made from a handful of favorites and tracks from their label, Denmark Records, it's a captivating mix of songs expertly put together.
ArnHao - Love FadesBone Thugs-n-Harmony - 1st Of Tha Month (K&D Session)Four Tet - Love CryNicolas Jaar - Time For USBeach House - Real LoveHolygrailers - RosaAaliyah - 4 Page Letter
Cover art by Fig + Fox.
MP3 :: ArnHao's Soul Train Mix
If you're digging ArnHao, why not check out some of their past releases with the fine folks at Denmark Records?
This week, I was fortunate enough to hear from Shawn Foree, aka Digital Leather, about some unreleased demos from a 7" single about to go out as a special release on the Scion/Vice collab imprint (he was quick to point out that he hasn't got a driver's license, much like myself). In 2009, Jay Reatard managed Foree's band and over the last four or five years he's released albums on nearly all of my favorite larger, more punk-inclined labels (FDH, Goner, Fat Possum), and 2011 already has him slated for a release on another, San Diego's Volar Records. "Thrill is Gone" is an unrelated demo from Slander, an album that he says may or may not be released, which almost seems appropriate given the songs darker lyrics, going well beyond disappearing thrills into true disaffection. Nonetheless, it's a tremendously catchy jam that hopefully represents the sort of tone we could expect from Slander if it makes it out.
Digital Leather has an album coming out on Volar Records in July, but in the meantime you can find a couple other tracks on his soundcloud.
One of my favorite bands, Phil and the Osophers, recently announced that they've got a new 7" coming out later this month, and I've got an incredible b-side from it to share. "Ink on the Page" sounds to me like the jangly pop soundtrack to an American (a professor, in this case) running from a man in a black suit (probably with some kind of German or Russian political affiliation) in an Italian alleyway. There is absolutely no one in the world making catchier songs with such nerdy names.
Preorder the Figures of Speech/Ink on the Page 7" at the Phil and the Osophers webstore.
Last Summer Andy Todryk, aka Vacation Dad, hit me up and asked if him and some homies he was touring with could crash on my floor one night. They were driving from NY to FL or some shit; it was a long ass drive and they just needed to pause and get some rest. I never turn down FMLY so it was obviously not a problem. The guys were there maybe 5 hours, and awake for about 30 minutes of that time, but in that 30 minutes time I knew I wanted them back. Andy is a great guy making amazing music, and trying to make a positive difference in the global community. A few weeks ago Todryk's van got robbed while on tour and all of his equipment was stolen. Homeboy messaged me the night of and was crushed. Now, in an attempt to just move on, get back on his feet, and finally put out the first Vacation Dad 12", Todryk has launched a pretty sweet kickstarter project. MJ MJ Records, the label started by Andy and pal Charlie Collier, has organized a 31 song mixtape with tracks from various artists including Galapagos, Emily Reo, Truman Peyote, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel Levy, Ra Cailum, Mutual Benefit, Michael Parallax, School Knights, Blackhawks, Weekends and Cloud Nothings amongst a whole lot more. Depending on how much you pledge to the project you can get: the comp digitally or on cassette, a pre-order of the 12", the entire MJ MJ catalog, a hand-screened MJ MJ t-shirt and more. There is a whole lot for everyone to gain from this project, but more than anything, it'll be great to know such a rad guy is still able to keep making music for us. In the meantime, check out this new Vacation Dad track, premiered earlier today by NFOP. I'm assured that this lovely little number will be included on the 12".
MP3 :: Vacation Dad - I'll Always Find You
Head over to the kickstarter now to make sure we keep hearing jams like this from Vacation Dad and the entire MJ MJ family.
Here's a sparkling new ambient pop jawn from favorite homie Teen Daze.This is the first single to drop from his upcoming EP, A Silent Planet, due this August on Waaga in both CD and cassette form. It's got an energy and shine to it that call images of a young boy learning his way in the woods to mind. It starts with brash confidence, quickly cut down to size, and then fully develops into a beautiful maturity by the track's end.
MP3: Teen Daze - Surface
A Silent Planet drops August 9, but you can pre-order now via Waaga; and we're told pre-orders will come with a surprise bonus, as well.
Jusdson of Sumsun just let us know that he's curated the sound "vaults" for the second edition of Sample Based Life, a project that has a musician prepare a selection of sounds with which other musicians are encouraged to construct their own songs. The first edition was curated by Off Balance Atlas and yielded a cassette and over thirty accepted contributions, from total unknowns and big names alike. In their own words:
"Sample Based Life Is a project where a single curator provides a bank of sounds for a group of artists to reinterpret into new songs. There are no limitations, just free expression..."Check out the official rules on the project's soundcloud and listen to Volume 1 at the Sample Based Life bandcamp. Entries are due July 31st. In the meantime, here are Judson's sound vaults for your perusal.
Sample Base Life, Volume 2 - Vault 1
Sample Base Life, Volume 2 - Vault 2
The seventh release from Ra Cailum, titled Infinite Value, represents a significant stylistic shift for him, reigning in the synth-pop of his last album Walkabout and abandoning "chillwave" in order to do "something [more] cinematic," though there's no deficit in listenability. It's mellow electronica, blissed out, as it were, but no less catchy for being as bit more tructurally ambivalent than his past releases. I don't know if people will not call it chillwave, but they certainly won't call it bad.
Stream or download the entire Infinite Value LP here.
I think there's significance in the way that people label their music, whether they made it, released it, or bought it. Among the dozens of submissions we get daily, some have been called things more than just iTunes' ubiquitous "Alternative & Punk," from GOBBLE GOBBLE's "Terror" to Kites Sail High's "Ambient Dub," I've seen a lot of more or less descriptive things pop up under the genre tab. Either Jensen Sportag himself or someone at his label, Cascine, thought "Transient Soul" was a good designation for The Wet Mix, a new accompaniment to his digital EP Pure Wet. Whoever thought of it, the expression is a perfect description of the mix - meandering across a glam-soaked palette of disco pop, occasionally punctuated by the ghosts of samples.
Streaming :: Jensen Sportag - The Wet Mix
The Dreamgoatz just changed their names to Creepy Marbles, after "a founding member of Dreamgoatz got yoko'd to death." They're currently preparing their debut LP under the new moniker, called Tha Chuggly Throbb, for release this July.
Stream the album here.
Our homie Keith from Power Animal's just recently regained the rights to his debut LP People Songs and is re-releasing it via his new imprint, Human Kindness Overflowing, a non-profit that donates all proceeds to charity. This was one of my favorite albums when it came out last year and by far one of the most under sung, so I'm beyond happy to see it getting another shake, particularly loaded up with a couple of awesome bonus remixes. To mark the release, the label's also sharing this music video, spontaneously made for the occasion by Jordan Smith. The track's full title is "Dear My Body, I'm Not That Body. Dear Keith Hampson I'm Not Your Name. You Are A Shaky Boat With A Curse Upon It, But I Need You To Get To The Other Side Of The Lake" and it's one of the album's absolute best.
Beko DSL and our friends at Svn Sns just unveiled the latest collaborative effort in the former's ongoing series of digital mixtapes and singles, an eight song compilation curated by the fellow French label and graced by the above artwork, a mottled throwback to the site's earlier geometric covers. In any event, the compilation is loaded with goodness from Svn Sns' stable of bands and friends, shot through with the label's typical interest in tropical electro-pop, exemplified by Chief Black Cloud's contribution, and occasional streaks of darker ambience, that no one brings through better than IEJM13M.
After Monday's 40oz Taco mix went up, Ryan Hemsworth hit me up with a mix he had prepared that had an eerily similar vibe. The mix was crafted amidst days of rain pouring over Hemsworth's homebase, Halifax. It features a stormy start with Tim Hecker, and then builds a beautiful sense of ambiance with tracks from Ghibli, RxRy and Aphex Twin. Right around then Hemsworth decides he's gonna go out and get wet, and shit gets real hype with cuts from Main Attrakionz, Lil B and Matthewdavid amongst others. There's even a remix of Usher's "U Make Me Wanna" that'll almost leave you thinking we planned this. Full tracklist after the jump.
Mixtape: Rain On My Taco, by Ryan Hemsworth
Last night Zak Mering sent over the Murder Dog Mixtape, the first release from Mering's new rap project, Mak Zering (not Mac Ziering). As if Raw Thrills and Greatest Hits weren't proving enough just how amazingly talented this dude is. Most of the tape is produced by Zering, and the production is awesome. The tape starts out with a Bushwick party anthem and moves through a whirlwind of monstrous beats. There's even a track that goes hard on some Ying Yang Twins vibes circa "Wait". Oh, and of course the cover of "Pretty Boy Swag", which you can see some hilarious footage for above.
Mak Zering - Killa Code
Mak Zering - X-Ray Swag
Grab the whole Murder Dog Mixtape for free over at Gunk TV.
Ben Wheeler of Golden Girls just hit me up about his new side project, Lunch. "Turn Around" is a dizzying pop track and an amazing debut track for a band with obvious promise. This was recorded at Wormhole HQ in Worcester, MA. They've recorded several tracks now, and a few were even recorded at the homie Dom's house, which can only mean a Lunch & DOM collab, right? Only time will tell ;)
MP3 :: Lunch - Turn Around
Rap duo Main Attrakionz, comprised of Squadda B and Mondre M.A.N. have been gaining some heavy attention lately, and it's beyond deserved. Their lyrics reminisce on better times, the things that have destroyed those times, and the drugs that get us through those hard times. It's not often that you hear rappers talking about drugs in a way that makes them sound fun as fuck, while still providing the harsher ends of reality that led them there. Now let's talk about these beats for a minute. Main Attrakionz work with various producers and clearly have an ear for bangers. Three tracks from their recent EP, Blackberry Ku$h, feature production from Fol Chen's Julian Wass; on one end providing laid back toms with droning synths, on the other feeding us sparkling leads with monster kicks and snaps. The duo's own Squadda B produces a lot of their tracks, constantly building tracks on huge swells with vocal snippets that are just too perfect. Main Attrakionz are clearly on some next level shit.
Forty Ounce Clothing has made a reputation of working with bloggers and artists to create some killer shirt designs, having worked with Smoke Don't Smoke and No Modest Bear amongst others before. When they gave me the opportunity to use one of my collage designs and craft a mixtape to go along with it I was more than stoked. If you wanna cop one of the t-shirts you can do so over here, and the mixtape is free to ingest however you'd like. Oh, and because the Forty Ounce homies are so rad, if you use the checkout code GOTC you'll get 10% off your order! Peep the full tracklist after the jump.
Mixtape: 40oz Taco
In slightly related news, Radical Fortress also announced a 12 months poster series titled VHS Dreamz I'm doing with them. We'll be debuting a new design every month. You can grab a 6-month subscription for $30, a 12-month subscription for $50 (both available here), or individual prints for $5 (here). Each poster will be 11"x17" and will run in ltd quantity of 100.
Finally! A band that my inner child and I can agree on! The Sky Above And Earth Below is a hardcore outfit hailing from Portland, Oregon, and all of their songs are about The Legend of Zelda! Are you excited yet? It's pretty nice for me, my inner child and I are constantly arguing about music. "Make those angry men stop screaming at me!" he says, "Ooooh, he said a cuuuuurse word!" he whines, but not this time, no. He started with me for a minute, but then I shouted, "Listen, you little brat, if you don't like this band you're on Gannon's side! These men are fighting for Hyrule!" That shut him up real fast. These guys just released a five song demo entitled Quest's Timescape, and I can't wait to hear what they do next.
The Sky Above And Earth Below - 02:30 Hours At Romani Ranch
The Sky Above And Earth Below - Frozen Empire
Grab Quest's Timescape for free over at Bandcamp.
Unionsuit braved a walloping two years together from '96 to '98, and went relatively unnoticed. I simply can't abide by that. I find it somewhat strange that they've remained so cloaked in obscurity, since they had members that went onto to join some big names. Michael Poorman, the drummer went on to play in Age of Reason and Hot Rod Circuit. Their guitarist, Aaron Turner joined up with Isis, Lotus Eaters, and Old Man Gloom. Matt Firestone, vocalist, joined Yarnspinner, Fireman, and he worked with Earth Crisis on the road. Hell, Jacob Bannon of Converge even did some guest vocals for these guys. Unionsuit may not be everybody's cup of tea, but I always related to them in a strange way. I think this mostly stems from Matt and his hopeless but furious voice. They make me feel like I've been locked in a dark room for days, broken glass all over the floor. Unionsuit is the resentful scream you make as you realize you're never getting out.
Unionsuit - And Jesus Wept
Unionsuit - Thirteen Days
Eloise over at verb/re/verb just posted up this absolutely incredible project today:
Wabi - Sabi is the Japanese concept surrounding transience. Wabi - Sabi is the beauty of decay. This project is meant to depict the elegance in decay, the artistry in revitalization, and the reinvention of deterioration. For this project, 5 electronic based artists covered older non-electronic songs. The songs were then sent to the prolific videographers, Wooden Lens, who took 30 seconds of each track and paired each track with archival footage from the same year of the original composition of the song covered. In the video, the songs go chronologically from the oldest release date to the most recent. A brief encompass of history in video, in technology, and in the exquisiteness in transience. While the video only includes 30 seconds from each song, the tracks in there entirety are available for download here.Catch the full tracklist after the jump.
Yesterday the Thunder beat the Grizzlies and advanced into the final round of the NBA's west coast finals. The Bulls played an incredible game against the Heat and came out 21 points ahead to win the first game of the eastern final round. I'm just pointing out all these young people going out and taking shit. Late last night Lil B dropped this "rare classic mixtape" for "true fans of hip-hop" titled Bitch Mob Respect Da Bitch Vol 1. I'm a huge fan of Lil B as a person. The things he has achieved are inspiring as fuck to me, especially since he's just a year older than I am. That said, it's hard for me to get into some of his songs. Lil B does his own thing entirely and that doesn't always end up being my thing. Such is not the case on this mixtape, however. His flow on every track is classic Lil B indeed, and it's perfect all the way through. The beats are monstrous and oozing with synthy goodness. I live for the based and I love the based. I need the based, now bitch pass the based.
Lil B - I Need The Based
Lil B - Were U From Throw It Up
Lil B - Show You Who The Bitch
Grab Bitch Mob Respect Da Bitch Vol 1 for free over at Dat Piff.
No Fear Of Pop posted this Friday the 13th appropriate mix yesterday and then put birthday in title to fuck with everyone. Nevertheless, this is a killer mix that sums up a lot of what I've been blasting lately. It starts with that brilliant How To Dress Well rework of d'Eon and then goes through the likes of Tyler, the Creator; Clams Casino; Laurel Halo; Grimes; Sleep ∞ Over; The Weeknd and several more. It's pretty dark, but full of enough swag to keep your body twitching like an addict in withdrawal. Full tracklist after the jump.
Download :: Fragments of the Future (Just Another Birthday)
Last night Maria Minerva uploaded this moody dance track to her soundcloud with a dedication to one of the first supermodels, the late Gia Carangi. Carangi died of HIV at the young age of 26 after a tumultuous battle with heroin addiction, due in large part to the deaths of various close friends throughout her young life. Knowing all of that makes the fact that it is Carangi, herself, speaking in the sampled clip that gives the song its title, all the more sad. Minerva's entrancing voice sings delicately over the war drums of a nearby Tusken encampment while the spirit of Carangi repeats over and over her new appreciation for life, leaving you with feelings of wonder and doubt all at once.
MP3 :: Maria Minerva - Lust For Life (She Was So)
Canada has generally become my favorite place to discover new music. Be it Gobble Gobble, Crystal Castles, Purity Ring, Ghibli, Kuhrye-oo - The point is those are just the ones at the top of my favorite artists lists. We were recently hit up by the new London, ON based label, Hands, about their first drop, a CD/digital comp of some of their favorite Canadian acts based in Ontario and Alberta, cleverly named Hands Together. It's a fine collection of tracks that leaves you salivating for future releases.
Noise Level - Shh...Baby's Sleeping
Kuhrye-oo - Soul Handsome
Grab Hands Together Vol 1 free over at bandcamp.
Edible Onion is a Philadelphia based record label primarily releasing rock and folk albums, packaged in some of the more impressive ways I've seen that don't involve candy or infuriatingly elaborate plastic folding components. Their latest is a limited edition cassette split between proprietor Darian Scatton's band Scallion and fellow natives Br'er, for whom Scatton also plays. Both bands' contributions sound composed with the same deliberation and care as the label's elaborate packaging; gentle pop, elevated by a baroque exoticism.
Order the limited edition Will-o'-Wisp & Joy cassette split here.
Five years ago Miami's Spaceghostpurrp nearly died while cleaning his Air Jordan's, smoking the finest weed in the world and listening to his music collection backward. After consulting the mystics he returned to our world a changed man. Purrp's beats are syrup infused astral journeys stuck in a 1990s time loop. From Godzilla to Mortal Kombat to 3D Pinball to those annoying Smiley Central pop-ups with the mouse-over phrases, his drops feature 90s pop culture references that create a cohesive vibe on his tracks matched by few producers. Even his verses are reminiscent of the gangsta rap prevalent of the time period. He also sounds a bit like Eazy-E, a voice long missed in the rap game. Beyond those things, the influence of Triple 6 Mafia, DJ Screw and all things dark and obscured keep me hooked on Purrp's music. Sometimes you hear something and you just get so excited that you wanna listen over and over and you know even years from now you'll be telling friends about. For me, Spaceghostpurrp just became that thing.
Spaceghostpurrp - GXT YVH HXVD BVZT
Lil Ugly Mane - MY HXXD
Spaceghostpurrp - MUNEYJORDANSPACEGHOSTPURRP
Spaceghostpurrp - Gohan Vegeta Freestyle
Blackland Radio 66.6 just dropped recently on Dat Pif, and make sure to also check out the NASA Mixtape as well as Lost Tapes 91-93 and Lost Tapes 94-96. Then google Purrped and Chopped if you just absolutely need more (I did.)
Though their release was delayed for months because of manufacturing issues, the latest solo tracks from Steve Moore – the prolific musician behind Gianni Rossi, Lovelock, Miracle, Titan, etc, whose discography is such a huge laundry list that most people will recognize at least one of the labels he’s released with – have arrived thanks to the folks at Long Island Electrical Systems. The title track “Zero-Point Field” is nearly ten minutes of dark, vintage synths and a subtly fluctuating beat, pulsating through the gradual accumulation of effects until its sudden disappearance signals a minute long winding down.
Steve Moore - Zero-Point Field
Nitelight is an almost overwhelmingly pleasant tonal middle ground in the spectrum of electronica that's been my focus recently, rife with catchy beats and given distinctive emotional charge by a rotating selection of chopped vocals and ambient flourishes. The pace of the music shifts and grows from a fairly uniform reserve, but I would call restraint the defining characteristic on his sophomore EP Jettison - even though the right venue could turn the whole thing towards dance.
Download Jettison at Nitelight's bandcamp.
The Cyclist is Andrew Morrison, an 18 year old native of Derry, in Northern Ireland, where he uses a £20 keyboard - whose constant errors generate random noises and extra tones - to make techno filtered through a sort of dark futurism. Named for Natalia Goncharova's painting The Cyclist, Morrison's music seems to emerge from the same singularity as the Russian futurists, with a constant flow and shuffling rhythm that creates its own realism in the distinctiveness and potential failings of frail technology.
Preorder the limited edition cassette over yonder - you'll be able to download the digital on May 17.
The complex electronica of National Park System exudes all the deliberation and care that you'd expect from a student of media and technology like Nicholas Yu, a graduate of programs at both Princeton and MIT, though his four track physical, A Visitor's Guide, refrains from emerging beyond the conceptual scope of the prototypical. I'm genuinely excited for an album from this guy.
Look for Yu's A Visitor's Guide EP comes out on Lo Bit Landscapes this June.
Chris Thorne of Tan Dollar and Horse Head just sent over this solo track, sans either band on backup. It's the serious crooner that you can feel him holding back from on other albums, opened up by ringing vocal loops and simple beats.
Horse Head - Plain
Recently started San Francisco label Father/Daughter Records has already begun a stunning collection with 7"s from Levek, tooth ache, and Family Trees so far. Now we've finally got word on their newest drop, a stunning gold and clear swirled 12" split with Holy Spirits and Mutual Benefit. We've got the first peak at Holy Spirits' side of things, an ethereal number with fragile vocals and charged percussion. Once you've committed this one to memory, open your ears to the flip side and get your Mutual Benefit fix from our homie Mark over yvynyl. If you happen to be in Brooklyn on June 8 you can also catch the record release party at Glasslands.
MP3 :: Holy Spirits - To The Shore
Pre-order a copy of the Mutual Spirits split 12" here. It's limited to just 250 copies (gold and clear swirl!) and comes with a homemade button and a download card.
I'm in total awe of the gorgeous simplicity of this video, made for Dan Deacon's "Surprise Stefani" - off of his last album, Bromst - by Newfoundland Tack, a Montreal-based multimedia creative studio. Given our collaging proclivity, it's amazing to see where no effort was spared and where only shapes, juxtapositions, and movement are relied upon. The video's ambition and novelty are only heightened by its being nearly eight minutes long.
Though the original release of Stephen Molyneux's Cambodian Field Recordings done with No Kings Record Cadre sold out of its 40 cassette edition a long time ago, I recently spied the free download the label graciously maintains for purposes of general enrichment. The a and b-sides seem to represent two separate recordings of distinctly different types of music, but the self-consciously lo-fi quality of the recordings and the native player's otherworldly instrumentation make the entire cassette a relatively surreal experience. The a-side initially sounds to me like layered tracks of totally different pieces of music, while the b-side's mostly instrumental meanderings and distinctly Chinese sounding strings seem to condense all of the historical influences united in Cambodian music. It's a beautiful and unique release from one of my favorite cassette labels.
I'm not afraid to admit that I initially only listened to Walter Meego because of the name. It's a good name and I've come to trust it, with my fiancé Liz and I embracing the band as a staple in our new wave futurist T-Rex-ish glam collection (which can never be too big). Their second album, Wondervalley, is the one I know best, though the band's label dumped them before moving a muscle to support it, even after thousands of dollars went into recording it (in, you guessed it, Wondervalley, just outside of Twentynine Palms, CA). Evidently, they didn't hear a hit. Magical words, right? Fortunately, the band survived a peppering of management issues and international travel expenses, and despite a near break-up are planning to begin playing dedicatedly again this summer.
MP3 :: Walter Meego - Starlight
You can grab all of Wondervalley over at the iTunes.