29.3.11

PBUH008 :: Two Bicycles - The Ocean

It's been a long time coming, but Jheri and I are proud to finally unveil the preorder for Two Bicycle's new album The Ocean. According to Jamison this is an opus of sorts and we're both incredibly proud to be releasing it on our imprint, Crash Symbols. The cassettes are beautiful and they'll probably ship out a little in advance of the actual release date, so you might want to consider hustling. We're not expecting these to last very long at all.
The new Two Bicycles record is one of the most personal records I’ve made to date. Even though there aren’t any vocals on the record, I feel that I’ve expressed myself more clearly than I have on any other release I’ve done. Although this is a “side project”, I take these songs as seriously as I do the songs for the Teen Daze project.

The record tells the story of a night spent at sea. The beauty and hope that comes with the watching of the sun set, swimming in the moonlight and looking back at life back on land in fondness and happiness. But as the night falls, and the endless ocean reveals itself as the chaotic, exilic wilderness, the main character begins to feel isolated and on edge. The ocean can bring both optimism and fear, hope and loneliness.

The album was recorded in my bedroom, at the base of Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack, BC, from November 2010 to January 2011.
Head over yonder to preorder a copy of the limited edition cassette.

28.3.11

Premiere :: Snoretex - Strange Aeons (Loose Fit Remix)

Today UK techno and house label Buzzin' Fly unveils Strange Aeons, the debut 12" single from Snoretex, aka, Sam Willis of WALLS and Allez-Allez. The week before last I wrote about his remix of an Evan Voytas single, but this time his debut proves equally fertile territory for Loose Fit's treatment. True to their name, they turn Sam's six-minute downbeat epic into a noticeably brighter piece, loosening the structural confine's of the original mix into a cinematic version, with its own unique internal divisions. Having such evocative recording monikers makes it hard not to get buttonholed by their significance; Snoretex's original is a rhythmic meditation on something that may be as fundamental as that particular unit of sleep, but Loose Fit still manages to open it into something more casual, if not freewheeling.

25.3.11

Big Tongue Candy Mountain

Last week, Crash Symbols was invited to curate the fifth in Crack in the Road's exclusive mixtape series. Jheri wasn't around, but I was able to throw together a few tracks for it and my industrious fiancé was able to put that beautiful cover together. The selection has a handful of tracks from past Crash Symbols releases, new stuff from bands we've got stuff planned with, and a more than healthy smattering of what I've been listening to lately. I've included a few mp3s, but listen to the whole thing way the hell over here.

MP3 ::

Video :: Boas - Work and Travel

A few days before Jheri left for SXSW, he covered Boas' latest album Grave Dreams. Sometime after that, LA filmmaker Greg Lazcano found the tracks on a blog and put together a video for "Work and Travel," exclusively based off of directing cues from his younger brother (a big fan apparently). He may even be making a cameo somewhere in there.

Le étalée, nouveauté glorieuse

Just before SXSW, Jamison from Teen Daze unveiled a four song remix of selections from Mend, the latest Geotic album. The formalist touches are appropriate and his choice of words was appropriate. These songs are truly reinterpretations, translated through Jamison's own aesthetic lense from ambient soundscapes into an epic, synth-heavy beat tape. Jamison writes:
Will, the mastermind behind Geotic and, you know, Baths, has been one of the biggest inspirations for me in the last year, and this is my way of saying thanks for the amazing music. Mend, by Geotic, is one of the most beautiful records I’ve ever heard, and it’s my hope that these remixes will help make you listen to the already wonderful songs, in a new light.
MP3 ::
Download the EP over at Cultus Vibes' bandcamp, where all of the label's past releases are housed and made freely available. You can grab Geotic from one of Will's famous angelfire sites.

Goodbye Horses (Q. Lazzarus Cover)

Among the material I quickly harvested from Jheri's email address in the first days of my stewardship here was a memo from Fa Fa Fa, initially selected on the strength of their having played with GOBBLE GOBBLE and the mystique of ancient luxury in "Reno, NV." The band makes relatively polished sounding garage rock, thanks in part to some high profile production work from Howard Bilerman, a grammy nominated Montreal producer with a massive string of impressive career music credits. Early in their debut, the band includes an awesome, fairly straight up cover of Q. Lazzarus, after which all I can think about is Thomas Harris dancing and how much Howard Bilerman looks like Tony Shalhoub.

Grab their debut in the physical from local independent record store Discology for $6.

21.3.11

PBUH014: Honeydrum - Dead in the West

Following up on a couple of cassette releases on AMDiscs, Honeydrum is preparing for a homemade cassette singles collection and we were lucky enough to snag their latest effort towards that for our own free singles collection These two tracks represent the two extremes that run through their music. "Dead in the West" is a dense, noise jam, with moments of clarity and pop, while "Levitator" is a catchy, pocket sized British style psych-ballad. At the very least, they demonstrate that Honeydrum is a versatile band with more than a few concepts left to explore.

Head to the Crash Symbols bandcamp to download Dead in the West now.

20.3.11

Speak My Language

I visited Minneapolis the weekend before last, so it was fun to hear that the city's very own cassette label Moon Glyph had a release hot on my heels, in this case House of Mighty from Chicago's Deep Earth; the self described "Deep Earth Soundsystem Consciousness Network" (lest we forget Sun Ra spent more than a decade in the city). It's a beautifully restrained set of psych epics, long duration syncopated dialogues between the various instruments and though "Speak My Language" is by far the album's shortest track at 4:14, it's one of its most involved and correspondingly fast-paced. Opening with a single guitar, the drama builds into an energetic layering of looped feedback and drones, synth beats, and the same discordant guitar.

Grab the cassette over at Moon Glyph headquarters and look at out for a split 7" with Food Pyramid sometime down the line.

Technicolor!

The Cyclist is Andrew Morrison, from Derry in Northern Ireland, deriving the name from Natalia Goncharova's Cyclist (above). Thanks to Jheri's being gone for a little while, I was able to mine these tracks from his email address and were they ever an amazing place to start. Approaching techno and house with a more post punk sensibility, Morrison experiments with a less explicitly derived form of modern electronica, yielding songs that are grungy and occasionally dark without being any less catchy or immersive.

18.3.11

Pollen

The other night at SXSW Jheri managed to snag a copy of Alone/Secrets, Kites Sail High's double 12" EP released last year on Life's Blood. The 12" is a genuine masterpiece of ambient dub and IDM, atmospheric and brilliantly orchestrated with a massive repertoire of sounds. Meditative beats, sometimes simple and sometimes luxuriantly textured, punctuate ambient swells and the pair of EPs ultimately become chameleons. Through the juxtaposition of a variety of sampled sounds across a wide tonal range, Alone and Secrets are capable of accompanying all kinds of living - labor and rest, active and passive.

MP3 ::
Cop the vinyl from Life's Blood for 13 of your American dollars.

17.3.11

Video Premiere :: Seamonster - Bearsuit

Now thoroughly engaged with recording a new album slated to appear sometime this year on Gold Robot Records, Todd from Seamonster offers us a video for "Bearsuit," one of the standout tracks on his 7" EP Two Birds. Director Chad Hartigan offers a fairly literal take on the song, portraying a sort of wide-eyed childish new discovery degenerating into a dehumanizing wreck.

There's no easy way of transitioning from "dehumanizing wreck" to a tidbit of other current news about the band, so I'll just call the preceding line a transition and offer the tidbit now: Todd's also just unveiled Plastic Fangs, a new digital single that you can snag on his bandcamp.

14.3.11

GOTC Presents :: Gobble Gobble, Gross Ghost, Persona La Ave and Veelee @ Gravity Records

Coma Cinema - Blue Suicide

Mat Cothran's third album as Coma Cinema seems like his most complicated, in spite of its being his most depressingly named and graced on its cover by what looks like a rabid zombie-dog. Blue Suicide's orchestration is clearly more complex than most of his debut Baby Prayers and its follow-up Stoned Alone, bringing more elaborate instrumentation and a far more explicit use of electronic supplements. More importantly, it is by far Mat's most focused album, though it occasionally plays a little like a single's compilation. There's not terribly much generic unity across the album, but it's hard to imagine so many standouts not inadvertently asserting themselves as individuals above the collection. That it was mastered by Lance Smith of Pandit only makes it that much more clearly the pinnacle of more than just Mat's recording career to date - this is absolutely the album to beat.

MP3 :: Coma Cinema - Her Sinking Sun
Coma Cinema - Caroline, Please Kill Me
Grab the cassette for an easy fiver over at Wonder Beard Tapes and the 12" for a proportionately less easy something else from Fork & Spoon.

Retrosexual Moments :: Gang of Four

Gang of Four, named for the Chinese political faction of communists, started playing in 1977. They still occasionally play shows. I once showed these guys to a friend of mine, and he said "It sounds alright, but I feel like I've heard it a thousand times before." This made me kind of sad because Gang of Four were one of the first to have this sound, and they never really received due credit. I've always adored the way their guitarist and bassist seem to have playful back-and-forths, coupled with Jon King's goofy-but-catchy vocals. Most of all, I'll always remember singing "Damaged Goods" with one of my closest friends everyday as we drove cross-country; making silly faces and trying to dance like Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction (at least, that's what I was going for, maybe that wasn't his aim) as best as we could while sitting in car seats.

MP3 ::
Gang of Four - Damaged Goods
Gang of Four - At Home He's A Tourist

Premiere :: Hosannas - Cccloud

On the third release from Hosannas the band creates a strong sense of aesthetic unity; Thug Life Nicole at the very least seems to be following some kind of narrative, though whether or not it has anything to do with thuggishness or someone named Nicole is anyone's bet. It builds, rests, and finally ends in the operatic "Cccloud," beginning with a melodic lullaby and closing with the EP's most aggressive percussion and freaked out vocals, held together at the center by a moody post-punk bridge. Although the juxtaposition that runs through Thug Life Nicole is at its most restless here, the surge towards more confrontational instrumentation and warped vocals wraps the songs together into a package of grandiose chamber-punk, substantive and varied.

Look for Thug Life Nicole later this month on the Hosannas' bandcamp.

I Want To Fuck All The Girls In My School

This is almost definitely the grungiest, most filthy scuz I've ever loved. Then again, rarely has scuz this grungy and filthy had such a god damn catchy chorus. Seriously. Whatever sensibility might dictate your impulse and affection, I defy you to not imagine yourself in an Athenian high school with Bazooka, mired in one or another type of consternation while being conspicuously loud and/or a little drunk.

10.3.11

Premiere :: ANR - Stay Kids (Visions of Trees S0O Dilated RMX)

Named for one of George Washington's lesser known pet names for his new nation, ANR (Awesome New Republic) are the champions of a burgeoning local indie scene in their hometown Miami. Their latest album, Stay Kids, is a fully realized exposition of that program, beautifully synthesizing decades of operatic power-pop and psych into something a whole helluva lot like what you'd expect to hear coming out of a stadium. In anticipation of their SXSW dates and the album's official release, our chums Joni and Sara of London's Visions of Trees gave the title track an impressive club treatment that somehow comes off as more intimate, raising the pitch of John Hancock's vocals higher than his falsetto already took them and reigning in the arena rock guitar section.

9.3.11

Video Premiere :: Solar Bears - Forest of Fountains


Synesthesiae Films recently put together this wonderful clip for Solar Bears' "Forest Of Fountains". The video does a great job of transitioning through the songs' alternating frantic beats and down-tempo guitar arrangements.

Premiere :: LIQUID SKULLS - DEAD IN YR EYES

LIQUID SKULLS' psyched out waves of drone are a lot more peaceful and meditative than the band's name and song titles might suggest. With songs more reminiscent of bike rides through wooded paths and being carried out to sea than of graveyards or haunted caves, it's a surprise, but a welcome one. Big ups to White Moon for having the keen ear to drop this one.

MP3 :: LIQUID SKULLS - DEAD IN YR EYES
LIQUID SKULLS - VOID
LIQUID SKULLS - N33D
LIQUID SKULLS - THE DAWNING
LIQUID SKULLS - I AM THE FLOOD
LIQUID SKULLS - EYE DIVE
LIQUID SKULLS - SLEEP WALKER
You can also grab DEAD IN YR EYES via Bandcamp.

Heart Monitor (NYO Antwerp Remix)

NYO Antwerp is a London producer I've been following for at least a year now, so I was psyched to receive this remix from him the other day. What started life as a 9 minute downtempo mammoth by Leeds' worriedaboutsatan, he contracts into a relaxed club beat, struck through with dub.

MP3 :: worriedaboutsatan - Heart Moniter (NYO Antwerp Remix)

Giveaway :: Gypsy Treasures - Burried Goods cassette

Aria Jalali, the mastermind behind railcars, recently dropped a tape on Not Not Fun under the moniker Gypsy Treasures. The aptly named Buried Goods cassette features four wonderfully done zonked out drone tracks from the mid-2000s that were almost forgotten until now. The tape just sold out yesterday, but Aria has hooked us up with a copy to give away. All you need to do is leave your name and email address in the comments section. We'll pick the winner at random Sunday night.

MP3 :: Gypsy Treasures - of moorish towns
You can also still grab Buried Goods digitally for free via Bandcamp.

Happy Accident

3d Acid Glasses take frantic, brighter than the sun notes and and wrap them in a thick gauze of burdened vocals to create a uniquely dreary pop sound. The music makes me think of flappers in the nineteen-thirties, Clark Gable, and the animation work of Mike Judge. Picture anthropomorphic dinosaurs in spacesuits fighting history's most ruthless dictators. It also would have been a fantastic soundtrack to Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

MP3 ::
3d Acid Glasses - Happy Accident
3d Acid Glasses - Polnara Setera
Look out for a 7" drop this May via Stroll On.

Grave Dreams

A few weeks ago Tyler Newbold, better known as Boas, dropped his second album. Grave Dreams, despite the name, is a vortex of minimal pop ambiance. Newbold's approach to minimal styling is somewhat mindblowing, however, when you realize how few sounds are making such a danceable clatter. This one is already proving to be a competitor in my favorite albums of 2K†† list.

MP3 ::
Boas - Grave Dreams
Boas - Acre
Grab Grave Dreams in its entirety via Bandcamp

High Time Woman

With Spring around the corner a lot of my favorite labels are gearing up for new releases. Wild Animal Kingdom, the fantastic Olympia-based label run by Dana Jewell, is one such label. Yesterday the Family Stoned's debut tape went up, with Jewell calling it "the hottest shit to hit the states since BC Bud." Grimy guitars and blown out drums guide angsty female vocals in a way that recalls the little I do remember/enjoy of the nineties.

MP3 ::
The Family Stoned - High Time Woman
The Family Stoned - Neon Lights
Grab the entire Family Stoned tape via WAKR.

8.3.11

Repeating Death

For the past month Sound Medicine Research has been drilling into my core. His songs are filled with dark swells that create walls of ambiance. Some moments leave you just floating along while others leave your heart throbbing. Acidic flickers burn the pathways behind you as the tracks progress, ensuring that there is no turning back. There is only Sound Medicine Research.

MP3 ::
Sound Medicine Research - Repeating Death
Sound Medicine Research - Substitutionary Sacrifice for the Covenant-Breaker
Hear more Sound Medicine Research at Soundcloud.

Feathers

No Pain In Pop recently sent over their latest 7", a killer double-a-side from A Grave With No Name. "Feathers" sees the band in a loud, possibly destructive mood. Guitars and drums clatter noisily over muddled vocals while still retaining a sense of longing, proving the bands ability to craft a good song with even the most dysfunctional equipment. Now I'm gonna spin this one a few more times and take apart my room with a giant grin on my face.

MP3 :: A Grave With No Name - Feathers
Grab the Feathers/Streams 7" from NPIP now

I'm An Avalanche

Hurt Valley is Brian Collins' return to music, given up for more than two years after the repercussions of aborted success drove him from Chapel Hill to Los Angeles. Tessara is his second EP under the new name and governed by a new method:
At first, I was really just dicking around, messing with sounds and so forth, but than last summer while I was working on the Desolation Views EP I realized I had been actually making really calculated choices in regards to where I put certain things in the form of sounds, song structure, vocals, etc. So I made a point to not just record a song, but to record a group of songs together, which would result in something concise.
Thanks to that modicum of premeditation and "cool neighbors," Tessara overcomes technological limitations and some of its songs have upwards of twenty tracks layered over one another. It makes for a bouncy set of lo-fi pop songs, pleasant and consistently catchy - the relatively uniform length of Hurt Valley songs at 3 minutes, give or take 20 seconds, points to the strength of his structured recording method.

Download the Tessara EP at Hurt Valley's bandcamp.

7.3.11

Bond Music Group, Self-Titled Magazine & Get Off The Coast present: Official SXSW Showcase


MP3 ::
Moby - Be The One
Teen Daze - Together
Blackbird Blackbird - Give You Everything

Concussion

I'm starting to look to Charlottesville, VA a lot more these days for good tunes. The latest from the talented town to tickle my fancy is surf-rocker Matt Leech. His album PATHS says it drops December 2011 on his bandcamp, but you can download it for free now. The songs are a melancholic joyfest the permeate to the core and leave a huge grin on the listener. Now I'm gonna go start a bonfire and dance around it like a fool to this.

MP3 ::
Matt Leech - Concussion
Matt Leech - Ambulance
Grab PATHS for free over at Bandcamp.

Lost At Sea

Dillon Groeneman, aka Galaxies, is yet another another project out of the Ft Collins collective Act So Big Forest that is blowing me away. Combining eloctronic glitches and whirs with organic sounds, Dillon Groenemam even has his own custom instrument that is part ukelele and part keyboard, which he uses as the focal point for his performances. If you're feeling it as much as I am you'll also want to head over the Galaxies Vimeo for a new video every day.

MP3 :: Galaxies - Lost At Sea
Grab the entire handmade CD (with unique artwork and stickers) via Bandcamp, shipping March 10.

3.3.11

Boring Horror

The folks over at deBonton just sent over word on the new GOBBLE GOBBLE 12" maxi-single they're dropping next week. It features three original GBL tracks that have appeared before in various corners of the internet, as well as two killer remixes from Sundance and Second Date. I'm once again getting the awesome privilege to jump on tour with GOBBLE GOBBLE at SXSW and ride along until their April 3rd show at Gravity Records, which we'll have more details on later this month. Catch a full list of the tour dates here.

MP3 :: GOBBLE GOBBLE - Boring Horror
Boring Horror drops on 12" via deBonton March 7, but you can go ahead and cop the pre-order here.

MellowHype signs to Fat Possum

I don't know if any breakout artist or group is more famous than Odd Future right now, and I can think of few in the underground who deserve it more. It's amazing to see so many people embracing this sound, despite that it's probably also a signal for the end of the world. MellowHype, the collaboration of OFWGKTA's Hodgy Beats and Left Brain, recently announced that they've signed to Fat Possum records. Last Halloween the duo released their second free full-length, BLACKENEDWHITE, which is now being remastered and peppered with some bonus tracks for vinyl and CD release this summer. The record is entirely produced by Left Brain, with Hodgy getting as evil as we've seen him and features from several of the Odd Future homies. Until some of these remasters are ready to be heard, check out OF on Funny or Die. Now I'm gonna go crawl back into the closet 'cause these rats got a better sound system than me.

2.3.11

GOTC Presents :: Levek w/ Libraries & Golden @ Gravity Records

Video :: Jef Barbara - Flight 777


Jef Barbara serves up a slab of pseudo-Satanism on the somehow diabolical and certainly ill-fated "Flight 777," one of the longer excursions on his Contaminations CS from AMDISCS. There are also cats (perhaps only multiple shots of just one), UFOs, giants, and an ethnically ambiguous flight attendant.

Retosexual Moments :: Orchid

Orchid is something of a staple amongst the skramz/screamo crowd, lasting from '97 to '02. I've always admired their ability to be fast, aggressive, heavy, and somehow creepy all at the same time. Every time I listen to these guys I feel as though I've been pinned against a wall by the sheer force of the noise they make. The guitar whirs in the background, reminding me of something almost predatory, as the drums shout out in ever-changing blast beat speeds, all to accentuate the vocals. Screams akin to those of a caged jaguar, tortured, furious. Orchid was my college music. Listening to them as I walked around a campus I didn't like, surrounded people I could hardly stand, these guys sounded the way I felt, and I loved every minute of it.

MP3 ::
Orchid - Le Désordre, C'Est Moi
Orchid - Aesthetic Dialectic
The members of Orchid have since gone on to play in Panthers, Ampere, Bucket Full of Teeth, Transistor Transistor, and Wolves.

Video :: Yohuna - Mateo

Christian Filardo's beautiful new video for Yohuna's "Mateo," off of her Revery EP, which can be got for $1 at yon bandcamp.

Tr33s


San Diego solo outfit LESVILLES crafts a sonic ambiance like few others. Persistently charged loops never cease in the atmosphere of each track. The chimes that back this one in particular seem to allow everything to just wash away as you lock into their eternal groove. Beautifully sparse vocal patterns engage every bit of the track as the addition of violin only breaks my heart a little more. LESVILLES put together the above video clip as well, allowing it to truly capture the song's feel.

MP3 :: LESVILLE - Tr33s
Grab the entire Tr33s single over at bandcamp, including the hidden a-side.