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

Video Premiere: Chrome Wings - Forever


Yesterday Chrome Wings' new full-length, New Lands, dropped via AMDiscs. They recently together this beautiful clip for stand-out track "Forever". Featuring a slow paced journey through a sparse world of water and rocks, the soothing tones of the video fit perfectly with the song's own meditative vibes.

New Lands is available now in LP and digital formats via AMDiscs.

15.11.11

PBUH026: Digital Leather - Sponge

Shawn Foree is Digital Leather, a god forsaken heathen that toiled resentfully in the notorious drug farms of the mid-West, where I'm told he invented something called "new-wave Nazi fag punk" - presumably as some kind of protest. Liberated by the management of Jay Reatard, his transmissions were carried worldwide in 2009 by Fat Possum, in a stunning edition called Warm Brother. As he prepares new spiteful imprecations to hurl, we present Sponge - a fabulous instrument for soaking up tyrrany.
"Sponge is a collection of tracks I recorded during the winter of 2011 on my 4-track. It contains material from a limited 7” I did for Spanish label Ghost Highway Recordings, as well as some covers and demos. At first this album was going to be for my close friends only, but I liked the vibe of it so much I decided it should be shared more widely. It’s gritty and lo-fi, but also warm and poignant. Nothing too serious. Just a fun time." -Shawn Foree
MP3 ::
Preorder the limited edition cassette on this giant boat that just rammed into my stern.

Video: Mirror Kisses - Kameron

This amazing video comes courtesy of Mirror Kisses, a Virginia band I expect we'll all be hearing more about shortly. They've got an LP coming out next week, that you can preview here at their bandcamp, where its first single "Toss Me Aside" is up to stream.

14.11.11

Photos: Youth Lagoon & Young Magic @ Local 506

[All photos © Audrey Melton]
This past Saturday Youth Lagoon and Young Magic played at the Motorco Music Hall in Durham. It was only hours before the show that Audrey and I discovered it was going on, but all other plans were dropped. Young Magic's set was nothing short of awe striking; combining tribal elements, vocal mysticism, stunning electronics and guitar. There isn't a more fitting term than magic to describe their presence. Youth Lagoon closed things out with one of the most beautiful live sets I've ever heard. Trevor's vocals left both Audrey and myself practically begging for a live album to be made. Both he and Logan had enough energy to keep the crowd interested without detracting from the heartfelt presentation of each song. It's been a couple days since the show and I'm still recovering from the dreamy state it left me in. Stay tuned after the jump for more photos.

Don't Go Into The Basement

Though Halloween has thoroughly passed, maybe you're still creeped out by something really unspeakable and that's doing it for you somehow and you really want to accentuate that... ya, know, awfulness... we recommend Waylon Thornton's Spectral Call for said purposes. According to Waylon, it's "seven acoustic songs recorded around midnight of November 5th, 2011. Improvised and recorded live." I'm sure he meant dead.


Teufel

Haleek Maul is a frustrated 15 year old. We've all been there. I can speak for myself, however, in saying that I did not have the rap intellect or stunning production talents that Haleek has with which to vent his frustrations. He's currently at work on his first album, titled Oxyconteen, which will feature production from not only himself, but from the likes of Supreme Cuts, Crim3s and more. Last week Maul posted up this new track from Oxyconteen that sees him on a Kanye-like flow, with a little more charisma, less ego, and pace-changes that will keep you hooked. The title "Teufel" comes from the German word for "devil", which Maul explains is a fuck you of sorts in response to the idea of normality and a hyper-Christian upbringing.

Stream: Haleek Maul - Teufel

Oxyconteen drops one day next year. You'll hear about it.

12.11.11

Clones

A Frankenstein built out of a hundred cobbled together samples and animated by a scratchy beat, The Parallax View's Digital Prison is a masterpiece born out of a shambling wreck, made decent by some kind of primitive backyard laser surgery - nevertheless, it's ambitious and has a few interviews set up in the city. It's looking for a suit to wear.

Download Digital Prison for free over at The Parallax View's bandcamp.

Palaces/Bump In

Jacob 2-2's Fantasiarexia EP is essentially the perfect beat tape - laden down with the obvious, it also feels so organic that some sections sound like they were actually being improvised. Deep in the zapping lasers, snaps and claps, I periodically wonder if I've heard this or that sound before or if it's another one-off. Even if samples repeat, their appearances feel unique, as if the ingredients were the same but constantly being rearranged. I reserve for this release my one monthly usage of the word fresh.

Thanks to Moodgadget for this one - now available on iTunes, Boomkat, and Amazon.

11.11.11

Hamilton

It's been cloudy and drizzly all day here in Oakland, and the atmosphere found in GPSYMTH's music seems appropriate for this weather. Gentle bass, sparkly synth, soft guitar work, and misty, drifting vocals make up the two tracks on their only release thus far, titled Craft. Check out "Hamilton", a lush five-minute soundscape that will curl dreamily around you like smoke and keep you warm on this chilly Friday.

Download both tracks on Craft for whatever amount you deem appropriate right here.

10.11.11

Dope

The Cold Volts are a garage-punk/psych-rock duo based in LA. They recently released their first album, a four-track digital EP titled People Noise. It's short, fast, and full of more energy than you'd think just two people would be able to produce. The vocals are similar to those of early White Stripes material or Portugal. The Man, but when they're paired with the beefy drumming and raw-edged punk guitar riffs that persist on The Cold Volts' tracks, it makes for something fresh and intriguing. The opening track, "Dope", comes out of the gate running and doesn't stop -- this stuff'll shoot lightning bolts into your limbs and make you want to bring headbanging back.

Grab the EP for free here.

Travel Expop Series #1: France

To inaugurate their new "Travel Expop" series of nation-specific releases, Hands in the Dark Records appropriately chose vinyl for their format and France for their focus, highlighting four bands pioneering the darker fringes of unconceited collage and noise pop. Holy Strays begins the split on a relatively accessible note with two tracks of elaborate, textured electronic pop that shift comfortably into more ambient contributions from Cankun and Je Suis le Petit Chevalier. In stark contrast to Holy Strays' introduction, Voodoo Mount Sister holds down the final ten minutes of the b-side with what feels like almost pure atmosphere, at times spooky and at others evoking an ultra-minimalist sort of folk.

MP3 ::
Pick up a copy of the record here.

Die Young

As HAPPY TRENDY preps for a European tour with Foxes in Fiction, as well as a brief Canadian addendum together, the respective real world beings behind those monikers - Dylan Khotin-Foote and Warren Hildebrand, respectively - have been prepping the former's album for an appearance on the latter's label. Got that straight? Look for it November 20, on Orchid Tapes. While you wait, sink your teeth into this teaser video and if you happen to be one of our friends in Europe or Canada, you can also plan to attend one of their shows in an eclectic selection of non-American nations:

1. November 30th - Porto, Portugal – Passos Manuel
2. December 1st – Coimbra, Portugal - Oficina Municipal do Teatro
3. December 3rd – Lisbon, Portugal – Vodafone Mexefest / Terraço Hotel Tivoli
4. December 4th – Madrid, Spain - TBA
5. December 5th – Lyon, France – La Triperie
6. December 6th – Paris, France – L’espace B
7. December 7th – Lille, France – Peek-A-Boo
8. December 8th – Haarlem, Netherlands – Geertruida
9. December 9th – Oslo, Norway – Sound of Mu
10. December 10th – Berlin, Germany – Mme Claude
11. December 11th – Leipzig, Germany - Wächterhaus
12. December 12th – Hamburg, Germany – Astra-Stube
13. December 29th - Toronto, Ontario - Placebo Space
14. December 31 - Peterborough, Ontario - Artspace
15. Date TBA - Montreal, Quebec - TBA

Video: Mammal Airlines - Smoking: Not Our Future


9.11.11

Ow Nix Golly

Orlando band Telethon has, in their own words, "released a 7", an EP, a 45 minute cassette, toured a little bit, and had the pleasure of playing with/meeting many great artists/friends around the world" - which are certainly the most straight forward things to be said about them, as their pop pastiche, maximalist noise-tronica shifts tones constantly, consistent only in its being clearly intended to sound loud. On their latest album, Ow Nix Golly, a pair of epic jams lead into a warbly, synth-heavy instrumental section, exemplified by the ambiguity and implied ambivalence of "Why Call Anything Anything", and ending in the bouncy balladry of "Get Things Wrong". That said, I'm sure I don't need to convince anyone that something with cover art like that is totally amazing.


For Dubai

starcircleanatomy is Izaak Schlossman, one of my favorite musicians operating along the intersection of dance and tape culture, making heavy beats in the same vein of dark techno that attracted us to the Cyclist last year. "For Dubai" is a fine instance of that; down-tempo throughout, persistent, but ultimately upheld by the slow cycle of change expressed in the progression of its fourteen minute track time.

Check out some more tracks on Schlossman's soundcloud and while you're at it, he's also got a pretty groovy little label to check out: Ace of Tapes.

Video: Oxykitten - Cow Bear

Tamanoir

Poland's Sangoplasmo Records continues their small scale innovations, releasing three new tapes today, each in tiny editions and packaged uniquely even for tape labels - my first take favorite, Katapulto's Animalia, a concept album of drone and noise that evolves five dialogues on different animals in six different languages, comes nested in the oversized beauty you see above. It's also bundled with a book of Beata Wilczek's collages.


Buy Animalia here, along with the rest of the label's latest.

Video: Ela Orleans - Take my hand


Atelier Ciseaux recently announced a new LP 12" co-release with La Station Radar, this one from the always loveable Ela Orleans. Mars is heaven is named for the Ray Bradbury book of the same title. All eight tracks are inspired by the story of astronauts who go to Mars only to find all their lost old ones. Unfortunately it's all an illusion and the Martians just end up one spaceship richer. Earlier today our pals at No Fear Of Pop unveiled the beautiful video above, and you can stream another wonderful cut from the record below.

Stream: Ela Orleans - Black and white flight

Mars is heaven is available now via the fine folks at Atelier Ciseaux and La Station Radar.

8.11.11

Untitled II

Deep Magic is Alex Gray, a touring partner of Sun Araw and the manager of Deep Tapes, as well as its sister imprint Heat Rave (exclusively a vehicle for Heat Wave). Taken from his upcoming Altars of Veneration cassette, on the diabolically appropriate Moon Glyph, "Untitled II" is a glimpse into an intimate collection of self-described "mystical music", drawing elements from its various sub genres in a cascade that sees ambient soundscapes tumbling into deep ragas.

Deep Magic - Untitled II
Order the cassette here.

Эквивалент ежа

Rather than attempt the hazardous google translating of the Cyrillic characters on СВ Хутор's latest, the Шиллинг EP, I reflected the band's vaguery by calling them by what the words look like they might say if it was written in English: Cyclops and Midnight. I'm not sure where I got midnight, but google's indication that the words meant "NE Farm" and "schilling", respectively, may or not be more helpful, so we'll continue calling them СВ Хутор. Though we've no details, what appears to be the band's sixth release, is an eight song collection of chilly pop instrumentals, occasionally reflecting their Russian origin, but more often a pleasant synthesis of more Western rock elements.


Click through this here bandcamp widget and download Шиллинг EP for free.

Snow Glitter And Sugar Tits

Michael Myerz posted up a couple of new tracks to his Soundcloud last night. The cuts come from his upcoming dual-album, Snow Glitter And Sugar Tits/Nightmare On Rosedale. In the humorously named title track, "Snow Glitter And Sugar Tits", he even takes a slight shot at Tyler and those saying he bites the OF style. While I can see the hater point-of-view on some older tracks, this track shows Myerz stepping out as a force to be recognized. He even samples Steve Urkel on "Slut Gutt", which may or may not be a love song; Michael Myerz' version of love is probably a little different from the rest of ours.

MP3:
Michael Myerz - Snow Glitter And Sugar Tits
Michael Myerz - Slut Gutt
Snow Glitter And Sugar Tits/Nightmare On Rosedale drops later this holiday season.

Tasteless Lunch

Late last night in a grimy New York basement three pals named Will, Harry and Ian got together and created the hazy shoegaze jam "Tasteless Lunch". The trio call themselves Dumb Talk, and they're currently working on an EP to drop early next year. "Tasteless Lunch" is the first peek at things to come, and it's a beautiful foreshadowing.

MP3: Dumb Talk - Tasteless Lunch
Keep your ears to the ground for the first Dumb Talk EP early next year.

Doldrums

Fear Of Men just sent over this instant classic. The group is currently working on a tape release through Sex is Disgusting. The bouncy, uplifting spirit of this track pushes gently against the undertones of sorrow, allowing it to have feeling without dragging the listener down. It's an honest garage-pop track that even manages to catch you off guard just before the 2.5-minute mark. It'll be exciting to hear more.

Stream: Fear Of Men - Doldrums

Their tape drops soon on Sex is Disgusting, and there's a few other doozies over at Soundcloud.

7.11.11

Cherry Blossom

Meet Patrick Higgins, a 20 year-old pizza delivery guy from Providence, RI. When he's not slinging pies, he's also Ratigan, a fantastic singer/songwriter with a knack for crafting raw, 90s-tinged rock jams. Fortune Metal, his recent fifteen-track digital release, is consistently full of genuine lyrics, noisy ramblings, and bedroom rock elements that bring to mind dusty Weezer b-sides mixed with varying amounts of Beck, Pavement, Stone Temple Pilots, and Flaming Lips. My personal favorite is "Cherry Blossom", an addictive track with wonderfully playful and idiosyncratic vocal layers, blissfully palatable guitar riffs, and a simple, fuzzed-out drum beat.

You can grab the whole album for free here, and I highly recommend that you do so.

Video: Woodsman - Parallel Minds


"Parallel Minds" comes from Woodsman's newest EP, Mystic Places; available now via their own Fire Talk Records.

Photos: Zola Jesus @ Local 506

[All photos © Audrey Melton]
A couple of weeks ago Zola Jesus played a set at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill. While unfortunately I was unable to be there, Audrey made sure to show up and shoot plenty of wonderful photos of the set. Check out one of my favorite tracks from her newest release, Conatus, while you peruse.

MP3: Zola Jesus - Vessel
Conatus is available now via Sacred Bones in the US and Souterrain Transmissions in the UK.

Check out more photos of Zola Jesus live after the jump.

Did I Kill Someone I Don't Know About?

beaunoise is the recording moniker of Beau Sorenson, who some of you may recognize from his contributions to Clive Tanaka's orquesta and the two's recent collaborations, though by himself he's become far more prolific, with several albums worth of material under his belt. This latest is distinct from his ongoing series of ambient tapes and it feels like an evacuation of Sorenson's every contrary impulse; fast paced, "sample based life". The album is, of course, a mix of things, and among the snippets, oddities, and more broadly recognizable "song" structures are an incredible couple of Sorenson's own remixes. For his treatment of Kelis' "Milkshake" (here retitled to "I Objectify Women Because I Hate My Body"), he decided "to try and really wreck it", which will be so immediately evident it'll probably hurt - it's a fucking gem.

Mp3 ::
Download the album for-whatever-you-want here and grab the limited edition cassette from Tall Corn.

If Only

Sunik Kim is a seventeen year-old Korean living in Hong Kong who makes brilliant pop songs under the moniker Beat Culture. He's currently hard at work on his new album, Tokyo Dreamer; which we have a couple of tracks to share from today. The songs feature heavy sampling work where anything from the past hundred years is fair game. Every track creates an ethereal ambiance that grows outward until your feet can't help but to move. It'll be tough not to fall immediately in love.

MP3:
Beat Culture - If Only
Beat Culture - Before You Go
Tokyo Dreamer has no official release date yet, but we're looking forward to more from Beat Culture.

Beach Babe

Koko Beware is a four-piece surf rock outfit hailing from Athens, Georgia. They released their first EP (called ))<>((, which for those of you who aren't aware, is a funny reference to the movie Me And You And Everyone We Know) a couple of months ago, and are now trying to raise money for a full-length vinyl/CD/digital release next year (check out their Kickstarter here). The dudes and gals are good at making straightforward pop jams whose topics tend to lean heavily towards the beach and various bodies on the sand. Summer might have died a while ago, but these tracks are still worth a listen. Check out "Beach Babe", a little surf ditty that swims between male and female vocals and a simple yet catchy chorus that's still stuck in my head. I can't wait to hear what their LP has to offer.

You can buy the EP (and/or a silkscreened poster) here.

In Our Way

The good homies at Amish Records recently announced their newest release from Starving Weirdos, titled Land Lines. Expect it to hit shelves January 24, 2012. While Starving Weirdos don't have a defined band, at the center of their brilliance is Brian Pyle (who also creates beautiful music under the name Ensemble Economique) and Merrick McKinlay; while Steve Lazar, Monica Chavez, David Krepinevich and Aimee Hennessey fill in the rest of the core. Minimal percussion reverberates from it's earliest notes while smog-filled textures lift ghostly vocals to the song's surface.

MP3: Starving Weirdos - In Our Way
Land Lines drops January 24 of next year via Amish Records.

My Love Is Easy: Remixes Pt. 2

Over the summer I had a few opportunities to check out Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and their infectious grooves have entirely won me over. The duo recently announced a remix EP titled My Love Is Easy: Remixes Pt. 2, featuring Memory Tapes, Pictureplane and more on it. I'm not typically into remix albums, however; with such killer reworks at bat, it's hard to call this anything but a home run.

MP3: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - Nothing But Our Love (Memory Tapes Remix)

Stream: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - Simple Girl (Tiger & Woods Remix)

My Love Is Easy: Remixes Pt. 2 drops November 14 via Warner Bros Records.

6.11.11

Only Air

Among a slew of other great tapes in the recent outpouring from Iowa's Night People Records is Melody Elder, the debut LP from the Garment District, the solo moniker of Jennifer Baron, who - surely to the delight of the good-heartedly acquisitive Elephant Six completists out there - was around in Brooklyn in time to help start The Ladybug Transistor. Melody Elder is defined in large part by a very textural experience of the cast of analog instruments Baron made use of during recording. Everything seems to have the sense of a button or key being deliberately depressed, creating the sharp short weeze of synthesized organs, and held, to draw out longer winded tones. Being aware of her connection to Elephant Six, there are plenty of links to be drawn between her music and the collective's noisier luminaries, but the ambition and organization on Baron's solo debut sets it apart.

MP3 ::
Grab the limited edition tape from here.

KDVS Recordings Cassette of the Month Club

KDVS Recordings is an incredible record label run under the auspices of the University of California's campus in Davis, making them the only university funded record label that I know of that operates on a not-for-profit basis. Their latest project is a new subscription style cassette of the month club, inaugurated with a split from Luis Gutee and A White Hunter. According to them:
Each cassette will be a split between one 'local' musician/band (Davis/Sacramento) and one "out-of-town" musician/band attempting to make connections between what is going on microcosmically within our immediate music scene and what is going on with other artists outside direct contact but in similar musical realms/with similar musical ideas. Each tape will also feature a physical artist that will create work for the cover.
Mp3 ::
Subscribe to the series here.

No Body

Beacon is Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett, who together walk a novel line between the melodramatic arena pop we're all still weening ourselves off and a more ambiguous ambient-chilled R&B, Gossett's spare beats forming the backdrop for Mullarney's crystalline vocals

Grab the entire No Body EP from Moodgadget.

5.11.11

Now, I elevate

Devin Dart recently sent over a few jams that I've fallen in love with. In the vein of NNF artists such as Dylan Ettinger and Cankun, Devin Dart creates vast soundscapes that somehow incite images of an exploratory trip through the cosmos. Soft thuds that teeter between organic and mechanic guide the whirling sounds of wind pushing astral dust across a barren plain. An immediate jump to a lush forest filled with bizarre creatures that only your mind could conjure. With Devin Dart their are no stylistic boundaries; only the need to explore these new worlds.

MP3:
Devin Dart - Now, I elevate
Devin Dart - Haha, whoa dude did you know yer fingers are made of lightning?
Hear more from Devin Dart over at Soundcloud.

Video: Real Estate - It's Real


Real Estate recently premiered the video for their new single, "It's Real", over at The Fader. This is my first listen to any of the new album, Days, and it's a pleasant surprise. The production on this track leads me to believe the new album is a lot cleaner sounding than Real Estate, but after repeated listens it's obvious that cleaner production doesn't detract from Real Estate's charm. It'll be hard to get this one out of your head once it gets in there.

Stream: Real Estate - It's Real

Pick up Days now in vinyl, CD or cassette format via Domino.

Hoshi Neko

Perhaps this is my lack of a degree in music speaking, but when a record label describes a band they're working with as a "pan-Asian psych-pop collective" I tend to just look confused. That being said, the best way I can describe the same band to you is that they're fucking amazing. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan is about as weird a name for a band as their description, and yet all of it makes sense once you've pressed play. They just recently released their debut album, YT//ST, on the Montreal-based Psychic Handshake. Minimal orchestration helps to establish a mood while ethereal female vocals grab fleetingly at your heart-strings. Furious build-ups retain the energy and vibrance of the band, taking only those moments to really show off how expansive their talent is. YT//ST is an album that will certainly see numerous spins before the year's end.

MP3: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Hoshi Neko

Stream: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Reverse Crystal // Murder of a Spider

Pick up YT//ST in CD or vinyl formats via Psychic Handshake, and hit up the bandcamp to stream the album in full.

4.11.11

Premiere: o F F Love - Close to U, I'm Not

o F F has recently changed his name to o F F Love, and with that announcement comes a new single. "Close to U" is from the upcoming debut full-length, Probably Love, on the newly founded label M=MAXIMAL. His syrupy, auto-tuned vocals sound more crisp than ever on this one, showing o F F Love exploring the R&B elements of his music deeper than before. A slow paced step that only builds slightly through the songs keeps the mood dark while your heart is twisted deep inside your chest.

Stream: o F F Love - Close to U, I'm Not

Probably Love drops January of next year via M=MAXIMAL.

3.11.11

Event: PURGE @ Chez Jacki in Berlin


For the past few months I've fantasized about living in Berlin. There is so much cool stuff happening there, and PURGE is yet another reason I wish I was there. Our good homies at Gucci Goth are presenting their first Berlin party with BL4CK M4G1CK and The Darkness at Chez Jacki. HTRK and BRUISES will be playing live, along with DJ sets from the presenters and Son of Cataclysm. If you're in Berlin (or Berlin-bound by Nov 10) then this is the place to be.

Stream: Tom Ass for PURGE

Mad Speakers

A couple of weeks ago my favorite MC in the underground, Shady Blaze, dropped a new mixtape with Nem270 on full production duties; titled Blessed Or Cursed. If Nem270 rings a bell then you've probably seen his name as a production credit on various other Green Ova projects. He creates some of the most brain rattling beats of the whole green ova production crew. Shady is never one to back down from a beat and attacks every note as fiercely as ever, showing off both the versatility of him and of Nem270 in only the intro; with one track you're hooked. Once you slide into the title track there's just no turning back, and "Mad Speakers" is sure to become an anthem for late nights, riding down the block while passing the blunt.

MP3:
Shady Blaze - Mad Speakers
Shady Blaze - Stars Will Light A Way
Head over to Nem270's Bandcamp to check out Blessed Or Cursed in full.

Tear

Our pal Mikey, bka Blackbird Blackbird, is back with a new banger! "Tear" comes to us as the first single from the upcoming Boracay Planet EP. Some of Mikey's more recent track have leaned dark, but this one sees him stepping back into the light to write a song that ends up being less heart-breaking (as the title might suggest) and more heart warming. It's great to hear some new Blackbird Blackbird, and this track has me more than excited for the EP to drop.

MP3: Blackbird Blackbird - Tear

Booze Crooze

For the past month I've been working at a haunted house here in Wilmington. Trying to stack the dollars pulled me away from the blog a minute, and all the while Andy over at MJ MJ continuously told me how I would adore Slyy once I had the time to give it a chance. I can't begin to tell you how right he was. It's hands down my favorite beat tape I've heard this year. Something about the immediate groove that Slyy presents in each track just keeps me hanging on every synth line, bouncy kick and twisted sample thrown my way. Throw the headphones on, fire up a blunt and bliss out to this one.

MP3:
Slyy - Booze Crooze
Slyy - Hot Fight
Head over to the MJ MJ Bandcamp and pick up Serious Sauce Vol 2 now on cassette.

Video: Moruf - Darryl Strawberry


[directed by Temi Tokosi & Adam Saewitz]
I just got a load of great jams dropped in my inbox by JerseyKLAN and Kool Kidz of Kolor. One of the first things to hit me right in the sweet spot is the video for Klan member Moruf's "Darryl Strawberry". The track is featured on the self-released Garden State of Mind: Ready To Live. Deep, swollen bass is about all that guides Moruf as he rips apart the beat slowly and meticulously but with enough fierceness to make a tiger back down. We'll have more from this Jersey-based crew real soon.

MP3: Moruf - Darryl Strawberry
Grab all of Garden State of Mind for free over at Moruf's Bandcamp.

2.11.11

Premiere: Superhumanoids - Mikelah (Clive Tanaka Remix)

I first came across Superhumanoids thanks to a (great) remix our mutual friend Eric Steuer had done, so appropriately enough he put us in touch and here I am posting about another one, this time from the erstwhile and amazing Clive Tanaka. In the original "Mikelah" male and female vocals set complementary tones, though the male contrasts most strongly with the song's orchestral instrumentation - the addition of cello and a capable use of string drones gives it a full bodied baroque sound - which ultimately proves the backbone of Tanaka's extended vocal mix, clocking in at more than twice the original's length. The addition of a pleasant groove and a playful sounding wrap-up, that pits the original vocals briefly against some simple, vaguely tropical percussion, make it one of our favorites from Tanaka's growing stable of remixes.

If you're out here in The West, try looking up Superhumanoids at one of their upcoming dates:

11/4 in Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
11/5 in San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
11/6 in Flagstaff, AZ @ Green Room

Order the Mikelah 7" now from InSound.