Hudson Mohawke's LP Butter comes out on Warp October 8th. The Wire's Joe Muggs writes of the record, "It superimposes the most vainglorious bombast of 21st century rap/crunk/R&B with the excruciatingly precise production, jazz funk chords and cocaine treble of 1980's soul and 'yacht rock', while deconstructing the clatter and stabs of rave and turning the synaesthetic cartoon sound of P-funk into a high-definition 3D CGI IMAX nightmare." I'm not sure it's possible to beat that description, nor is it possible not to be overwhelmed by the sound he describes as it comes to you in the flesh. The record steps way beyond, or around, all the UK Wonky, dubstep cadre who systematically insist on the same types of snares and kicks and wood blocks, who mumble and pout their way on a sadsack dancefloor with stoned out intellectuals. I don't know what drugs Hud Mo is on, and I don't really know that I could figure out HOW, let alone where, to dance to these tracks (although it turns out I missed out on his show at Low End Theory a couple weeks ago). Everything seems jacked up, either too fast, too busy, too punchy, too weird. It's totally inspired and totally next level, it's just not always totally listenable. Is that possible? I'm gonna post three of the best tracks on the album, one of which ("Star Crackout") is an ambient cut that sublimely takes apart some folk recording, a very new tactic from this particular beatcrusher. But be quick because Warp is on the prowl for this one and no doubt these links will be dead by days end.
Hudson Mohawke - No One Could Ever
Hudson Mohawke - 3.30
Hudson Mohawke - Star Crackout
FYI These tracks are probably the least flamboyant on the record (to my ears). If you're someone who wishes Andre 3000 kept making records like The Love Below until ten years from now, and then time traveled back in order to deliver some of these tracks, (and I don't think I'm exactly excluded from that group) by all means get into the rest of the record.
Posted by Peter at Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Roj Stevens, a former member of Broadcast, has released a collection of music on Ghost Box that will take you far far into the past, into alien addled sci-fi and haunted TV sets, into tribalized exotica, into woozy trance and third person states and musical transversalities, all as envisioned by dumpy, damp midland chaps dreaming of a future in reverse. Ghostbox makes a habit of these types of vintage 60's analog obsessed records, but this one is the bravest and weirdest. It's one of the more unique sounding records I've ever heard. Krautish, Silver Apples influenced grooves sit alongside radio transmissions, alert tones, vocal snippets, synth blips and twerps from locations unknown, potentially sinister, and altogether far fucking out. If you were ever a person who found Stockhausen's "Gesang der Junglinge" and "Kontakte" kinda funky in a really difficult way to express, you will be liberated into pure oblivion by these outer space phobia inducing miniatures. Unlike Stockhausen or any like minded early electronic pioneers, Roj keeps it stunningly brief. Which is not to say that each piece is just a etude, in fact the record has such incredible pace to it in terms of tempo and length, in terms of the simultaneous and opposing diversity and continuity of each sound world. It feels, somehow, that all these disparate pieces, with all their vexing obliquity fit to form a chaotic, spooky and beautifully psychedelic vision. Tasters choice available below but please do dive into the full experience. You can pick up the record on iTunes fr crissake.
Roj - Bongo Workout
Roj - Inhale. Exhale. Love!
Roj - Process Revealed
Roj - What I Saw
Posted by Peter at Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday Finds 9
1: Renegade - Thin Lizzy (best and most underrated classic rock band ever?!)
2: 10 Bricks (feat. Capadonna & Ghostface Killah) - Raekwon (wu stalwart takes it back to the 90's, super hard!)
3: Untitled 3 (from Clear) - James Ferraro ("hypnagogic pop" from the unadorned king)
4: It's So - Famous L. Renfroe (famous, no, drunk, yes!)
5: Neon Snakes - Fontan (alert! kraut disco!)
6: Blue Genes - The Champagne Socialists (terrible name! great garage track!)
7: We Just Won't Stop - James Curd (DFA newcomer kills it with some inspirational retro disco - is DFA the only dance label worth it's weight in trendy t-shirts and sneaks?!)
8: A Million Dollars - Stanza (raps about being broke and hating your job make me feel better about myself. especially with slick as fuck production and an embarrassingly awesomea lofi video.
9: Feather - Little Dragon (if you think 'chillwave' is for poseurs but you like the production aesthetic try this band, they actually write songs!)
10: Silly Bones - Horse Meat Disco (probably the biggest track ever!)
11: What Did I Do? - The Beets (I think we all know this feeling. What did I do? Can you save me?!! Sincerely, and simply one of the best NY bands out there - this track is only the tip of the iceberg).
12: Talamak - Toro y Moi (glofi from South Carolina....at least it's not from Florida, I'm over all these blown out bands from Tampa!)
13: Traffika - The Sa-Ra Creative Partners (as weird and inventive as the Black Eyed Peas started out as, only more rugged)
14: Ohayo Mada Yaro - Yura Yura Teikoku (psych soul from Japan. What IS this? How did it get this way?)
15: Go (Offshore Remix) - Thavius Beck (Offshore is the one to watch here, tight knit neptunes inspired beats on the next level)
16: Passing Away - Emeralds (epic 60's minimal drone resurrected with serious commitment from the drone scene's brightest group. new ep downloadable from here)
Download Friday Finds 9 here
Thin Lizzy video of "Renegade"
Posted by Peter at Friday, September 25, 2009
The Bran Flakes are the newest addition to Illegal Art, the only record label with the balls to handle the legalities of Girl Talk and other like minded sample heavy mashup artists. They are pretty irreverent, though not in the way Girl Talk might joyfully desecrate two antithetical musics with one fell swoop. The Bran Flakes find samples that while pretty distant in origin share a similar penchant for zaniness. Zaniness is a tough thing to pull off (just ask the Flaming Lips). You either look like you're trying too hard, or you think you're being zany when in fact you just look stupid. I'm not totally sure where this record falls, I think I would have to see these idiots in concert to know for sure. Some of the mashups are really awkward, or just plain annoying in their saturday morning cartoon enthusiasm. Like how Dan Deacon was before he got spiritual, or the really self satisfied dork patrol that thinks it's enough just to retool old nintendo's and other 8 bit relics in order to make "retro!" tech fantasies. As if they're the first ones to find real interest in video game music. Some of the references feel too close to home to be reified. I think Girl Talk gets away with using the most ubiquitous songs ever, because he's trying to be as obvious as possible, he's actually attempting to reinvent or at least deconstruct the most popular songs in American culture. I get the feeling the Bran Flakes' mission, while still largely hospitable to the listener (their self description on their website reads like 'Blues Clues': "The Bran Flakes are ready to turn that frown upside down, put a beat in your step, and a twinkle in your eye"), is more akin to that of Negativland, where cultural references points are worked to a frenzy in the hopes (hopes that are far more political in the case of Negativland) that they are eviscerated. I invariably end up kind of deflecting at the frenzy. It's all too, I don't know, Canadian. I end up craving something with a deeper sense of intent, of identity. But...there's 31 tracks on the record so really who cares if some of them are clunkers, the prevailing mood is pretty hysterical and it all amounts to a genuinely liberating sense of media abstraction albeit one we've been hearing for some time now. The best tracks on I Have Hands do one basic thing well, instead of trying to nail 7 different collages in a minute and a half. I've posted these songs, but for your interest Illegal Art has a 'pay what you want' policy for all their releases, so by all means, the next time you're on your seventeenth cup of coffee and wearing a hot dog costume, check it out.
The Bran Flakes - Jump Up
The Bran Flakes - Singing Dogs
The Bran Flakes - Van Pop
Posted by Peter at Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Hidden Cameras have me feeling mighty 90's today. I don't why this track "In the NA" is so damn good, it reminds of so many useless silly songs that wear out quick but in the moment are just trancedently 'pop'. What the hell does it mean to be "in the NA"? Who gives a shit I'm bopping around my living room, shut up, that's what. I usually don't post indie rock as obvious as this, but mostly indie rock isn't this good. The cheesy synth brass hook, the totally underutilized in indie rock baritone range (Crash Test Dummies excluded). This song is gonna be stupid in like a day. But today it's fucking brilliant.
I'm posting one more track off that album, that pales in comparison to "In the NA", and apes Arcade Fire pretty hard, but all in all is a pretty decent song. Also check out the video for "In the NA" below. If you have seen a more ridiculous video since Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance" (a video to which this one is obviously indebted) please do let me know.
Hidden Cameras - In the NA
Hidden Cameras - He Falls to Me
Posted by Peter at Thursday, September 10, 2009
Lightning Bolt, the rISD/Fort Thunder powerhouse art thrash duo is back with a destroyer of a record called Earthy Delights not out till October but a couple tracks have leaked this week. Fitting timing for those of us in the LA area as Lightning Bolt plays this saturday at the FYF Fest. "Funny Farm" has a bone crushing almost bluegrass hook, which is a weird and awesome change of pace for them. But almost as if the song had a dialectic, this hook gets gobbled alive by a hard as fuck section clearly designed to destruct the former. It's really odd how much this song could be off an earlier, better, and harder Deerhoof record. "Colossus" pretty much honors its namesake without apology, riding a huge dirge into a speedy oblivion. In the interest of defaulting to a theme here, I have to point out the bluesyness, albeit of the Junior Kimbrough/Buddy Guy blues as weapon school, of the primary riff. Have Lightning Bolt gone traditional? On previous records, bassist Brian Gibson had an interest in circular, minimalistic riffs, ascensions and falling patterns, arpeggios, the tools of modern minimalism done up to look like speed metal. It gave the band a kind of classical rigour. Here there's an almost rootsy vibe emerging. The third track, "Sound Guardians", references something of a tradition, though not as far back as folk and blues. This time it's classic metal, almost Black Sabbath (if Black Sabbath were lit on fire, thrown into a pit of snakes, and then blasted with explosives to eternity) in its broadness and depth. There's even flourishes of hair metal guitar theatrics. Lyrically there's not a lot of change here. Brian Chippendale, the world's fastest, hardest drummer (which would distinguish him from Zach Hill - the world's fastest, gangliest drummer) still swallows his mic (literally) and half sings/shouts indecipherable discourses like a politician/street preacher with a bullhorn who is seriously spiritually unsound. But lest anyone tell you this band is a one trick pony (and those who do aren't really listening anyway), proof of progress is here, in the dirty history of rock, wrung out and juiced up once again by the duo from Providence.
Lightning Bolt - Funny Farm
Lightning Bolt - Colossus
Lightning Bolt - Sound Guardians
Posted by Peter at Wednesday, September 02, 2009
The german techno producer, Ada is back with a mixtape called Adaptations out on Kompakt. On it, DJ Koze's remix of the track "Eve" is transcendent. While so many brights lights of the minimal house and techno scene are acting all monkish and apocalyptic, Ada reminds us that techno is pure, beauty seeking, repetitious fun. While Vladislav Delay's new record, someone who used to understand this base level of aestheticized desire, smacks of every hack sound art installation made in a thousand converted gallery space warehouses in Berlin, and everyone and their mother is making ambient records that take a half a day to put together, Ada is doing gorgeous, pristine things with the basic structures of dance. Sounds that still retain heft and bite. Sounds with transitive charm. Sounds with swooning capabilities. Who doesn't want to fall in love on the dancefloor? Who would rather explore the inside of a sound with scientistic precision?
Ada - Eve (DJ Koze Mix)
Vladislav Delay - Musta Planeetta
Posted by Peter at Tuesday, September 01, 2009