Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Of Montreal recently released information on their forthcoming album, False Priest, which will feature cameos from Solange Knowles and Janelle Monáe (the latter of which I think will make for a particularly exciting cut). Track list is as follows...
I Feel Ya' Strutter
Our Riotous Defects [ft. Janelle Monáe]
Enemy Gene [ft. Janelle Monáe]
Like a Tourist
Sex Karma [ft. Solange Knowles]
Girl Named Hello
Casualty of You
Around the Way
You Do Mutilate?
A free download of their first single, "Coquet Coquette" is available for free here.
Look for False Priest September 14th on Polyvinyl.
Of Montreal - Coquet Coquette
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Well we haven't heard from Battles in a while, a fact generally lamented in breweries, bike shops and other indie haunts the world over as "a damn shame". And while Tyondai Braxton's fantastical solo album Central Market, constructed in the vein of a post-rock opera (would we expect anything less?), held me over for a bit, I've been probing the nets for evidence of Battles' next exploit. Turns out, surprisingly, or maybe not so much so, that they've cranked out a song for the extended version of the Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack. The new diddy, entitled "The Line" is a polyrhythmic adventure; like Mirrored, but maybe a bit more grown-up. Primary difference? Lyrics. You can hear all of them! No one sounds like a helium-ingesting cartoon character in a Disney miniseries. Also, it seems that they snuck a little Elfman-influence in there, which is just...so tasty.
Battles - The Line
If you're so inclined, you can go here for more information on the soundtrack for Eclipse, which will feature such acts as The Black Keys, Bombay Bicycle Club and Cee Lo, just to name a few.
Monday, June 28, 2010
SVIIB is back and better than everz! Here's a tasty bit of shoegaze to pump up your Monday...
School of Seven Bells - Babelonia
Disconnect from Desire is set to drop July 13th on Ghostly Int'l.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
MyDogJane, the mysterious act from Canada who creates his own brand of low-fi psychedelia, recently uploaded a bunch of material to the internetz, including the new-ish track "Vacuum Smile". Listen to these, and then visit SoundCloud to check out the rest of his stellar material.
MyDogJane-Vacuum Smile(9) by scottdupuy
MyDogJane-Where Ever Is Your Home(44) by scottdupuy
Friday, June 25, 2010
While ruminating on the possible reasons Animal Collective jumped on the chillwave boat for their "Guys Eyes" music video, (and my personal disappointment that YET ANOTHER CHILLWAVE MUSIC VIDEO now exists), I came across Tobacco's video for "Super Gum". Tobacco, of Black Moth Super Rainbow fame, has foregone the "surfin'-with-your-friends" fad that's so hot right now, in order to pull directly from some fucked-up alien fetish porn. Don't worry moms and dads: there's nothing explicit here. Nothing but an uncomfortable feeling in your tummy watching some 18th century motherfuckers bone someone in an E.T. costume.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The Deluge has been the brainchild of multi-instrumentalists Matthew O'Rane, Andrew McKee and Grant Jordan for half a decade now, and their first full-length, Inverted Earth stands as a testament to 5 years spent working out all the little kinks to craft an original concept album.
The concept, according to their myspace, involves "placing the Biblical flood story in modern times". And there you have it: an idea so genius, that I may appropriate it in the future when I compose my own instrumental record.
It is safe to say then that The Deluge's most ambitious project to date is also their most solid. By crafting and recrafting their post-rock stylings in the vein of jazz, electronic, world and classical, the triad never touch down for too long in one genre before pushing forward to the next. Their knowledge of theory makes this endeavor unique, but their grasp of timing is what deems the project tasteful, molding a sound that is, if not Biblical, certainly epic in it's scope.
While the album aims to superimpose a classic tale on a contemporary setting (a model which I dare say James Joyce would be proud of), the most pleasant aspect of Inverted Earth lies in it's ability to convey multiple atmospheres. Easy example: "The Devil's Postpile". It's nadir conjures images of a smoky nightclub a la film noir, while the climax suggests endless desert sands or crashing waves on lost shores. The Mars Volta has similarly been able to take the listener through several atmospheres and eras in a single song. "Raindrop Matrices", perhaps the album's most intricate, is a song that is as dance worthy as it is lounge worthy. The addition of ambient sounds doesn't add anything to the seamless instrumentation of the artists, but it doesn't detract either, providing commentary on the intrusion of the past to the present.
Then there's "Liquid 7th" and "Undulations", two songs composed so perfectly for their purpose, that the experimental world should collectively hang up their hats and go home. Pushing between an anticipatory and fulfilled melody, the listener becomes caught in the ebb and flow of the music as we watch the world wash away and rebuild itself. And "Root"? Don't get me started on "Root". Have you ever watched something take root and grow? Have you ever listened to it?
The Deluge has a collection of influences, but no predecessors and, as far as I know, no imitators. Tying to find a comparable sound has failed me for 5 years. That is perhaps their defining attribute. That, and the didjeridoo.
Inverted Earth is out NOW. Available here.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Everyone, from the critics to the fans knew that this record was going to be a game-changer for The Chemical Brothers. A statement on their career, and perhaps a reaction: a response to the bad press surrounding We Are the Night. Either way, this was no time for box sets. The masters were going to give us something new. And they did. Sorta. They gave us Further. Sorta.
Many critics had a problem with We Are the Night that I still don't understand. Personally, I was glad that The Chemical Brothers were still making dance music, however pop-oriented, while the rest of Britain was attaching itself to the disconcertingly souless nu-rave movement. Of course, by now, nu-rave has become a culture so entrenched that it is something else entirely, but its essence nonetheless continues to permeate the region.
What was the defining factor that caused such distress here? That The Chem Broz were moving away from raves and underground dance music and a getting a bit too mainstream? Were their concert-goers taking the wrong kinds of pills? Or worse! Were they drinking instead of taking the pills?!
Let me be the first to say it: Further owes itself to Dig Your Own Hole. You can't expect to push any envelopes when your new album aims to mimic one of your classics, and poorly. Take the second cut, "Escape Velocity", which sets its formula within the same parameters as "The Private Psychedelic Reel", but then grinds out a beat with an almost - dare I suggest it - Hot Chip feel, producing an atmosphere composed of equally psychedelic British dancehall elements. "Horse Power" waxes "It Doesn't Matter". The list goes on.
Still there's something nagging at me here. A quality. I resist using the words "concept album" to describe Further, because there's not really a concept here. There is, I suppose, the natural inclination on my part to declare that an album full of mediocre, albeit nostalgia-laden tracks would hash well as a soundtrack to a film about living in London and eating lots of drugs. The "concept" present in my mind has something to do with making an album that owes itself to it's ancestry. But we could call that something else: we could call that "laziness".
The listener may observe notes of M83, The Flaming Lips, Delorean, Panda Bear or Animal Collective circa Strawberry Jam jostling around. Even the newly codified chillwave plays an integral part on the record, though it's not as easily discernible. "Dissolve" is the best example of this chillwave incorporation, and to it's credit, it works. But "Swoon", arguably one of the album's strongest tracks, sounds like a couple of amateur LA-based DJs could have hammered it out.
No disrespect to the long lineage of stellar albums The Chemical Brothers have gifted us. Just, nothing really packs the punch here the way it should. It remains to be seen if this album takes their sound, or anything else, further.
Listen to all of Further on The Chemical Brothers' myspace.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sick day today. Spent a nice half-hour chunk of it lucidly mired in Cole MGN's newest mix, drifting between public access television and 1980's beach imagery. According to gorillavsbear, you can obtain a cassette version of "Windows '69 Edition (on TV)" when you order The Samps new self-titled EP.
The Samps - Windows '69 Edition (on TV)
More info on their myspace, or try here.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
add salt is back from vacation! I have a couple long-overdue reviews to crank out and a Sasquatch report to give, but I thought I'd start everyone off with something special: a new single from !!! (Chk Chk Chk), currently available as a free download on their website. Their new album, Strange Weather, Isn't It? is set to drop August 24th on Warp, and is expected to be at least as groove-laden as anything they've done previously.
!!! - AM/FM
More information on tours and tracklistings is available on their myspace.