Ensemble Economique: Melt Into Nothing (Denovali, 2014)

September 28, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ensemble Economique: Melt Into Nothing

Ensemble Economique: Melt Into Nothing

Brian Pyle’s Ensemble Economique project continues to refine the gloomy goth-psych-pop sound he’s been creating for years, and damn near perfected with last year’s Not Not Fun-released Fever Logic L.P. This one starts out with “Your Lips Against Mine”, which right away sounds like it should be the theme song to some sort of goth romance movie. So many layers of bubbling guitars, synths and sensuous vocals. “Make-Out In The GDR” continues this mostly instrumentally, with darkened chamber drums beating and vintage 4AD-like guitars. “Never Gonna Die” shrouds organ and vocals in caverns of reverb and has a drum machine shuddering along, and even thunder crashing sounds. The melodies on this album aren’t far away from the melodies on Fever Logic, but it sounded so good last time that it’s hardly a complaint that this is so similar. The album ends with “Melt Into Me”, a coda of spooky heartbeats and rain-swept echoed whispers.

Noise Camp 2014

September 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Noise Camp, Photos | Leave a comment

Noise Camp poster

Noise Camp poster


unrelated silver room installation in the Mobile Homestead

unrelated silver room installation in the Mobile Homestead


Mobile Homestead

Mobile Homestead



Craft Table

Craft Table


Destroy Band's machines

Destroy Band’s machines


Mobile Homestead

Mobile Homestead


program

program


Bear

Bear


Noise Camp

Noise Camp


another bear

another bear


Warren and Davin setting up the fire

Warren and Davin setting up the fire


Megahead

Megahead


closer look at the unrelated silver installation

closer look at the unrelated silver installation


Orphans

Orphans


Orphans

Orphans


Craft table

Craft table


Destroy Band

Destroy Band


Destroy Band

Destroy Band


Destroy Band's rotating speakers

Destroy Band’s rotating speakers


Andrew Coltrane

Andrew Coltrane


Haunted House

Haunted House


Frog eyes in a bucket

Frog eyes in a bucket


Wiccans

Wiccans


Wiccans

Wiccans


Wiccans

Wiccans


Princess Dragonmom (Davin)

Princess Dragonmom (Davin)


Princess Dragonmom (Warren)

Princess Dragonmom (Warren)


Princess Dragonmom (Davin with Electric Bear)

Princess Dragonmom (Davin with Electric Bear)


Princess Dragonmom (Warren)

Princess Dragonmom (Warren)


Princess Dragonmom (Davin with Electric Bear)

Princess Dragonmom (Davin with Electric Bear)


Princess Dragonmom (Warren with smashed watermelon)

Princess Dragonmom (Warren with smashed watermelon)


Princess Dragonmom (giant tree stump invasion)

Princess Dragonmom (giant tree stump invasion)


smashed cardboard bush

smashed cardboard bush


stump attack!

stump attack!








electric kalimba used during PDM's set

electric kalimba used during PDM’s set

Modern Love Tour (Demdike Stare + Andy Stott) @ MOCAD, 9/17/14

September 27, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Photos | Leave a comment

Graffiti on Woodward Ave. side of MOCAD

Graffiti on Woodward Ave. side of MOCAD


Christopher McNamara

Christopher McNamara


Christopher McNamara

Christopher McNamara


Demdike Stare

Demdike Stare


Demdike Stare

Demdike Stare


Andy Stott

Andy Stott


Andy Stott

Andy Stott

Love Inks: Exi (Republic Of Music, 2014)

September 27, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Love Inks: Exi

Love Inks: Exi

Love Inks are an Austin trio who make minimal electronic indie-pop music similar to bands like Young Marble Giants. The songs generally consist of nothing more than a softly thumping drum machine, a bass guitar line, softly strummed electric guitar (or sometimes very soft organ tones) and ethereal, double-tracked vocals. It’s the type of music where every sound and every lyric counts. Deceptively simple, but it works, and the songs stick with you on repeated listens. Sometimes all it takes is just a phrase like “I don’t hear that” repeated in a nice melody with some pleasing tones (as on “Don’t Hear That”) to do it for you. It almost sounds like they’re suggesting more, but you really can’t imagine them adding more to their sound without making it sound overdone. It doesn’t sound like unfinished demos, it sounds complete. A few songs (“New West”, “Regular Lovers”) have crucial touches of sensuality, and “Sky Machine” has some cool shimmering tremolo guitar effects. “Text Message” is the lone instrumental track here, with abrasive guitar up against a high-pitched sinewave wall, and beats nervously shuddering in the corner. “Spirit Communication” ends the album with a slow jam, with the beats more spaced out and lots of echo on the snare drum, which doesn’t seem to appear on the rest of the album, and is emphasized here to make an impact.

Show #257 – 9/27/14

September 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

mic break music = Greetings From Spring Break Tapes Vol. 1 cassette compilation
Hour 1
3:01 AM Aphex Twin ~ CIRCLONT6A (syrobonkus mix) ~ Syro ~ Warp
3:08 AM Kid606 ~ Don’t Sweat The Technics (Lexaunculpt Style) ~ Dubplatestyle ~ Vinyl Communications
3:12 AM Lesser ~ Markus Popp Can Kiss My Redneck Ass ~ Welcome To The American Experience ~ Vinyl Communications
3:31 AM Lusine ~ Quiet Day ~ Arterial ~ Ghostly International
3:33 AM Suicideyear ~ U S ~ Remembrance ~ Software
3:39 AM Slow Magic ~ Girls (Kodak To Graph Remix) ~ mp3 ~ Downtown
3:42 AM Lapalux ~ Movement I, II & III ~ mp3 ~ Brainfeeder
3:49 AM TOKiMONSTA ~ Dusty Stars ~ Desiderium ~ Young Art
3:52 AM Little Mack ~ Point Detroit ~ Drac Juke ~ Raveyard
3:56 AM Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler ~ The White Balloon ~ Slant Of Light ~ Thrill Jockey
Hour 2
4:04 AM Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa ~ Dioramasaurus ~ Savage Imagination ~ Thrill Jockey
4:08 AM Sonogram ~ Beta Tester ~ LED Melodies ~ Simulacra
4:12 AM ODESZA ~ Kusanagi ~ In Return ~ Counter
4:15 AM Christopher Willits ~ Connect ~ OPENING ~ Ghostly International
4:23 AM Trentemøller ~ Deceive (Unkwon Remix) ~ Lost Reworks ~ In My Room
4:27 AM Kasper Bjørke ~ Forever ~ After Forever ~ HFN
4:39 AM Laetitia Sadier ~ Quantum Soup ~ Something Shines ~ Drag City
4:46 AM Ashrae Fax ~ CHKN ~ Never Really Been Into It ~ Mexican Summer
4:51 AM The Stargazer Lilies ~ Undone ~ We Are The Dreamers ~ Graveface
4:56 AM SPC ECO ~ Found ~ Sirens And Satellites ~ Saint Marie
Hour 3
5:04 AM UXviE ~ We Should Have Flown ~ mp3 ~ Soundcloud
5:07 AM Aloonaluna ~ Helium ~ aiff ~ Soundcloud
5:10 AM Nima ~ New City Grip ~ See Feel Real ~ Bandcamp
5:12 AM Kwes. ~ Purplehands (patten Remix) ~ ilpix. ~ Warp
5:17 AM Garden City Movement ~ LIR ~ Bengali Cinema ~ BLDG5
5:20 AM Slow Magic ~ Youth Group ~ How To Run Away ~ Downtown
5:24 AM Silje Nes ~ Mirrored ~ The Wire Tapper 35 ~ The Wire
5:30 AM Derek Rogers ~ You Don’t Think In Terms Of Trains ~ Visual Echoes ~ Umor Rex
5:40 AM Ensemble Economique ~ Fade For Miles ~ Melt Into Nothing ~ Denovali
5:50 AM Anjou ~ Readings ~ Anjou ~ Kranky
5:57 AM The Bug ~ Fall ~ Angels & Devils ~ Ninja Tune

Crush Collision 9/25/14

September 26, 2014 at 9:17 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

Hour 1
10:02 PM Moiré ~ Infinity Shadow
10:06 PM Simian Mobile Disco ~ Tangents
10:12 PM Mr. Scruff ~ We Are Coming (Max Graef Remix)
10:18 PM Time Wharp ~ Duke 6
10:21 PM Evan Michael ~ Gran Via
10:26 PM Gobby ~ Y Smart Car
10:28 PM Jeremiah R ~ Infinite Skies
10:32 PM Permanent Heartbreak ~ In His Words
10:37 PM Camilla Green ~ Arcade
10:44 PM Dntel ~ Connections
10:49 PM Gareth Whitehead, Marshall Jefferson & Robert Owens ~ How Can I (Luke Solomon’s Raw Feel Instrumental)
10:55 PM Hagan ~ Rankin’
Hour 2
11:00 PM Pfirter ~ Atman
11:06 PM Alphacode ~ Driving Thru Michigan
11:11 PM Blow ~ Monochrome (Ferlin’s Profunda Almbus Mix)
11:23 PM Clark ~ Unfurla
11:27 PM Subotika ~ Evolving (DJ 3000 Remix)
11:33 PM Victor Santana ~ Perfect Room
11:37 PM Rumah & Progression ~ SC1
11:42 PM Esteban Adame ~ Out To Get It (Anthony Parasole & Phil Moffa Reconstruction)
11:48 PM Ikonika ~ Position
11:51 PM Aphex Twin ~ 180db
11:54 PM Carl Taylor ~ Debbie’s Groove (Robert Hood Remix)

Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa: Savage Imagination (Thrill Jockey, 2014)

September 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa: Savage Imagination

Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa: Savage Imagination

Second collaboration album between former Ponytail guitarist and J-Pop starlet. Has the types of lush, circular guitar looping arrangements you’d expect from Wong’s solo stuff, plus the drum machines and vocals of his more recent work. Although it actually seems a little lighter and less mind-bending than some of his last few efforts, but it’s subtle, it takes time to listen to it and absorb everything. It’s definitely not as poppy as Takako songs like “Fantastic Cat”, so don’t expect that type of a cutesy sugar rush. The vocals actually aren’t that noticeable for much of this album, they seem to function as an instrument rather than for lyrical purposes. The tracks all flow together and it’s hard to really pick out highlights, but “Dioramasaurus” has a guitar melody that sums up the album pretty well and ends up burrowing its way into your head. “Dancing Venus Of Aurora Clay” starts with lots of clapping before the guitars spiral in and the drum machine kicks in. “Dimension Dive” is a 3-part suite, and part 1 has another guitar melody similar to “Dioramasaurus”, but with lighter beats. “Luminescent Earth Traveler” has some vintage-sounding drum machine beats mixed in, along with lots of really playful sounds. The whole album is fun and relaxing and enjoyable, and they’re playing the MOCAD on November 9, so that will be incredible, and a rare opportunity to see Minekawa, I have no clue if she’s ever played Detroit before.

M.B.: An Hour With… (Placenta Recordings, 2014)

September 13, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

M.B.: An Hour With...

M.B.: An Hour With…

Maurizio Bianchi is one of those hyper-prolific artists whose music I’ve always admired but never really delved into, simply because there’s so much of it, so much of it is so hard to find, and how do I really know where to start, or stop? But that’s about to change because now that I’m sitting down and listening to this album, I’m just blown away by how incredible it is. The 4 compositions on here are named by their track lengths (which do add up to exactly an hour), and from the beginning, “Seventeen Minutes And Fifty Seconds” is just hard to turn away from. Every time I listen to it on different speakers and different volume levels, I hear something different. Sometimes it’s icy microscopic glitch, sometimes it’s fluttery insects in thick night air. It doesn’t seem to change throughout much of its duration, but it pulls you in, and then when it does start to shuffle up around the 11 minute mark, it feels like everything’s starting to fly around you and gets you prepared for something chaotic to happen. “Twelve Minutes And Thirteen Seconds” is a long trawl through some dark haunted passageway, with all manners of tints and distortions fraying the edges of your vision. “Eight Minutes And Twenty-Seven Seconds” is tense dark ambient drone, which seems to incubate a glowing dismal orb, with fluid radioactive sparks squirming from it. “Twenty-One Minutes And Twenty-Nine Seconds” has crystalline sound loops which sort of outline a melody, with a calm but vaguely stiff and metallic drone beneath. The sounds very subtly shudder and vibrate if you pay attention, but it’s easy to just get lost and let it all wash over you. The blurb on the back of the jewel case sums up how this album is meditative and relaxing, but at the same time sort of rough. It uses the term “conscientious entertainment”, and questions what to do after you’re done listening and meditating to this album. Good question. It’s not accurate to call this noise or power electronics or industrial, but it’s not a simple ambient or drone record either. All I know is that this is going to sound perfect this winter, and not in some sort of cliched predictable “frostbitten cold bleakness” way.

Charlatan: Local Agent LP (Umor Rex, 2014)

September 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Charlatan: Local Agent LP

Charlatan: Local Agent LP

Newest full length from Digitalis founder Brad Rose’s current main project. Murky bubbly synth sounds, with a definite rhythm but less “techno” sounding than previous Charlatan stuff. Still gets pretty noisy, as on the end of “Blur Suit”. “Lonely City” has a pretty sweet, gelatinous ooze-smeared Detroit techno melody and bass pulse, without an actual beat. “Skulled” has more showers of fractalized modular synths over a swampy bass pulse. “The Cure” opens with thrashing, sloppy noise bursts and only gets crazier and more corrupted from there, until some sort of awkward beat emerges halfway through. Utterly bizarre and fascinating. “Double Blind Host” is another track with sort of an awkward misplaced-sounding beat, or rather a couple rhythms superimposed on each other which sort of fit. It’s definitely the most “minimal synth” sounding track here, if that means anything, which it most likely doesn’t. “Antiprism” has another lurching synth rhythm over gritty drum machine beats, with more synth detritus stumbling along afterwards. And “Nightmaring”, be glad that slithering monster is just in your dreams and not your life. Super incredible stuff as always, recommended to those interested in both vintage experimental electronic music and the way-out-there side of abstract dance music.

Christopher Willits: OPENING (Ghostly International, 2014)

September 13, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Christopher Willits: OPENING

Christopher Willits: OPENING

Christopher Willits has been part of the Ghostly family for 10 years, and was releasing material on Taylor Deupree’s 12k label before that. But his highest-profile work in recent memory has been his production and mastering work on Tycho’s recent breakthrough album Awake. Listening to Willits’ new album, it’s hard not to think of it as sort of an ambient companion piece to that album, especially since Tycho’s Scott Hansen provided instantly recognizable, triangle-heavy artwork for this album, plus he and his band members contribute heavily to this album. While Awake had uptempo rhythms and U2-like guitar melodies, opening is much calmer and more relaxed, a 45-minute warm sunrise of an album. Beats pop up occasionally to push things along, and sometimes (as on “Clear”) they’re striking, but not in a way that’s overbearing. The beats get most involved in the album’s 2 longest tracks, “Connect” and “Wide”, which slowly unfold with chiming guitars, subtle glitches, and softly pulsing bass along with the beats. “Release” ends the album by doing just that, summing up the album’s wide-scope panoramic sound of sky-blue ambience and slowly thumping beats.

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