Basic Rhythm: I Don’t Know What I Would Do EP (Sneaker Social Club, 2020)

September 21, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Basic Rhythm: I Don’t Know What I Would Do EP

Anthoney J Hart’s newest Sneaker Social Club EP contains 4 tracks that are something like sticky dancefloor grime. The synths are fizzy and feel like they’re dissolving in acid but and the beats are dislocated but all of it manages to keep afloat. These aren’t bangers the way the last Basic Rhythm LP for Planet Mu was, but there’s undeniably some sort of strange unplaceable energy to them. The first side is definitely the more active and brain-teasing side; both tracks have straight up weird, squishy beats but the twisted vocal samples and synth pads point to more uplifting club vibes. The tracks on the other side are slower and more spaced out; “Annihilate” makes use of a familiar Grace Jones sample and “Plodding Along” does just that.

Show #548 – 9/20/20

September 20, 2020 at 10:56 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Tiger Village ~ Prism (Acoustic)
FARWARMTH ~ Onwards, Forever
Christoph De Babalon ~ Sawtoothed Shin
Matmos ~ No Concept
Evicshen ~ Fever Pitch
박혜진 Park Hye Jin ~ Can You
Foul Play ~ Feel the Vibe
Evil Robot Ted ~ Simulacra II
Kara feat. Jenna Noelle ~ Over U
Derrick Hodge ~ Color of Noize
Sam Prekop ~ The New Last
Bebel Gilberto ~ Agora

Dexplicit: Digital Monk EP (Pastel Prism, 2020)

September 20, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Dexplicit: Digital Monk EP

Grime/bassline heavyweight Dexplicit’s newest EP is centered around inspirations from ’80s video games, TV shows, and movies. It doesn’t attempt to imitate the soundtrack of any specific example of those, as far as I can tell, and it doesn’t really sound like chiptune or synthwave. But there’s definitely something wide-screen and panoramic about it. The synth melodies are big and dramatic, the vocals seem closer to arias than the more R&B-influenced singing commonly heard in garage, and it all feels like it’s leading to something grand. It’s just a 4-song EP, though, not a complete soundtrack, so it feels like a way to drop some big emotions into the club for a few minutes.

Loris S. Sarid: Music for Tomato Plants (Constellation Tatsu, 2020)

September 19, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Loris S. Sarid: Music for Tomato Plants

Plant-themed electronic albums are clearly nothing new, but this one specifically focuses on small, household ones that appear simple but bravely carry out their function. The sounds are gentle and delicate, clear and melodic, and the vibe is a little similar to Japanese environmental music (particularly on “Ferns and I”) but there’s also some ASMR tendencies, with some close-up sounds and whispers appearing on some tracks. The first track also has a kettle whistling away. It’s just very domestic, household music, music to tend to your houseplants while stuck in your apartment during the endless pandemic. Yet there’s also spacey qualities to tracks like “Toad”.

Anthéne and Andrew Tasselmyer: Progressions (Constellation Tatsu, 2020)

September 17, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Anthéne and Andrew Tasselmyer: Progressions

This one captures just the right amount of resolved peace mixed with gloominess. Perfect for dismally staring outside but relaxing and let time just wash by. Yet it’s not downer music at all, the stillness and soft, natural breeze feel refreshing. It’s empty in terms of kinetic activity, but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of feeling, or care. It flows from nostalgic reflection to trippier notions, as more reversed notes and other effects are gradually applied. Some of it has a vague shoegaze tint to it, also. This music doesn’t quite progress, though, unfold might be more accurate. But either way, it’s perfect for airing thoughts to, or just laying still and making an attempt to find inner peace.

The Beneficiaries: The Crystal City Is Alive (Axis, 2020)

September 16, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The Beneficiaries: The Crystal City Is Alive

The Beneficiaries is the trio of techno old-schoolers Jeff Mills and Eddie Fowlkes along with Detroit poet, playwright, and performance artist jessica Care moore. As with much of his space-themed full-lengths on Axis, Mills’ productions find him in astral traveling mode, constructing electronic comets and shooting stars for moore’s words to traverse. Speaking of hope for a better tomorrow, she namechecks Octavia Butler, Sun Ra, and Samuel Delany, as well as Juan Atkins’ cosmic cars.
The two Eddie Fowlkes tracks are both lengthy jams with live percussion babbling over the percolating electronics, with moore’s vocals dropped in somewhat dub-like, especially scattered with effects during “The X” (which also features space-gospel organ from Amp Fiddler). “When the Sun Loves You Back” and most of “Star Children of Orion” are swirling Mills instrumentals turning solar energy into electronic sonatas.

Show #547 – 9/13/20

September 13, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

RXM Reality ~ B4
Etch ~ Darksides
Drumskull ~ Braincleaner
Philip D Kick ~ Summer Moods
Jlin ~ Lotus
Luke Vibert ~ Animen
Model Home ~ Damn Disco 99
Devonwho ~ blas
Loraine James ~ Messy
Jordana ~ The Circle
Shygirl ~ Freak
Alewya ~ Sweating (Breakage Remix)
Fauzia ~ Progression
Nappy Nina ~ Dipped
Jyoti ~ Bop For Aneho

Robert Rental: Paralysis 12″ EP (Dark Entries/Optimo Music, 2020)

September 13, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Robert Rental: Paralysis 12" EP

Robert Rental: Paralysis 12″ EP

Robert Rental’s first 7″, from before he released music on Industrial Records and Mute, has now been expanded to a full EP thanks to Dark Entries and Optimo. The title track is well named, as it feels like much of the body is just devoid of feeling, cut off, unreachable. A drum machine ticks away and a guitar is flicked at, but the vocals are nearly zombified, and there’s an unsettling electronic whirring over everything. “A.C.C.” seems a little more together, with a tighter rhythm at least, although the vocals are still a little zoned out. The remaining three tracks are seeing release for the first time here. “G.B.D.” stumbles into a dilapidated, echoey drum rhythm before some ragged psych guitar soloing surfaces. An untitled track is unexpectedly tender, with lonesome vocals intoning a desire to be with someone over the barest tick of hi-hats and skeletal rhythmic guitar. “Ugly Talk” is leagues away from anything else on the EP, a 7-minute flotilla of interlocked fluid melodies which sway in impressive waves. Nothing remotely ugly about it at all. It fades out at the end but I’d take an entire LP side of it.

Spotify playlists

September 12, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m not sure why but I’ve been looking back lately (probably because I’m stuck at home and can’t go anywhere) and I ended up making playlists of some of my favorite songs of the past 2 decades. I’ll keep adding to them as I think of more things:

Best of the 2000s
Best of the 2010s
And these are just various songs/pieces that pop up in my head from time to time, regardless of era. I’ll warn you that it ended up skewing towards silly/goofy stuff after a while:
Something (on my mind)

Ethan Daniel Davidson: Come Down Lonesome LP (Blue Arrow Records, 2020)

September 11, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ethan Daniel Davidson: Come Down Lonesome LP

Ethan Daniel Davidson: Come Down Lonesome LP

Michigan-based troubadour Ethan Daniel Davidson has traveled far and wide, and has been interpreting various facets of Americana for over two decades. Come Down Lonesome is one of several records he’s made with His Name Is Alive’s Warren Defever, who co-produced the album along with Gretchen Gonzales Davidson (of Slumber Party and Universal Indians/Universal Eyes, and now Ethan’s wife). The program includes traditional tunes, original compositions, and songs penned by artists including Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Bob Dylan. The atmosphere is a mixture of the rustic and the ethereal, with numerous guest musicians and backing vocalists lending to the album’s richly textured production. Songs like the opening “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (Davis) are bleak and wondrous, and a few tracks have some noisy, droney undercurrents which adds a strange, compelling edge to them. Hurt’s “Louis Collins” sounds like it has an air raid siren whirring in the background, and Dylan’s “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” would sound gentle and inviting if it weren’t for the searing feedback and distortion lurking beneath. The traditional “Turkle Dove” is perhaps the most mantra-like track, but others are hypnotic as well. Danielson’s originals, including the near-title track, are closer to lonesome downer country. The album ends on this note with Cowboy Joe Babcock’s “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water”, which consists of little else beside Davidson’s resonant acoustic guitar notes and sorrowful vocals.

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