I didn’t give much of a listen to Angel Olsen’s first album, but I remember it being more ethereal country/folk, and this album’s opener “Unfucktheworld” here starts that way, but then the next track (“Forgiven/Forgotten”) is full-band and produced and I was a little startled. But it’s good! It arrives at the lyric “I don’t know anything, but I love you”, and that gets to me. Then it ends abruptly after a shred of some scraping guitar noise. “Hi-Five” is also more rocking, with a bit of Roy Orbison inflection to her voice, but then “White Fire” goes back to the long droney ethereal folk thing, and it’s lovely as well. “High & Wild” is midtempo dusky rock, then “Lights Out” is a down-and-out country ballad. “Stars” is another somewhat cathartic, somewhat rocking track. “Iota” is soft and vaguely bossanova-esque. “Dance Slow Decades” is a nice ethereal slowdance, as the title suggests. “Enemy” is a softly swaying acoustic song, and then “Windows” ends the album with a big weepy finale, starting softly and then building up minimal drums and organ, with Olsen’s voice crying “why can’t you see? are you blind? are you dead? are you alive?”, then about-facing and asking “won’t you open a window sometime? what’s so wrong with the light?” Kind of dramatic, but also kind of devastating. Good stuff.
Vaguely GBV-related (Jim Greer was in GBV and is in this band, Bob Pollard did the artwork) indie rock, as sprawling and absurdist as that band, but with a twist: there’s male AND female lead vocalists. There’s also lots of interlude-y tracks, a lot of which are just answering machine messages or silly samples, but a few of which are brief song fragments (“Impostor Horse”, “Los Angeles Street”). There’s also 2 11-minute jams, which break into horn solos (“How Not To Be”) and gang vocal chants (“Hotspurs Of Micely Light”). The singer has a bigger and more serious voice than you might expect for an indie-pop band, coming close to Chrissie Hynde or Debbie Harry. “(CIS)X” is a little robot voice talking about synthesizers, and then “Gone 1 Quickly” is a nice little lo-fi synth-pop gem. Male vocals remind me of the guy from the Pastels (the male/female vocals remind me of this band too), or maybe Mark Robinson of Unrest/Air Miami/Flin Flon.
9:01 PM Terminal Girls ~ Schizophrenic Ghost ~ split EP w/ Immaculate Palace ~ Immaculate Palace
9:05 PM City Center ~ Cloud Center ~ City Center ~ Type
9:13 PM Orphanage ~ Land ~ Anachronology 2011-2013 ~ self-released
9:18 PM Duotron/Severous ~ track 4 ~ Electronic Soundscapes ~ self-released
9:20 PM KILN ~ Kopperkosmo ~ Meadow:Watt ~ Ghostly International
9:33 PM Amino Acids ~ Coaxial Fludder/The March Of The Centipedes/Misirlou ~ Theme From The Slack Hole 7″ ~ Bellyache
9:37 PM Immaculate Palace ~ Spider Hunt ~ Old Haunts ~ Immaculate Palace
9:39 PM The Gories ~ Charm Bag ~ The Shaw Tapes ~ Third Man
9:41 PM Bad Party ~ Star Children ~ 7″ ~ Modern Ape
9:46 PM Timmy Tumble & the Tumblers ~ Head Honey ~ 7″ ~ Gypsy Farm
9:52 PM Kirsten Carey ~ Musksweat ~ Ulysses Project ~ self-released
10:02 PM Frank Pahl/Dennis Palmer ~ Sampler ~ Pahl-Mer ~ self-released
10:09 PM Frank Pahl/Dennis Palmer/Bob Stagner ~ Neugdae-Salam ~ Fishers O’ Wufmen ~ self-released
10:13 PM His Name Is Alive ~ Very Bad, A Bitter Hand ~ Home Is In Your Head ~ 4AD
10:16 PM Fuxa ~ Unknown ~ Dirty D ~ Rocket Girl
10:20 PM Drexciya ~ Welcome To Drexciya ~ Submerge: Depth Charge Two ~ Submerge
10:22 PM Underground Resistance ~ Astra Apache ~ Submerge: Depth Charge Three ~ Submerge
10:27 PM Dopplereffekt ~ Sterelization ~ Elektro Physix ~ Area Code 221
10:32 PM Little Mack ~ Suicides Have Sex With Demons From Hell ~ cd-r ~ self-released
10:43 PM Selector Catalogue ~ Freddy’s Q-Tip ~ ????????????? ~ Backwards NW
10:46 PM Little Claw ~ Eye Of Deer ~ Moss Has Fangs ~ Ypsilanti
10:51 PM Odd Clouds ~ Liquid Moon Ritual ~ Liquid Moon Ritual EP ~ Casanova Temptations
We received a huge package from Ambiances Magnétiques at the radio station recently, and these two titles by composer/woodwind player Lepage leaped out at me first. Canard Banchu features a gaggle of clarinets, along with some bass drums and organ. Mostly short tracks, only 3 are 4 or 5 minutes. The rest are little miniatures. Playful, concise, jovial, swinging, mysterious. I don’t speak French so I can’t read the liner notes or song titles, but this is accessible and fun, maybe not quite as ripe for cartoon soundtracks as Raymond Scott, but still kind of out there and kooky. But while some of it’s more light-hearted, there’s some serious haunted electro-acoustic manipulation on “Le Pelleteur de nuages”. “Rainettes a la brunante” is kind of a lazy New Orleans stroll, and has nice organ. “Fondation : d’ou venons-nous ?” has a sprightly little oompah to it. The other two “Fondation” pieces are also more kind of strolling tracks. Others are moodier, less rhythmic/upbeat tracks, with “Le Grand Heron et la demoiselle” being a sparse, atonal solo freakout. “Maringouins en escadron” ends on fun, upbeat, grooving note. Le Lait Maternel is more of a jazz/rock/exotica fusion, with full, lush orchestration. Very fun and exciting. Traces of spy and surf music, bossa nova, smooth jazz, country (steel guitar on “L’Avenue Charles Ives”), Marc Ribot-esque guitar, backwards effects, electronics, and a bunch more that I’m just not processing right now. Eclectic and a little schizo, but not quite in a disconcerting John Zorn way. Songs shift mood and change tempo, and most of them are under 3 minutes, so it’s pretty ADD. Charles Ives and Buddy Rich are namechecked in the song titles, so that gives you a little insight to the inspiration here. “Le Rock du bungalow” and “Le Robert bougalou” are the most swingin’ ’60s-ish, while “Le Grand Canyon” is a solemn string passage. “Le Ketchack americain” has crazy vocal percussion and squonking horns. A few tracks are aided by ticking electronic beats, with closer “Le Mangeur de gazon” getting particularly IDM-ish. Very eclectic and fun, a worthy soundtrack to what could be a pretty bizarre and entertaining film.
Half hour long piece utilizing tuning forks, which generate and manipulate sine waves. Starts with slow, subtle clanging and droning, but after 5 minutes starts to heat up, with slightly more rapidly fluttering tones, twitching and vibrating, getting closest to the type of glitchy sinewavecore 12k/Line/Raster-Noton are sometimes known for releasing. After that, it gets to a dog-whistle high pitch, punctuated by metallic thumps and clangs. It gets pretty engrossing. Eventually it smooths out a bit, eases off the higher pitches, and has more of a glassy texture. Later it starts to get more buzzy and scrapey, slowly crawling and icepicking towards warmth and melody. The last couple minutes sound like dry arctic tundra wind.
This week’s release on John Dwyer’s label Castle Face. With Thee Oh Sees on hiatus, the label’s putting out new (and reissued) records left and right. Bass synth/delay-heavy sci-fi-themed garage rock. “66” says “we love the ’60s”, but more than anything this reminds me of various ’90s sci-fi-inspired indie-rock groups, like maybe Man Or Astro-Man, Servotron, and a bunch more I’m just not remembering right now. But anyway, if that’s up your alley, this is worth checking out.
The first Dog Bite album came out less than a year ago and I’ve already forgotten what it sounds like, but it’s filed under “shoegaze/dreampop” in my hard drive, so I guess I must have liked it enough to keep it around. But this one is a little different, and already more memorable. It’s a pretty simple formula: Cocteau Twins/A.R. Kane-era 4AD meets chillwave. Opener “There Was Time” instantly recalls those classic dreampop guitar sounds, then “We” hits you with chillwave beats, and then it just goes from there. “Lady Queen” is the most uptempo track here (you can almost even dance to it), the rest is more down-to-midtempo, with “Clarinets” being the slow, sad, pretty ballad, “Dream Feast” coming close to that, and “Royals” not being the Lorde song of the same name. Worth checking out.
When I was a kid and I had field trips that went to planetariums, I kind of wondered what was up with the music they played there. Did someone actually sit down at a synthesizer and just make long spacey instrumental music just to be played at planetariums? Is this actual music? Now obviously I listen to this stuff all the time. Here’s some straight-up space planetarium music. Listen to this while in bed trying to sleep, it actually does produce some far-out imagery in your mind, and takes it to different places. “Valkyrie Descending” and “Galaxy Trigger” are maybe the most dramatic tracks here, the rest are more easy going. Really sweet space music.
Vinyl reissue of a tape from 2010. This band changed their name to Vår when they released an album on America on Sacred Bones, probably to avoid confusion with the band that did “Low Rider”. But this is really great lo-fi noisy coldwave synth-pop. Very blown out and distorted, vocals are unintelligible/obscured, beats are rudimentary drum machine sounds, melodies are cheaply played and imperfect, and it all just sounds really dark and isolated and great. The members of this band are also in Iceage and Lust For Youth, and it’s similar to both bands, but definitely not as driving or rhythmic or melodic or polished, and that’s why I think I like it better. Really murky and foreboding. “Glass Ribbon” is an instrumental with a cool droning guitar sound towards the end. “Marble Hall Pigs” is slightly more punk-leaning. “Flesh Hierarchy” is REALLY blown out and has this great searing melody which doesn’t sound like it’s quite correctly played or timed, but it just works so well. Really a great album, loving this way more than anything else related to Iceage and that whole Danish post-punk scene.
3:07 AM Lee Bannon ~ Readly/Available ~ Alternate/Endings ~ Ninja Tune
3:15 AM Tatvamasi ~ Collapse Of Time ~ Parts Of The Entirety ~ Cuneiform
3:21 AM Zevious ~ Plying The Cold Trade ~ Passing Through The Wall ~ Cuneiform
3:31 AM Burial ~ Come Down To Us ~ Rival Dealer ~ Hyperdub
3:44 AM Debruit & Alsarah ~ Alsahra ~ Aljawal ~ Soundway
3:48 AM Oneohtrix Point Never ~ Explain ~ Replica ~ Software
3:54 AM Nima ~ Halo Blinks Pt 2 ~ Spirit Sign ~ Bandcamp
4:03 AM Gimmik ~ Le Ciel ~ Back To Basics ~ Toytronic
4:08 AM Duncan Avoid ~ Systemic Ressentiment ~ Metaphysics ~ Hive
4:13 AM Dimentia ~ Internal ~ Sastrugi ~ Katabatik
4:24 AM Kid Droid ~ Onyx (Borja’s Winter Agoraphobia Remix) ~ Project Onyx ~ Droidsong
4:34 AM Techno Animal ~ Catatonia ~ Re-Entry ~ Virgin
4:50 AM Patrick Cowley ~ Tides Of Man ~ School Daze ~ Dark Entries
5:00 AM Deepchord ~ Aerosphere ~ 20 Electrostatic Soundfields ~ Soma
5:10 AM Forest Swords ~ Friend, You Will Never Learn ~ Engravings ~ Tri Angle
5:18 AM Special Request ~ Capsules (Lee Gamble Full Length Remix) ~ Soul Music ~ Houndstooth
5:29 AM The Haxan Cloak ~ Excavation (Part 1 and 2) ~ Excavation ~ Tri Angle
5:42 AM No Milk ~ The Revival Process ~ Retrospective ~ Hot Releases
5:48 AM Teaadora ~ Virgin Forever ~ Virgin Forever ~ Hot Releases
5:51 AM Grouper ~ Tidal Wave ~ Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill ~ Type
5:56 AM His Name Is Alive ~ Beautiful And Pointless ~ Home Is In Your Head ~ 4AD