Pursuit Grooves: Modern Day Minerals tape (What Rules, 2014)

July 13, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Pursuit Grooves: Modern Day Minerals tape

Pursuit Grooves: Modern Day Minerals tape

The newest Pursuit Grooves album has been available on Bandcamp for a few months now, but I found a copy of the cassette at June Records when I visited Toronto for NXNE, and I couldn’t be happier. This tape shows the now-Toronto-based producer doing what she does best, with unconventional beats and rhythms, mysterious dialogue samples, and soothing synth tones. A few tracks flirt with guitar-like sounds and harder-edged beats, but not in an overwhelmingly hard way. “Carbon Elements” rides skipping beats over swerving bass, sounding like it’s suspended in air, high above the ground, but still with a consistent rhythm. “Traces Of” has a dubby echo riddim and sublime organ, and a voice popping up that says “that doesn’t change a thing.” “Gem” closes the album with a more straightforward drum machine sound, rather than the found-sound rhythmic patterns that most of the tracks are constructed from, and voice that simply intones “beautiful”, which is all that really needs to be said. So good. Also worth mentioning (also on the same label, and also which I found at June Records) is SlowPitch’s Dimly Lit Existence tape, which features a Pursuit Grooves vocal cameo, and is a different take on abstract downtempo rhythms, with dusty scratching, cinematic pacing and more mysterious dialogue samples, with an offbeat pop song (“Robotic Rain Cells”) thrown in for good measure.

Bubblegum Octopus: Critters tape (Moth Life, 2014)

July 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Bubblegum Octopus: Critters tape

Bubblegum Octopus: Critters tape

I probably should’ve posted this before, but everything on the Bubblegum Octopus Bandcamp is set to “name your price” for another day or so, so if you’re interested, you can grab a bunch of awesome releases for free. Critters is the first physical BGO release in a while, and his first tape (as far as I know), and it looks like it’s still available. It’s only 10 tracks and 20-something minutes, but it’s pretty packed with ideas and spazzy tempos and blippy melodies. Opener “Gems In The Dirt” takes its time to build, eventually settling on craggy splittering beats and high-pitched vocals. “Critters” starts with detuned Seinfeld bass slaps, then quickly descends into digital thrashing and growled vocals. A few tracks have hard-trance atmospherics, and others have choppy, obliterating drums and chiptune textures. “You Asperse Me” is surprisingly more straightforward grindcore than usual for the project. All awesome stuff, nobody really blends sweet, menacing and spazzy/unpredictable like BGO.

Xeno & Oaklander: Par Avion (Ghostly International, 2014)

July 13, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Xeno & Oaklander: Par Avion

Xeno & Oaklander: Par Avion

Wierd Records disintegrated a few years ago, so fortunately Xeno & Oaklander have aligned with the Ghostly empire for their newest work. The Brooklyn minimal-synth duo’s sound hasn’t changed much, which is fine because it’s perfect the way it is. I saw them at SXSW last year and their set seemed more like a continuous dance mix, which surprised me a bit, but their albums still consist of concise synth-pop songs of various tempos. “Sheen” and “Jasmine Nights” are the most straightforward 4/4 dance tracks, there’s some excellent speedier tracks (“Lastly”, “Nuage D’Ivoire”), but what stands out the most are the horror-atmospheric slow-jams: “Par Avion”, “Reflections” and “Providence” The latter 2 are short instrumentals, suggesting that this band should look into doing soundtrack work, if they haven’t already. Sean McBride’s voice is absent for most of the album, only appearing on the album’s first 2 tracks, as well as its last; otherwise Liz Wendelbo takes the lead, except for the instrumentals. I’ve listened to this dozens of times this week, it’s just so addicting and I never get tired of it. Now that they’re on Ghostly, maybe they’ll play in Michigan sometime soon? Please?

Show #249 – 7/12/14

July 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 1
3:02 AM Xeno & Oaklander ~ Lastly ~ Par Avion ~ Ghostly International
3:04 AM Lowfish ~ Big Robot/Deep Pond ~ split 12″ w/ David Kristian ~ Suction
3:09 AM Bill Trivison/Ron Slabe ~ Social Collapse And Ensuing Bedlam ~ Better Music Through Electronics ~ noise-arch.net
3:17 AM Storm Ross ~ Frost’s Howl ~ The Green Realm ~ Fengrosso Music
3:25 AM Siavash Amini ~ Unreal City ~ Till Human Voices Wake Us ~ Umor Rex
3:32 AM Brian Eno/Karl Hyde ~ Lilac ~ High Life ~ Opal/Warp
3:42 AM Laraaji ~ I Am Sky ~ Celestial Music ~ All Saints
3:48 AM Carl Hultgren ~ Evening (At Night) ~ Tomorrow ~ Blue Flea
3:53 AM Spectrum Control ~ Dark Matter ~ Mugen Volume 5 (split tape w/ CarRI) ~ Hausu Mountain
Hour 2
4:00 AM Jandek ~ Waiting To Die (excerpt) ~ Athens Saturday ~ Corwood Industries
4:20 AM Arco Flute Foundation ~ It’s A Symbol Like The Word ‘And’ ~ Everything After The Bomb Is Sci-Fi ~ Cenotaph Audio
4:29 AM Mike Tamburo And His Orchestra ~ Beneath The River ~ Ghosts Of Marumbey ~ New American Folk Hero/Music Fellowship
4:38 AM OOIOO ~ Don Ah ~ Gamel ~ Thrill Jockey
4:48 AM Wreck & Reference ~ A Tax ~ Want ~ The Flense
4:51 AM Planning For Burial ~ Where You Rest Your Head At Night ~ Desideratum ~ The Flenser
Hour 3
5:01 AM Swans ~ To Be Kind ~ To Be Kind ~ Young God
5:09 AM Young Widows ~ Doomed Moon ~ Easy Pain ~ Temporary Residence
5:15 AM Boris ~ Angel ~ Noise ~ Sargent House
5:35 AM Tim Hecker ~ Balkanize-You ~ Mirages ~ Alien8
5:43 AM Ben Frost ~ Nolan ~ A U R O R A ~ Mute
5:50 AM Olekranon ~ Feather/Hammer ~ Aphelion ~ Inam Records
5:53 AM Paper Armies ~ I Lied (I Miss You) ~ Trying ~ Bridgetown

Matt Kivel: Days Of Being Wild (Woodsist, 2014)

July 9, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Matt Kivel: Days Of Being Wild

Matt Kivel: Days Of Being Wild

Second solo album from a member of the bands Princeton and Sleeping Bags (neither of whom I’m familiar with). Woodsist lo-fi indie-psych-folk-rock, with falsetto vocals, lazy tempos, and reverb and stuff. Not out of the ordinary for this label, and not anything really surprising, but decent for this style. Honestly I think the songs with drums and more song structure work better than the more folky drumless songs. “Open Road” is the most the guitars get turned up, which either makes it a standout or makes it misleading. “Blonde Boy” and “Days Of Being Wild” have vocals melodies that flirt with pop, I feel like he’s almost trying to sing some early ’90s pop songs that I can’t remember. Laid-back and slightly downer-ish, but not too much. It grew on me a bit.

Cold Beat: Over Me (Crime On The Moon, 2014)

July 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Cold Beat: Over Me

Cold Beat: Over Me

Bay Area indie/post-punk group featuring members of Grass Widow and Erase Errata. Short, taut, dreamy indie-pop with airy vocals, good melodies, and uptempo drumming. A couple songs (“Rain”, “Abandon” which is slower) have drum machines, and a few towards the middle of the album have cello. Quality stuff, not too different from Grass Widow.

Signor Benedick The Moor: El Negro (self-released, 2013/Deathbomb Arc, 2014)

July 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Signor Benedick The Moor: El Negro

Signor Benedick The Moor: El Negro

This was originally released as a free Bandcamp download last year, but it’s made enough waves that Deathbomb Arc just released it on CD with a bonus track. Angry experimental Shakesperean college-age bedroom-recorded prog-rap. A bit of Danny Brown in his voice, but a decade-plus younger. Plenty of punk influence in some of the tracks (especially “Existential Humanitarianism As A Fashion Choice” and “Lecherous, Senseless, Debauchery”), but also orchestral scores (“Aristotelian Reptilian Pavillion (Opening Titles)” is a dramatic classical-inspired instrumental). One of the best rap albums (not just debuts) in recent memory. Seriously creative and accomplished and ambitious and well worth your time.

Guides: 7″ EP (self-released, 2014)

July 6, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Guides: 7" EP

Guides: 7″ EP

Debut 7″ by a new band featuring people who have played in Death Cab For Cutie and Radar Brothers, but this a bit more noisy and mathy than those bands. “Be The One I” starts off deceptively fast and noisy, but cools off once the vocals come in. Nice and hazey-gazey, but still restrained and chilled. “Careful, I Was Every Sin” has tricky drum patterns and sheets of metallic guitar. “Ergo By Sunset” is more soft and dreamy and is my favorite track here.

Show #248 – 7/5/14

July 5, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Mic break music = Jandek: The Song Of Morgan
Hour 1
3:02 AM Laraaji ~ Vision Song Suite ~ Celestial Music ~ All Saints
3:08 AM Jon Hassell ~ Cobra Moon ~ Earthquake Island ~ Tomato
3:12 AM M. Azanyah ~ Echo And Refrain ~ The Aumitar Oracle ~ Path Of Light Records
3:24 AM Jandek ~ The Ditch ~ Richmond Sunday ~ Corwood Industries
3:39 AM Kasai All-Stars ~ Salute To Kalombo ~ Beware The Fetish ~ Crammed Discs
3:48 AM Oberman Knocks ~ Dilankex (Autechre Remix) ~ 12″ ~ Aperture
Hour 2
4:07 AM clipping. ~ Williams Mix ~ CLPPNG ~ Sub Pop
4:11 AM Captain Ahab ~ Get Fucked In The Club ~ The End Of Irony ~ Deathbomb Arc
4:14 AM Signor Benedick The Moor ~ Existential Humanitarianism As A Fashion Choice ~ El Negro ~ Deathbomb Arc
4:18 AM Venetian Snares ~ My Love Is A Bulldozer ~ My Love Is A Bulldozer ~ Planet Mu
4:23 AM Longmont Potion Castle ~ Swamp Donkey ~ LPC 11 ~ D.U. Records
4:34 AM Lone ~ Jaded ~ Reality Testing ~ R&S
4:39 AM Cuticle ~ Document Leak ~ Mother Rhythm Earth Memory ~ Not Not Fun
4:42 AM Cruise Family ~ Gone By Dawn ~ We’re In Heaven ~ Not Not Fun
4:46 AM David Kristian ~ Crown Drawing ~ split 12″ w/ Lowfish ~ Suction Records
4:50 AM Tricky Disco ~ Tricky Disco (Inner Space Mix) ~ 12″ ~ Warp
Hour 3

    5:03 AM Jaydee ~ Try To Find The Rhythm ~ Plastic Dreams 12″ ~ R&S
    5:10 AM Psychic Reality ~ Fruit ~ Vibrant New Age ~ Not Not Fun
    5:15 AM Quantic ~ You Will Return ~ Magnetica ~ Tru Thoughts
    5:19 AM Amatorski ~ Landscape Gardening ~ From Clay To Figures ~ Crammed Discs
    5:24 AM Lidless Dogs ~ Side A (excerpt) ~ tape ~ Green Records
    5:37 AM A Sunny Day In Glasgow ~ Crushin’ ~ Sea When Absent ~ Lefse
    5:41 AM Cold Beat ~ Rain ~ Over Me ~ Crime On The Moon
    5:44 AM Sharon Van Etten ~ Taking Chances ~ Are We There ~ Jagjaguwar
    5:47 AM Nightmares on Wax ~ Nights Interlude ~ N.O.W. Is The Time ~ Warp
    5:50 AM Cooly G featuring Karizma ~ It’s Serious ~ Hyperdub 10.1 ~ Hyperdub
    5:54 AM Paper Armies ~ Embrace It ~ Trying ~ Bridgetown

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