Rima Kato: Faintly Lit (flau, 2015)

February 21, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Rima Kato: Faintly Lit

Rima Kato: Faintly Lit

Japanese label flau typically releases melodic experimental electronic music, but some of their releases lean towards indie/folk songwriting, and this is one of them. The songs on Rima Kato’s debut album feature hushed vocals in English with a heavy Japanese accent, along with strummed guitar, Casio, flute/recorder and glockenspiel. It’s light and precious, and warm and dreamy as the song titles suggest. Track 4 is called “Have Fun” but somehow it seems like the most downbeat, depressed song on here. The closest the album gets to being “jaunty” is harmonica-led closer “Ferris Wheel”; even the tracks with Casio beats are pretty laidback and calm. I tend to like flau’s more electronic releases better than ones like this, but it’s still undeniably sweet.

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Dan Deacon: Gliss Riffer (Domino, 2015)

February 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Dan Deacon: Gliss Riffer

Dan Deacon: Gliss Riffer

The newest Dan Deacon album is one of his poppiest yet, with clearer (yet still heavily vocoded) vocals, and less of the ensemble orchestration of his past 2 albums. It’s still not quite a return to Spiderman Of The Rings era; this is the older, wiser Dan who doesn’t build songs from cartoon samples anymore. More lyrics that seem to seek transcendentalism, and mostly higher tempos (a few tracks are a steady midtempo, but they build towards something rather than just head immediately for frantic release). A few tracks are listed as instrumentals in the liner notes but they still have aggressively chopped up vocal samples in lieu of lyrics, and they manage to say a lot in terms of mood and feeling. “Meme Generator” in particular has a really nice blend of a tough midtempo electro beat and pretty melodies. Some of the beats and chopped samples seem to have a bit of a hip-hop (particularly Southern/booty/ghettotech) influence to them, but just in terms of tempo and pitch, not so much that it seems like he’s overtly trying to make that type of music. It works really well, actually. There’s also a slight classic rock theme here, at least in the first track (which mentions Tom Petty’s “Into The Great Wide Open” song/video) and the fact that the last track is called “Steely Blues” (Steely Dan has a song called “Deacon Blues”). “Take It To The Max” comes closest to the orchestrated maximal-minimalism of his last 2 albums, building up a fast polyrhythmic drum pattern and zapping you with a flurry of chopped-up samples at the track’s climax. “Steely Blues” also builds up with a fast tempo, but seems much more relaxed and light, and ends with a very long sax fadeout. Once again, Dan has created something highly joyous yet actually quite serious, and his return to the Magic Stick in Detroit in 3 months is highly anticipated.

Show #279 – 2/21/15

February 21, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 1
3:01 AM Jefre Cantu-Ledesma ~ The Last Time I Saw Your Face ~ A Year With 13 Moons ~ Mexican Summer
3:09 AM Dan Deacon ~ Take It To The Max ~ Gliss Riffer ~ Domino
3:16 AM Zs ~ Corps ~ Xe ~ Northern Spy
3:30 AM Pascal Savy ~ Memory Fragment ~ Adrift ~ Eilean Records
3:35 AM Ray Sammartano ~ Valeriana ~ Dark Matter Sunshine ~ self-released
3:44 AM /f ~ (j) ~ Micromental ~ Psalmus Diuersae
3:51 AM Disk Provera ~ Scripts ~ Actual Rate ~ Psalmus Diuersae
3:54 AM Gavin Gamboa ~ Gila Monster ~ Esthetogenesis | Hamakhaave ~ Bandcamp
3:57 AM Vulpine Smile ~ Right Handed Romance On A Day That Ends In “Why” ~ Eclectic Components ~ Component
Hour 2
4:00 AM Nathan Mc Laughlin ~ Recess ~ Nothing To Be Sad About ~ Eilean Records
4:05 AM DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid ~ Synaptic Dissonance ~ Synthetic Fury ~ Asphodel
4:12 AM DJ Dlux ~ M1 Frontage ~ The Lost DATs 1993: Time EP ~ Soundcloud
4:17 AM Somatic Responses ~ Dennis Karate Floating Down The River Amman, Tied To Door ~ Hard Landing ~ Photon Emissions
4:21 AM OVe-NaXx ~ Wedding Disco ~ Bullets From Habikino City HxCx ~ Cock Rock Disco
4:24 AM c.db.sn ~ Sun In My Face ~ Neoteric Components ~ Component
4:31 AM Small Life Form ~ It’s Not All Milk & Cookies ~ Parts For Holiday Projects ~ Silber
4:37 AM Amnesia Scanner ~ Live In [][][][][] ~ mp3 ~ Soundcloud
Hour 3
5:00 AM Aaron Martin A Figure Falls Still Comet’s Coma Eilean Records
5:04 AM Solypsis ~ The Man Behind The Sun (Frog Pocket’s éirigh na gréine mix Remix) ~ Masks ~ Component
5:14 AM The Notwist ~ Object 6 ~ Messier Objects ~ Alien Transistor
5:17 AM You ~ Magooba ~ Electric Day ~ Bureau B
5:23 AM Cluster ~ Marzipan ~ Zuckerzeit ~ Brain
5:28 AM Cluster ~ Im Süden ~ Cluster II ~ Brain
5:40 AM Deutsche Wertarbeit ~ Auf Engelsflügeln ~ Deutsche Wertarbeit ~ Bureau B
5:46 AM Johan Agebjörn ~ Will They Forgive Us ~ Notes ~ Paper Bag
5:49 AM Sam Prekop ~ Weather Vane ~ The Republic ~ Thrill Jockey
5:53 AM Mark Isham ~ When Things Dream ~ Vapor Drawings ~ Windham Hill Records
5:55 AM Matana Roberts ~ Dreamer Of Dreams ~ Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee ~ Constellation

Crush Collision 2/19/15

February 20, 2015 at 9:13 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

Crush Collision 2/19/15
11:04 PM William Onyeabor ~ When The Going Is Smooth And Good
11:15 PM Demdike Stare ~ Rathe
11:17 PM Paul Mac ~ Space, Space And More Space
11:23 PM DJ Leukos ~ Untitled Riddim (C Plus Plus & Karmelloz Remix)
11:25 PM Ligovskoi ~ Dilip (Antigone & Francois X Remix)
11:29 PM 2 AM/FM ~ Acid Planes
11:40 PM JTC ~ Buck! (Reimhard Voigt Remix)
11:42 PM DVS1 ~ Black Russian
11:48 PM Joey Anderson ~ Brass Chest Plate
11:52 PM Wen ~ You Know
11:54 PM Aurora Halal ~ Disassociate

His Name Is Alive @ Magic Stick, 2/14/15

February 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Photos | Leave a comment

Warren Defever

Warren Defever


His Name Is Alive

His Name Is Alive


Andrea Morici

Andrea Morici


Andrea Morici

Andrea Morici


Warren Defever

Warren Defever


+ some bonus artwork from the Valentine’s Day art show at UFO Factory
Warren Defever: Two Cats

Warren Defever: Two Cats


art by Davin Brainard and Matthew Bustamonte

art by Davin Brainard and Matthew Bustamonte

marble parrot (toucan?)

February 16, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Photos | Leave a comment
marble parrot (toucan?)

marble parrot (toucan?)

Crush Collision 2/12/15

February 13, 2015 at 9:24 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

This was a special fundraising edition of Crush Collision, which featured extensive usage of a text-to-speech site in order to get people to call in to donate. You can donate at any time over at wcbn.org/donate!
Hour 1
10:02 PM Ekranoplan ~ Coil
10:07 PM Lusine ~ Flat For You (Matthew Dear Remix)
10:10 PM N.M.O. ~ Full Spectrum Dominance
10:14 PM Tzusing ~ No Primordial State
10:16 PM Mr. Oizo ~ Torero
10:20 PM VHS Head ~ Enter The Devil
10:23 PM Blue Sabbath Black Fiji ~ Deep Gravy 7
10:28 PM Max D ~ Chewy
10:32 PM Leon Vynehall ~ Goodthing
10:37 PM Mr. G ~ Lot To Say…
10:42 PM An-i ~ Kino-i (Mix)
10:49 PM Inigo Kennedy ~ Lullaby
10:54 PM Forma ~ Cloud Pillar
Hour 2
11:08 PM Matrixxman ~ Holographic
11:11 PM Jordan GCZ ~ Swingonoguitaro
11:17 PM Juju & Jordash ~ Deadwood City
11:21 PM Beatrice Dillon ~ Halfway
11:23 PM Roberto ~ Prolecanites
11:29 PM Gunnar Haslam ~ Cloud Castle Lake
11:35 PM Omar-S ~ Leave
11:41 PM Raiz featuring Permanent Heartbreak ~ With Me
11:45 PM Young Marco ~ Suzaku
11:50 PM AFX ~ Hypersquij
11:53 PM SVN ~ On Tempo

MOCAD, Eastern Market, Trinosophes 2/7/15

February 8, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Photos | Leave a comment

One of my friends from college has her paintings on exhibit at MOCAD until the end of March, so she visited the museum to talk about her work.


Jamian Juliano-Villani and Jens Hoffmann

Jamian Juliano-Villani and Jens Hoffmann


Some Deaths Take Forever

Some Deaths Take Forever


a few other works

a few other works


Ragnar Kjartansson: The End (multimedia exhibit)

Ragnar Kjartansson: The End (multimedia exhibit)


inside Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead

inside Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead


inside Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead

inside Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead


I wandered around Eastern Market for a while.







RoboCrop

RoboCrop


RoboCrop

RoboCrop









I

Sala Thai

Sala Thai




IMG_4926

I went to Trinosophes for the 3rd day of the Over The Pavement festival.



Peoples Records' new branch @ Trinosophes

Peoples Records’ new branch @ Trinosophes





Thanks USA

Thanks USA


Molly Jones and friends (Kirsten Carey on guitar)

Molly Jones and friends (Kirsten Carey on guitar)


Molly Jones and friends (Kirsten Carey on guitar)

Molly Jones and friends (Kirsten Carey on guitar)


James Cornish and friends (Sara Grosky on vocals)

James Cornish and friends (Sara Grosky on vocals)


James Cornish and friends (Sara Grosky on vocals)

James Cornish and friends (Sara Grosky on vocals)


Hasan Abdur Razzaq/Ryan Jewell Duo

Hasan Abdur Razzaq/Ryan Jewell Duo


juice bar

juice bar


Stirrup (Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello)

Stirrup (Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello)

Marshall Allen and Danny Ray Thompson with Jaribu Shahid

Marshall Allen and Danny Ray Thompson with Jaribu Shahid


Marshall Allen and Danny Ray Thompson with Jaribu Shahid

Marshall Allen and Danny Ray Thompson with Jaribu Shahid


Marshall Allen and Danny Ray Thompson with Jaribu Shahid

Marshall Allen and Danny Ray Thompson with Jaribu Shahid


Marshall Allen and Danny Ray Thompson with Jaribu Shahid

Marshall Allen and Danny Ray Thompson with Jaribu Shahid

Sam Prekop: The Republic (Thrill Jockey, 2015)

February 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Sam Prekop: The Republic

Sam Prekop: The Republic

Sam Prekop’s earlier solo albums continued in the same indie-rock/post-rock vein as his main band The Sea & Cake, but his 2010 album Old Punch Card was a major shift into the world of modular synth exploration. This album continues that exploration, collecting several short pieces of buzzing and pulsating synthesizer composition, ranging from dark droning to abrasive noise to more rhythmic techno-like tracks. The first 9 tracks are a suite called “The Republic”, but they don’t flow into each other seamlessly, so they can be taken as individual pieces. The first one starts off with a lot of amp buzzing, but then develops into shimmering drone. 2 and 4 are darker interludes, but the others have brighter, more pulsating tones, with 5 stopping in the middle and becoming more serene during its second part. 9 is another dark drone which ends with some loops that sound like harp samples. “Weather Vane” takes the album in an unexpectedly dancey direction, with its bright synth patterns erupting into 4/4 beats. “The Loom” has busy, scattered fractal arpeggios, and “Invisible” is mostly calm until those arpeggios creep in. “A Geometric” is another serene, sparkling piece which sounds like it’s going to burst into dance beats again, but it shys away this time. “Music In Pairs” ends the album with 2 minute of more concentrated, buzzing synth-bass melodies. Even though this isn’t Prekop’s first album in this vein, it’s still so much of a departure from his earlier work that it can still seem like he’s trying out some new toys, possibly as a side project or other diversion. This seems so much more than that, though, as he seems pretty masterful at creating expressive pieces which go into unexpected directions.

Johan Agebjörn: Notes (Paper Bag, 2015)

February 8, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

Johan Agebjörn: Notes

Johan Agebjörn: Notes

Best known for his work in brilliant Italo-disco duo Sally Shapiro, Johan Agebjörn has actually been recording ambient and downtempo electronic music since the ’90s. Ambient/new age label Lotuspike released two albums of these compositions in 2008 and 2011, and Paper Bag (the label that also released Sally Shapiro’s albums) released his collaboration-heavy disco album Casablanca Nights in 2011. Notes is something new and different, creating curious, wintery electronic pop songs using Casio electric piano sounds. More than anything, this album reminds me of ’80s electronic artists such as Ray Lynch, whose music was categorized as new age but always felt more playful and melodic than most music of that genre, ending up being its own type of spectral synth-pop. This album totally captures that vibe, with songs such as “The Right To Play” and “The Boy Who Thought It Was A Good Idea To Cry” having catchy dancing-snowflake melodies using wispy synth tones (and note the slide whistle that appears halfway through “The Right To Play”!). A few songs have incidental or sampled vocals (children’s voices pop up a few times), but guest vocalists appear on a few songs as well. “The Leftovers” features Loney Dear, and “You Passed Through” has Young Galaxy living up to their name with the album’s most spacey ambient pop song. The pseudonymous vocalist Sally Shapiro makes appearances on “Careful” and “The Best Thing”, but her vocals are hushed and buried under atmospherics on “Careful”, distancing the song from the more disco-leaning tracks on proper Sally Shapiro releases. “Will They Forgive Us” and “Alpha Beta Gamma” (which flow together) are the only songs on the album with solid 4/4 beats, but on “Will They Forgive Us”, it’s still the mesmerizing synth melody that takes center stage. “Alpha Beta Gamma” brings the beats a little more up to the forefront, creating more of an ambient dance track. The whole album is incredibly sweet and it’s easily my favorite album that Agebjörn has released so far.

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