RXM Reality: Advent (Orange Milk, 2021)

July 31, 2021 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

RXM Reality: Advent

After an astounding run of tapes on Hausu Mountain, RXM Reality moves to kindred spirit Orange Milk for maybe his most accessible release yet. Last year’s blood blood blood blood was an absolute masterpiece of dystopian dread, constantly blasting you with self-destructive weaponry. Advent is another dense, powerful epic, and while much of it is still discombobulating, especially the opening track, there’s actually playful melodies in “Pied Piper”, and the melodies are so strong that they end up withstanding all the bullet holes from the rapidfire beats. “Character Limit” heads in more of a shoegaze direction, and “Wave of Something” threads some of that type of distortion into delicate melodies and flowing water sounds. Tracks like “Climateric” become more of a glorious battle for light and positive spirit to shine through the dense electrical storm. “Stupefaction” has just a remarkable balance of explosive power and a sort of radioactive swing. “Polymorphous” is almost like “Ventolin” gone trancey deconstructed club. The whole album is just a truly remarkable piece of work which fries the brain eggs over easy but also provides flavor and sweetness and energy.

J-Shadow: SNKRX08 (Sneaker Social Club, 2021)

July 28, 2021 at 6:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

J-Shadow: SNKRX08

J-Shadow follows last year’s The Astral Series EP with his first release for the mighty Sneaker Social Club. “Fade” opens with bubbly, weightless grime synths, busting into breakbeats and yearning vocal samples when the mood hits. “Kugelblitz (The Inescapable Rewarp)” is just nuts, waging an imaginary battle with a restless supply of lazer ammo, all while never touching the ground. “Diffraction” is similar, but “Atlantis” flips to jungle, although it’s still pretty twisted and deadly. “Particle Horizon” is another rave flashback with high definition sound design. “Hibernation Lumina Falls” returns to the murky zone, with slowly unfolding synthscapes, glitched vocals, and drilling beats like construction noises, but no solid, heavy beat driving it with force. Outstanding.

Luggage: Happiness (Husky Pants, 2021)

July 27, 2021 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Luggage: Happiness

Chicago’s Luggage play the type of brooding, stripped down indie rock that was all over college radio in the ’90s but was too stark, imposing, and unconventional to appeal to a more widespread audience. These are relatively short songs, but they carry a lot of weight. Michael Vallera (also known as an experimental ambient composer) seems to stare you dead in the eye when he speaks his dread-filled lyrics. After the desolate slowcore of “Happiness”, “Lie Design: seems more upbeat, but then Vallera warns you “it’s going to get worse’. “Fear” has a tightly winding 3/4 rhythm, and “Idiot Bliss” has an insistent crashing riff that goes through the entire song, refusing to budge until it’s thoroughly made its point. “Wealth” is another uptempo one that seems to be intended to make you run with fear rather than dance. The entire EP is just 19 minutes of bleak energy.

Pursuit Grooves: Mo​:​Delic Island (What Rules, 2021)

July 25, 2021 at 9:43 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Pursuit Grooves: Mo​:​Delic Island

Vanese Smith’s newest album is a set of instrumentals based around the concept of a fantasy island filled with indescribable, magical creatures which all provide uplifting energy to those who encounter them. In conjunction with the release, Smith has designed several art prints corresponding with the songs/creatures, and to my eyes, they register as hybrids of butterflies and colorful birds, perhaps with traces of fish and reptiles. To those who rely on the safety of everything being easily identifiable, the creatures might look weird and confusing, but for people who see things differently and look for beauty in unexpected places, they’re fascinating. The same can be said about Pursuit Grooves’ music; it’s always been offbeat and unconventional, and never fits into an easy category, but her broken beat patterns and warm, sometimes blossom-like bass tones are unmistakable for anyone else, and the originality makes her work stand out. Her music never really seems dark, but this album is especially focused on positivity, with simple track titles that all express joy and the transmission of energy. I always appreciate music that’s optimistic and hopeful but doesn’t get cloying and beat you over the head with happy happy joy joy. Not that something like that doesn’t have its place too, I enjoy my fair share of obnoxious Euro-cheese, but for an extremely introverted person like me, low-key good vibes are more my speed, and that’s the lane this music travels down. All of these tracks are busy yet spacious enough so that you can listen attentively and appreciate their intricacies. The chimes, soft drums, and pianos of “Cheer” glisten like a smooth R&B instrumental, while the pounding beats and bulbous, bass of “Hope” could test any heavyweight London soundsystem. “Zing” is another standout, with beats as jagged as the letter Z, but once you get the hang of their obtuseness, the flow is quite easy and refreshing.

Show #592 – 7/25/21

July 25, 2021 at 12:01 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

mic break music = Rudy Adrian: As Dusk Becomes Night

1:00 am Pita ~ track 3 ~ Get Out ~ Mego ~ 1999
1:11 am Fenn O’Berg ~ Fenn O’Berg Theme ~ The Magic Sound of Fenn O’Berg ~ Mego ~ 1999
1:22 am Pita ~ Acid Udon ~ Get Down ~ Mego ~ 2002
1:31 am Aaron Dilloway & Lucrecia Dalt ~ The Blob ~ Lucy & Aaron (new) ~ Hanson ~ 2021
1:36 am Divine Styler ~ In a World of U (Radio Edit) ~ Grey Matter ~ Giant ~ 1992
1:39 am DJ Manny ~ You All I Need ~ Signals In My Head (new) ~ Planet Mu ~ 2021
1:43 am John Carroll Kirby ~ P64 By My Side ~ Septet (new) ~ Stones Throw ~ 2021
1:47 am Jurmainson ~ Science Channel Freestyle ~ ABQ Indoors (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2021
1:47 am Little Snake ~ In My Head ~ A Fragmented Love Story, Written By The Infinite Helix Architect (new) ~ Brainfeeder ~ 2021
1:52 am Waxy Tomb ~ Speech Target ~ Imminent Fold ~ Gilgongo ~ 2019
1:54 am Diseño Corbusier ~ La Esperanza Esta En Antenas ~ Tens Across The Board ~ Dark Entries ~ 1982
2:02 am Severed Heads ~ Charivari ~ Clean ~ Dark Entries ~ 1981
2:05 am The Cat’s Miaow ~ Not Like I Was Doing Anything ~ I Won’t Have To Think About You ~ A Colourful Storm ~ 1993
2:07 am The Beach Boys ~ Cabinessence ~ 20/20 ~ Capitol ~ 1969
2:10 am Natalia Lafourcade ~ Mi Tierra Veracruzana ~ Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos de Los Macorinos), Vol. 1 ~ Sony Music Latin ~ 2017
2:14 am Blue Reality Quartet ~ Joe’s Train ~ Blue Reality Quartet! (new) ~ Mahakala Music ~ 2021
2:18 am William Parker ~ Rocas Rojas ~ Mayan Space Station (new) ~ AUM Fidelity ~ 2021
2:25 am Hiatus Kaiyote feat. Arthur Verocai ~ Get Sun ~ Mood Valiant (new) ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2021
2:34 am L’Rain ~ Two Face ~ Fatigue (new) ~ Mexican Summer ~ 2021
2:38 am Sunny Ade & His African Beats ~ Ja Fun Mi (Instrumental) ~ Nigeria 70 ~ Strut ~ 1983
2:45 am Mourning [A] BLKstar ~ Open Spaces (for Fred Moten) ~ Adult Swim Singles 2021 (new) ~ Adult Swim ~ 2021
2:55 am Angela Starr ~ Disco Dancing ~ Nigeria Soul Fever ~ Soul Jazz Records ~ 1986

Blue Reality Quartet: s/t (Mahakala Music, 2021)

July 24, 2021 at 11:35 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Blue Reality Quartet: s/t

Pairing 2 percussionists with two horn players, Blue Reality Quartet consists of Michael Marcus and Joe McPhee on reeds and drummers Jay Rosen and Warren Smith (also playing vibraphone). The vibes add a touch of mellowness, but “Chartreuse Tulips” is a short burst of free jazz which nicely balances hot and cool. “Joe’s Train” immediately has a recognizable, deeply bluesy sax melody, while the dual drummers seem to pull the rhythm in different directions. “Coney Island Funk” is an appropriate title — not flashy enough for Broadway, way more laid back, but still with a sense of Big Apple style. “East Side Dilemma” is a lengthier improvisation that constantly teeters over the edge, with the drums bobbing away and the saxophones melodically threading throughout, and then it all explodes into color about 7 minutes in. Final track “Warren’s Theme” is more meandering, and doesn’t quite feel like it really comes together, just kind of bumbles its way for several minutes until the album ends. Still, there are moments on the album when the musicians do click, and it does reach towards another reality.

Basic Rhythm: Pepper EP (Hypercolour, 2021)

July 18, 2021 at 1:23 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Basic Rhythm: Pepper EP

Basic Rhythm’s newest EP leans closer to the off-center house of Theo Parrish than most of his other work, while still coming from the lineage of U.K. bass music. “Pepper” has somewhat nervously paced kick drums and spirals of saxophone, shot through with bass directly inspired by grime. “3am on the Corner” keeps in line with its car door-slamming thuds, as well as an even wave of bass which constantly levitates and recedes. “Moonlight Flit” basically takes an unconventional sample, a brief percussive pattern that sounds more like sticks clinking against ceramic than actual drumming, and rolls with it, adding some additional bursts for emphasis. Stripped-down club tools that still sound big and will knock you for a loop.

Show #591 – 7/18/21

July 18, 2021 at 1:07 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

So, exciting news! I’m back broadcasting in the FM studio every week! My new timeslot is Sunday 1-3AM! I probably won’t post audio archives for every single week, but I’ll post this week’s and some more in the future.
mic break music = Hiroshi Yoshimura: GREEN
Hour 1
1:00 am Dee D. Jackson ~ Automatic Lover ~ 45 ~ AVI ~ 1977
1:07 am Biz Markie ~ Bennie and the Jets ~ flexi-disc ~ Grand Royal ~ 1995
1:11 am J Dilla (local) ~ Nothing Like This ~ Ruff Draft ~ Stones Throw ~ 2003
1:14 am Damiana ~ Under an Aster ~ Vines (new) ~ Hausu Mountain ~ 2021
1:23 am Doopees ~ Dooits! ~ Dooits! ~ For Life Records ~ 1996
1:27 am Angel Rada ~ Basheeba ~ Venzuela 70: Cosmic Visions of a Latin American Earth ~ Soul Jazz Records ~ 1983
1:37 am Ennio Morricone ~ Stark System (Rock) ~ Morricone Segreto ~ Decca ~ 1980
1:39 am Tim Reaper ~ Whirlpools ~ Ecospheres (new) ~ Lobster Theremin ~ 2021
1:45 am Klaus Schulze & Pete Namlook ~ Careful With the AKS, Peter Part VII ~ The Dark Side of the Moog VIII ~ Fax +49-69/450464 ~ 1999
1:52 am Meadow Argus ~ we could never sing before ~ Meadow Argus II (new) ~ Purple Akronym Art Collective ~ 2021
Hour 2
2:02 am Noveller ~ Pattern Recognition ~ Arrow ~ Ba Da Bing ~ 2020
2:05 am Brad E. Rose ~ Verona ~ Reflexive Wizardry (new) ~ The Jewel Garden ~ 2021
2:08 am Toshiyuki Hiraoka ~ Nothing ~ Waterphone II (new) ~ Edgetone Records ~ 2021
2:16 am Etubom Rex Williams & His Nigerian Artistes ~ Psychedelic Shoes ~ Nigeria 70: No Wahala: Highlife, Afro-Funk & Juju 1973-1987 ~ Strut ~ 1976
2:22 am Jean Mpia ~ Klim ~ The World Is Shaking: Cubanismo From the Congo, 1954-55 ~ Honest Jon’s ~ 1954-55
2:25 am Chester Thompson ~ Weird Harold ~ Powerhouse ~ Black Jazz Records ~ 1971
2:31 am Shalmaneser ~ Trace Fossils ~ Vierhebigkeit (new) ~ Aural Films ~ 2021
2:35 am Rian Treanor ~ Obstacle 2 ~ Obstacle Scattering (new) ~ Planet Mu ~ 2021
2:39 am Memetic ~ Sind II ~ A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again ~ Bloody Fist ~ 1999
2:43 am Nazar ~ Pausado ~ Supplies EP ~ Bandcamp ~ 2020
2:47 am HAAi ~ Bass Is The Place ~ Put Your Head Above the Parakeets ~ Mute ~ 2020
2:51 am TV.OUT ~ Slippery Slope ~ Dusk Till Dawn ~ Dark Entries ~ 2019
2:59 am Arlo Parks ~ For Violet ~ Collapsed in Sunbeams (new) ~ Transgressive ~ 2021

Ras Moshe Burnett & Dafna Naphtali: Fusebox (Gold Bolus, 2021)

July 15, 2021 at 6:56 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ras Moshe Burnett & Dafna Naphtali: Fusebox

Two longtime NYC avant music scene fixtures, saxophonist/flautist Ras Moshe Burnett and vocalist Dafna Naphtali perform otherworldly improvisations that tangle human impulses with generative technology, blasting tones and voices far beyond their starting points. Recorded in a studio in 2017, the pieces on this album intertwine Burnett’s playing with Naphtali’s wordless singing, which is expanded through live sound processing. Some moments are sparse and patient, with the two seeming to hum around each other without really going anywhere, but there’s other tracks where they both really take off, and it’s nothing less than head-boggling. “Stochastic Leap” takes one, with jagged saxophone bleats transformed into dense flurries; Naphtali’s voice doesn’t appear often, but it gets transformed into a siren wail when it does. The 10-minute “Coded Futures” has some of the most alien, transmogrified sounds on the album; at one point it sounds like Lisa Gerrard being interrupted by a malfunctioning robot puking out laser beams. “Dervish” is an outer space dub fusion track, with saxophone and electronic effects spiraling around each other at warp speed. Finally, “Hamsa” holds up a distorted mirror to the musical duet partners, multiplying Dafna’s voice into a small choir while twisting Ras Moshe’s sax into a bent high-pitch whistle.

Shalmaneser: Vierhebigkeit (Aural Films, 2021)

July 14, 2021 at 7:28 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Shalmaneser: Vierhebigkeit

Tim Walters makes circuit-fried noise records under his own name, but his latest album as Shalmaneser (pronounced sort of like “Ebeneezer”) is a much more melodic, friendly set of modular synth tunes. It reminds me of Asmus Tietchens’ early records that kind of sound like Throbbing Gristle meets Devo, although I think those comparisons really distort the idea of what he’s going for. The melodies are unexpectedly playful, even a little childlike, but they’re framed with complex technology and even a bit of industrial clankiness. “Trace Fossils” has clear, ringing piano melodies along with microscopic, glitchy sound design, pulling that familiar IDM trick. “Nice Lid” has a lead melody that might very well be played on a toy piano, plus a very minimal wave-style drum machine. “Total Lift Count” takes a long while to build up a perky melody before finally dropping a beat pattern, and even then it’s hardly a steady, on-the-ground thump. “But You Can See It From Here” feels more like a guitar solo played near the edge of a canyon. “Daymoon Madmen” is a toy train ride that zips past a rave and a haunted house, but docks right on time with no service interruptions.

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