Toby Oler: Hillbilly Mind Eraser (self-released, 2021)

March 14, 2022 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Toby Oler: Hillbilly Mind Eraser

Toby Oler plays banjo, but this album is far from what you’d expect from the instrument, especially considering what happened to banjo music about a decade ago (a certain web forum likes referring to that music as “hoot”, you could also think of it as “mustache and Mason jar-core”). Instead of hoedown music for people who dress in overalls and go to haunted hayrides, this is like deconstructed ambient bluegrass, with some shoegaze-ish feedback on noisier tracks like “1010”, which also features electric bass swimming through aquatic synths. His friends are credited as playing singing bowls, drones, acoustic guitar slides, mandolin, while Oler himself adds an “etc.” after his banjo credit. “0000” is a pretty fantastic psych-drone unraveling which curiously ends at a melody which seems like it’s about to lead to something brighter. “8080” is a more spaced out group sorcery session that stretches out for 10 minutes. This is a far different, more psychedelic approach than the space country of SUSS or Andrew Tuttle’s electro-acoustic country/folk, but recommended for listeners into those sorts of futuristic Americana.

Defrag: Float (Hymen Records, 2022)

March 13, 2022 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Defrag: Float

Sound designer and former Pigface/Underground, Inc. affiliate Jeff Dodson has continued his Defragmentation project as just Defrag, and has moved from the breakcore/jungle side of IDM to a more downtempo, dubstep-influenced style over the years. He also did a soundtrack for a live action Metroid short film, and while his new one isn’t a soundtrack for either a film or a game, it could very easily be one. These tracks are always on the prowl, whether they’re lurching slowly (“The Lighthouse”) or more kinetic and technoid (“Concrete Face”). “Surface Kraken” tries to nervously break through the barriers with force, and hissing voices lurk in the shadows of the album’s more industrial songs. “Square” is more playful IDM that’s still full of cinematic suspense, and “Open Seas” is just a grand trip on a majestic clipper ship.

Show #620 – 3/13/22

March 13, 2022 at 7:11 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

12:00 am Nigo ~ Too Much ~ Ape Sounds ~ Toy’s Factory/Mo Wax ~ 1999
12:08 am Jameszoo ~ For Drummers (and guitarists) ~ Blind (new) ~ Brainfeeder ~ 2022
12:10 am Binker & Moses ~ Active-Multiple-Fetish-Overlord ~ Feeding the Machine (new) ~ Gearbox ~ 2022
12:14 am Patrick Shiroishi ~ To Kill A Wind-Up Bird ~ Hidemi (new) ~ American Dreams ~ 2022
12:17 am Joni Void + Sarah Pagé ~ Vox Lag ~ Code Versus (new) ~ Backward Music ~ 2022
12:22 am Tangerine Dream ~ Along the Canal ~ Raum (new) ~ Kscope ~ 2022
12:28 am Charbonneau/Amato ~ Évaporations ~ Synth Works Vol. 2 (new) ~ Backward Music ~ 2022
12:34 am Steve Roach ~ Shadow Realms ~ Zones, Drones & Atmospheres (new) ~ Projekt ~ 2022
12:38 am Robin Guthrie ~ The Faraway ~ Springtime (new) ~ Soleil Après Minuit ~ 2022
12:40 am SKY H1 ~ Elysian Heights ~ Azure (new) ~ AD 93 ~ 2021
12:44 am Harvey Sutherland feat. DāM-FunK ~ Feeling Of Love (Martyn Bootyspoon Remix) ~ single (new) ~ House Anxiety ~ 2022
12:49 am Patrick Conway ~ Element 115 ~ Cellular Housekeeping (new) ~ ESP Institute ~ 2021
12:53 am Roller ~ Jujubee ~ Offed (new) ~ Radical Documents ~ 2022
12:56 am Slikback X DJ No Regular Meat ~ PSI ~ Melt (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2021
12:59 am Jimmy Behan ~ The Art of Letting Go ~ Here We Are Now (new) ~ Audiobulb ~ 2022
1:03 am His Name Is Alive (local) ~ We Sell Soul ~ Remain Alone (A Disciples Compilation) (new) ~ Disciples ~ 2021
1:05 am Conway the Machine feat. Jae Skeese ~ Earthlings ~ Greetings Earthlings (new) ~ DatPiff ~ 2022
1:11 am SHXCXCHCXSH ~ Gest ~ Kongestion (new) ~ Avian ~ 2022
1:15 am Windowshopping ~ Synopsis Circling My Head ~ Andromeda (new) ~ No Agreements ~ 2022
1:22 am Windowshopping ~ Vyvanse ~ Vyvanse + Moral Orgazm (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2022
1:26 am zaphyre ~ phantasy»juke ~ lifeforce ~ syncope records ~ 2020
1:32 am KMRU ~ Lost Ones ~ Opaquer ~ Dagoretti ~ 2020
1:38 am Special Request X Tim Reaper ~ Spectral Frequency VIP ~ single (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2021
1:43 am Wayward ~ All a Bit Mad (Tim Reaper Remix) ~ Waiting for the World Remixed (new) ~ Silver Bear ~ 2022
1:49 am yeule ~ Too Dead Inside ~ Glitch Princess (new) ~ Bayonet ~ 2022
1:52 am Martina Topley-Bird ~ Wyman ~ Forever I Wait (new) ~ self-released ~ 2021
1:55 am Grandmaster Masese ~ Enyamunchera ~ Grandmaster Masese ~ Dagoretti ~ 2021

SHXCXCHCXSH: Kongestion (Avian, 2022)

March 12, 2022 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

SHXCXCHCXSH: Kongestion

A rare pronounceable title from the inscrutable duo, this is somewhere in between ravey industrial techno and deconstructed club. Not all of it is totally beat-focused either; “Nges” starts out like a buzzing, motorized squeaky hinge for several minutes, then shoots off radioactive waves at intervals that seem planned but aren’t easy to predict. “Gest” is just a brutal mess of heavy thumps in cracked patterns, and buzzes, scuttles, and malfunctions. “Esti” seems to have a lot of the standard elements of a dance track, there’s an easily detectable rhythm, but it’s all so refracted and swarming and twisted out of place. “Tion” is another sideways rave anthem that hits with extra force and urgency, yet not the sort of hedonistic propulsion of most party-oriented techno. This is techno approached from several different angles, and through its own fractured logic, it works beautifully.

Roller: Offed (Radical Documents, 2022)

March 10, 2022 at 8:36 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Roller: Offed

Drum machines can do so much more damage if they’re programmed in weird patterns and soaked in effects, tearing apart any intentions their inventors may have had. Roller understand this, and their new tape is overloaded and deconstructed all at once, in a way that sounds live and direct. The duo love hyperactive beat patterns, but they also love overheating and burning holes in the audio landscape. The melodies are like violet flames erupting skyward through restless movements, sometimes resembling the timbres of acid techno but a bit more elastic. Somewhat in between industrial crunch and cracked Hausu Mountain mania, with a pinch of juke, Roller’s music always feels heated up and bursting off the grid.

Robin Guthrie: Springtime EP (Soleil Après Minuit, 2022)

March 9, 2022 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Robin Guthrie: Springtime EP

Right as the snow is melting away and spring is on the horizon, I’m just now getting around to reviewing this Robin Guthrie EP that came out at the beginning of January. But that’s ok because of its title, and the music itself, which is a fitting soundtrack for the dawn of spring. “The Faraway” emerges without breaking through, providing a noticeable change but not a major contrast. After that it becomes more nocturnal, with piano melodies that hide behind darkened clouds. “All for Nothing” nearly has cricket sounds during the beginning, but the stillness gives way to a slow, dramatic wash which clears out a huge mass of regret and shame in order to start over at sunrise.

Wayward: Waiting for the World Remixed (Silver Bear, 2022)

March 8, 2022 at 6:52 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Wayward: Waiting for the World Remixed

Once again, I am reviewing a remix album for a record I haven’t listened to in its original form. Unless I actually did and I forgot or didn’t keep a record of it, I can not remember anything at all these days. It seems like the London duo are big into emulating and paying tribute to all the dance genres that shaped their lives, so it’s a huge pool of jungle, rave, house, Balearic, etc. influences. The most immediately remarkable thing about this is the presence of another brilliant Tim Reaper remix, the fantastic whirlwind “All a Bit Mad”. “Canvey Island (unperson’s restless tide mix)” creeps up on you, slowly drawing out blankets of tense synths and subtly sneaking in some microscopic breaks. Both parts of “Casper” are intricately designed club tracks which take their time to bloom. “Jill (Kilig’s Hangover Fear Remix)” is a reflective daydream that sounds perfect for laying down by the window on a sunny afternoon. “Thirty Three (Eliza Rose Re-Rub)” has a striding U.K. garage beat and gentle, cascading synths, plus an encouraging “you got to be free” vocal. Kareem Ali has it both ways with house and D&B mixes of “Ridge Road”, which are both uplifting in different manners. The last track, “Bright (Tour-Maubourg Sunset Dub Mix)”, is a more acoustic Ibiza sunset comedown that could easily fit on a Café Del Mar compilation.

v/a: Remain Alone (A Disciples Compilation) (Disciples, 2022)

March 7, 2022 at 6:59 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

v/a: Remain Alone (A Disciples Compilation)

This brief compilation follows the recent ESP Summer reunion album, which featured deconstructions of a 13th Floor Elevators song. Here, a handful of artists on the label offer interpretations and covers of the band’s music. Model Home’s “Splash on the Canvas” seems to have nothing in common with the band on the surface, attempting to capture some sort of abstract impression of their music rather than emulating it directly. It’s slow and drizzly, with NappyNappa’s usual scrambled vocals fluttering over Pat Cain’s drifting, minimal beats. His Name Is Alive’s version of “We Sell Soul” is a distortion-caked batch of chiming psychedelic pop melodies with wolverine howls ripping through them. Phew renders “We Are Never Talking” as streams of frazzled electronics with detached voices echoing through them, occasionally returning to something which comes close to a sing-song melody. 3 Eyed Monkey is a project of ESP Summer/Pale Saints’ Ian Masters and Nick Davidson of Magic Roundabout, and their cover of “Never Another” is the most straightforward psych-pop tune here, particularly with its Mellotron and relaxed, swaying rhythm, though there’s a big sheet of searing feedback on top. Finally, Model Home returns with a dubby instrumental version of their song, which feels like a bunch of icicles melting in real time as the temperature slowly rises.

Windowshopping: Andromeda (No Agreements, 2022)

March 6, 2022 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Windowshopping: Andromeda

I’ve been featuring a lot of Landline Collective-related releases lately, but the artists I’ve heard have all been putting out consistently amazing stuff, and this is no different. It’s filled with fast, ravey breaks, dolphin-like synths/samples, and just enough twisted time signatures to avoid seeming formulaic. And it’s noticeably footwork-influenced, which will always be welcome. Just a beautiful mixture of hyperspeed break choppage, beautiful/fuzzy/ecstatic melodies, and psychedelic energy. I’ve been hearing breakcore oldtimers complain that the genre is basically turning into mid animecore Spotify playlists made by lonely gamers, and even if there is some truth to that, so much of this music is still creative and emotional and spirited and full of life. Enjoying this one immensely.

DJ KLAPTRAP: empathy box (Landline Collective, 2022)

March 5, 2022 at 4:18 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

DJ KLAPTRAP: empathy box

San Antonio’s DJ KLAPTRAP is part of the rising Landline Collective. This brief album is only the artist’s second release, but it displays a skill for smashing breakbeats up with a range of moods and sounds. The intro and the dubby, slo-mo “Milankovitchianism Extremist” are more detached, but there’s other tracks with more direct, aggressive breaks and also some high-speed rave tomfoolery. “Drunk” is more of an atmospheric, floating d’n’b track with focused but tripped-out breaks. After the sludgy industrial crawl of “Eyes (Slow Mix)”, “All Of It Crumbles By Your Hand” is a high-speed burst of choppy radioactive shrapnel recalling early Duran Duran Duran, eventually combusting into a speedcore nightmare. Nicely done.

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