Glassbox: Where Is Everybody? 12″ (Juncture Music, 2022)

April 16, 2022 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Glassbox: Where Is Everybody? 12″

The new single from Toronto’s Ian Patterson captures that overwhelming feeling of being lost from everyone you hold dear, caught up in life’s rush and suddenly realizing you’re all alone. “Where Is Everybody?” is a pounding track that draws from a drum’n’bass palette, with some steely breakbeats attached to its relentless kick drums, and synths that are both ecstatic and frightful, like the best darkside. Plus there’s timestretched vocals that ask for a sign of life but end up calling into the void. “Interdimensional Cetecea” has slightly trancey jittery synths, but the beats are fast and broken, and after a short pause the breaks get absolutely ballistic. This is music that thrives at the edge of panic, but remains too strong to give in and destruct.

Tracing Xircles: Xenolith (Blue Hour Music, 2022)

April 15, 2022 at 6:42 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Tracing Xircles: Xenolith

Berlin duo Tracing Xircles demonstrate their mastery of intense sound design as well as crowd-commanding rhythms on their stunning new EP. The title track to Xenolith is a progressive breakbeat epic, with so many layers one can easily get lost in, but its rippling breaks cut a clear path. “Surface Level” is a futuristic electro track which feels more repetitive, but not in a lazy way. “Blindspot” is deep-space d’n’b which feels like a zero-gravity sword fight. “Closed Circuit” is an acid-soaked breakbeat stalker on a deadly, freewheeling mission. Unmissable.

Rich Pellegrin: Passage (OA2 Records, 2022)

April 14, 2022 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Rich Pellegrin: Passage

Passage is a second volume of piano improvisations recorded in a church near Seattle during the same time period as Pellegrin’s Solitude from last year. Here, the tracks are arranged into three sets so that there’s some sort of vaguely cinematic arc to them, though no explanation or suggestion is provided as to what the story could be, and it’s entirely left up to the listener’s interpretation. Most of the tracks are short, around a minute or so, and often the ones that are a bit longer leave more of an impression. “Improvisation IV” is one of the more layered, adventurous pieces here, feeling like it’s constantly averting its eyes in several directions at once. The longest one, “VIII”, is much more reserved, like a mouse afraid to crawl out of its hole in the wall. “XIV” is a piece of expertly paced trepidation, forcing you to look over your shoulder and watch your step. “XVIII” is one of the more luminous ones, and it couldn’t be more different than “XX”, an experimental piece which sounds like someone slowly sweeping the wires inside the piano rather than playing the keys. The third set is on the whole brighter and more energetic than the first two, and even when it isn’t, it seems like it’s more in focus.

Ruby My Dear: À Dada (Blue Sub Records, 2022)

April 12, 2022 at 6:39 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ruby My Dear: À Dada

So now that Igorrr has crossed over into the metal world, his past collaborator Ruby My Dear seems to be picking up the torch and making wacky, genre-obliterating breakcore. Except this album might even be more fun than anything Igorrr has ever done. Honestly, the most accurate made-up genre to file this under would have to be Itchy & Scratchy-core. It’s close to that level of sadistic glee. There’s atmospheric guitar melodies tucked away inside piledriving breakbeats, momentary bursts of death metal growling and hardwired guitars, glitchy polka horns, cartoonish vocals, and so much more. But as with everything this artist does, it is all deadly precise and extremely musical instead of just being a shitpost pileup of random samples. Even when he’s going for the funny bone or shocking you with pure nonsense, or even consciously writing lullaby-type melodies and spiking them with breakbeats, RMD’s music seems too elaborate and inspired to just write off as a novelty. I saw him at Bangface the first time I went a few years ago, but I barely remember his set. There’s no way I’m going to forget his set this year.

Aquarian: Mutations I: Death, Taxes & Hanger (Dekmantel, 2022)

April 11, 2022 at 6:36 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Aquarian: Mutations I: Death, Taxes & Hanger

The first of two EPs from the Berlin-based producer (and half of AQXDM) is nothing less than a molten fireball which constantly changes appearance but still retains the same power whichever state it’s in. The title track is rocket-fueled d’n’b/breakcore hurling through the galaxy, and “Rene Likes the Steak” inhabits the more cosmic side of breakbeat IDM. “Sam Handwich” is a cracking electro stormer with a repeated message that’s just a bit too obscured to understand. “Dead Whale” takes up 9 minutes, so it’s one of those tracks that asks you to come sit down and stay for a while, and when you do, your mind is gradually tilted sideways by steadily percolating acid synths and slashing breaks. I was not expecting this release to be this amazing and do not want to miss Aquarian at Dekmantel this year.

Horsegirl: Billy 7″ (Matador, 2022)

April 10, 2022 at 1:31 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Horsegirl: Billy 7″

The first Matador single from this Chicago-based trio has a grungey shoegaze sound suggesting a long-buried Breeders song just seeing the light of day now, except the vocals are closer to spoken word, resembling current U.K. post-punk bands like Dry Cleaning. The B-side is a cover of the Minutemen’s “History Lesson Pt. 2”, which fits perfectly with the band’s aesthetic. The band faithfully recreates the song’s driving but easygoing tempo, and they paraphrase Mike Watt’s lyrics about their lives being changed by punk rock, substituting their own names. Good cover, and it certainly makes for a nifty B-side, but the A-side slyly grabs your attention if you’re into noise-pop.

Show #624 – 4/10/22

April 10, 2022 at 12:10 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

12:00 am Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul ~ Blenda ~ Topical Dancer (new) ~ Deewee ~ 2022
12:03 am Eiko Ishibashi ~ Drive My Car (Hiroshima) ~ Drive My Car – Original Soundtrack (new) ~ Newhere Music ~ 2021
12:07 am Whatever the Weather ~ 17°C ~ Whatever the Weather (new) ~ Ghostly International ~ 2022
12:10 am DJ Travella ~ Chapa Bakola Music Bass ~ Mr Mixondo (new) ~ Nyege Nyege Tapes ~ 2022
12:13 am Slikback X Brodinski ~ Mud ~ Lossless (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2022
12:16 am Catdog ~ We All Have Needs ~ Free Ray! Survival isn’t a crime! (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2022
12:21 am Justin Jay ~ Smith ~ VOYAGER001 (new) ~ Fantastic Voyage ~ 2022
12:23 am Twofold ~ Untitled ~ 2HR 2 ~ Eat Dis ~ 2020
12:27 am Rich Pellegrin ~ Improvisation VII ~ Passage (new) ~ Origin ~ 2022
12:31 am The Star Beams ~ We Did It ~ Play Disco Specials ~ Mr Bongo ~ 1976
12:39 am The Durutti Column ~ You Mess Me Up ~ Sex and Death reissue ~ Factory Benelux ~ 1994
12:42 am Tyler Mitchell Featuring Marshall Allen ~ Angels & Demons at Play ~ Dancing Shadows (new) ~ Mahakala Music ~ 2022
12:48 am Throttle Elevator Music ~ Rooftop Sunrise ~ Final Floor ~ Wide Hive ~ 2020
12:53 am Extraa ~ Strangers ~ Baked ~ Requiem Pour Un Twister ~ 2020
12:56 am Horsegirl ~ Billy ~ 7″ (new) ~ Matador ~ 2021
1:02 am K. Leimer ~ Starting Errors ~ Found Objects ~ Palace of Lights ~ 2021
1:03 am Gang of Four ~ What We All Want ~ Solid Gold (reissue) ~ Matador ~ 1981
1:07 am XV (local) ~ We Begin Again ~ Basement Tapes ~ Half a Million ~ 2020
1:09 am Applesauce Tears ~ More Secret Joys and Sorrows ~ Scores (new) ~ Black Cottage Records ~ 2022
1:12 am Yoshinori Sunahara ~ Lovebeat 2021 Dub Mix ~ Lovebeat (2021 Optimized Re-Master) (new) ~ Sony Music Direct (Japan) Inc. ~ 2021
1:20 am Sweet Trip ~ Follow Me ~ Halica: Bliss Out V.11 ~ Darla ~ 1998
1:27 am Stereolab ~ The Flower Called Nowhere ~ Dots and Loops ~ Elektra ~ 1997
1:33 am Blood Incantation ~ Io ~ Timewave Zero (new) ~ Century Media ~ 2022
1:38 am Colloboh ~ Arabesque No. 1 ~ single (new) ~ Leaving Records ~ 2022
1:42 am Optigan Conservatory (local) ~ Fanfare for Failure ~ Human Money (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2022
1:48 am Low ~ Hey ~ HEY WHAT ~ Sub Pop ~ 2021
1:55 am His Name Is Alive (local) ~ Blues (1) ~ Emergency LP ~ Time Stereo ~ 2000
1:57 am Wojciech Rusin ~ Swedenborg in the Forest ~ Syphon (new) ~ AD 93 ~ 2022

XV: Basement Tapes LP (self-released, 2020/reissued by Half a Million, 2022)

April 9, 2022 at 11:09 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

XV: Basement Tapes LP

Free punk trio XV’s 2019 debut became somewhat of a sub-underground sensation, quickly selling out of its initial 100-copy pressing, with Discogs priced surprisingly going through the roof before a second pressing appeared last year. This album was originally released on cassette by the band in 2020, and it’s just now making its way to vinyl. Like their debut, this is a set of short, raw songs which alternately stare you in the face and try to play games with you. The second part of “Starting Over/Please Stop Talking” is actually a spoken game where the members try to say “Please stop walking” in the spaces that the others aren’t speaking. “Lights in the Woods” is a more melodic tune with a repeated exclamation of “Purple!”, as well as an accelerating rush. After a brief a cappella rendition of “Into the Groove”, “Mark E. Moon” pays tribute to both The Fall and Television, reminding me of Palberta’s half-remembered covers. This has a bit of King Uszniewicz-like saxophone and some furious drum bashing. “Shut Up I’m Bald” actually reminds me more of The Fall, at least until its spaced-out coda, and “We Begin Again” has a similar sort of hobble. Lots of intimate conversations are captured throughout the album, particularly on “Goodnight”, a whispered interaction that touches on self care and hygiene methods. XV’s music thrives in these small, intimate spaces, not only basements but also bedrooms, house venues, UFO Factory. It can be loud and insistent but it doesn’t demand attention and still sounds like something you have to discover or stumble across, or be recommended by a friend.

Crush Collision 4/9/22

April 9, 2022 at 9:36 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

12:00 am Supreems ~ Us Together
12:04 am Andrés (local) ~ John C Lodge Cruise
12:08 am Sally Shapiro ~ Million Ways (Gerd Janson Remix)
12:13 am Zmatic ~ Whistlers
12:16 am Raxon ~ Vice
12:20 am G Jones ~ A2C2I2D
12:23 am Despina ~ Akimbo
12:27 am Brainwaltzera ~ tracing Rays [reality glo]
12:30 am Client_03 ~ Prosperity Stream Divider
12:33 am DJ Lag ~ Ice Drop
12:37 am EDND ~ While Sleeping Watch
12:41 am Jerome Hill ~ A Million Ways to Get Ill
12:45 am MoMA Ready ~ Mitch Techno Test
12:49 am Blackdown ~ The Cycle
12:51 am Floating Points ~ Grammar
12:58 am Will Simpson (local) ~ Cult of Mojo
1:01 am Jonas Landwehr ~ Sillage
1:09 am Vincent Oliver ~ Cluods in the Haed (Nathan Fake Remix)
1:14 am Ilana Bryne ~ Exclusive Shit Holds No Weight
1:19 am Logic1000 ~ Rush
1:22 am Paco Sala ~ Imperial Needs (Love Cult Remix)
1:25 am Anz ~ Body + Mind
1:28 am Jonny Reebok ~ Aphrodite Dub
1:32 am Kachina (feat. Nikki Marie) ~ A Girl Like Me (DJ Q Remix)
1:35 am Das Spezial ~ Kefi (Bruce Remix)
1:38 am JK Flesh Vs Echologist ~ Fleshology 0203
1:41 am Bookworms ~ Dehydration
1:46 am Emma Lee ~ Lawkdwn Tool
1:49 am Angel D’Lite ~ Werk My Body (Local Group Remix)
1:54 am 박혜진 Park Hye Jin ~ Can You (Galcher Lustwerk Remix)

Optigan Conservatory: Human Money (self-released, 2020)

April 8, 2022 at 7:29 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Optigan Conservatory: Human Money

This very sporadic collaboration between Fred Thomas and Frank Rotondo has released material every so often, but I was unaware of it until Human Money came out earlier this year. From the start, it makes an impression with rambling pianos which get fed through tapes, setting them in different sonic directions before letting them deteriorate. “Mourning Disappointing” adds some guest vibraphone and guitar, adding some melodic interference but otherwise sounding still and captured. “Elegy for Work” is another mesmerizing piano-based piece, surrounding the sparse notes with glowing echo and reverse effects, and transporting you to a snowy mountain peak for seven minutes. “Hands Are Clean” has stalking, tattering drum machines and haunted, far-away melodies. “Fanfare for Failure” gets us into that reverb-lost Harold Budd/Cocteau Twins zone, but with the dials twisted so that things short circuit and fall out of balance. “Single Use” returns to the sound of pianos which seem to be having out-of-body experiences, if that’s possible for musical instruments.

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