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Heaven’s Gate|||High Riser EP

Buzz. Twang. Grit, grind, SWING! Welcome to Heaven’s Gate’s debut: High Riser EP. Somewhere between noisy motorik and jangly pop-punk, these Brooklyn spazzes layer on the heavy, bawdy shitgaze we’ve fallen in love with over and over…and over. Fingers will point. Oh, they will point! ‘Round the room and ‘round the room they’ll go. It’s best to just play coy…”Share the Joy” as the Vivian Girls would say.

For all those Cranberries fans out there. For all those believers in the moxie of Christmas and Wetdog, here’s the agitation. Here’s the breast. Here’s the hairy fucking cunt chaffing the face of the casual grit-rock fanbase. Get your jollies. Oh, they’re there. Floating between the fluctuating melodies of vocalist Jess Paps. Sometimes imbued with the fervor of Doloroes O’Riordan, sometimes wailing like the savior of Grace Slick kicks, Emily Beanblossom. Elevated, empowered by the raucous wall of treble and strum. Reinforced by the thunderous pounds that will ward off the lo-fi tag. This is a band getting it out. Loosing it. Making it fucking count. All in the time that it takes you to remember where the fuck your keys may be at any given time of the day.

From the muscle of experimental Brooklyn label Fire Talk, which has allowed us to aurally shake the hands of bands like Jovontaes and Woodsman, comes new heat. Neck effect. Eye reeling pleasure. “How you want to give me all that you can give?” asks Paps on the psych whirlwind “Jesus Hair”. Hesitation be damned! Get in, get out, or get down. React your own way, below. It’s streaming for the nice price of free, baby.

Heaven’s Gate’s High Riser EP is out now via Fire Talk.  Stream it here.

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Words with Andy Stott

Discussing playing too deep at 4 a.m. with the Manchester producer during CMJ

selection: “Leaving”

Outside of MoMA PS1 in Queens, leaves have begun to decorate the sidewalks lining the Long Island City neighborhood. Following his laptop-helmed exhibition in the geodesic Performance Dome, Manchester producer Andy Stott, 32, holds back while patrons file out of the museum’s entrance onto Jackson Ave. undoubtably en route to their next CMJ-affiliated destination. He’s got a few minutes before a van whisks him off to his next gig at Williamsburg’s 285 Kent. Just enough time to tell writer Adrien Colle and me that the basis for his latest LP, Luxury Problems, is an inquiry into making something “wrong”.

Since 2005, Stott has become a major player in the short history of stark U.K. electro label Modern Love having released all of his works to date on the print. Over the last ten years the label has brandished a number of artists merging the lines between house, techno, drone, garage, dub, and ambient such as Miles Whittaker (of Demdike Stare and Pendle Coven). While Stott’s early works tinkered with minimalism, house, dubstep, and trite whips of techno zaps, his contributions from the past two years have shown an evolution and popularity unmatched by his peers at Modern Love. The releases of the EPs Pass Me By and We Stay Together in 2011 broadened his listenership from the headphones and turntables of Residential Advisor heads to the variegated taste pool represented by the more sweeping and eclectic-minded music hubs across the web. With Luxury Problems, Stott continues his progression in growing coruscating tones out of a gritty bedding of static mesh, sleek percussion, and heavy bass. Only, the distinguishing characteristic of his latest is not of a digital quality, but of a human: The voice of Alison Skidmore.

Getting two birds stoned at once, Colle and I double up on Stott’s time going back and forth with questions about the influence, development, production, and performance of Luxury Problems now out on Modern Love.

Considering your background, your past works. What are the major differences in composition with luxury problems?

Someone suggested to me: Why don’t you work with a vocalist? At first I sort of thought it was too difficult. It’ll be a mess. I won’t do a good job. Whatever. But then I thought, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s have a go.’ And then there was only one person that sprung to mind, which was Alison [Skidmore] — my old piano teacher. Last time I saw her was ‘95, ‘96 — I would’ve been about 16. She used to be in a band when she was younger. She wasn’t so difficult to track down because she was a family friend. So I just sent her an email and said, ‘Do you wanna make something wrong?’ And she emailed me back and said, ‘I’m in.’ So, she began recording a cappellas. I said there’s no rules, there’s no limits. Just do what you want. She emailed me back: What style do want it in? What language? I thought, ‘Oh my God.’

So, she sent a bunch of stuff over, which I chopped down and layered and messed around with. When I got the vocals sounding as lush as I’d like, I started building tracks around those edits. She’s on five of the eight tracks, so the album was a radically different approach for me, which kept it interesting.

Why her?

Not only did she teach piano, but she’s an opera singer. Just with her doing that and being in a band when she was younger, I knew that she could be quite versatile. So, on some of the tracks it is very opera-sounding, and then on other tracks it’s quite poppy a vocal. But, she can shift her voice. There was no one else, like I said. And that’s the end result.

Why did you work with vocals? Is it some sort of trend?

Someone suggested it to me. And said, ‘I think your stuff would be nice with vocals. Why don’t you try it?’ I sort of shrugged it off and thought, ‘Nah, nah.’ It stuck in the back of me mind, and I suggested it at [Modern Love] and they said, ‘Well, do you know anyone?’ And I said, ‘Well, yeah. If I can get [Alison] to do it.’ It was just merely a suggestion, and I acted on it. When I started getting these vocals from her, and started using them it was like, ‘Fuck…’ It’s actually really really nice — the possibilities. So that’s why.

Do you feel like you’re bridging any gaps with house, dub, and ambient stylings on luxury problems ?

If it does that, it’s completely unintentional. I don’t have goals in mind when I sit down writing. I just do what I feel. Whether it does that, I have no idea.

Do you feel like your latest works have connections with composers like Gavin Bryars?

This might seem really ignorant, but I should know more about labels and artists — and things like that. And people do ask me a lot: Do you now this, do you know that? And I seriously don’t.

Do the vocals have any relation to Julianna Barwick? Because it almost sounds like your remixing her voice at times.

Don’t know who that is.

…her pieces are essentially her own vocal layerings, looped.

Well, I did some layering, but Alison did her own as well. So she’d record stuff underneath — different semi-tones and things like that. When I got something back from her I already had a chord structure. I already had a key, and working within those limits was really nice.

Do you have a time of day that you prefer to work?

When the past three albums — or EPs [Pass Me ByWe Stay Together, andLuxury Problems] — were being written, I was working. I was painting cars for a living. So, I had to force time. That is irrelevant. I had to write when I got the opportunity. So that was the case.

Do you feel that painting cars has had an influence on your work?

I think breathing in a lot of isocyanate during the day might have. [laughs] …I don’t know. I don’t think the job influenced the music in any way.

What about the samples? It sounds mechanical.

There are some recordings from work on the album. I be working away… [a truck honks] …Jesus. I remember we got a bit of a kit at work that spins around all day. And it got a little bit dry and started squealing. I thought, ‘I need it.’ I’ve done bits of field recording at work, and things like that. So, you’re right, there is some mechanical stuff in there.

Does your music still have the the same power when performing it live as it did when you first developed it?

It does because you’re doing it in a different way. The tracks are engineered slightly different for live. The set is sort of built with avenues in case of pitfalls. If you stuck on one track and no one’s into it, you need to get out. It’s setup in a way where I can still recreate it live, and it’ll be new to me. So I’ll do drops that I haven’t done before. It gets you going the same way as when you first do it for the release.

How do you feel about the difference between home listening and club listening?

The key thing was that’s the way the vocals got delivered, so I had to work like that. And that’s what’s so good about it. The fact that I can play a couple of tracks that Alison did in venues like [the geodesic Performance Dome], in sort of a clubby kind of environment. I wasn’t sat down thinking, ‘Let’s make it home listening.’ It’s just what felt correct for me.

What are you preferences in playing live?

It depends on where you’ve been the night before, and what you’ve been doing… Nah. I’ve been doing it for awhile: Looking ahead at where I’m playing, who I’m on with, and, especially, what time.

I remember playing Panorama Bar [part of the Berghain complex in Berlin]. Oh my God. And I didn’t do me research. They put me on at like four in the morning, and I was playing pretty deep. And this one girl was screaming at me. Screaming. ‘Why are you playing so deep!?’ And I thought, ‘She’s got a point. Why am I playing so deep at this time?’

So, if you can find out prior, it does affect the way you engineer the set because you’ve still got to do your own material and do your own thing. You’re getting asked to play for what you do, but, at the same time, it’s got-a fit.

Do you care about the soundsystem on which you play your live sets?

I’ve got soundsystems that are memorable. There was a place awhile ago. I played in Brooklyn at place called Studio B. It was a huge space. The way the system filled the room was unbelievable. It was the first time that I had to tape everything down. You drop a bass line and everything starts moving. Berghain, obviously. And Panorama Bar. Amazing. There’s a place in Oslo called the Villa . It’s a super-low ceiling. They have a pretty much full function one in there. Even when you went to the bathroom, you just could not get away from it. It was just loud all the time.

But I’ve got no preference with turning up at a show and they’ve got what they’ve got, you know? You can’t pull your face because you’re out and you’re playing and people are turning up. It always helps. It’s always nice to have everything separately — through the range. But, I’ve done similar sets on systems that were a bit more rounded. The sound was not as open and it still translated really well.

So, do you go back to painting cars when you return to Manchester?

I quit me job. Three weeks ago. So straight back into the studio and looking after me little boy. I quit the job thinking, ‘I have all this time.’ And your time just gets taken with tons of other stuff. But, I have got a lot more freedom now — creatively — which is genius.

Last one: Why is this an LP as opposed to an EP like you’ve released in the past?

I can’t say. An LP is something else. It’s more of a collection somehow…

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LE1F|||”Wut” at the Imposition (Impose CMJ Late-Night)

For the last night of CMJ, Impose paired up with ØDD to present this year’s late-night edition of the Imposition at what seemed to be some sort of new BDSM bar in warehouse-heavy Bushwick. If you disobeyed your bedtime to hang out with us at The Paper Box like the exemplary stud we trust you are then you most likely caught Black Marble, a dynamite DJ set by JD Samson, and free PBR—all while considering the role black leather plays in your life. Those resolute heros who stuck it out till 4 a.m. were treated to LE1F and adjusted PBR prices (oops). Here’s LE1F, aka Khalif Diouf, closing off the night with banger “Wut”.

Download LE1F’s latest mixtape Dark York for the nice price of free here.

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Video|||EOLA & Speculator Talk Summer Vacation at Shea Stadium

Selection:  EOLA “The Lights (For Mom)”

In mid-August, I caught up with Edwin M. White (EOLA/Tonstartssbandht) and Nicholas A. Ray (Speculator/Cool Angels) to ask the pressing question: How Did You Spend Your Summer Vacation?  In lieu of a written back-to-school report, White and Ray rehash the summer fun of jumping freight trains, jock itch, moving, dating, and the beach… on camera for your viewing pleasure.  Don’t miss the stories!  Don’t miss the performances!  Once live from Shea Stadium, it’s ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation with EOLA and Speculator’!

Up top is an unreleased tune by EOLA originally meant for Culture Dealer’s song poem project, One Hitter Wonders, released earlier this year.  While “The Lights (For Mom)” was released on the song poem compilation — as a, for real, breathtaking minimal take on neo R&B — White’s original version will give you an idea as to what he’s tinkering with in the studio and how Mikey Collins (of Culture Dealer and Run DMT) translated the poetry of the people into the analog tracks of the comp.

Featured live tracks:

EOLA “Untitled (Future Hymn)” unreleased

Speculator “Pure Ecstasy” Lifestyle (Leaving Records ‘10)

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Review|||Fill Spectre Scare Your Friends (self-released)

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Selection: “Had To Let U Know”

It’s been awhile since I’ve fully extended my arms in public, dressed in headphones and a gallup, ready for anything except for bed. But, there it was, at some stupid hour somewhere between the Chauncey J stop and Central Ave. The grip, ripping through the seams of my headphones. A light, a fire, a fucking movement. True gasoline. The real, the raw, the spirit.

Fill Spectre’s bawdy, self-released earworms aren’t the future of rock ‘n’ roll or punk or anything, but a bold strike from the flesh. These 14 tunes, these 14 pulses, are leaps from the bedroom floor down into the basement, the musty, dingy cavern of a den rife with B.O., with pheromones that reek of ripe vagina spewing from everyone’s pits. The indescribable shit that keeps the record knob at full torque and the body barreling from corner to corner. Scare Your Friends brings the heat and the breaks, cultured and fucked, a little something something from a man involved in a band that turned our heads less than a year ago. It’s time to not only familiarize yourself with Pow Wows, but their guitarist Jay Share-It…and his bedroom project.

From start to finish, Scare Your Friends converges Share-It’s manipulation of mic placement, pop-hooks, and bizarre drum sequencing with licks of flex, fret, and distress. The play, the grasp, the understanding of his sound is an adaptation borrowed and splintered into a straightforward romp of bar and open chord construction. In using a Roland Rhythm PB-300 drum machine to fill the role of percussion, Share-It’s distorted down strokes of modulated, distorted, and blown out guitar lines issue in an industrial punk style that both anchors the sound into the lo-fi and floats it around the early efforts of late-aught bedroom rippers Nathan Williams and Ty Segall. His style displays a variegated tongue, as well. Share-It’s graveled and froggy delivery reminisces Steve Wharer of The Trashmen, fellow Canuck/rockabilly revivalist Bloodshot Bill, and, of course, The Cramps’ obstreperous frontman Lux Interior.

His covers of Johnny Bond’s country, tear-drop swinger “Sick, Sober, and Sorry,” The Ramones’ “Commando,” and The Urinals’ “Sex” displays a swagger which allows him to not only have fun with some of his favorite tunes, but to totally own his style enough to fool you into thinking that they are his very own. While those will get some old heads nodding in appreciation, it’s the originals “The Dark,” “Had To Let You Know,” and “The Break Shake Pt. 1” that’ll have both the youth and Modern Lovers and Suicide patch-wearers chuggin’ Buds together. Despite the break-neck, bloodied knuckle barrage of covers and originals thrown up on to the spool of tape comprising the limited edition cassette, Share-It displays a balancing respite with the sensitive, hand-holding balladry of acoustic numbers “Good To Be Bad” and “Pretty Please.”

With Scare Your Friends it’s not so much about freaking them out, but turnin’ them on. Don’t be surprised when this thing catches vinyl. Forget the deodorant, you don’t want to be all Right Guard Xtreme Sport when you puke. It’s only natural, man.

via Impose
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The Memories|||I Know What To Do

…AND WE’RE BACK.

Usher in the dog days, usher in The Memories.  Courtesy of Underwater Peoples comes this Portland troupe’s debút LP chock-full of syrupy ditties brimming with sweat and sentiment.  Mixing elements of country, shoegaze, and tape-psych over the tried and true bare-bones stylings we love Gnar Tapes for, White Fang dawgs Erik Gage and Kyle Handley recorded these 12 tracks with Gnar buds Izak Arida (Skinny Jesus) and “Hank” Aaron Levy.  The unravelled heat and romance closes in under 20 minutes, and thanks to Underwater Peeps you’ve got the chance to hear your newish—these slow jams were recorded two summers ago for a Gnar Tapes release—aural memories on your parents’ prized stereo machine.  Get your fill, listen to the same song twice; their talent is leaving you wanting more.  

Check the pants down, socks on ballad “I Know What To Do” fit with a harmony and solo that will have your fingerprints meeting another’s in mid sway.  Get close; if you’re man enough to jam naked, you’re human being enough to share a slow dance. Below, scope vids for “Higher” and “Softly.”  One of ‘em sounds like The Ruby Suns hashed out in Lubbock, TX while the other sounds something like sexy-time sweat and blood dripping on a watercolor palette during a power outage.  

Stay tuned Deal heads; we’ve got some very special content featuring That Night When White Fang Came Over to My Big City Apartment coming soon…   

Procure The Memories on wax here.

 

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Monster Rally|||Honey

Rarely does Ted Feighan come off as dramatic. For the latest helping off his forthcoming LP, Beyond the Sea, Feighan, aka Monster Rally, lays down a sample of wind chimes over chopped cuts of xylophone to flex his sonic brand of mesmerizing memorabilia.  By the time it takes one of his normal tracks to finish off, Feighan slides in his down-tempo bass stylings and a light sample of snare to kick up some dynamic and extend the track to almost twice the length of any of his previous concoctions.  

Is Feighan’s aural pastiche still for the sake of hip-hop?  You betcha, but don’t let it corrupt your listening experience; he’s more about drifting than over-thinking.  

Scope the video for Beyond the Sea's first teaser “Jaguar,” below.  Pre-order Beyond the Sea here due out June 19.  

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Review|||Dinowalrus Best Behavior

Selection: “RICO”

Somebody had to take the reins on the egalitarian approach to dance pop, and, in this day and age, the execution of this particular shade is either too exploitative or too esoteric for a heterogeneous bunch to enjoy together. Despite the obvious cues from the “Second Summer of Love” and all that 24-Hour Party People taught us, Dinowalrus’ second album, Best Behavior, generates a seamless balance between late ‘80s/early ‘90s stylings of the aforementioned “oldies” and experimental pop by a generation devoid of identity and imbued with technical know-how and eclectic taste. This album slaps the festival scene in the face for ever thinking that LCD Soundsystem mattered.

What we have here is another reference in the necessary emergence from the culture of “cool.” A group of dudes that said, “Fuck it. This one’s for everybody.” A seemingly conscious departure from the ostracizing funk-psych of their firsty, %. Right on, Dinowalrus. And they’re Brooklynites.

A change in 2/3s of the lineup — Liam Andrew (synth/bass) and Max Tucker (drums) are now backing head Dino Peter Feigenbaum — may have a little to do with Dinowalrus’ adjusted and more focused vision, but the compelling results will more likely than not have you scratching your head over “Where has this been?” than “Why?” That’s because the chorus-laden muscle and hook of the tracks rarely give your brain a break. Although, former members Kyle Warren (synth/bass) and Josh Da Costa (drums) do take Feigenbaum’s back on “Phone Home From the Edge” and “Burners” adding a subtle nuance to Dinowalrus’ matured behavior.

Best Behavior is broken up into two parts over its nine tracks separated by a 57-second segue of dub reminiscent of the Robyn Miller-helmed Myst soundtrack (that visually stunning game with an ambiguous plot your dad was really hyped about in ‘94). Both parts brandish an infectious blend reel and hook that rivals any sound or style they might recall.

Straight out of the gates, “The Gift Shop” flexes dance with breathy melodies, tropical percussion, and driving bass that never let the wave of swirling distortion submerge its throbbing head. The edges are well rounded, which never sound too harsh, allowing the full degree of musicianship to shine and peak into a wah and delay-heavy face melter. “Phone Home From the Edge” merges the woozy sway of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless with the madcap excitement of Animal Collective’sStrawberry Jam. “Beth Steel” retains the flow while offering us a glimpse in to what Dive might sound like once they get out of the shadow of being Beach Fossils’ Zachy Smith’s side project.

This bring us to the peak of Best Behavior, “RICO.” A bizarre MDMA-friendly blending of trance and psych-pop. It sounds like MGMT, Evangelicals, Hot Chip, WU LYF, Gauntlet Hair, and Darude were all trapped in a studio until they came up with an acceptable jam for the devil himself to munch E to.

Following the segue, Feigenbaum’s former touring mate Patrick Stickles, of Titus Andronicus, pops his head in for a raspy guest appearance on the chorus of “What Now” propelling us into the krautrock-heavy leanings of the remaining tracks. Closing off Behavior is “Riding Eazy” which relaxes the tension allowing the flavor of the latin percussion to perpetuate the glistening convergence of Feigenbaum’s charred vocal swing.

While Best Behavior will yield repeat listens on your headphones, it begs to breathe the open air. Give it life. Let it save the waning and bored heart of the music festival.

(via Impose)
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Room 205 Presents Ty Segall & White Fence Live (Kind Of)

Hats off to Room 205 for giving us a glimpse into what Tim Presley and Ty Segall’s upcoming month-long barrage across the states is going to look (sound) like.  Here, the blood buds— backed by pals Mikal Cronin and Nick Murray— show off their finger callouses on this rendition of the mod-psych ripper “Scissor People” off their forthcoming collaborative LP, Hair.  

Unroll those peepers; you’re going to have to re-focus on the screen to purchase tickets— I wouldn’t count on buying them at the door.  Scope the dates, below. 

5/3Portland, Ore. @ Star Theater 
5/4 Vancouver, B.C. @ Waldorf Hotel
5/5 Seattle, Wash. @ Chop Suey 
5/6 Missoula, Mont. @ The Palace 
5/8 Minneapolis, Minn. @ 7th Street Entry 
5/9 Madison, Wis. @ High Horse Saloon 
5/10 Chicago, Ill. @ Lincoln Hall 
5/11 Detroit, Mich. @ Lager House 
5/12 Toronto, Ont. @ Horseshoe Tavern 
5/13 Montreal, Quebec @ Il Motore 
5/14 Portland, Maine @ Space Gallery
5/16 New York, N.Y. @ Webster Hall 
5/18 Philadelphia, Pa. @ Johnny Brenda’s
5/19 Raleigh, N.C. @ King’s Barcade
5/20 Atlanta, Ga. @ The Earl
5/21 Nashville, Tenn. @ The End
5/22 Memphis, Tenn. @ Hi Tone
5/23 Little Rock, Ark. @ Whitewater Tavern
5/24 Houston, Texas @ Walter’s
5/25 Austin, Texas @ Mohawk Outside Stage

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Star Slinger Ft. Stunnaman & Lil B|||Bad Bitches

How awesome would Bitch Mob letterman jackets be?

UK producer Star Slinger, aka Darren Williams, teamed up with Lil B and Stunnaman, former members of Berkeley, CA’s The Pack, for his latest “Bad Bitches.”  The name is about as impressive as the southern-drawl-gone-Cali delivery by B and Stunna, but that seems to be the angle Williams is working with on this track.  

His production on “Bitches” forms a bog of minced vocals and bubbly tricks looped and stuffed between syncopated hits of wet snare, hi hat, and cow bell.  The verse and chorus slog through the neck-high soup of maximalist club that will have grind-induced erections finding the belt more often than the high school “end of period” bell. Lil B and Stunnaman are not the feature here; they’re merely accomplices with letterman jackets in the assault.

(via Impose)

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Interview|||Mikey Collins of Culture Dealer and Run DMT

Selection: “Eternal Dosez”

Kirby Michael Adams Collins, Dm.T, strikes again with a democratic compilation that will have your creative juices starving to be sampled.  For the people, of the people, and by the people is his game on One Hit Wonders; a compilation of submitted song poems parleyed into glistening gems by studio misfits The Doobie Sisters Family Band.  

In addition to a promo featuring samples of Culture Dealer’s take on the desultory poetry of people like you and, literally, me, scope an interview with Dm. T about the project prior to its release, below.  

Check the Altered Zones submission by yours truly, above.  

What interested you in creating a song-poem series?  How long has this concept been on your mind?

Specifically, the song poem idea has been in my head since I watched the film Off the Charts: The Song Poem Story.  I guess that’s been a year or two.  The greater concept of using a musical stage to offer some sort of interactive service where you can collaborate has been in the forefront of my plans for many years.  I hate the idea of how many writers, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, etc. remain inactive because of self-consciousness, personal strife or lack of inspiration. 

That’s just the whole idea for me.  Before I really found my voice creatively, I was lucky to have a number of truly supportive close friends and collaborators, and my path now is to simply express myself and fuel the fire of others who might need an invitation to do so.

Why cassettes as opposed to vinyl, or just a simple digital format?

Well, I’m just starting out obviously with having a label, so as I plan on doing vinyl in the future, I’m not rushing that now.  I just love cassettes; they are physical, you have to sit with them, and the fidelity is incredible. 

Also, though, for the song poems, I love the idea of a split cassingle for the copy you receive.  It’s so cool that each song submitted is getting a copy back with another strangers song.  There will be a chance for those people to correspond because each of those parties will be the only one’s with each other’s song.

How long do you plan on accepting submissions?  When do you plan on releasing the One Hitter Wonders comp(s)? 

I’m gonna turn it off soon, until all of them are sent, then probably do a second round.  One Hitter Wonders will probably come out before this summer. 

How did you get up with The Doobie Sisters Family Band? 

The Doobie Sisters [Family Band] is myself, Sasha Winn, and a range of session musicians that change day-to-day.  Frequent members include Alex Deranian, Edwin White, Sam Shea, Renee clark, and others.  Essentially, it’s a brain trust, but The Doobie Sisters also have original songs that we’re all really exicted about.  Those songs will appear on a Doobie Sisters full album called The Wizards of Ahhh’s.

How are you and The Doob Sis’s interpreting the poetry?  Are there strategies in interpreting these, or is it spontaneous?

We have a slightly different crew every song usually, so it’s all reading the lyrics, jamming for a bit, then someone will step up and shine some idea, and we’ll just all support it.  I like that energy.  The level of collaboration here is a dream for me, from the person who wrote the poem, to the muse they write about, to the newest member of The Doobie Sisters, to the music were pulling from.

Buy One Hitter Wonders here.  Get busy, the world is awaiting your slime. 

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Review|||Lee Bannon Gnarlon Bando’s Midnight Noir

Selection: “The Chase!”

Imagine it’s a Saturday around midnight.  You’re blunted, cruising down an inner-city freeway in the backseat of a tricked out Chrysler 300 playing Virtua Racing on a Sega console hooked up to the shotgun headrest video monitor positioned ahead of you. You there? Good. Now you’re at the vantage point Lee Bannon wants you for his latest mixtape Midnight Noir; a surreal-noir soundscape tracking Bannon’s alter ego Gnarlon Bando for a single night of seedy misadventure.

On Midnight Noir, Bannon breaks from the J Dilla Donuts template of ADD and quantity—typified on ‘09’s Big Toy Box and ‘11’s BTB 2—to flex concept and cohesion. His segues of cryptic dialogue, tire screeches, redlining engines, and natural sound animate the interiors, roadways, and confrontations inspired by the minimalist titles and production of the 11 tracks spanning Midnight Noir.  Bannon’s sleight of hand in shape shifting and half-beat chopping has favored his rolodex thus far, so it’s only natural that stepping out of character as Gnarlon Bando grants him space to parley a dramatic title like “The Chase!” into the satin funk Final Fantasy characters bang to.

Ultimately, Bannon allows the listener to construct the rising and falling action by eliminating dynamic with phantasmagorical synth and sample, and by emphasizing pace with repetitious percussion and bass. Following the opening sequence, “Nighshift Pt. 1,” we know that it’s raining, wherever Gnarlon Bando may be. With the shift into “Pt. 2,” Bannon introduces the listener to the sonic convergence of life, electricity, and infrastructure, encouraging the imagination to construct the setting.

Bannon is deft in continuing his blueprint throughout the mixtape, never confusing the perspective and action of the protagonist with the nature of the scene.  Paranoia is suggested in “Arcade Scene.” The preceding tracks’ titles are based around a “Motive” and a suitcase with $50K. Unlike the disco tech scene in Terminator, Bannon distracts us from Sarah Connor’s fear of her killer stalker with the lights, the music, and the dance floor.

During “The Chase!” we are but voyeurs to the weaves and drifts of the cars at play. The confrontation of “The Shoot Out” is palpable, but never gives away to injury, death, or cowardice.

By “The Count Down,” Bannon’s production evolves out of the quasi-ambient into glitch-beat contemporary, harping on the loop “Count on me.” It’s with “The End Credits” that the Gnarlon Bando’s Midnight Noir is indeed over, and Bannon is back to being himself, waking from the Rockstar Games veneer and banal moniker to the rising producer with the ability to drunk dial Talib Kweli and DJ Premier.

Stream and download available here

(via Impose)

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James Cameron can eat it

The best art about the sinking of the Titanic is a piece of minimalist composition.

Selection: “The Sinking of the Titanic”

From President Abraham Lincoln’s death in 1865, the breaking of the MLB color barrier by Jackie Robinson in 1947, to Tax Day (since 1955; unless the date falls on weekends or Emancipation Day), April 15 has retained a level of historical significance over the last 150 years. Not only does the anniversary of RMS Titanic’s tragic plunge fall on this date, but also this year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the event. For the centennial, Le Poisson Rouge is presenting a rendition of Gavin Bryars’ “The Sinking of the Titanic” by mainstays in the Wordless Music Orchestra and LPR’s house band.

Bryars’ composition, produced by Brain Eno and released on his Obscure label in 1975, is a haunting and surreal speculation of the Titanic’s demise in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. The almost half hour piece is based around the last song played on the Titanic described by Harold Bride, the junior wireless operator on board the ship, to be the Episcopal hymn Autumn. Bryars’ construction ensconces elements of wind instruments, piano, guitar, bass, atmospherics, and archival audio of interviews with survivors into the violin-led hymn. For those interested in the ambient, this is essential.

While observing the centennial of the Titanic’s last breath isn’t going to be a social fest reviling Halloween or anything, Le Poisson Rouge is offering you an interpretation of a visionary that explored the wreckage of the Titanic ten years before it was even found. Or, you could certainly give James Cameron some more bucks to explore the Mariana Trench by catching the 3-D version of Titanic. On the upside, “The Sinking of the Titanic” won’t have you waiting around two hours for a 3-D shot of Kate Winslet’s boobies. On the downside, no Billy Zane.

(via Impose)

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played 26 times

Review|||Eyes, Wings & Many Other Things Napalm beach

Selection: “Double Rainbow”

“No, no. The Waves. The Waves! Look at that, breaks both ways. Watch. Watch! Look! Those six-foot swells! …See how they break both ways? One guy can break right, one left, simultaneously. …We’ll have this place cleaned up and ready in a jiffy, son. Don’t you worry.  …Smell that? You smell that? Napalm, son.  Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” 

—Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore in Apocalypse Now

After all, “Charlie don’t surf!”  And neither does Dallas-duo Eyes, Wings & Many Other Things on their recently released Napalm Beach.  What we are introduced to in Sean French and Colin Arnold’s latest outing off Pour Le Corps Records (co-created by French) is surface level experimentation with elements of drone and neo-psych that meander in and out of meter-peaking production. The game has changed, and French and Arnold are strongly influenced by the ambient world of curtailed shatter-scapes reaching for pop acceptance.

Despite their faults, there is promise in their sound—although it either collapses interest in its familiarity with more-pleasant noise acts like Run DMT and Cough Cool or in prompting the listener throw on any incarnation of Sun Araw’s Cameron Stallones.  It could be argued that hypnagogic pop like Oneohtrix Point Never’s latest, Replica, institutes a similar structure (albeit a different approach) of ephemeral noise planes that have the ability to cross over to a broader audience in compatibility with our “ADD” generation, but Brightblack Morning Light and Pure X - as well as the aforementioned acts - have already accomplished a more unique sense of the focus Eyes, Wings & Many Other Things reach in the nine tracks of Napalm

That being said, Napalm isn’t a bad listen whatsoever. It’s just nothing new, or exploratory; more of combination of their taste and a reiteration of what should be gracing your speakers in times of devastation and contemplation. “In Crumbles” will find a nice home with fans of Psychocandy, while “Cruelty” and the title-track “Napalm Beach” edge you closer and closer to the nuances of Sun Araw’s production style. The effects and production used in processing the guitars and synths create a shimmering cacophony that almost seems destine for over-modulation. But, the wall of sound teetering on edge finds relief from the wreckage before aural cataclysm occurs. This is where the band finds promise and truly understands the works of constructive decay exemplified in artists connecting ‘80s shoegaze with neo-psych. “Engulfed” and “Double Rainbow” couple this sensibility with slow-drone warmth creating a necessary light for the traveler approaching the album as a whole. The whispering pan of atmospherics beneath the melodic vocal groans and choppy, delay guitar melody of “Bad Powder” shines the deep psych of their Texas home teasing us with a sound that almost peaks its head over contemporaries.  

Keep your ears peeled for a tour.  Despite having similar traits, Eyes, Wings & Many Other Things have the live potential to reach an audience untapped by peers with their stylistic convergence and pop-brevity. Let’s just hope they play a warehouse and not a “legal” venue.

(via Impose)

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played 16 times

Oneohtrix Point Philip Glass|||Koyaanisqatsi Remix

Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never and co-founder of Software, recently concocted this remix of Philip Glass’ work on the Godfrey Reggio documentary Koyaanisqatsi for the forthcoming remix album celebrating Glass’ 75th birthday.  In a conversation with The Fader, Lopatin said producers Beck and Hector Castillo considered his version to be “not good enough” to make the record.  

Lopatin’s remix first surfaced on the most recent edition of WFMU’s Mudd Up! hosted by DJ/Rupture.  During the show, Rupture talked to Lopatin about the rejection, Replica, echo jams, dropping tears to The Wake, and how Blank Dogs member and Captured Tracks founder, Mikey Sniper, stole not only his idea for re-issuing rare shoegaze albums, but also his black scarf.  

While Brooklyn indie beef via radio is retro blah, fashion and comfort is nothing you want to strip from a man-about-town in the winter—I’m a scarf man, too, Danny.  Although, the “beef” could certainly (most likely) be a joke on the gullible blogosphere.  Stick around for Lopatin’s selections featuring an older track from Software’s new sweetheart Autre Ne Veut called ”Demoneyez” and the V/Vm, aka Leyland Kirby, tweaked Abba cut “Money, Money, Money;” they’re well worth the wait.

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