February 29, 2012

Video: Western Tink - Burrr


This Western Tink clip is for a new track from the upcoming mixtape Chillin Like A Civilian. The beat might sound familiar if you've heard Nas' "Mastermind", produced by Alchemist. I'm obviously pretty smitten by the VHS style imagery and scanlines similar to our outfit over here at Decoder.

Your Hands, Your Lips, Your EYES, Your Hips

Ensemble Economique just posted this new one to his Soundcloud last night. He tells me it is for "no specific reason, just pure, unadulterated musical enjoyment." One thing is for certain, this is more than just the EE I know and love, using sparse synth tones with minimal tribal percussion to create vibrant worlds of sound. Their are new sonic lands to explore, and this time EE allows his voice into the mix, subtle, calm and soothing. The title of the track, "Your Hands, Your Lips, Your EYES, Your Hips" reflects the more sensual nature of this track. It's a more romantic side of Ensemble Economique that we've not seen much of, but that I hope to hear plenty more from in the future.

Stream: Ensemble Economique - Your Hands, Your Lips, Your EYES, Your Hips

Ghosts and Lovers

NIHITI is hard at work on their newest full-length, for ostland. The record features contributions from Viktor Timofeev, a Berlin-based artist who also uses sound textures to create entire world of sound to roam in. The first release from the record, "Ghosts and Lovers" begins with dissonant chanting, creating a warm mood that is easy to wrap into. Things begin to churn heavily a quarter of the way through, with a grating but not aggravating noise washing in and out of the distant vocals. The track continually shifts between placid and torrid, mimicking the ocean's unpredictable moods.

Stream: NIHITI - Ghosts and Lovers

for ostland drops May 26 via Lo Bit Landscapes.

February 28, 2012

6 days left to fund Ad Hoc

Yesterday evening we hit our kickstarter goal of $4200 four days early, meaning Decoder Magazine is officially going to happen. So many thank yous go out to everyone who has contributed to the magazine, be it funding or the incredible content prepared for it. While this is great news, our friends at Ad Hoc, the phoenix from the ashes of Altered Zones, are still in desperate need of a push to fully fund the site and magazine. We have six days to raise $11000, and while that's undoubtedly tough, I don't think it's impossible. Yesterday Ric & Emilie posted a set on Soundcloud of some of their favorite jams lately, including several exclusive tracks that appear on the Ad Hoc compilation. While you're rocking this playlist, pop on over here to learn more about Ad Hoc and how you can contribute, and peep a write-up for each track from the editors over here.

The Driver

Two of my favorite synth wizards recently teamed up on a split 7" on the always stellar Moon Glyph. On The Driver / TipoffXander Harris and Dylan Ettinger have created a brief idea of what the soundtrack to a Grand Theft Auto game set in Philip K Dick's Los Angeles of 2021 might sound like. Here we have the Xander Harris track, a punchy jawn with a fast pace that lives up to the name "The Driver". It's easy to picture a rampant car chase tearing through the city streets and maybe even a few buildings while listening.

Stream: Xander Harris - The Driver

You can order The Driver / Tipoff 7" now from Moon Glyph, and I promise you that you don't wanna miss Dylan Ettinger's killer conclusion, "Tipoff".

February 27, 2012

The Good Kids (Haleek Maul Remix)

Over the weekend Haleek Maul dropped this heady, swagger filled remix of sorts to the new Lunice track, "The Good Kids". It's Haleek rapping over the Lunice beat, leaving you thinking maybe it was actually written for Maul. He posted the track to his soundcloud with the comment, "I'll be back to making emo rap for you guys in a couple weeks." He's also promising that his Oxyconteen EP will be dropping soon, which I can't wait for.

Stream: Lunice - The Good Kids (Haleek Maul Remix)

Wildflower

Tomorrow our fellow Oaklanders at Gold Robot Records officially release Homebuilding, the debut LP from Roman Ruins, aka Graham Hill, the Oakland based architect and producer who you may recognize from his work with Beach House and Papercuts. The songs on Homebuilding first began coming together in 2010 while Hill was touring in Europe "daydreaming in the van about his pregnant wife at home"; in lieu of Hill's profession and the name he chose for his first album, his primary thematic interests here become fairly clear and the album's first single, "Wildflower", reflects that to a certain extent. Beautifully produced and well executed, the song sets the bar high for the rest of the album. Beginning with a brief, quiet jumble of the percussion to come, Hill's vocals evoke tension and then triumph when a choir joins in halfway, echoed and reinforced when it returns at the song's end.


Buy Homebuilding on limited edition "translucent milky white" vinyl here.

Stranger Calls

At this point New Brunswick based retro-mood rockers Honeydrum may be as well known for their prolific output as their music, last year releasing a huge string of cassettes primarily on eccentric European imprint AMDISCS. In fact, today the label released a best-of compilation tape called When The Young Are Gone, available alongside its predecessors here, just as they've begun preparing to release a 7". Unveiled yesterday, the title track "Stranger Calls" is a short, punchy number, brighter than some of their past efforts and sure to lead off the 7" well, which I'm told will eventually have four tracks and (presumably) vinyl. No word on a release date yet, but I'm sure if you like the AMDISCS facebook page you'll hear about it, and get a whole slew of more or less pleasantly surreal wall posts on your news feed to boot.

Video Premiere: changemod - Alarm


changemod is the ambient electronic side-project of Nate McKee, bka The Answer Page. One thing remains true across all of McKee's body of music, they are full of emotional output. "Alarm", the debut track from changemod, uses soft creaking synths and slow droning vocals to tug at the listener's heart and beg them to feel what he has felt. The above clip for the track was conceptualized and filmed by James Ferry, and illustrates the songs themes of feeling unchanged by attention and a still longing for what's home, be it a place or a feeling.

Trendy Rock Hits

Back in the GOTC days (they were oh so long ago) we turned you QTs on to a duo called The Fruhstucks. They're since disbanded, but member Sutja Gutiérrez is still bringing us stellar hazy, off kilter pop tracks. His newest release, an EP titled Trendy Rock Hits, is all in the name. He may be poking a little fun at the idea of trendy, and his songs don't adhere strictly to a pop aesthetic, but there's still an obvious ode to the songs that manage to burn themselves into your brain. To put it in a more accessible perspective, this is Nuggets style garage rock for weirdos, and I'm gonna be playing this one a helluva lot.

MP3:
Sutja Gutiérrez - Blue And Green
Sutja Gutiérrez - Wild Child
Head over to Bandcamp to stream/download Trendy Rock Hits in full.

February 26, 2012

Right Now/Mars Castle

I've been sitting on Lillerne Tapes' Sky Stadium/Potions split for way too long; a holdover from a pile of unfinished jobs my wife and I left before visiting family in January. Released late in 2011, it came at the end of a healthy string of releases that year for Sky Stadium (on Bridgetown and Goldtimers, to name only two) and an equal output from Potions on his home label Pretty All Right Records, appropriately enough. On this particular outing, Sky Stadium's ambient synths provide a gentler contrast to the more beat driven tracks on Potions' side, but the pairing remains particularly strong through the emphasis on synth work.

There are only a handful of copies of the split left, but you can still grab one here. Below, stream "Right Now" and "Mars Castle" from the Sky Stadium and Potions sides, respectively.

February 25, 2012

Community Supported Records

Let's face it, music is as important as food. And like food, the best music comes from independent growers. So it only make sense that an indie label extraordinaire like Mississippi Records of Portland would seize on the Community Supported Agriculture model and start their own Community Supported Record program. They're teaming up with fellow their Portlandites at Eggy to distribute the harvests. Subscribers can send the label however much money they want to send and in return they'll get every new release until the money runs out and it's time to renew.

One Thousand Faces

This morning British producer D/R/U/G/S, aka Callum Wright, shared a new track called "One Thousand Faces" via facebook, one of a handful that he's been thrown up on soundcloud since releasing Love/Lust and Connected 2011 - both 12"s on Moshi Moshi imprint Tender Age. Characterizing his work as "acid house" seems less compelling now in lieu of Connected, which was more out and out experimental than actually psychedelic, though there's just enough of that more off kilter sensibility left for me to wonder where he'll go next.

If while you're listening you feel like a good laugh, Moshi Moshi's page for Connected has a truly hilarious amount of gibberish and spam (a lot of which appears to be in Polish, hah) - check it out here if you want to stay up on all the hip insider jokes.

February 24, 2012

Samo Milagro

Earlier today Judson Rogers, aka Sumsun, began offering his most recent album for free on bandcamp. Originally released on Leaving Records in 2010, Samo Milagro is Sumsun's upbeat opus and it's been indicated to us that offering the album for free does in fact foreshadow some new output from the talented Floridian producer and beat-maker. The first cassette edition was actually my introduction to Leaving, along with founder Matthewdavid's unique and varied work, and although it's sold out, you can still ogle it here.


Download Samo Milagro from Sumsun's bandcamp.

Eleven Twenty

Luka Cage, aka Caves, just dropped his album When You Were Partying, I Was Dying. a few days ago via digital imprint Absent Fever, and it's definitely some of the best music I've heard this year. Perfectly produced beats and smooth, creamy vocals team up to take you on a delicious auditory journey through the four distinct tracks that make up the EP. The intro track "Eleven Twenty" starts out slowly, horns and a soft beat building for a few seconds before the jam kicks the door in and suddenly you're dancing like a fool while Luka croons "I've been waiting too long, too long, too long". "Final Decision" and "310" are softer, less upbeat tracks with beautiful ambient backdrops that serve his vocals well. The last song, "1993", brings the sweet beats back with a darker, bluesy twist that sounds like The Black Keys decided to make a party track. These songs about longing and need have been crafted into perfect pop gems; each one fitting snugly into an interior void.

MP3: Caves - Eleven Twenty
You can download the EP for free from Absent Fever here!

Lonesome Cowboy Bill

[Photo by Cat Stevens]
What's amazing about MV&EE is how their sounds range so widely, from the smokiest East Coast head jams to the most transcendent Far East sonic mind paintings, yet they always manage to stay in character. This really comes through on their live recordings, of which there are many, because the vibe of the room and the ever-changing cast of characters on stage and the infinite uniqueness of any given moment conspire to send the music into places that feel altogether unknown and familiar. The Vermont-based duo of space farmers are fixing to release their limited-edition 2010 April Flower Tour Box in digital form on February 28, and pre-orders are available now at Midheaven. You can also pick up CDRs of any individual show from the tour, and many others by emailing MV directly at thebummerroad [at] gmail [dot] com.

MP3: MV & EE with Mick Flower - Lonesome Cowboy Bill (Live @ Mystery Train 4.11.11)

Video: The-Dream - ROC (Roc Your Body)


The-Dream is one of my favorite R&B performers. His songs range between R. Kelly and Prince vibes, with a sexual nature that he takes as seriously as both aforementioned artists. His album 1977 (released for free under his real name, Terius Nash) ranked on my favorite albums of last year, and he knows his way around a hook-filled hip-hop/R&B track like few others do. "ROC (Roc Your Body)", the latest single from his upcoming record The Love IV MMXII, is obviously no exception given the implied meaning of Roc'ing one's body. He dropped the above clip for the single today as promotion for his upcoming Kill The Lights tour, which will hit The Soapbox here in Wilmington on March 9. He'll also be playing the Pitchfork SXSW showcase if you're making the trip to Austin this year. The video goes from the club floor to the yacht deck, from the beach house to the boardwalk arcade, pretty much detailing the ideal summer on the beach.

EDIT: The-Dream also premiered a new track last night titled "Kill The Lights" that features Casha on it. Pop over to Radio Killa Records to give it a listen.

Cyclicism

I'm happy to introduce you to Kid Astro, a three-piece band from Boston (featuring Jordan from High Pop) who's kicking out some great garage rock/punk. Recorded in a bedroom, their recent demo, Tales From Beyond Chiller Space, is four tracks long and each one is a consistently catchy, hard-hitting lo-fi psych jam. I particularly like "Cyclicism"; veering between sounding like a fucked up, fuzzy pop song and an angsty, sweaty punk track, it hits all the right points before screeching to a stop (and then getting put on repeat).

MP3: Kid Astro - Cyclicism
You can download their demo for free here, and they're planning to release a full album in April.

Voodoo Trust

The Feeling is the killer full length follow up to Naomi Punk's self-titled debut in 2009, due out this April on Couple Skate. The band has retained their grungy shoegaze aesthetic while cleaning it up a little bit. It's easy to bask in the warm tones of the record, take the newest single "Voodoo Trust" for example. It starts out with a rolling drum beat and crashing guitar tones that for me call to mind being 12 years old skateboarding (poorly) in the warm summer rays. The vocals are angsty and foreboding at the same time; so fuzzed out that at time they are at times unintelligible, there is still a meaningful tone that says it all.

Stream: Naomi Punk - Voodoo Trust

The Feeling drops April 24 via Couple Skate Records.

On The Water

Thrill Jockey recently released some Future Islands albums on cassette! We just got our copy of On The Water and the pro-dubbed chrome reels really do make the album sound even more amazing; the warmth and depth of the songs is almost tangible, thanks to the medium of tape. The bulk of the album was recorded by the ocean in North Carolina, and the first and last tracks even make use of field recordings that the band captured on a nearby dock. As Thrill Jockey puts it, On The Water sees the band "finding new ways to probe inner space and tug at hearts". I highly suggest picking up a copy before they're gone... and In Evening Air is available on tape, too (both in very limited quantities).

February 23, 2012

Mixtape: Homecoming Mirage

Our Brooklyn comrade Noah Wall just dropped a new mixtape, this time distinguished by the subtitle "Mixtape by Noah Wall", bringing it lightyears ahead of its predecessor in terms of text-based identification. As we found out the first time Noah circulated one, called Pocono Murder Mystery Mix, he's quite good at making them. This one opens with a brief recording of R. Buckminster Fuller talking about evolutionary strategies and proceeds to rove across the whole range of Noah's hyper refined, noir-tinged melodrama, perhaps best underscored by the nod to film composer Bernard Herrman that follows shortly after Fuller. Definitely a winner.

The Maps Cassette

Young Magic, fresh from releasing his debut LP Melt on Carpark Records, recently shared The Maps Cassette, a limited edition compilation of remixes, b-sides, and oddities that didn't make it onto the album. The choice to go with a cassette is admirable and the great execution is just gravy - the packaging was designed by Leif Podhajsky (an industrious dude who you may recognize from his Tame Impala cover designs) and every tape has been wrapped by hand in individual pages of old National Geographic magazines. The contents are quite a head trip too. Mostly remixes and the skeletons of undeveloped songs, the selections and tone retain Young Magic's characteristic upbeat international flair.

Download The Maps Cassette for free here or purchase it from Carpark. Check out the full tracklist and some more pictures after the jump.

Video: Sorie Kondi - Without Money No Family (Chief Boima Remix)


A great remix of blind Sierra Leonean vocalist Sorie Kondi by Chief Boima, the globe-trotting Sierra Leonean-American DJ and producer, who also helped record the New York segments of the above video, combining his Brooklyn habitat with what appears to be Kondi's in Freetown, the capital of his native country. It's tempting to see the song - called "Without Money No Family" - as a juxtaposition of these two places that people traditionally have gone to seeking their fortune, with Freetown's life revolving as much around its harbor as New York's spiritual and financial heart is buried somewhere in the man made tangle of tunnels and utility lines under Manhattan. The song comes from Boima's recent mini-album of reworks and new mixes African In New York out on Dutty Artz. With anticipation rising for his debut LP this fall, he's also recently curated a fun mix for the electro-mutants over at XLR8R.

February 22, 2012

Indian Day

Meet Connecticut four-piece band The Guru. Member Kyle Mcevoy is also the founder of Seagreen Records (you might recall me posting about them on Valentine's Day), and I first heard The Guru through one of their compilations. Their track "Indian Day" is a fun, upbeat number with bluesy guitar licks that are soon joined by idiosyncratic vocals and syncopated rhythms; refreshingly not buried under layer after layer of fuzz or distortion, this track gives me the vibe that The Guru is a band of close friends doing something they really love. I'm excited to see what else they do this year.

MP3: The Guru - Indian Day
You can check out their 2011 release, Native Sun, here, and catch Seagreen Records' Singles On Valentine's Day right hair.

Sci-Fi

Erik Gage, founder of Portland label Gnar Tapes & Shit and member of White Fang, has also recently taken on another moniker, Free Weed. While one might characterize the music of Free Weed as "bong pop" or "spliff riffs", let's be serious for a second. It's actually really good, straightforward rock with a strong backbone of electronic beats; Erik's deadpan vocals work perfectly within psych-rock guitar licks to keep every track on the new album, Beer On The Drugs, sounding as fresh as some seriously dank nugs. Check out the opening track, "Sci-Fi", below, and excitedly prepare yourself for the cassette's release this spring, via the always illustrious Beer On The Rug.


You can stream & purchase the whole album here. Physical tapes soon!

Young

Charleston trio Heyrocco create heady yet straight-forward pop jams, ideally for dancing to. The first three tracks finished from their debut LP, Comfort, range from eclectic space weirdness to fuzzed out anthems. The track "Young" seems to capture the spirit of a middle school dance, though it'd more likely be on a television show soundtrack for such an event, and for some reason always actually left out at the dances. Like many a starving artist, these guys really want to put out the record, recorded properly, so they're turning to kickstarter to fund the release. They have quite a chunk of change to raise in the next three days, so if you dig what you hear below, pop on over here to donate as you see fit.

MP3: Heyrocco - Young
Head over to bandcamp to check out more from Comfort.

February 21, 2012

Red Tailed

Recently released via AMDISCS (digitally) and Scott Davis's own Last Nights Records (on cassette), Images' album Know What I Mean is a loopy and lustrous treat, briefly glinting with an art-rock edge before it dives back under the woolen waves of psych-rock. Only seven tracks long, the whole album still comes across as a couple of guys genuinely doing something different. The closing track, "Red Tailed", is a little shoegazey number with buried, echoing vocals and an atmospheric quality that seems to expand beyond its mere two minutes and fifty-four seconds of play time.

MP3: Images - Red Tailed
Buy the album at their bandcamp, or visit Last Nights Records to pick up a copy (limited to 50) on tape.

Marina Del Ray 6PM

According to Moon Glyph their latest tape chronicles the captivating process of our own Bay Area neighbor Edmund Xavier, aka FWY!, whose music is "first crafted in construction paper and then converted into aural passages of soft-synths, pulsing drum machines and glistening guitar flourishes". As much as I'd like to actually speak with him about this process, for now the tape suffices and Moon Glyph's first preview is a healthy six minute serving from the five track cassette.


Stream/Download: FWY! - Marina Del Ray 6PM

Buy the limited edition cassette here. I can't find a dedicated website for FWY!, but check out some more tunes at Burundi Cloud, a small digital imprint he helps run.

Video: Lenticular Clouds - Supergravedad


[video by Layer One]

Video Premiere: Human Resources - Discrete Forests


[video by EyeBodega]
Human Resources is a band that Dwight, Liz and I have been fans of for quite a while. I still remember getting the Fast Times tape in the mail and being immediately intrigued by the ominous design on the j-card; with a love for the songs soon to follow. Last year their Saving Lady/Pauline 7" was on Dwight's favorite singles list. Their sample work is at times so catchy that one listen can keep a track in your head for days. My favorite Human Resources tracks, however, lie more along the lines of "Discrete Forests", a new track from their upcoming full-length cassette, Oxyc Woody II, on Fire Talk. It's a spindling drone that builds and swells throughout, sucking the listener in, fixated. The brilliant video wizarding duo EyeBodega put together this beautiful clip for the track, using washes of color to amplify the song's psychedelic effects.

Oxyc Woody II drops in digital and cassette formats on April 3 via the rad dudes at Fire Talk Records, but you can go ahead and pre-order now if you've got the cash and you just know it'll burn a hole in your pocket.

PBUH038: Power Animal - Exorcism

Power Animal, aka Keith Hampson, is a bit of an exotic bird... anyone that's done a split cassette with David Liebe Hart (of Tim and Eric Awesome Show fame) can probably be fairly said to be. His under-celebrated label debut on Waaga Records, People Songs, never really got a fair shake. Logistical hang-ups prevented it from being seriously promoted when it first saw release. But in spite of that we've been in constant contact, waiting a year for everything to come together for Exorcism, an EP's worth of his most recent recordings, plus a b-side full of remixes from Lushlife, Melting Season, Spirituals, Botany, and Golden Ages. Released by our imprint Crash Symbols in collaboration with Hampson's own charity-focused label Human Kindness Overflowing, nearly all profits from the release will be going to charity via Philabundance, a Philadelphia group that can supply three meals to area-needy for every $2 we provide from album sales. We couldn't be more excited to finally have it available.

MP3:
Power Animal - Better Water
Power Animal - Exorcism (Spirituals Remix)
Purchase the limited edition cassette and download Exorcism here.

February 20, 2012

Interview: Matt Lajoie

It’s hard to find an article about Matt Lajoie or a review of any of his many music projects that doesn’t contain the word “acid.” The sound he’s channeled through Cursillistas, Herbcraft, Brainshadows and his Portland, Maine-based label L’Animaux Tryst are supremely psychedelic, so it seems safe to assume that he’s taken his fair share of trips. But he’s never done the drug with which his music is so often associated. “I'm completely sober on 95 percent of my recordings and live performances,” he says. “My first psychedelic experience was in church when I was six or seven years old. I tripped out to the combination of the sacred aura of the space, the heavy frankincense and myrrh smoke, the candles, and the hypnotic chants and booming organ drones. Shit was far out. Now when I totally lose my mind on a guitar solo, that’s the place I go to.”

In late January, Lajoie released the final Cursillistas album, Observe Ember Weeks, on the heels of the 7-inch debut of Brainshadows, which came out in November, and he’s putting the finishing touches on a new Herbcraft album that’ll come out later this year. He recently took some time to answer a few questions about his many projects and what’s behind his sonic psychedelia.

Catch the full interview and a stream of Observe Ember Weeks after the jump.

February 17, 2012

Positive Island

Released earlier this month in the huge outpouring of cassettes from Sunup Recordings, Lazy Arrows' debut album Positive Island is a near perfect abstract rendering of those things; a vaguely tropical rhythm following a diffuse melody and some happy beats into the sunset. Even the primitive cover art exhorts listeners to appreciate the music more for the states it generates and less as an object unto itself. I bought a copy and if you do, it'll be just the same, arriving "in [a] sturdy plastic case with full-color artwork, liner notes, etc... painstakingly pasted, re-sized, cropped and rotated 90 degrees using Windows Paint", as the label describes it. Well worth the $4.
Download the album or buy the limited edition cassette here.

Photo Diary: Tycho & Beacon Winter Tour 2012

Two weeks ago I went on road with Tycho and Beacon for the last leg of their East Coast Tour. Starting in Carrboro, NC at the Cat's Cradle, we made our way up to New York with stops in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. The first night in Carrboro was a nice blur of dancing and the company of friends.

[Tycho @ Cat's Cradle]
Catch more photos from the tour as well more about my trip after the jump.

Video: Isaiah Toothtaker - Hyperbolic Chamber Music


Mishka is currently hard at work on a "crazy long as fuck posse cut" featuring several of their favorite rappers in the underground and beyond, titled "Hyperbolic Chamber Music". They recently posted up this clip of Isaiah Toothtaker's verse from the track, directed and edited by Mr. Toothtaker himself. [h/t Pasta Primavera]

Dead Bells

Dead Bells, the new EP from messedupcoyote, is equal parts punk, garage, electronic and weirdo. The full release clocks in at just over seven-minutes; a startlingly short release when coupled with the fact that it spans seven tracks. Most of the tracks are only slightly abrasive though, allowing the listener to dig beneath the rough surface and briefly bury their self in the warm gooey center.

MP3:
messedupcoyote - Problem Child
messedupcoyote - Cut & Sew
Head over to bandcamp to grab the rest of Dead Bells in full as a free download.

PBUH039: Welcome Back Sailors - (Love) That's All

The folks at International Tapes just premiered our latest Crash Symbols release, Welcome Back Sailors' (Love) That's All. When Dwight, Liz and I first heard YES/SUN last year we all knew immediately that we had to release with these brilliant Italian dreamers. Their music shimmers and swells continuously, always focusing on the ethereal vocal layers that make each track truly shine. (Love) That's All is no exception. Lasting only three tracks on the a-side with a couple remixes from Keep Shelly In Athens and Death In Plains, as well as a stunning cover of the opening track from His Clancyness on the b-side; it's almost guaranteed this one will be on repeat.

MP3:
Welcome Back Sailors - Stronger
Welcome Back Sailors - (Love) That's All
Head over to the Crash Symbols Bandcamp to cop the digital release of (Love) That's All early, and pick up the cassette pre-order, officially hitting the streets next month.

The Cleansing Hour

SoftSpot has unleashed a new track on us, premiered yesterday by the folks at Fader. "The Cleansing Hour" is a haunting yet dreamy track that sounds like an introduction to the most beautiful fairy tale ever told. It begins with a slow paced guitar and gentle, subtle percussion; Sarah's voice floating above the music with an eerie linger. The track steadily grows bolder, building with intricate synth lines as the strings and percussion come to a swell and then fall out to begin the cleanse cycle once more.

MP3: SoftSpot - The Cleansing Hour

Allergic to Jerks

Boston's Cameron Potter, aka Little Spoon, spins slow motion bedroom pop that entrances the listener into dreamlike states. His new record, Allergic to Jerks, self-released officially today. It's a heart-wrenching and lucid introspective that seems to want the listener to come inside and keep their distance all at the once. On the track "Hurts Me Everytime" you immediately begin to feel his. Moments of fleeting hope even seem to be recreated. Subtle keys weave throughout the tracks, creating layers of emotion hidden behind sparse, minimal beats and haunting vocals. One genre listed on the bandcamp page is "dreamgaze," a perfect description of sounds Little Spoon creates.

Stream: Little Spoon - Allergic to Jerks
No Fear Of Pop also reports that we can expect a tape release of Allergic to Jerks from Kassette Klub in the near future.

February 15, 2012

Interview: Teen River

In a recent profile for Impose Magazine, the site's managing editor described Teen River's recent activities thusly: "Chicago label Teen River pleads insanity, releases another 20 tapes at once" (Source: Impose). With these guys it's not a question of how much insanity, but why anyone would want to be so insane on such a regular basis. In a recent email exchange, with both Gordon and Katrina Stonehart at various times (changing unbeknownst to us), we managed to elicit a few words about the band's crawling proclevities, a repetition of their twin credos "CHOMP WOMP R.I.P" and "GROW UNTIL YOU DIE", and a pretty killer mixtape. Check it out after the jump.

February 14, 2012

Perch Verdad

Cliff Dweller is LA based multimedia artist Ari Balouzian & Co., blending his classical training as a violinst with a repertoire of self-mastered instruments, an accompanying pocket orchestra, and his highly organic style of mixed analog and digital production into highly idiosyncratic, textural electronica. Highly capable instrumentation lends his latest, the Perch Verdad EP from our friends at Rebel Magazine's music imprint, an incredibly refined flare - particularly the accordion heavy "Mud Doctor" and the pairing of some simple string arrangements and piano on the title track "Perch Verdad". Given Ricky Eat Acid's own recent experimentation with ambient music, his remix of "Perch Verdad" seems less like a picture of restraint for leaving much of the track's tone and flow intact and more the perfect complement, tactfully ending the EP on an only a little bit brighter note.

Premiere: High Pop - I Like The Smell

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! We got you all a little something and we sure hope you like it. Decoder fave High Pop just released a new track today, "I Like The Smell", and as Sean from High Pop writes, it's about "nice hair and a special girl". As usual, the track is a perfect combination of wobbly, reverb-ridden rock melodies and dreamily masked, marshmallow-soft pop vocals -- a perfect song to snuggle up to. As if that wasn't enough, Sean and some friends have also started a microlabel called Seagreen Records, and the new High Pop track is featured on their stellar Singles On Valentine's Day compilation, along with awesome tracks from many other great bands.

MP3: High Pop - I Like The Smell
You can download Singles On Valentine's Day in its entirety for free here! xoxoxo.

February 13, 2012

River Coma

Once more my eyes are turned to Florida. Last year I had the extreme pleasure of attending the second annual Total Bummer Fest in Tallahassee, FL. Put on entirely by Spirit Cat (those wild and crazy kids from Oh Fortuna and all their friends), it was the three most fun days I had last year. This year's Total Bummmer will also see Tiny Waves leaping into the co-driver's seat as this analogy goes totally awry! This is the first announcement for this year's festival, but we are told that seventy-five bands are included in the line-up, the festival will take place Cinco De Mayo weekend and the whole shindig is gonna be in 3D! The best part of that news is the new found distance from SXSW, making sure your pockets have just been relined before you hit the road again. But hey, wouldn't it be cool if we even had some cool new music from some of these homies!? Well fret not my friends, we do. AIRCRAFT is the duo of James Folker and Malee Bringardner, both of whom also play in Oh Fortuna. They recently sent over this stunning new track, "River Coma". The track is currently listed on bandcamp with two others under the label Jeff Bridges Over Troubled Water (abridged), so we're remaining hopeful that this is the start to a beautiful new record.

MP3: AIRCRAFT - River Coma
Head over to bandcamp to snag the other two tracks and delight with us!

February 12, 2012

Shout Troubles Over

For those of you who also live in the Bay Area, this Friday Mike McGonigal, the founder of Yeti Publications and a contributor over at Pitchfork, will be hosting a screening of Shout Troubles Over: The Ultimate Gospel Video Bootleg, Volume 1, his home brewed compilation of rare scenes of early-to-mid twentieth century gospel music. Sponsored by Hott Lava and hosted in the Oakland gallery and artist space ABCo, the show will also feature two DJ sets from McGonigal, before and after the movie screening.
“Get ready for super rare scenes of gospel music from the dawn of motion pictures to last month, with footage of everything from quaint traditional gospel songs to otherworldly lining hymns, Pentecostal sermons and Church of God in Christ ‘praise breaks.’ The music is from such well-known artists as the Staple Singers, Rev. Charlie Jackson and Sister Rosetta Tharpe to obscure artists and congregations. Approximately one-third of the program comes from the Southern gospel and bluegrass traditions, while the rest is African-american gospel with a focus on music from the 1950s-‘70s.”

February 11, 2012

Progress In Retrograde

To offer some perspective on our editorial process and in the interest of full disclosure, I pretty much feel morally obligated to write about anyone who might write to us saying that their "biggest inspiration in making [music] has been audio recordings of rides at Disney World". It also doesn't hurt to have the opening track on the album you send us sample anything that sounds like a Star Trek transporter beam noise, even if the resemblance is just uncannily close. Kittinfish Mounain, aka Trevor Thornton, with his latest album Progress In Retrograde, is such a one. Epcot references aren't just restricted to the music, as in track #9, "Epcotbrasilia"; you'll also recognize the eponymous structure on the cover art. Even the "brasilia" element comes through in the song's relaxed flute samples and echoing chants. Just as the track titles contain an eclectic range of geographical and cultural references, the album is remarkably varied - understandable considering Thornton says the album took five years to record.

Stream/Download: Kittinfish Mountain - Progress In Retrograde

How Can I Sleep With These Voices In My Head?

The title of Edward Sol's new cassette, recently out from Sangoplasmo, asks the question "How can I sleep with these voices in my head?", but I can hardly imagine anything more tranquilizing than the recordings it contains: "the sounds of thousandsof frogs in Lychanka village, Ukraine. . . no edits, no layering at all, just pure field recording". Admittedly, if you've ever found the sound of a few frogs irritating, you're probably not going to think that a few thousand sound any better, but if you have to studiously ignore freeway noises in order to sleep every night you may more immediately appreciate the appeal. The vibes get quickly more "psychedelic" as the incredible variety of the qualities and tones of frog voice become discernible, carrying the brain away in a maze of almost-melodies.
Purchase How Can I Sleep With These Voices In My Head from Sangoplasmo.

Static Gravity

Early today 20JazzFunkGreats let slip the good news that Matt Werth, head of New York based label RVNG Intl., had just curated a mix for the site... and it's a doozy:
“I’ve finally (finally) compiled a mix tape for 20JFG. And it is a mixtape in the most literal sense of the word. From my Technics 1200 to my Nakamichi deck to Audacity (for the digital transfer, of course) to you. So, no crossfades or beat matching, but plenty of strange cassette malfunction. It’s called Static Gravity for the Chrome track that starts the mix. Hope you find something you like in it.”
Beyond that, all Werth reveals is that it opens with Chrome's "Static Caravan", but I suspect from that description and even the very presence of a Chrome track you can imagine all the feedback, idiosyncratic pop, and fractured beats you'll find on this one. Download his Static Gravity Mix here.

February 10, 2012

Wish Me Hard

Michael Myerz hasn't let up on unleashing his unique brand of rap on the world since releasing Nightmare on Rosedale. In the past couple of weeks he's posted a few new tracks to his soundcloud. Just yesterday he upped "Wish Me Hard", a dizzying track with production reminiscent of Lex Luger on a carousel and Myerz sounding as if he's attacking from all angles. Last week he dropped "MLK", which I think might be referring to a street more than the person, but also feature some Myerz best flows yet. Finally is "Downstairs Ladder", an ambient jaunt with Myerz sounding just off in the distance to start and picking up energy the whole way through as he tell the story of the world's end. All in all, his three newest tracks are also my favorite output from the master of so-called "dork rap." Besides y'all, "it's 2012. Even if it is the end there's nothing you can do to help."

MP3:
Michael Myerz - Wish Me Hard
Michael Myerz - MLK
Michael Myerz - Downstairs Ladder

Video: Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier - An Age of Wonder Trailer


[video directed by Felicia Atkinson]
Shelter Press and La Station Radar's recently unveiled trailer for An Age of Wonder, their forthcoming LP with Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier, the stage-name of Belgian noisemaker Felicia Atkinson.

Video: HOV - COCO


HOV is the audiovisual collaboration of electronic musician Piotr Matkowski and avant-garde "media" artist Jaga Slowinska, both of Wroclaw, Poland. Musically, the collaboration has significantly moderated Matkowski's madcap house and electronica into muted atmospheres, with more delicate synth arrangements coming to the fore. Though we don't know much about the character of their collaboration or what exactly went into making "COCO", taken from a forthcoming EP they're set to self-release this spring, Slowinska's emphasis on symbols in her visual work has me seeing the video as a carnival of little fetishes; flowers and palm trees, rippling and turning within a pendant shaped frame, pulled from who knows what tumblr.

Video: The Answer Page - Cold Blue Light (In Circles)


[directed by Nate McKee]

Headdancer

The Parallax View recently teamed up with Messed Up Coyote to release this killer album as Trash Kids. Headdancer dropped last month on Woozy Tribe and has since made it's way onto the playlist of many late night blaze sessions. Both members blast blown out beats, explosive & bizarre synth hooks and haze induced guitar lines while Messed Up Coyote also layers on unfocused vocals and groovy bass licks. This is the sound of soul music being put through a cheese grater and melted on top of psych-garage ethics.

MP3:
Trash Kids - Headdancer
Trash Kids - Old Slang
Head over to the Woozy Tribe bandcamp to download Headdancer for free.

Sexy But Not Happy

Museum Mouth has become one of my absolute favorite bands to see live, lately. Their hometown of Southport, NC is less than an hour from Wilmington, so they play here pretty often. On top of that, their new record, Sexy But Not Happy, was released just a couple of weeks ago. The record, much like their live show, keeps the tracks short and bursting with energy. The songs perfectly capture an angst-ridden spirit, compacting it neatly into an ADD-proof package where the tracks begin and end before you can turn your attention elsewhere.

MP3:
Museum Mouth - For Mom
Museum Mouth - Blood Mountain
Museum Mouth - Kitchen Floor
Head over to bandcamp to grab Sexy But Not Happy in full as a FREE download.

SummerDonnasLoft (mobbstyle)

One of my most anticipated albums this year is the full length debut of Mobbin No Sobbin, the tag team of rapper Western Tink and producer Beautiful Lou. While we wait the duo is continuously putting out ridiculous promo images (seen here), Lou is of course producing for other homies as well, and Western Tink is steady dropping bars. Here we hear Tink over a sample from The Weeknd's "Loft Music" just walking you through his thought processes and motivations.

MP3: Western Tink - SummerDonnasLoft (mobbstyle)

Video: SoftSpot - Holy Father


SoftSpot may reside in NY now, but their roots tie them to Wilmington, NC. They never seem to forget their hometown and frequently stop through for shows, so I've gotten the awesome opportunity to see them live a number of times. For those who've yet to be so fortunate, this new video should at least whet your appetite. Containing perfectly the frantic energy I've come to love SoftSpot for, this clip is a perfect reminder of why you'll not want to miss them should they pass through your neck of the woods.

DESTINY. altered

For almost a little over a week now I've been borderline obsessed with Deniro Farar's DESTINY. altered. One glance at my current last.fm plays will show well over 100 plays in the past week for his dark, often brooding rap tracks. Perhaps the fact that he is from NC (Charlotte area) plays in to my love for his music; but it's just as likely that it's his methodical break down of subjects in his flow, keeping things slowed down while he spills his entire mind on whatever the subject. His words feel real. Deniro isn't the only thing putting the tape over, however. Half the tracks were produced by personal favorite Ryan Hemsworth or fellow-NC resident and newcomer Storm Watkins; with a few appearances from the likes of Silky Johnson, Blue Sky Black Death, Nem270 and more. With such a killer cast of producers it becomes no wonder that Shady Blaze is featured rapping on several tracks throughout the album, having released his own Rappers Ain't Shit Without A Producer last year. It's great hearing Shady's fast paced flow match Deniro's more subtle, laid back vibes. Farrar has managed to create an album with stellar tracks and enough diversity to never let the listener become bored, making this one an early frontrunner for my favorite records of 2012.

MP3:
Deniro Farrar - No First Night Sex :( (prod. Storm Watkins)
Deniro Farrar - NWO ft. Shady Blaze (prod. Nem270)
Deniro Farrar - No Games (prod. Ryan Hemsworth)
Pop on over to bandcamp to grab the entirety of DESTINY. altered on a pay-what-you-want scale.