August 31, 2012

Woods Announce Fall Tour

Woods have announced a slew of tour dates in support of their upcoming seventh LP, Bend Beyond. They're making two stops though NC, first in Asheville on September 28, and later in Durham on October 31 (Halloween with Woods? Yes please!) Bend Beyond is just a few weeks away now, with a September 18 release on Woodsist. Check out the album's first single, "Cali in a Cup", as well as another deep cut from the record titled "Size Meets the Sound", below. As always, pop in past the jump for the full rundown of tour dates, as well as the album's tracklist.

Stream: Woods - Cali in a Cup
Woods - Size Meets the Sound
Bend Beyond drops September 18 via Woodsist.

From in the Grass

The last time we wrote about Breatherholes, regarding the mysterious scrawled-over cassette pictured below, he seemed a shade more enigmatic; now he's got himself a soundcloud page and a tumblr. I gather from the picture above, he must - at least at some point - have had espresso. Whether or not the change suits him, it and the design of his new tape Come Home are both more readily engaged with. On this occasion I can reference a lyric sheet as it plays, but instead I study it and read ahead. Come Home is episodic, describing what sounds like a rural youth full of romance, nature, drugs, and momentousness. Recorded simply with guitar, some goodly effected vocals, and the suite of instruments above, it sounds poignant and alive enough that I'm drawn in. Like watching Daria and knowing no high school story really ends as well for any of us as it might. Come Home is the same angsty pilgrim's progress, well documented in the stories of its observational lyrics. Now resident in Austin, TX, Lew (otherwise known as Breatherholes) describes his beginnings:
"I was born in pennsylvania in the very early '80s and started playing guitar on the kitchen floor in the mid '90s quickly moving up into the bedroom then down into the basement."
Like the universe in his songs, Lew's youthful musicianship seems very civilized; he moved from the floor in the mid '90s, thence to the bedroom, and still a further degree away into the basement. In between those basement days and now, Lew lost and regained touch with the guitar, played in other bands, but now he lives "in a room in a house on a street where" he's preparing a new album. So watch out, sport's fans. Stream his new song "From in the Grass" below and enjoy a picture of the tape that greeted us when we opened Lew's first package, years ago... I think my wife and I had just been dating for a little bit by then.



August 30, 2012

Fire

Next Tuesday Maria Minerva will release her latest offering with Not Not Fun, an LP titled Will Happiness Ever Find Me?. A little over a month ago we were given our first peek at the record with the track "The Sound". The next peek is equally dreamy, and also features rapper Chase Royal. It's interesting hear a rapper feature with Minerva, but the track works every bit of the way, leaving me surprised and thrilled with such an evocative cut from the record. Maria will also be hitting the road for September and October to tour the record, including a Durham stop at the Pinhook on October 13. Stay tuned after the jump for a full rundown of dates.

MP3: Maria Minerva - Fire (ft. Chase Royal)
Will Happiness Ever Find Me? drops September 4 via the inimitable NNF.

Letter of Intent: Hopscotch Music Fest '12

In just one week the third annual Hopscotch Fest will kick off in Raleigh, and we're pretty damn excited over here at Decoder. David, Audrey and I will all be on hand covering shows and creating mayhem. I've put together my own personal schedule of sorts to attempt seeing every band I want to see over the weekend, so I figure it might be swell of me to share that with you. I'm missing out on Thursday night's activities as I'll be showing art here in Wilmington, but I'll be heading up to Raleigh first thing Friday morning, and I've decided to include a rundown of how Thursday would go for me were I there. Stay with us after the jump for my full "letter of intent", as well as a more concise schedule listing of my key shows to hit closer to the bottom, just after the jump.

Silver Runner

Newly-Californianed (I just coined that term) and always friendly label Moon Glyph just hatched their 45th release, Leisure BirdsGlobe Master, a psych-garage concept album about an unknown entity who travels from "the outermost dimensions of the galaxy" before descending to Earth. The tracklist follows the being's travel from departure to descent, starting with the almost 9 minute-long "SETI Signals" and culminating with the album's title track. Sides A and B are on 12" vinyl while C and D appear on an accompanying 7"; the latter, titled Sonvs Universvm, is made up of "planetary tones" to commemorate the being's journey. 

Following the upward slant of the first track, "Silver Runner" (named after the chosen mode of transport of our intergalactic friend) might be my favorite, with its sly bass lines, echoing vocals, sci-fi loops, and creeping keys. Whoever or whatever this being is, it's definitely hotboxing its Silver Runner while stars and planets float by the windows. Other time-and-space-warping highlights include "Egyptian Ring" and "Guardians Of Time", though the record is obviously best when listened to all the way through. Leisure Birds currently dwells in Minneapolis and consists of Jake Luck (who also created the beautiful album art), Alex Achen, Collin Gorman Weiland (who did the engineering and mixing), and Cory Carlson. "Ceres Fall. Saturn Shatter. Fall To Earth. Rise Globe Master."


You can grab a copy of the record for $12 (that's so cheap, and it includes the 7" and a digital download!) right here

Slip Away

I'd like to introduce you to some friends of mine: Fashions, a Brooklyn-based band that's really not like all the others. Comprised of Matthew Maclaren, Jonathan Hudak, and Lepaux, Fashions just released their debut single after meticulously crafting it for over a year. The track, "Slip Away", features David Wood from TEENS helping out on vocals, and a group of children they've dubbed the "Fashions Children's Choir" —  Maclaren informs me that they found kids to sing for them via Craigslist (which is hilariously creepy, not to mention the fact that the choir is crooning "No one will ever come to our funeral"). "Slip Away" is a huge, thick slice of electronic pop, made up of a gleeful mixture of the macabre and the ebullient; it clocks in at over 5 minutes and the attention to detail all the way through makes for a lush, enthralling listening experience. Maclaren's rhythmic vocals paired with smooth, whirling disco beats sounds so professional, I can't believe I was hanging out with him in art school a couple of years ago —  though it really shouldn't surprise me, because both he and Hudak have always taken their various crafts (videography, illustration, painting, music) seriously, to the extent that they immediately moved to NYC after graduation, filled with rare, raw determination to create something genuine. The lyrics in "Slip Away" ("We have ideas to go outside / but that would mean we have to try / it seems so hard to get ahead / so we say hey, let's stay in bed") make it the perfect dancefloor jam, everyone sweating out their problems together.

MP3: Fashions - Slip Away

You can check them out online via Bandcamp, Facebook, and their website, where each button in the site navigation is an amazing remake of a well-known album cover. You can expect their next single in about three weeks.

Curtain

By day, you might know vocalist Jenn Wasner from her work with Baltimore band Wye Oak. And while the Wye is certainty still alive and kicking, she's recently branched off a little into doing her own solo music under the name Flock of Dimes. An upcoming single from the project, "Curtain” b/w “Apparition” is set for release on Merge Records on September 25, and it's absolutely stunning, even recently getting the nod from legendary rock journalist and indie luminary Michael Azerrad himself. Below you can stream the the lovely, shimmering A-side "Curtain."

Stream: Flock Of Dimes - Curtain
“Curtain” b/w “Apparition” will be out 9/25 via Merge.
Teen Witch is a graphic artist who typically specializes in that meta realm where everything digital is real and everything real is a joke. You might have also noticed him looking fancy in some new Мишка gear as part of their Fall ’12 lookbook. He recently released a limited t-shirt run of the above design, and as of last night has he has about 20 left. The price feels a bit steep because I'm incredibly poor, but I really like the t-shirt and its "Feel Good Forever, Dude" motto. I read on tumblr recently that a kid was told to change his shirt for wearing this to school, which is truly a bummer because were it Bart kissing a girl I'm sure no one would have given a fuck. So I guess what I'm saying is; wear this shirt because assholes might be deterred from you. That's power.

Child of Glass

To our minds, there's a whole lot of legitimacy conveyed by something's being released simultaneously on both Burger Records and The Sounds of Sweet Nothing (a British off kilter pop label responsible for releases with Gross Magic and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, just to name the most recognizable). By now we're pretty accustomed to getting monthly, near-random press emails from various entities involved in collaborative releases with Burger, the LA-area record store and definitive garage-pop imprint... released "whenever" on vinyl by "XXX" and cassette by "Burger Records" is becoming pretty familiar. So, we've been pretty excited to dig into their debut LP, Age Waves, with San Francisco multi-instrumentalist Sam Flax. Notions of "legitimacy" seem appropriate to the release; thematically the album is very much concerned with the perception of art, "high and low culture . . . pop and avant-garde...", according to their press release. "Child of Glass" is more personal, with Flax singing about disappointment over mellow disco-pop, big guitars, funky grooves, and more hand claps than you can shake a stick at. I wouldn't say this of his entire debut album, but "Child of Glass" is sure to garner some positive Washed Out comparisons, though I'd probably opt for Flax's heavier disco vibe any day.

Stream: Sam Flax - Child of Glass

Age Waves is available on limited edition 12" vinyl from The Sounds of Sweet Nothing and, until it sold out recently, cassette from Burger Records.

Meta Concrete

The folks at NNA are gearing up for a split LP drop next month with Rene Hell and Oneohtrix Point Never. The Oneohtrix Point Never half is titled Music For Reliquary House, and it features reworkings of his recent audio/visual installation with video wizard Nate Boyce. Today NNA has given us a peek at the Rene Hell side of things, titled In 1980 I Was A Blue Square. "Meta Concrete" is a winding track that blurs noisy static and cranking whirs with a delicate and beautiful piano. The songs can be a bit jarring at first, but if you just allow yourself to slip into it everything feels perfect for one fleeting moment.

Stream: Rene Hell - Meta Concrete
The Music For Reliquary House / In 1980 I Was A Blue Square split LP drops September 18, and is available to pre-order now via NNA.

Interview: Joshua Rogers of Broken Machine Films

You may have noticed that filmmaker Joshua Rogers and his de-facto corporate home, Broken Machine Films (i.e., the name under which he does his bid-ness), have been popping into a lot of our posts recently. Though we love the chance to talk about him in any context and we try to make sure our discussion of film content on Decoder is not angled exclusively toward audio content, Rogers more than deserves to have his works seen. That he is not happily employed at this work full time and with compensation is an unfortunate quirk of history, because at any other time these films would have 'made him a name' by now. It doesn't help him that half of his time is spent making videos for free, without regard for what those bands might or might not be able to do in order to promote him. Rogers is a person you know and as with many of the most focused artists, his "business" heading at many times seems an uncomfortable formality, tangential to his real work. In spite of his scruples, the name "Broken Machine Films" has become synonymous with quality and that trademark modesty, compensating for any of his seeming mistrust of crafted marketing narratives. In that respect, Rogers' work is truly transcendant. In order to better know Joshua the person, who just incidentally was born in the same West Virginia mountain-mini-metropolis as myself, I asked him to collect a group of his videos that did in fact communicate a narrative about his experience and had some fun trading questions for a week or so.

Click through the jump to read our full interview

August 29, 2012

Bitchin Back To School Bangin B​-​Sides

Last week Michael Myerz dropped a new EP to help all you educated kids deal with those back-to-school blues. Bitchin Back To School Bangin B​-​Sides is every bit as bitchin' as Myerz promises, with claims like being "Lil Woody Allen" providing a humorous edge to his extraordinary flow that shows the rapper not taking himself too seriously, in a genre where that's often the performer's downfall. The majority of the EP is produced by Necedah with fragile and ethereal vibe; with a track each credited to Wino Willy and Omnigeist. The whole EP comes together perfectly, leaving us completely primed for Myerz' next LP.

Stream/Purchase: Michael Myerz - Bitchin Back To School Bangin B​-​Sides

Do It For The Bay

Main Atrakionz just dropped the first single from their upcoming debut LP, Bossalinis & Fooliyones. The album drops October 22 via Young One Records, and its first single immediately establishes the duo's San Franciscan roots. The track also features a verse from fellow Bay native DaVinci and production from Harry Fraud. The whole track floats perfectly as it pays homage to a city that has established an incredible cloud rap scene in the past few years. Stay tuned after the jump to catch the full tracklist for Bossalinis & Fooliyones.

MP3: Main Attrakionz - Do it for the Bay (ft. DaVinci; prod. by Harry Fraud)
Bossalinis & Fooliyones drops October 22 on Young One Records.

I Am Paid

I don't think I'll ever grow tired of Juvenile. Something about the hustle in his flow just screams swagger to me. He recently teamed up with the Kolyons on a track titled "I Am Paid". Juvie kills the track with lines of veteran experience while Dirty1000 and KolyP (who collectively make up the Kolyons) attack the beat with ferocious flows that keep the entire track alive. What can I say? I have a huge weak spot for rap tracks loaded with hype. Grab the track below, and catch a behind the scenes look at the track's upcoming Fernando Lugo directed music video above.

MP3: The Kolyons - I Am Paid ft. Juvenile

Dan Deacon iPhone App

I did not anticipate writing up two separate apps in one day when I awoke this morning, but technology is crazy y'all. In terms of sheer creativity, Dan Deacon & Wham City's new iPhone/Android app may be the coolest app I've seen. Its function is to interact with Dan Deacon's live show by using the LED, screen, and micrphone as visual and audible aids. The app works without wi-fi or data, and that's where it starts blowing my mind. The only other way I can conceive the app working is it using the microphone to pick up audio data and interact with it that way. Pretty fucking cool if I may say so myself. Watch the trailer above to get a more complete idea of the app, and iPhone/Android users can click below to download it.

Download: Dan Deacon App (iPhone; Android)

Amphibian

It's been a while since we've heard some new tunes from D/R/U/G/S, but fortunately that has changes today. Callum Wright, the Manchester-based producer behind the hard electronic project, has apparently been buried away working on new songs for all of us to love. Amphibian is our a first peek at this new maelstrom of heart-pumping dance music. While only three tracks long, the EP keeps the energy going for the entirety of its brief life and has me beyond excited to hear even more from D/R/U/G/S.

Stream/Download: D/R/U/G/S - Amphibian EP

Follow (Memory Tapes Remix)

Brooklyn-based or not, one of my favorite records of the summer for traveling around Raleigh has consistently been Oshin, from reverbed-out oceanic youth DIIV. Nearly every song off that disc is a gem, and even b-sides like "Big Joke" and their cover of the Kurt Cobain demo, "Bambi Slaughter," have been getting steady play from me. A new remix of the band's song "Follow" is out from New Jersey synthwave producer Dayve Hawk a.k.a. Memory Tapes, and it's very much worth a listen. Hawk combines the track with a hooky Heavenly Beat-ish beat and tasty original guitar work for a remix that stands tall next to the O.G. track. Stream this hotness below.

Stream: DIIV - Follow (Memory Tapes Remix)
OSHIN is out now via Captured Tracks.

Shuffler.fm iPhone App

Dwight and I have a great number of over-the-phone brain storming sessions, and the idea for Decoder's own iPhone/Android app has been a topic several times. It's something we're all hoping to eventually see come to fruition here in Decoder land, but in the mean time Shuffler.fm has a pretty sweet little setup. They just released their new iPhone app, which allows you to follow your favorite blogs (including Decoder) and artists for quick, up-to-date listening on the go. If you have an iPhone just grab the link below to check out the app for yourself. If you don't have an iPhone, you can still pop over to Shuffler.fm's website to create a customized list of blogs and artists to follow. Just make sure you don't leave us out.

Download: Shuffler.fm iPhone app

Los & Jealous (Screwed & Chopped)

ZionSyon is a radio DJ for San Angelo, TX's KIXY 94.7 FM; and apparently also a fan of OG Che$$, whom I can't get enough of lately. This is particularly cool since homeboy works for a Top 40 station, some love that I'm sure Che$$ enjoys. Syon hit me up last night with his chopped & screwed cut of Che$$'s "Los & Jealous". I recently posted the video for this track, and in the video Che$$ actually slows the track down, but it's interesting hearing ZionSyon's rendition; slowed more than before with just enough rubberbands and pops to keep it trippy without going overboard. At the very least it's another piece to collect while we wait for Chess Moves Vol. 2.

MP3: OG Che$$ - Los & Jealous (Screwed & Chopped by ZionSyon)

Zimusik x Lemonada - The Tides


I don't have many Irish friends, but I try to keep them happy because hell if they aren't all producers and every one of them apt to send in stuff like this periodically. In this case, our acquaintance is name  redacted, the Lemonada of interest to this particular post (there may be others not of interest to this post). Since the first time we spoke, name  redacted's gathered together an impressive and active soundcloud following and poked his head out of a few other familiar projects; including futurist beat label Astro Nautico's whopper of a mixtape, Atlantics Vol. 2. We wrote a little about that when it came out. Zimusik is Kevin Brennan, a friend from Zimbabwe who's lingering in Dublin after finishing up at the same school as name  redacted. Fortunately enough, the two are making good use of the time and just sent us "The Tides",  the first in a projected four-track EP of cassette recorded sample music and beats. Like its namesake, "The Tides" ebbs and flows moodily, alike in their motion though the song is not so relentless; at its end, delicately warped keys radiate warmth in a sampled rain shower.

Stream/Download: Zimusik x Lemonada - The Tides

Follow Lemonada on facebook and check back at Brennan's personal soundcloud for some more tunes.

August 28, 2012

Believe I'll Get Free

The homie ZachG just sent over this new cut of him going in over an edit of Major Lazer's "Get Free", featuring vox from Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman. He takes the track's somber notions of never breaking free of the constant struggle and injects them with a sense of hope. ZachG tells us how things have been rough for him lately, and since it's seemingly easier each day to say "me too," we can at least rejoice in the ways we've gained expression. I believe ZachG and the Rad Reef will continue to break free.

MP3: ZachG - Believe I'll Get Free

Chrome Lips

It has finally arrived! Since the start of the summer I've been excited for the release of Haleek Maul & Supreme Cuts' joint mixtape venture titled Chrome Lips. Today Мишка finally made the unveil and it sounds fantastic. The tape features Maul getting as dark and thoughtful as ever, while Supreme Cuts provide their cave-like ambiance over otherwise explosive beats that I've come to love them for. The tape also has features from Deniro Farrar, Tree, Kool A.D., and Green Ova's very own Shady Blaze, Mondre M.A.N., and Squadda B, leaving no shortage of killer tracks on Chrome Lips. It's about 4.20 here on the east coast, so go ahead and get ready, then turn your speakers all the way up and press play. Now get ratchet.

Stream/Download: Haleek Maul & Supreme Cuts - Chrome Lips

Factory Floor - Two Different Ways (Perc Dub Mix)

FADER recently showcased British producer and label manager Perc's "relentless" dub mix of "Two Different Ways", the 2011 single from London dance outfit Factory Floor, released late that year and recently repressed to 12" by DFA Records. Perc's mix nearly halves the original in its condensing of the original beat and effects into something more ferocious, an endless torrent of sharp sounds, lent some infrequent atmospheres by the original's dusky vocals. Stream the dub mix below and a little further below that check out the original "Two Different Ways" music video with another for Perc's non-dub remix. (via FADER)

Stream/Download: Factory Floor - Two Different Ways (Perc Dub Mix)

The "Two Different Ways" remixes were released by DFA in two hand-painted editions, one on CD and the other on vinyl; the vinyl is unfortunately sold out, but the less expensive CD will get you the original single in addition to the remixes. Having said that, you can get it all at iTunes or grab the original "Two Different Ways" vinyl here.


August 27, 2012

Video: Pacific Pride - The Fruit, Whole


Three-piece Pacific Pride creates what they like to call "angular, no coast-wave" —  I might refer to their genre as garage-psych or maybe 60s-stained garage pop, but it's certainly interesting to imagine waves with no coast (heh, heh). Another thing that's interesting is this video for "The Fruit, Whole", a new single from the Denver-based dudes. Pieced together from found YouTube footage, the video features various decaying foodstuffs and dehydrated fruits, most of them shot using the always-fascinating timelapse method; it also stars a classroom of folks in banana costumes, fun trombone stunts, and some 90s toy nostalgia (Play-Doh accessories and Creepy Crawlers). The song is particularly catchy, with an irresistible mix of T. Rex-esque guitar wails and vocals that skip along with the rhythm perfectly while conjuring mental images of paisley and long hair. Paul Garcia plays a 12-string Univox on the track as well as sings; he says the song was essentially learned/improvised as they recorded it on their 8-track, which lends it a nicely loose and jangly vibe. The psychedelic, surreal, and possibly suggestive lyrics are sung with hypnotizing intent: "If I follow / you home / I'll swallow / the fruit whole". Keep your peepers peeled (like a banana) for their upcoming cassingle on Brooklyn-based label Fire Talk; it's scheduled to come out this November. 

You can also check out some of their previous shtuff at their bandcamp.

Reyes of El Sereno

Deathbomb Arc continually inspires me with their various ventures into DIY art expression. The label has recently announced their first film, to be released as part of a series of mini-docs focusing on various backyard haunted houses. The first film, titled Reyes of El Sereno, follows the creation of Albert Reyes' haunted maze. Reyes recently visited the DBA pop-up shop to set up a maze in-store, and will also be at Giant Robot's upcoming art show at the Japanese American National Museum in LA next month with another killer maze setup. If you're in the area make sure you catch that. In the meantime, check out the first trailer for the documentary above.

Video Premiere: ERAS - Taxa

ERAS manifests for me at an appropriate time; the indefatigable folks at Terror Bird probably have a funny entry for me in a spreadsheet somewhere with a growing checklist of genres after it, all of which by now would draw a clear line to the LA producer who, according to his label Track Number, "exists in a unique space giving equal reverence to both the DIY noise scene of The Smell and the leftfield hip-hop beats of the Low End Theory/Brainfeeder scene". I imagine "DIY noise" and "beats" as part of Terror Bird's clarifying checklist, though ERAS is most exciting to me as representative of a strain of "pastoral futurism" that seems to resonate in the well-warmed not-pastures of LA and in the near infinity of balmy regions that spreads and thickens as you cross the western desert.

Fresh from the release of his album Portals with Track Number Nathaniel Eras, the man ERAS himself, began to conceptualize a video for its third track, "Taxa", with director Robert Massey. According to Nathaniel...
"We compiled ideas and images, temporary states of being, and symbols rthat would help shape a narrative. These things are derived from the foundation that both influenced the song Taxa and the album Portals. The eyes, the hands, the vale, nature, the eggs, the feminine, the shamanic visionary, transcendence, purification, the search, and discovery. Massey wove this string of concepts into a narrative and supplied color, character, and form."
Maybe it's too much to try and draw connections via this particular song name, but why not; "Taxa" are individual taxons, treated in taxonomy as species of animal or plant groups, but the legacy of Latin is not necessarily so specific as our usage has made it. "Taxa" can be understood as any number of discrete groups of instances of a thing. The genre of the eyes, the hands, the vale, etc. Each is apprehended in succession by the female figure until she and her reflected shaman, standing first behind and then to either side, seem simply to stop. Their ritual of fire and smoke ends and they are lying still; silent, eyes closed, but I suppose not truly in repose or death.

Stream Portals above or click through to the ERAS bandcamp for digital and vinyl ordering info.

Photos: Chelsea Wolfe & Pressed And in D.C.

After an exhausting move up to Washington D.C., it took me a few days to recover and get back out to shows and start exploring the wide variety of venues the city has to offer. The first show I attended was at U Street Music Hall, which, unless you have a photo pass, it seems you can’t bring any sort of camera in, but I was instructed by one of my friends that Magic Man was an act I had to see. I listened to the band’s music ahead of time and it sounded alright, so I found myself at U Hall all by myself, sans my camera’s protection from social awkwardness. The place was packed, and unlike a lot of other venue’s crowds that I've experienced, everyone was dancing. Magic Man was a band I instantly felt would be playing festivals in the near future. Capital Cities also had the crowd dancing, and had that very currently relevant saxophone thing going on. The Hood Internet rounded out the night with a DJ set during which I was way too exhausted for, after dancing so hard, so I headed home. That weekend I also attended the first annual Trillectro Music Festival at Half Street Fairgrounds, which I’ll cover in another post... whenever I get the film back.

Now to the good stuff. This past weekend I had the great pleasure of finally seeing Chelsea Wolfe and Pressed And play for the first time. I had only heard wonderful things about Chelsea's live performances, and I definitely enjoy her music, but I still wasn’t sure what to really expect, aside from awesome wardrobe choices. The room was packed tight at the front, and I stood in the same spot waiting for her to play for what seemed like an hour. Worth the wait. Chelsea’s set was very loud, but there was some instant peace that fell over the room when she began to sing. I spent the next hour or so swaying to soothing dark chords. I chatted with the band after they played, and, simply put, they were the nicest people ever.

The next night was my first house show in the city. Pressed And was playing after a lovely very soothing set from Romantic States. Mat of Pressed And started out their set by playing songs by himself that had me and a few other people enticed. After a break in the middle of the set, Andrew joined in for some danceable tunes, and a very fun set to watch as both musicians masterfully were so fully into the music they were creating live. The public transportation had stopped running early that night, in usual city fashion, so I went back to town with some new friends and got soaked in the rain. Stick around after the jump for more photos from both shows.

August 25, 2012

The Bird Call

Zach Burba is an Arizona bred "DIY veteran"; Christian Filardo from Holy Page is adamant about that. I think we both may have first heard iJi around 2004 on his myspace page, when surfing for music on myspace still seemed palatable. Of course, he's got a nice iJi facebook these days and I can't help but remember when I chose not to switch to facebook. Burba has been prolific and released far and wide (Lost Sound Tapes, Offtempo, and he self-released the last iJi album Yerself on vinyl), so instead of stringing together the nouns in some pithy way I'll let Burba's facebook text extemporate because I like it better: "Zach Burba made a lot of different songs with a lot of different people. At one time he lived in Tempe, Arizona but now he lives in Seattle, Washington and plays with a band of seagulls." I think seagulls can be swapped out with "loads of different people" as his facebook text continues with a list of the names of several dozen "seagulls". One day someone will say it and mean it (I whisper, disappointed), as much as the playful lilt of Burba's vocals and tropical flourishes might otherwise leave the impression intact on his recent tape with Holy Page, World of Gecko. His first new recordings since the self-released Yerself continue a tremendous evolution that's carried him toward his current iteration as a "pop jazz powerhouse", says Filardo (I agree loudly, with seagulls, and predict that Burba's evolution won't soon stop). Though World of Gecko may not be as full bodied and boisterous as Yerself, its more modest conception is realized with an artful intimacy, sounds and songs tailored to the format and executed as if by a shameless romantic.

Download World of Gecko for free or order it on limited edition cassette at Holy Page.

◊ TR€€K€€P€R TRÒP!ÇÁL€ ◊

I like to imagine having found TR€€K€€P€R through his advocacy of one European currency, but alas, we know the Nashville-based producer by his works and their reception, his psych-tinged beats and bass work gaining nods from Mishka and others. We're a bit late to the trough with his most recent offering, TR€€K€€P€R Tropical Summrr Get Right 4 the Summrr Mixtape EP, but I always find the best summer mixes too late in the season. August is good enough for this one, a tropical diamond (green pineapple? red coconut?) in his catalog with enough eccentric swagger to warm the autumn air.

Stream: TR€€K€€P€R - ◊ TR€€K€€P€R TRÒP!ÇÁL€ ◊
Download the mixtape from TR€€K€€P€R's soundcloud or get it for $5 on "Very Limited Immaculate Cassette Dub + CD" from his bandcamp.

August 24, 2012

Fall 4 U

Oxford producer Hugo Manuel - aka sultry throwback artist Chad Valley - is a man who clearly knows the sound he's going for. On 2011's Equatorial Ultravox, Manuel blended late-night Balearic beats and soaring, Sade-ish vox into a stunningly produced collection of atmospheric tunes, one that sat leagues above most other island-life synth-pop records floating around at the time. Today he's back with a new cut from his upcoming record Young Hunger (out 10/31 on Cascine), the heartbreaking slow burner "Fall 4 U" which features some lovely guest vox from Cameron Mesirow of Glasser. If you think your emotional baggage can handle it, stream this beauty below.

Stream: Chad Valley (feat Glasser)- Fall 4 U

Young Hunger will be out October 30 via Cascine (US) and 11/19 on Loose Lips (EU)

August 23, 2012

Rush

London-based duo Deekie (which is comprised of "Mr. L" and "Neets") just released a new single, Rush, via Melodica Recordings. "Rush" and the accompanying "Must Not Be Mentioned" are lo-fi excursions into misty, twilight melodies and gentle rhythms; in a vocal style not dissimilar from Claudia Gonson of The Magnetic Fields, or even Nico, Neets sings "The rush / of splitting hearts in two" while soft pulsations and dusty synth vibrations carry you along like a handmade raft on a slow-moving river. The b-side, "Must Not Be Mentioned", sees Deekie exploring more experimental territory. Stream "Rush" below, and keep your eye out for more tracks from this lovely pair. They're coming.


You can buy the single for a couple of bucks from Melodica Recordings. You can also head over to their bandcamp to check out a bunch of awesome previous material!

God Listens

Charlotte's own Deniro Farrar has stayed busy this year, constantly putting together collaborations with a variety of other up-and-comers in the rap game between working on mixtapes. The folks at MTV Hive just premiered a new cut with Tree (whom Complex called one of ten Chicago rappers to look out for this year). On "God Listens" the two emcees discuss how life continues to be a struggle even when it seems like your prayers are finally being answered. Life is never as simple as just getting what you want without consequence, and Deniro and Tree seem to understand that all too well.

MP3: Deniro Farrar x Tree - God Listens

Video: Youthless

The fine folks over at Noisey premiered a new Juan Camilo Gonzalez-directed video from Florida producer Millionyoung today, for his song "Youthless," a track previously on the Sunndreamm EP and more recently on his EP compilation Amanecer. The video is ostensibly about a girl learning to pull a sweet trick on her skateboard.... in a world where people skateboard in mystic anti-gravity windmill parks and get super bloody while doing it. I'm open to interpretation on this one, guys. Stream the video below.

Video: Millionyoung - Youthless

Premiere: Outlands - Com Ocean (Mirror Kisses Bad Dream Remix)

Outlands is Melissa Smith and Mark Arciaga, a "disco-noir" production duo from Blacksburg, VA, which I have to pause and think about. Like my hometown, Morgantown, WV, Blacksburg houses a land grant university; Blacksburg can tout itself as Businessweek's "Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids", but my alma mater dominates Mo-town and distinguishes itself with the title of America's "#1 Party School" (having recently regained it) and, ironically, an aggressive approach to out-of-state enrollment that's triggered massive land use and the development of slap shod apartment complexes to house our immigrants, themselves happy to find a third of the historic downtown given over to a vain sequence of clubs for their personal edification.

However pathological my town might be, something about the association of "disco-noir" with Blacksburg reminds me of the unusual dynamics that motivated artists can create through their efforts. Outlands' self-titled debut EP, which sports the words: "In Times Like These There are No Boundaries", seems to make the clearest assertion; the internet is empowerment to create your own abstract communities. Boundaries of one kind or another continue to exist, but they've become radically different or simply unrecognizable, so whatever process yielded a band like Outlands can't be straightforward. The duo's romantic involvement seems to lend further emphasis, though receiving their info by way of a British publicist is of more or less interest in understanding their trajectory. Jeff from Type PR. Incidentally, Jeff doesn't get enough credit - a truly great publicist, one of the last few years' great facilitators of boundary-less society, and I thank him.

In particular, I thank him for this Mirror Kisses remix of Outlands' early single and a regular favorite, "Com Ocean", that still sounds like one of their most potent testaments; all funky groove and rhythm, artfully navigated by Smith's strong vocals. Mirror Kisses' treatment is brighter in spite of the "Bad Dream" tag he's given it, though his re-arrangement of vocal and ancillary tracks emphasizes darker elements of the balance that Outlands have achieved in their recordings. More charged with his own meaning and a suite of more assertive sounds, evocative where the original is introspective; the two sound like totally distinct works, neither dark nor bright, but each as compelling realized.

Stream/Download: Outlands - Com Ocean (Mirror Kisses Bad Dream Remix)

Outlands is sold out of its original cassette and I suspect digital distrubition arrangements are being made because for the moment it's only streaming via the Chill Mega Chill bandcamp. Look for a self-released digital EP in September on the band's own bandcamp.

Lucifer

I first heard Peaking Lights on a shopping trip to Love Garden. I was baked and the sounds in the air were dreamy. I asked the guy behind the counter what was playing. He showed me the vibrating cover of 936 and said, It's P-E-A-K, like a trip, not like the place in China.

On the day after the last day of summer classes I drove to Atlanta, and just as I got into the twelve-lane guts of it, ten quick minutes away from the record store, I got stopped dead in the second worst traffic jam of my my life. Two hours later I traded some old records for Lucifer at Criminal Records and a whole bunch of cheap prog rock at Wax n' Facts. That was a few weeks ago. I started writing this review within a day or two, but I ran into a detour and got stuck. I read, "Lucifer nudges their sound forward, but even if it were just a repeat," and I got angry and wrote a rant that I've since deleted. But the point of the rant was basically true: it's voice. That's what I call it when I teach creative writing. Voice. I'm not sure what it's called in music. It's what burns behind your work, and burns cleaner and brighter and hotter over the years, and like no one else's, if you work it. When I listen to all my Peaking Lights' records back to back it's like a movie where this voice evolves out of itself, always purer and more true, and I love their voice.

The vinyl comes with a two-sided glossy poster, and the gooey blue writing on the cover is coated with gloss.

We're already professed fans of Bristol-based clothing company African Apparel. Dwight recently shared Cleon Peterson's "The Brinksman" design for the label, and he also conducted an interview with the company's founder for the debut issue of Decoder Magazine. (Issue 1 has hit some snags in production and timing, but we can assure you that it will be finally hitting doorsteps across the globe very soon.) Yesterday African Apparel debuted a new design, titled BVRZVM, seen above. I have no clue if the shirt is a reference to dark producer ѦRMѦHИI VѦN BVRZVM or even Norwegian black metal band Burzum, but either way you can also check out the former's E U L O G Y 4 S E L E N A G O M E Z below. I'm in love with the inverted Bambi design on the tee, and if you're equally smiten you can pick one up now here.

Related(?): ѦRMѦHИI VѦN BVRZVM - E U L O G Y 4 S E L E N A G O M E Z

M00N

There's just five days left until Haleek Maul and Supreme Cuts drop their joint mixtape, Chrome Lips, via Мишка. Yesterday they released another cut from the record, a heavy hitter titled "M00N" that features Maul attacking the track harder than I think I've heard from him yet. The beat booms massively behind soulful vocal samples that lift the emotional quality of each verse, showing exactly why Supreme Cuts and Haleek Maul are such a great pairing in the first place.

MP3: Haleek Maul & Supreme Cuts - M00N
The Chrome Lips mixtape drops Tuesday (August 28) via Мишка.

Behold a Golden Throng

Feltbattery is the sound art project of Raleigh, NC's Benjamin Trueblood. Trueblood's work is built from extensive and, more importantly, attentive field recordings, charting in sound the intersection of nature's wildness and the imposing assertiveness of the manmade. His newest release on Migration Media, Behold ae Golden Throng, is built from five years worth of gathered recordings of bees, frogs, locusts and other 'social creatures'. These bits of natural ephemera were then processed by Trueblood and a fleet of capable collaborators into a noisy, sometimes disturbing tapestry of near-mechanical rumbles wrestling alongside the humming of animal instinct. Behold a Golden Throng is a carefully-stitched blanket of varied, but common, threads coming together to form a new spectrum of blistering noise and burbling, intriguing sounds. A seventy-one minute, twenty-one track epic that never feels like a slog; only jarring, transcendent, and frequently moving.

Behold a Golden Throng will be available September 4th in an edition of 100 copies in handmade envelopes from Migration Media.

August 22, 2012

Pitch Black

Damn Chicago, what's in your water? Seems like lately the windy city has been a hotbed of extraordinarily yummy shoegaze music: some of our favorite gazer releases of the year, including the new Lightfoils EP on Saint Marie Records and the new Airiel EP on Shelflife have come out of the town. Andrew Marrah, who has played with Airiel since '09, is also currently recording music as New Canyons with Adam Stilson, and the duo are prepping an new album of impossibly dreamy 80's-inspired rock, Everything is Dark, for release in the fall. Two tracks from the record, "End Colors" and "Pitch Black" are up at their Bandcamp, and if they're any indication, this record is going to be a formidable foe. Stream "Pitch Black" below.

Stream: New Canyons - Pitch Black
Everything is Dark will be released Fall 2012 through BLVD Records/Good People Records

Video: Grimes - Genesis

Grimes released a new video today, and just like those poor Animal Collective fellows no one seems to be talking about it. Don't worry though, Grimes. We got your back. I'm not entirely sure what's going on in this video. I can only think to call it a goth live-action Sailor Moon, and even that doesn't really describe it. Perhaps Audrey hit the nail a little harder on the head when she described it as "Pimpin' All Over The World's music video, just with chicks and Japanese stuff." Regardless, it's a fun video for a fun track, and why are you reading a description of something you're about to watch, anyway?

Visions is still available to purchase via the folks at Arbutus.

Uno Mas

We recently began spreading the rumor that we'd be releasing Little Spoon's next album on cassette at Crash Symbols. He left a note in our locker asking us meet him under the bleachers after school today, so we could only assume. In the meantime, however, he's in history class living it up with his buddy Vacation Dad, just remembering the Alamo. Ok, but seriously, the two recently played a show in Phoenix, at the Iambic Alamo, and have announced a live album of the joint set. Vacation Dad creates some soulful grooves while Little Spoon layers on "the little weird samples" throughout. MJ MJ is releasing the whole thing as a photo-album, titled L I V I N, that will collect pictures, stories and some weird sticky stuff they found on VD's sleeping bag to be released with the album on October 13. "Uno Mas" is the first track released from the live album, and since I have Spanish for second period, I can tell you it definitely has us asking for one more.

MP3: Vacation Dad x Little Spoon - Uno Mas
L I V I N is available October 13 via the always rad folks at MJ MJ.

Last Words

Over the past three years I've seen Ryan Hemsworth develop into one of the best producers out there. From weirdo ambiance to trapped out beats to haunting video game jams, the dude brings it all. He recently dropped his first EP as part of the WEDIDIT Collective. If you're unfamiliar, the collective is also home to Shlohmo, Groundislava, Jonwayne & RL Grime amongst a few others. Last Words features five new bangers from Hemsworth, as well as remixes from Shlohmo, Supreme Cuts, Baauer, & the duo of Sam Tiba and Canblaster. Hemsworth has wowed us yet again with this release, using glistening synths, gaming whirs, thudding kicks and explosive snaps to at once stir up feelings of angst and hope inside stormy hip-hop beats. Despite the title, we certainly hope these aren't his last words.

Stream/Purchase: Ryan Hemsworth - Last Words

Premiere: Charlatan Meets the North Sea - Maximum Capacity

Beginning with the slow beauty of "Empty Naked Streets", the purportedly accidental 'bringing together' of Charlatan and the North Sea that resulted in the aptly named Charlatan Meets the North Sea is immediately obvious for the treasure it is; though Field Hymns' copy describes an only incidental meeting at the end of a shared set in Tulsa, explaining that the session (recorded by aging local wunderkind Brad Rose) would have taken place in the small hours of the morning. They weren't that small, though; Charlatan's set ending the gathering at around 4am. Incidentally, you should know both projects are Brad Rose. Whatever the circumstances or hurdles "they" faced ("Brad Rose [indicates] that the two didn't exactly get along"), the album that came of "their meeting" easily justifies the effort; "two" restrained masters of synth-craft nimbly playing their different cuts "from separate iso booths".

Artifice aside, the release is a gorgeous novelty in Brad's output, showcasing songs that after a summer's worth of recording in 2010 seemed equally unsuited to both projects; though nothing in his history is purely "novelty" and the shared attribution clearly advances both projects. It's still good novelty, though. The cover art is a not-so-subtle homage to the relationship and visual aesethics of definitive Jazz labels Blue Note Records and Verve (the one's classic layout and the other's equally iconic typeface), and even the copy itself, attributed to "Max Wolfsheimer" of "Smokin'", is a send-up of jazz writing. Having said that, it's a little hard to evaluate something that's been packaged as a "meeting" when really the origin is located in a completely different dynamic; they weren't really intended to reflect a meeting of the two aesthetics. Their production even predates Brad's most recent Charlatan release. The North Sea is the most difficult for me to associate with these recordings as I've been conditioned from an early exposure to expect harsh sonic barriers; Charlatan Meets the North Sea is less friendly than Brad's last Charlatan release, but not so difficult as the North Sea (preview the upcoming final album from that project via Experimedia). Oddly enough, the copy's use of the phrase "weatherbeaten analog skies" in a "RIYL" line makes better sense of it for me and I return to the faulty metaphor; Charlatan conjuring bright clouds at his leisure for the North Sea to sweep into larger formations, less gregarious but more pregnant with comprehensible meaning. If Brad has two pretty discrete mental hemispheres from which the two projects emanate, the faux meeting would make more sense. Who better than Brad to know just how pleasantly schizophrenic he might be?

MP3: Charlatan Meets the North Sea - Maximum Capacity
Look for updates on the album from Field Hymns. You should also keep checking back for news on their other upcoming releases, including new tapes with "Andreas Brandal, Jonathan James Carr (Brainfuit & Particle Being ensemble) Bastion Void, Nodolby, The Cats’ Orchestra, Boron and Portland’s own experimental synth super group Regular Music".

August 21, 2012

Video: OG Che$$ - Los & Jealous

I've been vibing hard on OG Che$$'s Chess Moves Vol. 1 for the past couple of months; to the point that I even featured him twice on my recent Bird Of Prey mix. Another song that appears on Vol. 1 is "Los & Jealous", which Che$$ has now slowed down a bit and given the video treatment. The clip was inspired by B.I.G.'s video for "Sky's The Limit", using what Che$$ describes as a "portrayal of friendship and disloyalty." The video is pretty awesome, and even features a good dose of those VHS effects y'all know I love so much. You can check out the slightly faster album version of the track below. Che$$ promises Chess Moves Vol. 2 is coming soon, so we'll keep you posted.

MP3: OG Che$$ - Los & Jealous
Pop over to DatPiff to grab Chess Moves Vol. 1 in full.

Don't Care

Chaz Bell, bka H | P S, creates some of the most obliterating fuzzed out jams I've ever heard. He's currently working on an upcoming split with Dudes for Chill Mega Chill, set to release later this Fall. "Don't Care" is the first single shared with us from the H | P S side of things. It's a fantastically catchy track that discusses caring about people, and things, and how that seems to often bite us in the ass. Interestingly enough, burying the song in fuzz only furthers the idea of how we often treat those feelings, obscuring them and twisting them into something more idealistic before letting them slip away.

MP3: H | P S - Don't Care
Today's Fash Fwd actually ties into the music focus of Decoder. Last month The Answer Page released his sophomore effort, Featureless Beast. The pre-order of the album came with a fantastic booklet with handwritten lyrics and custom artwork by Josh Denby, who also did the album's cover art. Now they've put up a limited edition t-shirt up with the design from the lyric page for "La Fata Morgana". It's a really sleek design and you can cop it now for a cool $16 + $4 for shipping. The shirt is limited to only thirty copies and about half of them are already gone, so act quick!

Stream: The Answer Page - La Fata Morgana

August 20, 2012

Hearts

Back in 2011, Pittsburgh producer Perris Dietrich a.k.a Shisa dropped his sophomore album (memory) on the Amdiscs label. The record was definitely a savvy assortment of production styles, taking bits from both the noise and glo-fi spectrums of electronic and mixing them into into a sort of rich atmospheric broth. A personal favorite of mine from that record, Sweet Sptmbr, took a plunderphonics approach to the Airiel song "Shirley Temple Tidal Wave," coating the sugary walls of the song with dense layers of static and grime, to interesting effect. Shisa's back today, however, with something a bit more breezy, with the release of "Hearts," his new Utada Hikaru-sampling collab single with Cali producer Choongum. The track's been on the net for a minute now, the video for the song dropped back in May, but this release is definitely worth your time - the single includes the OG track and several excellent remixes, including a completely amazing Le Sphinxx rework of the track. Cop a listen to "Hearts" below.

Stream: Shisa x Choongum - Hearts

"Hearts" is available now via AMDISCS and Shisa's Bandcamp.

Get Lost

I've been jamming fine to Trash Kids' Get Lost LP all summer long and only just realized last week that I never told y'all about it. Trash Kids is the collaborative project of Tyler Koykas (Show Your Teeth, formerly The Parallax View) and Timothy Ward (messedupcoyote). The duo craft dizzying electronic pop bangers that are weirder than your grandma's mason jar collection. The duo fantastically blend pop ideals with hip-hop and grunge aesthetics to create something that sounds famliar and refreshing at the same time. They also released an eponymous EP a couple of weeks ago filled with stellar beats, so give that one a whirl as you go.

Stream/Download: Trash Kids - Get Lost
Get Lost is also available on cassette via Woozy Tribe.
Trash Kids - Trash Kids