September 28, 2012

Desert Song

Tjutjuna are hard at work on their second record with Fire Talk, and in the meantime have announced a new limited cassingle to drop before the record. Today we're given our first peak at the single with its a-side, "Desert Song". Shredding guitars fed through pedals and furious percussion create a surprisingly peaceful-yet-excited atmosphere that might just have all the ingredients to lift any spirits with open ears. The band will also be on the road across the US this October, including stops through Raleigh & Asheville, so stay tuned after the jump for a full rundown of tour dates.

Stream: Tjutjuna - Desert Song
You can pre-order the cassingle now via Fire Talk, but act soon as it's limited to only 100 copies.

Galaxy

The homies at RichHappyFamous just posted up a brand new banger from recent favorite OG Che$$. If the tags on the mp3 are correct, this banger will be appearing on Chess Moves Vol. 2, the forthcoming mixtape from Che$$ expected later this year. "Galaxy" features the slightly throwed, almost nasally delivery and constantly on point flow that gives OG Che$$ his unique and intriguing voice. Laid on a beat filled with thudding kicks and a ceaseless snare rattle, the track's energy pours forth and should do plenty to get everyone hyphy for Vol. 2.

Stream/Download: OG Che$$ - Galaxy

Video: Mandola Jayebe - Cream

Mandola Jayebe just sent over his first music video, a pretty rad little clip for "Cream" that keeps things fairly simple with Jayebe rapping over on black background under so slightly warped effects. There's also a some cool letter-boxing going on that completely enhances the song's vibe. In case you're having trouble keeping up with Jayebe's wide range of EPs release this year, "Cream" appears on the GRADual takeOVER EP. You can check out the whole catalog over at the Mandola bandcamp.

Sky Bicycle

On Wednesday the folks at Pitchfork premiered Born Gold's first public peak at their upcoming record, Little Sleepwalker. I've been lucky enough to have a copy of Little Sleepwalker for a couple of months now, and I'm still wrapping my head around the stellar beauty of this album. When Cecil first gave me the record he told me it was a grower, but I fell instantly in love and dismissed the claim thinking he was simply being modest. Since then I've come to realize that while Little Sleepwalker is fantastic from the very first listen, it most certainly grows better with repeat absorption. "Sky Bicycle" is possibly the closest thing to Bodysongs on the LP, though Frena's new style of vocal delivery creates an atmosphere that might actually be akin to riding a sky bike. There's a new mood on this record, showing a side of Born Gold that is growing more mature without losing touch with a root sound. With less than a month until Little Sleepwalker's release, it's exciting to finally be sharing new Born Gold songs.

MP3: Born Gold - Sky Bicycle
Little Sleepwalker is available October 23, and can be pre-ordered now via Audraglint.

NOW That's What I Call Music! Vol. 2

From its cheeky, nineties-nostalgic, possibly copyright-infringing title to its deliberately obdurate track names, MJ Linckoln's latest piece de resistance, NOW That's What I Call Music Vol. 2, is clearly designed to provoke, amuse, and encourage waxing sentimental all at once. Still, there's a sense of careful devotion to the curated pop classics being subject to relentless death-by-sample here. The Top Gun love theme, 'Take My Breath Away' is mangled into repeating the stark phrase 'Watching every moment' until it becomes chillingly ominous, less a declaration of love than an obsessive stalker's desperate ruminations. Elsewhere, we find processed stadium cock-rock, warped VHS synth drone, and mutilated bedroom-eyes R&B, as if run through an industrial mixer and recorded on the other end. Despite the title, this album is eighties-fi through and through, a Dayglo Lamborghini exploding beneath a fluorescent Southern California sun wearing shades, and the obvious affection for the source material here once again proves that you can destroy what you admire and still remain true to its living, pulsing spirit.

Stream: MJ Linckoln - NOW That's What I Call Music! Vol. 2

Black Salt

Last week Waylon Thornton dropped the newest album in his massive collection of deliciously grimy works. Surf punks will delight for days upon weeks in this maelstrom of bouncing guitars and drums. The record leaves out Thornton's almost trademark yelping, something that usually adds to the energy of the tracks. Fortunately the mellow grooves in these songs work perfectly fine without vocals, actually allowing us to more fully grasp Waylon's ability to pick up a guitar at any time and take us on an adventure.

Stream/Download: Waylon Thornton - Black Salt

September 27, 2012

Videos: 50 50U7H51D3 ( ̄ー ̄) x N0 PhuxXx

Last week Realli B hit me up with a video for his track "50 50U7H51D3 ( ̄ー ̄)", aka "So Southside". The track and accompanying clip are both incredibly stellar, with a killer beat produced by Realli under his SiqkoWierdo moniker. The video was also shot by fellow #RedPillGang member Rico Da Freako, who also appears on another track that Realli sent over a video for more recently, called "N0 PhuxXx". It's an appropriate anthem for the carefree across the world, and maybe a little tougher than shouting YOLO as you streak across your high school football field while robotripping. The track also features Atlanta rapper YungPIMP, rounding out a trio of heavy flows on a beat that nearly explodes from the headphones.

Rvidxxr Klvn Presents: 2.7.5. Greatest Hits Vol.1

SpaceGhostPurrp's Mysterious Phonk: The Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp is one of my favorite album releases this year. As a fellow '90s kid, I've long been a fan of Purrp's skewed production techniques and '90s referencing sample drops (Seriously, "Whoopsie" from Mortal Kombat is just great). Blackland Raider Klan, aka Rvidxxr Klvn, are a crew that includes Purrp and a score of his rapper/producer cohorts. It's a bit difficult for me to keep up with all of the members of BRK, but their new "greatest hits" collection, 2.7.5. Greatest Hits Vol. 1, seeks to formally introduce us to the key players of Raider Klan across 47 tracks spanning two-and-a-half hours. It's almost shocking how many members stand out across the tape; Ethelwulf, Slim Guerilla, Chris Travis, Amber London, Key Nyata, N3LL, Simmie, J-Green, Eddy Baker, GrandMilly and Sky Lexington all manage to leave their mark, and that's not even the entirety of it. The slowed down southern style already prevalent in S.G.P.'s beats is what ends up really tying the entire mixtape together, as that screwed vibes oozes across all of 2.7.5. It's a girthy mixtape, but it's packed with solid tracks that make sure things never get stale.

Stream/Download: Rvidxxr Klvn Presents: 2.7.5. Greatest Hits Vol.1

Emotional Planet

Tonight Robust Worlds open their fall tour at the Breast Imaging Center in Iowa City, Iowa. When I learned this fact I typed "breast imaging center iowa city ia" into the search engine and got a long list of hits, and all pointed to the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics or Mercy, and I thought, That is so fucking far out, are they playing in a waiting room? or in the place where the actual machines and doctors are? Turns out it's a punk house. My source of this information wrote back: how do you even know about it?

This morning I plugged a set of Altec speakers into my laptop and listened to Robust Worlds' first record in my office as I graded papers about bell hooks and love as salvation. I thought about echoes and why they make us feel sad and lonely, especially when they stretch guitar chords and pretty singing. I thought, This guitar is like forest water, the way it eddies and pools and spills over rocks and fallen branches. I thought, What's the name of this song? I like it. It feels like the last third of the second beer at the end of a long day. And I looked at the track list and discovered that it's called "Cave."


The record is in the pre-order stage, though I bet there'll be a few available at the following locations, on the following dates:

9.26  Breast Imaging Center. Iowa City, IA
9.27  Replay Lounge. Lawrence, KS
9.28  Rhinoceropolis. Denver, CO: w/ Paw Paw
9.29  Moldspores. Albuquerque, NM: w/ Alan George Ledergerber
10.2  Human Resources. Los Angeles,CA
10.4  TBA. Oakland, CA
10.8  Howling House. Portland, OG
10.10 Comet Tavern. Seattle, WA
10.11 Top Hat. Missoula, MT: w/ Shahs

But if any of those places are as far away from you as they are from the border of Alabama and Georgia, you can reserve wax at De Stijl. Meantime:

Spiritual Machete

That Tickle Torture, aka Elliott Kozel, would self describe his sound as "synth R&B pop music that sounds like Justin Timberlake got wasted on vodka Redbulls and recorded all night with a bunch of broken synthesizers" seems particularly great for his Spiritual Machete EP's occasional resemblance to the noisier end of the Flaming Lips' astro-funk tunes. Having said that, my wife corroborates the Timberlake similarity. "I just couldn't know". Kozel's from Minneapolis, the home until very recently of our perennial fave Moon Glyph, so I'm less surprised that he also self-identifies with the indie-noise scene that Moon Glyph's debut compilation Regolith Volume One introduced us to with its track from raging noise/dance luminaries Skoal Kodiak. His approach to these new recordings diverges plenty from his past credential, with indie-pop band Sleeping in the Aviary. Though there's a sort of Black Keys style instrumental swagger in the new guitars, Spiritual Machete tells me there couldn't have been enough "art rock" in his past work. To that end, some element of Kozel's live performance involves "full frontal male nudity", which I haven't pried too far into.


Spiritual Machete is available for free (or whatever you can spare) at Kozel's bandcamp.

September 26, 2012

Give Your Light Off


A couple weeks before Woods' "Cali in a Cup" / "Give Your Light Off" single came out, I pre-ordered a copy at Woodsist's website. The kind folks there were nice enough to send me a copy right away, before the official release date. I listened to it on a Saturday night, with my wife and my dogs, and I captured the experience on my Flip. I uploaded the video on this very site and then I sent a link to the friendly fellow at Woodsist. He wrote back immediately and said it was great but please take it down, the b-side is for people who buy the record, and you're really not helping. I took it off right away. He thanked me and apologized for being weird about it, it's just too early to release the track, you know?

Today I saw on the Woodsist twitter that they made a Soundcloud out of the b-side, and put it online for everyone to hear. So I figured, now it's OK, right? I was hoping that my copy of Bend Beyond would arrive today, along with a whole bunch of King Crimson, Gentle Giant, and mid-70s freaky Miles Davis, but it didn't. I ordered these records and more from Twist and Shout. I went looking for that video I shot, because it was one of the best I've done, a document of a perfect cozy moment, but I couldn't find it. I deleted it from this site. I deleted it from YouTube. From my computer. From my Flip. It's gone.

I looked up how to restore a deleted YouTube video and I got something by a guy from Scotland, or Ireland, or whatever, he had a funny accent and I couldn't understand half of what he said, couldn't find the software he said to download, and it was the same thing when I watched a video by a stoner, except I could understand him.

So I gave up. And just then I noticed Squeek was sitting on top of the stereo like a sphinx. I don't have any footage of him doing that. I grabbed the Flip, queued up the record, hit the red button. Squeek stayed there as I slowly backed into my zero-gravity chair and went horizontal, feet up in the air. Then he got up and climbed the shelves and disappeared into the hole. One of the best videos I've ever done. I guess things work out after all.

Anyway, here's the official vapor:



September 25, 2012

Baby Face Killa

On Sunday I posted a new track from Freddie Gibbs that features Krayzie Bone and Spaceghostpurrp. In two days the track has racked up plays well into the double-digits fom me. I'm still pretty new to Gibbs' voice and flow, and today marks the release of his Gangsta Grillz mixtape, Baby Face Killa. Featuring killer production from Feb.9, Cylla, SMKA, DJ Dahi and several others, Gibbs hits every track with explosive flow that commands attention without being obnoxious. Aside from Krayzie and Purrp, the tape also has features from Young Jeezy, Jadakiss, Curren$y, Dom Kennedy, Kirko Bangz and a few others to round out the bill, making all of Baby Face Killa a fantastic listen and one of my favorite mixtape drops this year.

Stream/Download: Freddie Gibbs - Baby Face Killa

Back/Forth/Back

I've been eagerly awaiting Kill Or Be Killed, the upcoming Shady Blaze & Deniro Farrar joint mixtape. Recently they gave us Kill Or Be Killed: A Prequel, which compiles eleven bangers we've already been given this year by the duo. Now the duo have given us the mixtape's artwork (above) along with a new leak from the record, this time the Friendzone-produced "Back/Forth/Back", which actually features Deniro going in alone. As always, Farrar keeps it completely real as he tears through more of life's woes and Friendzone bring it hard and wavy on the production, making yet another perfect pairing for my most anticipated mixtape this year.

MP3: Deniro Farrar - Back/Forth/Back (prod. by Friendzone)

Video: Liphemra - Young

A couple of week's ago the folks at the 405 premiered this gorgeous video for Liphemra's "Young". While the track is the only one we've gotten from her yet, directing her own video to be this stunning shows that Liphemra is still keeping busy. "Young" is easily one of my favorite singles of the year, and the coupling of this clip has me supremely eager to hear more from the budding songstress.

MP3: Liphemra - Young

My Old$chool

Dallas-by-way-of-Minneapolis based producer Cardo has made beats for a star studded list of rappers that includes Wiz Khalifa & Mac Miller, whom I honestly don't vibe on, as well as Freddie Gibbs, who just dropped a sick mixtape today that I'll tell y'all about in a bit. Regardless of who he's producing for, however, Cardo always brings his a-game. Sun soaked beats full of crunchy snares and heart warming kicks seem to naturally flow from the guy. Today he's dropped his debut instrumental EP with the folks at Fool's Gold, and you can peak the first single below thanks to the Fader.

MP3: Cardo - My Old$chool
You can snag the digital download for the Everything I$ Gold EP now via iTunes.

Titan (MADDEN DeathTrap Remix)

Yesterday MADDEN posted to his soundcloud a killer remix to Clockwork's "Titan". The edit runs the gamut of electronic dance and hip-hop, leaving us with just under five minutes of dance floor bliss. Where the original version of the song punches hard and sharp, MADDEN's production gets a bit more explosive, allowing a bit of ethereal fog to creep over the track as the sounds bleed into one another only slightly. Turn the speakers up and fire up the bowl to this beauty.

MP3: Clockwork - Titan (MADDEN DeathTrap Remix)

September 24, 2012

Premiere: Little Spoon - Cherry and Lime

We're gearing up for a Fall and Winter of some lovely releases at Crash Symbols. We recently spread vicious rumors of us doing a cassette with Cameron Potter, aka C-Potts Da Spoonman, bka Little Spoon, via our pals at NFOP, and now we have the first official single from the upcoming tape, expected to release this Winter. You can peep the gorgeous album art that he put together for the release above. "Cherry and Lime" is a dizzying little number that hopefully will have you as excited for this album as we are. Little Spoon is also hitting the road with Birthdays for a Fall tour at the start of October, and you can peep the tour poster they put together for that below.

MP3: Little Spoon - Cherry and Lime

Applesauce

Centipede Hz, the latest record from Animal Collective, has been holding strong as my favorite release so far this year. Today they've announced a new 10" single for one of my favorite cuts from the record, "Applesauce". The single's b-side will feature a non-album track titled "Crimson". AnCo have also teamed up once more with Keep (whom they did a solo songs cassette and collaborative shoe release with last year). This time around Keep is bringing us a crystal-dyed t-shirt featuring the centipede logo from Centipede Hz on the breast-pocket. Stream "Applesauce" and a live version of "Crimson" below, where you can also catch a couple shots of the Keep t-shirt.

Stream: Animal Collective - Applesauce
Animal Collective - Crimson (Live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic)
Pre-order the Applesauce 10" now via Domino.

Waking Season

Massachusetts post-rockers Caspian have never shied away from emotion in their music; on their first two albums, they mixed sweeping instrumental bravado with quiet moments of introspective repose, and did it with enough gut-level warmth and passion to set them apart from the crop of Godspeed!-aping late-oughts instrumental rock bands. While I've always dug the considered, poised soundscapes they've created, their new record Waking Season, out tommorow, is (as Gorilla vs Bear might say) a True Next Level Effort and a wonderful step forward for the band. The first full-length from Caspian since 2009's Tertia, they sweeten the punch of their twinkling, emotive strums and hard hitting guitar sweeps with new elements; haunting vocals and a gauntlet of classical and synthetic instruments they've added to the menu this time around. The second track off the album, "Procellous," starts with Boards Of Canada-ish analog starshine and builds into one of the most satisfying crescendos I've heard in music this year. Spin Magazine (with the nod coming from noted always-hard-to-please critic Chris Weingarten himself) was right to recently dub this the "post-rock record of the year," in my opinion, it certainly has a firm grasp on the title so far. Listen to the spiraling, clanging cut "Procellous" below and cop the album over at their Bandcamp tommorow.

MP3: Caspian- Procellous
Waking Season drops 9/23 on Triple Crown Records

September 23, 2012

Kush Cloud

This Tuesday Freddie Gibbs will release his Baby Face Killah mixtape as part of the Gangsta Grillz collection with DJ Drama. The most recent leak from the tape features Spaceghostpurrp and Krayzie Bone going in with Gibbs on the smokers anthem of 2012. "Kush Cloud" has a pretty narrow subject matter, but if you're the type to blaze then pack a bowl to this beast and get in the zone. The track rings in at just over five-minutes, Krayzie Bone still sounds as great as ever and Purrp's laid back vibe compliments the quicker & heavier flows of Krayzie and Gibbs perfectly.

Stream: Freddie Gibbs - Kush Cloud (ft Krayzie Bone & Spaceghostpurrp)

Empty Staircases

Kelsie Brown stays busy in the underground music scene. I first came to know her through her tenure as a DJ for KZUU, WSU's college station and Pullman's only non-commercial station, and more recently she's been contributing to one of my favorite blogs, No Fear Of Pop. In all of this time, however, I've come to be most enchanted by Brown's music under the moniker Red Alder. Sparse keys and a warm static cradle delicate vocals that seem detached and woeful all at once, perfectly capturing an array of emotions often avoided. Still, the songs do not come across nearly as tragic as they are beautiful. Sadly Empty Staircases is an album meant to put an end to the Red Alder album; but we can only hope this isn't the last we hear from Brown, musically.

Stream/Download: Red Alder - Empty Staircases
A couple of weeks ago the folks at Fortyounce London unveiled collection N°7., including some rad new shirt/tank designs and their first pair of jeans (adorably labeled as Forties). Co-founder Samuel Johnson has been a huge influence for me on design and approach over the past couple of years, and these latest graphics are no exception. Stay tuned after the jump for a full peak at the N°7 lookbook, though it's more art focused than it is on the actual tees, so make sure you also head over to the shop for a more in depth look at Fortyounce's current stock.

September 21, 2012

Sirens (Rough Mix)

Back in 2010, many gazers (including myself) were heavily taken with buzzy Oakland noise-pop outfit Weekend's debut album Sports. With tracks like the slow-burning "Coma Summer," that swept the listener up into a swirling, guitar-saturated void, that record to me captured a real sense of thoughtfulness with it's noise, and hit on a particular corner of shoegaze (the release was released by the always-great noise emporium Slumberland Records, after all) which very few bands can really nail without sounding like they just crammed all their FX pedals into a bathroom and hit record. Today, they're back with a rough cut from their upcoming new record. "Sirens" is typical Weekend in the fuzzy vein of "Coma" and "End Times," which is to say you can get lost in this track. Download this burner below.

MP3: Weekend - Sirens (Rough Mix)

Weekend's new, as-yet untitled album will be out in 2013.

September 20, 2012

Appalachia

Back in July we were put onto Chelsea Wolfe's upcoming acoustic record titled Unknown Rooms. Our first peak a the record, set to drop October 16 via Sargent House, was with "The Way We Used To", a track that still holds that haunted resonance that I've almost come to think of as synonymous with Chelsea. Today the folks at The Fader have gotten the drop on another song from the record. "Appalachia" takes a much more folk-edged sound, and while Wolfe's voice still holds a slight haunt, it almost sounds more mournful than anything. Still, the track is not at all removed from Chelsea Wolfe's previous music; it's more of a stepping stone to dark vibes we've gotten before. It's almost like an exciting peek behind the scenes of one of my favorite songstresses around today.

Stream: Chelsea Wolfe - Appalachia

Previously: Chelsea Wolfe - The Way We Used To
Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs drops October 16 via Sargent House.

Video: Haleek Maul & Supreme Cuts - M00N

Last week King Crimson sent Haleek Maul, Supreme Cuts, and Мишка a cease & desist for use of samples from their music on the recent Chrome Lips mixtape. I'm not sure how this works, but the mix was free so I'm chalking this up to KC being a group of old squares who hate fun. I think it'd be fantastic if Maul & SupCuts could manage to remake the mixtape with new samples, but in reality that seems more absurd than just moving on to the next one. Today Maul and Supreme Cuts dropped the video for "M00N", the second single to drop from the now virtually non-existent Chrome Lips. Directed by the folks at Noisey, the clip follows Maul and a short haired mistress who seems to act as the muse for this track. The video relies on segmented clips to highlight the dark, twisted vibes of the track, without implying much story. If you missed out on the Chrome Lips tape and are dying to have it, shoot me an email. I personally think it's too damn good not to be heard.

September 19, 2012

Dance Monkeys

Lost Midås used to be a resident of Boston, playing in a couple of bands there and then eventually doing years of "DIY touring" (through which he opened for The Roots, George Clinton, and Boyz II Men, among others) before he relocated to Los Angeles to concentrate on making his own music. He also runs a new label, Luv Ü Records, with his brother/fellow producer NüTrik; they invite upcoming electronic music producers in the L.A. area to record live sets in their studio, which they then release on their Soundcloud. For his own project, Lost Midås creates what he refers to as "electrofusion", and I'd like to expand that genre to "electro-funk-fusion" — his tracks are slick, golden machines made up of a mixture of poise, funk, and precision. Catchy bits appear and disappear, loops turn, and transitions are as smooth as sliding glass doors. Below, enjoy "Dance Monkeys", a track off his debut s/t digital EP, out very soon.

MP3: Lost Midås - Dance Monkeys

You can download another track, "Love Undone (feat. Taylor O'Donnell)" over on his Soundcloud.

Feast

Some dudes stay busy. In between gigs as a regular contributor to our bb's over at PORTALS and Live For The Funk, Miami producer Jonathan Abramson records spaced-out electronic cuts under the name Between You and Me. He's prepping a new EP, Crystal Aquarium, for digital release on October 22nd and we're happy today to share the first cut from the release, the Seth Haley-ish chrome synthwave jam "Feast". Go blaze and look through a telescope to this, and cop the EP when it drops late next month.

MP3: Between You and Me - Feast

Crystal Aquarium drops digitally October 22.

September 18, 2012

Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark)

Last year, despite some issues with the venue's sound, Unknown Mortal Orchestra's set at Hopscotch 2011 was a highlight of that weekend for me. The band recently announced that they've signed to Jagjaguwar and are finishing up the month with a small slew of tour dates with Grizzly Bear. They'll be hitting the road with a tour only 7", and you can stream the a-side below. The b-side track will only be available to purchasers of the 7", so stay tuned after the jump to see if you can catch UMO live in your area. Even if their weren't a neat limited single, I can assure you it'll be one helluva show.

Stream: Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark)

Time Is Of The Essence

BK Beats and long-time collaborator PBZ recently dropped a new EP as part of Potholes Music's recent onslaught of digital releases from brilliant beatsmiths. BK Beats remains one of my favorite producers on the rise right now, and this sampling of bangers is just about perfect. The EP includes the Deniro Farrar, Boldy James and Shady Blaze track "Soul Fly", one of my late night favorites throughout the summer; and it even features the original instrumental for the track. There's also a Main Attrakionz feature on the record, giving the whole thing a Green Ova family affair feel, so get floated to this one.

Stream/Download: BK Beats - Time Is Of The Essence

September 17, 2012

Uptown Psychedelia

Sci-fi and noise drone extraordinaires Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) have teamed up on a full-album project as part of the Software Studio Series (or SSTUDIOS). Instrumental Tourist sees the two sound collagists working together to dream up new compositions in the tradition of jazz improvisation, with little to no prior knowledge of what might be recorded. The duo also seek to explore the notion of whether or not collaboration is even needed in a day and age where we can make our computers do it all for us. "Uptown Psychedelia", the album's first released track, has given us an emphatic "Yes." Sure, Lopatin and Hecker could have just made more solo records and not worked together, and the world would have been just fine; but in this case we'd have missed out on a beautiful creative venture that seemingly explores various emotions as much as it does alienable sounds.

Listen: Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin - Uptown Psychedelia
Instrumental Tourist is available November 20 via Software.

September 12, 2012

Decoder Magazine Preview/Update #2

As we prepare to finally and truly, once and for all submit materials to our printer, it's hard not to reflect on a few particular ways that we could have expedited the process. Giving up on our day jobs might have helped, but collecting all the work we wanted eventually had us stretching out deadlines for the sake of things we just had to have. We've since discovered that the universe chugs along and that we would rather be able to offer our friends consistency, than something made to be "perfect". Even more so because how perfection is defined becomes its own problem when our expectations for the final product have to change every few days. So, we allowed for some lee-way in order to make issue one the same raving eccentric that we tend to be ourselves. Nevertheless, we wanted to shed some light on where we're going with the Decoder Magazine website and what concrete expectations you can have for future print issues.

Over the course of the next several months, we're working with the staff at Foxy Digitalis to begin describing the full extent of a new editorial collaboration. For those of you that don't know Foxy Digitalis, it's been around in one form or another for more than a decade. Originally a xeroxed zine that proprietor Brad Rose made himself in the late 90s, its web presence was built in the early 2000s and has been a source for new music and meaningful criticism for... oh, right - a decade. Or (I disclaim): damn close. I don't want to give away too much information right now, but we'll have some great updates on that soon.

As that unfolds, we'll start sharing our blueprint for future issues of the magazine and web content. Small teaser: podcasts. Get ready for some of that. In the meantime, here are a few visuals to tide everyone over while we get the magazine off to the printers. Hah! "Off to the printers". Hopefully we'll be saying that more often. No "after the jump" nonsense, because we don't want to risk anyone missing out on the cat picture down there at the bottom of this post. Reasonable, right?

Cherry Lips, by Claire Pestaille
Although Pestaille could stand to be better documented online, her work is arresting and came down to us through a Booooooom feature, here. That feature is still the number one result when you google her name, though she has a minimal website. Her works are dramatic commentaries on the perception of women in the media and arts. Cherry Lips, taken from her Bella Donna series (reproduced in its entirety in the print magazine), illustrates a literal imagining of the mediation that takes place when the reproduction of a woman's image is absorbed.


Special Friend #1, by Liz and Dwight Pavlovic
Special Friend is a favorite character of my wife Liz's. He doesn't have a mouth or even any visible ways to interact with any sort of complex objects in the universe around him, so I like to attach ridiculous captions that suggest more agency than the character himself can have. It is our first structured interaction with "alternative literature", so naturally it's been a blast. Though we ultimately decided not to include these in the magazine, I thought we'd share one of our favorites.

Untitled, taken by Adam Myatt
That's right. Decoder will include a selection of cat photos from our friend Adam Myatt, one half of James & Evander. Living in Oakland, CA there's no end to the opportunities he finds to juxtapose these feline stalwarts against the squalor of some of the city's less beloved neighborhoods. Many come from areas near his home in West Oakland, notoriously one of the city's most dangerous areas. Myatt himself is as gentle and sympathetic a character as any cat's cute-biased appearance might erroneously suggest about them, so it's no surprise to see him laboring to capture the most compelling portrayals of his cats. I call them "his cats" mostly as a joke... probably at his expense. Myatt is not obsessed with cats, he just happens to be very good at photographing them sympathetically. His photos show at least one fully empowered demographic in the rough neighborhood they share. Seriously, if you're out to support a band that really deserves it, not just because their music is good, but because they've made the revolutionary decision to be good people in all respects, James & Evander should be the one you choose.

September 11, 2012

Diskette Romances

Small hits of music can easily be as satisfying as swirling, multi-tiered epics, a lesson that Diskette Romances seems to have taken to heart with their new, self-titled Sunup Recordings offering. A surprisingly polished and listenable take on the usual lo-fi melted boombox aesthetic of retro infomercial-pop, these tracks hit with quick precision, bringing the Michael Mann Skinemax sunset vibes ("Miro's Dream") at one turn and the PBS childrens' education programming horns ("Haneda") at another. Sample-based eighties worship can be a tricky gambit, but by keeping these snacks bite-sized and fun-packed, Diskette Romances keeps the weekend corporate retreat rolling with style and class to spare. Another stellar offering from the increasingly high-profile Living Room Visions collective.


Click through to the Sunup bandcamp to download the album; you'll need to copy and paste the constituent mediafire link into your browser.

GoodFellas

Earlier this year Haleek Maul jumped on fellow RLG member Chuck Larry's track "Jimmy", a track with a mellow vibes and an infectious hook that will pop into your thoughts days after the last listen. Now Chuck Larry has teamed up with some other RLG homies, Trizzy and Johnny K, to remix the track. Under the new title "GoodFellas", this new version gets even moodier, with plenty of emotional piano breakdown. More interesting is noting how the flow from Larry to Maul on the original is a constant pick up, whereas Larry to Trizzy to Johnny K ends up burning slower as it moves, leaving a feeling akin to falling through a vortex of syrup.

MP3: Chuck Larry - GoodFellas (ft Trizzy & Johnny K)
Previously: Chuck Larry - Jimmy (ft Haleek Maul)
You can download Chuck Larry's Reality Show mixtape for free via mediafire.

Instramaniakall Vol. 2

Tazmanian Tiger recently dropped his Instramaniakall Vol. 2, his second beat tape this year, in conjunction with the coolies at Keep On Repeat. Things launch with Deniro Farrar and Shady Blaze's "Insane", which is the only track with vox before the mixtape moves into a flurry of instrumental beauties. Twinkling synths and minimized beatsmithing creates a fragile and classic feel to the music, taking the cloud-hop aesthetic and filter it through even more dream sequences.

Stream/Download: Tazmanian Tiger - Instramaniakall Vol. 2

September 10, 2012

Heir Condition

Mandola Jayebe released a new EP for free a little over a week ago. Heir Jordan: Legendary EP serves as the follow up to Jayebe's very first EP, Heir Jordan: Banned EP. Several releases have come between the two, and this time around there is an obvious evolution of flow from the young emcee. Jayebe sounds more comfortable than ever as he goes in over beats from Isaiah Merriweather, ReignSuprxme, and Spinning. With six EPs under his belt this year, Mandola Jayebe continues to grow and explore his own sound, and it's great to be along for the ride.

MP3: Mandola Jayebe - Heir Condition
You can grab Heir Jordan: Legendary EP as a free download at bandcamp.

Video: Woods - Cali in a Cup

"Cali in a Cup", the first single from Woods' upcoming Bend Beyond, is one of the prettiest songs I've heard this year. The wistful-yet-fond vibes represented on the track have now been perfectly captured in this new visual mood enhancer by Adarsha Benjamin. The video, which was shot on Super 8mm film, perfectly reflects the late-'60s psychedelic folk sound of "Cali in a Cup". The clips follow Woods performing at this year's Woodsist Fest and hanging out around Big Sur. Bend Beyond drops September 18 on Woodsist, and if you're as in love with this track as I am, you can pick up a 7" for it now, also via Woodsist.

Update: I've just discovered that SPIN is streaming Bend Beyond in full right now. Pop over here to give it whirl!

Studio Apartment #3: Tim Cohen

Jon Bernson is the prolific San Francisco based multimedia artist behind Exray'sRays Vast BasementTHEMAYS, a collaborative project with Tim Cohen called Window Twins and numerous soundtracks for theater and film. Studio Apartment is his first column for Decoder. The column is his effort to document and understand recording spaces; what they are and how they can function in the life of a musician. We couldn't be more honored to have him on the team. Look for new installments roughly every month. -Co-Editor, Dwight Pavlovic

Over the last ten years Tim Cohen has unleashed a rare and beautiful flood of music in a staggering range of styles and with as many names: the Fresh & Onlys, Magic Trick, Window Twins, 3 Leafs, Black Fiction, Feller Quentin, and more. A few have been made in recording studios, but most have been written, performed, and recorded in The Treehouse, his San Francisco bedroom studio. Spend some time with his catalogue of dreams: Cohen's stamp is a truly personal blend of lyrical, musical and sonic wonders.

Click through the jump to read Jon's full interview.

Total Loss

I've been waiting eagerly to listen to Total Loss, the newest record from Tom Krell, bka How To Dress Well. In 2010 Love Remains wooed me to no end. It was my favorite album of the year, and just last night I revisited the record in all of it's infinite beauty. With that said, I have had some obviously high hopes for Total Loss, and everything I'd heard up until this point indicated I would love this new record just as much. Thankfully I couldn't have been more correct. While it's set to drop on September 18 via Acéphale (North America) & Weird World (worldwide),  today the folks at Electronic Beats have premiered the first stream of Total Loss in full, and I am floating. The new songs are still rooted in the minimalistic R&B vibes that Krell has been achieving for years, but there is also a new air of confidence about these tracks that didn't fully exist on Love Remains. His voice is less shrouded by the ambiance of the production, allowing us to more fully experience the (oft heartbreaking) beauty in his words and delivery. I'm only on my second listen, and I plan on spending a lot more time with Total Loss to fully absorb it, but I can already say with  utmost certainty that this is one of the best records of the year, if not the best. HTDW will be hitting the road for the US and then Europe this October with o F F Love in support of Total Loss, including a stop here in Wilmington at The Soapbox on October 12. Stay tuned after the jump for a more complete listing of shows.

Stream: How To Dress Well - Total Loss
Total Loss is available to pre-order now via Acéphale (North America) & Weird World (worldwide).

September 5, 2012

L.D.O.C.

Durham's own Professor Toon just dropped his debut full-length today via Grip Tapes. The majority of L.D.O.C. is produced by Toon, so it's no surprise that he attacks his own beats with tremendous veracity, every word perfectly punctuating a kick or a clap. Toon will be performing tomorrow night at Hopscotch Fest, taking the stage around 9:30p at The Pour House. It's a show that I will unfortunately be missing since I won't make it to Hopscotch until Friday, but if you're going to be around I highly recommend you catch it. His energy is massive and you'll be kicking yourself otherwise next year when he's all the rage.

MP3: Professor Toon - My Signature
Pick up L.D.O.C. in full now via Grip Tapes.

Video: .L.W.H. - Figurehead

.L.W.H. has been a little under the radar lately, working hard on his second full-length album. "Figurehead" is our first peak at the CIA TV, which is set to drop this Friday via .L.W.H.'s bandcamp. The song has an urgent pace that seems drenched in '80s melodrama, making She/Color's accompanying video all the more perfect. I'm excited to hear the rest of the album, which will include features from Astrronomy, Friendzone, fellow Executive Series member Julian Wass, and Green Ova compatriots Main Attrakionz. She/Color will also be doing a video for every track to compile the CIA TV movie, so we'll have all the visual stimulation we could want.

Lord$ Never Worry

I was pretty late to A$AP Rocky's LiveLoveA$AP last year, as Audrey was actually who put me on to it at the end of the year. Since then the album has seen endless spins from me, soundtracking many 3am smoke sessions to shake the stresses and finally fall asleep. Since then I've also gotten into some of the other members of A$AP Mob, though until now I've not had a great intro to the whole crew. The Mob recently dropped a mixtape, Lord$ Never Worry, that features all the members teaming up on tracks as well as carrying their own respective weight on solo tracks. Check out the video for "Bath Salts" below, which also features Flatbush ZOMBiES massacring the track with their heavy hiting flow. Lord$ Never Worry also has features from Danny Brown, Raekwon, Jim Jones and a few others, as well as production credits from homies like Silky Johnson, Clams Casino, AraabMuzik and of course A$AP's own Ty Beats. The whole thing maintains the screwed vibes that I appreciate most from A$AP and will likely end up somewhere on Decoder's year end lists.

Download: A$AP Mob - Lord$ Never Worry (livemixtapes.com)

Juice II

I get a lot of shit for being such a fan of Soulja Boy, but I really don't get why music has to be about something more than energy and fun. Regardless, the dude is alright with me. Last Year's Juice mixtape is still one of my favorite listens for anytime energy levels start feeling depleted. Now Soulja has unleashed Juice II on us, complete with another "Zan With That Lean". The features on this one are kept to a minimum, seeing only Lil Durk, D. Flores and Chief Keef make brief appearances. Still, Soulja establishes himself well as a king of hype as he goes across sixteen tracks with little help. Trip to this shit and get ratchet.

Stream/Download: Soulja Boy - Juice II

Dedication 4

With Lil Wayne set on retiring at 35, we've only got 6 more years from potentially the most prolific guy in top 40 rap right now (though Drake and Rick Ross are vying for that crown.) All jokes aside, Carter IV is probably my least favorite output from Wayne yet, and I still think it's pretty awesome. Few people know their way around a punchline like Wayne does, and I love love love a good punchline. Yesterday he dropped the Dedication 4 mixtape and it's fan-fucking-tastic. You can catch a video below of Tunechi talking about the mix, though despite what he says, the mixtape is every bit as free as every other one has been. Maybe he meant this one wouldn't be free of tags, cause it's labeled? As per his mixtape usual, the tape features Wayne going hard over various beats from the radio's brightest at the moment. We get to hear "Cashed Out" made a bit more listenable, plus we get a list of what Wayne "Don't Like". D4 also features YMCMB homies like Nicki "GaGa" Minaj and Gudda Gudda; with a vaguely surprising lack of the aforementioned Drake and Ross. There's also a feature from 13-year-old Chicago native Lil Mouse. A lot of people are obviously getting pissy about this, but I think everyone should step back and realize when Wayne was 13 he was given the same opportunity, and he made some mistakes, but the dude is doing pretty well for himself. For some folks an endorsement like this makes a better future than you could have hoped for. All-in-all, it's not another No Ceilings, but I'd call Dedication 4 on par and a damn good listen.

Download: Lil Wayne - Dedication 4 (livemixtapes.com)

September 4, 2012

Victimeyez

Мишка stays on it with their exploration of dark vibes beyond the typical. Today they've released the new mixtape from Portland trio Bruxa, titled Victimeyes. Bruxa forgoes the slowed down vibes of a lot darker producers these days, instead going for hard electronic dance music with a healthy dose of ether. The whole atmosphere creates something that feels appropriate the blackest hours of night without really becoming uncomfortable. Slip this one on with a pair of good dancing shoes and groove until yours legs move away without you.

Stream/Download: Bruxa - Victimeyez

Kill Or Be Killed: A Prequel

I've been eagerly awaiting Deniro Farrar & Shady Blaze's joint-mixtape for a year now. Both rappers are two of the hardest working emcees in the game right now, with neither willing to take any time away from the mic. Both continually release new tracks and will absolutely kill seemingly any feature handed to them. While we're not quite at Kill Or Be Killed yet, the next best thing was released late last week. Kill Or Be Killed: A Prequel is obviously what the name says, and it collects various tracks we've heard from the duo thus far (including personal favorites "NWO" and the Haleek Maul featuring "Cold Blood"), as well as few previously unheard cuts.

Download: Deniro Farrar x Shady Blaze - Kill Or Be Killed: A Prequel (mediafire)

Video: Michael Myerz - Nightmare From The 90's

Michael Myerz released the video for his track "Nightmare From The 90's" today. I'll keep the post short because you'll want to hurry up and get to all the Furby, Goosebumps, babydoll & ouija board goodness. WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS?

Children of the Sun

San Jose's Justin Morales, bka Seabright, released a briliant new record last week. Children of the Sun is every bit as ethereal, bright and blissful as such a title could invoke. The Follow up to the beginning of the year's Lost Ones collects twelve stellar shoegazing glo-fi wonders recorded over the Spring and Summer. Children seems to draw on the hopeful powers of the seasons' growth to expand into an album drenched in a nostalgia that still seems to beg for the future. 

Stream/Purchase: Seabright - Children of the Sun
You can grab Children of the Sun in whatever digital format you prefer from Seabright's bandcamp for just a cool $1.

Galaxy and Aura

This is what happens when Dylo meets FlyLo (Fuck yah I'm so corny!) Yesterday up-and-coming Houston based emcee Dylo leaked a new track from his upcoming Indigo Matter EP. "Galaxy and Aura" see Dylo going in over Flying Lotus' "Galaxy In Janaki". The original beat is already pretty heady, and Dylo atacks it with a throwed flow that feels comfortably alien. We're promised a video for the cut is on the way very soon, and while there's no official date for Indigo Matter yet, we're expecting that will drop soon enough as well.

MP3: Dylo - Galaxy and Aura (prod. Flying Lotus)

Deal With It Vol. 2

The homie Javis Faux is back with Volume 2 of his Deal With It series. Potholes Music just dropped it today as a free download, or you can throw $4 their way for all the HQ file types and such (so worth it!) The EP kicks off with "24", which we've had a peek at, though I can't get enough of the track. The EP progresses from here with five more killer productions, cementing Faux even more as one of my favorite producers in the game right now.