November 29, 2012

Snow Crash

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Few people know their way around an anthemic sci-fi soundtrack like Xander Harris does. Today Мишка dropped his newest album, Snow Crash, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Neal Stephenson's book of the same title. The story takes place in Los Angeles (sci-fi fucking loves LA!), and focuses on main character Hiro Protagonist, best described by his business card, which states that he is "last of the freelance hackers and greatest swordfighter in the world." Hiro and newfound friend Y.T. learn of a drug/virus called "snow crash" that effects the brains of hackers in the metaverse while also acting as a virus on the human mind in reality. It's a pretty heady and amazing concept that hopefully you will read in the book, because you get nothing else from me. Now head to the library and grab a copy, throw Xander's beyond stellar soundtrack on in the headphones, and enjoy. On the adverse, if you happen to be in Austin tonight Harris will be hosting a listening party for the record at The North Door. See you there?

Stream/Download: Xander Harris - Snow Crash

Blender

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I have no clue where in the genre spectrum to classify Mimimic's debut full-length, Blender. At times it is a droning sci-fi epic, and at other times a danceable minimal synth bender, and then at other times a winding, dark dub of noise pop. What's more impressive is that the entire release ties together perfectly despite its varietous sound. The entire flow is beautiful and manages to really tug at my heart strings by manipulating emotion through sound. The entire record is available to download free from Bandcamp, so just go ahead and press play on this beauty before I gush anymore.

Stream/Download: Mimimic - Blender

Moogfest Day 2: ELECTRIC MOOGALOO

Hey kids, it's part deux of our Moogfest 2012 coverage! If you missed part 1 yesterday, get caught up over here. Part 3 comes tommorow, when we'll finish the saga (while planning the prequels for down the line, but they won't make no sense anyway). Remember, David in Blue, Giancarlo in Red.

We woke up groggy. Super groggy, actually. Night of The Living Dead-type. We went for coffee at a nearby Hardees (easily avoidable mistake) and summoned our energy up for another day of Moog, then onto downtown, where we met up with Judson and our friend Lexy (whom we crashed with back at Moogfest 2011) to throw down on some Mama Citas burritos. We collected some local alcohol afterwards and headed over to Apothecary, a nice little DIY music venue not too far from the main thoroughfare of Moog. Stuck around for a while at the space as some local bands played. A short time later while smoking a cig on the curb, I got word that the show had been delayed because of noise complaints. So a bunch of us trolled around the city for the afternoon, seeing some shops, and pre-gaming for Moog at the Beir Garden where one of Lexy’s roommates worked.

Yeah, already drained from Justice, I can see how Moog being just two days was an advantage. It was fun partying with friends from back home, but I was especially excited to be reunited with friends who I hadn’t seen since last Moogfest. Now that we were all officially ;in full swing, costumed characters could be seen mysteriously walking around us as we caught up with Lexy on the last year's worth of events. The weather usually requires a coat or at least a jacket, but it was completely optional this year, so "thank you, global warming".

Later that night, we arrived at the expertly staffed Orange Peel (seriously though, play nice or they will kick you out for fucking up once) for Killer Mike, our first official set of the festival. Although I had caught him at Hopscotch the month before, the rest of my group wanted to see him, and to be real, his sets are too wild to miss. Even on his off nights, dude is an immaculate performer. Consider that by this set, Mike had been on tour for almost two months, an exhausting feat for any musician no doubt, but even towards the end of his tour cycle, here was this dude on point and bringing his stage persona and bombastic delivery 110%. I really wasn't left pondering while leaving the Peel whether or not he was "glad Reagan dead."

He encourages the kids to vote. It was a fantastic way to start the night, and all my energy had returned to me by the end of it as we ran across downtown to the civic center.

Next for me was rapper veteran NAS, who had completely filled the arena. The energy coming from the crowd simply exploded as the lights went down. Accompanied by his whole band, NAS came out looking fresh, seemingly with the energy and hunger of any newcomer to the game. Throughout his set he expressed how grateful he was all the support the crowd was gladly giving. His humility was endearing, and his outstanding performance was one that no one at Moog should forget. Though I didn’t know much of his catalog, I had a great time listening and ended up picking out familiar beats and tracks that made me realize I was a fan of Nas before I knew it. After he finished, I watched from the stands above as a river of people flowed out of the center into the night as two large astronauts were being set up. I was not excited for Primus at all. I can appreciate the diversity that Moogfest brought this year. Originally sticking to experimental electronic bands as when The Octopus Project openedfor Devo the first year, their second year opened up to a lot more unique choices; Passion Pit, TV on the Radio, and The Flaming Lips as their veteran acts. So, even in this scaled down year, “Primus 3D” seemed still completely inappropriate. As I picked up my 3D glasses a knot began to form in my belly with the dread of something gimmicky and disgusting, more akin to U2 3D than Spy Kids 3D. I mean, even a week later, I am not sure what I saw that was so much more 3D than seeing them in person, which is 3D by definition? They began to play well, and seemed to generate a good crowd, but looking at the stage, I was dumbstruck by what I was watching. The only noticeable visuals were on one screen behind them, and the visuals were just awful. Not only because they looked lazy with graphics that popped out like an old cellphone screen saver, but they were clearly just several year-old clips ripped from YouTube! For the time that I bothered to stick around, they simply showed excerpts of a popular British flash cartoon from 2005 called Salad Fingers that I hadn’t seen since high school. I couldn’t handle too much of it, and left assuming that Moog not only wanted to appeal to a diversity of musical acts, but a diversity of audiences as well.

Nas at the arena, as Giancarlo mentioned above, was really captivating and an interesting change of crowd for the festival, way older and more racially/ethnically diverse. Standing towards the middle of the hoard of fans watching him spit, I was pretty stoked on the thought that I was actually there, watching Nastradamus perform. I mean, it's NAS, right there in front of you, how you sposed' to react? During the last song, I ducked out to glide over to Squarepusher, which was though, in my humble opinion, the best set of the weekend. His visuals were hypnotizing, sort of a re-appropriation of old early-90's monochrome computer textures, and his glitchy, technical IDM filled the auditorium with cacophonous, jagged noise in the best way. I can still feel the light streaks on the inside of my eyelids.

If I'm being honest here, Black Moth Super Rainbow was a bit of a disappointment. After seeing Tobacco's gooey electronics win over a sizable crowd last year at Moog, I was ready for what psychedelic weirdness Black Moth had in store, but they were slightly unrehearsed on some of the newer stuff (Windshield Smasher started the set and was sort of sloppy) and their visuals, compared to the found-footage assault of Tobacco last year, was more akin to a screensaver, for instance, a picture of a house in a forest that gradually changes. Maybe I expected too much.

After my look at their recently released album, I was also excited to see how BMSR would compared to the fantastic showmanship of Tobacco last year. I even stood around the same spot in the Orange Peel as last year, front and center. Something looked wrong as they filed onto stage, all looking down, as if they just had a fight off stage and now had to work together unwillingly. They started without a word, starting with “Windshield Smasher”. As David just said, no performance or willingness to engage the audience, their frontman burying his face into his laptop. Worst part was watching them made me feel uncomfortable, as they all played in stressed potations over their instruments that made my own joints hurt. After the first few songs they got into some sort of rhythm where they were all playing correctly and they moved on to one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums, “I Think It’s Beautiful That You Are 256 Colors Too”. My ears perked up and I was momentarily wrapped in the nostalgia that I was hoping for. It was short lived, and left feeling disappointed. I would be at Fun Fun Fun next weekend and was excited to see them again then, hoping that later on their tour they would be more in sync.

We were beyond tired at this point. The night before I slept on the floor next to a hotel sink and was anxious for the feeling of sinking my face into a pillow. But there was one more important task for me, and that was to see Explosions In The Sky. If anyone, ever, anywhere gets a chance to see them, you must. These Austin, Texas post-rock instrumentalists began with a soft spoken introduction and then dived into one of the most intense and powerful shows I had seen all day. From start to finish, EitS throws every ounce of themselves into their instruments, creating ballads that seem to form and carve the mountains around us as they fall to their knees, continuing to play every emotion into their songs. The lights from the Auditorium’s stage threw their shadows twisting and reaching onto the walls and over the crowd.

Explosions In The Sky were definitely something to be reckoned with. While I had just caught Godspeed! You Black Emperor (e.g. post rock vanguards who Explosions are often accused of apeing) in Chapel Hill earlier that month, I definitely think Explosions live up to their forefathers live in terms of sheer volume dynamics. I snuggled in my seat and enjoyed the contemplative quiet parts, and was erect on my feet for the crescendos, which were loud and vicious and made my neck hair stand at attention. A lovely show to catch in the context of a seated auditorium, for sure.

I left the civic center’s lobby still in awe of Explosions. Their set had the perfect combination of emotions, as I felt caught in an immense world shared with all these people, yet at the same time, it is all forgotten. We all came to share this powerful medium of communication, even when no words have to be said. For just a fleeting moment, all of one’s individual worries and problems melt away, and we can all gather for a common retreat. No matter what the size of Moogfest is now, it will always be a celebration of the beauty of a world of music.  

Video: Leisure Birds - SETI Signals

[Video by Ben Marcus]
Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society...
Leisure Birds recently dropped this video for an edited down version of their track "SETI Signals". The narrative of this video is too gorgeous of a sci-fi wonderfuck for you to be reading words about it, so just press play, and if your ears dig it make sure to cop the full record via Moon Glyph.

Coastal / Hyperion

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Alexander Spit has had a fantastic year of music. He put out an amazing mixtape of beats called Mansions (perhaps an insight into his five-year plan?), produced Bago's incredible Sunday's Best (one of my favorite records I almost slept on this year) and more recently dropped an EP of rap tracks title A Breathtaking Trip, also produced by himself. His debut full-length rap effort comes to us January 29 via Decon, and with the title A Breathtaking Trip to That Other Side it's fairly obvious that this one picks up right where the EP leaves off. Yesterday Fader got the drop on "Coastal / Hyperion", a new leak from the upcoming record that is co-produced with Caleb Stone. The beat bangs from the very beginning, and Spit's laid-back flow makes this a perfect summer-vibes track to warm us through the cold months of winter. Turn it up loud in the headphones and bounce.

Stream: Alexander Spit - Coastal / Hyperion A Breathtaking Trip to That Other Side drops January 29 via Decon Records.

November 28, 2012

Video: CRIM3S - lost

[video by Oohh Mmyy Godd]
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I've always had a strong lust for that which makes others uncomfortable. It's a quality my friends have often deemed weird and interesting at once; a quality that I attribute to the fact that I always feel uncomfortable, and we all just want everyone else to be on the same playing field that we feel stuck on. I get the feeling that CRIM3S might share this lust with me. On Monday I posted their amazing mix for LOGO, along with a track called "lost" that they had posted in October. Yesterday the duo tweeted a link to a video for the track that might vaguely unsettle the squeamish. Still, given the lyrics and full scope of the video, there is an obvious notion of healing through acceptance of being alone. It's a beautiful clip that adds a new layer of tonality the song, making me appreciate it that much more.

Millions of Horny Boys

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Stupid Future is a new music collaboration between Foot Village's Brian Miller, Male Bonding's Kevin Hendricks, tik//tik's S. Cano and M.K. The group calls their genre Google Hangout-core, and as such that is obviously indicative of their recording nature. With a desire to collaborate despite being in different locations, they are using Google Hangout to still make music together. Part of their goal is to take a technology that is contemporary and expose the still primitive communicative properties of the technology, allowing themselves to record together through sound channels that distort and disrupt to add a new unchained element to their art; a concept that fascinates me to no end. Stupid Future's first single recently dropped as part of Deathbomb Arc's digital singles club. Usually the singles are exclusive to subscribed club members only, but Brian Miller has been gracious enough to let us host the tracks here as well for your mass consumption. If you like what you hear, maybe you should join the DBA Digital Singles Club.

MP3:
Stupid Future - Millions of Horny Boys
Stupid Future - Traps of Gold

Tender Tendencies

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A couple of weeks ago The-Dream announced the release of his album 1977 on December 18. If you're thinking 'Wait, but wasn't that record on Jheri's favorite albums of 2011 list?' then I'll thank you for paying attention, because yes it was. Last year he released the record as a free mixtape download under the name his birth name, Terius Nash. Now he is reissuing the album as a physical release with some bonus tracks attached and brand new artwork. Some folks seem to be a bit upset by this, but in his defense he gave it away free before doing the standard Christmas-time deluxe reissue template, and that free version wound up on a lot of best of lists, so he deserves to be paid for his that was so favored. A couple of weeks ago he dropped the absolutely infectious bonus track "AK-47" (which you can also hear remixed on the Party Trash remixes album we mentioned yesterday.) This past Monday The-Dream gave us another bonus leak titled "Tender Tendencies". Where "AK47" saw Nash calling out his subject for being harsh and cold, "Tender Tendencies" shows himself revealing his own flaws and lying them on the table for the world to dissect. I also have a strong affinity for artists than can expose themselves in such a way, as I can only imagine how difficult it is to be under such a hot spotlight.

Stream:
The-Dream - Tender Tendencies The-Dream - AK47

Moogfest Day 1: Justice

For the last three years, Asheville, North Carolina has been a Mecca for electronic music lovers everywhere. The last weekend of October has been dedicated to the sonic pioneer Robert Moog for his remarkable vision and innovation over the course of modern music. His invention of early synth instruments paved the way unlimited potential for use in all genres of music in the last forty years, and the noises coming from those unassuming objects still find their way into hundreds of records every year. Moogfest has been a fantastic tradition for myself and the rest of the Decoder crew. This is our first year doing coverage of it, but between Jheri, David and me, we have been in attendance all three years, supporting the hope for a growing North Carolina music community. Held on the north side of downtown Asheville, the festival has many fantastic venues all operating shows throughout the nights, including the U.S. Cellular Center, with the giant Exploreasheville.com Arena and the exquisite Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, the intimate Asheville Music Hall, and the Orange Peel, a world renowned music venue. So in the same fashion of our coverage of Hopscotch, David will have blue colored font, and I, Giancarlo, will have red.

On Thursday, Giancarlo drove out from Wilmington to pick me up at my apartment in Raleigh so we could head off for the Moog festivities in Ashevegas. We had an enjoyable ride up, (especially compared to last year, where we had a fun situation with a broken window motor on the way to an Odd Future pre-Moog show last year). We rolled into Asheville that evening with time to spare, bounced downtown to pick up our wristbands from the hotel there where we ran into and made friends with Dylan, a nice kid who worked for UNCA's radio station. This became a common theme of many of the media people I ran into over the weekend, everyone seemed to have radio credits, which is ironic because I didn't catch anyone from Raleigh's WKNC (the station I DJ at) over the weekend.

One of the first things I was so excited about getting to Asheville was the festivities of being in costume at Moogfest started from the first one, where the first one happily finished on Halloween. Now in its third year, the festive spirit is still alive and well. Thursday began with the unofficial pre-party with Justice. Although it has been scaled back to two days, the chance of hearing Justice throw a party for the attendees that more than made up for it.


Before the French duo began, a little more local flavor began the show. Atlanta's Distal introduced himself with a style that will be through the festival, ranging from triply techno to gritty hardcore. It was the perfect soundtrack for the everyone excited for the weekend ahead of them. But for me, the party really began with reuniting with a crew of Wilmington friends. Justin and Tommy of Libraries have always cited Justice as one of their main influences with their own dance music, and the excitement on their faces could be seen from across the arena. After a joyful reunion, we all filed back into the stage as a great lit up cross began to be revealed.

We got to Justice and watched the opener, an Atlanta DJ named Distal, who threw down a surprisingly varied mix of old 90's acid rave standards and new tunes. The crowd was pretty live for him. When Justice went on though, any last holdouts keeping their hands down and mouths shut were exterminated by the sonic force that the duo brings live. Not really much of a fan of their EDM vibes, but you really can't deny how amazing their live assault is, blinding lights and rumbling bass and the cross hovering focalized in the middle of it all. I paced the venue and watched the show from a half-dozen angles, amazed at the spectacle of so many people feeling the music.

The hungry crowd had already worked itself into a frenzy when the first note dropped. The duo, made up of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay, immediately launched into a sonic assault on the crowd, blending the straight electronic rhythms of their first album,  with the epic rock of their second album, Audio, Video, Disco perfectly. The energy never disappeared the entire night. Anytime the lights behind them rose, an army of flailing arms rose, showing just how enthralling Justice’s music can be.

Their insane set was the perfect way to introduce Moogfest, where there no stylistic limits to genres here, and there is guaranteed to be something for everyone. After the show, everyone quickly and efficiently left the civic center, groups of new and old friends leaving in different directions to explore Asheville’s downtown or to get some sleep for the weekend ahead. Still chanting the chorus to We Are Your Friends, David and I momentarily parted ways with our Wilmington friends to venture further into the night. Being a town enriched with a unique music culture, we were sure to be able to find several free shows along with Moog’s events.

After Justice, we went to the small-but-cozy Asheville Music Hall to meet up with Giancarlo's friend Judson Rogers, who records under the name Sumsun. I chatted with the homie Christian Church, a local muscian from the Asheville area who plays with the group Alligator Indian, check them out, they're rad. It's always nice to finally meet people you know from the digital world online outside in the physical world. Took some sexy Cinemagrams too, of the international-flavored lofi-pop group Levek, who were playing a free show at the joint. Definitely one of the more eclectic shows I saw over the weekend.

After we found out that our friends Tommy and Justin (who we were supposed to crash with) had left for the fabled Justice afterparty, we decided to head back to their room at the Ramada. Lo and behold, after we got to the hotel and chilled in the stairwell for a while, wondering where our friends were, we got a call informing us that they were staying at a different Ramada. Headed over there with egg on our face and partied a little bit with the Libraries crew. Ended up gracefully crashing to the 50 Cent movie on cable. The day was a nice little opening salvo and warmed up us for the fun of the next two days of Moogfest!

Check back tommorow for Day 2!

[All photos © Giancarlo D'Alessandro]

November 27, 2012

Post-Radio

Post Radio is another transfixing, lo-fi epic from the Living Room Visions/Sunup Recordings collective. NYKDLN (a.k.a. Scott Michael, of Johnstown, PA) weaves a jarring and hypnotizing tapestry from the haunted gray zones between stations on the dial, where snatches of familiar plastic pop and monotonous talk show horrors are swarmed with infesting waves of static and frequency churn. Eerie bits of sound buoy to the surface of the mix like drowning, lost souls, only to sink down, dissolving matter in a sea of disturbing white noise. This is a strikingly original achievement, and one that has surprisingly deep repeat-listening value, as the listener grows ever more and more entranced by the unexpected human touches found within the sonic maelstrom. When last I blurbed for Decoder, it was on the subject of Brandon Locher, another of Johnstown's finest musical exports, and I'll repeat what I said there: this small, western PA city, and the My Idea Of Fun kids in particular, is a scene to watch and then some.


Post Radio is available now from Sunup Recordings' bandcamp, name your price.

Canopy/Mardotsha

In the interests of full disclosure, I have a lot of externally conditioned good sentiment for Planted Tapes, so their sophomore release as a label - whatever it might be shaping up to be - has been something I've looked forward to. Not to be patronizing, but its two founders, Goldrush Music Festival organizer Crawford Phileo and Fingers of the Sun keyboardist Jamie Bryant, are friends to me and the missus and their capacity as people is easily born out by their respective projects.

Onto Lake Mary, another project that bears out its person: Chaz Prymek, who we know from his split with Jordan Knecht. For this release with Planted, Prymek creates what the label describes as "a perfect, damn-near holy amalgamation of drone and folk music, gracefully balancing on a line traced like charcoal to parchment, as if Prymek is revealing to his listeners what was always already there". His two compositions, the droning "Canopy" on the a-side and an acoustic guitar piece called "Mardotsha" on the b-side certainly fit the bill, effortlessly transportive. Effortless is a key word because artifice in this music would communicate readily to listeners, so it is that sense of Prymek's sincerity that makes the two universes of these songs so immediate and accessible. Planted has provided a ten minute excerpt and though it proved fine accompaniment to my writing this text, I'd sooner suggest relaxing with it. Consider buying the whole tape if you're prepared for a few minutes of "soulful driving", etc.

Stream: Previews of "Canopy" and "Mardotsha"

Purchase Lake Mary's cassette from Planted Tapes.

Party Trash's REMIXES (part one)

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While it's actually been available to download for a few days now, today is the official listed release date for Party Trash's REMIXES (part one). The digital album collects his exotically energetic dance takes on a killer selection of artists, all released across 2012. Featuring remixes to the likes of Destiny's Child, Inoj, The-Dream, Purity Ring, Zomby, Aphex Twin, and even t.A.T.u. Yeah, that t.A.T.u. The entire collection is just mind-blowingly wonderful, so go ahead and throw on your best dance shoes, press play, and get out on the floor.

Stream/Download: Party Trash - REMIXES (part one)

Video: Unicorn Kid - Feel So Real

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Yesterday Unicorn Kid released this video for new track "Feel So Real", directed by . The song features vocal sampling from Love Decade's hit single "So Real", and also seems to infuse some bits of "Chrome Lion", from Unicorn Kid's Tidal Rave EP. I've had a weird time dealing with the fact that he uses pieces from another of his songs, but I've come to realize that the two tracks stand strong on their own. For myself, as a collage artist I have found duplicate issues of NatGeo and excitedly reused images that appeared in older works; as long as the whole of it is still powerful in a new way, so be it. Besides, I honestly can't listen to Unicorn Kid without bouncing around and grinning from ear-to-ear. The video also has a pretty wonderful narrative and some beautiful shots, so just quit reading this and open wide your eyes.

Premiere: Krusht - Orange Sky

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For just over a year now Krusht has consistently wowed me. He is an artist who not only has an obvious knack for creating beats both soothing and exciting at once, but he is also constantly striving for growth. Both of his early EPs (Back To The Forest & By The Pool) show range between them while still having obvious points to tie the two together, with the most obvious being how fun and danceable the tracks are. He sent over this new banger last night with the news of his debut LP. "Orange Sky" actually will not appear on the record, but Krusht has said it is indicative of the album's sound and his evolution as a producer. The song was inspired by a game of catch underneath LA's polluted skyline, which often creates stunning lighting effects across . As dusk fell the entire atmosphere had an orange glow, attributing to the first time I've been somewhat thankful for pollution, for without it we may not have this wonderful new banger from Krusht.

Stream/Download: Krusht - Orange Sky

November 26, 2012

Video: Slug Christ x Silky Johnson - Bad Habit

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If you've been with us since the GOTC days you might already know Chaz Bell as the twisted brain behind fuzzed-out garage project H | P S. Bell is, however, a lover of distortion in general, and also a fan of southern rap. Lately he's been teaming with Atlanta rapper Silky Johnson (not to be confused with the Bay Area producer of the same name) under his Slug Christ moniker for a collection of skrewed and blown out jams. Yesterday the duo released a new video for their Kashmere-produced track "Bad Habit" that is perfectly paired with lean and picante ramen. The video showcases the two emcees getting down in the streets, soaring through alternate realities, and smoking a variety of blunts & bongs; all in the name of having a good time with the bad habits. Below you can also check out some extraordinary trap beats that Chaz produced this past summer. 

Stream/Download: Chaz Bell - Chz In The Trap

Mix: CRIM3S for LOGO

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For the past few months I've listened to CRIM3S' "Meet Me Half Dead" at least once almost every day. There is true power in the ability to sample the Black Eyed Peas and make me fall in love at the same time. Still, I've been craving some newer music from the duo. Last month they released a new track that will make you feel like you just did whipits, titled simply "lost"; leaving me hopeful for an EP or LP soon. While it's not quite what I'm hungry for, CRIM3S dropped a new mix today via LOGO, and it is touching me in all the right places. While there's no tracklist, I was able to pick out pieces of Major Lazer, Gucci Mane, Ne-Yo, Big Sean, Frank Ocean & even Angelo Badalamenti's "Laura Palmer's Theme". It's a brilliant mix that spans just over sixteen minutes, leaving me potentially more wanton for new music from CRIM3S than I was before.

Stream/Download:
CRIM3S - Mix for LOGO CRIM3S - lost

Interview: Silent Land Time Machine

I met Jon (we are sworn to leave it at "Jon") while slinging demos in the Decoder back-end, an experience reinforced by the package of four gorgeous tapes that he sent (with Smokey Emery, Thousand Foot Whale Claw, Troller - I can't actually say the Troller tape was "gorgeous", now that I think about it - and Lumens). Together the group represented the first formal offering from Holodeck Records, a collaborative experimental and ambient label he's helped since taking up in Austin. We're a bit more into the swing of conversation and he shares with me his "harder" project, Indian Queen Records, where he pointedly houses his own solo project Silent Land Time Machine. A few questions into our interview with Jon and you may come under the impression that we were both excited the other one wanted to talk about Jung and so our discussion of him ended up framing our "interview" into the background of this particular project. He's actually just finished up with a tour under the name, so we've also got a retrospective tour mixtape to share, so feel free to stream while you read after the jump.

Stream: Silent Land Time Machine Fall Tour 2012 Mixtape


November 25, 2012

Rules

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Rules is a Washington, DC-based producer who excels in the dark arts. His debut self-titled EP came out last month and contains three of the most wonderfully soulful beats for listening to in a damp cave. He also recently put together a killer one-hour+ mix for MTHRFNKR that runs the gamut from Ginuwine to Zodiac to Ricky Eat Acid and beyond. It also features an unreleased new track from the young (18-years-old) producer. You can check out the EP and mix both below, and according to MTHRFNKR we can also expect a new track to drop before the month's end. This is what stalactite feel when they're sexually stimulated.

Stream:
Rules - Rules MTHRFNKR Guest Mix #5: Rules

Hoodcats

Since well before collecting the lion's share of content that will be featured in the first print issue of Decoder (now in its final stages of proofing, on target for a December release), we've been bragging that part of it would be given over to our friend Adam Myatt's cat pictures. Admittedly, cat pictures that have a stronger conceptual underpinning than the run of the mill tumblr sets and humorous facebook newsfeed memes, but still; we're hipsters printing cat pictures. Myatt calls his subjects Hoodcats, most of them having been photographed in the East Bay's distressed West Oakland neighborhood. Myatt's capacity as a photographer and the incredibly sympathetic juxtaposition of cats and cat families with the neighborhood's more often than not damaged infrastructure and dangerous intersections have made his photos special to us, to say nothing of dozens of other online fans who watch his ongoing document of the neighborhood's most empowered citizenry. 

In order to feature some images from the collection and reinforce the ongoing series, Myatt is raising some modest funds to print a professional calendar with a dozen favorite subjects. Rewards range from one or more copies of the calendar, to the privilege of selecting what image graces your birthday month - that one'll cost you $81. 

To contribute, please visit Myatt's kickstarter page here. Hurry though, there are only four days left. You'll also be able to see a selection of similar photos in Decoder #1, available to preorder from the Decoder Store page.

November 21, 2012

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For the past week I've been tripping hard over Timefly, a new clothing label that features all over graphic prints on garments. Currently they only have six poncho-style tops designed by Kim Laughton, Aischa, and V5MT, all of which look absolutely amazing. Made from milk-silk (silk that is produced via milk proteins and retains high-resolution color), the tops are made with the intention of it looking as if these images were draped over the wearer, just like the virtual versions that inspired the designs. I think the motto "Be virtual IRL" sums it up perfectly. While they feel a bit on the pricey side, milk-silk is an expensive and high-quality fabric, and there is clearly some hard work put into these tops and the designs displayed, so it's worth it. Timefly also announced limited-time free shipping to those in Vatican City yesterday, so if you're planning a trip to the holy lands soon, wait until you're there to place your order.

Metamorphosis

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society...
Michael Myerz has come a long way since he first began sending me tracks. As a nerdy, Jewish white boy there are a dozen obvious reasons to not like him as a rapper, but obvious and normal sit a little too close together for my comfort. His voice isn't dry and raspy or high and wet, it's pretty plain. But the dude has flow, and beyond that, he has something to say aside from getting money, weed, and girls (all topics that I enjoy but could certainly use a break from here and there.) On Metamorphosis, the latest album from Myerz, we hear the man open up and show his own uncertainty with his future; with plenty of tracks still retaining the carefree, fun-on-my-mind vibe we've come to enjoy from Mikey. The entire record is also produced by Necedah, who's beats are absolutely flawless across. In opening track "Yom Kippur", Myerz goes of on a list of his sorrows that are outrageously tangible, even apologizing for bitching so much and also being too apologetic. It's a deeply introspective look at a guy pushing to live his dream and his struggles in coping with setbacks along the way. You can catch the video above, and check out Metamorphosis in it's entirety below.

Stream/Download: Michael Myerz - Metamorphosis

The Softest Urge

Of all the cassettes from Night People's autumn run, this live recording from Superstar radiates most warmly. I've played it more often even than the Happy Jawbone Family Band, though that's a different mood entirely. Superstar is two people from Melbourne. There's some pretty singing and a bit of a beat, but mostly it's guitar, all ripply and expansive, like when they go into a dream sequence in old sitcoms, but slow-mo. It's peels of soft-echo guitar like veils cast from the top of a tall building. There's some synth in there. This music is not far from the dreams I had when I took mushrooms before my afternoon naps in the 80s. I listen often in my office, when I'm trying to write, or when I'm pretending I'm not at work. A couple of weekends ago my wife and I listened as we crossed a military zone to Pasaquan. It was warm for November and the windows were down. My wife stuck her arm out the window and let her hand surf on the whipped-up wind, slow waves up and down, and she said, This is nice. She took a deep breath and sighed and let her head fall against the seat back. It feels so good to get away and de-stress, she said. It does indeed.

There's still time to buy four cassettes and get six.

November 20, 2012

Interval

For the over a year now I've been floored by JSHIH's powerfully soulful electronic jams. With remixes of R. Kelly and Monica under his belt, it's almost easy to figure out the vibes he is aspiring toward; but his debut full length pushes JSHIH to an entirely new plateau. Interval was released on a limited edition cassette at the beginning of the month via Chill Mega Chill and is already entirely sold out, so I'm clearly not the only one who thinks so. Passionate vocal samples decorate the record, floating in a sea of red vapor above winding, crystalline beats that envelope the listener in a cave of audible color. Fortunately JSHIH has been kind enough to release the mp3s of the record for free now that the tape is unavailable.

Stream/Download: JSHIH - Interval

PLUHNK

Sometimes I'm entranced by synthesizers and I have no clue if something is amazing or just really playing on my love for lasers. Also song titles like "Die Every Day" really get me. All I know is I'm really feeling Owlright's PLUHNK a lot. Beyond the fantastically futuristic production, there are some strong pop/R&B vibes on a few of the tracks as well. Opening track "How I Know You" has an almost cheesy vocal hook that manages to burrow deep into your brain, leaving you practically begging for more. The record moves perfectly between frantically energetic dance beats and sultry slow jams for a jam packed 25-minutes on the dancefloor.

Stream/Download: Owlright - PLUHNK

Yom San

For the past few weeks Cameron Potter (bka Little Spoon) has been slipping me tracks by his pal Yom San. Apparently the two were enjoying a green lifestyle last summer when Yom played some beautiful jams that Cammy fell in love with. Apparently the homie has no internet, so Cameron has even gone so far as to make a soundcloud for the project, with hopes that some positive response might remove his pal from more reclusive methods. With beats this ethereal and an incredible use of samples from the likes of Aaliyah, Black Rob, & Busta Rhymes, it's hard not to become immediately enamored in these nostalgia inducing, energetic and wonderfully creative dubs.

Stream/Download:
Yom San - Fuck Me
Yom San - Frogs Is Like Whoa
Yom San - FLIP PHONE SQUAD

Premeire: Not the 1s - Lite Years (Prod. by Jules Chaz)


Not the 1s is the trans-bay collaboration of a San Franciscan and an Oaklander, Cuzzo D and Mawnstr, whose debut Why You Cryin'? with local label Gold Robot Records we covered before and after its release late this last summer. Since then, the duo's produced the above video with RiFF RAFF (which is presumably pretty representative of all SoCal curbside commerce) and a song for CrayonBeats' last mixtape, though I'm happy to say I've gathered y'all round this here blog post to share a new Jules Chaz produced track from their second LP, appearing first on a new label sampler from Portland's Circle Into Square yesterday. The diverse label is an appropriate venue for the track considering Chaz's work for the dynamic duo almost uniquely (to date) showcases their trademark production habits, collaborating with innovative and experimental producers to build the perfect backdrop for a wittiness that would still be satisfying even if it was "just" a goofy artistic exercise.

MP3: Not the 1s - Lite Years (Prod. by Jules Chaz)
Check out Why You Cryin'? on Gold Robot and enjoy the new sampler from Circle Into Square while we wait for further details on the new LP.

November 19, 2012

Studio Apartment #5: The Cairo Gang

Studio Apartment is Jon Bernson's effort to document the interaction between musicians and their recording spaces. Jon is the prolific multimedia artist behind Exray's, Window Twins, THEMAYS, Ray's Vast Basement and numerous soundtracks for theater and film - really, beautiful guy.

As The Cairo Gang, Emmett Kelly has channeled multi-tracked visions through a very personal and unlikely recording set-up. His four records with The Cairo Gang conjure up the vibe of 70's British folk, stripped of any conventions and boundaries. Sometimes minimal, sometimes epic, Kelly's songs unfold in ways that are unpredictable, moving and seamless. Proficient on a variety of instruments Kelly has also collaborated and recorded with the likes of Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Edith Frost, Joan of Arc, Scott Tuma, Beth Orton and Terry Reid.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump.