Tuesday, March 31, 2009

REVIEW: The Microphones - The Glow Pt.2

7 out of 10

If you told me you hate The Microphones I wouldn't blame you. They're Lo-Fi to the hilt, and if that kind of thing doesn't do it for you I'd stay away. The charming thing about "The Glow Pt. 2" is that it sounds like it a friends lost basement tape. It's all really heartfelt, and the production will surprise you at moments. Phil Elvrum's soft sung vocals are refreshingly emotional, but lack much range. Outside the folksy ballads there are moments of experimental noise, white shimmers and mechanical hums that break up the solemn atmosphere. It's the production that makes and breaks this album though. It's always a little muted and never crisp.

If you listen to it enough you can here a symphony underneath rattlling away. If you're the patient type, you'll enjoy the murky undercurrent. Otherwise you'll probably just sum it up as a "passé" indie album. Pitchfork rated it best of the year, back when that really meant something.

Standout Tracks: The Glow Pt. 2, Headless Horseman, My Roots Are Strong And Deep, Instrumental, The Mansion, (Something), I'll Not Contain You

REVIEW: Psykick Lyrikah - Des Lumières Sous La Pluie

7.25 out of 10

I've been on a big Abstrackt Keal Agram kick recently with the news of their newest project Fortune. I decided to look up what albums Amazon carried, besides "Bad Thriller" (which I already own), they had a release by Psykick Lyrikah titled "Des Lumières Sous La Pluie", in-which AKA had a helping with. Psykick Lyrikah also had a hand in AKA's "Bad Thriller"..it's just back and forth with those guys. Anywho, Psykick Lyrikah are a French duo who bring the "hip" to the hop.

Psykick Lyrikah is dark Hip-Hop French music. If you're ok with French lyrics, amazing record scratching(s), terrific sampling, darker/"intelligent" feeling Hip-Hop music look no further. On "Des Lumières Sous La Pluie" Psykick Lyrikah blend the darker "electronic" tendencies of AKA with Dalek's spoken word lyricism, the "anger" of TTC/Aesop Rock and the experimental side of Modeselektor.

Buy this if you're into "underground" Hip-Hop with a "darker" feel. Buy this if you're into Le French! Just make sure you buy it. Check out the track "La Sphère (feat. Robert Le Magnifique)" for some formidable scratching that'll be sure to make your head bob.

Standout Tracks: Le Dernier Chapitre (feat. Abstrackt Keal Agram & Robert Le Magnifique), Vois, Ma Ville, L'homme Errant (feat. Olivier Mellano), La Sphère (feat. Robert Le Magnifique), Des Lumières Sous La Pluie

Cool Video Funtime #22 - Do You Fear For Your Child?

REVIEW: Flux Information Sciences - Private/Public

8.5 out of 10

Listening to "Private/Public" by Flux Information Sciences takes me back to my youth back when grimey underground hole-in-the-wall punk clubs ruled the city. Flux Information Sciences are a good example of what happens when you mix Punk/Hard-Core with Industrial/Experimental. FIS reminds me of a young Swans (which is convenient because they're on Young God Records) produced by an early Wax Trax band, i.e.; Revolting Cocks, Einstürzende Neubauten, Foetus, etc. FIS is In-dus-tri-al in it's most thrashing/abrasive "machine-like" form.

Most of the sounds on "Private/Public" can best be described as loud and crunchy. With lots of pauses, break downs, odd distortions/TONS of pedals used, bouncy bass lines, harsh guitars, commendable drums that can range from a peculiar loop to live drumming in a blink of the eye, and youthful Michael Gira-esque vocals as sung through the perspective of an overly obsessed Sex Pistols fan with a twisted sense of humor. If you're at all a fan of the earlier Industrial scene, when is was more about antithetic conceptions towards society and machines and NOT just a reason to grind on a hot "goth" chicks, you will fall head over army boots for this release.

This release is just too damn caustic for my ears, which is a good thing. God! I just wanna go smash something now! THIS is that form of "noise terrorism"/upbeat & malicious music I've been looking for..

Standout Tracks: Adaptech, Sit Down Silly!, Love Me Love Me, Demise, Liposuction, Jewelry, Parking/Shopping, Supermarket, Van Services

Sunday, March 29, 2009

REVIEW: Kashiwa Daisuke - April.#02

8.5 out of 10

WOW. I can't believe I'm just now discovering this artist. How is there not an insane amount of buzz over this guy??? Kashiwa Daisuke is a one man "wonder" musician/lap-top producer. He mixes elements of Classical, whimsical, glitch, avant-garde, Jazz, and some IDM.

Kashiwa Daisuke, although uses a lot of Classical themes in his music, was originally influenced by harder "rock" music. "April No. 2" is a piece of art that moves forward and forward, never looking back. The use of piano on this album is ASTOUNDING, the best I've heard in a long time. In-between each "glitch-take" Mr. Daisuke easily transcends genres and completely changes the progression of the song. The album goes from "slow/comfortable" piano melody's to abstract noises, arpegiations, drum fills, field recordings, unique production effects, and sporadic upbeat glitch brilliance. The amount of effort/creativity/passion that goes into each track is equal to any Classical masterpiece out there.

"April.#02" is what happens when you mix Eric Satie, Philip Glass, Max Richter, Venetian Snares, 65daysofstatic, This Mortal Coil, and Aphex Twin together. Buy this now if you're into Piano/impossible to mirror time signatures. Buy this NOW if you want to impress your friends with amazing music. I have another band to add to my "Must see before I die" list.

Standout Tracks: Do Re Me?(terrific opener), April #2(This song is 27+ minutes long!--with no boring moment!), Airdrop (the synths remind me of This Mortal Coil), The Unexclusive Virus ~Even Our Invinsible Religion "Technology" Cannot~ (G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!)

Cool Video Funtime #22 - 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-1

REVIEW: Khan Of Finland - Khan Of Finland

8.25 out of 10

Khan Of Finland is Can Oral (yep, that's his real name) on vocals/arrangements, "Human Beat-Box" Mark Boombastik, and Classically-trained pianist Boris Bergman. Khan Of Finland is lounge music with an Industrial/Hip-Hop twist.

In a way when I'm listening to this album (which I've done at least twice a day for the past week or so) I feel as if this is the Nick Cave album I never got but always wanted. I'm also reminded of Einsturzende Neubauten meets Biz Markie. Every song on this album is pretty tight as far as production and general composition, all catchy/head bobbers. "You Like To Party" is, by far, my favorite track. It almost reminds me of a lost Michael Gira song. "Favor After Favor" has a gorgeous melody/chord progression that is "eerily" close to Cat Powers "The Greatness". "Bottle Inn" has this great deep/burly vocal effect towards the middle of the song that reminds me of Tom Waits. Most of the songs utilize the same sounds; vocals, piano, a few computer treatments, and human beat-boxing.

Overall, this album blows me away. I realize some of the above references may sound "weird" placed next to each other, but have no fear, Khan Of Finland pull off this "signature" sound extremely well. Khan Of Finland is "Experimental Crooner" music for an "awry" generation..

Standout Tracks: Walking In The Rain, You Like To Party, Favor After Favor, Bottle Inn, Excommunication, Vier Jahreszeiten (listen to this track, it may sound familiar:)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

REVIEW: Mountains - Choral

7.25 out of 10

Mountains is a Brooklyn based Ambient/Atmospheric band/art project. Mountains has been compared to Fennesz and Brian Eno quite a bit. "Choral" is Mountains third official release, first for a major label (Thrill Jockey).

While listening to "Choral" you'll find it pretty easy to get yourself in a very relaxed/Zen-like state. "Choral", in my opinion, lives up to it's name. Liquid elements of drone, reverberated, as well as fabled/acoustic guitar, minimal piano work, hush-hush/lush synths, and a few warm clicks/noises create the backdrop to this gorgeous electronic ambient album. "Telescope" is one of the best songs I've heard in 2009. Strumming acoustic guitar, panning "horn-like" synths, and white noise that just builds on top of it self. It's simple, but it's just soo hard not to disappear into your headphones while listening to it. "Add Infinity", which sounds like an Alps song produced by Pan American, would fit rather nicely on the Kranky imprint. It is Both psychedelic and lush.

"Choral" is, in the truest sense, an ambient album. But rather than most ambient albums which just focus on sharing "interesting" sounds/environments, "Choral" submerges you in a tank full of aquatic affections and sincerity. Go ahead and jump in, the water is nice and warm.

Standout Tracks: Choral, TELESCOPE, Add Infinity, Melodica, Sheets Two

Less than two weeks left.....!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our Machine's TreeQuencer

Our Machine's TreeQuencer has to be the coolest promotional webpage I have ever seen. Some of the links are dead, so all I know is that it's for Paul's Machine "Visuals" EP, their one and only release. Our Machine is a design studio based out of Amsterdam, who have done great work for clientele like MTV. If you're really into design make sure to check out the rest of the site, but this is definitely the best part.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cool Video Funtime #21 - Serenade

REVIEW: Lotus Plaza - The Floodlight Collective

7.75 out of 10

Lotus Plaza is Lockett Pundt, the guitarist of Deerhunter/Bradford Cox's best friend. Mr. Cox, along with having a hand in production, does "guest" vocals on some of the tracks. To be honest with you.. Lotus Plaza = Atlas Sound Pt. 2, ..and in no way do I see that as a negative allegory. It's can be a little tuff to listen to this album and not think "why didn't they just release this as a new Atlas Sound album?"

Lotus Plaza is full of dreamy guitar riffs, "Doo Wop" style vocals, "tight" Lo-Fi production, most likely computer generated electronic samples, layered keyboard effects, and comfortable amounts of reverb. Although Lotus Plaza does "Xerox" Atlas Sound's style quite closely there are a few more atmospheric/ambient moments that pop up. Also, with Lotus Plaza, it does seem like there are more "upbeat" moments at times too.

The Floodlight Collective is a fine start for Lotus Plaza. I look forward to more releases in the future. Buy this if you're into any of the bands mentioned above. Buy this if you're into Dream Pop or Lo-Fi music. Don't buy this if you dislike good music. Another contender for "Best Of" 09.

Standout Tracks: Red Oak Way, Quicksand, These Years, Whiteout (probably my favorite track), Sunday Night, Antoine (also, probably, my favorite track), The Floodlight Collective (insanely lush ambient track), A Threaded Needle, ...man I want more already.

REVIEW: Dan Deacon - Bromst

7.25 out of 10

Behold! The new Dan Deacon has arrived! Hip-Hip(ster) Hooray! A couple of years ago Mr. Deacon shared with us the ever so silly/delightful/incredibly fun "Electronic-Indie" album "Spiderman Of The Rings". That year I saw him play twice and I can honestly say those are two of the best shows I've ever been to. The energy that is exuberated from this man is "un-Earthly". His songs are chopped full of CRAZY 8-16bit madness, Punk-Rock anthems, dance friendly elements, "what-the-"F?!" distortions, and that happy kind of pep you need in your music sometimes. Enter 2009, Mr. Deacon decides, after nonstop/back-to-back touring and what seems little to no rest, it is time for another "Opus of Glee". WARNING: Dan Deacon may be too fun for you, ..if you're lame.

"Bromst", a word that has no meaning, is Dan Deacon's 5th release. It seems with each release the production is improved ten fold. You can expect all the same robotic noises, squeaky/high-pitch synths, untouchable distortions, upbeat antics, and fun you did with "Spiderman.." You can also expect; stronger production, a full bands worth of instrumentation, epic/monster drumming, "darker" themed songs, and even more distortion than before.

I shouldn't really have to convince you to listen to this album. If you've already heard of Dan Deacon you should probably already own this. But seriously, if you haven't checked out Mr. Deacon's work, Do so NOW. This is a definite contender for album of the year. For fans of entertainment injected forcefully through your ear canals.

Standout Tracks: Build Voice, Red F, Snookered (good vocal distortions), Of The Mountains, Surprise Stefani, Wet Wings (sounds like a Nina Simone song on acid), Woof Woof (the "wackiest" of the bunch), Slow With Horns/ Run For Your Life, Get Older (has "Battles-esque"drumming/sampling)...yep, I pretty much listed all of them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

REVIEW: Clark - Growls Garden

8 out 10

For those of you not aware of the genius that is Chris Clark, what are you waiting for? Chris Clark/Clark has released a handful of albums on Warp Records, ALL of which have been some of the best IDM I've ever heard. Clark = hard hitting, "IN YOUR F'n FACE", smash dance floor anthems. NOT cheesy dance music, HARSH. "Growls Garden" is Clark's latest EP. This EP stands alone a triumphant piece of mechanical elegance/brilliance.

The opener for "Growls Garden", which is also the song's title, you can hear Clark adding more elements of "straight-laced" vocals. This song almost reminds me of a track from Telefon Tel Aviv's latest release "Immolate Yourself". Almost Shoegaze-y/Rock-y, but still very much in vein of Clark's "style". It's one of the best Clark tracks I've ever heard. The rest of the album you will hear those insanely catchy/unique elements that make Clark one of the best IDM producers of all time. Solid production, crunchy drums, loud "organ" work, harsh synths fading in and out, deep subs, loud kicks, clicks, cuts, and audio panning left and right. Clark = SUPER "Dancey Aphex Twin". Clark = SUPER good time for you and your homies. Clark = IDM.

Clark is one of the "Top 5 Warp Artists To Ever Exist". This will be one of the better EP's to come out this year. DO NOT pass up the chance to hear Clark.

Standout Tracks: ALL OF THEM(as usual with Clark). Check out the last track "Farewell Mining Town". Although it's not your "standard" Clark song, it's incredibly gorgeous and serene. Which really gives you a chance to settle down after having your brain smashed in by a terrifically loud dance album.

REVIEW: M83 - We Own The Sky

7.5 out of 10

One of my favorite tracks from last years "Breakfast Club 2 soundtrack", "Saturdays = Youth", was "We Own The Sky". I certainly wasn't sad to hear this was the next single off of the album. If you're impatient like me, you probably already own the Maps M83 remix from the split 7" they did together. Either way, this album is definitely worth your time.

Track 1 is an "edit" of the song, just shorter really. Track 2, the Maps Remix, which was originally on a split 7", starts off a little slow but gets into these great keyboard riffs/catchy samples. A terrific remix by a terrific artist. Track 3, "Je Vous Hais Petites Filles", is a lost track from Anthony Gonzalez's brothers film. It sounds like an epic b-side from "Digital Shades Vol. 1" or even a lost track from "Dead Cities, Red Seas And Lost Ghosts". Lingering organ work, lush synths, epic strings, all of the great concepts that make up for a STUNNING M83 track. This maybe one of the best M83 tracks I've heard since "Dead Cities..". Track 4, "Graveyard Girl (Parkerlab's Dusted Remix)", is a fun remix, not as good as the original though. Minus a few remixes, I'm generally not fan of other people remixing M83's work. This one isn't that bad though. Take the original and add a "peppy" electro beat behind it and there ya go. Track 5 is the original version of "We Own The Sky".

If you're a huge M83 fan, like me, you already own this. If you're just "curious" about M83 at least check out the track "Je Vous Hais Petites Filles". It's M83, I'm never really "let down". Now I just have to be patient again for the next M83 release:(

Standout Tracks: We Own The Sky (Maps Remix), Je Vous Hais Petites Filles

Absurd Imagery Time #4 - Indie Music

Monday, March 23, 2009

Speaking of "interesting" songs used for advertising..

I think the music consultant for Crayola stole my job,...and I want it back.

Absurd Imagery Time #3 - Digital Pussy

REVIEW: Error - Error

7 out of 10
Like almost every band trying to convey a dark and spooky image, this five track EP's opener begins with a synth-droney buffet sprinkled with glitchy moans (insert "ya, who doesn't" here). None-the-less a fun way to open this explosive industrial punk metal project consisting of Bad Religion founder and fellow Epitaph guru Brett Gurewitz, ex-Tapeworm/Nine Inch Nails contributor Atticus Ross, his brother Leopold, and Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato released on Epitaph in 2004. The macabre intro is short lived before erupting into a full throttle ball of up-tempo fury consisting of deep synth bass lines, a choppy & distorted yet crusty as hell drum and bass backbone, an all too familiar "NINish" guitar hook and vocals that will easily provide the perfect soundtrack to your worst possible nightmare.

"Homicide", the EP's second track kicks it up a notch. This one is my personal favorite. What ties it all together for me with this song is the apocalyptic choir during the chorus over the blood curdling vocals. On track three, "Burn In Hell", they give their already well established niche a reggae-esque feel to it. Track four, "Jack The Ripper", is slightly more tame but at the same time, a little tighter and very catchy song. The album closes with a four minute, bloody as hell, free-for-all called "Brains Out".

Every song on this EP is kind of all over the place, all the while staying parallel within it's own intentions and always holding true with their corresponding chord progressions (that's the 'tightness' I'm refering to). Error is extremely consistent in their sound, execution and delivery. EASILY one of the most over-played EP's I own. Buy this NOW, if you're into Industrial-Punk music.

Standout Tracks: Homicide, Burn In Hell

Sunday, March 22, 2009

M83 used in Nestle's Aero Ad

If a swimming pool full of balloons, a skate board, and blasting some M83 doesn't sound like a great birthday party, I don't know what would.

M83's "Can't Stop" from "Before The Dawn Heals Us" was featured recently in a gorgeous commercial for Nestle's Aero Chocolate Bar. If you've never heard of it, that's because they don't sell them in the United States. To Bad, they look delicious. Directed by Ty Evans and featuring skater Bob Burnquist, it certainly is deserving of it's soundtrack. It's nice to hear an M83 song used commercially that isn't "Teen Angst".

The commercial can be viewed
here. It can take a little while to download so have some patience. It's worth it. If you're interested you can also view a behind the scenes look here. That one really takes a while to load.

Cool Video Funtime # 20- Blamma! Blamma!

Sonic Cathedral to release an AMAZING Shoegaze compilation..

Ride's Mark Gardener, Slowdive's Neil Halstead, M83, and more appear on the new Sonic Cathedral album.

Cathedral Classics Vol.1

..Which features all past releases on the Sonic Cathedral label including the Neil Halstead remix of the Miranda Lee Richards single 'Lifeboat' whilst the Ulrich Schnauss remix of Mark Gardener's 'Story of The Eye' taken from his solo debut 'These Beautiful Ghosts' also features. Other acts on the Sonic Cathedral album include Maps, M83, School of Seven Bells, Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3) and Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins). The album is released on April 20th 2009.

I've been looking forward to this release..!

Abstrackt Keal Agram changes name/drops new album...

For those of you not aware of the awesomeness that is Abstrackt Keal Agram; AKA was a French Electronic/Rock/Hip-Hop/Shoegaze/Terrific band that was on M83's label, Gooom. The album "Bad Thriller" was the last official release for these guys, in 2004, and it was grrrrreat! M83 remixed one of the songs on the album called "Jason Lytle", which M83 still plays at some live shows. AKA has since changed their name to "Fortune", and released an EP.

From Fortune(ex Abstrackt Keal Agram):

Hey, it's been a long time we didn't send a message from Abstrackt Keal Agram's page....Well, if you missed the train, we are FORTUNE now.We had an EP out on Disque Primeur last year, you can check it out and listen to it on the Fortune's page.
We are right now working on our album, it will be out by the end of this year, so stay tuned !COME AND JOIN US here:> www.myspace.com/ilovefortune> Fortune's Facebook fan page

We also made a video for our single: "Bully"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

REVIEW: Steroid Maximus - Ectopia

8 out of 10

In Medicine an "Ectopia" is a displacement or malposition of an organ of the body. I'm not sure why that's relevant to the music, but googling it does bring up some painful looking photos.

Foetus has always been very hit and miss for most people. That's what happens when you're songs flux from Jazz to Industrial-Noise verse to verse. J.G. Thirwell is no doubt talented, and with his "Steroid Maximus" moniker he really flexes his chops. Imagine great spy music. Lots of horns and a beat that makes you feel good to wear a tuxedo. Now imagine James Bond in a Halloween film. Bad ass right? Right. It's much like the score work he's doing for The Venture Brothers, but with much darker, broader, and more experimental tones.

Steroid Maximus' sound is that which will probably never be copied. From lush and somber sweeps to moments of paranoid horror, this album is where it's at. I gain a new favorite part with every listen. The entire album is very cohesive, as it flows tirelessly from track to track. "Tarmac A Gris-Gris" sounds like a great Raymond Scott track. Most of it has a sneaking around vibe, which makes it a great album to drive to.

Standout Tracks: Pretty much all of them..... WM is my favorite though, it has a "Sci-Fi" feel to it.

REVIEW: NIN/JA - Janes Addiction Nine Inch Nails Streetsweeper

3.75 out of 10

If you went online March 20th, you would've seen postings everywhere about a "mysterious" new project called "NIN/JA". Can you guess how they came up with that name? I hate to admit it, but it's slightly clever, in a "4th grader kinda way". Anywho, it's a FREE album of unreleased Janes Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, and Streetsweeper(Tom Morello) songs. It's a "sort-of" companion or sampler to the up and coming tour with said bands. Apparently Perry Farrell and Trent Reznor have been hanging out in the studio a lot recently..

The morning of (before I had heard of this release), my buddy was asking me what my "favorite Nine Inch Nails song of all time" is. I told him with a list of over 500 NIN song's it may take me a bit of time to narrow that down. Make that list 502 now. On "NIN/JA" there are 6 tracks, 2 new tracks from each band. I'm pretty excited about this tour, could be NIN's last.. It marks the 20th Anniversary of both Janes Addiction and Nine Inch Nails. They both got there "big starts" together. And come on, those two playing together, it's "peanut butter and jelly" people.

The first track on this album is a new Janes Addiction song titled "Chip Away". "Chip Away" is full of thick and LOUD tribal drums accompanied by Perry Farrell's distinct whaling vocals. The drums are the main, if not only instrument, on this song and they're awesome. Track 2, "Not So Pretty Now" is an unreleased Nine Inch Nails song.. To all of the fans of NIN 2005 and up, you will like this. To all of the NIN fan's that don't care for the newer NIN, ..keep waiting. It's a stereotypical "Rock-refurbished" NIN song, their are a couple of awesome sounds towards the end, but overall, not a "stand out" NIN song. Track 3, "Clap For The Killers" is by Tom Morello's newest project "Streetsweeper", ugh, not a good song. Sounds like recycled RATM as sung by Spider(Powerman 5000). Kind of bluesy, rocky, and (c)rappy. Track 4, "Whores", is the second Janes Addiction song, ..meh, another generic rock song, nothing special at all. I wouldn't think twice about listening to it if it wasn't by Janes Addiction. Track 5, "Non-Entity" the other new NIN song is almost decent, minus the over produced, too loud (not in a good way) horrid drumming. Track 6 = joke. Overall the NIN songs had some decent filler elements, but fell short. Streetsweeper is wretched. And the Janes Addiction songs were ok, but mainly only "Chip Away".

I try not to do negative reviews that often because I realize certain artists pour their heart and souls into their music, but I get excited every time I have a new NIN album in front of me, and I had to mention something about this album. I've been continuously let down since 2005's "With Teeth".. I'm waiting Mr. Reznor, please return from your vacation now. To any die hard fans of these musicians it's worth a look-see, but overall, I'm glad it was FREE.

Standout Tracks: Chip Away

Cool Video Funtime #19 - Orange Cremesicle

Andrew Broder (Fog) releases a solo album..Version 7.0

From Andrew Broder:


Here is the latest installment, in my self-released music series,

Think About Every Problem You Have at the Same Time.

One track, 37 minutes- no bullshit.

This was recorded live at the Sxsw/ Wrangler Jeans day party I played yesterday at Crazy Lou's BBQ Swamp in Austin alongside Dan Deacon, Matisyahu and the reunited Cranberries- shit was off the HOOK! But, you probably already know that, 'cause you've been following my twitter about it... I'll be down here all week! Music for improvised and edited guitar/ turntables/ all the rest.yousendit link:

This, and the previous 6 releases can be found at: justn.info/abroder

This of course, is free to you, but donations of any amount to support the cause can be sent via paypal to: thefog@visi.com

Soon, all this shit will be available on itunes, and I'll keep y'all posted about that.
Andrew Broder(Fog, HeatdeatH)

ps. If you want to be removed from this list, let me know and I will remove you. Forcibly.

Woah.., no need to get angry Andrew.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I wish I had $565+...(NEW Animal Collective)

It seems Animal Collective have been putting together a live box set over the past few years, while this isn't the "official" release, it's the test printing, and it's limited to 1000 copies.

Here is the tracklisting:

A1. Jimmy Raven
A2. Ahhh Good Country
A3. Iko Ovo
A1 and A2 recorded live to MiniDisc 18 September 2000 at the Cooler, NYC by Avey/Panda. A3 recorded live to MiniDisc fall 2000 at N. 4th Practice Space, Brooklyn by Avey/Panda.

B1. Pumpkin Gets a Snakebite
B2. Pumpkin's Hallucination
B3. Pumpkin's Funeral
B1 and B3 recorded live to MiniDisc February 2001 at N. 4th Practice Space, Brooklyn by Avey/Panda/Geologist. B2 recorded live to MiniDisc 25 February 2001 at Mercury Lounge, NYC by Avey/Panda/Geologist.

C1. Jungle Heat
C2. Hey Friend
C3. De Soto De Son
C1 and C2 recorded live to MiniDisc winter early 2001 at 67 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn by Avey/Panda. C3 recorded live to MiniDisc August 2000 at Mercury Lounge, NYC by Avey/Panda.

D1. Oh Sweet
D2. Young Prayer #2
D3. Do the Nurse
D1 partly recorded live to MiniDisc summer 2002 at N. 4th Practice Space, Brooklyn by Avey/Deakin and partly recorded live to MiniDisc 18 October 2002 at Warsaw, Brooklyn by Avey. D2 recorded live to MiniDisc fall 2002 at Bard College, NYC by Avey/Panda. D3 recorded live to MiniDisc 18 October 2002 at Warsaw, Brooklyn by Avey.

E1. Ice Cream Factory
E2. Hey Light
E3. Two Sails
E1 and E3 recorded live to MiniDisc March 2002 at Tonic, NYC by Avey/Panda/Geologist/Deakin. E2 recorded live to MiniDisc winter early 2002 at N. 4th Practice Space, Brooklyn by Avey/Panda/Geologist/Deakin.

F1. Don't Believe the Pilot
F2. Who Could Win a Rabbit
F3. Mouth Wooed Her
F4. Covered in Frogs
F5. We Tigers
F1 and F2 recorded live to MiniDisc July 2003 at New World Brewery, Tampa, FL by Avey/Panda. F3 recorded live to MiniDisc June 2003 at a house party in Brooklyn by Avey/Panda. F4 recorded live to MiniDisc sometime and somewhere in 2003 (recording details are lost) by Avey/Panda. F5 recorded live to MiniDisc October 2003 at Concorde 2,Brighton, UK by Avey/Panda.


Absurd Imagery Time #2 - Hip Hop Career

REVIEW: Elegi - Varde

7.75 out of 10

Miasmah is a terrific "newer" label run by Erik Skodvin of "Svarte Greiner/Deaf Center". Miasmah is home to mainly Experimental/Electronic/Ambient/Neo-Classical composers. Elegi is one of those artists. On "Varde", Elegi's second release, you will find the same terrifically bizarre field recordings, classical instruments, odd samples, and one of a kind lush atmospheres that truly makes up for a good Miasmah release.

First off, How To "ready" yourself for this album; Step 1. Own headphones. Step 2. Sit Down, don't get up. Step 3. Relax yourself, get on pace with what will be a slow journey of distortion and depth. Step 4. Close your eyes. Step 5. Lay your head back. Step 6. Melt.

"Varde" is chalked full of classical themes (i.e.; violin, piano, etc.), a few guitar plucks, minimal vocal samples, and dark alluring metaphors performed by found sounds. It is, in a sense, "Post-Apocalyptic" music from a "foreign" world. It is, in another sense, "organic din's" attaching themselves to your ear and holding on as tight as possible. You will generally feel relaxed/docile, you may feel frigthened at some moments, but you will not "feel nothing".

Given the right mind set, and the perfect atmosphere, "Varde" is as perfect as an Ambient/Classical album gets. Buy this album now, and relax already.

Standout Tracks: All of them. Check out "Uranienborg" for some twinkly good piano.

REVIEW: Faunts - Feel.Love.Think.Of.

6.25 out of 10

Faunts(a band that deserves more credit) released their debut "slightly under the radar" album a few years ago titled "High Expectations/Low Results". It was one of the best albums I had heard in 2005. I worked at a local record store at the time of it's release. All I had to do was play track 6 "Will You Tell Me Then" and it was a guaranteed sale for the store. Four year's later Faunts have FINALLY released their second full length album "Feel.Love.Thinking.Of". If you compared "Feel.Love.." to nearly any random Indie Rock Electronic band I would say "these guys" are brilliant. Compare "Feel.Love.." to "High Expectations.." and it's umm, well.. :.(

Faunts, on previous efforts, were Shoegaze, Psychedelic Rock, and "damn impressive" compared to most new bands at the time. Rock structured guitars based from the late 70's battle it out with layered/spaced out keyboards from the 80s/90s, elements of Indie Rock, and gorgeous atmospheres. On "Feel.Love.Thinking.Of" they ditch the Shoegaze(mostly), most of the atmospheres, the "Psychedelia", and go a little more straight forward with the "Indie Rock-tronica" meets an "almost" Krautrock kind of vibe.

I can tell you right now, if you haven't heard Faunts first album, and this is your first, you will love it. The guitars are reminiscent of Interpol, not as dark, the vocals remind me of Collin Ruffino(from Home Video), the drumming is pretty tight, and the production is pretty solid. But, it's just not as dynamic or "eargasmic" as "High Expectations.." Some of the tracks sound like fillers, some of the songs sound like another band trying to play Faunts songs, some are SO CLOSE to being amazing ("Alarmed/Lights", the last half of this song has astonishing ambience) and most just don't "pick up the pace" the way you might want. Please, understand, I'm not trying to say this is a bad album, it's well written(for the most part), but...

I'm sorry it's just too hard for me to not compare this album to the brilliance that once was. Maybe that's the irony of naming your first album "High Expectations/Low Results"?.. It was so damn amazing that I had "High Expectations", but in the end, got "Low Results".

Standout Tracks: Feel.Love.Thinking.Of., Input, Das Malefitz, So Far Away, Explain

REVIEW: Atlas Sound - Solo, Or 'The Square' (Virtual 7" NO. 6)

7 out of 10

There are about 5-10 sites I check daily, mostly music related of course. One of those sites is the Deerhunter Blogspot. Although things have slowed down on the site quite a bit, I can't tell you how many FREE "unreleased" Deerhunter/Atlas Sound/Lotus Plaza songs I've gotten from it. Some of the songs I've found on the page are of my favorite Bradford Cox songs to date. Today, March 19th, 2009, a new Atlas Sound "Virtual 7"(NO.6)" came out, titled "Solo, Or 'The Square'. And, as usual, it's awesome.

For those of you who haven't listened to Atlas Sound(shame on you), ..Atlas Sound is a mix of Dream Pop meets Lo-Fi meets Ambient meets Punk solo project from the lead singer of Deerhunter. But you already knew that. Track 1 or "SIDE A", "Solo, Or 'The Square'" starts off with "tropical" loops in the background and soon after Mr. Cox's vocals, a lingering bass line, and bizarre guitar samples/distortions. The drum beat is rather simple, but catchy. Once the song gets further in you can hear how the loop matches up everything perfectly. This song could be in my "Top 25 Atlas Sound Songs" list (I have over 144 Atlas Sound songs). It's simple, but damn catchy Track 2, "Memorial Corridor", kicks in with what seems like lingering sounds from the previous track, then the thick/deep subs kick in, some sort of "high pitch" sound manipulation, white noises, and then about two and a half minutes in the vocals kick in, mixed with a sort of "garage rock" aesthetic, and simple guitar strumming. Pretty good humdinger.

Pretty short little EP, but any dose, small or big, of Atlas Sound never hurts. I would recommend this to anyone. IT'S FREE.

Standout Tracks: Both tracks are terrific, but I feel "Solo, Or 'The Square'" stands out more.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Geoff Barrow (Portishead) lends a hand to "The Horrors"..

You can watch a video of the first single "Sea Within A Sea" by The Horrors up and coming album "Primary Colours" here...
...it's pretty damn good.
"Primary Colours" comes out on May 5th.

Monday, March 16, 2009

REVIEW: Cyprien - Original Soundtrack

6.5 out of 10

Cyprien is a French movie about a dude that acquires "magical" under arm deodorant enabling him to "get the ladies". JB Dunckel (Air/Darkel) composed the music for the film. Cyprien is a good mixture of "warped grocery store music" or even the "Electro-Pop" sensibilities of "Steak", another French movie, and the "Air-y" synths you can normally expect from Mr. Dunckel.

A few years back JB Dunckel released his first solo record under the moniker "Darkel", Cyprien serves as a good extension to that album. Breezy vocals (on a few tracks), laid-back warm acoustics, "surf-rock" inspired guitar pieces, "funky" bass lines, a steady drum beat, minimal twinkles and bells, accordion, a few horn pieces, classical piano pieces, and of course the fantastic synths that always set French composers apart from any other "Synthstrumentalist".

I do feel that some of the tracks on this album seem to lag a little bit and feel more like fillers. But, without seeing the film, it's hard to say if that was the point. I would recommend this album to any Air fan. I would also recommend this album to fans of Sci-Fi films like Blade Runner (scored by Vangelis) or even "Digital Shades Vol. 1" by M83. At some points the album can be fun and upbeat, and at other points it can slow down quite a bit. The last two tracks are by "little known" artists Manilla Ice(or something like that) and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. The OMD song is soo good it made me go out and buy the album it was originally on. ALSO the fact that Mr. Dunckel covers "Pretty Woman" should be reason enough to check out this soundtrack. I'd like to see the film now..

Standout Tracks: Total Love Warrior Song, Rainbow Mind (Rain), Rainbow Mind (Tango), Toccata Office, Beauty Model, Surfing On Your Wave, Happy Paris, Waterfriends, Rainbow Mind (Dream), Rainbow Mind (Nerd), Pretty Woman, Enola Gay

Cool Video Funtime #18 - Adoration

REVIEW: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Organisation (Remastered)

8 out of 10

He who doesn't like New Wave music is insensate. I've been a long time fan, it's what I grew up listening to. Mostly main stream New Wave bands when I was younger; Depeche Mode, The Cure, Thompson Twins, Duran Duran, Echo And The Bunnymen, etc. But the few that were slightly more obscure/exotic are some of my favorite bands of all time. Tones On Tail & Fad Gadget for instance (go ahead look them up, you'll won't regret it) were experimental genre benders with not so "straight forward" cheesy dance beats. Recently I purchased the "Cyprien" soundtrack, the second to last track was "Enola Gay" by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. I fell in love right away and made it a point to purchase the album it belonged to "Organisation".

"Organisation" is, in all fairness, a masterpiece. Every sound/noise/instrument has undergone some sort of synthesized experimentation. The vocals are outstanding/extremely melodic like you can generally expect from certain New Wave bands. But, instead of going for all the "high notes" all of the time, they bounce back and forth between bizarre sampling effects and "unhuman" sound treatments. The drums, Simmons style, which are more than just 4/4 timing, can be both coarse and delightful at times. And the synths, oh the "masterful" synths, are out of this world "unique" and at times lush.

At certain points when Listening to OMD you may be reminded of Japan meets Fad Gadget. And at other points Thompson Twins meets Jean Michel Jarre. However OMD, whom emanates the sound of a perfect New Wave band, also bring their own matchless flair to the mix.

Sometimes spacey, mostly up-beat and dancey, definitely unique, "Organisation" is not to be missed. Buy this if you're at all into New Wave music. Buy this if you're at all interested in earlier stages of experimental dance/industrial/electronic music. Buy this now, it's sooooo good. The Remastered edition of "Organisation" comes with 5 additional tracks, most which showcase OMD's amazing ability to play their music live almost better than the recorded tracks.

Standout Tracks: ALL OF THEM, "Organisation" in currently in my top 10 80's albums of all time.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Get the NEW Audion (Matthew Dear) single for FREE..

Ghostly just placed an ad on their site for the Newest Audion single, "I Am The Car", and it's FREE!

Audion is Matthew Dear. Matthew Dear is an "Electronic Pop Genius" from the Ghostly label. Audion is also EXTREME micro/minimal techno.

"I Am The Car" can feel quite hypnotic at points. I recommend you check into this post haste...

REVIEW: Bohren And Der Club Of Gore - Dolores

7.25 out of 10

Perhaps you've never seen a David Lynch film (Twin Peaks/Blue Velvet/Mulholland Drive/etc.). His films aren't really "movies" per say, but moving pieces of visual art. Interpretations of dreams and crazy metaphors. He's the kind of director that doesn't mind having the music do the talking for the film. Angelo Badalamenti is his main man when it comes to getting music composed/scored correctly. Daaaaark Jazz, dreamy "acid-like" sequences, minimal atmosphere's, and of course emotionally drenched notes with every pluck, slam, and twinkle.

Bohren And Der Club Of Gore are a good extension to Mr. Badalamenti's genius. Except I feel they are more experimental, even darker, tighter, and slightly more engaging. "Jazz" is definitely the key word when it comes to explaining Bohren And Der Club Of Gore, but they aren't your "Grandpa's Jazz". They're "modern/dark" Jazz, drenched in mass amounts of soul and emotion.

On "Dolores" BADCOG indulge in the dark and mysterious quite a bit. The track "Schwarze Biene (Black Maja)" utilizes a hazy "Hammond Organ sound", "splashy" cymbals, and what sounds like a pan flute (could be a keyboard) perfectly. Most of the songs on "Dolores" utilize/harness the same sounds. "Lingering" Organ pieces, minimal drums, airy synths, found sounds, etc. Never up-tempo, great midnight drive kind of music. From the first note held/hit on this album you will know what you are about to get into. And if that's your "taste" you will fall in love quite easily.

Could be "acquired", but shouldn't be if you just want to lay back and relax. Don't let the word "Jazz" scare you, if it ever does. Instead let Bohren And Der Club Of Gore take you on a trip through dark and "clouded" times.

Standout Tracks: Staub, Schwarze Biene (Black Maja), Unkerich, Welk, Von Schnäbeln, Orgelblut, Welten

REVIEW: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

6 out of 10

Being a "hyped" band can be a tricky situation. You will either live it up, or (most likely the case) fizzle out and come nowhere near such "high remarks". The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are one of those bands. They've been creating a small buzz on the internet for about 2 years now. In 2009 they decided it was time to finally release their debut full-length self-titled album. I had been curious about this band the minute I heard the terrific name. I looked them up and found out they were a "proclaimed" Shoegaze band in-vein of My Bloody Valentine. That was the point I knew I had to hear more..

I purchased TPOBPAH's self-titled ep a few months ago and was regretfully let down. I usually love ep's too. But I thought, well maybe this is just a "freak incident" where an ep actually sucks. Maybe the full length album will be good?

Although the self-titled full length is definitely better than the self-titled ep it still falls a little short. TPOBPAH are an Indie-Pop band with HINTS of Rock and Shoegaze. Instead of focusing on reverberated/fuzzed-out guitars with layers of synths, TPOBPAH focus on a more "Pop" structured format with just a hints of fuzzy guitar. I'm reminded of The Manhattan Love Suicides meets "Swervedriver kind of attitude". Simple "Alterna-Pop" music with male/female vocals. I would be ok with this being played at the background of a bar, but I don't hear any real attributes/tracks that make me want to focus on it harder. I will say I have a "weakness" for "A Teenager In Love". That song is by far the standout, it's simple, but it serves it's purpose with ease.

To me TPOBPAH's format feels stale. I understand "Indie" music has been "revisiting" it's roots/repeating music from yesterdays(my) generation. And I wouldn't say The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are a complete a waste of time, I do see a promising future for them. But, unless they "sharpen" their sound, or bring more focus, like they do on a few of their tracks, they will burn out quickly (like most over hyped things do). Maybe they'll grow on me?

Standout Tracks: Come Saturday, Young Adult Friction, Stay Alive, A Teenager In Love, Gentle Sons

REVIEW: Wavves - Wavvves

5.25 out of 10

2009 is the year for "Lo-Fi" music, as mentioned in previous reviews. I do believe Wavves will be a part of this genres climax. I don't necessarily think this genre will stick though. It's hot right now, and has always been in the background of those "grimey"/less popular record stores since the beginning of time. But give Lo-Fi 6 months to a year and most people will have forgotten about it. Except by those guys that work at said record stores, maybe. Having said all of that, the up and coming band "Wavves", are an Indie Lo-Fi Punk-Rock band reminiscent of No Age, or a "less appropriate" Liars. For those of you who do know about them, you know they're getting A LOT of buzz. But, are they getting over hyped, or do they live up to all of the acclaim?

The first thing you have to expect when listening to Wavves is "L-O-F-I" music recorded on a 4 track, with little to no production values. Go in with that mind set. That is the point behind Wavves "Slacker Rock" with an experimental edge. The formula is pretty simple; 1. Distorted(barely understandable) vocals, 2. Guitar (Super fuzzed out), 3. Bass, and 4. Punk influenced drums. Each song, for the most part, sounds just like the song right before and after it. Which could've been the point here, having the tracks bleed in and out of each other, giving the feel of one long track. But, unless you're in the mindset for simple "unduly glorified" Indie Punk-Rock music, stay clear of this release. "Wavvves"(yes, the album title has three "v's") is a decent start for the band, but just not "indelible" enough.

I'm ok with simple, I LIKE simple. But I need that form of "simple" to keep my attention. And sometimes this album is just better background noise than it is something to actually pay attention to.

Standout Tracks: Rainbow Everywhere, Gun In The Sun, Goth Girls, Weed Demon, Surf Goth

Friday, March 13, 2009

REVIEW: The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die

6.5 out of 10
Find it here.

My very first thought of "Invaders Must Die" was that they must have swept up the left over's off of the cutting room floor when they edited 2004's "Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned". I gave it a few more chances and started to like it more ..little by little. "Always Outnumbered.." was a fun album, but not what I wanted to hear. I've been waiting for the album that took them back to the "Experience"/"Jilted Generation"/"Fat Of The Land" days. The anger, passion, and edginess that they once harnessed just isn't there anymore which is surprising since the two of the core members came back for this release.

On "Invaders Must Die" The Prodigy part ways with their long time label XL Recordings and are now under the umbrella of Cooking Vinyl Records which once nursed the likes of The Buzzcocks, Echo And The Bunnymen, Killing Joke, Gary Numan, The Orb, The Pixies, Soft Cell, They Might Be Giants, etc. "Invaders Must Die" is also the name of their strong, hard-hitting opener, which is a perfect precursor of the direction for the rest of this album. The song "Run With The Wolves (easily the albums hardest song)", is the closest taste to "old" Prodigy you'll get here. It could serve as a great up-tempo anthem for current times. The albums ends with a song called "Stand Up" which is a great/catchy, "impossible to NOT bob your head while listening to" track, a fun little nod towards RJD2.

If you were a huge fan of "Always Outnumbered.." you'll probably flip for this album. Again, don't get me wrong, it's a fun, well put together album. But it's a continuation of their last effort. I personally have yet to hear the Prodigy I know and love. The songs for "Always Outnumbered.." and "Invaders Must Die" sound like they've been living in a rave for the past 5 years. I want something that makes me wanna dive fist first into a mosh pit instead of reaching for the Vick's Vapo Rub and glow sticks.

Standout Tracks: Invaders Must Die, Run With The Wolves, Piranha, Stand Up