Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cool Video Funtime #40 - Black And White Eyes

REVIEW: Arc Lab - The Goodbye Radio

7.75 out of 10

The cover for "The Goodbye Radio" speaks miles about the sounds within. Arc Lab's second amazing album begins with a soft-silent buzz swimming in, out & around static acoustic glitch, feedback, and glorious piano loops drowning in aquatic textures. Through out the rest of Medard Fischer's "visionary sound explorations" lays elements of Micro/Pulsing Techno, hint's of Pop music, early 90's electronic sounds (Gus Gus), Neo-Classical components (Peter Broderick), and Ambient rapture (Julien Neto) that will simply take your breathe away.

The main difference between this album and another Neo-Classical-esque album is that rather than finding a beautiful loop and simply building more gorgeous layers on top Arc Lab goes slightly more "radio friendly (verse/chorus/verse/chorus)" on some tracks, giving it more of an upbeat electronic-pop flair while still maintaining it's lush ambient maritime aura. Most of the tracks are instrumental, but the few that are with vocals are really well written songs that definitely fit perfectly on the album. It's pretty, synthesized, and gentle, and that's ok with me.

For fans of Miwon, Fourtet, Arve Henriksen, any of the bands mentioned above, Neo-Classical/Electronic sound, and relaxing/uppity bliss. RECOMMENDED for a nice breezy night at your favorite cabin by the lake.

Standout Tracks: The Secret Lives Of A.C. Wuornos, Reflexives II, Bern 1905, Song For Oleg, Recidivist Waltz, The Goodbye Radio (sound like Miasmah artistry), Small Numbers, Charm Strange (great piano sounds/melodies), I Wish I Could Tell You (great vocal track), Departure Music Part One, Departure Music Part Two

FREE Maps mix tape..

From Maps:

Hey guys,

Just wanted to let y’all know that my new Mix of kickin tracks will be available from next week!!

"RULE No.2" is based around the theme of love. I’ll explain more when I give you the tracklisting. I’ve basically picked tunes that make me feel loved and hopefully you’ll feel some Maps love when you listen to them too :).

ANYWAY, enough of the soppy sh!t! Make sure to tune in at the start of the week to get the link to download it. 11 tracks of psychetronic-bliss. Hell, I threw some Bluegrass in there – the most euphoric music I could find and bluegrass does it for me :).

Tune in folks. Link to come very soon!!

ALSO, "Rule No.1" is still available to download if you haven’t got it yet. Just click HERE to download it.

Peace! “Never Be Afraid To Fall In Love For The 14th Time”
James xxxx


New VNV Nation...

Following on from the highly sucessful limited boxset "Reformation 01", Irish/English duo VNV NATION are set to release the full length album "Of Faith, Power And Glory". This album sees the band reach a new level musically. More soulful and raw than ever before, VNV NATION are moving into new musical territories with their own distinctive sound. "Of Faith, Power And Glory" is set to be the band's strongest and most profoundly evocative release yet, taking a big leap beyond what they had achieved on their last album "Judgement".

The album features a cover designed by Polish graphic artist Michal Karcz, who also created the artwork for "Judgement". It is undoubtedly one of his finest works, featuring an image of a monument in the middle of a wasteland, a metaphor for all our greatest hopes and solemn intentions, as well as the brutal extremes that we are capable of, the schizophrenic nature of human beings and the eternal struggle to move forward.

In keeping with the band's environmental principles, the new CD will come in extremely environmentally friendly packaging, using only recycled paper, vegetable ink and water based glue. Even the print on the CD uses vegetable ink. The packaging weighs 40-50% less than normal packaging which means it uses less fuel when it's transported, which reduces the carbon footprint of the CD production. The best part is that it looks great too!

There will also be European and North American Tours to go with the release in mid 2009.

"Of Faith, Power And Glory"
Out on July 23, 2009.

Never heard a bad release from this group..

Friday, May 29, 2009

Andrew Broder (Fog) releases a solo album..Version 10.0

From Andrew Broder:

Hey! HEY!

Here is the new release from Andrew Broder, "Remaining". It's the 10th in my self-released series, for your downloading pleasure.

Music for guitar and turntables, one longy, one shorty. This will be the last one of these I do for a while. Got some other stuff to attend to over the summer, and 10 is a nice round number to stop at for a bit.

Some exciting things in the works for 2009-2010 that I'll keep you posted about..

Thanks for listening, and if you have not made a contribution yet for the music, please feel free to do so, any amount via paypal, to:

All the releases are available for download at:

God Help Us All,

NEW Mum album details....

From Mum:

Well, some of you probably already know this but our new album will be called "Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know!" and it's coming out on Hostess in Japan on the 19th of August, Morr Music in Europe on the 24th of August, and on Euphono in the US on the 8th of September and at other times in other places we haven't quite worked out yet. It's a great little album and we are really really looking forward to you hearing it.

We have confirmed a few and will be adding heaps in the coming weeks.

There still might be a very few tickets left for this.

We will be throwing out some snippets of the new lyrics on twitter in the next weeks, just so you can practice singing along :)

Only 3 months to go..!

New Gorillaz album...

Tentatively titled "Plastic Beach"
No set date yet, but I will post anything the moment I hear about it..

REVIEW: The Matador - Bad Day For A Snake

8.5 out of 10

The Matador waste no time setting the tempo of their new EP "Bad Day For A Snake". Right away heavy guitar riffs and fierce screaming break open the first track "Booger Beer". Alternating between furious licks and intense breakdowns, you get the impression that The Matador aren't fucking around and they want you to know it.

The Omaha-based band consists of Herb Harden and Brian Durkin on guitars, Steve Estep on bass, Steve Pinegar on drums and Tony Morris on vocals. Most of the members have been involved in other bands in the Omaha hardcore/metal scene. The collaboration as The Matador shows that the notches in their belts from years past has helped shape them all into the experienced musicians they are today.

The album continues with the track "2 Chicks 2 Cups", which is about as explosive as the internet video that influenced the name. If you're a fan of the famous "meedly-meedly" sound of hardcore, then this will definitely be your favorite track on the album. The end of the track is the type of breakdown I can picture a guy picking up change in the pit to.

"You Bought the Ticket Now Take the Ride" seems heavily influenced by old Dillinger Escape Plan with just a twist of Every Time I Die. The intro keeps you anticipating that moment where the chaos fully begins and you are not disappointed once it hits. And the song continues to build up the entire time never slowing down or dropping a beat.

The brutality doesn't stop in "Kesslar Sponsored My Divorce". I believe it's supposed to be spelled Kessler, after the brand of whiskey, but I'm going off the track listing on the CD. Your hear your first melodic breakdown in this track showing that the band isn't all about being heavy, and that their influences run a broad spectrum.

The "last" track on the album is the crowd-favorite "Snakefucker!". If you feel like vomiting, check out and search for "python" and discover the video that provided the name to this track as well as led to the name of the EP. But the track is a perfect end to the disc. Everything covered in the previous tracks are all thrown into one and it's a beautiful collection of everything we love about hardcore.

This is a great release for this band and Infinite Productions did an amazing job recording and mixing this album. The album shows promise of what's to come from The Matador and I for one am looking forward to what else they have to offer. I highly recommend this album for fans of Botch, Norma Jean, Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Converge and others of that style/genre.

Standout Tracks: All of em'.
REVIEW By: Chris Schaffart 5/28/09

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cool Video Funtime #39 - Running Water

NEW Sigur Ros album...

"Slower" "More ambient" & "More out there"
Due out sometime next year...

All of these words ..make me wet my pants.

Wesley Eishold (Cold Cave) side project..FREE songs..

Weslye Eishold of Cold Cave/Heartworm Press has a new side project titled "Ye Olde Maids". You can download two FREE tracks HERE.

Can't get enough of Cold Cave right now.. what do you guys think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FREE Patrick Wolf song....

Hard Times (Alec Empire Remix) on RCRDLBL

~njoy & Thanx RCRDLBL!

New Clark...

Out July 13th, 2009

1. Outside Plume
2. Growls Garden
3. Rainbow Voodoo
4. Look Into The Heart Now
5. Luxman Furs
6. Totem Crackerjack
7. Future Daniel
8. Primary Balloon Landing
9. Talis
10. Suns Of Temper
11. Absence

New Gang Gang Dance...

Out June 1st, 2009

1. First Communion (TV On The Radio Mix)
2. First Communion
3. House Jam (Hot Chip Mix)

New Jimmy Edgar..

That man from Detroit Jimmy Edgar is back with a new name and sound. "Noir Friction" is his latest project and it delivers some sleazy nu-skool NYC House, he calls it 'Dominatrix House'. It's been released through 'Rush Hour's' new sub label 'Night Moves' who's sole purpose is to focus their efforts on raw electronic dance. From the begining "Lips Sealed" sets the tone. Contorted vocals squerm around whilst a punchy static beat click in. It doesn't progress into any massive crescendo, its basic but catchy. Its got a raw warehouse styled cut to it, easily described as dark minimal. If you were at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival aka, DEMF, i'm certain that this would have been dropped. The two tunes are very similar, in fact its difficult to notice the difference. The latter, SIDE B is supposed to be a Dub version. All I can hear is more emphasis on the chorus, which in my opinion is the easier listen. The first is very much stripped naked. The 'Noir Friction' project is undoubtedly Jimmy Edgar, its got the dark electronica sounds, swathing synths and vocoded vocals. However this is a proper dance track that could be played alongside Villalobos. Dominatrix House is the new sound in town, check it out Now!
Will do ;)
..speaking of Jimmy Edgar.

REVIEW: Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light

7.5 out of 10

"Still Night, Still Light" is Brooklyn trio Au Revoir Simone's third release, and possibly their best. Au Revoir Simone have been developing their form of infectious Indie-Electro-Pop/perfect day dream music since 2003 and have been receiving high praise for it ever since.. and yes, they deserve it.

Fans of "604" era Ladytron will rejoice over the sugary electronic pop sounds and fans of Azure Ray will be pleased with the heavenly fragile female vocals. The songs are extremely catchy and never unpleasant. There are about 5 instruments used on "Still Night.."; keyboards, drum machine, mellifluous vocal harmonies, keyboards, and keyboards. I don't need to a lot to say about Au Revoir Simone because I believe their music will speak for itself once you listen to it. You will be humming along, tapping your foot, and possibly bobbing your head for weeks after listening to them.

Uncomplicated-Delicate-Electro-Pop done in the best possible way. RECOMMENDED.

Standout Tracks: Another Likely Story, Shadows, Knight Of Wands, The Last One, Trace A Line, Only You Can Make You Happy, Tell Me

Monday, May 25, 2009

REVIEW: Es - Kesämaan Lapset

7.75 out of 10

"Kesämaan Lapset" is Sami Sänpäkkilä's (aka Es) 5th full length album. On top of being the main man behind Es, Sami Sänpäkkilä is also the main man behind the experimental Fonal Records label, which is home to Lau Nau, Paavoharju, Shogun Kunitoki, etc. Es is no exception to the word "experimental" either, on "Kesämaan Lapset" (which translates into “The Children Of The Summerland”), you will hear synthesizers, piano, violin, trombone, and a few guest vocalists distorted and transformed for the better.

The first track "Ennen Oli Huonommin" sounds like an ambient take on a Dan Deacon track. Bubbly synthesizer noises and waves of distorted bliss collide and merge into each other as if they were one noise to begin with. Sometimes the tracks can be spacey/psychedelic and trance-like, and sometimes they have that "camp fire" vibe that Mum/OBTN has. The piano work on "Säteet Sun Sielusta" is really quite stunning, not to mention the meditative hum with trickles of macrocosmic sounds pouring all over each other which are also serene. It's an intense 11 minutes of mind numbing atmospheres that's for sure.. and yeah, that's a good thing. Even the 22-minute "opus" "Kesämaan Lapset" with it's looped drones/melodies has more than enough tranquil sounds to put the most jittery of minds to a restful state. The whole album just has an earnest amount of meditative qualities that anyone in their "right mind" should enjoy.

Although Sami Sänpäkkilä doesn't think of this release as his best yet, it is definitely one of the standout albums of 09. Next time you want to zone out with assistance by something other than drugs give "Kesämaan Lapset" a go.

Standout Tracks: Ennen Oli Huonommin, Kesä Ja Hymyilevät Huulet, Säteet Sun Sielusta (my favorite track), Kesämaan Lapset (the last 5 min of this song, oh yaa) Haamut Sun Sydämestä ..yeah, that's all of them.

REVIEW: Polykroma - Metropolique

8 out of 10

Polykroma is a side project of Scott Cortez (Lovesliescrushing, Astrobrite, Star, etc.). Take the recognizable guitar effects (ambient bliss), that you have grown to love so much of Scott Cortez, and mix them with a drum loop machine accompanied by lush female vocal harmonies. "Metropolique" comes off as the "Beat" days of Bowery Electric meets Lovesliescrushing and Brian Eno's "Music For Airports". Completely gorgeous and spacey. Or as Mr. Cortez describes it "perfect midnight drive music through the city".

Once again if you've heard Lovesliescrushing or Astrobrite you know exactly what you're getting into. For those of you who haven't checked them out yet, go listen, I'll wait.. Scott Cortez should be a household name by now. His many projects, remixes, and producing credits have placed him with some of the greatest writers in Shoegaze/Dream Pop history.

I doubt I will ever hear anything bad come out of Scott Cortez's guitar. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ..although, it may be hard to track down. File this under "Drum and Space".

Standout Tracks: Kolresn, Viora,...blah blah ALL OF THEM.

REVIEW: The Field - Yesterday & Today

7.75 out of 10

About a month ago The Field leaked one of the tracks from the new album "Yesterday & Today" titled "The More That I Do", ever since I have been anticipating it's release with much excitement. Finally it has come out! ..Raise your glow sticks to the air!!

The Field is an airy/spacey Electronic Ambient Dance band off of the Kompakt label that fuses elements of Micro Techno with the ambience of Seefeel or even M83. "Yesterday & Today" is The Field's second album. The sound is about the same as his debut "From Here We Go Sublime", but with longer, more epic songs, and waaaay better production. The Field's music is pretty simple, one melody is looped over and over with a 4-count kick and layers upon layers of space-a-licious synths on top. If you like your "techno" simple, but fetching and somewhat euphoric you will be more than happy with this album.

"Yesterday & Today" has a fair share of danceable and ambient sounds. The fusion of the two may sound like an odd idea, but somehow The Field pulls it off, again.. RECOMMENED.

Standout Tracks: I Have The Moon You Have The Internet, Everybodys Got To Learn Sometime (yeah, it's a cover of that Beck song from the "Eternal Sunshine.." soundtrack done The Field style), Leave It, The More That I Do

REVIEW: Soisong - XAJ3Z

7.5 out of 10

Back in February 09 EIC interviewed Peter Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle, Coil, etc.), towards the end of the interview Mr. Christopherson mentioned his newest project "Soisong", which is a collaboration with Ivan Pavlov (COH, Chessmaster). In the interview he said "I think I may be more proud of it, than anything else so far.."

First off something has to be said about the albums packaging, which is geometric shapes cut an folded to house an octagonal cd, yes an octagon. It's pretty amazing looking actually. The packaging is almost as abstract as the music it self, which is Classical infused electronic music with hints of Jazz and Industrial experimentations throughout. Track 1 begins with strung out piano chords/twinkles that are sustained, panned, and cut over a light & crisp guitar sound. Eventually a low end bassy synth comes in keeping the whole minimal piece in balance. A relaxing start to a bizarre baroque-esque white noise soundtrack. Track 2, "T-hu Ri Toh", is one of the few tracks that has vocals, which are no doubt synthesized vowels created by machine. Coil fans will feel right at home with this track. The overall vibe of the album goes from super relaxing, to somewhat horrifying, back to calm again, all while maintaining a minimal minimalist persona.

Overall "XAJ3Z" (whatever that means) is a pretty fluid album from beginning to end. If you're a fan of "experimental" music such as Coil, the darker "Jazz" stylings of Angelo Badalamenti, etc. or the minimalist side of Classical music like Arvo Part Soisong will indeed offer you up something "fresh" and interesting. Would I consider it a "must own" for people unaware of Mr. Christopherson's genius? No. Would I consider it a "must own" for all Gristle/Coil-heads? Yes, and then some.

Standout Tracks: T-hu Ri Toh, J3z, Dtorumi (great drumming/vocals, kind of dubby), Ti-Di-Ti Naoo (cute and disturbing, love this track)

EIC'S10Q'S w/Woven

Last year a HIGHLY overlooked band released their sophomore album titled "Designer Codes", which, in all fairness, is one of the best Alt-Rock/Electronica albums out there..

Mid 90's Industrial-Rock revivalists

Woven Bio:
In 2001, with the release of its debut EP titled "EPrime" (Interscope), the Los Angeles group Woven set out to pave new roads with their signature blend of the organic and synthetic. Exploring the full spectrum of electronic and rock influences, the music travels a path from guitar-driven drum and bass to syncopated, sparse IDM, ending in a dark and brooding dream state. The eclectic songs from EPrime quickly made their way into heavy rotation and charted nationwide on CMJ as the 5th most added record that year for college radio then landing spots on L.A.'s groundbreaking radio station KCRW 89.9.
Throughout the next year, Woven solidified its niche as a unique group of sonic explorers devoted to taking listeners on astral and emotional aural excursions. In 2003, the band released their second endeavor with Interscope Records, "8 Bit Monk", a wildly imaginative cosmic odyssey of soft, glitchy static and melodic rock harmony. Seeking a dynamic mix similar to their debut, "EPrime", they re-enlisted the London-based mixing genius, Stephen Fitzmaurice, who has honed his mixing skills with such acts as Depeche Mode, U2, Fischerspooner, Seal and Magnet.
With the band drawing from such diverse influences as Bjork, Aphex Twin, Pink Floyd, Jane’s Addiction and Deftones among others, they would create otherworldly songbeds for listeners to lie in and ponder life's moody side. Such haunting moods would land two of 8 Bit Monk's songs, "My Conditioning" and "Soul Fossa", on the hit CBS show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Continuing to attract the attention of new listeners across the globe, Woven became one of the first featured artists on iTunes' front page, receiving enough downloads to prompt iTunes to extend the bands coverage an additional two weeks. They would later receive positive nods from Spin Magazine and

Hello, how are you?
I'm doing really well and you?

What are you currently listening to?
Depeche Mode, Fugazi, Mum, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Nusrat Feteh Ali Khan, Jeff Buckley, Photek, Zakhir Hussein, Tom Waits, Pink Floyd, Atmosphere, The Legendary Pink Dots, Bauhaus, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Beirut, The Big Pink, M83, Bartok, The voices in my head..

Who are your main influences?
My influences in the beginning started out as more of a mind frame and eventually led me into music. I felt like I didn't belong where ever I was. Junior high and high school sucked. Home life sucked also. I started to read the philosophical works of Krishnamurti. He was basically my first influence into another mind frame other than the grid mind frame that is thrust upon the youth. I discovered Janes Addiction, punk music, industrial and any other counter culture music I could get my hands on. I picked up the guitar and my whole world changed. I hooked up with Johnny (bassist from Woven). Spent all my time in Brians (Dj Seed) garage jamming. We built a really strong social scene around our band at the time. While that was going on, another scene was developing more on the east side in a cat toy factory which Marc's (One of two drummer's for woven) mom owned which is now home to our recording studio. We eventually all merged, joined forces mostly improving and dabbling in mind altering experiences and getting into psychic trouble. The beauty about our scene is the vastness of musical influences. Some bands that have influenced us are....THE CURE, JANES ADDICTION, Vandels, Def tones, Nurse With Wound, Throbbing Gristle, Cocteau Twins, Joy Division, New Order, Peter Gabriel, delta Blues, Johnny Cash, Grateful Dead, Sigur Ros, Mum, IDM in general, Square Pusher, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Napalm Death, Scorn, Ministry, Skankin Pickle, Lets Go Bowling, Mr. Bungle, Michael Brook, John Zorn, Skinny Puppy, Praxis, Fishbone, Tool, Bad Brains, Tom Waits, Peter Gabriel, Passion and a million others

How did you decide on the band name “Woven“?
Well, we are not music snobs. We all listen to such a variety of music that it only made sense to call ourselves Woven. We weave together a lot of genres. Like a cloth with different fabrics woven together. We hopefully get a new type of fabric, one that makes people think hey it could be done a different way.

Your latest album “Designer Codes“ was pretty amazing. Was it a difficult album to make?
Yes it was difficult. Our process is kind of insane, probably because each song has its own process. Every song has a special need to it that makes the road to creation at some points a little nerve wracking. Some songs just flow others don't. Songs that take a second to create, are not necessarily better or worse. As an end result we are the only ones that know what it took to get the final process and let me tell you- some songs took years to make.

Will “Designer Codes” ever be on vinyl?
Designer codes is not going to be on vinyl any investors are welcome though.) We have some great splits on vinyl that we will put out soon with some amazing bands.

Is there going to be a “third” album anytime soon?
He he- more than that...Stay tuned

Who would you REALLY LIKE to tour with?
The Cure

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
It wouldn't be an album that would drive me insane... It would be the rain falling, the wind howling and a women I care about saying I love you.

Are you living your dream?
Always, isn't it all a dream?....did this life really happen...I hope so:)

Thanx Woven!

Woven is currently working on their follow up to "Designer Codes"...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cool Video Funtime #37 - Smoking The Edge

REVIEW: Seeland - Tomorrow Today

7.25 out of 10

Seeland is a retro futuristic Dream Pop group consisting of Tim Felton (ex Broadcast) and Mike Bainbridge (ex Plone). Their sounds are very familiar and a good balance of relaxing meets encouraging. Seeland reminds me of Lansing Dreiden and/or Languis meets Stereolab.

I dream of this building that focuses it's entire environment on good independent music. They make sure that the "good stuff" is blasted through the speakers of every possible room, perhaps different music for different themed rooms. If there was an elevator in this building they would no doubt be playing some Stereolab, Ladytron, Broadcast, etc. Which brings me to my point, I consider Seeland to be "elevator music" for the Indie kid in all of us. The music isn't abrasive in any way, all of the melodies are agreeable and catchy, the electronic accents give it that perfect "pop" of pop music, the guitars & bass are simple, and the vocals are as laid back and harmonious as Caribou or even The Beach Boys.

If upbeat, non abrasive, electronics meets fluffy dream pop is your kind of thing you will most certainly fall in love with this release.

Standout Tracks: Hang On Lucifer, Colour Dream, Captured, Library, Goodbye, Static Objects, Station Sky, Call The Incredible, Five In The Morning

See Asobi Seksu LIVE for FREE!!!

From Asobi Seksu:

3D show details - PC users check it out!

We are performing a live concert on Videoranch 3D this Monday May 25th from 3pm-4pm Pacific Standard Time.

Videoranch3D is a virtual world on the internet where folks can watch live performances attended exclusively by a virtual audience from all over the world. You'll be able to see and hear our show as part of this virtual concert - and we'll be able to see you in the crowd (well, your virtual self, that is). Pretty sweet right? We can even exchange comments and stuff after the show. We'll also have merch available. Kind of sounds like a real show. But virtual.

All you need to do is head on over to 3D Ranch's website and download the software. Give it a shot - this should be an interesting and unique experience for us all.

Asobi Seksu

Cheers to a wonderful Memorial Day (aka day off)!

Friday, May 22, 2009

LIVE: A Few Q's with Women / REVIEW: Women - Women

A couple weeks ago we had the pleasure of meeting up with one of the members of Women on their tour with Mogwai. Below is the live interview video clip featuring a few shots of live music..

6.75 out of 10
Find it here.

Women are a four-piece Lo-Fi Spaz Rock band based out of Canada. They mix elements of Indie Pop, Rock & Lo-Fi with "outer galactic sounds". One of the members of Women used to be in Azeda Booth but decided to put more focus on this project. Which seems to have worked out for him considering the fair share of attention Pitchspork was giving them (#18 single of 08) last year.

Some moments are upbeat and Pop Rocky, some are laid back & droney, and some are just eclectic noises. The whole album is filled with interesting/unique tones and sometime hard to follow time structures throughout. With as broken as the sound feels sometimes it's amazing how tight it sounds in the end. The best comparison I can think of when describing Women would be a young Liars.

Women are "hear" for your upbeat/fun/let it all loose kind of days. Women make obnoxious Indie Punk Rock for a "different" generation.

Standout Tracks: Lawncare, Woodbine (good drone), Sag Harbor Bridge, Group Transport Hall, Upstairs

Thursday, May 21, 2009

REVIEW: Polly Scattergood - Polly Scattergood

7.5 out of 10

This is Polly Scattergood's debut album off of Mute Records which, if you've ever wondered, what PJ Harvey/Tori Amos/Charlotte Gainsbourg inspired vocals would sound like with a M83-esque synth sounds and upbeat sometimes depressing pop music you will no longer have to live in the dark. Polly Scattergood is a 20 something year old female living in England. Her version of Pop music is both gloomy and cute, and, she will soon be one of the queens of the Indie Pop circuit or horribly overlooked (my money's on the queen).

Polly Scattergood fuses elements of Pop Rock guitars, up beat bass lines, epic marching drum anthems, swaying piano melodies, electronic samples, spacey synths, and cutesy female vocals that are both harmonious and spoken words of youthful wisdom. The first half of the album is a little more Indie Pop Rock-ish, the second half is a little more spacey and electronic. You'll know what I mean when you come up to the album's standout track "I Am Strong", which consists of a spacey synth line, a 4 count kick, and Ms. Scattergoods adorable vocals. The epic builds in "Poem Song" are quite gorgeous and somewhat powerful too. You're ears will have a pretty solid experience from beginning to end of the whole release. Although I think I like the gloomy/spacey sounds towards the end a little more. Either way do not pass this one up. Listen to at least a couple tracks and I am sure you will become instantly hooked.

It's always sad to hear of someone going through a lot of pain and heart ache, but for Polly Scattergood it may have worked out well. Because without all of that heart ache and pain we probably wouldn't have that intense emotional drive that each and every noise/lyric delivers. I am definitely curious about the future of this artist. RECOMMENDED.

Standout Tracks: Untitled 27, I Am Strong (daaaamn catchy), Unforgiving Arms, Poem Song (great song), Bunny Club(LOVE the synths in this one, "fluffy m83"), Nitrogen Pink, Breathe In Breathe Out (nice piano ballad)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

REVIEW: Menomena - Posh Isolation/Tung Track

7.5 out of 10

5 years have passed since Menomena's spectacular debut "I Am The Fun Blame Monster", but that didn't stop them from releasing two more tracks that "just didn't make the cut" on a limited 7".

Track 1 "Posh Isolation" is without a doubt one of the most chill Menomena tracks recorded. A simple, but catchy "Cure-esque" guitar melody is looped and sustained over quiet & melodic humming/chanting accompanied by a somewhat "Trip-Hop" beat. Track 2 "Tung Track" starts off with a bizarre sample and a simple piano sample going down the scale which slips into a catchy lil' bass line and some what tribal drumming that is actually quite soothing. The vocals are more present on "Tung Track" than on "Posh Isolation", rather than sampled hums they go for the straight forward approach, which is breezy singing. Pretty catchy tracks actually, both pretty laid back, and great for any Menomena fan wanting to hear everything they do.

I can hear why these wouldn't fit on "I Am The..", but I am more than happy to own these two tracks, as they are now two of my favorite Menomena tracks of all time.

Standout Tracks: ummm, Both.

REVIEW: Arve Henriksen - Cartography

8.75 out of 10

It's hard to pick a "favorite" Jazz composer. If I had to guess, most would probably mention Miles Davis or John Coltrane, which are great in their own right. However, with my "ear-taste buds", it's experimental and unique that catch me off guard and grab my full attention. Something that no other artist has or is impossible to imitate. Arve Henriksen would be somewhere in my top 3 for those exact reasons. Although, Arve Henriksen isn't "Jazz" per say, Mr. Henriksen dabbles in Jazz, Neo Classical, World, and avante garde rhythmic/tribal sounds. Arve Henriksen was a classically trained musician who later became influenced by Japanese-trumpet playing. He was born in Stranda, Norway, and studied at the Trondheim Conservatory. During his time a friend gave him a tape recording of the Shakuhachi flute. Henriksen was hooked. "I let the music 'ring' and develop in my head," he said. "I was astonished by the sound of this flute." Listening to his releases you will hear that instrument dominantly over lush landscapes and modern decay that would be perfect for the darkest spot in that always empty Jazz club. I first came across Mr. Henriksen's work in 2004 with the release of his second album "Chiaroscuro" which, for all of those people who aren't "art-nerds", means "the study of light and dark", a perfect description for a near perfect album. Five years later Mr. Henriksen is back at again, this time with his 4th release, "Cartography", which by all means is one of the best albums I have heard this year/in general.

When Arve Henriksen breathes into his flute he doesn't just make "pretty" sounds he captivates your ears completely. He doesn't "just play" the instrument, he becomes it. The music takes on the mind, heart, body, and soul of Arve Henriksen. That being said, underneath Mr. Henriksen's soul, lays a body of minimalist worldsy trances, white noise samples, serene/poetic vocals/choirs/spoken words, and a bit of Neo Classical fusion. Every track on "Cartography" is completely spellbinding and emotionally complex. "Cartography" not only left a mark on Arve Henriksen's soul, but also, may be one of his "life defining" moments amongst the greats in Avant-Jazz history. "Cartography" is sure to leave a mark on anyone who gives it a listen. With some Jazz music it can take a little more "focus" than you may want to give, with Arve Henriksen it won't, these sounds are impossible to ignore

Listen to "Cartography" when you want to settle down at the end of long stressful day. Or any day for that matter, just be prepared to become relaxed and slightly more focused. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. DO NOT OVERLOOK ARVE HENRIKSEN ANYMORE, you shouldn't have done so in the beginning. Album's like "Cartography" remind me of why my favorite appendage(s) are my ears. BRA-VO Mr. Henriksen, Bravo.

Standout Tracks: ALL OF THEM. But especially: Poverty And It's Opposite, Before And Afterlife, Migration (great time structure), Recording Angel (so gorgeous), Famine's Ghost, Thermal, Sorrow And It's Opposite (a PERFECT ender -- gives me goose bumps)

Cool Video Funtime #36 - Monkey Suite

Black Moth Super Rainbow NEW album/tour/listening parties...

Black Moth Super Rainbow's newest album "Eating Us", is out 5/26 on Graveface Records.

In honor of this new album and Black Moth Super Rainbow's love for the remaining independent record stores out there, the band has created 1600 hairy "Eating Us" CDs which will be sold in ten different retail stores across the country, as well through Graveface Records' website and other online outlets.

Retail stores include:

All three Reckless Records in Chicago, IL

Underground Sounds in Louisville, KY

Good Records in Dallas, TX

Landlocked Music in Bloomington, IN

Grimey's New + Preloved Music in Nashville, TN

Park Ave CDs in Orlando, FL

Sonic Boom Records - Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA

Aquarius Records in San Francisco, CA

Black Moth Super Rainbow has also created insanely awesome and completely unique in-store stands, some of which are up to 4 feet in height, to display these limited-edition hairy CDs. No two stands are the same. Each copy of the limited-edition hairy version of Black Moth Super Rainbow's "Eating Us", comes with a download card which immediately triggers an mp3 download of the "Born on a Day" demo and entry into the hairy CD contest. There will be three contest winners picked sometime in late June!

1st Prize: A hairy stand for the winner’s house plus a BMSR test pressing

2nd Prize: The available back catalog from Graveface Records

3rd Prize: A signed copy of "Eating Us"

Black Moth Super Rainbow kick off their tour with School of Seven Bells today!

May 20 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge w/ School of Seven Bells

May 21 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon w/ School of Seven Bells

May 22 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club w/ School of Seven Bells

May 25 Quincy, WA @ Sasquatch Festival

May 26 Portland, OR @ Holocene w/ School of Seven Bells

May 28 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill w/ School of Seven Bells

May 29 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour w/ School of Seven Bells

May 30 Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar w/ School of Seven Bells

May 31 Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room w/ School of Seven Bells

June 2 Austin, TX @ The Mohawk w/ School of Seven Bells

June 3 Denton, TX @ Hailey's w/ School of Seven Bells

June 4 Little Rock, AR @ Sticky Fingerz w/ School of Seven Bells

June 5 Nashville, TN @ Exit/In w/ School of Seven Bells

June 6 Columbus, OH @ Skully's w/ School of Seven Bells

June 19 Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light

June 20 Birmingham, AL @ City Stages Music & Arts

June 21 Newport, KY @ Southgate House

June 27 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop

June 30 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick

July 24 New York, NY @ South Street Seaport - Seaport Music Festival, Pier 17

July 25 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas w/ Dan Friel

July 26 Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel w/ Dan Friel

July 27 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar w/ Dan Friel

Listening Parties: For those who cannot attend any of the Black Moth Super Rainbow shows, or those who can but just want a little extra BMSR in their lives, listening parties leading up to the release date have been set up across the country.

Each party is being presented by a local radio station. Details are below:

San Jose, CA - KSCU Presents @ On the Corner - May 24 @ 3 PM

Santa Cruz, CA - KZSC Presents @ Metamusic Records - May 24, 4 PM

Chicago, IL - WHPK Presents @ Hallowed Grounds Coffee w/ The Butts, Patchwork, WHPK DJs - May 25, 8 PM

Raleigh, NC - WKNC Presents @ TBA - May 25

Los Angeles, CA - KXLU Presents @ Origami Vinyl - May 25, 6 PM

Miami, FL - WRGP Presents @ Sweat Records - May 26, 9 PM

Philadelphia, PA - WKDU Presents @ Marvelous Music - May 26, 7 PM

Eugene, OR - KWVA Presents @ Vet's Club prior to King Khan & the Shrines show - May 26, 6:30 PM

San Francisco, CA - Terrorbird Media & Aquarius Records Presents @ The Knockout w/ Tempo No Tempo + more May 26, 6-9 PM

I look forward to my hairy new firend..

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Audion to hit the road this summer..

From Audion:
Two new Audion tracks have now materialized, and more is soon to come. Audion will be taking his new material on the road this summer with audio/visual accompaniment from Eno Henze, Andreas Fischer, and Audion art director Will Calcutt.

Audion Live Summer Tour 2009.
Berlin Germany.
Berghain June 26.
Amsterdam Netherlands.
Awakenings Festival June 27.
Dour Belgium.
Dour Festival July 16.
Valencia Spain. Barraca. July 4.
London England.
Field Day August 1.


Get ready to shake what your mother gave, or perhaps didn't give, ya!

Beck & Charlotte Gainsbourg collaborating..?!?

This somewhat cryptic image popped up on Ms. Gainsbourg's web page today...
Apparently Beck will be featured on the next Charlotte Gainsbourg album..
The album is scheduled for November 2009. It will feature at least 11 songs, titles including “In The End”, “Heaven Can Wait” and “Master Hand”.
The only reason you would't be excited about this, is because you haven't heard "5:55" yet.

Monday, May 18, 2009

REVIEW: Fischerspooner - Entertainment

7 out of 10

Fischerspooner are FINALLY back! It has been way too long since we last heard a new FS album. Nearly 4 years later, Fischerspooner return, with the same overly catchy Electro-Pop racket that they first offered on "#1". One of the great things about this band/art project is their sound stays consistent with hints of unique production differences on each album.

On track 2 Fischerspooner insist they are electric, but in all honesty, I never thought they weren't, their sounds are extremely robotic and void of humanistic tones. The electronics on this album have elements of dark and dirty Detroit Synth-Pop mixed with a late 70's underground New York dance club. Casey Spooner has sharpened/honed in on his vocal talents a little more with this release. And you will definitely want to blast this on your stereo while shaking your butt/bobbing your head. Don't be afraid to let the fun hit you right between the ears.

Somebody on Amazon wrote a review on "Entertainment" saying this should've been the album Depeche Mode wrote, and I couldn't agree more. Kudos to you Fischerspooner for staying true to your sound/fans. You will not hear another Electro-Pop/Clash album with ingenuity like this for a long time, or at least not until the next Fisherspooner comes out.

Standout Tracks: The Best Revenge, Money Can't Dance, Supply & Demand (catchy as catchy can be), Amuse Bouche (originally on the terrific "Living Bridge" compilation), Infidels Of The World Unite, Door Train Home (like this one a lot), Danse En France (viva la fronce!)

REVIEW: Diamond Watch Wrists - Ice Capped At Both Ends

6.75 out of 10

Diamond Watch Wrists is an experimental/some what psychedelic Dream Pop off shoot/side project consisting of Guillermo Scott Heron (Prefuse 73) and Zach Hill (drummer of Hella). The two may seem like an unlikely pairing, but they pull off the sound of a veteran Dream Pop band (think Christopher Willits) with ease. If all of this sounds intriguing to you hurry, there were only 2000 copies made.

The drumming/sampling on the opening track "My Last Time In This Place" comes off as an Acid Jazz/Spaz Core melt down, but quickly eases back in preparation for the gorgeously strung acoustic guitar and dreamy/breathy vocals that bring to mind Benoit Pioulard. Each track just floats down the care free river from that point on. You can hear the obvious elements from each band member stand out on their own as well as mesh with corresponding sounds quite nicely. Mr. Heron provides the acoustics, warm atmospheres, and glitchy sounds , Mr. Hill provides the exceptionally diverse drumming, and Tyondai Braxton does guest vocals.

If experimental drumming, harmonizing male vocals, and laid back atmosphere's are your thing do not pass this album up (before it's too late).

Standout Tracks: Polite Passage, One Second Early Late, Start Wrong (sounds like Animal Collective), Simple Love Notes (5 Years Later), Speculative Forensic Investigation, Taped Up Swagger (High School Version)

Depeche Mode to be remixed by Sigur Ros frontman..

Sometime soon (in 2009) Depeche Mode will be releasing the next single, "Peace", off of their newest album "Sounds Of The Universe". It will onyl be in 7" format. One of the remixes will be done by Jonsi (lead singer of Sigur Ros). One can only wonder how these two artists will blend ther sounds together..

1 - Peace (Single Version)
2 - Come Back (Jonsi Remix)

There will also be a different version of this release (also only on 7") that has a remix by MGMT.

1 - Peace (Single Version)
2 - Fragile Tension (MGMT Remix)

That could be cool too..