Archive for March, 2011

Sightings: Flower Orgy, “Mama Earth”

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

With temperatures rising and the sun shining on a semi-regular basis, it definitely appears to be time to pack away winter-y synths and bust out the loud guitar jams again. Enter Brooklyn’s Flower Orgy, who sent us a few demos from their upcoming, Alex Bleeker-produced EP. Unlike the folkier sounds of the band’s recent Curatorial Club release, here Flower Orgy guide listeners on a garage rock journey chock full of everything that will always be pure and good about this kind of music. On “Mama Earth” the band bring the noise with a flurry of crunchy chug-chugga guitar chords and a come-hither riff, compelling imaginary basement audiences to nod in rhythm and sing-along, “We don’t know anything at all!” Despite this lyrical display of humility, this demo proves Flower Orgy clearly know what they’re doing. Their finished EP will no doubt make for regular summer listening.

Flower Orgy, “Mama Earth (Demo)”

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Words: Marc Picciolo
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Sightings: Bebe Fang, “Pac Al I”

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

[Photo by Kasper Vogelzang]

There’s a strange sensation that I like to call “The Beautiful Foreboding.” Those of us who reside in California know it well. It’s a common feeling you’d get right before an earthquake. Imagine enjoying a cup of tea on your sunny porch, but some part of you knows that the ground may start to shake and disrupt your peace in a profound way. The track “Pac Al I” by Utrecht folk duo Bebe Fang is a sonic encapsulation of that feeling. The meandering chimes, coupled with the echoed, muffled vocal loop create an air of uncertainty that ranges from peaceful, to hypnotic, to unsettling at the drop of a hat. While many of the subsequent tracks on their self titled EP feature earthy, soulful vocals, “Pac Al I” starts off the album on an ominous note. It could be described as spiritual music for those uneasy souls who know they can get to paradise, but know that it might evaporate at any moment.

Bebe Fang “Pac Al I”

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Bebe Fang’s self titled EP will be released in the US this Spring by Night People

Sightings: Mater Suspiria Vision, “Das Haus der Hexe”

Monday, March 28th, 2011

You probably know Mater Suspiria Vision by now as the mysterious European entity with an unhealthy obsession with long-haired beautifies from the ’70s– manifest in some 63 “non profit promo video collages” of found footage from horror, exploitation, and art-school classics. Last Fall saw creative mastermind “Cosmotropia de Xam” remixing the soundtrack from Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) over images from the film itself; “Das Haus der Hexe,” a track from their new Inverted Triangle I LP, sounds like a Goblin cover coughed up from smoky mouth of a fleabag discotheque by that same name. This is not just music about witches; it’s music about going to the theater, and being bewitched.

Words: Emilie Friedlander

Inverted Triangle I is out now on Clan Destine/Phantasma Disques

Sightings: Soft Healer “Grand Isle” Live at Wurhaus

Friday, March 25th, 2011

For me, SXSW is a time to fall in love with new music and to remember the music that I already adore. The warm air and twilight BBQs certainly make it easy to lose your heart for a moment. In perhaps the oddest of settings, I was reminded of my deep affection for Austin based quartet Soft Healer. They played on the later side at a Libertarian bookstore called Brave New Books during a showcase put on by the members of Sun Araw and Prince Rama (Prince Sun Arawma). I had seen Soft Healer long ago in Los Angeles, but I was easily re-seduced by their skronk tinged, guitar groove fueled psychedelic rock. Amongst the numerous alien conspiracy books, Soft Healer’s set was one of the most cosmic aspects of the night. This video is not from that particular show, but from the previous day at Wurhaus. The song is called “Grand Isle” (a reference to The Awakening?) and is off of their new 10″ on Monofonus. Kick back and enjoy this interstellar jam.

Words: Samantha Cornwell

Soft Healer’s 10″ on Monofonus Records is available now.

Sightings: Nash Smith & Ganges, “No Names”

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Recorded in an old country store-turned-restuarunt, the debut self-titled EP from Blacksburg, VA outfit Nash Smith & Ganges is full of scuzzy dream-pop quietly awaiting its chance to burst forth from old country confinement. On “No Names”, keyboardist/vocalist Melissa Smith channels Beach House’s Victoria Legrand but strips Legrand’s croon down to a hauntingly mellow wail, echoing off the room’s historic walls and through the earlobes of intent listeners. Subtle synth lines and rhythmic drums support Smith’s vocals well and lay a baseline groove that bursts into a bright guitar crescendo loud and scuzzy enough to threaten the song’s delicate frame before falling into place among the groove and leading listeners out of the five-and-a-half minute dream.

Nash Smith & Ganges, “No Names”(Nash Smith & Ganges EP, Pretty All Right)

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Words: Marc Picciolo
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Sightings: 2/5BZ, “I Am A Green Child”

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Serhat Koksal is a very prolific man. The Istanbul-based multimedia artist started making work as part of the global cassette tape movement in 1983, and has been incredibly active ever since with video art, curating the roaming Tehran Biennial, DJing, and his own music. 2/5BZ is his electronic music project, and perhaps the output he is most known for. “I Am A Green Child” is a composition that Koksal started working on in 1997, under the original title “Anadolog”. In 2005 he updated the track, and changed the name to “I Am A Green Child”; earlier this month, it made its web debut. The crackly, sample-heavy track features some soothing sitar noodling and spacey glitches and hisses. When the spooky, slow vocal sample invades the mix at the track’s finale, you feel as though you are truly listening to the music of another realm.

2/5BZ – I AM A GREEN CHILD by 2/5bz

Words: Samantha Cornwell

“I Am A Green Child” was originally released by Fulldozer. Watch this space for an interview with Serhat Koksal.

Sightings: Sun Glitters, “Too Much to Lose”

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Spring reared its welcome head for the first real time today in my humble upstate New York abode. Sun poured out onto the street and giant slabs of piled snow finally began to recede from sidewalk paths. The glitter-y vibes of Luxembourg-based electronica peddlers, Sun Glitters, provided my high-on-sun self a warm and welcoming backing track for a day like today with their debut Everything Could Be Fine.

On standout track “Too Much to Lose” the group approaches the practice of pilling on sampled sounds and warped vocal effects with a subtle touch; gently pulling back clouds and allowing bright sounds to peek through and wash over listeners. A slow percussive thump and a warb-ly synth line set the tone and open up your ears to the Pandora’s box of interesting sound treats in the track’s gooey center. Normally something this downtempo and glazed might serve as a warm blanket of sound on a chilly winter’s day, but Sun Glitters gives us the first taste of 2011’s own summer of chillwave.

Sun Glitters, “Too Much to Lose”(Everything Could be Fine, Self-Released)

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Sightings: Jeremiah Jae “King’s Bop”

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

If you’re looking for a Psychedelic Hip Hop treat today, you came to the right place. Chicago’s Jeremiah Jae, who just put out his Rappayamatantra EP on Brainfeeder has a playfully odd sensibility, and knows how to turn that into a tripped out sonic delight. “King’s Bop” starts out dramatically with a celebratory scream, and grooves on through with some Hendrixesque guitar riffs, organ accents, blunt drum taps, and a vocal sample in an indeterminate language. Much like Low End Theory staple Gaslamp Killer, Jeremiah Jae’s music will get both the retro kids and the beat heads into that special groovy place.

Jeremiah Jae- “King’s Bop”

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Words: Samantha Cornwell

Sightings: Aaron Roche & Tim Hinck: “A Weaker Vision”

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Funded via Kickstarter, Aaron Roche and Tim Hinck‘s Plainspeak is the kind of album that leaves me wondering how to convey the feelings it invokes. It’s hard to even write “this kind of music,” because I’ve never heard anything like it before. Assisted by members of the Chattanooga Symphony, the classically-trained pair blend noise, jazz, and psych-folk to explore the possibilities of an indie-folk-classical album.

Plainspeak points to their talent crafting intricate compositions out of unusual melodies, reverb harmonies, and elusive lyrics. The album gathers around themes of hope, devotion, and spirituality. Aaron’s voice is calming and curious, drawing the listener in to a world of seasoned naiveté and genuine possibility. Some songs build from acoustic guitar-picking to chamber group crescendoes; others are delicate and understated, happy to meander in the throes of free-verse poetry, matching syllables if not rhymes: “Oh to see the marine ecstatic / Like a killer whale. / Fell the tree of the punk poetic / Every hundred years.”

Aaron Roche & Tim Hinck: “A Weaker Vision”

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Words: Nicholas Wells

Aaron plays this Saturday, March 12, at Church of the Advent Hope, 111 E 87th St. Also billed are Chris Schlarb and Joshua Stamper. Plainspeak is out late September/early October on LA’s Sounds Are Active, in vinyl and digital formats.

Sightings: Lizard Kisses, “Waywards”

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Sifting through E-Mail submissions for Visitation Rites often feels like an endless hunt for buried treasure. In my time writing for this publication I have been lucky enough to find several hidden gems, but my favorite is still Lizard Kisses, the Brooklyn, NY duo of Marc Merza and Cory Siegler. Together they create simple lo-fi pop nuggets that fit snuggly into familiar songwriting tropes and wrap around listeners like a cozy blanket.

On new track, “Waywards,” the duo stays relatively within the same cozy blanket of sound. However, “Waywards” proves to be a much hazier affair than their older songs. Sparse guitar lightly strums its way around an empty lo-fi fog that drifts in and around Siegler’s surprisingly haunting croon. The effect created not only produces a song seemingly about loneliness, but a song that also feels sonically solitary. Like their earlier Sleeping In EP, “Waywards” is a track well suited for spending an afternoon alone in a warm room silently gazing out your window.

Lizard Kisses, “Waywards”

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