There is something about the sound of an organ that is psychologically seductive. Maybe its use in religious ceremonies trains us to feel soothed. Whatever it is, Air Sign’s Justin McInteer utilizes its tones with great care in this track called “Nimoy”, off of his new tape In Search Of… McInteer, who was the half of the team behind the Los Angeles DIY hideout Echo Curio, is no stranger to an inviting ambiance. Through looping, and layering, and building, his organ tones create an aural safe space. In the final minutes of the track we are thrown a curve ball in the form of an up tempo beat injection. It is certainly unexpected, but like McInteer himself, this track pushes us to remain curious.
Imagine you are in a far off land, on a fruitless quest for material or spiritual treasure. Your journey brings you to an ominous cave. As you stare into its dark mouth, you are frightened, but decide you owe it to yourself to see whats inside. The light fades away with every step you take, but your curiosity wont let you turn around. When you are submerged in darkness, you hear a ghostly chant, accented by the banging of blunt objects. Could this be the ritual of some forgotten culture, or the key to the riches you seek? Perhaps, but it sounds an awful lot like “Transplanted People”, off of Babe, Terror‘s Preparing a Voice to Meet the People Coming. The Sao Paolo based artist’s EP is a treasure trove of ghostly, ambient electronics. If you’re interested in the fusion of primitive and paranormal, you owe yourself a listen.
Babe, Terror “Transplanted People”
DMBQ founder and Boredoms guitarist Shinji Masuko– also a music and comics critic and the man behind the latter group’s legendary seven-neck guitar, “The Sevena”— drops his first solo record today on the Oneida-curated Brah Records. While rehearsing for a series of Boredoms concerts, in 2009, the story goes, Shinji played Oneida drummer/vocalist Kid Millions a few backing tracks he had created for a piece called “Boardrum.” Millions, aka John Colpitts, liked his multi-tracked monoliths of guitar squall so much that he encouraged the Osaka native to sculpt them into pieces of music in their own right. Shinji did, and the result is Woven Music, a two-track mini LP featuring primarily acoustic instrumentation on the one side, and an army of electric guitars on the flip. Listen to the fiery sound tendrils on b-side “Woven Music For Silver Ocean,” and marvel as they crash and twine and fight and collapse into a wall of pure vibration. There is no other word but “ecstastic.”
Woven Music mini-album is out today in 12″ and digital formats via Brah Records. Below, a special message from Shinji himself on his Japan relief initiatve:
Its Shinji from DMBQ/Boredoms here. I am writing to my friends who is living in US and other countries. As you know, Japan’s most powerfulearthquake since records began has struck the north-east coast, triggering a massive tsunami. So many our friends, friend’s of friend, friend’s family, musicians, people who work in music venue, etc… a lot of people who we knowwere struck. The food scarcity has already started because the factory cannot operate.
Please help them. We want to send relief and condolence donation directly to people and north-east Japan’s music scene in future.Please send donation, or organize benefit show in your town by yourself for them. Please Cc-ing this email to your artist friends too.
If precise, hypnotic beats and sultry, detached vocals are what turn you on, then you have come to the right place. “Elevate”, the new single from Finesse, carries such heavy avant-disco vibes that it may as well have been written by the White Faerie herself. The video, which originally aired on the Experimental 1/2 Hour, is a perfect compliment to the sensual track. The dancers, who are all clad in black, writhe seductively around the singer, who is draped in white. As fog fills the scene, you can’t help but wonder if what you are watching is actually Bob Fosse‘s lost disco number. Either way, this libidinal house track lends itself to compulsive listening.
A neighborhood could be a place you grow up, or maybe a place you live, or for some of us it may just be a place we drive through on our way to work. For LA’s Ryan Dolliver The Neighborhood serves as a setting for his unique blend of chill-glazed rhythm and blues — wholly different from the croonings of How to Dress Well or Autre Ne Veut but undeniably soulful.
Unlike some of his peers, Dolliver is not afraid to bring a sense of immediacy to his take on R&B. On “I Won’t Get You Down,” his voice comes in with the first beat, bellowing about his arrival “..on the sidewalk of a windy street” — ostensibly in the neighborhood — as synths rise and fall through the song’s verses. The grooving, three-and-a-half minutes bounce on as Dolliver adds more instrumentation to the sine waves of synthesizers. Additional keyboards, a plinky guitar, and even a chime join his constant assertions of “I won’t get you down.” Like the nicest of neighborhoods, Dolliver makes sure his music is warm and inviting while simultaneously drawing you in with its unique charms. Well worth repeat visits.
The Neigborhood, “I Won’t Get You Down” (The Neighborhood, Self-Released)
Scooby Doobie, the latest release from Venice, CA’s Trance Farmers (aka Dayve Samek), is the sort of album that doesn’t adhere easily to taxonomy. It bounces around between sample collage, Faheyesque acoustic guitar plucking, and slow, cosmic psych. “Betty Bop” touches on one of its strongest, yet most surprising notes: lo-fi Elvis. Although not much else on the record shares its aesthetic, the track is a delight, rather than a distraction. Its vocal vamping, jangly guitars, and spurts of feedback could evoke in a listener a long dormant fondness for rockabilly, or maybe hip swinging. While Samek’s aesthetic might initially call to mind a good natured alien, perhaps he has a little bit of the modern greaser in him.
Trance Farmers, “Betty Bop”
Although the first wave of psychedelic rockers are thought of as the ultimate sex, drugs and rock n’ roll generation, what makes their music special for me is its sense of innocence and idealistic exploration. Through the lens of our murky era, that time period when rebellion was as simple as challenging the laughably rigid ideals of the 1950s is certainly thought of fondly. Quilt, a band from contemporary Massachusetts, evokes the spirit of that era through their sound, and the enchanted feeling of their lyrical content. Their male and female vocal harmonies specifically evoke Jefferson Airplane. This track is from a compilation of contemporary musicians doing Neil Young covers, called Headed for the Ditch. The other artists represented include Emily Reo, Foxes in Fiction, and Teen Daze, to name a few. “Sugar Mountain” is a great fit for Quilt, and their version stays relatively true to the pleasantly nostalgic country rock of the original version. The freedom and innocence of the Summer of Love might be a cultural memory, but when I listen to Quilt it doesn’t seem so out of reach.
Quilt, “Sugar Mountain”
Delicately pressed piano keys serve as the intro for “Wet Dream” — a song by Irvine, CA artist Nima, from her recent Bridgetown cassette release. But it doesn’t take very long for a tidal wave of feedback and a muddled drumbeat to transform delicate keys into a propulsive force on this disarmingly beautiful track. As pianos press on increasingly faster and drums march through the song’s three minutes, Nima’s light and echoing vocals weave through “Wet Dream”‘s interlocking parts. She demands that some unknown entity acknowledge or answer her repeated statement/question, “I hope you don’t mind/I entrust you with my eyes.” Although somewhat off-putting at first, this blend of noise, dream-pop, and minimalism serves Nima quite well.
“Lion of Judah,” the A-side of Dyan Ettinger‘s new 7″, sees the Bloomington, IN artist going in for some deep, terrestrial blues after the arpeggiated beam-scapes of his New Age Outlaws LP. Never thought I’d enjoy watching “action shots” of a dude playing a synthesizer, but this video by Nathan Vollmar and William Winchester Claytor makes every moment count, from the turn of a head to the opening of an eye and the choreography of a body lunging forward for a kiss. If the slant of the light and the group compositions remind you of clicking through slides in Art History 101, it’s because the artists were taking some pretty serious cues from Caravaggio.
Words: Emilie Friedlander
“Lion of Judah” 7″ is available from Not Not Fun, along with Dylan’s New Age Outlaws LP
Last night, the legendary but reclusive Linda Perhacs wowed McCabe’s guitar shop in Santa Monica with her ethereal songs. Sadly, I was not able to attend, but I was delighted when a series of videos of the show surfaced, courtesy of The New Los Angeles Folk Fest. Here Perhacs performs as part of a gang of five that includes Ramona Gonzales (Nite Jewel), Julia Holter, Aaron Robinson, and Michelle Vidal. Perhacs met Julia Holter at her first performance ever at The Red Cat in Los Angeles. This beautiful live rendition of “Chimicum Rain” features some airy, enchanted singing, and sensual classical guitar plucking. Whatever rock you have crawled out from under, this music will surely provide you with some aural healing.