Archive for June, 2011

Sightings: Space Ghost Purrp, “Fish (Purrped and Chopped part 2)

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Florida’s Space Ghost Purrp makes hip-hop with a Sci-Fi slant. His samples include everything from Mortal Kombat sound effects to the peppy “Hello!” that is often blared from ice cream trucks. In the oh-so-slow “Fish,” Purrp explores a sinister mechanical realm. The slow tempo vocals sound as though they are coming from a long dead dinosaur who was resurrected by a machine. The roars and somber piano tappings give the track a gothic funhouse effect. Like his West Coast contemporaries OFWGKTA, Purrp’s lyrics often deal with the uglier things in life. One of the most memorable lyrical moments is when the speaker warns us against a fisherman who is committing mass rape in a swimming pool. As problematic as this content is, it seems as though it has been beamed down from a sadistic alternate universe.

Words: Samantha Cornwell

Sightings: Purling Hiss, “Voices”

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Philadelphia’s Purling Hiss do snarling guitar rock so well that they almost seem like a concept project about shredding. Infectious as they can be, the song structures on their first two LPs were minimal point of hard rock caricature, and always seemed more of a frame for Mike Polizze’s unchained, stream-of-consciousness guitar acrobatics than focal points in themselves. “Voices” a track from the band’s new six-track EP on Mexican Summer, sees the frontman wielding his axe in more of an ornamental spirit, searing bluesy curlicues above a hulking power chord progression and some lackadaisically delivered lyrics about not wanting to be alone, not wanting to be stoned, and not wanting to go home. Sounds like we’re arriving at the eye of the Purling Hiss storm, and discovering some real songwriting chops.

Purling Hiss, “Voices”

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Words: Emilie Friedlander

Lounge Lizards EP is out now on Mexican Summer

Sightings: Goldendust, “After The Smoke Grew Thick”

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Iowa City duo Goldendust seem to have found a happy home on Night People.  At the end of last year, Rose Quartz brought the band to our attention in spotlighting the label owner’s year-end list. “After The Smoke Grew Thick” is a cut from their upcoming Night People LP, slated for release this summer. We enter a bleak, immersive atmosphere suffocated by thick clouds of smoke. Distant, sorrowful vocals might bring comparisons to ’80s dark wave bands, or even the affectedness of fellow lo-fi experimental pop Midwesterner John Maus.  The contrast between the light, melodic portamento synth of the foreground and the heavy, analog synth beat of the background is well suited to the storyline, which describes a haze of confusion.  It’s the perfect soundtrack for oppressively hot summer nights when the air becomes nearly too thick to bear, yet too enticing to avoid.

Goldendust, “After The Smoke Grew Thick”

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Words: Mary Katherine Youngblood

“After The Smoke Grew Thick” also appears on the label’s recent, freely downloadable Deluxe Double Fold Compilation. Grab Goldendust’s recent Digital Skies cassette from Night People

Sightings: Echo Lake, “Another Day”

Monday, June 27th, 2011

No Pain in Pop just sent over this new single from London five-piece Echo Lake, who first appeared on our radar when Dan Nixon of 20 Jazz Funk Greats made a video for them using Kinect technology. “Another Day” tips the wall of sound vs. popcraft ratio in the latter direction, pushing Linda Jarvis’ vocals to the front of the mix alongside a lead guitar melody that is actually distinguishable. Despite frequent comparisons to the Cocteau Twins, Jarvis’ delicately acrobatic vocal line is more likely to recall the melodic sensibility of The Cranberries (in a good way). As for the shoegaze tag, Thom Hill’s obsessively multi-tracked layers of drone and guitar tremolo feel more like a luminous halo than a curtain. Below, some backstory on the song, straight from Hill himself:

“Well the song is basically about doing the same old shit but trying to break routine and trying to be positive.. about being in a shitty job and weird state of mind and drowning in the boredom of the same old day to day routine. I wanted to write a really catchy pop song but something that still felt kinda sad. This was the second version of the song as the first was too drowned in ideas. This version is stripped down (for us!) and the guitar line was a bitch. Took me so long to mix.”

Echo Lake, “Another Day”

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Words: Emilie Friedlander

“Another Day”/”Breathe Deep” 7″ is out July 18th via No Pain in Pop

Los Angeles Venue Show Cave to Shutter its Doors

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Tonight, Los Angeles bids adieu to Show Cave, one of its most vital and active DIY venues. Founded by Eric Nordhauser and Hazel Hill McCarthy in 2006, and located at 3501 Eagle Rock Boulevard, it was the kind of place locals would pack into on a Friday night to catch musical performances, video art shows hosted by pygmy goats, dance parties, and people in little black wigs doing god knows what. Tonight’s send off features performances by Zones favorites James Ferraro and Matthewdavid, in addition to some ghostly electro from Octavius and a plethora of dark dance sounds from DJ M.E. The reasons for the venue’s closing have not been publicly disclosed, though it certainly represents the end of a gloriously weird era for the Los Angeles scene. Fortunately, according to an announcement posted on the Show Cave tumblr, a reincarnation may be in the works:

“Thanks to all the amazing artists and people that have made this last year at Show Cave so very fun, weird, abstract, obscure, hilarious, dirty, and danceable. Do not shed too many tears…….Show Cave will continue to live in a new location(s) in a future space and time.

Matthewdavid: “Group Tea (Feat. Flying Lotus)”

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James Ferraro: “Cinderella”

Words: Samantha Cornwell

Sightings: Ekoplekz, “Uncanny Riddim” Video

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Ekoplekz: Uncanny Riddim from Jade Boyd on Vimeo.

While video artists utilize high definition for a crisp and clean look, those who work with analog technology often basque in exactly the opposite. Although people often highlight the “warmth” of analog video, what often makes it notable to me is the sense of the sublime– the possibility of some unexpected energy or presence infiltrating your footage. Jade Boyd’s video for Ekoplekz’s “Uncanny Riddim” explores the darker dimensions of this. Through video feedback, we are introduced to several shadowy presences. One is a female figure, who is shot from a high side angle; another is a man whose features are blurred, and the the other is a more ambiguous face that we see in extreme close-up. Although there isn’t much action, there is an overriding sense of something sinister about to occur. Ekoplekz’s repetitive, noise laden dark techno drives this haunting semi-narrative. His trembling synth tones go off like paranormal cries.

Words: Samantha Cornwell

Sightings: Slow Loris, “Madeline”

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Madison, WI’s Wes Doyle–aka Slow Loris–serves up some of the most impressively well crafted bedroom pop from the internet-ether on his new release Routine Glow. Although not terribly far removed sound-wise from last year’s Extra Colors, these songs feel more fully realized and swell with a rare confidence and swagger. Doyle no longer seems interested in dabbling with dizzy, one-off track experiments and instead presents a cohesive long player; equal parts exciting and chill.

Album closer and highlight “Madeline” showcases his full-form vision well. Much like last year’s “We Were Never Alone“, the track saunters through five minutes of introspective, lazy-afternoon walks where you realize everything will be alright. But here Doyle allows a rolling snowball chord progression and simple beat do most of the talking and trades-in slick pentatonics for a fully fledged solo. “Madeline” is a nice, self-actualized bedroom gem, but try not to forget the point. It’s all gonna be OK.

Slow Loris, “Madeline” (Routine Glow, Self-Released)

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Words: Marc Picciolo

Download and stream all of Routine Glow, and pre-order the album on vinyl via Bandcamp.

Sightings: Sadistic Candle, “Last Holiday”

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

If you’ve seen Sun Araw recently, then you have seen and heard Barret Avner, the tall Shahi Baaja player with long blond hair. Sadistic Candle is Barret’s solo adventure. “Last Holiday”, his most recent track, treads on some very proggy ground. After being greeted by a thick wall of feedback, we are pulled further into the mix by some high toned guitar wailing. Imagine Yes filtered through vintage Casio electronics, and you will be on the right track. On his cassette on Sun Ark Records, which was simply titled Sadistic Candle, Barrett explored the aesthetics of the heavy rock giants of the 70s and 80s. “Last Holiday” continues down that path, by making what might be the most short winded prog rock ever.

Sadistic Candle, “Last Holiday”
Last Holiday by Sadistic Candle

Words: Samantha Cornwell

Sadistic Candle’s self titled cassette is available now from Sun Ark

IFEEL Studio: “Morgengruss III”

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Last Fall, 20 Jazz Funk Greats spotlighted “The Coptic Sun,” a horizontally unfolding synthesis of Vangelis-era New Age and Hillage guitar stylings that had been deposited in the blog’s inbox by a mysterious Uruguan entity called International Feel. Turns out that the track was somewhat mislabeled: International Feel is not a band, but an imprint, and “The Coptic Sun” is a missive from IFEEL Studio, a project from label head/producer Mark B, who records out of his studio in Punta Del Este. On July 18th, International Feel will release a follow-up to that early single in IFeel Studio 002, a limited edition, two-track 12″ that Mark has described as Skype collaboration with “Richard Hawley‘s band, a reclusive Mittle European synthesist, and his eccentric and slightly mad, octogenarian lawyer”– whatever that means. A-Side “Morgengruss III,” below, is a chill out room reincarnation of Pop Vuh’s “Morgrengruss II,” which you may remember from Herzog’s 1972 film, Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Pretty much impossible to top the original in the bliss department, but IFEEL Studio’s beats add a shot of conviction.

International Feel: “Morgengruss III”

Words: Emilie Friedlander

IFeel Studio 002 drops July 18th from International Feel, and will be available from Phonica Records, Juno Records, Picadilly Records, and other online stores

Sightings: Waskerley Way, “Wind Shear”

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Saying Mikey B–aka UK’S Waskerley Way–sounds a mess on his new EP, Wind Shear, can only be meant in the most endearing way possible. This nine minute title-track giddily prances around a seemingly endless barrage of disparate sounds held loosely together by a keystone guitar riff and an unrelenting drum beat. The enduring riff-beat combination steadily marches through the length of the song while he piles more and more sonic ingredients on top of the heap. Swirling electronics, thick feedback, and a healthy dose of reverb all collaborate here; coming together in an aural hurricane that rips apart in a climax fit with an otherworldly burst of strings. It may be cliche to call this song a “beautiful mess”, but if the shoe fits, shouldn’t we be wearing it?

Waskerly Way, “Wind Shear”(Wind Shear, Self-Released)

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Words: Marc Picciolo

You can stream/download Wind Shear over at Bandcamp.