Posts Tagged ‘Leaving Records’

Sightings: Julia Holter: “Goddess Eyes”

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Los Angeles’ Julia Holter seems to be singlehandedly leading a return to the kind of erudite and hyper-theatrical electronic music that put Brian Eno, Bruce Haack, and Laurie Anderson on the map, articulating the story of man’s becoming-machine through synthetic washes and vocoded verse. Loosely based around Euripedes’ Hippolytus, her highly anticipated Tragedy LP on Leaving Records approaches pop songwriting with the precision of a microtonal composer and texture with the ear of a noise kid. “Goddess Eyes,” below, is a case in point; essentially a duet between Holter and her electronic self, it unfolds with the pacing of a dramatic aside.

Julia Holter, “Goddess Eyes”

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Words: Emilie Friedlander

Tragedy LP is out August 30th on Leaving Records. Read an interview with Julia Holter on Altered Zones

Sightings: Delofi, “Med Scene #3/ In Search Of The Fantastic” Video

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Sometimes it takes a real sense of purpose, and a lot of thoughtful work, to make something that’s exquisitely chaotic. Los Angeles video artist Miko Revereza knows this, and lives by it. He and I once spoke about the experience of foreign language film, and how reading is a central part of it. In his video for Delofi‘s “Med Scene #3”, he riffs on this idea to the point of abstraction. Delofi’s drugged-out, stuttering beats are accompanied by an unusual collage of text and image. The base video motif comes from a VHS compilation of cultural dances. While this imagery takes center stage at a few moments, the real star of the show is the often indecipherable text. Revereza created this by applying layer after layer of analog title generator graphics. In order to see it to fruition, he must have had to work for several internet years at the speed of light. However this came to be, it is a true work of art that asks us not to categorize it, and just enjoy its beauty.

Words: Samantha Cornwell

Delofi’s tape Leaving is available now from Leaving Records

Sightings: Sun Araw and matthewdavid, “LIVE PHREAXXX”

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Two of LA’s finest sonic explorers, Cameron Stallones (Sun Araw) and matthewdavid, got together to create the exceptional LIVEPHREAXXX tape.  This guitar-free recording sets itself apart from much of Sun Araw’s catalogue, but evokes the ghetto blaster tones of the recent “Last Chants“. Beat master matthewdavid’s live remix gives the 30 minute tape a liquid Sci-Fi aura. The full recording was overseen by illustrious producer Aristocrat P. Child (?), who recounts the session below:

“The legendary invite-only parties at SUN ARK STUDIOS had reached a climax in late summer of 2010; steamy, ambiguous police actions, lenticular object sightings, and spontaneous dance-floor teleportations all  pointed at a sinister portal that would have to be danced through. For the 3am set, MATTHEWDAVID joined SUN ARAW onstage for the moment of germination: SUN ARAW retrieved melodic objects while MD dilated, distended, folded, and flung them through the gateway.  After listening from the control room with eyes closed, I wandered onto the dancefloor: the partygoers had vanished, and the entities that were moving to these grooves were tough to identify, multiplying rapidly in fractal-like patterns and slipping sideways into shadow.  I caught a cab and got out of there.  I have no idea who finished the recording.”


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Words: Samantha Cornwell with Aristocrat P. Child

LIVEPHREAXXX is available this week from Leaving Records. If you’re in Los Angeles on December 17, and want to get lenticular, check out WHERE IS YOUR CHILD? With DJs Sun Araw and M. Geddes Gengras.

Sightings: matthewdavid, “11042010”

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

I’m sometimes confused by songs named after numbers. Though they often reference time (The Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979”) or some geometrical configuration (Manuel Gottsching’s “E2-E4), numerical titles can seem esoteric. When matthewdavid‘s first sent “11042010” my way, the title brought no real image to mind. Although its since been pointed out that the title might refer to the date, my initial thought was that it referenced some unknown data point. However, as the song began to unfold, a fruitful story grew in my mind. “11042010” may be the name of a baby robot in a metal womb on a space station. matthewdavid’s lush, contemplative cyber-jam is the sound of the infant’s heartbeat and mechanical breath via ultrasound. We know the child has plopped out when the song turns to fuzz, then silence. Though matthewdavid might not know of this android child, it’s an enlightened being, much like this epic track.

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matthewdavid just sent over this video for the track. He made it along with Jesselisa Moretti. Although its not an alien ultrasound, it certainly has a pulse.

Words: Samantha Cornwell

Video: Speculator “Pure Ecstasy”

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Speculator- “Pure Ecstasy” Official Music Video from Samantha Cornwell on Vimeo.

Los Angeles’ Speculator, aka Nick Ray, continues to prove his true artistic range. Although I have come to associate his output with upbeat, celebratory rock — often centered around a well-selected sample– sometimes the darker side of his aesthetic makes itself quite vocal. The track “Pure Ecstasy” (a nod to the Austin, Texas band), is the most exquisite example of this that I can think of. When I was presented with the task of making a music video for it, I knew I had to produce something that did justice to its striking mood.

The lyrics to the song feature the words “my baby’s got a gun” over and over. This ominous phrase, along with the New Order-on-codeine vibe of the instrumentation, created an atmosphere of romance and danger. I hoped to bring out this feeling in the video, but I did not want to interpret the lyrics literally. When speaking with Nick about the piece, he revealed to me that for him the song brought to mind an image of a drive down the 110 freeway, shot on VHS. While I shoot the majority of my work on DV, I agreed that analog video technology would be the perfect compliment to the song. Recently I have been trying to avoid found footage in my work, so this meant procuring a camera. After some careful Craigslist sifting, I found a tube camera from 1985 being sold by a man in the city of Tujunga. From what I observed as we drove slowly through the hills, Tujunga is one of those San Fernando Valley cities that takes on an eerie, surreal vibe at night; you see few people out and about, and the ones you do see act as though they are all involved in some unsavory plot. That night drive through Tujunga gave me all the inspiration that I needed for the video.

What you are about to see is shot from the point of view of an urban outsider, perhaps Los Angeles’s equivalent of Travis Bickle. His main fascinations lie in the back-pages of the LA Weekly, although these explorations drive him further away from humanity. As trails of light melt across the screen, he drives further and further into the dark of the night…

yuk., “greenflash(ritual)”

Friday, October 29th, 2010

yuk., aka Chad Valencia, is a Los Angeles-based tape artist affiliated with the My Hollow Drum crew, as well as local web radio non-profit dublab. matthewdavid of Leaving Records recently passed me his A D W A cassette, which is jam-packed with visceral shamanistic beauty. None of yuk.’s music is composed on the computer; in its primal rhythms and lush, distorted ambiance, it exemplifies the “organic electronics” sound of the Leaving Records stable. “greenflash(ritual)”, below, starts out with a slow chant, then picks up the pace with a rhythmic call-and-response between some drum and vocal loops, bowing low to the high art of repetition.

yuk., “greenflash(ritual)”

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