While our kid Casio cools, we have to discuss the monster mountain of material that exists out there in the Wi-Fi courtesy of Zonotope™, Brooklyn based creative Lucas Nathan AKA Jerry Paper has compiled music from four now out-of-print titles recorded between November 2010 and October 2011 in the form of MAINFRAME’S Tetralogy. Right from the start, we enter a sound world of coding and electrodes. This is the world of tomorrow, today. Cyborgs shop alongside humanoids in the land that Nathan paints for our ears. The music is gently sprawling synth chord pulsology, with occasional Scotchgard vocalizing. “I Fell in Love with a Cyborg” is one of the highlights for sure, as it is easy on the ears pop. The tune immediately catches us and makes us stop for a moment and look up from our busy browsing habits. Too many windows open! Anyway, this tune is a delight as it lilts and bounces along. It fits with the overall compilation, but its presence makes the songs around it seem that much better. Take the Zonotope™ ride and be sure to follow the work of Lucas Nathan as it is likely to intrigue… like a less creepy Gary Wilson…
Written by Jeff Daily
Cats love it!
Underground-producers-making-pop-tunes is common place in the current global underground music scene. Sure, to be a pop experimentalist is one thing, and a completely different thing is to be a success story. And in between those two points there’s one gap to mind.
One such success story is that of Bronto’s “All Girls Wear Tupé.” One wouldn’t even imagine to find such pop perfection in such modest statement and yet, so distinctively his own.
“All Girls Wear Tupé” fits well in the post-hypnagogic pop experience as viewed through the eyes of a 3rd world bedroom producer kid. The childish and incomprehensible vocals in the background hide the unspeakable truth about the creator, but the homemade sub-bass seeks to exposes it. What that truth is, I guess is something open to interpretation; each listener must take their own responsibility. The fact is that Brontos uses the pop song structure to convey his emotions is nothing but radical. It’s actually not easy to be confronted face to face with the grandiosity of pop music in such unexpected way. The truth that pop unveils is universal (though personal) and renders you speechless and receptive. This is what this song achieves, to confront you, to reconsider, to reflect on the simple beauty of a simple song.
We all know this world is shit, but songs like this get you closer to paths of a different inner and personal reality, a different kind of peace. Mental peace.
You can hear more from Brontos on SoundCloud
Written by Julio Lorea
Like it or not, much of the music we listen to everyday is, in one way or another, a chronicle of American suburbia and its obtuse reactions to larger pressures. Taken from their upcoming Hawaii Pee EP, Chicago area based three piece Super Minotaur’s “Thug Killings” crystallizes this phenomenon as a thoroughly self-aware mix of dead pan exposition and sensationalist anecdotes of drugs, violence, and machismo slogans. It’s a little bit 60 Minutes and way more rock and roll. The big drum rolls and just-so distorted guitar melodies smack of a mid-90s malaise signal that this track, just like its distant gangster rap cousins, is quintessentially party music and the who gives a shit attitude that motivates the track makes it as fun as it could be overly heavy. So, party on and such.
Hawaii Pee will be available on vinyl from Cold Slice Cassettes in early 2013. In the meantime, look out for Super Minotaur on tour this winter
Written by Luke Carrell
In the middle of international turmoil and political dissent comes a new end of the world dance composition courtesy of Mexico’s Naka Naka. “Vuh” is from an EP titled EP’Ñ’ and according to the musician himself the EP “alludes to the initials of the newly ‘elected’ (imposed) president of Mexico, and was recorded amidst the chaotic election process.” Nearly ten minutes of pounding feet moving beats and mournful synths, we can hear and feel the composer’s angst. “VUH” could be (and is) an electronic music score to a montage of corruption, violence, and uncertainty in the streets & deceit in the upper echelon’s of power. Madness, sheer vulgar throbbing, madness on a dance floor littered with bodies and decimated dreams. We dig the music as much as we wish the times in which it was created didn’t exist. Epic. That’s a word for dance music like this. A fast forwarding buzz with an irresistible beat, “VUH” manages a rare emotional and timely high water mark for international club grooves. Music is the language of the world.
Grab the full CD/DVD release of EP’Ñ’ here
Written by Jeff Daily
Distill synth punk to its base elements and you will end up with a mess that, much like a piece of IKEA furniture, once you attempt to reassemble it, can never function as it once did. Matt Weiner’s solo project TWINS fully embraces the chimeras and pipe dreams that result from this self injury prone process. While his previous work, especially with partner Elise Tippins as Featureless Ghost, often manifests this as obtuse extrapolations of the mensch-maschine-isms that you might find in mid-career Gary Numan, “Hush Hush” parades an intensely human sense of conflict through minimal, post-punk structures.
Taken from his Clan Destine Records issued split LP with OS OVNI, the track grinds through its repetitive groove with zeal. This is Weiner taking his own game to the next level. Tippins and Fanstastic Lands‘ accompanying video provides the crushed-glass-under-your-sneakers grit and sense of decay that the track deserves. You can imagine an army of empty 99¢ Arizona Tea cans blowing down the color saturated avenues of a post-bourgeois landscape, as Weiner vascillates between plaintively crooned, half-whispered directives and an especially noisy brand of ennui that encompasses bursts of massive guitar and synth swells a la John Carpenter.
The Os Ovni/Twins Votex To Void/Graphic Edition LP is now available in a limited edition of 250 from Clan Destine Records
By Luke Carrell
After releasing their punningly-titled EP earlier this year via quality tape label Chill Mega Chill, Blacksburg, Virginia-based duo Outlands are prepping a digital version of the cassette set to drop September 20th. Along with that release, the band has commissioned a series of remixes of “Com Ocean,” which will be available as part of the maxi-single October 8 via their Bandcamp.
One of these reworks is by Dublin producer Darragh Nolan (aka Sacred Animals), who has replaced Outland’s self-described “disco-noir” flourishes with an endlessly recurring synth arpeggio. Without beat-maker Mark Arciaga’s comparatively bright drum kicks and disco-tinged strings, vocalist Melissa Smith’s delivery gains new emotional weight. While “Com Ocean” was already quite dark to begin with, the track could still have found a home in the right club. Not so, here, where suspense hangs thicker than machine-made fog, and an inclination to dance has been replaced by a vague air of danger.
Look for Outlands’ new maxi-single October 8 via their Bandcamp
Written by Nathan Reese
Making nostalgic thoughts a seductive moment in life. Contemplation. Yes, it’s gloomy. Yes, it’s cozy. Exactly a definition of Late Nite Howl’s track Confess glitched by Artax & the Swamp. Down-beat tempo bathed in melodic verses resulting in an eerie yet soothing feeling. Almost as a walk in a dark alley of past memories. A perfect juxtaposition, of beautiful sadness. Utter melancholy which gradually sets a journey into tender emotions.
In a city of contrasting pallets and avant-garde spirit comes the debut of Tijuana’s doom-folk, Late Nite Howl. Based on folk-psychedelia, it delivers introspective sounds and harmonious verses. Confess (Artax & Swamp remix) is an exquisite execution of brilliant composition accompanied with hard driving kick drums, deep bass driven rhythms and ravishing yet gentle synth lines.
The track reflects a drift through entire life of thoughts and past experiences. A self-confessed moment of redemption yet even better a feeling of acceptance and relief. Perfect balance.
Written by Marty Preciado
High on black nail polish and shredded fishnet S&M, the Saturday night club scene is drag for two barely twenty-one year olds (one dude/one dudette) looking for melancholy dance kicks before their last week of summer school ends and their fall semester week begins. Long lines at the woefully stocked bar and a malfunctioning fog machine gummy up the one good Bauhaus dive in town so the couple text a few friends and organize an impromptu house party. Two cheap twelve packs of Lone Star beer and a bottle of tequlia still warm from the trunk of the slightly older dude’s hand me down Corolla arrive at the overpriced (great location tho) bungalow just east of the main nightlife orgy streets. Fifteen glum, but well-loved by their doting parents, kids start awkie talkie in the kitchen and the living room. Someone crate digs the bungalow owner’s vinyl, cassettes and CDs. New Order. Suicide. The Cure and The Smiths (on tape). Early Ministry, Depeche Mode CDs and some pig fuck 7″ obscuro hits the stereo. The kids loosen up, start swaying, shoulders twitch and raven colored bangs start beading with sweat.
Claude, the Corolla driver, (“Claude” isn’t his real name, but that’s what he tells the girls in his studio art classes) removed his leather jacket cause he’s feeling the beat. His tight stripped black and white tee is damp from dance and one hastily downed tequila shot. He tells Jeanne, his plus one, that he’s sick of the D.Mode and wants to hear something new. A friend of his whips out his smartphone and cues up a new streaming tune from a band his Brooklyn brother saw live about a month prior. Dream Affair is their name. “Syndrome” is their jam. Thick as a brick drums introduce the song as slashing guitar harmonics lead the way for a driving, no frills lead riff straight outta the 80s. The song is thumping enough to wake even the passed out lovers sharing a corner recliner. They shake their asses to the guitar and synth lines of Dream Affair. The band’s vocalist must be a time traveler. His post-punk singing is a little on the “been there, done that” side of the scale, but the kids don’t seem to mind. The three and a half minute song is on repeat for 2am party come down. Everyone’s either throwing up or going home or making love half conscious. A good time was had by most.
Aborted State is out September on Nostilevo.
Written by Jeff Daily
“The Lacemakers” short experimental film, is a clever new visual endeavor by Alice Cohen and NY based filmmaker Stephanie Wuertz, featuring a new version of this instrumental track, created especially for the film.
The video was shot on high contrast black and white 16mm film and includes animated lace optically printed and superimposed on footage of Alice Cohen, who channels a mystifying silent movie star persona and spiders: the proto lacemakers. The imagery is smoothly threaded between coarse silhouettes and fine detailing, alternately hiding and revealing & then there’s Alice Cohen’s glistening eyes. This artful composite complements and is complemented by the alluring, far-east tinted synth loops.
“The Lacemakers” was first released on Daniel Lopatin’s 2010 compilation “Radio Scenic Glow Volume One.” A new version appeared in a new version on the “Pink Keys” LP released via Olde English Spelling Bee and Crinoline Records
Written by Coco Zoabi
In the month that Bikini Kill announced the formation of a record label to celebrate their 25th anniversary, it’s difficult to to keep the status of “women in rock” without keeping those trail-blazers top of mind. Of course, the point is that we shouldn’t have to think about “women in rock” at all: we should be past the point of overly genderizing music. Foreign Mothers, an Austin, TX based, all lady three piece, simultaneously prove that yes, it shouldn’t matter, but also that there’s power in owning your gender identity, identities, or lack thereof in your own art. Fact is, their debut album Duh (Threadpull Records) couldn’t have been made by a bunch of blokes and/or dudes and be what it is, but this album is never about “rocking as hard as the boys.” It’s about rocking exactly how they want to. FoMo pack plenty of punch into their compact songs and “I’m Sorry If I Just Blew Your Mind, But Please Clean Up The Mess” has a stirring immediacy in the stabbing guitar slashes and anthemic bassline. The band’s sense of space ultimately wins out over the aggressive delivery, with the push and pull of the rhythm section and the paranoid vocals recalling what a post-punk Sleater Kinney would sound like covering “Warhead” by UK Subs.
Written by Michael Kasparis