Begins and ends with duets. Everyone needs somebody, everybody needs someone. I recently moved from Texas to New York City. Traveling songs and field recordings from tour and other in-betweens. Songs I have been arrested to. Some for years, some for months and some for weeks. Sounds that for a moment make me free.
photo of hayden dunham by leuh meltzer
j.cash and a.carter – another man done gone
low altar – scream and shout
low altar – over my dead body
dre skull – i want you
low altar – climax
various recordings of french (l.smith) and vocal warm ups (tennis)
battle bend – heather remind me how this ends
black lipstick – grandma airplane
little gold – lock me up
told slant – sleeping in
h.mowgli and a.geiser – working part
Submitted by Popular Culture
College Park, MD’s Julia Brown isn’t the name of a singular performer, but the new project from Ricky Eat Acid/Teen Suicide mastermind Sam Ray, helped along by band members Alec Simke and John Toohey (as well as a rotating cast of friends). While Ricky Eat Acid was all delicate drones and brittle ambience and Teen Suicide opted for jokey lyrics and blown-out guitar, Julia Brown has a different agenda. Their debut release, To Be Close to You, is a mixture of lo-fi folk and unabashed indiepop that has little in common with the members’ past projects. On the standout track and first single, “Library,” Ray sings about a romantic encounter in the stacks (we think) with a lovern naivete that reminds us of something that would have dropped on K Records in the late ’80s. (If you’ve been aching to break out those old Beat Happening 7″s, “Library” should satisfy your craving.) Be on the lookout for the rest of the EP, though, as tracks like “I’m Falling In Love” and “I Was My Own TV Show the Summer My TV Broke” are equally charming odes to idle days and young loves.
The dudes from Julia Brown are still hunting for a label to release To be Close to You and are currently planning other releases, as well
Written by Nathan Reese
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!
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
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
“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
The Brooklyn popsters at Phone Tag made us a mixtape that dissects the phenomenon of “summer jams,” while delivering season-friendly tunes that are just that:
<3 to you, fellow adherent of the cult of carly.
it’s the summertime and everything is melting into everything else. the mix, a dystopianlook into the most inescapable season, remains sexy and confused like carly. very take it or leave it (but always questioning) without having much of a brain to think with due to aforementioned melting. playing around with emotional contrast and basically showing off some of our favs (without worrying about sticking to a range within a genre, bpm or anything else that would keep us from being able to put a lot of different stuff in here). sometimes all you can say is, “why?”
our single + 4 remixes drops as an EP on July 24th, & the LP is out September 18 (both on Dutty Artz).
There’s a Javelin remix of the single towards the end and a remix of Friends’ “Friend Crush,” as well.
1. Carly Simon- Why? (12″ Mix)
2. Zapp & Rogers- Computer Love
3. Larry Page Orchestra- Erotic Soul
4. Ready For The World- Let Me Love You Down
5. Little Dragon- Looking Glass
6. The Radiators- I Am Sure (Instrumental)
7. Whodini- Five Minutes Of Funk
8. B.W.H.- Stop
9. The Sisters Of Transistors- The Don
10. Chemise- She Can’t Love You
11. Peter Gabriel- Biko
12. Wally Badarou- Mambo
13. Scritti Politti- Absolute (12″ Mix)
14. Jesse Velez- Fire 121
15. The Outrunners- Blazing Speed and Neon Lights With You
16. The Fantastic Aleems (Featuring Leroy Burgess)- Get Down Friday Night
17. Orgue Electronique- The Plot
18. Midnight Star- Midas Touch A Capella/ Bonus Beats
19. Whodini- Control
20. Newcleus- Space Is The Place
21. Tok Tok Vs. Soffie O.- Jean
22. Musiqie- Love Massage
23. Hashim- Al Naadiyash Bonus Beats
24. Friends- Friend Crush (Phone Tag Remix)
25. Phone Tag- Ghosts Behind (Javelin Remix)
26. Ricardo Da Force- Why? (La Di Da Edit)
Submitted by Phone Tag
Perfect equilibrium in kraut electronica, synth pop and delicate harmonious vocals would be an initial description to Helado Negro’s Island Universe Story-One. It’s a monumental EP, with 8 tracks of down-tempo rhythms with stunning musical composition and tender melodies.
Now, Roberto Lange, better known as Helado Negro, has released a new video for “Mamember,” the first track off the EP. Ryan Dickie, director of the video, visually responds to Mamember with captivating imagery and detailed attention. Helado Negro’s enchanting serene vocals pair wonderfully with the mesmerizing display of color and light. The video which exceeds its purpose of visual form to a song, but also serves as an introspective interrogation of individuality. As images cast a visual spell, the spectator is hypnotized by recurrent colors, light and Lange’s on-loop lyric recuérdate dónde estás translating to “remember where you are”. The excessive use of light and thoughtful lyrics; illumination and existence together as centerpiece message throughout the video.
A beautiful reciprocal response between images and music; complementing each other, respectively. Without exaggeration or existential presumption; Helado Negro once again makes evident his musical talent and ability to entice listeners.
You can check out the rest of Island Universe Story One on Bandcamp
Written by Marty Preciado