Wednesday, February 24, 2010
UP#07 Untold at Unsound 2009 by unsound
While I am rather sad that I could not actually be in Krakow, Poland for this delightful Unsound Festival, I am also rather lucky that the set from UK electronic producer Untold was recorded through a live feed and then distributed to the masses on www.dubstepforum.com. It's got all the goods and is a good representation of the continuing flurry of creative forces in the UK and elsewhere in dubstep, techno, and everything in between. He keeps it fresh and interesting, wobble free, and forward thinking.
It starts out with a ton of energy, horns blazing, party anthems flying, and then around the 15 minute mark pivots to a long stretch of dark and moody stuff. the transition point is a remix of lil wayne's 'a milli'. i know what you might be thinking, and i agree. 'a milli' is a tired, tired song that needs to be put to rest. but i'm not lying when i say that this particular remix is totally worth listening to, largely due to the fact that the repeating "a milli" hook isn't used anywhere within it. the beginning of the set is completely off the hook, and then goes off the deep end after this remix.
Untold's tracks make appearances throughout and his tracks have a super funky style that the rest of the mix reflects well. it's funky in a weird way. weird yet solid banging rhythms, start and stop melodies, all kinds of craziness. to sum it up: it's pretty heavy, but still fun. overall it's a pretty special style and there are some truly stand-out tracks consistently throughout. this is the cutting edge of uk electronic music.
***super-dope highlights: 19:00, 26:30, 30:00, 34:00!!, 41:45-43:50, 57:15
the tracklist was compiled pretty well by a few dedicated peeps that are tuned into the scene, but unfortunately still has a few missing pieces. i'll try to find a complete list soon.
01)Untold - ?
02)Untold - Stop What You're Doing
03)dj c? - 'jump up and bounce' (3:35)
04)RedLight - Wind Up Your Body Gal(5:20)
05)? - ? (7:05)
06)Shortstuff & Hyetal - Don't Sleep
07)Redlight - Pick Up The Phone
08)Untold - Anaconda (13:55)
09)Lil' Wayne - A millie (Harmonimix remix) (16:00)
10)Untold - You Didn't Win the Holiday (18:00)
11)TRG - Strobe Lick (20:35)
12)Joy Orbison - J. Doe (22:35)
13)Pangaea - Router (25:45)
14)Untold & D Franklin - Beacon (28:15)
15)Blawan - Fram (30:13)
16)The xx - Islands (Untold remix) (31:30)
17)bad memory (34:00)
18)Untold - Gonna Work Out Fine (37:00)
19)Untold - Bad Girls (39:15)
20)L-Vis 1990 - Hide (40:30)
21)? - ? (42:30)
22)bad memory (44:15)
23)Untold - Never Went Away (45:45)
24)TRG - Siberian Poker (47:50)
25)Mount Kimbie - Sketch on Glass (49:00)
26)Ramadanman - Bleeper (51:15)
27)Untold - Don't Know. Don't Care. (54:00)
28)Brackles - Rawkus (57:10)
29)James Blake - Air & Lack Thereof (58:45)
30)Untold - Stop What You're Doing (James Blake remix) (60:55)
Friday, February 19, 2010
"Are you going to Scarborough Fair?"
I have to admit I was a little skeptical about this news. This "Marissa Nadler" character doesn't SOUND like she would be a very grim or frost-bitten musician, but I had never heard her before, so I decided to check her out and determine how metal she is.
....So, not really evil in the least. But not bad either, kinda nice dark folk. And who can blame lonely Xasthur for wanting to work with the pretty girl? Still, it seems like an unlikely pairing. Fortunately, through the use of technology, I have been able to predict with 99.666% accuracy what this collaboration will sound like:Say, that's pretty evil, actually! On his blog, Xasthur describes Nadler as "Ambient Atmospheric Shoe Gaze Acid-Folk", and then hilariously tries to claim "I’m not very concerned with labeling genres". Yeah right dude, then why did you just make up a totally complicated genre name? And that brings us to what is by far the most interesting aspect of all of this: Xasthur has a BLOG. There is nothing funnier than trying to be evil while simultaneously being hosted by blogspot. His black and purple design is pretty good, though. I love his profile pic and that his occupation is listed as "Lounge Act". Want to know what Xasthur's interests are?
"Winter, Rivers, Snow, Rain, Tree, Cold, Silence, Nowhere, Hate, Emptiness..., Destroying music"
Awwww thanks for sharing with us! But don't expect that Xasthur will follow you on Twitter! "I do not (and will not) use myspace, facebook, twitter or anything like that. This is it!". Right, because facebook is NOT METAL (but blogger is). Doesn't this guy know that most evil and kult hosting services are angelfire and geocities (RIP)? But I'm glad he's got a blog, because I've been pronouncing his name wrong all this time:
"After all these years I thought I'd give the proper pronunciation of Xasthur, at least in my world. There are a couple different ways:
* Zas-ter (rhyming with disaster)
* Zas-toor or Zas-tour * The H is silent in both"
* Zas-ter (rhyming with disaster)
* Zas-toor or Zas-tour * The H is silent in both"
So like, you could say "your attempt maintain your evil image while blogging is a total disxasthur". Ayyyyyyoooooooooo
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
listen here (to download, right click this link and select 'save link as')
Autechre are known as legends in the field on electronic music called IDM (intellegent dance music). Their style is paradoxically chaotic and highly structured at the same time. They use odd time signatures, truly out-of-this-world aural textures, and their sound is alternately confrontational and difficult or pleasantly ambient and inspirational. And throughout out the years, it's been reported by various random sources they are influenced by hip hop, which certainly isn't much of a stretch if you just look to the fact that both hip hop and electronic music are all about beat production. The appropriate way to label Autechre as hip hop though would to call it techno-alien-future-hop-on-acid.
Despite the fact that i always assumed that this supposed hip hop influence was overstated, it seems to be confirmed by this recent mix they've compiled. Maybe i just haven't the proper hip hop radar. But nonetheless, here you have it. Hip-hop through the lens of Autechre. Old skool beats with some extra flourishes to add to the atmosphere, melding into some other IDM (Venetian Snares), a dash of randomness, and a metal track. I'm all for taking hip hop into new territories, often secretly wishing that a genre would emerge called prog-hop. And to my delight, they've come close to accomplishing that here. It's a testament to their reputation that i'm never truly suprised to hear something incredibly interesting from these two Brits.
(p.s. new Autechre LP, "Oversteps" in march. schweet...)
1. [00:00] Mark Stewart & Maffia - Blessed Are Those Who Struggle [On-U Sound, 1983]
2. [03:25] Sensational - Thick Marker [WordSound, 1997]
3. [05:03] Phat Kat - Cock Suckers [Sequence Records, 2002]
4. [06:45] Scorn - Black Belt [Hymen Records, 2002]
5. [07:30] Tangerine Dream - Exit [Virgin, 1981]
6. [10:28] Roedelius - Übern Fluss
7. [12:15] Sonic Sum - Negatives [Tri-Eight Music Supplies, 2004]
8. [13:40] Raekwon - Broken Safety [Ice H2O Records, 2009]
9. [16:09] Q-Tip & Free Murder - Just A Lil Dude "Who Dat Ovah There" [Koch Records, 2007]
10. [19:32] J Dilla - Won't Do (Instrumental) [BBE, 2006]
11. [23:10] Black Milk - Danger [Music House, 2005]
12. [25:02] Ruby-Lo - Guilty Until Proven Guilty (feat. Thirstin Howl The 3rd) [Skillionaire Enterprises, 2009]
13. [28:04] Black Milk - Sound The Alarm [Fat Beats, 2006]
14. [30:15] Venetian Snares - Molting [Isolate, 2000]
15. [33:13] Venetian Snares - Punishing The Atoms [Isolate, 2000]
16. [38:50] Todd Terry - Made By The Man [Sleeping Bag, 1988]
17. [42:06] Percee P - Throwback Rap Attack [Stones Throw Records, 2006]
18. [45:00] Tuff Crew - Behold The Detonator [Warlock Records, 1989]
19. [47:00] Ultramagnetic MC's - Break North [Next Plateau Records Inc., 1988]
20. [50:00] Strafe - Set It Off [Jus Born Records, 1984]
21. [52:50] Necrophagist - Diminished To Be [Relapse Records, 2004]
22. [56:26] Bernard Parmegiani - Ondes Croisées [INA-GRM, 1984]
23. [58:27] Stephen Mallinder - Pow Wow [Fetish Records, 1981]
25. [62:32] Beat Club - Security (Beats)
26. [65:45] Meat Beat Manifesto - Radio Babylon [Play It Again Sam, 1990]
27. [68:54] New Age Steppers - Radial Drill [On-U Sound, 1981]
28. [71:55] Stephen Mallinder - Cool Down [Fetish Records, 1981]
29. [74:40] Stephen Mallinder - Length Of Time [Fetish Records, 1982]
Monday, February 15, 2010
(16) [Suicide] Ghost Rider by elpretentio2
(04) [I Got You On Tape] Somersault by elpretentio2
This here is one extremely solid rock comp. Released in the middle of last year, it's the first in the Harbour Boat Trips series of compilations by the electronic producer Trentmøller.
It does something that eludes many an artist/DJ when putting together a mix: accomplishing a perfect balance of variety, depth, and consistency. The sounds range from folksy indie rock, to electronic synth rock, to new wave, and even back to some ambient electronic tracks. The artists that contributed all have their own pretty distinct sound which amps up the overall quality tremendously (compared to your average mix) and make it interesting.
As some of you might know, my specialty is electronics. So it's no small feat for a record made up of mostly rock music to impress me. But the real distinction there between this and the average indie-hack production that bores me is that this is music made by what i consider to be real musicians with an actual, well-trained musical ear. All throughout this mix, they demonstrate how to produce strong melodies while also adding rhythm to their arrangements in such a way that gives what would otherwise could have been average songs some weight and drive, making each respective track that much more compelling. The difference is subtle but crucial, and this hits the mark.
Again, the real key here is how well balanced it is while serving up a nice dose of variety. It just 'fits'.
But i digress. Just give it a listen if you're so inclined... It's engaging and easy on the ears. (As it should be)
01. Grouper - Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping
02. Gravenhurst - I Turn My Face To The Forest Floor
03. Emiliana Torrini - Lifesaver
04. I Got You On Tape - Somersault
05. Beach House - Gila
06. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Anenome
07. The Raveonettes - Aly, Walk With Me (Nic Endo Remix)
08. The Hypothetical Prophets - Back To The Burner
09. Suicide - Cheree
10. Muscleheads - Phosphorescence
11. David Garcet - Confidence (New Wave Mix)
12. Rennie Foster - Devil’s Water
13. Caribou - Melody Day (Remix)
14. The Raveonettes/Trentemoller - She’s Lost Control
15. A Place To Bury Strangers - I Know I’ll See You
16. Suicide - Ghost Rider
17. Khan - Fantomes
18. Trentemoller - Vamp (Live Edit)
19. Two Lone Swordsmen - Kamanda’s Response
20. Copenhagen Collective/Soft Cell - Copenhagen
I was lucky enough to pick up this album on cassette at Amoeba on Saturday, and it was easily the find I was most stoked about. A death metal concept album about serial killers? It's so obvious, you know someone had to do it. Lucky for all of us, the band that took that concept and ran with it is Macabre, and they RULE. The three hillbilly-type fellas surrounded by murderers in the paean to "Sgt Pepper" above, these guys from Chicago crafted metal that is not only nasty and ugly and worthy of the subject material, but also pretty funny, too. Each song on "Sinister Slaughter" tells the story of a different killer, and may or may not include: crunchy down-tuned shredding, blast beats, children's sing-song melodies, virtuoso acoustic guitar playing, guttural bellowing AND ridiculously high pitched singing (think Beaker from the Muppets), and in the song above, toy piano playing. If you like "weird" death metal and have a fucked up sense of humor, get this!!!
Friday, February 12, 2010
In 1989, thrash and death metal bands like Atheist, Death and Pestilence were still figuring out how to incorporate jazz rhythms and intense technicality into what would become progressive death metal; in Houston, far from the national hotbeds of thrash and death, Dead Horse recorded an album that was wildly ahead of its time. Although certainly less well known than the aforementioned bands, Horsecore: An Unrelated Story That's Time Consuming demonstrates that (at least, in '89) Dead Horse were every bit their equals. Sure, there is the intense riffing and frantic drumming you'd expect on a thrash album, but this album displays more of an interest in complex songwriting and unusual musical styles than many other thrash albums. The lyrics, too, are interesting, often in a socially conscious vein: on the country-thrashing "Hank", singer Michael Haaga (sounding a bit like a cross between John Darnielle and Steve Albini) sneeringly describes the type of "family man, down right American" he loathes. "Mindless Zombies" decries the children of Nazis. "Bewah" deals with.... wait, I think that song is about beer, actually. Finally, this album is not just technically complex and boldly adventurous in structure, it's also surprisingly well recorded- everything on it sounds crisp and clear. Frankly, nothing has come close to sounding like this album since its release, and if it had come out today, it would still be considered ground-breaking.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
RIYL: Yellow Swans, Wolf Eyes
Holy HELL what is this??? If you, like me, thought that the heavy beats on "Bring the Neon War Home" were the best thing Yellow Swans ever did, if you secretly wish that My Bloody Valentine had gone in the drum n' bass direction in which Kevin Shields was rumored be experimenting... If you like Ben Frost and Wolf Eyes and everything super-fucking-blown out... you probably need this. They got electronic industrial beats in my wall of distortion! They got a wall of distortion in my electronic industrial beats! Together, they taste like MY BRAINS MELTING OUT OF MY ORIFICES. This is what Mega Man's brain sounds like inside a k-hole. You can find almost all of their stuff to download for free at their (RAD-ASS) website.