Friday, July 20, 2012
Holy Other unveil the title track off their debut LP, "Held". The track is scaling and ethereal, effortlessly stretching pop and dance sensibilities to a resonant wooze. The LP is out August 28th on Tri Angle Record. Holy Other will also soon be setting out on tour. And yes, New York, you're welcome. The tour includes an appearance September 14th at Hammerstein Ballroom.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
DeadMau5 takes a razor to Reznor and Nine Inch Nail's' "Survivalism". The result is harsh, sexy, and something that would make even the ornery David Fincher smile a cracked clown grin. You might stick this Nine Inch Nails through each one of your eyelids. It's just a little something something. It ain't a revival, just some shit for your survival.
Major Lazer takes on Hot Chip's "Look At Where We Are". The track has an understated beginning, but soon we're back to manic progressions of Lazer. Gone are the reggae vibes, though. Instead we get an instrumental that leans toward an industrial, grimy but still gleaned direction. Nothing to inspire a switch up like taking on a indelible cut from electronic legends never afraid to experiment themselves.
Angels is the lead single from The XX's highly-anticipated sophomore effort Coexist (due in September). The track opens with Romy Madley Croft's vocals and the echoey, atmospheric guitar they featured heavily on their debut. They're joined later by a soft, rippling snare and a little sleepy basswork, but the song is pretty much the guitar and her voice alone for three minutes. It's unusually sparse and understated for a lead single, but the songwriting is slick and immediate (like all their stuff) and the resignation with which Croft sings the refrain -- being as in love with you as I am -- has a way of sticking with you.
From New York producer Chris Malinchak comes the insanely fun and addictive Beside Me. With bright synths, tropical percussion, and a sample of Brandy's vocals from Best Friend riding over top, the song is a deliriously joyful celebration of all the pleasures of havin' buds. (Note: Brandy sounds like young Michael Jackson when her voice is sped up and it's kind of awesome.) Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happy sounds like.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Best Coast brought their signature brand of dreamy surf pop to Union Sqaure in Philadelphia Monday night, part of their tour of the other, not-so-bad coast.
The show opened with Brooklyn indie rockers DIIV ripping through a brisk set of songs from their debut full length, Oshin. DIIV are kind like Real Estate, if Real Estate had heavier percussion and its members were more into headbanging (they were originally named Dive, after the Nirvana song, a piece of trivia that makes more sense after you see them live). Their performance was phenomenal. The above description is really the only appropriate one -- they ripped through these tracks. It helped that the band was clearly having a blast: their joy was picked up by the crowd and thrown back at them and picked up and thrown back until the energy level in the room was miles higher than it'd been before the set. You couldn't ask for much more in an opening act. Keep an eye on these guys; this was a truly impressive show.
DIIV was followed by acclaimed country/garage rockers Those Darlins. Sounding like a twangy Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the band has an enjoyable gimmick and all play their roles well. Their set was tight and very well-received.
Then, at last, Best Coast took the stage, everything got jangly and wistful for a while, and the crowd remained transfixed for more or less the entire time. Best Coast's music really shines in concert. It's not just that the band members are skilled at their instruments or engaged with their performing (though they are). It's more simple than that. The technical flawlessness of the the band's music on record can interfere with its charms a little, and push it too far in the direction of "She and Him"-type preciousness. The music is more affecting in a less controlled setting, the feelings behind the words conveyed with more immediacy and power.
Also, it should be mentioned, it is a little difficult to stand in the crowd and stare at lead singer Bethany Cosentino for an hour and a half and not fall a tiny bit in love with her. It probably helped that she stood in the center of an otherwise dark stage bathed in radiant light wearing a white dress. And that she seemed pretty often to be singing about her longing for a boyfriend. As for the other three band members, though they remained partially obscured in blue shadows most of the set, each provided more than capable support to their frontwoman -- particularly lead guitarist and co-founder, Bobb Bruno. Despite the mellow nature of most of the band's material, the epically-potbellied Bruno can and will shred when called upon, as he did towards the end of a lively rendition of "When I'm With You" during the encore.
After a brief stop in Canada, Best Coast will close out July with a short tour of the Midwest. Check out the dates and locations here: www.bestcoast.us/tour-dates
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The Presets get the Green Velvet treatment in a remix of "Youth in Trouble". The remix is the kind of blistering knee knocking mix that, if someone was watching you dance to he rhythm of this one, they'd think you were into 4 really intense simultaneous games of Bop-It. It hits every corner and crevice, celebrating the original and offering up a tribute as only a good remix does. You'll be a velveteen rocking rapid rabbit. "Youth in Trouble" is the first single off the Presets upcoming album "Pacfica".
Monitor 66 describe their music as "sunset inspired," which might help explain why "Deep in the Nite" so strongly calls to mind the experience of driving along a beach in the early evening. With its smooth vocals and sax flourishes, the song could almost pass for an early 90s R&B single. And with a recording as joyful as this, you'll be tempted to throw on some zubaz pants and party right along with them.
Die Antwood's "Fok Julie Naaiers" opens with ominous, horror movie synth. The music builds suddenly and then cuts out, at which point the floor is handed over to the one and only Yo-Landi Vi$$er. Mis Vi$$er proceeds to rap Afrikaans in her uniquely high pitched style over one of the dirtier beats you'll hear today, trading off for brief interludes with co-lead Ninja. Nero's bootleg dispenses with most of Ninja's original verses and juices the song with more throb and stomp, two tweaks that work together in total agreement. Worth noting: between Vi$$er's foreign tongue and Ninja's heavy accent, basically the only intelligible words here are expletives, which, given the bratty vibe of the track, seems fitting Use this as your soundtrack the next time you deface public property.
Talking Heads staple, "Burning Down the House".David Bryne's inimitable groove is in good hands with Virgin Magnetic Materials. The nu disco instrumental is complimented by a Super Mario sounding little effect, and the overall vibe of the beat recalls a environment perfect for little men dancing in 5XXL beige suits. Talking Heads' sound is already so layered and rich with influence, how can a remix be so vividly reimagined? It stopped making sense a while ago.
Min Systa Syn -- My Last Sight in English is the lead single off Taiga, the new EP by Swedish electro pop group Storbritannien. The track opens with lead singer Camilla Walloe's sultry vocals over sparse keyboard accompaniment. The beat comes alive and kicks up some dust during the chorus, at which point Walloe switches gears and begins to sing solely in eerie oohs and ahs. The result is very cool, a little unsettling, and highly listenable. If you've never had a woman coo at you in Swedish, now's your chance.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Capcom remixes Splash the band's "Ever Before". The track is a mid 's inspired synth slick groove, coupled with contemporary scratches and paranoia. It's little surprise that Capcom is a psychologist. He knows how to decipher inner workings, how to read and react. "Ever Before" is fluid and informed, and confident in its execution.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Purity Ring release the video for "Fineshrine". The track is off their hotly anticipated upcoming album "Shrines", out July 24th. The video is what we love from the group: Conceptual, entertaining,and altogether a high visual rococo that matches the auditory electro flashes of "Fineshrines". And for our New York readers, we've got some news just for you. Purity Ring will be playing at Le Passion Rouge on July 24th.
Justice give us their official video treatment for "New Lands". If you love the commercials the group did with Nike, you'll flip for these aesthetic athletics in the video. The video envisions a new sport that combines the best of football, lacrosse, hockey, baseball, and more. If this sport does not become reality and the sport to swallow all other sports, we will be crushed. Bye bye, Baseketball----the future is here, and it scowls in style.
Summers in New York might get a little more exciting for concertgoers this year. The inaugural Catalpa Festival will take place on Randall’s Island over the July 28th-29th weekend, and damn -- it’s poised to make a nice first impression. Take a look at this lineup: Along with numerous other artists, the festival will feature performances by The Black Keys, TV on the Radio, Girl Talk, Matt and Kim, Cold War Kids, A$AP Rocky, Matisyahu, and, oh right -- Snoop Dogg (performing Doggy Style in its entirety on Sunday.)
In addition to these acts, attractions will include a series of art installations, a silent disco tent, a High Times-sponsored reggae stage, and a giant inflatable church (officially called Frisky’s Church of Sham Marriages though it will be equipped to host legitimate weddings as well -- yes, you can get married at this thing if you want). The festival will also serve as the North American debut of The Afterburner, an enormous structure made of military scrap which, according to the festival’s website, “shoots giant 30ft flame balls from its peak and contains DJs playing from within.” They have a picture of the AB next to that description, and we have to say, it might be worth going to the festival solely to lay eyes on this thing. It looks like a malfunctioning robot spider, and we are genuinely frightened of it.
Single day GA tickets go for $100; a weekend pass is $180. As for transportation to the island, there are a variety of options at one's disposal. You can take a ferry ($20 for one day/$35 for both) or a shuttle bus ($12/$20), you can drive (parking passes are $30/$50), or you can simply walk, using the RFK or the footbridge at 103rd St.
All in all it looks to be a pretty solid way to spend a weekend, and who knows -- this could very well be the start of a new summer tradition. For more information on the festival, check out the official website here: www.catalpanyc.com
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Twin Shadow releases a video for the second single off the Confess LP, 'Patient'. Confess has been garnering crazy praise recently, and it's a particular pleasure to see how such an enlivened album seeks to visualize of its strongest tracks. The video picks up where the visuals from the 'Five Seconds' video (previously covered on Scotch & Murder) left off . Whereas the first video focuses on the friendship between the two motorcycle bad asses, the video for 'Patient' introduces a third: A woman---a siren, or, as some people suggest, (and you can debate the level of bad ass in this one) a Ke$ha look-alike. The video would seem to imply a stability that the first video did not, but, alas, at the end we are on the road once again, going who knows where, but others have been added, and others lost.
Tame Impala give us the feverish 'Apocalypse Dreams'. The track is off their upcoming album, Lonerism, expected sometime in October. The 'Apocalypse Dream' vibe is fully in the psych-rock corner, and its freckled with spaced out optimism and a touch of doo-wop-lite instrumentation that paints the corners. The song clocks in at just under 6 minutes, but you'll want to stay around for all of it: It's spaced out, but always full. Check out the widget to get a listen to 'Apocalypse Dreams', and get the low-down on their upcoming tour.
From Los Angeles' Goldroom (the alias of former Nightwaves member Josh Legg) comes this remix of Shelby Grey's Wild Youth. The warm exuberance of SG's version is replaced here with big glossy synths, and the endlessly repeated " jump, jump" exhortation -- so innocent and joyful the original -- sounds vaguely sinister in this context. The vibe on this mix tows the line between swanky and sleazy (a quality my brother likes to call "Swayze") – overall, GR’s version sounds kind of the way a Malibu penthouse looks.
Highly-regarded Chilean producer Barretso is behind one of the three remixes of the song "White Smoke" featured on RoeVy's newest EP Black Smoke/White Smoke. Barretso's take softens the grimy industrial quality of the original mix, but maintains the track's big and powerful body. He also jacks up the backbeat, which with headphones on starts to feel and sound like your own slightly sped-up heartbeat. The effect is energizing, and overall, the song's "eternal youth" refrain seems a little more at home in this version.
London indie rockers Bloc Party are back this August with Four, their first full-length release since 2008's Intimacy. With its angular guitars and insistent percussion, the lead single from the album, "Octopus" traffics in mostly familiar territory for the four-piece. Still, there are some surprises here: the usually full-throated Kele Okereke provides a spooky and airy lead during the song's verses (before letting it rip during the chorus), and the static-y, slowly winding guitar solo (around the 2:10 mark) is a nice and unexpected touch.The overall product is unmistakably Bloc Party though, which is to say: it's catchy and danceable and sounds a little pissed off.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Straight outta Toronto comes Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, the latest release from Calamity Jane's PilotPreist. Combining the artist's two passions -- in addition to his music, Pilotpriest also produces videos for MTV -- the album draws on and updates the sounds of 80's film scores (among other influences) to create a unique and extremely listenable set of instrumentals. (Soundtracks seem to be a comfort zone for Pilotpriest -- he first gained serious recognition in 2010 when one of his songs was "leaked" and misidentified as a track from Daft Punk's score for Tron.) At 25 tracks long, OMPS runs nearly two hours, covering a wide variety of moods and textures along the way. Listen to "Risky Business" (in a nod to the obvious influence of their soundtracks, all of the songs from the album share their titles with 80's films) here:
Like apparently everything the mysterious Gesaffelstein releases, his new EP is a dark, challenging, and thoroughly exciting listen. To be sure, there is little optimism in either of Rise of Depravity's two tracks: from the relentless propulsion of "Depravity" through the heavy stomp of "Belgium," the EP sounds as discouraged by the state of world affairs as its title suggests. Still, all of the music here is hypnotic, cool, and surprisingly thought-provoking. Gesaffelstein will be performing at Electric Zoo in September -- make sure to do your homework and give him a listen before then. Listen to his characteristically ominous remix of Zombie Zombie's "Rocket Number 9" here:
There is a distinctly 80's character to "Devil's Touch," the latest single from English electronic duo Autokratz: it sounds kind of like a remix of something off Violator at points, and when the chorus hits you'll swear Roland Orzabal took over vocal duties for a second. The song cruises along in a mostly unassuming way until the two minute mark, at which point the beat drops out, returns, speeds, builds itself up again -- and then erupts. Dark, vibrant and sexy, this one will have some of you fist pumping in your own living room.
Monday, July 9, 2012
RUFUS remixes Citizens' 'Caroline'. It's of course an accident that the two acts (and the song being remix) lends itself so well to alliterative effect, but, sonic wise, the easy rhythm is no coincidence. RUFUS remix of 'Caroline' is wonderfully weird, and lovingly executed weird. It's weird with a purpose. The prime backbeat has the electric sound effect you'd expect a bouncing Brickles ball stuck in the corners of an 80's computer to have, and the hook is a plea to, please, stop making sense.
SIMØNE gives us a voice remix of Diamond Eyes' 'Beverly Hills'. The result is a synth-wave piece of gold. Choral effects are often used in tracks--to scare, to comfort--but SIMØNE's 'Beverly Hills' has one of the best all-around interpolations of vocals we've heard.The vocals hear switch between the Ian Curtis- like lamenting of the dominant vocalist, to the carefully chosen choir breakouts. This is the cool eeeliness you get when you travel down the esophagus.
Le Youth releases 'Memories'. 'Memories' is a confident summer dance record. It's at once at home at in a sweltering cabana-inspired nightclubs and it's as cool as an indoor ski resort. This duplicity is largely achieved by the excellent pairing of vocal and beat, or the harmonious incongruity. The vocalists crystalline, cold vocals slide right over the tropically inspired beat with ease.Thanks for the memories.
Friday, July 6, 2012
We've got another cut from Virgin Magnetic Material. This time it's an extended series of cuts, a mix tape: Mix Tape # 20. The mix tape mainly focuses on supreme cuts in the Nu Disco genre. If you need a little hint as to how funky and freak it gets, the opening cut is a nu disco remix of king of the disco terrestrials, David Bowie, and his classic track "Space Oddity". It gets odder from there. The mix tape is available for a free download until the end of the week at the thenumber20.com.
If you've got the gall to re-imagine Billy Idol's "White Wedding", you better back the boldness up with sonic quality---and Virgin Magnetic Material does just that. This remix finds "White Wedding" being slowed down, but the intensity is still there. Stronger percussion, more seductive grooves and pockets. It's said that you mellow with age, and this intricate, intimate remix is perfect for that dictum. Even Billy Idol must grow old, but that doesn't mean the cool can't still burn.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
The Presets release an official video for their single "Youth in Trouble". The video is a tehnicolor trip. Against the engine fuel electronics, the visual style of the video looks at once inspired by the mania of Ryan Trecartin and the sweetness of Paul Klee. Maybe the kids are all right, after all. The Presets new album 'Pacifica' is out September 14th on Modular.
Dead Can Dance return with the appropriately titled "Anastasis" album (out August), their first release since 1996. 'Anastasis" is Greek for resurrection, and lead single 'Amnesia' proves DCD has returned. The track is an updated, splendid mix of the new classical, folk, and gothic that DCD are so known for. Check it out below. Don't be late in jumping into the river Lethe.
Friday, June 29, 2012
"Here comes Isaac Tichauer to teach you: nobody's going to do it better than us", reads the page promoting the latest track, "Doing What I Got". In terms of tropic electro (tropolectro, if you will), few people actually do it better than Isaac Tichauer. "Doing What I Got" is a prime example. Isaac Tichauer is a master of interpolating vocals (in this case, vocals from "Sitting On Top of the World") in a genre that often shuns vocals altogether or buries them under the tropics. The track is a perfect soundtrack for the blurred, shot through with bright colors end of June days that lead us into the 4th. Of all the statements, perhaps the last one is the most tantalizing: "Isaac has prepared a massive debut which we will debut this July".
'Techno Trap' is what Brodinski's furious remix of Detroit rapper Danny Brown's "Die Like A Rockstar". Danny Brown is far from a trap rapper, but when you consider the theme of "Die Like A Rockstar", it makes sense. The song is all about similarities to famous people trapped to drugs, and their rapid downfalls. Brodinski, of course, brings the techno part. Danny Brown's elastic voice, the voice with the the panic and of a man with cardiomyopathy jumping on a trampoline-is preserved and set over a beat far more fast paced than the original. Perhaps the coolest part is the subtle ambulance effects laced throughout the track, as if it is only a matter of time before it catches up to the beat (and, by effect, Brown). Gesundheit.
In case you weren't expecting the artist known as Taragana Pyjarama to put out an exhilaratingly left-of-center track, the artist is here to alert you. "All Those Weird Things" is from Taragana Pyjarama's Tipped Bowls LP. It's easy to see why the cut is worthy of the esteemed Kompakt label it was released on: It's challenging, and slyly quicksilver in the all the right places. The high point is around 2:17 in, when a flurry of what sounds like a mix of bubbles and the sound ones foot makes when stepping in hard snow combine with a circling electronic effect to create one of the most minimally ecstatic music we've heard in a while. 'Fairy tale with a baseline', indeed.
Jensen Sportag lets us in on "Gentle Man". The one word that keeps coming up when we check out what everyone is saying about this is: soul.The track is almost a refreshingly straightforward soul. It's not the disaffected, borderline chopped-and-screwed sound that rules most of electro-soul records. Falsetto and light, softly layered drums are the model here."Gentle Man" is boldly vulnerable.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Whoo! SIMØNE remixes Future Feelings' "Drive", and the excellent track comes complete with 100 free downloads."Drive" is decidedly more "Cruisin' USA" than "Need For Speed". Meaning, it's lighter, more fun, and brighter. Wrapped in layers of synth-funk, the "Drive" remix is fit for a futurist Ferarri or a diamond in the back Cadillac.
Sebastien Tellier releases an official video for "Russian Attractions". There is little doubt this video is official, because it has the sheen and bombast that only comes with major label (and cash) direction. In the comments for the video, two names were brought up: James Bond, and the Great Gatsby. They're fitting comparisons. The video follows a set of swimmers, synchronized and alone, but always in some kind of hypnotic rhythm. The underwater shots are particularly gorgeous--shot through with purple and blue, not totally mermaid, and not quite human.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Com Truise releases 'Open', a techno, technicolor slow burner. 'Open' is punctuated by what sound like elastic drums and even more elastic synths. Midway through, a voice that sounds like the seductress that HAL 9000 never had breaks through for testing. Testing for what, we don't know, but we like the sound of it. After that, things get weird.
Today is the day of The Bloody Beetroots release of the newest single, "Rocksteady". The single is the follow up to massive hit "Church of Noise", and "Rocksteady" finds The Bloody Beetroots forsaking the church for the garage. "Rocksteady" is ten-fingered, full fisted garage electro, and you won't have to wait long for what promises to be an equally exhilarating music video. The video, directed by Wyatt Newman, is set to be released June 28th. Here's one choice quote about the shoot: "Girls, Shotguns, 70's muscle cars, Dust....Nice!" Not enough Bloody Beetroots news for you? We've got more. Bloody Beetroots is currently on tour, and will be making a highly anticipated appearance at Electric Zoo.
The Presets announce a very speak deluxe edition of their album Pacifica. Only 1,500 copies will be available worldwide. Your deluxe edition comes with a lenticular cover and a 12" case---and three audio formats: CD, Vinyl, and MP3. And you've haven't even looked inside yet. Inside you'll find extensive artwork and a limited edition lithograph, which is numbers and signed by the band. Pre-order here.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Check out the 24th in The Magician's Magic Tape series. And be sure to check this out. We've got good news and bad news: First, let's get the bad news out of the way. There will be no Magic Tape in July and August. All the more reason to embrace the good news: Magic Tape 24 is killer, and a long-burning one at that. It's all the energy and electricity you'd expect from a man who'll be taking the summer off and knows, if he can't make the party, he'll provide the soundtrack to the endless summer.