Monday, October 15, 2012

Keel Her - Riot Grrrl | Track Feature

Keel Her give us a supple and thoroughly charming off-kilter lo-fi pop music. There is enough nostalgic punch to keep any 20 something year old satisfied for a few hours pleasure. Rose Keeler-Schäffeler's soaks her ram shackled songwriting in references of the past with a tongue in cheek mentality that seems to honor and poke fun at all the moments in pop culture which she could seemingly hold dear.

"Riot Grrrl" kicks starts everything here and is Keel Her's first "hi-fi" musical statement. She leaves her comfortable, presumably smokey, bedroom and enters an actual recording studio. The guitars are still jangling away and Keeler-Schäffeler's recognizable melodic hooks are all in place. There is a clarity and accessibility that her own home-recorded output can only hint at. The more professional attitude and recording quality could be a factor of this being one of her most widely available releases to date but also feels like a natural progression the DIY pop songsmith.

For Keel Her's US debut Gnar Tapes go back into Keeler-Schäffeler's demo vaults from the past year or so to dig up some of the best treats that may have gone overlooked. "Steve Holt" is a fine example of what she is capable of committing to tape all on her own. It is falling apart while simultaneously congealing into perfection. Yum...

Keel Her's "Riot Grrrl" 7" will be available this December 3rd by Critical Heights while her self-titled US debut is available now via Gnar Tapes

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chris Cohen - Monad | Video Feature

Even if you are not familiar with his name you have most likely heard the work and playing of Chris Cohen at some point in the past fews years. He has been in the background, both as a live member and active contributor, of countless memorable groups such as Deerhoof, White Magic, The Curtains, Haunted Graffiti, & Cass McCombs to name only a few. It is easy to understand why so many folks seem to gravitate towards him as his own music is a thoughtfully crafted affair that is sip away into. There is nothing abrasive that strikes out at the listener, everything seems to fit right into place, & moreover "Monad" feels like meeting an old dear friend for the first time in years. The song feels is perfect for slipping into the 

Chris Cohen's cohesive and sonic mastery as displayed throughout "Monad" are mirrored in the subtly breathtaking beauty of its visual accompaniment.  The music video directed by Kate Dollenmayer creates a visual cohesion through it's sly reference to Cohen record jacket for Overgrown Path. The abstract and shifting black and white patterns evoke only the album cover and shifting nature in Cohen songwriting. Someone can get sucked into watching this on repeat and may come out it feeling as though they've been to some hypnotist and unloaded all of their emotional baggage without realizing it. A fresh start perhaps...

Chris Cohen's "Monad" is taken from his debut full-length album Overgrown Path available now via Captured Tracks.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

DIVA - Inverted Image | Video Feature

Diva returns with a refined version of the lullaby atmospheric song craft that she has previously presented on The Glitter End. This time Diva Dompé has updated her recording process or something as "Inverted Image" offers a much clearer and dare I say studio sounding version of her work and it suits her well. The subtle and haunting melodies created here all rest upon the bed of a slowly grooving bass line & the small flutter and squelch of synths.

The video does a fantastic job at capturing Diva's fairytale nature. It is presented through a monochromatic lens that creates a sharp vision of a world that could be taken from the dreams of a child. Dompé travels throughout singing and swaying throughout the lullaby groove and shimmering world that has been created around her.

Diva's album Moon Moods is  available now on cassette via Leaving Records and CD & Vinyl via Critical Heights.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Walk Like A Giant | Video Feature

It's a strange thing to begin discussing Neil Young & Crazy Horse's latest offering in the form of the video for "Walk Like A Giant". There are few words or adjectives that feel comfortable using while writing this. These are folks that need no introduction to almost anyone alive in the western world today. These guys are walking legends, influenced others influences, have created lasting records that will continue to grow in their scope for days to come. To top things off is that their new material stands on the same ground as anything from the past. 

The video for "Walk Like A Giant" starts out depicting grainy images of legends of the North American landscape of a real and cryptozoological nature before slipping into some psychedelic kaleidoscopic visions. The video only features a portion of the song's  epic track length but maintains the same punch if in a condensed "5-hour energy" kind of way. It may just be small shot to consume but will keep you going for some time to come. Young and company prove that they are able to pick up whenever they last left off and the searing guitar solos only cement this fact. It is hard not to sit back and bask in the glory this classic group are still able to conjure up. 

Neil Young & Crazy Horse's newest album Psychedelic Pill will be available via Reprise Records this October 30th.

Panache Booking + Last Nights Showcase w/ Gap Dream, MV & EE, Paperhead, & Herbcraft Saturday October 20th 2012

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Last Nights & Panache Booking Present

Gap Dream

Saturday October 20th, 2012
Big Snow
89 Varet St. Brooklyn, NY
Doors 8pm | $7 | All Ages

RSVP on the Facebook Event Page

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Earn - Performance II | Album Feature

This is not a new direction for Matthew Sullivan's Earn. His droning, shimmering, and often cinematic compositions are at the forefront of some new breed of underground ambient music. This is ambient music for the generation that has come after hardcore and noise music have been assimilated rather deeply into musical culture. Sullivan has built a back catalogue of music that is knee deep since adopting the Earn moniker in 2008.

Yet has no been since  Performance II and its predecessor putting him into a prestigious tier of experimental composers by the shear fact through a focus on live recordings. I had the fortunate experience of seeing him perform, a rare treat for the east coast, and was blown away. This process showcases his mastery of live mixing away from the tools of studio control. The ability to control and subtly shift the ambient / noise environment requires attention to minute rhythms and builds of momentum and is what Sullivan excels at. This is some deep listening.

Earn's cassette Performance II is available now via Ekhein.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Slim Twig - Altered Ego | Video Feature

Slim Twig has the flair of a 60's showman without question. Perhaps he was born into the role as fate would have it but that may be a different story altogether. "Altered Ego" taken from Twig's latest album makes its entrance with an energy drum solo before mellowing out into the song natural pace. Anyone that begins a single with a drum solo is definitely making a statement and probably knows how to use an exclamation point. The demented Elvis croon (a compliment in this instance) which comes afterwards ushering in the song's structure breaths over a slinky bassline that etches a deep groove in the listeners eardrum.

The video itself, which was directed by George Fok, presents Twig putting on full rockstar regalia. Set in a strange space reminiscent (or maybe it is! Only those who know know) of an art-gallery making Slim Twig and his creepy companions seems that much more epic in the nonchalant rampage that follows. "Altered Ego" displays the same classic pop sound on mood stabilizers vibe that he's been building up too with his recent work. It is a sound that will stay bouncing around your head long afterwards.

Slim Twig's full length album Sof' Sike is available now via Paper Bar Records.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dawn Fauna - Indian Summer Mosquito Shake | Track Feature

Dawn Fauna is a sweet breeze or descent into bliss. An easy ride through the New England brush by way of Laurel Canyon. The pieces are in place for some prime psychedelic folk-rock here. The group includes Anna Rochinski whose distinct voice and bits of nagging melodies may be familiar to some as being an integral part of like-minded jangle inflected songsmiths Quilt. It is an almost wispy sound akin to a eyes on a long expanse about to be undertaken or face to the breeze attitude.

Dawn Fauna's lone bandcamp track "Indian Summer Mosquito Shake" is an incense infused folk rock gem, which incorporates moments of the genre's great moments of years past and present. The guitars are jangling and some backwards organ moves begin to seep into the mix. The sound may not extend much further than what Rochinski normally attends to in Quilt, along with giving a clue into her role in that group, but why try and fix something that isn't broken?

Dawn Fauna's "Indian Summer Mosquito Shake" is available now via the group's Bandcamp.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Last Nights Presents: Spectre Folk, Images, Scott & Charlene's Wedding, + Gem Trails 10/7/12 @ Big Snow in Brooklyn

Gem Trails

Sunday, October 7th 2012
89 Varet St. Brooklyn, NY 
Doors: 8pm | Tickets $7 | All Ages

Robust Worlds - Best Wishes | Track Feature

Robust Worlds is some mighty fine music to roll on into fall with. The man rambling and jamming his way through this pretty killer set of tunes is Chris Rose. De Stijl Records, who are releasing his debut album Emotional Planet, claims to have first seen him playing barefoot soI believe it is safe to say he probably isn't too stuck up. You may even want to hang out for a hour or so and unwind. Best Wishes may be one of the immediate of the album tracks from start to finish. I shines in its place on Emotional Planet.

"Best Wishes" isn't leaps and bounds any other tracks but is something of the greatest distillation of what Robust Worlds is does. It maintains a subtle blend of emotions that shine even though there is a significant blurriness to the proceedings. It is hard pressed to make a word out of what he's saying most of the time and that could possibly be the greatest flaw as it seems like the words are in place. Regardless that may be an irrelevant point that world at large is generally obscured mixture of he said she saids anyway. This is definitely one to spin a few times and spend some time with before hoping for another to see how Rose builds as a songwriter.

Robust Worlds track Best Wishes is available on the album Emotional Planet via De Stijl Records. Also be sure to check out his tourdates below

9/28 Denver, CO @ Rhinoceropolis w/ Paw Paw
9/29 Albuquerque, NM @ Moldspores w/ Alan George Ledergerber
10/2 Los Angeles, CA @ Human Resources
10/8 Portland, OR @ Howling House  
10/10 Seattle, WA @ Comet Tavern
10/11 Missoilas, MT @ Top Hat w/ Shahs

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Silent Servant - A Path Eternal | Video Feature

Noise is knocking on the doors of techno and techno is just knocking back. There has been a good bit written and discussed recently about musicians operating in the noise and drone underground making forays into a more dance friendly or at least groove oriented music. It is as if suddenly the sounds of minimal techno are have slowly crept into the subculture. As such it is fantastic to see the "crossover" continue with Hospital Productions release of Juan Mendez's Silent Servant. Mendez has been involved with first class techno label which lends an

Silent Servant's ice cold production lends itself well to the darker and more occult side of Hospital Productions material and fan base. The sparse composition of "A Path Eternal" plays out like some subtle and creeping soundtrack to the dystopian film near you, or rather the incantation used to raise the dead.

Silent Servant's album Negative Fascination is available now via Hospital Productions.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Last Nights Presents: Sun Foot & special guests this Wednesday, September 26th @ Death By Audio in Brooklyn, NY

Last Nights Presents:

Sun Foot
Devin Gary & Ross
Volunteers Park
Ice Balloons 

Wednesday September 26th 
Death By Audio
49 S. 2nd St. Brooklyn, NY 
Doors 8pm | Music 8:45pm SHARP | Tickets $7 | All Ages

The Go - Secular Century Man | Track Feature

The Go seem to hold some sacred place on the totem pole of the garage rock totem pole. It's not hard to see why with tracks such as "Secular Century Man" whose attitude can put some swagger in your step. Their music is deceivingly simple dipping into the pools of 60's and 70's rock music that only those from the Paris of the midwest can do. The group have been built a mammoth of an underground rock legacy since releasing their first album in 1998 on Sub Pop and as such have also built up quite the back catalogue of music that never saw the light of day. This is where the ever reputable source for garage rock glory comes in Burger Records to release a 5 cassette box set of unreleased music by The Go spanning the years 1996 - 2007.

"Secular Century Man" shows the group wearing shoes of classic mod forebearer's from the swinging 60's. The track opens with powerful and crunching guitar hook that will lead down the rabbit hole of hard rock-isms to come or have passed. This wouldn't be out of place on an album by The Creation or The Who for that matter. After all The Go don't sound as if they are reliving any particular moments in time rather living in them.

The Go's compilation album Unreleased: 1996-2007 is available now via Burger Records.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Father Finger - Temper | Video Feature

Glamor by way of punk or minimal wave by way of the 21st century bedroom musician may be an apt descriptor for Father Finger. Kylie Lance's (aka Father Finger)  "Temper" is a driving almost retro minimal synthpop tune that takes cues from the darker more occult site of the pool. You are more likely to find elements of Psychic TV's acid house period than anything New Order or say ever did. Just like much of the classics of the genre this is some outsider and punk inspired music. 

The video created by Christine Jones matches the spirit of DIY experimentalism that Lance's music rests upon. There is grainy VHS-like footage that has a bewitching nature to it through constant changes in speed and reversals of the film. The outsider and cold characteristics of "Tempter" is also brought further to life in the footage of modern day alienation. Lance and company travel throughout some tourist infested boardwalk seemingly utterly out of place wearing all black with matching lipstick.   

Father Finger's self-titled debut album is available now via Not Not Fun Records. Also be sure to catch her upcoming tour dates including a large handful with Maria Minerva. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gap Dream - Generator | Track Feature

Sometimes a good tune can travel a long way. The fall is coming on but Gap Dream's "Generator" is keeping me warm. Something of a bubble gum biker tune if you will. The track's guitars never seem to keep still, squirming, and dancing their way to the finish. Think of Gap Dream as an alternative of what would happened if after Spacemen 3 dissolved Sonic Boom felt the calling of the warm west coast breeze and left to go fill his lungs with some medicinal smoke. 

Fulvimar's harmonies smoothly swirl by in a similar manner as like-minded psych-poppers Woods have in recent years. You could peg Gap Dream as part of the never ending mining of 1960's west coast psychedelia and concise almost teeny bopper style pop. The guitar jangle is just right and the organ keeps the textured pulse moving. You can even almost tell that Gap Dream has a photographic memory of each and every melody the Beach Boys ever created. But that would be unkind as this is no revivalist retro one-offs, rather an update on classic motifs. 

Gap Dream's track "Generator" will be available via Suicide Squeeze this September 25th. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Last Nights Presents: Sun Foot, Devin Gary & Ross, Volunteers Park, & Ice Balloons @ Death By Audio 9/26

Last Nights Presents:

Sun Foot
Devin Gary & Ross
Volunteers Park
Ice Balloons 

Wednesday September 26th 
Death By Audio
49 S. 2nd St. Brooklyn, NY 
Doors 8pm | Music 8:45pm SHARP | Tickets $7 | All Ages

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mike Shiflet / Pete Swanson - "Bedside" b/w "College View" | Album Feature

Amish Records returns with another entry into their Required Wreckers Series and just in time for the crisp autumn days ahead of us. Mike Shiflet & Pete Swanson's split LP entry marks the fifth release in the ongoing series that has previously seen releases by Ben Vida, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Ensemble Economique, Gregg Kowalsky with Jozef Van Wissem, & Son of Earth. The series focus on the outer limits of artistic sound creation & each releases elegant packaging design sets it apart in a sea of over ambitious label's setting out to make a mark for themselves.

The split LP begins with Mike Shiflet's "Bedside" a beautiful, almost pastoral, electroacoustic composition. The track showcases a wide spectrum of sound and quality that incorporates multiple different sources a sound creation and processing. This ranges from the lo-fi hiss of distant field recordings to soft and lulling synthetic tones. As a listener I personally always enjoy it when a recording artist is able to seemingly blend together the history of recorded sound and new composition so thoroughly with each other.

Pete Swanson's side continues the rhythmic white noise explorations that he has been exploring for some time now. Screeches and crashes permeate the mix with a general air of chaos that is rendered with an edge of clarity that few "noise" compositions are able to capture. This isn't a sludge fest of blurry brown noise that seems to gobble up all other surrounding sounds like a black hole. There are indeed slight melodic phrases swimming throughout the fluorescent buzz and flickering bits of electronic overload.

Mike Shiflet & Pete Swanson split LP is available now via Amish Records.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

holus-Bolus - The Earth for My Father | Track Feature

Here we are again. Finding ourselves face to face with the history of jazz music in the 21st century. It is an inexhaustible struggle between man & tradition. One half of the party is content to ride the rippling remains of a once great wave while the other is in a constant battle to learn how to destroy it. holus-Bolus is not a jazz group though and if they are then they fit snuggly into the second category previously mentioned. This is some seriously composed music one that requires strong musicians to complete but also falls apart into pure abandon in ways that only jazz-informed musicians really seem to know how.

"The Earth for My Father" is a turbulent affair that eases into its own existence, its own skin if you will. Slowly but surely saxophones and a clarinet begin to spin and swirl in background before the whole compositions itself turns into a tumbling cacophony of chattering woodwinds. It is not before long though that they reach their dizzying peaks and guitars chords and clattering drums precise as can be in their rambling nature. There is a lighthearted nature to the work which suites it well, making for a nice evening listen.

holus-Bolus's album Pine Barren is available now via Prom Night Records.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

White Hills - I Write a Thousand Letters | Video Feature

There are some psychedelic rock bands that are able to so thoroughly overcome the stagnant and repetitive niche that can so easily overcome lesser groups working within the genre. It is something akin to an act of nature or divine inspiration that allows some musicians to move beyond the potential and easily unavoidable pitfalls. After a few years of activity White Hills come equipped with just enough carnal energy and stoic demeanor to catapult them into not only mainstays of the scene but also puts them in league with other current innovators such as Wooden Shjips or Psychic Ills. 

Their video for "I Write a Thousand Letters", taken from the groups most recent full-length Frying On This Rock, does quite a bit to prove how far White Hills have come. The group are shown at the height of stylization bobbing, weaving, & playing guitar solos in slow-motion to the sounds of screaming guitar lines, pounding drum rolls, and the occasional burst of keyboards.  The video directed by Delo Creative is a sublimely epic affair that is able to match the group's menace and sense of mystery. 

White Hills album Frying On This Rock is available now via Thrill Jockey Records

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Spectre Folk - Please Come Home | Video Feature

Over the years Spectre Folk has mutated and matured into one of the finest dare I say "all star" groups in recent memory. Pete Nolan and company, usually ranging from Pete Meehan, Steve Shelley, Aaron Mullen, & Mark Ibold among others inhabit some sacred space left behind from the glory days of classic slacker / stoner rock. The group has become a smoke covered beast compared to it's earlier days as the more hermetic solo venture of Nolan (though it was equally shrouded in a cloud of herbal smoke). 

The video for "Please Come Home", taken from Spectre Folk's latest full-length The Ancient Storm, show the band in their element so to speak. It combines a mixture of live video from the band and shots from the open road. Spectre Folk are in fine form in the recording which tightens up their loose folk-rock aesthetic. I must also note that the video was recorded at one of my favorite DIY venues in Brooklyn, NY Big Snow. It all plays out like some whacked out home movie that fits the vibe perfectly. 

Spectre Folk's album The Ancient Storm is available now via Vampire Blues Records

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Phemale - "A Colonial Fire" | Track Feature

Phemale's "A Colonial Fire" and entire album Root Terror for that matter is at a cross roads somewhere between  classic sci-fi soundtracks of year's past, the industrial thrust of much of underground electronic music of the 1980's, and some kosmiche music thrown in to spice up the pot a bit. There is nothing like the electronic solo artist to really get to the heart of total weirdness. Maybe it is the solitude of solo work that does it, a certain degree of isolation that brings one to the outer limits. But who knows maybe Phemale is a social extrovert party monster at heart.

I mention this because there does seem to be some idea of writing "hits" or at least music that steps beyond the readily inaccessible. "A Colonial Fire" wouldn't be out of place in some apocalyptic film from the 80's. It could be the soundtrack to some lo budget Blade Runner. Where the composer working with what's in front of them produces the haunting ambiance which maybe the flicks only resounding success, even with the tape hiss at maximum capacity.

Phemale's track "A Colonial Fire" is available now on Free Music Archive.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

You'll Never Get To Heaven - It's All Over | Vide Feature

You'll Never Get To Heaven's track "It's All Over" is about as romantic as the first snow fall on a cold winter night. Everything seems to be on it's way out. The daylight quickly evaporates leaving the landscape a bit more barren. This is all possibly funny or daunting think about as the summer is gently beginning to ebb towards the fall. Regardless melancholia knows no boundaries and there are those who can use a little something to slow down these fast times.

"It's All Over" is mesmerizing in it's simplicity, in it's subtlety. The song structurally rests upon a slowly loping looped sample that seems to be primarily made up of a piano or synthesizer. The focus quickly turns to the bedroom soft vocals which shrouded in reverb becomes part of the sonic landscape then offering any direct narrative flow. After a guitar line sweeps into the mix just in just he right manner picking everything up even for just a second the listener nears the ending which fades out into oblivion. You can take reference points such as Shoegaze and what seems to have become a bastard genre title as of late Slowcore (maybe this is for good reason). But these references only go so far before becoming lost in some dark winter night of their own.

You'll Never Get To Heaven's debut full-length will be available for pre-order this September 6th via Divorce Records.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Naomi Punk - Burned Body | Video Feature

Naomi Punk create anthemic music that takes as much . The press release for their most recent album The Feeling cites influences such as The Mortal Coil, Nirvana, & The Wipers which give some clue into where these kids are coming from. Yet it is not as though their regurgitating the past in their refreshing blend of punk with hints of shoegaze and undercurrents of classic gothic rock of days past. They prove to fit perfectly within this new age of punk music that includes the likes of Iceage or even The Men to name a few. 

"Burned Body" demonstrates all of this with fiery passion and immediacy. The stark black and white stop motion video which accompanies the track presents the band in a highly stylized light and consistently obscured by bouquets of flowers or their turned away from the camera as if it would eat their souls. The video created by Robin Stein, Margaret Jones, & Jesse Brown matches the angular beauty of the song and presents some rather gifted filmmakers. If this doesn't command your attention then I'm not sure much contemporary "rock" music will be able to get you going. 
Naomi Punk's "Burned Body" is available now on their sophomore album The Feeling available now via Couple Skate Records

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mighty Challenger - There Is No Other Way | Track Feature

Mighty Challenger bursts out of the opening gates with the melodic almost pop gem "There Is No Other Way." The project of Tom Gluibizzi (who some may know from his current project Hidden Fees or his previous role as a co-founder of Psychic Ills) goes out on his own with a refreshing blend of songwriting that stands out from what many folks these days seem to be up to. It is true that some reference points could be made to music of west africa as well as some classic rock moves of the 70's onwards. At the heart of this music is some fine tuned compositions break from any predefined genre placement.

There is a subtle rhythmic edge to the whole affair found in the Reggae like emphasis on the off beat & some the soft percussive shuffle that keep everything moving. It is possible that one can look at the similar groove oriented music Gluibizzi's other projects have had in the past for some reference points. "There Is No Other Way" is not dance music but it carries the beat well and has the potential to bring a little added bounce to the step of any listener. Mighty Challenger creates an ideal musical mixture that is perfect for the waning summer days.

Mighty Challenger's "There Is No Other Way" is available now on the project's debut 7" directly from the artist.

(Via the fine folks at RCRD LBL)

Monday, August 27, 2012

John Avery - Jessica In The Room Of Lights | Album Feature

I am not usually the biggest fan of albums that are essentially the soundtrack or sound component of a greater performative work.  Generalizations aside John Avery's compositional skill in Jessica In The Room Of Lights extends beyond it's original intent and forms a new life. It could be that the success of Jessica is that even in its original theatrical structure and performance the element of sound and the soundtrack held great importance. One could look towards the actors voices even being conveyed and spoken with through prerecorded tape playbacks. Either way Avery's Jessica In The Room Of Lights succeeds in its mission of creating an overarching narrative for the patient and acute  listener.

There is a foreboding nature at work here. Cryptic samples permeate through with the odd voice throw in manipulated and mutilated to the core. While the atmosphere surrounding all of the more dramatic elements are created with a skittering electronic buzz. The title track "Jessica In The Room Of Lights" is the corner stone of the album. In effect, the track becomes an integral string holding Avery's somewhat foreboding narrative in place. As dark and dramatic as the rest of the album gets the title track goes the polar opposite route. For the first time a repetitive melodic phrase enters the sonic vocabulary created by Avery's opaque and dreamy synth programming. This moment marks a rebirth or realization perhaps as what follows is a much more subdued affair.  "Zero Zero One, Zero One, Zero One" and "The Day Serenity Returned To The Ground" match silence with subtle and slow melodies that feel as though they would crumble upon realizing they being listened upon. While "Almost (1986)" ends with what is close to a piano ballad bringing a theatrical ending to the whole affair.

John Avery's album Jessica In The Room Of Lights is available now via Forced Nostalgia.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Only In My Dream | Video Feature

From underground wild card to indie rock institution Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti has come a long way since first came to the public eye with reissues of albums The Doldrums, Worn Copy, & House Arrest on Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label. Since then it appears like a whirlwind of a life for the unlikely star Ariel Pink has become. Now back with the follow up to 2010's Before Today the album Mature Themes seems to take it's title to heart.  

"Only In My Dreams" proves that Pink and co. still aren't through creating some of the most compelling "Pop music" out there today. The song takes from the spectrum of pure AM radio gold and the abstract jangle classic new wave to new heights. While the music production is considerably more hi-fidelity than earlier efforts the video created by Travis Peterson, who has also made music videos for the likes of Vivian Girls & Nite Jewel among others, harkens back to days of past. Throughout Pink's struggle to find and keep love is perfectly matched by Peterson's somewhat grainy VHS like footage. Let some nostalgic melancholy begin.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti's new album Mature Themes is available now via 4AD.

Last Nights Presents: Drainolith, SSPS, United Waters, & Colour Bük at Death By Audio

Sunday September 9th, 2012 
Death By Audio
49 S. 2nd Street Brooklyn, NY
Doors 8pm | $7 | All Ages

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hobo Sonn - Weeping From Eyes Three, Four and Five | Track Feature

Hobo Sonn's "Weeping from Eyes Three, Four and Five" is a satisfyingly creepy ambient brew. At some indistinct moment repetitive loops, drum rhythms, & electronic pulses begin to become ritualistic in their effect. The side turns into something of a key, summoning the beyond,  almost resembling a shaman's magic. But what else is the general listening public going to expect when seeing that this is one half of a split LP with the incredibly prolific Decimus (Pat Murano of No Neck Blues Band etc).

Throughout "Weeping from Eyes Three, Four and Five" Ian Murphy carefully mixes samples taken from the entire spectrum of . The slow churn of the tide & backward voices reciting incantations sit alongside subtle washes of synths and some overarching atmospheric murk. This is perfect for the next Ouija board party you have.

Hobo Sonn's track "Weeping From Eyes Three, Four and Five" is available now on a split LP with Decimus on Kellipah Records.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Black Pus - Pus Mortem | Album Feature

Brian Chippendale returns with Pus Mortem his latest album as Black Pus. The noise artist / drummer extraordinaire has been exploring the one band form of Black Pus for some time outside of his main gig as one half of Lightning Bolt.  Chippendale has been hammering away at Black Pus since 2005 and during this time has been continuously fine tuning his own unique brand of noise rock / art rock to stunning effects up in his hometown of Providence, RI.

Pus Mortem brings out some of Black Pus's most accessible material to date interweaved throughout the album. Three tracks into the album "Play God" could quite possibly get some people swaying and dancing with it's simple yet powerful drum rhythm combined with some melodic samples and off-kilter approach. This may have been present in past work but have never been so front and center or as confidently executed. The rest of then jumps back into traditional swing with noise-rock zest with Chippendale's drums pound away like a war call on tracks like "Why Must It End?" and "So Sensational" to great effect while multiple walls of fuzz build and swell around everything before collapsing in. But that is what Black Pus does best.

Black Pus's album Pus Mortem is available now directly from the artist at bandcamp webpage now.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gregg Kowalsky - Electronic Music for Square and Sine Waves | Track Feature

Things are often lost or rather transformed in translation. It is almost analogous to a cut-up by Brian Gysin or William Burroughs or even a collage by Max Ernst through their transformation of a pre-exisitng entity. The same may be said of what happens when a work that employs the use of multiple sensations. In the case of Gregg Kowalsky's "Electronic Music for Square and Sine Wave" the work is grounded in the interaction of sound and space, something not readily transferable to purely audio recordings. Yet Kowalsky makes it work and beautifully at that.

In this format it seems like the emphasis of "music" as stated in the title "Electronic Music for Square and Sine Wave" comes to the forefront. As the releases press release states it is composed of multiple layers of sound sources and processing including "tuned an AM radio to random interference between channels, static abstractions that bookend the work." Beyond this  for "the core of the piece, Kowalsky used contact mics to process this, and other, sound source(s) as he moved around the performance space." The space in which the composition was performed and recorded is removed from the listeners vision and perception. It is a mortal separation between how the composition was originally received and what it now is.

But is this is not a bad thing. Separated from space and movement the overarching aesthetic nuances of sound manipulation are more readily revealed. It is at the heart of the audio work that deep listening practices can begin to work. Kowalsky creates a web of overtones and subtly moving harmonics to great effect, tones that gently wash over ones surroundings and possibly reactive their sense of time & sound in space.

Gregg Kowalsky and Jozef Van Wissem's album Movements in Marble and Stone will be available via Amish Records as an entry into the largely fantastic Required Wreckers Series this September 4th.