[All photos © Audrey Melton]This past Saturday Youth Lagoon and Young Magic played at the Motorco Music Hall in Durham. It was only hours before the show that Audrey and I discovered it was going on, but all other plans were dropped. Young Magic's set was nothing short of awe striking; combining tribal elements, vocal mysticism, stunning electronics and guitar. There isn't a more fitting term than magic to describe their presence. Youth Lagoon closed things out with one of the most beautiful live sets I've ever heard. Trevor's vocals left both Audrey and myself practically begging for a live album to be made. Both he and Logan had enough energy to keep the crowd interested without detracting from the heartfelt presentation of each song. It's been a couple days since the show and I'm still recovering from the dreamy state it left me in. Stay tuned after the jump for more photos.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
[All photos © Audrey Melton]A couple of weeks ago Zola Jesus played a set at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill. While unfortunately I was unable to be there, Audrey made sure to show up and shoot plenty of wonderful photos of the set. Check out one of my favorite tracks from her newest release, Conatus, while you peruse.
MP3: Zola Jesus - Vessel
Conatus is available now via Sacred Bones in the US and Souterrain Transmissions in the UK.
Check out more photos of Zola Jesus live after the jump.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Among a slew of other great tapes in the recent outpouring from Iowa's Night People Records is Melody Elder, the debut LP from the Garment District, the solo moniker of Jennifer Baron, who - surely to the delight of the good-heartedly acquisitive Elephant Six completists out there - was around in Brooklyn in time to help start The Ladybug Transistor. Melody Elder is defined in large part by a very textural experience of the cast of analog instruments Baron made use of during recording. Everything seems to have the sense of a button or key being deliberately depressed, creating the sharp short weeze of synthesized organs, and held, to draw out longer winded tones. Being aware of her connection to Elephant Six, there are plenty of links to be drawn between her music and the collective's noisier luminaries, but the ambition and organization on Baron's solo debut sets it apart.
Grab the limited edition tape from here.
KDVS Recordings is an incredible record label run under the auspices of the University of California's campus in Davis, making them the only university funded record label that I know of that operates on a not-for-profit basis. Their latest project is a new subscription style cassette of the month club, inaugurated with a split from Luis Gutee and A White Hunter. According to them:
Each cassette will be a split between one 'local' musician/band (Davis/Sacramento) and one "out-of-town" musician/band attempting to make connections between what is going on microcosmically within our immediate music scene and what is going on with other artists outside direct contact but in similar musical realms/with similar musical ideas. Each tape will also feature a physical artist that will create work for the cover.
Subscribe to the series here.
Beacon is Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett, who together walk a novel line between the melodramatic arena pop we're all still weening ourselves off and a more ambiguous ambient-chilled R&B, Gossett's spare beats forming the backdrop for Mullarney's crystalline vocals
Mp3 :: Beacon - No Body
Grab the entire No Body EP from Moodgadget.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Devin Dart recently sent over a few jams that I've fallen in love with. In the vein of NNF artists such as Dylan Ettinger and Cankun, Devin Dart creates vast soundscapes that somehow incite images of an exploratory trip through the cosmos. Soft thuds that teeter between organic and mechanic guide the whirling sounds of wind pushing astral dust across a barren plain. An immediate jump to a lush forest filled with bizarre creatures that only your mind could conjure. With Devin Dart their are no stylistic boundaries; only the need to explore these new worlds.
Devin Dart - Now, I elevate
Devin Dart - Haha, whoa dude did you know yer fingers are made of lightning?
Hear more from Devin Dart over at Soundcloud.
Real Estate recently premiered the video for their new single, "It's Real", over at The Fader. This is my first listen to any of the new album, Days, and it's a pleasant surprise. The production on this track leads me to believe the new album is a lot cleaner sounding than Real Estate, but after repeated listens it's obvious that cleaner production doesn't detract from Real Estate's charm. It'll be hard to get this one out of your head once it gets in there.
Stream: Real Estate - It's Real
Pick up Days now in vinyl, CD or cassette format via Domino.
Perhaps this is my lack of a degree in music speaking, but when a record label describes a band they're working with as a "pan-Asian psych-pop collective" I tend to just look confused. That being said, the best way I can describe the same band to you is that they're fucking amazing. Yamantaka // Sonic Titan is about as weird a name for a band as their description, and yet all of it makes sense once you've pressed play. They just recently released their debut album, YT//ST, on the Montreal-based Psychic Handshake. Minimal orchestration helps to establish a mood while ethereal female vocals grab fleetingly at your heart-strings. Furious build-ups retain the energy and vibrance of the band, taking only those moments to really show off how expansive their talent is. YT//ST is an album that will certainly see numerous spins before the year's end.
MP3: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Hoshi Neko
Stream: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Reverse Crystal // Murder of a Spider
Pick up YT//ST in CD or vinyl formats via Psychic Handshake, and hit up the bandcamp to stream the album in full.
Friday, November 4, 2011
o F F has recently changed his name to o F F Love, and with that announcement comes a new single. "Close to U" is from the upcoming debut full-length, Probably Love, on the newly founded label M=MAXIMAL. His syrupy, auto-tuned vocals sound more crisp than ever on this one, showing o F F Love exploring the R&B elements of his music deeper than before. A slow paced step that only builds slightly through the songs keeps the mood dark while your heart is twisted deep inside your chest.
Stream: o F F Love - Close to U, I'm Not
Probably Love drops January of next year via M=MAXIMAL.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
For the past few months I've fantasized about living in Berlin. There is so much cool stuff happening there, and PURGE is yet another reason I wish I was there. Our good homies at Gucci Goth are presenting their first Berlin party with BL4CK M4G1CK and The Darkness at Chez Jacki. HTRK and BRUISES will be playing live, along with DJ sets from the presenters and Son of Cataclysm. If you're in Berlin (or Berlin-bound by Nov 10) then this is the place to be.
Stream: Tom Ass for PURGE
A couple of weeks ago my favorite MC in the underground, Shady Blaze, dropped a new mixtape with Nem270 on full production duties; titled Blessed Or Cursed. If Nem270 rings a bell then you've probably seen his name as a production credit on various other Green Ova projects. He creates some of the most brain rattling beats of the whole green ova production crew. Shady is never one to back down from a beat and attacks every note as fiercely as ever, showing off both the versatility of him and of Nem270 in only the intro; with one track you're hooked. Once you slide into the title track there's just no turning back, and "Mad Speakers" is sure to become an anthem for late nights, riding down the block while passing the blunt.
Shady Blaze - Mad Speakers
Shady Blaze - Stars Will Light A Way
Head over to Nem270's Bandcamp to check out Blessed Or Cursed in full.
Our pal Mikey, bka Blackbird Blackbird, is back with a new banger! "Tear" comes to us as the first single from the upcoming Boracay Planet EP. Some of Mikey's more recent track have leaned dark, but this one sees him stepping back into the light to write a song that ends up being less heart-breaking (as the title might suggest) and more heart warming. It's great to hear some new Blackbird Blackbird, and this track has me more than excited for the EP to drop.
MP3: Blackbird Blackbird - Tear
For the past month I've been working at a haunted house here in Wilmington. Trying to stack the dollars pulled me away from the blog a minute, and all the while Andy over at MJ MJ continuously told me how I would adore Slyy once I had the time to give it a chance. I can't begin to tell you how right he was. It's hands down my favorite beat tape I've heard this year. Something about the immediate groove that Slyy presents in each track just keeps me hanging on every synth line, bouncy kick and twisted sample thrown my way. Throw the headphones on, fire up a blunt and bliss out to this one.
Slyy - Booze Crooze
Slyy - Hot Fight
Head over to the MJ MJ Bandcamp and pick up Serious Sauce Vol 2 now on cassette.
I just got a load of great jams dropped in my inbox by JerseyKLAN and Kool Kidz of Kolor. One of the first things to hit me right in the sweet spot is the video for Klan member Moruf's "Darryl Strawberry". The track is featured on the self-released Garden State of Mind: Ready To Live. Deep, swollen bass is about all that guides Moruf as he rips apart the beat slowly and meticulously but with enough fierceness to make a tiger back down. We'll have more from this Jersey-based crew real soon.
MP3: Moruf - Darryl Strawberry
Grab all of Garden State of Mind for free over at Moruf's Bandcamp.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I first came across Superhumanoids thanks to a (great) remix our mutual friend Eric Steuer had done, so appropriately enough he put us in touch and here I am posting about another one, this time from the erstwhile and amazing Clive Tanaka. In the original "Mikelah" male and female vocals set complementary tones, though the male contrasts most strongly with the song's orchestral instrumentation - the addition of cello and a capable use of string drones gives it a full bodied baroque sound - which ultimately proves the backbone of Tanaka's extended vocal mix, clocking in at more than twice the original's length. The addition of a pleasant groove and a playful sounding wrap-up, that pits the original vocals briefly against some simple, vaguely tropical percussion, make it one of our favorites from Tanaka's growing stable of remixes.
If you're out here in The West, try looking up Superhumanoids at one of their upcoming dates:
11/4 in Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater
11/5 in San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
11/6 in Flagstaff, AZ @ Green Room
Order the Mikelah 7" now from InSound.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
After a wait that felt like forever (due to so much excitement), Born Gold's video for "Lawn Knives" is finally here! It's a pretty awesome little clip that somehow manages to even instill a bit of the live shows energy into it. Now quit reading and press play!
MP3: Born Gold - Lawn Knives
There are still some copies left of the Bodysongs 12" on white vinyl at Insound, but remember, they're limited to just 300 so they won't be around forever.
A few days ago, the shadowy French government organ responsible for administering the Nobel Peace Prize nominated digital singles label, Beko-DSL, asked us to put together a mix of 10 of our favorite tracks from their back catalog. It's got a few uncommon b-sides from their early releases, including the-artist-formerly-known-as-Gobble-Gobble's "Cat Eggs", and a handful of singles that have been constant in our rotation. Hope you love it!
Crash Symbols says "Beko!"
Watch out for more tribute mixes here.
Neon Gold just sent over word about their newest release from Savoir Adore. "Dreamers" is one of the best pop tracks I've heard this year; combining shimmering synth lines, the always favored claps, just the right amount of subtle percussion along with stunning male and female vocals that at times combine to form glorious harmonies. Turn the lights down low, grab a partner and hit the dancefloor. Tonight is for lovers.
MP3: Savoir Adore - Dreamers
Pre-order the Dreamers 7" now via Neon Gold, complete with a stellar remix from Xaphoon Jones on the b-side.
[Director: Malcolm Elijah]
Pure X recently premiered a new video for "Surface", the title track from their new record on Acéphale. Hopefully your Halloween night played out something like this as well, otherwise you did it wrong.
MP3: Pure X - Surface
Surface is available now via Acéphale.