Jakub Alexander curates the music selections here at the blog. He also runs his Moodgadet record label out of Brooklyn, NY and does A&R for Ghostly International Records.
Links:Moodgadget RecordsJakub's Tumblr
Single #2! “IM U” by Beacon is out today, listen and watch the video by our very own Charles Bergquist.
Beacon 2016 North America Winter Tour
02.04 Chicago, IL SCHUBAS
02.05 Detroit, MI Majestic Cafe
02.06 Toronto, ON The Drake Hotel
02.10 Allston, MA Great Scott
02.11 New York, NY The Bowery Ballroom
02.12 Philadelphia, PA Boot & Saddle
02.13 Washington, DC Songbyrd Music House & Record Cafe
02.16 Atlanta, GA Aisle 5
02.17 New Orleans, LA Hi-Ho Lounge
02.18 Houston, TX Rudyard’s British Pub
02.19 Austin, TX Parish Austin
02.22 El Paso, TX The Lowbrow Palace
02.23 Phoenix, AZ Valley Bar
02.24 San Diego, CA Soda Bar
02.25 Los Angeles, CA Club Bahia
02.26 San Francisco, CA Noise Pop
02.27 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
02.28 Seattle, WA Nectar Lounge
03.01 Boise, ID Reef Boise
03.02 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
03.03 Denver, CO Lost Lake
03.04 Wichita, KS Barleycorn’s
03.05 St. Louis, MO 2720 Cherokee
Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett are unstoppable. The New York artists, collectively known as Beacon, have been on a productive hot streak since 2012, and their efforts continue to pay off. “When we weren’t writing,” Mullarney starts, “we hit the road and didn’t really look back. We toured the US five times since The Ways We Separate came out, building this project the old-fashioned way.” And Beacon’s natural, time-tested process has brought us Escapements, their sophomore album for Ghostly. “We went into this feeling liberated,” continues the singer/producer, and Gossett seems to echo his thought: “This record is in part our attempt to formulate what Beacon is going to look and sound like going forward.”
Escapements is about time, to put it simply, and all of the baggage it brings. The title is taken from clock mechanics; escapements are timekeeping regulators designed to transfer energy at a constant pace. “I was attracted to this concept because of the entropy it implies,” Mullarney explains. “Friction and changes in amplitude over time mean every escapement, no matter how well crafted, will lose its accuracy and effectively slow down time via its own decay.” This theme is delicately explored through Beacon’s music and lyrics, engaging ideas of pain and loss with a surreal palette. Whereas the duo’s debut was more streamlined and defined, Escapements thrives on an amorphous, free-flowing nature.
More than just a central concept, time manifests itself in these 11 songs quite literally, too. Take opener “IM U”, a slow-swelling cut of electronic pop that has knocked around in Beacon’s arsenal since the beginning. As Gossett puts it, “In its final form, ‘IM U’ is a track that has the history of the project embedded into it, an old idea filtered through years of growing interests and experience as songwriters.” His idea is reflected by the remarkable cover photo, a single shot taken by Caleb Charland in darkness for eight hours. “The arc of the star trails show the rotation of the earth,” Gossett points out. “I can’t imagine a better representation of time, process, and discovery. It’s how we wanted Escapements to sound.”
After the initial demos were written, Escapements was refined and recorded over the course of nine months at Beacon’s Brooklyn home studio and Gary’s Electric, where it was mixed by Al Carlson. Tycho drummer Rory O’Connor was brought in to perform, unleashing new energy onto the Beacon sound and helping expand it to unheard places. Which is another notable theme on the album. “I hope this record proves our restlessness and shows that we really aren’t content to have only one approach to creating music,” says Mullarney. “Every part of our process is linked to discovery.” And that meant trying out studio tricks and recording techniques on the fly, getting lost in the process until they came out the other side. Like on “Cure”, Escapements’ frenetic, breakbeat-inspired penultimate track. Mullarney explains: “There’s a moment where I was simply playing chords on the studio Wurlitzer and singing while the mic recorded the room. The idea was to escape the produced electronic music, just for a moment, and capture the energy in the room.”
Suffice it to say that Escapements tackles the difficulties of a sophomore album by ignoring their existence altogether—this is a record truly free of constraint and expectations. But because it’s still a Beacon album, the duo’s identity continues to shine through. Mullarney’s voice sounds full and confident, even as it floats weightlessly over limber dancefloor constructions in songs like “Backbone” and “Better or Worse”. It’s a precise balance, and yet feels wholly organic. “When you don’t give yourself a specific place to land you never really miss,” Gossett adds. “We just tried to trust ourselves and not put limitations on what this record was supposed to be. In that sense, it’s exactly the record we were meant to make.”
Excited to announce Awake Remixes! The album will be out digitally January 15th and on vinyl May 20th. It’s the first vinyl release since 2014. Preorder the blue colored vinyl now in the ISO50 shop shop.iso50.com/products/awake-remixes
Tycho Awake Remixes
A1. Awake (Com Truise Remix)
A2. Montana (Christopher Willits Remix)
A3. L (Dusty Brown Remix)
A4. Dye (Nitemoves Remix)
TYCHO. DJ SET. TOUR DATES.
02.10 Denver, CO @ Club Vinyl *
02.11 San Diego, CA @ Bang Bang *
02.12 Tucson, AZ @ Gem & Jam Festival
02.13 Los Angeles, CA @ Exchange LA * #
02.16 Miami, FL @ Bardot *
02.17 Washington, DC @ Flash *
02.18 Brooklyn, NY @ Output *
02.19 Chicago, IL @ The Mid *
02.20 Detroit, MI @ Populux *
03.04 San Francisco, CA @ 1015 Folsom w/ Nitemoves, Dusty Brown
03.05 San Francisco, CA @1015 Folsom w/ Few Nolder, Christopher Willits
I’ve been obsessed with Vine, I find a lot of music on there actually, there’s been this Simpson’s one that features this track by HOME. An oldie but a goodie style wise, kind of early Com Truise without the punch and dynamics of the rhythm section.
Lists this year are all over the place, a lot of main stream rap, a ton of half baked selections, really good techno and a happy surprise to see a lot less of the soft boy beat stuff that clogged up the festivals, which makes me overwhelmingly happy. Here’s a few musicians that most of you know but made my year very enjoyable because of a DJ set, live set or a very well done short documentary about them, enjoy!
Its always perfect to have a musician share his or her ideas while albums come out or they’ve been MIA, there’s this honesty that lingers in the detail and melodies that makes you wonder if the LPs are a bit too built up or too much to express a clear idea compared to a song that isn’t tied to anything.
Probably like the 5th mix on the blog from Hatchback and the great guys at Dream Chimney, which doesn’t feel wrong in any way. I thought this mix was actually already up for some reason but I couldn’t find it. Dive into it, info below and close your eyes and imagine the cold weather is just air conditioning in your ocean view loft on Honolulu in 1991.
Mix of the Week #76 is a mix of unreleased Hatchback tracks in honor of the first ever limited vinyl release of Hatchback’s 2008 debut album ‘Colors of the Sun’ on Be With Records. A blissed-out 80-minute opus, its assured kaleidoscopic sound can only be described as ‘Cosmic-Krautrock-Disco.’
Double LP available now: bewithrecords.com/product/hatchbac…2lp-bewith009lp/
Wasted Brain: Hatchback Sessions 1999-2009
It’s something of a personal milestone to welcome Colors of the Sun to vinyl, so to celebrate the occasion, I dug into the archive to make a mix of unreleased material from the years leading up to and slightly beyond my first album. It means a lot to me that the Dream Chimney is hosting this mix, because the only place these tracks really ever existed outside of my iPod was on Track of the Day. It was really The Dream Chimney community, particularly Ryan Chimney and Clunkified (hugest thanks Sentrall), that kicked my jams off of the internet and onto a record. Also it wouldn’t been possible without the creative support of so many other Chimneys, especially Sorcerer, Elf, Carousel, Electronimo, and Home Chime. You guys are all kind buddies forever. Putting this together brought back a lot of sweet memories of my days in the Bay Area, in particular that sun-baked apartment in the trees above Lake Merritt. These tracks have likely remained unreleased for good reason, but I hope its worth a listen for old times sake.
clear my sky – 2002
the fox – 2005
white tigers – 2008
i call her molecule – 2000
plums – 1999
doppelgänger – 2004
player piano – 2004
sunstroke 76 – 2001
pelican flamingo – 2007
theme from weldon vermont – 2003
7:32 a.m. – 2003
spaceship earth – 2009
MODLBOI / modern man – 2004