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All posts by Jakub Alexander

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 Records Jakub's Tumblr

Saccenti’s visuals for School of 7 Bells

Posted by Jakub

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You may know Tim Saccenti for his unreal spacey Battles video or his wild Animal Collective videos or press photos for Flying Lotus and Jimmy Edgar but his live visuals this weekend for School of Seven Bells were jaw dropping, not only did School of Seven Bells play a gorgeous live show but Tim Saccenti nailed the visuals and captured the sound perfectly, I almost felt like I was experiencing something that was on some other level. Below is a great review of the night:

Digital Transcendentalism
Timothy Saccenti’s Visuals andthe School of Seven Bells

The question that immediately comes to mind as one looks into the silky black voids of photographer/director Timothy Saccenti’s mind, manifested wonderfully in images of black expanses occupied ironically by an artist or an object beyond one’s capacity for reaction, is this: What possible world am I occupying and how am I existing in this space and time? With the School of Seven Bell’s visuals, Saccenti (in conjuction with Flame artist Alvin Cruz) achieves, brilliantly and originally, the apex of what all artists can hope to achieve; as the mirrored yet chaotic colors begin to rise up on the screen, the viewer relinquishes control of his or her consciousness of the moment and enters the beautiful, black, colorful, numbing minds of Saccenti and Cruz.
So what makes these images so otherworldly yet familiar enough that one can fall into them so whole-heartedly? The peice mixes familiar epiphenomenal stimuli (shapes and images) with powerful digital distortion, creating a space that is paradoxically common and foreign. The experience places the viewer at the precipice of human comprehension and tethers them to the rock of humanity with fibers so inconspicuous that it is hard to know when one might fall into the black abyss. It is exhilarating. Paired with the ambient, submissive music of The School of Seven Bells, an audience is treated to complete perceptual experience involving the lyrical mastery of the band and their interstellar sound.
There is a diamond shape that occupies the screen for much of the piece. Besides being a spatial image that one can clearly identify, it suggests another, semi-erotic, human form that boldly stares back at a transfixed audience. It is difficult not to see a vaginal, pink shape in the diamond. It is natural and digital, surrounded by a hazy distortion and heavy digital sounds that are reminiscent of television snow. Watching the two female singers, it is hard not to feel lulled by a kind of siren song.
One of the more powerful images, a white face with dark eyes, exists as a kind of character throughout the piece. It comes and goes as the viewer’s ability to make it out is realized and lost. The face is mirrored on both sides of the screen as one’s own face so commonly is. The face swings back and forth with an organic fluidity that is imperfectly natural and correct. Amongst the computerized movement of box shapes and spheres, this face stands out with its organic movement that, at the apex of its swing, faces the audience and becomes black (with white eyes). It is an eerie and fantastic moment as the echoing voices of The School of Seven Bells rise and fall to the metronome of the huge face.
The image that most dramatically drives the feeling of nature is the wilderness at sunrise; however, in digitally transcendental fashion, the piece juxtaposes the desert grasses with outstanding digital effects. The sunrise image sits inside a sphere that seems to rotate as the image remains still. The sphere fits inside the skeleton of a neon cube in an eclectic picture that moves with a more perfect, digital, fluidity. The circle is also seen in another major part of the piece. Inside of a large, white circle are numbers that follow around the circle’s circumference, similarly to that of an ancient calendar. Here, Saccenti seems to be exploring the most seamless connections between man and nature. Time is a human invention developed to understand the most fundamental engine of nature. It is a similar idea that drives the image of the Hindu deity, Ganesh. Here, the audience explores the human invention of religion as a tool for understanding the impossibilities of nature. A statue of the deity rotates slowly, giving a reverend importance to his presence.
The pairing of these two artists could not have been more perfect. The School of Seven Bells creates an original sound using a similar juxtaposition. Soft voices and flowing guitar riffs round out the heavy digital sound that backs up each song. These two elements collide to produce a sound that is otherworldly.
Throughout the piece, we see the majesty of nature and the boundless imagination of humanity. Represented beautifully by digital displays, the viewer enters a possible world that can only exist with the imagination of this brilliant collaboration, through the conduit that is their talent.

– Steven Graf

Lawrence+Run Stop Restore+Toh+Go!Team

Posted by Jakub

Lawrence - Teaser KOMPAKT 41
Lawrence makes techno poetry as Kompakt calls it and I couldn’t agree more, even if we go back to some of his recent releases the phrase still holds up. Teaser which was featured on his Teaser EP and on the Total 3 compilation on Kompakt has this great slow swing to it and sounds like a huge ship cuts thru a thick night fog while a young women on the ship smokes and speaks thru the song.

I never would of expect a label like Minus to put out something as sexy as this Geometry track, usually we get bouncey, distant, cold minimal techno from them and this track sounds like something Arab Strap or Colder would of made.

I don’t know anything about Tim Toh, I just got the song from a friend and once I heard it and let it play all the way thru I was pretty blown away on how many elements of different styles show up in the song that make it beautiful. The song One crosses over so many genres its unbelievable, a definite necessity for fans of Dial and old Traum releases.

New Go! Team remix of Black Moth Super Rainbow pretty and PBS-ish like an old Stereolab but more on the happy side.

Lawrence – Teaser

Run Stop Restore – Geometry

Tim Toh – One

BMSR – Twin of Myself (Go! Team Remix)

CVJ + Noze + Holy Ghost + Trus’me

Posted by Jakub

Casino vs Japan
I love the concept behind this release of Casino Versus Japan and Freescha, a split EP with a couple tracks from each artist on a CD. I think more artist should be open to this idea, Daedelus recently started a label that is doing this called Friends of Friends and it looks very promising, also on a side note did everyone know that Freescha did a song for Britney Spears called Heaven on Earth??

I’ve been really impressed with tracks by Nôze, their remix of Franz Ferdinand is a simple yet very effective track for the dancefloor. The combination of that flute, synth and tambourine make me actually like this Franz Ferdinand song.

I wonder who picks the remixers for Moby? Do you think he does? I know he djs a lot in New York but does he play this kind of music? Well this Holy Ghost! remix and the recent Apparat remix are some top choices, i’ll post the Apparat one next week, this one you can add to your weekend night out mix even though its a bit older.

If any of you are in town this Saturday i’ll be djing with Trus’me and Worst Friends at some Circus/Performing Art/craziness at S.L.A.M. Warehouse, i’ve posted a track of Trus’me before awhile back in October, I might like this Drilling track even more now.

Casino Versus Japan – Come Along, Do

Franz Ferdinand – No You Girls (Noze Remix)

Moby – I Love To Move In Here (Holy Ghost! Remix)

Trus’me – Drilling

Moodgadget Summer Tour 2009 – Part 1

Posted by Jakub

Moodgadget Summer Tour 2009 – Part 1 from Alex Koplin on Vimeo.

“This is the first chapter of the Moodgadget 2009 Tour compilation video, with video and photos of wacky antics and performances from Detroit, Ann Arbor, Chicago and Cincinnati with Shigeto, D. Gookin, Charles Trees, Mogi Grumbles, Calmer, Worst Friends, Guardian, Mux Mool and more! Stay tuned for the next chapter, with full-length footage from shows in Brooklyn and Baltimore!” – Alex/H34dUp

Some of you know Alex/H34dUp on the blog from positive comments on Scott’s topics, well he went on tour with some of the musicians we post on and took some good photos and video from the shows. The video includes: Mux Mool, D. Gookin, Charles Trees, Shigeto, Calmer, and Mogi Grumbles and a lot of unreleased material that I thought some of you might get a kick out of. Some of the best parts are the Adult Swim style bumpers which you can read along to and enjoy the layout. Scott actually came to the Detroit show which is mostly just a collection of photos from that night. There are some awkward moments at times which kind of show you how crazy you might get driving 9 hours a day.

Highlights
D. Gookin’s cover of Smashing Pumpkins – 1979
Mux Mool / Shigeto live collab
Shigeto’s drumming style
New Charles Trees song
New artist Dubstep artist Guardian
Photos of the tour flyers
The credits

DirtyProjectors+Noto+CocoRosie+Yasume

Posted by Jakub

Dirty Projectors
I really don’t know what to say about Dirty Projectors, I like the synth part and the girl vocals are growing on me slowly, its definitely a nice change up for radio charting indie pop. I would love to hear your guys thoughts on it.

Last weekend I went to Public Assembly which is a venue here in Brooklyn to hear Alva Noto play but I missed his set instead I caught Byetone which was an amazing show, i’d post pictures but they look kind of crappy. If you haven’t heard much from the Raster Noton label then here is a nice intro of the more gentle side of the label from Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto.

I’ve been seeing more posts on CocoRosie recently which means maybe a new record is in the works? I remember loving this song and playing it at this wine bar weekly every time I DJed, the kitten samples kinda make me laugh, just makes me think if you sat down to make music when would you ever decide to add those to your song?

Yasume takes me back to the more geeky IDM music that had substance and still kept the warmth so it never felt too digital, really nice to hear on a nice system and not my 70USD Altec Lansing computer speakers.

Dirty Projectors – Stillness Is the Move

Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – Logic Moon

CocoRosie -Noah’s Ark

Yasume – 2112 Cresent Heights

Bleep Showcase Vol. 1

Posted by Jakub

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For some of you that don’t know Bleep is the digital retail store for the label Warp Records that carries specific labels and artists that they hand select. They just released a great compilation called “Showcase Vol. 1″ and here’s the best part: its only 1£ or $2(USD) for all 11 songs! So I went ahead and picked 4 of the songs that i’d alone just pay a buck each for, don’t worry there isn’t ever going to be a pack rat issue in your iTunes so just pick it up.

When has Bibio ever wronged us on this blog? never has and never will, the man honestly makes some of the most gorgeous originals and remixes and this one is no different than the rest. Just think maybe we can get him to do a Tycho remix?!

I have a feeling i’ve already post this Bullion song but it was unmastered or ripped from vinyl and muffled. If you haven’t heard of Bullion then you should know that he kills it by mashing up Beach Boys and J Dilla.

Om Unit reminds me of the classic Aphex Twin track Didgeridoo but just a great edit in 2009, if you can get into this you’re definitely a friend in my book.

Kelpe does that sound that I still don’t how to make because I just feel too white, its that sound if I had to show you visually it would look like im playing with a Jacob’s Ladder toy and its getting stuck once in a while in its own ropes.

Lone – Midnight Feast (Bibio remix)

Bullion – Time For Us All To Love

Om Unit – Scatterclocks

Kelpe – Skylla

Body Language Influences Series

Posted by Jakub

Body Language
In a foggy new england town there comes a distant yet constant bump from a poorly lit dive bar. This rumble comes from the only turntables in the village spilling out the Detroit house and electro pulse. The youngsters flock towards this other worldy distant sound inviting them to flail their bodies to the demanding rhythm.

Behind these turntables stand a couple of fledgling producers named Matt Young and Grant Wheeler. Their pop remixes crafted for each week’s set provided only a hint of their direction in this world of visceral music. However, once combined with the angelic soul stylings of Angelica Bess, a sound took form they could call their own, a sound as instinctual as their own body language.

Just as they uttered their first musical words together, the sound of this small new england town started to fade. A new mechanical rumble came from the earth that was the sounds of New York City. With these city sounds, emerged a voice that spoke volumes of new influences. Body Language was quick to respond, and offered a five song EP aptly titled, Speaks which will be out June 16th and i’ll definitely be sharing a few tracks from on the ISO50 blog.

Upcoming NY Shows:
• 6/10 w/ Mux Mool, Bluejay @ Public Assembly
• 6/17 w/ Giantess @ Piano’s
• 6/19 w/ Passion Pit, Bear Hands @ Bowery Ballroom
• 6/20 DJ Set w/ Miike Snow, Macabees @ Williamsburg Music Hall

Volume 1 – Body Language Soul Influences – DOWNLOAD
Intro / Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves the Sunshine / Pretty Purdie – Don’t Go / Air – Le Soleil Es Pres de Moi / The Temptations – Just my Imagination / Otis Redding – Sitting on the Dock of the Bay / Marvin Gaye – That’s the Way Love is / Percy Sledge – You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me / Jimmy Hughes – Steal Away / Martha Reeves and the Vandellas – Jimmy Mack / Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, Delivered / Raphael Saadiq – Love That Girl / The Marvelettes – Heat Wave / Ray Charles – I’ve Got A Woman / Diana Ross and the Supremes – Come See About Me / Jamie Lidell – Multiply / The Commodores – Brick House / Patrice Rushen – Hang it Up / James Brown – The Payback / Nina Simone – Don’t Let me be Misunderstood / Beach Boys – Don’t Talk

Volume 2 – Body Language Disco Influences – DOWNLOAD
Roy Ayers – Running Away / Daniel Wang – Like Some Dream I can Stop Dreaming / Escort – Starlight / Hercules and the Love Affair – Blind / Indeep – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (Mirage Remix) / Evelyn Champlain King – Love Come Down / Kerrier District – Lets Dance and Freak / Marvin Gaye – Got to get Down / Kano – i’m ready / Prince – Controversy / Giorgio Moroder – The Chase / Metro Area – Seduction / Michael Jackson – Off the Wall / Ian Preece – Superfuzz / Panthers – Goblin City (Holy Ghost! disco dub) / Motown Sounds – Bad Mouthin’ / Black Devil Disco Dub – The Devil In Us

Volume 3 – Body Language Detroit Influences – DOWNLOAD
Mr Fingers – Can You Feel It / Move D – Quit Quittin / The Other People Place – Let me be me / Joey Beltram – Energy Flash / Adonis – No Way Back / Jeff Mills – Automatic / F.U.S.E. – Substance Abuse / Drexciya – Water Walker / Inner City – Good Life (Magic Juan Mix) / Morgan Geist – Detroit (Carl Craig Remix) / Green Velvet – Shake and Pop / L.F.O. – LFO / Laurent Garnier – Crispy Bacon / Dopplereffekt – Sterilization / Detroit Grand Pubahs – Sandwiches / B12- Hall of Mirrors

Daniel+Dirk Leyers+O’Rourke+The Mole

Posted by Jakub

Daniel - Bulbz
You may know Daniel from the group Judah Johnson or you may know the original of Does Not Compute by Prince but this is the official debut of his Bulbz EP which includes 3 covers of Smokey Robinson, Kanye West and this cover of Prince. When I hear Daniel’s production it reminds of Jamie Lidell’s singing style meeting up with Radiohead’s spastic breakdowns and somehow Daniel pulls it off and makes that marriage work. Please excuse the PG-13 cover we got going on today, don’t worry they’re a couple that read the blog so its nothing scandalous.

Dirk Leyers maybe better known for his work on Kompakt as half of Closer Musik which is a very seductive minimal house project which is located in the recent playlist on our blog. The song Wellen has this nice swing to it right from the start and the long synth melody can easily be burned into your memory.

We’ve had Jim O’Rourke already on the blog before and I think the other song was actually off this same EP but I needed to post this track because it came up on shuffle last night and I think the horn parts are perfect and maybe you might agree.

Canada’s The Mole might be one of most smiley DJs i’ve ever seen play, I remember seeing his performance at MUTEK years ago and him just really enjoying himself almost to the point that I thought he might be watching something funny while playing LIVE off his laptop. Knock Twice has a strong simple groove which is almost appropriate for any dance set you can think of.

Daniel – Does Not Compute

Dirk Leyers – Wellen

Jim O’Rourke – Not Sport, Martial Art

The Mole – Knock Twice