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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

The Wake+Mr. Projectile+Leclair+Dntel

Posted by Jakub

thewakeDigging thru promos can really mess with your head because you just want to find those collection of songs right away that you’ll listen to forever. So what do you do when you don’t find anything? you go back to old favorites or good suggestions from friends and this song by The Wake was the latest recommendation from 800beloved’s frontman Sean Lynch. You can just tell 30 seconds into the song “Man, these guys were probably great but they were definitely overshadowed by The Cure”. Where do you think John Hughes was when this song came out? this is perfect for one of his teen heartbreak films.

IDM I always felt was just a few steps away from being for really big but the majority of the fan base didn’t like to share or support, its like they wanted to keep their precious music to themselves and make it more obscure and not go to the shows to keep the musicians going. Mr. Projectile might of had a gem on his hands when he put out his album Sinking which featured a vocal by a girl named Amy Turany who I thought might of done more work but it seems like this is the last thing she ever sang on.

Montreal has always had a forward thinking music scene, I remember going to the Mutek Festival years ago and seeing electronic vinyl shops thrive, that definitely put a smile on my face. One man Marc Leclair also known as Akufen put an outstanding record together called Musique Pour 3 Femmes Enceintes which I highly recommend.
For how cold it is in Montreal, I always pictured Marc making this song 236e Jour by a window and he just felt the first perfect weather day of the year where the breeze is heavy and every window needs to be opened.

Grizzly Bear and Dntel on the same track, oh its a music bloggers dream to share with friends that come and visit. I really like the catchiness of this song after the breakdown, Dntel did such good work with the builds and sequencing of the 6+ min track. I couldn’t think of better voices to accompany his music than Grizzly Bear, yes even better than Mr. Gibbard in my opinion.

The Wake – All I Asked You to Do

Mr. Projectile – You Need

Marc Leclair – 236e Jour

Dntel – To A Fault

Jelinek+Christ+Circlesquare+E.F.A.

Posted by Jakub

jelinekJan Jelinek does many different styles of minimal electronic music, some under this moniker and also Farben. In 2001 “Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records” came out on Germany’s ~scape label which has artists like Portable, Pole, Deadbeat, etc. The record has so much detail yet sounds like its really small as if you could put it in the palm of your hand, It’s like peeking in and looking at all the gears that run an old expensive pocket watch. You can hear all these thousands of little pieces working away by turning and hissing. If you like “Do Dekor” then the whole album is worth picking up.

Christ. is unbelievable, this song is pretty much a well timed synth solo that is full of character, the synth has this muted oboe sound to it but maybe the reed is cracked, I know that might sound crappy but there’s plenty of charm all the way thru.

Vancouver’s Circlesquare has his own sound because of slow tempo that he makes all his music in and his singing style. This ends up being a great chance for him to get his name dropped when explaining music since I use it all the time when trying to explain a sound that is a little more then just dark, slow and lush. The breakdown at 2:42 and on is remarkable in my opinion, I know its super simple but perfectly written to bring back a song that might of not grabbed you right from the beginning.

*really quick side note: I wish you could all hear how loud the tuba music is downstairs from me while I try to write about Jelinek, Christ., and Circlesquare, its something to experience, I know I play music loud but the guy below me LOOOOVES tubas on a level that I can’t touch as a fellow music lover. Okay, back to this post…

It’s hard to know who’s going to be the next Broken Social Scene, Fleet Foxes, or any big indie folk act since there everywhere. My face sometimes feels so naked during a show since i’m the only one without a beard but i’m there for the music and also lets be honest the kind ladies that make it out to these shows. One band I want to see is Elm From Arm they just sound fun and have that Broken Social Scene build to their songs but with half the band members.

Circlesquare – Fight Sounds Part. 1 video


Circlesquare – Fight Sounds Pt.1 from Bienvenido Cruz on Vimeo.

Jan Jelinek – Do Dekor

Christ. – Pylonesque

Circlesquare – Fight Sounds Part 1

Elm From Arm – Windstar

New Villager+Seefeel+Willits+MF Doom

Posted by Jakub

New Villager - Rich DoorsYou had your fill on MGMT, Passion Pit, and Crystal Stilts or Castles in 2008 but its 2009 and you need that next big underdog party jam to get your friends to the bars and excited again. New Villager’s Rich Doors is exactly that track, the catchy hand claps with big stomps just scream out for your attention. All this week I’ve been saying the lyrics over and over in my head and out loud: “You got the right sound rich enough to take them down, your breakin’ new doors whatcha you think you lookin’ for!”.

I’m not going to lie but when friends early on in my music collecting career tried to play me Seefeel to get me to like it, I wasn’t really feeling it. I’m guessing they always played me the wrong song because I never bought a record once by them, even the Warp Records releases. This song from the Starethrough EP has me all the way though with its hypnotic vocals and rhythm, which leads me to where some of the Gang Gang Dance and OOIOO sound comes from.

I remember buying my first Christopher Willits songs that were on a compilation called E • A • D • G • B • E which had some minimal guitar sounds that i’ve never experienced. Here’s a guy that plays guitar daily like millions of people and it took this long to have someone make recordings this pretty and different sounding?

MF Doom over some strings and horns will never fail once and Ghostface being in the song doesn’t hurt the cause either. I picture this song “Angels” as the backdrop of a 50′s rainforest themed restaurant that offered ballroom dancing in the evenings(maybe i’m thinking of Casablanca?) but i’m sure it was used for Charlie’s Angels in some way, right?

New Villager – Rich Doors

Seefeel – Starethrough

Christopher Willits – Or With The Tea

MF Doom – Angels

2009 debut music videos

Posted by Jakub


Fever Ray – If I Had a Heart from Mute Records on Vimeo.

Fever Ray – If I Had a Heart


Go (Widescreen) from 800beloved on Vimeo.

800beloved – Go

Alela Diane: White As Diamonds

The Knife is back but only half back and without Olof. Before I get into this video, how was the name The Knife not taken by a hair metal band in the 80s? Well if you want to see darkness then look no further than this video. The one part when all you see is a bed of bodies in the empty pool outside of the mansion will not get out of my head, the shots are wonderful all the way thru. Congrats to Mute on putting a budget together in a crazy time during early 2009 and delivering a wonderful piece like this.

I’ll be posting more about 800beloved very soon but to just give you a taste here is the video for “Go”. Sean Lynch has one of the best voices you’ll hear debut in 2009. Think who sings colder and more distant than what you hear, its like his voice is the boldest grey, you can’t even compare it Joy Division or The Cure.

The beautifully shot “White As Diamond” video by Ryan Jeffery gave me goosebumps the first time I saw it, part of me was happy that I didn’t rely on the shots color which is what usually gets me but more of the cold northern woodsy landscapes are what grabbed me.

Tom Croose – Marv is sick (of winter)

Posted by Jakub

tc_run_adj_smTom Croose is back with another exclusive DJ mix for us here at the ISO50 blog. This mix has some of his own edits that haven’t been played out yet. I hope everyone here has seen Home Alone so the Wet Bandits intro makes sense. Look for Tom Croose to play on Viva Radio’s Naked Friday this week.

Tom Croose – Wet Bandits Intro
Jorge Ben – Eu Vou Torcer (Tom Croose edit)
Fiona Apple – The First Taste (Tom Croose edit)
Fleetwood Mac – Never Going Back (Tom Croose edit)
Mark E – Night Mover
Cave Bear Cult – Spaghettidisco
John Selway – Shake The Snow
Dubtribe Soundsystem – Do It Now
Worst Friends – Enemy (Light Leak mix)
Joyce – Aldeia De Ogum
Martin Denny – Stardust

Free download of Tom Croose – Marv is sick (of winter)

Tom Croose – Marv is sick (of winter)

BSS+Caribou+Burger/Ink+Recloose

Posted by Jakub

cardiology1-2If I had to watch one band live for 4 hours straight I think the only band that could be is Broken Social Scene. I don’t even think I could even take my all time favorites like Boards of Canada or even Radiohead for 4 hours straight without stretching and asking if anyone wanted to take a break. Obviously this track isn’t the best example of what B.S.S. makes but when I sold merch for them when they played live before they got big I remember them giving me a copy of this record and this track being the first thing I heard and thinking this band is going to be huge or I’ll give up on music.

In 2005 Caribou, Junior Boys, and The Russian Futurists toured together, in my eyes that was probably the best tour that year. The day they came thru Detroit to play at the Magic Stick was the day that I gave up on Michigan supporting the music scene. 14 people showed up to the show because of Detroit Tigers playoff baseball. Dan Snaith the mastermind behind Caribou/Manitoba killed it for us with a synced up visual show, 2 drummers, playing every kids instrument that you hear on Up In Flames and he sweat out all the sweat in his body. Dan, if you ever read this you have to understand and take in that you’re the best live musician when it comes to putting in everything you have into a show. Also, to be an electronic indie musician that pretty much brings their whole studio with them on the road and attempts and succeeds to play each melodica part to every xylophone hit makes me want to light my copy of Reason 4.0 on fire.

In 1996 Matador Records put out the collaborative efforts of Jörg Burger and Wolfgang Voigt’s side project Burger/Ink, I was probably drooling over 1979 by The Smashing Pumpkins at the time. Back then at my school if you loved Smashing Pumpkins you had to hate Nirvana and Green Day and pretty much everything else besides Nine Inch Nails so this Burger/Ink record never crossed my plate but how would it? I lived in Farmington Hills, MI. If you like Gas or even Broker/Dealer who told me this might be one of their favorite albums of all time then its worth picking up and letting it grow on you. “Twelve Miles High” is a driving track compared to the rest of the record. After 10 minutes I don’t realize its repetitiveness and how it has fell into the background while I work. That is one thing about some of the electronic music on the blog that might be alil boring for some people, I can’t stand silence really when I know I could be listening to music but the great part of all this kind of music is that it doesn’t ask for your attention. Sometimes it becomes that distant train that goes by a half mile away that reminds you its 5pm or some cicada making the most amazing sound ever while you walk on the sidewalk in the summer. Its not like we’re all listening to Gas and saying to ourselves “Gawd! when is this song gonna do something! ugh!” its doing what its suppose to be doing which is playing something really pretty while you have to focus on something else and its not asking for you attention like some squealing pop song that asking you to download its ringtone or sing along with it.

This Recloose song should actually be at the top of this post, the song is ridiculously good especially for the lovers of older soulful house that doesn’t rely on vocals from some gospel or motown song. It’s also perfect for those people that need a song to give to take their friends as a baby step into house music.

On a side note: I’m not a fan that Justice has the option to make their own custom home, it’s all I ever want in life and I already have it all planned out and they took a prime spot it looks like.

Broken Social Scene – Capture The Flag

Caribou – Medium Sized Working Dog (Steady Steady)

Burger/Ink – Twelve Miles High

Recloose – Kapiti Dream

Calmer+J Dilla+Bon Iver+Marius Vareid

Posted by Jakub

calmer-past-is-presentBrooklyn’s Collin Palmer aka Calmer fuses psychedelic elements with Jazz influenced compositions in the most well constructed and exciting ways. In this song “Past is Present” Calmer offers up a real dreamy yet driving piece that will take you from having goosebumps to completely relaxing within seconds by dropping a wall of colorful sound in front of you. Calmer is known in Brooklyn for his unique setup on stage usually playing on custom shaped cymbals that he has cracked or bent himself and 60′s surfing documentaries playing in the background, well worth your time to catch live if you haven’t seen him. Head on over to XLR8R to pick up a free track of his called “Open Source”.

It’s Friday and I know you wanna hear some J Dilla since you haven’t probably put on Donuts in a month atleast and thats a shame.

I have to thank Praveen for sending me over a record that I would of probably never picked up unless I was bored in line at Starbucks. The CD would have be playing on the speakers and the CD case was the only thing within reach to read besides the menu. I’m not saying Bon Iver is playing at Starbucks but I wouldn’t be surprised, it has indie-pop singer/songwriter written all over it and everyone is talking about this record. I actually found 3 tracks on it that I really like, i’m actually looking forward to them popping up on shuffle. Bon offers what I like in acoustic guitar playing which is this slow repetitive drive but thats not what is grabbing, a lot of the simple background additions really make this song plus his voice doesn’t sound like some annoying kid from Austin or Seattle or David Gray.

I grabbed this Marius Vareid track from Tom Croose who’s mixes I sometimes post here and i’m pretty sure he got it from the talented crew on Dream Chimney. Guess what it is? yes some slow disco but this time more on the drumkit and guitar angle. I thought it would be nice jam to gradually head into the weekend.

Calmer – Past Is Present

J Dilla – Gobstopper

Bon Iver – Lump Sum

Marius Vareid – Skumle Planer

Musician/Designer Press Photos

Posted by Jakub

kraftwerk
l_c1ed49b0a4ccb6992ff3415171fe626b
20070102215055erlend_oye
JImmy Edgar
17_jarvis_cocker_web_singleOne of the most important non musical to do’s for a musician/designer is getting a proper press photo in my opinion. This is your chance to show a ton of your personality and a big step in getting writers on board for a feature or helping them to understand your musical direction at that time. This doesn’t mean you have to show your face, take for example the fact that we never saw Burial’s face for more than a year — we just had that drawing of him — but it set the mood I thought. If you’re a musician or even graphic designer, I think brainstorming out some ideas first is well worth your time when doing a press shot. We’ve all worn out the standing in a urban landscape, the blurry shot at a live show, or standing still like a mannequin with a white background. So from 2009 and on i’d love to see photographers really grabbing the personality out of their subjects (Timothy Saccenti’s excellent work comes to mind). This kind of effort in a press photo could make or break you chances with bloggers or writers many times prompting them to use your photo above a couple other things they’re writing about that day. At any rate, a good shot definitely increases your chances of being written about.

Above are a few of my favorites [from top to bottom: Kraftwerk, Boys Noize, Erlend Oye, Jimmy Edgar, Jarvis Cocker]