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
Niagara Falls has a composing genius in their hands, hell, burn down that wax museum they have and make a stage close to the water fall and let Wisp play live weekly, the town needs something fresh and cinematic and Wisp would never disappoint for one moment, he could be their Blue Man Group.
Reid Dunn might be known to some of his close internet friends as someone that plays fantasy video games, hangs out on the WATMM forum and leaves polite comments once in a while, works the night shift, and might not jump onto AOL messenger until 3am every night until morning sending you clips of tracks he makes thru the day. All that is great and all but he has reached some musicians dream which is to release on Richard D. James’ record label Rephlex and pretty much put everyone to shame in the IDM world.
If you haven’t listened to his new LP The Shimmering Hour then you haven’t heard Aphex Twin served to you on a silver platter with some of the finest tweaks, iron man marathon speed and maximized sound quality. Honestly, I put it on this record and I feel like i’m about to ride in on a horse into a village and burn that whole thing down, which isn’t a bad dorky thing its just that epic and fantasy filled. Some songs I feel like i’m feasting with foreign kings and riding on dragons that have 3 heads as a level 60 Gunslinger Destromath but thats besides the point, its Reid the kid that I thought since 2004 would be huge one day and after 5 years he has become a favorite composer of many electronic fans and seriously not to plug him but for any video game company that needs a sound designer and you think Amon Tobin or Richard Devine is the top of the line well then you need to give Reid one day to compose you something for any scene and i’ll bet my left arm(i’m left handed) he’ll make it perfect. Alright, i’ve gone overboard and thats what happens when you’re listening to this record and writing about it.
(please note the artwork above is only partially the final art used for the release, I just enjoyed that section of the cover a lot more)
I was going to save this Juno song for the perfect ending for a mix because I think it blows a lot of similar bands like Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, etc out of the water if you compared best song to best song. The recording of the vocal could be one of my favorites, the builds are not too drastic but still have these epic parts to them. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
How did I miss The Autumns? probably because i’m not a fan of the guys vocal but lyrically and sonically they’re outstanding, what do you think? I can’t imagine how they sound now though.
Tom Croose’s partner as Worst Friends goes under the name Slow Hands, he’s a classically trained guitarist that makes slow house/disco that pretty much sound like it’s inspired by Sade which might be the best direction for the future of slow disco and comes so natural to Ryan’s style of making music.
This Herrmann & Kleine song could calm anyone with its digital fake waves in the distance, child toy melodies, and dreamy keys, all that comes to mind is taking a calm nap in a foreign city.
Juno – The Great Salt Lake / Into the Lavender Crevices of Evening the Otters Have Been Pushed
Brooklyn has a lot of talented musicians, some of them follow the trends that keeps a room of sweaty hip people moving but usually it’s never original or very formulaic and similar sounding. One group that i’ve been lucky to see a handful of times is Body Language which does a catchy amount of soulful harmonic indie dance. The 3 piece consists of Matt Young, Grant Wheeler, and Ang Bess who all share the workload of entertaining us by bringing out old synths, voiceboxes, and xylophones on stage. If you want to see them they open up for Passion Pit and Miike Snow this week in New York.
Cassettes Won’t Listen has been stuck in my head all week long, I am trying to figure out who he sounds like, maybe its what I want video games to sound like or its kind of a mixture of if Eliot Lipp made 4/4 material instead of hip hop and he invited IDM specialist Wisp to help make the music and they had to use studio instruments, I know thats a odd comparison since i’m name dropping but it is what it is.
Proem is just one of those musicians that surfaced during the IDM boom and grabbed a lot of the attention of fans during the mid 2000’s and now kind of goes down in my mind as an important piece of keeping that genre afloat. he has a similar sound to Marumari which is that melodic and dreamy Aphex Twin sound with tons of texture on his notes and each one kind of flutters by kind of like this Arovane song.
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:
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.
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.
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.
“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.
– 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
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.