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.
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If 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)
Brooklyn’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.
One 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]
I’ve collected a few upcoming wonderful ambient releases to look forward to in early 2009. Since the only released artwork really is this Belong art, it will have to do but it’s actually really beautiful I think. I saw a small version of Tim Hecker‘s art for his release in February of “An Imaginary Country” but it was a bit too small to use. The beginning of Sea of Pulses is like jumping into the middle of a Fennesz/M83 collaborative concert that is slowly finishing up a 9+ minute piece. The song slightly dies down and it sounds like a voice takes over for a bit which at that moment it has already knocked off Animal Collective’s Brother Sport as my favorite song(for now) of 2009.
If you haven’t heard of Manual before then be ready to put your coat on because your heading over to your local record store. Moonlit Shores is the first song i’ve found off the upcoming Danelectro LP and this track gives me so much hope that ambient music will really take off in 2009. In just a few minutes into this 12 minute piece you can feel out what setting Manual wanted you to experience when hearing this song, the simplicity of it lets you focus on whatever beautiful part of the song you want to hear, well done my friend.
Pan American is back, that’s pretty much all I have to say to some people. Can we take a second and thank Kranky records for what seems to be the starting of an uncanny new year.
For some reason I thought I already posted this Belong song, I was almost positive. When listening to this song make sure you have a little bit of bass rumble to accompany the exquisite drown going on, it almost makes me nauseous in the best possible way. Have you started listening to the song yet? are you at least 2 minutes in? beautiful right?
First off, your going to have to excuse the cover choice but it was the best one out of the 4 songs for today. Let’s get right to it, there’s a new Animal Collective record coming out January 13th and from what i’ve read it sounds really promising. I listened to a lot of Animal Collective songs last night just to figure out what i’m attracted to in their songwriting and I noticed all the songs I do want to hear over and over like Leaf House, Grass, #1, Peacebone, Brother Sport and Visiting Friends all have either these driving low tom hits or have repetitive loopy melodies that I don’t mind hearing for minutes upon minutes. What I love about the new songs like “Bluish” and “Brother Sport” are the vocal styles though, like in “Brother Sport” the last 1:30 might be my favorite section of an Animal Collective song.
I found this Airiel song yesterday which i’m kind of on the fence about after I looked at their myspace. On one hand I wonder if this is the real thing meaning do they really love this style of music because their over stylized haircuts and upfront vocals make me think its just to get girls but the thought out catchy elements of the song make me love them, so I guess sometimes its best if I don’t meet the musicians and let myself just enjoy the songs.
I love The Juan Maclean, he doesn’t ever do anything that I dislike, from his remix of Matthew Dear to his classic sounding “Happy House” track to originals that put him on the map like “You Can’t Have It Both Ways”. This new remix for The Twelves has this unstoppable disco guitar and perfectly placed vocals in the mix because they’re never overpowering.
This A Sunny Day in Glasgow group out of Philly reminds me of Ulrich Schnauss at times but its like they only took a section of a song and repeated it unlike a growing shoegaze track. The mix of the song is a little rough too because the bassline that comes in is really nice but never really comes to life and that higher pitched synth note that comes in and out could be more drowned out. The girls vocal definitely has her moments 2 mins in and the overall dreamy effort makes me go back to it.
Animal Collective – Bluish
Airiel – Cinnamon
The Twelves – Be My Crush [The Juan MacLean’s Rio Mix]
I really never got into Camera Obscura, Belle & Sebastian, Death Cab For Cutie, The Decemberists, Wilco etc in the past but I always knew everyone else had it covered but after looking for more music thru blogs I am trying out everything. This song “Keep It Clean” is really nice, kinda reminds me of if Stereolab didn’t oversaturate their old sound. The cover has a great layout and is pretty Indietastic(one of the best Human Giant skits featuring the Other Music record store).
If you’re liking any of the slower disco on the blog check out the label Permanent Vacation which usually features some great compilations. This 40 Thieves track came out on Permanent Vacation last year and has been on repeat on my computer and also has these great elements that warm a crowd up early on to get people ready to fill the floor. Once you have the dance floor filled this edit by Prince Language of Gino Soccio might be my favorite song to play and dance to.
Los Angeles indie Hip Hop had some great moments in 2008, Flying Lotus and Samiyam paved the way for a lot of new faces. One of my favorite tracks was Roberta Flack and this remix by Mike Slott kept all the outstanding parts in there highlighted but added some great new pieces, well worth your time to check out.
Camera Obscura – Keep It Clean
40 Thieves – Don’t Turn It Off feat. Qzen
Gino Soccio – Love Is (Edit De Prince Language)
Flying Lotus – Roberta Flack (Mike Slott’s Other Mix)
Spike Jonze is about to make the movie of a lifetime in my opinion. The music/movie director will be releasing my(maybe everyone’s) favorite childhood book Where the Wild Things Are onto the big screen. Just look at these shots, they’re golden, and I just want to see more. Rumors around the web say that there will be no effects just large puppets, I think as a fan I couldn’t of asked for more.
I hope everyone has fully recovered from their New Year’s Eve celebrations and had some time to rest yesterday. Yesterday I had some time to compare notes with some other site’s TOP 10 albums of the year and noticed what I didn’t add but I still think mine holds up nicely. Would you guys care if I put up my TOP 25 singles for the year? or is that just going overboard?
One way I look for tracks is by going thru DJs myspace’s and looking at their charts for upcoming months. Usually guys from Hamburg, Berlin, or even older Detroit guys have their finger’s placed nicely on the best new music pulse. One name that came up was this Petar Dundov who made some really nice dubby techno. “Oasis” chugs along nicely, seems like a song you could play for your parents and be like “hey, I know you think you hate techno but check this out” kind of a nice gentle way to ease them into the genre instead of playing some favorite of yours like “Spastik”.
I didn’t know much about Stel when I received his remix for One Of Them’s “Sometimes I Feel Like” but right off the bat it caught my ear. With the French vocal attached he takes a deep house song somewhere i’d like to hear lounge music go into in the future.
I found Montag a long time ago when I was obsessed with Carpark records putting out Casino Versus Japan and Marumari(oh those were the days). He has some great licensable tracks, I feel like him and Styrofoam would of made a better Postal Service than what Gibbard and Dntel did.
Everyone knows Iceland’s Mum here I hope, Scott posted a wonderful track months ago. I had to add this track to the blog because of how simple it is and it makes you feel like you grew up with the group under some moss covered rock that had toy train sets, hand voice recorders and xylaphones.
Petar Dundov – Oasis – Substance & Vainqueur Remix