If you’re anywhere near Sacramento right now, cancel any plans you might have. The final Club Pow is going down at The Press club. Club Pow is a Sacramento music scene institution, they’ve been cranking out amazing shows night after night for years now. I’ll be making the drive out from San Fran, so all of you in Roseville, Folsom, Elk Grove, and Woodland have no excuses! See you there.
The very first post I ever did on the ISO50 blog was of The Mercury Program, just one of those bands that I feel like I can play for anyone and they’ll fall in love with at least one song. I admire that this record stayed on pace with their previous albums, you know lush key work and light on the feet yet a wave of feel good energy popping up now and again, a perfect record to listen to for a Monday morning.
The Mercury Program: If you’re out there contact me[jakub *t iso50 d*t com] I want you to do a Tycho cover for his LP or if you want to play in Brooklyn, NY.
Probably one of the most educational mixes i’ve ever heard, this really lays out what has happened in Hip Hop in the last 10 years, call it Glitch Hop, Dubstep, Downbeat, Bass Music but its all just different forms of Hip Hop.
“2tall, Clockwork and Kper are very proud to let you know that our new mix, A Boom Bap Continuum, is now live. We’ve worked very hard on this for most of the year and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we did putting it together.
The mix features over 200 tracks by more than 50 producers all mixed, edited and mashed up in 80 minutes. The intention is simple: we wanted to highlight the lineage of hip-hop production and beat making from the turn of the millennium to the present day, and perhaps shed some light on the fairly quiet revolution that has been taking place under the surface of mainstream media in recent years.”
Download, artwork and text all available on the website
Animal Collective has done it again, listening to the previews I wasn’t too excited but the EP as a whole all the way thru is a treasure. Bleed is a heavy echoed out call and response song that simply makes you feel like your with the band in a bat cave with a cello. HIGHLY RECOMMEND hanging out in this bat cave with headphones on.
I found Apse accidently looking for some new post rock but instead of grabbing up the rock tracks I directly went for this looped tribal psychedelia for its build, i’d hope if there was ever such a day that Animal Collective and Sigur Ros did an instrumental album it would sound like this for 80 mins.
I don’t know what to say about this Piano Magic song besides that if it came out in the early 90’s it would of been huge, such good song writing and the guitar parts are written soo well, gawwww! this song deserves an award, damn this state of music! this band needs to be doing really well.
Arms is ex-Harlem Shakes guitarist and wonderful writer, a definite must have for Broken Social Scene, Mobius Band, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah plus someone else that’s on the tip of my tongue that I might blurt out in the comment section. Todd’s singing style with the guitars in this song could please any rock crowd with its hints of big classic rock and new indie rock perks. HIGHLY RECOMMEND
With more and more of the 1980’s PBS/older cartoon watching generation maturing and fine tuning their craft as musicians the more i’m excited about where hip hop is going. I’m sure if we asked a ton of these guys like Paul White, Bullion, Lone, Prefuse 73, Powell etc what they grew up on it would probably be a heavy dose Disney, Looney Tunes, and Hanna Barbara. I hear a great LP in Sounds From The Skylight, one that shows a crate digging addict, an open playful mind, and someone that truly cares and believes in taking this sound further and having fun doing it.
Recently one of the most relaxing songs i’ve been listening to is by Greg Davis, its 22 minutes of soft drone, it doesn’t give you much but also never asks for your attention, its very calming and glides out perfectly at the end.
I’ve been waiting for a new Legowelt EP since his release of Nacho Patrol, this track Day Sailor grabbed me right away, we don’t get this kind of atmospheric synth pop anymore I really missed it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
People shouldn’t confuse Minimal and Minimalist in this day in age, Minimal is a dying form of techno made by guys that isn’t meant for dancing but more about how much you can cut up a techno song and then use glimpses of sounds you find around the house while Minimalist is more of a classic sound that is timeless, raw and always a treat to listen to if you get talents like Terrence Dixon, Derrick May or in this case up and comer Actress to unveil something new that sounds old which in this case is a great thing.
Animal Collective has a new EP coming out next month and one of the big buzz songs is a rerelease of What Would I Want Sky which was just a BBC Session track in the past. The song consists of swirling noise and organized chaos which I think is Animal Collective’s strong suit and followed with looped vox to make it indie rock approved.
Greg Davis – Hall of Pure Bliss
Legowelt – Day Sailor
Actress – Ghost Have A Heaven
Animal Collective – What Would I Want Sky (BBC Session)
Here are 4 bands that I think really bring something special to the indie rock table, bands that are pushing the envelope on sound and their passions reaching for something different.
Juana Molina makes me want to dig thru the world music crates and pick her brain, the drive in her voice in this song could make 101 yr old man stand up and dance, I need to see this song being played live, my jaw would probably hit the floor.
What can you say its a new Beach House single that just leaked and the indie world is fumbling over itself to get a listen and I have to say its pretty impressive, catchy and i’d like to throw out this genre idea – woodgaze [woodsy shoegaze], yes or no?
After Pitchfork’s Festival all I heard about was how outstanding Frightened Rabbit sounded live, this is my first taste of something that I like by them on CD, wow a collection of songs[this plus the other 3 songs and some shoegaze and maybe Red House Painters and thats really it, and The Police too] that actually make me want to listen to lyrics, its such a nice feeling.
I have to give it to Tom Croose, he called Real Estate being great in the spring and now look at us all, I have to go back to how I visually described it back in August: “to me its laid back feel makes me want to bust out the Yo La Tengo’s Summer Sun LP but i’m too busy chillin’ in my kids pool filled with hose water that is being warmed by the sun and I have grass blades stuck all over me that i’m trying to pick off, so lets just keep the Real Estate CD in.”
My friend Eli (who needs to do an Italo Disco installment of Synth Pioneers) put me onto this documentary, which is likely the best exploration of the English synth-pop moment. With great interviews from heroes like Daniel Miller, Vince Clark and Martin Gore, it really got my blood pumping so I wanted to write about a few other acts who were originators of the international electronic pop sound.
Kraftwerk – Computer Love
Talking about the greatness of Kraftwerk is like talking about the necessity of air, so I’ll keep it short. They just released all of their most well-known albums, remastered and with original artwork. “Computer Love” is one of my al time favorite songs. The way the lead seems to phase shift at the end always takes my breath away. Let’s get this straight: A song about loneliness and computers, made before the internet was invented which glides like classical music? Sounds like a plan.
Yellow Magic Orchestra – Technopolis
Yellow Magic Orchestra have been called the Japanese Kraftwerk, in that they were both pop innovators and an awesomely stoic synth band. Ryuichi Sakamoto has since gone on to collaborate with Fennesz and Christopher Willits amongst others. Their work may pre-date synth-pop but it’s surely in the canon of influential works. I often play their hit “Computer Games” if transitioning between sounds in a DJ set. When the beat drops at 1:50, it always lights up the room.
Japan – Gentlemen Take Polaroids
A band that is sorely overlooked is David Sylvian’s Japan project, which married glam and (some would say, invented) new romantic aesthetics to synth austerity and elegant arrangements. Their full sound was more complex than their peers and more sinister by a long shot. Recently, Sylvian has also collaborated with aritsts like Fennesz and covered acts like Blonde Redhead with stunning vocal clarity.
Simple Minds – Glittering Prize
Scotland’s Simple Minds were another band not included in this documentary, probably because they are more associated with the New Wave movement, but like labelmates the Human League, they’re example of a band moving from experimental work to pop success. Their work became increasing U2-like and less electronic, but this track captures them at the peak of a rewardingly sweeping sound, with pitch-perfect production to boot.
Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the Synth Pioneers series can be found here.