Tonight I had the pleasure of meeting meeting two great bands; one literally and the other figuratively. I went to see fellow Ghostly artists School of Seven Bells play at Slim’s here in San Francisco and their performance was incredible. But having seen them live before, I pretty much expected that. It was the opening act — Warpaint — that were the big surprise of the night.
Warpaint are a Los Angeles based “psychedelic” band and I’d have to say that description is apt. I spent most of the set mesmerized by them, sort of in a trance. This is one of those bands that I dream of producing a record for someday. Bassist Jenny Lindberg and her Rickenbacker carved out the low end as if from stone and the guitarists were all over it with the kind of stripped down, melodic style I’m a sucker for. I’m not easily moved by live rock music performances but this one had me running over to the merch booth to snag a CD before the set was even half way over. The hilight of the show was an ultra-somber yet perfectly timed rendition of their song “Billie Holiday” which left me in awe (and remionded me of another favorite from Grouper). As soon as I got home I popped the CD in, hoping it would live up to their live energy and was pleasantly surprised to hear that it did. It’s raw, unpolished, and at times sounds like a jam session accidentally caught on tape, and it’s beautiful. The only thing I’d change would be the drums on the album version of Billie holiday; they were absent from the live version and I think it was a little more focused without them.
Loscil is up there with GAS, Aphex Twin, Stars of the Lid, Brian Eno in my mind when people bring up good ambient low level music. Gorgeous warm tones, analog tape sampling and vibraphones, he never leaves you feeling like your listening to nothing anything too experimental. Its just pure hypnotic gentle jet streams one after the other blowing on your hand, its like if someone tried to wake you up by just opening up a window and letting in a breeze to wake you.
So I started a unofficial Ghostly International Roller Hockey Team(more on that later I promise and if Ninja Tunes team wants to play us, bring it on, seriously, bring it hard and bring it good, jk) and the best part about it is that its mostly a collection of guys that make music and that means new good music and ideas from other people that I trust. Rob who plays on the team turned me onto Yppah on the way to the rink which was a name I never checked out but saw all the time but the name of the band just turned me off before I could ever press play to preview a song. Boy! have I been missing out, just bought up the whole catalog on emusic.
Fuck Buttons have always been on my radar, really like the sound of this track Surf Solar, its a good mash up of The Field and early M83.
Some people might put Kaito under the Trance genre bin and never take the time to check it out but Kaito makes something that is a special exception. He isn’t about making trance or getting people to dance or trip out, to be honest the more I listen to his music I have this feeling that he doesn’t even listen to anything mainstream or understand what the trance genre is and probably just sits down and makes what sounds good to him.
The fabulous Hyperdub label turns 5 and unveils their 2xCD compilation thats full of exclusives and recent 12″ hits. Joker & Ginz touch on a West Coast sounding early 90’s monster that could be played in Pop clubs around the world, its like if you put Dam Funk in a NES game and drugged him up and only let him play low notes. Flying Lotus comes in running with his signature deep step that sways like a Kompakt shuffle track but heavier than a boot covered in thick mud. Samiyam joins the crew with more of a head nodding cut including long high pitch synth chords and dramatic melodies. 2000F & J Kamata brings us back to the late 80s roller skating rink jams in Oakland, CA with Osborne like vocoders and smash hit hooks and breaks. Quarta 330 takes Kode9 track and gives it a NES last level feel, plenty of deep space soldiers ready for battle once this track ends *presses A+B buttons together as fast as possible*.
Ghostly International’s on going podcast series has had its share of diverse artists contributing monthly from Graphic Designers like You Work For Them to Detroit’s Hip Hop act Wajeed. This month Ghostly presents Worst Friends/Wolf + Lamb artist Slow Hands which you may know from our exclusive mix series, download and enjoy.
TRACKLIST Naum Gabo – Volgograd Mugwump – Stanza A Mountain Of One – Bones (Way Of The Ancients Remix) Jarvis Cocker – Discosong (Pilooski Mix) Phreek Plus One – That’s It Clap Rules – Old Sequencer – (Bostro Pesopeo Remix) Motor City Drum Ensemble – Raw Cuts #6 TJ Kong – Music (The Clashing Egos Interpretation) Break SL – Dirtbomb Phreek Plus One – Astro Boogie (Sportloto Alpha Remix) LCD Soundsystem – 45:33 (Padded Cell Remix)
I feel in love with Information Records early last year once all the Studio remixes started to surface, since then they have released D. Lissik and Fontan. A ton of good spacey guitar noodlin’ in the best way, not one bad song out of that trio of bands.
I feel an even bigger psych rock movement(or maybe we should say moment) is about to happen, even bigger than the one we have now and one band that will take us there is the heavily 70’s influenced A Mountain of One.
Marble Sounds didn’t get much love when their EP was released BUT it was only a hand full of tracks, one track that I go back to is Good Occasions its a catchy alternative soft tune that builds nicely maybe even too nice, certain parts linger like a mid 90’s post rock song but the singers voice takes everything up a notch with his high pitch serenades.
I hope everyone that listens to ambient consistently has had a chance to sit with an Eluvium album, not just a song a whole album, he’s right up there with Loscil and Gas in my mind as someone that delivers a full on thought out release, always a beautiful surprise when a track like this pops up randomly at night on your player.
All I want to hear during this Powell song is for someone to say “Here’s the Beat Konducta on the Blue Note Records…” just kidding, the man has some talent and a great ear, check him out on iTunes I also picked up Dimension X and Crystalisation from his catalog.
Another strong release by Mr. Paul White, the 4 track EP called The Punch Drummer just leaves you wanting more though, still a good way to spend $4.
4AD picks up another great UK group called The Big Pink that can bring the wall of sound but also can maybe help veer the hipsters crowd away from the Franz Ferdinand.
I had to post this Weird Tapes edit partially because I love the song but the Laserblast sync music video just puts it over the top.
Powell – Reflexion
Paul White – Synth March
The Big Pink – Dominos
Hail Social – No Paradise (Weird Tapes Edit)
Hail Social – No Paradise (Weird Tapes Edit) Video…Kinda
Just found a compilation from a label run by one of the guys from The Drums called Holiday Records, really promising fun material, there is a slew of genres being exposed, bits and pieces hint that The Drums have the depth and truly live thru their sound and are well deserving of the 2009 hype.
New Burial from the forthcoming Hyperdub compilation, i’m definitely feeling this.
There once was a time that the label Traum was pretty much outstanding week after week, firing from all angles with the some of the most beautiful compilations and rising stars, those were the days when deep minimal melodic had a chance to become what Space Disco is today.
Texture expert Farben still pops up regularly on my iTunes, the songs always dim the lights in my room when they come on, makes me think about the times I end up staring at flickering candles or when you crush up flint and sprinkle it on a lighter and you end up having a tiny little sparkler show for a short while.