School of Seven Bells’ full-length debut, Alpinisms, is best introduced with a little etymology: Mercurial French author Rene Daumal defined “alpinism” as “the art of climbing mountains.” Art, of course, means many things: the perfection of craft, the transcendence of spirit, the physical world and the truth found beyond it. Alpinists, then, are both athletes and mystics. They practice “pure” climbing, hands gripping the cragged incline sans rope or guide, forcing their bodies ever-upward in the name of earthly enlightenment. “Alpinisms,” says Daumal enthusiast and guitarist Alejandra Deheza, “are mountain-climbing songs.”
Alpinism is an electronically enhanced pop record of dizzying highs and claustrophobic lows, whose painstaking conception shows in its detail-laden crevices. On the album’s best tracks – the polyrhythmic dream-pop of “Face to Face in High Places,” the nervous shimmer of “My Cabal,” the menacing lilt of “Iamundernodisguise” – Benjamin Curtis constructs layers of shoegazing, moire-patterned guitars, while sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza intertwine their near-identical voices like the fingers of praying hands. Throughout, the whole heavenly affair is tethered to the ground with a glitchy, tribal thwomp.
In Alpinisms, technology collides with cryptic religious imagery and airtight songcraft; knowledge begets action; and School of Seven Bells master an alien climate with effortless artistry.
Finally we have a new Broker/Dealer release, in my opinion if these guys were constantly making music they would be as large as Lindstrom or Metro Area. This track is like a night drive on the curvy coasts with the top down, it’s so driving yet at a pretty slow tempo. I hope this release will get these guys on the road playing live shows, i’ve only seem them once live and they have the best setup with both of them wearing brown leisure suits and all this 70’s footage of planes taking off on the hottest day. As for the D. Gookin track it’s my favorite to watch live especially the synth breakdowns, he is playing tonight in Brooklyn if you get a chance to come out. A Setting Sun is definitely a change up from the last 2 tracks, there is tons detail here very similar to older Mum without the vocals, every time it comes onto my iTunes it sounds like you’re about to go snowshoeing with the Leno character from the Royksopp video. I should of probably put this Le Technique track first since its more upbeat then the rest, do you remember Wipeout XL for the original Playstation? well this track should of been on the soundtrack if they made a sleeker and more visually beautiful version of the game where you would drive cola brown Maserati’s and wear caramel perforated leather aviator gloves.
Since the CMJ festival has taken over most of the venues here in New York, it’s a bit overwhelming to plan out your day since your favorite musician could be playing right at this moment since most shows start at noon and end at 4 am. Last night I went to see Trus’me who was in that Tom Croose mix from yesterday and couldn’t even stay because i was so beat from the last 2 shows before. Today i’m off to see Hatchback, School of Seven Bells, Tobacco, Praveen and i think Madlib, i hope to have a full report to you all of new findings and free mp3 downloads.
Tom Croose is one half of the Brooklyn DJ duo Worst Friends who recently put this mix together that is debuting here on ISO50. I thought I should share it here since it’s a really diverse sounding mix and most of the songs picked for the mix are pretty new to me. If you want more from Tom Croose he just released a 7 inch vinyl limited to 300 or download it here from us. The partial photo above is courtesy of Alex/HeadUp (who you may see once in a while on the blog) shot with his Holga.
1 – Nelson Angelo E Joyce – Comunhao
2 – Flying Lotus – Auntie’s Lock
3 – Slum Village – Fall n Love
4 – Slum Village – Fall n Love (Dilla remix)
5 – Max Berlin – Elle & Moi (Cicada remix)
6 – Trus’me – Drilling
7 – Ost & Kjex – Have You Seen The Moon In Dallas?
8 – Mark E & Dragon – Good Times (Prins Thomas remix)
9 – Jorge Ben – Oe Oe
10 – Dolle Jolle – Balearic Incarnation
11 – Wally Badarou – Endless Race
12 – Todd Terje – Glittertind
13 – Osborne – Wait A Minute
14 – k.i.d. – Hupendi Muziki Wangu?!
15 – Magnus International – Kosmetisk
16 – John Tejada – Turning Point
17 – Bostro Pesopeo – Falls (Hercules & Love Affair remix)
18 – Robag Wruhme – k.t.b. (Ruhig Brauner remix)
19 – Matias Aguayo – Minimal (Dj Koze remix)
20 – Spoon – Don’t You Evah (Matthew Dear remix)
21 – Beach House – Gila
What really makes my day and keeps me from not just becoming a complete hermit is when i see or meet passionate people and the most passionate person I know is my good friend Danny(The Reflecting Skin) by a long shot. If you ever could witness him enjoying a track or him performing it honestly will make you smile, you’ll have no other choice. Watching him is a mixture of a mad scientist that thinks he has nailed down some brand new formula for something extra special and is pacing back and forth and is completely unreachable or him literally dropping to his knees and giving you the “wait for it….ok now”. I wasn’t even allowed to speak in his room when we first listened to the new Telefon Tel Aviv record but when he played me this Arc Lab track at a really high bit rate and on great speakers he did all of the above. The bell comes in like it’s ringing on a foggy morning at about 5 am a 100 yards away then just a simple average IDM drum pattern comes to partner up the bell and you wait and there it is its simple and low but the bassline appears thicker than trying to eat cheese cake with a dry throat. The song comes completely alive with the melodies fighting for your attention like Aphex Twin’s “Fingerbib”. I hope you can enjoy it as much as Danny and I do.
The last thing I would do to you guys is post Peter Bjorn and John – “Young Folk’s”, let’s be honest it was one of the catchiest tunes around and my favorite track when it came out but I honestly don’t think I could sit through it right now all the way thru. Well, PBJ came back and didn’t disappoint at all with a vinyl and digital only release that I couldn’t just post only one track of. I love the direction of this record, at times it’s like a poppy Bibio album and touches that 70s-80s PBS background music style but in hi-fi. If you’re going to ever buy an LP this year and don’t have a record player this is the purchase to make because the LP comes with a digital download and you can give the LP to friend and they’ll love you for it.
This is Harmonia’s second release just before Rother hit the studio to record NEU!’s ’75. Brian Eno joined them for their next release (Tracks and Traces (1976)).
Harmonia’s lineup was a match made in heaven: a perfect mixture of NEU! (Rother) and Cluster (Moebius and Roedelius). Wikipedia references them as a “Krautrock supergroup,” and quotes Eno as saying that they are “the world’s most important rock band.”
Deluxe was a departure from the trio’s first release Musik Von Harmonia (1975). It’s much more of a solid sound with smoother melodies.
It’s a long track (9:43), but definitely worth the full listen, as they fit quite a few movements into it.
Earlier this year we posted The Chap “Auto Where To” on the blog and went off on a tangent on how much i loved it, well Ghostly International put together an amazing collection of remixers and edits of past Chap song’s including the French producer Joakim, check it out here.
The Chap – Auto Where To (Electroware Remix)
Xaver Naudascher – Motor City
Pigon – Promises
The Russian Futurists – Let’s get ready to crumble