Some people can't pick out Staten Island on a map. Outside debates about gentrification and changing neighborhoods, there are pockets of the city that get forgotten. For Bueno, there's beauty in nostalgia for that forgotten, "old New York". As five boys raised in Staten Island's pseudo-suburban, Catholic-school culture, the band's immersed themselves in New York's rock n' roll traditions and stylistic devices, embracing the spectrum from the hazy narrations of late 70's Lou Reed to uptempo locomotion of early Strokes. Overall, the band's love for the city extends beyond the purely musical. Frontman and primary songwriter Luke Chiaruttini dug his roots into the city's music scene via his work at the venue Shea Stadium. On "Blown Out", off their upcoming Illuminate Your Room LP, Bueno delivers a personal take on a familiar rock narrative. Waking up to a world they don't understand or particularly like, Chiaruttini's narrator confronts a vapid and unforgiving wasteland from the perspective of an outsider. "I love rock n roll but it has a tendency to reinforce some very negative male stereotypes and lend a voice to those who probably don't necessarily need their voices amplified." Chiaruttini told AdHoc via email. "So this is a rock record that isn't a power fantasy but a vulnerability fantasy, where that vulnerability is seen for its own merits and not as a weakness. So it's an inversion of a lot of poor narrative cliches that I didn't really identify with.”
Illuminate Your Room is out August 19th via Babe City and Exploding In Sound Records. Bueno's record release show is August 26th at Shea Stadium. More tour dates after the jump.
George Xylouris and Jim White were vetted by distinct musical schools of thought. The son of one of Crete's most beloved traditional musicians, George Xylouris has realized his legacy over the course of a lengthy career playing in ensembles led by his father and, later, himself. In Xylouris White, he works his robust voice and eight-string laouto alongside Jim White, foreword-thinking drummer of Australian avant-rock outfits Dirty Three and Venom P. Stringer. The two men collaborated in the 90's, with Xylouris occasionally joining Dirty Three on stage and in recordings. In 2014, their 25 year-old mutual admiration culminated in the release of Goats, their recorded debut as a duo. Bridging continents and drawing from diverse stylistic backgrounds, the men, in collaboration, become explorers, charting unknown musical landscapes through mutually induced discovery. "Black Peak" is the first look at the group's sophomore album of the same name due out in October. The record was produced by Guy Picciotto (Fugazi) and features guest vocals from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.
Black Peak is out October 7th on Bella Union. Xlyouris White plays Union Pool September 28th.
Chicago synthesist Brett Naucke is one of the more vital cornerstones of experimental music. Through his work running the impeccable Catholic Tapes imprint, operating a number of collaborative efforts (Druids of Huge, Exercise), and recording under his solo Face Worker alias, Naucke has curated and perpetuated beautifully bizarre music from the fringe. Now, Naucke returns under his given name with Executable Dreamtime, a six-song set of precisely processed permutations that suggest a method of transcribing and categorizing dreams. Tracks like "Executable Dreamtime" and "The Space Between Twins" open deep, sprawling paths of vibrant ambiance, floating on clouds of arpeggiated tones and throbbing noise. Elsewhere, "1028 Modulated Tunnels" and "Forever Overhead" use randomness and repetition to reveal exquisite drifts of synthetic bliss, not unlike Keith Fullerton Whitman's modular meditations or fellow Umor Rex labelmate M. Geddes Gengras.
Executable Dreamtime is out now on Umor Rex, along with three new tapes by Maar, Alexandre Bazin, and Siavash Amini and Matt Finney.
Shopping just shared London-based producer Helm's reworking of "Wind Up", a track from their latest LP, Why Choose. Helm, the PAN-affiliated electonic musician, has a history of engaging with Europe's punk scene, crafting industrial noise as part of the project Birds Of Delay and, more recently, touring with Iceage under his current moniker. Working with "Wind Up", Helm draws from the energy of Shopping's proto-punk performance, sampling the band's animated vocal shouts and plunky guitar licks and morphing their song into a dark dancehall track. “Our friend Helm makes boundary-less music, atmospheric and sometimes industrial in tone and we are so pleased he agreed to work on this track for us while travelling for 7 days on the trans-siberian express!", Shopping told AdHoc via email. "Perhaps the first remix made on this legendary train journey across vast changing landscapes.”
Why Choose is out now on FatCat. Shopping plays Baby's All Right with Gauche on August 3rd. More US tour dates below.
Slant of Light
, the 2014 album that introduced the musical collaboration of multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler
and harpist Mary Lattimore
to the world, carried with it a rather cinematic tone, its four extended instrumental evoking stark scenes of passion, startling beauty, and haunting drama. It seemed, then, somehow natural that the pair’s next project together would be a film score.
Asked by the annual Marfa Ballroom event to score a silent film, Lattimore chose Philippe Garrel’s devastating 1968 experimental short Le Révélateur—
which tracks a family as they escape an unseen conflict—and chose her friend Zeigler to work with her on it. And what they came up with matches the unsettling feelings and moments of devastating loveliness on screen with quietly plucked melodies and an especially stirring use of melodica. Their initial performance proved so successful that the pair have been performing it around the U.S. and made a recording of their semi-improvised score for Thrill Jockey Records
, which is being released on July 22nd.
I was able to spend some time on the phone with Lattimore and Zeigler as they sat in a traffic jam in the middle of a recent run of performances to talk about their score and the importance of getting the approval of Garrel for this project.
What was your process going into a project like this? How did you tackle the idea of scoring a film like Le Révélateur?
JZ: We weren’t totally sure right off the bat, and we just started rolling through the film and improvising to it. From there we came up with parts and sort of formed a theme off that. A lot of times, Mary would come up with a harp part and I’d build off that from section to section. Did we initially try to do that for the whole thing at once?
ML: I can’t remember. We definitely wrote themes and little notes depending on the action that was happening in the film.
JZ: Initially we were approaching it more as a whole rather than individual scenes, and it started to make more sense to separate it out a bit.
New York City electronic four-piece Macula Dog are, frankly, pretty absurd. On their debut LP, the amazingly titled Why Do You Look Like Your Dog?, Macula Dog ask the age old questions do we begin to look like our dog or do we select a dog that looks like us? I know what you’re wondering: will WDYLLYD reveal the answers? Stay tuned, sportsfans, but the prognosis is… well… pretty good.
On “Lawnmower,” the first single from the record, Macula Dog offers some freaky lyrics detailing life as a cow being led to and through slaughter: “Starting from the back of the book/The anonymous donor/Ran me over with the mower/And now I’m hung with no hook/Rest your head on the pillow/Glass roof above you/No floor below/Grass fed & drive-thru window/Choked by invisible hands.” The quartet’s zany electronic backdrop provides a whimsical canvas, but upon lyrical inspection, it only provides a more accurate, terrifying rendering of the American eating experience. Look at how fun this is—you can fingerpaint with the blood on your hands!
Why Do You Look Like Your Dog? is out August 12 on Wharf Cat Records.
With his project Tarentel, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma broke dozens of genre rules while forging a distinct path for the future of post-rock. Later he would go on to continue his experiments working on a multitude of albums with memorable acts such as The Alps, Portraits, and especially his collaborations with Grouper's Liz Harris under their Raum moniker. Even under his name alone, Cantu-Ledesma has created a canon out of mythologizing love and loss: three of his previous solo outings, 2014's Songs of Remembrance and Songs of Forgiveness, followed by 2015's A Year with 13 Moons, all revolve around a united theme of love and its consequences. His latest release, In Summer, finds him furthering his emotional explorations, especially through first single "Love's Refrain." A masterful blend of Cocteau Twins' Heaven or Las Vegas-esque drum machine, layer upon layer of guitar work, and dizzying tape decay, Cantu-Ledesma perfectly manifests his identity as a celestial form, a vessel for heartbreaking, emotionally charged sonic displays. Paul Clipson's video perfectly summarizes the environmental elements available in the song, swirling deciduous and coastal locales into one disorienting fireworks display. "Love's Refrain" continues Cantu-Ledesma's thematic evolution, where a plant can receive a sun's love with no physical form, and the listener can experience loss with no pain.
In Summer is available August 7 on Geographic North.
Ultimate Painting’s first LP, a self-titled heterogeneous collection of The Byrds meets VU era Velvet Underground nuggets, saw James Hoare and Jack Cooper trading songs. While Ultimate Painting provided insight into the band’s love of gentle guitars and poetic musings, their sophomore record, Green Lanes, saw the duo’s grip on individual craftsmanship loosening up. Like their debut, Dusk, the band’s upcoming full-length for Trouble in Mind, features ten songs, though this time the songwriting continues in the vein of Green Lanes’ team effort, waxing even more symbiotic.
On “Bills,” album opener and first single, the band takes a motorik turn, rooting itself in a plodding bassline, while still maintaining its trademark lithe guitar and gracefully harmonized vocals. It’s a song that couldn’t be written by anyone other than Ultimate Painting, taking everything they does well and cranking it up to ten. Long-time fans will find the duo’s calmly psychedelic world shimmering more vibrantly than ever and new ears will wonder how such mesmeric songwriting escaped them until now. It’s beautiful. It’s groovy. And, for my money, it’s their best song, though that could change after hearing the other tracks on Dusk.
Dusk is out October 19 on Trouble in Mind.
At some point on tour, while playing a show in Amsterdam, Ryley Walker, a prodigious guitarist and scholar of Americana, found himself thinking about a bar in Wisconsin he used to frequent with his family. The bar is the namesake for “The Roundabout,” a new track from his upcoming record, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung. Walker’s personal ties to the Midwest are obvious—he was born in Rockford, Illinois, not too far from Wisconsin and now calls Chicago his home. Chicago is deeply embedded in the history of American music, the vocabulary from which Walker constructs his music. But it has also played host to restless experimenters like Gastr Del Sol or Tortoise or Leroy Bach, all of whom Walker cites as formative influences. (He even used to jam with some of them when he was younger.) The critical and conceptual thrust of the avant-garde helps structure “The Roundabout,” which is built around a looping, cascading acoustic riff seemingly incapable of change—as if it were performed by a machine designed to perform only a single motion. Walker’s backing band can only escalate or deescalate against this backdrop, and hews heavily to the narrative of Walker’s lyrics. His words present the slow pile up of small disasters—passenger doors which don’t open, ruined credit, and worthless lottery tickets—all of which culminate at the end of each verse in his declaration: "you can find me at the Roundabout." By the end of the track, he sings the refrain with a tone of something between defiance and resignation.
Golden Sings That Have Been Sung is out August 19 on Dead Oceans. Walker plays with Circuit des Yeux at Market Hotel, Brooklyn on November 3.
The phenomenon of Ian William Craig’s music is a curious one. Classically trained as a singer in the operatic/choral tradition and professionally working as a teacher of printmaking at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Craig is now best known as a self-taught experimenter in the world of analogue synths, droning instruments, reel-to-reel machines, and re-purposed tape decks. The transcendent and meditative beauty of his lush arrangements combined with his distinctive ethereal vocals point to something pure and almost immaculate. Take the voice of Art Garfunkel, add in the cavernous choralism of Julianna Barwick along with the vast wintry soundscapes of Lawrence English, then run it all through a hundred layers of William Basinski’s disintegration loops, and this may come close to what Craig accomplishes on his new record Centres. The heavy and expectant melody on teaser track “A Single Hope” may indicate that this will be the most song-oriented of Craig’s albums, a logical conclusion to the slow-motion shoegaze envisioned by Slowdive and made grandiose by Sigur Ros. This will be Ian William Craig’s first album to be issued on CD as well as LP so you have no excuse in letting this one pass by.
Centres is out on July 8 via FatCat Records.