Ryan Martin (of York Factory Complaint and Dais Records) is putting out Marble Cage, a new tape for Vitrine under his solo alias, Copley Medal. The cassette follows last year's The Mauve Decade (Ascetic House) and Sabbath (for his own label Robert & Leopold). “Select Panic” is the A side, beginning with what's more like a Psychic TV remix of Sun Araw than the ominous float that characterizes a lot of the best Copley Medal moments. The excerpt oozes forth on a possessed, throbbing tip toe until a whirlwind of alien signal cobbles together a blockade, forcing a segue into a wispy, shaking fade. You can listen below, via Vitrine's Youtube channel.
Marble Cage will be out late winter 2015 on Vitrine. Mastered by Kris Lapke.
Brian Blomerth, aka Narwhalz of Sound and one of the twisted minds behind Slippy Syrup, recently self-released a new tape. The Horny Bucket chronicles the exploits of a sex-crazed skunk whose own self-image as Rico Suave remains unresolved— is he a master lover about to execute his 1000th casanova maneuver, or is he just alone in a trashcan muttering to himself? It ricochets unexpectedly between crass hilarity and horrifying bursts of sleazy noise, painting an audio cartoon that fits somewhere between an X-rated Pepé Le Pew adventure and a cum-smeared Le Histoire de Melody Nelson with a less literal narrative. You can stream the whole thing below, via his Soundcloud.
Jeremy Harris does not stay still. His music is constantly in flux, mirroring his life bouncing around the country on tour. Since discontinuing the Lazy Magnet moniker that he had been recording and performing under since 1994, Harris has been cranking out numerous releases as Xerome.
"Enjoy your life," a track on his most recent release for More Records, begins with fragmented vocal samples that are tossed around by slow-churning beats. Picking up the pace, the track unfolds into a demanding exercise routine. It morphs into an entirely different beast, evolving from floating in a pool to walking on its own two feet, its convulsive rhythms an arresting jolt to the heart. Heavy-hitting techno from an alternate dimension.
The collection was recorded in Lansing, MI and Chapel Hill, NC in 2014. Some tracks were made in collaboration with Eel Burn (Wilted Woman).
Untitled is out now digitally on Xerome's Bandcamp. You can grab the More Records cassette edition from Jeremy himself. Paypal $12 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, frontman of Danish punk outfit Iceage, has been prepping a solo record as Marching Church. Three record release shows taking place the week after it’s late March release have been announced in LA and NYC. The NYC shows will be with Drew McDowall (ex-Coil / Psychic TV) and with Cheena (members of Pharmakon, Dawn of Humans, and Crazy Spirit), April 3rd at a secret location and April 4th at the Acheron respectively. The LA show will be at Jewel’s Catch One with Gun Outfit on April 7th.
You can listen to the Marching Church single, “Hungry for Love,” here, and watch the video for it below.
This World Is Not Enough is due out 3/30 on Posh Isolation (UK/EU) and 3/31 on Sacred Bones (North America/everywhere else). Show details reiterated after the jump.
AdHoc Issue 5 drops today, featuring art by Nate Young of Wolf Eyes and pieces on Lil Ugly Mane, Alex G, Björk's collaborators, the economics of cassette culture, Austin's hardcore and noise scenes, and Suicide's third album, A Way of Life. Purchase the issue or subscribe. Here is this month's letter from the editor.
Auteurship is a popular topic in these early months of 2015. Memes comparing the relative artistic merits and technical aptitudes of solo artists Beck and Beyoncé have flooded Facebook in the wake of the Grammy awards, and a recent Pitchfork interview lent Björk a forum to air her vexations regarding the media's portrayal of her agency in the songwriting and production processes of her music. That interview inspired us to run an article this month investigating what we can learn about Björk's signature style by analyzing the disparate panoply of her collaborators.
“Auteur” is a term that gets thrown around by the music press a lot today, often used to denote an artist who works alone and has a unique style. This is a misuse of the term, and ultimately one that does a disservice to the artists who truly deserve the tag. As Miguel Gallego points out in that piece about Björk's collaborators, “auteur” comes from the film world. Specifically, it was coined by the filmmakers of the French New Wave when they were still just critics writing for Cahiers du Cinema, and imported to America by film scholar and Village Voice writer, Andrew Sarris. In his formulation, auteurs were directors who could transcend the inherent chaos of making a film—a collaborative enterprise, with the script, camera, editing, and innumerable other tasks the responsibilities of discreet individuals—to give that film a distinct mark. In so many words, Alfred Hitchcock films feel like Hitchcock films; Martin Scorsese films feel like Scorsese films; David O. Russell films, on the other hand, have no distinct feel.
The fact of the matter is that the media dialog surrounding Björk is tonedeaf to the culture at large—be it her countless obsessive fans or the curators at the Museum of Modern Art—seem aware of: her status as auteur. Paradoxically, even though auteurism was introduced by cultural critics, auteurism is not a concept that the lay person needs a critic to decipher. Instead, the artist radiates that talent, projecting it to the world.
Tyondai Braxton’s departure from Battles in 2010 was a deeply disappointing bit of news; the influential rock outfit has not been nearly the same since being deprived of their frontman’s cohesive direction and multi-instrumental contributions. Braxton’s output seemed affected as well. Central Market, released just prior to the split, rang oddly hollow to my ears, sounding like his Battles-era loopy modern classical ornamentations deprived of the backbone of his former bandmates.
Luckily his latest full-length recording, Hive1, originally commissioned to soundtrack the live art exhibit/performance entitled Hive, is a meatier work. "Scout1", streaming below, is a synth-led piece split into two distinct movements, linked by the inclusion of South Asian style percussion and overtones. It’s altogether darker and more straightforward than his previous solo work, though no less sonically adventurous.
Nick Klein is no stranger to the world of haunted house and harsh rhythms. The Brooklyn-based producer's throbbing beats shake you to an alternate realm. His deep fried techno burns and thickens the air while black smoke billows into the room. His latest track "Mobility Effort," off his upcoming release on Unknown Precept, is a corrosive journey akin to being run through a meat grinder. Throughout this pulverization, the intoxicating melodies of synthesizers cause a mild feeling of dissociation. Klein has had several previous cassette releases, but Failed Devotee is his vinyl debut.
Brooklyn party promotor and tastemaker Weird Magic (run by photographer Erez Avissar) has announced the launch of its appropriately-hued record label, Purple Trax. The announcement was trumpeted with the release of a compilation called Purple Trax Vol. 1, which features original work by all sorts of far out heads, including Traxman, Huerco S., Via App, Mutual Dreaming's Aurora Halal, and Teengirl Fantasy's Logan Takahashi. As Resident Advisor reports, a Kickstarter is currently underway to help fund the label and press Purple Trax Vol. 1 to vinyl.
Brookyln's Advaeta plays heavy fuzzed out melodic pop. Last year's 7" Gold Thought Exit and guitarist Amanda Salane's side project Reversus drew a detailed map of what to expect from a full length and the new single 'Angelfish' develops that further. The song is pure shoegaze nestling into the band's love for big vocal hooks, fuzzy guitars with a grunge lean, and being loud as fuck. The vocals ride high in the mix and pull in strong harmonies to accentuate the trios pure singing voices. It makes me want to drive around LA in dad's Honda Accord and throw shit out the sun roof.
Coming from an artist who proudly revamps her style with each album, Björk's B-sides often feel like stylistic excursions onto creative roads not taken. With last month's release of Vulnicura-- her best album in several years-- it now seems like the perfect time to shine a light on the more obscure corners of the musical polymath's oeuvre. Here, you will find seven of AdHoc's favorite bits of Björk ephemera.
Björk's experiments with the early ’90s techno sound was bemoaned by Rolling Stone et al. as “painfully eclectic.” To today's listeners, these tracks might feel dated-- a classic example of artists inaccurately imagining what the future will sound like. But like with vaporwave today, Björk's collaborations with English beatmakers (of which “Karvel” is my favorite) remind us that the most cutting-edge music often ends up sounding obsolete, but in the best possible way.
To that end, hyperpop banger "Karvel" opens with notes straight out of a long-forgotten video game,-- or just the most exotic racing tracks on Cruis'n World-- keeping odd company with the rush of polyrhythmic breakbeats that flood Björk's sullen warble. The track is all about acting on impulse, though, so her voice doesn’t stay subtle for long, building to greater points of exasperation until she screams in Icelandic: "Never trust nuns!" Björk herself sorted this Post-era B-side into the "beats" section of her 2002 Family Tree box set, but the track was actually released on the "I Miss You" single back in 1997. Still, the song could be considered even older than that, recorded with 808 State’s Graham Massey before Debut in 1991 (sessions which also included the recording of "Army of Me" and "The Modern Things"). --Arielle Sallai
“In the Musicals” (2000)
In Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark, Björk stars as Selma Ježková, a Czech immigrant and single mother who suffers from a degenerative, hereditary disease that eventually leads to total blindness. Stuck in poverty and occupying a menial role on a factory line, Selma lives her days scraping together what she can to pay for ocular surgery for her son before he, too, loses his sight. As the dire and stressful narrative heightens, Selma escapes into daydream, reimagining scenes from her life as elaborately choreographed musicals. Selma’s bittersweet retreats are soundtracked by Björk’s sullen sensationalism and filmed with von Trier’s deadpan hopefulness and nihilism.
“In the Musicals” is one of the more upbeat tracks from Selmasongs: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack Dancer in the Dark and highlights Selma’s fantasy in despair more than any tune from the narrative. After a series of unfortunate events involving (spoiler alert) her murder of a close friend for stealing Selma’s surgery fund for her son, Selma sits in a courtroom with her own death penalty on the line. Incidental rhythms and sounds of court illustrators lead Selma into a percussive, tap dance-focused daydream with members of the courtroom serving as a full chorus line. In the reverie, Selma is wholly unmarred by her optical condition, balancing on dividers and jumping from table to table with playful elegance. The track’s arching melody soars through space, repeating “You will always be there to catch me,” foreshadowing Selma’s sentencing and ultimate death by hanging. --Bobby Power