Space People create a frenetic world of sloppy beats sewn together by a glut of jazz, funk and hip-hop samples. Their style is indebted to the work of Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder but is in no way derivative; rather, it speaks to a unified production style that tastefully marries hip-hop and smooth jazz without the gaudy music conservatory trappings of jazz-funk. Diverging from Brainfeeder's L.A. attitude, Space People, perhaps informed by New York's turntablist roots, focus on similar themes—but they exist beneath a veneer of furiously chopped and screwed jazz funk samples. There's a corridor that connects Space People's music to classic NYC hip-hop. Indeed, with all the frenetic cuts and chops happening over the beats in a track like the exemplary "Funky (It's Got To Be)" from the act's SHMM tape, one could link the sonics to the hustle and bustle of trains and jackhammers and loudmouthed yelling assholes that occupy the aural landscape of Manhattan. Meanwhile, a healthy dose of lush jazzy synths fill out the atmosphere like a breeze catching you on Delancey coming over the Williamsburg Bridge.
"Deep Thoughts 7," a new track by Ohio producer Giant Claw, lacks the abstracted '90s R&B of his previous work, Dark Web, which was perhaps the only touchstone in that music that felt human. Indeed, "Deep Thoughts 7" is an alien baroque-tech fugue: gothic, ornamental furniture music in the vein of CoLa with more reclaimed cheeseball synth tones than James Ferraro would dare to use. I played for some friends and asked them all to help me describe it (sort of a lazy way to crowdsource this post). The responses were "Robot Church," "Casinoesque," "Gregorian Chant." Someone mentioned that this would be terrible music to have sex to in the same way that throwing on some Palestrina might make your Tinder date have to go home and feed their cats. Personally, I had a visual of my teenage self hunched in his dark room listening to "Deep Thoughts 7" with my mom hovering outside my door. She: miles more terrified for my sanity than if I were listening to Cannibal Corpse/sewing a frog to an inverted crucifix. In this dream I turn around slowly in my black swivel chair, and she sees my eyes glowing in the dark like two small computer monitors and I say "Hello Mother... I haven't quite finished my homework..."
The subtle beginning of "Wetware," the new track from Alexandra Drewchin's Eartheater project, creeps along like unfurling vines. Thoughtfully arpeggiated guitar chords sit over subtle beats while Drewchin's versatile voice twists overhead. It is reminiscent of Kria Brekken's work post-Múm but, rather than Brekken's precious iciness, Drewchin breathes a dark lysurgic creepiness. All of her work holds this theme of patient anticipation, a certain centered calmness that is infectious and welcoming. The song is an echo reflection of previous full length Metalepsis, from earlier this year. But where that record felt like a jungle of glazed white plastic trees, this feels like swimming in a creek beneath digitized moonlight.
"Wetware" comes in advance of RIP Chrysalis, out October 20 on Hausu Mountain.
The scene conjured by Wolf Eyes' new track T.O.D.D. resembles your uncle in his extraordinarily well-lit basement wearing tube socks and drinking Irish coffee; you go down there to check on him, and he's performing some kind of ritual, and there's smoke everywhere and his creepy friends are there, and they stare at you beneath bald flourescent lights and there's a glint in their wraparound Oakleys that you don't trust, and they're all wearing Adidas Sambas and there's wood paneling everywhere. It's droned out doom metal, a departure from Wolf Eyes' dystopic horror soundtracks, but it rings true to their statement that they want more "discipline" in their music making.
Also: The band has officially announced Trip Metal Fest in Detroit, Memorial Day weekend 2016. The festival is curated by Wolf Eyes' Nate Young and will feature "experimental, industrial, funk, punk techno and more," which is about as close to an explanation of the genre Trip Metal that we've ever gotten.
Brooklyn’s Advaeta premiere a new video today featuring the song "Newo" from their grunge-psych release Death and the Internet on Fire Talk Records. It’s an interesting encapsulation of the lysergic VHS sunset visions floating behind bands at Bushwick venues The Silent Barn or Palisades. This is due to the work of video manipulation wiz Ginny Benson, of A/V group Brat Pit, who no doubt has a huge pile of cassette tapes lying around her house. The visuals reference that classic US psych look, where crazed people prance around in the woods and swoosh around some fabrics and look sort of scary with masks and colors and whatnot-- like the cover of the first Black Sabbath record. Check out the video below, and look at the band's slew of northern tour dates after the jump.
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.
The standard pop song's form is, you know, ABABCAB, set into stone by the gods and found at the foot of the dolphin star mother tree. So it's nice when you hear a pop song structure where you dont even notice it derailing that system, like, "Yeah, I'm cool with that second bridge after the pre-bridge half-chorus, bruh." New single "Vacant Ring" by Red Sea features a series of subtly hookish guitar pop refrains that helix and complete the song at oblique angles. The song's mood is the same dark pop-snot that the first Interpol record evoked but less self-important. It drifts around and picks up vocal harmonies as it drops guitar licks off-- it feels spacious, like nighttime in a city might to a pigeon. The song is fluid, and its fluidity is more attractive than anything gauche like a soaring chorus or tawdry bridge.
"Vacant Ring" comes from Red Sea's Yardsticks for Human Intelligence. The EP will be out digitally on March 3 on Bayonet, alongside a reissue of another Red Sea release, In The Salon.
The strange word "Metalepsis" is the title of forthcoming album by Eartheater aka Alex Drewchin of Guardian Alien. It means to embed an abrieviated common idea or phrase in a new framework as in: "I couldnt sleep, the bedbugs were biting me all night." In philosophy its a hyperlinking, of sorts, between two separate realities that refract and imply each other, you know, kind of like that movie Sliding Doors. Its a lovely psychedelic concept and it appropriately illustrates the single "Homonyms" which sits in a web of references. The guitar and vocal work are reminiscent of breezy 60's psych-folk like Linda Perhacs but it has an ambient electronic lean that is self-aware of its own babbling rythm. Mechanical tablas guide and format Drewchin's complex melodies which swoop through processed alien harmonies in iridescent laptop reverb. Best of all, unlike many vocalists in experimental pop who drench themselves in wafting cavernous murk, Drewchin's lyrics are mostly audible and this is good because they are outstanding. Dense, provocative, and transcendent, they anchor the foggy melodic whimsey and thread it into a warm electric tapestry.
"Quetzalcoatl," from Liturgy's upcoming The Ark Work, is named after the serpent-bird deity of Mesoamerican societies. The track is a leap away from anything on Liturgy's previous Black Metal inspired LPs, Aesthetica (2011) and Renihilation (2009). It's a sort of dark prog-metal track: guitarist Bernard Gann and bassist Tyler Dusenbury keep it evil with minor and diminished chord work, but unlike with traditionally dense, murked-up Black Metal, the mix grants tremendous head space. Initially, the guitars rest on an overdriven sample of a kick drum that gives way to juggernaut drummer Greg Fox's indestructable backbone. Meanwhile, urgent sawtooth and softstring synths shape an ascending, cinematic sense of divine purpose. Lead singer Hunter Hunt-Hendrix forgoes Black Metal's blood curdling shrieks; rather he chants in key. This particular stylization shifts "Quetzalcoatl"s tone into territory perhaps inhabited more by American heavy psych bands like Health or Oneida rather than Metal's Gorgoroth or Darkthrone. Based on Thrill Jockey's teaser trailer as well as the CG bodies on the cover of The Ark Work, it seems Liturgy is invoking a chaos-magic-inspired cyber-shamanism rather than Black Metal’s strictly dark pagan mysticism.
The Ark Work is out March 24 on Thrill Jockey. Watch the teaser trailer after the jump.
Justin Frye's studio is in the basement of a Bushwick warehouse, and it's filled with broken shit. There’s a slide guitar with only two strings that's covered in loose tobacco. The reel-to-reel is spooled with broken tape and tied together in a square knot. The drum set in the corner is a Frankenstein, built out of maybe thirty different kits. The PC Worship frontman hunches in a hard-back school cafeteria chair in the corner, messing with a glowing Mac. It's the only piece of modern equipment in the room.
PC Worship’s superb fourth LP, Social Rust, is set to drop September 9th on Brooklyn-based experimental jazz and rock label Northern Spy. The band consists of a number of movers and shakers in the free gazz/no wave/nu-composition scene that’s centered in the Myrtle-Broadway area of Bushwick, and more specifically, DIY space The Wallet: Jordan Bernstein of The Dreebs, Pat Spadine of Ashcan Orchestra. This live/work/recital hall has housed a range of talent over the years, from Frye and Mac Demarco to members of Tonstartssbandht and more. The thread that unites all of these musicians is an adherence to a so-called lo-fi “paesthetic," which is a cross between "pathetic” and “aesthetic." Coined by G. Lucas Crane of Nonhorse and The Silent Barn fame, it refers to an art of necessity, or a sort of post-capitalist folk art. Tools are built in the living room from rubbish rather than bought at Sam Ash. Music gets recorded on tape because tapes are cheap.
The new PC Worship record epitomizes this approach, smarting up grunge dirges with sloppy tape feedback, buried gnarled piano, John Cale drone violin, and deathly sinister horns. His songwriting reveres Melvins-sized hooks and harsh psychedelia and comes out sounding kind of like a stoned Swans. Fucked up guitar lines in no-key twitch around like heat lightning, and it also helps that Frye sings as if he’s about to puke.