Posts by Christopher J. Hinojosa

Advertising: "Shadow Hall"


The debut by Brooklyn-via-Syracuse quartet Advertising, Pull, also appears to be the swan song of Bushwick label Prison Art. A moody, overcast record showcasing athletic, dynamic instrumentation, Pull is vernacular math-rock that sounds uniquely Chicago at first, its sometimes twinkling, sometimes thorny arpeggios and grind-pop drums recalling any number of like-minded, idiomatic Chicago bands including Owls and Loose Lips Sink Ships. “Shadow Hall” is the most straightforward rock cut on Pull, but it's also the one track where Advertising muster one of the more convincing Brainiac impressions heard anywhere since that band's tragic end 14 years ago. “Shadow Hall” swings hard against dissonant guitar while our singer wounds his voice with howls of palpable spite. To paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, “All [A]dvertising advertises [A]dvertising,” and the magnetism behind “Shadow Hall” attracts like a tractor beam emitting from that cluster of eyes on the cover.

Pull is available now from Prison Art.

Peaking Lights: "Breakdown"

Peaking Lights:

"Breakdown," the lead single from LA pair Peaking Lights' upcoming Cosmic Logic LP, sports a mix bright as its gorgeous cover art. It's the clearest Peaking Lights have sounded but still a bit stoney, like they've pried open their recording gear and sprinkled in droplets of Opcon-A, washing away any lingering detritus from the hazy, hissy days of 936 (they did build a new studio after all). There are of course traces of the Italo, dub, and new wave Indra Dunis gathered for Gorilla Vs. Bear in her Lucifer companion mixes to be heard in "Breakdown," yet Dunis and partner Aaron Coyes sound especially zoomed in on Jamaican dancehall and the Ka Jakee Music of Tri Atma's "Yummy Moon" this time. Dunis' nonchalant mantra "Breakdown/I wanna/Break free" requests a repreieve from ruin and plague, regardless of cost: "Don't care about the treasures lost."

Cosmic Logic is out October 7 on Weird World.

Daniel Wyche: "The Sacrifice of The Voidship Heart of Hearts"

Daniel Wyche:

Chicago noise improviser and guitar effects swasher Daniel Wyche is proud of this piece. It is honorable, after all, to compose a work in the name of those who boldly traversed interstitial space hoping to pioneer nothingness, to lose themselves beyond the veil, for the betterment of the First Human Sodality. Since their ship's black box is likely irretrievable, the Grand Council for Arts and Memory of the Sodality commissioned Wyche to simulate this historic undertaking. Wyche steps away from his considerable pedalboard with “The Sacrifice of the Voidship Heart of Hearts,” a modulating, pulsing paean to the trailblazing crew that realizes the true potential witnessed in the maiden voyage of another of the fleet, the Voidship Cormorant, in which the filtered, alternating currents between single coil pickups demonstrated the capabilities of these vessels. Never forget.

The Last Flight of the Voidship Remainder is out September 1 on Solid Melts.

Volumes of Can: Individual Vinyl Reissues of Can's Catalog, Plus Bio, Symposium, and Tago Mago 33 1/3 Book Forthcoming

Volumes of Can: Individual Vinyl Reissues, Bio, Symposium, and Tago Mago 33 1/3 Book Forthcoming

If we're vitamin C deficient, that's okay: Mute is reissuing 14 Can LPs this fall to deliver us from scurvy. After being out of print in the format for 10+ years, each album will be available individually on 180-gram vinyl and remastered from the original tapes, with the reissue effort curated by Can keyboardist and composer Irmin Schmidt and Mute founder Daniel Miller. The first batch is due September 2 and consists of early Can monuments Monster MovieSoundtracksTago Mago, and Ege Bamyasi. The rest will follow in October and November, including five volumes of 2012's sold-out archival release The Lost Tapes, previously only available as a box set.

This fresh pressing of the recorded output by Can's core-- Schmidt, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit, and featuring vocals from, most prominently, Damo Suzuki and Malcolm Mooney-- aligns with 2014's earlier announcement regarding “two [Can] books in one." We're talking about a biography by Wire editor Rob Young plus a symposium or collection of essays, to be published in 2016 by UK imprint Faber & Faber. This November, expect an entry in the 33 1/3 series featuring Scottish novelist and known Can devotee Alan Warner's commentary about Tago Mago. It's a banner season for the Can fan, and considering the wingspan of their avant-garde rock in terms of sonic, ethnic, global, and temporal reach, I imagine most of us are pretty psyched, as quality individual copies of the Can catalog have never been more accessible, or as comprehensive, as they are about to become.

Below, listen to "Serpentine" from the upcoming, first official release of Can's elusive tenth studio album Out of Reach since 1978. The vinyl reissue of Out of Reach drops October 21 on Mute.

+you: "+"


What do we talk about when we talk about vaporwave? Japan, for one. We speak of genre death, a built-in end that the ephemeral nature of vaporwave seems to demand, post-haste. The production on +youWasabi Tapes' second release, is shades away from the plundered and looped adult contemporary artifacts of a Luxury Elite or Macintosh Plus piece, opting to swell inside stereo circuitry with its ghost hardware. The third track flips Burial's "Archangel" and buries it into the mix, eviscerating an already lonely sound-world where a no-trespassing sign has gone up. The second track-- all six here are titled "+"-- stacks soft electric shocks atop a distant, jaunty sample, obscuring its tropical cheer and evoking the sounds of an abandoned mallscape after dark. Is this the posthumous hum of a once-bustling, commercial catacombs?

Scoop +you now at Wasabi Tapes.

Temple Maps: "Elven Chainmail, Orcish Blade" Video

Temple Maps:

Portland's Temple Maps manufactures ambience for cyberpunk reconnaissance missions. The name of the project and its “Elven Chainmail, Orcish Blade” both reference indispensable equipment from a universe of RPGs, and indeed, Elias Foley means for his live, bit-crushed, and battery-powered dub techno to “create abstract narratives that the listener journeys through." Taron Barefield's video unlocks one potential narrative for the track by placing the viewer before the controls of a spacecraft about to engage hyperspeed. A female AI navigator appears in a comm window. Her disembodied, post-human voice unsettles in its time-stretched artificiality, yet it becalms as she invites her pilot to “Walk out the front door into the lovely weather/Into the garden.” The endeavor ultimately leaves the pilot beholding a shimmering, polyhedric craft or creature whose constant morphing conjures synthetic beauty.

Temple Maps' debut, Moon Mountain, is available now digitally and on limited-edition CD from Lifelike Family.

Steve Jr: "Guru"

Steve Jr:

After romping around Montréal for a couple years, muffed-out guitar-'n'-drums duo Steve Jr was born into recorded history with a self-titled EP that swam out May 11 via Water Records. On the instrumental “Guru,” loud stoner rock buds Corbin Ordel and Gleb Wilson rev up the pace, with Ordel ripping away at the type of growling, incessant riff a fellow paying homage to the Melvins and Sleep with his t-shirts might favor. Meanwhile, Wilson, who also keeps time in Amen Dunes, crashes away at his cymbals as if fending off an onslaught of Dynasty Warriors. An old performance of “Guru” featuring a bleach-blond Ordel in a letterman jacket suggests Steve Jr keeps warm during unforgiving Québec winters by forgoing junior varsity sports to stoke the fires of classic rock worship. We know Steve Sr is proud. Et tu, Buzzo?

Steve Jr is out now on cassette at Water Records.