Baltimore synth-pop duo Lovers and Reflections have largely flown under my radar, but it's hard to see why on the strength of new single "The Dance". Last year the pair remixed Alice Cohen's "Sunspots" to glowing effect, and some of Cohen's cryptic density seems to have rubbed off on them, with the track's vintage synth shimmers and singer Regan Rebecca's near-plaintive voice buoyed by the off-kilter new-wave lurch of the crisp drum production.
"The Dance" will be available from the Lovers and Reflections bandcamp next week, with their debut full-length, Swords, following in March. (via Rose Quartz)
Ex-Auckland, New Zealander, now Portland, Oregon-based experimentalist Sam Hamilton has a new single out, which sees him streamlining his approach to off-kilter, subtly hypnotic pop, and reining in some of the ecstatic, Amazonian tendencies of his last album Pala. The suggestively titled "Perennial Traditions" is a tightly-wound and satisfying slab of art-rock, infusing the studiousness of something like This Heat or Liars with the restlessness that has previously defined Sam's work. (via Rose Quartz)
The full-length LP Integrifolia is available soon on Sam's own imprint Tumbling Strain.
Auckland producer Mark Wundercastle (previously of bands Tiger Tones, Pig Out, and Fistful of Gems) has been drip-feeding amazing bedroom-house track after track for most of this year through his soundcloud page, and his sample-heavy, rave-skewing tracks have finally seen proper "online white label" release through CMR. Wundercastle has an ear for the crystalline, sometimes obvious pop sample, which is paired with an encyclopedic dance music knowledge. In contrast to the piano-house and breakbeat/hardcore-referencing tracks from Straight Up Leisure Time like "Bring Me Joy" and "Waiting For Rave," "What's Going On" works a slower groove while letting its vocal sample drift off into a vortex. Listen to the whole EP below. (via Rose Quartz)
Next-gen Detroit bedroom techno producer Ice Cold Chrissy has a new full-length, Magma Mondays, under his ever-prolific Coyote Clean Up moniker. Due November 19th on LA-imprint Time No Place, the albumis tied together with a newfound expansiveness and a slicker spin on Chrissy's hazy, sideways take on house. Check out the final track on the digital only release, "Nite Aid Nightly," which goes for a deep, icily minimal approach.
I was first tipped to Tapes by fellow Knoxville, TN producer Heatstroke, who claimed to have no idea who was behind the moniker. Still a mystery, the producer has dropped a new 4-track EP of diva-vocalised electronica called Apparition, which is available now as a pay-what-you-like on Bandcamp. The first track, "Sextin," leans closest to the maximalist funk-edit sound of other Knoxville artists like Persona La Ave and the aforementioned Heatstroke, but its trebley, blown-out loops are tempered by crystalline melodies and a quivering, UK garage vocal sample. (via Rose Quartz)
Sewage Tapes and AMDISCS have co-released the lo-fi house debut album of Oregon based electronica producer a i r s p o r t s for free last week. The acid-inflected "c c o o l d o w n n" is built around uplifting house motifs, but the loops the track is structured around are a little too hypnotic and unsettling, erring on the side of stock-music. With its isotopic and fitness-ready focus, perhaps this is best conceived of as a further development of the vaporwave continuum? This is excellent, regardless. (via Rose Quartz)
a i r s p o r t s is available for free download here.
Amanda Brown-- the goddess behind the 100% Silk imprint-- is showing no sign of halting her efforts at scouring the globe for the freshest takes on that pill-ready underground House sound, with the label announcing a fresh batch of mostly new artists a couple of weeks ago. Roland Tings is a nearly unknown producer from Melbourne and his forthcoming Milky Way 12" for 100% Silk takes a classicist approach with ample acid depths that recall vintage Mr. Fingers productions like "Washing Machine". Stream the title track below. (via. Rose Quartz)
Recently it's seemed that much of the action in underground music is going on at the rapidly hybridizing fringes of dance and hip-hop, which-- after a distinct glut of lo-fi post-punk a couple of years ago-- has made good, boundary-pushing guitar bands seem like more and more of a rarity. Now that the lo-fi guitar-pop band is out of vogue, it's opened up a space for new ideas and interesting takes on an old format, such as the excellent new DIIV record.
We're happy to offer an exclusive premiere from Chicago group Golden Birthday of the Charles Roberts directed video for "Humans Bleed" from their new Blue Island LP. The four-piece are difficult to pin down, but Blue Island is largely cut from the dour end of early 80s English post-punk, with hints of Echo & the Bunnyman-level bombastity as well as the willful obfuscation of the 4AD catalogue. The video shows off Golden Birthday's off-kilter side, its smudged, mutant aesthetic forming a parallel with the track's sideways, degraded take on stadium-pop.
Coming at you like a transmission from the deepest, darkest internet, Featureless Ghost's Fantastic Lands-produced video for “A3R1A 6L0R15”-- taken from their Other than Consciousness EP-- captures the temporally dislocating qualities of information overload. Skewed towards a digital mulch aesthetic, the video's proliferation of disparate images reads as a kind of Net-zone paranoia, unable to process and place the content it confronts. The track itself is juked to the max, the frenetic rhythm and filmic voices achieving a nice synergy with the repeated images of disembodied body-parts in motion. It's difficult not to believe the intonation at 2:30: "information...reality and fantasy...that's all there is...just a drop in the bucket." (via Rose Quartz)
Other than Consciousness is available for free download from UUU Tapes and Featureless Ghost will be dropping an LP on Night-People at the end of the summer.
The demise of Olde English Spelling Bee was one of the great underground music tragedies of 2010, but, thankfully the label has been resurrected and is releasing Alice Cohen's Pink Keys album today. We're pleased to offer a second track from the album “Mauve Mood” (the video of the first, “Cascading Keys” can be gripped here), which more than lives up to OESB's considerable pedigree, with Cohen fixing her gaze on buoyant, organic-sounding synth realness with vintage analogue equipment like the hand-operated LinnDrum machine. The track builds its groovy, New Pop slickness atop spectral vocals drawn from the 1940s-influenced disco of Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band and perfectly shows off Cohen's all natural outsider weirdness. (Rose Quartz co-premiere)