I’ve probably started and restarted this piece at least a half dozen times now, each time more unsure of how I should approach it. It’s not the first time Inga Copeland has given me writer’s block. Back in 2009 I started a small press label with my roommate out of our dim studio apartment and reached out to Hype Williams about releasing some material. At the time, Inga and Dean Blunt were making a sparse and heady brand of improvised garage-psych that spoke to my somewhat nihilistic attitude. I didn’t really give a fuck about much besides putting out that tape, and neither did they, and therein lays the reason why it was never officially released.
I’d struggle over two-sentence email replies as they’d change their minds about the format, or what songs were to be included, or even what the title would be (at one point, it was, yr budget on my neck, yr spouse on my dick). There were a lot of exchanges about the j-card art, which was ultimately left blank on blue cardstock. After all the back and forth, we eventually stopped responding to each other altogether—I think out of mutual exhaustion. I dubbed ten copies for them to give away.
In 2008, Tim DeWit produced Saint Dymphna, arguably Gang Gang Dance's most celebrated album of juttering ethnodance-- then caught a near-fatal bullet in his Grand Rapids hometown that left him unable to continue drumming in the band. Since then, he's been rolling as Dutch E Germ, creating the kind of pandimensional bangers that would score a Hood By Air runway show, land a spot on a Ghe20 G0th1k line-up, or be sampled on Yeezus. And Today, the Germ has released his debut, IN.RAK.DUST, promising a spot in everybody's headphones for the foreseeable future.
Ad Hoc editor Ric Leichtung takes special note of the "next-level bagpipe solo" on "Black Sea".
IN.RAK.DUST is out now on UNO, available for download here
Let me start this off by saying Spencer Clark is the man. Dude has been killing it in the interdimensional dreamzone arena for what seems like ages (remember that Wire issue where David Keenan coined 'hypnagogic pop'?) and it doesn't look like he's ever letting up. This year alone he plans on releasing three albums through his Pacific City Sound Visions imprint, including a collaborative effort with Jan Anderzen of Tomutonttu and a follow-up to 2011's The Spectacle of Light Abductions. In the second and latest installment of Fourth World Magazine, Clark reimagines monsters from '80s and '90s cinema as characters in the super romantic "Pagan Lilli-Pad glistening of Fantasia". I chatted with him over email to grasp what I could about the story behind the extraterrestrial free jazz casio-jams that make up Pinhead In Fantasia. In return he sent over the premier track, "Facehuggers' Ascent of Sant'Appolonia", a video tour of his studio in the style of The Blair Witch Project, and a caps locked list of must-see VHS tapes.
The full-length release of Fourth World Magazine: Pinhead In Fantasia is out soon from Pacific City Sound Visions.
Ad Hoc: Earlier in our correspondences you mentioned that you buried the Pinhead tape behind an amphitheater in San Diego. Can you elaborate on that process, its purpose and outcome?
Spencer Clark: In my dreams, for one week, I was to sit in a golden cell that was very hot with burning metals and smoke, and voices and music. Every night this strange buzzing sound would read my thoughts and then tell me something about the future. These dreams, just as many others have, asked me to delve further into them. My dreams are calling me to correspond with them, possibly my subconscious wishes to be a bigger part of my waking life. The Organ Amphitheater in San Diego is a really giant monument. It means something, it's very beautiful and all children have seen this during Christmas and watched angels sing there. I go there in my dreams so often, it's another type of recurring dream I have had my whole life. Like, just behind the theater, in my dreams, there are these rooms with strange artifacts. This dream is very unlike the Golden Cell Dream, but they both are serving to inspire me look into the shadow spots. I decided that the new album should be buried and charged there, to further the conversation that my dreams are willing to have with me. It is a way of nodding in silence to the forces that will you to create.
For James Ferraro, the detritus of commercialized sound has long been a point of artistic interest-- his Far Side Virtual was originally dreamed as a collection of 16 ringtones and NYC, Hell 3:00AM is straight littered with text-to-speech anxiety. The modern cultural anthropologist is putting these ideas into practice for a new exhibition for MOMA PS1. 100% will feature three pieces one could miss completely if they weren't already hip to their existence-- Saint Prius is a composition for the on-hold music of the museum's phone system, Dubai Dream Tone to be heard riding floor to floor on their elevator, and Eco - Savage Suite is yes, a collection of ringtones downloadable from a special page on PS1's website. The exhibit is "on view" March 23rd to June 13th. You can stream a track by the same name below.
It doesn't take long to figure out where S U R V I V E is coming from. The Austin-based four piece is straight faced and epic from the get go in their approach to Vangelisian synthtronica. This is especially true for their latest on Monofonus Press-- which, with the band's general aversion to release titles and an affinity for catalog numbers, is simply titled MF064. As expected from those riding in the Holodeck crew, this stuff is dripping with the kind of nostalgia you'd find in a Pabst-soaked stack of Junos. Lick it up, you proto-futurist sonic warriors.
MF064 EP is out now on Monfonus Press.
Last week, as I sat down at my dining room table with Mark McGuire on the phone, I had the distinct feeling that I was traveling somewhere. It could have just been that Mark was then driving from his hometown in Cleveland to New York, where he performed a number of shows this weekend to promote his latest full-length, Along The Way; but I think it was more that our conversation was transporting me from one developmental experience to the next. Seems appropriate then to note that over the past eight or so years, Mark and his former band Emeralds have been among a number of artists that for many have acted as gateways to deeper listening. Below, we chat about repurposing familial and childhood memories, and inspiration from New Age theorist Michael Tsarion.
Ad Hoc: You recently moved to LA. I’ve noticed a number of musicians migrating there-- What kind of community have you found and how does it compare to that of Cleveland or Portland?
Mark McGuire: You know, I was first there for a few months working on a film. At that time, to be honest, I didn’t find the community very welcoming, or like it didn’t really seem like much of a community. I mean, there’s definitely little cliques of bands from LA, just like everywhere else. At first I was a little bummed, because everyone there is ultra-competitive, and there was a whole lot of negative energy everywhere I was going. I would be interacting with people in the music community that I’m involved with and they were less welcoming and cool about things than the people I was meeting and working with in Hollywood, which is really surprising. After I went to Portland and came back to LA, I realized that as much as it’s a giant city with these little cliques, you don’t have to depend on that to be doing anything. It’s such an advanced city that you can find whatever friends or kind of people you’re looking for. And if you’re looking for open-minded, positive, interesting, and interested people, there’s plenty of them there. It just takes a little navigating through all the vampires.
Sahel Sounds label head Christopher Kirkley has spent the better part of the past four years documenting and releasing music from the Sahara, developing relationships with the musicians there, and providing their music a wider audience in the West along the way. Last year he began working with Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar of the Music from Saharan Cellphones compilations and French video artist Jerome Fino to develop and start shooting a feature film kind-of adaptation of Purple Rain-- for a Taureg audience. Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai ("Rain the Color of Blue with a little Red in it" in English) follows a fictional Mdou Moctar, and his struggle to become a star in the winner takes all scene of Tuareg guitar music. Along with creating a movie that's an absolute first of its kind, Kirkley and Moctar are offering digital download packages, unreleased music on cassete and wax, cellphone performances, handpainted posters, and a slew of other stellar gifts for backers helping to finish the shoot. Coming from someone who watches more movies than is respectable, this is likely the most exciting project to happen this year.
I think we can all agree Hurricane Sandy was pretty fucked and dangerous for a lot of neighborhoods-- New York hadn't experienced a natural distater of its magnitude in a long time beforehand. Yet after hearing "voices and instruments and chords" from winds coming through the windows of his lower Manhattan apartment, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth fame took to the streets like a crazy person, donning some rain gear and a handheld recorder to capture it. The recordings were then transcribed by piano, written down, and left alone until Lee got the idea to make a ensemble from them. Last June, he premiered Hurricane Transcriptions (Last Night On Earth) with Berlin string ensemble Kaleidoscop, splicing the collected field recordings over his written material for the Holland Festival who commisioned the piece along with the Sydney Festival, where he'll perform tomorrow evening with the Ensemble Offspring.
You can grab tickets for the performance at City Recital Hall here.
In a video just uploaded to YouTube, electronic instrument manufacturers Roland laid out a brief history to their much lauded TR-808 Rythm Composer, and teased a possible resurrection at the close of clip, saying that "the time has come to take the next step". The 808 was a definitive element of early hip-hop, drum and bass, and acid house, so needless to say we're incredibly excited about the possibility of a reissued, re-vamped 808.
Roland also unveiled a new set of workstations-- you can scope Attack Magazine's unconfirmed leak of the beast here.
Here in Brooklyn, the aftermath of the new year's first winter storm is melting and giving way to muddy intersections and slush-covered boots. If you're like me and find that as you hop back to work and settle into your desk, you're having a hard time shaking off the contemplative mood that comes with snowfall-- not to worry, there's a soundtrack for the feeling. Minimalist dream pop duo Deekie have crafted an exceptional mix for Swedish music blog The Sound They Make, featuring a host of new and classic ambient production (much of which we favored in 2013), including the likes of Donato Dozzy, Robert Turman, Huerco S., and Laraaji, among others.