With the technology behind electronic instruments changing rapidly, many electronic artists have given their own sonic takes in the age-old argument of analog vs digital. Brooklyn's own Flash Trading belong to the camp of electronic musicians that seek to pay homage to classic analog sounds while pushing forward the genre through their bold songwriting. Their newest video for "Acceleration," off their upcoming EP The Golden Mile, which AdHoc is premiering today, plays with the line between the retro and modern by utilizing not only analog instruments, but also old webcams and video effects to film the music video. The video itself plays even further with this divide between the modern and the nostalgic through its depictions of the song lyrics written out on social media posts and text messages. In this way, even as the filtered bass, syncopated claps, and classic synth sounds that make up the track calls back to 80s and 90s electronica, Flash Trading reveals that through reproduction, all sound is ultimately timeless.
Today, AdHoc is premiering HDLSS's newest track "What Comes Next" from their forthcoming LP, Selections from DUMB, out 8/4. The track tackles minority othering, American secularism/anti-religiosity, and political/artistic responsibility. Masquerading as a dance song, the song's driving beat is clearly capable of moving one's body, but the HDLSS's lyrics are focused far more on moving one's mind. HDLSS's Fareed Sajan had this to say on the track:
"This song was born out of the incongruity of your insides not matching your outsides. That universal feeling that the way you look does not represent who you actually are. As a brown person, stereotypes have always followed me, and now, when Muslims are being demonized every day, it is even harder to escape. Hindus are perceived as Muslims. All Muslims are perceived on the same axis as extremists. Nuances get lost. It’s an issue any minority confronts, where an individual is forced to represent a swath of people, the Other, since most people do not know many South Asian, Latino, Black, LGBTQ etc. people... This puts people who have critiques of their own culture in a precarious position. And what does this do to a person within a faith who has doubts, or is still developing a faith, yet at the same time they are perceived to be a spokesperson? How does that affect his/her natural spiritual development? 'What Comes Next?' addresses that question by taking the perspective of someone grappling with being born into Islam, and fighting to understand religion in a nihilistic/narcissistic/consumer driven society."
Hailing from Chicago, Hieroglyphic Being, a.k.a. Jamal Moss, is a prolific experimental composer and sound artist. He has been a fixture in the Chicago dance music scene for decades, his beginnings rooted in creating “Art Noise” soundscapes for the Liquid Love parties at Chicago house hub Powerplant. We Are Not the First is Hieroglyphic Being’s latest offering, a collaboration with J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Buhl. “Civilization That Is Dying” is the first track to be featured. The accompanying video reveals some details about the album-- names of the eleven songs and eight contributing artists. Shelley Hirsch’s robust sopranino vocals are accompanied by smooth acid oscillations by Ben Vida and Shahzad Ismaily. “Civilization That Is Dying” evokes imagery of outer space and the dawn of civilization, not unlike many works inspired by Afro-futurist principles. The listener is confronted with an unfamiliar space-time paradigm, as if the song was composed and recorded in a cosmic version of Arthur Russel’s Sleeping Bag Sessions. The video also features messages likely from Hieroglyphic Being himself, notably, "As evolved 12 strand DNA beings we must take what we know & peacefully transduce it on earth."
We Are Not The First is out October 30 on RVNG Intl.
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.
It’s always tempting for revisionists to rewrite music history based on eleventh-hour unearthings, but when record collector Edo Bourman stumbled up Charanjit Singh’s 1982 opus Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat in 2010, something truly unusual had been uncovered. The narrative of modern dance music—moving from disco to Chicago house to Detroit techno and then to UK, Holland, Germany and the rest of Europe and finally back to America— is hardly a simple story, but simplified versions of the narrative tend to gloss over some important developments and lend primacy to others when the actual story is a bit more blurry. Industrial music, new wave, EBM, and Neue Deutsche Welle often get shortchanged for their contributions to later developments, while in fact their sound was game-changing to many of the innovators that were responsible for changing the times. Carl Craig is a well-known fan of Throbbing Gristle, and Derrick May famously remixed Manuel Göttsching’s legendary, prescient E2-E4 as Sueño Latino in 1991, which was not even the first time that classic had been reinterpreted after spending years in Larry Levan’s record bag at the Paradise Garage.
Much like E2-E4, Charanjit Singh’s work in the early 1980s comes from an area outside of mainstream dance music innovation at the time, and, in Singh’s case, from a different continent entirely. Singh came from Indian film music, and the living he earned making and playing Bollywood soundtracks, augmented by income from leading his own band performing for weddings, gave him a comfortable enough income in 1980 to begin building a state-of-the-art home studio, one that would eventually include the soon-to-be-legendary TB-303, TR-808, and Jupiter-8, at the time when their prices remained prohibitively high for most musicians. Curious as to the capabilities of these machines, he eventually fused Indian classical music with the newly minted four-to-the-floor pulse of imported disco, and a revolution could have been born. Alas, it was not to be.