I'm posting this first one for two reason. 1:, it is an outstanding track from a good album (out on June 19th via Monitor Records,) and 2:, to remind you that the Videohippos are coming to town very soon. June 12th at Emo's, to be exact. They'll be performing with Dan Deacon, who is up next.
One of the less frenetic cuts from Dan's new album, Spiderman of the Rings. It's out now, so go get your hands on it. As I said, Dan is in town on June 12 at Emo's. Get some tix.
...what came out of the PA was a barrage of cheap-sounding, rainbow-hued, breakcore-tempo electronic noise. It felt like I was hearing my entire childhood record collection of cheerful kiddie 45s sped up on a hotrodded Fisher Price record player. Deacon himself was dancing along with a joyous palsy, singing through a scrim of squeaky effects. In a night where I'd shown up wanting dance music, Deacon had completely upended my expectations. He also made me a fan for life. A small handful of the grouches stood with incredulous arms folded across their chests and everyone else proceeded to freak the fuck out, almost as wildly as Deacon himself.
Bonobo eats, breathes, and thrives on downtempo. Here is a taste from his debut album. Let it simmer...
At first repulsive and overbrewed, Animal Magic slowly takes shape as a solid debut of narcoleptic down tempo. Which isn't too surprising: Bonobo's Simon Green is known for making friends with intelligent electronic adventurers Mr. Scruff and Amon Tobin, and choosing a moniker after a species of chimpanzee Chris Morris made famous. In fact, his fusion of encouraging trip-hop, helium voices, and sitars probably isn't the quickest way to get you humming in the bath. But intimation is rarely used in pop music, and when it's put up against an uncharacteristically emotional pallor ("Kota," "Sugar Rhyme"), you're rewarded for your patience.
The Super Nintendo:
Via Drowned in Sound:
Crystal Castles are a boy/girl duo from Toronto, Canada. They're named after She-Ra's castle. After being directed to their MySpace by a friend and almost instantly falling in love with their stuff, it turned out they were playing Barden's only a few nights later so of course I went down for a look... Boy stands behind his laptop, hooded with glittery eyes peeking out from behind a scraggly beard. Girl jumps on the spot in a big baggy t-shirt, whip and wire thin and strikingly pretty, hitting keys and shouting through heavy distortion and the raging, nasty bitcore and pounding drums of the backing track. Between them, they create a pulsating, violent racket, structured enough to be a malevolent kind of pop, but fucked up enough to sound densely punky and sandpaper rough.
Mobius Beard, the debut record from Portland's Copy (a.k.a. Marius Libman), is an 8-bit masterpeice of fuzzy synth harmonies and innovative beats. Bustling with jovial melody and human frailty, it fits in well on E*Rock's Audio Dregs label and begs repeated listening.
Through DJ sets, remixes, label mixtapes, and MySpace posts, Simian Mobile Disco, who rose from the ashes of the now defunct British psychedelic band Simian, assaulted the indie dance community beginning in the spring last year, announcing in not so subtle ways that they were the new hotness and we were all invited to their coming out party. The soundtrack, of course, being some of the best post-punk-neo-rave-pro-hip-hop (pro-hyphenation!) dance cuts of the last 12 months: the grinding, menacing rap hybrid of "Hustler" (edited here to a far more digestible three-and-a-half minutes.)
Instrumental hip-hop can be a tough way to succeed, financially or artistically. The commercial world puts a low price on non-superstar productions and, for independent rap, the specter of DJ Shadow towers over all who come after him. Though it was overhyped, the full debut of RJD2 in 2002 (Dead Ringer) illustrated there was additional ground left to plow. Unlike the dozens of Shadow imitators, RJD2 isn't simply a resurrector of unjustly forgotten wax. He's a virtuoso on the sampler who recognizes that what's important isn't the beats, but what you do with them. To that he adds an implicit awareness of how to pace the songs on his albums for maximum effect. (It certainly doesn't hurt that, around that time, late-'70s rock and urban, his favorite genres to mine for samples, were closer to becoming cool than they had ever been before.) None of these traits were forgotten during Rjd2's journey to success, and his second production album refines the approach still further.
Cool Find of the Week:
This one is highly recommended. The Joe Beats Experiment - Indie Rock Blues is an uninterrupted mix of songs from various rock groups remixed by a hip-hop producer from Rhode Island named Joe Beats. In 2005 Joe remixed thirteen of his favorite indie rock tracks using a 128MB RAM, Windows 98 computer. According to Wiki,
A great number of hip hop/downtempo/trip hop instrumentalists use laptops to perform live sets. Beats is vehemently against this for the simple reason the computer screen is seen only by the performer and not the paying audience.Listen to the uninterrupted bleed from Andrew Bird into Deerhoof. And listen the light breaks Joe adds to the somber sound of Songs: Ohia, making the track sound live every time you hear it. Good stuff.
For live shows Joe uses twin SP-404 samplers and, sometimes, double Numark portable turntables. Each of the twelve pads on the sampler represents a different sample or layer to the beat. He triggers each sequence live by hitting the appropriate pads with his fingers. For example if eight samples come in for the chorus, eight pads are all triggered at the same time. To play more heavily layered compositions, he will methodically palm all twelve main pads or balance both samplers at the same time.
Beats prefers using the 404 because of its unique size and LED buttons. Another integral piece of Beats’ live show is he refuses to play on stage. The lit buttons of the 404 and floor placement give the audience the option to see exactly what he’s doing if they so choose.
- Andrew Bird - "I" (Joe Beats remix)
- Deerhoof - "Panda, Panda, Panda" (Joe Beats remix)
- Neutral Milk Hotel - "Naomi" (Joe Beats remix)
- Songs: Ohia - "Coxcomb Red" (Joe Beats remix)
Also, the Locals at La Zona Rosa second show is tonight. RSVP at Do512.com to get on the guest list.