Thursday, April 30, 2009

EIC'S10Q'S w/Pyramids

"..the other day I was 20,000 leagues under the sea. I heard a faint, but familiar noise not too far off. "Where am I?" "Is that a mosh pit underneath the ocean?" "How did this band get their equipment to work under water?"..


Irriguous mayhem for a new Poseidon..

Pyramids Bio:
It starts in the upper atmosphere, in that rarefied air where silence sings and time is little more than an abstraction. As it makes its way down through the tree line, to sea level, to the ear canals, elliptical windows and auditory nerves of the great unwashed, the shapes begin to shift. The sine waves become more distinct: swarming, swirling guitars, drums like a churning steam press, a chorus of celestial voices. Instruments collude and collide in a roiling shoal and then dissipate, leaving a cavernous hole, a ghost town, the vestiges and echoes of a brief terrestrial existence. Out in Dallas and “other parts of the country,” where seemingly mild psychotropic disturbances can have vast and sinister implications for certain elements within the local populaces, Pyramids conjure the cacophonies of the great unknown, one song at a time.


What are you currently listening to?
Ruhr Hunter, Menace Ruine, Blut Aus Nord, Ulan Bator, Wraiths, Grouper.

What is the a story behind the band name?
One searches and searches for a band name that just clicks, until it does, and when this word arrived, it never left.

Who were your main influences when it came to creating Pyramids?
Blut Aus Nord.

Is there a reason you chose to use as much reverb as you did?
James Plotkin is a modern genius, and turned the knobs on the mix. I am not sure it is all reverb you are hearing, but I understand what you are referring to. He just plain knows how to mix, and finds a perfect space for everything. We wanted a blissful sound, and we got it.

You got to work with some pretty amazing producers on your debut album, how’d that go?
Inspiring. We play music because somebody or somebodies inspired/inspire us. So working with those very artists that inspire you is a mind-blowing experience. Hands down.

Have you ever considered doing soundtrack work?
We would not be opposed to it.

What’s the best venue you’ve played at, and why?
We have never played live.

What’s next for the band?
We just completed the mix on a new full length.

Are you living your dream?
Yes.


Thanks Pyramids!

Pyramids are currently putting the finishing touches on their next full length, look for that in the near future..

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cool Video Funtime #30 -Shorebound

REVIEW: The Dirty Projectors - The Getty Address

8 out of 10

"The Getty Address" is the fourth album from former Yale student Dave Longstreth aka The Dirty Projectors lead man. In case you haven't heard of The Dirty Projectors, they are somewhat of an "artsy/eclectic" Indie band. They tend to stomp all over genres when it comes to defining their "style". I honestly didn't give The Dirty Projectors the chance they deserved until this album. This to me is their "defining moment" in music history. It's what sets them apart from all of those other musical geniuses out there. If you're at all interested in the "avant garde/bizarre" side of music/noise or jazz/classical music compositions you are missing out on something by passing this album up. Mix the Lo-Fi aesthetics of Microphones, the orchestral arrangements of Parenthetical Girls, and a unique OR "falsetto swooning vocal talent" and you get TDP.

On "The Getty Address" you'll get strings, clicks, cuts & thumps on both live and electronic drums, a precocious horn section, "non-sensical" electronic guitar twiddles, strings, "tribalistic" choir sounds, strings, gorgeous/haunting female vocal harmonies, pan flutes, odd stops or "glitch moments" as I like to call them, the "unique" vocal talent I referred to above, and more strings. You may feel as if you are stuck in a 1960's Saturday morning cartoon wondering through a dark cave with your cartoon posse on cartoon acid. It's that bizarre, but it's terrific because of that fact. I know this release will be one of those "acquired tastes" album's, but I do think there are elements throughout that any ear will agree with.

This release is a modern day Hi-Fi/Lo-Fi "Indie band sound" as seen through the eyes of Philip Glass. Listen to "The Getty Address" when you're feeling eccentric. The first time I listened to this album I listened to it three times in a row. Muchos Recommendos.

Standout Tracks: I Sit On The Ridge At Dusk, I Will Truck (pretty catchy), D. Henley's Dream (damn good), Gilt Gold Scabs (LOVE this track), Not Having Found, Tour Along The Potomac, Jolly Jolly Jolly Ego (has great "glitch"), Time Birthed Spilled Blood

FINALLY...NEW Mahogany album....

Well at least talks of ...and a possible release date.

From Music Snobbery:
It's been too long since Mahogany has been on this space. Thankfully, for the rest of the world, they are about to record their follow-up to 2006's "Connectivity". They are aiming for a Rock-tober release. The new material has sex appeal in spades. It's a little more dance rock than their more electronic-based previous work. To me, they are like the perfect band. Each song is well-crafted, from their big-sprawling wall of keyboards rave-ups to their dream pop ditties. There's always something to pick-up on. Even my crew members, who don't follow music as closely as I do, were saying, "Those guys know what they are doing."
OH MAN, CAN'T WAIT!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Deerhunter + Dan Deacon + No Age = awesome good time.

According to Pitchspork. No Age, Deerhunter, and Dan Deacon are hitting the road. All three acts will be set up at once, and they will alternate songs. It won't just be Deacon solo on this tour, he's bringing along his full ensemble, as featured on his most recent trek. This tour is gonna be massive.

The dates/venues for the epic round robin should be announced in the coming weeks.
WOW. Can't wait..

REVIEW: Waltz With Bashir - Original Soundtrack

7.5 out of 10

Every year the Sundance Film Festival picks through a handful of random animated releases from all over the world for the category of "Best Animation". "Waltz With Bashir" was one of those choices in 2008. The movie is about one man's reoccurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs every night and how he pursues the "riddle" of the dream. The soundtrack was produced and composed by the master of the recent Neo-Classical movement Max Richter. Some of the songs are older Richter tunes, but most are new. Either way if you're into Max Richter or Neo Classical music this is an essential release.

Most parts of the score are pretty melancholy. Gorgeous strings, rumbling toms in the far distance, electronic snippets, white noise, classical piano melodies perfect for a summers day drive with the air blowing in your face, military style marching anthems, and some of the standard tones you'd expect from a Neo-Classical musician. And, although it's a bit of a contrast, I was happy to hear the song "Enola Gay" by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark on the soundtrack:) This soundtrack kind of reminds me of "Run Lola Run" done with more of a classical approach. It's dark, epic, lonesome, sometimes soothing, and definitely intense.

Max Richter is perfect for the Classical lover in all of us and this soundtrack is no exception to his genius. It was only due time until someone asked him to do a soundtrack, I just hope to hear it more in the future.

Standout Tracks: Boaz And The Dogs (this is an interesting new direction for Max Richter), Iconography, THE HAUNTED OCEAN 1, Shadow Journal (one of my favorite Richter tracks of all time), Enola Gay, I SWAM OUT TO SEA / RETURN (VERY Philip Glass-y), Into The Airport Hallucination (great track), The Haunted Ocean 4, Andante / Reflection (End Title)

LIVE: Throbbing Gristle Chicago 2009 / REVIEW: Throbbing Gristle - The Third Mind Movements

This past weekend I decided to pack my bags and go on a trip to the Windy City. I went there to sight see, shop around, and to just get away. But, mainly I went there to see "THE" Industrial innovators THRO-BBING-GRIST-LE. I almost didn't get to go 3 times! The first time was because the show sold out, lucky for me they decided to add a second show.

My plane was nearly 4 hours late taking off, I basically could've drove there while waiting. But I did eventually get there. When we arrived in Chicago, my wife and I, we were surprised to see that our hotel was smack dab in the middle of the city (right across the street from the Trump Tower)! How we got the room for such a cheap price is beyond me ..we were more than happy with our location. We arrived late Saturday night which meant we had all of Sunday to stroll through the city and do whatever we wanted. Towards the end of Sunday evening we decided to walk around Wicker Park and waste a little bit of time before going to the show. We found a local bar and kicked back for a bit. My wife asks me "Do you have the tix?" "Ummm, no, you do." I said. "No, I don't..." "Crap! We left them at the hotel ~sigh~ let's go back.." We quickly chugged our drinks and ventured back to the hotel, which was kind of out of the way from where we needed to go, but what can you do? I ran inside and sure enough there they were, on the nightstand. We get into the cab and we were finally on our way to show, I'm officially pumped.

On the way to the show I ask the cabbie if there will be any cabs in the area after the show or if we needed to call ahead for a ride. He told us there weren't a lot of cabs in the area, but he lived in the area and didn't mind coming back out to pick us up after the event. He gave us his cell phone number, which may seem kind of "odd" or "creepy", but he was a genuinely nice guy so we were ok with the idea. After he dropped us off I made sure to tip accordingly and told him thank you. We walk to the curb, where the line to the show had began to form. My wife asks again "Where are the tickets?" "What?! Damn it!" We check our bodies, nothing. "Call that dude!" ::ring-ring ring-ring::"Hello?" "Did we leave our tickets in your cab?" "Yep, they're in the back seat. I will bring them to you" the cabbie said. Wow, this guy is incredibly nice.


THROBBING GRISTLE

LOGAN SQUARE AUDITORIUM ~ CHICAGO, IL

SUNDAY, APRIL 26TH, 2009

Finally with tickets in hand we enter the building. Throbbing Gristle is just starting there first set, yeah that's right, first set (they played two). The first set was a soundtrack Throbbing Gristle scored to Derek Jarman’s 60 minute alchemical film "In The Shadow Of The Sun" (1974) (TG soundtrack 1980 & 2006). There was a screen in the middle of the stage that played the movie. The band members were off to the side scoring the film while it played. This was Throbbing Gristle's dark droney, chaotic ambient side. It fit rather nicely with the films ambience, which was pretty creepy/artsy & bizarre. A truly unique performance by an already overly unique band.

After that a bit of confusion began...
I should've mentioned this before, but there were three different options for tickets, some were just for the second set, some were for both shows, and some (the ticket I had) were VIP tickets, which meant both shows AND a meet and greet with the band, plus some free shwag (see below). After they had finished the first set. They told everyone to exit the building. Of course no one was organized enough to know where to go or what to do so it took a little bit to get everyone out, everyone except the VIP's that is. While everyone was outside smoking there cloves and chatting about who wore the more extravagant army boots some of us were inside waiting in another line to meet and greet the band. I saw a few people walking around with what looked like cool posters and knew I was going to have buy one, even though I already blew my money on a t-shirt and tour exclusive CD (see below). I remained patient and saw that they were just giving away the posters to the VIPS so they had something to sign, in-case you didn't bring anything. The poster was FREE?!! Not only did I have them sign the poster, but my copy of "Part Two: The Endless Not" and the tour exclusive cd I got from them. They were all extremely nice and laid back. Genesis P-Orridge, the lead singer, definitely had the most personality of the group, not much different from his stage presence. After waiting in line like excitable young teenage girls about to meet Brittney Spears for the first time and getting our memorabilia signed they let all of the "unVIPS" back into the building. About and hour later the lights went out.

It was Bruce Mcclure's (the opener) time to shine. A droney "helicopter" sounding (as my wife said) guitar begins to fade in. The screen on stage begins to show the form of a white rectangle on a black background flickering on and off. After it flickered, morphed, skipped, rotated and distorted enough I began to wonder if the loop was going anywhere. It didn't, I have patience for most music. I love noise, but it just didn't go anywhere. It was somewhat sloppy (the video), uncreative, and just overall mediocre. And it lasted for 45+ minutes! Once it was over the crowd went wild, I'm just hoping that the artist understands they went wild because it was finally over. Maybe that was his intention, who knows art is so subjective anyways. The sarcastic comment "Encore!" from one of the audience members was the best part of this performance. Just get to MF'n Throbbing Gristle already!

The second set of material Throbbing Gristle played was random songs from their 30+ year history. Mostly songs from "20 Jazz Funk Greats" (which some people say is their masterpiece), but a few from random other albums including an interesting take on "Almost A Kiss" (my favorite TG song) off of "Part Two: The Endless Not" (my favorite TG album).
After seeing TG perform I now know they were meant to heard live. The energy in every song is pumped up a few notches, the experimental noises are more vivid and free. Genesis has this presence on stage that just screams tragedy and despair through poetic means and odd body convulsions. Chris Carter keeps the odd sounds in balance, as well as distorting some vocals here and there. Cosey Fanni Tutti looked like a gracious goddess with "questionable" intentions behind her bass. And Peter Christopherson just looked like a sadistic pimp in his random animal printed robe while adding his own unique form of noise experimentation. The set list was near perfect, they played every song you would want to hear from their ever expansive library of noise terrorism. They added new elements into old tracks as well as updating them for an almost better sound than the original recorded version. And I can't wait for the live album to come out, yes they're recording there US shows as they go on.

Overall I was extremely pleased with the show, I couldn't believe how much more I like hearing them live then what I do on CD. I am pretty happy with the fact that I can now say I've seen the very first Industrial band EVER, as well as one of the most influential groups in musical history play a show. My only hope is that I won't have to wait another 30 years to see Throbbing Gristle play again.


Here is the FREE, exclusive to the event, poster I got, signed of course. I also got a free Throbbing Gristle embroidered badge which was pretty cool.
The far left pic is a zoomed in shot of the top left corner of the poster. It has the TG logo as well as the dates of the Chicago shows. The middle pic is the whole poster (I had to put my Ipod and headphones on it to stop it from rolling back up). And the two pictures on the right are zoomed in shots of the signatures towards the bottom of the poster.

..and here is the limited edition tour cd:

7.5 out of 10

It seems there are many genres Throbbing Gristle have no problems getting involved with. The underline music has always been "industrial", but the overall vibe changes album to album. On their last release "Part Two: The Endless Not" they went for a more "straight forward" approach with their production. It became my favorite TG album overnight. It was also my favorite release of 2007. On "The Third Mind Movements", a tour exclusive album, TG explore the ambient territory of industrial landscapes, paranoia, and horrifying mind hallucinations.

If you saw TG play this year you might think of the soundtrack work the did live when listening to this release. It's dark/sporadic noise mixed with minimal drones, minimal piano treatments, "crunchy" drum sounds, over submerged/heavily reverberated choirs, sadistic whispers, odd vocal treatments, and various instruments distorted and destroyed by the hands of machine. With this release it almost seems as if they are focusing on sine wave technologies. Which is the art taking one tone apart and placing it back together however you like. The out come of which becomes cold and bewildering in the end.

"The Third Mind Movements" is essential listening to any hard core TG fan. Worthy of a listen if you're into drone music, abstract jazz, or industrial landscapes. This is also one of the most "unhuman" releases I've heard in a long time. I know Throbbing Gristle still aren't for everybody, but if you could just sit back, stay focused, and try to pick apart an experimental album like this you might see where the fascination comes into play. This album has officially left me alone and scared like a small puppy with it's tail between it's legs.

Standout Tracks: The Man From Nowhere, PreMature, The Third Mind (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Movements)

REVIEW: Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream

7 out of 10

Empire Of The Sun consists of two members, Luke Steele of Sleepy Jackson and Nick Littlemore of P'nau. This "fireball of electricity", as Luke Steele refers to them, is as close to MGMT as you can get without directly ripping them off. However, instead of staying within the "Indie Psych Dance" genre, they also dip into late 70's Disco/Glam, mid 80's New Wave, and a little bit of modern pop music as well.

"Walking On A Dream" was originally released in 2008 overseas, but due to increased popularity, via the internet, the duo decided it was time to release it stateside. Lucky for us they did because import prices start at about $30. Although, the album is pretty tight from first to last track, so maybe $30 will be worth it for some people. The songs just bounce and flow with ease, all of them have catchy parts. With references like MGMT meets Daft Punk meets Scissor Sisters it's easy to see why Empire Of The Sun have already gone platinum in Australia. If you give them a few more months, they might take over the US too. Assuming these guys get the right promoter they will definitely be HUGE. The music is as catchy as catchy can be. If there are any downsides it would be that some of the tracks sound like the track that just played before it. Which could also be a good thing as far as cohesive is concerned. The opening track "Standing On The Shore" is a good head bobber that gives you a feel of the catchiness thats about to come. And the hazey/romantic ender, "Without You", wraps the whole thing up quite nicely.

Check into this band now, or just jump on the band wagon later. "Walking On A Dream" is a great album for a happy-go-lucky/care free day. And all of us like those days, so it just makes sense that you would like this album.

Standout Tracks: Standing On The Shore, Walking On A Dream, We Are The People, Country (lush/warm instrumental), The World, Swordfish Hotkiss Night (so catchy), Without You

Cool Video Funtime #29 - Animal

REVIEW: It Hug's Back - Inside Your Guitar

6.5 out of 10

It Hug's Back make soft & fluffy Slowcore/Dream Pop with hints of uppity Indie Rock. "Inside Your Guitar" is their debut album and from the looks of it could point towards a promising future for these young lads.

With "Inside Your Guitar" you may be reminded of bands like The Clientele, Sparklehorse, Wilco, Steve Burns, etc. These "slow paced" Indie Pop jams are made up of bouncy bass lines, playful acoustics, steady paced drums, pleasing male vocal harmonies, and my favorite the "oozing with warmth" organ sounds (see track titled "Soon").

This album is perfect for a lazy day afternoon on your porch hangin' out with some friends, maybe sharing a six pack (or two). You should check into this album if you are in the mood for some relaxing Indie Pop tunes because "It", indeed, does "Hug Back".

Standout Tracks: Q, Work Day, Soon, Remember, Rehearsal

Monday, April 27, 2009

REVIEW: Ólafur Arnalds - Found Songs

7.5 out of 10

A little bit ago Ólafur Arnalds released his "Found Songs" album. "Found Songs" was an idea he had where a new track was released every day, which was created and released within 24 hours and made exclusively available online as a free download on Erasedtapes.com. Some of the songs were brand new ideas, some were old ideas that were just never finished. Each track is a gorgeous landscape of arctic high brow romanticism.

On "Found Songs" Mr. Arnalds goes more minimal with his brand of Neo Classical music. Piano is accompanied by lush string arrangements on nearly every track. The track "Lost Song" is also accompanied by a quiet, but crunchy electronic beat. If like Neo Classical/Classical Piano music this will be right up your alley.

It's elegant, it's serene, it's consoling, and best of all it's FREE. One more thing, make sure you're sitting down when listening to "Raein" ..it has the ability to knock you off your feet when you least expect it.

Standout Tracks: Erla's Waltz, Raein, Lost Song

REVIEW: Telepathe - Dance Mother

7.25 out of 10

Telepathe is Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudais with a few supporting musicians here and there. Busy Gangnes used to be in Rings, however, she left that band to focus on Telepathe (which formed in 2004). "Dance Mother" is Telepathe's debut full length album ..and it's well worth the wait. Telepathe mix the unique harmonies of A Sunny Day In Glasgow with the pop sensibility of Ladytron. A "sort of Electro Pop" Gang Gang Dance comes to mind as well.

On "Dance Mother" they offer up a fair dose of experimental drone effects, but mainly quirky electronic beats/samples with harmonizing female vocals. Synthesizers, drum machines, and samplers are the main instruments. I also get a bit of that "Lo-Fi" feeling when listening to this album. The production is solid, just "laid back" when it comes to the structure of the songs.

It's a simple (but effective) formula; Fun + Danceable + Laid Back + Avant Garde Electronics + "Breezy" Female Vocals = Good times for your ears. "Dance Mother" is definitely one of 09's standouts. Bravo Telepathe, bravo..

Standout Tracks: So Fine, Chrome's On It, Lights Go Down, Can't Stand It, Trilogy

Thursday, April 23, 2009

REVIEW(s): Cold Cave - The Trees Grew Emotions And Died / Cold Cave - Painted Nails 7"

7 out of 10

7.25 out of 10
Find it here.

It may take a bit of hardcore netn' to track down any of the Cold Cave releases. Probably due to the fact that they were made in such limited quantities (including a split they did with Crocodiles). But keep looking, do not give up, I assure you it's worth the struggle. Cold Cave are a three piece band based out of Philadelphia who are thoroughly obsessed with bringing back old school danceable Industrial music, no, NOT EBM. Think Ministry's "12 Inch Singles" with elements of Bauhaus, A Place To Bury Strangers, and Salem.

In my opinion it's always good to do a throwback to one of the golden eras of a genres lifespan. You could tell me that these were originally released in 1985 and I would believe you. Cold Cave utilizes a drum machine, guitar, retro synthesizers, Goth-y vocals by Wesley Eisold, and the production quality of a four track recorder. I hope Cold Cave will start a large trend of "Lo-Fi Industrial" bands, ..that'd be neat. They may be an acquired taste (mostly due to the production), but for those of us into underground dance/experimental music this is right up our alley. Hopefully a full length album is in the works, because these releases are an excellent sampler of what's sure to come from this band.

It's reassurances like this that let me know Industrial music isn't dead after all..

Standout Tracks: Our Tears Help The Flowers Grow

Standout Tracks: Sex Ads, Always Someone

Ellen Allien used in a Nike Ad..


This is pretty cool ..great use of the song "Naked Rain", from the album "Thrills".

The Field - The More That I Do..

For those of you who haven't done so by now, check out the newest song from The Field titled "The More That I Do" it's over 10 minutes long, and it's FREE! The full length album "Yesterday And Today", comes out May 19th on Anti Records.

Thnx Stereogum!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cool Video Funtime #28 - The Plateaux Of Mirror First Light

Andrew Broder (Fog) releases a solo album..Version 9.0

From Mr. B:

Hello Scumbags,

Spring has arrived and with it, another installment of music from Andrew Broder, who you may or may not be familiar with at this point- if not, check out the Wikipedia page!: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Broder

Anyway, here's another album. The 9th one in the series. This one's titled "Spiraling". It's free, or you can pay for whatever you feel it's worth to you, via paypal to: http://www.blogger.com/thefog@visi.com

Here's the link.

and it's also available at http://justn.info/abroder/

along with all the previous releases.

Tracklisting:

1.Things You Will Never Do

2.Infantile Scrawling

3.Glimpse

4.In Hiss

5.Where the Guy Gets Killed

6.Dumb as Fuc<, as Sh!t

7.Stay Out Two

Thanks for listening,

Andrew

THANK YOOOOOOOOOOU!

New FREE Atlas Sound Virtual 7"..

Atlas Sound released another New FREE Virtual 7" today...

"Time Warp" is a two track offering of Dreamy Garage Pop bliss. Track 1 is an instrumental track titled "Springtime Instrumental". Track 2 is a short, but terrific lo-fi track, titled "Time Warp"

It's free, what are you waiting for?? Get ta downloadin'..!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Congrats to Steve Reich on the Pulitzer!

Steve Reich just one the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Musical Composition By An American for “Double Sextet”, which premiered on March 26, 2008 in Richmond, VA. "Double Sextet" is a major work that displays an ability to channel an initial burst of energy into a large-scale musical event, built with masterful control and consistently intriguing to the ear.

It's about time someone like Mr. Reich gets the credit he deserves.

EIC'S10Q'S w/Scott Cortez

We may never know who created the ocean, but I can tell you who does the soundtrack..

Scott Cortez (lovesliescrushing/astrobrite/star/etc.)
My favorite guitarist of all time.

For more than two decades or so, Scott Cortez has been wrangling, warping, and coaxing all manner of gossamery textures from his guitars and effects pedals and recording them onto his trusty Tascam 4-track. He began experimenting with loops and sound in high school and made textural ambient guitar music. Expanding on an idea that had first been embraced by mbv and eno, he has made a career out of heavily treated guitar drones and noises. one of the largest misconceptions about lovesliescrushing concerns their music itself, people mistakenly assume that they use keyboards or synthesizers to create their otherworldly sound, the music is created with just voice and guitar. cortez uses a combination of techniques, both lo-fi and digital, to create a unique sonic palette. he is fond of mutating the guitar till it is barely recognizeable, regarding it as a mere tone generator. he also utilizes various methods and materials for preparing the guitar. scott has been known to abuse his guitars with chopsticks, rubberbands, nails, knives, forks, vibrators, paintbrushes, or metal rulers to bow strings, anything to change the timbral quality. lovesliescrushing formed in the spring of 91 and began playing shows in michigan. in the spring of 92 they moved to tucson and finished bloweyelashwish. the cassette version of bloweyelashwish came out in 93 on projekt, but that was a remix from the earlier self released version from the summer of 92. noise bliss, culled from a 4 track. Lovesliescrushing occupies that musical terrain that combines the like of My Bloody Valentine, Seefeel, the Cocteau Twins, eno, MAIN, and zoviet france. Scott Cortez is now playing noise pop guitar for STAR.

Hello, how are you?
(He left this blank, we'll assume he's ok..)

What are you currently listening to?
Some African music, very lovely rhythms.

You recently played a show in Lima, Peru. What is the music scene like there?
Lima was amazing. The scene? Well they take it very seriously, I was treated like a superstar. They do it right there. It is about the music for them, some scenes are just about being seen. Not Lima. It reminds me of Japan. they are really serious about their music too.

Out of all your many projects (Loveliescrushing/Astrobrite/Star/etc.) which album are you most proud of?
Chorus. It is the most 'Lovesliescrushing' album I have ever done, and it took forever to make. Also, Robin Guthrie thought it was amazing so that about does it for me. When your hero listens to your work and says it is cool, then that is what I am most proud of. I mean, he was my hero when I was a teen, so his compliment was extremely flattering.

On “Chorus” you decided to drop some of the guitar sounds and focus mainly on vocals. Yet the signature “aqueous” ambience that makes your writing style so unique remains the same. Can you explain the writing process for this album? How did you come up with the idea?
I think I wanted to distance myself from all the lazy reviews that i had received for the past few decades. reviewers saying we were a goth MBV. That is the dumbest thing I have ever read. Why would I want to listen to that? I love My Bloody Valentine but we have a different writing/style approach, we are super lo-fi as well. I mean Lovesliescrushing/Astrobrite albums were done on 4 track recorders, we never did anything in a studio setting. There are some similar aesthetics, but we are more smeared out, loose, 'aqueous' as you say. I wanted to highlight the process of our songwriting style, the form, so I had to get rid of our main signature element which was processed guitar. I mean entirely drop it. not just part of it. there is no guitar on 'Chorus' at all. it is all voice. I sang the low bassy parts and most of the drones. Melissa took care of the high end. So I wanted to do an LLC sounding album without using typical LLC methods. What remains is our writing style, nothing else can remain.
No guitar crutch to hide behind, no buried vocals when the whole piece is acapella. The limitation of just using voice liberated us, gave us the freedom to find our 'voice', forgive the pun. I had nothing to reference but ourselves.
So now I think people will be hard pressed to make any comparison to MBV. I welcome the comparison to Eno and 'Music For Airports'. Chorus was begun in 2001. The process was gruelling and labor intensive. Have to get the melodies and the song structure and then work on the tonal timbral quality of the voice to make it as alien as it sounds on Chorus. This was done with EQ and compression, not some crazy plug in. First I had Melissa sing a long song. Then I took that song apart vowel by vowel, phoneme by phoneme and put it back together. It was like taking apart a jigsaw puzzle and the collaging it into a new form. This was all done with a cut and paste tool. No Ableton, no keyboard controller, no sequencer, every vocal part is placed there by hand. So I guess, I am proud of the fact that this experiment worked. I proposed the theory but it could have failed. Now chorus is going to be released in America by one of my favorite labels, 12k/LINE.

Will “Girl Echo Suns Veils”, the LLC box set, ever see the light of day?
All the art is finished. I had to do 300 covers by hand for the deluxe version and mail them months ago. So it is up to the label to release now. They are planning on a fall release. They are holding off because it is going to be expensive. I don't blame them, the deluxe version comes in a wooden box. But it will come out this year.

Out of all the Shoegaze/“Nu-Gaze”/Dream Pop bands out there, who is you favorite? Did they influence you a lot?
I like MBV, Lush, Swirlies, FSA. As for Nu-Gaze bands Asobi Seksu, M83, Ulrich Schnauss, Guitar, Jesu, Broadrick, Pyramids. I wasn't influenced by any of the Nu-Gaze bands because I was there when the whole Shoegaze thing was happening back in the late 80's. I was influenced by Eno, Cocteau Twins, MBV, John Cage. mostly John Cage's book 'Silence'. I was a 4AD whore.

Can we ever expect a full US tour for Lovesliescrushing?
Maybe, but it is not a major concern. There will probably be a Scott Cortez ambient guitar tour first.

Are you living your dream?
Been reading about physics, god and turing machines simulating realities, so we might be living in a dream right now. So yes. Although I wish I wasn't so obscure and broke. Hope to change that soon by releasing all the ambient guitar backlog from 87 to the present.


Thanx Scott!
Look for the limited edition Lovesliescrushing box set later this year...can't wait!!!!!

Soisong's (Sleazy + COH) debut album is officially out..

The debut full-length album from Soisong titled "xAj3z" is now available on soisong.greedbag.com.

Soisong is Peter Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle/Coil/etc.) and COH.

"xAj3z" freely mixes music styles and combines various approaches to music-making: artificial vocalists are accompanied by real drums, jazz-noir arrangements meet the delicate melodics of the South Seas, computers are made to sound warm and organic.

The album shows no apparent respect for genre-definition and aims at communicating with the listener at highest levels of emotional intensity, often lyrical, sometimes dark, on occasions amusing and even uplifting.

In other words, ..awesome.

New School Of Seven Bells single..

On May 19th School Of Seven Bells will release their newest single, “My Cabal”, which is the third single from "Alpinisms".

The B-side's include an instrumental track “My Camarilla”, a remix of “Chain” by UK ambient legends Seefeel, and Jesu’s version of “Face To Face On High Places”.

Can't wait!

Cool Video Funtime #27 - Summer's First Breath

Sunday, April 19, 2009

If you live in San Francisco

You probably go to Amoeba Music everyday. So, when you go on Tuesday, April 21st, be prepared for a free in-store Odawas show.

For the show Odawas have put together a special CD-r that we will be given away.

It is a limited edition (of 50 copies) from their first album "Vitamin City" which has been out of print for about 4 years.

First come, first serve, so don't miss out if you can!

New Sinner DC video!!

"Glass Alley" is off of their upcoming "Crystallized" album (one of the best albums of 09)..
~njoy.


"Crystallized" will be out on Monday (4/20) via AI Records.

New Maps album art..


Here is the cover for the newest Maps single, which comes out on November 5th...

NEW Porn Sword Tobacco release...

Porn Sword Tobacco just released a split 3" cd with Downstate. The album can be purchased through "Awkward Silence".


Friday, April 17, 2009

M83 / Depeche Mode Tour...

Depeche Mode w/ M83:

06/30 London, UK @ O2 Arena
06/02 Hamburg, Germany @ Nordbank Arena
06/04 Dusseldorf, Germany @ LTU Arena0
6/05 Dusseldorf, Germany @ LTU Arena
06/07 Leipzig, Germany @ Zentralstadion
06/08 Leipzig, Germany @ Zentralstadion
06/10 Berlin, Germany @ Olympiastadion
06/12 Frankfurt, Germany @ Commerzbank Arena
06/13 Munich, Germany @ Olympiastadion
06/16 Rome, Italy @ Stadio Olimpico
06/18 Milan, Italy @ San Siro
06/27 Paris, France @ Stade de France
06/28 Nancy, France @ Zenith

..oh, to live in Europe.. : (


Thursday, April 16, 2009

WIN Aaron Funk's (Venetian Snares) "filthy" old keyboard!?

I thought this was a pretty cool contest..

Valgeir Sigurdsson scores documentary..

Valgeir Sigurðsson has composed music for "Dreamland", a documentary which premiers this week. The feature length film is based on the non-fiction book "Dreamland: A Self-help Manual for a Frightened Nation" by acclaimed writer Andri Snær Magnason. The book became a national hit overnight and won the Icelandic Literary Award in 2006. Magnason follows his book into the cinemas and co-directs the documentary with Þorfinnur Guðnason, an award winning documentary film maker.

Bedroom Community is planning to release the score in 2009.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

REVIEW: The Juan Maclean - The Future Will Come

6.5 out of 10

The Juan Maclean is back with another catchy electronic album. Bringing back the same DFA-ness his 2005 debut "Less Than Human" had, as well as some unusual surprises and female/male vocals on every track.

Indeed the difference between this and the first album are the humanistic qualities. On "Less Than Human" it felt slightly colder, still dancey, but maybe darker and robotic. With vocals on every track "The Future Will Come" feels more "upbeat" and poppy. More Acid-House Electronica, 80's New Wave, No Wave, Electro, and glitzy Disco elements have been added as well. I would have to say it's definitely a step up as far as production is concerned. But that "un-human" quality that his debut had is what originally hooked me. Still, it's a good dance album, maybe not as "unique". I will say the piano ballad "Human Disaster" was an extremely nice/warming surprise. I'd like to hear him explore that territory more. Really, if you're into DFA there's no reason you won't like this album.

The future has come in the form of a DJ's need to spread the dance. And trust me when I say all The Juan Maclean wants to do is make you dance. I went to go see him DJ a set once at an all day music festival, one of his amps broke. So he had to cancel. Luckily he invited everyone to a club later where he borrowed someone else's equipment and played to a more intimate crowd setting. Which was in an open air, under the stars beer garden. It was a nice ending to an all day music event.

Standout Tracks: The Simple Life, The Future Will Come, One Day, Tonight, The Station (reminds me of a Fad Gadget song), Human Disaster, Happy House (hold your glow sticks HIGH for this one)

REVIEW: Mountain Home - Mountain Home

6.75 out of 10

Judging by the cover of Mountain Home's self-titled album you may have guessed they are some lame jam band. Can they jam? Yes. Are they a jam band? No. They are a Psych-Folk duo from San Diego. Think Bright Black Morning Light meets Greg Weeks (Espers) meets Marissa Nadler.

Mountain Home infuse Folk with gentle/psychedelic drones and white noises. Kristin Sherer's vocals have that same eerie/dark & moapy tone that Marissa Nadler has. Joshua Blatchley plucks away with warm distortions like tremolo and reverb on his heavy hearted guitar. Banjo is the secondary string sound. And a little bit of violin. And then the background noise, which is a quiet hum shifting it's pitch accordingly to the song. All of the songs are emotional from beginning to the end note. And, as any good folk song should, tells a great story.

Check into Mountain Home if melancholy is your thing.

Standout Tracks: The Sparrow, Battle We Are, Comes, The Winter, Nottamun Town

REVIEW: Gliss - Devotion Implosion

6.75 out of 10

Gliss have been playing their variety of hypnotic Indie-Rock for over 5 years now. They have been compared to My Bloody Valentine, Silversun Pickups, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Muse, etc. They were invited personally by Billy Corgan to join the Smashing Pumpkins on a European tour. Gliss have also gone through some band break ups too. They've lost and gained members, yet their sound seems to grow stronger with every release.

On "Devotion Implosion" Gliss dive deeper into the pool of love and sorrow. With catchy/fuzzy bass lines, strong guitar riffs, distortion pedals used in all of the right spots, melodic vocals, tight drumming, and what seems like an invisible wall of sugar coated noise. When I'm listening to this album I'm almost reminded of Broken Social Scene with a stronger focus on "dynamic guitar rock". Gliss are sort of an Alternative band with "Stoner Rock" influences. Gliss are that catchy garage pop-rock band you have been looking for.

Some of the songs can have sluggish beginnings, but the further you get into the track the more and more it grows on you. The middle of the album is kind of "blah", but not bad, just kind of drags. But the last track, "Sister Sister", wraps it up nicely. Either way it's pretty fair to say if you like Alt-Rock you will like Gliss. My favorite track would have to be it's opener "Morning Light", if you're not hooked from the beginning I don't know what to tell ya.

Standout Tracks: Morning Light, 29 Acts Of Love, Beauty, Anybody Inside, Sister Sister

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cool Video Funtime #25 - In The Blood

Less than 2 weeks away...!!

I have my doubts about the dog being there...

Brendan Perry (Dead Can Dance) to release a new album soon...

The new album "Ark" is very near to completion and will be released as a digital download this coming August.

The digital download will be accompanied by hard copy special editions and a retail version will then be made available in October.

He will also be performing live concerts to coincide with these release dates in August and October.

Can't wait!

Monday, April 13, 2009

REVIEW: Doves - Kingdom Of Rust

6.75 out of 10

"Kingdom Of Rust" is Doves 4th proper album. In many ways I would compare it to Coldplay's "Viva La Vida". Not to say that this is just some random band covering Coldplay songs. In fact Doves are one of the best most under appreciated Brit Pop bands out there (yes, even better than Coldplay). Their debut album "Lost Souls" has a permanent spot in my top albums of ALL TIME list. It's sad, dark, and poppy-Alt-Rock at its best. Seriously, check out that album NOW. Anyways, the reason I mention "Viva La Vida", I felt on that album Coldplay mildly reinvented themselves by adding more electronic textures and experimental sounds and bringing back a little bit of their debut charm. Doves have had these amazing qualities on all of their albums, but with "Kingdom Of Rust" it feels as if they have reinvented themselves too, by bringing back the quality that has "almost" been missing since "Lost Souls".

Although Doves are indeed Brit Pop, they do more than just sing with an accent and sell out stadium sized crowds all over the UK. They bring their own form of Dark accents and hints of psychedelia to the music. On "Kingdom Of Rust" they add even more lingering organ/keyboard sounds, heavy-brooding/sometimes airy guitar sounds, rocky/sometimes disco-y bass lines, calculated drum hits, subtle strings, and "pretty" acoustics. If you're looking for a good Alt-Rock band with a "different" edge over most check into Doves immediately. If you haven't heard Doves at all, start with "Lost Souls". You will see why I'll always be excited for a new Doves release.

Standout Tracks: Jetstream, The Outsiders, 10:03, The Greatest Denier, Birds Flew Backwards (one of the best Doves songs ever), Compulsion, Lifelines

REVIEW: Portal - Options E.P.

8.5 out of 10

Wow. As generic as it sounds, that's the only thing I thought the second the music started on Portal's "Options E.P.", WOW. Portal is a band off of the Make Mine Music label. Which is also home to terrific Indie-Ambient masters like Epic45, July Skies, Piano Magic, and Library Tapes. Portal is just further proof that Make Mine Music (which is coincidentally run by Scott Sinfield of Portal) only sign the best in their genre.

Portal is what you get when you mix Sinner DC, Guitar, M83, and Faunts, with poppy, sometimes ethereal vocals. Spacey synths, low bass arpeggiations, more than effective electro style drumming, spacey synths, guitar, some vocals that sound nearly identical to Erlend Oye, spacey synths, and some vocals that are gorgeous female hymns reminiscent almost of This Mortal Coil. This album should make Portal a house hold name, shame on any of you who don't spread the word. If you're into Dark & Modern Pop you must own this now.

EVERY TRACK IS FLAWLESS/Glorious Electropsychedeliagaze-Pop. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Another great from 09..I am just floored by this release. Please give me more "options" soon Portal, don't make me wait..

P.S. I Just listened to this album 3 times in a row ..and I'm not done yet.

Standout Tracks: For all the times I've said "All of them", I mean it the most with this release.

Efterklang live album this Fall..

In the fall of 2009 Efterklang will release a "Performing Parades" live-album and concert film all recorded in Copenhagen last year. It will be a CD/DVD release with lots of nice extra's on the DVD.

Efterklang's new song "Won't Believe"..

Fiume Nights _ New York _ Efterklang, march 2009 from vincent moon / temporary areas on Vimeo.

Don't Forget...

Day 1 starts today...remember you only have 24 hours.

Matthew Dear releases new album (under False moniker)..

"Love Letters" is Matthew Dear's second release under the moniker "False". The first being "2007" which was a pretty decent EXTREMELY Micro/Minimal Techno album.

Anyways, you can download the MP3's exclusively on "M-Nus", or if you want to wait I believe the 12" singles should be coming out soon too.

~njoy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cool Video Funtime #26 - Limbo, The Organized Mind

REVIEW: Tim Exile - Listening Tree

8.25 out of 10

Tim Shaw aka Tim Exile is a an English producer of "Future-Pop" music. "Listening Tree" is his third official release. The first two were on the terrific label Planet Mu, "Listening Tree" is on Warp Records, where it seems to fit like a glove. Tim Exile sounds like that David Gahan (Depeche Mode) Clark duet you always wanted. Or an even "slightly more experimental Matthew Dear" meets Prodigy. "Listening Tree" is extremely fun/unique "Electro Pop" music done by a guy who probably has OCD when it comes to his production.

If you're not pleased with the first four tracks you hear on "Listening Tree" I would say you're "special", and that you're not listening. Acidic House Techno blends in and out of overly catchy "pop" song structures with production that is just so meticulous and spotless. Seriously BUY THIS if you like Depeche Mode's darker pop side or Clark's sick electronic textures. Even if you don't care for above references at least check this album out RIGHT NOW. Keep in mind each track brings it's own unique performance/level of quality to the record while still maintaining a solid flowing pop masterpiece.

"Listening Tree" is one of those albums where you pick your favorite song, and then the next song comes on and you say "no wait, this one", and then the next song comes on "no, wait, this one..." and so on and so on. One of the best albums of 2009. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Standout Tracks: Don't Think We're One, Family Galaxy, Fortress, There's Nothing Left Of Me But Her And This, Pay Tomorrow, Bad Dust, Carouselle, When Everyday's A Number (oh yaaa, goood track), Listening Tree, I Saw The Weak Hand Fall (one of the best songs I've heard this year)...that's all of them.