Monday, November 28, 2011

EIC'S10Q'S w/ Julia Holter

"..oddball" sounds/samples washed out underneath a few white noises and a beseeching yet precious voice matched with a few perplexed beats..."

Julia Holter
Hapless Actuality Theater Pop

Julia Holter Bio:
Julia Shammas Holter is a classically-trained keytarist from Echo Park. After infiltrating Human Ear Music headquarters dressed as an intern, she wrote and recorded her own release on the label.

Her music is witty, surreal and optimistic. She plays without sarcasm in the terrains that divide sentimentality, passion, and control. Her songs are written instinctively, and treated with an off-kilter fastidiousness, working orchestral variety from minimal instrumentation. Her singing voice is crystalline either like sugar or jewelry.

Julia has an unusual fascination with thought and art of the middle ages. Arcane poetry and mystical saints adorn her music, as well as her faux-naif take on medieval figurative art.

Julia has performed with Super Creep band, Ariel Pink and Human Ear Music at the American Apparel Mystery House. She also composes and performs for an ensemble of Indian hand-pumped harmoniums.

Hello, how are you?

What are you currently listening to?

Today I think I heard John Dowland, Elvis, Wu-Tang Clan, and Ariel Pink. Everyday is different I suppose, it is whatever the radio brings to me, my students bring to me, anything.

When you began writing music did you have an idea of the sound you were trying to achieve?

Interesting question! Actually yes, I think I did and it took me a long time to figure out how to get that sound. Mainly it had to do with letting myself do whatever I wanted to get there. And also to stop having an idea of the sound I was trying to achieve and have an idea of an IMAGE I was trying to achieve through sound. Or something less direct, so to allow myself freedom to experiment.

I kind of get the sense that early 4AD and Laurie Anderson may have been influences of yours, would you agree?

Actually I don't know what early 4AD is, except I would imagine it might be Cocteau Twins? which I just recently heard for the first time. I really like it! I also don't know much Laurie Anderson, but what I've heard I like.

Are your live shows more about improv or is everything specifically laid out?
It always used to be laid out, because I used to loop things a lot more intricately. These days, I play it like a folk singer--just play the (digital--unless there is an acoustic) piano and sing. I like it because it allows me freedom to be more expressive and I don't feel held down by the pressure of timing issues with digital technology. Nowadays I am not planning my sets as much. I practice for them just as much, but I don't need to plan everything out so intensely. I can perform the song I feel like performing. I think it was a matter of time before I got to that point. But I will always want to be changing it up. I really want to find other performers to play my songs with, ultimately. That is the ideal.

If you could tour with any two bands of your choice whom would it be with?

I don't know! I've never even been on my own tour so I can't tell who I would want to tour with. I've always toured with friends. I always would want to know them personally.

Got any side projects/collabs coming up?


Who was your favorite new artist of 2011?

I don't know!

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?

This really terrifies me. I don't know. I know if I was forced to only be able to listen to one of my favorites for my whole life, I would start to hate it. I would not listen to it. If you're wondering what one of my recent favorites is though, that I listen to all the time, Bryan Ferry's "Boys and Girls".

Are you living your dream?
I am happy and grateful for all that I have. I could do better for myself as a professional musician though, since I barely make any money from my music. I am working on that. Hopefully, that will improve. My jobs right now are gratifying though--I work with youth, in after school programs and arts programs.

Thanx Julia!

Julia Holter is currently (yet another) amazing talent that is going (somewhat) unnoticed, you should do yourself a favor and get her debut album NOW...

REVIEW: Julia Holter - Tragedy

8.75 out of 10

On Julia Holter's debut LP 'Tragedy', Julia holds no obscure talent/emotion back. (As far as I know) Ms. Holter first poked her head into "the scene" back in '09, she's had a bit of online hype, as well as a few "worth mentioning" artists backing her up since then. Actually, look her up, she's got quite an impressive resume thus far. Even though Julia's debut had a lot of hype I can't imagine anyone expecting something, like this, so triumphant, dainty and unbridled.

'Tragedy' is a hard to one to slap a genre on, "worldsy" and "dreamy" come to mind, bands you may hear on an early 4AD releases come to mind, so does Laurie Anderson.. But more than just a comparison, Julia has something completely unique to her as well. 'Tragedy' is based on the ancient Greek play “Hippolytus”, knowing that you should (maybe) better understand "have a feel" for what kind of emotion the music is trying to set here ("artsy & tragic"). The album starts off with a slue of "oddball" sounds/samples washed out underneath a few white noises, and eventually Julia's beseeching, yet precious voice matched with a few perplexed beats. This is mostly the same on all tracks, a bunch of soothing noises that bleed into pretty female harmonies. If you can dig that, which you can (trust me), you can dig this.

Hands down, one of the best/brightest talents to emerge from 2011. If you're looking for something "dark-obscure" with a touch of light meets commanding female artistry, look no further. Julia Holter has seriously delivered the goods here. Highly Recommended (fa sho.)

Standout Tracks: Again, with me liking all off em' ..but especially; The Falling Age (sounds like a lost This Mortal Coil track..just wait a minute:), Goddess Eyes, Celebration (Grouper meets Nite Jewel meets a David Lynch film??), So Lillies, Tragedy Finale

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

REVIEW: The Answer Team - O Sad And Future Human

7.5 out of 10

Omaha Nebraska has been a hotbed of musical activity dating back as far as the 1920's. Jazz clubs and underground nightspots were once home to some of the most prominent staples in Jazz, Blues and Swing history. There has been a notable music scene to be found in Omaha at any point in time ever since. It wasn't until the early 1990's that Omaha began it's gradual reign as one of the biggest independent music scenes in the Midwest. The Answer Team is certainly helping to fuel this fire with their debut album, "O Sad And Future Human".

Formed in 2006, Thomas McCauley and Brandon Bone started jamming together in college, and thus began a foundation that would eventually evolve into The Answer Team. After a few years of "revolving door" band members and a brief stint with vocals, their niche was found with the help of now permanent fixtures, Jason Bejot and Dustin Treinen. This finely tuned niche I speak of can be summed up by just simply calling them an instrumental Post Rock band, but this would be an understatement, and quite frankly, an insult to the band itself. The album opener, "Where's The Sun" is a gorgeous yet deceptive tune, it begins with a bit of feedback and distorted chords sugarcoated with light, melodic anticipation; all the makings of a build-up that begs for an explosion of angst-ridden vocals and rapid guitar riffs. Fortunately, it takes a refreshing detour into a beautiful, arpeggio-rich frolic. It's almost like a lone flower growing out of a crack in the middle of a gritty city sidewalk. This sets the tone for the whole album. On "Does This Shirt Make Me Look Dead?", uplifting layers of violin and a defiant, thunderous rhythm make this track as powerful as it is heart wrenching. The occasional spoken word interlude and a captivating solo piano track serve as palate cleansers for the ears and mind. There are no shortages of gems here.

"O Sad And Future Human" paints an honest and extremely well structured portrait of a journey through the emotional spectrum. Whether you're an avid Post Rock lover or an occasional visitor of the genre who feels that a little goes a long way, there is something here for you. This is a strong debut by a group who I hope will continue to produce beautiful music for years to come. For fans of Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, Pelican, This Will Destroy You and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Standout tracks: Where's The Sun, Does This Shirt Make Me Look Dead?, A Hero's Aftermath, A New Look At Marilyn Monroe

EIC'S10Q'S w/ Soft Metals

"..perfected what yesterdays Synth Pop artists left stained on their ears so many years ago.."

(Photo credit: Sully Alataar)

Soft Metals
Synthetic Flirtatious Symphonious

Soft Metals Bio:
oft Metals is a multi-disciplinary electronic duo from Portland, Oregon now residing in Los Angeles, California. Its members Ian Hicks and Patricia Hall were brought together through a common love of 1970s and 80s synthesizer music and began writing and recording songs together in the spring of 2009. Inspiration came to them by way of experimental electronic sounds, film soundtracks, early Industrial music, Minimal Synth, House, Techno, Synth Pop, Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock, and Shoegaze. Ian and Patricia share songwriting duties and compose the music together before writing lyrics and adding vocals. Their songs are built from moody, improvised sessions together using exclusively electronic instruments. The meaning of the raw music they make is explored and interpreted afterwards with lyrical themes ranging from life experience, films, literature, history, science, love, conflict, and death. Soft Metals prefer to express themselves freely rather than adhere to a particular genre. This freedom gives them a diverse sound somewhere between dance music, austere synthetic pop, and experimental electronic composition. Their two best known songs, “The Cold World Melts” and “Psychic Driving” are demonstrations of this varied sound. “The Cold World Melts” is driving, assertive, and passionate. “Psychic Driving” is delicate, introverted, and vulnerable. Some of their songs remain in their unpolished improvised form to pay homage to authenticity, spontaneity, the joy of sound, and experimentation while others are studio based exercises, fusing new and old production technologies.

Hello, how are you?
Hi. We have been keeping busy. Ian is now in grad school. We're balancing school, work, music, and getting used to life in a city new to us- Los Angeles. Things have been going well.

What are you currently listening to?
The new music I've been listening to includes Solvent "RDJCS5", Silk Flowers "Days of Arrest", Suzanne Kraft "Missum", Zola Jesus "Conatus", Austra "Feel It Break", Grimes "Halfaxa" and her recent split with D'eon, HTRK "Work (work, work), Xeno & Oaklander "Sets and Lights" and Blouse's debut album.

Besides it sounding cool, is there a story behind the band name?
Ian and I were brainstorming ideas for a band name and he came up with "Pliable Metals". Somehow that became "Soft Metals". We liked the image you get in your mind of circuits, conductive metals, the use of control voltage, and the human touch. Not long after we chose that name, I had an interesting night thinking about its meaning and I had grand visions about metals first being discovered by man and how they were made into tools and weapons. I went on to imagine those same objects later being melted down into the parts of our instruments. That name makes me think of the history of man, technology, the future. It is a good metaphor for song crafting too- where you have this hard raw element- a vague idea or concept- and you work away at it and shape it to something useful, expressive. The name also expresses the dynamic between the masculine and feminine, yin and yang, positive and negative that we demonstrate with in music.

Who were your biggest influences when it came to sculpting your current sound?

Ian and I find the music of Chris & Cosey and Chris Carter's solo work, Cluster, Drexciya, Kraftwerk, Broadcast, Manuel Gottsching and many others very inspiring. The electronic instruments we use are a large part of why we sound the way we do. In terms of the human expression and the meaning behind our songs, Ian and I dig into ourselves, our lives, our observations when we write our music. When I write lyrics, keyboard melodies, and look for my voice I always try to empty my day and life out into the room and make a meaningful song from whatever surfaces. My hope is to access my authentic self, or ghosts, or fictional characters hidden away in my psyche that speak through me.

Is there a theme on on your debut LP?
Lyrically it's introspective, inquisitive. I'd say the exploration of the human psyche and human relationships is a theme.

Do you have a favorite track on said album and why?

My favorite song is "Always". It feels like falling in love with someone and not knowing what's going to happen next. It's the sound of a delicious and painful longing for a beautiful future with someone.

Got any side projects/collabs coming up?

I am currently working on lyrics and vocals for an instrumental Solvent just sent me. Our friend Brian Foote will soon be joining us on stage to play keyboards.

The best time to listen to Soft Metals is?
In a fit of passion beneath the sheets with your lover or when you're daydreaming on a rainy day thinking of love and your dreams.

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
'Murmurs of Earth: The NASA Voyager Golden Record'.

Are you living your dream?

My life is full of beautiful and grotesque things. I am fascinated by my life and learning so much from my experiences. I wouldn't have it any other way and I feel I am getting what I deserve.

Thanx Patricia & Brian!

Soft Metals are currently playing a few shows here and there as well as working on plotting out a South American tour, also (hopefully) a new album and/or EP should/could be on the horizon...

REVIEW: Soft Metals - Soft Metals

9 out of 10

I'm gonna get straight to the point with this record, it's quite possibly the best piece of Electro Pop/Art ever made. Just when I thought the genre was (re)dead two up and comers arrive and completely shake up my beliefs. This album is the most perfect combination of "futuristic meets sexy" music, it's also "peppy" while (remaining) soothing but still toe tapping. Soft Metals have set the new bar in Neo Synth Pop sounds, and I don't expect many others to come close anytime soon.

I really love what Captured Tracks is doing for "yesterdays" Synth Pop scene, they've got an interesting bunch of artists that's for sure. Soft Metals, in my opinion, are the best (but jeez.. there's so many, so I don't know). To be honest their debut LP would almost sound more at home on Ghostly. In-fact, word is Jason (from Solvent) is working on a mix of some sorts for the duo, but you didn't hear that from me (or did you..are you even listening?). ::ahem:: On Soft Metals debut LP you finally get to hear the duo hone in on their trade to near audial perfection. All of those singles and EP's have all been leading up to this one (they're great, but this is better/their best). Soft Metals have perfected what yesterdays Synth Pop artists left stained on their ears so many years ago. Lots of synths, drum pads, sultry vocals, a few obscure sounds, and pure 100% "catchy goodness".

Go get this now, it's one of the year's best. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Standout Tracks: Voices, The Cold World Melts, Pain (on repeat-peat peat-peat), Do You Remember, In Throes (great ender)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

EverythingIsChemical Virtual 7" No. 14 - David Shane Smith

Like a cartoon marching band promenading through a decaying urban landscape..all good things are worth waiting for. ;]

Next release comes out soon(?).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Check into Masquer..

Masquer (Kicki Halmos and Pelle Lundqvist) are exactly what I am looking for when it comes to female lead Shoegaze/Rock bands. Best comparison would probably be Tamaryn (or even Drakes Hotel) only slightly more Electronic. Download the song above, plus a few other great tracks (including a Field remix) HERE.

Monday, November 14, 2011

EIC'S10Q'S w/ Teaadora

"..dark, with a faint "silver lined" raining cloud.."

(Photo credit: Scott Steele)

Beautiful Aphotic Canticle

Teaadora Bio:
Teaadora Nikolova (born May 20th, 1986) is an American singer and artist, known for art performance, and her Minimalist Lo-Fi Droning Abstract songs

Hello, how are you?
I am well. I've just been busy with university and protesting in my local area for the Occupy Together movement.

What are you currently listening to?

I am listening to the sound of the cars as they pass by, mostly trying to let the nothingness come in, and letting the sounds fill in the silence that is coming in. I don't listen to as music as I once did but I am not as peaceful as I once was either. I had a deeply peaceful walk last night to renew my rare quiet inside, it was great contrast amongst my busy days.

If you could tour with any two bands of your choice whom would it be with?
I'd love to tour with; Mirabai Ceiba, Prince Rama, Daniel Higgs, Grouper, Rhys Chatham, Terry Riley, John Maus... some light barriers.

When you began writing music did you have an idea of the sound you were trying to achieve?
When I began music to achieve the conceptual framework of this project, I knew it would involve a great deal of emotion and simplicity. A lot of artists I know, who have continued to evolve with their music learned through appropriating their sound through artists they admired. However, I long stripped my desire to fulfill a protege and only create with the same ears I use in the silence of the dark. I create new things by searching for them with an open heart in the dark. So, I am unsure if I was trying to achieve anything besides truth, especially the unmovable truth of allure.

Is there a theme on "A Jamais Vierge/Virgin Forever"?
The theme of the album is related to my virginity, and my striving for purity, a time capsule a certain part of my life, that says I try to love through only a universal space, but no access love through the intimate sphere. It was a time when I decided to live my life with a taxidermy of the heart, I will never take the risk of falling in love, and thus never have any scars to age my heart.

Got any side projects/collabs coming up?
I am doing a compilation tape called "Pilgrimage" for Bathetic Records, which will feature Arrington de Dionyso (of Old Time Relijun), Daniel Higgs (of Lungfish), Susan Alcorn, Kyle Clyde/ Isa Christ, and many others I feel have influenced my musical journey to be where I am. Lastly, I am compiling a soundtrack for Lindsay Denniberg’s Video Diary of a Lost Girl . You can see and hear the sample she created the visuals for and I matched with electronic sounds on her website for the film. The basis of the soundtrack and film take place where Liquid Sky left off with artists such as Dan Deacon, Soft Metals, Tearist, Rene Hell, J.D. Emmanuel, which we are still submitting submissions for. Lastly, I will be in a movie directed by Joe Chang called “Present” over Halloween in Asheville for a weekend.

If you could re-score a movie soundtrack which movie would you pick?

THX1138, because of all the emptiness, futurism, feeling of despair and disconnection. I have an affinity with it as much as I would dislike it conceptually if someone explained it to me, its about the experience. I would like to give warmth to its sterility and play within supernatural ideas, in synthesis with reality and epic-machinery.

Whom were your favorite new artists of 2011?
Mostly my friends, I'll recall my favorite performances of the last year; Isa Christ, Emceesquared, YellowFever, Good Amount, Ryley Walker + Dan'l Bachman (+ Ben Bilington) Combo, and French Quarter..

You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
Harold Budd/Brian Eno: 'The Pearl'

Are you living your dream?
I like that you ask this but I think the real question is, "do you have a relationship with your dream?" I know that I ask some people this question playfully and with some I see the balloon pop over their head... the question fades because they haven't thought of life in these terms for so long, maybe never too deeply but mostly as in the cliche that everyone is living out their dream. I see now a days more and more that people aren't living out their dreams as they might think, which makes me think I may be projecting my own lack of relationship with my own dreams. My initial reaction is yes, however, I also know that for me this idea is very complex, requires many steps, and development over time. Either way, I find a lot of meaning in my direction, aside of refining possible.

Thanx Teaadora!

Teaadora is currently an underrated artist who deserves more attention, and will soon get it...;)

REVIEW: Teaadora - A Jamais Vierge / Virgin Forever

8 out of 10

The first time I heard about Teaadora was last year. The song "The Old One" (now known as "The Only One" (which has been shortened considerably but still sweet)) blew my mind. Absolutely stunning and awe-inspiring, as I said before "think Grouper meets Hope Sandoval". I knew I had a new-found love unfolding right before my ears, but how long must I wait for the first official release..?!..about a half-year (seemed like forever). But while I was prepping my ears for soothing seductive folklore, I had no idea what Teaadora was up to..

First off Teaadora's debut "A Jamais Vierge / Virign Forever" is not an easy listen (..or is it?), her sound is completely different from any other female musician. Teaadora mixes elements of Drone, with Neo Folk, Acid Psychedelia, Noise, Weird-Abstract Noise, and what I like to call "Blissful Bizarre". This album is Dark, with a faint "silver lined" raining cloud, it's not at all what I was expecting, but wow.. waaay better. This is more than just a beautiful voice with the unique ability to play guitar well, it's ingenuity, growing/evolving audial art. Instead of "G meets HS", think "Chelsea Wolfe" meets Current 93; Gothic-Folk Abstract-tronica. Stick with it, I swear the whole experience is worth it, somehow Ms. Teaadora has found a way to make ugly the new beautiful.

I want to recommend this for all, but instead I need to be "real" and recommend to the right set of ears with a keen interest in "e-x-p-e-r-i-m-e--n-t-a-l" sounds. I only wish more people felt the same way I felt when I heard these strange sounds that always seem to make my heart melt in the weirdest fashion. <(●)> ♥ Teaadora. (I want you to notice her.)

Standout Tracks: Don't Expect A Stradivarius (:45 in, total trance), The Only One (one of this year's BEST songs), Following The Sound (kinda reminds me of Midaircondo), Wake Up Call (so delicate)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

EICV7" No. 14 - David Shane Smith ..coming soon!

EverythingIsChemical Virtual 7" No. 14 - David Shane Smith comes out November 2oth!

This time I promise to deliver.. this gift of Lo-Fi Indie eccentricities..;]

(hopefully you checked out the last v7"?)

Cool Video Funtime #282 - Syndromes (+Bonus Video)

+ Bonus Video ..because I am thoroughly addicted to this band right now.

Check into (x2) Two Glass Eyes & f〇fㄚ..

Two Glass Eyes - Trapdoor
f〇fㄚ - |​|​/​|​|​/​|​|

Two Glass Eyes is just a guy making sounds to accompany the end. This is only the beginning, so the end can't be far right? f〇fㄚ represents what could be a new start or the beginning of an ungovernable end. I'm not sure if the glass is half full or half empty yet, but I'll go ahead and allow these two artists to represent my soundtrack to the future last days.

Friday, November 11, 2011

NEW Lovesliescrushing ..OUT NOW!

In case you're short on funds there's always this one too..;]

Good (free) music laying around the interwebs.. Pt. 3