Brian Eno's 'Lux' comes out November 13th via Warp.
A few words from Warp:
LUX is Brian Eno’s first solo album on Warp Records and his first solo album since 2005’s Another Day On Earth. It finds him expanding upon the types of themes and sonic textures that were present on such classic albums as Music For Films, Music For Airports and Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks. Eno sees it as a continuation of his 'Music for Thinking' project that includes Discreet Music (1975) and Neroli (1993). LUX is one of Eno’s most ambitious works to date; it is a 75-minute composition in twelve sections that evolved from a work currently housed in the Great Gallery of the Palace of Venaria in Turin, Italy. The album is Eno's third for Warp, following two collaborative albums Small Craft on a Milk Sea (with Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams) and Drums Between The Bells (with Rick Holland).
Matmos is one of thee best (Electronic)Experimental artists of all time. No one, I repeat NO ONE, is as innovative & playful with their sound as Matmos is. Matmos is pure concept, one "wacky idea" stretched out and dissected onto an entire EP/LP in the most respectfully-insane way. 'The Ganzfeld EP' (a compendium to their upcoming 2013 LP) is an album about "parapsychological experimentation", where the listener (sort of--it's hard to explain..in a way) wrote the music FOR Matmos (Drew and Martin).
'The Ganzfeld EP' sounds a lot like Matmos' previous efforts (a little more like "The Rose Has Teeth... (my personal fav release of theirs)"); vocally driven and somewhat maddening. But it quickly evolves into it's own sound/being. It's a little short, but keep in mind it's the starting course to what is sure to be an amazing (2013) LP. Shortly after the fun IDM fades out a pulsating Club friendly track comes in (track #2--I like this one a lot), followed by the weirdest track of the bunch, the overall theme/understanding of this release. Voices layered on top of more voices (I think 5-6 voices) explaining what they are hearing and sensing, and from this a bizarre melody is formed. An experiment that I'm sure took A LOT of time compiling/fitting together. It may not be for all/most, but for the select few that feel it, you know what I am saying when I say "..only Matmos".
Really how can I properly explain Matmos to you, just like them already. Matmos can never do wrong, I can't ever see these two running out of delirious concepts. (Matmos is always)Recommended.
Standout Tracks: Very Large Green Triangles (Edit), You (Rrose Mix)(every once and a while a good "Clubby Matmos" track comes along..), Just Waves
Matmos is M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel, aided and abetted by many others. Currently based in Baltimore, the duo formed in San Francisco in the mid 1990s, and self-released their debut album in 1997. Marrying the conceptual tactics and noisy textures of object-based musique concrete to a rhythmic matrix rooted in electronic pop music, the two quickly became known for their highly unusual sound sources: amplified crayfish nerve tissue, the pages of bibles turning, water hitting copper plates, liposuction surgery, cameras and VCRs, chin implant surgery, contact microphones on human hair, rat cages, tanks of helium, a cow uterus, human skulls, snails, cigarettes, cards shuffling, laser eye surgery, whoopee cushions, balloons, latex fetish clothing, rhinestones, Polish trains, insects, life support systems, inflatable blankets, rock salt, solid gold coins, the sound of a frozen stream thawing in the sun, a five gallon bucket of oatmeal. These raw materials are manipulated into surprisingly accessible forms, and often supplemented by traditional musical instruments played by the group’s large circle of friends and collaborators. The result is a model of electronic composition as a relational network that connects sources and outcomes together; information about the process of creation activates the listening experience, providing the listener with entry points into sometimes densely allusive, baroque recordings. Since their debut, Matmos have released over eight albums, including: Quasi-Objects (1998) , The West (1998), A Chance to Cut Is A Chance to Cure (2001), The Civil War (2003) and The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of A Beast (2006) and Supreme Balloon (2008). In 2001 they were asked to collaborate with the Icelandic singer Bjork on her “Vespertine” album, and subsequently embarked on two world tours as part of her band. In addition to musical collaborations with Antony, So Percussion, David Tibet, the Rachel’s, Lesser, Wobbly, Zeena Parkins, and the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, Matmos have also collaborated with a wide range of artists across disciplines, from the visual artist Daria Martin (on the soundtrack to her film “Minotaur”) to the playwright Young Jean Lee (for her play “The Appeal”) to Berlin-based choreographer Ayman Harper. Most recently, they have been part of the ensemble for the Robert Wilson production “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic”, featuring Marina Abramovic, Antony and Willem Dafoe. Their next album, The Marriage of True Minds, will be released in 2013 by Thrill Jockey Records
Hello, how are you?
Drew: I am feeling manic.
Martin: At ease, though there is much to do preparing for the public enjoyment of our new record...right now photo editing and making handmade cards to go into the special editions of our introductory EP/single (whatever it's formal format designation is!) "The Ganzfeld EP"
What are you currently listening to?
Drew: I'm currently listening to the steady purr of air conditioning in the attic of our house, and from downstairs I can still make out the record that's playing: the Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza album "The Feedback", which is an oddity for them, it's got these chunky funk drums and their skronky free music playing on top.
Martin: Helmut Lachenmann' "Mouvement" on YouTube as we have just returned from the Darmstadt Ferienkurse for New Music and apparently this fellow is very important for a lot of composers, and I had never listened to any, so... If you mean in general, the environment at Darmstadt is very dense, musically, so wow, we heard a lot of stuff...the two best things I heard were John Cage's "As Slow as Possible" and pieces that I can't remember the names of by a crazy cool young man/composer called Johannes Kreidler...look 'm up on You Tube, I tried to find a particular thing to recommend, but I fell down the rabbit hole...so I suggest you do the same!
I've taught two lecture courses in the English Department at Hopkins, one on Shakespeare and one on "British Literature I" (a survey course) that goes from Chaucer to Spenser to Milton to Pope. In the process of which I rant/talk about a vast range of things: renaissance literature first and foremost, but in and through that magic, colonialism, psychoanalysis, chivalry, poetic meter, queer sex, capitalism, rhetorical figures, pagan gods, Jesus Christ, suicide, friendship, slasher films, classical epic, venereal disease, feminism, currency policy, social hierarchies, monstrosity, ugly and beautiful bodies, literature as fetish etc. As Matmos we sometimes "lecture" (in a super loose way) about our own music, musique concrete, how to make recordings and why, the history of various mediums and media, records we love.
I wrote a book about Throbbing Gristle because I fell in love with their music at the age of 16 and haven't been able to let it go ever since, and I felt that they would do something odd and critical to the premise of the series as a whole by being inserted into that list. They seem to me to be usefully opposed to the "greatness" rhetoric that tends to accompany that kind of fandom. Their work is hard to read, self-contradicting in a way that felt like it was worth writing about, some art is very strong but it doesn't merit lots of unpacking. I think their work seems in certain ways "weaker" than the canonical albums in that series but that's is the source of its odd power.
What is the theme for your upcoming EP and will you be touring for it?
The EP is an introduction to the concerns that drive the album as well. The EP comes out in October and the album in early 2013. We won't be really touring that material until the spring because I will be on sabbatical then, but we will have a few select shows in Baltimore, New York and London in connection with the EP. The EP and the album have the same conceptual basis: telepathy. For the past four years we have been conducting parapsychological experiments based upon the classic Ganzfeld (“total field”) experiment, but with a twist: instead of sending and receiving simple graphic patterns, test subjects were put into a state of sensory > deprivation by covering their eyes and listening to white noise on headphones, and then I attempted to transmit “the concept of the new Matmos record” directly into their minds. During videotaped psychic experiments conducted at home in Baltimore and at Oxford University, test subjects were asked to describe out loud anything they saw or heard within their minds as Drew attempted transmission. The resulting transcripts became a kind of score that was then used to generate music. If a subject hummed something, that became a melody; passing visual images suggested arrangement ideas, instruments, or raw materials for a collage; if a subject described an action, then we had to act out that out and make music out of the noises generated in the process of the re-enactment. It was very labor intensive and very fun.
How do you guys come up with your sound concepts (such as a snail slithering past a light sensitive theremin)?I bet you have some interesting brain-storming sessions don't you?
Drew: There are lots of discussions, arguments, moods, temporary obsessions and long burning passions that move in and out focus. Deadlines and feelings of guilt and stress can be assets because they crystallize your vague sense that something might be worth exploring more, it helps when there is a gun to your head and you MUST choose something, you MUST decide if an idea is good or not, because that stops the endlessness of discussion. Sometimes there are blind alleys and one of the two of us has to point this out to the other, which is painful. I would like to think that the strongest sounds and concepts survive and that the weaker stuff drops out as it is subjected to scrutiny. One thing that happens quite often is that we'll get obsessed with something, make a piece, and then test it in front of audiences quite a bit before committing to it becoming a song for a record, in this case we're a bit more like a Rock band than an Electronic band, I suppose. But "brainstorming" sounds like a corporate marketing meeting, and I would hope that what we do is often driven more by intuition, stumbling, drift and free association.
What movie would work best on mute while listening to your music?
Martin: Terre Thaemlitz's new full length 'Soulnessless'? It's 32 hours long...
Are you living your dream?
Drew: This question prompts a memory of a friend who lived in a rough, crime-ridden building who stumbled onto a prostitute servicing a john in a stairwell. Annoyed at the intrusion, she looked up at him and yelled "Leave us alone, damn! Can't you see I'm just living my dream?"
Martin: I try to take things as they go, so as to avoid disappointment. I really enjoy a lot of things that happen to me, though! Also, most of my dreams are very repetitive work-dreams!
Thanx Drew & Martin!
Matmos are about to release "The Ganzfeld EP" and soon after that (early next year) they will release their next LP..!
One of the most consistent artists of the past 10 years would have to be Sinner DC. Those who follow this site regularly know EIC has been a long-time fan/supporter of this project. Since 2007's 'Arkle Parkle Avenue' (the album where Sinner DC introduced themselves to computers;), Sinner DC have been on regular repeat around here. For those of you unaware of SDC (shame on you), their sound can best be described as "Post Modern Electronic bliss mixed with washed out guitar sounds, hazy dance beats and sensual vocals. Or "Dance music for Shoegazers", if that makes more sense..
Here we are again, another (few) year(s) has passed and Sinner DC are back at it with another luscious offering of sleek Electronic productions that display exactly what I am looking for when I say I like "Chill meets Futuristic". 'Future That Never Happened' is a yet another bookmark to behold in SDC's awesome catalog of nearly flawless sounds. Picking up where 'Crystallized' left off and incorporating a few more "Ambient" atmospheres, 'Future That Never Happenced' is sure to please any hardcore SDC fan, as well as entice a few new ones. Although it's sad to see AI die, it's great to see Sinner DC have found a pleasant/fitting new home on Mental Groove. Hopefully a future DOES happen, a very promising and scopious one for Sinner DC at the very least.
It's Sinnner DC and EIC will always recommend this artist (money back guarantee even). ..seriously though, the wait in-between new Sinner DC albums is pretty unbearable.
Standout Tracks: Hey Girl, Day/Night, Where She Goes, The Horizon (evoking the song's title perfectly)
Sox (a.k.a. Julien Sens) has been a busy guy. For the past few years, he's been slowly popping up on music-radars everywhere, especially in the French music scene. He's lent his beats to a handful of artists as well as notable remixes for acts like The Polyphonic Spree and Passion Pit. In the midst of all this (2009 to be exact), he released a self-produced EP titled 'How To Picnic'. This got the attention of Switzerland-based, Mental Groove Records, in-which (last June), his first full length album was born.
'Birth Etcetera' is a delicate yet raw album. Delicate in reference to the seamless marriage of synth, piano, synth, acoustic guitar, and synth. And raw in reference to the pure innocence and honesty of it all. This innocence is most present on the album's introductory track appropriately titled "Birth". A playful piano melody is supported by the sound of a film reel giving the album an immediate nostalgic undertone. The piano dominates once again on the following track titled "Awake". A matching synth and a simple electronic rhythm evoke a self-awareness that often comes with childhood. And from here on, like any good story, you're hooked. Sens' influences for this album are present and accounted for. There are more than a few nods toward Sebastien Tellier, Yann Tiersen, Daft Punk, Air, Modeselektor, etc... His friends are not far behind him either, featured on the album are Chicros and Kumi Solo, a couple of fellow vocalists whom he had the pleasure of previously remixing. But Sens' roots are far from absent, although most tracks here are fairly mellow and groovy, he very much sounds like he's well within his comfort zone on the head-bobbin' track "Daikanayama". which serves as kind of a reverse pallet-cleanser. It feels like a throwback to his "Hip Hop beat producing days".
The closing track, "Etcetera", is the most beautiful way one can possibly say "Thanks for listening" through the use of synths, a pleasing conclusion that is soon followed by a secret track that plays over the credits in your mind. This is one story you're going to want to revisit again and again until his next.
"..gentle Chamber Pop that comes off as delicate and somewhat traumatic/romantic.."
Merciful Crib (for an Overburdened Congregation)
Felix is the musical duo of Lucinda Chua and Chris Summerlin, who make their home in England. Lucinda Chua is a classically trained pianist and cellist, has been a touring member of Stars of the Lid, and is an accomplished photographer. Chris also plays guitar in the rock band Lords.
Hello, how are you?
I am very well thank you, currently getting ready to leave London for the USA.
What are you currently listening to?
Two recent albums I've been really into are St Vincent's 'Strange Mercy' and Feist's 'Metals' album. From the vaults, I always have time for 'Rumors' by Fleetwood Mac and and just about anything by Otis Redding.
Care to tell us about your recent release ..overall theme, how it came about, were there any snags, etc.?
My new album is called 'Oh Holy Molar'; a collection of short songs about superstitious rituals and omens that help make sense of events that happen in life. I had the privilege of working with Peter Fletcher who recorded the album in an converted cinema from the 1940s, above an abandoned dental laboratory. I was joined by guitarist and long time collaborator Chris Summerlin with the new addition of drummer Neil Turpin - whose work I have been a huge admirer since watching him play live with Leeds trio Bilge Pump back when Felix first started out.
Do you have a favorite track from said release?
When we play live I really enjoy playing the title track, there's a real kick of energy driven by the tight pulse of the drums, something we didn't really explore with the first album. On the flip side I have a soft spot for the "Blessing". When I was writing that track I'd been studying the "Beatitude"s and "Da Pacem Domine" by Arvo Part with my choir - I got really into polyphonic singing from Estonian and Georgian folk music.
Will you be touring for this release?
I will be coming out of hibernation to open for Yann Tiersen on the first leg of his tour of North America..
Got any other/new side projects we should know about?
I've been collaborating with film maker Andrew Telling who created a short film for Blessing Parts I & II, we'll be working on some more projects in future. I have almost finished recording a covers album which I hope to release in some shape or form early next year - expect anything and everything from Hendrix and the B52s to Irma Thomas and Portishead.
Who's your favorite Kranky artist?
My favourite Kranky project at the moment has to be A Winged Victory For The Sullen - hands down one of the most incredible ensembles I have seen or heard in a long while. Adam and Dustin have something really special going on and I look forward to the future of their collaboration. On the whole, Kranky have some great artists on their rosta right now - Benoit Pioulard, Grouper/Tiny Vipers, Tim Hecker and of course SOTL who really helped me out before I signed - it's a real honor to be affiliated with these names.
If you could re-score any movie or TV show of your choice what would you choose and why?
It would have to be something by Terrence Malick, it'd be a dream to score for him. His films consistently blow me away; the way he presents these intimate narratives so beautifully and eloquently whilst all the time relating to a bigger picture. But his choice of music is pretty spot on as it stands, you can't really beat a bit of Carl Orff in Badlands!
You can only keep/listen to ONE album for the rest of your life ..which album would it be?
There is a really great recording of the Borodin Quartet playing Ravel's String Quartet in F and the Shos 8. I must have bought that CD when I was about sixteen and I still listen to it now with the same enthusiasm.
Are you living your dream?
Ask me at the end of tour!
Thanx B & Lucinda!
Felix are currently one of the more underrated Kranky bands, perhaps when the covers album comes out they will get more of the respect they truly deserve...
Felix first came across my radar with their debut Kranky release 'You Are The One I Pick', which came out in 2009. Their (Lucinda Chua & Chris Summerlin) sound could probably be best described as "gentle Chamber Pop that comes off as delicate and somewhat traumatic/romantic". Honestly, a very bizarre almost "Anti-Kranky" release in some ways, which could be why it remains one of the label standouts. Flash forward a few years later and the duo are back at it with 'Oh Holy Molar', which sees them carrying on with their traditional sound + a few more delicacies and stronger production points.
For anyone unaware of this project, Felix are somewhat comparable to Regina Spektor only a little less dramatic (in a different way anyways) and a little more delicate (at points). The production is quite pristine, the writing is quite serene, and the overall tone is something that should fit quite snugly between a pair of any nicer headphones. Piano, guitar, bass, drum and vocals, a simple concept pulled off quite nicely. Lucinda's vocals are incredible, and on 'Oh Holy Molar' it seems like she is becoming more accepting/confident of this fact. Chris' layer of acrimonious Pop Rock is quite honestly the perfect compliment to Lucinda's voice. A match made in amoristic bliss if you will..
A nice follow up to a completely/shamefully overlooked band. Recommended to most people (especially those with working ear canals).
Standout Tracks: Oh Holy Molar (i bet this song sounds awesome live..), Blessing Part I, Blessing Part II (truly gorgeous), Little Bisquit (perfect ender)