sobota, 23 stycznia 2010
"It all began, appropriately enough, with an explosion. The first side of the first release on the avant dubstep label Skull Disco is Shackleton’s “I Am Animal” and after a few seconds of desiccated rave strings, a bomb comes in and blows the whole thing up. The strings continue, of course. Little can stop the urge to dance—even the tom-heavy syncopations that you’ll find on most dubstep tracks. But the bomb remains. A mission statement. A call to arms.
Few have risen to the challenge in the past two years. But who can blame them? If it wasn’t for this CD release of Skull Disco’s first seven vinyl releases, their sound might’ve gone even more unheard. As it is, the sound of twisted dubstep isn’t all that palatable. Then again, when you listen to Soul Jazz’s mostly listless Box of Dub collection, it’s not hard to understand why it’s a genre destined to stay underground.
Strangely, though, the weirdest are probably the ones most primed for mainstream acclaim. Unlike the majority of their contemporaries, Shackleton and Applebim (the two producers responsible for most of the work here) lace their work with more than a simple dedication to dub pioneers. On “Hamas Rule,” you’ll hear a Middle Eastern melody lolling about, while “Naked” mixes descending bass hits with what sounds like melodica and an insistent piano.
The label’s biggest hit thus far, of course, has been Shackleton’s “Blood on My Hands.” It immediately launches into the usual Egyptian-tinged riddim, but it also opens with the refrain “When I see the towers fall…” and works its way through a harrowing monologue from there. Included here as well is Villalobos’ 18-minute take on the track, which smoothes out the original’s jerky propulsion, slows it down, and turns it into a meditation far more affecting than any piece of 9/11-influenced art that has come before it.
Despite the noise to the contrary, it’s been a bit hard for me to puzzle out the connections between dubstep and microhouse, though. Ricardo Villalobos hammers home the point in the most recent issue of The Wire that artists like Shackleton are “serious” about testing the limits of sound. But aside from punishing, teeth-chattering bass, there’s little about Soundboy Punishments that tests a listener. This is how dubstep—and all genres—should be: music that takes from other styles freely, encompassing sounds from all edges of the world. Mediocrity is unsettling and eerie. Soundboy Punishments is life-affirming and vital." stylusmagazine.com
"Bongripper is an Experimental Doom band from Chicago started in 2005. They released “The Great Barrier Reefer” in 2006. which was one track, 79 mins and 27 secs long.
Their second full length “Hippie Killer” was released on June 20, 2007. It is 79 mins and 59 secs long, but separated in 10 tracks. Also, in 2007, they released a noise drone album sans drums entitled, “Heroin.” It was initially limited to 25 with the special edition “Heroin Kit” complete with shooting up materials.
Bongripper’s fourth album, “Hate Ashbury” was released on April 23, 2008. A 65 minute song comprised of dirty heavy doom, drone and noise.
Also, Bongripper collaborated with Chicago noise band, Winters in Osaka for a 3” CD in 2008 entitled “Meat Ditch”." LAST.FM
"Combining '70s-style sludge/stoner rock with arty, new wave punk and Krautrock's penchant for effective use of repetition, Each One Teach One shows Oneida both branching out and refining their already unique style of heavy rock. Disc one of this double-disc set features two lengthy songs. The first, "Sheets of Easter," tests the listener's patience by repeating a single brain-pummeling riff for over 14 minutes. "Antibiotics," the other song on disc one, features slightly more variation and a herky-jerky rhythm that isn't quite as abusive on the ears, though it does go on for more than 16 minutes. This might be a little much for the uninitiated, but anyone acclimated to the early works of Can or Amon Düül II will find merit in these two songs. If not, however, there's still disc two. Containing seven shorter songs, the second disc can easily stand alone as a complete listening experience. The title track starts things off with a simple but effective riff that explodes into a screeching swirl of keyboard effects. "People of the North," which first appeared on Anthem of the Moon, is presented here in a more polished and concise form, with a heavy space dub feel to it. "Sneak Into the Woods" slows things down with a grimy, sinister keyboard riff, and "Rugaru" plays up the band's tribal element with distant chanting atop simple percussion and toy piano. "Black Chamber" keeps this tribal vibe going while pulling it together into a more coherent song with great surrealistic lyrics (sample: "I heard them talk about me but my ears turned into jewels"). The instrumental "No Label" rounds out the album with a shambling junkyard gamelan dirge. Viewing their albums as a continuum, Each One Teach One is a bold but logical next step for Oneida. The essential sound is familiar, but the qualities setting them apart have come together in new and interesting ways." AMG
"New York City is a laser light show. It is everything you could conjure, juvenile and immediate, like the overblown store-bought psychedelia of Pink Floyd: mall and science museum culture. Like a proudly brandished tie-dyed t-shirt, Black Dice dances and hums its way from a Phish concert crowd straight to the Knitting Factory by avoiding the funk, amping the jams, and turning up the volume.
Black Dice's Beaches and Canyons is full of spaced-out planetarium moments, drenched in high-pitched squeals and thunderous low end. "Seabird" is a tone poem: the repeated sound/image of flight and wings is warped until only creaks remain. Repetitive knob-turning seems to conjure animals who appear to be fighting. The frogs always win.
The album generally tends to eschew pounding hardcore rhythms, employing beats in unique and clever ways throughout the compositions to keep them vital. The drums are very effective throughout in their ability to add presence to the ongoing loops, adding a pounding heart to the web of tortured sounds and affected melodies. While the violence seems to be almost entirely washed away from their previous efforts, the impressive aspect of this LP is its ability to translate the live show for which the Black Dice is primarily known into a private show-- an ideal recording. These songs seem more like juxtapositions, blueprints, instructions.
With Beaches and Canyons, Black Dice fully embrace the chanting, pounding and moaning of the Grateful Dead: lovin' the jam. These songs, all of which I've heard played live in the past six or so months, are imminently changeable, fluid, and interesting. The songs reveal themselves in subtle ways, hiding their identities for minutes at a time, then briefly reappearing as themselves throughout the song, as a slightly repeating pattern or token sound. The songs go out of and back into themselves in a manner similar to John Coltrane's late-era renditions of "My Favorite Things": the crowd in Japan, stunned by an hour-long take on Rodgers & Hammerstein, suddenly remember what they're enjoying when the theme returns as a slurred parade of squeaked notes.
"The Dream is Going Down" is Black Dice at its evocative best. At the end, the song breaks down, like any good trip, into its most primal elements: Hisham pounds away on the drums, Aaron hums and half-sings through thick delay while Bjorn and Eric shriek and wail on guitar, voice, and effects. "Big Drop" points to Black Dice's most violent impulses, spreading seven or eight grindcore melodies over the course of nearly 17 minutes. It seems to be all beach here, too-- ebbing, flowing, and following the water. The screams are balanced with falsetto moaning, which falls into itself, collapsing, canyoning, ending.
"Endless Happiness" is a mess of recorder sounds and chiming, ring-modulated guitar, as well as the heavy bass swells for which Aaron is known. The percussion kicks in halfway through the track, and the recorder begins to sound Ayler-esque while the modulations and bass swells stay constant. The loops reach a frantic pace before dying, leaving a bed of static dry air. Air is overcome by water, and the end of the track is a thorough brain-cleaning, a nice and clear literal representation of the 'beaches' component. The collage of water samples lasts for several minutes-- a lucid translation from thought into music of a serenity Black Dice rarely acheive.
Black Dice have managed to create an album that properly illustrates the changing nature of their sound. Many groups have found this extremely difficult to achieve on tape, often sticking to formulas in the studio while limiting their experiments to live shows. Beaches and Canyons is an intense document of Black Dice's evolution-- cycling through styles and equipment like they're simple and meaningless tools, eyes on the goal of reorganizing sound and transforming it through sheer volume." PITCHFORK
"After three albums, it's admirable how Baltimore's Double Dagger have steadfastly adhered to their spartan three-man setup of drums, bass, and vocals, continuing to search for nuance in minimalism via punk rock. With a title slightly more clever than III would have been, it's no surprise that More sounds pretty similar to their previous two albums, but that nuance is there; even when the band stretches out or gets their friends in on the action, it takes three or four listens to even notice what they've added.
For reasons that seem slightly insane, the album was recorded in an abandoned office floor in the dead of winter-- without heat-- affording the band time to fuss over the precise muffling of a bass drum or momentary squall of feedback; in short, it sounds cheap, but also full. It pays off: Even with the occasional backup vocal or surreptitious extra instrument sneaking into the mix, More feels looser than its predecessor (2007's Ragged Rubble) while being a bit more ambitious. Like everything with Double Dagger-- from their minimal setup to their thoughtful-yet-plainspoken lyrics to the graphic design-- you can tell they've thought it through a few times over.
Some of the album's most memorable riffs don't come until minutes into the songs, which build on themselves simply but unexpectedly. The monotonous punk screamer "No Allies" becomes sneakily melodic, while the placid intro of "Vivre Sans Tempt Mort", with clean plucking and a buzzing harmonium, leads into a blisteringly dynamic anthem, giving singer Nolen Strals time to shout about death and paranoia between the intermittent low-end crunch. Even the six-minute runtime of "Half-Life" hides the album's most affecting moment of cautious, weary optimism in its latter half ("maybe this year won't be like the rest," Strals sings).
ThEse songs are squeezed for variety, from the umpteenth-notes of "We Are the Ones" to the straightforward shake and shimmy of "Camouflage", or the grinning subterranean chug of "Surrealist Composition With Your Face". The sober talk-sing of the verses in "The Lie/The Truth" is offset by the triumphant bellow of Sam Herring (of Future Islands) on the chorus; his contribution is slight but essential. Being neither a "new" lo-fi act nor a day-glo Wham City band (but able to hang with either), while staying politically aware and personally grounded in their lyrics, Double Dagger once again prove there are fertile ideas in the narrowest slice of middle ground."
środa, 20 stycznia 2010
"Four Tet is the name used by Kieran Hebden (born 1977 in Putney, London, UK) for his experimental electronic music-oriented solo efforts, to differentiate from his work with post-rock band Fridge.
Hebden’s solo work typically utilises samples lifted from various sources including hip-hop, electronica, techno, jazz, and folk mixed with his own guitar playing. Four Tet shares some stylistic similarities with other musicians, such as Prefuse 73, who use computer editing techniques that give the music a staccato, cut-up feel. Hebden’s music is notable for its rich, organic sounds and harmonious melodies as well as for eschewing the traditional pop-song format in favour of a more abstract approach.
Kieran Hebden began releasing material as Four Tet in 1998 with the 36 minute and 25 second single “Thirtysixtwentyfive” on Trevor Jackson’s Output Recordings label. Later that year, he released a second single, the jazz-influenced “Misnomer”. 1999’s “Dialogue”, again on Output, was Four Tet’s first full-length album release and fused hip-hop drum lines with dissonant jazz samples. This was followed by the double A-side single “Glasshead”/”Calamine”, which was to be Four Tet’s last release on Output."
"Titus Andronicus is an indie rock band which formed in Glen Rock, New Jersey, United States in 2005. They consist of Patrick Stickles (vocals, guitar), Ian O’Neil (guitar), Ian Graetzer (bass), Andrew Cedermark (keyboards, vocals) and Eric Harm (drums). The band takes its name from the Shakespeare play Titus Andronicus.
Their debut album, The Airing Of Grievances, was released on the Troubleman Unlimited record label on April 14, 2008 to many positive reviews. The album’s loud, heavily distorted guitars are influenced by shoegaze, while the lyrics and song titles are references to various books and other forms of entertainment (such as the album title, from the Seinfeld episode, “The Strike”, about Festivus). The Airing Of Grievances was reissued on January 20, 2009 on XL Recordings.
The band’s second album, The Monitor, will be released on March 9, 2010 through XL Recordings. It will be preceded by the first single “Four Score and Seven” which will be split into two parts due to its length and released on vinyl as a double A-side on February 9, 2010." LAST.FM
"Fishing in the morning, philosophising in the evening: Hendrik Weber has updated Marx’s communism in everyday life. After getting up, he turns his life into an analogue artpiece and when going to bed, he manipulates digital data streams.
You may already know him as „Panthel” or „Glühen 4” and as a satellite rotating around the Hamburg-based DIAL label and Indiehouse scene. Hendrik Weber’s current and probably most influential project is „Pantha du Prince”. In 2003, he released the radically introverted debut album „Diamond Daze”: it represents purest sublime physicalness and basically an awesome collection of Hendrik Weber’s knowledge and experience in Indierock, New Music and Techno. It is great to see many different layers of a personal history displayed without any ambition of supersense. Though you will find some canonical references (to Detroit Techno, Theo Parrish, Moodyman, Acid House or to good-old Techno „smasher”), in fact the basic vocabulary of Techno and House is constantly enriched and contaminated by alien word fragments. But interferences are welcome and you must not underestimate neither the influence of Noisepop (My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, A.R. Kane) nor the influence of Electronic Music, Minimalism or Folk on the sometimes psychedelically wobbling sounds from Pantha du Prince. Each reference speaks its own language, and just like life, each influence is multiplied and boundaries get blurred. This layering of sounds and moods produces somewhat bizarre effects as every single layer reveals another one."
niedziela, 17 stycznia 2010
"Primary Colours is an appropriate title for Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s sophomore album. The Australian quartet works with the basics to produce a simple, hooky garage punk racket, yet delivers a surprisingly multi-layered mixture when everything is said and done. While the signposts are clear and the influences are more or less front and center, no one particular move results in absolute hero worship. Opening track “Memory Lane” for example, is built around a primal Stooges thump, but the guitar is worked into a nice trebly jangle that suggests such a walk can, in fact, be quite pleasant. The Stooges' primitivism pops up elsewhere: in the brooding explosiveness of “Colour Television,” which suggests “T.V. Eye,” but with that song’s libidinal throb suppressed by the ritual of endless channel surfing. “I Don’t Wanna Play No More,” with its single-note piano riff, deliberately (one would think) recalls “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” yet posits the S&M-lite referred to in the latter as all so much young lust that must come to an end.
The Stooges' hue certainly looms large (and what Australian band worth their salt doesn’t have the specter of the Iggy and the Ashetons hovering above?), but there are, of course, three primary colors. Thus, while ECSR paint with wide swaths and use a purposefully limited pallet, other distinctive shades emerge here as well. In general, the album contains a taut Wire-like sense of attitude and execution, and on “That’s Inside of Me,” perhaps the most unique track on the album, the band reimagines the Feelies’ “Crazy Rhythms” (a tight number if there ever was one) with just the song’s frenetic instrumental passage as a base. The effect is wonderfully unsettling and neatly captures Primary Colours’ theme of tension and release, or lack thereof.
Though the album never touches on the howling urgency of The Birthday Party or The Scientists and it’s not quite the revelation of The Saints’ Eternally Yours or X’s Aspirations, it’s very much a part of the proud tradition of Australian punk and underground rock. “Wrapped Up,” a crisp guitar-driven punk romance, and “We’ll Be Turned On,” which rides a swinging organ riff and bounces along like a cross between the Fall and the Modern Lovers, would both fit seamlessly onto last year’s two-disc comp Tales From the Australian Underground: Singles 1976 – 1989 (an essential pick up on it’s own, by the way).
Though there’s been a fair amount of diversity in the Aussie underground through the years, there’s also an unpretentious adherence to the primal essence of rock and roll. Eddy Current Suppression Ring make good on the promise and, like the many Down Under greats that came before, seize on the possibilities that can be gleaned from keeping things simple." dustedmagazine.com
"If Future of the Left's debut album, Curses, initially sounded like a retread of two-thirds of the band's work as Mclusky, it feels like a dress rehearsal for the power they unleash on Travels with Myself and Another. While there are plenty of songs that uphold the traditions of FOTL's previous incarnation and Curses -- "I Am Civil Service" and "Land of My Formers"' self-aware studies in isolation and violence are still too impassioned, too heavy to be merely acerbic, and Andy Falkous still channels irony and fury through his clipped vocals and raspy screams -- the band's jagged din sounds fuller and more muscular (if a shade less frenetic) than before. They spend just as much time expanding their music as they do underscoring its strengths: "The Hope That House Built" puts their fondness for slogans for lost causes and failed ideals to a bracing oompah beat and a layered coda; "Yin/Post-Yin"'s keyboard stabs and bouncy guitar reveal a more overtly playful side to Future of the Left than Mclusky ever showed. The band's sardonic storytelling is also at a peak, especially on "Throwing Bricks at Trains," the tale of two military officers who might be Wild West terrorists (and opens with the attention-getting line "Slight! Bowel movements!"). Everyday evil is a common theme on Travels with Myself and Another, whether it's the hilariously pragmatic Satanist of "You Need Satan More Than He Needs You" or the all-pervasive materialism of "Drink Nike," the only song from the stopgap live album Last Night I Saved Her from Vampires to make the cut here. That commitment to economy makes "Lapsed Catholics" that much more surprising and effective an end to Travels with Myself and Another: over a relatively epic four minutes, the band rails against Rupert Murdoch; praises the old-school, pitchfork-wielding Devil; and drops food for thought like "the problem with these people is that they understand their vices, not their faults" as the music moves from contemplative acoustics to blasting fury. And, on top of all that, it's also a love song. Travels with Myself and Another distinguishes Future of the Left from Mclusky without completely severing ties, and proves they're a band that can keep post-hardcore exciting with righteous anger and merciless wit." AMG
"Over the course of their career, Low's glacially beautiful music has gradually melted into something much more accessible and intimate. The thaw culminates on Things We Lost in the Fire; despite its brooding title, it's the group's loveliest, most approachable collection of songs yet. Voluptuous strings, softly fuzzy guitars, and propulsive percussion suffuse songs like the sweetly melancholy opener "Sunflower" and the slo-mo pop of "Dinosaur Act" and "July" with a warmth and direction that Low's best work has always hinted at. Even the album's darkest moments, such as the tense, implosive "Whitetail," have more emotional urgency, heightened by Alan and Mimi's close, brooding harmonies. Yet Mimi's airy solo on the spare, undulating "Laser Beam" is equally spine tingling. Things We Lost in the Fire also features more of Low's understated stylistic experiments: The slightly jazzy harmonies and tempo of "Medicine Magazines" add a bit of swing to the group's usually steady rhythms, while "Kind of Girl" delves into earthy yet ethereal chamber folk. Breathtakingly gorgeous moments, such as "Like a Forest"'s pealing strings and poignant melody, and "Whore"'s build from delicate harmonies into a gently triumphant swell of guitars, vocals, and sparkling percussion reaffirm that Low have perfected and refined their sound. The finale, "In Metal," evolves from a melancholy ballad into one of the group's sunniest, most kinetic songs, mirroring the overall transformation of their music. A perfect match for its late-winter release date, Things We Lost in the Fire's slowly rising warmth and subtly hopeful tone not only make this Low's most cohesive, compelling collection, but one of 2001's best albums." AMG
"By the time of Ovalprocess, Oval's fifth full album, the clicks-and-cuts style of experimental ambience Markus Popp and company helped develop nearly a decade before was being championed all over the world, from Tokyo (Nobukazu Takemura) to Berlin (Pole) to Sheffield (SND) to San Francisco (Kit Clayton). All of which makes it a bit of a surprise that Process remains a distinctive work. The scratchy bass hum and high-pitched, atonal effects heard on most every track are very nearly Oval trademarks, and despite the focus on experimentation, Ovalprocess retains yet another hallmark of the group's productions: it's a remarkably beautiful album. Granted, this won't quite signify to listeners unfamiliar with the genre, but when the album climaxes (on the ninth untitled track) with a droning organ melody heard faintly above a cacophony of glitch static, electronics fans might just find themselves wiping their eyes from the wonder of it all. Even among considerable competition, Oval remains the very best at making beautiful music out of civilization's sonic detritus." AMG
"Tomahawk combines the rockist tendencies of Faith No More with the weirdo prog freakout of Mr. Bungle, two of Tomahawk vocalist Mike Patton's more popularly received projects. The band is actually the project of former Jesus Lizard guitarist Duane Denison, and on Mit Gas, the band's second album, he drops his prior fight for melodic lead, letting Patton growl, sustain, babble, stutter, croon, and yowl through each precision-stopped, layered track. Maybe all those nights of getting booed off the stage while touring with Tool (after the 2001 self-titled release) taught them a thing or two about indulging star power. With John Stanier (formerly of Helmet) and Kevin Rutmanis (the Cows, the Melvins) also on board, though, it's hard to decide who isn't a star. "You Can't Win," a track akin to Mr. Bungle in its circus/lounge mood and cracked chanting, is an outstanding example of Tomahawk's metal kid to avantist maturity -- everything from strings to wood blocks informs a centrally pop song with indiscernibly sinister lyrics reminiscent of Brainiac. The track ends with a hazy ambient moan. It floats into "Mayday," a pretty straightforward metal song. Then there's a dreamy ballad in Spanish, a surf-rock one called "Harelip," and the excellent, slightly Foo Fighters-sounding "Rape This Day." You probably won't find this album at Wal-Mart. It's worth searching out, though, as Patton et al. expand the borders of guitar rock with intelligence and humor more absurd and egalitarian than the band's obvious predecessor -- Frank Zappa. " AMG
czwartek, 14 stycznia 2010
"Hailing from the unlikely locale of Edmonton, Alberta, The Wicked Awesomes! have been cultivating their brand of “subarctic frozen glü-wave”, releasing a split 7” with Montreal’s The O Voids, debut single “Information Entropy,” on Almost Ready Records and “Punk Holograms” LP on Psychic Handshake Records. What you have here is the product of five young dudes who are like a virtual cool sounds encyclopedia of stellar punk, garage, psych, art rock and new wave influences." LAST.FM
"It'd be stupid to call your band the Intelligence without showing signs of progress and evolution. And over the course of four albums, the now full-time project of ex-A Frames drummer Lars Finberg has loosened up its formative post-punk pessimism to the point that the band's chosen MySpace URL-- www.myspace.com/theworldisadrag-- feels more ironic with each record. Rather than simply protest the indignities of modern life, on Fake Surfers, Finberg goes about creating a sanctuary from it, inviting in friends from fellow unsung West Coast indie rock acts (and, in one instance, covering their songs) to form a secret, protective society that will ensure the survival of rational-thinking species in a world where brain cells are being eroded 140 characters at a time
The Intelligence's previous release, 2007's Deuteronomy, was notable for its more focused songcraft and cleaner presentation, but Fake Surfers doesn't continue these new adventures in hi-fi. Rather, it plays to the Intelligence's extremes, casting a more pronounced British Invasion pop influence in warped, peak-level lo-fi sonics, emphasizing a connection between post-punk and psychedelia that stretches from Clinic and Guided by Voices through the deconstructionist pop of Swell Maps and Wire and back to the whimsical wordsmithery of Syd Barrett and Skip Spence. (That said, Fake Surfers practically sounds like Dark Side of the Moon compared to Crepuscule With Pacman, a concurrently released collection of more discordant, half-formed material issued via French indie Born Bad.)
Fake Surfers' noise/pop affinities seemingly align it with the current lo-fi vogue fostered by Slumberland and Slitbreeze Records sets, with the tambourine-rattled "Taxman" strut of "Tower" and bobble-headed harmonies of "Universal Babysitter" suggesting mid-1960s Beatles had they been signed to Rough Trade Records in 1978. But the Intelligence are distinguished by the way they push the limits of their claustrophobic space; their most intriguing moments often result when they lay off the distortion pedal, exposing the creepy voices and radio frequencies that overwhelm the swinging-60s go-go groove of "Saint Bartolomeu" and the circular circus melodies driving the electro-stroll of "I Hear Depression". And while it seems like faint praise to say the best song on Fake Surfers is its lone cover, the breezily strummed rendition of L.A. new-wave hot dogs Wounded Lion's "Pony People" feels like the song Finberg's been waiting to sing his whole life. Lord knows what it says about the man that he's never sounded happier than when singing from the perspective of a centaur "firing arrows into rabbits." But in the case of Fake Surfers, such emotional breakthroughs are worth sacrificing a bunny or two."
Shudder to Think's major-label debut, Pony Express Record, boasted a better sound/production than past releases (courtesy of producer Ted Nicely and mixer Andy Wallace), and signaled more focused songwriting on the group's part. It was by no means a sellout, because even on earlier releases the group's ambitious songwriting was in full effect. And "focused" songwriting from Shudder to Think does not mean three-chord, predictable verse-chorus-verse compositions, either. Pony Express Record challenges the listener in many ways: stop/start riffing ("X-French Tee Shirt"), oblique lyrics ("Earthquakes Come Home"), often dramatic, Freddie Mercury-like vocals ("Gang of $"), and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink song structures ("No Rm. 9, Kentucky"). The music is consistently unpredictable, mixing jazz, metal, art rock, folk, experimental, and alternative in the band's melting pot. And all of the songs boast strong melodies, which initially draw the listener in until you realize that there's more than meets the ear. Pony Express Record also marked the studio debut of guitar whiz Nathan Larson and drummer Adam Wade (Larson became an integral member of the group, helping to write five tracks, while Wade left after the supporting tour). One of the most underrated rock records of the '90s. AMG
"Math rock can either put you to sleep, albeit with searing nightmares, or it can take you into the very equation itself. @Elephant 6-land/quirky-pop-utopia Athens, GA, seems an unlikely place for cerebral, Fugazi-meets-Emerson, Lake & Palmer post-punk/progressive rock, but the smoke billowing out of this closed, suburban garage door is not the result of a middle-aged, carbon-monoxide suicide attempt; it's the sound of speakers blowing out of their cabinets. We Versus the Shark must kill live, because their impressive debut, Ruin Everything!, bristles with the barely suppressed energy that can only emanate from a packed, sweaty basement show in mid-July. "You Don't Have to Kick It," with its caffeinated "La La Love You"-Pixies-drum cue, sets the listener up with a quick overture of what's to follow. In just four minutes the band manages to not only make art rock cool again, but blissfully danceable. Styles are referenced, slapped, and sent on their way throughout. From the hardcore onslaught of "This Graceless Planet" to the pop perfection of "Slide" -- the best song X never wrote -- We Versus the Shark's serpentine guitar lines, chilly synths, left-field horn sections, and leg-snapping percussion channel everyone from Rush to Gang of Four to Johann Sebastian Bach. Ruin Everything! is a serious debut, and although its power is occasionally sucked dry by the recording's flat production, it's impossible ignore the white-hot intensity of its execution." LAST.FM
"Hot Chip is an electrorock band which formed in London, United Kingdom in 2000. It consists of Alexis Taylor (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Joe Goddard (vocals, synths, percussion), Al Doyle (guitar, vocals), Owen Clarke (synths, guitar) and Felix Martin (percussion). The combination of Taylor’s ethereal, high-pitched vocals with Goddard’s warm, low pitch and the band’s blip-blop electronics creates a dreamy sound. The band is best known for the hit singles “Over And Over” (2006) and “Ready For The Floor” (2008)." LAST.FM
"The Magnetic Fields is a New York-based group fronted by Stephin Merritt. Recent albums released under the name “The Magnetic Fields” usually consist of synth-pop music in a 1980s style underlying clever lyrics which are often heavily ironic. While synth-pop often forms the foundation of their music, The Magnetic Fields’ music borrows from many other styles, notably country, folk and indie pop.
The band was originally formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1990 by friends Merritt and (percussionist/pianist/vocalist) Claudia Gonson. While 1991’s Distant Plastic Trees and 1992’s The Wayward Bus (now most easily available together as a compilation, The Wayward Bus / Distant Plastic Trees) are sung by Susan Anway, all subsequent albums are principally sung by Merritt himself.
Longtime members include: Gonson, (cellist) Sam Davol, and (banjo player/guitarist) John Woo. Contributors include (but are not limited to) the singers Susan Anway, Dudley Klute, Shirley Simms, and LD Beghtol, and the accordionist/writer Daniel Handler (famous for writing the childrens’ books A Series of Unfortunate Events under the alias Lemony Snicket).
Their most popular and best-selling album to date is 69 Love Songs issued on Merge Records as a triple album filled with many fairly short songs that are reminiscent of early Beatles productions" LAST.FM
"The Besnard Lakes are a progressive rock band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Formed by the husband and wife team of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas.
The band are currently a six-piece centered around the atmospheric songs of Lasek and Goreas, whose expansive sound culls from numerous aspects of rock ‘n’ roll history. It is completed by Kevin Laing, Steve Raegele, Nicole Lizee and Richard White.
Their debut album, Volume I, was released in a limited 1000 copies edition in 2003 and later rereleased in October 2007.
Their sophomore album, The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse, was recorded at Lasek’s own Breakglass Studios, with members of fellow canadian bands Stars, The Dears and Godspeed You! Black Emperor/A Silver Mt. Zion making guest appearances.
The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse was on the shortlist for the 2007 Polaris Music Prize." LAST.FM
"Liars is a three-piece band formed in 2000 consisting of Australian-born Angus Andrew (vocals/guitar), Aaron Hemphill (percussion, guitar, synth), and Julian Gross (drums). Although initially lumped into the New York dance-punk scene of the early 21st century, they have come to be categorized by their dramatic stylistic shifts between albums, while retaining a consistent interest in rhythm and sound texture. Liars are one of the many contemporary bands to draw from the late 1970’s British post-punk movement. Their first album, 2002’s They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, bore some resemblance to the work of Delta 5 and Gang of Four, accenting their angular, acerbic punk with modern synths and drum machines. Liar’s second album, 2004’s They Were Wrong, So We Drowned, eschewed their debut’s trendy post-punk aesthetic in favor of dissonant atmospherics and electronic soundscapes. That album stratified fans and critics alike, especially chafing with those who took to They Threw Us All for the clear dance/punk leanings of a number of that album’s tracks (e.g. “We Live Northeast of Compton”). 2006 saw the release of Drum’s Not Dead., which continued the direction they had taken with They Were Wrong but was met with a much more favorable critical reaction." LAST.FM
"These New Puritans (formed in 2006) are a four-piece band from Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom, consisting of Jack Barnett, his twin brother George Barnett, Tomas Hein and Sophie Sleigh-Johnson.
These New Puritans’ sound is difficult to nail down, as they utilise a wide variety of instruments and sounds, from bassoons to huge synthesised drums. Influenced equally by hip-hop, synth pop and alternative rock, the Southend-On-Sea fourpiece have received large amounts of critical praise in theearly stage of their career. ‘Hidden’ features an even wider variety of sound, utilising Foley recording techniques andchoirs as well as their usual ensemble of instruments.
These New Puritans were commissioned by Hedi Slimane to compose the soundtrack for the 2007 Dior Homme show. The band’s debut album “Beat Pyramid” was released in the UK in January 2008." LAST.FM
sobota, 9 stycznia 2010
"A Silver Mt. Zion is a post-rock band formed in 1999, in Montreal, Canada, by Godspeed You! Black Emperor musicians Efrim Menuck, Sophie Trudeau and Thierry Amar. According to an interview with VPRO Radio in The Netherlands, originally the project was for Efrim to learn how to score music, but the idea was soon abandoned as Efrim decided that he preferred music not to be defined by rules, preferring simply what sounds best. Despite this, he continued the project out of a desire to experiment with ideas that would not work within the context of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The decision to record an album was partly inspired by the death of his dog Wanda, who had died while Godspeed You! Black Emperor was on tour. He wanted to record an album in her memory, but did not feel that he could effectively do this through Godspeed’s collective, consensus format.
Unlike Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Silver Mt. Zion’s music often features vocals. The last few albums they have released contain no purely instrumental tracks. Efrim confessed that he was uncomfortable with this at first, feeling “foolish” and uncomfortable with the role of the singer in music generally. That is, he did not want to be the focus of the band’s music but rather wished to use vocals as a stylistic tool. Some fans were initially ambivalent about the use of vocals, but Efrim’s poetic lyrical style is now well respected among fans. Furthermore, Silver Mt. Zion’s fanbase has expanded, and they are no longer seen merely as an offshoot of Godspeed You! Black Emperor but as a unique and separate entity" LAST.FM
"Spoon is an American indie rock band from Austin, Texas. The band was formed in late 1993 by lead singer/guitarist Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno. Current members also include: Eric Harvey (keyboard, guitar, percussion, backing vocals) and Rob Pope (bass, backing vocals - replaced Joshua Zarbo in 2007).
After releasing their debut LP Telephono on Matador Records, the band signed with Elektra in 1998, but the contract was dropped soon after the band released A Series of Sneaks. In response the band released a two-song single titled The Agony of Laffitte (referring to Elektra A&R man Ron Laffitte). Eventually they signed to Merge Records.
Spoon has been met with widespread critical acclaim. Girls Can Tell, released in 2001, sold more copies than both their previous releases combined. Kill the Moonlight accomplished the same feat a year later. Gimme Fiction was released on May 10, 2005 and continued the trend of increasing popularity for the band.
Britt Daniel wrote much of the soundtrack to the 2006 film Stranger Than Fiction. Four tracks by Spoon are also featured.
The band released their sixth studio album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga on July 10, 2007; those who purchased the first pressing also received a bonus disk titled Get Nice!." LAST.FM
piątek, 8 stycznia 2010
"Xiu Xiu (pronounced “shew shew”) is an experimental band originally from San Jose, California and currently based in Durham, NC and Brooklyn The band is named after the main character of the 1998 Chinese film Tian yu (a.k.a. Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl).
Xiu Xiu was first formed in 2000 and is the main project of singer-songwriter Jamie Stewart, who records with friends on his home computer. Past members include Cory McCulloch, Lauren Andrews and Yvonne Chen. Stewart’s cousin, Caralee McElroy joined the band in 2003 and was the only other permanent member of the band until her departure in early 2009. Some, including McCulloch, have played in previous bands with Stewart such as Ten in the Swear Jar and IBOPA." LAST.FM