Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Torus: Forests [Dynooo Remix]

I've always had kind of a thing for minimalist synth rants with a sinister underscore; when I was a kid John Carpenter's theme from Escape from New York was literally the greatest thing I'd ever heard for many years. So yeah, I'm all over Dynooo's unsettling remix of the Torus track "Forests". Annoyingly, however, if you're still into physical media Torus' upcoming, self-titled EP is only set to be released on cassette (what the fuck is up with this whole tres ironic cassette revival anyway? Fucking hipsters). But if you're all up on that digital tip you can pre-order it on Bandcamp (for that matter, why does anyone need to "pre-order" a digital download? Technology is confusing).

Mouse on Mars: "Polaroyced"

Whatever money is being lost in the music industry certainly doesn't appear to be getting spent on music video budgets.

Mouse on Mars return after a six year hiatus with Parastrophics, their first album for fellow German Modeselektor's Monkeytown imprint (February 28). In terms of the video itself you don't get much more lo-concept than this: basically just a guy in a lucha libre wrestling mask breakdancing in various alleyways. The actual music is a bit more sophisticated, a chattering chiptune rhythm line underscoring squelchy, knob tweaking synth lines. Somehow it manages to be almost poppy in spite of itself. Welcome back, meine Freunde.

DJ Sliink: "Put Cha Back In It"

Put your back inTO it. I realize DJ Sliink is kind of at the mercy of the sample he's using here, but I literally can't here it recited without mentally marking the song in red. Then again he's got two I's in his name so it's clear he's deliberately trying to push my buttons.

Sliink is a member of the Brick Bandits crew from Newark, but homeboy went all the way to Los Angeles to sign with Body High Records, who just released his Vibrate EP yesterday.

(via Fader and XLR8R)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Nina Kraviz: "Ghetto Kraviz"

Jessica Biel look-alike (minus the annoying shark teeth) Nina Kraviz has a record coming out out tomorrow and she'd like you to know about it. To that end she filmed a video for her debut single, "Ghetto Kraviz", and since it was filmed in Berlin's Arena Club there's inevitably going to be some dancing involved. This is one of those moody after party jams, though, so don't expect any LMFAO footwork hijinks. OK, I'm fresh out of humor fail for the afternoon so here 'tis:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Melvins: "The War on Wisdom"

I grew up more of a metal kid, so I didn't really get into the Melvins until Kurt Cobain vetted them upon going mainstream. I've grown to love them more and more over the years, each trailblazing new release solidifying their genius in my mind, their sheer inability to conform providing a quizzical counterpoint to Cobain's own fatal struggle to keep the mainstream at arm's length.

Well, no sooner do I tout the band's inability to sell out than they go and record an EP sponsored by Scion, but "The War on Wisdom" does not represent a band looking for a hit. It's fairly accessible by Melvins standards but it ain't fucking Gruntruck, alright?

If you want the whole shebang it will be posted as a free download March 13 on Scion A/V's website.

[UPDATE 3/13/12: adding official music video]:

Deicide: "Conviction"

Claymation Jesus! I like Glenn Benton better when he's whipping Deicide along at a breakneck pace, but as mid-tempo death metal goes this has got a nice old school groove to it. I don't want to rattle on too much as you'll want to focus your eyes on the visual feast below:

Secret Circuit: "Nebula Sphynx"

If you think people who text and drive are a menace to our streets, imagine if you saw this guy rolling down the street, anonymous behind ski goggles and a muffler, right hand draped over an analog console, head bobbing to his own hermetic beats.

From his Soundcloud profile it would appear LA's Secret Circuit is more active as a remixer than a producer of original material, so enjoy this rare jam and pick it up on the Beats in Space label if you please.

Benga: "I Will Never Change"

Those who rail against so-called "brostep" are usually criticizing one of two things: 1) the sheer formulaic repetitiveness of the Skrillex clones, or 2) the complete lack of restraint not offering much by way of tension or musical dynamism.

Benga is not brostep. There's a certain amount of the characteristic wobble present, but "I Will Never Change" - the title of which seems to be a big middle finger to bandwagon dubstep - has plenty of self-restraint as well as a sense of purpose. There is melody at work here, for one thing, and for another the moody pacing of it pretty much automatically precludes it from ever devolving into the electronic equivalent of nu-metal, which at heart is what brostep is really all about.

I Will Never Change by iambenga

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blondes: "Amber"

Something about the uni-syllable, pluralized band name Blondes makes you expect a West Coast psych-pop throwback, but nope: they're actually an electronic, dream house-y duo from NYC... which you'd know if you followed the string of singles released last year as lead up to their just dropped debut album (yeah, I didn't either). If Tangerine Dream scored an Alejandro Jodorowsky-directed Silver Surfer movie it would probably come out something like this.

If you want to check out more the place to do it is over at the RVNG Intl website, where you can stream the entire first disc (the album comes with a second disc of remixes). Do it. Blondes have more fun.

Beirut: "Vagabond"

Support our troops! Never mind, already got our tax dollars at work on that. Beirut is doubtless a little more financially skint than that, so if you haven't picked up last year's weighty-with-accolades The Rip Tide peep this belated video for album track "Vagabond" first and then go buy the album. Rent in Brooklyn isn't exactly cheap, but that's apparently where all the work is.

Islands: "Hallways"

Aww shit, Islands up on some Jeff Dunham shit! Nick Thorburn's backing band has been entirely replaced by the skeleton crew from Jason and the Argonauts, but this time they're channeling their inner aggression into  outer groove. Even Thorburn starts to feel a little less flesh-encumbered as the tune moves along.

I listened to Islands' new album A Sleep & A Forgetting on Spotify the other day, and while I thought it was good I didn't get the champing-at-the-bit accolades the band has been receiving (i.e. 7.9 in Pitchfork). This makes me reconsider what I may have been missing, which is what any good video should do.

Odd Future: "Rella"

Fresh off the upcoming OF Tape Vol. 2 - imagination apparently being saved for the rhymes with this crew - we get an official, suburbs-raping video from the Odd Future collective. I'm sure eventually the playful arrogance and gonzo bluster will fall apart for these guys the same way it did for Lil Wayne, but in the meantime let's enjoy riding the crest of this amazing wave.

PS. I have no idea who whiteboy is on the cover up there but I gotta assume it's some skater or another.

Rufus Wainwright: "Montauk"

Apparently this new Rufus LP is gonna be chock full of club bangers - it's produced by Mark Ronson - but "Montauk" ain't one of them. This is classic Rufie, piano and strings and voice at attention, a spartan epic with flair for days.

Out of the Game is out (of the game) April 23 from Decca.
(via TwentyFourBit):

A Gender: "Anemic"

Best album title of the year: Self (En)Titled by Melbourne's A Gender, the new project from Romy Hoffman, probably best known for her hip hop project Macromantics, who were briefly signed to Kill Rock Stars in the mid-2000's. Hoffman was also a fourth quarter replacement in alt-rock band Noise Addict back in the 90s and has been restlessly dabbling in different styles - with different projects - in recent years. A Gender is the latest of those, an old school new-wave infused punk throwback that is doing good things.

"Anemic" works in the Elastica vein, so we're talking several layers of Wire-worship deep here. The whole damn album can be downloaded for free at the group's obligatory Bandcamp page.
(via Mess + Noise)

Wiley: "Evolve or Be Extinct"

Newcomers may have a hard time audibly distinguishing between Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, which is understandable... both have similar flow and both are lynchpins in the UK Grime scene. Somehow along the way, though, Wiley has been relegated to operating out of Dizzee's shadow, D.R. becoming the international face of Grime. Evolve or Be Extinct should change that any second now. There are a couple of misplaced, wannabe club bangers on there - de rigueur on any hip hop album these days - but for the most part it's a collection of inspired tracks, here playful and feisty, there thoughtful and on the conscious tip.

This viddy for the title track ought to get you sorted.

Carter Tutti Void: "V3" [edit]

Now this is what I'm talking about. Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle) vs Nik Colk Void (Factory Floor)! A pretty inspired pairing, and if "V3" is any indication of how Transverse the LP will pan out then count me on board. I love this minimalist, grimy shit. I always associate it with German trance of the early 90s, although obviously Gristle would have something to say about that.

Transverse will be out March 26 on Mute.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Addison Groove: "Savage Henry"

That's maybe the filthiest bass sound I've heard since Kenny Powers got coked up and danced to Trentemoller at the high school prom. Addison Groove is Anthony Williams, who has previously recorded dubstep as Headhunter for Tempa.  Now he's on the UK Bass tip with a new moniker, new sound... and a new label, 50 Weapons. The latter will be releasing the Transistor Rhythm full length March 30.

PS. Bonus points if you recognized Savage Henry as the "skag baron" who Dr. Gonzo and Raoul Duke claim they're going to "croak" in the first scene of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Shlohmo: "Rained the Whole Time" [Nicolas Jaar Remix]

Shlohmo follows up last year's debut LP Bad Vibes with an EP, Vacation, featuring remixes from - among others - Nicholas Jaar. We've already covered Jaar's penchant for breezy, sensual productions in the past, and Jaar's remix of EP B-side "Rained the Whole Time" continues in that vein, adding a simmering bed of mellow beats to the original's front porch acoustic guitar and overcast vibe. Shlohmo's self-described "night time backyard noises" aesthetic makes for a nice complement to Jaar's own melancholy, washed out ethos.

[UPDATE 4/17/12: added music video]:

Shlohmo - Rained The Whole Time (Nicolas Jaar Remix) by FoFMusic

Chrysta Bell: "Real Love"

Not the Jody Watley jam, regrettably, but Chrysta Bell does David Lynch proud on this sexed up torch song. Lynch produced her new album, This Train, and "Real Love" occupies that neutral zone between the kind of smoky, sultry jazz club acts Lynch filled his Twin Peaks universe with and the bluesy sleaze of Nick Cave's defunct Grinderman project. There's also a little similarity to Sahara Smith - a fellow Austinite - in there.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Polica: "Amongster"

Not sure if this video is meant to draw a parallel between human mating rituals and wildlife or contrast the two, but aside from being well shot I'm not really digging it. Cheap dichotomies do not make for very compelling videos. The tune, however, is a totally different prospect: ethereal, wispy dream pop clashes with frantic, drum & bass-inspired live percussion to build to the kind of rousing climax the skeezed out video was going for.

Polica is a Minneapolis duo that has frequently drawn comparisons to Gayngs... an easy thread to follow, Polica frontwoman Channy Casselle having sung on the latter's Relayted LP as well as joining them on tour. Give You the Ghost gives Casselle a chance to shine on her own.

Diplo: "Express Yourself"

Dubstep is a small pond overtaken with big fish, so it's no surprise that many of its practitioners seek to branch out into less congested fields. In this case, the less congested field in question is New Orleans Bounce (Big Freedia is the only Bounce artist that comes anywhere close to "household name" status). But the one doing the branching out is Diplo, one of the bigger fish in the dubstep pond... though his efforts have hardly been limited to dubstep over the years. Still, nice to see a DJ with real visibility elevating Bounce with his stature. "Express Yourself" isn't far removed from the Caribbean-tinged work Diplo has done in the past for the likes of M.I.A. and Santigold. The MC on this track is up-and-coming Bounce artist Nicky Da B.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Lumineers: "Ho Hey"

Denver is one of those cities that seems to have a lot of cultural similarities to places like Portland, SF, Austin, etc... so it always surprises me that the number of bands you hear about coming out of Denver seems to be a small fraction of that of its sister cities.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mirel Wagner: "No Death"

The whole process involved with choosing songs to post on this site is not a perfect one. There is an endless torrent of new material being released every week that is near impossible to keep up with, let alone listen to multiple times apiece, so it's become increasingly impossible to listen to very many songs twice, let alone give them their full due with multiple spins.

Too Short: "What the Fuck"

Back in the early to mid 90's I was all about some Too Short, but as much as I hate to say it the last 15 years haven't been kind to O.G. player. I do love a good comeback story, though, so I'm pigshit happy to report that "What the Fuck" is Short Dog's best banger in at least a decade. With the muted guitar chords and "homey gettin' played" lyrics it reminds me in spirit of another early 90's classic, Poison Clan's "No Haps".

No Trespassing is out February 28 on (where else?) Dangerous Music.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan: "Hoshi Neko"

Thought for sure this would be a Yamantaka Eye (Boredoms) side project, but nope: just your everyday Canadians-singing-in-Japanese mundanity. Some days you wonder why you get out of bed in the morning.

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan is a duo with a willfully obtuse name - apparently neither of them go by either "Yamantaka" or "Sonic Titan" - from Montreal who released their debut YT // ST (fuck's sake, you can't even do the self-titled album thing like normal people?) late last year and have finally scraped up enough scratch to pay for an animated video. Bet Ted Turner would colorize that for you pretty cheap, guys.

Uzala: "The Reaping"

Uzala is a new doom band out of Boise with a twist: clean female vocals. Not clean in the played out Nightwish / Evanescence mold but more like a Sabbath-worshiping Doro. Their self-titled debut came out February 1 on At War With False Noise but can also be streamed / purchased digitally via Bandcamp.
(via Tiny Mix Tapes)

Quakers: "Fitta Happier"

Is it just me or is the average song length dropping to like 50's pop levels? I could certainly stand to listen to this beat for more than 2.5 minutes... got an old New Orleans marching band feel to it, but not a sprightly one, more of a dark "our army is here to fuck up your program" sort of feel [edit: it's actually a sample of a marching band rendition of Radiohead's "The National Anthem", so no insight points for me there... especially considering "Fitter Happier" is the name of another Radiohead song, so it's not like the clues were buried and shit].

So... Quakers. Who is this cat? Would you believe Geoff Barrow from Portishead? That's not him rapping of course. Guilty Simpson and M.E.D. take care of the wrrrd slangin', but with 41 cuts expected on this upcoming self-titled debut we should have both guest stars and beats galore. March 27 on Stones Throw bitches.

[UPDATE 5/23/12: music video added]:

Monday, February 13, 2012

KILLER COVERS || Chromatics: "Into the Black"

Splitting the difference sonically between Cowboy Junkies and Mazzy Star, Chromatics cover Neil Young's "Into the Black"... you know, the song featuring the famous line "it's better to burn out than to fade away". The original's actual title was "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" but frankly that does sound a little silly, so I won't quibble with Chromatics' editorialism.

Selebrities: "Night Heat"

Mixing a little post-punk guitar into their vintage synth sound, Selebrities (Brooklyn, of course... do bands come from anywhere else?) are a great throwback band despite playing in an increasingly over saturated market: icy, distant synthpop obsessed with nighttime imagery... in addition to "Night Heat" they've also releases songs titled "Sunset", "Into the Night", and "The Moonlight". It's all good as long as they're delivering the goods, though.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Evy Jane: "Sayso"

First Jay Z big ups indie rock, then upstarts like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean start to put an alt spin on modern R&B. Continuing in the latter direction, Vancouver duo Evy Jane claim to be inspired by "UK bass, gospel and noise". Their first single, "Sayso", is a little more straightforward than that; it could almost be a Weeknd remix of a mainstream R&B track. Certainly Evelyn Mason's ethereal vocals combine dream pop with the immediacy of tradition-bound neo-soul. It's Jeremiah Klein's murky analogue beats that draw a line in the sand and evoke the "experimental" tag.

Evy Jane the EP will be released on vinyl February 20 by King Deluxe, with a digital version to follow. The vinyl can be pre-ordered here.

EVY JANE - Sayso from Evy Jane on Vimeo.

Cults: "You Know What I Mean"

Cults came out in June of last year so I wouldn't be surprised if "You Know What I Mean" turns out to be the last single/video from the band. Who knows, though? Album cycles have gotten wonky in the internet age, with videos sometimes being released months after the single was officially leaked (ie. "Niggas in Paris"). Either way, I think most of us have absorbed this, let's get some new shit out, shall we?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Death Grips: "Blackjack"

Death Grips ain't taking no shorts on this bullshit. Vocals distorted into near incomprehension, there's a chaotic nihilism to this that's akin to the indecipherable rage of grind or digital hardcore. Their mixtape, Exmilitary, can be downloaded free o' charge here.  Lots more at the website.  According to their Facebook profile they'll be releasing two full lengths in 2012 with the first to land in April.

Scuba: "The Hope"

Never thought about it before, but elephants have a built in snorkel.  Bitchin'.

Scuba is producer Paul Rose, whose new album Personality is out February 27 on Hotflush. In the meantime enjoy this found footage video clip, or just flip to another tab and jam the frisky tuneage in the background while you get some work done.

SCUBA - THE HOPE (official video) from Hotflush Recordings on Vimeo.

Goth-Trad: "Anti Grid"

I've posted previously about how unfortunate the Goth-Trad moniker is for a fairly by-the-books dubstep artist, but electronic music producers swap aliases out more often than they change their boxers, so hopefully we won't be stuck with this one for too long.

The official vid for "Anti Grid" draws some interesting, possibly unintentional parallels between the cut-and-paste aesthetic of modern, Pro-Tools driven music production and traditional filmmaking. Of course, it could just be a film school project that was looking for a soundtrack... who knows.

Goth-Trad - Anti Grid (Official Video) Deep Medi Musik 2012 from Deep Medi Musik on Vimeo.

Azari & III: "Reckless (With Your Love)" [Riva Starr Remix]

I don't really post much mainstream, non-artsy house music on WKMR, so let's go ahead and redress that right now.

Azari & III are a Toronto production duo - + two vocalists - who have been making waves recently, including a much lauded FACT mix and a couple of singles stretching back to 2009: "Hungry for the Power" and the more recent "Reckless (With Your Love)". Both featured on their debut Azari & III released last year on Loose Lips, and the latter single is getting the 12" treatment later this month.  Riva Starr's take on the tune can be streamed below... beware the buildup at the 5.45 mark. It's got a mean streak.

Azari & III - Reckless (With Your Love) [Riva Starr Remix] by PurplePR

Willis Earl Beal: "Take Me Away"

Neo-soul is all the rage right now, so why not take it all the way back to the Delta Blues?  "Throwback" seems like such an ugly word to throw at a quality artist, but Willis Earl Beal is clearly trying to evoke the gritty field recordings of the early 20th century, pure gospel-inspired heartache up in this bitch.

Bonus points for the hand drawn cover art. Buy yourself a beer if you recognized Bob Dylan's Infidel album hanging in a frame on the wall behind Beal and his "enhanced" gf.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fire For Effect: "Goonchie Blunch"

Filth flahrin' flahrin' filth... that's what I think of when I hear that saturated snare sound.

Forem is a recently reactivated electronic music label that seems to be filtering all of their business through the ubiquitous Bandcamp model. Mainframe is the maiden EP from Fire For Effect on the label, and of course it can be snagged in full you-know-where.
(via XLR8R):

Planet Asia: "Golden State"

It wouldn't be entirely fair to call Planet Asia a West Coast version of Wu Tang - first of all it's one guy: Jason Green - but it wouldn't be entirely inaccurate either. Kung fu samples and even a bit of East Coast flow dominate PA's raison d'etre, but he's compelling in an old school, not particularly innovative comfort zone kind of way. "Golden State" is the first video from Black Belt Theatre (due February 28) but a few stray tracks have leaked here and there. This is the best I've heard of them, though.

Orange Goblin: "Red Tide Rising"

Orange Goblin are part of the old guard of modern stoner rock and have been at this about as long as anyone, having formed the same year Kyuss broke up (1995). So they're hardly ones to need advice from the newer breed of toked up anklebiters on the scene... yet you can't help while listening to "Red Tide Rising" that the band have spent the five yeas since their last album (Healing Through Fire, 2007) listening to Mastodon and High on Fire. There's a lot of those relatively trebly power chords that regularly break up out of the groove, whereas with traditional stoner rock the tendency is to find a comfortable groove and just sit back in the pocket. Not that this evolution is a bad thing, and truthfully "Red Tide Rising" is one of the better tracks on an album (A Eulogy for the Damned) that frankly could stand to break from tradition a bit more often.

Future Unlimited: "Golden"

The latest breed of new wave-influenced acts (nu wave? neu wave?  Nah, I can't lobby for either of those) have edged steadily closer from using 80's era synths in service of obtuse indie rock to something more accessible and blatantly poptastic... all leading up to the likes of Future Unlimited, who - on the strength of "Golden" - might as well be the next Human League or OMD.  "Golden" can be downloaded for posterity - free, natch - on the group's Bandcamp page, on which their upcoming EP Cloak & Dagger will presumably appear at some point in the near future as well.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Neon Indian: "Fallout"

Era Extraña has been out since September - even made #16 in Stereogum's Top 50 Albums of 2011 - but somehow we're just getting a video for standout track"Fallout". Adult Swim produced the animated clip on behalf of this Denton band (two Texas acts in one day! Getting my shit together!).  Peep this Saturday Morning Cartoons shit:

This Will Destroy You: "Black Dunes"

I always complain that the blogosphere gives superficial props to Austin while not really covering any of its bands, but damned if I don't turn around and post more shit from played-out-yet-still-relevant haunts like Brooklyn and Portland than I do from my own backyard. I am not a good diplomat for my city. Probably because I'm kind of an asshole, but I do honestly think that Texas bands are a little further behind the grade curve when it comes to self-promotion than many other local scenes across the U.S. The average Austinite's idea of self-promotion is to move to fucking Brooklyn (see Gibby Haynes, Will Sheff, Conrad Keely). I don't want to sound like a crybaby but all New York has given us in return is Billy Milano.

Tyga: "Rack City" [Taz Buckfaster Remix]

Remember when hip hop used to sport serious bass? Taz Buckfaster does. Probably helps that he's from Glasgow and, what with UK Bass and Dubstep both remaining influential affairs in his neck of the woods, he most likely wouldn't be caught dead remixing another man's material without adding some formidable low end to the proceedings... even on a bootleg, which is apparently what this is.

2 against 1: "Get Back" [Original Mix]

Ran across this via AK1200's Facebook profile. He's got a new group with Bill Hamel and Meaux Green and from the sound of "Get Back" it's squarely in the drum & bass tradition, with a few decisive nods to dubstep.

Daniel Avery: "Airstrike" [Tom Furse Remix]

I like a little meanstreak in my house / techno... an insistent, throbbing synth line tempered with a bit of minimalist funk and a pronounced sinister flair. Haven't heard the original of Daniel Avery's "Airstrike" but Tom Furse (The Horrors) remixes it into a Rohypnol swirl of menacing vibes and bad intentions. Bravo, lad.

The E.P. is out now on Relish.

Daniel Avery - Airstrike (Tom Furse Remix) by FACT magazine

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Father John Misty: "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings"

Is it just me or does Aubrey Plaza have some truly devilish eyes?  Perfect fit, then, for the deceptively peppy debut single by former Fleet Foxes drummer J. Tillman, who has re-emerged under the strange new moniker Father John Misty with a sinister tune that belies its almost rollicking tempo. Tillman maintains a heavy hand on the beat here, sounding ecstatic to be freed from the confines of the Foxes' gentle folksiness.  Keep an eye out for Fear Fun, out May 1st on Sub Pop.

Father John Misty - Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings [OFFICIAL VIDEO] from Sub Pop Records on Vimeo.

Marc Houle: "Undercover"

Berlin-by-way-of-Canada transplant Marc Houle seems to take to ze German love of icy detachment fairly well, though on "Undercover" he manages to mix in just enough funk to do his Francophone heritage solid. Last I checked he was signed to Minus but his upcoming album, also entitled Undercover, is set to be released on his own new label, Items & Things, so I guess fuck do I know...

"Undercover" the single is already out, featuring remixes from Bruno Pronsanto and Miro Pajic, plus an additional original, "Triple E".