Thursday, December 20, 2012

Philipp Gorbachev: "Montana Blues"

Last song of 2012, folks. "Montana Blues" has that disco hi hat-driven, late night end of the world feel to it, I think. Or maybe I'm just trying to shoehorn it into a preconceived context so that I can wrap this up and get my holiday drink on already. Well, shit, if you're going to be that way about it maybe I shouldn't say anything at all. Merry fuckin' Xmas, arsehole.

Get this jimmy jam on Musica Comeme.

96wrld: "Pirmas Rudeninis"

"Pirmas Rudeninis" comes to us via the Renegades of Bump imprint's Ritmo Kovos vol. III comp. Bump is about as good a word as any for what 96wrld is getting himself up, gurgling bass splashes on a roller coaster ride with acid stabs as their conductor. Check out dude's Soundcloud page if you like his m.o.... he's been keeping busy.
(via XLR8R):

Kriget: "Holy Mountain"

Ever since Richard D. James retreated underground, there's been a dearth of experimental acts that are just so innovative that no one else seems to be able to successfully cop their steez. "Holy Mountain" is the first thing I've heard from Swedes Kriget, so I'm not ready to anoint them yet, but check out the way this track jumps unapologetically off the rails at the 2:00 mark, rattling about as if it's trying to find its mark again, but then settling on an entirely different path altogether. With only highly processed bass, drums and sax to their credit, they're not quite no wave, definitely not new wave... call it neu wave if you must. Definitely some krautrock in there.

You can get the 7" digitally here, with physical copies coming February 5 via The Control Group.

Parquet Courts: "Stoned and Starving"

"Stoned and Starving" is some ragged ass shit. The lead singer and the backups don't sound like they're even in the same time signature, but somehow it works. But goddammit, this is the last Texans-move-to-Brooklyn guitar act I'm posting on WKMR. Shit must cease.

The Presets: "Promises"

"Promises" brings back that Northern Soul-influenced synthpop of the early 80s, sort of a middle ground between Spandau Ballet and Level 42.

Othello Woolf: "Keep On"

Last round and then we're off until the first of the year. My NY resolution for 2013 is going to be getting back into the habit of posting daily, something I already needed to get back into the swing of, so it's kind of like a resolution freebie. Let's get this over with...

Othello Woolf sounds like the name of a really studied, possibly even stuffy singer-songwriter type with too many dusted off sonnets rattling around in his head. Nope, straight up cloud soul for that ass. Grab a free album + EP over at homeboy's website. Unfortunately the freebies do not feature "Keep On"... look for that track on a new album early next year.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to Dress Well: "& It Was U"

The congregation in this video looks like an overdressed, underperforming aerobics class. Necessary to make sure no one missed the obvious gospel inspiration in the song itself, I suppose.

Much like The Weeknd, How to Dress Well is another one man experimental R&B producer masquerading under a group moniker. His sophomore "slump" doubled as his breakthrough album, with Total Loss being anything but a salvage job. That was dumb; I apologize.

The Invisible Hand: "Psychic Cat"

When I think Virginia I think Lamb of God and that's about it. The Invisible Hand are trying to change all that with the bubblegum garage of "Psychic Cat". The band members have a pleasantly non-trendy look about them while pounding out some convincing if lightweight power pop, so I'm naturally inclined to be on their side.

Get their Steely Dan-referencing Aja EP via Funny/Not Funny Records.
(via Stereogum):

Thursday, December 6, 2012

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: "Muckraker"

Garage rock is one of those things that spent a good chunk of the late 70s/early 80s dominating punk rock before going largely dormant by the mid-80s, slumbering Cthulu-like deep beneath the surface world for years until it made a resounding comeback around the turn of the millennium with The Strokes, White Stripes, Hives, etc. Since then it's never been in any danger of going away, particularly in Australia, which now blesses us with the amazingly named King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. 12 Bar Bruise was self released on the band's own Flightless label back on September 7, but WKMR has been doing a lot of pre-holiday drinking over the last 90 days so we seem to have overlooked it up until now.

Pillowfight: "Get Your Shit Together"

Where do I recognize that cinematic backing track? Ah, I'm pretty sure I heard it on a Tarantino soundtrack which means he in turn stole it from someone else. Double down on my research? Fuck that. Pillowfight is a new project by Dan the Automator and the somewhat lesser known Emily Wells. Wells' vocals strongly recall the trip hop era of the late 90s, which seems to be the next big era to be revisited wholesale.

Nguzunguzu: "Smoke Alarm"

Hippos in Tanks is putting out some of the best sideways/bent techno in an era dominated by arena friendly dubstep and glossy house. "Smoke Alarm" has the backbone of an accessible trance tune but the formlessness of the song's structure stakes its claim deep in the leftfield frontier.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Beach Fossils: "Careless"

With the success of both DIIV and Heavenly Beat, things were looking pretty questionable just how quickly members of those bands would reconvene into Beach Fossils, the mothership. Well fuck me runnin' there's a new BF due February 19 on Captured Tracks. First single "Careless" is already pimping earholes worldwide, and you can peep that oh-so-Lou-Reed album art above.

Shout Out Louds: "Blue Ice"

For all the obtuse artists skewing the sounds of 80's new wave into something dense and impermeable, occasionally there comes along an act that plays it basically straight while still managing to showcase pop smarts of their own. Shout Out Louds are from Sweden, so that helps; "Blue Ice" occupies a middle spot equidistant between the Mexican standoff trio of Level 42, Simply Red and Chris Rea. You could substitute dozens of other acts but one gets the idea I presume.

Optica is out February 26 on Merge.

Eels: "Peach Blossom"

Eels are one of those bands that have been kicking around for years, yet are still largely considered a one hit wonder by the public at large on the back of their 1996 smash "Novocaine for the Soul". Well shit y'all, the upcoming Wonderful, Glorious is actually the group's ninth album since the "Novocaine"-boasting Beautiful Freak sixteen years ago. First single "Peach Blossom" strongly recalls the minimalist riffing of both Spoon and vintage Weezer, which probably won't hurt anyone's feelings. It definitely harks back to that 90s heyday.

Homeboy Sandman: "Richardsun"

Yep, another Homeboy Sandman cut up in this WKMR shit. I'd actually post a lot more of dude's stuff except I'm actually kind of self-conscious of giving any particular artist preferential treatment (the vast majority of artists covered here have exactly one entry apiece to their name).

"Richardsun" may go down as one of the man's more obscure tracks, being released in an edition of a mere 300 7" singles to celebrate the 10th anniversary of some German record store I've never even heard of ( So you might want to exorcise your desire to score a copy posthaste. Oh ho ho, I see what I did there.

Slackk: "Shogun Assassin"

This would have made an apropos inclusion to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill soundtrack, but it stands alone as a bombastic techno tune with a martial underscore.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

MPIA3: "Crusty Juice"

Gabber-like in intensity but in a slower, more juggernaut sense, MPIA3 debuts on R&S Records with a freight train of an old school techno track called "Crusty Juice". That unwieldy handle masks the identity of Perc Trax producer Truss, who I frankly need to familiarize myself with pronto. "Acid Badger" has just gotta be a fucking monster, right?

(via FACT):

Flying Lotus: "Tiny Tortures"

So... secret's out. Turns out Flying Lotus is not only the producer behind the elusive rapper Captain Murphy but is actually the rapper himself (at least he was the only one that showed up to Murphy's debut live gig in LA last week... I still maintain that there are at least two or three distinct voices in most of the songs released so far). That doesn't mean he's done recording under his bread-and-butter nom de plume, as we get a Frodo-starring video for "Tiny Tortures". It's all very Tetsuo: The Iron Man.

Chromatics: "Cherry"

Mexican Summer may have chillwave on lock, but if anyone can crack the safe it's Italians Do It Better. Label co-founder Johnny Jewel's band Chromatics are one of the best dream pop acts out there, an argument for which the relative throwaway nature of "Cherry" - it's set to be dumped off on the label sampler After Dark II in a hot minute - attests to the depth of the young band's catalog.

Diamond Version: "Shift the Future"

Never heard of Byetone but Alva Noto is one of my favorite minimalist beatmakers (and, if I haven't made that clear by now, minimalist, grimey techno with a simmering mean streak is my preferred form of electronica). The two hook up in new project Diamond Version after having co-run the Raster-Noton label for several years. EP2 is the second (duh) of a projected five EPs the duo plan to release on Mute over the next year, with a full length emerging sometime in 2013 as well.

Octover: "Satisfy"

Still mystifying to me that garbage like Gaga and Bieber are considered the state of the art in pop, while the likes of Octover, Van She and Icona Pop are routinely ignored for recording far superior takes on similar styles of dance pop. Just as well, I suppose. If David Guetta got his hands on a song like "Satisfy" he'd no doubt want to ruin the slinky, booty call vibe with a bunch of unnecessary wub wub's, and why isn't there a 2 Chainz verse halfway through the song? I want him dead just thinking about it.

Ahleuchatistas: "Wisp"

Been hearing good things about Ashville, NC for awhile now. With Williamsburg, Austin and Portland having overstayed their welcome at the apex of the hipster hierarchy - and LA seeming to fizzle out fairly early on in their once promising renaissance - the internet has been looking for a new town to dub Next Big Thing for awhile now. I've heard the likes of Baltimore, Pittsburgh (???) and Fayetteville, AR (?????) bandied about, but Ashville seems to be simmering up beneath the surface as well. To hear tell, it's got the mountains and natural beauty of Portland along with the youth-oriented college vibe of Austin and... nothing at all to do with Brooklyn, as near as I can make out. Ahleuchatistas sport a pretty advanced set of avant-garde musical chops, so I'd definitely be interested in checking out a scene capable of nurturing this kind of talent.

Heads Full of Poison is out now on Cuneiform.

Wild Belle: "Keep You"

I feel like back in the 80's and 90's (plus much of the 00's) if your band managed to score an appearance on the late night talk show circuit - Leno, Letterman, etc - you either had a hit single in the can already, or that break was the thing that scored it for you. In 2012 the talk show circuit has definitely gotten hipper (you often get the impression that Letterman has absolutely no idea what to make of the bands on his show) but at the same time the perceived value of these bookings has dropped way, way off.

To wit: Wild Belle have been all over late night recently and yet they don't have a fucking Wikipedia page to their name yet. For that matter they have yet to release a full length, with only a handful of songs to their credit. Still, one listen to "Keep You" and it's hard not to think that this would have been an instant hit on 1990's radio.