Archive for October, 2010

Seapony // Dreaming 7”

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

After sifting through about a billion e-mails and separating the wheat from the chaff, it became apparent that one band in particular had risen past the doldrums of generic fuzz-rock and bedroom-pop tracks that clutter my inbox on a daily basis. Kind of surprising that in the gray and dreary city of Seattle a band like Seapony can churn out some of the most brightly tracks I’ve heard since Cults burst onto the scene a half year back (has it been that long?).

With a digital EP already under their belt, the trio is set to jump into the physical realm by releasing a three track 7” on the upstart (and label of the year candidate) Double Denim Records imprint. Opening with the infectious (and heavily publicized) track “Dreaming”, it takes almost no time to fall in love with the band. By the time you go through the Best Coast-tinged “So Low” and the all-to-appropriately titled track “Late Summer”, your instant enthusiasm has turned into a rabid obsession, making you unable to get enough of the band!

You can check out “Dreaming” below and stream the remainder of the 7” through their bandcamp page. Also, you can order both The Seapony 7” and the Blackbird Blackbird/PaoPao split 7” for £7.50 (£11.00/$17.00 if you’re shipping to The States) for a limited time, so take advantage of that offer.

Seapony // Dreaming

NPR // All Songs 24/7

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Not to inundate you with National Public Radio news, but they just launched a sweet online radio station which plays a “non-stop mix of every song ever played during the 10 years of All Songs Considered.” I tuned in earlier this week and got to listen to a great variety of old & new tracks from both obscure and well-known artists — you know, typical All Songs stuff. In a land where Pandora reigns king, this NPR station is certainly something for those who want to expand their horizons to include genres they wouldn’t normally listen to (jazz, “world”, etc…).

You can check out the station here (click: “Listen Now” for the player to open) and enjoy the tunes Bob Boilen & Co. have showcased over the past decade.

Seams // Hung Markets

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Damn, I can’t get this new Seams stuff out of my headphones. Fresh off a stint in Germany, Seams (better known as James Welch in real life) is slated to release his latest EP, appropriately entitled Tourist, in a month or so. As a teaser, he’s released the song “Hung Markets” for free from his bandcamp page and it’s a seven minute duesy of a track.

The thing that hits me the hardest about Welch’s music is how he’s able to weave (for the pun-lovers, “seamlessly”) simple layers into an incredibly complex fabric — and “Hung Markets” is no exception. You really hear this starting at the 3’12” mark where Welch combines a fuzzy rhythmic pulse in the mid-range with a typical bass line and, to highlight the simplicity, adds a bell strike at the start of every measure. After about a minute-and-a-half and the addition of only a couple of other layers (the most noticeable being a whitewash of synth sound covering the entire composition), what you wind up with is something that is so textually dense that it’s hard to believe that essentially the exact same elements are in play. I don’t know what slight-of-hand Welch is doing to create this effect, but whatever it is it’s very interesting and it works incredibly well.

You can check out an mp3 of “Hung Markets” below and keep refreshing his bandcamp page daily to see if/when more tracks will be released:

Seams // Hung Markets

Two for Tuesday // Vitamins + Incubator (US)

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

It’s been ages since I did one of these two for Tuesday posts… Fortunately, this past month I received two videos in my inbox from two artists who I’ve covered extensively in the past that are sure to jump-start the feature.

The first video is for a Jovian Moons remix of the Vitamins’ track “Sequined Dressed” and it’s pretty much a 3+ minute exercise video on acid. No wonder that I CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF IT:

Evidently the vimeo user Marie Blanco loves Adam Anderson’s music just as much as I do because she’s put together another archive.org video set to Anderson’ music, this time it’s his Incubator (US) project. Got to say, the amusement park theme compliments nicely the electronic dreams that “Blanket Fort” induces:

And what the hell, I throw in another video that I’ve enjoy the past couple of weeks. Not surprisingly it comes from the French blog and consistent music taste-makers Delicious Scopitone and it’s for the track “Victory Gin” by Computer Magic. Enjoy!

RxRy // AERTGO LAPSEES Single

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Buried deep within the earth lies the latest digital single released by the cryptic RxRy. Shedding his atmospheric and free-floating past, RxRy gives us five minutes of weighty, claustrophobic bangers which are sure to bring listeners’ sub-woofers (and ear-drums) close to critical mass. If this is just a precursor to what Ω, his current LP in progress, has to offer, then words can’t describe how killer it’s going to be!

Check out the A1 track “Aertgo Lapsees” below and download the whole thing from RxRy’s website here:

RxRy // Aertgo Lapsees

Silje Nes // Crystals

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Woke up early this morning and put on the Norwegian “singer/soundwriter” Silje Nes’s Opticks LP for the first time and I got to say that it has to be one of the most perfect Sunday morning soundtracks out there (sorry Music for Ants, I think this has it beat). Even before looking into the Nes’s bio, I had a hunch that she was Scandinavian; the Nordic characteristics of her music are pretty strong. Delicate, almost whisper-like, vocals: check. Minimalist instrumental accompaniment: check. Dream inducing melodies: check. Regardless if this arrangement has been done before in slightly varying permutations (El Perro del Mar, Erlend Øye, etc…), it still makes for a great listen that I’m sure to revisit over-and-over again because it it so good!

You can check out the track “Crystals” in both mp3 and video form below and if you dig it, head over to Fat Cat Records to cop a copy:

Silje Nes // Crystals

Seamonster // Two Birds 7”

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

A couple of weeks back I received a kickass shipment of 7”s from Gold Robot and Royal Rhino Flying Records — one of which was this stellar EP put out by Virgina’s “ambient/psychedelic/folk” musician Adrian Todd Webb, whose stage name is Seamonster. Threw in as an added extra with my other orders (thanks guys!), Two Birds quickly and quietly rose to the top of my vinyl pile and has since found a near-permanent home on my turntable.

Pressed as a 33 1/3 7”, there’s no surprise that a lot of music is packed into this record, but having five tracks to listen to was even more than I was expecting. The A-side starts off with an instrumental intro track, entitled “New England” which, based on my travels to the East Coast, is an apt musical representation of the area. If you’ve heard a Seamonster track, odds are it’s been the woozy, psych-heavy “Bearsuit” which shows up as the finale as the A-side, however, my favorite of the front tracks is the more upbeat, driving “Oh Appalachia” which meshes together some electronic noise spurts with a more traditional stripped down indie-rock arrangement (simple acoustic guitar, solid drum line).

Now the two track B-side is really where the group shines. “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol”, a track most definitely influence by the book of the same name, is the most lyric heavy song on the release. With nothing more than a couple of repetitive lines softly going on the background, all attention is focused on Webb’s delicate singing of deeply thought-provoking words (e.g. “space is all one space / though all one thought”). Finished up the EP is the pleasant “Annalee” which sounds like it could be easily mislabeled as “60s folk” and placed on some dusty shelf in an Anywhere, USA record store.

You can download the entire EP for a “Name Your Price” fee from Seamonster’s bandcamp page or head over to the shop to snatch a copy of the slick all-white vinyl. To give you a taste, here’s my favorite song “Oh Appalachia” with a hyperactive Railcars remix of the track thrown in for good measure:

Seamonster // Oh Appalachia

Seamonster // Oh Appalachia (Railcars Remix)

Sahel Sounds // Compilation

Monday, October 4th, 2010

DJ Rupture posted about this compilation (along with this listen-worthy mixtape) composed of songs from the Sahel region in Africa recorded and passed along on cellphones. It’s basically a direct human-to-human form of filing sharing where people with Bluetooth enabled cellphones can transfer tracks between each other (think Zune). This is taking the phrase “word of mouth” quite literally, and the results aren’t anything but remarkable — with every track having a casual vibe that any “chillwave” artist would die to harness. Check out two of my favorites from the comp. below and head over to SahelSounds to download the whole thing:

Alkibar Gignor // Ali Farka Homage

Kidal Forgerons // Abacabok

Live Concerts // NPR

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

The past two weeks, I’ve been catching up on my podcasts because, like most things in my life, I’ve fallen incredibly behind. I’ve always loved the stuff that NPR All Songs Considered have put out (Tiny Desk Concert, Project Song, and of course their regular podcast), but these sets by The New Pornographers and of Montreal, recorded at the 9:30 Club in D.C., are really top-notch. I mean, the live versions of “Myriad Harbor” and “Past is a Grotesque Animal” alone are worth subscribing to the podcast! I’ve linked to their respected episodes below and also threw in some favorite tracks from both groups:

The New Pornographers // Live at DC: June 23, 2010
of Montreal // Live at DC: September 14, 2010

The New Pornographers // Sing Me Spanish Techno

of Montreal // She’s a Rejector