Thursday, February 28, 2013

Guilty Pleasure: David Guetta ft. Sia - "She Wolf (Falling To Pieces)"



I just love this song.

Jam of the Day: Phoenix - "Entertainment"



Catchy as hell first track and single off Phoenix' new album Bankrupt!

Video: Atoms For Peace - "Ingenue"



New dance moves from Thom Yorke.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jam of the Day: Volor Flex - "My Universe"



Yes, this Russian producer sounds too much like Burial on most of his releases, but hidden on a lot of his records are glimpses of his own sound. Closing track "My Universe" on his latest record Unlit is a harder, bass-heavy take on the prototypical Burial sound.

New: Tricky - "Nothing's Changed"


First peak at Tricky's new album False Idols, featuring vocals from Francesca Belmonte, and appears to be a re-working of the track "Makes Me Wanna Die" from his Pre-Millennium Tension record.

Album Review: Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety


Autre Ne Veut
Anxiety
Rating: Grrrr

Brooklyn producer Arthur Ashin, who records and performs under the Autre Ne Veut moniker, is not one for restraint or subtlety. His self-titled debut album back in 2010 was a dense, kaleidoscopic entry into a re-imagined R&B world that never settled into a groove, constantly shifting at a moment's notice, never afraid to strike out for newer vistas. Surprisingly, this kitchen sink approached worked the majority of the time, Ashin able to keep all the pieces in place, only occasionally making a mess of things. When your music is based on total excess, the only ways to really go are more excessive or completely minimal. With his second album Anxiety, Ashin doesn't necessarily pare things down. The musical excess is still there, however, there is greater focus on more cohesion and purpose this go around. Where the debut's creative ADD sometimes was exhausting, here he doles things out a little less judiciously, making these moments more special once they do come around.

I will admit that, at first, Anxiety rubbed me the wrong way. It was front loaded with the two brilliant singles "Play By Play" and "Counting," then seemed to completely jump off the cliff into incoherence. "Play By Play" is a slow building 80s reverential R&B-styled track, growing from glistening synths and clunky percussion, gathering strength from Ashin's peculiar vocal, which swoops and preens throughout. When the music drops out and rises with a throbbing Moroderesque bassline, the song truly becomes something phenomenal.



Last year's peek into the album, "Counting," even manages to take the album up to an even higher level. Another slow burning song, with interesting horn squonks as accents, details what you think is about a crumbling relationship ("I'm counting on the idea that you'll stay") , but instead is a haunting plea to Ashin's grandmother to stay alive. The furious build into swirling keyboards and Ashin's barely keeping it sane vocals are the perfect encapsulation of grief.



Ashin is a master at conveying the emotion of a song through mixing and his own voice. "Warning" is another tightly coiled track that explodes once the character's fragile emotional state reaches a fevered pitch,



"I Wanna Dance With Somebody," uses Ashin's falsetto as a counterpoint to the cacophonous music at the beginning of the track, gathering purpose as the narrator finds strength in himself, while on "Ego Free, Sex Free" his sexed out Lothario at the beginning of the track has all the strength but becomes unhinged by track's end.



But what truly amazes on Anxiety is when Ashin scales things back (well, relative to his usual output) and shows how brilliant he can be in more traditional pop sounds and structures. The soft-edged mid-tempo ballad "Don't Ever Look Back" combines a lot of differing genres (ambient electronica, R&B, UK bass) and marries them into a perfect pop mix, the strings creating a warm backing for all the burbling electronics. And closer "World War" develops a lush, ambient soundscape for Ashin to use for his gorgeous voice, and the lovely proto-R&B coda is lovely way to close the track and the album out.

Anxiety is a challenging record, one that takes from other acts plying their trade in the indie-R&B/modern R&B world (How To Dress Well, Inc., d'Eon) and turns it on its head. Ashin frequently takes his songs to almost illogical ends but somehow finds a way to pull it off. His work sometimes takes a long time to actually make sense; the disparate pieces always fighting one another and bouncing off each other in discordant ways. Ashin is not put off by this, and it is practically his calling card to make beauty out of chaos. Anxiety is a restlessly inventive record, that demands you immerse yourself in its world. It has no time for passive ears, and will leave you in the dust simply because it can.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New: AlunaGeorge - "Attracting Flies"


Track from their upcoming album Body Music due out on July 1. This album is going to be HUGE.

Jam of the Day: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "We No Who U R"



Skeletal opening track from their latest record Push The Sky Away. Cave's voice is about the most tender it has ever been, and the forlorn resignation is poignant and moving.

Album Review: Lusine - The Waiting Room


Lusine
The Waiting Room
Rating: Grrrr

Jeff McIlwain, who records under the name Lusine, is mostly known for his melodic take on IDM and techno but recently has been pushing his sound in a more pop leaning direction. His latest record The Waiting Room is interesting in that, for me, it is mostly a transitional record for McIlwain, never really putting his foot down on one side of the line, bouncing back and forth between gorgeous, vocal led pop tracks and more IDM leaning instrumentals. That he can easily transition back and forth between each speaks to his talent and ear for beautiful melodies and soundscapes.

Last year's single "Another Tomorrow" was the first hint that the new record was not going to be the same old same old. A throbbing beat, springy bass line, and carefully rising keyboards provided a slinky background for heavily treated vocals. The keyboards get more wild and out of control as the song progresses, yet McIlwain holds everything in perfect balance, bringing the song to a heavenly apex.



For the most part on The Waiting Room, I am drawn to the vocal tracks. It is interesting how McIlwain pairs his electronic experiments with more traditional song structures and vocals. Album highlight, and probably one of my favorite tracks of the year so far, "Without A Plan" captures a dreamy vocal from Janelle Kienow which is covered in gauzy haze and cages it within a stuttering two-step frame as luscious synth washes and burbling electronics warm everything.



"By This Sound" is a pulsating synthpop track with more murky vocals that sets well within the complex mix of what sounds like treated guitars, glistening keyboards, and quirky electronic flourishes.



"Lucky" is a gorgeous, half funky space synth workout which borders the line between IDM and modern R&B.



The only real disappointment on the vocal tracks is McIlwain's cover of Electronic's "Get The Message," which trades the original's goofy charm for a more austere sonic palate.



The instrumentals on The Waiting Room are nothing to sniff at in comparison. McIlwain moves back and forth from more dancefloor-centric tracks like trance workout "Stratus," with its swirling keyboards and bubbling baselines,



and closing track "February" which throbs and pulses with head bobbing enthusiasm, and moodier instrumentals like the stuttering "On Telegraph," or the aptly titled "Panoramic" which opens things up with expansive M83-style dramatics.



The Waiting Room keeps morphing and changing for me. One day the instrumentals seem to be what is dictating the flow and course of the record, while on others the vocal tracks are the touchstones. Lately, the mix seems perfectly right, and the album's journey is adventurous and over with way too soon. McIlwain is definitely coming in to his own as Lusine, and The Waiting Room is the record that finally shouts out that he is here.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Video: David Bowie - "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)"



Second video from his upcoming album The Next Day. The striking video features David Bowie and Tilda Swinton attempting to be the perfect suburban couple.

Monday, February 25, 2013

New: Cold Cave - "Oceans Without End"



Loud, brash industrial goth track from the reigning monarchs of the darkwave genre Cold Cave.

Jam of the Day: Drake - "Started From The Bottom"



Love the beats and backing track.

Album Review: Atoms For Peace - Amok


Atoms For Peace
Amok
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

Perhaps to provide less of a microscopic focus on his work with Radiohead, Thom Yorke released The Eraser back in 2006. Featuring minimal, glitchy electronic tracks, the album was a chilly experience, but one that with some patience yielded a fulfilling experience. I was fortunate to see Yorke and a backing band featuring Nigel Godrich, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, David Byrne percussionist Mauro Refosco, and drummer Joey Waronker perform more fully realized versions of these tracks at Coachella in 2010. In a live setting the tracks became less insular and more alive. Now as a fully formed "band," Atoms For Peace releases its debut record Amok which I assumed, based on the interaction with the live band members, would be a more meaty experience. Strangely, the tracks really don't sound that much different from The Eraser, still minimal, edgy, and chilly, but fleshed out with some intricate basswork from Flea and more "real" percussion. It is a testament to Yorke's vision that the fact that the songs don't sound fuller and more robust is not necessarily a drawback. This project is not meant to be Radiohead, and seldom feels like a Radiohead derivative. I am sure in a live setting, these tracks will sound completely different, but for the album itself, it is obviously Yorke's choice to still create an atmosphere of claustrophobia and dread, which fits the project to a T, even down to the stark, black and white album artwork.

Yorke has stated that he immersed himself in the afropop of Fela Kuti for this record, and there is a decided focus on more complex and skittering rhythms this go around, however, Waronker and Refosco seem slightly incidental to the drum programming that Yorke and Godrich laid down as a base. Off the bat, "Before Your Eyes" begins warmly with more traditional percussive elements, scraping guitar trills, subtle fretwork from Flea, and Yorke's haunting voice developing into a gorgeous opening that gets more and more under your skin as it progresses. "Default" trades that warmth for an icy electronic haze, the void filled with tense electronics and ping-ponging percussion burbling underneath.



This icy sheen permeates the record, with only some analog synthesizers added to the mix to slightly defrost the chill. The clattering, percussion and gloomy keyboards of "Ingenue" are blessed with a undercurrent of analog drones and slippery keyboard runs. "Unless" transcends its Italian horror film beginnings to phase slowly into a shimmering web of glistening keyboards and muted programming. And closing/title track "Amok" features insistent keyboards that caress Yorke's aching vocals along, a ghostly chorus of moans adding heft and weight.

Perhaps the only real glaring problem with the record is the seeming under use of Flea on bass. For the majority of the record his work is relatively quiet and unobtrusive, rarely poking its head into the mix. Only on a few occasions do his melodic lines make their presence known. "Dropped" adds a forceful bassline to a minimalist electronic bed and pushes the song to new heights, creating much needed urgency. On "Judge Jury and Executioner," Flea's bass is a slinky, serpentine creature weaving in and out of the stuttering percussion and gentle acoustic guitars.



While overall I thought the record held a nice, consistent mood throughout, there were times where Yorke and Co. were content to lean more on atmosphere than actual songs. "Reverse Running," despite a lovely Yorke vocal, meanders over a slurred bass line and repetitive guitar/drum loops, and the lovely synth coda to "Stuck Together Pices" is not enough to salvage the track from a similar trajectory. Amok is a puzzling album in that it is almost exactly what you think it would be, but yet is still far from being what you want it to be. It hovers around just good, never descending into anything embarrassing, but never quite lifting off into great territory. It is a tantalizing morsel that, while whetting one's appetite, is just not filling enough.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Jam of the Day: Baauer - "My Nose"



While the "Harlem Shake" hype is still frothy, I actually prefer this banger more.

Videos of the Week

As winter sprints on into spring, here are the videos that bitch slapped me into submission this week:



Surreal video for this absolutely stunning track from Local Natives.



One of the best singles of the year so far, this track gets a surprisingly poignant and moving video.



Fun video from Bat For Lashes.



Twerk it!



Icy video for this gentle folk rock track.



Crazy animated clip for this rave inspired track.



Beautifully shot clip for this stunning R&B track from Miguel.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Video: Disclosure ft. AlunaGeorge - "White Noise"



This amazing single finally gets a video treatment, which focuses on a lonely security guard who dances his loneliness away and finds love in the process.

Jam of the Day: Atoms For Peace - "Before Your Very Eyes..."



Opening track to Amok, the debut album from the Thom Yorke fronted side project. It is a lovely, minimalistic electronic brooder.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Jam of the Day: Young Galaxy - "Fall For You"


Gorgeous Balearic pop referencing single from Young Galaxy.

Album Review: Autechre - Exai


Autechre
Exai
Rating: Woof Daddy

The prolific duo of Rob Brown and Sean Booth are now on their 11th album as Autechre, and instead of resting on their laurels and putting out album after album of similar music, they are still fascinated by what machines can do and push their sound into as many directions as possible. Some critics have complained that Exai is a bloated, directionless mess, and in some respect I can understand that critique, but what those short-sighted people fail to see and hear is that the record is a culmination of what Brown and Booth have done over their storied career, touching on almost every phase of their catalog and yet meshing it all into something fresh and wonderful. Granted, at 2 hours of music, Exai is not for the faint of heart, as it is a very challenging listen; however, it is challenging only in the sense of trying to keep up with the duo's restless, ceaseless creativity, and not in the sense of their more obtuse records like Confield and Untilted.

The tracks on the album are perfectly sequenced between traditional IDM fare that Autechre could do in their sleep, abstract/formless works from their Confield era, hip-hop/industrial textured works, and dreamier ambient inflected songs. That Autechre masters all aspects of these genres is testament to their longstanding place as IDM gods. One thing I love about the duo is that their work together is seamless. At no point in any of their work can you discern which piece, part, or whole is made by one or the other. They are simply Autechre.

First track "Fluere" is prototypical Autechre, skittering drum patterns undulate over a clattering, metallic underbelly of claustrophobic textures. A variety of heavily processed synth noises and squelches poke and prod through the murk. While this track still highlights Autechre's more experimental take on IDM, they show they still can lean towards something more structured, like the flowing synths and whiplash programming of "jatvee C,"



which still tends to keep you off-kilter with sudden drops in the beats and sinister time changes. These more structured moments bleed into a set of tracks from the boys that could almost be described as "pretty;" more attention paid to atmosphere and mood than sheer experimentation. Album centerpiece "bladelores" is 12 minutes of subtle washes of electronics and keyboards over muted drum programming that slowly changes but never stays static,



while "T ess xi" moves lush synths over almost funk beats.



This being Autechre, however, there are plenty of flights of fancy into brutal experiments in fractured beats, inhuman time signatures, and keyboards warped and mutilated into making sounds that are alien and alienating. Shards of glitched out synths and ping-ponged drums programming baseline the horror show dread that permeates "tuinorizn," 8-bit synths and random drum programming highlight the haunted soundscapes of "nodezsh," while "runrepik" approximates what it would sounds and feel like to have millions of insects boring through one's body.

These harsher moments are much needed throughout the record as both signposts that Autechre are still interested in pushing the boundaries of electronic music but also to actively engage the listener, coming up at odd moments to pull you back into the experience. But they are wiser now not to let these tracks become the overall focus. Brown and Booth are still experts at beat making, which is highlighted in many hip-hop/industrial influenced tracks. Clattering drum programming and echoing funk keyboards flow through "Flep," "1 1 is" drones and lurches over metallic drum beats and gurgling electronics, and a sinister insurgence colors the glitchy abandon of "vekoS."

All of this is just a lead up to the brilliant trio of tracks that ends this amazing record. "deco Loc" begins with harsh, industrial textured drum programming, then segues into a gorgeous section of vocal samples that are eventually worn down into synth drones before recalculated into fractured cut and pasted snippets, morphing into hip-hop beats via the road to hell. "recks on" pounds 80s referencing hip-hop/4AD drum machines, harsh low end basslines, and white noise synth blasts into something meaty and juicy. Closing the record on a haunting note is the relevatory "YJY UX," 8+ minutes of dreamlike keyboards broken into by harsh drones, liquidy blurts of drum programming try to lend structure amid the conflicting parts of the track. The ending is magisterial, with all the disconnected pieces coalescing into a brilliant whole, before in true Autechre style, it wastes out in a flurry of deconstruction.

Autechre don't follow trends or do what is expected of them. They never release anything that is not 100% their own direction and of the highest quality. While some of their more recent releases seemed more muted or aimless, it was all done at the service of their immense and joyful love of music itself. This love comes to the forefront with this record. Exai is not just a great Autechre record, it is perhaps, next to Tri Repetae, their best record. Indeed, every time I listen to this record it unravels another layer for me, and I never tire of it pushing me to understand its meaning. If you have any interest in electronic music that will challenge your perceptions of what it is and how it moves you, Exai is essential.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Album Review: The History Of Apple Pie - Out Of View



The History of Apple Pie
Out of View
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

With the first release from shoegaze titans My Bloody Valentine in over 22 years out in the world, new focus is laid at the feet of a bunch of upstarts to see if they can equal or better them in the sonic maelstrom department. While MBV still shows that they are the undisputed masters of the genre, there is still life to be kicked around from the young whippersnappers. British five piece The History of Apple Pie (one of the worst band names ever) show they have a big collection of shoegaze/dream pop/and alt-rock albums at their disposal and wear their influences well, but also have their own way to sneak their personality into the mix. Like peers Yuck, The History of Apple Pie are not afraid to drone out like Dinosaur Jr., create dense sonic soundscapes a la MBV, or pretty things up like Lush. Their debut album, Out of View is a nice mix of different styles and while it is a little too heavy on their influences, there are still moments where their own voice makes it into the wall of noise.

The History of Apple Pie are best when they hit shoegazing straight on and turn up the dense swells of guitars. Tracks like the buzzing "I Want More," which gets more and more complex as added layers of guitars take over,



hard-edged "Mallory" which grimes things up with hefty Dinosaur Jr.-esque guitar riffs,



subtle electronics buried underneath squalling guitars enlivens the Lush leanings of "The Warrior,"



and closing track "Before You Reach The End" never forsakes melody even while the guitars take off into Kevin Shields' flights of fancy.



It is not to say that quieter moments are less interesting than the more overtly guitar-centric tracks, it is just under a more razor honed microscope the leaning on their influences becomes more pronounced and you never get a sense that the band is owning the tracks. "See You" becomes a little too twee, with cooed harmonies and chiming guitars which echo bands like The Primitives and Catatonia,



"Glitch" tries to marry Lush-like drifting guitars with squalling blasts of feedback and ends up more muddled than interesting,



while "You're So Cool" merely becomes bland power pop, its sweet vocals laid upon a bed of choppy keyboards and droning guitars.



But these missteps are more signs of youthful idolization than a serious defect in band trajectory. Once they shed their reliance on these crutches they will be able to make their sound grow further. The foundation is already there for something special, and if they push themselves a little harder they will achieve great things.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Jam of the Day: Lusine - "Without A Plan"



Woozy electronica from producer Lusine off his fantastic album The Waiting Room.

Unreleased: The Twilight Sad - "Tell Me When We're Having Fun"



Gorgeous track that didn't make it on their excellent last album No One Can Ever Know.

Monday, February 18, 2013

New: Phoenix - "Entertainment"



First tease from Phoenix's upcoming record Bankrupt!

Jam of the Day: The Ropes - "Black All Day, Bright All Night"



New York duo that definitely wears its post-punk/industrial/goth/synth pop influences on its sleeve. This track off their album Post-Entertainment mixes Crystal Castles' cut and paste synth aesthetic with brittle post-punk guitars to delicious effect.

Album Review: Esben And The Witch - Wash The Sins Not Only The Face


Esben And The Witch
Wash The Sins Not Only The Face
Rating: Grrrr

On their second release, Wash The Sins Not Only The Face, UK trio Esben and the Witch continue their reverential exploration of moody, gothic inspired art rock. In revisiting their debut album Violet Cries (which I gave a very favorable review to here), I was still struck how dynamic their music was, but also how formal and rather stiff it could be. Expecting a similar palate of music and themes this go around, I was astonished from the open notes of "Iceland Spar" how more expansive and open their sound had gotten. It is still unmistakably Esben and the Witch, but where on Violet Cries they almost sought to be obtuse and off putting, here there is a warmth that was missing earlier, where now the songs tend to stick more to more standard song structures rather than meandering, but still allowing moments of experimentation and stark beauty.

The stately tracks on Violet Cries were never short on atmosphere, however, you could never say Esben and the Witch rocked out on any track. Here, they seem to want to be more of a rock band, crafting some of their most hard charged tracks. "Deathwaltz" is one of their most startlingly forward rock tracks, with ringing guitars, dense drum work, and Rachel Davies gorgeous voice tying everything together.



"Despair" is practically a death metal track with scraping, lurching guitars over a pummeling bed of clattering, industrial percussion.



And on closing track "Smashed to Pieces in the Still Of The Night" the band reaches shoegazing levels of epic proportions.



There are plenty of traditionally atmospheric tracks on Wash The Sins Not Only The Face to whet the appetites of the hardcore faithful. The lovely textured guitars and sweet vocals of Davies illuminates the candlelit mood of aptly named track "Shimmering," gentle guitars and subtle electronics wander and loop in and out of one another on "Yellow Wood," while penultimate track "The Fall of Glorieta Mountain" becomes the haunting centerpiece of the record, Davies' aching voice wander through stark soundscapes of lonely guitar and icy synth washes.

Looking back on Violet Cries and my review, I probably rated it a little too highly. While it is still an amazing debut album, its impact for me has muted somewhat. There is a cold veneer to the record that never seems to shake off and let you into its heart. Wash The Sins Not Only The Face immediately allows you in and makes its presence known, with a nice interplay between the icy textures and warm accents that creates a tension that carries the record from the merely interesting to something gorgeous and sublime. This slightly altered direction suits the bad well and is a nice harbinger of things to come.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

New: Primal Scream - "2013"



From their 10th album More Light, Primal Scream return with a trippy track featuring My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields on guitar.

New: Alison Moyet - "Changeling"



From the minutes, her first album in 6 years, Alison Moyet previews the first single.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Jam of the Day: MØ - "Glass"



Danish singer Karen Marie Ørsted, a.k.a. MØ, looks at the push and pull between staying young and growing up in this gritty clip.

New: Usher and Diplo - "Go Missin'"


New collaboration from Usher and Diplo. Um, Usher, have Diplo do your entire next album. You two are made for one another.

Videos of the Week

Got the day after Valentine's blues? Here are some videos that will either cheer you up or make you hunt for some razor blades.



Front runner for song of the year, "Retrograde" from James Blake gets a very interesting Lars Von Trier/sci fi storyline which makes the track even more evocative.



Latest video from Passion Pit gets the anti-Valentine's treatment.



For Valentine's Day, The xx release their cover of Beyonce's "I Miss You" (written by Frank Ocean) which is starkly gorgeous.



Glossy, big-budget video directed by David Fincher.



Simple, yet striking clip from Wild Nothing.



Amazing track from Local Natives featuring blind model airplane operators.



First video from Drake's upcoming third album Nothing Was the Same.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jam of the Day: Suuns - "Bambi"



Coming across like a more subdued !!! combined with the jaded snarl of Clinic, Montreal's Suuns make some extremely infectious, quirky art-pop. Love this track off their second album Images du Futur.

Cover: Jessie Ware - "Diamonds"



Jessie Ware shows once again that she definitely knows how to bring a soulful interpretation to any track. She takes the rather pedestrian track from Rihanna and makes into something subtle and striking.

Video: Passion Pit - "Carried Away"



Sort of the anti-Valentine's Day video.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jam of the Day: The History Of Apple Pie - "Before I Reach The End"


Really great shoegazey track from this dream pop band. Terrible band name though.

Album Review: Darkstar - News From Nowhere


Darkstar
News From Nowhere
Rating: Grrrr

I've stopped trying to figure out what UK electronic trio Darkstar are going to do next, as there is absolutely no way to determine it. Starting out on the Hyperdub label, the original duo of James Young and Aiden Whalley made waves with the brilliant track "Aidy's Girl's A Computer" that pointed them in the direction of UK grime/two step/dubstep. With their debut album North, the duo added a third member, vocalist James Buttery, and moved into dark synth pop territory. With tracks like their cover of the Human League track "(You Remind Me Of) Gold," they kept their coolly sensuous sound but added a human touch to their aesthetic. It was a challenging listen and showed the band's depth of talent. I was basically expecting more along the lines of North when word hit the street that their follow up was imminent. Confounding expectations, Darkstar has once again slid into new territory. New From Nowhere is 10 tracks that flow together seamlessly as one. While there are a few "singles" sprinkled in the mix, for the most part the music acts as a complete work. Drawing from more impressionistic acts like Animal Collective, James Blake, and Oneohetrix Point Never, these liquidy tracks bubble and shimmer and glow with a delicate light. Immersing yourself in this netherworld takes some time and effort, but once you allow it access to your mind and heart, it becomes one of the most gorgeous records you will hear all year.

From the opening drift of chiming, repetitive keyboard patterns and sleep vocals of "Light Body Clock Starter" you know you are in a different world and mindset. That it so easily segues into first single "Timeaway" is a testament to the band's tight production skill. Over clapping percussion, hypnotic keyboard structures, and heavily processed vocals, "Timeaway" is a densely packed track that keeps everything together with a master's touch.



This deft touch is echoed in the other more "pop" tracks on the record. 'A Day's Work For A Day's Pay" recalls their more tender and elegant moments on North, featuring a sad, haunted vocal from Buttery over the lonely echoes of piano and clattering percussion,



"Amplified Ease" easily draws comparison to Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion with its lurching rhythms, mantra-like vocals, and pointillistic garden of keyboards,



oddball track "Armonica" combines with surprisingly dexterous hands fractured vocals, skittering percussion, and heavily treated keyboards, while "Young Heart's" borrows from their earlier work, crafting a lush vision of doomed synths, whispered vocals, and trance-inducing percussion.

The remaining tracks on News From Nowhere create an oblique tableau of shimmering, hypnotic ambient pleasures. It all leads perfectly towards closing track "Hold Me Down" which moves over a buzzing pack of firefly synths, endlessly looped and re-looped over each other, snatches of vocals blurring in and out of the mix, releasing you from thought and care. It is an assured follow up to North, taking the band into new territory without forsaking their core sound. While there is no standout track like "Gold" to carry the weight of things, as a whole, News From Nowhere is a far more cohesive statement and sets the bar high for their future work.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jam of the Day: Kisses - "The Hardest Part"



Brilliant pop track.

Video: Local Natives: "Heavy Feet"



Interesting video using visually impaired model airplane pilots. This song is so gorgeous.

Album Review: Foals - Holy Fire


Foals
Holy Fire
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

Three albums in for British post-punk, art pop band Foals finds them in a curious place. From the spiky guitars and jerky rhythms of Antidotes to the more streamlined and atmospheric Total Life Forever, there has always been a push and pull between the bands more experimental tendencies and their more populist leanings. This tension created some lovely music and put them on the hot list for future success. In fitting with their move to a major label, new album Holy Fire enlists heavy hitter producers Flood and Alan Moulder (Depeche Mode, U2, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins) to add more polish and sheen to their sound. On first listen there is a more dynamic and spacious sound to the record, but no real change in their direction. In fact, Holy Fire sounds like a lusher, denser Total Life Forever, which is not a bad thing per se, it just means there is a slight lack of surprise here. TLF was a huge leap in progress from Antidotes that this new album held the same expectations for me. Holy Fire is nice lateral move, full of excellent tracks, but gets bogged down with bad pacing and too many tracks that lean towards more atmosphere rather than hooks and melodies. Despite these reservations I have with the record, Foals have definitely shown they are ready for their headlining spotlight.

There are so many arena ready tracks here, you can almost hear the crowd roars in between them. Seriously, if you are not out of your seat and dancing to single "My Number" you need to check into a hospital. Tight rhythms, soaring synths, and punchy guitars make this the standout track on the album and one of the most infectious tracks of the year.



And when Holy Fire sticks to this type of more driving motion, it soars like no other record this year. A steady rising stream of interlocking guitars, skittering drums, strings, and keyboards highlights the dramatic push of "Milk and Black Spiders," punchy "Providence" throws together tight, pounding drums, scraping guitars, and skronky synths,



while "Inhaler" begins as a throbbing slow burner, it erupts into an almost metal track.



But the record hits its mellow mid-section and has difficulty getting its mojo back. "Late Night," which is pretty track of haunted keyboards, strings, and muted guitars, just sticks in neutral the entire time without really revving up. "Out of the Woods" is a perfectly pleasant pop track which unfortunately sounds like a Fleetwood Mac B-Side, almost polished within an inch of its life. And while "Milk and Black Spiders" and "Providence" kick things back up, oddly the band choose to end the record with two meandering, atmospheric ballads that take the record out on a rather tepid note. "Stepson" is gorgeously rendered, but its inert motion drags things down considerably, and closer "Moon" is almost ambient to the point of nothingness.



Thankfully the record is fleshed out with some more energetic and catchy tracks that make these other experiments not as glaringly bad. The triad of soaring anthem "Bad Habit," lush "Everytime" that sounds like Wish-era Cure, and slow burning rocker "Late Night" provide and nice heart to the record. If only the other more atmospheric tracks had been spread throughout the record better would the experience have worked more. Holy Fire is still a good record, one that I enjoy, and will be excited to see performed live, but I will admit I was expecting something greater from them. While it seems like the band is trying to reach for arena-ready rock of U2, this album comes across more as that band's later, blander work (a.k.a All That You Can't Leave Behind) than their more assured records (War, The Joshua Tree). Think of Holy Fire as a mere pit stop to assess where they are going. I am hoping they take a more adventurous route next time.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Video: Rihanna - "Stay (featuring Mikky Ekko)"



Stark, intimate video for the beautiful ballad from her latest album.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Jam of the Day: Foals - "My Number"



This song is impossible not to dance to.

New: The Postal Service - "Tattered Line Of String"



Unreleased track that will appear on the reissued version of The Postal Service's record Give Up.

Video: James Blake - "Retrograde"



I have no idea what is going on in this video, but it involves alien visitors, bikers, people stuck in stasis, and sign language. It is quite evocative though, and fits the abstract and haunting nature of this beautiful track from Blake's upcoming album Overgrown.

Album Review: My Bloody Valentine - m b v


My Bloody Valentine
m b v
Rating: Woof Daddy

I guess we need to see if hell has frozen over and pigs are now flying, as the unthinkable has occurred: there is a new My Bloody Valentine record after a 22 year wait. There really is no objective way to review this album, as it comes loaded with so much backstory and history. Following the pretty much perfect record Loveless, there is absolutely no way any other music could even remotely hope to come close to it. Luckily, Kevin Shields and company realized this, and have don't what any rational band should do after creating their masterpiece, they made a record on their own terms. This is not Loveless II, nor is it a reinvention of the wheel. m b v is merely a new My Bloody Valentine record that is unmistakably them, but also has the balls to tinker with their sound in interesting new directions.

These 9 new tracks are structured into three distinct sections, each with their own touchstones to the classic MBV sound, but with each section having its own purpose and design. The album starts off almost unassumingly so, with the delicate guitar strums of "she found now," which leads perfectly out of the waning strands of noise of Loveless. It is Shields' way of saying, we can't possibly make anything that will eclipse that record, so we aren't going to try. This is it. Get used to it. After the lead track fades out under a shimmering wave of guitars, the harder edged fuzz of "only tomorrow" takes things to a higher level, drums at the forefront, vocals, while still buried in the mix, are more forceful and centered. The guitars here always seem on the verge of melting onto the floor, with Shields taking control of them just before chaos consumes them. These first two tracks are merely the appetizer for the meaty conclusion of this section, "who sees you," which combines almost backwards sounding drums with the traditional MBV guitar sound, heavy tremolo worked into a frenzy, buzzing like a thousand chainsaws.



The almost overwhelming intensity of this track gets muted by the entry into the middle section of the record. "is this and yes" was a difficult track for me to get my head around at first. It is the first MBV track to rely solely on keyboards and no drums. It is essentially a palate cleanser for the back half of the record, a lullaby before entering a more dreamlike and heavy state. "if i am" combines the buzzing guitar sound with more psychedelic flourishes, organ drones, and Bilinda Butcher's ethereal coo, and I would say is the most "pop" sounding track on the record if it wasn't for the following track, "new you," which is such a surprise, you almost have to check to make sure the same album is playing. Over a jaunty beat (for MBV), fuzz bass, and wickedly catchy guitars, this track is deceptively simple and light, but sticks in your head long after it is over because it is so unexpected and brilliant.



Most people will exclaim that the final section of the record is the more unexpected and experimental part of the record, as it moves things into a decidedly more electronic and dance-centered direction. Even after the release of Loveless, however, Shields had often spoke of his interest in jungle and drum and bass, so the descent into this territory is hardly surprising. With that said, what Shields decides to do with those influences is far more intriguing. "in another way" buries a muddy drum and bass beat underneath increasingly fractured shards of guitar and Butcher's muted vocals.



"nothing is" is pure pummeling fury, accosting you with pounding drums and furiously repetitive swirls of buzzy guitars,



which segues perfectly into the final track "wonder 2" which takes a jungle beat through a wind tunnel of effects, adding Shields' whispered vocals, organ drones, then capping things off with chopped up guitars and samples, stirring things up into a wicked froth of noise.



Whether we have to wait another 22 years for the follow up to this record remains to be seen, however, if they take that long and return with something as good as m b v, I don't think you will find many people complaining. It is impossible to divorce any music subsequent to Loveless from that record's brilliant perfection, and I am sure there will be plenty of naysayers that will say m b v is just not good enough for My Bloody Valentine. I can understand those complaints with the record and I am sure held those viewpoints at some point in listening to the album. Somehow though, I was able to reach a point where I could listen to the record outside of its sibling's massive shadow, and listen to it for what it is, a pretty damn good record.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Jam of the Day: Tegan and Sara - "Guilty As Charged"



I am a fool for their new record Heartthrob, a gorgeous collection of 80s leaning synthpop. While this is a bonus track on the record, it is by far my favorite, for very sentimental reasons.

Videos of the Week

End of the week and start of my birthday weekend. Here are the videos that lit my birthday cake candles:



Striking slow motion black and white clip for the title track to Liars' latest record.



Gorgeous track off Suede's upcoming new album.



Very MBV looking clip for the new single from shoegazer's Tamaryn.



Shimmery track from Ex-Cops gets a day (or is it night) in the life of hipster-centric Brooklyn.



Gorgeous video for the R&B duo's romantic track.



Really cool visual effects highlight this video from Jamie Lidell.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jam of the Day: MS MR - "Fantasy"



Brilliant song from the duo MS MR. From their upcoming debut album Second Hand Rapture due out May 14.

Album Review: Iceage - You're Nothing


Iceage
You're Nothing
Rating: Woof Daddy

New Brigade, the debut album from Danish post-punk band Iceage, was a chilly 24 minute blast of scraping guitars, machine gun drums, sloganeering vocals, and a fully formed aesthetic that was much wiser than the band's young age would have indicated. It was such a perfect encapsulation of their sound it was difficult to imagine what they could possibly do for a follow up, rather than more of the same or completely altering their sound. With the follow up You're Nothing in hand, Iceage have not reinvented the wheel thankfully, and have not given us New Brigade 2, though it is really a more fine-tuned version, with interesting steps in new directions. It is still a concise set of tracks, barely making it over the 25 minute mark, but instead of using the bleak, industrial edged tones of New Brigade, the music tends to fall towards more traditional punk squalls, with more subtle post-punk accents to spice things up.

This go around the songs are tighter and the production is less cavernous, while lyrically the songs keep getting bleaker, the band's views on relationships being almost nihilistic. Kicking off with the feedback heavy fury of "Ecstacy," Iceage ratchet up the energy with singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt's voice going from a whisper to a scream in no time flat, screaming at the top of his lungs: "Pressure! Pressure! Pressure! Oh god no!"



"Coalition" blazes with an almost out of control fury, comparing a relationship to an alliance of convenience, falling apart under the weight of excess.



But even within the dense rush of guitars and drums, you can sense a restlessness with the band, not wanting to keep doing the same thing. There are subtle melodic touches throughout the record that are barely noticeable at first, and even experimentation with different instruments. "Awake"'s blitzkrieg attack of glass shard guitars is underscored by a almost imperceptible early R.E.M./Husker Du melodic core that pushes the song to new heights.



"Morals" is perhaps the most shocking track on You're Nothing, starting off like a boozy, piano ballad from Nick Cave, Rønnenfelt's voice surprisingly open and emotional but gathering strength as the guitars and drums take over. It is such a huge departure from their usual approach to songs that initially it sticks out like a sore thumb, but eventually becomes the heart and soul of the record.



Of course, Iceage are not stupid, they know their signature sound and provide more blistering proof that they are at the top of their game. From the dark and brooding "Burning Hand," brutal guitar assault of "In Haze," or the low end rumble of "Wounded Hearts," these tight, concise tracks never waste a moment getting their point across and exit perfectly. That is one complaint with the record is that is it so perfectly rendered it disappears all too quickly, but that just means you get to go back to the beginning and it hear it all over again.

New Brigade was such a bright spot in a pretty lackluster musical year that I feared in hindsight its reputation with me would be tarnished, but listening to it against You're Nothing pretty much erases any doubt I had. You're Nothing definitely raises the stakes for the band, as it shows them honing their sound but also taking it to new places I didn't think they would ever go. I can't believe it is only the beginning of February in 2013 but we already have the best sophomore release of the year as well as the best punk/post-punk album of the year. And inconceivably, we might have the best album of the year.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jam of the Day: My Bloody Valentine - "who sees you"



Gorgeous, feedback laden trip out from the first album from My Bloody Valentine in 22 years.

Album Review: Tegan And Sara - Heartthrob


Tegan And Sara
Heartthrob
Rating: Grrrr

I will admit that I have never really listened much to Tegan and Sara's other albums. I think I had breezed through a couple of their last records and just never felt any connection to them or desire to listen to them again. It was mostly acoustic/indie folk rock that had some interesting lyrics, but was practically indistinguishable from most similar acts. With the release of their seventh studio album Heartthrob, I was not prepared in the least for their 180 degree change in direction. Enlisting producers Greg Kurstin (Santigold, Pink), Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Paramore, M83), and Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem) the duo have crafted one of the most aggressively pop records of the year, polishing their sound within an inch of its life, eschewing their more traditional guitar based songs for glitzy synth based confections. The 80s are definitely the touchstone with Heartthrob, with a lot of the tracks borrowing from artists like Cyndi Lauper, Prince, & Heart at their most hook laden and catchy. I have a feeling this complete change in sound and direction will irk a lot of their fanbase, and I am sure more than a few people will claim they have sold out. I suppose those claims will be somewhat valid, but seeing as I was not a huge fan to begin with, this change in direction, for me, is a positive thing. Hearthrob is a glossy, well-produced record that is extremely catchy. It is exactly what it is needs to be, a pure pop experience.

You definitely know you are not in the same territory right off the bat with first track and single "Closer," with its bouncy synths and slick drums and what seems, on the surface at least, to be typical Top 40 ready lyrics which contain a subtle edge, with lines like "All you think of lately is getting underneath me/All I’m dreaming lately is how to get you underneath me."



From there, it is a speedy journey through a pop landscape that you are either going to fall head over heels for or run screaming from. It took me a couple of listens but finally I had to give into it. It's just so damn catchy. From the sugar rush of "Goodbye, Goodbye,"



clever update of Heart-like balladry on "I Was A Fool,"



to the shimmery guitar gloss of "I'm Not A Hero,"



Heartthrob is packed to the gills with enough hits to make most current pop acts seethe with jealousy. While most of the songs seem very tame lyrically, when they are examined a little closer there are many instances where things take a darker turn. "How Come You Don't Want Me" is a particularly desperate song from the point of view of a dumped lover,



"Now I'm All Messed Up" is a haunted breakup track with lyrics like "Stay/You'll leave me in the morning anyway/My heart/You'll cut it out, you never liked me anyway,"



and closing track, the amazingly strong "Shock To The System" is a plea for a friend to get out of their relationship funk.



But overall, there is an easy, fun vibe to the whole record, from the 80s synth blasts of "Drove Me Wild," bouncy keyboards and thumping drums of "I Couldn't Be Your Friend," and gorgeous harmonies of "Love They Say." Heartthrob is just a pleasant surprise for me. Yes, based on most of the music I tend to like, it is very odd that I should like a record like this, but honestly, as long as the track is catchy and well done, I can like it just as much as something more experimental. So, into the second month of 2013, I think I have found my pure pop album crush of the year so far. You other pop princesses better bring your A game.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Jam of the Day: Darkstar - "Timeaway"



Interesting change of direction for the band on their sophomore release News From Nowhere. "Timeaway" is a very meditative track that uses subtle electronics that lull the listener deep into its cocoon.

Album Review: FaltyDL - Hardcourage


FaltyDL
Hardcourage
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

New York based producer FaltyDL (Drew Lustman) has released two albums that have been quite all over the place, darting in and out of deep house, UK garage and two-step, dub and techno, and tons of other genres falling within the large sphere of UK bass music. His background in jazz also contributed to a very restless, improvisational feel to his records, which sometimes ended up making them seem directionless and without much direct purpose. This lack of direction was most apparent on his debut album Love Is A Liability and was tempered somewhat on You Stand Uncertain, but the changes were so subtle and gradual it really wasn't a striking difference. With last year's EP Atlantis and now his third album Harcourage, he seems far more confident in his sound and direction, and while it is not quite a defining statement for the producer, it is by far his strongest and most satisfying records.

In fact, for almost the first half of the record, Lustman hits everything on all cylinders, showing remarkable flexibility and control with his sound. Opening track "Stay I'm Changed" plays with a myriad of different sounds, deep bass, synth stabs, ambient drones, playful electronic rolls, before claiming all the sounds together into a swirling dance mix.



"Straight & Arrow" delights in its two-step beat, jazzy keyboard motifs, and broken soul samples,



while "Uncea" and "For Karme" provide dense tableaux's of intricately produced electronica.



He even shows a nice hold on the pop landscape, a la his track with Lily McKenzie "Gospel of Opal" on You Stand Uncertain, with his collaboration with Friendly Fire's Ed Macfarlane on the dreamy and lush "She Sleeps."



When I am just thinking this could be his masterpiece, things go a little slack in the mid-section of the record. "Finally Some Shit/The Rain Stopped" gets stuck in a repetitive groove that never really morphs into anything substantial while "Kenny Rolls One" gets lost in a blurping haze of funk synths and acid haze sound effects. While not completely derailing things, it definitely is a slight road bump on an otherwise pleasant journey. Thankfully he gets back on the right track with the percussion heavy techno track "Korben Dallas,"



"Reassimilate" is a perfunctory downtempo track that segues nicely into closing track "Bells" which basically encapsulates the entire album, merging all his disparate strands into one seamless flow.



While Hardcourage has a disappointing middle section that sucks some life out of the flow of the record, it goes a long way into streamlining Lustman's restless creativity into someone more cohesive and direct. With a little more polish and direction, there is certainly a classic record waiting in the wings.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Jam of the Day: Syron - "Breaking"



19-year old up and coming pop star from the UK Daisy Syron puts forth this awesome slab of UK bass pop.

Videos of the Week



Well shot video accompanies this rather tepid first single from the new Depeche Mode album.



Foreboding video from the upcoming How To Destroy Angels album.



Catchy single from Little Daylight.



Visually hypnotic video from Animal Collective.



Brilliant pop track from up and coming singer Syron.



Shimmery single from The History of Apple Pie (which is probably the worst band name ever).



Amazingly creepy video from Grizzly Bear.



Slightly NSFW clip from Tame Impala.