Ah, 80′s glam electronica, you always know how to put a smile on my face and GnarniaVIPs and dark pop geniuses, Love Cop, oblige with a cassette of lofi dreamgaze with a heavy tote of perverted pop. With clear nods to the best moments of Television Personalities, The Clean, and Factory Records bands like Joy Division and New Order, Eat Yr Heart Out is bursting at the seams with fuzzy guitars, jangly guitars, crunchy guitars, dance beats, rock beats, witchy vibes, stoner vibes, and maybe the kitchen sink (why not?).
Signed copies were available at their performance at Gnar Tapes SXSW Showcase on March 15th, 2013 but never fear, you can still get your not-as-special unsigned copies through the friendly folks at Gnar Tapes. So pop on the album through bandcamp (or better yet, the cassette itself), open up the windows, and ignore your responsibilities. Love Cop‘s got the soundtrack to your dysfunctional narcissism.
Technology and modern electronics have the eerie ability to both feel warm and connect us with the world as well as cold and distant, isolating in pure design. It’s a Catch 22 which appears to be the Holy Grail for any creative mind ingenious enough to create a synthesis between the two extremes. While, on a technological note, this process appears to still be ongoing, Charlieof Kill Rock Stars appears to have made a bold new step in this development within the ambient, electronica genre. Under the name Grapefruit, Charlie has released his instrumental synth wanderings in the form of “Freeway Romantics“
As described by Gnar Tapes, the album is, “pulsing and vibrating, like hearing lights pass through crystal. As much outside as it is in. Is the freeway out in space, or is it in your mind?” A little on the new age side but hell, I guess you have to be a little to indulgence in this album. This is not intended to be a put down however: rather, this music has a spirtual sort of feel to it by design. Perhaps I am too reliant upon these groups to help vocalize what I am unable to articulate however with a combination of soundwall aesthetics as displayed by M83‘s “Fields, Shorelines, and Hunters” and an attention to 8-bit culture the likes of Gatekeepergives Grapefruit‘s “Freeway Romantics” a, well, romantic feel. And I mean this in the purest sense: a romanticism which takes what appears to be a dark and grim world of alienating technological feats and create a warmth unknown to many in their own physical lives.
The ramblings of a tired fool, perhaps. However, while I do love his previous projects, I find this release such a personal journey without the gimmicks of traditional ambient electronica that it just feels enlightening. Take a listen and grab a download ($7? Why the hell not, plus I believe they sell tape copies as well for those so inclined). I recently read an article which believed that A Brave New Worldwas a far more believable distopia than 1984. For while the government attempts to subdue its population by withholding information in 1984, the government in A Brave New World do not care to withhold information but rather drown it out through perpetual pop culture and media distractions. Welcome to the Brave New World. Enjoy.
It’s been a little while since I’ve written anything on house/electronica material so indulge me in my odd attempt. I’ve always had a good deal of respect for Gnar Tapes with its extremely unique while ferociously independent. Admittedly, I was puzzled then when I received a seemingly gaudy email on what looks like an anxsty teenager’s cover art (yes, I’m being mean but I promise it goes uphill from here). Still, the story got me hooked. As described by Gnar Tapes, “Dutch “Gabber” DJ Mental Theo(aka Theo Nabuurs) has been making hardcore electronic dance music since the early 90s. After scoring a few big Happy Hardcore hits in Europe with their songs “Wonderful Days” and “Stars” alongside fellow countryman Charly Lownoise, Theo continued on to become a VJ on the European version of MTV. During the late 90s he hosted his own European MTV show called “Mental Theo On The Road“, in which he visited various nightclubs across Europe interviewing and interacting with partygoers, including a “Spring Break Special” report on the American club scene in Florida.”
It was that start which urged me to go ahead and take a listen. Spanning a little under an hour, I’m glad I did. As Gnar Tapes continues to state, “West Coast Mix 01” is the result of how educational and fun the Internet has made cassette culture” with “a unique mix of a Dutch Hardcore and Gabber records and remixes”. Now to use my only words. Irony is certainly a beautiful thing, however too much serves as a gluttonous mask to true identity. Luckily, Theo, through his years of experience and active participation, appears to understand this exact balance, an attribute I greatly admire. Sure, he uses humorous bits and pieces as well as highly overdone mixes. However there appears to be no embarrassment in this use, rather a primal pride that shines through. Take a listen, hell grab the actual, physical copy (cause come on, an hour of Dutch Hardcore on a car trip: I know you want to). It’s been awhile since I’ve written on this kind of material, yet Theo is more than deserving of the article. Enjoy.
There is just something inherently lovable about the 80′s. It was an era that seemed to have accepted materialism to historic heights, one with cues to the rise of morality and the religious right, one of both complacency and ambition all melded into a popular culture that still affects us today. Now may be a good time to point out that I wasn’t born until the 90′s: still, I am nearly lecherous in my imagination that is of the 80′s. And somewhere in this weird hallucination that is my mind I imagine hearing Emotional’s new album, “Feeling“.
Released about 2 months ago, I feel ashamed to say it has taken me this long to write on it because, yes, it is damn well worth your time (and $7? *wink wink, nudge nudge*). Opening with the aptly entitled “Grass To Pass The Time“, the 30 seconds give you a very appropriate introduction to the rest of the album. With heavily distorted vocals (not to mention essentially everything else) and an extremely poppy synth hook, the song takes you through a montage of casual nothingness which, essentially, may be the best of times. “Baby I’m So Strange” follows which, by far, is my favorite track. There is an overwhelming feeling in my pretentious side to note that it appears to have an extremely common verse structure but hell, it’s a dream scape pop track, what the hell are you supposed to expect? “Baby I’m So Strange” excels because of it’s seemingly casual anthem to society and mediocracy, a message which seems to fit rather well as it ends in a symphony of light chirping of the guitar.
Clearly, I am not necessarily providing too grand of an image as far as the whole album goes. Frankly, it’s on purpose. I sit here, by my computer, spewing my thoughts into a blog which I can only assume someone, somewhere is actually reading. Yet the joy comes from the idea of no preconceived notions. I like to think Dissociative Identity Productions is hear to raise awareness, not to sell a message (though if ya ask me about politics, that may become something entirely different…). Listen to the whole f’ing thing. The 80′s excelled because people were still naive enough to enjoy and not be pretentious. Emotional understands this, and it may be a good idea for us all too as well.
It’s been awhile so let me start by saying hello, thanks for tuning in, and I hope ya enjoy the article. Essentially, the Dublin, Ireland synth-punk trio No Spill Blood is releasing their Street MeatEP today, digitally only though (the LP and CD will be available on Sept 4th). Released through Sargent House, if you’re curious about what the hell “synth-punk” even means, the entirety of the EP may be streamed HERE. If ya haven’t heard of No Spill Blood, let me put it this way; they are the cannibalized reincarnation of such groups as Adebisi Shank, Hands Up Who Wants To Die?, Elk and Magic Pockets. And yes, in case ya didn’t know, I love my boys at Adebisi Shank.
Featuring Matt Hedigan (Hands Up Who Wants To Die?, Elk), Ruadhan O’Meara (Magic Pockets) and Lar Kaye (Adebisi Shank), the group began in Dublin in early 2011. With a shared passion for, amongst many others, the post-rock electronica of Trans Am, the classic feel of Devo, and the post-punk grandeur of the Melvins,Street Meat EP certainly holds true to it’s influences. Between the repetitive Kraut-esque rhythms by O’Meara’s buzzsaw vintage synthesizers or Kaye with his robotic guitar work, as practiced and perfected in Adebisi Shank, it is also complemented extensively by the grizzly, lo-fi vocals rumbling throughout every piece.
So what the hell is the theme? As described by Hedigan, “The lyrics are loosely based on a story I wrote in school about a guy who reluctantly starts working in his local mine,” He continues, though, by allowing a little more free-form to the matter, “I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination! It’s fairly apocalyptic.”
So what does No Spill Blood even mean? “It’s an Oingo Boingo tune,” says O’Meara. “They got it from the [ H. G. Wells book] ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’, the same place where Devo got ‘Are We Not Men?’ It seemed fitting…”
In case you were not aware, every quarter over at WKDU Philadelphia, 91.7fm, the entire radio schedule is changed. So if you have still been tuning in to my very old Saturday afternoon slot, you may have noticed that I am not at that time anymore. Despite to say, its absolutely gorgeous outside and Dissociative Identityis back with an even better slot.
Now on every Friday from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, be sure to join Dissociative Identity on WKDUfor a full 10 weeks of new music, live instudios, and entertaining enough banter. It should be interesting. Also, I will be attempting to upload the radio show online so you can still hear it even after my scheduled time. Maybe I’m just getting arrogant but I think it’s pretty cool.
As you may know, while New Angle Nights are devoted to live, acoustic music, the other shows are intended to provide variety and diversity to the scene. Thus, as of two days ago, we have officially decided that “Snow White” will be an electronica/hip-hop show featuring Sean and Johnny Doe (Matt). After recently performing on WKDU Philadelphia, 91.7 fm and the 2nd Annual Sierra MLK Day of Service Charity Show, the two dj’s bring a carribean twist to traditional hip-hop dj’ing and a rythem that actually inspires dancing, unlike many of the dubstep grime that has been coming out recently.
As usual, Happy Hour is from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm and the bar remains open till 2:00 am so do not hesitate to stop by. Also, apparently they have replaced their PacMan machine with a new sort of game so get excited and bring quarters. Anyways, thank you again for all of your continued support and attention and be sure to join us again for our thrid show of the series, “February New Angle Night“. I’m looking forward to setting up the PA system tonight and to seeing all of your slightly-intoxicated faces tonight. Till then.
Math-Rock and Post-Rock, I assumed, could only rely on your usual drums, bass, and distorted guitars. I was dreadfully wrong. This was a point that 65daysofstatic tried to tell me yet, as an air-headed arrogant reviewer would do, I ignored it. the reality truly comes forth with snippets from their upcoming expanded album, “We Were Exploding Anyways“. A preview of the upcoming releases has only just been revealed with an mp3 of the album entitled, “Come to Me” It’s incredible, to say the least: the typical ravid guitar riffs and anxious percussions are present. Yet once more, as a spice like Sriracha would do to your bland rice and beans meal would do, the synths provide a much needed element to the mix.
As many readers can probably tell by now, I’m a big fan of Hella and Russian Circles. Yet what I see from this release is a beautiful combination of the two. It’s in your face and forceful, yet collected and thoughtful all the while. I like to imagine myself driving to a job I despise and listening to this track: an almost rebellious admission to the world we live in.
With all said and done, I can put it simply by saying that I cannot wait for the full release. Furthermore, with Polinski’s “Labyrinths“ coming out soon as well, I can tell that they’ve been busy providing a fuller sound to the band you thought you knew. Take a listen to the track above and tell me if I’m wrong yet what I truly see is evolution in the making: a process that 65daysofstatic has long been missing.
65daysofstatic is one of those far, over looked acts. And yes, I get it, so are a lot of great bands out there. Even so, for the amount of releases, shows, time, tours, and history together, I guess I had imagined them blowing up at some point, as Clinic miraculous did in theUSwith “Do It!” It is probably because of the odd realm65daysofstatic meanders in: it’s not quiteElectronica,it’s not post rock, its not quite ambient, and it’s not quite noodle rock. At times, its like Pinback with Fortress yet the next moment, its Electronica/Ambient feel like Meet Me In St. Louis. Yet for all the intricacies of65daysofstatic, the reality is that this article is not about them. It’s about the mouthpiece, voice, and brain behind the project, Paul Wolinski. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, frankly, it shouldn’t. However, with his release in the works, “Labyrinths”, I’m getting the sense that he may cement a role somewhere in-between the rawness of Crystal Castles and the 8-bit sporadicalness of Gatekeeper (which yes, strangely, sporadicalness is actually a word…). The best way I can think of describing is as if Mario jumped through a pipe, landed in your bathroom, and did all of your Ecstasy before jumping back through your toilet once more. Yeah… it’s kinda crazy yet more importantly, it’s something, like 65daysofstatic, that refuses to fall into just one realm. So far, all we’ve got is a teaser video/mix of small segments of the album, album art, track listing, and a release date (Halloween for those lucky folks across the Atlantic though yeah, November 7th for the rest of us here in the U. S. of f’in A). Still, this 3 min gem gives me a lot of hope. Now if you’re questioning my music taste at this point, let me put it this way: I tend to hate pseudo, video game-esque rip offs. They seem lazy and furthermore, rely too heavily on a generation alienated by Pokemon on Gameboy and cliched, hipster imagery of PacMan. So for Christ’s sake, take this one a little more serious because believe me, I didn’t believe I would really be here writing a condoning album review the likes of this. I guess the real test is when the album comes out as a whole, a moment that I, and probably Polinksi (as he will be going by) cannot wait for. Who said experiments needed to prove hypothesis’s? “Labyrinths” may just be the album to disprove all stereotypes I’ve had of the classic, video game nostalgia. It’s about time.
04. Still Looking
05. Like Fireflies