Stephen O’Malley has populated the catalog of his Editions Mego imprint Ideologic Organ with extreme music on both ends of the spectrum. Unrelenting black metal, noise, and/or drone opuses (see: WOLD, Sunn O))) rehearsal recordings, Okkyung Lee) coexist alongside rituals of minimal ambience (see: Jessika Kenney & Eyvind Kang, the almighty Phurpa). Lone, the forthcoming LP from Japanese singer-songwriter Ai Aso, casts its quiet beauty into the latter category.
Ai Aso’s music, played live with utter simplicity on guitar and synth, inches toward a state of sublime non-performance. Her hypnotizing vocal melodies crystallize every close mic-ed syllable into a drop of emotional expression. Her stripped-down incarnation of “acid-folk” inverts the earnest performance style of Kazuki Tomokawa and Keiji Haino to its polar opposite: no spit flies, no strings break, no ear plugs are required. Songs emerge as benevolent whispers under the dimmed lights of a café. Many of Lone’s compositions have appeared in previous incarnations on Aso’s severely limited physical releases (like あいだ [Aida], her 2009 album on PSF). Their words and sentiments reach us through this live performance recorded in 2012 as sincere remembrances of her past, at once weighed down and liberated by the passage of time.
On “Date,” streaming below, Aso trades her guitar accompaniment for a narcotic two-chord keyboard progression. In the right mindset, the juxtaposition of her vocals against the shrill oscillations and percussive attacks of her synth notes will lull you into a trance. Concentrate, and let go.
Lone arrives on March 31. You can order it now.
• Ideologic Organ: http://editionsmego.com/releases/ideologic-organ
Willie The Kid & Bronze Nazareth
The Living Daylights
Willie The Kid and Bronze Nazareth both originate from Grand Rapids, MI, and both represent the worldwide Wu-born swarm that is the Killa Beez, but their flight paths to this point are very divergent. While Willie The Kid’s older brother, La The Darkman, was among the first official Wu affiliates outside of New York State, after the release of his classic debut, Heist of the Century, he rose to greater heights not through his ongoing wufilliation, but by becoming DJ Drama’s go-to guest rapper, contributing verses to mixtapes by everyone from Lil Wayne to Gucci Mane. Along the way, La brought his younger brother Willie The Kid into the fold. Therefore, though originally inspired to rhyme by the verbal darts of La and the Wu, Willie came up in the mixtape circuit. Until recently, his craft was a reflection of that, which is not to say he wasn’t nice — he just wasn’t given the platform or the beats to do his dirtiest on until he got with the likes of Alchemist, with whom he released the Masterpiece Theatre EP last year.
Before Bronze Nazareth gained the attention, respect and endorsement of the Wu, he too got started rapping alongside his brother; in this case, the brother was Kevlaar 7, with whom he formed the group The Unknown. Their only album, 2000’s Death’s Birth: The Grip of Behemoths, showcased the two brothers (then known as Half Entity and 50/50, respectively) spitting spoken word-style think pieces over Half Entity’s cinematic, if off-kilter, production, which had not yet fully embraced “the Wu sound.” That evolution would occur after Half Entity met Moroccan wuffiliate Cilvaringz, who has the honor of being the first international Killa Bee. It was Cilvaringz who would crown Half Entity Bronze Nazareth and who would introduce Bronze to 4th Disciple, Killarmy, Sunz of Man, and eventually, RZA himself. From there, Bronze contributed beats to dozens of Wu projects and released several acclaimed solo mixtapes and albums, including Thought for Food Vol. 1-2 and 2006’s The Great Migration. That album’s follow-up, 2011’s School For The Blindmen, was marred by poor mastering and failed to live up to its legacy, but Bronze rebounded two years later with The Blenders EP on Man Bites Dog Records, and it was on this EP, on the song “Malcolm X Manuscripts,” that we first heard Willie The Kid over a Bronze Nazareth beat.
The chemistry between the two was immediately evident, so a full-length collaboration was almost inevitable. Well, it’s here now, with Bronze smartly keeping himself behind the boards this time. There is no denying the emotional depths that Bronze has dug from “Sinuhe’s Impasse” to “The Pain” to “Coming From” (which features his only verse on The Living Daylights), but this strength is not necessarily as easily sold as Willie The Kid’s scholarly gusto. Bronze’s always-infectious production, though, provides the perfect soulful complement to The Kid’s royal gospel. Find out for yourself by streaming The Living Daylights below or purchasing it via iTunes.
• Willie The Kid: http://www.datpiff.com/mixtapes-search.php?criteria=keyword:+willie+the+kid
• Bronze Nazareth: http://bronzenazareth.com
Vauled ceilings and guys eyes like man eggs. Gettin’ hardly any sunlight, vegetables are barely squeaking out green from the ground, but are mistaken as weeds, so they get whacked. The maintenance guy sees a peak from the blinds, and lobs a snowball at the window. Rob out on the patio since 7 AM smoking off half a pack; drinking equal parts beer and Gatorade. “Sandra Court” was being yelled about the warrior woman last night as she took it to the rim hard: 21! Passin’ round that roach behind trees two stories high. Bug out on the wire fries in the warm neon. Wash room buzzes a bunch, but mostly massaging the wall. “God bless!”
Dan was there too. “Dan?” Yo, Dan Svizeny. Yung Dan Svizeny, you know? Shit, he cataloged the entire spring. Heard it’s echoing back the end of February. February 28 to be exact. On a putty-colored hand-stamped tape. You can pre-order it here through Mirror Universe Tapes. The memories will come flooding in. Be there again! Listen to baller jam “Sandra Court” below:
Sometimes the tags are enough. Like a resumé for musicians. #Golden Donna #Not Not Fun #Madison #modular synth #tape manipulation. And, here I spend all this time filling in the sentences between the tags and hyperlinks, as if you need more convincing. Fine, I won’t bore you with the literature. I’ll make this quick. Signal Dreams, the new Madison-based label from Golden Donna boyo Joel Shanahan, specializes in weirdo synth and tape experiments via limited edition CDr releases. Anverloss, their most recent release, from Andrew Fitzpatrick’s Noxroy project, combines twelve tracks of minimal synthesized textures. The result is something that fills in the space between the lines of those hash tags. But then again, I suppose that is kind of the point: providing a unique meaning to the signifiers we shortlist to describe it, and creating something more complete than the sum of its #parts.
Anverloss is available now over at the Signal Dreams Bandcamp page.
“Aye, man. What that is you wearin’? That ain’t beach wear,” says a street vendor pointing up and down at an “Ugly American.” The “Ugly American” barks back. Vendor stands and stares as the “Ugly American” walks slowly into the raging ocean. Waves pummel the “Ugly American” into the shore. Sand is everywhere.
Gang Wizard has been puking out the jams for about 19 years now. They’ve a slew of releases put out by only the best labels, including Load and Ecstatic Peace, while having constantly evolved musically and physically throughout the years. Now, they’re proud to present their magic to Earth by way of Important Picnic, their fifth “proper” full-length LP. And it’s such an Important Picnic, they’ve gone to MIE MUSIC and demanded (maybe) their music be ingested at any time, any day, on any blanket, using any basket.
“HELL YES!” these tracks chew on ears. Take “Ugly American” for example. I’ve had it on repeat since 9 AM, it’s 11:31 AM now, and I’ve been having a hectic morning. So, “Ugly American” has been quite the soundtrack to frantic edits and e-mails I’ve been receiving at my day job. People are fucking crazy. Gang Wizard is probably crazier, but much more in the musical maniac sense, rather than general insanity of typical people. I digress.
None-the-less, Important Picnic by Gang Wizard crawls out the MIE MUSIC womb March 3 (my pop’s birthday) on LP and/or digital, and you can pre-order here. Throw a party. In the mean time, listen to “Ugly American” below:
In a recent cover-piece, Archy Marshall (a.k.a. djjd sports, a.k.a. King Krule) mentioned that one of the best parts of his current living situation is being able to make beats in the bath. Though Marshall released a similar 10-minute-plus, low-key instrumental viber entitled “batch 1” three months ago, his latest “bath 1” feels more than a clever removal of the c. I digress: a few days ago, the beloved King Krule recently dropped a 12-and-a-half minute mix of experimental instrumental hip-hop: “bath 1”. The mix(tape) amplifies Marshall’s brilliant musical aptitude, expanding his jazzy-rock swoons to transcendentally smokey hip-hop. “bath 1” smells really dank; I fuck with his lifestyle, so to speak.
• djjd sports: https://soundcloud.com/djjdsports