20-year-old electric wunderkind Balam Acab has always had a penchant for filthy, bass-heavy beats — less dancehall-ready, more haunted-house-in-the-swamp. It’s not surprising, then, that “Ass Pop,” his brief but nonetheless fascinating take on the strip club jam, is more spooky than sexy: you’ve got your standard handclaps and turbo-bass, sure, but the main attractions are the oozing, molasses-thick drum samples, which may be the strangest accompaniment for any song with “ass” in the title. Oh, and there are some barking dogs in there for good measure. Acab knows one of the key rules of trap music: it isn’t a jam without the woofs.
“Heart Finds the Beat”
Don’t be fooled by the name of the band or the fact that the group has serious ties to shoegaze with hints of dark pleasure pop like The Cure, Slowdive, Pale Saints, or any of that stuff that peers, plays, and pounds decidedly downward into the concrete below. Yes, yes, it’s all here: haunted melodies, the brooding groove, the heart-pumping pulse. But Landing does little work on the ground. Landing, paradoxically, spends most of its time not landing. They are constantly lifting off, soaring ever higher, ever farther into the outer reaches. To listen is to feel the cool winds whistling by, the wetness of enveloping clouds, and the unending freedom of the outstretched blue. Wispy vocals, crispy drums, driving bass, and the mix just soaking in an ocean of reverb all make “Heart Finds the Beat” quite the aerial swim.
This track is the first single from the band’s new self-titled LP, which is out this month on Geographic North and may be pre-ordered from the label right this very minute.
Fairfield is kind of a strange city. The small beacon of art and creativity in the middle of rural Iowa is home to a transcendental meditation university, an annual benefit concert sponsored by the David Lynch Foundation, and a whole collective of creative kids who stave off boredom by filtering nearly every musical genre imaginable through their own brand of electronics and dance music. “Low Cash,” the lead single to the Little Ruckus debut album We Love Evil, is like a mission statement for that entire bored, adolescent community of Fairfield. The song gradually piles layers of chant-punk vocals over screaming trance-like synthesizers, and dance beats that sound like Dan Deacon leading a marching band. I suppose if you are going to be stuck in the middle of Iowa, you might as well embrace it and dance your ass off. Weird Life.
Get into it below, and spend all your cash on “Low Cash” (and the rest of the album) over at their website.
• Little Ruckus: http://www.littleruck.us
Water Is D.M.G. Pt.1 (Rare Collectors Tape) [mixtape]
Here’s the gist: Lil B is the perfect embodiment of the internet. “Tell me ‘bout my life and tell me ‘bout my mystery;” brother could be broken down a million different ways, but he brings internet culture directly to “realty.” And, what? This is a collector’s tape? It’s rare? Rare as in steak? Rare as in right there? Rare as in blood and bone? Rare as in nothing really at all? Probably. As I wrote, Lil B’s work could be so convoluted by others. It’s like that tweet you made today, “HAH Twitter HAH.” What the fuck does that mean? Means the internet. And Based God just stares into and right through the soul of-of-of. Thus, Lil B should extend his artistic exploits (BAAAAAAAASED) passed rap/hip-hop and “classical” (???). Based God gotta go full-out country. Who’s in on that? Or, okay, I’ll compromise for just country samples. He can rap over that about D.M.G. What’s D.M.G.? Listen and find out. *clears throat* Until next month. #jkrowling #jkrowling #jkrowling
• Lil B//Based God//Based World//Whodie: http://www.basedworld.com
Parallel motion, guys. PARALLEL MOTION. The synths of Event Cloak (a.k.a. Nick Maturo of Sundrips), which are featured on a new tape from Tranquility, dance, gracefully hovering just above the ground, left and right, back and forth, and fast. Joyously A.D.D. but delicate, precise, and beautifully beautiful. Like Beethoven’s Ninth beautifully beautiful, epic bass billowing and bolstering this piece up into a cannonball of a canon. Breath: stolen. Heart: swollen too big for its tiny cage. Brilliantly visualized by owner of the internet’s best channel, the one and only Moduli TV. A word of advice: Crank this. Full screen. Nose as close to the pixels as humanly possible. Absorb.
• Tranquility Tapes: http://tranquilitytapes.blogspot.com
“Canção para o Luís”
I knew a guy in my college town in Iowa who worked the overnight shift at the convenience store by my house. I used to drink free fountain soda and talk to him about all the weird stuff he collected. Of all the random things, his collection of old commercials was by far the most fascinating. (Apparently, there exists a whole network of people, single-handedly keeping blank VHS sales alive by cataloging, dubbing, and trading old commercials.) I never saw his collection because he was always a little reluctant to even talk to me about it, as if I were some stranger asking to flip through his family’s old photo albums. And in a way, he was right. Those shelves of hand-labeled VHS tapes represented this guy’s entire childhood — decades of old TV filler he had never managed to let go — and I came along fascinated in my nostalgia haze, as nearly forgotten memories of old fast food commercials playing between episodes of daytime TV dramas came flooding back to me.
Somewhere between our two perspectives of the past lies this video for Branches’ “Canção para o Luís.” Watch the video, go scour garage sales for old VHS tapes, and then buy the whole cassette, Ninguém É Como Tu, from Solid Melts.