“Leaf House” [Animal Collective cover]
Covering “Leaf House,” the highly singular first track off Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs, is a terrible idea — unless you’re a rapper named Busdriver (who, by the way, just released an album as Flash Bang Grenada called 10 Haters and is also in a punk band called Physical Forms with ex-Mae Shi member Jeff Byron). The digital single for his cover of “Leaf House,” b/w a new track with Flying Lotus called “Ladyplace,” is out now. Stream the Animal Collective cover above and check out “Ladyplace” here. Both tracks will raise your cultural capital.
• Busdriver: http://busdriverse.com
Entr’acte Records, fine purveyors of minimalist noise and haters of excessive HTML, have just released an extremely limited-edition cassette from Jo Thomas entitled Untitled Lines. Concerning herself with the fringes of noise that we take for granted but don’t necessarily value (the added crackles that warm up granular synthesis, the clicks and pops necessary in human speech, our good old friend tape hiss), Thomas applies her sonic palette in this instance as a meditation on Pablo Bronstein’s Sketches For Regency Living exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. The exhibition explores how architecture influences and intertwines with our own sense of identity, and on July 21, Thomas performed her work throughout the space. The recording features two tracks, “Drift” and “Swan.” It’s a haunting production, with sinister whispers and gravelly textures weaving into flitting rhythms and the merest suggestion of tones. Thomas’ interest in spatial acoustics comes to the fore, and her music is all the more mind-bending for it.
“This Song Is a Drug Deal”
Evil drum circle group Foot Village is about to embark on a tour of the East Coast. “This Song Is a Drug Deal,” a new song by the foursome played live in Brighton, is a taste of what you can expect on the tour. Since their inception in 2007, these veterans (whose credits also include Gang Wizard, Friends Forever, running Deathbomb Arc, and drawing comics) have tried to balance the sheer ecstatic power of their live performances with the difficulty of capturing their super-humanly energetic sound on record. But this clip, as well as a recent 12-inch split on FatCat (which paired them with Malian traditional group Super Khoumeissa), show FV at their most dynamic.
“Then, It’s White”
So you’ve probably heard that Axel Willner (known as The Field to most of us) is finally done with his third full-length album, which is entitled Looping State Of Mind and being released on Kompakt Records. And you’ve also probably heard that it sounds really, really good. What you may not know is that you can download one of the album’s extraordinary tracks, “Then It’s White,” for free off Soundcloud. One of the more mild tracks from the new release, “Then, It’s White” is an intimate piano-laden zone-out. And I swear to god he sings the familiar words “Justin Bieber” several times toward the end of the song (about 5:30 into it). No?
Also, if you pre-order the CD or the double-LP (which you’ll get on October 10) from Bleep, you get the album in digital form instantly! Do it now!
Straight up — SF Broadcasts is complete obscurity to me. Here are two videos of the track “Out Soon” (or so I think) by Nachtbote. BTW, “Nachtbote” and “I’m Feeling Lucky” are not a work-friendly combination. The first video of “Out Soon” works off textured audio/visual.
Past the slow-drip (obligatory) spiral-synth workout lies ear-violence accentuated by shimmering shocks of cackling noise. And the camera flicker over an inevitable digital smear absorbs tentative gaze. So, maybe this orange is a person, or a planet alignment; I don’t know what it all means. Mesmerized, viewers are restricted by the video’s unstoppable voyeurism and pulled back at the end, through venomous disintegration of sound for one last peep of “meaning.” It’s almost Hitchcockian, or is it Trier these days (Ben Pearson, Alex Peterson, Zachary Block, Derek Smith, Steve Babish)?
The narrative I have followed in this is my own. Bottom-line: “Is the internet tangible?” My 95-year-old grandma pointed out, “Even if you compare the song to a cassette’s [sound of magnet to reel], won’t the music in both videos only have the quality of the [digital sound]?” :^X Okay, well, in comparison, the two videos are both equally violent. The live recording expresses this through ripping volume and looped button-/key-mashing. Visually, the strobe light, surrounded by smaller colorful lights, accentuate the biggest mystery: who is Nachtbote? For answers, find out on SF Broadcasts. Tangible evidence of this sound and artist exists as of today (September 9, 2011).
• SF Broadcasts: http://sfbroadcasts.blogspot.com
Later this month, guitar virtuoso James Blackshaw will release yet another breathtakingly beautiful record. Titled Holly, it’s a 12-inch EP with only two tracks, but boy is it lovely. After last year’s epic eight-part masterpiece (All Is Falling) and an intensive tour, the 29-year-old Brit has cooled off a little to record some more mellow, summery stuff.
Like the album art clearly resembles, Side A, the 13-minute title track, has a rather impressionistic feel (like a lot of Blackshaw’s work). His whirling guitar work along with Debussy-esque piano lines paint a dramatic scene without getting too detailed. Side B contains the romantic “Boo, Forever” and is more of a nod to his finger-plucking godfathers from the Takoma Records days (Leo Kottke, John Fahey, Robbie Basho).
This EP will be released on September 30 by Important Records (Blackshaw’s second with Important, taking a break from Michael Gira’s Young God Records). Oh, and check out his fingernails; THAT must be why he is so freaking good.