Elephant Shoes Volume 004
Toronto hip-hop producer is back with the fourth installment of his Elephant Shoes series of instrumental mixtapes. Volume 004 contains more of the soul-indebted, mid-tempo production dviousmindz’s become known for, with an emphasis on crisp drum beats and modest piano samples. There are strong undercurrents of jazz and lounge throughout, but none of the synth-laden drama that usually distracts from such an approach. Toronto seems to be coming into its own as the new capitol for hip-hop-production, and even though dviousmindz may not be as well-known as his more bombastic peers — 40, Boi-1da, T-minus — he deserves a seat at the pantheon. These beats are understated, but they’re sewn together with an enviable effortlessness.
• dviousmindz: http://dviousmindz.bandcamp.com
i S P I R I Tメディア「2 X 1 3 」
While last year’s “TOKYO_DAYS” and “真夜中のJAZZ滑らかな心” hinted at more exploratory realms for “vaporwave” — perhaps what one might call a “progression” of sorts — coolmemoryz’ debut album, i S P I R I Tメディア「2 X 1 3 」, makes it harder to tell where you’re being taken, if anywhere at all. Rather than overtly thrusting the listener into some sort of transcendental mindfuck full of sonic detours and unprecedented noise blasts, i S P I R I Tメディア「2 X 1 3 」 confounds with 20 extremely short sample-based tracks with abrupt cutoffs/fades and awkward transitions, mirroring in part the disconnection and excess of modern-day living/simulating. At times, the effects employed are subtle, almost sublime (“s ス p プ i ラ r イ i ト t”); at others, they are downright violent (“H。D。ラヴァー”).
But while coolmemoryz (who played #spf420fest 2.0 last night [wow]) may be manufacturing pseudo-anachronistic sounds that are uncomfortable in a twitchy, unpredictable fashion, the end result sounds eerily compressed, parenthetical, and in control. Download the album and/or stream below.
And you notice at the moment your mother’s Trippin’N’Rhythm-produced CD begins skipping in the car that she’s the coolest internet bitch off the grid. She is singing along with the same repetitive lyric, “One you love, one you love, one you love,” and occasionally starts the next verse, but mumbles back to “you love.” Her car phone rings and you’re all, holy shit, mom, do they still have companies servicing car phone communic–… “Yes, I told them next week,” she yawns into the phone and hangs up. Now the music has become a permanent auto moan, swirling the car’s interior, while NO SURPRISE: your life is totally on a thread as your mom drives in two lanes at 85 on the BQE. When Steven Halpern begins skittling out her stock Bose car speakers, you ask to be dropped off immediately and anywhere so you can call jDean, crying about the meaning of “inevitability.”
• Infinity Frequencies: http://computer-gaze.bandcamp.com
“The Notion” / “Spirits Touch”
Brian Jacobs: once half the songwriting duo behind Call Florence Pow (teenage prog-pop perfection) and Apes & Androids (the much-missed best live spectacle in New York), now the solitary mastermind of Majestyy. Less the analog synth collection and mixing expertise of former band buddy Chrome Canyon, every bit of these first two songs were homespun by Jacobs. The brooding “Spirits Touch” sounds like a vocal-adorned take on the best of Chrome Canyon’s recent Elemental Themes, while “The Notion” finds Jacobs relishing in his most unabashedly pop-sweet song to date. Fans of French touch, synth-pop, and 80s electro won’t find much unfamiliar here — and they won’t be complaining, either.
• Majestyy: http://majestyy.com
“IT KNOWS IT’S GONNA DIE”
The death of disco is on the horizon, and 2013 may just hustle stab it into bleed-out submission. Consider DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE (Alex “Muh-Fuckin” Gray) as one of these beat horsemen, layering concrete samples and swelling you can only hear via VIA and VIA. Not to call out the demise of beloved 1-2-3-step-point-1-2—-, but “IT KNOWS IT’S GONNA DIE” is just the beginning. Prepare for the vinyl reissue of HEAD TEAR OF THE DRUNKEN SUN on Healing Power Records sometime soon. Also, I heard he’s coming into the NYC area soon. Maybe he’ll be lending his musical fingers in something special. Again and again, in the mean time, pop your ears with “IT KNOWS IT’S GONNA DIE” until your head can’t nod no more!
• DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE: http://djpurpleimage.tumblr.com
“Murder” [feat. Kendrick Lamar & Scarface]
“Murder” may not have made the final tracklisting on Game’s new album Jesus Piece, but it should have. It’s a distinctly West Coast contemplation on death, murder, and the type of musings you have about death and murder when you’re sitting on the couch and smoking as much weed as Bob Marley did the day he died. Elvis, Whitney, Michael — their names are all invoked in a kind of G-funk clairvoyance, muddled in the haze of muzak-y piano and lush 70s flute samples. Game recruits Kendrick Lamar for the chorus, while Geto Boy Scarface promises to leave his enemies bleeding “on the Stairway to Heaven.” Music and murder, intertwined.