Pop music has never been this serene since Michael circa Free Willy. E+E (Elijah Paul Crampton) is now here to propose that same feel, but reimagined on RECORTES [2008-2012]. Basically, RECORTES [2008-2012] (translation: Cuts) takes everything you wanted in pop and flips ya, for real. Like, he got birds and bells both signaling off in the middle of songs that sound all at once daring, bold, and fluid. It’s non-stop and can be played as such. Too much musical and/or verbal weird worlds in your years? Satiate that pain and ease into E+E’s RECORTES [2008-2012]. I got a mini-exclusive bit from Elijah about how this release came to be, and the words exactly match the songs’ adventures and poignancy. Read about it in the block quote and stream RECORTES [2008-2012] below:
These works sum up a time in my life spent moving through the United States, a time abounding with pure romanticism and sorrow. Back then, I was engulfed in the flames of such poets as Saint John of the Cross, Paz, and of course my beloved Jimenez. These songs were quite literally love letters written to different boyfriends and to God. Not originally intended for any form of public gaze, they laid with my secrets. They stood ash-dusted as a testament to a violent reclaiming of my past and their posture remains in that light. Their formation came wholly at times, flung out and blasted into being; in other moments they seemed to materialize shadowy and scarcely existing. From their inception these songs have remained in motion, in constant arrival. May you find solace in these crude constellations. May you find yourself dragged down into love’s orbit, removed- however momentary- from the abysm of your freedom, pulled out by a great weight of wings.”
• E+E: http://eande.bandcamp.com
Chocolate Grinder Mix 96
18+ - MIXTA3.5
L.A. duo 18+ are one of the most exciting groups out there. Their music is a bizarre yet seductive mix of hip-hop, electro-pop, trap, and appropriation music, a hyperextended reach into the repressed, insular fetishism of the virtual world, where simulacrum reigns and orgasms occur from a sweaty, distanced position. Their vocals, alternating between members “Boy” and “Sis,” mirror in part the artificiality of its video subjects — vacant, mimetic, questionably sincere — all of it fraught with the terrifying (digital) reality that reproduction in 18+’s domain is programmed, not biological.
Last month, 18+ released their third (and, in my opinion, strongest) release, MIXTAP3. It follows MIXTA2E from late last year, which made our mid-year list with ease several months ago. To continue the celebration that started this morning with Birkut’s review of their latest, I made an 18+ mix called MIXTA3.5, which culls my favorite tracks from both MIXTA2E and MIXTAP3, as well as a host of tracks so fucking good it’s hard to believe they haven’t been released outside of YouTube.
Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.
[00:00] 18+ - Untitled [unreleased]
[00:43] 18+ - “Forgiven” [YouTube]
[04:05] 18+ - “Chime” (MIXTAP3)
[06:24] 18+ - “Flap” (MIXTAP3)
[08:42] 18+ - “Execution” (MIXTA2E)
[10:36] 18+ - “Snarl” (MIXTA2E)
[12:54] 18+ - “Big Brutal” (MIXTA2E)
[16:47] 18+ - “Shame” [YouTube]
[18:25] 18+ - “Ode Crébillon” [YouTube]
[21:18] 18+ - “Want 2” [YouTube]
[26:40] 18+ - “TBO Intro” (MIXTA2E)
[28:37] 18+ - “feelsome” (MIXTA2E)
[31:22] 18+ - “almostleaving” (MIXTAP3)
“Tugboat” (Galaxie 500 cover)
I felt compelled to write about this Joanna Gruesome cover of the Galaxie 500 can’t-give-a-fuck pop masterpiece “Tugboat,” which is arguably one of my favorite songs ever. It’s probably similar to that time I skipped work to see Damon & Naomi at the Bunk Bar in Portland, simply because they were once in Galaxie 500. I guess I’m one of those guys, and I’m sure they are sick of fans like me. Regardless, this Joanna Gruesome cover is about as faithful to the original as a cover can be, complete with the wandering bass line, guitars ringing out like bells, and the hard-to-find-motivation vocal delivery. I’m never going to get over the lyrics in this song.
Lily & Madeleine
I was an hour late to work today because I was busy having a series of insane dreams about Minneapolis and Seattle (neither of which I’ve been to):
In the former city (in which one of every two people wants to be in a rock band), a famous, nameless indie rocker narrates a biographical scene from his days as a longshoreman. He rides his bike the full 200-mile span of concrete along the shore at night, across an empty concrete way awaiting morning shipments. At the end of the paved expanse, he reaches a dark forest. Then he tells of his world travels, of seeing Chinese plants and of swimming with a crocodile. His tale ends.
I suddenly find myself in the latter city, in the office of a music newspaper called News, established in the late nineteenth century. An employee leads me to a large window. Outside, it’s raining softly. A large hill over a marsh begins to blossom in waves of orange, white, red, and yellow. The flowers bloom fast, stochastically, along lines like a hockey crowd atop the Milwaukee Art Museum. I know, even as I dream, that I’m sleeping through my alarm. The beauty of nature overwhelms me, pardoning my inefficiency. My dad appears at the office — the office I want to work at. He’s been newly hired; his head is shaved, he’s jacked, and he’s wearing a gold chain.
I wake up to bail out, and when I look around my room I feel strongly that it’s okay if I leave New York. It’s best that I leave what I’ve got in order to live in a way that genuinely gratifies me. In a way that won’t tint my end-of-life recollections with a pervasive sense of tragedy and waste. Are you in this boat with me? Will you also listen to “Paradise” over and over as you sob in bed for an hour from 3 to 4AM, hearing in your gut, as much as your ears or head or heart, the lines: “I’ve worn out my welcome/ spent all my time./ I’m ready to live/ not ready to die./ How can it be/ that nothing’s yours/ and nothing’s mine?”
Various Artists: Dezordr Records
If Dezordr Records released installments of their Session series as often as I mention them in my Chocolate Grinder posts, this would be their third in nine months. (I previously bigged them up in my posts on regular Session contributors Stekri and Le Parasite.) Alas, the last came out almost a year ago. There was a time, though, at some point during the MySpace era, when les messieurs were popping out compilations like hot crêpes. At least, that’s how I remember it.
I also remember that they had American rappers’ incestuous flirtation with cousin dubstep beat by half a decade or so, but who’s counting?
• Dezordr Records: http://www.dezordr.com
“DEEPA (Vocal Mix)”
The mercurial, Mew-like riddim conjuror Dubbel Dutch made a graceful descent from the great club in the sky earlier this morning to drop another effervescent batch of cosmic tone poems via Brooklyn-based dancehall 2.0 imprint Mixpak, the centerpiece of which would appear to be the strident, Jersey club-/jungle-inflected gem “DEEPA (Vocal Mix)” — take a listen, whydontcha?
The new EP entitled Cloud Club seems to pick up where last year’s excellent Self Help Riddims left off, delving even further into the transgeneric milieu that is contemporary club culture, while maintaining the high emotional payload we’ve come to expect from DD. The bubbling, mechanical calibrations of the oh-so-trending grime subgenre fit snugly alongside jungly jerks and pelvis-possessing bass patterns, while the tone of the whole thing points definitively skyward. Just wait for the vocal sample to start helixing into harmony with itself at the one-minute mark — I have a feeling this one’s gonna be banging ‘pon the dancefloor long into 2014.