“Cold Pin I”
Eli Keszler has a new record called Cold Pin out on German label PAN. Essentially, this is a recording of the New York sound artist’s generative music installation of extended strings of various lengths and motorized beaters built directly onto the wall of the historic Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, with the addition of some choice musicians like guitarist/composer Geoff Mullen and free jazz dude Greg Kelley (trumpet), among others. Here’s a video of the piece in as it was. Looks like a real classy item — 180 gram vinyl and more geometric artwork by Bill Kouligas and Kathryn Politis. Also, be sure to visit Eli’s own label Rel Records.
Well. If I have to tease out some delicate meaning from Oxykitten’s video for “Cow Bear” (and trust me, dear reader, I do — that’s my job), I guess I’d start by pointing out how any sort of sorrow seems it may be mitigated by the grace of omnipotent and benevolent Cat God. Attack of stiff-limbed alien with unsettling chest-mounted proboscis? CAT GOD. Abduction of gentle and genial young daughter by radioactive emerald pyramid? Dry your tears, here’s Cat God. Apocalyptic atomic tidal wave devour the shore of retro-NYC? Just don Cat God mask, all is well. WINK.
Oxykitten is defying more of your culturally normative notions on Field Hymns with The Streets Were Paved With Circuit Boards.
French composer/producer/SEM-label-founder Alexandre Navarro has offered the world another free track via his handy-dandy-free-track-offering-site, Virgo. It’s called “66,” and it follows the digitized-guitar-laden path paved by Navarro’s full-length Loka from earlier this year. Choked-up reverberated guitars bounce around each other until a gentle charging beat develops into a brief episode of spacey French minimalism. It soon fades out with whirling synths to boot.
There’s a plethora of possibilities why time travel still exists in mind/thought rather than physically. Maybe humans would create a time machine so far from Earth they aren’t able to dimensionally reach 2011. HAH — maybe it just doesn’t exist [period]. Time travel is just a sad subject. What if future societies revere 2011? Flip that: what society do you think would be easiest to assimilate with culturally, linguistically, and fiscally? Would you tell them you’re from this era or shame 2011 by being quiet and never traveling back? Glad there are reggae bards like E.K.O.I. still keeping world-folk alive today, giving praise to human purpose and cause. “Darfur,” man. Speaking of “sad subject.”
• E.K.O.I.: http://ekoi.bandzoogle.com/fr_home.cfm
Gravels (I et II)
Valentin Stip, I think, is part of a potentially game-changing movement. Coalescing in the world’s cosmopolitan burgs, certain young musicians are performing exhilarating experiments in cross-breeding: while offering reverence for the dark nights of today’s bleak, afflicting dance culture, they also show profound familiarity with the mystique of music from times passed (tango woven into sunken Argentine alleys, dented horns convulsing bebop on street corners of NYC, the fuzzy radio of an Alfa Romeo in Rome, 1962…). What results are musicians like Stip, who demonstrates an education as versed in pure musical chops as in style — not just distressed-leather-boots-&-buffalo-check-flannel-&-tortoise-shell-shades-style, but veritable aesthetic taste. Varied orchestration. Seamless marriage of acoustic and digital pallets. Of special note is the use of pausing and rest. These are no silly lulls employed solely to introduce The Drop. A good deal of overeager electronic musicians should look here to learn a lot (read: everything) about beats and juicy, nuanced bass. Stip & co. operate at an entirely higher level of literacy than Skrillex & herd.
There are similarities to be drawn to such historical albums as Portishead’s Dummy. But even more telling, I think, is that this year’s closest kin to Stip’s tracks is Telebossa’s superb Telebossa. It will be of little surprise that Valentin is signed to Clown and Sunset, the label run by Nicolas Jaar, who recently released Valentin’s debut Anytime Will Do EP. As with Jaar’s own versatile tracks, you can dance to Valentin’s music, or you can just plain listen to it, or, in a dark enough room, I believe you can find delectation in watching it flutter and stomp.
“Disco Christmas (remastered)”
Look at my arm all pinned up behind my back here. That’s because the holiday season is official, and one-handed typing is now the new physical internet fad. Err — was there an old physical internet fad? But really, I’m using two hands. And ‘tis the season for you to scope faux Christmas tunes. Forget any Super Furry Animals side project. Check out Christmas with the Beast over at Austin’s Teflon Beast Records. The label is new and this release is certainly a taste (IMO) of the tongue-and-cheek variety. Chris Daily’s “Disco Christmas (remastered)” sporting the most disco silk/1990s soft rock/lingering mollusk this side of… sided of, um. The rest of the compilation is totally jagged too. But so are derr holidays, yeah? #LOLOLOLO
• Teflon Beast Records: http://teflonbeastrecords.blogspot.com