“Thor’s Stone” (Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry remix)
If English dub is a triple diaspora, the legendary Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s remix of Forest Sword’s “Thor’s Stone” sketches a half-arc of the return voyage. In the image of Perry as royalty, there subsists not only the imperialism that oppressed Jamaican culture as well as influencing it so deeply, but the echoes of conflict under Cromwell (the ‘Lord Protector’ whose ‘Western design’ on the Caribbean bequeathed his title to so many calypso artists) — conflict in the colonies and also in the red-in-tooth-and-claw, realpolitik-meets-religion struggles of the Civil War, played out across the muddy fields and majestic halls of dear old Blighty.
Perry’s foregrounded beats emphasize the menace and orgiastic ritual rhythms only hinted at in the original. The darkness of his intonations (purified here of his signature scatological and sexual boasts), chanted over an aural invocation of Albion, evokes Linton Kwesi Johnson’s cityscapes transposed back to the pastoral, inna reverse urbanization style. In calling down magic, energy, and above all fire, Perry’s creolized Thor creates a Lionhearted postcolonial syncretism. Gonna chase those crazy roundheads outta town…
Listen below, and feel it for yourself:
Chaz & Alex
And as 2013 comes to a satisfying end, Chaz & Alex begs listeners to continue their venturing ears on a journey that could potentially be never ending. “More” got that footwork baby soul, digital punk-tude, and distant haze synth that just beckons all to the shores of 2014. Shouting “Land ho!” in the warmest of sands, feet buried beneath the tide-line, waving you into the friendliest and most accepting of all parties is Chaz & Alex. Anything goes because why the heck not! Astronauts playing world soccer. Babies grippin’ that golden mic begging for seconds, thirds… ENLIGHTENMENT. Blooming white pedals in bursts of love and smiles. Tigers wearing diamond studded collars licking palms and gettin’ sweet. Starry Nitez glitter-style dancefloor, ceiling, walls, drinks, hairdos, irises, EVERYTHING.
There is no FUCKING way Chaz & Alex are stopping anytime soon. Pop progression better be settin’ sights on these boiis, ‘cause they ain’t never finished. Holy shit this baby soul auto tune stutter is just burin’ Monday right now. If you thought this was fun, or this intro was deep, just WAIT for what Chaz & Alex got in store for the future. OH THE FUTURE!!! Get “More” of their future below, and keep an eye on their SoundCloud constantly.
• Chaz & Alex: https://soundcloud.com/chaz-alex
Resort collections, Models Cards - Vogue Italia December 2013
Anonymous L.A. producers 18+ have taken their second plunge into the the world of commercial marketing. Vogue Italia launched its Resort collections, Models Cards video for December 2013 on Thanksgiving, and it’s set to the beat of “Crow,” the first track from the brilliant MIXTAP3 (TMT Review) to feature on a fashion spot. Photographed by Steven Meisel, the video features slow-motion models smoking cigarettes and looking ultra-serious as “Boy” and “Sis” sing about pretending to be happy.
The video comes two years after the 18+ track “Drawl” was used for the Prada Womenswear Fall/Winter 2011 clip, which removed the original vocals and replaced them with a distant, sensual whisper. This time around, it’s all about 18+, with no room for creative negotiation.
Download MIXTAP3 here.
Out of all the experimental musicians I love, I find that Bhob Rainey is among the most consistently interesting ones working today. Even though Rainey’s compositions often employ a wide variety of different tools and span an array of experimental sub-genres, all of his work is united in it’s subtle use of space, dynamics, and texture. “Levitate” is Rainey’s soundtrack to a film by Leah Ross, and the piece finds the composer working in a surprisingly ambient vein while still maintaining many of his oeuvre’s signifiers. “Levitate” doesn’t have any of Rainey’s signature sax playing on, it but his use of various field recordings and toys often sound eerily similar to some of his nmperign work. Throughout, Rainey’s electroacoustic sounds blend with Chris Forsyth’s lovely guitar harmonics and some truly guttural low frequencies to create a lovely piece that’s reminiscent of the work of Olivia Block and Oren Ambarchi. However, “Levitate” remains distinctly Rainey’s own, and his decision to highlight found-sounds similar to his own playing style serves to show both the influence of the outside world on his approach to saxophone and how his compositional voice shines through, no matter what tools he chooses to work with.
You can listen to and/or download “Levitate” from Bhob Rainey’s soundcloud below:
• Bhob Rainey http://www.bhobrainey.net/music
Not one to mince his words, Keith Moliné has minced his previously unminced words into sound mince. Hatchet job is a pantheon to critical assassination under Moliné ‘s pen, tossing ten years of negative writing (burnished by the sonorous tones of simple text) into a Large Hadron Collider of hate. By contrast, I Only Asked smothers recordings of questions asked of his own musical practices in sound, reducing his interviewers to a mere bunch of rusty gasping robots.
What to make of Moliné’s mince? Is it rejection of the critical process as nothing but an inane exercise? Is it an attempt to build creativity out of the ashes of an essentially negative process? You decide...
“ESP-Disk’ 50th Anniversary Party” [live]
Free-jazz/noise/avant-rock warlords Tiger Hatchery recently finished up a midwest -> east coast tour that had true heads raving across the nation. The band stopped in Brooklyn to pound out a typically mammoth set in honor of the release of their album Sun Worship and the 50th Anniversary of their label ESP-Disk’ — and by the grace of some heathen god, they’ve posted a video of the full set, complete with legit audio quality and a camera angle from which one can view the trio in action at all times. Without spoiling too much, I can tell you that the set: [A - showcases three savage improvisers wailing together, in duo configurations, and solo] [B - features inspired use of props] [C - will knock you on your ass]. After Part 1 ends, Parts 2 and 3 beckon you from the related videos on the right side of the screen.
Since November 1 marks the beginning of the Holiday Season on the time-bending and malevolent calendar of international commerce, I’ve chosen to interpret this Tiger Hatchery set as a personal gift from Mssrs. Billington, Forbes, and Young to us, wrapped in snapped bass strings and drumstick shrapnel, conveyed across the webtubes, and smashed into our slack-jawed faces. We should all chip in and buy them a personalized mug that reads “World’s Greatest Shredders,” which the trio can then mail back and forth between their respective homes on opposite sides of the country. Each sip taken from this mug will compel the Hatch men to shed the responsibilities of their families and day jobs, reunite again, and get back on the road to tour forevermore. This is a brilliant plan and it will succeed.
Sun Worship is available now on LP and CD and if you haven’t ordered your copy yet, I just don’t know what to say to you anymore.