“Lay It Down”
If you’ve been wondering what Gang Wizard have been up to, then you’re super cool. And I also have a treat for you: after a three-year hiatus, Gang Wizard have just self-released a six-song, hand-cut lathe 10-inch called Spirit vs. Soul! The group, which now features its original, late-90s lineup, has released music on labels like LOAD, Ecstatic Peace!, Arbor, and Deathbomb Arc, and the latter has kindly provided space on its website for you to purchase the release. Better act quick, though, as Spirit vs. Soul — their first “overtly Christian album”? — is limited to 20 copies, and I’m thinking about buying 19 of them and selling them for $5 extra each. I mean, why not?
Check out intro track “Lay It Down” here:
“Goldie,” the first single off A$AP Rocky’s upcoming major label debut, LongLiveA$AP, sees the rapper bridging his homegrown, hometown rap with the richer production and nuanced posturing of the big leagues. The video embodies this transitive stage as well, as A$AP chills in his Harlem neighborhood with his posse — and then heads out to Paris and drives around town in a drop-top, flashing his Louboutin slippers. Speaking of New York rappers in Paris, there are also plenty of dramatic closeups that seem straight out of Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One” clip: gold teeth, gleaming chains, glinting bongs. There’s also boobs: consider this one NSFW.
LongLiveA$AP drops July 4.
• A$AP Rocky: http://www.liveloveasap.com
Ascetic Ideals [album stream]
On June 5 (May 28 in the UK), Miles Whittaker, the cute member of Demdike Stare — just kidding; they’re both hot! — is releasing Ascetic Ideals, his second solo release as Suum Cuique. The album, limited to 700 vinyl copies, was created in between the sessions for Demdike Stare’s Elemental (TMT Review) and will be released via Modern Love (not Young Americans, as previously reported).
In an effort to both dedicate your life to a pursuit of contemplative ideals and practice extreme self-denial or self-mortification, feel free to not listen to the album. Or you can listen to the album right now, as Modern Love has made the entire album available for stream. To each his/her own.
“Honeycomb” / “Gotham”
Animal Collective. New 7-inch called “Honeycomb/Gotham.” Digital available starting tomorrow. Physical available for pre-order now. Both via Domino. Let’s do this.
Motion Sickness Of Time Travel
“Color Changing Eyes”
Rachel Evans, a.k.a. Motion Sickness of Time Travel and co-owner of Hooker Vision, just finished her last semester of grad school, but that certainly hasn’t slowed down her release schedule (no surprise, given that she has over 20 releases under her name since 2008). In February, she released Patience Folding Waters (as Quiet Evenings, her duo with husband Grant Evans), and she has three releases as MSOTT in the coming weeks: The Blue Color Pales on Sacred Phrases, a self-titled 2LP on Editions Mego’s Spectrum Spools imprint (note to you: it’s fucking great), and a cassette/digital release titled Traces.
The last one is particularly special, as it marks the inaugural release of A Guide To Saints, a label started by Lawrence English of Room40. It’s also the first release in what A Guide To Saints describes as “Cassette Diaries,” in which artists are asked to record music in a limited period of time, with each release assembled and screenprinted by hand. In the case of Traces, Evans recorded both sides live and in one take, and if the clip for “Color Changing Eyes” (an excerpt from Side B) is any indication, the release will be as rich, expansive, and time-suspending as her other releases. But with such an immersive tapestry of synth, electronics, and vocals, the music also expands beyond any temporal limitations and begins to resemble the qualities of space. For more space- and time-fucking, check out the video:
Get Traces from A Guide To Saints. FYI: the cassette is limited to 100, so act quickly.
Spring I’m In [album stream]
This isn’t exactly your standard tribal-infused, synth-soaring ordeal. First of all, it’s better than that. I believe that people too often forget that sheer high-quality can be a way to stake out originality. As in, just sounding good — polished, self-assured, harmonious — can set an album apart from the overcrowded brood out of which it levitates, aglow. Such is the principle that marks Alligator Indian’s most immediate draw. Spring I’m In demands no test of patience to listen to from front to end, unlike some of even today’s best band’s efforts. If you’re reading this website, you’ve most likely discovered for yourself that there exists a sweet-spot between music that plucks your frontal lobe and music that taps into pure aural pleasure — or, in other words, music that combines musicianship with ideas. Aligator Indian happily mines that middle ground, and, doing justice to their label’s cause, they strike at least a little aesthetic gold.
Spring I’m In is out now on Bleeding Gold. Stream/Buy the whole album here.