High Counsel [album stream/download]
While it’s still hot out (don’t know about you guys, but where I am, it is INCREDIBLY hot), it might behoove you fine readers to get hip to this amazing EP by Salt Lake City-bred, currently Berlin-based producer Jordan Badger now, as these 10 tracks are hereby dubbed “Strauss’ official summa jamz.” That’s high honors, kittens. World rhythms — nay — universe rhythms, pleasant major keys, bubbly optimism, lots of marimba (*mwuah!*), and, of course, what would High Counsel be without that vocoder? Not much, I’d wager. It just adds the exact right flavor to what the music is about, sweetening things up tenfold as the voice is cut and pasted into perfectly patch-worked melodies.
While I’m sure this’ll sound just as great come September, the timing really is quite right this very instant. So crack that clicking-finger’s knuckle and dig:
• High Counsel: http://highcounsel.bandcamp.com
“Head is a Stone”
Yo, that’s my boi Bobbi-B with the gold hair there on the roof. Holy shit, he been try’na get a gig for a lifetime (26 years) and he finally mad… wait — shit. No, that’s just Michael Quattlebaum stripped from Mykki Blanco. But it makes sense for this “Head Is A Stone” video. It’s raw in an “IIIIIIIIIIIIIII’ve seen’t this kinda stuff before” way. And though most of her music has been more hype-hop creeps, here she’s, as I had said, getting raw. Actually, it’s one of those moments where you see it as raw, but the lyrics on this track are way more tame than her norm. On top of that, this video portrays more than what the song does, which is neat to me since she is a drag performer, thus we need the whole package to understand the aesthetic. Even though she transitions between self and drag-self. Mmm, I love a rule break. So nutritious. Be on the lookout for her new EP Mykki Blanco & The Mutant Angels on UNO NYC and on my mix coming this FriFri. #plug #plug #plug #lawlz #plug
Stellar OM Source
Image Over Image [EP preview]
Just as Innercity had presented us with a summer dance-ditty on NNA tapes last year, Stellar OM Source does the same 2012-style, but more with that neo-noir electro feel (and five more inches). Kind of like, if you start spinning the Image Over Image 12-inch, there’d better be lazers of some sort adorning your living room: smoke/rave, plumes/guns, fog/holograms, etc. Ain’t this whole culture of dance built around “fuck it, let’s dance”? Well, don’t let Stellar OM Source’s past throw you off; check these tracks now, and pop that needle on Image Over Image September 15.
The Image Over Image EP is due September 15 on Rush Hour.
“The Trouble with Candyhands”
Deerhoof has a new one called Breakup Song. Despite its depressing title (wahhh!), the album was recently described by dummer Greg Saunier as “a slice of Cuban-flavored party-noise-energy music.” “The Trouble with Candyhands,” the first full taste from the album, is streaming below. File it under Cuban-flavored party-noise-energy music.
Breakup Song is out September 4 via Polyvinyl (US), ATP (UK/Europe), Lost and Lonesome (Australia/Oceania), High Note (China/Taiwan/Hong Kong/Singapore/Malaysia), and Joyful Noise (CassetteUnderground).
“Bath Salt” (feat. Flatbush Zombies)
Another song about Bath Salts!? Still, it’s better than #yolo. A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ant, and the Flatbush Zombies have crafted a downright demonic PSA about the drug of choice for many cannibals in this God-fearing country. And here’s the real chiller: A$AP’s verse isn’t even the best! We’re used to the Harlem native stealing the spotlight in practically every track he guests on, but with this helter-skelter beat, the Flatbush Zombies are in their element, cackling through their verses with the same manic intensity of that notorious face-eater from Miami. A$AP still manages to come through with some witty lines (note to any potential Ms. Rockys — don’t bother unless you’re a lesbian), but as with all things in life, Zombies automatically win.
Freddy Ruppert, formerly known as This Song Is A Mess But So Am I and lead songwriter of Former Ghosts (with Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, Zola Jesus’ Nika Roza and Tearist’s Yasmine Kittles), is about to release perhaps his most idiosyncratic project yet. The EP, titled Wait, is being released on cassette via NNA Tapes under his real name, which he’s been using since last year on two EPs (Sickling, Home From The Wars) and a full-length (Dove Hounds).
While the name change marks an ideological break from This Song Is A Mess But So Am I (a project originally intended to serve as catharsis for dealing with the loss of a family member), the instrumental EP also serves as an aesthetic departure from the Radioshack industrial hell of that project. Exploring the reverberated low-end frequencies of bell tones, field recordings, and piano, Ruppert takes on the themes of “expectation without an emotional resolution or climax,” a transitory, non-teleological exercise in dark ambient whose requirement of attentive, in-the-moment listening becomes its own reward. Or maybe there is no “reward” in the traditional sense with this sort of music. Rather than relying on the usual aesthetic tricks to keep the listener interested, “1,” the tense, enigmatic track below, shows how the fluidity of its sound and the textures themselves are enough to incite and maintain interest. Here, Ruppert is more ambient than industrial noise-pop, more Badalamenti than Xiu Xiu, and I’m liking it.
Check out “1” here and a trailer for the EP right below it:
Wait is due August 14 on NNA Tapes.