Astro Nautico has released a new EP from fresh Baltimore-based producer howse, entitled Trakz. The music on Trakz contains a truly unique blend of rough samples and glowing synth textures, iced with a thick layer of juked-out hi-hat beats. It’s like that crazy footwork music for uncoordinated pothead white kids. No, not really; it’s tight. From the first few gratifying beats of “Porch,” to the unexpected drum storm in “Jinglst,” to the heartaching “Resin,” the EP is a trek from what is dance music to what it could be. We are streaming the EP from Soundcloud, but you can also listen to the whole thing on Astro Nautico’s Bandcamp, which includes a fantastic remix of each track.
Trakz is howse’s third release. His other two are called Undizputed (which contains a mind-boggling whacked out version of TLC’s “No Scrubs”) and JSTCHLLN; you can “name your price” for a copy of each of these on his Bandcamp.
Kevin Greenspon is a thoughtful, precise, and conceptual composer. You will rarely see an experimental/ambient musician play tracks live exactly as they sound on record, but that is what you might get at a Kevin Greenspon show. He has recently released a short tape containing the standalone piece Waypoint on his own Bridgetown label (which has been pumping out tapes, CD-Rs, and DVDs at breakneck speed this year), and though you might have to see him in person to fully realize it, the piece isn’t blissed-out or mindless in any way. It is a focused beam of emotion made with guitar and effects.
“Better When You Flow”
So, I’ve mentioned something like this before, but to reiterate: Matthewdavid is a magician to me. Aside from his musical talent and unmatched production skills, he knows how to pick winners on his own Leaving Records. New Julia Holter (repress coming soon) jam in the spotlight? Check. Working on Ras G and LIVEPHREAXXX!!!! cassette volumes, what? Double Check. Matthewdavid bumping up Serengeti? TKO! “Better When You Flow” got me mad prop-points on turntable.fm and hawt looks on the LIE. But listen to them production cuts, that throb-throb baaaaaass, and sick snare scratch vocals. What do you think hits home in hip/hop these days? “It obvious u dont hav 2 ask.” Once again, Leaving Records’ beats brake more cassette players across the globe thanks to Davis. Reel it around and.
• Leaving Records: http://leavingrecords.com
“Solar Analog / Solar Twin”
Akron, Ohio duo Cane Swords deal in fractured synthesizer textures, the kinds that build on the darker hues of early electronic pioneers Morton Subotnick and Raymond Scott. Rather than watery new age sounds, we get desolate, almost metallic scraping and pinching electronics — an overall struggle revealed through modular synthesis. Karl and Curt of Cane Swords also run the burgeoning Rubber City Noise label, recently featured in a piece on the US DIY scene in UK magazine Wonderland.
• Rubber City Noise: http://rubbercitynoise.com
“Crazy Clown Time”
Personally, I’d rather listen to something with a little more kick while picking up “my polo at the cleaners.” Instead, I listened to this last night before I fell asleep and it reminded me of Z Rock Hawaii. I figured the master of visual dub-ya tea eff would make heads turn audibly. Like, don’t you expect him to come out with something groundbreaking? Maybe not. But that Nurse With Wound joint was a little more of the Lynch speed I expect. Mixed with VHS horror filters. I’d prefer that classic David Lynch feel where he’s leading me, and I’m not really giving a shit. Uh oh, the Straight Story was due two days ago. Lynch did all this other music stuff too, aside from his first solo release Crazy Clown Time on Sunday Best Recordings out November 8 (“internationally” November 7). But there ain’t no meaning to none of this, so don’t sit around talking about it after reading, because y’all get nowhere. Stay there. Stay at nowhere. There’s more room.
Wolfgang Voigt is the chap who partly owns and partly founded Kompakt. This is no mean feat considering the label has pushed a pioneering breed of grainy minimal techno artists to the forefront of dance music (see their highly revered total series, now in its 12th incarnation, for a broad brush insight). It doesn’t seem like he’s slacking much on the production side either, with a hilarious number of pseudonyms under his belt (Resident Advisor ascribe 18 monikers to the guy).
Kafkatrax is an album accumulated from three highly exclusive, hand-painted EPs released in the last few months. In this creative endeavor, Voigt restricted his sampling to one kick drum and a Kafka audiobook, somehow warping the words into fleeting harmonies, melodies, and unintelligible vocals. The result is thoroughly disturbing techno that would probably alienate most of the dance floor, which is of course a perfect tribute to Mr. Kafka himself. The record will see its full release on the 11th of October through another of Voigt’s imprints, Profan.
• Wolfgang Voigt: http://www.wolfgang-voigt.com/en