New Orleans up-and-comer Joe Cool bears no physical resemblance to Snoopy’s alias of the same name, but he’s a far superior rapper: a little bit sultry, plenty spry, and perhaps most refreshingly, socially conscious. His short-but-sweet take on the Scarface classic “Space Shuttle” includes commentary on electoral apathy, vengeful boyfriends, and the sad fact that “the teachers make less money than the trash man.” Cool’s new mixtape, Driver’s Ed, comes out in December.
• Joe Cool: http://soundcloud.com/joefncool
“Lifantastic I “
This one is for you, dude or dudette who loves dance but doesn’t like to actually dance. What to do with yourselves in such a situation anyway? The answer is choreography. Okay, now that might sound highly offensive to someone like Renée Archibald, who choreographed the silhouettes found in this amazing clip in conjunction with one of NY’s most brilliant video makers, EyeBodega.
But what can I say? The video features layers of shadowy figures waving their arms about in time to this music’s engrained hypnogogia for about nine minutes. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, there’s everything right with it; not a single one of those nine minutes (or any of the seconds in between) is in the slightest way boring. Look at the colors, yes, but perhaps more importantly, listen to them; to the deep evergreens, mellow purples, and vibrant yellows strobing systematically. The beat plodding ahead while also imploding on itself in a subdued supernova — all the 2AMs at clubs happening across the world occurring in one sonic space.
Yes, with EyeBodega’s help, Brazil’s Babe, Terror has created something especially special here, however extremely difficult to properly describe on this Knights record, which is available on an etched vinyl you apparently have to play from the inside out. Appropriate, since the record itself sounds like it’s slowly turning itself inside out — a celestial journey that’s finding its way into a center, exploring the already-familiar (in re-warped/refigured samples) to greater depth than I think I’ve ever heard, rather than reaching outward into a blank and negative abyss.
Babe, Terror’s Knights is available now from many distributors, but not likely for long. Check the YouTube source page for links.
Scott Walker has accomplished the impossible: he created an album that’s more ambitious, more experimental, and more surreal than The Drift. Bish Bosch is a terrifying mindfuck of an album. It’s also absolutely hilarious and unquestionably one of the most thought-provoking albums released in years, the product of a mind that refuses to compromise yet is clearly open enough to let new, twisted ideas through. The monochrome video for “Epizootics!” — directed by Olivier Groulx — continues this uncompromising aesthetic; like the album, it’s at once stunningly beautiful and incredibly dark, with a surreal sense of humor. Check it out above.
Darkstar have a full-length album to their name — North, released in 2010 — but it’s a pair of 2008 and 2009 singles that are more responsible for having entrenched the group in arcane electronic culture. Together totaling 11.5 minutes of music, the tracks were included on Hyperdub’s very good 5 compilation, making up, in fact, two of the compilations biggest highlights. Slight in total size, yes, and deceptively simple in execution, “Aidy’s Girl is a Computer” and “Need You” unveiled soothing timbres and masterful beats, and now when Darkstar shares a single, historically there’s good reason to listen.
“Timeaway” is itself a first look at Darkstar’s next full album, and it offers as much access to euphony as that earlier stuff. In mood and movement, it’s a departure, but in the expert production and sheer intrigue, Darkstar’s profile shows through. The album is called News From Nowhere, and it’s set for a February 2013 release on Warp. But until the album drops, we have here three minutes more to add to Darkstar’s growing mass of soundscapes and electro-excellence. “Timeaway” will be released as a 12-inch vinyl single on November 12.
Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin
We got a taste of Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never)’s Instrumental Tourist back in September with “Uptown Psychedelia,” and now, thanks to the folks at Software Recording Co., we have a new video for “Intrusions.” The track is one of the album’s more abrasive ones, verbalizing, as they put it, their “mutual infatuations and apprehensions with the systems they’ve both built and are buried by.” And indeed, you can hear Lopatin’s dark new age synths and Hecker’s transcendent tones attempting and sometimes failing to create a new language, the expected result of any good improvisation.
Instrumental Tourist drops November 20 on Software.
Albino animals are unbelievably adorable. This is, of course, with the exceptions of both snakes, which tend to look even more sinister than usual, and crocodiles, which are uniformly terrifying. But Albino Deers chose their name wisely. Much like those shy, springy animals, their collection of musical vignettes is enigmatic and fleetingly beautiful. Driven by muted orchestral arrangements and analogue crackles, Albino Deers build emotional harmonies and thrilling crescendos that most ambient music would shy away from.
Carpi Records have only given us a glimpse into this gorgeous, snowy landscape via their Bandcamp portal. However, if you’re one of the lucky 20 (!), you can get your horribly greasy mitts on a good solid cassette of the stuff.