“You and Me Both” (Arthur Russell cover)
As the title of her 2012 list-topping album implies, Ms. Holter’s Ekstasis progressed through a hazy world of pause, touched briefly and inconsistently with touches of pop ecstasy. This live cover of Arthur Russell’s “You and Me Both,” bootlegged by Leaving Records founder and electronic scientist Matthewdavid, strips essentially every aspect of the original song, opting to create another slow-moving world based on the soft longing in its lyrics, and with only light piano droplets and Holter’s un-effected voice ringing through a chattering, disinterested crowd. That state of pause is pushed further than even the softest moments of Ekstasis. I imagine it was something no one attending that night’s Arthur Russell tribute show could have expected.
“You and Me Both” is Holter’s contribution to Dual Form, a split release between LA’s Stones Throw and Leaving Records, which also includes gems from Run DMT, Dem Hunger, Sun Araw, and Dntel, among others. It is available now on LP and cassette.
A bit behind on the ball on this one. Sorry folks. I blame the holidays. But it’s too good to miss! Melbourne producer naps first caught my attention last year with a quality little EP called earthsea on This Thing. Watery, degraded, tropical, new age… and probably other words too; it was a genuinely intriguing proposition. Well, the follow-up is even better. The territory is similar sonically: still pretty chill, but with slightly more emphasis on the loping, disjointed beats. And there’s a definite weirdness here, something slightly uncanny about the lounge-y sample (is it even a sample? does it matter? maybe!) on “kids” and both the choice and treatment of the vocal on “squai.”
I’m struggling to think of comparisons actually. Daniel Lopatin by way of Dolphins into the Future maybe? Except that there’s a definite hip-hop element here too. I’d suggest you file it alongside TMT fave ahnnu, who (not coincidentally) turns up with a whacked-out remix here. Both artists are doing exciting things in what seems to be a particularly fertile backwater of the global beat-making community that has apparently made Soundcloud its home. It’s here evidently that, as 2012 becomes 2013, new territory is being carved. But you knew that already…
La Big Vic
“All That Heaven Allows” (feat. Alienboy)
The way people fetishize the decades in which they acclimated to solid food and co-opted fashion or even anachronistic technology (tech-cum-fashion) is a re-remembering of the past. It highlights and exaggerates the best parts while ignoring the bad and unremarkable. La Big Vic’s new track “All That Heaven Allows” (feat. Alienboy) from their forthcoming album, Cold War, is how I like to re-remember my pre-adolescence. I’m imagining it playing at the rollerskating rink when I was eight years old and trying to flirt with a girls in puff-paint sweatshirts. It takes my focus off the bad haircuts. LBV’s “All that Heaven Allows” is pure joy, bubbly and infectious with synth lines nuzzled underneath (ex-TMTer/Visitation Rites founder/and AdHoc editor) Emilie Friedlander’s Debbie Harry-esque croon. As it plays, I can’t help but picture myself skating backwards and confidently shaking my elbows, even though I could do neither of those things.
Hear the entirety of Cold War via Noisey, and look for the album January 29 on Underwater Peoples.
Blanche Blanche Blanche
It’s hard to follow Blanche Blanche Blanche for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think they released something like five albums last year alone, most notably their bizarre and fantastic Wink With Both Eyes on Night People. Second, for being so heavily rooted in pop, any given Blanche Blanche Blanche song takes as many twists and turns in its two-minute length as an entire A Side of some 70s avant jazz record. For instance, take “Rich Man,” the single from their upcoming NNA Tapes album, Wooden Ball. It starts with some ultra-cheesy daytime-television chimes before being swallowed up by throbbing bass, ADD drum machines, and some real trashy no-wave synth. The vocals sound like four different faces of the same person. And then it kind of ends before you can wrap your head around anything you’ve just heard. It’s pop strangeness that only Blanche Blanche Blanche could pull off.
Wooden Ball is out March 5 on NNA Tapes, but I imagine that is not all we will be seeing of/hearing from Blanche Blanche Blanche this year.
• NNA Tapes: http://nnatapes.com
“Taking Out the Trash” / 3-Hour Live Extravaganza on WFMU
You’ve without a doubt noticed a few changes in your life since hitting play on “Taking Out the Trash,” the latest from NYC T-top-rockers Endless Boogie. To start, that old bong you dropped in your parents’ garage way back in junior year has suddenly materialized next to you, fully packed and sporting a fresh Dark Side of the Moon prism sticker. On top of that, the $20 bomber of St. Bernardus Abt 12 you’ve been aging for three months just transformed into a sixer of Bud heavies. You probably even shotgunned one of them Steveweisers without realizing it once the vocals kicked in. Such is the magic of The Boogie Which Is Endless: one second you’re glazily surfing the web for breaking news on the Kimye spawn, the next you’re elucidating the precise way the morning sun falls on your couch to a 300-pound ex-roadie from Gowanus. I mean, really, why don’t all bands have three lead guitarists?!
This particular track hails from Endless Boogie’s upcoming LP Long Island, due out February 19 on No Quarter. But if you can’t imagine waiting that long for maximum riffage after receiving this small taste, look no further than the Boogie’s 3-hour-long live set performed on Brian Turner’s (always excellent) WFMU show. This one’s got it all: colossal riffs! froggy vocals! punishing interweaving solos! old school New York Mets bumpers! All that shit, for THREE GODDAMN HOURS! So if you’ve got the time and the substances, do not miss out on this psychedelic celebration of gargantuan guitar sounds. (By the way, the dude on the couch is named Steely Dave and he’s only gonna be staying here for a couple days, maybe a few weeks tops. Don’t be lame about it; he’s going through some crazy stuff right now.)
There’s a weird disconnect between me and this “internet” music (I mean that in a non-specific way; digital astral plane). I LOVE the fact that Lockbox is a creative outlet for fellah Jesse Briata. On both a critical and fictional level, I enjoy how easy it is to write abstractly, nostalgically, or narratively to his music. Maybe it’s mainly because the dude plays all his music rather than sampling or using computer shit and shit. And the frequency of it really represents the uncontrollable communication frenzy on the internet. Yet, then again, this guy pushes out so much music all the time, I’m curious to the level of creativity he has developed personally (inner-creativity; detach the web) between releases/songs/”Passion Beam”/Passion Beam.
Like smoking a hash oil pen in a parking lot on your break, things REALLY don’t change that quickly or vastly. But I’ve come to expect that as a music listener. I want more, and I want it fresh. So, what I’m trying to describe here is the difference between creative input and critical critique. As well, the only internet “sensation” is, like, Mark ZuckerBANG or, like, the person/people who invented it. When I see someone’s tweet or Facebook status online, I care as much as I scroll over it. Just like this post here, potentially. I have no doubt most people will scroll over this here writing so they can scope new music. Word. Word. In the end, does ambition trump talent? Can people transcend ego past Morrissey on the internet? Scope Lockbox’s new tape Passion Beam on Warm Gospel, out meow!