The Psychic World of Walter Reed [preview]
Back in 2009, years before Lil B was dropping discography-length “mixtapes,” it was considered strange for a rapper to release three albums in one year. So, when longtime Wu-Tang-affiliate Killah Priest released 10 official albums plus Baal-knows-how-many mixtapes and “street albums” between 2008 and 2010 — many of which consisted entirely of non-sequiturial blackouts in which the MC seemingly channeled the spirits of long-dead snake gods and the like — many fans who’d been following his progression from 1998’s Heavy Mental to 2007’s The Offering were pretty sure he’d lost his mind completely. Whether or not this was the case, there were many fine points to be made about his lyrical output during this time, and so KP always maintained my respect and attention.
The Psychic World of Walter Reed was first foretold in the midst of Priest’s intensely prolific stage, in February 2009, with The Untold Story of Walter Reed, a free mixtape released via Baller Status. One bizarre trailer, at least two music videos, and four full years later, it seems we can now finally say for certain that PWOWR has dropped TODAY. And with confirmed guest appearances by RZA, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, GZA, Raekwon, and George Clinton, as well as production credits including RZA, True Master, 4th Disciple, and Jordan River Banks (Godz Wrath), the album could very well mark a much-anticipated fusion of the old and new incarnations of Walter Reed. Order PWOWR here.
• Killah Priest: http://www.killahpriest.com
BREAKING NEWS: the decaying strip mall on the corner of Stroop and Jefferson has hatched small rabid reptiles that have reportedly chewed on children.
HEADLINE: residents of Town Heights have been experiencing a shortage in water since the crop dusters have been spraying the local airborne vaccine.
WEATHER: molecular storm clouds in the northern hills have reportedly empowered plants and foliage to glow, and is spreading their light in rapid reproduction.
SPORTS: underground steroid ring busted for selling reused nuclear medical needles for per-sale doses to a triple-A hockey league.
ATTENTION: please avoid the sludge oozing from the Gienger Cemetery curb on Main and Hyatt; exposure effects may be possessive and can cause you and your family potential transformation and/or sneezing.
Ghost Broadcast brought to you by your Local News brought to you by Infinity Frequencies.
• Local News: http://localnews1.bandcamp.com
The shape of Suuns’ music is intimated by their name: as if modeled after atomic solar waves, their songs sound like beams of pointed sonic rays. It makes sense, then, that the video for “2020,” directed by Sabina Ratte, should illustrate radiating bands of stark white on black. This isn’t to say that their music is monochromatic or flat. Far from it, in fact. Suuns simply seem to have such confidence in their textures and talents that each soundwave is given piercing aural clarity, its own channel and privileged right to ring out, to an almost burning extreme. A good burn. A real suunny day type of burn.
“2020” is a quintessential sort of scorcher. The track is spare but never scrawny. Its rays are direct and unhidden. The bass synth throbs throughout, and the vocals trade verses with the stuttering, but confident, descending guitarwork. Each instrument’s voice is piercing in its own right, penetrating, and yet no beat is overrun by a competition of sounds. It all adds up to a texture that isn’t exactly analgesic, but comforting nonetheless, if you can submit to it. Suuns seem to appeal to a sense of transcendence that arises from numbness through overexposure, rather than the more traditional comfort via softness and bliss. For those of us who like a deep tissue massage, or extra hot water, or nails down the back, this is the sort of thing that can do the trick.
Suuns sophomore album Images du Futur is scheduled for release on March 5 from Secretly Canadian.
Akio Suzuki / Lawrence English
There’s a certain novelty to Akio Suzuki’s approach to music composition and live improvisation. The elder statesman of Japanese sound-art’s primary instrument is a homemade device that he refers to as an Analapos. Essentially, this device consists of two iron cylinders strung together using coil springs that Suzuki plucks, strums, and sings through during his live performances. When watching him perform live, it’s hard not to be moved by the plethora of sounds that he gets out of such a simple device. The visual novelty of this tool in concert could potentially lead to his recordings having less of an impact, but luckily the sounds Suzuki creates with his instrument of choice are so beautiful and texturally interesting that his recordings are just as evocative as his performances.
Suzuki’s recently released collaboration with Lawrence English is a particularly impressive example of his work that’s sure to be of interest to fans of the EAI and onkyo scenes. However, despite many of the signifiers of those genres, these tracks are singularly Suzuki. Part of this is due to the organic yet electronic-sounding timbres of Suzuki’s Analapos, but it’s equally due to the playful and human approach Suzuki takes with his sounds throughout. English’s voice is less prominent on this release, but he elegantly incorporates his electronics, field recordings, and percussion in such a way that they almost sound like extensions of his instrument. Hopefully, this is just the first of many collaborations with like-minded performers to come in Suzuki’s all-too-limited output.
You can preview the album below, courtesy of Experimedia, and order it from Winds Measures now.
It should be no secret by now that we here at Tiny Mix Tapes like Jason Lescalleet a whole lot. His excellent album Songs About Nothing was among our favorite albums of 2012, and now in an effort to remind us all of how much that record rules, Lescalleet has unleashed a video for the appropriately named “The Loop,” which predominantly features pulsating pinks and greens from Lescalleet’s Big Black-referencing cover art, as well as some potentially subliminal bright flashes.
However, given Lescalleet’s tendencies to frequently distort and warp bits of cultural ephemera, questions about the artist’s intention are raised with this video. Is Lescalleet asking us to evaluate “The Loop” as a single? His decision to release a video of this track well after Songs About Nothing’s release is reminiscent of mainstream pop music’s current practice of mining an album for single after single for months — sometimes even years — in order to maintain interest. Could this be Lescalleet’s brilliant attempt to simultaneously implement and warp this practice in the realm of experimental music? I’m not quite sure of the answer, but from a strictly visual level, there’s plenty to enjoy from director Justin Meyers’ alternately welcoming and intimidating visuals that go well with the equally inviting/intense mix of grooves, field recordings, and noises of Lescalleet’s track.
You can check out the video above. Songs About Nothing is currently available from Erstwhile.
“Aetheric Vehicle (Soft Pink Truth Remix)”
You shouldn’t need telling: Matmos are back. But guess what? SO IS SOFT PINK TRUTH. Last seen wrestling with his Soft Pink Tube, the Drew Daniel solo project has reemerged on Thrill Jockey’s SoundCloud page, giving “Aetheric Vehicle,” one of the finest moments of The Marriage of True Minds, the once-over. The SPT rub fractures the whorls ‘n’ motorik of the original, bristling with fidgety, bit-crunched breaks, a polyrhythmic fizz still seeping from the scars of exposure to 2-step heat. Imagine the last Emeralds’ album getting the remix treatment from the Brainfeeder camp. Then listen to the remix. See? Nothing lazy about that comparison whatsoever. NOTHING.
The remix is also available on iTunes.