Quarantine [album stream]
Some of us here at TMT (me me me me me) are overexcited about Laurel Halo’s new album Quarantine, which is out next week in Europe and May 28 (new release date!) on Hyperdub. We’ve been selfishly squandering it behind our closed doors where we wear white lab coats and goggles to protect us from any back splash from some of the bullshit we have to sift through sometimes around here. (That Best Coast promo is burning my eyebrows off already; gotta step away before I get a chemical burn.) Laurel’s an android so, you know, we respect that shit because science built her. She is excellent at mimicking the human voice — er, most of the time anyway. More to the point: she might have made one of the best albums of 2012, if you believe me. But you don’t have to trust my word. The fine people at FACT are offering a full-album stream of Quarantine, so what are you waiting for?
[Photo: Tim Saccenti ]
The Road Soda [album stream]
RUN DMT has a way of making the old sound new. Since his early releases Bong Voyage and Get Ripped or Die Trying, RUN DMT has been piecing together sound collages using vocal samples seemingly pulled from forgotten interviews and home videos, popping and crackling over drowned melodies forced out of keyboards on their last leg. RUN DMT’s 2011 album, Dreams, took that formula and injected it with bits of the ocean-pop laziness that artists like Ducktails and Rangers have been swimming in for the past few years. The Road Soda, RUN DMT’s 2012 CGIFriday split with Tracey Trance, takes a step away from the structured pop songs like “Richard” and “Romantic” on Dreams toward those earlier sound collages, while still retaining the watery laziness of tracks like “Cash for Gold” and “Winn Dixie.” This time around, each track is built on melodies that sound pulled from all of those early-90s ocean noise meditation cassette tapes, run through RUN DMT’s echo-heavy, airy filters that keep them from drowning in all of the secondhand damage and tape hiss.
Listen to the entire album below, and order the tape from CGIFriday here.
Josephine Foster & The Victor Herrero Band
“Puerto De Santa Maria”
Wow, does anyone even talk/write about New Weird America anymore? Peeps were way down on that shit when it was poppin’ off. “2010 is the decade of micro-genres.” Maybe it was just another launch for pleasant-sounding music (i.e., hypnagogic, chillwave). Taking flight would mean you have to bear arms a bit. Like Animal Collective out of Here Comes the Indian, Jana Hunter from Blank Unstaring Heirs of Doom to Lower Dens, or Joanna Newsome and a triple disc. Musicians have to get stickier if they want to be remembered or produce in the New Weird American scene now.
So, where’d Josephine Foster bring her pleasantly haunted voice box? To The Victor Herrero Band, bringing an appropriately adopted sound through Spanish folk songs in their second collaborative album, Perlas, out now on Fire Records. So grab a baby face, kiss it a bunch, and click play. I’m pretty sure in translation “Puerto De Santa Maria” means baby tangled in beard hair, cause that’s what Foster is lulling up here. Like a satin audio reel from the 50s bowing across nylon guitar strings for maximum stress relief.
“The Tears of a Clown” [Smokey Robinson cover]
P. Diddy may hate the Smokey Robinson classic “The Tears of a Clown” — as he explains in “Coming Home,” he feels like he’s always being addressed whenever it comes on, something that’s obviously quite unsettling — but that doesn’t stop the track from being covered by an ever-growing number of artists. This version comes to us courtesy of Pond, an Australian garage-psych band featuring several Tame Impala alums (not to be confused with the 90s alt-rock band from Portland of the same name). It’s a punchier take on the familiar track, riddled with swaths of swampy guitar buried in reverb. Nick Albrook’s crackly falsetto is backed up by the modest backing harmonies we’ve come to expect from Tame Impala and now this stellar side project. It’s certainly one of the muckier covers to be recorded, but you can’t always please the purists.
Hotel of Lost Light [album stream]
Keith told me to scope Crash Symbols. He got me talking about it and forced his musical knowledge down my mental cavity, eventually pulling an opinion out of me about this release. My concluding opinion? Some Ember’s Hotel of Lost Light is a good effort, but there could be way more than this. Like, them vocals totally could have given a bit of a breakdown. And they ain’t playing the slow-slow card either; they’re on the line of choosing either/or. Oh, but they don’t. Not saying it lands flat or nothing; it’s just in constant fluctuation. Maybe it’s a stressful release. If that’s what they were going for, I’m into it. I mean, I like that whole suspense stuff, just not all the time. If you’re into it all the time, though, buy Hotel of Lost Light off Crash Symbols. Good New York highway driving music.
“Almost Never Got Out”
Damnit. I spend all this money on these really nice headphones, and Wanda Group just up and releases “Almost Never Got Out,” seamlessly slipping back into the murky beat-fuck production he used to scare listeners with when he still called himself Dem Hunger. It feels like a big slap in the face, leaving a mark that reads “NO HEADPHONES WILL CONTAIN ME!” like some smirking noise floor coat of arms. It pisses me off.
Stream “Almost Never Got Out” (part of a split single with “U U I (Super 32)” by another of his aliases, The Hers) below or download here. Then kill some time on his eerie Tumblr page and try to find all of the other pseudonyms he releases music under (Hint: there are six total).
• Wanda Group: http://alienpaint.tumblr.com