Laurel Halo
“Sex Mission”

By the time this article is published, Laurel Halo’s post-Quarantine (TMT Review) EP Behind The Green Door will be released to the public, disappointing those who lazily expected an auditory rendition of the, apparently, classic 1970s porn film, and enamoring those who were (in my view, mistakenly) turned off by the seemingly incongruous vocals of the LP. See, like her work under the King Felix moniker, and interspersed among the pre-contagion releases under her own name, this new four-track EP readily embraces danceability. Well, only two tracks have been officially released at the time of writing, but the newest of those, “Sex Mission,” isn’t a far cry from Ostgut Ton territory. Kudos to NPR, who premiered the track, for offering a rarity: the appropriate use of the word “techno” by a general news outlet.

You’re probably noticing a coital theme here, but rest assured, the inspiration behind “Sex Mission” has nothing to do with some Britney Spears-esque notion of being rhythmically compelled to ball-gag yourself. While the song itself veers towards being accessible, Halo relapses into mild obscurity with her description: “The track is about driving energy and elevation via dynamic topographies. Movement and introspection are paramount.”

Dynamic topographies do make for the best songs, I find. Go here to listen to “Sex Mission.” The earlier-released track, “Throw,” is below.

• Laurel Halo: http://www.laurelhalo.com
• Hyperdub: http://www.hyperdub.net

Kanye West

“New Slaves” / “Black Skinhead” [live on SNL]

Kanye blowin uppp! LOL @Woozy Tribe’s commentary: “Anyone wanna take bets on how hard kanye’s new album flops.” I don’t necessarily subscribe to that, but there’s certainly hard-hype. Like, we covered this track already on Friday, and here it is again: Kanye West’s “New Slaves,” this time live on SNL. This weekend was sick. I had these people in from Ohio that I’d never met before EYE-ARE-ELLE; we took a bite outta the big apple, and made it home in time to see Seth Meyers running around the areas we were at that day, which was a nice perspective nightcap for their trip. Followed up with me geeking at Kanye’s live performance piece, “New Slaves,” calling out all rappers/MC/lyricists on their shit lingo/language/spit, as my company ignored it while talking about watching Human Centipede II via their tablet on the way home. As I had said, the hype is everywhere in all ways, and Kanye is calling it now. Through SNL. Bringing the game up by +150 points. Next up: NEW ALBUM Yeezus out June 18. Let’s pop. {I am a mother fucker. Am I a mother fucker? Maybe. Shouldn’t have posted this in retrospect. Or it doesn’t matter. Is this hype or hyperbole?}

Also check out “Black Skinhead” here:

• Kanye West: http://www.kanyewest.com
• Def Jam Recordings: http://www.defjam.com

Kanye West

“New Slaves” (with Frank Ocean)

You haven’t experienced Kanye West until you’ve experienced an amateur camera video of his new track “New Slaves” at Prada Fifth Ave, which apparently features Frank Ocean at the end of the track. The event happened last night when I was watching Mad About You.

Original Yeezy tweet:

Alternate version:

• Kanye West: http://www.kanyewest.com

Guest Mix: Lockbox

Grin

Lockbox is the project of young producer Jesse Briata, born in Italy only 18 years ago. The first Lockbox release was entitled Broadleaf, released when Jesse was 15, a collection of downtempo tropical hip-hop released on the now-defunct Fog Rattle label. In the past three years, his sound has evolved to encompass the entire breadth of post-internet beat culture, all glued together with a uniquely itchy, hyperactive sensibility that ensures Lockbox will never become ensnared in trap or fall asleep in the vaporwave waiting room. Grin is the name given to this breathless mix produced by Lockbox exclusively for TMT. Across 32 minutes, Jesse includes a generous overview of his recent past, a well-timed Daft Punk remix, and a handful of tracks from like-minded SoundCloud-based producers. Get happy, and look out for his forthcoming EP, Prince Soul Grenade.

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:00] Lockbox - “Frost Chop”
[01:24] RADICALEDWARD - “KITCHY LIVING”
[01:53] Lockbox - “Go For It”
[03:06] Daft Punk - “I Need You More (Lockbox Remix)”
[04:03] GoldRush - “Finally on the Fritz “
[04:56] Lockbox - “Ghost Forest”
[05:45] Taste Tester - “So Good”
[06:15] Lockbox - “Hey Yo Cool”
[07:16] Lockbox - “Brainhead2”
[10:27] Corn Cat - “Catnap”
[11:05] Lockbox - “Maximum Kiss”
[17:47] Lockbox - “Yung Lil”
[20:12] Lockbox - “Boi”
[21:38] Lockbox - “Daze Otik’s Eye Laser”
[22:33] Lockbox - “Kota Kinabalu”
[26:10] Sumguh - “Rodney’s Magic Flip”
[27:48] Lockbox - “Shuttle”
[29:00] Lockbox - “Rodney King Robot”

THEMAYS

“Workspace”

Recently, management at the office where I work has decided to make its employees implement the “5S” system. You’re welcome to click that link and do a little reading up on it if you want, but I can summarize the concept pretty quickly: 5S is a methodology for organizing an efficient work area that was developed by Japanese automakers in the 1980s and doubles as a convenient, passive-aggressive way for your boss to tell you to kindly “Clean up your shit, please.” Of course, at first I rebelled a little, but the more I shuffled old junk into the recycling bins, put little labels on my file folders, and got all the necessary job-related tools put ever-so-gingerly into their particular places for easy access, the more I could see the advantages. With your materials in good order, your brain can run with less friction. Things take less time, and ultimately, you’re just more productive. It’s hard to deny it. And the best part is, with all the time you’re saving not having to look around for your ruler or calculator, you can do other, arguably more productive things at work, like listen to tapes and write premiere posts for THEMAYS.

Likewise, THEMAYS is drone, organized. And as a result, it’s efficient and effective at its job. My boss would probably give THEMAYS a raise. The short works streaming below, pulled from a new tape release from this loose collective of San Francisco musicians (which includes members of the Exray’s and Window Twins) are prime examples of how the economy of ambient space employed by THEMAYS allows for a heightened focus on the stuff that makes drone or process music seem worth it — dynamics brightening up and breathing vibrant life into light piano work and wobbly, warbling, warming ambience. It’s all done with a clean, nimble ease to light a match under your neurons and get those endorphins delivered out in seismic waves of bliss to the places in your body you didn’t even realize you wanted them: hair follicles, fingernails, and the like. In short, THEMAYS is an ambient group that’s got its shit together.

• THEMAYS: https://www.facebook.com/wearethemays?fref=ts
• Howell’s Transmitter: http://www.howellstransmitter.com

Surachai

Embraced

Embodiments of every genre gather for six weeks of summer fun: Hardcore grills burgers as Ska guzzles root beer; Classic Rock steers the boat as Indie Rock trails behind on an inner tube; “Where’s Seapunk?” asks Vaporwave, and everyone has a good laugh. EuroHouse runs around the grounds passing out invitations to a Memorial Day Rave. R&B, Detroit Techno, even Gamelan all get the nod. “But you guys can’t come,” EuroHouse tells Black Metal and Modular Synthesis, snatching the embossed invites from under their noses at the last second. “You’ll just scare everyone off.” Mod-Synth scoffs, “We don’t need ‘em.” The two flee to a cabin on the outskirts of the grounds. Inside, a wood-paneled chamber overflows with rack-mounted hardware and patch cables. Mod-Synth points to an empty corner. “We’ve got room for some half-stacks over there.” Montage: Black Metal moving gear in; the two pals hunching over a sequencer as LED lights dance across their faces; a tremolo picking workshop featuring chalkboard wrist diagrams; EDM and Nü-Metal making out at the Memorial Day Rave; genres heading home to their parents at camp’s end; our heroes shutting themselves in and woodshedding through the winter; finally high fiving over what they build together.

A co-founder of Chicago-based synth collective Trash Audio, composer Surachai Sutthisasanakul has fused avant-garde synthesis and metal across a number of vinyl and digital-only EPs since 2010. Embraced, the most recent release under the Surachai moniker, represents a labor of love for Sutthisasanakul: his detailed statement follows his creative process from composing to tracking a full band of collaborators to putting it on wax. The album finds four guitars, howled vocals, bass, and blast beats cohering into the near-baroque arrangements and melodic odysseys we’ve come to expect from contemporary USBM heavyweights Wolves In The Throne Room, Krallice, and Ash Borer. Surachai juxtaposes all this against squeals, drones, and fragmented sequences from the Buchla Easel rig of Alessandro Cortini (he of Nine Inch Nails collabs and a forthcoming 2xLP on Important Records), and maxes out the overwhelming mix with the help of Richard Devine (credited here with Sound Design).

Let’s pretend we all knew Modular Synthesis and Black Metal were best friends this whole time. Embraced slays. Order this album straight from Surachai’s Bandcamp.

• Surachai: http://surachai.org

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