“Scenes from a Wedding (Live at Pendarvis Farms)”
Sometimes a person is offered the opportunity to glimpse at a moment that is very personal to somebody else. Two examples of this: an artist’s workspace (be it a studio, bedroom, practice room, dungeon, balcony, garden, or through live performances) and a wedding. Disparate contexts, but both contain a similar sense of emotional place, serenity, and beauty. Though, one is a scene of limitless optimism, while the other is often plagued by intense turmoil and self-doubt.
The artistic process is nothing like a wedding. Being an artist is ugly and depressing, because for those most committed to their art, there is no worse critic than thyself. First and foremost, an artist is married to his or her opus (either a single piece that represents a lifelong artistic statement, or an entire oeuvre) before he or she is married to anybody else. Long after the bedroom lights go out, the subconscious light of creativity still glows and interferes with human contact. Other people won’t understand that it’s the type of love that’s almost inanimate because music cannot return any definitive feedback. Being a musician is like being married to someone who will never make up their mind and never actually talk. Ever. Thousands of wordless, lonely conversations. All the artist can do is continually perfect it, and eventually it will shine for them, and in turn reflect positively or negatively. Other people may love them for it, but their music will never love them.
In this except, from a live performance at a friend’s wedding, The OO-Ray merits the listener the very opportunity to experience two moments of incredible intimacy, using what appears to be looping piano and “shoegaze cello.” Like any good performance, there are conflicting emotions that overlap each other in a climactic and intense journey. The clean, almost cliché loveliness of the cello is turned forlorn and melancholy by the repetitive, looping nature of the performance, and the continuous layering of complicated emotional fragments on top only add to the overall beauty of the mix. The best music, in any genre, makes one feel very much, but not know immediately what it is they are feeling. The best music does not make you feel love, but makes you feel the artist’s love, and then allows you to interpret it.
• The OO-Ray: http://15people.net
Chocolate Grinder Mix 89
And always at night, I find myself flicking too quick through the songs I’ve collected. Whether I’m gaming or writing, driving or walking, smoking, drinking, or sobering, I’m constantly clicking through. Late-night modern programming got me all, “OK,” as per usual. People be at me ALWAYS with their music, and I just front up now. Sometimes beats keep me awake, so I head for rap if I’m nodding to sleep more than the music. But the idea is I’d like to keep myself ever-changing. I can’t listen to the same music for too long, or I’ll just find something completely different to take its audible “place.” All of these musicians have spent a lot of time in my head outside of this mix and inside of their albums/EPs/mixtapes/etc. Et cetera: the internet is my destiny, America made me a machine, New York doesn’t look anyone in the eyes, mispronunciation provides heaps of humor, and ALWAYS send Grams jokes during the weekdays via email, so she strengthens her modern versatility, ‘cause if there were a tank, she could live in for the next 30 years… bring on any age post-100!
Every night minds race. Let’s pace it together this evening. You and you and you and [ad nauseum] and me. No champion. Just chill.
Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.
[00:00] Mohammad - “Liberig Min” [excerpt]
[00:00] Jan Jelinek & Masayoshi Fujita - “Do You Know Otahiti” [excerpt]
[01:01] Ria Ekin - “WHO TO FOLLOW” [excerpt]
[01:11] The Microphones - “Interlude in Bloomington”
[01:28] Dean Blunt - “Felon”
[02:52] OFFICER DICK - “COPS B2” [excerpt]
[03:07] Seth Graham - “Glitter Feathers” [excerpt]
[03:30] Giant Claw - “Brat Curse” [excerpt]
[03:43] The Knife - “Oryx” [excerpt]
[03:45] Beat Detectives - “Freak Like That”
[05:04] White Poppy - “Daydreaming”
[06:37] Lil B - “Lite One” [excerpt]
[06:38] LX Sweat - “Bodyflirt” [excerpt]
[06:43] Inga Copeland - “b.m.w.”
[08:19] Dead Ghosts - “Summer With Phil” [excerpt]
[09:01] A Place to Bury Strangers - “I’m Wise” [excerpt]
[10:01] Crystal Stilts - “Star Crawl”
[11:44] Ariel Pink featuring Jorge Elbrecht - “Hang on to Life” [excerpt]
[12:04] Mykki Blanco - “Vienna” [excerpt]
[12:08] PLVS VLTRA - “Hotpocket”
[13:22] DJ Clap - “Color” [excerpt]
[13:24] Free Weed - “I’m a Mermaid”
[14:36] Knxwledge - “Gttnglte_” [excerpt]
[14:37] Marie Davidson - “Le lieu où vous voulez vous rendre”
[15:49] MEGA MASTER - “Dilophosaurus Paddock” [excerpt]
[15:50] Tonstartssbandht - “Lidga” [excerpt]
[16:44] Knxwledge - “DJ’s&MC’s_” [excerpt]
[16:49] Savage Young Taterbug - “The Paperstud”
[19:17] Russian Tsarlag - “Become Solid” [excerpt]
[20:14] Boy Friend - “Labyrinth”
[22:05] Cream Juice - “Time After Time”
[22:44] D/P/I - “FUK THE POLICE” [excerpt]
[23:17] Saint Pepsi - “Hit Vibes”
Nathaniel Young & Alex Geerken
“Growing Old (A/VMIX2)”
A few months ago, we posted the first audio/video mix from Portland’s Blankstairs label: a collaboration between Astro Nautico’s Michael Jukeson and the Blankstairs visual crew. This time, it’s Blankstairs’s own Nathaniel Young touching base with the Pacific Northwest’s video artist, Alex Geerken. The whole thing is like sitting on your porch, smoking and waiting for the thunderstorm to roll in. The video cracks like lightning as the song begins to drip all around you. A kind of empty tension starts rising and it never stops crawling through you. Another sign of good things to come from the Blankstairs collective, I think.
Headboggle / Vibrating Garbage
Headboggle & Vibrating Garbage
Tables and tables of gear laid out before them, two men hunch over to the point that their torsos are pretty much perpendicular to the knobs and knobs and knobs. Cords protrude firmly from sockets and then flop together into a tangle impossible to coil without serious unplugging patch sabotage. Squint at the markings on these chassis — Roland, MFB, Ciat-Lonbarde, Blippoo — and imagine the uninitiated throwing up hands and shoulders, like hieroglyphics to me man; what is this??? The idea of a gear technician in control of the machines, coaxing out exactly the tones he hears in his brain, complicates when some of that gear operates on principles of randomness, chaos theory, non-linear feedback, sudden and alien abstraction. Within rigid structures, unexpected elements lead a session into new zones that, even with the knobs and the hands and the cords and the sockets in the “right” configuration, will never be heard again.
Head Boggle, a.k.a. Headboggle, neé Derek, multi-multi-multi-instrumentalist behind infinite tape releases and 2012’s Headboggle LP on Spectrum Spools, pours out synth leads and textural beds. Vibrating Garbage, a.k.a. Black Thread, neé Greg, the prolific purveyor of minimal industrial synth-noise electronics and co-proprietor of Donkey Disk, shapes the rhythms and low-end. After some ace mixing and editing from Greg, the duo’s unpredictable, transfixing collab sessions to prep for a live show manifest as 23 minutes of magnetic tape via TMT über-favorite Beer On The Rug (the shadowy cartel behind a few recent classics). No physical release date yet, but you can stream one side below and buy the digital on Bandcamp.
It was recently announced that Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland, together known as Hype Williams, are officially no longer affiliated, but both artists have been active nonetheless — Dean Blunt especially. Just recently, Blunt did a fantastic interview with Interview Magazine (Russia), posted a couple videos from a casting call for an upcoming play (Boo’d Up, Winter 2013), and has been performing in select cities around the world, including this recent show in NY.
And now we have a new song, “King James,” the title of which references either this guy or this guy (or both or neither [or nothing or everything]). The MP3’s tags (which are in Russian) seem to indicate that the song is track 3 of a release called Island of Stone, but who the fuck knows. In any case, Blunt, over a cut-up sample processed through a sweeping comb filter effect, seems to be in yet another ruminative and inquisitive mindset à la The Redeemer. And it’s as raw as ever.
Stream below and download while you can.
• Dean Blunt: https://soundcloud.com/cplnd
Like the trippy composite on the sleeve of her Weird Universe LP, the music of Unicorn Hard-On’s got layers, buds, all of ‘em technicolor and dripping with detail: sky view, color field, the figure of a human female, dimensional folds. Each listen to a Valerie Martino session reveals 13% more striking elements than previously observed — another pocket of hi-fi synth bursts off in the left channel, another rhythm pounded out with deliberation between the pulses of the bass drum, another arpeggio conjured from nowhere and squeezed in alongside squalling siblings. Martino knows her way around a table crammed to capacity with Korgs. Three generations of Electribes (we’re talkin’ ER-1, EA-1, ESX-1) share beat duties and blanket the grid with enough input to sufficiently stimulate any number of hard-to-please mythological beasts, much less us.
I hear “Wet Pet” and right quick I think of the soundtrack for the Super Nintendo game Earthbound, all overlapping rhythms and squelchy leads and harmonically consonant good time vibes — but only because, after continual exposure back then, video game music supersedes all other touchstones in my brain. That arpeggio from 0:33 to 0:47, for example, screams “Jenova Theme” until it slips back into the rainbow goop. But that’s just me; I’m a geek. Look, e.g., at that semicolon. Choose your own lens, y’all: underground noise, Detroit techno, drone, contemporary synth composition. All of them lurk somewhere in here (and, like, kinda everywhere?), but it doesn’t matter when the beats hit and the synth voices heat up and start to fry. Quoth Martino: “What people used to call noise — now they call it the ‘experimental underground.’ At this point, I don’t even know what to call the scene or my music; I just want to make sounds that are beautiful and weird.” Word. You def got there, U H-O.
Weird Universe drops September 30 via Midwest America’s most reliable wormhole to the cosmos, Spectrum Spools. You can preorder the LP from the eMego site now.