“All I Need”
Philip Grass gets me. First, they do that increasingly popular play-on-names thing to subtle perfection. Then, they get caught up in all of that rain-heavy Pacific Northwest beat culture, which continues to drop gems. And, lastly, with every new hint of prolificacy-by-way-of-SoundCloud-embeds, the Portland duo continues to filter current tendencies in hip-hop through their Seasonal Affective Disorder approach to beats as fully formed songs in themselves. Take “All I Need” from their upcoming Dropping Gems release Find EP, for example. How it places those piano keys into the mix like raindrops sinking into the dirt. New age flutes slide on gusts of wind through the leaves on the trees. The drums are practically an afterthought until halfway through the track when they begin gently pulling everything else back down to the surface of the Earth.
If “All I Need” is Philip Grass, then I can work with the first single streaming below:
As XLR8R pointed out earlier this week, the entire four-track Find EP is out March 4 on Dropping Gems.
“Alien Love Shack”
Drank the fuck out of some orange juice this morning. Also had a kush sandwich, which consisted of a square bun violently sawed in half, a triangular piece of hash brown, a piece of Canadian bacon, and perfectly amoeba-shaped fried egg. Crushed that. Time to start my day. What do I do with most of my time? Sit in the library with 400 sparingly sized people I’ll never talk to and worry about a lot of different, complicated stuff, and fantasize about how I could devise a way to complete it all in one fell swoop (hint: doing this is against the rules.)
What I WISH I was doing with my time: cruising the beach in one of those funky lying-down bikes, wearing a t-shirt with Mike Tyson’s “London Look” air-brushed across the front. Shit is XXL so when the shirt folds it looks more like Yoda. Anyways, “Alien Love Shack” is playing on my Walkman, and I have a pony trot beside me with jugs of sangria swinging from his saddle bags. It’s really sticky, and the mix leans a little towards cranberry juice instead of four loko, but this tune is BUMPIN’ like your neighbor’s cat lying in the street. It’s like five Celsius at the beach right now. I brought an umbrella hat.
Stream what YΞll❍W T∆ΠgΞriΠΞ has “Alien Love Shack” grindin’ to below:
P.S.: I do not approve of how you have spelt your name, Yellow Tangerine.
• Yellow Tangerine: http://yellowtangerine.bandcamp.com
Major pump on this here track “Quality” by deep tin/copper-copper/zinc jammer-trio Bronze. As a follow up to their 2011 Rvng Intl. LP Copper, Bronze releases their newest LP World Arena on Not Not Fun Feb. 25; album release party is being thrown in joint celebration of the label’s 10-year anniversary. And you know, what an AWESOME way to celebrate than releasing a single like “Quality” that sounds like the perfect dance and psyche combination the label has been releasing throughout their current existence. Like, literally, “Quality” brings that [double-negative style of] humor that pertains to taste and impeccable choice on the curators’ end. But it’s also neat to hear how Bronze was a shoe-in for the linage of Not Not Fun releases. “Quality” mashes fried vocal echo sizzle with the bounce of star-gazing/foot-sliding rythm paired to the pureness of lax melody drowned in beading sweat that lingers the background. Stream it below and get some fucking work done already:
Over the past few years Damon McMahon’s Amen Dunes project has been serving up loose and crackly, almost improvised psych-raga jams. Recall last year’s super-limited The Spoiler and 2011’s Through Donkey Jaw (TMT Review). Now we’ve got a brand new full-length called Love on the horizon (“horizon” = May 13, fyi), and where McMahon’s pumped out “largely improvisational first-take affairs, recorded in a matter of weeks at most” in the past, he says Love took him close to a year-and-a-half to put together.
You can feel all that extra time leaking out from the core of “Lonely Richard,” which comes across pretty staid and pulled-in-close. The scratchy patina of reverb gathers all the sounds together here instead of jangling them apart (cf. “Ethio Song,” from the Ethio Covers 7-inch, or “Christopher” from Through Donkey Jaw), and everything’s rubber-banded up tight by the background violin. The whole deal softly, softly chugs along partly because of that little drum beat, the one that practically lopes while it loops. It’s all quarter note snare, kick on the “ands” of three and four. You know, the one that I irrationally associate with The Breeders every time I hear it but for some reason on a cursory skim through The Breeders’ catalog can’t come up with a real reason why that’s the case? Maybe you actually didn’t know that, because now that I think of it, that’s a pretty specific piece of information about me and why would you know it? You know it now at least. One slightly more relevant things you also oughta know is that Iceage’s Elias Bender Rønnenfelt is featured on this track, and, woah buddy, he even gets his duet on with McMahon on “Green Eyes” later on in Love.
• Amen Dunes: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amen-Dunes/226703240696221
• Sacred Bones: http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com
“I put on the new Artificial Brain album and it ______ my ______” (• melted • face) (• battered • torso region) (• shredded all of • ligaments into goo) (• extracted • brain without anesthesia). To describe music they love, some metal enthusiasts default to expressions of bodily destruction and physical violence. The use of this shorthand does not necessarily betray violent or destructive tendencies in the speaker. Stylized verbal brutality, embellished with gory details, attempts to distill the extreme qualities of the music into a succinct mental image. “Artificial Brain drew in close, sized up my frail little body, and punched me right in the kidney.”
“Whoaaaa whaaat? I didn’t know the dudes in Artificial Brain _____ so ______” (• destroyed • hard) (• could play • fast) (• were • shredtacular) (• slayed • completely). Successful technical death metal projects harness the dexterity of their musicians to overwhelm the listener into a state of ecstatic paralysis. This can verbally manifest in bursts of hyperbole and nonsense intended to match the intensity of the musical experience. Over endless writing sessions and rehearsals, players hone their tightly structured compositions into a state of perfect synchronicity that could still sound to the uninitiated like a torrent of senseless noise. The precision of their performances yields willful insanity. They construct a specific chaos. Having tasted flavors of this chaos over and over, the enthusiast comes to discern and relish in the order beneath it.
Artificial Brain gets there. They stand apart from their tech-death peers by way of jarring tonalities and descents into down-tempo doom. Like forefathers Gorguts, the band regularly abandons a song’s development without notice in favor of mind-rending digressions of riffage. Like antecedents The Faceless, their sci-fi lyrical themes, forays into mutated synthesis, and bonkers album art conflate into an otherworldly atmosphere to complement the physical reality of their performances. Recorded and mastered by terrestrial metal deity Colin Marston, the album’s every blastbeat, intertwined guitar line, rapid-fire bass run, and guttural howl reach your eardrums with clarity. Stream Labyrinth Constellation below and expose all your weak spots for punishment — or order the album on CD from Profound Lore.
Reading like a seismograph, that screen-wide glance into audio-waveform streams on SoundCloud is a warning. How deep does it get? This wall of crests “M4U” from the upcoming ENDO KAME album MUSIC 4 EON GREEN on Beer on the Rug is a dynamics-free descent into the muck. The kind of unrelenting bass sounds uncontainable by any size of output. A gentle hum slowly vibrating along the ceiling like cigarette smoke trapped in the basement. The only change swirling from the slow peaks of high-end whispers. A sudden light through the window, as the sun penetrates between the cracks in silhouettes dotting the horizon, emptying the dark tones like a leak. And we’re back where we began, but the breathe of fresh air tastes like concrete. And techno.
MUSIC 4 EON GREEN is the third Beer on the Rug release of 2014, and thus far, it appears as digital only. Breathe it in over at the label’s Bandcamp page.