Ben Billington gets around. I mean this not only in terms of the numerous physical media bearing his name that sit on shelves or in tape decks out there. I mean he literally moves his body around Chicago and engages in The Scene, Man. Pay attention and you’ll probably catch him at The Empty Bottle or the Burlington or any number of relatively “underground” zones this week. Maybe he’s playing a solo set under his Quicksails moniker; maybe he’s splitting heads open on drums in Tiger Hatchery or more recently in Circuit Des Yeux’s live ensemble; maybe he’s just around, checking out whoever happens to be playing, living his life like a normal-ass human being. Next time you see him, say hi. Tell him how much you dig Pandava. He’ll probably give you a high five.
The newest Quicksails material lands in the big, knob-twisting hands of John Elliott, who gives Mayville Dream the lush LP treatment we’ve come to expect from his Spectrum Spools imprint. The textures of “Institute’s Innards” fit in right alongside the technicolor offerings of Bee Mask or Three Legged Race, fellow Solo Humans Ably Recording Dense Synth-y Music on Spectrum Spools (SHARDSMoSS, for short). But Billington approaches his compositions from a percussionist’s perspective: the squiggles and pentatonic leads spread out over a grid of beats and sequences, resulting in something slightly more song-ular than the average SHARDSMoSS experience.
Mayville Dream arrives on April 15th. Preorder the LP from Spectrum Spools. Keep Billington’s art alive. Support your local SHARDSMoSS.
“La Corne Des Lunes”
Stekri and his comrades at the French label Dezordr Records have been quietly breaking genre boundaries with their Session Compilation series for something like five years now. And although they’ve gone mostly unnoticed this side of the pond, their dub-heavy, ethereal, cinematic takes on trip-hop (or instrumental hip-hop or whichever half-baked genre label you prefer) have subtly set the stage for legions of unknowing imitators. A self-proclaimed “ciseleur de boucan,” Stekri is now set to unveil his first full-scale statue, Terres Noires, available February 28 via digital and vinyl. Actually, if the title is any indication (and Google Translate isn’t losing something), then this “muck” might end up being more of an attempt to deconstruct the sculpture in order to reveal the organic materials at its core… or it could just be that filth. Either way, I’m in.
Watch the album trailer for some more not-so-random abstract imagery colored post-apocalyptic by engines, blips, and such.
• Dezordr Records http://www.dezordr.com
Tell your friends, ya’ll: Tony Ferrari is back in business and “BUSINESS IS DOING WELL. HERE ARE SOME LEFTOVERS.” Leftovers from what, I wonder? Couldn’t be that MIAMI thing from a month ago. That tape was like 7 minutes skinny. There wouldn’t be any leftovers. It’s kind of the same stuff, though. All those no-fi synths drowning everything out, but the rap samples and that kind of DEEP bass compressed all the way into the shallow end of the pool. I tell ya, Miami 1986 and Miami 2013? Kinda the same thing.
Go get yer leftovers, ya damn kids! It’s free.
• TONY FERRARI: http://tonyferrari.bandcamp.com
Club Water Discus [EP]
Balam Acab’s Alec Koone is one lucky guy. First, he’s got the brain to produce liquid-smooth dance tracks for drinking copious amounts of codeine to. Second, he gets, like, all the ladies (that’s a given). And finally, he spent a month at the Water Discus underwater hotel in Dubai! This place hasn’t even been built yet! I have no idea how he got Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s invite (I didn’t.), but it’s clear Koone is a high-roller now, so he’s celebrating by releasing a free, five-song EP, clearly inspired by this fictional hotel.
This release shouldn’t be taken too seriously, though, especially by those who fell in love with Koone’s signature sound. Apparent from the bubbly samples — there are lots and lots of bubbles here — and the goofy song titles, Club Water Discus presents an about-face for someone who realized his moniker releasing melancholy slow jams on Tri Angle records. Koone states that it’s basically just a jaunt and “non-indicative of sound of future official releases.” After all, the dark, subterranean feel of Koone’s full-length Wander/Wonder was the standard bearer for the equally water-obsessed label, but the screwed vocal samples are presented in a way that makes me think more of Sea World than of Challenger Deep. It’s peppy and infectious, in a tongue-in-cheek way. Every drum hit lands with a splash.
Download the Club Water Discus EP here.
• Balam Acab: http://on.fb.me/fQ4AL1
The Sound [EP]
Jay Daifunka has 3D-rendered your entire internet history to the sounds of Nobel’s glorious “FACEBOOKHOUSE” (his word). You are just a floating lump of pixels, split into ever tinier quantified digital code, smaller than past Imperial or Metric systems could muster, let alone those cumbersome atoms. The promo bumpf might say that “IN THE FUTURE OUR CONSCIOUSNESS WILL BE UPLOADED TO THE INTERNET AND WE ARE GOING TO LIVE FOREVER,” but it knows that this has already happened. We are already being accosted by the conflicting immortal selves we’ve created for different functions, at different times. My drunken, late-night Twitter self is dancing and intoning like a baby while my pseudo-philosophical academic self is tutting at my Facebook self’s bad grammar. Yours are already in the distance.
For this is the panopticon of “I,” and it is always moving.
• Cocobass: http://cocobass.tumblr.com
The Last Hit (Soundtrack)
Have you ever listened to The Glow Pt. 2 and thought “oh man, I wish I could just isolate these droned out organ sections, add a little guitar, and listen to the result on repeat?” And then did you think to yourself, “Hey! That sure would be great paired with some footage of failed hit-men walking around in the woods!” Well, do I have the record/film for you!
Phil Elverum recorded just such a soundtrack to the film The Last Hit in 2005 and despite referencing Neil Young’s score to the Johnny Depp vehicle Dead Man as an influence, it’s very distinctly Elverum. According to his mysterious notes about the soundtrack, the film was made by some dude named Chris from Ontario and no copy of the work in its entirety was ever obtained. Even though we can’t hear/see Elverum’s music with its intended visual accompaniment, the score works pretty damn well on its own. Plenty of beautiful doom-laden textures abound and hint at the black metal via Angelo Badalamenti world that Elverum would create on future Mount Eerie releases.
Check out the film’s trailer and stream the soundtrack below:
• Mount Eerie: http://www.pwelverumandsun.com