Comparing ambient works to Brian Eno is always problematic. Eno’s work is so responsible for codifying the genre that saying an ambient piece sounds Eno-esque is akin to saying that a classical piece sounds Mozart-esque. Is it a moot point to use these artists as reference points when their names are synonymous with an entire genre of music?
In many instances, the answer to this is question is yes. However, in the case of this excerpt of “Our Silhouette” from Sean McCann’s forthcoming Prelusion LP, there’s an extremely strong case for an Eno comparison.
“Our Silhouette” is composed of gorgeous, sustained synth lines that are punctuated by bursts of melodic piano fragments. This texture alone already calls to mind the ubiquitous Music for Airports, but it’s even more reminiscent of the oft-forgotten Brian Eno/Harold Budd collaborations (even down to the harmonic movement). Of course, this similarity is not a problem, and McCann tastefully handles his materials by giving the track the same muted texturally uniform sheen that we’ve come to know from his many recent recordings.
Despite being recorded (and initially released on a small scale) in 2011, “Our Sihlouette” is very different from many of McCann’s recent recordings. It lacks the lush arrangements of The Capital, the synth spazz of his early recordings, and/or the field recordings of his collaborative work. It instead revels in a deceptive simplicity. Listen closely to “Our Silhouette” and it often becomes hard to tell when/where the acoustic and electronic textures begin and end.
This brings us back to McCann’s “muted sheen.” By creating a largely static texture, McCann allows the listener to lose themselves within the piece. This ability to enter a recording at any time and leave with the same feeling of blissed-out stasis is a concept largely drawn from Eno’s approach to composition but manifested through different means in McCann’s work. All of this puts “Our Silhouette” in the narrow category of pieces truly warranting the term “Eno-esque.”
Prelusion is out March 15 via Root Strata. You can preview “Our Silhouette” below:
Chocolate Grinder Mix 75
Unisex Earplug 2013
On Friday, March 15, TMT is partnering with Northern Spy to present Unisex Earplug, a party in Austin during SXSW. If you’re going to the party (RSVP here!), then this mix — which features one track from each artist performing — is to get you in the mood. If you’re unable to make it to the party, well, hopefully the mix will serve somewhat as a substitute. Either way, WE LOVE YOU.
Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.
[00:00] Dustin Wong - “Space Tunnel Graffiti”
[04:59] clipping. - “loud”
[08:33] ZS - Grain Side A [excerpt]
[14:21] YYU - “yyyy”
[16:31] Mykki Blanco - “Riot [Prod. By Gobby]”
[21:27] Sun Araw - “Grip”
[27:25] Caught on Tape - “Fundamental Sunshine 1” [excerpt]
[32:34] Sinkane - “Runnin’”
[35:03] Spires That in the Sunset Rise - “Child of the Snow”
[40:45] Lantern - “The Dogs”
[44:51] Guardian Alien - “See the World Given to a One Love Entity (Part 1)”
[49:11] Cloudland Canyon - “Prophetic Frequencies”
[56:22] DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE - “R.I.P.”
Extinción de los Insectos
Extinción de los Insectos
Dane from Abe Vigoda might have turned to juke, but some of us still require a slightly NOISIER form of frantic percussive clattering.
SCREAMING. And Delay. And RIFFS. It’s basically the plague of The Locust, but the dastardly insects have run out of human prey and now simply dine on each other, occasionally dancing gleefully as one of their own is barbecued on a still-glowing “bug zapper.” Which, by the way, you shouldn’t use.
Yes, it is Extinción de los Insectos, which, as Google Translate tells us, means “Not Fucking Safe For A Mother’s Day Mix CD.”
And they are probably angry, but in that “screaming at passing buses and ripping your own clothing” way that befits our current epoch.
• Chingaste La Conifianza: http://chingastelaconfianza.bandcamp.com/
“Who Are You?”
Iowa City record label Night People has a habit of collecting artists who create music barely recognizable, but still thoroughly rooted, within genre lines. It’s like the label name Night People is a statement of intent; artists producing familiar sounds under the night’s shroud of darkness when all of the weirdos start to come out. Tampa’s Merchandise make a kind of blues rock so buried in 90s-style distortion that whatever defining terms used to describe their sound hardly manage to hit the mark. What’s strange is how appropriate the vast spectrum of genres explored on the label sound once those two words — “Night People” — are attached.
Listen below to “Who Are You?” from Merchandise’s appropriately-named Night People EP, Totale Night, and look for the entire LP April 2.
Alright, let’s get one thing out of the way: Oval’s Markus Popp is a handsome dude. I mean, look at the photo above and tell me it doesn’t scream “silver fox.” So, anyway, using his dignified looks and the sensual power of albums like 94diskont, Popp recently wooed several female (and a couple male) vocalists from South America into collaborating with him on a new record! Hooray!
Working with vocalists has typically produced excellent results for Popp in the past (see: So and Popp’s contributions to Gastr Del Sol’s Camofleur, for example), and Calidostópia! largely lives up to those high water marks. Additionally, this record may very well be one of Popp’s most accessible recordings under any guise. Unlike his exploration of more abstract glitch songs with So, these tracks are largely held together by melodies and rhythms, even if Popp is constantly working his noisy magic underneath it all. The end result is a gorgeous combination of “world music,” IDM, and trademark Oval soundscapes. And the best part is that keeping with the trend of releasing awesome records for free, Popp has the whole thing available to download for free from his website!
You can preview excerpts of Calidostópia! via SoundCloud below and download the record as a whole here.
• Oval: http://www.markuspopp.me
On Amorphous Dawn [preview]
Remember that year we virtually blow-jayed NNA Tapes? Oh, wait, we’re not stopping that? Because this here Belarisk On Amorphous Dawn [preview] is like green poop from drinking old wine the night before. Like, feel this: all day long, you got them green poops, and, and it’s so rANDom yet immediately blissful that you can’t deny the satisfaction. Sound familiar? Are you even LISTENING to this sample? Belarisk taming the noisy and transminded on the reel. Feelings of feeling rush to your ears and beat around the bush -err, drum. As if the noises were triggering your brainwave functions from spine to tips to introduce completely lush beams of light sucking your dimensional vision beyond whatever you thought you were before. Oh, I mean: this release is great and is totally individually visual in thought. Don’t believe me? Scope it ASAP at NNA Tapes. It’s been out! Where’ve I been?