Signor Benedick The Moor
In Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, knavish protagonist Benedick Mountanto famously groans, “I was not born under a rhyming planet,” which is Bardspeak for “I can’t rap to save my hindquarters.”
Signor Benedick The Moor doesn’t have this problem. He may take his name from the Shakespeare character, but the Californian musician definitely doesn’t suffer from lyrical dysfunction. Armed with a propensity for double-time sprays and a nasal, ever-so-slightly strident delivery that could easily be mistaken for Danny Brown’s, Benedick made a compelling case for himself as a rapper with his first mixtape, last September’s absurd, ambitious El Negro. But as sbthemoor, his first-ever physical release, makes abundantly clear: the twisted universes of this man’s mind do not subscribe to conventional modes of description, “rap” included.
Oh, you want to pull out the labels? Have fun with that – somewhere between the melodramatic baroque strings, the krautrock freak-outs, and the Fred Durst-style punches to the face… I lost track of my adjectives. Not that you’ll have any use for them in this brave new world, where kids dice up bullies on the street just like in Skyrim, and leave their bodies to be found by the drifters and the womanizers and the hawkers and the heart breakers. Scary stuff, but it slithers forth with such a goofy grin on it’s face that you can’t help but get drawn in. A rhyming planet, indeed.
sbthemoor is out on Deathbomb Arc now.
• Deathbomb Arc: http://deathbombarc.bandcamp.com
It’s been pretty fascinating to watch the musical evolution of Angel Olsen over the last few years. With each record, she’s gradually fleshed out her songs more and more, moving from the beautiful austerity of Strange Cacti to the tight country arrangements on Half Way Home (TMT Review) and now to the more expansive and rocking instrumentation on the forthcoming Burn Your Fire for No Witness. However, the one thing that has remained the same despite Olsen’s progressively expanding instrumental palette, is her knack at capturing the loneliness and volatility present in tumultuous relationships with her lyrics and vocal delivery. “Forgiven/Forgotten” is another excellent variation on Olsen’s themes and the song’s sneering in-the-red garage rock shows that she’s now using arrangements as a new kind of text painting. Olsen’s lyrics may sound sweet on paper, but her singing and accompaniment makes them ooze sarcasm and bitterness that the track’s video manages to match visually.
Burn Your Fire for No Witness is out via Jagjaguwar on February 18th.
THRU THA RIP
Alphabets is fucking L A R G E and contains multitudes and you are ready for them. By presenting you now with the husk of my brain, left battered and euphoric by alien-bass Bandcamp masterworks like 400YEN or On Champagne and Greyhounds, I can empirically prove that every beat the Denver-based producer has ever tracked has blown at least one mind. I mean my mind. The mind is mine. I’ve hacked my way beneath the surface of what Alphabets (born Colin Ward) has uploaded online, and physically released on labels like Digitalis and Deathbomb Arc, but this next phase of the Alphabets catalog Step(s) It Up: a) 2 Fast; b) 2 Furious; c) 2 The Streets.
THRU THA RIP, Ward’s most recent 70-min breakbeat behemoth, showcases a more frenetic and densely layered production style than I’ve ever heard from his project. Tracks like highlight “Raptor Jazz” construct rotating auditory mandalas from chopped vocal samples, hypnotizing tom grids, and cyborg synths, speeding through intricate percussion patterns just long enough for your mind to enter the zone before cycling into new territories. Alphabets slaps acid house, hip-hop, and West African polyrhythms together like hunks of different colored Play-Doh, rolls them together into a gruesome rainbow snake, and leaves it to fuse with your living room carpet. Alphabets lifts your eyelids open while you’re sleeping and plays Aaliyah samples into your brain cavity at a volume just low enough not to wake you. Alphabets turns up the tempo on his Roland JX-305 Groovesynth and leaves your legs and hips too mystified to continue moving, but too overstimulated to stop. Quoth the maestro: “blood, sex, booze, glitter and alien dogs / cats / lizards and birds.”
Stream THRU THA RIP now on Bandcamp. Name your own price to download the album. Let one sincere “Thank you” escape your lips and flit through the ether to Rhinoceropolis.
• Alphabets: http://alphabets.bandcamp.com
With this Hausu Mountain release, the snowball effect of Lockbox music has reached top velocity. What began as a wonderful mess of lo-fi bedroom recordings, has rolled itself all up into a sugar-high, injected straight into the data-stream, resulting in something that sounds a bit like playing every SoundCloud embed on the Chocolate Grinder home page at the same time.
I’ve been seeing these bumper stickers around lately that say something like “Smaller, Slower, Less” regarding, well, the world. “Brainhead” tears that concept to pieces, pushing forward at the pace of a coffee-addict nabbing ten minutes of free wi-fi, while slamming shots of espresso at the local coffee shop before having to head to work around the corner. At this rate, there will never be enough time to catch up on what’s really going on here. We may have to settle for the “more, more, more” pace pounding its way into our brain, feet, fingers through the ever-increasing channels of subliminal osmosis our body develops to try and keep up with the increasing rate of the world (wide web)’s rotation.
“Brainhead” is the first single from the upcoming Lockbox full-length Prince Soul Grenade, out January 28 on CD and cassette via Hausu Mountain.
Agile polyvectors begin to wrap, mutate and unsprindle from a sleek Invisalign frame, dead and wasting cosmetic attachments falling away from the translucent scaffolding of a bold new lifestyle, naked and calibrated for the future. Precision tuning of rhythmo-linguistic #relevance supplied by multi-instrumental theorowizard Daniel Freshwater and his hacked-couture pardner-in-slime Brian Whatever (of Whatever 21 aesthletics) comprise Mind Dynamics, slathering us wit six courses of neural adjustment to ensure easy absorption of the dominant zeitgeist for the Coming of The New Age. Forget what everyone’s talking about, Mind Dynamics is the vibration of the now with the cycles of eternity coded into the masters (courtesy of telepathic prophet Andrew Nerviano).
Zlam a Precision Instruments cassette by Mind Dynamics from the high definition cyborgs over at 1080p, or stream the shits below.
Get calibrated, B. Fuckin precisely, ok?
>>>>>group name derived from a common, era-appropriate (1970s) device for storing phone numbers and contact information.
>>>>>>>>>>>group vocalists’ voices sound like a Rolodex in that a Rolodex is emotionless, gray, and quirky looking.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Jerry Seinfeld has probably made a witty observation about Rolodi (plural of Rolodex) at some point in his career.
>>>>>song title derived from a ray of colored light (color depends on what kind of gas is used) consisting of charged electrons in a vacuum tube.
>>>>>>>>>>>song’s modular-style synth lines resemble what a cathode ray may sound like in that a cathode ray might sound like a triangle wave pure tone.
>>>>>video combines random brightly colored patterns with shots of the band having a staring contest and views of the planet Earth at various magnifications. Video is presented in square format.
fcuk dance to this.
“Reality is on the TV.”
“First class ride on the endless express.”
“on and on hum errr may shteys.”
“something something something cathode rays.”