Squarehead is an Irish rock band, that, despite only having been formed in 2008, plays crunchy garage-pop that sounds straight out of 1992. The fuzz-o-meter is off the charts, the riffs are simple and catchy, and the entire package is very, very loud. “More Quickly,” a cut off the band’s upcoming split with So Cow on Inflated Records, shows off the group’s playful side, with a tug-of-war ensuing between dreamy Britpop and Nirvana-style anthemics. Nothing too fancy, and that’s what makes it so great. Plus, Morrissey went to see them, which, considering how grumpy he seems to be most of the time, says quite a lot.
Wires Under Tension
“Like Waves We Will Keep Coming On”
The seven-and-a-half minute track “Like Waves We Will Keep Coming On,” by Wires Under Tension (a Bronx-based duo founded by composer Christopher Tignor), has the post-rock grandeur that its diction suggests. The piece starts with the sound of a turntable needle and a slow, feverish monologue. Then strings begin to lay down the primer coat, but Tignor applies only a thin layer so that the impurities show through for textural effect. After nearly two minutes, synth sequences and drums are unexpectedly speckled into the mix. A sense of acumen that’s agnostic to convention rises from the disparate pairing of programmed and organic sounds. The track is from the upcoming sophomore release Replicant, an album inspired by Conlon Nancarrow’s player piano experiments and Philip K. Dick’s fiction. Like Nancarrow, the duo explores the relationship of the mechanical with performance. And like Dick, they work within genre and lather on the metaphysical themes. Listen here:
Wires Under Tension’s Replicant, whose artwork for both the CD and LP was created by Peter Liversidge, is to be released by Western Vinyl on November 13.
Following up on an impressively successful string of singles, as well as that Jessie Ware remix that’s been exhaustively cited to death in the press, the young brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence, a.k.a. Disclosure, finally dropped their first proper multi-track release earlier this year in the form of The Face, an unexpectedly divisive EP that has come to lay bare the horrible truth that, all too often, our friends from across the pond are simply quicker to catch on to the good things in life. Derivative, you say? Maybe, maybe not… probably. But who cares? The Lawrence brothers nearly defy analysis by simple fact of being able to get your ass on the dancefloor, and their new lovesick-themed single “Latch,” is no different, even as it tips the scales more towards a garage style than the post-breakbeat-lite house that prominently featured on their earlier material.
View the recently-released, market-friendly video for “Latch” below, and… oh screw it: Do you drop your judgmental guard when it comes to all things even remotely related to house? And do you like to dance? If your answer is yes to either question, then this one’s for you.
It’s at that moment you know you’re being watched when adrenaline soaks all your muscles. Alone, but conscious of someone looking, the rush rips through your still body trying to find a sound. Beating into your psyche comes the natural pulse and flow of blood, which fills your eyes red, and all sounds are absorbed by that beating. In the tree line, you see the voyeur and start running. Imminent danger ahead, and possibly whirling whizzing past you, as running accelerates with each hard heartbeat. Distracted and jamming now to your own personal rhythm, you think about how deep creep-dance has been this year, with acts like Silent Servant, Vatican Shadow, and Mortiz Von Oswald Trio. Mm, yeah, and that Sublunar album Kane Ikin released this past September on 12k. Weird how his new video for “Rhea” is like the situation you’re in now.
Bish Bosch [album trailer]
From the man who gave us the phrase “Lemon Bloody Cola,” the man who can bring the indelible David Bowie to tears of joy, the man who can do justice to Jacque Brel like a perverse Sinatra, ladies and gentlemen, at long last here is a taste of Bish Bosch, Scott Walker’s latest album. If it makes you writhe a little to think that this guy — who on his last album used a pig carcass as a punching bag to make a drum track — would title his album with something that sounds like asinine gibberish, well, I guarantee the discomfort is calculated. I swear he and Frederick Seidel are soulmates. They should have a sit down for poems and tea.
Words like creepy and genius get brought up around Walker with deserved conviction, but what people don’t often talk about is just how beautiful his music can be. Or how the bass lines are just so sick on the second half of Tilt. At this point in his career, a new Scott album doesn’t really warrant speculation about its quality — the guy has been working in dimensions beyond almost anybody else for years — but more anxiety about how much bloodletting is necessary for us humble listeners to start seeing the visions and keep up.
So go watch this preview already! From what we can see and hear, this one seems like it’s gonna be samples from Scott Walker’s international buffet of third-world destitution and dictators. There’s even some hard-boiled astronomy. Also, the album is actually named in part after Bosch, the 16th-century master who painted this, so feel free to immerse. Here’s a good read to get you pumped. If you don’t already know Scott Walker’s voice, get ready for happy paroxysms. If you do know it, here come the flashbacks.
Bish Bosch is out December 4 on 4AD. You can pre-order it now.
Unlimited Dream Company
Amun Dragoon, who we admittedly know next to nothing about, has taken to SoundCloud to release Unlimited Dream Company, a 14-track dream simulation that swims its way through synthetic pop (“Secret Highway”), breathy new age (“SIMULATION PROJECT 1, ツキハナ「MOONFLOWER」”), and demented appropriations (“MEMORY INVOKE 059”), with a couple unexpected twists along the way (“JADE PASSAGEWAY”). The album is Amun’s envisaged future in which environmental love songs meet space-age broadband pop in a new age/new world data stream straight from Christmas Island, drifting in and out of clarity, shifting from one dimension to the next, exploring ways to achieve different levels of consciousness through the therapeutic yet sometimes ominous tones of 2108 A.D. This is what your dreams will sound like packaged up and sold back to you by a corporate entity. Depressing, yes, but exquisitely manufactured to satiate your every commodified whim and marketable desire.
Listen to Unlimited Dream Company below. For an artist who seems to exist only on SoundCloud, this is some pretty impressive stuff.
• Amun Dragoon: http://soundcloud.com/amun-dragoon