Ascetic Ideals [album stream]
On June 5 (May 28 in the UK), Miles Whittaker, the cute member of Demdike Stare — just kidding; they’re both hot! — is releasing Ascetic Ideals, his second solo release as Suum Cuique. The album, limited to 700 vinyl copies, was created in between the sessions for Demdike Stare’s Elemental (TMT Review) and will be released via Modern Love (not Young Americans, as previously reported).
In an effort to both dedicate your life to a pursuit of contemplative ideals and practice extreme self-denial or self-mortification, feel free to not listen to the album. Or you can listen to the album right now, as Modern Love has made the entire album available for stream. To each his/her own.
“Honeycomb” / “Gotham”
Animal Collective. New 7-inch called “Honeycomb/Gotham.” Digital available starting tomorrow. Physical available for pre-order now. Both via Domino. Let’s do this.
Motion Sickness Of Time Travel
“Color Changing Eyes”
Rachel Evans, a.k.a. Motion Sickness of Time Travel and co-owner of Hooker Vision, just finished her last semester of grad school, but that certainly hasn’t slowed down her release schedule (no surprise, given that she has over 20 releases under her name since 2008). In February, she released Patience Folding Waters (as Quiet Evenings, her duo with husband Grant Evans), and she has three releases as MSOTT in the coming weeks: The Blue Color Pales on Sacred Phrases, a self-titled 2LP on Editions Mego’s Spectrum Spools imprint (note to you: it’s fucking great), and a cassette/digital release titled Traces.
The last one is particularly special, as it marks the inaugural release of A Guide To Saints, a label started by Lawrence English of Room40. It’s also the first release in what A Guide To Saints describes as “Cassette Diaries,” in which artists are asked to record music in a limited period of time, with each release assembled and screenprinted by hand. In the case of Traces, Evans recorded both sides live and in one take, and if the clip for “Color Changing Eyes” (an excerpt from Side B) is any indication, the release will be as rich, expansive, and time-suspending as her other releases. But with such an immersive tapestry of synth, electronics, and vocals, the music also expands beyond any temporal limitations and begins to resemble the qualities of space. For more space- and time-fucking, check out the video:
Get Traces from A Guide To Saints. FYI: the cassette is limited to 100, so act quickly.
Spring I’m In [album stream]
This isn’t exactly your standard tribal-infused, synth-soaring ordeal. First of all, it’s better than that. I believe that people too often forget that sheer high-quality can be a way to stake out originality. As in, just sounding good — polished, self-assured, harmonious — can set an album apart from the overcrowded brood out of which it levitates, aglow. Such is the principle that marks Alligator Indian’s most immediate draw. Spring I’m In demands no test of patience to listen to from front to end, unlike some of even today’s best band’s efforts. If you’re reading this website, you’ve most likely discovered for yourself that there exists a sweet-spot between music that plucks your frontal lobe and music that taps into pure aural pleasure — or, in other words, music that combines musicianship with ideas. Aligator Indian happily mines that middle ground, and, doing justice to their label’s cause, they strike at least a little aesthetic gold.
Spring I’m In is out now on Bleeding Gold. Stream/Buy the whole album here.
Astro Nautico, the label responsible for putting out solid releases by howse, Time Wharp, Kuhn, Obey City, and Paul Jones, recently dropped Atlantics: Vol. 2, a beastly (and free) 41-track compilation of bass-heavy dance tracks, suffocated hip-hop, and ethereal bathdub constructions. Each morning this week, I’ll pick one of my favorite tracks, so you can start your day off astronautically.
Warm Thighs, formerly known as _lip, is a Brighton beat maker. His tracks might sound smooth at first, but listen closer and you’ll hear the true beauty hiding just beneath the surface: the cut-up beat-displacing, the pitch-fucking, the overlapping sampling, the sound quality extremity, the jerky looping. His aesthetic makes “Cold Legs” a clear standout on a compilation of standouts, and if you click on this link, you’ll be treated to a roundup of several Warm Thighs tapes, including the “unofficial” Warm Thighs 3 tape from this year. Seriously, you need Warm Thighs in your body.
“Skin In Circles”
Over the last couple years, Ilyas Ahmed has released a 12-inch with his Portland buddy Liz Harris (Grouper), a split with Steve Gunn, and a 10-inch called Live At On Land, but With Endless Fire is his first full-length release since 2009’s Goner. Our boys at Cerberus just reviewed the cassette version earlier this week; we recently interviewed Ahmed about the new album here; and we’re now ecstatic to premiere the video for standout track “Skin In Circles.” The pensive, amorphous footage of lights in the dark and sun through trees/curtains/etc. — by art director Julia Blackburn (who did that Levi’s campaign [and seemingly knows photographer Ryan McGinley!]) — wonderfully matches the understated doom-vibe of Ahmed’s strummy raga grooves. He says of the record, “[it] started out during an extended period of decline and gradually shifted focus to let more light in, to reconcile the murky depths and the ecstatic highs of everyday life.” Check out the video here:
With Endless Fire is out now on LP and cassette via Immune Recordings.