Spectral Life (extract)
While Locrian’s most recent monolith of a record Return to Annihilation proved more concise and songular than any of their previous work, the upcoming solo LP from the band’s singer/multi-instrumentalist Terence Hannum shifts the dial back into side-long minimal drone. At a low volume, the first excerpt from Spectral Life reaches us as an oscillation of cresting overtones. Cranked up all the way, Hannum’s drones overwhelm with detail and physicality. He finds room in his wide mix for vocal chants stretched to improbable lengths, cymbal crashes layered into a steady pulse, and spiny arpeggio sequences that air out for minutes on end. As they fade into the expanding haze, these voices sketch out a symphonic drone that can reward a close listen or soundtrack a muted meditation. The excerpt stream cuts off when that oscillator starts to squall like mad, and we’re left here imagining the heights (or depths) the session reaches before its conclusion. Black metal tremolo shreddery? Massive synth sub-bass? Tortured screams? Or naw, maybe he plays it cooool and dips all the way down into even purer tones.
We’ll find out when Spectral Life ships from Shelter Press on July 29. You can pre-order it here.
Chaz & Alex
Legit, y’all ready for The Enlightenment? Prepare, because it’s so much more now than what has previously been tasted. Clear a path for Chaz (Metallic Ghosts) & Alex, ‘cause they not only poppin’ that feet-beat, robot boogie, and trash-synth, but they movin’ masses. Try and sit still listening to the entirety of The Enlightenment. I DARE YOU! Vocal manips/clips/samples/bits. Fine sustains, auraing your dance bubble. Galactic dance floors melting into Earth’s skyline. The sun setting into a pair of shoes itching to be tied and worn. Savior blessings for all to gospel in its faith. OMG them POPS!! Then, the automated humorous brand “Certified Hit” twitches in and out your skull.
Chaz & Alex’s influences are not obvious either, but they in there: that Dean Blunt woman-in-the-machine vocode, Young Smoke and Paisley Parks troll-beat cuts, Fortune 500 sample kitche, Splash Tapes laugh-swaggery, and even old school Girl Talk tweet(ish) mashup. Fuck, and if you don’t feel the spirit within The Enlightenment, check ya pulse, ‘cause this might already be your second listen, as the stuttering beat is now making a pace for your valves.
Also, tonight at 10 PM (EST), you have a chance to rub some SPF420 on the backs of Chaz & Alex during their live album release party and DJ set, alongside DJ Clap, 회사AUTO, and リバーブ LITE. Get some Tinychat style!
Noisemaker Eric Copeland, of Black Dice fame, has just released a new LP with DFA Records, called Joke In The Hole, and here’s a free track to listen to until you go down to the record store and pick up the album later this afternoon (if you haven’t already). “Cheap Treat” is a deep funk track that starts off with good ol’ Black Dicey abrasion and ends up a fun and summery jam. The whole record is full of feel-good beats and in-your-face textures. It’s the ideal mid-July aggro-dance record, perfect for your sweaty weekend barbecue or daily shandy sip-off.
NYC, HELL 3:00 AM (trailer #2)
OH FUCK YEAH. Trailer #2 is here for NYC, HELL 3:00 AM, James Ferraro’s forthcoming album on Hippos in Tanks, and while it’s not quite as bizarre or as breathtaking as trailer #1, it’s still undeniably captivating. In contrast to floating safely in the digital sky above New York’s cityscapes, Ferraro this time puts us on the highway, stealing home-video-style glimpses (over and over) of a burning car. By the time we get past the wailing guitar, anxious vocals, and minimal rhythms of the trailer’s main sequence, the vocals CD-skip their way to a riveting symphony of sirens, traffic noise, looped pop, and muffled vocals. And I’m eating it up.
NYC, HELL 3:00 AM is out October 15 on Hippos in Tanks.
“The Queen Is Dead”
“Look at a coin from your pocket. On one side is “heads” — the symbol of the political authority which minted the coin; on the other side is “tails” — the precise specification of the amount the coin is worth as payment in exchange. One side reminds us that states underwrite currencies and the money is originally a relation between persons in society, a token perhaps. The other reveals the coin as a thing, capable of entering into definite relations with other things.”
– Keith Hart, as quoted in David Graeber’s Debt
I don’t personally begrudge the next bundle of privileged little atoms soon to be squeezed out of Our recently royally anointed womb, but you know on the day The Royal Baby begins its life in this world I’ll be smelting coins, screaming profanities, and dreaming of a future in which the little sprog can reach into its pocket, and instead of being massaged by an endless stream of cash, printed with its own face, it will find them empty, save for the odd bit of fluff, just like the rest of us.
Because there’s never two sides to a coin for the person who takes up one of them.
Young Fathers’ TAPE TWO is out now on Anticon.
Powerviolence, Viking Metal, Deathgrind: metalheads sure do love their ultra-specific labels. When it comes to True Widow, however, the only blanket term that’s safe to use is “heavy.” Haunting melodies and thick, bristling guitars fill in every last cubic inch of sonic space, pressurizing the creepy dirge-pop of bands like Low down to a more rugged, rabid incarnation. Featuring some silken male-female vocals and a steadily-unfurling main riff, “HW R” hits its sulky stride early on, with a hypnotic groove that provides an easy explanation as to why fans have taken to describing the Dallas band as purveyors of “stonergaze.” True Widow’s not about to start any moshpits, but then again, they don’t exactly need to. Songs this rich don’t get the chance to sink in when you’re shoving people around.