Echoes in the Wonderland [album stream]
On their Bandcamp page, Uton suggest, “For a stronger effect, listen near midnight in a dark room (or with minimal light). Do not let anything else disturb you.” It’s like that weird point at the beginning of Eraserhead when you are asked to lower the brightness of your television set for maximum effect. It makes you wonder what you are getting into.
There is ambient music that puts you to sleep, and then there is ambient music that sits you upright, wide-eyed, scared of everything in your room, and convinced that an abnormally tall, slender man with no face is going to suddenly appear in your window if you make the mistake of blinking. As suggested by the dichotomy between “echoes” and “wonderland” in the album title, this one pretty much covers that entire spectrum. With no real rhythm to ground the listener and establish familiarity, the various noises and strange vocal loops start and stop at random, leaving you in a strange world of displacement. Don’t go swimming. Don’t open the door. And for god’s sake, don’t walk in the woods by yourself.
“Wife All Day”
Dust zones are way weird. Like, it’s afterlife, omniscience, energy, matter, grey, etc. Technically, I’m you as you are history and as history is repetition. We shed and continue to shed dust, and maybe people subconsciously find a lasting appeal breathing in someone else for years. And I ain’t talking about when she crop-dusts across the room while telling you, “Women don’t fart.” It’s being a part all day without being around ever. Maybe just in the morning. So, I think I get Tigerbitch’s “Wife All Day.” I mean, aside from a partner, how about the Animal Collective/Deerhunter vibe you get with this track? Maybe dust is more musically influential than we think. Transferal of influence, maybe? Or hearing? I dunno, but keep on the lookout for Tigerbitches’ new [untitled] EP this summer. This dude droppin’ it deep.
• Tigerbitch: http://tigerbitch.bandcamp.com
“Super Bowl XXIX”
How did an instrument as deeply rooted in religion as the organ ever become a surf-rock staple? It’s huge, heavy, and nearly impossible to actually play on the beach. It was probably some kid who died in a surfing accident and his friends held the funeral “where, like, he would have wanted it to be, bro: on the beach” — and just like that, the connection was made. A new religion comprised of beach-bums as disciples, stoned conversations about life as the gospel, and some mix of worship-style harmonizing and instrumentation as the choir. Granted, most of this just takes place in garages and basements now instead of on the beach, but the idea is still nice. And I’ll be God(?)-damned if that classic surf-rock formula doesn’t still work today.
Check out Heavy Hawaii’s “Super Bowl XXIX,” off a three-track 7-inch on Art Fag.
DJ Rashad & DJ Spinn
“We Trippy Mane” / “Just Jam [ft. Gant-Man]”
OMG — I got this nasty television last year, and I’d love to see DJ Rashad & DJ Spinn’s new video on it. Oh, wait, don’t watch the TV? I-I-I-I-I-I-I guess I’ll just check-ck-ck-ck-ck this track out YouTube(s)-at-work-style. I love how this video is probably only five real minutes of footage. Seriously, much respect to the editor of this video. It’s arguably just as artistic as this music is edited. Mmm, and grimy little melodies get my feet fluttering, while stuttering doooods together in a room for too long WILL get grimy. That’s probz why the length of these shots are so short. But who knew minimalism was such a gigantic source of a good time? Rashad and Spinn do, duh. Instead of television-watching, they trippy, just jammin’, and enjoying [7:38]. And there’s nothing more artistic than a girl footworking good.
Check out Rashad’s new album TEKLIFE Vol. 1: Welcome to the Chi off Lit City. #ghost #ghost #ghost #ghost #ghost
Matt Jones & The Reconstruction
“Hand Out The Drugs”
Two years ago, Matt Jones almost died — and the twist here is, unlike some sappily spun story about a bearded, dumped dude finding hope in some hackneyed Thoreau-esque cabin-escapism, Jones readily admitted that even if it was Music that saved his life, it was Music that almost destroyed it, too. Indeed, his airy voice sweeps with devastation and delicacy, that breathy scrape that tails into sweetly clawing trills like the comforting hand that grasps, almost violently, at your shoulder to comfortingly rear you back from the edge, from collapse. Yes, dark and beautiful, as the cliché goes, the kind of heavy shit that makes you glad you’re only inside the narrator’s shoes (or roped to the narrator’s chair) for just four minutes at a time, but damned if he doesn’t wind it all together with such poetic allure.
I’m not here to spin the same old story that Jones deserves just as much romanticizing and rabble as the big Grammy-folkies or any other; I’m just here to remind you that there’s always something you’re missing, that one might never know what poignant, revelatory musical moments can be mined from unassuming voices, moments, songs that prove more rewarding and endearing than any of that stuff that Starbucks is selling you. Peek into Michigan’s folk scene — it’s been churning along for a while now — particularly with Jones’ recently-released Half Poison / Half Pure. Then peek down an overlooked street in Detroit’s northwest corner through the lens of director Oren Goldenberg (Our School). A hazy, daydreamy drift along crumbled curb-sides in front of the houses and the people of the suburbs of post-post-industrial America that often get left outside the frame.
It builds. It starts to roll. The clapping begins. Clap along.
For me, it’s that low, pitch-shifted vocal sound (probably just a synth?) that makes Lunar Miasma’s “Expanded Dimension.” When it creeps in, I instantly picture the steam punk Blade Runner city: dark, pensive, filled with neon lights bursting through ambient smoke ‘n’ shit. Mission accomplished? I should also add that “Expanded Dimension” reminds me of how utterly burnt out I am on moody synth-ambience — a matter of overexposure I guess. But forget that; sometimes you’ve got to take a step back and listen with fresh ears. Props to Lunar Miasma for keeping it real, sticking to his guns.