Various Artists: Project Mooncircle
“A wild stallion fights its way up from the dirt and tries to receive recognition by separating itself from the herd. Breaking through the anonymity of the group to the freedom of running through endless land- and soundscapes into horizons of new sonic worlds.”
These sentences, used by Berlin label Project Mooncircle to introduce the Uprising Compilation, had me spending two hours looking for an interview in which Werner Herzog declares that he doesn’t believe the rogue penguin from Encounters at the End of the World to be insane. Herzog further offers that if he had to spend every day sitting monotonously with the same collective, he too would eventually say, “To hell with it,” and head off into the mountains on his own.
Alas, I cannot find this interview, so I leave it to you to fill in the thematic and conceptual blanks. [Writer’s note: here it is. Fast-forward to 24:05.]
Speaking of themes and concepts and all that good-good, Project Mooncircle, a driving force in international beat culture for the better part of a decade, has been killing it on the compilation front for just as long, specifically by bringing together artists from different parts of the world to make stories of soundscapes. One standout project of theirs, The Moon Comes Closer served as sonic representation of a dream journey to… you guessed it, the moon. While embracing the premise of “instrumental compilation as concept album” might demand a slight stretch of the imagination, simply enjoying the tunes therein is much easier.
Stream the Uprising Compilation below, and if it suits you, order the 3xLP vinyl version complete with silk-screen artwork here.
• Project Mooncircle: http://projectmooncircle.com
Maureen Gubia is an autodidact painter and musician from Ecuador. Though her music and her visuals are often detached from one another, both forms expose a remarkable palate that transcends traditional approach and sees the artist invoking a space that’s both visceral and reflective.
In 2006, she recorded a handful of experimental soundscapes that were recently mixed by her partner, Drahog. The mixes constitute Gubia’s latest release, Polillas gusanas, and they unveil a fascinating insight into the direction she is taking her sound. Each recording is a delicate, wafer-thin exploration in vocal manipulation, electro-acoustic composition, and musique concrète, which in this case, operates as an enchanting accompaniment to the cover art that was synchronized with the mixes.
Polillas gusanas is available on Bandcamp to buy and to stream alongside the artist’s 13-track LP La estampita mística (which includes a sensational cover of Jandek’s “Naked in the Afternoon”). It would also be impossible to post about Maureen without a link to her online gallery, which hosts a selection of her astonishing artwork — check it out here.
• Gubia: http://mgubia.com/musica.htm
Zulu P ALWAYS doing theyselves in straight rare original form! Years of practice and expertise have cultivated to this moment: H.O.T. [produced by Ben Malkin for the Representing NYC imprint of Dutty Artz]. Blending hip hop and R&B in their own sui generis way, Zulu P [family includes Marley G, Big Star JF, Killah B, Andriena, Lil E.B., and T-Rock] runs hard, gets weird, flips reality, speculates fierce musical progression, and are (generally) all that IS music. Every single song on this mixtape demands your head nodding. Don’t even refuse it! I mean, you can’t. Like, I’m sitting here writing this post, tryna concentrate, you-know you-know, then “The Block is Hot” starts up, and it’s instant visual agreement.
And if you’re in reach of the NYC area, shout out to these fellahs LIVE this weekend at the Queens Museum of Art. As well, expect two more mixtapes before their album release (expected) Spring of 2014!
Listen to H.O.T. by Zulu P below, hosted by Goodbye Better Scents, or hit up they’s TO.BE field listed below-below:
Autre Ne Veut x Fennesz
Just a second here: Mexican Summer is releasing a Sears Catalog-esque limited edition (of 1000 -_-) hardcover book commemorating a SELF PROCLAIMED “milestone” in music. Mexican Summer: Five Year is 256 pages of (again, self proclaimed): “unique and unseen art and ephemera, photos and written contributions from a host of Mexican Summer artists.” The book ALSO includes a 10-inch record with rare tracks from Mexican Summer musicians.
One of them tracks is a collaborative effort by Autre Ne Veut x Fennesz entitled “Alive.” It’s pretty much what you expect out of both these musicians thus far in their careers. Fennesz is all floaty and warped-ish. Autre Ne Veut continues to front his syrup-wisp vocal style. And all I got are two questions:
Will Autre Ne Veut continue to POP on his next release? (Thought: Daniel Lopatin helped Arthur Ashin’s pre-established torn pop continue on Anxiety by trying to make out with the girl playfully saying “NO!” by the women’s bathroom.)
Stream “Alive” by Autre Ne Veut x Fennesz below, and hope they continue to do so in 2014:
Road rage might be
all the rage the talk of the town due to a recent headline-making motorcycle attack gone viral, but it’s by no means a new phenomenon. Hell, for C Monster, it’s practically a religion unto itself. There’s just something about sitting in a 3,500-pound object traveling at 75 miles per hour that turns people into deranged lunatics. On “Road Rage,” the GOAT Breeze Brewin gets to the crux of this psychological problem, spitting “Been locked in the lane with impossible anguish/ It’s blocks of the same shit gridlocked in the Matrix/ Anger in our voice the pounding up in our head’s real/ If we had a choice I doubt we’d want in the red pill/ See it be hard when it seem there’s no real flow/ When you used to being in charge now you going nowhere slow.”
Counting “Brew’IN Control’” and “Dear Autumn,” this song marks the third Brewin release of 2013, once again giving rise to the $64,000 question, “Will The Juggaknots’ frontman finally release his proper solo debut, or perhaps more optimistically, if and when he does, how many innocent pedestrians will I run over on my way to get it?”
(Hopefully yes and probably three or four.)
• Juggaknots: https://twitter.com/juggaknots
As a kid in the 80s, my favorite Baby-sitters Club book was natch “Boy-Crazy Stacey – it was very! “Boy Crazy” Lydia on the other hand, echoes the likes of Deetz and Lunch, and fronts less of a Valley girl and more of an alley girl ring in this little Loveless ditty. Specifically, a dark alley behind some bar during the early hours. Which is appropriate for Loveless’ sex-positive, romance-negative, and take-no-prisoners country punk lyrics: “I wish I was his wife/ Not really, though.” AND her eponymous EP Boy Crazy also features a song about Jeffrey Dahmer called “Lover’s Spat.” Fuck me gently with a chainsaw!