Thanks to years of obsessive listening and a deep-seated impulse to taxonomize, I tend to place most bands within the booming
#EmoRevival #KrautrockRevival into two distinct and vastly overgeneralized categories:
1. The Neu! School (by way of Stereolab and related projects):
Characterized by: crisp production; relatively dry guitar tones; rhythmic precision; concurrent incorporation of tropes from other 50s/60s/70s genres (lounge, library music, jazz, funk, prog); minimalist instrumentation; the motorik beat; incessant repetition.
For example: CAVE, Beak>, Siinai, Fujiya & Miyagi, newer Lower Dens material.
2. The Amon Düül [II] School (by way of Spacemen 3 and related projects):
Characterized by: freewheeling “psychedelic” exploration; heavily effected guitar tones; swirling trails of distortion/delay/feedback; detours into dissonance and/or eerie atmospheric passages; non-motorik rhythmic vamps; shredding; incessant repetition.
For example: Wooden Shjips, Psychic Ills, White Hills, Moon Duo, Eternal Tapestry.
Denver-bred contempo-kraut cosmonauts Woodsman, balanced on the ledge between these two schools, defy efforts at taxonomy. After previous releases with Mexican Summer, Lefse, and Fire Talk, the band prepares their self-titled full-length LP to see the light of day after the new year. “Healthy Life,” our first preview cut, kicks off with an eminent Neu! School rhythm section groove that grounds the track’s first half under a haze of chordal guitar phrases. By the time the extra toms kick in and the drifting layers of synth squelch/guitar drone accumulate around the edges of the session, we’re speeding towards a deep Amon Düül School climax — but with enough restraint left in the leads to keep us from spinning too far off into the void.
New LP by Woodsman lands on February 14 via Fire Talk.
“I Am Kimmy Blanco”
Meet Kimmy Blanco, the new alter-ego of legendary lady MC Lil Kim. To be completely honest, Kimmy isn’t all that different from Kim: she’s got a lot of money (so much that the bills pay themselves!), a lot of honey (enough to kill bees!), and she’s so hot, she makes hell seem like tepid bathwater. Ostensibly, Kimmy will feature pretty heavily into the rapper’s anticipated — and oft-delayed — Hardcore 2k13 mixtape (guess they’ll have to bump it up to Hardcore 2k14); the haters might say that tacking on another intimidating persona to the already intimidating Kim is redundant, but really, you can never be too fierce. Backed by an ominous trap beat, the Brooklyn native calmly lays down the law, armed with little more than her cocky deadpan. No need for auto-tune or saccharine singsongs here (*cough*Nicki Minaj*cough*): just a tenured femme fatale doing what she does best. There’s already talk of a Miley Cyrus collaboration on the new tape, but my fingers are crossed for a team-up with Mykki: a battle of the Blancos, if you will. Now that would be dope.
• Lil Kim: http://lilkim.com
Tabs Out: Laser Focus #2
Tabs Out is an all-cassette podcast that’s been documenting the prolific tape underground with joyful obsession and humorous expertise since 2012. Tiny Mix Tapes has teamed with Tabs Out for a show called Laser Focus, in which tape aficionados/fetishists Mike Haley, Dave Doyen, and Joe B hone in on a specific label or artist. Check out the archive here.
For the past five years, the lawfully wedded duo of Grant and Rachel Evans have been dispensing generous amounts of drone and synth chillers on their label Hooker Vision. With releases by their own projects (Motion Sickness Of Time Travel, Crippling, Quiet Evenings, etc.) and a proficient crew of worldwide jammers, they have racked up well over 100 releases, mostly on cassette.
We talked with Grant and Rachel about their home/noise lives and played tapes from the Hooker Vision catalog by Coyote Image Classic, Cliffsides, Sparkling Wide Pressure, Crippling, Motion Sickness Of Time Travel, and Rambutan.
Here is a list of what we played:
- Coyote Image Classic - Coyote Image Classic 2xCS (HV129)
- Cliffsides - Liquid Mirrors C72 (HV091)
- Sparkling Wide Pressure - Pretending Eternal C38 (HV127)
- Crippling / Digtal Natives - Split C24 (HV123)
- Motion Sickness Of Time Travel - Eclipse Studies C41 (HV133)
- Rambutan - Partial Wires C30 (HV101)
Hooker Vision proprietors Grant and Rachel Evans
Hooker Vision gear + cat
Hooker Vision gear + cat pt. II
Hooker Vision cassettes
• Hooker Vision: http://hookervision.blogspot.com
• Hooker Vision (SoundCloud): https://soundcloud.com/hooker-vision
• Hooker Vision (Facebook): http://on.fb.me/1b6MOAY
• Tabs Out: http://www.tabsout.com
The Oracle DJ
Ultra-lush vibes aura off the Derealization [mixtape]. Lush in light of sheer concision and the smooth fluidity of The Oracle DJ’s foresight and perception. Gripping at Farsi, dancehall, riddims, experimental, hip-hop, remix culture, mixtape reel swag, mystique swirl, etc., the Derealization [mixtape] breaks down every bit of that genre stability and forms it’s own front. And whether you’ve been sober forever, years, months, days, hours, minutes, The Oracle DJ will take you to new musical highs. Not only is it a danceable mix; not only does this mix pump that Monday drawl; Derealization [mixtape] got fresh lounge beat. It’s both maximum chill zones and burnin’ feet beating. And as it’s less than 38 minutes, totally GREEN in the sense of repeat listens. Get recyclable, yo!
Also, if you live fairly close to the New York City area get STOKED, The Oracle DJ (a.k.a. Sam Hillmer, a.k.a. Diamond Terrifier) will be hosting a mixtape release party every Monday this month in the Ace Hotel lobby. Yes. You’ve FIVE chances to lax on the Derealization [mixtape] zone, and knowing Hillmer, it’ll be some different whacked out AWESOME sounds each time. Come on out! I’ll definitely be there on Dec. 30, and probz before. Ace Hotel looks lux too!
Stream the immensity of The Oracle DJ’s Derealization [mixtape] below:
• The Oracle DJ: http://www.diamondterrifier.com
“Thor’s Stone” (Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry remix)
If English dub is a triple diaspora, the legendary Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s remix of Forest Sword’s “Thor’s Stone” sketches a half-arc of the return voyage. In the image of Perry as royalty, there subsists not only the imperialism that oppressed Jamaican culture as well as influencing it so deeply, but the echoes of conflict under Cromwell (the ‘Lord Protector’ whose ‘Western design’ on the Caribbean bequeathed his title to so many calypso artists) — conflict in the colonies and also in the red-in-tooth-and-claw, realpolitik-meets-religion struggles of the Civil War, played out across the muddy fields and majestic halls of dear old Blighty.
Perry’s foregrounded beats emphasize the menace and orgiastic ritual rhythms only hinted at in the original. The darkness of his intonations (purified here of his signature scatological and sexual boasts), chanted over an aural invocation of Albion, evokes Linton Kwesi Johnson’s cityscapes transposed back to the pastoral, inna reverse urbanization style. In calling down magic, energy, and above all fire, Perry’s creolized Thor creates a Lionhearted postcolonial syncretism. Gonna chase those crazy roundheads outta town…
Listen below, and feel it for yourself:
Chaz & Alex
And as 2013 comes to a satisfying end, Chaz & Alex begs listeners to continue their venturing ears on a journey that could potentially be never ending. “More” got that footwork baby soul, digital punk-tude, and distant haze synth that just beckons all to the shores of 2014. Shouting “Land ho!” in the warmest of sands, feet buried beneath the tide-line, waving you into the friendliest and most accepting of all parties is Chaz & Alex. Anything goes because why the heck not! Astronauts playing world soccer. Babies grippin’ that golden mic begging for seconds, thirds… ENLIGHTENMENT. Blooming white pedals in bursts of love and smiles. Tigers wearing diamond studded collars licking palms and gettin’ sweet. Starry Nitez glitter-style dancefloor, ceiling, walls, drinks, hairdos, irises, EVERYTHING.
There is no FUCKING way Chaz & Alex are stopping anytime soon. Pop progression better be settin’ sights on these boiis, ‘cause they ain’t never finished. Holy shit this baby soul auto tune stutter is just burin’ Monday right now. If you thought this was fun, or this intro was deep, just WAIT for what Chaz & Alex got in store for the future. OH THE FUTURE!!! Get “More” of their future below, and keep an eye on their SoundCloud constantly.
• Chaz & Alex: https://soundcloud.com/chaz-alex