Got Goth-pop girls on the mind? Rejoice and boot up iTunes yet again: the recent harvest has been rich!
First, there’s Chelsea Wolfe’s new album, whose title is so Goth you can’t pronounce it without help (Ἀποκάλυψις (‘Apokalypsis,’ of course)); then there’s Exitmusic, whose singer Aleksa Palladino sometimes sounds to me like Beach House’s Victoria Legrand, if the beach is one in the wake of a hurricane; and then, of course, there’s the new stuff from Zola Jesus. If Zola’s incredible cameo on “Intro” of M83’s impending album isn’t enough for you, then check out new track “Seekir” from her own upcoming album Conatus, out October 4 from Sacred Bones. The chanting at the beginning is pretty groovy, the beat added later is even groovier, and when Zola really gets started, you’ll hear how big female vocals are really meant to sound, especially if you’re as goddamn sick as me of that overplayed Adele song.
On September 30, Important Records is set to release a split 12-inch from two of Earth’s avant-garde super powers: Asmus Tietchens and Kouhei Matsunaga.
Side A features two new untitled tracks from the godly Tietchens. If you don’t already know, this guy is seriously legit. He is 64-years-old, German, and has been making experimental music since before anyone even thought of making experimental music. Well, I guess that’s not completely true, but he was part of the hippest scene in Germany during the late-70s and early-80s after releasing groundbreaking records on ultra-groovy European labels like Hamburg based Sky Records and France’s Egg Records. He has also collaborated with cats such as Okko Bekker, Thomas Köner, and Jon Mueller throughout the years.
Tietchens’ massive catalog has ranged from pop-oriented synthesizer loops to pure abstract noise, but this one is toned down a little. Track “a1” (which you better be listening to right now) features a calm aloof drone with barely-melodic, creepy bends gliding throughout the entire piece. Apparently those “bends” are thanks to Tietchens’ pal and ethereal guitar-manipulator Dirk Serries (a.k.a. Fear Falls Burning, a.k.a. Vidna Obmana) who gave the samples to Tietchens just for fun. “A2” is equally mesmerizing; it’s a twinkling bleepy-bloopy joy ride through space.
Oh yeah! And then there’s the B side by Kouhei Matsunaga. This guy has been pumping out all sorts of different material since the late 90s, including three releases on Important Records last summer. Two of them were collaborations with Mika Vainio from Pan Sonic (one of which included Sean Booth from Autechre), and the other was an incredible full-length solo work. He also just released another full-length album on UK label Skam Records under the alias NHKyx. His pieces featured on this record fall somewhere between his minimalist beat-oriented work and his more abstract piercing soundscapes.
There will only be 500 copies and the first 100 come on color vinyl! What color? Who knows?! You’ll just have to buy one on September 30.
Continuing with his chill-chug, “It’s okay, but I’m growin’ older, man,” theme, Matador Records is due to release Kurt Vile’s So Outta Reach EP on 12-inch and digital formats November 8, because he ain’t getting any younger. And this EP does what EPs do; it’s an extended play of five tracks recorded with Smoke Ring For My Halo, featuring songs originally intended to be on that longplay. Oh, and he finally did-it-on-em by covering Bruce Springsteen’s “Downbound Train,” included on the EP. It will also be sold with the new deluxe 2-CD version of Smoke Ring For My Halo.
So, “The Creature” is just a tease-track, because if I can’t get the whole thing, you can’t! We all do eventually, though (if we want it), ‘cause every day is Christmas on the internet. But the fall is coming and you’re getting older. Let Kurt Vile try and calm ya. Maturing is confusing in the digital age.
Oneohtrix Point Never
Oneohtrix Point Never’s got a new track to show off from Replica, his forthcoming album based on audio culled from TV ad compilations. The album, touted as his first “studio” release, is already #4 on our year-end list, and we haven’t even heard it yet. In fact, we might not even listen to it before we compile our list because we know it’ll be so good.
Look for Replica November 8 on Software/Mexican Summer.
“The Pyramids of Northeast Belgium”
Innercity can take it from here. As in: Draak Jagers is so omnipotent [he can take it from here]. This year, Innercity has spewed out releases on Not Not Fun, Beyt Al Tapes, Animal Image Search, SF Broadcast, Ikuisuus, and Ginjoha, and now a 7-inch on NNA Tapes? And all the releases have a collective theme (trance, ya dig), yet individually doing they’s own thing? Please. Here, “The Pyramids of Northeast Belgium” puts the listener at a distance between techno-beat-bop, maximalist artist, trustworthy (?) narrative, and submission, bringing it back and back and, etc. Now, it don’t make no sense, but unless you ain’t got w00pher speakers, that bass better be MAX’dd. I got a dude round Linwood area say he do you a Blaupunkt and two 12-inch for $125 flat. Install and all. He don’t include this year’s Innercity collection, but he know a few dudes who you could holla at: Discogs, Mimaroglu Music Sales, Experimedia, and Tomentosa.
The War on Drugs
Mirror Universe is soon releasing a cassette version of The War on Drugs new album, Slave Ambient. However, this filmy take will be more than just an alternative media format: the cassette version will be a half-hour longer than the one already released, with side 2 adding six all-new tracks. Whereas the meat and potatoes (and smoke) of the heretofore release of Slave Ambient can be largely described as straight-driving, American rock ‘n’ roll (plus some fuzz on the side for the sake of expanse), the new tracks promise to make good on the latter half of the album’s title. In other words, if Slave Ambient proper is a soundtrack for travel, then the new half-album of B-sides is the destination. And that destination is Space. It is this writer’s opinion that the band should amend their name thusly: The War, On Drugs. Take a hit of “Snake Tongues” to see why.