Jason Lescalleet / Kevin Drumm
The Invisible Curse
One of the most fascinating aspects of Kevin Drumm’s and Jason Lescalleet’s respective discographies can be found in their constant shifts in style. The first disc of Lescalleet’s Songs About Nothing alone is a great example of his ability to work with everything from brain-melting psychoacoustics to chopped-and-screwed hip-hop beats to nearly imperceptible field recordings. Drumm’s work tends to be more stylistically focused from album to album, but he’s produced everything from haunting synth-based ambient music to some of the harshest digital noise imaginable. Both musicians, however, have an uncanny knack for collaboration. Drumm’s ultra-restrained work with Taku Sugimoto and Lescalleet’s sensitive processing work with Graham Lambkin are prime examples of how these two artists are able to adapt their aesthetics to context.
All of this begs the question: what would a Lescalleet/Drumm collaboration sound like? Whose voice and what style will take the lead in a collaborative situation, where both artists are capable of adapting to any compositional circumstance? The answer presented in the release of the duo’s two-track “digital 7-inch” The Invisible Curse is actually quite surprising.
Of course, there is a handful of the duo’s hallmark sonics (slowed-down looped tapes, cutting frequencies, etc.), but the overall soundworld presented here is not only quite unlike anything in either artists’ catalog, but it’s also very often pretty. “Invisible” begins and ends with a lovely loop that gets destroyed about midway through, only to be rebuilt with all of the elements of its destruction present; while on “The Curse,” an almost Nuno Canavarro-esque opening gives way to a Macintosh Plus-esque sample that Drumm/Lescalleet ride for the rest of the piece.
Then again, perhaps it’s not surprising that they’ve taken on a new approach. Even though The Invisible Curse may not be what one might imagine, Drumm and Lescalleet have proven themselves to be especially permeable in collaborative situations, making their careers out of subverting their very own styles if required. And on The Invisible Curse, they warp their own sounds into something new entirely.
You can stream and/or download The Invisible Curse below, and be sure to check out Jason Lescalleet at one of his many shows in the next week (including one on 9/24 at the Nightlight in Chapel Hill and one on 9/25 at Neptune’s in Raleigh).
“Zip A Dee Doo Dah”
The living six- or five- or three-string deity Bill Orcutt — formerly of Harry Pussy, current purveyor of face-melting ballistic affronts to your perception and physical well being in the form of solo acoustic guitar performance, sometimes in tandem with Chris Corsano, usually of the beard and moustache and jeans and a plain tee folk — selected a bunch of classic tunes from the American canon for his next eMego barnburner A History of Everyone, and it seems like he’s/they’re tryna infer that these songs constitute the elemental lifeblood of our nation and have swirled around us and permeated our brains in so many commercials and ceremonies and campfire moments that they kinda tell our history at this point. Cool, yeah, okay, I perceive and acknowledge this idea; let’s scroll down to this SoundCloud zone and just press pl—
“YEAH!!! Uhnnnnn Billlllllll!!”
“Zip A Dee Doo Dah” is a pick striking strings harder than they should be able to withstand, fingers drilling into a thick wooden bridge, some chords that are chords, and some that are more like husks of what could be chords, the moans, Bill Orcutt’s language drowning out all other signifiers.
A History of Everyone is due September 30. You can pre-order it now.
Tree House [mixtape]
From The FADER:
First things first, let’s get it out of the way that Tree House’s album cover, with a photo of Le1f doing his best Grey Gardens impression in vintage fur, is the best shit ever. Now let’s get to the music, which pulls in producers like The-Drum and Boody to make what is probably the smoothest, chillest, most relaxed release of his career thus far. Le1f eases down his flow at times to a sing-songy echo, and firmly rides one beautiful, shimmering vibe throughout that meets somewhere between Future’s post-production croon, 90s slow jams and some of the avant-R&B of artists like SZA and Kelela. Worldplay is strong as ever: Le1f repeats the chorus to his current favorite song “Free Kiki” so often that it blends together into “freakkkkyyy,” and a spokenword about “cocoa butter” is a truly important call to arms for more sexiness in the world. Le1f’s heading on tour for the tape, the dates for which you can check out below.
UPDATE: From CMJ:
Last month, Le1f shared a suave new grinder, Damn Son, and announced a follow-up mixtape to January’s Fly Zone. That follow-up is Tree House, and you can stream it in all its lazy-beat glory today.
Tree House sounds crisper and more mature than Fly Zone, with Le1f’s syrupy flow effortlessly wrapping around muffled beats, fizzed-out percussion and unusual additions like dripping water and snaps. You can listen to the mixtape all day, and check out the dates for Le1f’s upcoming Tree House Party Tour, below.
[Editor’s note: ‘_’]
• Le1f: http://le1f.com
“Gloves And Tie”
The promise of something different and new. Commitment to change about being something more than just yourself. What the wedding couple says in front of an officiator, in front of an altar. It’s sacred beyond deity. And only mouth movements to those in attendance. The intimacy is so delicate to the audience, but heavy in who can hear it; words in form of which they never waste a breath beyond that altar. The officiator becomes red in the face while talking, and it’s either from the couple’s verbal content or not breathing during scripture. Stained glass sunshine reflects upon the bride. The groom whispers through a smile. Still red, the officiator, behind spectacles, peers at the bride’s dress and notices the pink upon her breast, and he reddens a bit more. Tying in knots seems that of the most stable order, but frayed bindings can prove either a stronger bond or looser escape. To “Gloves And Tie.” Clean and bound.
Out this week on Sheltered Press, Chicaloyoh debuts her first album Folie Sacrée on 180 gram black vinyl, limited to 500 copies and mastered by James Plotkin. Just not in the mood for anything else today, and Alice Dourlen is good lingering music for that feel.
Various Artists: Tabs Out #3
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - “Remixes” [TMT mix]
Damn, son, where’d we find this? A three-and-a-half-minute pu-pu platter of morsels that taste like some sorta miraculous Motion Sickness of Time Travel remixtape? There are 11 bold flavors in all, with distinct notes of Jim Haynes, Imperial Topaz, Hobo Cubes, and more (!!), comin’ down the chute with all the tasty friction of lo-fi, noise, drone, and ambient textures. What a delight!
Well, it looks like the good folks at Tabs Out, one of our favorite cassette podcasts, cooked this one up just for us. The 20-second clip stream herein is but a sampling of their third cassette release (yes, the paid piper is paying up the pipe by his dang self now!), which will be a C60 of multidirectional Motion Sickness flips. Super limited, naturally: aside from the artists themselves (duh!), only chrome Tabs Out donors are getting this one, and not only will it be numbered, but it will also be personally addressed. Death to eBay, rejoice the microlabel; death to your local tapeman!
If this all weren’t zeitgeisty enough, Rachel Evans herself has crafted a found-cat-imagery collage to correspond to each remix, which are coil-bound together and shipped with the tape. Check it check it!
Full list of contributors:
“My music is about to get real fucking dark. I’ll be shoe gazing. You’ll never see my face because my hair is in my face.”
– Katy Perry
Do you think Katy Perry intended to use that pun? Do you think Katy Perry actually listens to shoegaze? Oh my god, do you think Russell Brand introduced it to her? ‘Cause, you know, he’s British and they’re British and all that? Or did the Radiohead Dude from “The One That Got Away” put on Loveless one fateful night when they were cuddling on the Kitty Cat sofa? Well, know what? I don’t think the Socratic method is going to help me uncover any traces of some greater, MBV-inspired project looming beyond the VeVo ads and golden spit buckets.
Maybe we’re just stuck with a skewed sjuzhet until Prism’s released in its entirety. And maybe it’s best not to read too deeply into “Dark Horse,” the album’s latest single, at least from a lyrical standpoint (although it makes for a good “spot-the-cliche” exercise!). Think of it instead as a sultrier take on her equally-dopey, equally-divine classic “E.T.”: pastel-goth pop with a raunchy beat that will may raise some soccer mom eyebrows. For the guest rapping honors, Perry recruits Juicy J; although he can’t reach the astronomical heights (ha!) of Kanye “pockets on Shrek” West, his similarly robotic delivery makes him the perfect fit for a spaced-out dance track like this one. All in all, this horse is as about as dark as a Lisa Frank unicorn and about as shoegaze as said unicorn, too. But that hasn’t stopped my fellow TMT KatyCats, so why should it stop me?
• Katy Perry: http://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/katy-perry#page4