“Dog In The Desert”
LAKE has got to be the cutest band on Earth. Okay, maybe they don’t have the cheekbones of them One Direction boys, but seriously, I can’t think of anything more adorable than LAKE. Ashley Eriksson’s heart-melting voice and the band’s sleepy, syncopated style are just plain delightful. But their newest record, The World Is Real, is certainly not their cutest endeavor to date.
With a slightly heavier heart than their previous releases, The World Is Real sounds like R.E.M. when they were on Sesame Street mixed with Paul Simon when he was on Sesame Street, with a dash of Stevie Wonder… when he was on Sesame Street. A particularly stunning track from the new album is “Dog In The Desert,” which features soft, windy keyboards; distant, whispering guitar phrases; and Eriksson’s cloudy vocals, all glazed over by a brooding molasses bass line. Eriksson sings, “Are you ready to be abandoned, to be lonely, to be sheltered by the wind?” Daunting words from the most comforting messengers imaginable.
LAKE’s The World Is Real is out September 17 on K Records.
Chocolate Grinder Mix 87
(Summer) Time Perspective
Imagine you are on a desert island imagining you are in an office. LIFT FROM THE KNEES. The first time I ever took a plane I remember thinking, “Well, if this is the Truman Show and I’m the star, they must have really increased the budget since Jim Carey was in it.” TAKE SOME ME TIME. Chilled House Classics Volume 12, straight from the beach, out now in all good supermarkets. WE GOTTA MAKE THIS HOLIDAY PAY. You know, at least with Global Warming and shorter summers, we’ll see an increase in productivity. I HAVEN’T REALLY TOUCHED DOWN YET. “Are you tired? I’m tired.”
In that tiny valley between the peaking pressures of being told to RELAX and being told to KEEP BUSY, there is a well-trodden path (it’s a metaphor) of almost-sanity. For some reason, a lot of my summers seem to consists of landslides from both directions.
So here’s a collection of songs that tries to deliberately remedy the endless string of didactic “summer chill-out” mixes, and to offer a hyperactive, groundless solace for those that find summer collapsing into forced “life plans” and seasonal zero-hours labor contracts.
I have no doubt in my mind that it will, in some small way, contribute to the coming global revolution, and as such, it breezes across a number of continents in a way my feeble bodily self never could.
In sum, fuck relaxing and fuck keeping busy; they can’t exist without each other, and we can’t exist to endlessly run between the two.
Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.
[00:00] Koreless - “No Sun”
[04:45] Margaret Antwood - “Cry Cry”
[09:55] CESRV – “Walk Away”
[13:00] Chancha Via Circuito - “Prima”
[16:29] Mo Kolours - “Tusk Dance”
[19:15] Owiny Sigoma Band - “Norbat Okelo”
[23:27] Cardopusher - “Donde Estan Las Mujeres”
[26:40] Chervoboy - “Uhodi”
[30:00] The Range - “my db limit”
[32:01] DJ Rashad & DJ Spinn - “Brighter Dayz”
[35:05] Lennie De Ice - “We Ir E (Om Unit edit)”
[37:37] Romare - “Your Love (You Give Me Fever)”
In a Kant-referencing tweet, How to Dress Well’s Tom Krell said that “I believe that pop w/o the avant garde is blind & the avant g w/o pop is empty.” While this tweet addresses one of the big problems I have with artists in both genres who confine themselves to a limited palette of influences/styles, I think it particularly applies to the world of contemporary indie pop. This issue of limited influence is touched upon in Alex Griffin’s recent review of Jackson Scott’s record, which is one instance among many where a hyped-up pop artist has very little new to add to a well-worn genre. In the last few years, there have been far too many indie pop bands that express no interest in doing anything outside of their narrow niche. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that unbearably boring and, to reference Krell, blind.
However, despite the occasionally vacuous nature of certain pop/experimental artists, there have been an equal number of composers who wonderfully cross-pollinate these worlds and make strikingly new works as a result. This is where Excavacations come in. As TMT has previously discussed, this band manages to exist as both a pop and drone act, and on In Perris-Beauchamp, the group continues to blur the lines between song and sound art. Much like Julia Holter’s excellent Tragedy, Excavacations present a world where songs can’t exist without noise and noise can’t exist without songs. However, unlike the musique concrète pastiche of Holter, Excavations excel at creating melodic orchestral pop that alternately dissolves into and emerges out of expertly crafted synth drones. The whole thing reminds of what might have happened if See You On The Other Side-era Mercury Rev had decided to explore the influence of their mentor Tony Conrad a bit more. In Perris-Beauchamp is a beautiful merging of influence made even prettier and more pristine by the mastering job done by synth god M. Geddes Gengras.
You can sample a four-song suite of tunes from In Perris-Beauchamp below (other tracks from the record are available via the band’s SoundCloud):
• Weird Forest www.weirdforest.com
“✧,” also known as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” is a song written and originally recorded by 肉人形✰MEATDOLL and acts as the follow-up to its previous hit single, “Love Me Tender.” It has been recorded by many artists and was ranked among Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at #126. The song is notable for being the first song by an anonymous, SoundCloud-based music project to reach #1 in the United States. The song is in AABA form.
• 肉人形✰MEATDOLL: http://nymphoworm.tumblr.com
Return to Koala Deep
SP-404 maestro aaronmaxwell is back with part two of his incredible side project, FAMILY EVENT, with that dude James Matthew. The artists both share an affinity for those near ear-piercing lo-fi high-end sounds explored over releases rarely breaking that 10-minute mark, so this collaboration came with a lot of excitement, but very little surprise. All 7.6 minutes of Return to Koala Deep roll out smoothly, relying very little on any excess instrumentation beyond those slick, 404 loops and without the usual amount of glitch. This may be the two collaborating artists at their most polished, which is to say, still buried in crackle and mounds of half-second drum samples.
Stream the FAMILY EVENT below and/or download it here.
Eli Keszler & So Percussion
For anyone who has ever been self-conscious about how progressive (or not) their tastes in music are, NPR has provided us with a very well-shot docu-exhibition-performance of percussionist and sculptor Eli Keszler. Keszler often collaborates on his many projects, which vary from long improvisations using sound sculptures to planned compositions made with traditional instruments. In this video, he is joined by the So Percussion group, who composed a piece centered around four snare drums to accompany Keszler’s latest sound installation: a group of strings that are attached to a bridge in Brooklyn, which resonate naturally and create a deep, metallic gurgle. Like all of Keszler’s work, this video portrays a vivid, dynamic artist, and for someone like me, who is not a percussionist, the attention to detail coupled with a chance to see the artists performing is a riveting experience.