New Electric Ride
“Bring What You Expect to Get”
The year 2013 – yeah, that one – saw the emergence of two disparate forms of psychedelic rock. The Flaming Lips divided fans with their appropriately titled album The Terror (TMT Review), the tour for which abandoned their cosmic-scale Project X parties for something much creepier. At the same time, psych revivalists Allah Las, Tame Impala, Jagwar Ma and others all tried their very hardest to make a 50-year old music genre relevant again. There’s even a Berlin Psych Fest opening this year.
I wasn’t alive during the 1960s. Had I been, I would probably be writing this post for Rolling Stone with a little bit more patronizing sarcasm and a little less cultural awareness. Because I wasn’t alive during the 1960s, I appreciate the psych revivalists because #vintage, but also because a lot of these songs are damn good. London’s New Electric Ride is busy preparing their debut LP Balloon Age, and they recently shared their single “Bring What You Expect to Get,” with great appreciation for acid-era Beatles and tasty-tasty licks. The mixing on this recording is especially good, and although New Electric Ride aren’t exactly preaching the gospel of a new age (not even sure what I just wrote means), they’re worth a mouse click for making a catchy tune that is smooth as freshly pressed wax.
LA beat-boi mndsgn is surely becoming one of the most prevalent causes of neck strain. mndsgn’s knack for the knock has manifested itself through a plethora of bumpers, including his latest conceptual-cassette Breatharian, a holiday split-tape with Ahwlee, and even a quick collab with Danny Brown. His latest drop, “daylight savings” is a two-and-a-half minute trip beginning in a zany universe where all we can grip is mndsgn’s signature trudging rhythm, and ultimately dipping into the sensationally classic before we even realize we’re there.
“daylight savings” is part of a larger cassette-compilation for Brooklyn tape-label Paxico Record, featuring Swarvy, Ohbliv, rxn, and many more. The comp supports a heady calendar release by the illustrious collage artist deMilo, available for purchase here.
• mndsgn: https://soundcloud.com/mndsgn
T.E.A.M.S. & AyGeeTee
“Peace Corps of the Mind”
A couple of friends of mine decided to transform their living room into a recording studio. Because they are poor like the rest of us, they opted for piecing the studio together using a variety of thrifted equipment, which they keep running via some combination of nearly lost information from Googled .pdf owner’s manuals and pure electronic geek ambition. It’s a colorful sight to see. And by tossing in the obligatory copy of Pro Tools, the timeline of musical fidelity they are able to recreate is remarkable. The studio may be new, but you’d never be able to tell from the range of sounds that come out of its Frankensteined guts. It’s everything that’s good about repurposing without any of the mechanical errors and questions of structural integrity.
So, I took my dual deck tape dubber over there. It’s been facing all of the issues I’d expected from a five-dollar Goodwill purchase. These guys, of course, ripped it open, took one long look at it, and twisted a few pieces with a knife because they couldn’t find their screwdriver before screwing the cover back on and blasting some of the most beautiful pure-tones that machine had probably ever made, previous owners included. It’s now back to work, dubbing tapes in reel time, and I have to say, it’s sounding great. Ya know, for a tape player.
G Sudden and Bookfa
“DPPY004 in Jamaica” [preview doc]
Comin’ attcha once again. It’s a after-hours at TMT too. But fuck it all. I’m still at work waiting for my ride wishin’ I were there in Jamaica with homies (and Duppy Gun founders) M. Geddes Gengras and Cameron Stallones. This time, they went to Spanish Town and Portmore with produced instrumentals from GENESIS HULL (Alex Gray of D/P/I) and NICE-A-BUNKS (Aaron Coyes of Peaking Lights), and recorded the hottest of fire from G-Sudden and Bookfa. The two songs, “Girls Dem Need Mi” and “PRESS BOOKFA PRESS,” recorded that day have been released on a 12-inch as part of the Duppy Gun series via Stones Throw. Scope out the short video above and find them releases at the links below.
The night sky is a shy creature. We cover it’s shame by bathing our streets, neighborhoods, alleyways, and parking lots with the deep orange nicotine stain of street lights. Some flicker ominously, perhaps appearing as a red blinking dot within a virtual grid via the monitor in front of which sleeps an electrician who will fix it next week.
Many won’t even notice the veil, more like a garish hotel room curtain, because they spend their nights inside, where they can live in permanent day. Nighttime prevails darkness. Darkness entangles uncertainty. Uncertainty sheds fear, and anything we fear should be controlled, right? The stars are all still there, they just need to be found. To experience naked, virgin darkness, the kind Crepusculo seeks to capture on tape (SoundCloud), you need to drive until the city is just a glowing red scab in your peripheral. You need to turn off the radio and listen to the air being pushed aside; you gasp every time wind hits a tree along the side of the rode. You need to get out of your car and walk between the bark and try not to pay attention to where you walking until you have no idea where you are. Do it. Being scared is good for you.
• Crepusculo: https://www.facebook.com/crepusculodarkdark?ref=hl
Midi Jazz Bass
Presented with a SurveyMonkey-style matrix of contemporary electronic music, Chicago-based producer Potions licks the tip of his e-pen to get the ink flowing and clicks a ✔ into all the right boxes:
☑ Dense compositions vertically layered with synth lines and rhythms.
☑ Fluid interweaving of genre signifiers from house, ambient techno, IDM, jungle, trip-hop, psytrance.
☑ Individual tracks cross-faded together into a cohesive set.
☑ Exploitation of antiquated preset tones mimicking acoustic instruments.
☑ A rhythmic grid that straddles the line between tracker robotism and “live” “swing.”
Presented with these survey results, without hearing a single beat, a skeptical listener believes to have heard it all before. After keying the glyphs of a shrugging emoticon [ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ] he or she presses [ENTER] and slouches as low as possible in the desk chair.
Presented with the IRL audio of MIDI Jazz Bass, streaming in full below, even a skeptical listener lets a, “Whoa. This,” slip out. Eyes open wider than expected. Feet move. Minds pick up new tricks. Melodies hover patiently in the back of the mix before slinking into the spotlight. Sessions evolve into vibrant lead passages over initial loops. Structural surprises lead deeper down the spiraling walkway to Potions’ subterranean bachelor pad, where lava lamps and strobes shine on, day or night. All the chairs there are shaped like eggs and allow for full horizontal recline.
MIDI Jazz Bass is available now in a limited 12” vinyl edition via Chicago’s Lake Paradise Records.