“All This Wanting”
Slim Twig is a very close friend of U.S. Girls; he even runs Calico Corp with U.S. Girls’ Meg Remy. And it’s through his own label and Toronto’s Pleasence Records that he’s released A Hound at the Hem, a fascinating whirligig of an album that includes collaborations with fellow Torontonian Owen Pallett. The melodies are straightforward and Gainsbourg-esque but suddenly and thrillingly give way to creepier stuff — foreboding brass blasts or counter-melodic piano — which is fitting for an album that pays tribute to Nabokov’s Lolita and Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson.
The video below is for “All This Wanting,” the first single from Hem. It was shot in Montreal by Emily Pelstring (who has also made videos for U.S. Girls, AIDS Wolf, and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan) and her puppeteering friends using a vintage camera to, as Pelstring put it, “give it an ’80s Sesame Street-gone-wrong vibe.” And it shows: the video begins cheesily enough, with goofy lighting and silly looking puppets. But as the song progresses, the sunniest of pop songs turns very, very dark. It’s a playful take on pop, one of the strongest from the Toronto psych scene.
A Hound at the Hem is available now through Calico Corp/Pleasence.
“122 Hours of Fear”
“122 Hours of Fear” is a song originally by The Screamers, a phantom LA punk band of the late 70’s who never recorded or released a record. Now, the Detroit duo ADULT. is covering the track to herald their return back to recorded music. Their cover should maybe be called “113 Minutes of Fear,” however, as they’ve spent the past several years engineering Three Grace(s), their three-film horror cinema experience, which runs at that length and was screened with ADULT.’s live soundtrack accompaniment.
This cover employs a bit more control than the original, as delivered by frontman Tomata du Plenty. The clarity makes it disarming in its own way, while also giving it a sense of B-movie melodrama by allowing us to hear the paranoia in the lyrics, and later the seemingly arbitrary yet highly sinister “122” repeated again and again until the song goes off it’s tracks.
ADULT.’s Shari Vari / 122 Hours of Fear 7” is available now from Ghostly International.
The Galaxy 1.0
Footwork, by its very nature, leads to prolificacy, with Traxman, DJ Roc, DJ Taye, and DJ Manny in particular having released an incredible amount of tracks/EPs/albums throughout the year, but Young Smoke has been on an absolute tear recently. He released the extremely limited Smoke Session v.1 earlier this year, followed it up with his Planet Mu full-length Space Zone, and has since released a joint EP with DJ Metro (iFlight v. 1) and a solo EP (Pluto Lounge). He even recently re-released his 2010 album, The Track Lab.
Now, not even a month later, we have a new 10-track EP, this one titled The Galaxy 1.0. The EP, characteristically chill and exploratory, features tracks like “The Matrix,” “Above the Stars,” and “Super Future,” which further articulate his footwork-in-space concept The tracks by themselves are solid, but I’m a sucker for his mixes. Listen to the entire EP at his Bandcamp page and/or check out this 11-minute mix:
• Young Smoke: http://youngsmokeastronautatatus.bandcamp.com
“Now There’s More Triangles”
Canada’s favorite “indie” beats specialist Chris Bridge, a.k.a. Virtual Flannel a.k.a. ᏉᎥᏒᏆuᎪᏞ fᏞᎪᏁᏁᎬᏞ, coming at you TODAY via digital shelf with his new Self Titled album on Noorden. The release includes 3D glasses, (3) 3D posters, 24 stickers “all in [a] really cool envelope,” and — oh, right: it’s in CD format. Hoping it’s a lot like this here “Now There’s More Triangles” track too. Love that combination of beats and 100% Silk-style runway synth sounds. Kind of like that Azealia Banks mixtape this year, only Chris brings that funk in a more hackk’d glitch sort of way. The man is a hard worker; he came out with two cassettes on his own this year, and from what I’ve heard, he’s “working” with Justin Kelly, who is planning on popping Virtual Flannel on his label WTR CLR sometime soon too.
In the meantime, snag a copy of his amazing piece of Self Titled and bump it until it skips. Then you got the Virtual Flannel footwork/juke remix!
So. After talking to NYKDLN (Scott Michael) on Facebook while driving in the most unexpected shit, I left a 20-page-long text message hate-rant on my phone about how New York fucked up and left me for dead, and how posting it on Facebook would mean just as NOTHING as all the other complaints on there. In light of that, I hated how perfect Post Radio fit my situation. If Michael had sent it to me while I was in the car, instead of before I left work, I’d have though he was patronizing my patience in the weather. But the release is just so desolate and confined in its subjection that it’s hard to deny NYKDLN as a FUTURE-MC-style noise radio warpism. And out from the past comes the newest form of, I dunno, post-drone?
Like, the idea that I’m sitting here and listening to a mesh of noise and static and somewhat nostalgic-sounding music makes it spectacular to zone out to. As if Michael made the perfect background music using background music. OH FUCK!!! This is a double tape? NASTY, Sunup Recordings. OMG: “Poison” is totally my morning jam, too. Umm, I’m starting to think Michael just beat me to the punch and recorded over the rest of his Diskette Romances tape and sent it into Sunup immediately. Or maybe he’s just directly exposing listeners to influences. I dunno. This release will definitely be reeled to death while still trying to figure out if Michael is James Joyce or Lil B.
Post Radio will be shipping out December 1 as a double cassette for $8 via Sunup Recordings. Hit it or quit it.
Dean Blunt meets James Ferraro
“Watch The Throne”
Just another Friday night waiting for another reason to write about either Dean Blunt or James Ferraro, and what do I get? A Blunt/Ferraro collaboration called “Watch The Throne”! The 18-minute performance, recorded live to an incredibly talkative audience November 3 at the Soho House in Beverly Hills (after Blunt’s puzzling “White Flight” performance at the OHWOW Gallery earlier that day), features Blunt on vocals/Fender Rhodes and Ferraro on grand piano. Yes, you read that right: rather than being some sort of odd meeting between Blunt’s gritty comatose aesthetic and Ferraro’s crisp HD visions, “Watch The Throne” is marked instead by impressionistic chords, spacious phrasings, and suspended rhythms. Blunt’s vocals are as disconnected as the mood, with both artists seemingly feeling their way through this pensive, meandering number.
It’s unclear whether “Watch the Throne” refers to the collaboration, this particular performance, or something else (like, say, a collaboration between Jay-Z and Kanye West?), but in any case, there is a “Watch the Throne” tour coming soon, and I’m going to be all over it. Check out the performance here:
Meanwhile, Hippos In Tanks released James Ferraro’s new album Sushi earlier this week and is set to release a remixed/remastered version of Blunt’s The Narcissist II mixtape on November 26. Life is good.