ATTN READERS: Portland’s Ecstasy Records is releasing its first full-length today! The 7-track album, appropriately titled Temples I-VII, comes to us from Temples a.k.a. Avalon Kalin, who is also a member of Finesse, Emotion II Emotion (2510), and Polonaise (100% Silk). After having released a teaser vid for “Temples II” last week, which featured some trippy, looped op-art, Temples is back with a full video for “Temples III” that furthers the illusion-based visual aesthetic. The video, by Matt McCormick, syncs perfectly with Temples’ ambient/new age-y house track, creating a hypnotic trance that isn’t designed to ‘transport’ you to some mindfuck palace, but to simply heighten your perceptions through color, shape, and sound.
Check out the vid maximized to your screen and with volume turned way the fuck up.
Temples I-VII is out now on LP (limited to 300 copies) and digitally (with two bonus tracks) via Ecstasy.
[Photo: Tim Schaar]
“Take My Bones Away”
What? Baroness is evolving! Cue the Safari Zone music (that’s a Pokémon reference, for those who are behind on their late-90s geekery). “Take My Bones Away” showcases the Savannah quartet’s new sound: epic, melodic, but still heavy as a bathtub filled with lead. It’s propelled by a cascade of propulsive, unruly riffs, culminating in a brutal bridge that’s pure hard rock bliss. The crisper production may lead some metal snobs to scoff in disdain, but they’re missing the point. Like that of fellow Georgia natives Mastodon, Baroness’ catchy combination of sludge metal, progressive metal, and stoner rock is destined for crossover appeal. And with hooks this searing and grooves this primal, Baroness is proving that evolving your sound doesn’t mean losing your roots.
“Track #4” [feat. Run DMT]
CD-R sales are more kitsch now than they have ever been. Hy’mean, not to say they don’t sell, but there’s gotta be something more in the sale. Right-right… Matty’D, you got Run DMT on the track, but what else you got on this DISK Collection Vol.2? Because, here: I personally made you a CD-R with your and Mike Collins’ last two releases on it totally for free off my computer. Oh, but no, I ain’t got a young floppy disc oil/paint hand-art CD-R slip cover to put it in like you. But, you think that floppy case and paint art is the sale? Well, buying this product and keeping it is collecting, so okay, I feel like I’m buying art worthwhile here. Worthwhile in both show and tell. And, yeah. Matthewdavid has prior experience in this form of physical art. So, I suppose the secret is to make CD-Rs artful or a part of a series. Or unless you underwent a big name change, then people’ll mass purchase ya CD-R. Let’s just hope Leaving is on board for a new LIVEPHREAXXX!!!! or even an El-Aylien Part 2. #promising. #promise? #hi!
• Leaving Records: http://leavingrecords.com
“Lend Some Treats”
Free jazz/noise/rock experimentalists Normal Love have unveiled their new clip for “Lend Some Treats,” a track off their new ugEXPLODE/Public Eyesore full-length, Survival Tricks. And it reminds me of why I hate robots. I’m sure you’ve seen this lovely device, which resembles some type of mutant hamburger with legs and sounds like the most annoying insect you’ve never heard (I still get shivers from the uncanny valley moment at 1:25, but I digress).
Even if the robots in the “Lend Some Treats” video are smaller and quieter, they still creep along, chasing our protagonists: a Hasidic Jew and a creepy spectacled woman. From a narrative standpoint, the clip is as cryptic as the band’s music, but the major points are as follows: our heroes extract a pyramid-shaped device from a sleeping/dead man in an abandoned auditorium. A mysterious, demonic hipster girl is not amused, and she and her robots pursue them relentlessly. And there’s vomit. Black vomit. The frenzied pace of the song syncs perfectly with the nightmarish actions that unfold. And I am once again reaffirmed in my deep-seated feer of all things mechanical.
The group, which just added new member Rachael Bell on vocals and sampler, is planning a North American tour in August. We’ll keep you posted on dates. Meanwhile, check out Normal Love’s Survival Tricks, which is out today on vinyl and CD via ugEXPLODE and Public Eyesore.
Mika Vainio / Kevin Drumm / Axel Dörner / Lucio Capece
The visual shape of the SoundCloud stream below is telling for a couple reasons. First, that this is a strange and awesome journey. Second, that Kevin Drumm is involved. Who else would make such rapid-fire dynamic shifts seem so uniformly square yet smooth and pummel the eardrums in controlled bursts before reigning back into the droning hum? Yes, the plateaus of sound you see there are indicative of some definite digitalized Drumm-doings, and surely Mika Vainio (of Pan Sonic pedigree) contributed to sculpting the sonic timeline as well. But what you can’t tell from looking at the stream (or really even listening to it) is that half of the group is comprised of horn players. Axel Dörner has something of a heavy rep gigging around the German jazz community on trumpet, and Lucio Capece is a woodwind player (albeit a woodwind player who amplifies his instruments and twiddles with controlled feedback experimentation).
I dig how it comes together here; the quartet-ness of this foursome is audibly present with distinct textures from each contributor occupying a certain corner of the headphones — left and right (of course), but also front and back to a degree. And if you’re not in a place where you can listen on headphones… well, you should probably move along and come back when you’re serious about absorbing a work from minimal electro-acoustic sound art gurus like this one. Hope that wasn’t rude or anything; it was meant as an invitation. Come on, go grab your headphones and meet me back here so we can geek out over this.
The best part about all of this is that it’s just an excerpt, which means there’s plenty more to enjoy on the new LP from the group. Venexia is available from the German imprint PAN.
• PAN: http://pan-act.com
Blanche Blanche Blanche
“Duke on the Beach”
Like, who can actually categorize the word “indie” without making shit sound like a marketing ploy? I dunno. But it seems like what listeners have already considered “indie” music has all been jet-packed into Night People in a way iconic way. Way. And with Blanche Blanche Blanche, Night People progresses its sound through this year’s Wink With Both Eyes on LP, after they’s debut cassette last year Songs of. Traversing sound from ocean-side hotel lobbies, Midwest airport buses, and mirrored dimensional planes, Blanche Blanche Blanche broadens their “indie” mobility via glittering obscurity. “Duke on the Beach” is the suspense part of this adventure. Sliding through rain and muck, but safely executing every turn, the driver races to the terminal as Duke fingers out more money and waves of water are smashing against the median over the car. Duke imagines himself on a sun-chair looking at the same watch he’s checking now, calculating the minutes up until relaxation.