“In Waking Dreams”
Last week, Lisa McGee released her debut album, Forever Falling Toward the Sky, as Vestals. In contrast to her dense drone work in Higuma (with Evan Caminiti) and Portraits (a group ensemble that includes Caminiti and Jon Porras from Barn Owl, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Gregg Kowalsky, Maxwell Croy, and many more), the album sees McGee adopting a fractured shoegaze-esque approach, in which her cavernous vocals, processed guitars, and the surrounding ambiance produce a sluggish backdrop to an aesthetic that keeps on trudging forward. “In Waking Dreams,” the album’s closing track, is a good example of this struggle: the core melodies continually promise liftoff, but the thick noise weigh the track down to a hover, ending with angelic harmonies just barely floating above distorted, wavering feedback. Check it out here:
Forever Falling Toward the Sky is out now on Root Strata. Caminiti’s new Dust Editions imprint will release Vestals’ follow-up, due sometime “in the distant future.”
Gas masks, electro-shock units, levitating girls — and we’ve just scraped the surface of Doomtree’s clip for “Beacon.” The video for the No Kings track is a steampunk-noir chiller, rife with grainy shutter-shots and aviator goggles. Dessa, the Minneapolis rap collective’s leading lady, does cool floating tricks dressed in Victorian attire, while steam billows around the rest of the group. A steampunk rap video sounds horrible in theory — can you imagine a monocle-wearing Waka Flocka rapping on a Zeppelin? — but Doomtree proves that sci-fi and hip-hop make surprisingly good artistic bedfellows.
• Doomtree: http://www.doomtree.net
TMT’s budget wouldn’t permit a plush red carpet for this premiere, so we’ll have to settle for the new album from Decimus to make its grand appearance with the burning pool of blood on the concrete that starts this video. When you’re turning on music linked from an email care of Digitalis Industries for the first time, you know you’re gonna need to prepare at least a little. When the email contains the following words, and I quote: “I’m not exaggerating when I say this might be the weirdest record we’ve ever put out on Digitalis,” you end up gripping the sides of your laptop a little tighter.
Decimus is the latest project from No-Neck Blues Band founding member Pat Maruno, a continuation of his “Decimus Magnus Ausonius” series, which finds him in the midst of mapping out 12 zodiac-aligned records, something he started in 2011. This, it would appear, is his 11th entry in the series, and it’s totally fucking crazy. Trudging its way through a sewer of audio, “11” burns with deep, dark emotions that growl and beat out with slow inertia. As the menacing violence creeps sluggishly along, Maruno constantly stays in pounce-mode, a sly and slight grin across his lips — potentially powerful, actually creepy as hell. Tremors tremble this whole thing, an earthquake lurking deep inside the mix and showing its ugly face whenever it damn well pleases, slicing up the thick slop of oozy bass tones with staccato blasts of incredibly loud silence. And I’ve just described maybe a minute or two of the 7+ you’ll find in this sample (not to mention the 35 more available on the LP, or that bone-chilling slo-mo swamp-thing vocal he does).
We must also note the work of video creator Jason Schuler, who gripped the downright filthy, grainy texture of Decimus and figured it into this completely weird and macabre scene that brings to mind the likes of Jan Švankmajer, casting dusky hues and shadow-framed figures in a reverse narrative. The sum sees “11” as a monster hellbent on grave-digging for grim, disgusting truths and coming up engorged, fully satisfied.
“11” begins the decimation at Boomkat starting today, worldwide in a week.
Action Bronson & Party Supplies
Action Bronson’s new clip for Blue Chips track “Steve Wynn” might just be the first bath salts-related music video, and if you’ve been following the news lately, you can probably guess how it’ll end. After dealing with the all-too-common problem of gym jerks, a scrawny fellow snorts some bath salts and transforms… into Action Bronson. He’s pumped up and pissed off, and needless to say, there’s some face chewing. Keep this one away from the kids, and remember: drugs are bad, even if they do transform you into master-chefs-cum-rappers.
Only weeks after dropping his new solo LP,G is for Deep on Anticon, Doseone is allowing TMT an exclusive first look at his self-directed clip for “Thy Pattern.” It’s reminiscent of a grade-school diorama — the kind made with Model Magic, construction paper, and ample imagination. This musical presentation focuses not on the life cycle of the American Toad, but instead on the plights of a lost astronaut and his trippy transformation against a stark backdrop of static and fuzz. Mixed in between subliminal logo shots and some cartoon schools is what appears to be a high-strung game of M.A.S.H. that grows increasingly frenetic as the song skitters toward its paranoid climax. The rapper does a great job of transforming childhood nostalgia into a sort of fever dream, in which the TV sucks out your soul and nothing is what it seems.
Check out the video here:
G is for Deep LP is out now on Anticon. For more on Doseone, read our recent interview with him here.
Echoes in the Wonderland [album stream]
On their Bandcamp page, Uton suggest, “For a stronger effect, listen near midnight in a dark room (or with minimal light). Do not let anything else disturb you.” It’s like that weird point at the beginning of Eraserhead when you are asked to lower the brightness of your television set for maximum effect. It makes you wonder what you are getting into.
There is ambient music that puts you to sleep, and then there is ambient music that sits you upright, wide-eyed, scared of everything in your room, and convinced that an abnormally tall, slender man with no face is going to suddenly appear in your window if you make the mistake of blinking. As suggested by the dichotomy between “echoes” and “wonderland” in the album title, this one pretty much covers that entire spectrum. With no real rhythm to ground the listener and establish familiarity, the various noises and strange vocal loops start and stop at random, leaving you in a strange world of displacement. Don’t go swimming. Don’t open the door. And for god’s sake, don’t walk in the woods by yourself.