In concert, Nick Ciontea’s projections run across the four figures of CAVE as a network of neon veins and tributaries that — from farther back in the room — blossom into a tiered spectrogram hanging above the stage on all sides. Reactive analog video synthesis and vector mapping align the band’s recursive psych-/kraut-/rawwwwk-grooves to these jittering visuals, resulting in set-long trajectories of synchronized A/V evolution. As the Chicago-based shredders interlock elemental guitar-bass-organ-drum building blocks in workouts of no-frills repetition, Ciontea (under his Brownshoesonly moniker) provides layers of complexity and abstraction to both complement and complicate the band’s instrumental discipline.
On your screen here, Ciontea’s video for “Shikaakwa” sets its green lines against a vacuum devoid of all the concentrating sweaty onstage dudes, amps, swaying sweaty crowd-humans, keyboard stands, drums, and monitors attendant to the concert experience. Watch vector fingers skittering over vector strings and keys; vector heads of band members evolving out of the horizon and hanging out to spin for a minute; vector drums bouncing under the weight of vector pounding; the whole thing splintering into pure blip-fuzz during deeper moments: all rhythmically dialed to that sweet 7/8 stomp. When the flute hits, accept that you’re locked in and must now consider the possibility of never closing the YouTube tab.
Find “Shikaakwa” in the middle of Side B on CAVE’s forthcoming album Threace, due October 15 on Drag City. Find CAVE in all their glory on a stage before your eyes at one or more of their 40-plus upcoming tour dates.
“Voices of Lists”
One thing that Imbogodom’s Daniel Beban and Alexander Tucker have excelled at since 2010’s The Metallic Year is their branded cultivation of a particular spookiness. On The Metallic Year, the duo managed to evoke both the eerie simplicity of Renaissance music and the warped textures of electroacoustic drone in a set of nine pieces that established a definite sound for the project. Over time, Beban and Tucker’s work has grown more produced and song-oriented, but the beautifully creepy vibe of their debut record has never faded.
Instead, as evidenced by “Voices of Lists” from Imbogodom’s forthcoming Metafather, their atmospherics are now being applied in fascinating new ways. “Voices of Lists” is an acoustic-based song that wouldn’t sound out of place on one of Tucker’s solo albums, but it’s permeated here with the duo’s signature electronics that subtly overtake the song, transforming the last minute and a half into a beautiful wash of backwards vocals, lush delay, and acoustic explorations. It’s a great example of how Beban and Tucker are sonically utilizing Imbogodom’s signifiers in new ways while maintaining the aura of timeless spookiness that’s made their past works so haunting.
Metafather, the final installment in the BBC Bush House trilogy, is out October 15 via Thrill Jockey. You can stream “Voices of Lists” below:
Oneohtrix Point Never
“Still Life (Betamale)” [NSFW]
Back in July, Oneohtrix Point Never previewed an excerpt of “Still Life” off his forthcoming album, R Plus Seven, which was accompanied by a video by Nate Boyce that I described as “the confrontation between a futurist sublime and the rooted aetheticization of branding, the liquidity of its imagery offset by a fetishistic, staid consumerism.” Don’t know what the fuck I was talking about, but Oneohtrix Point Never has released a new “Betamale” version of “Still Life,” with a video this time by artist Jon Rafman, and it’s quite a different beast. Rather than a video of futuristic, technological desolation, Rafman uses “Still Life” to explore subcultural fetishisms through compellingly erotic, violent imagery and a creepy narration that takes the song to a whole new level. Video of the year?
Oneohtrix Point Never’s R Plus Seven is out next week on Warp. Listen to the whole album via NPR right now.
Laurel Halo has a new one coming out soon — specifically, Chance Of Rain, out October 28 on Hyperdub — and she’s just released the first preview with the seven-minute “Ainnome.” The cut, based off live hardware improvisations, features aggressive, driving technoid beats offset by ambient washes, an approach made less contradictory by the track’s persistence on jamming these two modes of music-making together. If Halo is attempting to explore the intersection between movement and stillness, then the movement slightly wins on this one: its articulation of time may evoke suspension, but this song moves undeniably forward.
“Hold On, We’re Going Home”
DRAKE is BACK with an EPIC video for his CLASSIC Nothing Was The Same track, “Hold On We’re Going Home.” You DARE call DRAKE soft? You DARE incorporate his handsome visage into blasphemous, disrespectful images of tissue boxes and crying cartoon men?! Okay, buddy, we’ll JUST SEE how you feel when you witness DRAKE ascending to his true cinematic destiny as a Miami GANGSTER from the 80s. We’ll JUST WATCH you tremble in your boots as Aubrey DRAKE “formerly known as Jimmy from Degrassi” Graham rescues his HOT leading lady from the clutches of EVIL, supported by his brothers in arms (hi, A$AP Rocky!!!). We’ll JUST WATCH your eyes water as he assures her of her safety, speaking to her GENTLY over the ROTARY PHONE line. They even got Steven Bauer from SCARFACE to play the bad guy. CHAMPAGNE PAPI DON’T PLAY.
• Drake: http://www.drakeofficial.com
On October 1, disco-magician Francis Hsueh is adopting his Policy moniker to release Postscript, a 12-inch EP on 100% Silk. In an attempt to try and figure out Hsueh’s secrets, here’s my track-by-track breakdown of the illusions hidden in the six-part magic act that is Postscript:
— “Postscript 187” introduces the Policy stage for Hsueh to adorn: fist-roll dance, finger-gunning the audience as tiny bursts of smoke rise out his nails, foot swivels, a projected image of a miniature elephant dancing between his legs that becomes real and backward-slides off the stage, etc.
— “Grove Street Freeze” gears the crowd in a robotic way, as his first main act involves hypnotizing the audience to dance in spurts, as he holds up two separate signs: the GROOVE STREET sign gets the crowd hustling in sync, and the FREEZE sign does exactly that with added “oohs” and “ahhs.”
— “Remembrance” needs a participant from the audience, is handed a dagger, and begins dancing with the magician, when Hsueh turns and accidentally makes contact with the participant’s mouth, knocking out all their teeth: the participant comes at the magician with the dagger gritting a whole new set of pearly whites, climbs on the Policy stage with a half-brushed smile, and walks away with pristine ivory caps.
— “Ghost In The Groove” precedes the violent trick in light of gravity, as Hsueh begins to float above the audience, freshing disco moves people only dreamed of being able to pull off. Yet dreams do come true: at random, audience members yell in both amazement and fright as a select few are lifted from their seats and partnered with each other, spinning-dancing in the air when…
— “Wiseblood” tricks them into thinking the act is skipping to a stop, but out of the floaters’ sleeves rains a thick purple liquid onto the audience below, and as they try to scatter and flee the scene, this liquid seems to hit and bead off an invisible shield, flowing toward the stage to form the last hurrah.
— “Big Beast Anthem” forms the body and face of each audience member at half stature, again discoing out, only comprised of this purple liquid, which is ripped into disappearing waves as Hsueh slides through it on the Policy stage, cleaner than he appeared ever before, now wearing white leather, hair waving, and everyone clapping.
Stream the entirety of Policy’s Postscript EP above and pre-order it here.