“Not Giving Advice”
Sure, 14 minutes sounds like a pretty hefty commitment, especially for a music video (really more a short film) featuring ambient drones and water sports. But this is worth it. Unlike a lot of the internet’s average muck, “Not Giving Advice,” produced by Broken Machine Films, shows us images so specific and so well managed that, while still weird, one can chart a real aesthetic arc over this film’s quarter hour. There’s a genuine and nuanced reality on display, which is one of the highest achievements I can hope to discover through any careful twisting of sound and vision.
The first few minutes are all washed out in ochre, of a visual quality that suggests film. I’d say “found footage,” but who knows. There’s something inherently appealing in pairing imagery of antique physical feats with contemporary digital beeps; I get a kind of voyeuristic thrill when the five ladies in canary tutus glide one-footed, hand-in-hand atop the pond at 1:24, and then an inexplicable emotional surge when, immediately after, the Olympian oaf sheds his skis in a single leap, skates the lake on bare feet, and then flips face down into it, with grim spume rising as a wake. The images go on and progress following a loose congruity of water imagery and warm weather. The medium shifts as tape footage surfaces, film founders, and color is born until the last minutes, when the blood hue comes back along with film’s endearing freckles. By the time the mermaid-esque women make an appearance at the end, we’ve arrived at something so alien that the uncanny has cracked into a gentle riptide of fear.
Long Pond’s Pageants is available on cassette from Koppklys Records.
• Koppklys Records: http://koppklys.blogspot.com
“Love and Light”
These Constellation Records chaps are on a roll. Sandro Perri’s a Canadian dude who’s been going a fair while under a wealth of ingeniously named guises (the best being Continuous Dick, followed swiftly by Polmo Polpo [which means “Octopus Lung” in Italian, I’ll have you know]). But he sheds them all for his latest release, Impossible Spaces (TMT Review), which is all about minimal, shuffly jazz, and his vocal chords. Constellation’s SoundCloud taster is light and airy, making me feel like this when I’m cracking out the old 9-5. The star performer here has got to be the brutally syncopated percussion, which features more breathing than actual drums. Unfortunately, this is likely to cause severe hyperventilation if performed live.
Sparkling Wide Pressure
Again? Well, yes, there is a new Sparkling Wide Pressure video, directed by fellow Tennessean Geoffrey Sexton, and it pretty much rules. Pseudo-Buddhist temple offerings, plenty of incense, rich natural settings, glittering light superimpositions, ritualistic accoutrements, and some bitching handmade titles comprise the mise en scène. It’s the perfect setting for the damaged tape loops and distant melody of this track to flourish.
“Yo Workz Dryy”
DJ Earl — no, not this DJ Earl — released an amazing footwork EP this week called MurdArchTEKture. Plenty of fantastic songs on it, but “Yo Workz Dryy” is about the only song I’ve been listening to for the past few days. It’s my jam, but you can pick your own jam from the EP, streaming in full here. Oh, and be sure to check out the latest Planet Mu footwork release, Ghettoteknitianz (TMT Review), which was also released this week.
Now ‘scuse me while I go footwork on my lawn.
• Ghetto Teknitianz: http://www.youtube.com/user/ghettotekz
“Blessed and Opressed”
Mike Shiflet is this generation’s Bob Dylan, if poetry were a seashell and music was HD videos of grass. Here we have water and rocks and domestic life and industrialization and even Barbara Streisand (3:50). This is the work of someone who has held to his ear the conch of the digital age and heard the static buzz of the internet’s ocean of noise. Watching “Blessed and Oppressed” is something like witnessing the life of an oyster flash before its eyes, as you listen to the music of it sizzle, frying in the pan. Blessed is the diner, oppressed is the dinner. Anyhow, this track is from Shiflet’s new album Sufferers, out this week. Check out the video, and if it’s to your liking, head over to Type Records to hear more.
Those Who Didn’t Run EP
As our relentless and rigorously up to date news team reported, Colin Stetson has released a new EP. Now that we are able to listen to the two new songs, thanks to the valiant efforts of Constellation, we can indeed confirm that he plays saxophone on it. It’s the same story as before: one man, one huge hunk of brass, one take for every song. It nevertheless remains an undeniable mystery how he manages to make one instrument simultaneously produce throaty drones, weighty percussion, and the occasional soaring vocal melody. Simultaneously! And before you ask, there ain’t no tricks, and he isn’t fiddling around with any of that electronic nonsense (for the disbelievers, we have video evidence). So enjoy 20 minutes listening to a guy for which breathing is a secondary concern.