“The Clear Realization”
You know John Colpitts from his eternal drum psych-workouts as a member of Oneida, and as the mastermind behind the evolving percussion-oriented ensemble Man Forever — which has featured the likes of Greg Fox and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Brian Chase on previous releases of hypnotic extended technique drum performance (e.g., 2012’s luminous Pansophical Cataract). When he’s not clustered around a single snare drum with a friend or two, rolling those sticks unto infinity with improbable discipline, Colpitts stretches out into full kit performance to pour forth his polyrhythmic mantras as the beating heart of a larger ensemble of percussionists.
The video for “The Clear Realization,” a cut from the just-released Man Forever collaborative LP called Ryonen with New England ensemble So Percussion, illustrates the membrane-pounding reality of the conjoined group’s live rhythmic odysseys — complete with gang vocalizations cut loose from the posse. By the end of the clip, you should clearly realize that Colpitts and his collaborators (in this case, the percussion ensemble Tigue) have mastered their instruments, and can toy with intricate rhythms and meters at their own discretion like so much wood putty in so many calloused hands. Directed by Gabe DeLoach, the clip’s concurrent visual distortion jolts the already head-bobbing performance into an even deeper jitter zone. Bob along, and buy Ryonen from Thrill Jockey.
After stepping aside for a Slow Pulse with Xander Harris, Nicolas Nadeau is now back in action under the guise Single Lash. With a lingering guitar, Nadeau croon-haunts his vocals along simultaneously blown-out and crystal-clear drumming as “Dead Inside” builds more like a hollow chant in a shell of a human being. Actually, I heard the fellah built an entire metal statue and recorded “Dead Inside” within it. In Texas. But somewhere remote, you know. It might be still there.
As I digress from what rumors I’ve heard (true or false or non-existent), “Dead Inside” really rings in the moods and harkens some of those classic 4AD dark-tones. It’s like hanging in your favorite graffiti scattered local tunnel/pipe that leads to no water or creek, but is just there in case of a flood. Then you play that new Single Lash joint, Soft as Glass and the shadow of music (music can shadow itself in sound as an echo) begins to swell the obstruction. Don’t fall asleep there on a rainy day, though. DUH! Single Lash’s Soft as Glass will be released May 6 on Pour le Corps Records on tape. Scope out the single “Dead Inside” streaming below:
I was at the show featured in this video for “Katy Perry” with my good pal Mickey Smallz, and met up with Sammy D’Bling and his goons too. There was a dude (or girl, which is still in debate) who was filming the whole time with a GIANT light atop the camera, and Sam mentioned, “Dude looks like a heroine fiend.” S/he did, sorta, but apparently, they were filming for this video here! I thought it was all an elaborate scheme to get the crowd hype, but it’s Lil B, so no-need.
It was my first Lil B show. I was definitely saved. Sam said he enjoyed the spectacle. Mickey ended up with a short stomach flu. The next day he was vomiting with the door closed in my bathroom murmuring, “Task force. Must protect Lil B ‘The BasedGod’ at all times.” *vomits*
Enjoy the spectacular new video for “Katy Perry” by Lil B featuring ME and Sam and pals in the background!!
Neil Reinalda, back to working his ass of to get your ass working its ass off… to ambient music? Sure, why not. As PHORK, the LA-based producer has been sculpting a sound that is as peripherally pleasing as it is intensely focused and detailed, chopping hazy atmospheres and found sounds into restless microbeats for an impressive (if modest) run of cassette releases over the past couple of years. Here, for his debut vinyl affair on NNA (a label he’s worked with twice, previously), that sound is more realized than ever and its intended effect – the tension that comes with the push/pull of aesthetic opposites – is palpably felt; weightlessness feels massive, smoothness feels bumpy, laziness feels like it’s the hardest job in the world. And yes, it is tense, and yes, it is also relaxing: a place where you can break a sweat blinking or where your index finger gets to do its own little dance, disco ball lights strobing across the second knuckle. Today we’ve got the drop on the first taste of High End with the video for “Contact,” a nice visual rendering by Marco Braunschweiler of Reinalda’s rapid fire editing to infer motion, progression, and unity from disparate, dissimilar static building blocks. Peep it below and watch for the record’s release this June. OR scope the SoundCloud here for the “Contact” single.
“Paradise” feat. Megabone
If I were to list EVERYTHING Kool Keith owns, it’d be… well, the Internet. I mean, anything you can find on the Internet, he owns it. MORE: he owns Lil B. That’s write, ‘cause it’s been written, but Kool Keith wipes his ass with The BasedGod’s pink bandana. It’s not that this is a matter of opinion, but it’s ALL his. And by “his,” I mean Kool Keith. Nobody knows how old he is, either. Fuckin’ could be a vampire for all we know. Probably is a vampire.
It’s just nice to know that all this DIY and indie and hood and corporation and buzz and [etc.] in New York City is all under Kool Keith’s ownership. I can get on that. More-so, I can get on his newest release Demolition Crash out May 27 on 2xCD via Fat Beats. He owns Fat Beats (maybe, not really; no). He owns you (truth). He runs rap. When you hear his ass on the radio, lemme know, ‘cause that’ll be the day Kool Keith is just the CEO of rap. But as of right now, Kool Keith pretty much runs “Paradise” with Megabone as his security and backup.
I often get depressed that contemporary indie rock is quickly becoming nothing more than utilitarian music for Starbucks and Urban Outfitters. It seems like every year the big breakout “indie” bands get progressively less weird, but as a result, this has created something of a burgeoning subculture of bands/songwriters who are interested in creating song based music that is largely divorced of commercial intention, yet still firmly rooted in pop song craft. This aesthetic has grown exponentially in recent years and in some ways, I feel like William Alexander’s Girls Basketball is an excellent example of where big indie rock and the weirdo pop scene both meet and split.
Girls Basketball is first and foremost a goddamn beautiful record. Alexander has a gift for song craft and sampling that is in line with folks like Jib Kidder and Dean Blunt. Throughout these nine songs, the dichotomy between the organic and the sampled is constantly blurred in an extremely subtle way. Like Kidder and Blunt, Alexander doesn’t draw attention to the fact that many of his pieces are built around samples but focused listening really reveals the odd ideas about space in Alexander’s work. In this way, Girls’ Basketball is also reminiscent of Yellow House era Grizzly Bear as well as the oft-forgotten work of bands like Califone and Castanets. Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House was an excellent record that really explored the relationship between lovely folk music and sample based electronics in a manner that both Califone and Castanets had previously set a precedent for. However, where Grizzly Bear seemed to largely abandon this aesthetic for more commercial prospects on later releases, Alexander seems to pick up and prove that there’s still plenty of interesting things that can be done with this combination of materials. This is apparent from the haunting electro-folk of opener “You Can Take It” onwards and the suite of songs from the title track through the end of the album really explores the border between the natural and the sampled in a truly subtle yet always beautiful way. Alexander’s music proves that there is still a lot more to explore in the world of lovely indie pop but that it’s up to the other tape weirdos of the world to do it.
Girls’ Basketball is out now via Juniper Tree Songs. You can stream the album in its entirety below: