It seems rare for a band of such sonic genotype and high ambition to have unleashed an album that’s both so low-profile yet so fully gestated. That’s to say, Merchandise’s recent Children of Desire is fantastic and, so far, fantastically overlooked. The band, rising from a sector of Tampa’s authentic punk scene, is an astronomically rare example of authentic “post-punk.” What happens when punks grow up? When their pallets overspill and flourish? Something like this, full-throated and honest and honed.
“Time” is a fine choice for the record’s lead single, even if it lacks the awe of the album’s 10-minute “Become What You Are,” which tames an 80s breed of melancholic euphoria into a 2012 reality. As for the video, if you see palimpsests of Space Men 3 or Spectrum’s cosmonauts, it can only be augury of Merchandise’s great things to come, as there’s already been a great start.
Children of Desire is out now from Katorga Works.
• Merchandise: http://katorgaworks.bigcartel.com/product/merchandise-children-of-desire-lp
• Katorga Works: http://katorgaworks.bigcartel.com
Fuck Folgers, amirite? I have to drink that shit every day at work. The actual best part of waking up? “Serene Velocity” by Golden Retriever. It’s the new caffeine. Your brain dripping out your earlobes and soaking into your headphones; this is exactly what you need to get your day going — trust me. I count close to one zillion tones by the time this thing hits its peak, the duo of Jonathan Sielaff and Matt Carlson adding layer after layer of melody to create an insanely intense polyphony from very monophonic instruments (fun fact: both the bass clarinet and the analog modular synth the two use for their music, respectively, are only capable of playing one note at a time). The result is an intrepid trip through deep space, an incredible journey of sonic discovery. An exploration of astounding heights and breathtaking lows, newly documented for the listener to follow, bob and weave with, rise and fall with, and basically freak out entirely over. Those highs are so damn high. The lows rumble the guts. And the experience is one of immeasurable psychedelic effects. Every day should start like this. Every single day.
And lo — street date for Occupied with the Unspoken, the Thrill Jockey debut for the group, is July 24. That means you still have time to pre-order and take the label up on its offer to package the LP with an 8 oz. bag of your very own Retriever-approved bean: Stumptown Coffee’s Costa Rica Montes de Oro. All of this is good. Good to the last drop? Oof. Even though it’s true, I really should not have gone there. The Folgers thing was bad enough. Anyway, dig the trip while dodging bitmapped asteroids of electronics and geological formations in this excellently-paced clip from Jamie Potter. WAIT! Are your headphones on? Full volume? Okay.
Diskette Romances [album stream]
Following in the footsteps of artists like INTERNET CLUB and LASERDISC VISIONS/NEW DREAMS LTD. (a.k.a. Macintosh Plus a.k.a. 情報デスクVIRTUAL a.k.a. esc 不在, etc.), Diskette Romances brings the lo-fi, bizarro-90s board-meeting jams to the mighty and prolific Sunup Recordings, a Minnesota-based (represent!) label that’s part of the Living Room Visions collective. The music on Diskette Romances’ self-titled release is what you might expect from a so-called vaporwave practitioner: breezy, barely-effected samples of on-hold music, moving from one teleconference to another, with training video on pause as one ponders the drudgery and tedium of worklife. MORE PLEASE!
The tape is available now for $4 via Sunup.
• Sunup Recordings: http://sunuprecordings.bandcamp.com
I dunno. Judging whether Maria Minerva’s distorted pop is intentional or happenstance is beyond me. I suppose it’s safe to say she has a love for sound —errp, “The Sound” of love, that is, in this song. And it’s nice to hear a slight change in musical direction @freshOnrabeats. Intentional or not, she can’t do me no wrong. It’s a lifetime crush sorta thing. And as this crush builds, I also ponder the question (and title of her forthcoming album) Will Happiness Find Me? Myself, the answer will be “yes” come August 8 at PS1 when Minerva takes the stage for her first US tour in glorious live music matrimony. Everything is everything.
Will Happiness Find Me? is out September 4 via Not Not Fun.
• Maria Minerva: http://soundcloud.com/mariaminerva
DVVLLXNS is the self-identified “occult electronic project” of Jon Porras. He is known best as one half of Bay Area guitar-drone cultivators Barn Owl, but he’s also released similarly axe-driven drones as Elm and under his own name, with stamps of approval from Root Strata and Thrill Jockey. With Porras’ newest endeavor, DVVLLXNS, not only will you find a conspicuous lack of vowels, but also a lack of guitar.
The project is named for Isabella Rosselini’s character from Blue Velvet, D. Vallens. Like all things Lynchian, DVVLLXNS’s EP, LITVNY, is ominous and surreal. Although a departure from past work, listen to “XOCHITL” below and you’ll hear the same brooding, cathedral-esque reverb sensibilities of Barn Owl, but oriented towards beats and pulses rather than dense layers, lush sustained chords having been replaced with sparse percussion and chant-like synths.
DVVLLXNS also comes hand in hand with a “digital movement/organization” called THX NXW MXNVMXNTS (“The New Monuments”), which recently posted a mix called PVCXFXC DXSPLVCXMXNT (“Pacific Displacement”) here. Meanwhile, DVVLLXNS’ LITVNY EP is available now for pre-order via Shelter Press.
Ever wonder what improvised sax sounds like over looped footwork? Me neither, but Sam Hillmer, he of ZS, Trouble, and various other projects, not only wondered what it sounded like, but was also crazy enough to record the results. On “Adamantine,” Hillmer as Diamond Terrifier takes his presumably battered sax, runs it through some demonic effects, and wails the FUCK over a pitched-up loop of “Heavy Heat” by RP Boo (a.k.a. the “creator of footwork”). It’s aesthetically intriguing yet sensually disorienting — in other words, a must-experience. Keywords: contemptuous, unprEdicTAble, f r a g m e n t e d, spiritual, CONFRONTATIONAL, etc.
Diamond Terrifier’s towering Kill The Self That Wants To Kill Yourself is out later this year on Northern Spy. To tide you over, Hillmer recently compiled tracks that he’s been posting for free on his website and threw them up on SoundCloud for your listening pleasure. And don’t forget: Trouble’s You Are Here Fest is happening now and until early August. More info here.