Genetically modified perfection: Orange Caramel’s new single is the K-pop ideal. Named “까탈레나(Catallena),” this rare treat comes in a fluffy, filter swept emulsion of ABBA-grade orchestration, ghazal folk samples flown in from a Pakistani wedding (!), runny ‘80s snare, Bollywood dyes, imitation Chic guitar, and a compression-lacquered coating of bass synth à la “Blue Monday.” The vocal frosting is perfectly piped atop it all, lyrics flirting with bi-curious urges and an exorcized other (the Caramel girls even sing a bit of Punjabi for the hook). Tastes odd on first bite, but perfect by the second – the addictive riddle that is the music video being what brings you back.
With Orange Caramel being a “sub-unit” (read: subsidiary) of its larger, parent pop group After School, “까탈레나(Catallena)” even comes with a taste of K-pop’s strangely corporate approach to not only the marketing of art but even the art itself. When the end product’s this absurdly good, just pay up and dig in.
• Orange Caramel: http://www.orangecaramel.co.kr
King Tears Mortuary
Oh, boy. My pal Marshall is awesome. This is a fellah that I’ve gotten to know throughout the years and has always seemed to stick around. We transferred from one college to the same other college having only known each other through a mutual acquaintance. Lived merely 30 minutes from me when I moved to a different part of Ohio. Got me into Tiny Mix Tapes around 2007. Spent plenty of summers together. Is way into GBV. Worked with me for a couple years and became: A CO-WORKER *dread*. He moved to Australia for a minute or two and now lives in the city, just about (again) 30 minutes away from me, or a midnight train away. Last time we hung was two weeks ago and we played some video game and got drunk. Time before I left 285 Kent to have beers within in some corner of the city. Next time I see him it BETTER be before we go to Acid Mother’s Temple.
Anyhow, the fellah put me onto this hear King Tears Mortuary from Australia. And what’s fun is, well – long story short – we did the whole Pocahaunted VS. Best Coast shit when the singles started to hit (pre-Crazy For You), and hangin’ always sounded like grungy recordings of the simplest licks, so “Apollo” fits right in. I’m glad he found this comfort in Australia while we were apart *makes spoons* because I kinda kept shooting for new-new-new (SEE: Choco Mix 102 later today), but he kept it AND keeps it REAL. None of this OPN, Laurel Halo, patten, vapor-nami buuuuulll shit. Give my pal a few High Lifes, a pie from Cassano’s, grippin’ some Mike Sell’s, and start spinning King Tears Mortuary’s “Apollo” 7-inch on Vacant Valley (pre-order): the man is in heaven. Beyond, maybe if you got a stack of #VERYRARE GBV 12-inches too. Scope the tune below and hang out with us sometime!
PS: Marshall’s sister and brother-in-law own a dog that looks strikingly similar to this post’s picture.
“너여야 (It’s You)”
Seoul’s brightest bedroom pop star is back, lit this time by the lucent torch song, “너여야 (It’s You).” Mediating between the electro expertise of longtime collaborator Cliff Lin and Korean producer Demicat’s subtlest glitch hop undertones, Neon Bunny’s melody floats lambent above the shifting textures beneath. The verse rhythm scatters and weaves between the denser waveforms of the chorus, like a flock of starlings playing in patterns before settling into formation by song’s end. These many maneuvers might distract were they not so natural; instead they propel Neon Bunny’s most moving song yet.
• NeonBunny 야광토끼: http://neonbunny.bandcamp.com
CHITOKYO MIXTAPE is totally bombed out. Like, going to work, completely whacked out your mind, your mind is completely gone, having a mind of your own is NO MORE. Turn signals pop off in all sorts of directions. People riding your ass and thinking it’s YOUR fault the front of their car almost it the back of yours. Rubbing your eyes transports dimensions and RED is all the tint rage. EQwhy smashes in another 500 samples and you’re only three minutes deep. Knuckles are as white as dreary wall paper. There’s no money for anything needless. Saying there’s no culture in a location is absurd, but whatever.
But where’s my money? It’s to “be made” in a tower built within a valley, so while walking toward the entrance wind will snap at your body so furiously you’re instantly sober upon entering. Then, you’re interacting with coworkers tryna recall all the “new” or “popular” music being played/circulated at the moment. And it all comes out like CHITOKYO MIXTAPE. So, good for you, ‘cause EQ Why is out on that yuung physical and you can grip yourself a cassette through Orange Milk Records, where I have also written a few album descriptions if you care to read. Heard OM they really put in a buck or two for CHITOKYO MIXTAPE, and it was 100,000,000% worth it. Find out for yourself below:
“STROBE LIGHT S” (LORD SMS EDIT)
With a stellar past few months for D/P/I (inteview; JEANETTE, 08.DD.15, SHE WAS NO TAME THING), LORD SMS (World of Shit, GLASS BRIXX VOL. 1), and Bootleg Tapes (SEE: [discography]), it’s comes at no surprise there’d be a merging of their minds. But more like a melting. From what I’ve heard, LORD SMS used real streams of “STROBE LIGHT S” sent by D/P/I to recreate and edit it for a physical CS of JEANETTE being released by Bootleg Tapes. As well, considering LORD SMS’ recent endeavors as SIMULATOR – with deep fam LAMPGOD – the question of “Is LORD SMS an actual person, or wavelength of beings mashed within a basement mainframe hacked direct to the deepest cores of the Internet?” It’s all true.
Both D/P/I and LORD SMS been traveling, though. Either by WIFI or tunneling on they knees or by wheel, these entities of music remain fucking productive. Communication by text. Communication by sound structure. Communication through my ears to words to your eyes and mind, now comes JEANETTE by way of cassette on Bootleg Tapes with the added extra “STROBE LIGHT S” (LORD SMS EDIT), stamping a bit of magic dance that breaks down mantel, and centers itself right around the heart. There two give two-shits about festering a community for individual benefit and are more-so continuing a conversation. Mega ego will never completely dominate the collective mind. Nor will it crash out on my boi Brad Stabler. So dig on “STROBE LIGHT S” (LORD SMS EDIT) below and wait for D/P/I’s new(ish) release on Bootleg Tapes soon:
The concept of “place” is often crucial to our understanding of certain artists/works. In pop music, the role of place can occasionally overtly drive the musical/lyrical content of a song. Van Dyke Parks’ Song Cycle is a great example of this with its specific yet abstracted mentions of Los Angeles landmarks. Of course, this notion of location can also be much more esoteric in more popular realms of music too. Often a particular place can be used to define a particular musical style or zeitgeist; the development of Norwegian black metal and the slight variations in early blues music (i.e. Delta vs. Chicago blues) are instances of this more abstract notion of place. However, all of the distinctive characteristics in the above instances of place based music can still be analyzed and understood in theoretical terms. So, how can experimental and noise works evoke and reference a particular place without being directly programmatic and/or theory driven? One such way is through the aural philosophy driving regional movements such as the respective worlds of Houston noise and onkyo music but geography also seems to play an implicit role in the creation of abstract work when looking at the sonic differences between the catalogs of folks like Kevin Drumm and Merzbow.
During the last several years, the American Southwest (and particularly Albuquerque) has seemingly given rise to a distinctive style of experimental music and Mesa Ritual (the duo of William Fowler Collins and Raven Chacon) is an excellent example of this new place driven music. Like Collins’ recent solo work and many of Chacon’s various projects, Mesa Ritual’s music focuses on slowly unfurling sounds that manage to pummel the listener, not so much with volume, but with an overwhelming sense of tension. Their track “Procession VIII” builds on and processes a singular repetitive rhythm that eventually gets consumed by distortion and electronic/acoustic drones. It always seems like it might explode at any given second, but instead builds until it collapses.
While the title “Procession VIII” in conjunction with Chacon and Collins’ band name may immediately bring to mind some sort of pagan ritual with the track’s repetitive rhythms and string drones, “Procession VIII” seems inextricably tied to the landscape of New Mexico for me. The type of developing stasis heard here is also present in the works of many Sicksicksick artists from the area and seems to almost come directly out of the monolithic presence of the desert. Sure, there’s a similar sense of dread and stasis in the work of artists like Thomas Köner but the aural differences between his music and the work of Mesa Ritual are immediately apparent. Köner’s sounds have an icy distance to them while the work of Chacon and Collin’s is dusty, smudged, and flat with mountains of noise looming in the distance. With “Procession VIII”, Mesa Ritual has created a piece that captures the essence of a place through abstraction.
“Procession VIII” will be available on Mesa Ritual’s self-titled record for SIGE Records on May 20. You can stream the track below: