Richard Youngs, who’s so prolific that not even he owns everything he’s recorded, added to his vast catalog last month with Amplifying Host, an incredibly beautiful yet peculiar album that got us so excited we had to scream EUREKA. In our review, TMTer Ian Latta wrote how the album sounds “broken” (sounds, not is), a particularly interesting descriptor, given how fluidly and seamlessly the music flows. But Latta’s completely right. In an interview with The Quietus, Youngs explains how both the album’s chord progressions and tempos were randomly determined to “bypass any decision-making.” Indeed, there is nothing fixed about this album; it’s all ellipses, movement, instability.
This is all visually reflected in the video for “Furrows Again,” the first track off Amplifying Host. Directed by Naomi Yang (of Damon & Naomi), the video’s momentum is derived from a sense of aimlessness and transition, an unsettling feeling for listeners who expect their caterpillars to turn into butterflies. But those who are willing to submerge themselves in less predictable experiences from a musician whose compositional practices are anything but routine will find much to enjoy here.
Bon Iver and James Blake
“Fall Creek Boys Choir”
Once upon a time, two white dudes named James Blake (TMT Review) and Bon Iver (TMT Review) wrote some tunes that set the world on fire. We don’t know if it was fate or what, but James Blake and Bon Iver became buds at SXSW and have since leveraged their power as people with white skin to create a new track, “Fall Creek Boys Choir” — via email no less! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really digging this video’s minimalism:
Tripper [full album]
A sudden trend has developed on the web thingy for kids with their gadgets and gizmos: breaking street date with early online releases of new music. I remember not long ago witnessing a riot on Facebook as friends were scrambling with anxiety to download that new Radiohead record. Their previous plans to wait by the computer till midnight had been foiled, and they feared being only the second or third to hear Thom’s new jams. The joke was on them, huh? And to add insult to injury, the album was The King of Limbs. All that trouble for nothing.
Yesterday, abiding by this trend, Hella whispered into a few ears, “Pssst! We already have Tripper on Bandcamp! Teehee!” Upon hearing the news, kids were cutting school, adults were quitting their jobs, and then an earthquake occurred. Now, I’m not saying Hella is responsible for that devastating natural disaster that shook a cup off of my table, but I’m just saying.
The Flaming Lips and Lightning Bolt
“I’m Working at NASA on Acid”
A month ago, The Flaming Lips and The Lightning Bolts (JK, I know their name!) released a trippy video for their collaborative track, “I Wanna Get High But I Don’t Want Brain Damage.” It was great, but it only left us wanting a video for “I’m Working at NASA on Acid,” too. A petition to get a video for the track started circulating around the TMT offices, and last I looked, we collected at least 18 signatures. I’m assuming someone sent it to Wayne Coyne, because the cuties at Consequence of Sound have tipped us off to the new, equally trippy video. Now how should we go about getting Lightning Bolt to cover Soft Bulletin in its entirety?
I never had a Nintendo or Sega when I was young. Not because my family was completely impoverished or in the shit, but because my young American mind saw those colorful, dazzling new technologies as an out of reach fantasy. When I was a little older, the same went for synthesizer music by the likes of Vangelis and Francis Rimbert. This is true: when I heard Vangelis’ theme from Cosmos I thought “this is my favorite thing in the world!” but I never got the fucking album! What? Are there any mental disorders where you don’t let yourself have what you want the most even though it’s right in front of you? (Masochism.) Jesus christ, at least now there’s enough spiraling synthesizer music to last several lifetimes.
So let me stop being a narcissistic dumbass and mention Panabrite, aka Norm Chambers, one of the current crop of “synth explorers” (to use a term Vangelis never thought would be cliche but cosmically has) who continues to blur the line between drifting ambiance and a sense of through composition. “Sea Balm”, a track from his new Tranquility Tapes release Wind Rider, veers towards the meditative side of things, though the sustained drone is broken up by a seemingly wordless vocoder track. When a faint arpeggio drops near the end it’s just icing on the cake, and you hardly realize that the entire thing has essentially hovered motionless over a single chord. It’s also worth looking into Norm’s other releases this year, particularly the Omni Center CD-R which is an absolutely crystal clear recording that I might share with benevolent visiting Aliens if they asked what this synthesizer shit was all about.
Mick Barr, the man behind/in front of Ocrilim, Orthrelm, and Octis, has a new solo album, Coiled Malescence, due September 13 via Safety Meeting. The album, which I haven’t heard but am expecting to blindly love, is available for pre-order right now. It reportedly “shreds.” (via Pitchfork)
• Safety Meeting: http://www.safetymeeting.net