The Korg Electribe ESX-1SD Music Production Sampler is a standalone drum machine and sequencer that has nine programmable drum parts, two synth parts, basic filtering and modulation capabilities, and a built-in tube amplification system. The producer/DJ known as Slava — born in Russia, transplanted to Chicago, living in New York — wants us to know that this is the only instrument he uses to make his music. If you’re thinking “I don’t care about how the dude makes it, as long as it sounds good and I can dance to it,” I assure you that Slava makes complex, danceable music — but I don’t share your philosophy. In the context of 2013’s digital omni-accessibility and profuse onstage laptop-ery, I fully dig witnessing Slava handle the Electribe in a live setting — programming loops on the fly, cycling through sequences, turning little gray knobs, and editing waveform parameters in real time. He operates remarkably within his gear’s limitations, cramming his tracks with enough house, footwork, acid techno, and 2-step signifiers to satisfy listeners from all of the cultures he’s dipped into since he set out from his homeland.
Slava’s debut album Raw Solutions drops on April 23 via occasional Electribe user/all-the-time synth sorcerer Dan Lopatin’s own Software label. In the video for first single “Werk,” we get a nice introductory look into Slava’s world: vodka, trippy virtual-reality backdrops, Adidas, silver-haired cyborg dance troupes, and plenty of closeups of both the man and his little red machine.
“Landscapes In The Mist”
OK, okay-okay. Yeah, I’ll bet you write something real creative, right? Something dark, maybe? Transporting my face to C Monster’s face to the face of each face in a field of faces. Oh, clever, yeah. Yes. Nahh. Bring about all the change to one face of my face and the movie Face/Off. I’d be Travolta —err, I’d be Cage as Travolta, but really Cage. Or John Woo. No, neither, that’s fucking racist. Let’s get an image in there; “there” being mind to fingers to word. And it’s an unkempt cowboy staring into a mirror, and his hair gives the impression he is frowning. This is fucking sad, because I love cowboys and this one doesn’t know French from English. Just thick-accented lingo only his mirror and the bottle understands. Oh, shit, and he breaks that bottle for an edge. The sharpest edge. He tests each shard on his open palm. Aww, cowboy, no it’s not worth all this nonsense. With the shard, he begins shaving, using the blood as it loosens his facial hair. His hat lies next to his boots by the toilet. His bare feet bathe in the booze smashed out from the bottle. He licks the blood off his lips.
Cowboy, you’re so important to me, yes? I adore your tragedy. Gain sugar that won’t dissolve. A hound that tries, but can’t, speak English. American flags fly with or without the scars on your face that are being torn back open to the world of wounds. Don’t. Hair and blood mixes with brownish water and spirals into the drain. This was so much funnier without you cowboy — not really. “Y’all lookin’ round funny?” he asks me. And I wonder what it could be at this point. He kneels down in the glass and starts scooping up the last of his booze mixing with blood from his knees and fingers and hands. His face drips and is patchy. Tears sting his torn face and taste like licking a rusted GTO. “Not enough,” he shouts and slams his fists into the puddle (mostly blood now) and glass (more blood now-now). But the booze drowns his system, and he sits with a half cut and crooked smile, puts on them boots, and covers his face with his hat. Maybe I’d be Travolta as Cage as Travolta.
Zoo Music releases Drifters/Love is the Devil double LP May 21.
Gene The Southern Child & Parallel Thought
1. weapons (as bows, slings, and catapults) for discharging missiles
2. large bore crew-served mounted firearms (as guns, howitzers, and rockets)
3. means of impressing, arguing, or persuading
1. an ostentatious effort, display, or expenditure
In light of several recent tragedies (see: crazy white kids mowing down crowds of innocents, with no apparent motive other than batshit insanity), titling an album Artillery Splurgin’ might come across as either a ballsy move or a crass attempt at generating buzz. The fact of the matter is that rapper Gene the Southern Child and producers Parallel Thought had already picked out the name back in July 2012, months before the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre occurred or subsequently proposed gun control legislation prompted arms enthusiasts to “splurge” on “artillery.”
Hence, the phrase is likely meant to describe shooting anything that moves rather than stockpiling weaponry. Besides, Gene’s lyrics are more directly concerned with the kids of Florence, AL than those of Newtown, CT, so any perceived association with Sandy Hook or similar events is exactly that — perceived. That the artists refused to compromise their vision can and should be commended as a brave defense of the First Amendment, but only briefly because (1) it’s highly unlikely anybody requested that they change the title; (2) they probably couldn’t care less; and (3) all that bullshit gets in the way of enjoying the music for what it is: soulful Southern rap about shooting any fucking thing that moves.
All controversy aside, we at Tiny Mix Tapes are proud to present “Artillery Splurgin’,” the title cut off the upcoming album from Gene the Southern Child & Parallel Thought, which is slated for a May 7 CD/digital release.
…Now try to enjoy it without killing anybody, ya hear?
• Parallel Thought: http://pthought.com
Just to bring our readers up to speed: those who don’t SPIN that frequently, <> T (a.k.a. Diamond Terrifier a.k.a. Sam Hillmer a.k.a. one-third of ZS) popped off his hot new track “Triple Gem” this morning, which is part of a 30-minute “suite” from his new album The Subtle Body Wears a Shadow on Terrible Records. This morning when I arrived to work, I listened to “Triple Gem” and immediately bought the LP. There’s no doubt in my mind that the growing collection of Sam’s solo works have clues to every secret in life. I could never explain so in words, but neither can he (maybe). It all seems like it’s right there in music for listeners to decide. And what a moment it is during every moment in his breathing: stagnant yet baited, both wobbly and searing at its core. Yet if I were to leave out the word “burning,” this post wouldn’t be complete.
Scope <> T’s new LP The Subtle Body Wears a Shadow on Terrible Records immediately for maximum enjoyment of all senses possessed in music.
Heroin In Tahiti / Ensemble Economique
No Highway / Black Vacation [split LP]
And now we’re moving with No Highway. Terror seeps in and grasps onto emotions only solid in form, but audible together. As a crack in your skull secretes wasted thoughts, gathering them in a dream full to the brim may just allow them to pour into reality. Fine, yes: FINE! Let paranoia and joy blend into a new flavor of ice cream made to mend what you’ve let escape. Feel the deed of panic while fulfilling your need indulge. Become again as whole and theory. Flesh as human and dream as desire. No Highway, HAH! Keep moving until it sets in. It being FUN. Fun being movement. Movement being a dance in which everything pounds into a haze of rhythm to beat, and breathe-breathe. Breathe to the breaking point of hesitation and dream. To your mind. To No Highway ever.
Once upon this Black Vacation, your feelings become reality, and hypo-hypo becomes water which wades warm. It’s dark. It’s a Black Vacation; fuck off, of course it’s dark. Yeah, dark and mucky, like crude oil. Yet, it ain’t none of that crude oil. It’s all the wasted vacations you’ve taken before, melted into a puddle of shame before you, so take the dive. Make this Black Vacation an escape for your imagination. It’ll never get back here. Never again will it form a thought of lovely and holy. Covered in the failure of what you once thought peaceful is now enveloping your existence. Fucking… heavy.
Hit up this Ensemble Economique and Heroin In Tahiti No Highway/Black Vacation split LP April 10 (Wednesday), and feel their audible trip into creativity.
• Ensemble Economique: http://ensembleeconomique.tumblr.com
• Heroin In Tahiti: http://heroinintahiti.bandcamp.com
• Sound of Cobra: http://soundofcobra.tk
• NO=FI Recordings: http://nofirecordings.blogspot.com
Russell Haswell & Yasunao Tone
“Convulsive Threshold #2” (excerpt)
When I saw that Russell Haswell and Yasunao Tone were collaborating together, my first thought was something along the lines of “whoever organized this must be one sick motherfucker.” I mean, have they heard Tone’s wounded CD work? Or, say, Haswell’s improbably noisy field recording “Electro Swat?” Clearly, this combination could only yield unparalleled cacophony.
Well, I’m happy to say that, based on the excerpt below, my sonic forecast for this record is pretty correct. Plenty of joyous brutality to go around! However, unlike many other artists who work in the vast realm of digital noise, Haswell and Tone’s methods aren’t based in a desire to explore extreme textures as much as they are in a fascination with the mathematical anomalies of digital technology. Look at Editions Mego’s page for the record and it becomes clear that this project is as much research as it is composition.
Apparently, Convulsive Threshold is the result of deviated MP3s created from Haswell’s specialized digital/analog system that were then further deviated using Tone’s methods. The duo’s seemingly rigorous adherence to this scientifically process-generated technique falls directly in line with the musical philosophy of Alvin Lucier’s work. Like Lucier, Haswell and Tone aren’t in this for expression, but instead to illustrate and to manipulate the acoustic properties of sound itself; similarly, emotional/timbral impact is left up to the listener. Convulsive Threshold may be abrasive, but it could just as easily be beautiful if the MP3 deviations had yielded those results. Haswell and Tone are simply carrying out a process in their work, and luckily it happens to be a very interesting process to listen to.
Convulsive Threshold is out May 13 via Editions Mego. You can listen to an excerpt of the record below.