Almost wiped the curtain off; almost revealed the beast behind the friction. They escalated the tension, the volume, and resistance.
Still, every sound outside of “Sagaraki” seems more intense and impatient. In this case, like acupuncture steering into pain, the ritual of melancholy friction amplifies the violence of impatience until it fizzles into a radionic infant. The client’s inner machine moves with Mohammad, unlike the rush of muted waiting room whispers, deaf to the Mohammad’s tempo. To be served, the client must listen to Mohammad through the door. The client must silence digestion. Once they lockjaw the client, the client takes a closer look; closer. Off the hinges, the door falls down.
“That Battle is Over”
Jenny Hval has been propelling herself increasingly well the past few years. She made the TMT top 50 list twice, maybe. Sean Brady had an amazing blurb on her track from last year in our songs list too. Personally, I’ve never been a “fan” of hers until hearing Apocalypse, girl straight through this morning, and found her video for “That Battle is Over” to cover in light of joy. I should’ve listened to ZP way back.
But lemme shed more upon this light of joy I’ve found in Jenny Hval’s album, focusing on her single “That Battle is Over.” First of all, “Merry Christmas” will be my new “hi!” at work. I’m big on “hi” and “Happy Birthday” so people leave me alone, but “Merry Christmas” goes in. Second off, I’m infatuated with “soft penis” in music. Any and all music, just pile on the words “soft penis” and my maturity level will be happily and healthily satiated, although this lyric isn’t deployed in “That Battle is Over” at all, but is pretty much the rest of Apocalypse, girl. Thirdly (again, something ZP tried to get on me about awhile back, but I was like “yayayayayayayayaya” and didn’t; sorry, ZP), it’s crazy how Hval blends such heavy/serious lyrics with humor, especially in “That Battle is Over,” getting me intellectually OR immaturely chuckling at every other lyric. Fourth, I typically HATE lyrics, but I like the way Jenny Hval tells me how to think. Fifth and final, it’s impressive how reflective this Apocalypse, girl is of Black Metal in general concept. It’s like she’s taking all these nostalgic adult contemporary music-making aspects — with precise musical measurement you HAVE to see live to believe — and flipping them lyrically into this joyful persistence of sound surrounded by devastatingly true and infrequently transgression lyrics. I mean, take “That Battle is Over” for example. Listen. Ooo — it’s a video. Sick video with wipes and transitions and shit. Nice. People still make music videos!
[Then I list a bunch of literature and theory to follow-up and further prove my opinions above are legit]. Now pre-order your copy of Jenny Hval’s newest album Apocalypse, girl on Sacred Bones in limited LP, standard LP, and CD, and maybe grip a t-shirt too? I dunno, Sony!
C. Spencer Yeh
“Solo Voice V”
There should be something deeply intrusive about listening to Solo Voice I - X, C. Spencer Yeh’s long-awaited full-length dedicated entirely to the human voice. The sound of a single performer’s oral tones, bereft of exhalation and delicately balanced across 10 tracks without accompaniment, has great potential to cause distaste.
And yet, each of these movements act as a magnification of all that we take for granted, not only in speech, but in any kind of articulate bodily gesture. The movement of the voice, the variety of its texture, and the complexity of its implication are fortified here by the very virtue of each fragmented implausibility.
I hear each of these tracks as meditations on the absurdity of language. They are a reminder of the profundity we encounter in a single bodily function, performed on a daily basis, by billions of people. That this reminder comes so exquisitely designed makes this experience all the more astonishing.
It is our absolute pleasure to premiere “Solo Voice V” and to announce the release of C. Spencer Yeh’s fascinating new album, available for purchase on Primary Information now.
“Demo 1 [Excerpt]”
To say that the music Jeff Host makes under the Chemtrails moniker “bridges the gap” between the contemporary experimental techno circuit and the institution of modular synthesis is to suppose that such a gap exists. Over the course of the last half-decade, Host and contemporaries like John Elliott and Brett Naucke have all but erased the distinction between the academic and DIY realms, conjuring seemingly randomized expanses of hi-fi alien tones and abstracted grooves from tangles of modules and cables scrutable only to the minds that patched them — all from the comfort of their own home studios. As the informal Cleveland <-> Chicago network of midwest synth scientists continues to evolve before our eyes (see also: Bee Mask, Quicksails), we can check in with Host’s developing practice in the form of the forthcoming Destiny Demos, due this month via Sam Goldberg’s Centre label.
Dial into the sinuous waveform “Demo 1 (Excerpt)” to hear Host temper a steady pulse with a lattice of syncopated bleeps and modular moans. Rough low end textures abut crisp clicks somewhere behind the pounding bass drum mantra. Immaculate synth tones swirl together in a light haze of reverb. Central elements of his system remain stubbornly rooted to the spot, while subtle rhythmic flourishes provide forward motion. The two minute sample cuts off too soon to let the zone fully envelop us. Grab the tape from Centre to visit Host’s workshop for the long term — or spring for the full batch, stacked heavy with new tapes from Cleveland legends Prostitutes (James Donadio) and Khaki Blazer (Pat Modugno) and a collab from Chicago fixtures Alex Barnett and Andy Ortmann.
• Centre: http://centrecentrecentre.blogspot.com
The unassuming release of solace is, in a way, telling of what lies therein: a 10 minute mishmash of Earl Sweatshirt’s recorded odds and ends. But this ain’t some throwaway set. It could well be one of the heaviest things Earl has put out to date, a sparse mood piece to the dense self-containment of I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. The one-take approach of the rapping here captures Earl descending (maybe even plummeting) down his mind’s rabbit hole, stumbling over the instros with unfiltered, unfettered emotion – he audibly chokes back tears at one point, before proceeding to restart the verse in its entirety. And yet amidst all the doom and gloom, the prevailing sense of relief is palpable. Earl’s music is weighing him down; releasing this intensely personal collection to the masses is an artistic reprieve of sorts, allowing him to move on to the next one without the hefty baggage.
• Earl Sweatshirt: http://www.earlsweatshirt.com