Ill Fares the Land
As the development of new DAW software, means of digital processing, and virtual instruments breeds increasingly complex methods of electronic composition, more strategies exist now for a musician to max out his or her output than ever before. Some artists that embrace these new technologies can sink into a mire of endlessly customizable plugins, Macbook over-dependence, and physically stale live performance. Some continue, perhaps stubbornly, to mine the limitations and specific tones of analog instruments and processes, for better and worse. Some bold minds select what they want from the deepening arsenals of both electronic and analog tactics and mash them into previously unheard permutations, documenting the war of HUMAN vs. MACHINE from somewhere in the middle of its timeline.
Armed with a cello and a dense system of electronics, Koenraad Ecker produces overwhelming drone/noise compositions that blast hi-fi electronic depth-charges into your consciousness. Ill Fares The Land, his new LP on Digitalis, holds nothing back in its bleak vision of contemporary electro/acoustic music, cycling through consuming passages of white noise static and thick walls of barely tonal low-end savagery. Punctured with fractured rhythms, randomized synth bleeps, and martial bass drum beatdowns, Ecker’s post-industrial dronescapes slither with sonic details as they veer between near silence and maximal overload. The whole affair might run the risk of crumbling under the weight of its own abstraction, if not for the stunning moments of live cello performance that Ecker braids into his productions as tenuous lifelines back to some form of humanity. Grafted to our screens, tethered to a continual stream of data and stimuli, who among us is still purely “human?” Ecker demonstrates the futility of such a question: we are all enriched, cursed, augmented, and disfigured by the tools and machines we choose to integrate into ourselves. We are flesh and we are steel and we continue to evolve.
You can order Ill Fares The Land on LP from Digitalis. Strike before physical copies disappear, or remain strictly digital.
SPOILER ALERT! The cast of characters in the “Take” video, directed by Jason Drake (a.k.a. Dfalt, a.k.a. Cassettes Won’t Listen, a.k.a. DJ Jad1), and Vedette Lim (True Blood, Chicago Fire), includes (in order of appearance) a “desperate traveler” in “the desolate and unforgiving desert of western Nevada,” a sleeping beauty, a hazardous materials worker, a dame sun-tanning by tome, a veiled unicorn kisser, a self-spotlit animate rag doll, an androgynous homemaker ironing the lawn, a woman lustfully asphyxiating herself with a clear tube light coiled around her body, another emerging from a pool of blood and flowers, a busboy, a business lady in an over-sized suit, a pig-tailed girl capable of exhaling enormous smoke clouds, a human table frame, a wine drinker, and a tiger-masked grocery shopper draped in a tiger stripe-patterned dress, all of whom but for the busboy and wine drinker are portrayed by the gorgeous and versatile TV actress Vedette Lim.
“Take” from that what you will, and while you’re at it, stream or download Dfalt’s Take EP through Daylight Curfew, and keep your ears on his 40 Mornings series, a SoundCloud set of 40 songs released over the course of 40 mornings, which just began yesterday.
Cult Cosmos is back, y’all. And this time, our boii in the stars twinkles his take on trap, collage, hip hop elements, a little more schizophrenic in beat and bass with Digital Anthropology, opposed to the more loungier feel vibing in Octopus. Following along the same lines as Ghettoville, Digital Anthropology gets whacked out in ways of maddening samples and reflection on an everlasting adoration of the flashing-lights morphing nature of digital identities. Certainly, Cult Cosmos found that spot in the universe where beat and beauty collide with fluttering melody fused with rhythm, “So yeah, everything chill; everything all right.”
A pal of Cult Cosmos in Tallahassees is rejuvenating a previously stale college label (FSU’s Renegade State Records), and has put out Digital Anthropology on CD, making it by-far their most experimental bit they’ve released. So when I write, “BY-FAR,” I totally mean out where interstellar being and wishful thinking make love under a nebular of colors never seen. Find the CD here, and listen to the Digital Anthropology by Cult Cosmos in the mean-time below:
In the midst of enjoying a resurgence with 2012’s full-length and last year’s flat-out brilliant Wave Lair 12-inch, atmospheric pop troupe Landing – active since 1999(!) – is… well, I don’t think they’re on another hiatus by any means, but between releases, two of the core members have split off to form a new duo called Tinniens and have created a cassette tape meant for nothing more than our aural delight. Launching its debut release under the Geographic North banner, Tinniens is out of the gates with a set of tunes that takes off right where Landing (you know) landed with Wave Lair, converging disparate elements into steady, measured patterns, using minimalism as a base upon which to develop beautifully melodic pop music, and revealing the complex geometry of simplicity itself. Tinniens especially varied and syncopated approach to the low end is what gives “Veer” its relentless forward motion, and no matter the twists and turns the tune takes along the way, the band retains an uncanny and uncompromising focus.
They call the tape Dub Guns, by the way, and it’s one of those musical artifacts that you can actually buy, own, and listen to a million times over, which is something I plan on doing as soon as I click the “submit” button on this article in a few seconds here.
#NutHeat [preview video] (NSWF?)
Facebook LIKE emperor Paul Bower slipped me a lil bit of #NutHeat this weekend via e-mail, and I was happy for the release. Visually, this preview video made by Paris Group Intentional for the #NutHeat mix by DJ Goulet. And the video is totally PG-X rated. Like, if you were watching this at work, it’d appear to neighbors that you are watching pro-no, but really, the only thing that’d make them think that is the people in the midst of desirable ecstasy videoed. Personally, I’d just pop this puppy out during the party and shoot up to **$$EXT8PE, but that’s just me. Obviously USA Today, Harvard University Press, and Jon Bon Jovi never heard **$$EXT8PE either, but here’s what they had to say about the preview video:
“An extremely graphic exploration of lust and love in modern America” - USA Today
“Paris Group Intl delves deeply into subconscious carnal desires under the influence of society, and the eternal human contradictions between liberating sexual impulses and erotic enslavement.” - Harvard University Press
“An extraordinary tale of sexual obsession that will continue to please decades into the future.” - Jon Bon Jovi
~~~~~~~~~~~DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR LIFE~~~~~~~~~~~