CE Schneider Topical
CE Schneider Topical is a collaborative project between Christina Schneider and Zach Phillips. I was already mad stoked to hear this record knowing of the duo’s work backing up fellow experimental pop weirdos like Jib Kidder and Maher Shalal Hash Baz, but man-oh-man are my expectations far surpassed by songs/sounds on Look Who Showed Up Out Here. This release is music that is meticulously loose sounding; melodically and harmonically gorgeous songs arranged to allow for all sorts of carefully placed instrumentation and noise to creep in.
If you can imagine the angular melodies of the Curtains, and the destructive whimsy of the Olivia Tremor Control, filtered through the reductionist pop of Ruth Garbus’ work you might have somewhat of an idea of what’s going on here, but even that doesn’t really do CE Schneider Topical justice. The singularity of the music here seems to largely stem from the full realization of Phillips’ notion of “open session rock”.
In the addendum written for the record, Schneider and Phillips explain how some of the music came to be made and essentially their approach seems to be an almost unconscious attempt at applying experimental music practices to pop forms. Phillips and Schneider treat these gorgeous tunes as items that are only “partially stable” and by letting the sonic elements of different worlds rear their heads, they give this music an infinite potential to change and never quite be truly known.
Between cite>Look Who Showed Up Here and Phillips’ work with Chris Weisman as Better Psychics, the emergent “open session rock” has begun to take form in two very different ways and both are fascinating to behold.
Look Who Showed Up Here is out on OSR Tapes on November 10. You can listen to excerpts of the record below and watch the video for “Growing Back” above.
LewseJoints The Third
You KNOW just by the first drag of LewseJoints, you were HOOKED two years ago. Then, the long awaited LewseJoints II billowed a looped cloud around every last summer night until… LewseJoints The Third dropped your October into a pile of leaves. FOOLED YOU, it was a pile of WEED disguised as a pile of leaves – the fuzz out there, man; ACAB – and now you ready to hibernate in a chamber of [hot box].
Ready to not feel a lick of cold whipping behind the corner of that round building (MSG -_-) or the invisible tsunami of wind makin’ people twitch with a chill? Problem solved: new Ohbliv. Always new Ohbliv. Forever, Ohbliv will reign kind of that 804, beatin’ ALL dem br’ohhs to the punch. In the face. So, as long as he’s sharing them LewseJoints The Third, including “more loosies n loops,” the romance and FIRE and energy will never end. Find out for yourself, below:
• Ohbliv: https://ohbliv.bandcamp.com
Only in Korea would one of the biggest pop stars release a single that seamlessly integrates polka rhythms, facetious “Asian classical” melodies, trendy pop rap vocal manipulation and laserstep breakdowns, a snatch of western schoolyard rhyme, slap bass funk, new wave guitar, a syncretic mythology combining Christmas and Halloween, and K-pop’s knack for making palatable sense of the country’s embarrassingly heavy nu-metal phase of yore. And only in Korea would that song skyrocket, within an hour, to the top of every chart in the nation. Seo Taiji — often credited with inventing K-pop in 1992, and hailed in the streets as “the president of culture” — has just released his excellent ninth album, Quiet Night, and “Christmalo.win” is his latest thesis for how best to weird up the monoculture.
He’s also 42. They say Korean makeup is a decade ahead, too.
• Seo Taiji: https://www.seotaiji.com
Soft as Snow
“All Our Beasts (Gang Gang Dance Brian DeGraw Remix)”
Gang Gang Dance’s Brian DeGraw turns Soft As Snow’s “All Our Beasts” on its already strange head, taking the London-based electronic duo’s didgeridoo-like drones and meditative vocals to a whole new glitchy plane. The remix continuously transforms throughout, starting out as some sort of electric soundscape (that oddly brings to mind this Pokémon Stadium N64 minigame), calms down in preparation for the staccato rework of the vocals, then does it all again, only this time enveloped in a meditative post-haze. Although the remix is made up of such surging, bright sounds, there’s something natural and organic about the whole thing, something that Brian DeGraw has evoked throughout all his projects.
The remix is part of Soft As Snow’s Glass Body Remixed EP, due November 4. It’s a perfect companion to the amazing original EP, which was released in September via Houndstooth. Check out the remix here:
Glass Body Remixed EP tracklist:
A1. Halo Heart (Lucy Remix)
A2. All Our Beasts (Gang Gang Dance Brian DeGraw Remix)
B1. Glass Body (Factory Floor Gabe Gurnsey Remix)
B2. Black Birds (Maria Minerva Rework)
“WEIRD GIRLS / DON’T SLEEP IN YOUR JEANS”
Ripping out your haze-brain, deep frying it with pickles and Oreos, then stuffing it back into the socket you call a skull, MOPE GROOVES clears the rock-playing field. Like the grittiest, pulp-paged CRACKED magazine, these Portland garage/basement dwellers pretty much awake in yesterday’s haze of left overs and slop up songs as fast as grinding up, rolling, and slow smoking every last bit before re-upping. Then along came the WEIRD GIRLS, following their split last year with Lamebrain on Burger Records and Gnar Tape. And I believe the faux-gender-queer/drag/cross-dressing video below (starting TMT fame-monster , @dead_bae, amongst other current residents of PDX’s Gnarnia office; directed by Dan Stump), is more of an album teaser than anything, because it fronts on all levels of calmly crude tropes, but also some aquatics. Personally, I love fish tanks. Yeah, here: peep the phrasing I got in an e-mail “[the video] zips through the first two cuts on the album with a clip as dense and macabre as it is brief.”
Unfortunately, the peep we get of MOPE GROOVES’ “WEIRD GIRLS / DON’T SLEEP IN YOUR JEANS” is merely that, as I’m sorta DYING for everything Gnar, Burger, and Lolipop releases. Also, now I’m thinking I should totally go as FISH for Halloween, but to where? Maybe just find some basements to linger and shove my arms and hands out of while Trick-or-Treaters walk by. Fuck it, I’ll continue to just grab bag people’s shoes until WEIRD GIRLS drops like a hot-steamy November 4 in digital, LP, and CS formats on Gnar Tapes, Burger Records, and Lolipop Records. Even THEN I’ll probably encrust myself and dwell and linger and love me some MOPE GROOVES. Smoke on it below: