Oh man. Is it possible to be more excited about Fennesz’s upcoming conceptual Endless Summer sequel Bécs? I think not. If “The Liar” is any indication of the album as a whole, then Bécs is going to truly recapture all the grit and beauty of early Fennesz releases with an augmented vocabulary of new sonic techniques.
It’s not that Fennesz hasn’t made some great stuff in the last few years, but recent works (save for Fenn O’Berg’s masterfulIn Hell) have typically been lovely subdued exercises in droning ambiance. “The Liar,” on the other hand, is all fuzzed-out glitch guitar, buzzing drones, and ethereal synth harmonies. There are times when the extreme filtered distortion of the guitar-based sounds blend so subtly with the crystalline synths that it almost recalls the dichotomy between distortion and melody present in early black metal. The track is a fantastic example of Fennesz’s innate ability at creating sound worlds that are alternately challenging yet beautiful and endlessly listenable.
Bécs will be released April 28th via Editions Mego.
Vimana Aircraft’s Message to SETI (they never replied)
I love/hate finding out about new old artists. You know the ones — the musicians who’ve been putting out compelling works for a while, yet somehow you never heard of them until now, and now that you’ve listened to them you’re so enthralled that you feel the urge to check out all of their previous material, which, conveniently, is all available to stream, if not download, free of charge, except the only problem is that there’s just too much of it. One seemingly innocuous Bandcamp or Soundcloud link leads to an artist page, which leads to another, which leads to a label page, and the rabbit hole goes deeper and deeper until you can no longer find your way back to the page that got you burrowing in the first place.
Such is the case with me and Vimana Aircraft, who may or may not be the pipe-dream of Sun Ra’s Space Is The Place fully realized in the Internet age. You see: I think I first heard Mr. Aircraft while I was doing the archaeological with the Flamingosis catalog — both artists appeared on tape label Em La Terra’s 2013 holiday compilation, An ELLT Christmas — but I’m really not sure. Making matters more complex and all-around bizarre, Vimana Aircraft appears to take his name from some kind of new-age ancient alien fuckery and his repertoire includes such gadgets as the Accurate Instruments Genometer 156, an old radio signal generator that he uses, at turns, to boost his hisscore instrumentals’ glitch factor or, as is the case here with Vimana Aircraft’s Message to SETI (they never replied), in a failed attempt to open a dialog between himself and SETI.
Though SETI might not be listening, my attention has definitely been caught, and even if you’re not receiving the transmission streaming below, you’d do well to tune in to Vimana Aircraft’s other broadcasts here and here and here and…
• Vimana Aircraft: http://vimanaaircraft.bandcamp.com
DJ Nigga Fox
“Tarraxo Bela (Flauta)”
DJ Nigga Fox (a.k.a. Lx Monkeys, a.k.a. Rogério Brandão) lives inside the Doomsday Clock, firing out cuckoo calls of off-balance kuduro/techno, experimenting in radical new forms of ping-pong delay, and just really-really loving Tupac and Dr Dre.
I fell in head and heels with his stumbling, delirious beats and horror-show synth palette after last year’s “O Meu Estilo EP” on Príncipe Records.
Many nights of chromatic, comatose delirium were to follow.
• DJ Nigga Fox: https://soundcloud.com/dj-nigga-fox-lx-monke
Coming at listeners six months after “Earthly,” Jam City is back again with “Earthly II,” continuing what appears to be a series of mixtapes. And it’s totally the soundtrack to robbing every store on the same block around closing time in SoHo, getting away with about $249k and some (maybe real) gold necklaces. Duffel bags taken from Gucci and Prada stuffed with stacks. Disguises of course consist of draped bonnets and thick dresses. Jeffery got hus fine dainty white neck garter caught and torn. Someone covers their kids eyes and Alex spits on/at ‘em. Everyone involved is licking off shots and sniffing a lot and rubbing their eyes. Visions of unrestlessness. All this wobbling and people running. So-what-so-what. Maybe that’s sirens or screaming. Blood has been kept minimal. It’s a snatch and grab job.
After this, the driver will lose the cops around midtown, head up to about 96th Street, then floor it down West Side Highway, hook downtown for a few more smash-grabs, grip about $100[some]k more, maybe a wallet if the mood is frisky, radio blaring in the van this entire time, Jam City taking down domes with “Earthly II” (download), fashion meets Wall Street, tires squeal across the Brooklyn Bridge bike track, sirens getting nearer, Jeffery tucks and rolls down to the lower level and gets hit by oncoming traffic, Alex is flaring the end of his gun out the sliding door, drive nicking walls minimally, cops in a Temple of Doom standoff serving through packed traffic, bursts of red splash upon windows where Alex missed (??) the police, he’s yelling, “Turn this shit down,” so you push him out the window, crank it up, flip the bird at a few cop cars the crash from the distraction, and it’s like nothing ever happened.
Put “Earthly II” by Jam City on repeat this morning/afternoon/evening and crush a little bit of work you’ve been putting off since the weekend. Stream below:
• Jam City: http://www.jam-city.net
When examined within the context of RYOICHI KUROKAWA’s previous audio/visual installations, oscillating continuum is sparse and meditative. In 2011, Kurokawa created syn_, an album length movie with a soundtrack from the guts of a Windows 98 processor, and ground, which addresses the terrors of war and disaster in the Middle East by manipulating news broadcasts to create a living, melting portrait. His latest work is like a TMA-1 – a monolithic block of brushed aluminum laid on its side like a futuristic sarcophagus, projecting sparse, ephemeral blasts of particles and noise. It becomes difficult to watch the blaring white screen, so devoid of matter, one imagines it to fill up with lavish colors and landscapes, as we’ve come to expect from high resolution computers. Instead, the waveforms are the architecture of explosively harsh noise, and Kurokawa demonstrates absolute control over his medium by playing with sounds that cannot be controlled. Like we pictured the landscape to fill in all that white space, we imagine a melody and harmony as well, one that can make sense out of all the uncertainty. While much of Kurokawa’s work could translate well to a musical performance, oscillating continuum is better suited for a quiet, empty room somewhere in France (Brussels is close enough) where it can command your full attention.
• Ryoichi Kurokawa: http://www.ryoichikurokawa.com/bio.html