19 Jewels EP
Throwing Shade, the moniker of London producer Nabihah Iqbal, has just dropped a new EP, titled 19 Jewels. The release, her first since last year’s “Mystic Places” 12-inch on Kassem Mosse’s Omnira imprint, sees the ethnomusicologist and NTS Radio DJ proffering five spacious, ambient tracks that swirl in slow-motion around low-key beats and mellifluous, airy synths. It’s incredibly understated, riding on cliches and non-Western signifiers, but in the context of this relatively faceless obfuscation of transnational identity and meaning-making, it works well. These sounds don’t command attention; they exhale, explore, and expand, filling space like smoke before shimmering off without saying goodbye.
Grab the EP on vinyl via No Pain in Pop, and stream the whole thing here:
Snag Sea Levels NOW from Styles Upon Styles Records, and listen to the full 12-inch below:
YO!!! This one. OOIOO up on their feet, banging sticks and mallets, tilting their heads back and ululating (ulululululating), a-wow a-a-a-wow, laying down thick basslines, meeting the gaze of a prismatic owl buffeted by shrubs and pistils.
Relevant verbs include:
鳴る - naru: “to sound, resound, echo, roar” (Radicals: 口 [mouth], 杰 [hero], 鳥 [bird, chicken])
倒す - taosu: “to topple, knock down” (Radicals: 化 [change], 刈 [cut, prune], 厶 [oneself], 土 [earth, soil], 至 [to attain])
鼓す - kosu: “to beat a drum, gather courage” (Radicals: 并 [unite], 十 [ten], 又 [again], 士 [samurai], 口 [mouth], 支 [support], 豆 [beans])
オバむ - obamu: “to chant ‘Yes we can!’ etc.”
Yoshimi P-We and company return for Gamel, the fifth OOIOO full-length on Thrill Jockey, and our lives are therefore enriched. Like fellow Boredoms Yamataka Eye and Shinji Masuko, Yoshimi’s lifer career in transmutative sounds continues to stretch into present day collaborations and long-running non-Bore ensembles. On “Atatawa,” her drums and voice lead her comrades into clattering rhythmic permutations possessed of an exuberance and carefree energy that belies the intricacy beneath the surface. Overtly inspired by gamelan music, Gamel’s polyrhythmic explorations hack out new paths through the brush far beyond the rock band paradigm — to which the quartet offers a winking, “そうだね.”
You can preorder Gamel now in advance of the July 1 release date.
“A Family in Shade”
There’s something intriguing to me about “A Family in Shade.” Yeah, the title says a lot about what’s happening here, but personally, I can’t let the new Ma Turner track become background music. Shit, it’s less that I can’t, but he won’t allow it. And not in a fascist way, but more like – like how a regular Lincoln-Log house is looked over, but an actual two story house made of Lincoln-Logs is fucking noticeable. Well, within “A Family in Shade,” Ma Turner just continues to stack on sounds almost in a sort of noise harmony. As if the fellah is not only cooling off with “A Family in Shade,” but is hiding them and protecting them from the sun and enjoying the pleasantness out of the focal light. And much like the sounds he employs, I feel (as the listener) that I’m intently peaking into the group, wanting to know what they’re talking about, festering thoughts, and manically thinking about how Sophomore Lounge Records blessed in a cursed way with the premiere of “A Family in Shade” level of sonic depth.
Ma Turner goes WAY the fuck back too. Fucking, the Warmer Milks. Castanets swag. Human BELL!!?! Jesus. Apparently he “has been making sound and visual art under assorted guises since the early 1980’s.” Fuck OUTTA here! Well, eat my words, ‘cause Ma IS actually getting the fuck out! This Spring and Summer, Ma will be touring the U.S. and playing platinum hits off his recent Blossoming Occult Creation on Half-Gifts and Nessy Peen on Loin Seepage cassettes. Oh, shit: DUH! Also, he’ll be poppin’ off some tracks off his FIRST full-length vinyl release under the name Ma Turner entitled, ZOZ, coming out on Sophomore Lounge Records this month. So, once you get over the gravity of “A Family in Shade” head to the label’s site and grip a copy to spin!
Wreck and Reference
Armed with only vocal cords, an MPC, and a drum kit, Wreck and Reference take aim at every person who has ever uttered, “What is this electronic buwwwwshit?” or “KVLT LIFE” or “That’s not metal,” and super soak them straight in the kisser with a deluge of blackened muck. If it seems to you that Felix Skinner and Ignat Frege don’t give a fuck about you and your weak crew, you’re right. But if it seems to you that they give every fuck in the world, bearing their souls on stage in a fury of static-charred evil animus intended to thrill and challenge, you’re right. Like fellow doom aesthetes The Body, Wreck and Reference redefine the limits of symbiotic duo performance by way of emotive roars and disciplined percussion — exuding misanthropy in album art and lyrical content while sculpting sample-based atmospheres sophisticated enough to invite us in for closer investigation. The emotions Wreck and Reference release on record tilt the mirror toward our own buried darknesses and illustrate the fascination, even joy, of letting them loose. We witness relief in catharsis. We experience instant reconfiguration. We lift our own limbs and consume them for sustenance.
“Corpse Museum,” our first taste of the duo’s upcoming Want LP, bears the “pop” tag on SoundCloud for a reason. Though comprised of obscured maybe-synth?/maybe-guitar?/maybe-vocal-pad? samples and surges of low-end, Skinner’s disembodied harmonic elements sketch out something like a legible progression, rhythmically anchored to Frege’s martial cymbal beatdowns and acrobatic tom fills. Like fellow Flenserites including Have A Nice Life or Planning For Burial, Wreck and Reference aren’t afraid to contextualize their hellish tones in “conventional” song structures, harnessing the medium’s expected recursions and refrains to loop back around and batter the listener again in another round — this time with more distortion, more ire. For every verse that sinks into abstraction with garbled synth squelches and high-hat missives, a heaving chorus lies in wait, ready to lift our fists and voices in grim triumph for another: “NEVER ENDING / ALWAYS ENDING.”