“Life Is Good”
Somewhere between cloud rap, vaporwave, and nerd-hop resides the idiosyncratic Canadian rapper Young Braised (real name: Jaymes Bowman), one of the more interesting and unusual acts to put out a cassette on the Vancouver based 1080p label, entitled Japanese Tendencies. In the tongue-in-cheek video for “Life is Good”, shot by William Wilkinson, Young Braised presents his own vision of chilling with his homies.
Young Braised injects the video with a sense of humor, stabbing at Internet visual aesthetic, especially the Tumblr blogs, combining beautiful scenery (like Braised dancing on the rocky sea shore) with kitschy .gifs referring to cannabis use, terribly cheap visual effects, posing next to Porsche 911 with Toyota keys and rolling through the hood on a Segway in a helmet (a reference to Weird Al Yankovic’s “White and Nerdy?”), and, last, but not least, the constant Nike logo fetishism, references to popular 90’s celebrities and “advertising” energy drinks.
But the work of Young Braised doesn’t end with the video – there’s also something for the more fashion-savvy fans. Together with the Japanese-Canadain streetwear label MMVIII, he created a collaborative t-shirt with a lovely minimalistic/normcore design. You can buy it here.
The eternally elusive James Ferraro likes to drop hot nuggets hinting onto his new musical ways via his Iguana City channel on YouTube. The comment section in his videos are always disabled, as if saying: “Here you are with a finished product, and I don’t care about your opinion”. He got us all used to sudden stylistic changes, from sleazy, lo-fi sound collages to glossy synthesizer artifice. Now he changes direction again.
In his newest piece, entitled simply “K-9”, Ferraro re-envisions the dirty, funky 1970’s brutal New York just before the ascension of no wave. Starting with the police description of “Black male suspect on foot, believed to be armed” and the barking of a police dog at the beginning (hence the title), Ferraro drops into the seedy, crime-ridden underworld with a distinctive druggy haze. A relaxed, slow rhythm setting pace for a lo-fi, slightly distorted guitar solo that seems to be coming straight from some hot basement. What is interesting here is the fact that James Ferraro is becoming more confident with his voice, using it more (maybe encouraged by Dean Blunt?) and thus getting the feel of the track closer to a sensual 70’s slow jam than the crazy plunderphonics of Night Dolls with Hairspray, where the use of electric guitar was also abundant. There are obviously still some Ferraroisms here, like the use of voice synthesizer in the beginning or James Brown’s iconic shout from “I Feel Good” dropped every few seconds, but here he goes slower and much more peaceful than before, making “K-9” one of his most accessible tracks to date.
• James Ferraro: https://soundcloud.com/b-e-b-e-t-u-n-e
From the depths of Jakarta, Indonesia, comes Marcel Thee of Sajama Cut, maker of Strange Mountain music. A new release from the minimalist project is titled Ancient Eyes and available on cassette from Twin Springs Tapes out of Asheville, North Carolina. Rich ambient tones and hypnotizing percussion loops cover both sides of tape with euphoric, meditative textures. From playful twinkling melodies to somber drone progressions, the album travels a route that is adventurous yet familiar, ancient yet untouched. Try to yoink one of the super limited tapes from Twin Springs before they’re all gone! The case is the same with Strange Mountain’s Lillerne Tapes’ release and Ginjoha release. So enjoy Ancient Eyes on the digital below:
Guest Mix: Ara Koufax
A Lonely Go-Bag Mix
It’s about time to revamp out fucking Friday mixes, mother fuckers. This week is a nasty lil mix from Naysayer & Gilsun members (Sam and Luke) with their newest project Ara Koufax. After finishing a new EP for Club Mod, the fellahs-two debuted their single “Converge” just at the end of last month, giving listeners no room for down-time. Apparently they locked themselves in a beach house getting loop and improvised crazy during the wintertime, and amongst general dismay, they conjured up some mental dust that had been laying stagnant for a minute or two or a few years. And in the mean-time, as they’re preparing for a new Ara Koufax EP release, they squeezed in time for a TMT Friday mix for MAX killage.
Next week is a fresh fucking mix from me, C Monster. Hopefully that week after, we’ll snag one from our fearless leader, Mr. P. Then open it up for more if y’all new writers think you got what it takes!!! :)
Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.
• Ara Koufax: https://www.facebook.com/arakoufaxau
One can’t ever be mad upon hearing a new track from the outstandingly experimental, all female Japanese group OOIOO, especially when said track kicks off with a frantic rush of gamelan bells and careens headlong into a celebratory, Deerhoof-esque, downright anthemic dual-guitar riff that dropkicks you in the face with FUN! The aforementioned song, “Jesso Testa,” makes one want to abandon their shoes, throw on a billowy white ceremonial gown decked out with colorful streamers, don a wreath of fragrant summer flowers, and go cartwheeling through a tree-lined field until dizzy, taking breaks only to drink mead, allow a graceful butterfly to perch upon one’s finger, and ultimately wind up in the company of a hundred others in a similar trance, compelled to join in a dizzying Bacchanal of the most innocent and friendly variety.
“Jesso Testa” is taken from OOIOO’s upcoming album Gamel, due out July 1 on Thrill Jockey (PRE-ORDER HERE!!!!). Although the whole album is inspired by Javanese gamelan, you can bet that each track will take a wildly different approach to that intense musical style which has captivated so many, in a way only OOIOO knows how. The fervent and divided reaction that this unique group’s music has typically inspired since their mid-90s inception should be enough at this point to finally stop obligatory comparisons to founder Yoshimi P-We’s other (legendary) outfit, Boredoms.
Lucky North American readers can catch OOIOO on a rare tour of the continent in July.
OOIOO North American Tour Dates:
Tue July 15th - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Thu July 17th - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
Fri July 18th - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade Brooklyn
Sat July 19th - Boston, MA - Cafe 939
Sun July 20th - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
Mon July 21st - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
Tue July 22nd - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
Wed July 23rd - Detroit, MI - Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit