Daniel Higgs & Michael Zerang
If I had to select one living human being I consider to be “divine,” Daniel Higgs would supplant the Pope in a heartbeat. I glimpsed his unmistakable uberbearded visage among the crowd at the Empty Bottle while Frank Rosaly played drums wrapped in chains on stage. This had to be, I dunno, a year ago. I had met Higgs a few months prior when he was in town for an in-store performance at Permanent Records. As Rosaly battered the skins, Higgs told me he was in Chicago crashing with friends while he recorded music with Michael Zerang. “Killer.” Remarkable drummers live in Chicago, and Daniel Higgs wants to make music with them. Shortly thereafter, as gods will, he disappeared into a cloud of mist and/or into the stairs down to the green room. My brain remembers this event happening. Despite Higgs’s mystical time-distorting properties, I am certain it was real.
Press play on Side A of the Higgs/Zerang duo’s and you’ll hear not a word of Higgs’s devotional poetry, but rather a lengthy spell of his freewheeling banjo improvisation, spattered out in rapid-fire runs and self-consuming melodic mantras. Chicago jazz/avant/improv percussion warlord Michael Zerang (who’s performed with the likes of Peter Brötzmann, Kevin Drumm, and Mats Gustafsson) lays down a litany of tight rolls and cyclical patterns on the dumbeck and the frame drum. For all the dexterity they display, the duo surprises most by virtue of their telepathic listening abilities, as Zerang tailors his precise rolls on the fly to match the phrases that Higgs introduces. They crest through a series of intensifying forays, pause for a little back porch breather, and even drop some stars and stripes into the proceedings around the 12-minute mark in an Orcutt-core (or is Orcutt actually Higgs-core?) flourish.
The duo’s recordings land via Chicago label Lake Paradise on an edition of 200 cassettes. You can order one now.
Like finding the most intricately buried treasure, ATM shows up to listeners as Germany showed up to their game against Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Now, not to compare ANYTHING EVER to sports, but just this one time: Xerox really kicks it into gear. Stepping outside the signee’s previous monikers Perfume Advert and M/M, ATM gets on a production level of OPN, the house-ness of any 100% Silk (retro, specifically) 12-inch, and grinds on samples kin to (potentially) DJ Screw. So, yeah, Xerox goes hard sonically and as a critical commentary of itself.
As a reflection of this continuing experimental dance music that keeps fluttering out via 1080p Collection, ATM provides further analysis on how everything can be used under one jewel-case roof. Think of it this way, Xerox uses everything you love in every genre of dance music and creates a single feel to all of it as patronage to the art of free-spirit movement. Does this tickle your funny bone enough to bust out, take your lover by the hand, and get down? It will for me as I ride to Ohio this Wednesday afternoon with my fiancee in the navigator seat.
Xerox by ATM is streaming below and AVAILABLE NOW on 1080p Collection, because where else would you go to move this good?
LOL – yes!! Since I quit everything online, and the only thing found on Google when searching my name “Clifford Morrissey” is two pictures of me in Images that link to nowhere (to Hell?), some school news paper writing, and a Hunger Games fan fiction story (by someone I’ve never met before) using my name in full. My next step is finding a “flipphone~~” good enough to call, text, and take photos equivalent of that shitty Instagram filter (which is every “flipphone~~,” so…).
@dead_bae hit me with this video in a lull period of my life while I was fucking on my Android, and luckily, it fell into the toilet. Staring up at me from inside the bowl was @dead_bae ALSO underwater, and essentially reminding me how important a “flipphone~~” could be in my life. Landon got a flip phone and uses the ring-tones as workout/travel music. Either way, @dead_bae is not only killing it on the music video front, but also reminds me how tacky and simple it is to use “flipphone~~.”
• @dead_bae : https://soundcloud.com/minerals1
Remixed Ambience Wars: “Saw 13 (äNACRUSä remix)” [excerpt]
Mystery, or uncertainty, is in the air, alley, and ether in “Saw 13 (äNACRUSä remix)” on the Remixed Ambience Wars compilation. The air smells of metal and silver. An ethereal mist stipples and outlines ancestral figures. Day or night, the alley stays dark and silent. We detect the danger: it lurks, attacks, and leaves no evidence. The alley is as clean as an operating table, sterilized after the surgery, still warm. The surgical tools are placed in a cold stainless steel container, which also house organs beating “heartily.”
The remix conjures scenes of tragedy, of violence and victimization carried out swiftly by moonlight, lacking the celebratory nature of a public execution, reported and printed next to apple pie recipes as matter-of-fact news blurbs in a high-numbered page of the morning edition. The scenes are commonplace, due to their frequency, but not common. They are composed of supernatural and abstract elements. One blurb reads:
We are halfway through viewing a film in a half-finished attic when the film pauses itself; the film’s protagonist jostles on the screen, in his seat. His tie bends, and his face is washed-out to the point of erasure. His hands, as equally pale and “rubbed out” as his face, wobble on a tabletop. We lean forward and squint in order to examine a nickel that spins near the eastern edge of the table. We pause, frozen with the film, in suspense, hypnotized by the nickel.
Searchlights, hot enough to bleed the pores of the wall, announce the arrival of the midnight paramilitary. We hear them draw their swords and feel their blades on skin, muscle, and bone. We are dismantled, folded neatly, and placed underneath the film’s tabletop, out of the frame, off-camera.
TV Rots Your Brains
Tequila Yuen’s TV Rots Your Brain is a not so subtle mockery of television, booze, and other instant gratifiers. It’s also a send-up of hip-hop as a whole. While this type of smack-you-in-the-face righteousness can usually be pretty tiresome, Yuen’s able to keep the whole thing afloat based on the fact that he doesn’t preach, but rather playfully shows. The beats are formulaic and “wack” (but still are good), the lyrics are self-indulgent and sordid (but still are good), and there are plenty of mass-media references to help any TV junky feel right at home, including self-made tequila commercials pieced together from PSAs and older advertisments, all of which run throughout the album.
With that said, Bron-Bron’s coming home, and I learnt that from a TV, so who’s brain is rotting now, Tequila Yuen? Huh? Who’s? What’s that you say? Mine, still? Yeah, yr prolly right…
Out now on Em La La Terra, in an edition of 50 cassettes. Stream it below if you need more convincing that this tape will be beneficial to your life.
• Em La La Terra: http://emlalaterra.com