I don’t know about you guys, but I sure have a love/hate relationship with a lot of rock music. While I love rock and roll with almost every fiber of my being, I also despise a lot of it because of the frequent recycling/diluting of whatever happens to be en vogue at the moment and/or the ignorance of what a minimum of instrumentation can do. I tend to be drawn towards pop music that typically exists outside of the hype machine and that understands when a song needs 100 instruments and when it needs just one.
Slomo Drags is a band that clearly understands the art of song arrangement while simultaneously giving the middle finger to all the haters and trendy pop poseurs out there (full disclosure: I used to play with Slomo Drags songwriter Jackson Albracht’s previous band Cartographers). As a result, their self-titled EP is a masterpiece of minimal pop complexity. These four tracks use standard four-piece rock instrumentation in an idiomatic manner similar to the stripped down intricacy of Women’s pointillistic arrangements on Public Strain (TMT Review). Each song is ripe with harmonic complexity, instantly memorable melodies, and some of the most cutting lyrics around. It’s a dizzyingly infectious debut that quickly places the band’s music in the same circle as likeminded contemporaries such as Chris Weisman and Great Valley.
Slomo Drags is available now as a free download via Bandcamp. You can stream the album in its entirety below:
• Slomo Drags http://www.slomodrags.bandcamp.com
Millie & Andrea
Drop The Vowels
What day is it? Wednesday. Fuckin’ worst day of the week. Best way to get over it: Drop The Vowels. Maybe it’s a little grim today in a dark way. But Millie & Andrea (a.k.a. Miles Wittaker, a.k.a. Andy Stott) got some intricacies for you to listen to below. The depth dabbles in such an intoxication that breathing becomes impossible. Today IS a good day to die. And Modern Love is here to ensure listeners are getting completely snuffed out. It’s a terrible tactic to build their label, but if this is the last thing I ever heard, I wouldn’t complain. I’d accept Millie & Andrea’s brand of sound vodou. Grip Drop The Vowels here. Enjoy the ride. Swansong yourself into paradise:
• Miles Whittaker: https://www.facebook.com/millie.mlz.djmiles.mileswhittaker
• Andy Stott: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andy-Stott/262174253793725
• Modern Love: http://www.modern-love.co.uk
“Sword In Stone”
Back when Black Knights became the first West Coast act to sign with Wu-Tang Records, the group consisted of four MCs: Holocaust, Doc Doom, Rugged Monk, and Crisis the Sharp Shooter. Today, only the latter two members remain — Holocaust went solo early on; Doc Doom died in 2007 — but the group has never fallen out of touch with The RZA, who is now based primarily out of California. It was he who introduced Black Knights to former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, who is now apparently making sample-based music under the pseudonym Trickfinger. Long story short: John Frusciante produced the new Black Knights album Medeival Chamber, and it’s actually surprisingly awesome. Cop here. You can learn more about how the collaboration came about by watching this interview, and you should probably check out these old Wake-Up Show freestyles, too. There’s also this new video, which I take it, is trying to say something about race relations and gun violence. I don’t know Butchie instead.
Tabs Out: Laser Focus #5
Mistake By The Lake
Tabs Out is an all-cassette podcast that’s been documenting the prolific tape underground with joyful obsession and humorous expertise since 2012. Tiny Mix Tapes has teamed with Tabs Out for a show called Laser Focus, in which tape aficionados/fetishists Mike Haley, Dave Doyen, and Joe B hone in on a specific label or artist. Check out the archive here.
With heavy hometown pride, Mistake By The Lake has been a Cleveland noise staple for over seven years now. Their releases have mainly been by local heads like Skin Graft, Tusco Terror, Rot Ton Bone, and Relentless Corpse and nearby Midwestern jammers like Wolf Eyes and Andrew Coltrane. We caught up with label head Andrew Kirschner and talked about MBTL’s early days, his mind/body/soul hiatus from the imprint, and his recent return to the dedicated pumping out of bleak, rust belt (and now worldwide) sounds. Find out where the label is headed, if Kirschner needs to poop in a bag for the rest of his life, and how he ruins everyone’s chill times at the Hanson Records store. Plus some tapes!
- Andrew Kirschner from split C20 w/ Oneohtrix Point Never (2008)
- Oneohtrix Point Never from split C20 w/ Andrew Kirschner (2008)
- David Russell from Catholic Guilt C20 (2010)
- Reluctance from Weary Souls On Troubled Soil C30 (2013)
- Aaron Dilloway from all of them spies C30 (2013)
- Moltar from Oval Encounters C40 (2014)
Mistake By The Lake tapes
Artwork for Reluctance’s “Weary Souls on Troubled Soil”
Aaron Dilloway’s 100-edition cassette, “all of them spies”
Cover art for “Ego” by Thomas Gerendas
Blackfire’s one-sided 10-inch lathe record “Too Late”
Così e Così
Being You Black Utopia
Following along the same lines as Dracula Lewis, Farewell My Concubine, and Nicolas, Così e Così is getting DARK. Forget about the release’s picture and focus on the music. It’s grim, lingering, and contemplative. The energy level here is low in expression, but vast in the combination of sounds. Following his January’s release Self Exit, Being You Black Utopia has flooded the senses in terms of emptiness, but continues along the lines of collaboration with other musicians. As Self Exit had featured Diamond Terrifier, Being You Black Utopia features undt.h and T Funk who also provided production along with Michael Morley.
Generally speaking, if the face on Così e Così’s Being You Black Utopia cover art doesn’t give you a sense of disconnection from being, then you’re probably already faceless in your own right, and are continuing to die that long slow burning life you lead. Which is chill. That’s TOTALLY chill to me, yo. Let’s be friends? OR, you can find a friend in Così e Così’s …Black Utopia. Listen to the new album below, and keep on the lookout for new grimness in the Così e Così camp soon:
• Così e Così: http://cosiecosi.bandcamp.com