In the newest music video by the Japanese psychedelic rock unit Bo Ningen, geometric minimalism clashes with a deformed, trippy take on erotic fetishism. “Slider”, directed by avant-garde cinematographer Marie Schuller, feels like a modern-day, HD horror vision suspended somewhere between Robert Longo and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Shot in stark black and white, with splashes of hallucinatory, hologram-like pallette of colors every once and then, and distortions of vision, like after ingesting a powerful psychedelic drug. The contorted members of the band (in the vein of Longo’s “Men in the Cities” series, quick tip: the cover of Glenn Branca’s The Ascension) are contrasted with strangely S&M-like theater of symbols and gestures, with warped vision of naked posturing, reminiscent of the old exploitation films and kitschy, psychedelic horrors. And the track itself is a killer, too, with a perfect equilibrium between distorted, soaring freakouts to quieter lines and interludes and a great chorus to boot.
“Slider” is set to promote Bo Ningen’s newest LP, entitled simply III, to be released in physical form on June 25. You can buy the digital or material form either from iTunes, or the Stolen Recordings shop.
“Sniper (Slackk Remix)”
Just as Mumdance showed off Novelist’s breathtaking skills as an MC in “Take Time,” one of the most solid grime tracks so far this year, rising grime producer Slackk shows off Novelist’s producing skills by enhancing rather than appropriating the original. Slackk takes the “Sniper” sample and creates a dreamworld for it to live in. I think it’s sad (maybe that’s dramatic) that Novelist’s MC skills might overshadow his production skills, but here Slackk proves how Novelist’s productions have that same oomf that his flow maintains. But enough about Novelist!
Slackk has a certain theatricality to his production that provides total experience. His remix of “Sniper” washes across you, but still manages to entrance completely. Whenever “Sniper” seems as if sound will hit some sort of stasis, it immediately and unexpectedly changes, and creates a serenity that is anxious and an anxiety that’s serene. Check out the releases from his Boxed club night too! I’m digging all the weird, sparse shit coming out of it right now!
La Nuit de Fantômas 2013
I have no idea what happens in the fifth movie of the Fantômas series (the classic French mysteries, not the Mike Patton-fronted super-group), or any of them for that matter, but given its subtitle — Le Faux Magistrat — I imagine it has to be something like this: Fantômas, definitely the bad guy, is convicted on multiple accounts of serial bad-kind-stuff (horsenapping, touching all of the apples in the display, late alimony), and is sentenced to four beheadings in the Tower of France, but before the case can come to trial, a totally bad-kind False Magistrate guy in a powdered wig (let’s call him Villefort) appears on the scene with a pardon letter hand stamped by the Emperor of France, which liberates Fantômas despite all the good-kind guys’ resultant protests — long story short Villefort is actually Fantômas himself, sent back in time from the future to save himself, thereby splintering the France we know into an alternate world line that runs parallel to the world line in which Fantômas is imprisoned, resulting in a Schrödinger-core paradox wherein Fantômas exists as a dead/alive/headless/headsome sum entity in both worlds. As the good-kind guys throttle Fantômas back at the crime scene in the victorious world line, his body flickers like a hologram through their grasp, and he escapes down the alleyways of Underbelly France, never to be seen again, until the next installment.
Allow this very real and accurate synopsis to unfold in your mind as you click [Play] on that video down there to witness none other than James Blackshaw, England’s finest fingerstyle-shredder-slash-post-minimalist-composer, soundtrack Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat in a live performance at the Théâtre de Châtelet in Paris in October, 2013, along with an ensemble of fellow Important Records drone maestro Duane Pitre, Simon Scott of Slowdive, and multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Glasson. The fourteen video-documented minutes flit across a diverse suite of shared cues, melodies, and grooves, as the quartet winds through passages of moody noir atmospherics, post-Morricone western lounge, throbbing low-end drone, and near-metallic riffery — all with Blackshaw’s busy fingers spearheading the action on grand piano and guitar. By virtue of the program’s breakneck variety and nebulous middle-ground between structured improvisation and deliberate arrangement, the group orbits the wide-reaching eclecticism of the extensive film score catalog of John Zorn (and the genre obliterations of Naked City) — tracing a common root to the body of modernist European film and visual arts, Fantômas included, that inform this style of manic jump-cut composition.
Tinniens is a side project of Connecticut’s Landing, a group whose 15-year career has seen a consistent batch of shoegaze-laden pop that infiltrates all ears. Recently, members Aaron Snow and Daron Gardner have formed Tinniens, with their debut cassette Dub Guns, having dropped a few months back via Geographic North. As the duo hits the road this July, they’re bringing along the Tunneler EP, an exclusive tape available in this format only on this tour (with a digital edition to be up for grabs afterwards). “False Trance” takes on a minimalistic sci-fi tone that pulls you in and takes you for a ride. It’s a subtly tripped out, hypnotic burner that should give you an idea of how the rest of the EP should sound. Stream “False Trance” below and check out Tinnien’s tour dates so you can score a physical copy of Tunneler while you can!
7/1- Providence, RI @ Machines With Magnets w/ Manbeard & Hector 3
7/2- Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool w/ Common Future, Oliver E.
7/3- Philadelphic, PA @ Scott’s House (4500 Kingsessing Philadelphia, PA) w/ Insect Factory, Eliot Klein & Sebastian Darkly Petsu
7/4- Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight w/ Nest Egg, The NEC, Semicircle, Ouroboros Boys
7/5- Lynchburg, VA @ Speakertree w/ TLVS & Track Jacket
7/7- Atlanta, GA @ Mammal w/ Frankie Broyles, Twins, Feast of Violet
7/8- Indianapolis, IN @ Maltese Tiger w/ Sedcairn Archives & Warmholes
7/9- Cincinnati, OH @ Rake’s End w/ Zijnzijn Zijnzijn & Pete Fosco
7/10- Detroit, MI @ The Berkley Front w/ Fuxa, Warhorses, Jura
7/11- Buffalo, NY- details coming soon
7/12- Fort Plain, NY @ Unity Hall w/ Xenia Rubinos & Ponyhof
• Tinniens: https://www.facebook.com/Tinniens
And it occurs to me now that a hyper-evolved hominoid warrior quickly disposing of random spacemen on GP is as good a metaphor as any to describe the music of Soopah Eype, whose Better Off Dread album quietly remains one of the best releases of the year. Here, on Soop Urko, with only five tracks (three of which run under 2:00), the Portland-based MC again presents himself as that guy who steps into the cypher from out of nowhere, spits some of the craziest shit you’ve ever heard in your life, and then leaves.
• Sooopah Eype: http://soopaheype.bandcamp.com