Does anyone remember when the 80s became popular again? Not just those 80s nights at bars and clubs, but when musicians started to openly profess their love for the decade and when it really started to show in the music? It’s been a while now, and the fascination’s never ceased to be just as relevant as when it all started, which is why Leverage Models — the namesake of long-active songwriter Shannon Fields, stands out from the (rather large) pack (and the even more numerous peripheral parties): Fields reaches directly back to the specifically New Wave strands of the 80s, without the self-conscious concerns of contemporaneity that innumerable other acts have long exhibited, but from there makes them truly his own, (con)forming to a new, and uniquely signature sound, as can be heard on his project’s self-titled debut album.
My girl and I were waiting for the new Godzilla to start last night, and prior to the coming attractions, there’s some shitty filler that shows you actors on set, new music videos, and trivia about products to buy. As soon as the announcer in this programming said, “Coming up next is a fresh world-music artist and his newest music video: stay tuned!” I was thinking, Ooo — they’re really going to show “Bobby” by Girlfriend Of The Year (GFOTY)? NICE!” Turns out it was some auto-tuned-out dude walking around African tribes as he sports a fedora, and the song seriously sounded like the car commercial that had played a few minutes before it. DEF not “world music.” But, as “Bobby” stems from this sort of defeatist sensibility everyone seems to harbor these days, I didn’t leave the theater. I saw Godzilla and then realized that “Bobby” actually came out last year. However, I had to fulfill a WATCH post, and this video came out last month, so I’m hitting it up for coverage. Nobody reads my words anyhow! LOL
IF you were to read something, READ THIS: snag the two-month-old GFOTY Secret Mix HERE!!!!!!! Probably the best thing to fill your brain for nine minutes back-to-back/repeat style this year. It came out two months ago, so it was too old for Grinder, but the “Bobby” video popped off in a big way, and the cinematic is JUST SHORT of breathtaking. Also, below is the “Bobby” mega SoundCloud release so you can catch up MAJORLY with all her versions of the man… -er SONG*** …song. I love you!
Rain pours down into the ocean. No one is there to see it. A few hours later, it happens again. Without an observer, those few hours contained infinity.
Hakobune has soundtracked your [a] reveries, [b] your hushed moments alone in the yard, [c] your retreats into the headphone dream space between your temples, with over forty physical releases since 2007. Takahiro Yorifuji shatters the “prolificacy” vs. “quality control” argument by blurring the boundaries where one release ends and another begins, as each luminescent reverb haze drifts alongside its antecedents into a catalog documenting one overarching idea’s endless cycle of reincarnation. The pleasure is ours. I put on Hakobune at home and I smile. I close my eyes. If no one else is home, I turn up the volume as high as I can bear. If I’m cooking dinner and I turn on the stove fan, sometimes its drone joins the music in consonance.
After last year’s split tape with ambient underground mainstay M. Sage, Hakobune returns to Sage’s Patient Sounds label for Seamless and Here, his first widely available vinyl release, second only to 2012’s hyper-limited holy grail Recalling My Insubstantial Thoughts. Focus your mind on album opener “Hidden Away” to spend thirteen minutes defying the notion of consciousness. The distinction between “lead” and “backdrop,” or “drone” and “melody,” fades into mist as Hakobune’s hi-fi delay trails, sacred chordal pads, and resonant bass note swells meld into a cloud cover for the solitary six-string twinklings a few layers back. Any extracted segment of the session contains the harmonic and emotional seeds of the whole, just as any individual Hakobune release embodies the spirit of his catalog. But to segment this music is to miss the point. Zoom out, behold its entire scope, and enter its atmosphere for the long term.
Seamless and Here is available to preorder in five vinyl colors constituting 500 copies in total.
Young L, current “living mogul” and former member/rapper/producer of The Pack (alongside Lil B [a.k.a. the C Monster of rap]), has been incredibly productive over the years. Not on the level of his prolific BasedGod counterpart, but he’s definitely been making a name with his own brand of fucked-up productions and oddball stylization. I mean, the guy put out a mixtape of all Imogen Heap samples. Last year, he sampled James Blake for an all-instrumental EP. But hey, when you deal with this strain of rap music, you don’t talk about what happened in the past. Because now we got “DUNDIDIT,” which means we’re now living in a post-“DUNDIDIT” world — not in the sense that “DUNDIDIT” is over, but in the sense that “DUNDIDIT” now exists and everything after it must reference it. The goal: to keep this track in the present so we can keep talking about it. Infectious, spacious, exquisite. Keep it going.
Young L’s MVP mixtape with METRAN0ME is out June 14. Fuck with them and you’ll catch a case.
A. G. Cook has typically favored ambiguity and nuance over irony and pastiche with his incredible pop productions for his London-based PC Music imprint. But the latest project coming from the label, Lipgloss Twins, takes things to an incredibly surreal level, and it’s not hiding any of it. The PC Music trademarks are here — bubblegum hooks, playful sound effects, intricate production, chipmunk vocals, etc. — but everything is amplified x10, even flirting with zones of distortion, noise, and dissonance. It’s jarring yet sweet, violent yet humorous, complex yet loose — a sort of sensory overload that whips you into pop submission, the epitome of synthetic music but with a schizophrenic, Tim and Eric twist. If you’ve only heard a couple PC Music productions, “Wannabe” will serve as quite the eye-opener: everything about them aspires to pop-stardom standards — from the music to the glossy, colorful hi-res imagery — yet everything about them also reveals the puerile aspirations of an incredibly intelligent, highly intriguing producer who has just offered his most compelling statement.
Commercial music meets commercial reactions: This is the best song I’ve heard all year.