“You Carry A Sickness”
Yo, so I realize this video is nearly a year old, but swooner Astral Swans JUST popped out a 7-inch last month, and I don’t want y’all to miss out. Actually, one side of that tiny piece of joy includes the fellah’s “You Carry A Sickness” ditty, that was passed along to me by my good pal Barnaby. And shit is cute too. I mean, ironically of course. The video is dopely fucked visually. But the track is pleasant in an ignorant way. Like, if you were to just hear it in passing, it’d sound like a sentimental bit of sound taking it’s sweet time singing. Then that line “Terrible power” rings out, your thoughts started heading in all directions, and the life of Astral Swans’ “You Carry A Sickness” begins to grow inside minds everywhere.
I’ve devoted a fairly significant chunk of my life to studying music theory/composition at an academic level and one of the major benefits I’ve gained from this education is the ability to analyze/understand what I like about various pieces of music through listening. This practice has helped me understand why particular harmonies draw me to certain types of pop music, but its equally taught me the power of frequency, timbre, and space in all sorts of composition. The knowledge I believe can be particularly useful when articulating what’s going on in a given experimental piece on a sonic level but it’s also exciting when a piece of music sounds so wonderfully alien that no amount of acoustic training can even begin to convey what’s happening.
Enrico Malatesta’s recent release Benandare is one of those works that I truly don’t understand on a sonic level and I absolutely love it for this reason. I’d guess that these works were made digitally if the album didn’t credit Malatesta with only “skin instruments and metal objects”. With that initial description of instrumentation, one would think that the sound world of this record would be rather predictable but any notion of what these simple materials can do is quickly dispelled on the album’s opening track. Malatesta’s music on Benandare seems to be largely made from dragging various objects across different resonant surfaces but even that doesn’t fully explain the wide spectrum of noise that the composer gets on these works or how/why that noise is so beautiful. Each one of these three pieces fades in and out of silences that further mask the spectrally rich white noise generated by Malatesta’s objects and as the album progresses, it’s possible to hear tonal/timbral shifts within the noise of each track. As a result, Benandare has an effect similar to both Vomir and Rale’s recent work but with the instrumental ingenuity of Nick Hennies’ similarly minded snare drum playing. It’s a mesmerizing work because of it’s construction and the continuing dialogue between silence and noise that is invoked through Malatesta’s sounds.
Benandare is out now via Weighter Recordings. You can listen to an excerpt of the album below:
Driving into work this morning felt like listening to a mixtape I had made in my tweens that just made the morning smell a bit better in the Spring. And I ain’t talkin’ about Robyn and Janet Jack on the same reel, but darker shit, like The Cure, Smiths, Joy Division, etc. Every day on that bus afterward felt like I was SUCH a bad ass and *CLICK… flips tape*. I imagine this same bit will happen to White Hex this Spring-into-Summer, but via MP3 instead of tape. Especially with their newest track “Gold.” Saying to could sway to this all night would be wrong because there’d be at LEAST two mornings between the nights and your stopping time. Like, you might actually dance longer than the weekend and have to miss work on Mondays just ‘cause you tapped into that cold vein of White Hex’s vex. So, coming down off their first single “Paradise,” from their new album Gold Nights (available for pre-order on CD or LP) on Felte, “Gold” is a special trip deeper into their rabbit hole of sound.
Tara Green and Jimi Kritzler popped off their White Hex name in 2012 with the album Heat. Now, they’re slow-hula-hooping that minimal synth Italo-style out in waves of bruised beat and sacred harmony. Like a crisp suit and slicked back hair, your shades will only reflect the “Gold” that shines radiant in the moonlight. White Hex’s Gold Nights is out June 24 on Felte. “Gold” is streaming bright below:
YUS! Guardian Alien came out with a video for “Vapour,” a track off their album Spiritual Emergency that popped out on Thrill Jockey earlier this year. Mr P told me they weren’t going to release a single, but low-and-behold, “Vapour” came seeping on through them wifi-waves. And it’s cute, yo. At first I told people my fiancee helped make this track ‘cause her voice is super high in pitch, and it’d be funny if it were taken to the next level of sound manipulation, but it’s not. In my opinion, it’s Grey Fox pullin’ out some post-Grain twerk action. Though, it could be a number of people under the Guardian Alien saucer-umbrella. Eh, but it don’t matter. Who’s been counting TMT’s 2014 coverage of Greg Fox in slash tallies on their desk wall?
Chocolate Grinder Mix 105
Teklife to the Next Life (A Tribute Mix to DJ Rashad)
Note: This mix was originally included in our feature on DJ Rashad.
As soon as I heard about DJ Rashad’s death, I decided to make a mix. After choosing over 30 of my favorites, I let the songs sorta organically determine its own order, with a mission of making it a bit economical at just over 30 minutes. This inadvertently resulted in no tracks from his more well-known releases — Double Cup (Hyperdub, 2013), Welcome to the Chi (Lit City Trax, 2012), etc. — and it has very little of the juke-flavored tracks that originally gave him his name in Chicago. Which is to say: these tracks are neither the “best” nor intended to represent the entirety of DJ Rashad’s deep and diverse output, but I passionately love each one and think it’d benefit us all to mourn over his passing with our speakers on the verge of blowing out.
Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.
[00:00] DJ Rashad - “From The Start”
[03:13] DJ Rashad - “Drop Juke Out”
[05:14] DJ Rashad - “R House” (with DJ Manny)
[09:15] DJ Rashad - “We Run It”
[12:26] DJ Rashad - “The Letter S”
[16:24] DJ Rashad - “Roy Ayers Show”
[17:39] DJ Rashad - “Iiiiiii Hiiiiiiii”
[21:51] DJ Rashad - “Somethin”
[23:17] DJ Rashad - “Madnezz 2010”
[23:41] DJ Rashad - “Betta My Space”
[25:23] DJ Rashad - “Do It Again”
[26:35] DJ Rashad - “I Can Feel It”
[29:47] DJ Rashad - “Love U Found”