Waka Flocka Flame
“Activist” (ft. Ben G)
Don’t let the title fool you: the new Waka Flocka Flame video doesn’t feature Bono, Toms® or any organic tote-bag-ready #catchyslogan (unless you count the “BSM” plastered on Flocka’s head, but I’m pretty sure that’s still too nondescript for Target’s marketing execs). Nope, “Activist” is actually just a clever bowdlerization of Actavis, a brand of promethazine cough syrup that the Brick Squad exec is quite fond of. In other words, we’re in for another leantastic luau, filmed in blacklight for optimal, Juicy-J-level trippiness. At one point, the blue camera filter creates the illusion that this is actually a party on Pandora, and you might find yourself getting distracted picturing Flocka as a Na’vi. Elsewhere, up-and-comer Brick Squad signee Ben G impresses by spitting a catchy verse with a face slathered in neon paint, while the crowd waves their styrofoam cups in unison. “Activist” won’t save the polar bears or fix the water crisis, but seeing as how its creator has already fought fur and stood up to animal abuse, I think it’s only fair that we cut him some slack.
• Wacka Flocka Flame: http://www.wakaflockabsm.com
• 1017 Brick Squad: https://facebook.com/pages/1017-Brick-Squad/110722132272401
“The Big She”
“The Big She” from Dustin Wong’s upcoming Thrill Jockey release still bubbles with the same eagerness of his earlier releases, but progresses with much less intention. Each layered guitar loop is explored to a much deeper degree, rather than feeling like a stepping stone up a mountain of loops toward the eventual peak. In that regard, the album title, Meditation of Ecstatic Energy, is surprisingly apt, resembling the more ambient, repetitive nature of one of Wong’s older projects, Ecstatic Sunshine, which used the same process of looping guitar cuts toward infinity, but in a much less intentional way. If the rest of the album moves like “The Big She,” I think we are all in for something really transcendent.
Meditation of Ecstatic Energy is out September 17 on Thrill Jockey.
“Five Faces of Decay”
While you sleep, the members of Bay Area black metal noise project Sutekh Hexen don’t. Right? How else could they put out 15 releases in three years, tour the US, and, in the case of guitarist/mastermind Kevin Gan Yuen, find time to develop an endless string of eye-popping album designs for everyone from Aidan Baker to Ash Borer? The band embodies the rare combination of a prolific release schedule and a finely tuned sense of quality control, which has won them a metal militia of fans devoted enough to snatch up every release before the casual listener even has a chance to sample the goods. After the more widely available Behind the Throne LP on Magic Bullet and this year’s collaborative album with Andrew Liles, Sutekh Hexen’s profile is higher than ever, but this doesn’t mean that they’re resting on their thorn-laced laurels. More releases on more formats, more shows, more sonic doom, perhaps deeper than ever; the sleepless existence carries on.
After a sold out die-hard collector edition on reel-to-reel tape — the grimmest physical medium? — the Become sessions see a wider release on vinyl via King of the Monsters Records. Check out an excerpt from the EP’s first side, “Five Faces of Decay,” below. Hear a haze of static and low-end drone bury Yuen’s ominous two-chord guitar progression while A.C. Way’s vocal shrieks reach us from what seems to be a bottomless chasm of delay. As the session moves through multiple dynamic movements (each one its own “face of decay,” maybe?), voices and guitar lines funnel down into a layered mire of blackened noise capable of splitting speakers right open at maximum volume. Sutekh Hexen find the middle ground between evil ambience and distorted ferocity, resulting in a side-long composition capable of terrifying and entrancing its audience.
The order page for Become is up on the band’s webstore, but no release date has been listed yet. Keep an eye out in the next couple weeks for the moment to strike.
With a groundbreaking new content rating of “NOBODY” comes new music from WTF.FM. Intended for an audience of nobody, AUDIO_TS will move nobody’s ass and touch nobody’s heart. So, unless you are nobody, or somebody who is willing to defy content ratings, then you won’t experience these new jams that nobody is talking about.
Back in October 2012, Lil Ugly Mane released two compilations composed of various amateurs’ “first beats / first attempts at making music,” the idea being that there exists a certain purity in one’s initial compulsion to create and, therefore, an otherwise-unattainable degree of realness in an artist’s first recording. This post isn’t about Lil Ugly Mane or his unsupervised doctoral dissertation, though; it’s about Turnbull Green and his new EP, Heady, which Tiny Mix Tapes has the distinct pleasure of premiering to you here and now.
Listening to this five-song set is not unlike listening to the first demo of a talented and tasteful friend who, for years, you’ve been pressuring to record something. It’s raw, spontaneous, and unpredictable in all the right ways. Its mistakes aren’t low points, but happy accidents that steer the song(s) in new directions, adding depth of character and texture. It’s the philosophy of glitch (music) or “experimental punk,” depending on who you ask.
This is not to say that Heady sounds outright amateurish. To the contrary, Turnbull’s take on L.A. Beat-style glitch-hop is clearly the result of much practice and careful consideration. But at its best, the EP seems to grasp, however briefly, the kind of uncompromised integrity one usually only finds in an artist’s first outing — a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that this isn’t Turnbull’s first; his debut LP, The Wolf In You dropped in March on Take A Record/Daylight Curfew.
• Turnbull Green: http://turnbullgreen.com