DJAO / Running in the Fog / Natasha Kmeto
“Bass Camp SF”
The last time I drank Red Bull, my friends and I filled up the bathroom sink in our hotel room with ice and cans of it and pounded them like shots of whiskey from nice, glass tumblers provided by the hotel (which we ultimately ended up stealing). I was 17, and it was a Spring Quarter field trip to the Chicago Art Museum, hosted by our high school. We were so jacked on it that, at 2 AM, our art teacher came knocking at the door about noise complaints we had received over the past three hours while trying to film a Vietnam War reenactment in our room using clothes hangers for guns and my friend’s camera set to night-vision mode to make everything look green and, therefore, as much like a jungle as any hotel room possibly can.
Years later, I’m bartending at a dive in downtown Portland, pouring vodka drinks mixed with Red Bull to idiot college kids looking to rage all night, long after the bars close at 2 AM, following an entire week of college courses and homework, paying rent with student loans, and having nothing better to do on weekends than make mistakes collectively, as a generalized demographic proving its own… well, generalization.
Last February, Pacific Northwest beaters DJAO, Running in the Fog, and Natasha Kmeto were invited to attend the San Francisco Red Bull Music Academy, providing the attendees educational opportunities and creative freedom to practice their craft, collaborate, and drink infinite Red Bull, etc. Some combination of all of those things led to a whirlwind 12-hour session of recording, mixing, and editing, ending sometime around 2 AM and resulting in this collaboration. It came naturally. Instinctually. It was meant to be.
No, this is not an advertisement for Red Bull. You should have already received that on your way into Tiny Mix Tapes today. But there is something to be said about getting unnaturally energized at 2 AM and getting shit done, worthwhile or not. And this track, featuring DJAO, Running in the Fog, and guest vocals from Natasha Kmeto, thumps. Like some storm off in the distance shaking the windows and glassware. And those vocal cuts just float so nicely on top.
Check it out:
• DJAO: https://soundcloud.com/d-j-a-o
• Running in the Fog: http://www.facebook.com/runninginthefog
• Natasha Kmeto: http://www.natashakmeto.com
• Red Bull Music Academy: http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com
So, Infinity Frequencies followed up Computer Decay (TMT Review) and Computer Death with the ” ambient computer-gaze nostalgia Japan” release, Computer Afterlife, making it currently into a trilogy of technology deep post-realms. And people are already chattin’ about it. And within 22 tracks, it’s terrifying in the most hauntingly pleasant way. Like a lonely ghost watching you fix your computer but the wires aren’t connecting and no answer is in sight. Or like being shrunk and placed inside your computer, and it’s practically a maze to get through all the levels of microchips and motherboards and wirings… thus: Infinity Frequencies.
But, “Oh, listeners!” This post ain’t about that young Computer Afterlife. I mean, I’ll link it at the bottom, but this here Infinity Frequencies is all about “Traces.” Perhaps Infinity Frequencies on this track is making a mournfully hopeful move from inside the computer to inside the mind of SMOOTH-fucked nostalgia. Yo, I’m thinking there could be a big shift in aesthetics toward more tracks like “Traces.” Yeah, you’ve the same sounds of loops and sonics, thus the notion of “Traces.” However, I figure this is more of a rebirthing of Infinity Frequencies. Especially that end image of gold dripping from leaves — I’m thinking Infinity Frequencies might go digital weather manipulative on us soon, maybe?
Listen to Computer Afterlife below and scope “Traces” (from Computer Decay) above!!
• Infinity Frequencies: http://infinity-frequencies.tumblr.com
“Tapeworm Small Eater”
Kurws is a punk-jazz collective based in Wrocław, Poland, which is as eclectic as the city itself, combining minimalist rhythms of Krautrock with ear-splitting harsh saxophone freakouts à la Kaoru Abe and a penchant for a truly punk punch somewhere between The Flying Luttenbachers and ZS. Ever since the release of their 2012 debut Dziura w getcie (Hole in the ghetto), they seemed to mature a little and exchange punk energy for some jazz attention to detail. On the group’s newest release All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, members of Kurws create a high-tension noise-rock escapade, with mathematical, precise drums by Dawid Bargenda.
Despite the harsh, unkempt sound, the band presents itself as a tongue-in-cheek version of a punk band, adding humorous titles and artwork to their albums. The representational piece of All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is oxymoronically-titled “Tapeworm Small Eater,” with an accompanying surreal music video depicting some sort of weird Rubik Cube Death Kvlt formed among cats and dogs, who die in fire and enter some sort of zombie mode, set to the hypnotic rhythm of damaged, neurotic amplified freak-jazz that hurls forward as if in an amphetamine-fueled fury. There are hints of Shellac in the sheer hardness and relentlessness of Kurws’ music, reflecting the cold wit and technical proficiency disguised as simplicity of their spirit animal Steve Albini through a tradition of free improv, letting the hysterical guitars roar and plow.
Listen to the full length of All That Is Solid Melts Into Air below, and watch the video for “Tapeworm Small Eater” above.
All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is available now on CD via Gusstaff Records.
Stacte Karaoke [excerpts]
Not only am I lazy for using Experimedia excerpts (they were the only ones I could find), but I’m HUGELY late to this new Oren Ambarchi release Stacte Karaoke. Maybe two months late. And it’s sold out at Experimedia, but you can grip the digitals and outta-state analog in some dark corners. Um, but I’m just doing my two cents and news-flashing y’all about how Oren has broken his mind for Stacte Karaoke. It’s majorly fucked in a wonderful way. SCOPE IT!! <3
Officer! is BACK? Nah. Well, sorta. Blackest Ever Black tore into the chest of its deep discography and conjured up an unreleased album from the 90s, Dead Unique, this past Monday; and to kick it off PROPER, here’s another snippet, “Elephant Flowers.” And it’s ultra smashed-out trippy. Not in a harsh way, but in a way of intricacy: Alto woodwind blowin’ it out. Random distorted vocal bits. Lingering bass. Rhythmically slapped-around drumming. Light-light acoustic guitar. “Elephant Flowers” grows bright and big and (yeah) beautifully bored of getting bogged down, so what’s there to do? Song time. Whoa! These drums really warp at the end here too. YES!
Mick Hobbs, of course, is not just a solo sandwich-losing joker. Throughout the 70s and 80s, Hobbs worked with all manner of UK-based experimental and post-punk groups, including initially The Work, and later groups such as Flaming Tunes and Family Fodder. He was also quite closely associated with This Heat’s Brixton-based Cold Storage studio, recording his 1984 LP Ossification there. In the early 90s he moved to the US to work alongside Jad Fair’s Half Japanese project. His Officer! project, though a solo endeavor, gave him the opportunity to collaborate with all his pals, including on Dead Unique everyone from Patrick Q of The Legendary Pink Dots, the animator and illustrator Marsha Colburn, and Jad Fair.
Dead Unique is out NOW via Blackest Ever Black on 2xLP, CD, and digital, so scope “Elephant Flowers” below until the physical arrives, as always:
• Blackest Ever Black: http://blackesteverblack.bigcartel.com