M. Geddes Gengras
…yeah, but has anyone ever tried to stop M. Geddes Gengras? In my experience with him, it seems like he’s an immovable gale force of energy. So, fuck it. Going from Duppy to Sun Araw to Akron/Family to Warm Climate to that solo makings. Listen to ishi outtakes (TMT Ishi Review) and carefree your Wednesday night!
I mean, I’m about to go to Lowes to lug cabinets out for my Grams, and them pop ‘em up along her bedroom walls this evening, so guess who’s getting a good dose of my boiii M. Geddes Gengras? The lady of Beckon Hill at 20 Beverly Road. And it all starts with “8.10.13.”
Prepare for action, ‘cause these shorts got a good leg spread, and neither M. Geddes nor I are wearing shorts:
• M. Geddes Gengras: https://soundcloud.com/green-machines
Crayons Over Scalding Rocks
The ever-prolific Bridgetown Records snuck in a new batch of tapes before the end of 2014 populated with what the label’s journeyman head-honcho Kevin Greenspon calls “the underdogs” of the national DIY circuit he has incessantly patrolled for years now — acts, he believes, that have flown under the radar in spite of their clearly defined aesthetics and indefatigable work ethics. Crayons Over Scalding Rocks, the new tape by Ontario, CA outfit The Lowered, showcases a vision of ornately arranged singer-songwriter composition pitted somewhere between finger-style guitar complexity, the idiosyncratic croon of 60s-era Scott Walker, and the hush of shoegaze introspection.
Transfixing lead guitar lines frost the edges of the mix in busy melodic figures accenting the breathy vocals that reach us as confessions of acts we were not present to witness. Inventive production decisions cast instruments in different roles between songs, as drums alternate between back-of-the-mix accents, up-front agents of animation, or stuttering boom-bap breaks. The Lowered’s sophisticated arrangements lead us through clear upward trajectories of song structure and emotional intensity, shining in each sighed verse and minute burst of instrumental activity with another facet of crystalline rock/folk/pop expression.
• Bridgetown Records: http://www.bridgetownrecords.info
Luar Zepol SS 2014
To call fashion designer Raul Lopez’s (Luar Zepol) vision for Spring/Summer 2015 futuristic seems stale. But, at this point, the aesthetic “futurist” might refer to the auteur who recognizes the necessity for design to propel us out of the widely embraced future inherent to “globalism” – the explosions, the machinery, the outward violence, the transnational myth of the cosmopolitan identity. Rather, Lopez’s new line exhibits hints of traditional sci-fi; one can see flecks of Jodorowky’s possible Fremen-culture decked out in robes of tan and blue. The leather face-wraps, spiky hair extensions, platinum chains, and cloaks create a depiction of tribalism as it relates to urban BDSM – a “self-contained” group that’s rare and insatiable – the inventors of a culture that will soon be appropriated once it’s “queerness” catches on at the global level. Such, the show’s vision of futurism appeared to be largely attached to the visionary qualities of the “local” community. The district, the territorial role, the uniform, all symbolize solidarity, genius, and new potential futures more inspirational than a futurism defined by any globalized, interstellar illusion of a global identity.
Interesting, then, that Gatekeeper’s new “runway mix” for the line is a massive study of tribal trance, house, and electronica wrapped in a hardcore, Rammstein-style austerity. The interlocking school-bell rings hint at the duo’s specific tactic of oppressively educating your brain into the eccentricities and complications of genre. It’s their knack – whether it be through exploring horror, Imax, fantasy, or 90s lounge. Here, they’re rooting Lopez’s SS15 “runway” in European, countercultural pomp and regalia. The harshness of the mix is as tribally patriotic and violent as the clothing line, extending classic Gatekeeper cinema into Germanic trance. They jump from dropping a remix of Max Linen’s tribal classic “Soulshaker,” to nu-metal, to jungle (in the genre and animal sense) with the subtle cultural craftsmanship of the neo-local futurist artisan. It all comes across as a tasteful flex that further demonstrates Gatekeeper’s hyper-focused ability to create new futures out of strange historical data – a motion that anchors Lopez’s fashion beautifully.
〄 DJM 〄 trio
I’m under the impression that beat-kids and mixers and producers all use samples in terms of respect. Like, when you heard certain looped vocals or split beats, these people aren’t intentionally trying to shit on the prior art, but make it “modern.” Which, coming from New York, and seeing the landscape (always building up) and hearing the sounds (crate diggers GALORE), there’s a similarity in architecture. It’s built upon. There’s never really room for expansion unless you leave the confines of NYC or Long Island or Jersey City. Then Salisbury, United Kingdom gets a taste of reappropriators – specifically: 9th Wonder, Jurassic 5, Poptartpete, Ohbliv, Pete Rock, J. Dilla, Dil Withers, MF DOOM, A Tribe Called Quest, Flying Lotus, and Jaylib – and gives ‘em the 〄 DJM 〄 trio new-language cave art treatment.
Christ Hund (Paxico Records CEO and bit-artist) has seriously been buggin’ since this Summer on 〄 DJM 〄 trio vibes. They even do deep deep live sessions that are undeniably talented. Not to say the original songs covered in cave art aren’t pure music progress, but 〄 DJM 〄 trio definitely nodded along to the point of new-return. And they’re finally been released to the world! Find the tape HERE HERE HERE, including a ritual candle and download code. They’re shippin’ quick too, so don’t sleep on these tunes until you’re reeling it bedside!
Yesterday it was sunny. Almost warm, even. It was nice. But today, it’s overcast again. I’m warm in my room, but outside it’s cold; it would be pretty if there was fog, but there isn’t any. You can see forever, but at the horizon, it’s just gray.
But in all this dreariness, there’s the potential for warmth. The trees have lost their leaves, just resting; the birds are on vacation til next year. Waking up early, holding on to the coffee cup to keep your hands warm, having a cigarette and blowing the smoke out the window. The newest offering from Tilburg, Holland’s “Minor Function” pays homage to such forgotten moments that, when it’s all over, have made the whole thing worthwhile. Like the mosaics Gaudi constructed from broken bits of tile, De Tuinen takes all the sounds you threw away and creates something singularly poignant.
Rik Möhlmann’s images pair nicely, slipping in and out of recognizably - are we watching water or snow in the opening scenes, both? It doesn’t matter, it dissolves quickly and beautifully into pure color. The core of the song is a single warped synth chord, a wave that must wash up 100 times over the course of the track but still feels impossible to ever pin down. Gloopy blips and glitchy slomp abound in the ether: vocal gazes, distant memories, bitcrushed percussive slips, untraceable parts combining like ants lifting a thousand times their body weight.
A voice, towards the end: is it intelligible speech? English but backwards? A Sino-Tibetan language, perhaps? Is what you’re hearing recognizable sound, what you’re seeing a recognizable image? Better to avoid such questions. The wave comes in and the wave goes out again, it’s better that way.