Darkstar have a full-length album to their name — North, released in 2010 — but it’s a pair of 2008 and 2009 singles that are more responsible for having entrenched the group in arcane electronic culture. Together totaling 11.5 minutes of music, the tracks were included on Hyperdub’s very good 5 compilation, making up, in fact, two of the compilations biggest highlights. Slight in total size, yes, and deceptively simple in execution, “Aidy’s Girl is a Computer” and “Need You” unveiled soothing timbres and masterful beats, and now when Darkstar shares a single, historically there’s good reason to listen.
“Timeaway” is itself a first look at Darkstar’s next full album, and it offers as much access to euphony as that earlier stuff. In mood and movement, it’s a departure, but in the expert production and sheer intrigue, Darkstar’s profile shows through. The album is called News From Nowhere, and it’s set for a February 2013 release on Warp. But until the album drops, we have here three minutes more to add to Darkstar’s growing mass of soundscapes and electro-excellence. “Timeaway” will be released as a 12-inch vinyl single on November 12.
Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin
We got a taste of Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never)’s Instrumental Tourist back in September with “Uptown Psychedelia,” and now, thanks to the folks at Software Recording Co., we have a new video for “Intrusions.” The track is one of the album’s more abrasive ones, verbalizing, as they put it, their “mutual infatuations and apprehensions with the systems they’ve both built and are buried by.” And indeed, you can hear Lopatin’s dark new age synths and Hecker’s transcendent tones attempting and sometimes failing to create a new language, the expected result of any good improvisation.
Instrumental Tourist drops November 20 on Software.
Albino animals are unbelievably adorable. This is, of course, with the exceptions of both snakes, which tend to look even more sinister than usual, and crocodiles, which are uniformly terrifying. But Albino Deers chose their name wisely. Much like those shy, springy animals, their collection of musical vignettes is enigmatic and fleetingly beautiful. Driven by muted orchestral arrangements and analogue crackles, Albino Deers build emotional harmonies and thrilling crescendos that most ambient music would shy away from.
Carpi Records have only given us a glimpse into this gorgeous, snowy landscape via their Bandcamp portal. However, if you’re one of the lucky 20 (!), you can get your horribly greasy mitts on a good solid cassette of the stuff.
Casey Veggie’s Roc Nation debut is slated for an early 2013 release, but the Inglewood rapper continues to churn out plenty of new tracks. Although he was a founding member of Odd Future, Veggies is pretty far removed from the caustic comedy of Tyler and company: instead of minimalist beats and violent bravado, he opts for laid-back boudoir rap à la Curren$y and Dom Kennedy. On the Kardiak-produced “Life$tyle,” Veggies raps about the good life over an exotic, piano-heavy beat. The lush track lends itself well to Veggie’s stop-and-go flow — it’s playful, but also poised.
The Sea and Cake
“On and On”
It’s pretty intense how long The Sea and Cake has been around, here in 2012 with their ninth full-length record, Runner. And, typically, it’s awesome. I mean, when you’ve got four musicians this cosmically (aquatically, breezily, etc.) aligned and this good at what they do (Sam’s smokey voice, Eric’s super-slinky bass lines, John’s unfaltering drums, and Archer… oh Archer… he’s cute. No, he’s also a really, really good guitarist), there’s basically no way to screw it up.
Anyway, enough rambling about how great the band is; I just wanted an excuse to post the poppy lead number to the record “On and On,” and Nowness sure gave me that by premiering this video on Sunday. Directed by Naomi Nagata, it’s just the eye candy I needed: a stop-motion animation of sand on a scroll, expertly arranged in such a way that the essence of line as an artistic concept is given copious amounts of life and character, much in the same way Chuck Jones did with his classic cartoon.