Blended (Round 1)
Mashup music is a tricky game, you guys. Too often, artists exploring this genre rely on hyperactively juxtaposing one style over another for no reason other than sheer gimmick. However, the best mashups are usually achieved when approached with John Oswald’s plunderphonics in mind. Oswald was all about combining and warping readymade music into something completely new yet recognizable. Basically, plunderphonics and mashup at their best are all about elegant deconstruction and re-contextualization. The reconstituted product should make listeners familiar with the original sources realize something new about those sources while creating something strikingly original enough to enjoy when removed from context.
Alex Tedesco’s Blended (Round 1) is one of the most deftly executed and inventive mashup records that I’ve heard in a long time. Tedesco manages to tastefully blend top-40 pop with various strains of experimental music in a striking manner. Consequently, Tedesco exposes both the hidden strangeness of mainstream pop and the inner structural workings of noise music. Every track is incredibly strong, but some particularly memorable moments are: opener “Bad Girls for the Victims of Cold Mission “where M.I.A, Logos, and Penderecki combine into a haunting minimalistic chant that resembles a creepier version of Marina Rosenfeld’s most recent work and the otherworldly “Peacock Lightning” where a pitch shifted Katy Perry and Coil combine into a desperate paean. Throughout, Tedesco’s experimental pop background shines through on each track’s expert formal structuring and reharmonization. As a result, the whole record plays as a surprisingly complete and singular album despite the disparate sound sources of each track.
Blended (Round 1) is available as a free download from Tedesco’s bandcamp. You can stream the record in its entirety below:
• Alex Tedesco: http://www.alextedesco.bandcamp.com
Genetics and Windsurfing
Audio Stream Continuum
The eternally intriguing Orange Milk Records brings us into 2014 with a super-duper batch of cassettes, including a fantastically zany new tape by Genetics and Windsurfing. Describing the six-track tape is increasingly implausible with each revisit: it’s capricious and tireless, enigmatic yet palpable. Once familiar experimental textures are distressed, stretched, and flung into an unknown space-time continuum where erraticism is erotic. The tape sprouts tangibility in it’s progression, ending in a sloshing crunchy march that feels like a certain predisposed catharsis from the previous five tracks. Listening to the Audio Stream Continuum is a heuristic experience; it pressurizes and twists subjectivity out of objectivity. If I were to wake up weightless, in a dark room, with Audio Stream Continuum in my ears, I don’t think I would be confused. Try it yourself via the stream below:
“Hundreds (I Had a Dream)” / “No Fuck” / Black Portland mixtape
Last year, Young Thug released the highly acclaimed 1017 Thug; this year, he’s following the trapjectory laid out before him when he released that fantastic breakthrough mixtape. Actually, he’s sorta blowing up: the man recently signed to Future’s Freebandz imprint, and both Kanye West and Drake were recently caught blasting “Danny Glover” (which was leaked late last year, but was officially released this year via DJ Service Pack and included on the PeeWee Longway-hosted Lobby Runners mixtape).
Today, we have two new Young Thug tracks: “Hundreds (I Had a Dream),” which was released yesterday with Meek Mill in tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.; and “No Fuck,” off Young Thug’s joint Black Portland mixtape with Bloody Jay, which is due later today. Check both tracks below, and brace yourself as we head deeper into a year that’ll surely see and hear more of Young Thug’s unhinged, idiosyncratic rap/singing/wailing, including a single with Future and mixtapes with PeeWee Longway and Rich Homie Quan.
• Young Thug: http://twitter.com/YoungThugWorld
Like walking past someone talking on their phone in a hallway, “Huff” – and everything Sun Araw post-Ancient Romans (TMT Review) – begins super conscious and meticulous in vocals. As if Cameron Stallones knows you’re listening in and doesn’t want you to get the wrong idea, cause it’s, “All right, tell ‘em!” But as we’ve all come to expect, “Huff” is another eight minute burner track wherein Sun Araw continues to onslaught of psyche-and-go swag. And as most phone talkers move into more public/compacted areas, ears get filled with sound, and so does the progression of instrumentals in “Huff:” beat inversion, reversed werps, flute-offs, and keys tapping and wobbling. In the city you can walk past a dozen people saying something like, “And if he’s not my uncle, I’m not sucking” or “Tell ‘em his legs are already broken,” or just [yelling]. Well, Stallones really maxes out all his musical abilities in the end of “Huff,” shredding open a conversation of unspoken words that everyone “gets.”
Get B E L O M A N C I E, the seventh full-length album from Sun Araw, mastered by Rashad Becker, and available on 2xLP or CD or as a digital download on Feb. 18 via Sun Ark and Drag City. Stream first track “Huff” below and veggg:
Have A Nice Life
“Dan And Tim, Reunited By Fate”
If you submit yourself in full to Have a Nice Life, the listening experience has the potential to paralyze, by virtue of both the tones that the Connecticut-based duo smashes into your skull and the disparate ideas they shoehorn into improbably compact aural spaces. The strategies they employ to sneak past your defenses might not even register. You’ll look down a few minutes after a track ends to find a heart-shaped cavity slowly leaking blackened chest-goo onto the hardwood floor. The words I write stand as flimsy straw men in the open field, stranded on their poles, waiting for the winds of The Unnatural World to arrive and bowl them over again.
“Dan And Tim, Reunited By Fate” reunites Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga by fate, six years after the monumental Deathconsciousness. The pair cherrypick tropes from a number of bleak traditions: reverb-drenched industrial beats; doom-metal sludge; shoegaze drones conjured from effects pedals; post-punk bass chuggery; a plaintive piano+static post-rock crescendo. If this buffet of pan-genre depression seems ready to crumble under its own weight, HANL hold it together by matching their compositional ambitions with idiosyncratic recording and production techniques. The duo demonstrates a willingness to abandon the equilibrium of a mix at any moment with the onset of a torrential lead voice or a left turn in structure, spiking the track down into new depths of depravity over and over until the coda provides a reprieve. Vocals float somewhere behind the guitar screech and only the highs can tear out of the haze. Drum tones remain consistent as a series of conflicting atmospheres seize control. “Dan and Tim” tapers off and Dan and Tim head back into the woods.
If you let it, The Unnatural World can take over you. It arrives February 4 via The Flenser (in collaboration with HANL’s own Enemies List imprint).
• Have A Nice Life: http://enemieslist.net/kvlt/artists/have-a-nice-life
• The Flenser: http://theflenser.com
• Enemies List: http://enemieslist.net/kvlt