Joe Knight (of Rangers)
“Walk in Closet”
Like most of his laid-back pond-dwelling/beach-combing, Joe Knight toasts another slow-burner adrift the rest of them mallards and gulls. Only this time as himself, rather than using his Rangers moniker. Which is straight, whatever. Peeps go through name changes all the time. And all this lingering guitar is starting to remind me more of the trip home, when mom needs milk at the grocery store, and you’re stuck in the car for an hour waiting on… milk. She comes back with a cart full of food; you have sand everywhere; and the dog in the car next to y’all (aptly named Evil Woof Czar) has been killed in your space-age imagination over a dozen times now. “Just grabbed a few other things,” says mom, and now you wonder why such rebellion against spending money and shitty foods exists. Next times ya hit up your local waterfront (when you’re seven or eight), hide in the “Walk in Closet.” Find yourself your own youth.
• Joe Knight: http://soundcloud.com/joe-knight-music/tracks
THIS JUST IN: Azealia Banks’ Fantasea mixtape is available right here, right now.
• Azealia Banks: http://www.azealiabanks.com
The shimmering phrase that opens Pulse Emitter’s “Bioluminescence” sounds like a movie theater’s cue that the lights are going down and it’s time get quiet. The layers of synthesizer that emerge after the initial chime compel the listener to slow down and observe as if something is beginning to grow. Compounded by the imagery of the track’s title, “Bioluminescence” sounds like the score of a nature documentary that borders on science fiction. The song itself is a series of morphing cycles, of swelling synth growls and melodies that wax and wane — a translation of biological expectation. The shimmering patterns recur in variation and become the remarkable moments breaking up expectation, akin to glimmers of light emitting from a creature.
“Bioluminescence” is one of two Pulse Emitter (Daryl Groetsch) tracks contributed to the four-way 2xLP split on Immune Recording. Each of the four artists — Pulse Emitter, Date Palms, Expo 70, and Faceplant (Aaron Coyes of Peaking Lights) — cover a side of vinyl.
The World Is A House On Fire [album stream]
On Zelienople’s Tumblr, there’s a photo post captioned “Summer in the city.” Strata of sable sky weigh heavy on a streetlamp washed in briny green. These are summer days for Zelienople: sky-gazing, images of submersion.
Zelienople’s music, appropriately, makes me feel supine in a field. Albums that sprawl are usually frustrating for being stagnant; I’m not content just to float, I want to drift and/or dive. You know my feel. Zelienople’s The World Is A House On Fire has, however, remarkable movement. In all of these songs, there are many gaping beats, which threaten to sag and fall through, but the next step always comes. By the album’s third track, it’s impossible to not then listen to all seven.
The album is great. I wish only that when the music decides to move, it moved hard. That said, “Out of It’s” ending is the finest I can imagine for the The World Is A House On Fire. You’ll say, “Shit. I’m thinking of the kind of film whose last frame leaves you dead in your seats, a book whose last page’s white space leaves you staring like at the summer sky. “
“The Need Superficial”
People Hear What They See, the latest LP from D.C. rapper Oddisee, is the classic example of a hidden hip-hop gem. It’s a Bandcamp release, so it’s easy to miss, but once you hear its ingenious mix of rap, soul, and funk, you’ll find yourself pressing “play” over and over. “The Need Superficial,” available as a free download from the kind folks at Mello Music Group, marries a breezy soul groove to Oddisee’s rowdy, ricocheting flow — and it’s proof that the DMV is still packing some serious talent amid a resurgence of West Coast rap.