“Lend Some Treats”
Free jazz/noise/rock experimentalists Normal Love have unveiled their new clip for “Lend Some Treats,” a track off their new ugEXPLODE/Public Eyesore full-length, Survival Tricks. And it reminds me of why I hate robots. I’m sure you’ve seen this lovely device, which resembles some type of mutant hamburger with legs and sounds like the most annoying insect you’ve never heard (I still get shivers from the uncanny valley moment at 1:25, but I digress).
Even if the robots in the “Lend Some Treats” video are smaller and quieter, they still creep along, chasing our protagonists: a Hasidic Jew and a creepy spectacled woman. From a narrative standpoint, the clip is as cryptic as the band’s music, but the major points are as follows: our heroes extract a pyramid-shaped device from a sleeping/dead man in an abandoned auditorium. A mysterious, demonic hipster girl is not amused, and she and her robots pursue them relentlessly. And there’s vomit. Black vomit. The frenzied pace of the song syncs perfectly with the nightmarish actions that unfold. And I am once again reaffirmed in my deep-seated feer of all things mechanical.
The group, which just added new member Rachael Bell on vocals and sampler, is planning a North American tour in August. We’ll keep you posted on dates. Meanwhile, check out Normal Love’s Survival Tricks, which is out today on vinyl and CD via ugEXPLODE and Public Eyesore.
Mika Vainio / Kevin Drumm / Axel Dörner / Lucio Capece
The visual shape of the SoundCloud stream below is telling for a couple reasons. First, that this is a strange and awesome journey. Second, that Kevin Drumm is involved. Who else would make such rapid-fire dynamic shifts seem so uniformly square yet smooth and pummel the eardrums in controlled bursts before reigning back into the droning hum? Yes, the plateaus of sound you see there are indicative of some definite digitalized Drumm-doings, and surely Mika Vainio (of Pan Sonic pedigree) contributed to sculpting the sonic timeline as well. But what you can’t tell from looking at the stream (or really even listening to it) is that half of the group is comprised of horn players. Axel Dörner has something of a heavy rep gigging around the German jazz community on trumpet, and Lucio Capece is a woodwind player (albeit a woodwind player who amplifies his instruments and twiddles with controlled feedback experimentation).
I dig how it comes together here; the quartet-ness of this foursome is audibly present with distinct textures from each contributor occupying a certain corner of the headphones — left and right (of course), but also front and back to a degree. And if you’re not in a place where you can listen on headphones… well, you should probably move along and come back when you’re serious about absorbing a work from minimal electro-acoustic sound art gurus like this one. Hope that wasn’t rude or anything; it was meant as an invitation. Come on, go grab your headphones and meet me back here so we can geek out over this.
The best part about all of this is that it’s just an excerpt, which means there’s plenty more to enjoy on the new LP from the group. Venexia is available from the German imprint PAN.
• PAN: http://pan-act.com
Blanche Blanche Blanche
“Duke on the Beach”
Like, who can actually categorize the word “indie” without making shit sound like a marketing ploy? I dunno. But it seems like what listeners have already considered “indie” music has all been jet-packed into Night People in a way iconic way. Way. And with Blanche Blanche Blanche, Night People progresses its sound through this year’s Wink With Both Eyes on LP, after they’s debut cassette last year Songs of. Traversing sound from ocean-side hotel lobbies, Midwest airport buses, and mirrored dimensional planes, Blanche Blanche Blanche broadens their “indie” mobility via glittering obscurity. “Duke on the Beach” is the suspense part of this adventure. Sliding through rain and muck, but safely executing every turn, the driver races to the terminal as Duke fingers out more money and waves of water are smashing against the median over the car. Duke imagines himself on a sun-chair looking at the same watch he’s checking now, calculating the minutes up until relaxation.
First Dog to Visit the Center of the Earth
RIYL: Walking With Dinosaurs. Think methods of observing a hyper-hypothetical hyper-past through hyper-modern technology (that exists in the hyper-future). This one comes from California’s First Dog to Visit the Center of the Earth, who has a new CD out called Corecore, a record overflowing with dub-dabbling, break-referencing beats that sound like they were designed by alien archeologists. “Prehistoric” trudges forth with the gravity of a Stegosaurus despite the stuttering, skittering bass hits. Various melodies fill out the top end, clambering over one another to get a hold on the song’s thesis, all of it presented through a dazzling array of synth and computer-manipulated/-generated whoozies. Love them whoozies.
The video was created by FDVCE über-homie Ryan Watson and features a masked dude (perhaps masking himself from the documentarian character represented by the camera, who is obviously on serious hallucinogens) desperately digging in the forest for sacred fossils or something. He seems pretty lost actually. I identify with him. And I love him. I dunno, the video looks great though, appropriately trippy and harping on that psychedelia vis-à-vis the techno-nature double helix thing for which First Dog has such a knack.
Corecore is up for purchase and subsequent aural-gobbling at Debacle Records.
“Too Many Clouds”
While Cankun’s 2011 Not Not Fun release, Jaguar Dance, dwelled quietly inside some warm body of water, this new video for “Too Many Clouds” has Vincent Caylet finally bringing his head above the surface. The first half of the video places language from Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s 1909 Futurist Manifesto over images of skies flickering in and out, as if run by light switch, before fading into distorted guitar melodies screaming out over blurry clips from Fritz Lang’s 1927 science-fiction masterpiece, Metropolis, and ending in the destruction of everything established in the 100-year timeline of the music video. Coming from an act that relies so heavily on loops and repetition, the video provides a pessimistic look at modern history and what remains for us in the last half of 2012. Finally seeing things without his ocean water-colored lenses, I don’t think Caylet likes what he sees up here.
Watch the video for “Too Many Clouds” and look for the full album, Isalo Waterfall, on cassette via Not Not Fun later this year.