“Hard to Begin”
Is “organic” a process, evolving through scientific breakthroughs and technological advances? Or does it just mean that someone pulled something straight out of the ground and served it up to the rest of us? Way back in 2010, Portland’s Ocean Age released their simply yet appropriately named EP, Forest, which sounded as pulled-from-nature as pop music made with a laptop and a bunch of electronics could sound. “Hard to Begin” still feels like some tree-hugging dance party, except the trees have evolved into those laser-light-show-type trees from the forests on the planet in Avatar.
Listen to a preview of the song below, and look for the full version on their debut album, Vision Quest, to be self-released at some point in the future when the band gets back from prancing whimsically through fields, arms raised as leaves fall around them slowly. Hippies.
• Ocean Age: http://www.oceanage.bandcamp.com
Oneohtrix Point Never
“I Only Have Eyes for You”
Tomorrow (Friday, May 11), visual artist Doug Aitken will present a “Happening” event for his public project, “SONG 1,” at Washington, D.C. ‘s Hirshhorn Museum. The event features music by Geologist (Animal Collective), Oneohtrix Point Never, Nicolas Jaar, No Age, High Places, Tim McAfee-Lewis, and Leo Gallo, and they’re all including a cover of my dad’s favorite song “I Only Have Eyes for You” (for real) into their sets!
Oneohtrix Point Never’s version is now available to stream. Here’s what C Monster had to say about it:
Rewind to where calm meets hesitance. Cast yourself into the most familiar zone possible without knowing the location. Let nature tunnel your mind and virtuality pleasure your nerves. Shimmers of digital ingratiation infiltrate and singe the surface between your reality, vision, control, and human being. Reason with it, fight it for a bit, but let it slide off your chair and sink into your beliefs, facing your face, reading, “I Only Have Eyes for You.”
I love him! Check it out for yourself here:
“Smokin’ in the Girls Room”
When I first heard “Smokin’ in the Girls Room,” I assumed the track was pieced together using the same cut-and-paste sample method Gem Jones had been using to repurpose pop on his past few releases. In fact, it sounded so similar to an early-1980s ATCO release that, even when I found out that his sampler was stolen, I was sure he had just bought a new sampler and gotten back to chopping up bargain-bin records. Turns out, the guy just channeled Prince through some secondhand keyboards and released an album so true to the sound of 80s pop that it’s perhaps only appropriate that it was released on cassette.
Listen to “Smokin’ in the Girls Room” below, and buy the whole tape, Symphony in P, from Portland’s CGIFriday Enterprise.
Wreck And Reference
No Youth [album stream]
This experimental doom metal band hails from the fictional town of Howling Wasteland, California (damn — if that were a real place, can you imagine what type of music scene it’d have?). They’re also shrouded in mystery: there’s scant information on the people behind Wreck and Reference, only a manifesto that the band represents “the foundation of man, purified and alone, pitted against collusion of the modern washing away in metallic paints.” Don’t scratch your head trying to figure that one out: just have a listen to their new LP No Youth, available as a name-your-price download on Bandcamp. It’s more of the terrific post-metal musings that the band showcased on their debut, Black Cassette: Tazmanian-devil drum fills, jazzy breakdowns, and plenty of screams pivoting between the guttural and the melodic. Be sure to snag “Cannot,” which proves that drone, emo, screamo and black metal can all coexist in a giant ball of angst. And someone encorporate a town in the desert and call it Howling Wasteland.
Versive & Noventa
“Infected Soul (A Lost Tale)”
Yo, these underground fellahs got just as much skill as the head honchos do. Light-deep beats, maddened mixing, clash cutting, intentional vocal mash-matching, weird-zones. This dude Noventa here even licking some ear-melting Gainsbourg talk. Actually, yeah. I’m really into this retro-keys melody, too. Retro, as in, grimy-cyberpunkthug-fistpump-video game: retro. And Versive’s wobbly spitten English, ripping rhymes from all sorts of interstellar channels, makes the international language collaboration sound freshly melody’d, in a turn-taking, yet syncretic way. And they willing to do anything to get this release from their hands to yours. Physically, I mean. CD-R or tape. You just contact ‘em and they’ll show you what’s up. #BLASTBLASTBLAST