The shape of Suuns’ music is intimated by their name: as if modeled after atomic solar waves, their songs sound like beams of pointed sonic rays. It makes sense, then, that the video for “2020,” directed by Sabina Ratte, should illustrate radiating bands of stark white on black. This isn’t to say that their music is monochromatic or flat. Far from it, in fact. Suuns simply seem to have such confidence in their textures and talents that each soundwave is given piercing aural clarity, its own channel and privileged right to ring out, to an almost burning extreme. A good burn. A real suunny day type of burn.
“2020” is a quintessential sort of scorcher. The track is spare but never scrawny. Its rays are direct and unhidden. The bass synth throbs throughout, and the vocals trade verses with the stuttering, but confident, descending guitarwork. Each instrument’s voice is piercing in its own right, penetrating, and yet no beat is overrun by a competition of sounds. It all adds up to a texture that isn’t exactly analgesic, but comforting nonetheless, if you can submit to it. Suuns seem to appeal to a sense of transcendence that arises from numbness through overexposure, rather than the more traditional comfort via softness and bliss. For those of us who like a deep tissue massage, or extra hot water, or nails down the back, this is the sort of thing that can do the trick.
Suuns sophomore album Images du Futur is scheduled for release on March 5 from Secretly Canadian.
Akio Suzuki / Lawrence English
There’s a certain novelty to Akio Suzuki’s approach to music composition and live improvisation. The elder statesman of Japanese sound-art’s primary instrument is a homemade device that he refers to as an Analapos. Essentially, this device consists of two iron cylinders strung together using coil springs that Suzuki plucks, strums, and sings through during his live performances. When watching him perform live, it’s hard not to be moved by the plethora of sounds that he gets out of such a simple device. The visual novelty of this tool in concert could potentially lead to his recordings having less of an impact, but luckily the sounds Suzuki creates with his instrument of choice are so beautiful and texturally interesting that his recordings are just as evocative as his performances.
Suzuki’s recently released collaboration with Lawrence English is a particularly impressive example of his work that’s sure to be of interest to fans of the EAI and onkyo scenes. However, despite many of the signifiers of those genres, these tracks are singularly Suzuki. Part of this is due to the organic yet electronic-sounding timbres of Suzuki’s Analapos, but it’s equally due to the playful and human approach Suzuki takes with his sounds throughout. English’s voice is less prominent on this release, but he elegantly incorporates his electronics, field recordings, and percussion in such a way that they almost sound like extensions of his instrument. Hopefully, this is just the first of many collaborations with like-minded performers to come in Suzuki’s all-too-limited output.
You can preview the album below, courtesy of Experimedia, and order it from Winds Measures now.
It should be no secret by now that we here at Tiny Mix Tapes like Jason Lescalleet a whole lot. His excellent album Songs About Nothing was among our favorite albums of 2012, and now in an effort to remind us all of how much that record rules, Lescalleet has unleashed a video for the appropriately named “The Loop,” which predominantly features pulsating pinks and greens from Lescalleet’s Big Black-referencing cover art, as well as some potentially subliminal bright flashes.
However, given Lescalleet’s tendencies to frequently distort and warp bits of cultural ephemera, questions about the artist’s intention are raised with this video. Is Lescalleet asking us to evaluate “The Loop” as a single? His decision to release a video of this track well after Songs About Nothing’s release is reminiscent of mainstream pop music’s current practice of mining an album for single after single for months — sometimes even years — in order to maintain interest. Could this be Lescalleet’s brilliant attempt to simultaneously implement and warp this practice in the realm of experimental music? I’m not quite sure of the answer, but from a strictly visual level, there’s plenty to enjoy from director Justin Meyers’ alternately welcoming and intimidating visuals that go well with the equally inviting/intense mix of grooves, field recordings, and noises of Lescalleet’s track.
You can check out the video above. Songs About Nothing is currently available from Erstwhile.
“Aetheric Vehicle (Soft Pink Truth Remix)”
You shouldn’t need telling: Matmos are back. But guess what? SO IS SOFT PINK TRUTH. Last seen wrestling with his Soft Pink Tube, the Drew Daniel solo project has reemerged on Thrill Jockey’s SoundCloud page, giving “Aetheric Vehicle,” one of the finest moments of The Marriage of True Minds, the once-over. The SPT rub fractures the whorls ‘n’ motorik of the original, bristling with fidgety, bit-crunched breaks, a polyrhythmic fizz still seeping from the scars of exposure to 2-step heat. Imagine the last Emeralds’ album getting the remix treatment from the Brainfeeder camp. Then listen to the remix. See? Nothing lazy about that comparison whatsoever. NOTHING.
The remix is also available on iTunes.
“Loving The Drift”
“We’re pro surfers, man. We don’t have to pay the cover. You’ve never heard of us? I guarantee some chicks in there will recognize us.”
The bouncer looked at our IDs. “California. Yeah, alright, we need some more bodies in there anyway.”
“Thanks, man.” We walked into the London dance club, trying not to seem overly excited that the pro-surfer line worked again. Our hair was sun-bleached after spending several weeks on the beaches of Spain and Portugal. We emphasized our Southern California slur, using “dude” at least twice in every sentence. The surfer lie was perfect.
As I parted the velvet curtain to enter the club, a shiny empty dance floor beamed reflections of the lasers into our eyes. Maybe this surfer thing wasn’t all that powerful; this must have been the lamest club in London. A solitary man danced alone as if he were leading a congo line around the club. Several silhouettes of hunched-over bodies hovered by the bar. There was no one worth introducing our fake identities to, but the club was all ours.
I hustled over to the DJ to request that M.I.A. song I had stuck in my head. “It’s electro night, chap. No hip-hop,” the DJ screamed over the blaring drum ‘n’ bass music. “Okay, whatever.” So we danced our little Californian hearts out, like a double-act Bacardi commercial — or the video above from Maxmillion Dunbar’s newest release House of Woo from RVNG Intl. Records.
Stream the whole album over here.