The Garment District
“Nature Nurture (Sonic Boom Remix)” b/w “Miraculous Metal” / “Vigor”
For a certain kind of fan, the words “sonic boom” instantly evoke two esteemed cult culture figures. Each of them rose to prominence a couple decades ago, thanks to experimentation and success with digital tools, back in the technology’s nascent days. One of them fights un-American street thugs with hooks of psychedelic light spinning from his arms. The other fights the banality of existence with disarming psychedelic hooks that will spin and light up your head.
There’s a meme averring that Guile’s theme music goes with everything. That’s all well and good, but a certain kind of fan knows it’s much more captivating when Spectrum’s Sonic Boom — Peter Kember — gets involved with anything.
This time, he’s got his hooks into the track “Nature Nurture” by The Garment District (alter ego, Jennifer Baron), from her debut tape Melody Elder. The original is a synthesizer affair that arpeggiates forward with stately grace, as if meant to accompany a procession through a digital chapel. Well, who’s better at pairing synths and Christ than a former partner of Spacemen 3? Sonic Boom’s remix is generally subtle, opting to fray the edges of the track’s tones rather than totally reweaving it as all new tapestry.
Sonic Boom’s remix of “Nature Nurture” is available October 15 on a 7-inch from La Station Radar, backed by “Miraculous Metals and “Vigor,” both originals by The Garment District. Check Tiny Mix Tapes’ premiere of the digital tracks below.
What would the Chocolate Grinder be without some grind? Pig Destroyer, the undisputed kings of the genre, are set to release Book Burner on October 22, and judging from this preview, “The Diplomat,” we’re in for a treat. The blast-beats are bludgeoning, the guitar riffs as writhing and relentless as ever, and J.R. Hayes’ vocals are as cathartic and caustic as ever. It’s been five years since we last heard from the Virginia quartet, so it’s nice to see them back on their daily grind (sorry, couldn’t help the pun). The new LP will cram 19 tracks into 32 minutes — hope you’re ready. Listen here.
The voice of postmodern Shanghai is Stalin Gardens, and it’s fuckin weird. Helmed by precocious high-school harsh noise enthusiast Achmed (birth name: Julien), they take the China-brand no-wave/post-punk thing started by bands like P.K.14 and 8 Eye Spy and shove it down a deep k-hole into the grimiest parts of the Shanghai metropolitan subconscious, and all in time to get home before curfew. I saw them play once. Half their set was Achmed strumming disembodied riffs from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or “Stairway to Heaven” or something while repeatedly saying “This is experimental rock” and telling the audience to shut up in between songs. (The audience was five people.)
Anyway, SG just dropped a nine-song LP called Shanghai Void. In terms of hard-left-field music, Shanghai is pretty damn empty. So it’s good we have Stalin Gardens to send this plodding slow-burner — which moves from an opening Nas reference to songs about post-national consumerism and bone cancer — screaming into said void.
Stream the full album below, download it for free on their SoundCloud, and find some other odds & ends on their douban. (That’s the equivalent of Myspace/Facebook for Chinese bands. You’re not on douban? Get on douban.)
• Stalin Gardens: http://site.douban.com/sg
“Haze.Boogie.Life” [produced by Sinden & Matrixxman]
Mykki Blanco’s been blowing up lately, having been featured in a shit-ton of magazines, signing new contracts, and passing down judgments on American Idol. Blanco’s latest single is “Haze.Boogie.Life,” a nervous, skittering track that features production by Sinden and Matrixxman. A video is dropping Friday via the single’s very own Tumblr, but for now, the music:
After a deep chapter of #-track recording bass-fused w33p-pop, Diva Dompé [slash] DIVA now brings softer shades and roaring fashion-pits — roaring from currently being in the L.A. BABES output, and softness possibly developed while joining Pocahaunted’s swan song. But in this video, directed by the extraordinary Miko Revereza, the colorlessness, singularly framed DIVA , draby clothing, and minimal accessories all develop an encompassing simplicity to her lyrics and lush high-scale DIY production value.
DIVA’s Moon Moods album is out on CD and LP formats via Critical Heights and can be streamed via the ever-commercial FADER. But if simplicity is your ting and paying in £s is not, Leaving Records is releasing a limited number of cassettes starting TODAY.