Embodying the avant jazz-and generally out projections of Austin-based record label and multimedia house Monofonus Press, Astral Spirits have aligned a remarkable constellation of music in their enviable, ongoing first year. Today welcomes three new tapes to the orbit: Rob Mazurek’s Vortice of the Faun (79 nuanced minutes of electronics torment, his first such solo recording in some time now), SSBT’s 247 Main (a dyad of free-jazz-meets-harnessed-frequencies documentation, recorded live in the Pacific Northwest of 2014), and Mike Majkowski’s Neighbouring Objects (a gloaming swath of spectral drone and atmospherics). They are each as excellent as they are limited, which is very.
Willful hosts are implored to congregate their bodies at the Monofonus storefront tomorrow morning and await further sign.
• Astral Spirits: http://monofonuspress.com/astral-spirits
Stop and smell the flowers lately?
Well, not to take away from your seasonal pursuit of odorous pleasures, but consider this a recurring PSA: in the time it took for a bee to surprise-jump off an objectified flower, fly down your throat, and sting your pancreas multiple times, the New Jersey-born but Hollywood-residing producer Knxwledge has let loose a whopping kajillion releases, all the while making a single morning’s breakfast and catching up on local politics via the web. “Prolific” is a word rather liberally thrown around to describe artist output these days, but rest assured, Glen Boothe’s discography for sure approaches the epitome. Countless beats and a noteworthy contribution to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly have now led to a debut release on Stones Throw!
“Hud Dreems” is the name, and it’s out in a mere one week on May 5 (wait until June 30 for the double LP). It features 26 tracks (mirroring the age of the tireless fellow), and… what else can really be said about it? Boothe has previously clarified that his sample-ridden action is almost unconscious at this point, so even though the forthcoming might end up being a blip, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be worthwhile.
Check out a review we did of an EP here, and kindly note the flute transition on the following Hud Dreems single:
Hud Dreems tracklisting:
Bill Kouligas’ PAN label doesn’t fit the mold of any particular sound or style, and proudly so. In fact, being impossible to shoehorn is a remit in of itself, and bringing listeners some of the most interesting, genre-defying, new music out there is business as usual for Kouligas and crew.
Naturally, the Lifted project for the label follows suit. A meeting of Matt Papich (a.k.a. Co La) and Max D (a.k.a Maxmillon Dunbar), 1 documents an improv-heavy session of slick electronics and free-falling techno. And that’s not all: the album also includes contributions from Gigi Masin, Eklund, Jeremy Hyman, and Jordan GCZ (of Juju & Jordash fame) coalescing into a cosmic set freed from typical structure and form, a synthesis of the respective talents and idiosyncrasies of those involved. Factor in PAN’s uniformly excellent packaging and 1 is yet another surefire success; an abstract, fragmentary summer record for the discerning listener.
1 drops today. Try the closing track, “Medicated Yoga”, below:
04. Total Care Zero
05. Bell Slide
08. Medicated Yoga
• PAN: http://p-a-n.org
HEALTH have a new album coming out August 7, titled Death Magic. If that’s news that gets your excitement levels up, then sit down before I tell you that, according to this Pitchfork article, Death Magic was produced in collaboration with The Haxan Cloak, Mars Volta knob-twiddler Lars Stalfors, and Kanye West’s engineer Andrew Dawson.
You can get your first sample via the video for “New Coke” below.
Not only does this video give you a good insight into the dark, bombastic, and glassy sounds you’d expect from HEALTH joining forces with The Haxan Cloak and make vomiting look like a balletic artform, it also contains a phone number at the end that, according to a few people in the YouTube comment section (which is probably more reliable than CNN,but I’m no expert) is actually the band’s phone number.
So give HEALTH a call — see if they want a pizza or something.
03. MEN TODAY
04. FLESH WORLD (UK)
05. COURTSHIP II
06. DARK ENOUGH
09. NEW COKE
10. L.A. LOOKS
11. HURT YOURSELF
12. DRUGS EXIST
A breath of air under the door frame. The sound of boots on creaking floorboards. Afternoon sunlight cutting the dust that hangs softly. A piece of paper rustling. The sound of a long cape brushing the walls, as a figure hurries through the corridor. The whinny of a horse in the distance. The soft sent of musty, Moroccan secrets kept under lock and key for many an age finally finding their way through the muck and the mire. Dirt turning under the hands of a middle-aged woman whose left eye wobbles when she speaks. The paper slipping under door. Black ink scratched onto the blank white space. Words. Numbers. The twang of a guitar beset by furious fingers. The whinny becomes a voice, horse-like and human in equal measure: “Sir Richard Bishop is going on tour again, ya bozos!”
04.24.15 - Tuscon, AZ - Exploded View *
04.25.15 - San Diego, CA - Whistle Stop
04.27.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Cinefamily &
04.28.15 - San Francisco, CA - Brick and Mortar Music Hall *
04.29.15 - Sacramento, CA - Shine *
05.01.15 - Portland, OR - Bunk Bar *
05.06.15 - Geneva, Switzerland - Cave 12
05.08.15 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Bourg
05.09.15 - Bologna, Italy - Freakout Club
05.10.15 - Ljubljana, Slovenia - Klub Gromka
05.12.15 - Vienna, Austria - Aux Gazelles
05.13.15 - Bucharest, Romania - Control Club
05.15.15 - Rome, Italy - Dal Verme
05.16.15 - Milan, Italy - O’artoteca
05.19.15 - Poitiers, France - Carre Bleu
05.21.15 - Marseille, France - Sons de Plateaux Festival
05.22.15 - London, United Kingdom - The Tin Tabernacle
05.23.15 - Bradford, United Kingdom - Threadfest
05.25.15 - Antwerp, Belgium - Het Bos
05.26.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Huis 23
05.27.15 - Cologne, Germany - Stadtgarten
05.28.15 - Paris, France - Les Instants Chavirés
05.29.15 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Global Copenhagen
05.30.15 - Stockholm, Sweden - Ronnells
* Robert Mills
& Robert Mills, Neil Hamburger
As much as I’d love to make this article all about the nigh-unrivaled brilliance of Birmingham’s Supersonic Festival, we already covered that a couple of weeks ago, when a nigh-unrivaled lineup of demigod artists was semi-finalized for the 2015 edition, set to take place June 11-14 at venues The Crossing and Boxxed. It would’ve been tough to outdo a combination of performances from Holly Herndon, Gazelle Twin, Circuit Des Yeux, Liturgy, Six Organs of Admittance, and more, but festival sponsors Capsule are apparently pretty keen on upping the ante through their own version of a musical boxing match (in which nobody gets hurt). Announcing… The Bug vs. Earth!
No, Kevin Martin (The Bug) won’t use this summer opportunity to begin his attempts at earthly domination; instead, he and Dylan Carlson from the band Earth will have a shared performance at Supersonic, where they’ll presumably be expanding upon the two-track collaboration that was unearthed last November, much to the vibration of everyone’s internal organs.
That release was sort of what you expected, given Martin’s prior appearances on various dubstep compilations and Carlson’s consistently drone-y spearheading, but something tells me the in-person showing will be quite a different experience. Here’s a tasty reminder, nonetheless:
Chain and the Gang announce May tour, while Ian Svenonius inadvertently makes you feel bad about yourself
Ian Svenonius makes me feel bad about myself. It’s not his fault. He’s not trying to. He’s just got great hair. I have pretty crappy hair. He wears great suits. I try my best. He makes music and books and speaks in public. I live in a trash can, where I belong. So, it is with a great sense of inadequacy that I tell you that Svenonius’s current band, Chain and the Gang, are doing a tour of the East Coast and Midwest, lasting roughly a week and a half.
As I seethe with the dull burn of my failures, I am letting you know that the group’s tour begins on May 14 in Baltimore, with the group hitting a handful of major cities before ending up in Pittsburgh on the 23rd. Last year, they put out Minimum Rock ‘n’ Roll, as the first release on Svenonius’s Radical Elite imprint through Dischord. See that? Not only does he put out a record, he starts a whole new label (well, imprint, but who’s counting?) while he’s at it. If anyone needs me, I’ll be fiddling around with a ship-in-a-bottle and cursing.
Chain and the Gang dates:
05.14.15 - Baltimore, MD - The Crown
05.15.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right
05.16.15 - Providence, RI - Aurora
05.19.15 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison
05.20.15 - Detroit, MI - UFO Factory
05.21.15 - Chicago, IL - The Owl
05.22.15 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups
05.23.15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Gooski’s
• Chain and the Gang: http://on.fb.me/1uNDASp
The latest student attending Jay Z’s charm school for ultra-cool musical young people is Chicago rapper Vic Mensa. Which is basically to say that the lad behind last year’s catchy, smart single “Down On My Luck” has signed with Roc Nation, home of Jay Electronica, Ri Ri, J. Cole, Rita Ora, and more.
As you’ll recall, Mensa appeared on Kanye West’s new track “Wolves,” while in turn his own new single “U Mad” (below) featured Yeezus himself. Wake up, sheeple! The
Illuminati Roc Nation connection has been right in front of our eyes the WHOLE DAMN TIME. Congrats, Mr. Mensa! It’s all sacrificing goats to a musical owl god and playing Connect Four with Bey from here on out.
Like all those times when I was younger and my mom was around to tell me that the prehensile tail my younger brother had was totally normal, I am now here to tell you how absolutely and completely natural it is that White Poppy, a.k.a., Vancouver’s Crystal Dorval, has a new album coming out June 23. Fittingly (given my hilarious intro), it’s called Natural Phenomena, and as with her previous self-titled LP, it’ll be out via Not Not Fun.
Like a plant, or an egg, or my brother’s tail right up until his fifth birthday when a group of masked men came to take him away, Natural Phenomena developed bit by bit over a long period of time. In the album’s case, it was a nine-month retreat to a farm on Vancouver Island, where Dorval worked slowly and painstakingly, crafting the tiniest details into 10 tracks of softly dreamlike and loping tracks. Meanwhile, my brother’s tail was rough like the skin of a crocodile, and it grew from the day he was born. It was three-feet long when they took him away. I never saw him again.
Check out opening track “Confusion” over at the Chocolate Grinder right here.
Natural Phenomena tracklist:
02. Wild Mind
04. Exotic Realms
05. Midnight Sun
07. Telepathic Love
08. Ebb and Flow
10. Arctic Rose
It was an unusual phenomenon subjected to a concerted media blackout: during the spring of 2013, an enormously long (but not quite as wide) shadow stretched from east to west across the United States, and maritime experts talking forcibly off-the-record confirmed that the darkness extended across the entire Pacific Ocean as well. Web theories abound as to the source of the shadow and whether humans would soon face the wrath of a giant alien breadstick, but no… eventually the shadow could be seen receding. Five tendrils descended from the upper atmosphere, and it immediately came to our attention: we don’t have nearly enough manicurists for this. Clean your own nails, Many Arms!
The stretch, as it turns out, was all for the sake of retrieving Japanese improv musician Toshimaru Nakamura from his home country and bringing him back to Philly, where his famed no-input mixing board (output connected directly to input) would join the noisy punk-inspired trio for something resembling an abstract painting that comes alive and scratches chalkboards at you. A record of their collaboration at Rose Recital Hall will be released May 15, but I imagine the video below, which took place at an alternate venue, will suffice for an impression:
Nakumura isn’t a stranger to international collaborations. Let’s hope Johnny Deblase, Nick Millevoi, and Ricardo Lagomasino see reason to keep it up.
Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura tracklisting: