Björk announces release of Android for Biophilia! … Oops, I mean: Biophilia for Android

Björk announces release of Android for Biophilia! ... Oops, I mean: Biophilia for Android http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1307/news-13-07-bjork.jpg

Because the world was turning Icelandic-fucking-blue holding its breath waiting for this Biophilia app/album thingy (TMT Review) to come out for devices other than those snooty Apple ones that like nobody owns or likes or uses or even really knows much about, famed singer-songwriter Björk Hansen (best known for her Karaoke classic hit “It’s Oh So Quiet”) announced today that, though a collaboration with San Francisco-based company Apportable, she is officially releasing the apps/album (or maybe “appalbum”?) for Android tablets and phones.

As we all know (because the thing came out like two years ago), the 10 Biophilia apps were created to correlate to a corresponding song from the album. What many of us kind of ignored because we’re jerks, though, is that the apps were/are meant to serve mostly as “the cornerstone of the Biophilia Educational Program, which incorporates the apps in a series of interactive workshops to bring science and music instruction to students around the world.” So, now that they’re coming out for Android, they will be able to serve a much wider market of students and educators around the world. Or, in Björk’s words (don’t worry, they’re English words):

The Biophilia Educational Program is a new way to teach children about science and music. It has met with success in many cities, sparking interest from kids and educators from all over the world, from South America to East Asia to Africa. The most interest has come from students from low-income households and schools with underfunded art budgets, and the only way to bring the project to those people is to have Biophilia reprogrammed for Android and Windows 8.

As for Apportable, they’re all, you know, “honored that Björk has chosen Apportable’s technology to power Biophilia’s much-anticipated arrival on Android” and stuff, according to CEO Collin Jackson. “Just as it broke new ground for interactive music apps with its original iOS release, Biophilia is breaking the boundaries of cross-platform mobile development as the first-ever Objective-C music app on Android.” And yeah, those boundaries can now be broken for the low, low download price of $12.99 in the Android Market. So hop it it, music educators of the world!!! What are you waiting for? Leonard Bernstein is fucking dead! Björk and some tablets are what you’ve got to work with now.

• Björk: http://bjork.com
• One Little Indian: http://www.indian.co.uk
• Apportable: http://www.apportable.com

Rashad Becker, master of mastering, to release debut LP on PAN later this month

If you’re making a record and you want it to sound like 10 million bucks, there’s no easier and more reliable way than by shipping those tunes off to Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. There’s a borderline-hilarious amount of evidence backing up this claim — check the credits for anything on PAN, Editions Mego + its sublabels, and let’s say 70% of current stock at Mimaroglu and you’re going to see that Becker personally mastered and cut the vinyl. Another way to check for his presence is by putting on any electronics-focused album you’ve bought in the last five years and noting whether the sounds hop out of the speakers and form a razor-sharp auditory hologram on the floor in front of you. Keep it on the D, but I heard Bee Mask’s records sound like Ariel Pink demos until Rashad Becker gets his hands on ‘em.

And yet, for all his superhuman abilities, at the end of the work day he’s ready to unwind like anyone else — by masterbating. [*Mile-Long Slide Whistle*]!!! But seriously: Rashad Becker recorded and mastered his own full-length album, Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. I, and it’s dropping later this month on PAN in one of their usual gorgeously designed PVC vinyl sleeves. The record is divided between “Chants & Dances” and “Themes,” and you can listen to one of those dances below. Press for the album describes Vol. I as “a masterpiece of focussed non-referential electronic environments,” so don’t expect to find a beat to follow or even a floor to stand on, yet all the digital stretching, shard-tossing, and multilayered disorientation ends up being experienced as something more tactile than reality. If you’re not following, how’s this: “Themes II” sounds a little bit like if Daffy Duck got cranky as hell and started shoving glass marbles into his mouth, grinding them down with a diamond-rimmed beak and then firing them out at Walt Disney, who’s chained to a vibrating waterbed and still recovering from a rare disease he picked up in the jungles of Peru. Y’know?

Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. I Side A (chants & dances):
01. Dances I
02. Dances II
03. Dances III
04. Dances IV

Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. I Side B (themes):
01. Themes I
02. Themes II
03. Themes III
04. Themes IV

• Rashad Becker: http://www.clunk.de
• PAN: https://pan-act.com

RIP: T-Model Ford, blues musician

From Rolling Stone:

T-Model Ford, a Mississippi singer and guitarist who took up the blues later in life, died yesterday of respiratory failure at home in Greenville. Ford claimed to be 93, though The Associated Press reports that he didn’t recall what year he was born and may have been 89. […]

During his career as a blues artist, Ford recorded seven albums, and was known for his rough-hewn sound and whiskey-fueled live performances. Ford could be playful on stage, and often interacted with attractive couples in the crowd.

• T-Model Ford: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-Model_Ford

[Photo: Bobincasco]

Sidi Touré reflects on turbulence in his native Mali with new album Alafia

Malian guitarist/singer-songwriter Sidi Touré will be releasing his next album on Thrill Jockey on September 17. Alafia will be his third album for the Chicago-based label since breaking onto the international music scene in 2011 and his fourth overall. The fact that he’s able to release it is already a relief, as artists and musicians in Northern Mali have seen (to put it incredibly mildly) some difficult times over the past 18 months or so.

In early 2012, after a military coup, a far-right extremist Islamist coalition came together and filled the power vacuum in the region. Effectively banning Western influence and music in all forms, the musically rich region saw its collective creativity silenced amid torture and gunfire. Thousands of artists began to flee. While things have gotten a little better since French troops raided Timbuktu this past January in an attempt to regain order, they haven’t gotten that much better, with electricity and fuel scarce and no semblance of a functioning economy.

While Touré’s native Gao was under control of the Islamists, he and his band were essentially exiled in Nantes, France after finishing their first European tour. It’s there that they began work on Alafia. Once some of the bigger cities in Mali had been liberated, they toured with fellow Malian acts Bassekou Kouyate and Tamikrest, traveling to Bamako, Mali to finish recording the album. The political turmoil and strife, while devastating for an area that has created fantastic art (Mali being home to Ali Farka Touré [no relation], Tinariwen, and Amadou & Miriam among others), is ripe for inspiration. Sidi Touré has created Alafia, which translates to “peace” in English, to reflect and comment on the ongoing uncertainty in his homeland.

A co-headlining tour with Cedric Watson this year is in the works as well as a solo tour for 2014. So, keep any eye out for dates and locations.

• Sidi Touré: http://www.thrilljockey.com/thrill/Sidi-Tour
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

Tim Hecker announces brand-new studio album, Virgins; released via Kranky in October

Wait a second, friend. Don’t swallow that potassium cyanide and light yourself on fire just yet. These are dark times, but I’ve just received word of a reason to keep going, at least until October: Tim Hecker’s new LP has just been announced! Yes! This life-affirming follow-up to 2011’s Ravedeath, 1972 (TMT Review) is titled Virgins and will be released October 14 through Kranky! I mean, maybe there’s no god, and maybe America is crumbling. But there’s still Canada. There’s still Canada, buddy, and that more-stable country produces great things like Tim Hecker. And Tim Hecker produces great things like what FACT calls “sensual entropy.”

And get this, my little ledge jumper: the new record finds Hecker with an expanded sound, using live ensembles that at times are absent of the distorted gristle he’s known for. With Virgins, he has brought a tighter, more percussive sound and “employs woodwinds, piano and synthesizers towards an effort at doing what digital music does not do naturally — making music that is out of time, out of tune and out of phase.”

I know that I’ve got you interested, got you wanting to hang on and see just what this genius will sound like. “But everything else is terrible,” you say, “like that new Deerhunter record.” That’s true, friend. There will always be Deerhunters in life that we’ll have to deal with. But you can’t have the sweet without the bitter. It makes that sweet all the sweeter.

And hey, look, the record was mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson and Tim Hecker with additional assistance by Randall Dunn and Ben Frost. You love those guys, right? Take a look at the tracklist below, and I’ll be back with more album details as they become available. Hang in there, friend.

Virgins tracklist:

01. Prism
02. Virginal I
03. Radiance
04. Live Room
05. Live Room Out
06. Virginal II
07. Black Refraction
08. Incense at Abu Ghraib
09. Amps, Drugs, Harmonium
10. Stigmata I
11. Stigmata II
12. Stab Variation

• Tim Hecker: http://www.sunblind.net
• Kranky: http://www.kranky.net
• Immigrate to Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/index.asp

Kathleen Hanna and The Julie Ruin announce Run Fast LP, doubling as a minimal guide to the 100 meter dash

As someone who’s never really been a dedicated listener of either Bikini Kill or Kathleen Hanna’s more danceable follow-up, Le Tigre, it’s surprising how much the new single from her revitalized Julie Ruin project makes me nostalgic all over the place, given the vocalized consent of my partner. Hanna’s presence reigns distinct, but there’s something about the background repetition of “Oh come on” that recalls something either generally Riot grrrl, or how my sister and I used to break out in harmonic chants whenever we had identical complaints or requests for my parents. “Friday night! Blockbuster night!” x 10. Yeah, so it’s probably more the former, and for some reason, it’s making me grin like an idiot. This requires further exploration.

As previously mentioned, The Julie Ruin is a project revitalized, a mere 15 years after Hanna, without a creative accomplice, presided over the release of the self-titled album. Well, technically, the project’s been revitalized since about 2010, when the band premiered its new multi-member lineup, but this year is when things become even more revitalizederer, as September 3 will mark the release of the (debut, I guess?) LP Run Fast, courtesy of TJR Records and distributed by Dischord.

True Bikini Kill enthusiasts might be excited to learn, if they hadn’t preempted this article by reading the news elsewhere, that Kathi Wilcox is featured on bass. Additionally, there’s Kenny Mellman on keys, Carmine Covelli on drums, and Sara Landeau on guitar, who, according to a press release, met Kathleen at Rock Camp for Girls. Things don’t seem as lo-fi as they were more than a decade ago, but judge for yourself. Here’s the album opener, “Oh Come On”:

Dates:

09.03.13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
09.05.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer *
09.07.13 - Washington, DC - Black Cat *
09.12.13 - Portland, OR - TBA Festival
09.15.13 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s &
09.17.13 - San Francisco, CA - Slims &
09.19.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo &
0922.13 - San Diego, CA - Irenic &
11.08.13 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest

* Swearin’
& La Sera

• The Julie Ruin: http://www.thejulieruinband.com
• Dischord: http://www.dischord.com

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