Internet fest #SPF420 to feature Vektroid (Macintosh Plus), DJ PayPal, Contact Lens, Magic Fades, and more; starts tomorrow!

Internet fest #SPF420 to feature Vektroid (Macintosh Plus), DJ PayPal, Contact Lens, Magic Fades, and more; starts tomorrow!

Since SXSW was last week, I don’t have to make a choice between that shitstorm “fest” and #SPF420 FEST 3.0, but fuck it, I choose #SPF420 anyway. Thanks to #SPF420, an internet-based gathering that streams live through video/chat service Tinychat, I’ve had the pleasure of wearing pajamas to two fests — 1.0 back in September 2012, 2.0 in early January — while watching the likes of Vektroid (Prism Corp, Macintosh Plus, etc.), coolmemoryz, LAKE RADIO, Metallic Ghosts, Infinity Frequencies, No Taste, and more.

While the first couple fests were sorta heavy on “vaporwave” (or vaporwave-related) artists, the third installment sees fest organizers Stress (♥) and Chaz Allen (Metallic Ghosts) digging deep into the virtual dance underground. Vektroid, who performed at the first fest and DJ’d as Prism Corp for the second, is playing again (yay!), but the fest is also bringing in the ghettodisco of DJ PayPal, the cracked beats of Contact Lens, the futurist cyberpop of Magic Fades, the dreamtrap of Blackedout, and the smooth futurism of Kodak Cameo. (Look, new genres!) It’s a big departure at first glance, but when compared to the lineup of any other fest out there, the continuities between these artists — lust for the groove, masterful repetition, hyperreal imagery, sensual exaggerations, fluid aesthetics — become particularly pronounced.

#SPF420 FEST 3.0 starts at 10 PM EST on Wednesday, March 20 in this Tinychat room. Chaz will serve as the house DJ (as Sugar C), Transmuteo (who performed at 2.0 and writes here as Jonathan Dean) will do a slow rave DJ set for the afterparty, and Stress will be hosting it all. So get up and go to the show stay right there and wait patiently for showtime.

You can view the fest’s trailer and sample all the artists below:

DJ PayPal:

Contact Lens:


Magic Fades:


Kodak Cameo:

• #SPF420:
• #SPF420 FEST 3.0:
• @whtebkgrnd (poster artist):

Jandek box set of three early albums emerges from the abyss for Record Store Day

If you’ve been looking for an introduction to the work of world-famous recluse Jandek, now might be your time.

Portland, Oregon’s Jackpot Records (in association with Corwood Industries) is prepping a deluxe box set featuring three of Jandek’s earliest records; 1978’s Ready for the House, 1981’s Six and Six, and 1982’s Chair Beside a Window. The box set, simply titled Jandek, will be limited to 500 copies worldwide and is an exclusive Record Store Day 2013 release. The package includes the three albums on heavyweight vinyl (presumably 180 gram), a hand-numbered hardbound slipcase, three 24”x24” posters, and a full Corwood Industries catalog insert.

With fans ranging from Thurston Moore to John Darnielle to Mandy Moore, Jandek managed not only to remain pretty much faceless for most of his career, but incredibly prolific. With over 70 albums spanning the course of 35 years, this box set is, as far as I can tell, the first not to be released outside of the Corwood Industries label.

Side note: if you want more info on the mystery that is Jandek (unfortunately, the internet killed the fun of “solving” a mystery) as well as other outsider music, I’d recommend Songs in the Key of Z by Irwin Chusid (check your public library or your local book retailer for more info).

• Jandek:
• Jackpot:

Quicksails preps dynamic Mayville Dream for an Aprilville release on Spectrum Spools

When it comes to operating his Spectrum Spools imprint, John Elliott (formerly of Emeralds) has previously expressed his desire to keep an open mind concerning the music that he promotes. PLVS VLTRA’s album Parthenon would possibly be the most ready example of this, with its firm residence inside synth-pop territory, but what about that pesky reversion to the mean theory? I’m not sure about its applicability to record labels, but I’ll be damned if a track off the new Quicksails album doesn’t sound slightly Emeralds-esque. I’m probably imagining things. Granola bars can be intoxicatingly delicious, and I just ate two of them.

In any case, Chicago-based artist Quicksails a.k.a. Ben Billington will be releasing Mayville Dream on Spectrum Spools on April 29. I referenced Emeralds, but Billington seems to bring a degree of style variability that I certainly never noticed on an Emeralds album, or across Emeralds albums. As the official album description points out, “[Billington] can morph his styles seamlessly and is fluent in many musical languages, whether he’s playing in Moonrises, Circuit [des] Yeux (as a touring drummer) or in the legendary underground free-jazz unit Tiger Hatchery.”

For a preview of that seamlessness, listen below:

• Quicksails:
• Spectrum Spools:

Neurowear debuts brain-wave reading headphones at SXSW… one step closer to total automation

In today’s “you know you’re getting old when…” story, Hypebot reports that a pair of headphones debuted at SXSW last week that selects music for you based on the brain waves you’re emitting. The same company that brought us those terrible cat ears that adjust position based on your brain waves, Neurowear, has advanced the technology in a seemingly more useful direction with its prototype Mico headphones. The headphones are not currently available for the public or for journalists to test, so it’s unclear how the headphones decide which tracks go with which brain waves, but this development seems right on trend given the growing prevalence of apps and widgets that ‘listen’ to you and report back accordingly. This type of technology, which is basically adding the smart-capabilities of the internet to everyday things, is estimated to be valued at $14.4 trillion according to Cisco, so look forward to a future where everything electronic in your life is lovingly reading your mind in the name of personalization. Magneto-style helmets will probably follow suit.

What I’m worried about is the possibility of these things recommending music that ‘matches’ my brain waves but that doesn’t sync up with what I actually want to listen to. It’ll be interesting to see how in line a device’s ability to select something for us is with our conscious desires. I doubt my mind is ever actively asking for something like Merzbow, but I still like that it’s an option. Will we lose the ability to ‘challenge’ ourselves with music (or anything taste-related for that matter) if the devices we interact with are only serving up what we want on some indirect, unconscious level? This is definitely a cool technology, but the possibility of becoming mindless by allowing our brain to connect directly to the world seems a bit too imminent. But ya, cool!

• Mico:
• Neurowear:

Coma ready In Technicolor, their first full-length on Kompakt, and a pending remedy to people who are actually comatose

It’s interesting to ponder the effects that geographical location ultimately has on a person’s musical state of being. Speaking personally, I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, which means that a faint yet permanent go-go rhythm now soundtracks everything that I do. It’s most obvious when I’m practicing my strut in an open field somewhere, and most annoying when I’m fornicating. Have you tried thrusting to a go-go beat? It’s not sexy at all.

On the cooler side of things, Cologne-based electronic duo Coma (Georg Conrad & Marius Bubat) had the luxury of going through their formative years just as the now well-established label Kompakt was gaining a reputation. Rather than sit back and bask in the comfort of the label’s distinct, generally minimal techno sound, the two embraced their creative, newly sequencer-based aspirations and took to the stage.

Word then spread, contracts were signed, and EPs were released. On April 15, Coma will release their debut full length In Technicolor, to much enthusiasm from their label overseers. As a press release notes, “The duo have a fresh, new energy that captures the essence of the label’s signature sound but makes you feel like your hearing it for the first time all over again.” I find myself in full agreement with this statement after revisiting their contributions to the most recent Total editions, and after listening to the single “Hoooooray,” listenable for you, below.

In Technicolor tracklist:

01. Hoooooray
02. Maybach
03. Cycle
04. Les Dilettantes
05. Missing Piece
06. #
07. Out Of Control
08. My Orbit
09. The Great Escape
10. maximal MINIMAL
11. Scales
12. T.E.D.

• Coma:
• Kompakt:

Atoms for Peace announce US tour in support of their other bands being crazy-famous already

Dude, have you heard the WORD?! It’s like Beatle-mania all over again or some shit! The rumor mill has been churning all morning about how Atoms for Peace — a capital B Band in an age of internet nobodies who needs NO FURTHER INTRODUCTION — are totally adding a giant fall run of US and Japanese tourdates to their already ca-razy schedule of (sophisticated-sounding!) “European tourdates”! And it’s all because, despite the tremendous odds stacked up against them by the music industry MAN, the response to their debut album has just been so over-the-top positive and insanely effusive and record-breakingly sensational and…

Oh wait, no, nevermind. Turns out it’s just because Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Flea, Joey Waronker, and Mauro Refosco are already famous dudes. (Well, okay. Everyone except for Mauro.) So, I guess… in that case, just please do as you’re told and on March 23 proceed to calmly purchase tickets at the following giant-ass buildings on the following date(s) appropriate to your geographic location:

07.06.13 - Paris, France - Zenith
07.09.13 - Antwerp, Belgium - Lotto Arena
07.10.13 - Munich, Germany - Zenith
07.12.13 - Trenčín, Slovakia - Pohoda Festival
07.13.13 - Novi Sad, Serbia - Exit Festival
07.16.13 - Rome, Italy - Rock in Roma @ Ippodromo delle Capannelle
07.17.13 - Milan, Italy - City Sound Festival @ Ippodromo del Galoppo
07.21.13 - Ferropolis, Germany - Melt Festival
07.24.13 - London, UK - Roundhouse
07.25.13 - London, UK - Roundhouse
07.26.13 - London, UK - Roundhouse
09.24.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Liacouras Center
09.27.13 - New York City, NY - Barclays Center
09.30.13 - Fairfax, VA - Patriot Center
10.02.13 - Chicago, IL - UIC Pavilion
10.16.13 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
10.17.13 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
11.18.13 - Osaka, Japan - Zepp Namba
11.19.13 - Osaka, Japan - Zepp Namba
11.21.13 - Tokyo, Japan - Shinkiba Studio Coast
11.22.13 - Tokyo, Japan - Shinkiba Studio Coast
11.23.13 - Tokyo, Japan - Shinkiba Studio Coas

• Atoms for Peace:
• XL: