Madalyn Merkey maps out topography between your ears on sophomore LP Valley Girl

Madalyn Merkey maps out topography between your ears on sophomore LP Valley Girl

Madalyn Merkey, the Oakland-based computer synthesis/vocal processing magician who had us crying “EUREKA!” upon hearing her sinuous 2012 vinyl debut Scent, is back with a second full-length on Matt Mondanile’s New Images imprint. Valley Girl expands on the raw sounds and sonic shapes Merkey has been generating on the fly during her live shows over the last few years, crafting (with the lightest touch) a distinct set of deep waveforms and transient spatial markers “inspired by the agriculture and landscapes” of the open city around her, quite different than Scent’s playful, voice-led melodies. Listen to the desolate opening track off Valley Girl below:

Merkey’s music is fascinating for all sorts of reasons, but the main thing that has struck me live (and now on this record) is the skewed relationship between what’s being created and how it’s being perceived, a strange duality where Merkey plays the role of both artist and audience, hands-off and alien in the initial, computer-generated composition, but subtly hands-on in the subsequent manipulations, her own listening process paralleling the actual audience’s. Because of this, we become attuned to the overall structure and start “listening” to the unknowable human force deciding what adjustments should be made within it — ESP from MSP, EVP from DVP.

There doesn’t seem to be a hard release date for the album, but preorders are being taken NOW, so I’d suggest grabbing one A$AP.

Valley Girl tracklisting:

01. Archipelago
02. Meridian
03. Aggregate
04. Arpent
05. Pluto

• Madalyn Merkey:
• New Images Ltd.:

Mineral are reuniting for their first shows in 17 years, because 17 is the most emo number

Ho hum. Man, let me tell you: I am one conflicted balding 30-year-old male right now. Following similar-ish news regarding several other 90s emo bands whose pirated, 128kbps Napster mp3s happily maxed-out the 40MB hard drive on my parents’ Packard Bell computer in high school, I now get the news via Pitchfork that f-ing Mineral (probably the SAD-BASTARDEST guitar-arpeggiating emo band of the bunch) are officially getting back together for their own small series of reunion shows this fall (duh, because fall is the emo season).

The reunion is apparently to commemorate the “20th anniversary of the band’s formation,” during whose tenure the foursome of Chris Simpson, Jeremy Gomez, Gabriel Wiley, and Scott McCarver cranked out 1995’s mega-sad The Power of Failing and 1998’s mega-sadder EndSerenading. “Reconnecting with each other and this material for the first time in 17 years has been a real joy and pleasure,” says Simpson in an adorably modest statement. “The shows will be the icing on the cake. We are grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to getting to play for all the people who have loved us all along as well as the many who have discovered us posthumously along the way.”

Aww. But so… why the conflict, then, you ask? Well, because I wanna be amped about this and use exclamation points and all that shit, but… I’m pretty sure I can’t. I mean, excitement isn’t very emo. And something tells me that even those exclamation points that we all used to draw with x’s underneath them instead of dots isn’t gonna cut it here. So… blah. I don’t blame you if you’re also not sure how excited you’re supposed to be. This is a tough one. I think I’m gonna go look out a rainy window for a while and think about this one. Excuse me.

Mineral dates:

09.05.14 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
09.06.14 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
09.09.14 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
09.10.14 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
09.11.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
09.12.14 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
11.02.14 - Gainesville, FL - The Fest 13

• Mineral:

New J Dilla 12-inch Give Em What They Want to see release, presumably to curb public hysteria

If there’s anything I know about this world, it’s that the desires of the people run deep. Hence you must give the people what they want. Sometimes what they people want is a record titled Give Em What They Want. At the end of this logical chain is Give Em What They Want, a new 12-inch by the late, great J Dilla, out May 6 through Pay Jay Productions.

Derived from Dilla’s long-lost-though-completed album The Diary, the record contains three vocal tracks with instrumentals. The album as a whole featured Dilla rapping over production from a number of his favorite producers, in addition to collaborating with said producers. Give Em What They Want finds Dilla’s vocals over production from himself, as well as Supa Dave West:

Preorders are available at Rappcats now, and all copies of the records will be printed on clear vinyl. Now, friend, you have what you want.

• J Dilla:

Joel RL Phelps (Silkworm, The Downer Trio) and G. Stuart Dahlquist (Burning Witch, Asva) end years of will they/won’t they speculation with new collaboration as Thine

Those who know me well know I’m a matchmaker/puppet master at heart. Well, one of my longest-running matchmaking projects has been between Joel RL Phelps (a member of Silkworm through the original release of their recently reissued Libertine and currently of The Downer Trio) and G. Stuart Dahlquist (of Burning Witch, sunn O))), and currently Asva). Now, after nearly 25 years of friendship and will they/won’t they waffling surpassed only by the likes of Mulder/Scully, Pam/Jim, and Oprah/Gayle, it looks like Phelps and Dahlquist are just about ready to settle down with each other in a new musical collaboration called Thine, which was recently signed to Northern Spy Records. They’re planning a debut LP entitled Claw for release this August.

Sure sure, I’ve met neither Phelps nor Dahlquist, but I can assure you I’ve been pulling the strings all along. You see, according to the press release, Phelps finally made his move on Dahlquist after hearing Asva’s 2012 collaboration with Philippe Petit, Empires Should Burn…. Well, reader, who do you think put that collaboration together in the first place? It was me. I am the puppet master. And who do you think helped Al Gore invent the internet so Phelps and Dahlquist could exchange recordings over an 18-month period while putting Claw together in their respective home cities of Vancouver and Seattle? Bingo, me again, leaning over the stage, string in hand, breathing heavily through my nose the whole time. Northern Spy says “the results are a profound representation of their individual yet somehow synchronous growth and maturity as artists.” I’ll be honest, it’s always nice to hear praise like that for my puppet mastering. It feels good. You can hear their version of “One World” on last year’s Songs: Molina compilation, or check out the video below for the track “Been to the Water.”

• Thine:
• Northern Spy:

A celebration of 10 bleepin’ amazing years: Bleep anniversary compilation features exclusive tracks from Oneohtrix Point Never, Gas, Autechre, and more

As we get older, the inclination to reminisce supposedly increases. In my particular case, what stands out isn’t the oft-cited trek through 18 feet of snow in order to get to school; instead, “back in my day,” I remember when the official online store for Warp Records actually directed to the official online store for Warp Records. The Warp-owned, which had existed as a download-only store since 2004, absorbed the Warpmart of my teenage years in 2008, and what resulted was a compound outlet for online purchases of both Warp releases and electronic music generally, in digital and non-digital formats. So I’m not even upset! I can sacrifice nostalgia in the name of more-efficient online retail. Who wouldn’t?! Who… wouldn’t?

Likewise, and of further benefit/interest to the music-loving consumer, May 5 will mark the release of Bleep:10, a 10th anniversary compilation featuring new and exclusive tracks from Oneohtrix Point Never, Autechre, Fuck Buttons, Shackleton, Gas, and [everyone on the tracklisting]. Head over here to listen to some previews, and relax… let the title of the Modeselektor track inspire the reaction that it was possibly destined to: laughing or cringing. The actual song’s indisputably good though:

Additionally, we’re currently in the midst of a series of Bleep-sponsored 10th anniversary showcases. Check out the events that remain here, and for those who don’t live in London or Los Angeles, pay special attention to the final one. Lone, Nathan Fake & Wesley Matsell, and Untold will be broadcasting their four-hour NTS radio usurpation on May 5. Any guess as to who’ll be doing the pillaging?

Bleep:10 tracklisting:

01. Gas – Die Wand
02. Lone – Lizard King
03. Machinedrum – aeolia
04. Oneohtrix Point Never – Need
05. Modeselektor – I’m not into Twerk, I’m into KrafTwerk
06. Untold – That Horn Track
07. Fuck Buttons – Brainfreeze (Alt mix)
08. Dabrye – Click Clack
09. Autechre – SYptixed
10. Shackleton – Ganda Rising
11. Nosaj Thing – Particles Aligned
12. µ-Ziq – Hedges
13. Byetone – Morning
14. Nathan Fake – Vanish North

• Bleep:

Sub Pop Festival lands in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile to bring rockin’ tunes and roundtable Game of Thrones discussions to the Southern Hemisphere

Festivals! Overpriced beers, impossible-to-refill water bottles, and lots and lots of dudes in tank tops! Summer festivals are like heaven, if heaven is a horrible place dreamed up by an opium-addicted Dick Cheney who couldn’t get enough neon, black light body paint. But now we’ve got the South American Sub Pop Festival, which is guaranteed to be 100% cooler, and hopefully with 100% less white people wearing fake Native American headdresses from Party City. Taking place from May 10-16, the Sub Pop fest begins life in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before traveling on to Santiago, Chile, and then ending up in the Brazilian cities of Goiania and Sao Paolo.

Attendees are guaranteed a little bit of Mudhoney, a sprinkling of METZ and a dash of Obits, along with several documentary screenings. On May 14, for example, fans can catch a screening of I’m Now: The Story of Mudhoney, followed by a roundtable with Mudhoney’s Mark Arm and Steve Turner, METZ’s Chris Slorach, and Sub Pop GM Chris Jacobs, all of whom will talk about their musical experiences, the label, and the implications of who killed Prince Joffrey on Game of Thrones. See more details about each festival stop here.

• Sub Pop: