NGUZUNGUZU weaponize bass this summer with Warm Pulse EP on Hippos in Tanks

NGUZUNGUZU weaponize bass this summer with Warm Pulse EP on Hippos in Tanks

The name can’t be ignored — partially because it’s in all caps, and partially because its pronunciation remains uncertain… until now! On word from someone in the know, it’s pronounced en-goo-zoo-en-goo-zoo, which is a relief, because I’d hate to have to express my eagerness to see “gazungas” while among friends. That’s one distraction done away with. Here’s another: the cover for their upcoming EP Warm Pulse, due out July 3 on the internet and August 14 on CD/vinyl, via Hippos in Tanks. If I had to characterize the cover with a particular abbreviation, it would be “TMNT,” as in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The green represents the turtles themselves, and the chains/concrete slabs represent their gritty upbringing. The (what appears to be) lightning signifies their mutant status. Please tell me there’s a career in album cover interpretation.

The music of Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda, the two Angelenos who make up NGUZUNGZU, is a bit less easy to figure out. A press release describes Warm Pulse as a “a deadly combination of grace, warmth and paranoia.” Their previous work strikes me as electronic music that simultaneously shrugs away the genre, in favor of overtly tribal rhythms and punching bass. And the bass is indeed quite punchy and stabby; in addition to acquiring Warm Pulse, you may want to consider updating your first-aid kit as well, especially if you’re in Europe and plan on catching them live at one of the venues listed below.


05.24.12 - Glasgow, UK - The Arches
05.25.12 - Bristol, UK - DOJO Lounge
05.26.12 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Ekko
05.27.12 - Paris, France - Villette Sonique
06.01.12 - Dudingen, Switzerland - Bad Bonn Festival
06.02.12 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Distortion
06.06.12 - Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser Slussen
06.07.12 - Malmo, Sweden - Debaser
06.08.12 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain
06.09.12 - Bassano Del Grappa, Italy - Shindy Club
06.15.12 - Barcelona, Spain - Sonar Festival

• Hippos in Tanks:

RIAA seeks $75 trillion in LimeWire copyright case, as if their plot for world domination was ever in question

Ohhhh, I get it. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), not known for their sense of humor, are simply reenacting that now culturally passé scene from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery — the one where the tragically inept antagonist Dr. Evil holds the world hostage in pursuit of a laughably ridiculous sum of money. But like the movie itself, the RIAA’s actions are all for the sake of comedic value, right? … Right?

It’s laughable to the rest of us, for sure, but unfortunately the RIAA are completely serious when they say that they want the essentially defunct peer-to-peer software company LimeWire to dole out up to $75 trillion in damages after the latter lost a copyright infringement claim. Read that number again: $75 trillion. To put it in perspective, that’s more than the GDP of every country in the world combined, which is about $63 trillion. That’s more money than what Microsoft CEO Bill Gates would have if we cloned him one-thousand times and multiplied his net worth an equivalent amount. That’s more money than would fit under your obese mother’s custom-made mattress. Okay, that was rude.

How did the RIAA come up with such a preposterous number? Presently, about 11,000 songs have been identified as legally “infringed” material, with each song likely having been downloaded thousands of times. Instead of being compensated a single time for each individual song, the RIAA believes that they’re entitled to damages for each individual download. Multiply the maximum statutory damage award of $150,000 times the number of downloads, and you probably reach that unfathomable trillion dollar number. Multiply $150,000 times each individual song, and you still have the potential for a billion dollar award, but apparently that isn’t vampire-like enough.

For her part, Judge Kimba Wood, who presided over LimeWire’s shut down last October, and found them liable for copyright infringement back in May 2010, has labelled the $75 trillion amount an “absurd result,” in a 14-page ruling on the case. Ultimately, she states, “Plaintiffs are entitled to a single statutory damage award from Defendants per work infringed, regardless of how many individual users directly infringed that particular work.” Now, now. Dry your eyes.

• LimeWire:

Release the Bats label ends after 10 years, and it is likely your fault

I fucking warned you shitheads. But no, you little fuckers just kept on, with your RapidShares and your Spotifys, not giving one fetid shit whether or not you were sustaining the businesses that put that shit out. Oh, sure, you self-righteous pussies love bragging about the sustainable foods you eat or how you bike to your government job, but it’s all while you play ripped MP-whatevers on your iSomethings. Well, guess what? Another label, an actual good one, Release the Bats, is calling it quits after 10 years of awesome records. Why? Among the many reasons given, founder Matthias Andersson lists that expenses, declining orders, and just way too many other labels out there (but not for long!) all contributed to his frustration.

But ultimately, Andersson claims he never planned to do it forever. In his final comment on the matter, he explains, “The reasons for the folding are many, but I’ve lost my inspiration completely the last year or so. The label has been a very big part of my life for the last 10 years, and at this point there are so many other things I’d rather do in life.”

RTB had released many great albums from many great artists, such as Dolphins into the Future, Ducktails, Glass Candy, Black Eyes, Woods, Heavy Winged, and many more. The label will release two final releases — a 7-inch by Timeless Reality and a compilation highlighting the Swedish electronic underground — before closing its online store in December.

• Release the Bats:

Constellation readies second Musique Fragile box set: Pacha, Kanada 70, and Tony “Dr. Drone Ph.D” Conrad

Gather ‘round the telescope ever’buddy, we got new stars to observe! It’s been two years since we first discovered the Musique Fragile constellation — a three-star cluster of full-length albums by Khôra, Nick Kuepfer, and Les Momies De Palerme — and now another linked cluster has become visible in the night sky. Kanada 70, Pacha, and dual strobe star Hangedup/Tony Conrad are set to become official additions to the growing constellation on June 26, and to commemorate the event Constellation is releasing a 3LP set documenting each star’s most beautiful “sounds of burning.” Since the first Musique Fragile volume, Constellation has released (incredibly) Evangelista’s In Animal Tongue, Matana Roberts’ COIN COIN, Tindersticks’ The Something Rain, and Colin Stetson’s towering New History Warfare Vol.2: Judges, so one would be wise to keep an ear open to anything new coming from our extreme neighbors to the north. Here’s the rundown.

— Kanada 70 a.k.a. Craig Dunsmuir has been recording loop-based music in Toronto since 2006, releasing dozens of albums in limited CD-R editions over the years influenced by everything from “abstract techno, industrial and noise music to prog-rock, African funk, no wave and metal.” Vamp Ire will be his very first vinyl release, and based on the microphone I installed in his toilet at home, he’s very excited and nervous to be reaching a wider audience this summer. Listen to two tracks b4 u buy at the Chocolate Grinder.

— Pacha is the solo moniker of superpercussionist Pierre-Guy Blanchard, who has performed with countless ensembles around the world since the early 00s, previously brushing up against Constellation’s leg in 2006 as a special guest on Black Ox Orkestar’s Nisht Azoy album. Affaires Étrangères sees Blanchard “feel da rhythm” for 40 minutes over a series of hypnotic Middle-Eastern processionals. Wear shorts while listening.

— Hangedup is the duo of Eric Craven and Gen Heistek, who put out three AMP’d up instrumental punk albums on Constellation in the early 2000s. Tony Conrad is Dr. Drone Ph.D. Transit of Venus sees Conrad teach Hangedup how to keep their third eye pried open as far as it’ll go, and the result recalls some of the same taffy-pull jamming that went on between the good doctor and Faust in 1972.

Each album is packaged in its own screenprinted jacket and comes on 180 gram vinyl and looks PRETTY!! Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, so act now; here’s a 26-minute mix of album tracks to help lubricate this deal:

Kanada 70 Vamp Ire tracklist:

01. Ignore Dub I
02. Mou
03. Krankqui
04. Molle
05. Delivery
06. Gnaer
07. Errora High II
08. Chimura
09. For T.O. (Perish)
10. Annoyo
11. Redrag
12. Thumas
13. Redsidled
14. Scorpi
15. Doubles

Pacha Affaires Étrangères tracklist:

01. L’Aeroport de Charlo
02. Macedonian Mind
03. Modern Malaise
04. La Gare De Podgorica
05. Tunel
06. Ankara
07. Starcevo
08. Le Soviet

Hangedup & Tony Conrad Transit of Venus tracklist:

01. Flying Fast n Furious
02. Transit of Venus
03. Principles
04. Bright Arc of Light
05. Gentil the Unlucky Astronomer
06. Panorama from Maxwell Montes

• Constellation:

Library of Congress rips 25 new entries to the National Recording Registry… but at what BIT-RATE?!?

Now that Facebook is a publicly traded company and wealth and prosperity have officially returned to every corner of the U.S.A., the government can get back to more important things, like putting together a killer mix tape for tomorrow’s Thirsty Thursday flippy cup party in the Library of Congress basement. Or, to put it a completely different way, the Library of Congress announced the addition of 25 new “cultural, artistic and/or historical treasures” to its National Recording Registry of, y’know, “cultural, artistic and/or historical treasures.” See, under the terms of something called the “National Recording Preservation Act of 2000,” the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) is tasked with selecting 25 recordings each year that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and are at least 10 years old (you’ll get ‘em next year, The Postal Service!). In addition to shaming the fuck out of our lame TMT mix tapes about whatever boyfriend you can’t get over, this year’s party-starting list of entries brings the total number of recordings to 350. And yes, naturally, any piece of music not included among these 350 is a complete piece of Communist shit.

“America’s sound heritage is an important part of the nation’s history and culture and this year’s selections reflect the diversity and creativity of the American experience,” says great-name-having librarian James H. Billington. “These songs, words and natural sounds must be preserved for future generations.” And, pray tell, just what songs, words, burps, and farts is he talking about? Well, they range from Thomas Edison’s 1888 recording of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and some significant 1930s interviews compiled under the title “Voices from the Days of Slavery” to more modern Ameri-jams like Booker T. & the MG’s “Green Onions,” Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” Prince’s “Purple Rain,” and Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” Check out the entire list (ordered chronologically) below, read more about the individual entries here, and nominate your old high school punk band for next year here. (Mine was called Your Mother For $ale. Fingers crossed!)

2012 National Recording Registry (in chronological order)

01. Edison Talking Doll cylinder (1888)
02. “Come Down Ma Evenin’ Star,” Lillian Russell (1912)
03. “Ten Cents a Dance,” Ruth Etting (1930)
04. “Voices from the Days of Slavery,” Various speakers (1932-1941 interviews; 2002 compilation)
05. “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” Patsy Montana (1935)
06. “Fascinating Rhythm,” Sol Hoopii and his Novelty Five (1938)
07. “Artistry in Rhythm,” Stan Kenton & and his Orchestra (1943)
08. Debut performance with the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein (Nov. 14, 1943)
09. International Sweethearts of Rhythm: Hottest Women’s Band of the 1940s (1944-1946)
10. “The Indians for Indians Hour” (March 25, 1947)
11. “Hula Medley,” Gabby Pahinui (1947)
12. “I Can Hear It Now,” Fred W. Friendly and Edward R. Murrow (1948)
13. “Let’s Go Out to the Programs,” The Dixie Hummingbirds (1953)
14. “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1954, 1958)
15. “Bo Diddley” and “I’m a Man,” Bo Diddley (1955)
16. “Green Onions,” Booker T. & the M.G.’s (1962)
17. “Forever Changes,” Love (1967)
18. “The Continental Harmony: Music of William Billings,” Gregg Smith Singers (1969)
19. “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Vince Guaraldi Trio (1970)
20. “Coat of Many Colors,” Dolly Parton (1971)
21. “Mothership Connection,” Parliament (1975)
22. Barton Hall concert by the Grateful Dead (May 8, 1977)
23. “I Feel Love,” Donna Summer (1977)
24. “Rapper’s Delight,” Sugarhill Gang (1979)
25. “Purple Rain,” Prince and the Revolution (1984)

• Library of Congress:

Ain’t no party like a dabke party: Mark Gergis’ Sham Palace releases Dabke: Sounds of the Syrian Houran comp

Dance music today. KIDS today. It’s all Skrillex [wub wub wub]. Or it’s that awful song about the guy who “w-w-w-w-work[s] OUT” that’s supposed to sound “tongue-in-cheek” but is just an endless blitz of douchebombs. People, we all know this schlock isn’t the future of dance music. So, what is? Could it be… new wave electronic dabke?

What’s a new wave electronic dabke, you ask? Well, envision Omar Souleyman locked in a recording studio with Duran Duran. Nah, scratch that. Just imagine Omar Souleyman-style jams, as he’s the maestro with whom most Westerners are probably familiar. And if that’s not working for you, imagine this: a synth-infused take on the hypnotic, special-occasion party music (think weddings, etc.) traditional to the Levantine Middle East. Dabke is characterized by the use of the mejwiz (a double-reed bamboo flute), hand percussion, and vocal chants, and it’s the jam du jour of for Syrians, Bedouins, Palestinians, Jordanians, and Druze in the Houran region in the south of Syria and the northwest of Jordan. And now the good people at Sham Palace have compiled their favorite dabke tracks culled from cassettes and discs recorded during the 90s-00s and sold throughout the Houran region, putting them all onto a nice, shiny new LP called Dabke: Sounds of the Syrian Houran that’s sure to rock your socks off and tie up your dancin’ shoes.

Dabke is the second release (after a Souleyman 2xLP) for Sham Palace, the label run by Mark Gergis, the man behind several Middle Eastern/Southeast Asian collections for the always amazing Sublime Frequencies label. Fun fact: Gergis is the man who introduced the much-ballyhooed Omar Souleyman to the West after seeing him perform in Syria in 1997. He arranged/produced Souleyman’s collabos with Icelandic pixie genius Björk last year. Dabke: Sounds of the Syrian Houran hits stores on June 19 and is limited to a pressing of 1,000 copies.

Dabke tracklisting:

A1. Ahmad Al Kosem, “Love Is Not a Joke”
A2. Mohamed Al Ali, “Mili Alay (Sway to Me)”
A3. Abu Sultan, “Your Love Made My Head Hurt”
B1. Ahmad Al Kosem, “Ma Dal Anouh (I Will Grieve Until I See Her Again)”
B2. Abu Wafsi, “Deg Deg Dagdeglo”
B3. Obeid Al Jum’aa, ” Instrumental Mejwiz”
B4. Faraj Kadah/Ashraf Abu Leil, “Afrah Houran (Houran Weddings)”

• Sham Palace: