RIP: DJ Mehdi

RIP: DJ Mehdi

From FACT:

News is circulating on Twitter that DJ Mehdi (pictured above) has passed away.

The French DJ/producer, real name Mehdi Favéris-Essadi, was a core member of Paris’s Ed Banger crew, and most recently had been collaborating with Riton on ghetto-house project Carte Blanche. FACT hasn’t seen any official statement on this tragic death, nor heard anything of how it happened, but a tweet from Mehdi’s old friend, French hip-hop DJ Cut Killer, suggests that the news is, regrettably, true:

“Dj Mehdi !!! il n’y a pas de mots pour vous dire la peine que je ressens …. un ami s en vas ….repose en paix fréro”

• DJ Mehdi:

Peaking Lights sign to Mexican Summer/Weird World, new album expected in Spring 2012

Mexican Summer and Domino’s Weird World label have signed on to release the follow-up to 936 (TMT Review), the fantastic Peaking Lights album released earlier this year on Not Not Fun. The new album isn’t recorded yet, but the husband-wife duo will head to Greenpoint, Brooklyn (where else?) in November to self-produce the album at Mexican Summer’s studio. I could paraphrase right now, but I think Aaron Coyes sums up the new songs best:

The songs that we’ve been working on have been very groovy and psyched out, foraging deeper into new rhythm techniques and territories, smoother bass lines w/ a heavy dub influence looking outward to private press boogie records, African & Latin rhythms and tranced vibrations of the most killer all nite party you’ve never been to: less cocaine, more weed, a sustained orgasm, maintaining 100% creative control, late hot summer nights, come down chill room and low lit zone, lazer light show, smoke machines, being naked and watching the sun rise. This has been inspired by a long wild ride of a year with the birth of our son Mikko Lorenzo Dunis Coyes being at the helm of inspiration. We’re working on moving in new directions, there’s a lot of things we’ll never give up in our passion for making killer chunes, but the birth of our son has been an eye opening event to infinite possibilities…

As we wait for the new album — expected in Spring 2012 — Weird World will release 936 outside North America on November 21, preceded by a 12-inch remix album. And hey, they’ve also got some dates coming up:

12.03.11 - Amsterdam, NL - BitterZoet
12.06.11 - London, UK - Plastic People
12.09.11 - London. UK - Rough Trade East (in-store)
12.10.11 - Manchester, UK - Deaf Institute

And if that’s not giving you enough of a fix, check out Mixxed-Up, an 85-minute mix Peaking Lights has cooked up in celebration:

• Peaking Lights:
• Mexican Summer:
• Weird World:

Kate Bush announces 50 Words for Snow — an album, not a third-grade homework assignment

Kate Bush isn’t one to re-record an entire album’s worth of her past tracks and go back into hiding. Director’s Cut, the archival release from earlier this year, gave Bush a taste of what she has been depriving her fans of. Announcing 50 Words for Snow marks her first true studio effort since 2005’s Aerial. Can you think of what 50 words for snow Ms. Bush might be harping on across seven tracks that clock in at just over an hour? Flurry, blizzard, frigid, powder, cocaine — those are just a few of our favorites. 50 Words for Snow will be released on November 21 through Bush’s own label Fish People, just as the first cold front sneaks in and surprises you with the shock of unforgiving gray skies.

50 Words for Snow tracklisting:

01. Snowflake
02. Lake Tahoe
03. Misty
04. Wildman
05. Snowed in at Wheeler Street
06. 50 Words for Snow
07. Among Angels

• Kate Bush/Fish People:

Deerhoof release free live album 99% Upset Feeling, hope you’re hanging in there

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the day after 9/11, Deerhoof have valiantly stepped forward with an offering for the masses: a new live release titled 99% Upset Feeling, available as a free download from their website.

Featuring favorites from a wide swathe of their impressive back catalog as well as a cover of Canned Heat’s “Goin’ Up the Country,” the album should make you want to run out and buy tickets to see them live right away. Thankfully, Deerhoof are kind enough to have packed their fall schedule with lots of opportunities to do just that. Highlights include a stop at the Polyvinyl 15-Year Anniversary in Champaign, IL and a spot on the bill for ATP’s I’ll be Your Mirror show curated by Portishead and featuring a special performance by Jeff Magnum.

Deerhoof really do care about you and your well-being in these tough times. Do yourself a favor and never forget how much fun Deerhoof is live.

99% Upset Feeling tracklisting:

01. Offend Maggie
02. The Perfect Me
03. Pinhead
04. Flower
05. The Tears and Music of Love
06. Behold a Marvel in the Darkness
07. You Can’t Sit Down
08. The Merry Barracks
09. Desaparecere
10. Goin’ Up the Country
11. Fresh Born


09.15.11 - San Francisco, CA - Atrium (SFMOMA)
09.20.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
09.21.11 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
09.22.11 - Charlottesville, VA - The Jefferson
09.23.11 - Cincinnati, OH - MidPoint Music Festival
09.24.11 - Champaign, IL - Polyvinyl’s 15-Year Anniversary at Highdive
09.25.11 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
09.26.11 - Saint Louis, MO - Luminary Center for the Arts
09.29.11 - Cambridge, MA - Middle Ease Downstairs
10.01.11 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10.02.11 - Asbury Park, NJ - Convention Hall (All Tomorrow’s Party)

&Bull; Deerhoof:
&Bull; Polyvinyl:

She & Him ready seasonal precipitation-themed collaboration with mega producer Kris Kringle

If all you want for Christmas this year is your two front teeth, or you could have sworn you saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, step aside with that basic crap, because She & Him are about to out-“cute” everyone by releasing a Christmas album so wholesome it would make Norman Rockwell blush. The group, made up of M. Ward & Zooey Deschanel, have announced the release of A Very She & Him Christmas on October 25 through Merge (just in time for… Halloween). According to a press statement, the retro-inspired duo have made “an intimate holiday recording of Christmas classics that helps bring new emotions out of old songs.” Deschanel has previously been spotted in the Yuletide spirit appearing alongside Will Ferrell in 2003’s Elf, and even recorded a version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Leon Redbone for the movie’s soundtrack. The steamy X-mas duet is also included on She & Him’s upcoming album, though now that it’s M. Ward beckoning us to stay indoors we might be a bit more open to the idea.

A Very She & Him Christmas tracklisting:

01. The Christmas Waltz
02. Christmas Day
03. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
04. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
05. Christmas Wish
06. Sleigh Ride
07. Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree
08. Silver Bells
09. Baby, It’s Cold Outside
10. Blue Christmas
11. Little Saint Nick
12. The Christmas Song

• She & Him:
• Merge:

Hive Mind to release Elemental Disgrace on Spectrum Spools, marketed toward depressives

Given the title of Hive Mind’s latest LP, along with its associated cover art, you might be able to discern just where Greh Holger plans to take his synthesizer-based drone/noise project — I’ll give you a hint: think of the most blissful, uplifting, and awe-inspiring music you’ve ever heard. Think of church music. Think of major scales. All signs point to Elemental Disgrace, set for release on October 25, being the complete opposite of all these things.

Spectrum Spools, a division of Editions Mego run by Emeralds’ John Elliott, has this to say on the subject: “No blisscapes to be found here. No soaring latched arpeggios, no cosmic vistas. Not a single melody. This is two sides of ancestral ruin in its clearest presentation. The brutality of the Earth and the harsh reality of all that it holds. Unknowable sounds — that of the dawn of Earth, or perhaps its demise. A swamp of chemicals and creatures left behind long after man has wiped himself away for good.” Well, Jesus. With a description like that, who needs Sylvia Plath poems?

Hyperbolic characterizations aside, Hive Mind occupies a place on the musical landscape for which I personally have a growing appreciation. For me, some of the most memorable albums of the last few years have ironically been ones for which there’s very little going on at the surface level. They’re devotions to subtlety in a world filled with obnoxiousness. They’re the fallen leaves of a maple tree being trampled by unconcerned passers-by. “My seventy trees/ Holding their gold-ruddy balls/ In a thick gray death-soup,/ Their million/ Gold leaves metal and breathless.” Oh, Sylvia!

• Greh Holger:
• Spectrum Spools: