The Bug, trying to not be known as “the guy who broke dubstep” anymore, recruits a slew of cool people to collaborate on his new album Angels & Devils

The Bug, trying to not be known as "the guy who broke dubstep" anymore, recruits a slew of cool people to collaborate on his new album Angels & Devils

I still remember that fateful 2011 day when the biggest douchebag in my class came up to me and said he had discovered this new, amazing, electronic music genre: dubstep. Keep in mind we’re talking about a major asshole, the kind of guy who wears a white shirt and black shoes to a club and takes Steve Aoki and Armin van Buuren seriously. It should’ve come as no surprise; arguably, dubstep was dead and done the minute trend-seeking magazines started raving over Kode9, Burial, and The Bug around 2007/08. I was dumbstruck, nonetheless. I can only imagine how badly traumatized Kevin Martin — the man behind The Bug — must have been once people started associating the bro-heavy EDM boom with the music he made over half a decade ago.

It’s no wonder, then, that his first album since 2008’s celebrated London Zoo took so long. After washing off the brostep aftertaste with a deliberately eccentric string of 12-inch and 7-inch singles, going from 2010’s Infected to last year’s Filthy EP, he’s finally announced his next LP: Angels & Devils, coming out August 25 on Ninja Tune. The album finds Martin pushing his sound further away from classic dubstep, with the producer going as far as calling the LP “a year-zero reset” for The Bug. Judging from the two tracks Martin has released so far, his sound indeed departs from The Bug’s early grime roots, venturing into industrial doom — a style not lightly indebted to the dubby dancehall songs Martin put out with the Hyperdub label — and some sort of psychedelic trance music. It all fits the producer’s description of the album as a contraposition of light and darkness, harsh noise and loopy melody.

For what it’s worth, Angels & Devils’ biggest selling point, as far as the press is concerned, seems to be the impressive roster of collaborators Martin has recruited: Liz Harris (Grouper), copeland, Death Grips, Justin Broadrick (Godflesh/Jesu), and Gonjasufi, along with recurrent conspirators Flowdan and Warrior Queen. Martin has previously worked with several of them, for instance on the “Rise Up” 7-inch from 2012 with Inga Copeland. Not to mention how extensively he has influenced the work of Hype Williams or even Death Grips.

Listen to The Bug’s collaborations with Death Grips and Gonjasufi below:

Angels & Devils tracklisting:

01. Void (feat. Liz Harris)
02. Fall (feat. copeland)
03. Ascension
04. Mi Lost (feat. Miss Red)
05. Pandi
06. Save Me (feat. Gonjasufi)
07. The One (feat. Flowdan)
08. Function (feat. Manga)
09. Fuck a Bitch (feat. Death Grips)
10. Fat Mac (feat. Flowdan)
11. Fuck You (feat. Warrior Queen)
12. Dirty (feat. Flowdan)

• The Bug:
• Ninja Tune:

MoMA to host Björk retrospective in 2015, but is an art museum really the place to recognize such an eccentric character?

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here: Björk is basically synonymous with Icelandic pop culture (despite the respectable popularity of Sigur Rós), and it’s hard to imagine any factor other than time changing that notion. Sadly, I have yet to meet the acquaintance of anyone actually Icelandic, but once I do, I know that any resulting conversation will be extraneous to an inevitable question on my part: “So, do you know Bjork?” I’ll let out with an internal sigh of relief, as the blood in my veins resumes its normal flow. After all, it’s not a totally unreasonable question, given Iceland’s concentrated population and relative lack of geographical size.

A review of her CV need not be given, mostly because it’s Björk and you should be exquisitely familiar by now, but also because that job’s just been nabbed by New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). From March 7 through June 7 of next year, they’ll be hosting a complete retrospective, chronicling Björk’s 20+ year career through “sound, film visuals, instruments, objects, costumes, and performance.” The exhibition will follow a narrative, co-written by Björk herself and Icelandic writer Sjón Sigurdsson, that’s both biographical and “imaginatively fictitious” — because “run-of-the-mill” just isn’t in the vocabulary of this accomplished bubble gum machine.

A newly-commissioned music and film installation from director Andrew Thomas Huang and 3D design company Autodesk will close out the retrospective in truly “whooaaaaa” fashion. Maybe we’ll get a visual whiff of her less-popular songs, but until that time, check out the music video below, which Huang directed:

• Björk:
• MoMA:

Islands to tour with TEEN, give you free song to make you feel wanted

Islands’ most recent release, Ski Mask, might have come out last year, but sometimes Nick Thorburn just says, “We are Islands! We are the gift that keeps on giving.” So in this case, that means you can go grab a download (for a limited time only!) of “Aloe Hills Are Blooming,” a song that didn’t make the cut for the album but is a goody nonetheless; you can also stream it at the bottom of this here post.

The freebie track isn’t enough for Thorburn, though. He also told the band sternly that they are going on tour and they’re going to like it, dammit. They kick off with TEEN at the end of August. Check the dates below.


08.29.14 - Cincinnati, OH - Midpoint Indie Summer Series @ Fountain Square
08.30.14 - St. Louis, MO - Firebird *
08.31.14 - Columbia, MO - MOJO *
09.02.14 - Kansas City, MO - The Riot Room *
09.03.14 - Norman, OK - The Opolis *
09.04.14 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada *
09.05.14 - Austin, TX - The Parish *
09.06.14 - Houston, TX - Walter’s *
09.07.14 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon *
09.09.14 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder *
09.10.14 - Gainesville, FL - High Dive *
09.11.14 - Orlando, FL - The Social *
09.12.14 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl *
09.13.14 - Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern *
09.15.14 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
09.16.14 - Charlottesville, VA - The Southern *
09.17.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right *
09.18.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar *
09.19.14 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop *
09.20.14 - Louisville, KY - Zanzabar *


• Islands:

Cloud Becomes Your Hand announce tour with Ryan Power, do their best to promote Prog Peace

Ancient conflicts and long-smoldering grudges still very much define our existence on this rotten earth. But of all the struggles that have torn mankind asunder, perhaps none other is more perfidious than the eternal battle waged between fans of theatrical progressive rock and those who prefer technique to spectacle. Legions of drama geeks with music minors litter the former’s ranks, hammily bellowing for blood, while the latter mostly sit cross-legged on stools trying to out-Fripp their competition into oblivion.

Then there are bands like Cloud Becomes Your Hand, the psychy Brooklyn five-piece that operates on the margins of both entrenched camps. Like the best prog acts, CBYH’s expert musicianship is inextricable from its campy stage show, which includes everything from a tall ghostly figure making out with an electric vibraphone to a climactic dance routine that made our very own Gumshoe gush with praise during this past SXSW. In fact, Mr. Purdum even went so far as to write that “CBYH put on the best show of SXSW, bar none.”

You don’t need to take his word for it, though! See for yourself as CBYH prog their way across America this July with Burlington’s own demented popsmith Ryan Power in tow. If you’re still not convinced, check out this track from the band’s first full-length album Rocks or Cakes. With any luck, CBYH will be the foretold messiah who at lasts bestows Prog Peace upon this world.


06.28.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Shea Stadium #
07.05.14 - Queens, NY - Knockdown Center $
07.06.14 - Philadelphia, PA - A House Named Virtue $%
07.08.14 - Detroit, MI - PJ Lager House $
07.09.14 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle $
07.10.14 - Dayton, OH - Blind Bob’s $
07.11.14 - Baltimore, MD - The Crown $
07.12.14 - Boston, MA - Cambridge Elks Lodge $
07.13.14 - Burlington, VT - ArtsRiot $

# Ono, Obnox, The Dreebs
$ Ryan Power, Giant Claw
% Banned Books, God’s Dogs

• Cloud Becomes Your Hand:
• Ryan Power:
• Northern Spy:

The Dead C provide some more evidence that they are a real touring band by releasing 4xLP live set

Why should I believe The Dead C are real? Doesn’t it make more sense that some hidden body of power has just manufactured them to distract me from the real problems in this world? I mean, every time I pull up Democracy Now or some shit, I’m just like, “whatever world suffering, give me some FREE NOISE”.

Well, the secret forces at work on my weak mind are taking aim once again with a plan more devious than ever. Turns out The Dead C have “appeared” live a few times in the past couple decades (doubtful) and the Grapefruit Record Club has the tapes to prove it. They will be releasing a 4xLP box set consisting of recordings from five different “performances,” all of which occurred outside of the band’s native New Zealand. Something tells me this whole damn announcement is a performance.

Grapefruit is using this illusory set to cap off their quarterly subscription series, ending it after four years of releases from the likes of Richard Youngs, 200 Years, Lambchop, and Roy Montgomery. The Twelfth Spectacle (fitting) is limited to 500 copies, so scurry up and get those pre-orders in. There will also be an even-more-limited “retail version” snuck into a record store near you.

The Twelfth Spectacle tracklist:

Arena (Recorded at La Dynamo Pantin, Paris and Les Ateliers Claus, Brussels, April 2013)
01. Arena Part 1
02. Arena Part 2

Permanent LSD (Recorded at Luminaire, London, December 2006)
01. Permanent LSD Part 1
02. Permanent LSD Part 2

This Century Sucks (Recorded at The Smell, Los Angeles, March 2002)
01. This Century Sucks Part 1
02. This Century Sucks Part 2

Year of the Rat (Recorded at The Swap Meet, New York, October 2008)
01. Year of the Rat Part 1
02. Year of the Rat Part 2

Here’s a track from last year’s TMT-approved Armed Courage:

• Grapefruit Record Club:

Simian Mobile Disco share new LP details, and they’re finally ready for Burning Man

English synth enthusiasts Simian Mobile Disco a.k.a. James Ford and Jas Shaw have announced details of their fourth LP, Whorl, along with a video teaser. Recorded outdoors in the Southern California desert with a minimal setup — just a mixer and one synth and sequencer each — the duo jammed on material for three days, had a vision quest, and found their spirit animals (James is a raccoon, Jas is a squirrel). The metaphysical journey ended with a show at Pappy & Harriet’s in the Old West community of Pioneertown, CA, where 900 fans were privy to a Whorl recording session.

SMD’s stripped-down live setup was born out of practicality, as the duo hopes to finally live their dream of attending Burning Man this August. Initially, the two Englishmen were scared of the Nevada festival’s body-painted hippie types, the harsh sun on their pale flesh, and a lack of electrical outlets for their room-sized modular synthesizers. So they scaled back, deciding to test themselves in California’s desert climes before taking the Burning Man plunge. Now, with a suitcase-sized synth each, they’ll finally get to noodle in Black Rock City as a giant effigy of a man is burned to the ground.

For the show’s visual side, collaborators Jack Featherstone & Hans Lo have built their own hardware using warped oscilloscopes, which debuted at SMD’s Sónar gig last weekend and sounds super trippy — especially in a desert community of free expression and giving, while on DMT. Before Whorl drops via ANTI- on September 9, the video teaser and full tracklist can be found below.

Whorl tracklist:

01. Redshift
02. Dandelion Spheres
03. Sun Dogs
04. Hypnick Jerk
05. Dervish
06. Z Space
07. Nazard
08. Calyx
09. Jam Side Up
10. Tangents
11. Iron Henge
12. Casiopeia

Tour dates:

06.21.14 - Tokyo, Japan - Hostess Weekender
09.09.14 - London, UK - Union Chapel

• Simian Mobile Disco:
• ANTI-: