Zacht Automaat announce new LP on Calico Corp., remain unaware their band name sounds like a Final Fantasy character

Zacht Automaat announce new LP on Calico Corp., remain unaware their band name sounds like a Final Fantasy character

Let’s cut the crap: what’s the best Final Fantasy game? I’m liable to say it’s Final Fantasy VI, but I still have very fond memories of Final Fantasy VII. Then again, I played Final Fantasy V for the first time a few years back, and, I have to say, the job system in that one is very rewarding. Huh, what’s that? Tiny Mix Tapes isn’t a Final Fantasy fansite? I’ve been writing here for four years, I should know that? Okay, I see your point, but I’m reading a press release for Zacht Automaat, who I am fairly certain is a Final Fantasy character. Oh, turns out they’re an avant-rock duo from Toronto? Well. That puts a damper on how the rest of this story was going to play out, namely the poll about which Final Fantasy protagonist is the dreamiest. A: Cecil Harvey.

Zacht “We Are Not a Final Fantasy Character” Automaat have put together an imposing discography, numbering 11 albums in the past three years. To wrangle this massive pool of material — much like wrangling Chocobos in the Final Fantasy VII minigame — Calico Corp. has released a self-titled double LP from the band, compiling many of the best moments from their records. The album is out now in digital format, as well as in limited-edition vinyl consisting of 333 hand-numbered copies. Check out a commercial for the record or skip all that and just listen to a stream of it on Calico Corp’s Bandcamp. If that makes you want to listen to the rest of Zacht Automaat’s records, all of them are available on their Bandcamp page for free.

Anyway, best Final Fantasy game? Let’s talk.

Zacht Automaat tracklist:

01. Ancaster Heights
02. We’re Glad You Agree
03. Don’t Worry It Will Be Fine
04. Untitled 1
05. Lost in the Peak District
06. Disturbed Ground
07. Voyage 4
08. Voyage 5
09. Voyage 6
10. Long, Long, Long
11. The Smiling Wilderness
12. A Celestial Event
13. A Trip to See McLean on Holiday pts. I, II & III
14. Room B10
15. Reprise Surprise / Brief Resolution
16. Museum Robbery Pts. II, III & IV
17. The Green Hills of Earth
18. Tim’s Vox
19. There’s Nobody Home
20. Untitled 2
21. Close the Gate
22. Untitled 3
23. Triumphant Bridge
24. Special Dinner
25. George Martin Bit
26. Malnutrition
27. For Mark Robots / A Passing Phase

• Zacht Automaat:
• Calico Corp.:

Ramones box set comprising their first six albums is coming this month to save punk rock for the fifth time!

Man, I don’t know if you’ve ever done it (because why would you?) but, let me tell you: lots of dumb shit happens when you Google “The Ramones.”

One thing that happens that isn’t so dumb, however, is that you end up learning (not much, but some stuff) about RAMONES: THE SIRE YEARS (1976-1981), a new box set arriving October 29 from Rhino Entertainment that collects their first six albums.

You know the first six, right? Their 1976 self-titled debut, 1977’s Leave Home, also-1977’s Rocket to Russia, 1988’s Road to Ruin, 1980’s End of the Century, and 1981’s Pleasant Dreams? Oh good. I was afraid you didn’t. Well, each will be presented with its original running order and all of that unbeatable original 1970s/80s-style artwork. Mmm-mmm-mmm. I’d say “Hey, ho, let’s go!” at this point, but that’d be cheap and shitty, I think.

Speaking of cheap and shitty, there’s also gonna be a digital version! [Actually, the digital version is kinda cool because it’s expanded to comprise 11 albums instead of six. Titled THE SIRE YEARS (1976-1989), it’s got all that stuff I mentioned before, plus subsequent albums Subterranean Jungle (1983), Too Tough to Die (1984), Animal Boy (1986), Halfway to Sanity (1987), and Brain Drain (1989).] What happened to The Ramones after the Sire years came to a close? According to Google, no one really knows.

• The Ramones:
• Rhino:

Universal reissues Kanye’s 808s and Heartbreak on vinyl, rubbing their collective Mr. Burns hands together in glee

Sometimes I forget I’m following Kanye West on Twitter. Occasionally I’ll think to myself, “Hmm, haven’t heard anything from Kanye lately. I guess I must’ve finally decided to unfollow him late one drunken night” (because duh, why else would I make such a misinformed decision, unless under the influence of MIND-ALTERING CHEMICALS). Then lo! Hark! What this? An ALL CAPS rant from Kanye — most recently directed at Jimmy Kimmel — and I’m like “Oh yeah, I am still following this guy.” Well, Universal Music wants to make sure fans of good old-fashioned vinyl records never unfollow Kanye — in their hearts, I mean. Thusly, they’re giving Kanye’s 2008 album 808s and Heartbreak the ALL CAPS equivalent of the record release game: the vinyl reissue. Diamond-encrusted vinyl with previously unreleased tracks and a pull-out booklet with intro by Byron Coley? Nah, probably not. So in reality, it’s really more of a “some caps, some wingdings”-style reissue.

“WHY?” Perhaps you’re asking yourself this right now. “WHY ARE THEY REISSUING THIS ALBUM THAT CAME OUT FIVE YEARS AGO. IT’S NOT LIKE IT EVER WENT AWAY.” Well, because, ye of little faith, Universal wants your money. Nah, J/K! They want you to Respect the Classics, as is the name of their vinyl reissue campaign of releasing remastered versions of “iconic, genre-defining albums,” starting with the October 22 release of DMX’s It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot (gold vinyl, what) and Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood (clear vinyl with blood splatters, whaaaaaaaaat I’m sorry excuse me, my hearing trumpet must be outta whack whaaaaat). The series will continue with releases from 50 Cent, Slick Rick, and Public Enemy this year. Yeezy’s album release is yet TBD, probably because it takes a while to gather all that silky silky unicorn hair that will be pressed into the 24 karat gold vinyl.

• Kanye West:
• Universal:

Learn 15 debatable vocabulary words AND read about the new Olan Mill LP, all by using this one weird trick!

There are so many cool, kinda necessary words that have no equivalent in English. Take German’s kummerspeck (literally, “grief bacon”), for example. It’s a word meant to describe emotional overeating! Or the Turkish language’s gumusserv, a word referring to moonlight shining on water. The poetry! The romance! Or Persian’s zhaghzhagh — FINALLY, an easy to use word to describe the sound made by teeth chattering from rage/cold. Either/or. Well, at least that’s according to some list I found on the internet. Hell, for all I know some guy made all these words up and is just sitting in front of his computer, rubbing his hands together and gleefully laughing, saying “Yes, yesssss, they believe my made up list! Hrigfashn!” (A Norwegian word to describe the glee one feels upon perpetrating an internet hoax.)

But when it comes to words we don’t have in English, the Welsh word Hiraeth is definitely one of the most evocative — it means “homesickness for a home to which you cannot return.” It’s also the title of British experimental composer and instrumentalist Alex Smalley’s forthcoming album under the Olan Mill moniker (with Svitlana Samoylenko [Update: Svitlana is no longer in Olan Mill.]). Slated for a late October release on Australia’s rad Preservation label, Hiraeth is the follow-up to 2012’s critical darling Home, a record that garnered comparisons to Maurice Jarre and Vangelis. Hiraeth will be available on both CD and vinyl, with different artwork for each format. So listen to album track “Cultivator” below, and then Gifvalt! — a Lithuanian word for “buy that shit, yo.”

• Olan Mill:
• Preservation:

Matt Mondanile releases conceptual book-that-looks-like-an-LP by Title TK (Cory Arcangel, Alan Licht, Howie Chen) on New Images; your move, Beck Hansen!

Yup. It’s just what the headline says. Ducktails dude Matt Mondanile has released a ‘book that looks like a record” on his New Images Ltd. label. By a band that’s not really a “band” so much as three dudes that sat around and talked once.

For real. It’s called Rock$ and is literally “a transcription of a private conversation” between Alan Licht, Howie Chen, Cory Arcangel (collectively being referred to as Title TK).

Still not getting it? Here: have a look. This explains it all. It costs $30, by the way.

In related news, I just wrote, produced, and directed a Hollywood blockbuster film disguised as a news story. Something tells me Mondanile and I are both gonna be rich!

• New Images Ltd.:

Nils Frahm announces Spaces, a not-exactly-live live album

I love Nils Frahm — firstly, because he (along with Keith Jarrett) has honorably spared me the tediousness of having to manually enter and edit complicated metadata tags often associated with pianists or classical music in general (I realize this is a very first-world problem), and secondly, because seeing him perform in concert never fails to be a breathtaking experience. Literally, Frahm has ensured the dropping down of jars from the ceiling mid-concert in order to steal our breath. The ultimate motive remains a mystery, but compliance is a worthwhile trade-off for watching the man do his thing, seemingly without effort.

Not quite as dastardly as stealing our breath, Frahm has been doing something else during these concerts, and over the course of two years: gathering potential pieces to include on his next album Spaces, set for release November 19 on Erased Tapes. Described by a press release as an “ode to the joy of live performance,” but straying from the convention of a traditional live album, Spaces was recorded in multiple locations and using different mediums, including old portable reel-to-reel recorders and cassette tape decks. A conscious decision to include takes that have people coughing (and other such show behavior) was not done out of a special appreciation for auditory phlegm, but for the purposes of capturing the whole experience and putting it to record.

A word from the Berliner himself on the subject:

What I love most about playing in front of people has something to do with a certain kind of energy exchange. The attention and appreciation of my audience feeds back into my playing. It really seems as if there is a true and equal give and take between performer and listener, making me aware of how much I depend on my audience. And since the audience is different every night, the music being played will differ too. Every space I performed in has its own magic and spirit.

Spaces tracklisting:

01. An Aborted Beginning
02. Says
03. Said And Done
04. Went Missing
05. Familiar
06. Improvisation for Piano, Laughs, Coughs and a Cell Phone
07. Hammers
08. For-Peter-Toilet Brushes-More
9. Over There, It’s Raining
10. Unter-Tristana-Ambre
11. Ross’s Harmonium

• Nils Frahm:
• Erased Tapes:

[Photo: Tracy Morter]