Zomby apparently at work on new album for 4AD, easily solidifying his reputation as “most productive zombie ever”

Zomby apparently at work on new album for 4AD, easily solidifying his reputation as "most productive zombie ever" http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-08-zomby.jpg

Oh, man. You know what I just love?? When music news isn’t really hard news, but instead consists of a few scraps of vague stuff about something that an artist might maybe do somewhere down the line in the hazy, potentiality-filled quantum-mechanical future! So you better believe that I was beyond-psyched when good ol’ FACT Magazine told me almost nothing-at-all about how Zomby seems to be working on a little something or other in New York right now.

Fans may remember last year’s Dedication LP (TMT Review) and follow-up Nothing EP (TMT Review) and all the annoying details like “track titles” and “cover art” and what not that came with those releases. Well, I’m happy to say that none of that hideous and inelegant ephemera will be cluttering up this news bulletin! See, according to 4AD label boss Simon Halliday, Zomby is currently… out there… doing something with music… kinda. “Zomby’s in New York, and he’s chill. He’s happy,” Halliday said. “He’s getting some music together and it’s sounding great – really summery and smooth, kinda like that feeling Aphex would get to sometimes, that sort of Richard D. James album where it was really melodic.” What else? Well, that’s the beauty part. Kinda nothing. “He sends stuff over, and there’s some great tracks in there, it makes me happy too.” See, isn’t that just delightful? Zomby out there being all happy? Making 4AD happy? What else do you want?

And don’t you dare sully this beautiful moment by asking when this new music might be coming out, reader, because damn it, Zomby “doesn’t speed records out for the sake of it,” Halliday continues. “He takes his own time, he’s very thoughtful – but I think if he can do a couple more good albums, he’ll prove to be one of the great producers.” It’ll trickle out when it’s good and ready, and some other news reporter can format all those hideous details. So, then, TO RECAP: Halliday thinks Zomby 1) is not as good as Richard D. James, 2) is probably not depressed, and 3) probably has one or two more records in him before he fucking craps out. And that’s it. Take it or leave it.

• Zomby: http://www.myspace.com/zombyproductions
• 4AD: http://www.4ad.com

John Fahey’s Revenant label starting up production again; expect a bitter turf war with Dust-to-Digital

After five years of deep sleep, reflection, and alternative facial soaps, the curatorial spirits behind John Fahey’s post-Takoma label, Revenant Records, are cleansed and ready to send recordings screaming from the grave and into Grammy-nominating ears once again. Revenant has been responsible for some of the most raw and beautiful folk/blues reissues/compilations around since forming in 1996, and they’ve also managed to tie in some contemporary records by No-Neck Blues Band, Jim O’Rourke, and Sir Richard Bishop, along with the 9-disc Albert Ayler Holy Ghost box set — which gets an award from me right now for Best Packaging. Shit, there’s even a Bassholes CD out there. Glad to have you back Revenant!!

There will be “a more complete slate of forthcoming releases in a month or so,” says they, but for now we know they’re well into at least one project: a two-volume chronicle of Paramount — “an early American record label operating in Wisconsin that from 1922-32 produced a catalog comprising arguably the greatest cavalcade of artists ever housed under one roof.” Which means that, yes, Jelly Roll Morton, Son House, William Moore, Ma Rainey, Bo Weavil Jackson, Charley Patton, Blind Blake, Skip James, Blind Willie Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, and Blind Lemon Jefferson all recorded for Paramount. Along with the unearthed music itself, Revenant will be spritzing record-collector catnip all over the place: “handcrafted packaging with inlaid materials, large format hardcover books, 200g vinyl records plus digital downloads of all materials, a complete narrative history of the label, and a visual centerpiece featuring many of the striking original line-drawn ads.” Oh Dust, don’t hurt ‘em…

• Revenant: http://www.revenantrecords.com

Circle Jerks caught on film circle jerking, documentary to be released in September

The best band to come out of the L.A. hardcore scene of the 1980s, The Circle Jerks, are the subject of a new documentary, set for release on September 24. On the flipside of the coin, the documentary about my circle jerking habit, Hands Across My Body, is set for a private viewing with my swinger group, also on September 24.

The documentary, My Career As a Jerk, was made my David Markey (who also did 1991: The Year Punk Broke and The Slog Movie) and features the standard documentary reagents of in-depth interviews (with luminaries such as: Keith Morris, Greg Hetson, Lucky Leher, Earl Liberty, Zander Schloss, J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Brian Baker (Minor Threat); live footage (mostly rare); and “historical perspective to illustrate the story,” so that it isn’t just clip after clip of old dudes talking about their days as rebels, reminiscing about days spent skateboarding and nights spent pogoing, but instead a historically important document of youth culture.

“I was at many of these shows, and let me tell you, there wasn’t a tighter band in Los Angeles at the time,” mused Markey wistfully. “Making this film reminded me just how truly great they were.”

• Circle Jerks: http://www.myspace.com/circlejerks
• MVD Entertainment: http://mvdb2b.com

Gang Wizard return with free LP, limited 7-inch, teenage sons

Cherish your time with the Gang Wizard, for you know not when the Gang Wizard comes and goes. Though once prolific, noise act Gang Wizard have remained mostly quiet since 2008, the only exception being an EXTREMELY limited release from earlier this year. Well, stop living in the past! Gang Wizard are back! They’re back with two new releases through Deathbomb Arc, in fact. One of these releases is a new digital LP called So Excited, which you can download right here. So free, so new, so wizard-like. If you love this new album and need to buy something from Gang Wizard, then look toward their Hood Rip 7-inch. If you do feel that way, though, hope that 20 other people don’t feel exactly the same. Hood Rip is limited to 20 copies, so you should probably order it from here right now. Besides, it’s square-shaped!

Incidentally, Gang Wizard’s lineup has changed somewhat since last hearing from them. Original member Mike Landucci remains, but the rest of the band consists of his teenage sons. Due to this, Gang Wizard may technically be the first dad-rock band mostly populated by teens. God bless you, Gang Wizard, for breaking new ground in this world.

• Gang Wizard: http://www.myspace.com/gangwizard
• Deathbomb Arc: http://deathbombarc.com

Gatekeeper give King’s Quest VI a run for its money with Exo computer game

Gatekeeper have released the first-person gaming experience that accompanies their recent debut LP on Hippos in Tanks, Exo. Designed by digital artist Tabor Rybak, the game pairs each of the album’s tracks with an immersive, interactive visual experience to be played as an independent level.

When discussing the album with Noisey last month, Gatekeeper’s Aaron David Ross and Matthew Arkell noted that the origin of the record’s sound came from “playing around with sound library effects from commercial trailer sound effect packs.” With this approach in place, Gatekeeper defined the project as an ‘HD’ audio experience, and thus it needed an appropriately over-the-top visual experience to accompany it.

Since their last project was a set of 3D videos created in collaboration with Thunderhorse for their EP Giza, Gatekeeper really had to push boundaries to feel like they were doing something new. After watching a good portion of the playthrough video for the Exo game, I think they’ve accomplished what they set out to do. The game starts out in space, moves into what appears to be a futuristic spaceship, then settles into exploring various naturalistic environments on an Earth-like planet. The crisp (yet clearly digitally rendered) visual paired with Exo’s action-movie brand of IDM makes for a nice combination — the peanut butter and jelly of the video game-electronic music hybrid, if you will.

Tourdates (all w/ Teengirl Fantasy and Thunder Horse):

08.10.12 - San Francisco, CA - DNA Lounge
08.11.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Los Globos
08.12.12 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
08.17.12 - Vancouver, BC - Waldorf Hotel
08.18.12 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
08.24.12 - New York, NY - Rocks Off Cruise *
08.31.12 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
09.01.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall

* Lemonade (no Thunder Horse)

Exo: http://e-x-o.com
• Gatekeeper: http://hipposintanks.net/artists/gatekeeper
• Hippos in Tanks: http://hipposintanks.net

RIP: Marvin Hamlisch, prolific composer for film and theater

From Bloomberg:

Marvin Hamlisch, the classically trained pianist who composed the music for shows including “A Chorus Line” and movies including “The Way We Were,” winning show business’s most sought-after awards by the armloads, has died. He was 68.

Hamlisch died yesterday in Los Angeles after a brief illness, the Associated Press reported, citing a family spokesman, Jason Lee.

The recipient of three Academy Awards, four Grammys, four Emmys, two Golden Globes and one Tony, Hamlisch provided the music for Barbra Streisand’s 1994 concert tour, the Neil Simon show “The Goodbye Girl” and more than 40 movies that also included “Sophie’s Choice,” “Ordinary People,” and Woody Allen’s “Bananas.”

Only Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers, the American composer who died in 1979, won at least one Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony and a Pulitzer Prize. Hamlisch shared in the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for “A Chorus Line”; Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II shared a piece of the 1950 award for “South Pacific.”

“From the time I could play the piano, I remember trying to write tunes,” Hamlisch wrote in “The Way I Was,” his 1992 memoir, written with Gerald Gardner. “They were in my head, and I would just sit down and start noodling. Next thing I knew, I had written a melody.”

• Marvin Hamlisch: http://www.marvinhamlisch.com