Like the sounds of a river or a baby eating too much pureed squash, we have heard the rumblings and burblings of a new Jam City full-length for a solid minute. The river, now, has lunged, and the baby has spit, and we’ve got a release date for Jam City’s Dream a Garden on Night Slugs — it’s out March 23, and it’s available for pre-order right now. Do you want to laugh about this bit of news? Well, Jam City does too, but he just can’t, mostly because of the “bleakness in the present” under the “regime of high capitalism.” That shit isn’t funny, no sir. Not when you’re talking about record albums, not when you’re trying to have a relaxing afternoon shopping at Ikea, and not during Thanksgiving dinner with your in-laws. Trust me, as someone who has brought capitalism up in all of those situations in my time, I know from experience.
Anyhow, based on the track we’ve already heard from the album — “Unhappy” — Dream a Garden was probably going to be something of a departure from 2012’s Classical Curves. Instead of a “total break,” though, Dream a Garden is described as more of an inversion of Classical Curves, something that will take many of the same aesthetic and thematic concerns and pushing them off into different directions. Sort of like how sometimes your grandma makes pineapple cake, but then other times she makes pineapple upside-down cake. Well, in the spirit of cakes and giving them to people like a grandma might, Jam City has presented us with a video for “Unhappy” which you can watch either embedded below or over on the new Jam City microsite. I recommend checking it out over there, because it will be only then that you can dig the video out from under a pile of internet trash, which is both a pretty cool web trick and a reminder that we are all “struggling to live and love beneath the chrome-plated, vacuous, and superficial machinery that we must fight to see beyond.” Party!
Dream a Garden tracklist:
01. The Garden Thieves
02. A Walk Down Chapel
04. Good Lads, Bad Lads
08. Black Friday
Yo, yo, yo; how’s it hangin’ everybody? You feeling good? Sleeping alright? Good, good. Okay, enough chit-chat. So yo, dig this shit: even though we totally told the whole world all about New York composer and vocalist Gabrielle “GABI” Herbst like LAST FUCKING YEAR, everyone was seemingly too busy talking about celebrities or terrorism or iPhone 6 or something… because it’s taken the rest of the world a hella long time to finally get the net.
But now that everyone’s safely on the same page and TMT has gotten the credit it deserves for defining the tastes of the entire international independent music community, Software Recording Co. finally feels comfortable enough (after checking with us first) to announce the release of her debut album, Sympathy, on April 7 and show off her latest video for the track “Fleece.”
After we suggested it, Herbst hired Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never mastermind and likely guest artist on Kanye’s forthcoming album) and Paul Corley (other guy who produced R Plus Seven) to produce it, and she also hired “long-time collaborators” Matthew O’Koren (percussion), Rick Quantz (viola), Josh Henderson (violin), and Aaron Roche (electric guitar/trombone) to provide all the non-vocal parts that no album reviewers will be talking very much about.
Hey! Speaking of albums! You can pre-order that album I was talking about right over here if that’s the kind of thing you’re into doing. And you can also watch that video for “Fleece” I just mentioned down below. What a weird series of happy HTML-related coincidences!
01. Koo Koo
02. Da Void
03. Love Song
Mountain Goats announce plans to Beat the Champ with new album, an illegal move gone completely unnoticed by the refs
Before we start this news item, covering the Mountain Goats new record Beat the Champ out April 7 (April 13 in Europe) through Merge Records, let me give you some advice. If you’re here on the internet (which you are), there is nothing better you can do than look up animated GIFs of WWE owner Vince McMahon. Here, I’ll help you out:
Now that you have spent at least 40 minutes in ecstasy, let’s move on to the story.
Beat the Champ is the Mountain Goats’ first album since 2012’s Transcendental Youth, breaking in half the longest stretch between albums in the group’s history. As the title suggests, the record is a collection of songs about pro wrestling, a longtime love of Mountain Goats core member John Darnielle. “I wrote these songs to re-immerse myself in the blood and fire of the visions that spoke to me as a child, and to see what more there might be in them now that I’m grown,” said Darnielle.
First single “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” can be heard below. The track covers Darnielle’s childhood fandom of wrestler Chavo Guerrero, while seemingly also touching on the stepfather relationship explored in the Goats’ classic LP The Sunset Tree. As of now, no tracklist has been announced for Beat the Champ, but one writer (this writer) hopes for a track examining the man’s man, Steven Regal.
Theoretically, you can pre-order Beat the Champ on CD, double LP, and deluxe double LP at the Merge website. As of this writing, demand for a Mountain Goats album possibly containing a song about the time Sting wore a mask of his own face has overwhelmed the Merge website. By now, this has probably been fixed, allowing interested parties to buy the deluxe LP pressed on gold and green vinyl that also includes a red 12-inch featuring non-album track “Blood Capsules” with a dub version on the B-side.
Much like the touring WWE house shows, The Mountain Goats are playing a series of dates beginning in April. If they aren’t playing your city, there is an open invitation for anyone to come to my house April 7. We’ll be seeing if Beat the Champ syncs up with The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown.
Mountain Goats dates:
04.02.15 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
04.03.15 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
04.04.15 - Savannah, GA - The Jinx (Savannah Stopover Music Festival)
04.07.15 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
04.08.15 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
04.09.15 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
04.11.15 - New York, NY - City Winery
04.12.15 - New York, NY - City Winery
04.13.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
04.14.15 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
04.16.15 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogart’s
04.17.15 - Detroit, MI - Majestic Theatre
04.18.15 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
04.19.15 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
04.21.15 - Louisville, KY - Headliners
04.22.15 - Columbus, OH - Wexner Center
04.23.15 - Millvale, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre
05.08-10.15 - Atlanta, GA - Shaky Knees Music Festival
05.26.15 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theatre
05.27.15 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
05.29.15 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox
05.30.15 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
06.01.15 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
06.03.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Mayan Theater
Daniel Lopatin a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never Number One Stunna has crossed over into the film world once again, following his work with Brian Reitzell scoring Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring in 2013 and his re-scoring of Koji Morimoto’s 1995 Magnetic Rose anime last October. Lopatin has now provided the music for Ariel Kleiman’s directorial debut, Partisan, an Australian drama/thriller produced by Warp Films, distributed by Madman Films, and starring Vincent Cassel, who I keep thinking is Matthew Lillard. (Already it can be definitively stated that Partisan will be better than SLC Punk.)
The film is set to debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and the first teaser trailer has just been posted, featuring some ambient atmospheres, angelic near-choral melodies, mechanical tap-triggers, and juddering bass swells you might be familiar with:
How’s about that? I’ll catch you in the adjacent D-BOX seat.
The notorious metal bands of Scandinavia like to think that they have a musical monopoly on inspiring fear, but in the event that you come across this particular brand of egotism first-hand, it’s now obligatory that you interrogate them on their familiarity with composer Pepijn Caudron’s Kreng project. If they aren’t familiar, lend them a copy of Works for Abbatoir Fermé 2007-2011 and observe the entirety of their listening session. Patiently watch as their unimpressive notions of “fear” are upended to the point of voluntary seclusion and… wet pants. Sweet revenge, you arrogant bastards! Here’s a blanket.
Kreng’s prepped a new full-length called The Summoner, and it’s out February 6 on Erik Skodvin’s Miasmah label. The album’s absent many of the unique samples that have adorned his previous work, and while this might inspire a longing for the inherent creepiness of antique lullabies, it’s for the sake of something much more personal: the five (or six) stages of mourning, as a reflection of the unfortunate deaths among Caudron’s close friends over the past year.
Simplified, 12 string players directed to “play around” characterizes the first half. The second half is a bit more ambiguous, but “haunting” seems like a reliable adjective. So on that note, dear god:
The Summoner tracklisting:
05. The Summoning (feat. Amenra)
Four Tet releases album collecting material under Percussions alias, rumors begin swirling whether or not Burial is Percussions
As you folks may well know, Kieran Hebdan a.k.a. Four Tet is an accomplished electronic musician of many years. He is also Burial. “Me, I’m Burial” said Hebdan in an interview confirming that he was reclusive genius Burial. It was then that rumors started swirling that Four Tet is Burial.
That said, Four Tet is not Burial. (Probably.) But there’s nothing in the rulebook saying you can’t have other alter-egos besides Burial, so that’s why Hebdan has been putting out material under the name Percussions since 2011. Namely, a series of 12-inches released on his own Text Records label, which, as FACT reports, have been collected in a new album appropriately titled 2011 Until 2014. As a warm gesture, he’s also thrown a few tracks onto the album that have not appeared on a previous 12-inch.
If you’re looking for a release date, stop looking now, you sack of dumb. 2011 Until 2014 is available now through the Percussions Bandcamp page, where it can be streamed or purchased for £6. I’ll save you the legwork: £6 is $9.11 in American dollars.
Fresh off a contribution to Fat Cat Records’ ongoing split 12-inch series (b/w Katie Gately), or rather in the centuries since its release, as it came out in October 2014, Australian dance producer/device user Tlaotlon is back in February, releasing a cassette called Natural Devices on his own newly minted label, World Memory Records. Tlaotlon’s other major release was in July 2014 (so in web-years roughly the early 90s) on 1080p, and our own Simon Chandler gave it a favorable review, commenting on the producer’s ability to both draw in and keep out the listener through over-stimulation, “leaving her stranded in a psychically indeterminate limbo.” But an enjoyable one!
The new album removes perhaps one or two layers from the chaos of Ektomists but strays even further from its dance-music anchor by stretching the rhythms, mixing and matching, rerouting the forward thrust, adding a footnote here and there, crunching the numbers on the unquantifiable and spitting out a non-sum. I pledge no personal allegiance to the vibe of techno, but Tlaotlon’s stuff draws me in anyway, the same sort of material doing a different set of balancing acts. Keep your eyes on the label page for a place to order the tape.
No preview tracks yet, but here’s one from that Fat Cat 12-inch:
Natural Devices tracklist:
01. Delta Vista Pacific
02. Illuminated Biomass
03. Kurzweil Empirical Shadow
04. The Co-domain
05. Open Systems
08. Tri-fold Pattern Language
A snarl on the breeze wafts through your open window, knocking over your carefully brewed single-origin coffee and spilling it all down the front of your sweater. It can only mean one thing: there’s a new Lydia Lunch release afoot. Still recovering as you are from the cold sweats and vomiting induced by 2013’s Retro Virus, you’re not really sure you’re ready, but that, friends, lovers, inchoate flesh-beings, grappling up from the “below,” that is precisely how we know that it is time! And as such, there is now a Lydia Lunch Bandcamp page, which feels a little weird to say, but I said it, and it’s true! And on that Bandcamp is a new four-song EP called 3x3 EP that contains new studio recordings of older material — check it out below.
The EP is a teaser/collection of outtakes for an upcoming full-length by Lunch and the Retrovirus band — including Weasel Walter on guitar, Tim Dahl on bass, and Bob Bert on drums — that will contain nine more new recordings of older songs. No firm release date yet, or any other details really, but the album will be out on Rustblade in Europe and Widowspeak in the United States. There’s also plans to get more Lydia Lunch releases up on the Bandcamp in the near future, so keep your eyes trained like the misbehaving dogs they are.
At first thought, festivals seem like too amorphous a “thing” to be bought and sold on the open market. But if you were thinking that, you probably also forgot that this is America, where eventually clean air will be privatized and the poor will only be able to afford the bargain brand that’s tainted with farts, factory pollution, and moldy cheese odors. We’re hopelessly dedicated to laissez-fare here, just in case you forgot.
So on a related (but less cynical) note, the inimitable Hopscotch Music Festival has been sold! Festival Director Greg Lowenhagen had been seeking out a new owner since at least last September, when he told Indy Week about his desire to “talk to some people” deemed serious enough to provide some capital to the festival. Now the unofficial human epitome of “seriousness,” Etix founder Travis Janovich, has taken the reigns with the goal of ultimately making things even more successful. Reportedly, Janovich’s enthusiasm, proximity (with Etix being local to Raleigh), and “reluctance to overhaul the festival” were what put him above the competition.
Likewise, those associating “sale” and “growth” with “inevitable devolution” should rest easy, as Lowenhagen will continue on as the festival’s director. It’s all about harnessing financial resources here, and it certainly helps that Etix has been a partner with Hopscotch since the latter’s inception five years ago. Greg’s just putting a ring on it, is all.
Expect an initial lineup for Hopscotch 2015… this spring, I suppose?
Remember when Cannibal Ox pinky swore they’d release a new album in 2013? And remember when 2013 came and went and all you had to show for it was a bunch of shitty albums? I remember, too, and am still v. fucking pissed. But I also remember 2001’s The Cold Vein, an album so good that it was no wonder it made #17 on our decade list. And now that nostalgia is an aesthetic, memory is apparently “half-remembered,” and the flow of time itself is being questioned, maybe all that matters now is that the duo of Vast Aire and Vordul Mega is finally releasing its second album. Titled Blade of the Ronin, the album features 19 new tracks, with guest spots by DOOM, U-God (of Wu-Tang Clan), Elzhi, Kenyattah Black, Artifacts, and more.
Blade of the Ronin is out March 3rd via IGC Records/iHipHop Distribution. Check below for the album’s tracklist and its first single, “Gotham,” which was released back in 2013.
01. Cipher Unknown (Intro)
02. Opposite of Desolate f/ Double A.B.
03. Psalm 82
04. The Power Cosmiq f/ Kenyattah Black
05. Blade: The Art of Ox f/ Artifacts & U-God (of Wu-Tang Clan)
06. Pressure of Survival (Skit)
07. Carnivorous f/ Elzhi & Bill Cosmiq
08. Thunder In July f/ Space, Swave Sevah & Elohem Star
10. The Horizon (Interlude)
11. Harlem Knights
12. Sabertooth f/ Irealz & Bill Cosmiq
13. Iron Rose f/ MF Doom
14. Solar System (Cosmos) (Skit)
15. The Fire Rises
16. Gotham (Ox City)
17. Unison (Skit)
18. Vision f/ The Quantum)
• Cannibal Ox: http://www.cannibalox.com