Aw, man. I’m so tired right now that I thought this “Pure Ground” story coming in off the TMT newswire would be about coffee! Turns out it’s not about coffee at all. It’s about the dang L.A.-based electronic duo Pure Ground! Oh well… I guess I can just as well use a good old fashioned “soundtrack to a crumbling culture full of provisional one-two rhythms and syncopated bursts of white noise, complimented by grim arpeggiated melodies” to wake myself up, right? Right! Hey, sweet, I’m feeling more agitated already. Thanks, press release! Let’s DO THIS.
So, specifically: these Pure Ground fellas are releasing a new album on the Chondritic Sound label (and via Avant Records and Sleepless Records in some other country called “Europe,” where they seemingly dig tough electronic music just a little bit) and are, you know, subsequently touring it. It’s called Standard Of Living, and it’s a-comin’ at us June 23 on the eternally youthful and viable cassette and LP formats in the US, and on LP and CD formats in those other places. Hell yeah. Let’s keep it comin!
Oh yeah. In keeping with electronic music’s incessant focus on “computers” and “technology” and “microchips” and all that shit, you can currently check out some clips from the album on some “website” somewhere on the “internet,” as well as down below this paragraph through some sort of “embed coded wave file synthesis system” or some such nonsense. Heck, I don’t claim to UNDERSTAND the news I report to you, readers; I’m just here to barely not-plagiarize and regurgitate the largely important chunks of it! AND for the coffee. I’m also here for the coffee.
Standard of Living tracklisting:
01. Second Skin
02. Watch the Lines Grow
03. War in Every House
04. In Silence
07. The Glory of Absence
08. Centuries in Gold
Pure Ground dates:
05.20.15 - Paris, France - La Mecanique Ondulatoire @ Topper
05.21.15 - Antwerp, Belgium - Die Kliene Hedonist
05.22.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Collectie Auquai
05.24.15 - Leipzig, Germany - Gothic Pogo Fest
05.27.15 - Lucerne, Switzerland - Klub Kegelbahn
05.28.15 - Saint Gallen, Switzerland- Grabenhalle
05.29.15 - Vignola, Italy - Club Ribalta
05.30.15 - Linz, Austria - Voyage Voyage
05.31.15 - Vienna, Austria- AU
06.01.15 - Zagreb, Croatia - Club Attack
06.02.15 - Subotica, Serbia - Studio 11
06.03.15 - Belgrade, Serbia - Drugstore (Neon Nacht)
06.04.15 - Brno, Czech Republic - Kabinet MUZ
06.05.15 - Prague, Czech Republic - Basement Bar (RARE)
06.06.15 - Berlin, Germany - Urban Spree (Death # Disco)
Back in the late 1970s, Thomas Eicke (a.k.a. Tom Diabo) was just another punk kid in Wuppertal, Peter Brötzmann’s hometown and good candidate to Germany’s own Manchester. A brain cancer diagnosis changed Diabo’s life, as he spent most of the 1980s battling the disease. Although he kept playing with the bands he was part of, Diabo also recorded several songs as a sort of personal journal, committing them to tape in his own bedroom, from 1980 to 1985. Diabo passed away in 1988, barely 30, leaving behind a trove of songs that was released under the Dark Star title later that year. Basically a posthumous-loving gesture for his friends and those in the Wuppertal punk scene, the LP is now being reissued by Captured Tracks’s Body Double Ltd imprint, and it includes songs previously only available in a private pressing commissioned by Diabo’s family.
A post-punk amalgam of Our Cancer Year and The Year of Magical Thinking, listening to Dark Star can be a harrowing experience. These songs make no effort to hide Diabo was well aware he did not have much time left (“I don’t want to make hits/ I want to live,” “How does it feel to be a living legend?/ You try to find a way to yourself,” “My companions were killed by infections […] If there is a heaven, there is a hell, for sure” are a few sample lyrics). That said, tagging these songs in such a mournful way would do them a disservice; these are catchy, rocking tunes that on the one hand gave Diabo some levity, but could also fit comfortably in Ariel Pink’s Mature Themes or Arthur Russell’s Another Thought. The variety of styles is impressive, moving from nervy, new wave-ish pop melodies, to reverb-soaked vocals and a deadpan delivery predating John Maus, or a Neil Young cover by way of Joy Division.
Dark Star will be out June 23 via Body Double.
Dark Star tracklisting:
02. Nothing Is Real
03. Alone On The Top
04. The End Of The Line
06. Back To The Hearts
07. Dead End Street
08. Life Is No Fun
09. Son Of Thunder
10. Love Is A Nice Dream
12. New Ted In Town
13. Barstool Blues
14. Stage Of Fools
15. So Long
Dear reader: I will level with you. Queens MC Remy Banks is employing a specific stylistic choice in his mixtape and song titles as of late. It involves lowercase letters and periods. With that in mind, I considered writing this whole article in lowercase with sporadic periods in the middle of sentences. I didn’t. You’re welcome. On with the show.
Remy Banks, of the groups World’s Fair and Children of the Night, just released higher., a new mixtape available through his site. See what I mean about the lowercase + period thing? The tape features guest appearances from Odd Future/The Internet’s Syd, as well as Ratking MCs D.R.A.M. and Hak. Production-wise, the mixtape boasts contributions from Black Noi$e, Odd Future’s Left Brain, Ratking’s Sporting Life, and King Krule. Watch a video for higher. track “exhale.” below. See, right there! More of that particular stylistic decision! Now you see what I see.
Banks is currently on tour with Earl Sweatshirt for a tour ending within the next week. But the firm of Sweatshirt and Banks will reunite this August for a series of dates stretching into much of September. Hey, when you think young rappers touring together for two separate tours in the year 2015, think Sweatshirt and Banks.
02. let ‘em know.
03. the function. (feat. World’s Fair & D.R.A.M.)
04. higher. feat. Erick Arc Elliott
05. things i do.
07. 7th heaven.
08. rem. (feat. Nasty Nigel)
09. a new york love pt. 3. (feat. Syd & Joyce Wrice)
10. feast. (feat. Hak)
Remy Banks dates (all with Earl Sweatshirt):
05.19.15 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
05.21.15 - Austin, TX - Emo’s
05.22.15 - Dallas, TX - Southside Music Hall
05.23.15 - San Antonio, TX - ACMH
08.11.15 - Joliet, IL - Mojoes
08.12.15 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
08.15.15 - Montreal, QC - Club Soda
08.16.15 - Toronto, ON - Opera House
08.18.15 - Syracuse, NY - The Westcott
08.19.15 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
08.21.15 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
08.22.15 - New York, NY - Best Buy
08.23.15 - Washington, DC - The Fillmore
08.25.15 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live
08.27.15 - Charlotte, NC - Amos Southend
08.28.15 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
08.29.15 - Raleigh, NC - The Ritz
08.30.15 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
09.01.15 - Tampa, FL - Orpheum
09.02.15 - Miami, FL - Grand Central Live
09.03.15 - Orlando, FL - Firestone Live
09.05.15 - Philadelphia, PA - TLA
09.06.15 - New Haven, CT - Toad’s Place
09.08.15 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
09.10.15 - Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall
09.11.15 - Birmingham, AL - Iron City
09.12.15 - New Orleans, LA - Republic
09.13.15 - Jacksonville, FL - Maverick’s
09.15.15 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works
Sure, it could be a wise strategy, but it also reeks as the business equivalent of that scene in Shaun of the Dead, where Shaun and his friend come across a zombie for the first time in their backyard and, overcome with fear and confusion, they start chucking all sorts of ineffective objects at it.
Apple is obviously the flesh-eater in this analogy, and while Spotify hasn’t quite descended into an obvious state of public panic just yet, it’d be foolish for them not to take the imminent arrival of Apple’s new streaming service, along with rumors of a dastardly freemium sabotage, seriously. As such, CNBC reports that coming this week, Spotify is scheduled to announce Spotify Now — a maybe worthwhile update to the Spotify that some of us have come to know and love, with the added virtue of being openly prejudicial toward time travelers. Ew, go back to your hover cars all you Spotify Future advocates.
The possibly named “Spotify Now” may offer the following features: some sort of video integration, the ability to sync music to your exercise pace, and perhaps an enhanced ability to customize playlists based on mood or activity (you can do this to some extent already).
Of course, you’ll find out all of the details not now, but… soon!
• Spotify: https://www.spotify.com
Three Lobed assembles 5LP box set ft. Thurston Moore, Yo La Tengo, Kurt Vile, Steve Gunn, Bill Orcutt, Six Organs, and more
Those lucky ducks at Three Lobed Recordings are living the dream. Everyone knows that being a record company is the single coolest thing anyone can do, and now they’ve taken that to a new level by assembling a box set of collaborative albums that seems to be more of a hypothetical wishlist come true.
The Parallelogram 5LP collection takes five musical pairings and lets each one put together a full-length slab of vinyl. And the pairings that Three Lobed has managed to pull off are the cream of the guitar/drone/folk intersection for which the label is known: we’re talking Six Organs of Admittance backed by William Tyler, Philadelphia buddies Steve Gunn and Kurt Vile going head to head, and various iterations of demi-gods such as Thurston Moore, Bill Orcutt, Chris Corsano, and Yo La Tengo doing their thing. Yowzers!
There will be about 950 box sets available, and the label assures us that the individual records won’t be available to buy a la carte, although the artists themselves will be releasing their own contributions at a later date. But if you don’t want to wait, get over to the website and pledge your $110 (including shipping) to secure your copy now.
The box set (which includes a downloadable version) will be housed in letterpressed “matchbooks” and will be shipping around August.
- Hiss Golden Messenger / Michael Chapman
- Six Organs of Admittance / William Tyler
- Kurt Vile / Steve Gunn
- Thurston Moore & John Moloney: Caught on Tape / Bishop – Orcutt - Corsano
- Bardo Pond / Yo La Tengo
• Three Lobed: http://threelobed.com
I’m sure Evan Caminiti’s been aware of modular synthesizers for some time now, but only recently has his passing acquaintance (in lieu of guitar) transformed into a full-blown love-affair, bolstered as it was by a recent trip to an obscure county fair located in an unspecified city. As Caminiti dove headfirst into a stick of cotton candy, he noticed (presumably) out of the corner of his eye a wonderfully well-preserved vintage synth standing next to the Tilt-A-Whirl, eyeing him with her LFO. A spontaneous crowd interrupted their fierce visual connection, but something told the Bay Area musician that he’d find the source of his newfound infatuation, whole, in the fair’s Hall of Mirrors. She appeared at once in the surrounding reflections, let out heartfelt *bleep bleep brrrrr* and the rest is knob-turning, patch cable history!
You can certainly hear evidence of this on Barn Owl’s most recent effort V, and while Caminiti’s other solo efforts Night Dust and Dreamless Sleep are more reminiscent of a dark Mark McGuire with their guitar presence, the upcoming full-length Meridian, out June 16 on Thrill Jockey, promises to evince a formal shift. Drone’s still the name of the game, but as you can tell by the opening track below, things sound potentially even more enveloping. You wouldn’t think it were possible…
How four guys from Dublin, Ireland came to call themselves Girl Band while playing some of the most punishing post-punk music you’ve heard since the term post-punk was invented will forever remain a mystery.
What is far from mysterious is the hype the band garnered from their SXSW performances a few months back, when they got all/a> sorts of critics excited. Their recently released Early Years EP confirms just how brutal and exciting the group is.
Another mystery that Scooby and the gang might not have to investigate will be what you think of their live show, because Girl Band are returning to America in June just for you, because they’re nice like that.
Check out a live set below before committing yourself to one of the dates. And get ear plugs.
06.12.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Voyeur *
06.13.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
06.14.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
06.16.15 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair *
06.17.15 - Hamden, CT - The Ballroom at the Outer Space *
06.18.15 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel *
06.19.15 - Toronto, ON - Garrison ^
06.20.15 - Toronto, ON - The Underground (The Drake Hotel) ^
06.22.15 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop %
06.23.15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox %
06.24.15 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar %
06.25.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade NYC %
* Viet Cong
An arduous trek. It’d be a tough enough task to musically represent my relatively bland, quaint, and suburban East Coast home town given its plethora of intriguing strip malls and high-end car dealerships, but Greek drone trio Mohammad (whose PAN release Som Sakrifis made it to #12 on our Favorite Albums of 2013 feature) apparently had nary a second thought about breezing through not one, but three albums designed at the outset to “explore the geographical area between 34°Ν - 42°Ν & 19°Ε - 29°Ε” — a point referencing a region comprised of Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria. We’re now at a point where listeners and travelers to the region will find themselves aspiring to Parthenon traversal, as a heavy and heavily-stringed soundtrack plays through their mind, unconsciously and inevitably. Oh Athena, put some good charms down on these geographically appreciative fellows!
Zo Rèl Do and Lamnè Gastama both came out last year, and now Segondè Saleco has just been unveiled on (as was the case previously) Greek label Antifrost. Coming in an edition of 450 LPs and 500 CDs, the release is said to mark the “final catharsis which signals a dramatic change in the trio’s signature sound.”
“Dramatic” might be a bit much, but the single below (also posted at the Chocolate Grinder) does sound a bit more subdued. And to think that ILIOS, Coti K, and Nikos Veliotsis were already plenty patient with their oscillator, double bass, and cello, respectively:
Go here to purchase.
Segondè Saleco tracklisting:
01. Bela Frumatene
03. Kawas Rivero Akvo
04. Ah Ya em Hamada
A Queens-born rapper was killed and another person wounded early Sunday after someone opened fire on a car in Queens.
The victim, shot multiple times in the torso, has been identified as 31-year old Lionel Pickens of Ozone Park, known as Chinx.
It happened just after 4 a.m. at Queens Boulevard and 84th Drive in Briarwood. […]
When you pull the string embedded in our backs and point us in the direction of Jim O’Rourke, we at Tiny Mix Tapes have a number of catchphrases. For instance, we might say “Holy shit,” or, “Yes, we are familiar with the concept of downloading music digitally,” or even, “Hey now that you mention it, where did you buy that sweet bucket hat?” Well now, our manufacturers have seen fit to add an additional phrase to our arsenal, namely: “Well, I suppose, just give me a minute and let me pull out my wallet here so I can order that collaborative LP you did with Phillip B. Klingler.” The reason for this new catchphrase is the fact that Jim O’Rourke and Phillip B. Klingler (a.k.a. PBK) have released a collaborative LP entitled Unidentified Again.
The new LP is out now on Lasse Marhaug’s Pica Disk. It’s the culmination of a long, epistolary friendship (with an almost equally longstanding intention to collaborate) between the two that began in the late 80s, paused for a bit in the 90s and early 2000s, and was born again on the occasion of the shipment of a Merzbow record in 2012. Fittingly, Unidentified Again came about by way of the two musicians sending one another source materials to mix and manipulate.
Read more about the album on the Pica Disk website and listen to a sample track below.
In other news, Jim O’Rourke’s new solo album, Simple Songs, is out next week on Drag City. If you’re in Japan tomorrow, be sure to head to the Tokyo Festival of Modular, where Mr. O’Rourke will be performing with his Serge Modular!
Unidentified Again tracklisting:
A. The Turning Night
B. Myths in Translation
C. End of the Landscape
D. Long Lain in the Stream