Self-titled albums tend to come with an air of significance, don’t they? Well, actually, I’m seeing two possibilities. The first is the case of the debut self-titled album, where artists are possibly trying to play it safe by not using a title that tragically uses the letter “z” to pluralize (as an example). The second is the case of the subsequent self-titled album, where connotations of “I’m not fucking around” attach themselves to the more obvious fact that the artists are putting their name on their work TWICE, so you know they mean business.
Dekorder head Marc Richter a.k.a. Black to Comm is dressed in a suit, holding a clipboard, and looking past his reading glasses at us with the announcement of Black to Comm, a massive double-album out on Type December 8, but streamable in its entirety after my verbal glowing. Those waiting for a genuine sequel to Alphabet 1968 may not have felt it with the vocally inclusive EARTH, but while the latter album was meant for the cinema, Black to Comm was apparently meant for engrossment in any location. The janitor’s closet at the local sperm bank? You just found a reason.
It’s been a while since I’ve heard ambient (I use the term loosely) music this innovative, or vocal samples this not-cliché. Behold the Hamburger:
Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt) share tales of hitting things, announce collaborative LP
Microwave popcorn sure is delicious, but if manufacturers don’t make some noticeable changes, I’m going to announce an official revolt against kernels (plus a mild contempt for colonels for being willfully submissive to the satanic art of homonyms). The popping set about just prior to my movie-watching has my taste buds anticipating, while at the same time, my ears are hoping for a memorable fulfillment of the chaotic rhythms that the ballooning, buttery package only hints at for its minute-and-a-half duration. What’s the alternative? Can I really trust that Orville Redenbacher, Inc. will satisfy my/our desires for post-pop… corn?
Luckily, here’s an unambiguously superior option: drummers Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt, Black Pus) have just revealed a collaborative LP, recorded live at Brooklyn venue Death By Audio (RIP) back in June 2013. You can imagine what the two improvising together must sound like, and it’s almost as if the mental relief offered by punching a punching bag is deemed unnecessary by their respective forcefulness. Haven’t heard the entire thing yet, though.
It’s out December 15 in an edition of 500 “electric blue vinyl with white splatter,” and the release accompanies an intriguing documentary called Checking in at 20 (from Death By Audio Films), which you can watch in full below. Popcorn and I are done, btw.
Brian Chippendale and Greg Saunier LP tracklisting:
01. Side A
02. Side B
Harry Bertoia, who passed in 1978, would be celebrating his 100th birthday on March 10th, 2015. In lieu of an invite from beyond the grave, Important Records has decided to teach us all a thing or too about this birthday boy by selling us a box set of his work!
Bertoia might be best known for his iconic furniture, but his work extended through the arts, including painting and sculpture. These developments evolved naturally into an obsession with the aural nature of his material creations. From 1959-1978 Bertoia built up a massive collection of gongs and sound sculptures in his home, a barn in Pennsylvania. Many of the sculptures that he made were used to create the 11 Sonambient LPs that populated Bertoia’s final creative output.
Important has taken it upon themselves (honorably) to put out a box set that collects 100% of these recordings. The set will include a deeply archival book and be released to coincide with Bertoia’s centennial.
Check out a trailer for the set below, featuring some of Bertoia’s sculptures in action:
Los Angeles’ non-profit, online radio station dublab is hosting another “Proton Drive” fundraiser this season, offering up all sorts of music bundles and other ways to help out the listener-supported organization. As of this writing, the drive has raised more than half of its $25,000 goal, with less than two days left. So go donate: you can give any amount you like, but at $20 you’ll receive a compilation of anonymous electronic music called Ghost Writer and at $50 you’ll get a collection of piano mixes. There are more gifts as you get higher on the donation scale, but the best might be in the $500+ range — a plaque with your name on it, and every digital download that dublab’s ever made.
To get Angelenos in the spirit of giving, local artist Sun Araw has released an official theme song for the drive, a dub collage of filtered guitar and rubbery sub-bass. Respected labels like Friends of Friends, Leaving, Ninja Tune, and Burger have also partnered with dublab for some special online bundles called “Flash Packs,” which they’ve donated to the station so that 100% of proceeds go towards the fund. Check out all the gifts you can buy for your cool friends and family this winter right here. Then stick around to watch some of this week’s special radio shows from Suzanne Kraft, Seano, Silent Servant, Heidi Lawden, and others.
• dublab: http://dublab.com
French electronic producer Rone a.k.a. Erwan Castex has been parterned up with Parisian label InFiné since 2008’s Bora 12-inch. Now, Castex returns with his third LP, Creatures, which will see a release early next year. So far, he’s shared the lead single “Ouija,” which is allegedly inspired by a recent pajama sleepover he had with his closest friends. After a rousing game of Truth or Dare, they lit scented candles and pulled out a ouija board, using it to communicate with spooky spirits. When Rone returned to the studio the next day, he created a spastic hip-hop and IDM cut with a ghostly synth line that just won’t die, damnit. “Ouija” also translates to “Yes Lord” in French, I think.
Creatures drops on February 10 — more tour details for the LP will be announced in the coming months, but in the meantime, check out “Ouija” and a teaser below.
02. Acid Reflux
04. Sing Song
06. Sir Orfeo
09. Calice Texas
11. Quitter La Ville
Touched Music, a UK electronic label that was created to raise money and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support, has announced its second charity compilation, Touched Two. This time around, 253 artists have contributed music to the cause, including veteran acts like Orbital, Autechre, 808 State, and Luke Vibert, along with more contemporary artists like Machinedrum and Bibio.
All proceeds from the release will go to charity; last year, the inaugural comp raised almost £7,500, which is a decent chunk of change. Not only that, but the release is solely made up of unreleased material, so it’s definitely worth picking up for fans of IDM, techno, ambient, and experimental styles. Touched Two will drop on November 28 via the label’s Bandcamp — do a good deed for the holiday season and pick it up! In the meantime, check out a more extensive list of the comp’s artists here.
Alex Zhang Hungtai (Dirty Beaches) embraces dry, wintry, scaly skin, releases two songs as Last Lizard
Last we heard from Alex Zhang Hungtai, he was breaking news and our hearts via the dissolution of his long-running project Dirty Beaches, though he promised, via Twitter, “NEW PROJECTS NEW MUSIC COMING SOON 2015” (caps-lock his). Well, here we are a whopping three weeks later, still very much knee-deep in 2014, and Hungtai has gone ahead and dropped some new tunes on us.
Working under the moniker Last Lizard, Hungtai recently shared two new tracks: “Detroit” and “Dickie’s Theme” (listen below). Comprised of nothing more than interweaving sax swells, Hungtai is channeling some heavy In a Silent Way-era Miles and Sleeping Beauty-era Sun Ra vibes. While no further announcements regarding the project have been made, I just want to give Alex a heads up that I’ll gladly buy a quadruple LP of this stuff.
It should also probably be noted that Hungtai played a gig in Portugal a few nights ago under the name Sax Death. While the set did indeed involve a saxophone, I can’t tell you how much that project varies from Last Lizard, as I don’t live in Portugal and no one had the decency to Instagram the whole thing. Get it together guys!
• Last Lizard: https://soundcloud.com/lastlizard
We all know that DJing is pretty much the greatest thing anyone can do with their spare time; however, lugging those bulky compact discs or, heaven forbid, vinyls along to clubs is such a chore, it almost makes me not want to DJ sometimes.
Thankfully, Pioneer (by name and nature) have made playing your favorite tunes to people simpler with their latest XDJ-1000 digital deck. The thing that XLR8R points out is so great about this equipment (apart from the groovy name) is that this digital deck is entirely digital: all you need to rock a party now is a USB stick and you’re off, or if your USB stick is stolen by thieving bandits on the way to the party, you can connect your phone via wi-fi and still raise the roof.
If you don’t believe me, you can be visually impressed by the promo video below and start saving your money because the XDJ-1000 is set to retail for about 1000 Euros, which is precisely the amount of money my friends pay me not to DJ at their parties, so I’m sorted.
• Pioneer: http://pioneerdj.com
Apple to maybe relaunch Beats Music in March… or maybe not… but probably? It’s really still up to Bono.
So, I’m sure you all remember every single thing that happened to you two months ago, right? So there’s probably no real need for me to rehash the sensational piece we wrote at that time about how Apple was rumored to be shutting down “the streaming-music, all-you-can-stand-for-$10-a-month-style subscription service founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, Beats Music, which it gobbled-up like just one in a stream of unending Pac-Man pellets back in May,” right? (Man, it feels good to be able to quote yourself as a source! I feel like a Ph.D or some shit!) Okay, sweet.
Now then… here’s the THING though… according to a great little post onStereogum that I’d really rather just ignore but can’t, Apple might actually be making good on their promise to bring Beats Music back, and it might happen as early as March of 2015. According to Billboard, some sleekified, glossed-up, snow-white iteration or another of Beats Music will magically appear in an upcoming iOS update, in perfect accord with the late CEO Steve Jobs’ dying wish that the Apple of the future start surprise-forcing all kinds of shit on all of its users whether they like it or not.
Still no real word as to how much Apple will fuck with the business model of the service before they relaunch it (e.g. keeping Beats a pay-service vs. some sort of ad-supported free thing like Spotify). But rest assured, whatever happens, the Beats of the future will be way more… um, elegant? Yeah. And sleek. Elegant and sleek. Ooh, AND 40% thinner. Abra-cadabra!
As a kid, our Thanksgiving dinners weren’t that great. Tofurkey from a can. Cranberry mash from a box. And a pie that came from a tin just labeled “PIE” and didn’t taste like anything, yet somehow reminded you, the eater, of pie. After our father passed out in front of the traditional viewing of Old Yeller, me and my seven siblings would slip out of the house, solely to gaze longingly at the indulgent Thanksgiving feasts the Sub Pop family had every single year. They really had it all. Fried turkey. Mashed potatoes and homemade gravy. Cornbread and biscuits. They even had five different types of yams. We were always jealous of them, and now we are jealous of Olympia/Seattle-based punks Strange Wilds, who just signed to the label.
The group, formed from members of Negative Press, Outlook, Wreck, and various other Pacific Northwest punk rock outfits, plan to release music for Sub Pop in the coming year. What music particularly? Hey pal, beats me! Probably an album or single or something. Until then, sate yourself with a video for “Slime” below and a stream of their Wet EP on SoundCloud, which they put out earlier this year on Inimical. Now, pass the succotash loaf.