Vatican Shadow & Function collaborate for Games Have Rules LP on Hospital Productions

“Games have rules,” they, or more likely, the curmudgeon trying to ruin the game being played with a lax appreciation for rules would say. I’m thinking of the hypothetical recess monitor who righteously tries to explain how the rules of freeze tag literally require the complete cessation of movement, even the kind that occurs unconsciously as a result of the body’s normal subsistence. Just what kind of image are Vatican Shadow and Function trying to convey here?! Shall we imagine them in fluorescent vests, just waiting for a chance to blow their whistles marking the end of fun and (temporarily) marking the end of our sense of hearing? Such cruelty… I don’t believe they’re capable of it!

Let’s assume a more ironic perspective. “Games have rules” indeed, but here they are with a collaborative release, melding their respective electronic styles into something “free-flowing,” yet “stripped back” from their typical output, according to a press release. “Ambient in the most traditional sense” is the phrase actually used here, which isn’t too surprising when you consider Function’s rather atmospheric debut LP on Ostgut Ton, but with Vatican Shadow also in mind? It’s difficult to go from Middle East conflict as conceptual underpinning to… the enveloping sounds of NYC’s daybreak spirit. Equal parts rhythmic, though. But unspoken musical guidelines require a commitment to one style! I thought??

Games Have Rules is out mere days from now, on September 22. Live dates featuring the duo are scheduled for this Friday at Output in New York, this Saturday in L.A., and November 22 at Fabric in London.

Games Have Rules tracklisting:

01. Things Known
02. Things Unknown
03. The Nemesis Flower
04. A Year Has Passed
05. A Year Has Gone By
06. Red Opium
07. Bejeweled Body

• Hospital Productions:

Ben Chasny’s Hermit Hut label re-releases super-limited album by Australian guitarist Chris Smith

Seems like only yesterday that multiple organ-admitter Ben Chasny announced the formation of a record label. Hermit Hut impressed with the Bhutanese guitar improv of Tashi Dorji, whose self-titled LP opened the label for business just last month. In an effort to keep up appearances, Chasny has found yet another disc of deranged guitar to hermitically hustle out into the available world.

Australian guitarist Chris Smith is the subject of said hustling. His music seems like a perfect fit for Chasny’s guitar-focused (so far) curation, especially considering most of Smith’s music has not made it out of his native land (it looks like Map Ends: 1995-2001 might have been his only American splash).

In an effort to right this ignorant wrong, Chasny has seen fit to reissue Smith’s 2007 record Bad Orchestra, which had previously only seen a limited CD run on Death Valley. Smith, inspired by The Germs, recorded the album with a full band as a way to work through a period of intense inner turmoil. I am so glad Chasny is not reissuing Smith’s LiveJournal entries from the same era.

Bad Orchestra’s vinyl rebirth will occur on October 14. Until then, enjoy the Crazy Horse frequencies of “Living Dead Blues” below.

Bad Orchestra tracklisting:

01. Goose Run
02. Living Dead Blues
03. Glue Factory
04. Grain Elevator Blues
05. The Orbit
06. Bobby and the Big O
07. Slight Problems (Intermission)
08. Jimmy’s Theme
09. Step Into the Light
10. Your Tunnel

• Hermit Hut:

Production supergroup Future Brown sign to Warp, announce debut single

Future Brown, the production supergroup of Fatima al Qadiri, NGUZUNGUZU, and J-Cush, have signed to Warp Records and announced their first physical release, Wanna Party / World’s Mine, slated for November 3. The A-side features Chicago rapper/singer Tink (who’s currently working on her Timbaland-produced debut album) and B-side “World’s Mine” brings together Ruff Sqwad members Prince Rapid and Dirty Danger, as well as Roll Deep affiliate Roachee. Both tracks are available on SoundCloud. Pre-order here.

What will brown look like in the future? That question is at the heart of Future Brown’s music, which blends rap, grime, footwork, dancehall, R&B, reggaeton, and more into the most bangin’ of stylistic smudges. Last year, they explored the question at MoMA PS1 during Pitchfork’s multimedia FORMS festival. An answer was posed: Basketball. Yes, as in Basketballs — as in, that nice mahogany orange. I wouldn’t be averse to it.

In addition to the signing and the single, Future Brown have announced three special tour dates, all of which I have carefully inserted into the end of this article so as not to wake it. Be careful with the newly streaming “Wanna Party Remix” featuring New Orleans rapper 3D Na’Tee, though, it’s quite loud.

Wanna Party / World’s Mine tracklist:

01. Wanna Party (feat. Tink)
02. Wanna Party Remix (feat. Tink and 3D Na’Tee)
03. World’s Mine (feat. Prince Rapid, Dirty Danger and Roachee)
04. World’s Mine (Instrumental)

Tour dates:

10.24.14 - Bergen, Norway - Ekko Fest
11.17.14 - Turin, Italy - Club 2 Club
12.04.14 - Miami, FL - PAMM Presents (Art Basel)

• Future Brown:
• Warp:

[Photo: Christelle De Castro]

Chief Keef begins tour today, releases his weirdest track yet

Since his last mixtape, Almighty So (which made #39 on our Favorite 50 Albums of 2013), Chief Keef has been making a business out of stalling and teasing and joking and house-hunting and basically doing whatever he can to avoid confirming a release date for the long-awaited third installment in his Bang series. That release, which was originally slated as a mixtape for late 2013/early 2014 (sorta/kinda until Interscope told him he’s releasing too much free music, those assholes), is supposedly scheduled as an “album album” sometime this year, with even a guest appearance by the man from high up above (in terms of class structure, social ladder, and cultural hierarchy): Yeezy himself.

In the meantime, Chicago’s most snuggable rapper has released yet another free tune. The track, which follows the old-school Sosa aesthetic heard on “24,” is appropriately titled “Wait.” And like the garbled, off-beat, marbles-in-the-mouth delivery on Almighty So, the track has already proven to be divisive. Why? First off, it’s rough as shit, with Keef himself on the boards this time around (listen to that drunken bass at 1:35!). Second, in addition to inadvertently bending time with his imprecision and sloppy auto-tune’d theatrics, he pitchshifts his voice up to sound, superficially, like a bizarro PC Music export at a super saiyan event. Of course, I love this sped-up version and hope Bang 3 matches the weirdness. Would hate to see Chief Keef bottled up, right? Check out the track here:

While you process the music, here are his upcoming dates:

09.17.14 - Everett, MA - Gallery
09.18.14 - Worcester, MA - Venue
09.19.14 - Albany, NY - The Armory
09.20.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Rose Castle
09.22.14 - Philadelphia, PA - TLA
09.25.14 - Dallas, TX - Icon Night Club
10.02.14 - Mankato, MN - The Mankato BA
10.04.14 - Minneapolis, MN - UMN Campus

• Chief Keef:
• Interscope:

Hookworms share two singles from forthcoming LP on Weird World

Leeds-based bizarro rockers Hookworms have a new record called The Hum coming out later this year via Weird World, a London imprint responsible for Euro pressings from Peaking Lights, Washed Out, and How to Dress Well. Hookworms, however, are a different story. On last year’s album Pearl Mystic, the group harnessed droney, motorik rhythms and guitar screeds punched up with singer MJ’s impassioned yelps. It was a huge debut that showed a lot of promise, and not too many people outside of the UK caught it.

Now on sophomore LP The Hum, the five-piece introduce a tauter, heavier sound with lead single “The Impasse,” which features their new drummer JN, some oppressive distortion à la Perfect Pussy, and a shredded vocal performance. It’s their loudest track yet, shedding most of Pearl Mystic’s psychedelic haze but retaining the massive energy. MJ says of the change, “This time round though we knew we had a really clear audience, so The Hum is really about different freedoms and constraints.” Before the full record drops on November 10, the full tracklist and stream of “The Impasse” and even-newer-track “On Leaving” can be found below. Pre-order it here, ya dirt worms.

The Hum tracklist:

01. The Impasse
02. On Leaving
03. iv
04. Radio Tokyo
05. Beginners
06. v
07. Off Screen
08. vi
09. Retreat

• Hookworms:
• Weird World:

[Photo: Steve Gullick]

Cellular Chaos is in the midst of a September tour right now, all are advised to seek shelter at the lowest floor of their home

Q: What is Cellular Chaos?
A: Strictly speaking it’s a no-wave musical group consisting of Weasel Walter, Admiral Grey, Ceci Moss, and Marc Edwards. It released its debut self-titled album last year. Taking a broader view, Cellular Chaos is an angry vector, a violent jumbling force.

Q: How is Cellular Chaos transmitted?
A: Though scientists are as yet unsure exactly how is transmitted, it is predicted to infect large portions of the Midwest and East this September. In particular, bodily fluids are to be avoided.

Q: How does Cellular Chaos work on the body?
A: Imagine a whisk in eggs.

Q: Should my family and I be afraid of Cellular Chaos?
A: Yes, definitively.


09.17.14 - Providence, RI - AS220
09.19.14 - Rochester, NY - Hazlewood Lodge, Ellison Park
09.20.14 - Ann Arbor, MI - Dreamland Theater
09.21.14 - Chicago, IL - Township
09.22.14 - Minneapolis, MN - Hexagon Bar
09.23.14 - Madison, WI - Mickey’s Tavern
09.24.14 - Kalamazoo, MI - Satellite Records
09.25.14 - Lafayette, IN - Spot Tavern
09.26.14 - Columbus, OH- Cafe Bourbon Street
09.27.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - Gooski’s
09.28.14 - Kutztown, PA - Rat Milk

• Cellular Chaos:

Brogan Bentley set to release snake-obsessed debut called The Snake on Leaving Records

Have you ever loved something so much that it goes beyond passion and into obsession? You know, like that time you got heaps into numerology and you changed your name slightly by giving it a weird spelling like Brrad or Jaaninee and would only leave the house if the numbers aligned? Well Brogan Bentley is obsessive about snakes. How obsessed? Well…

1. He has named his debut album The Snake;

2. He recorded the album during the Year of the Snake in the Chinese Zodiac;

3. The Snake is filled with smooth yet menacing minimalist electro sounds and Brogan’s breathy, serpentine vocals; and

4. Brogan has set the release date for 11/11, because it’s a palindrome which apparently mimics the serpent (I’m not that steeped in snake facts to know exactly how or why this bears relevance).

Brogan continues the snake comparisons in his own words, describing The Snake as “a sonic documentation of coming into new skin, living in it and shedding it.”

If that’s not enough to get you totally pumped about this album, check out the lead single “The Difference” and picture yourself in a tank of snakes. The Snake will be available via Leaving Records and Stones Throw on November 11.

The Snake tracklisting:

01. The Difference
02. Dawn
03. No Less
04. Heal
05. Last Light
06. What If I Fall
07. Secret Strength
08. The Wolf
09. Smoke
10. Give Myself to You
11. St. John
12. Goodbye

• Brogan Bentley:
• Leaving Records:
• Stones Throw:

Jenny Lewis apparently doesn’t care how sick I am, adds more US tour dates for me to write up ASAP

Super-obscure, super-independent, super-reclusive, super-DIY, and super-controversial audiovisual artist Jenny Lewis is probably best known for all of the orgiastic and outrageously sexual, boundary-pushing, questionably-tasted, shock-and-awe audio/visual art that she’s been accosting the ears and eyes of her tiny group of in-the-know followers.

It naturally came as some surprise, then, back in May when she surfaced to announce that her latest “experiment” was going to be a new album of straight-laced and generally catchy roots-rock music called The Voyager and released all over the world in July on the well-known Warner Bros. record label. Hangers-on debated the obvious questions for weeks and months: what was Lewis’ angle here? Clearly the work was meant as some sort of seething critique of popular culture… but what exactly was the critique?

Well, damned if I can shed any new light on the subject. But I think it’s pretty obvious that one of the keys to this mystery probably lies in the slew of new US tour dates that Lewis has slyly added to her agenda this fall. Something tells me that the other shoe is sure to drop at one of these shows, and her grand Gesamtkuntzwerk will finally be revealed to the faithful few whom are lucky enough to be gathered there. Here’s hoping you, reader.

Jenny Lewis does America:

10.04.14 - Dallas, TX - Southside Music Hall
10.05.14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
10.07.14 - New Orleans, LA - Civic Theatre
10.11.14 - Mexico City - Corona Capital Music Festival
10.12.14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
10.24-26.14 - Las Vegas, NV - Life is Beautiful Festival
10.25.14 - San Diego, CA - House of Blue
11.05.14 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
11.08.14 - Ithaca, NY- State Theater
11.11.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
11.12.14 - Richmond, VA - The National
11.14.14 - Atlanta, GA - Buckhead Theatre
11.15.14 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works

• Jenny Lewis:
• Warner Bros:

Tashi Wada debuts new label Saltern with a duets record featuring Charles Curtis and Judith Hamann

The Los Angeles-based composer Tashi Wada has announced he will launch a new label, Saltern, to be distributed by Important Records, home to historical reissues (Eliane Radigue, Pauline Oliveros, C.C. Hennix) as well as interesting contemporary artists (Eleh, Total Life, Steve Gunn, Master Musicians of Bukkake). Wada will inaugurate the label with a release of his own: Duets, an LP that features recent recordings of two cellists — Charles Curtis and Judith Hamann — performing four works composed by Wada between 2006 and 2008. Duets is Tashi Wada’s third release, following 2010’s Alignment and 2012’s Gradient.

Born in New York, Tashi Wada is perhaps best known for his collaborations with his father, Yoshi Wada, a pioneer of drone exploration in electroacoustic music. Not too far from his father’s work, Tashi Wada also tackles sustained tones, usually performed on stringed instruments, probing experimental modes of listening à la Fluxus. However, where Yoshi Wada would use the most unusual artifacts to craft drones (water pipes, air horns, abandoned buildings’ rooms, and even some bagpipe-like instruments of his own creation), his progeny has relied on fellow musicians to build complex structures through repetition, microtonal architecture, and clever interplay.

Saltern has also announced a string of (very interesting) upcoming releases: a recording of Morton Feldman’s “Clarinet and String Quartet” by clarinetist Anthony Burr and Charles Curtis, an album of sound pieces by dancer/artist Simone Forti, and a collaboration between Tashi Wada and Stephan Mathieu.

Duets is out on September 30 via Saltern.

Duets tracklisting:

01. September 2006
02. March 2007
03. April 2007
04. February 2008

• Saltern:
• Important:

Damien Rice, Irish crooner who didn’t piss off all Apple users this week, to tour US

Does anybody listen to Damien Rice anymore? I admit that I have a personal soft spot for the warbling Irish singer-songwriter, because when I was in sixth grade I listened to his debut album O on repeat while my friends listened to normal tween-age music like blink-182. By the time his next album, 9 came out, I had totally lost interest (and moved on to other obsessions, like Interpol).

But I guess Rice is still around and still doing stuff, and he, unlike another Irish act that partnered with a big company to surreptitiously put their album into everybody’s music library, hasn’t pissed anyone off lately. He’s got a new album coming out November 11, called My Favourite Faded Fantasy (produced by Rick Rubin, if that still means anything to you), and he’ll tour the US throughout October. Fans of that movie Closer and 11-year-old me can barely contain our excitement!


10.07.14 - San Francisco, CA - Sherith Israel
10.09.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Cathedral Immanuel
10.13.14 - Chicago, IL - Athenaeum
10.14.14 - Toronto - Danforth
10.16.14 - New York, NY - The Box
10.17.14 - Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw
10.18.14 - New York, NY - The Box

• Damien Rice:



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