Who said “will-they-won’t-they” storylines could only work in sitcoms? The Berlin-based producer Felix K has finally confirmed his long-awaited Blackest Ever Black debut: Tragedy of the Commons, a 12-inch EP due out in February. After a bunch of releases put out through his own label, Hidden Hawaii, and myriad other DIY ventures (including his acclaimed 2013 debut LP Flowers of Destruction), Krone (that’s what that K stands for) has decided to trust his bleakest work to date to a label where it’ll find itself most at home, rubbing elbows with Dominic Fernow (Prurient, Vatican Shadow), Stefan Jaworzyn, William Bennett (Cut Hands), Pete Swanson, Raime, and a very illustrious/frightful etcetera.
A true journeyman of all things techno, Felix K started out in the late 90s, taking his hometown’s underground electronic scene by storm. Soon he became a central player of the hard-to-pin German drum-and-bass movement; with his roots firmly planted there, Krone reached out and incorporated dub, techno, and minimalist turns to his highly personal style. However, true to its Blackest Ever Black lineage, Tragedy of the Commons offers a good dose of the grim, hypnotically slow moving, dubbed-out drones we’ve come to expect from Krone in recent times, just slightly accentuating the menace factor over his usual deep techno leanings. The EP’s three songs promise to be lengthy forays into a schizophrenic maze of moodiness Krone has baptized “Berlin noir.”
Tragedy of the Commons will be out on February 16 in a 500-copy vinyl edition, and a digital version of the album is expected to become available later in the year. You can sample segments of the three tracks below.
Tragedy of the Commons tracklisting:
A1. Tragedy of the Commons
B1. Silent Money
B2. Fundamentals (Onar Anxiety Remix)
It’s customary to mention Ghostface Killah when speaking of Action Bronson, and I’m not gonna buck that trend: there’s more than a passing similarity between the two, in both cadence and tone of voice. It’s perfect ammo for Bronsolino’s haters, but it’d be selling him wayyy short to simply dismiss him as a “bootleg ghost face” (s/o @AZEALIABANKS for the now-deleted quotable). In fact, dude is beyond the whole GFK-soundalike thing these days. He’s probably the most convincing food-rapper since the guy behind Mm..Food, for one; he’s also responsible for some of the most capital-F Fun tapes in recent memory, with Blue Chips and Rare Chandeliers earning him a fair few accolades back in 2012. Fast-forward a few years and a steady stream of material since then, and he’s finally ready to pop off his major-label debut LP, titled Mr. Wonderful. ’S him alright.
Here’s the low-down: 13 tracks, features from Chance the Rapper, Meyhem Lauren, Big Body Bes, Party Supplies, and Chauncey Sherod, production from Mark Ronson, Noah “40” Shebib, and the Alchemist, and a guaranteed myriad of food/drugs/sex subject matter from Mr. Wonderful himself. It’s out on March 24 via VICE/Atlantic, and it should prove to be the final nail in the coffin of the fuckbois who feel the need to bring up Ghostface any time Action Bronson is discussed, ‘cos if we’re being real, the Wu-Tang member hasn’t come up with anything quite as fresh as this in years. Just before the announcement came, he released “Actin’ Crazy” with the aforementioned 40 on the boards. It’s pretty good, but don’t just take my word for it: give it a spin down below.
But wait: there’s more! Not content with just another promo single, Action also recently came through with a freestyle for Funkmaster Flex, which you can watch right here. Spittin’ over Prodigy’s “Keep It Thoro” beat, he not only delivered a performance so HOT that he managed to dislodge his own damn headphones, but he immediately recovered from the incident with “If I die change my suit four times at the wake / And make sure I get my dick sucked also”! New York rappers have a great history of totally warranted braggadocio, and you can count Bronsolino amongst them. In fact, he probably said it best himself: SPPPPPAAAAAZZZZZZEEEDDDDD.
Mr Wonderful tracklist:
01. Brand New Car
02. When I Rise (feat. Big Body Bes)
04. Actin Crazy
05. Falconry (feat. Meyhem Lauren & Big Body Bes)
06. THUG LOVE STORY 2017 THE MUSICAL (Interlude)
07. A. City Boy Blues (feat. Chauncy Sherod)
08. B. A light in the Addict (feat. Party Supplies)
09. C. Baby Blue (feat. Chance The Rapper)
10. Only in America (feat. Party Supplies)
11. Galactic Love
12. The Passage
13. Easy Rider
Sam Prekop (The Sea and Cake) announces another synthesizer album, forgets to include the Dr. Who theme again!
It’s been pretty apparent for quite some time that Sea and Cake member Sam Prekop of is all about making the Benjamins when it comes to his musical ambitions. And ever since both gluten and salt water intolerances became en vogue, Prekop has been doing his level best to scoop up that huge market share by whatever non-Sea and Cake means necessary. For the past several years, his greed has made itself manifest in his solo records’ exploitation of the modular synthesizer.
So yeah, it’s pretty much no surprise that the dude is back again for yet another collection of bubblegum solo works for synth. Titled The Republic, the new album will be released on February 24 via Thrill Jockey. According to the flashy and totally hyperbolic press release, it was “recorded in Prekop’s home studio in Chicago during the early months of 2014.” And also, its first half “consists of songs that were originally created as a score for a video installation of the same name by David Hartt, which was shown at the David Nolan Gallery in New York” while the second half is home to “some of Prekop’s most warm and inviting synth work yet, built using ideas that worked better on their own as opposed to accompanying the installation.” Can you even believe the nerve of that guy?
Either way, it’s too late. The hype machine is already in full swing. Just yesterday, NPR premiered the track “Weather Vane”, and the whole internet’s been blowing a gasket about it ever since. Everyone who’s anyone wants to make sure that they get their pre-order of the CD/LP version from Thrill Jockey and their digital version on iTunes. Business is business! I’m just gonna hop on the bandwagon and post the video for “Weather Vane” down below. Hopefully I’ll at least get a few “likes” and “retweets” out of the deal.
The Republic tracklisting:
01. The Republic 1
02. The Republic 2
03. The Republic 3
04. The Republic 4
05. The Republic 5
06. The Republic 6
07. The Republic 7
08. The Republic 8
09. The Republic 9
10. Weather Vane
11. The Loom
14. A Geometric
15. Music in Pairs
It’s Björk week! After having announced new album Vulnicura on a Tuesday, Björk returns to the shitstorm that is the media cycle with some performance news. And here’s that news: Starting March 7, Björk will perform a series of “intimate shows” in New York at both Carnegie Hall and City Center, culminating with a performance at this year’s Governors Ball Music Festival.
Don’t expect to hear any new songs from Vulnicura though!
JK JK JK.
Presale tix go on sale at 11 AM EST on Monday, with a public sale happening that Friday (January 23). I’ll be scalping tix on January 24, so hit me up. Dates:
03.07.15 - New York, NY - Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
03.14.15 - New York, NY - Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
03.25.15 - New York, NY - City Center
03.28.15 - New York, NY - City Center
04.01.15 - New York, NY - City Center
04.04.15 - New York, NY - City Center
06.05-07.15 - New York, NY - Governors Ball Music Festival
• Björk: http://bjork.com
Remove the following supposition from your brain: only well-known artists and/or labels can get away with announcing things in haiku. The Western world has taken an unusually rampant liking to this ancient form of Japanese poetry, but that doesn’t mean that its practicality is limited to the possible expanding of minds/brainwashing of K-12 students. A whopping three haiku (and barely anything more), in this case, were used to announce a new EP from prior PAN affiliate and Berlin-based producer James Whipple a.k.a. M.E.S.H. If you’re curious, the haiku read as follows:
stealth pilots speaking
in the upper atmosphere
I am being DAW
guiding a rogue missile
a cold black ocean
island with a landing strip
paint on ground says M.E.S.H
So, you know, resist the temptation to go to war, even if M.E.S.H’s prior Scythians EP did subtly motivate you to sharpen your bayonet. Infra-Dusk/Infra Dawn is out on Black Ocean February 9, and you can assume the presence of a club-inspired mindset, but not a club-inspired copying. Probably outside the norm, and probably a proper addition to the virginal label.
An old track from Scythians:
• M.E.S.H.: https://www.facebook.com/MXEXSXH
Seeing an “x” in this band’s name and assuming I’d be spending my day in the TMT newsroom listening to sweet, sweet hardcore, I hastily volunteered to write about Waxahatchee’s new album, Ivy Tripp (out April 7 via Merge/Wichita Recordings and following 2013’s savory-sounding Cerulean Salt) when the boss man was doling out assignments in our usual morning meeting/paper football game.
Turns out, though, that I’m an idiot. Waxahatchee is actually the more-or-less “solo project” (yeah, you know how it is with these noncommittal indie rock weiners…) of Katie Crutchfield, who plays, well, indie rock. You know: it’s all breezy, but also kinda aggressive… sort of like a day at the beach, but an annoyingly windy day at the beach?
I mean, I don’t know. Sorry. I’m just a little bummed right now. But I’m trying my best to picture Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye sort of digging a few of these songs, which, by the way, were all “recorded and engineered by Kyle Gilbride of Wherever Audio at Crutchfield’s home on New York’s Long Island,” with “drums recorded in the gym of a local elementary school” — which is actually kinda hardcore. You know what, it’s actually kinda working! My Black Flag-tattooed toes are tapping! Let’s hear from Crutchfield herself about this album. Why not!
My life has changed a lot in the last two years, and it’s been hard for me to process my feelings other than by writing songs. I think a running theme [of Ivy Tripp] is steadying yourself on shaky ground and reminding yourself that you have control in situations that seem overwhelming, or just being cognizant in moments of deep confusion or sadness, and learning to really feel emotions and to grow from that.
Oh, fuck, forget all I said about the hardcore. You can pre-order it now on “limited-edition colored vinyl” (complete with autographed poster) at the Merge webstore and super un-hardcore digital philistine-style via iTunes dot com, and there’s also a song below and some spring tour dates in the works. Other than that, you’re on your own. Later, guys.
01.26.15 - London, UK - St. Pancras Church
01.28.15 - Paris, France - L’espace B
01.31.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
02.01.15 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
02.04.15 - Berlin, Germany - Monarch
04.07.15 - Washington, DC - The Black Cat ^
04.08.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer ^%
04.09.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg ^%
04.10.15 - Harrisonburg, VA - Clementine ^
04.11.15 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle Backroom ^
04.12.15 - Asheville, NC - The Mothlight ^
04.13.15 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn ^
04.15.15 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree ^
04.16.15 - Gainesville, FL - The Wooly ^
04.17.15 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Down Under ^
04.18.15 - Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall ^
04.19.15 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa ^
04.20.15 - Houston, TX - Walters Downtown ^
04.21.15 - Austin, TX - Red 7 ^
04.22.15 - Denton, TX - Rubber Gloves ^
04.24.15 - Albuquerque, NM - Sister %
04.25.15 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar %
04.26.15 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah %
04.28.15 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy %
04.29.15 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall %
05.01.15 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir %
05.03.15 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile %
05.06.15 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club %
05.07.15 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle %
05.08.15 - Chicago, IL - The Beat Kitchen %
05.09.15 - Detroit, MI - UFO %
05.10.15 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison %
05.11.15 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz PDB %
05.12.15 - Burlington, VT - The Monkey House %
05.13.15 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair %
05.14.15 - East Greenwich, RI - Greenwich Odeum %
06.08.15 - Koln, Germany - Blue Shell
06.10.15 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom
06.11.15 - Bristol, UK - The Fleece
06.12.15 - Manchester, UK - The Ruby Lounge
06.13.15 - Dublin, Ireland - Button Factory
06.14.15 - Belfast, Northern Ireland - McHughs
06.15.15 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
06.16.15 - Newcastle, UK - The Cluny
06.17.15 - Leeds, UK - The Brudenell Social Club
06.18.15 - Sheffield, UK - The Harley
06.19.15 - Southampton, UK - Joiners
06.20.15 - Brighton, UK - Bleach
^ The Goodbye Party
And on the third wave of artist announcements, SXSW released what now amounts to 965 bands booked to play the annual Austin, TX industry drunkfest. And lo, the industry saw that it was good. Bands from around the world! Bands you’ve never heard of! Bands with names so terrible, you WISH you’d never heard of them! Bands you HAVE heard of and are totally freaking out about! Together, in America’s Modern Garden of Eden — the swirling mass of humanity, loud music, and late night pizza places known as 6th Street — the pop-punk band would grab tacos next to the ethereal noisewave quintet, and behold, it was all totally, totally good.
So yeah, obviously they’re adding other bands EVERY DAY! But for the moment, you can revel in the wonder of seeing Best Coast, Douglas Dare, Frog Eyes, Jaill, Jorma Kaukonen, Kelela, Morgan Heritage, Palma Violets, Prince Rama, The Shrine, Son Lux, Yo Gotti, and a whole host of other bands presented in alphabetical order. You can get the whole list here.
• SXSW: http://sxsw.com
“The thunder clouds broke up,” the sweet news writer said, quoting The Microphones for no discernible reason. “The rain dried up,” he continued, burying the lead even further. “But the lightning, it did not let up. It drew itself back as if by Zeus’ brawny forearms and it flew downward in a colossal Lightning Bolt.” Oh geez, I get it now, based on context clues, I’m going to guess there’s a new Lightning Bolt album coming out from Thrill Jockey? Is that right, Mr. News Writer? “There’s no black or white, no change of the light.” Okay, let’s leave the news writer up here in paragraph one and go deep on the details in paragraphs two and three.
The album’s called Fantasy Empire, and it’s a follow-up to 2012’s Oblivion Hunter, and proof that Brian Chippendale doesn’t just hang out with his buddies in Deerhoof these days. And yes, in case you had forgotten, a little-known online music publication that you are, coincidentally, reading right now did name Lightning Bolt’s 2003 cosmic flamebeast of an album Wonderful Rainbow as their number three album of the 2000s. That definitely happened.
But that’s all the past, let’s talk about the future, specifically March 24, which is the date that Fantasy Empire is coming out. The songs on the album have been kicking around for some time now, morphing through the band’s live sets, and even being recorded on more lo-fi equipment, before being scrapped and ultimately replaced with the versions that made it to the record. These versions are reportedly marked by a “more accurate translation of their live experience.” It’ll be just like all those amps and drums and mountains of sound are hanging out with you in your living room and your roommates will LOVE IT. The album is available for pre-order right now on CD and deluxe double LP, a limited 300 of which will be pressed on black-and-white-swirl vinyl (there will be more of the swirl vinyl available from the band on their as-yet-unannounced tour dates later this year). And there’s even a Thrill Jockey mailorder-exclusive t-shirt floating around in there if you’re looking to boost your apparel game. We really have come a long way from that unnecessary Microphones reference at the top, haven’t we?
Fantasy Empire tracklist:
01. The Metal East
02. Over the River and Through the Woods
04. King of My World
06. Runaway Train
07. Leave the Lantern Lit
08. Dream Genie
09. Snow White (& the 7 Dwarves Fans)
From Rolling Stone:
Runaways producer and notorious L.A. music legend Kim Fowley has died. In recent months, he had been undergoing cancer treatments, though no cause of death has been announced. He was 75.
Charismatic and eccentric, Fowley is best remembered as the record producer for the all-female rock group the Runaways. He introduced Joan Jett, who was 15 at the time, to teenage drummer Sandy West and helped them find frontwoman Cherie Currie, lead guitarist Lita Ford and bassist Jackie Fox. He produced the band’s 1976 self-titled debut and co-wrote the band’s biggest hit, the punkish “Cherry Bomb,” with Jett. He also co-produced the following year’s Queens of Noise and helmed the same year’s Waitin’ for the Night.
Fowley was born in 1939 to Singin’ in the Rain actor Douglas Fowley and actress Shelby Payne and grew up in Los Angeles and around southern California. After a bout with polio in 1957, he began a career in the music industry, producing his first single – the Renegades’ “Charge” – in 1959. In the Sixties, worked with Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Seeds and Saint Vincent, among others, as well as launching his own solo career; his 1968 LP Outrageous, Fowley’s third, was the only one to chart in the U.S. Fowley closed out the Sixties by MCing John Lennon’s performance at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival, where he asked the audience to hold up its cigarette lighters, arguably starting the concert fad.
The Seventies found Fowley working with the Modern Lovers, Blue Cheer and Helen Reddy. He also co-wrote songs on Kiss’ hit Destroyer and a “Escape” on Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare. Fowley and the Runaways severed their ties in 1977, after which he set out to find another group he could market as a novelty. Although he worked with a few groups over the ensuing decades and continued to put out his own solo LPs, none reached the success or notoriety of the Runaways.
• Kim Fowley: http://www.kimfowley.net
Grouper, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Bitchin Bajas, Suicideyear, and more featured at New Myths on March 13-15 in Marfa, Texas
What do Grouper, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, minimalist artist Donald Judd, and straight-up aliens from outer space all have in common? If you guessed, “They all have in the past or will in the future party in Marfa, Texas,” then you, my friend probably don’t even need to read this news post and are hereby excused. The rest of you, though, you should stick around, you might learn a thing or two about the New Myths cultural program going down in Marfa, Texas. Like, for instance that it’s curated by Mexican Summer and co-presented with Ballroom Marfa. I’ll bet you didn’t even know that until just now when you learned it. In the next paragraph, I will use numbers and letters to teach you even more.
New Myths is planned for March 13-15, and it’ll feature performances from the likes of Steve Gunn, Bitchin Bajas, Weyes Blood, Thug Entrancer, Suicideyear, and more. Beyond that, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma will create a “sound bath,” Liz Harris (a.k.a. Grouper) will present a “semi-permanent outdoor mural” (though it looks like she won’t be performing music [update: she will be! on Saturday!), there’ll be a live installation of Gregg Kowalsky’s “Tape Chants,” and several short film screenings. Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin will also post up in a recording residency that will result in a limited 12-inch documenting the collaboration. Basically, there’s a lot of things going on all at once while everybody keeps on not talking about the very real aliens chilling just outside city limits. It’s like it’s a conspiracy or something.
Anyway, this is the second year for the event that kicked off last year, and if you’d like to see it happen more, and more expansively, consider reaching your bony arm deep into the event organizers’ collective pockets and depositing some money there for tickets to Saturday (Friday and Sunday are both free). There’s even a special “weekend bundle” price that gets you entrance all weekend in addition to a copy of that limited 12-inch I was talking about up top, a tote bag, and a journal featuring work from both some of the performers and a variety of Marfa-based artists. Grip them via Mexican Summer, and peep the full events rundown below.
Friday, March 13
• Sam Falls solo exhibition - Ballroom Marfa
• Software Recording Co. presents: GABI, Thug Entrancer, Co La - Ballroom Marfa
• Liz Harris’ painting available for viewing at 201 E. Dallas Street all weekend and beyond
Saturday, March 14
• Sound Bath with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - The Well
• “Tape Chants” with Gregg Kowalsky - Building 98
• Mexican Summer presents: Iceage, Grouper, Tamaryn, Steve Gunn, Weyes Blood - The Capri
• Bitchin Bajas’, Suicideyear, LBS. - Foodsharkland
Sunday, March 15
• CineMarfa & Anthology Recordings film program - Crowley Theater