Tlaotlon layers down the law; new album Natural Devices out in February on his own label

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
06. Aircheck
07. Templex
08. Tri-fold Pattern Language

• Tlaotlon: https://soundcloud.com/tlaotlon
• World Memory: http://worldmemorynet.tumblr.com

Lydia Lunch lurches lovingly, letting loose new 3x3 EP, leaks a little about forthcoming LP

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.

• Lydia Lunch: http://www.lydia-lunch-official.com
• Rustblade: http://www.rustblade.com

Etix founder Travis Janovich buys Hopscotch Music Festival

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?

• Hopscotch: http://hopscotchmusicfest.com
• Etix: http://www.etix.com

Cannibal Ox announce long-awaited sophomore album, Blade of the Ronin

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
09. Water
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)
19. Salvation

• Cannibal Ox: http://www.cannibalox.com

Björk surprise-releases Vulnicura two months early cuz of dirty leakers

Though originally set for release in March, Vulnicura, the latest album from ninth wonder of the world Björk, has had its digital release date moved up to… five minutes ago. So get your pre-orders in ASAP!

Along with a link to its iTunes page, Björk has shared an explanation of where the album is coming from — apparently a place of personal heartbreak:

i guess i found in my lap one year into writing it a complete heartbreak album . kinda surprised how thoroughly i had documented this in pretty much accurate emotional chronology …. like 3 songs before a break up and three after . so the anthropologist in me sneaked in and i decided to share them as such . first i was worried it would be too self indulgent but then i felt it might make it even more universal . and hopefully the songs could be a help , a crutch to others and prove how biological this process is : the wound and the healing of the wound . psychologically and physically . it has a stubborn clock attached to it .

there is a way out

Also check here for the first handful of live dates.

Vulnicura tracklist:

01. Stonemilker
02. Lionsong
03. History of Touches
04. Black Lake
05. Family
06. Notget
07. Atom Dance (feat. Antony)
08. Mouth Mantra
09. Quicksand

• Björk: http://bjork.com

The Go! Team return with a new album this spring in an effort to keep “indie pop” in the OED for one more edition

If you were like me, you’ll probably remember shambly Brighton, UK six-piece power indie group The Go! Team being all kinds of awesome 11 years ago. But also, if you’re STILL anything like me, you probably read this news headline and thought to yourself “whoa, haven’t thought about that band in ages; those dudes are still a THING? Huh…”

Well. First off: congrats on being a little like ME. That’s awesome for you. Secondly, though, yes! Those dudes are still a THING! Although, technically, I guess they haven’t been much of a thing for almost five years running now, which is about when they released the album Rolling Blackouts before “splintering off into different musical projects, getting married, teaching, experiencing real life.” Yuk. And also, by “those dudes,” I guess we’re really talking about frontman Ian Parton, who, according to the nice and neat, hindsight-is-20/20 narrative concocted by his press people, took the band’s dissolution as an “opportunity to return to the working methods he’d used at the origins of the band — crate digging, fooling around by himself, trying to nail a feeling.” Hey, great. That’s what I’ve been doing since college!

But I guess all that is to say that Parton has apparently finished his crate digging and soul searching and whatnot, cuz he’s returning as The Go! Team on March 24 with a new album entitled The Scene Between on Memphis Industries. Writing, performing, and producing everything by his lonesome, Parton says he committed himself to the following four rules for the album: “melody would guide the song, samples would be treated as an instrument rather than a basis for the song, the production would vary across the song like flipping the dial on a radio and the singers must all be people he’d never previously heard of.” He elaborated, “I wanted to make an album driven by melody and song writing because catchiness is the hardest thing you can do. Brill Building hooks but permeated with a kind of wobbly VHS feel.” (Okay, wait; again: didn’t he already do that???)

Anyway, you can pre-order the thing now on vinyl and CD over here and digital-style over here. All orders also come with instant download of the title track, which, DUH, you can also check out down below right now for free, because it’s 2015 and this an online music magazine and there’s embed codes and shit.

The Scene Between tracklisting:

01. What D’You Say?
02. The Scene Between
03. Waking the Jetstream
04. Rolodex the Seasons
05. Blowtorch
06. Did You Know?
07. Gaffa Tape Bikini
08. Catch Me on the Rebound
09. The Floating Felt Tip
10. Her Last Wave
11. The Art of Getting By (Song for Heaven’s Gate)
12. Reason Left to Destroy

• The Go! Team: http://www.thegoteam.co.uk
• Memphis Industries: http://www.memphis-industries.com

Felix K joins Blackest Ever Black, announces new 12-inch EP Tragedy of the Commons

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)

• Felix K: https://www.facebook.com/flxk1
• Blackest Ever Black: http://blackesteverblack.com

Action Bronson preps new album, shares “Actin’ Crazy” and freestyle: fuck, that’s delicious!

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)
03. Terry
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

• Action Bronson: http://www.actionbronson.com
• Vice: http://www.vicerecords.com
• Atlantic: http://www.atlanticrecords.com

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
12. Ghost
13. Invisible
14. A Geometric
15. Music in Pairs

• Sam Prekop: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Prekop
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

Björk to perform six “intimate” NY shows before appearance at the Governors Ball Music Festival

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