Erik Skodvin’s got enough on his plate. In addition to progressing his solo Svarte Greiner project, he also runs Miasmah, the Norwegian, commonly dark ambient label that excels at creating additional excuses for your nighttime disinterest in artificial lighting. Wading in the depths so persistently requires a special kind of fortitude, which is why, perhaps, he and longtime friend/musician Otto Totland haven’t given a tremendous amount of attention to their Deaf Center project over the years. Two albums since 2005. I take the liberty of speaking for everyone when I say, isn’t it about time that we enjoy another entree of flies, freshly-baked?
Deaf Center and Berlin-based “boutique” label Sonic Pieces are doing us a larval solid, as the former have just released Recount, a 27-minute inauguration of the latter’s Pattern series. This mini-album, of sorts, was initially recorded in the years before and after the release of Owl Splinters, so you know they were in the right frame of mind. As Sonic Pieces puts it: “Recount is a bridge between full albums, where time and familiarity are mesmerizingly suspended.” Ominous beauty courtesy of impossibly airy strings tends to have that effect. Just put this on repeat until the next LP, and you won’t even have to wait:
01. Follow Still
• Deaf Center: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deaf-Center/167713219947652
• Sonic Pieces: http://www.sonicpieces.com
Back in 2011, the globettroting French experimentalist High Wolf released a pseudo-hip-hop experiment under the name of Black Zone Myth Chant (a.k.a. Black Zone M.C.), the infamous but great Straight Cassette mixtape. In it he downplayed the exotic/spiritual facets of his High Wolf work and zoned into hip-hop, an interest not made explicit in any of his music up to that point. The mixtape featured some fat-but-trippy beats paired with the closest thing to anti-flow you’re likely to ever hear: vocal mumbling distorted to molasses. The mixtape was originally released digitally and on cassette by Winged Sun, High Wolf’s own imprint. Now it’s coming out on vinyl, thanks to Laitdbac Records, who will reissue the album on a limited-edition 12-inch format.
However, despite its dominating cavernous babbling, Black Zone Myth Chant is not just an exploration of heavily sedated flow, but actually an electronic-manipulation-of-the-human-voice project close to Steve Reich’s “Come Out” piece, Meredith Monk, or Julianna Barwick gone gangsta. The album was sadly obscured in its day by the almost simultaneous release of Death Grips’ debut mixtape and Shabazz Palaces’ Black Up, both adventurous detours for hip-hop in their own right. It didn’t help that most people thought this was a humorous aside, a footnote in High Wolf’s body of work — a hypothesis possible to sustain on the inclination for languorous beats and 800%-slower samples, displayed by a branch of post-vaporwave electronic music. But trust us, this is the kind of obscure record that’s certain to fill revisionist “Best Albums of the 2010s” lists in decades to come. I can almost see the blurb: “The missing link between DJ Screw and Dean Blunt.” So here’s your chance to stay ahead of the curve. Some of the mixtape’s highlights are the deliriously catchy synthwork in “Triangle COP” and the Berlin-school trance-pummeling of “My Glory Will Be to Sing Eternal Law.”
The Black Zone Myth Chant reissue will include three “Bonus Beats”; three new tracks that are more rhythmic than the original material — and thus recall High Wolf’s usual neo-kosmische tribalism — but just as good. You can give the album a preview listen over at the Chocolate Grinder. The album is out digitally right now, and will be available on vinyl in September 25.
Black Zone Myth Chant tracklisting:
01. White Voice
02. Hit By an Invisible Arrow
03. Triangle COP
04. My Glory Will Be to Sing Eternal Law
05. Centre of the Universe
06. Sleeping with TV On
07. Bonus Beat 1
08. Bonus Beat 2
09. Bonus Beat 3
Trance Farmers exhales Dixie Crystals into the world on September 2 via Leaving and Stones Throw Records
If Flying Lotus is the hazy, smoke-filled chamber of the bong that is skewed L.A. beatsmithery, then it’s time to sip on the bong water that is Trance Farmers, whose debut record Dixie Crystals is set to be released on Leaving Records in physical form and Stones Throw in the digital ether on September 2.
Mixing the haziest of oddball samples with his smokey, soulful vocals, Dayve Samek’s Trance Farmers project has been a labor of love recorded over several years (i.e. the usual time it takes to record an album in weed-smoking years) around Los Angeles and combines to create a record that is not suitable to listen to while operating heavy machinery.
Take a sip of the lo-fi, dirty brown goodness via the sample track “Friends” below:
Dixie Crystals tracklist:
01. Greasy Rider
02. Purple Hay
03. Lone Star
05. Betty Bop
06. Gas Can
07. White Out
09. Dream Train
10. When the Right Time Comes
Afropunk Fest expands 2014 line-up: Bad Brains, Sharon Jones, and DJ Rashad tribute featuring RP Boo
The 2014 Afropunk Festival, which takes place August 23-24 at Commodore Park in Brooklyn, already sounded amazing. D’Angelo headlining a four-stage festival featuring the likes of Shabazz Palaces and clipping.? For free? Shut the hell up!
Lo and behold, it looks like the great just got greater. Afropunk has added a bevy of bomb talent to their 2014 line-up, including Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Bad Brains (featuring special guest vocalists), King Britt, and Cro-Mags. Possibly the biggest draw for a fair amount of TMT-ers, however, is a DJ Rashad tribute show featuring members of the Teklife crew and the inimitable footwork pioneer RP Boo.
There are a host of others on the agenda for this year; head over to the Afropunk site to scope out the whole list.
• Afropunk Fest: http://www.afropunkfest.com
Picture a 90s alt-pop revival. Then ask yourself why?
Picture two unfathomably good-looking people, a boy and a girl, like a trimmed-down ABBA, and tell yourself they are called Ex Cops. Don’t ask yourself why this time, but let me assure you that neither person was ever part of a police force, as far as I can tell.
Picture Ex Cops wondering what to do after their first album. Now picture them turning to indie oracle Billy Corgan for advice. Imagine that he tells them to go and write unabashed pop songs that he would have done himself back in the 90s if he had the cheekbones that Ex Cops do.
Picture Justin Raisen (producer for Sky Ferreira and Charli XCX) sitting in a studio and hitting record while Ex Cops play. Imagine the neon shimmers and walls of guitars. Sometimes Ariel Pink will wander into the studio; do not be alarmed, he’s a part of this now too.
Now hit play on the widget below and close your eyes. You will hear “Black Soap,” the lead single from Ex Cops’ forthcoming album Daggers. Picture your inhibitions floating away like a balloon in a clear blue sky.
Finally, picture yourself in the not-too-distant future. It is October 28, 2014 and Downtown Records has just released Daggers by Ex Cops. How do you feel about this not-too-distant future?
Are you now ready for a 90s alt-pop revival? If not, return to the top of this page and repeat the steps.
01. Black Soap
02. White Noise
05. Pretty Shitty
06. Burnt Out Love
07. Modern World
08. Wanna Be (feat. L.P.)
09. Tragically Alright (feat. Ariel Pink)
11. Weird with You
A while back, I accused Mr. Ben Frost, sound art extraordinaire behind this year’s A U R O R A, of purposefully shunning major American cities on his upcoming fall tour. Check this out: I fucked up, and Ben Frost loves America! Yeehaw!
Frost has added dates in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Lexington, St. Paul, Toronto, and Chicago. His performance in Brooklyn kicks off the Tinnitus Music Series, a program orchestrated by Pitchfork’s “Show No Mercy” column and Blackened Music that focuses on “composers of extreme sound.” Like, music for the X-Games, I think.
Can I still be a little sore about you ignoring the Pacific Northwest, Ben? Am I being too desperate?? Love me!!
** Just noticed that there is a caveat of “further tour dates” promised. Fingers crossed. Wash out your ears with “Nolan” from A U R O R A:
Newly announced Ben Frost dates:
10.18.14 - Brooklyn, NY - The Wick
10.20.14 - Lexington, KY - The Downtown Arts Center Black Box Theater
10.21.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot and Saddle
10.24.14 - Toronto, ON - The Garrison
10.30.14 - St. Paul, MN - Amsterdam
10.31.14 - Chicago, IL - Constellation
Rob Zombie announces crowdfunding campaign for his next horror film, having spent all his own money on a bunch of miniature Fabergé Dragulas
Ladies and gentlemen, this is it: the moment you’ve been training for your entire post-Astrocreep-life. The call just came in. After all the help and hope and encouragement and confidence that he’s selflessly given to your freaky ass over the years with his inspirational and life-affirming brand of stylized gore-core, Rob Zombie needs YOUR help!
“The director is offering up a variety of high-quality rewards to people who want to support the movie, including autographed posters, a chance for Zombie to follow a winner on Twitter, a winner’s name in the credits, a lifetime laminate to see Zombie on tour at any show and a gig as an extra in 31,” Rolling Stone deftly writes. “Zombie will also offer selected props from his movies, including Halloween masks and giant crosses from House of 1000 Corpses
But I know how it goes; since most of you people out there reading this are like most people, you’ll likely want to hear more rhetoric about how cool and important and special fan-funding is before you shell out your dough. Well, you’re in luck! Here’s some impassioned words from Zombie himself that you can stroke your beard and nod along to: I’m crowd funding because I realize that it’s an incredible opportunity to engage the fans. They’ve always been the most important thing for me because, with metal and horror, the fans aren’t just fans – it’s their life, their lifestyle. They live and breathe it, as I do, and any way that you can bring the people that are as passionate about it as you are into the process is a win-win for everybody. Right?!? I mean, what else do you need to know? Wait, what’s that you say?? “What’s the movie about?”!?! HOW DARE YOU.
But I know how it goes; since most of you people out there reading this are like most people, you’ll likely want to hear more rhetoric about how cool and important and special fan-funding is before you shell out your dough. Well, you’re in luck! Here’s some impassioned words from Zombie himself that you can stroke your beard and nod along to:
I’m crowd funding because I realize that it’s an incredible opportunity to engage the fans. They’ve always been the most important thing for me because, with metal and horror, the fans aren’t just fans – it’s their life, their lifestyle. They live and breathe it, as I do, and any way that you can bring the people that are as passionate about it as you are into the process is a win-win for everybody.
Right?!? I mean, what else do you need to know?
Wait, what’s that you say?? “What’s the movie about?”!?! HOW DARE YOU.
Ahead of their upcoming album Alphaville, ye olde 90s favorites The Rentals have announced a few US tour dates and given us a sneaky-peeky of what to expect, by way of sharing their new single “1000 Seasons,” which you can listen to in that little embedded orange-hued player below. Strap on your thick, black-framed glasses and get ready to “oooh-hooo-hoo-hooo” with The Rentals like it’s 1995, as you discover them on the radio on the way to the mall to pick up that Offspring record.
The Rentals tour dates:
09.05.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Fonda Theatre
09.07.14 - Pomona, CA - Glass House ^
09.08.14 - San Francisco, CA - Slim’s #
09.25.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
09.26.14 - Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony
09.27.14 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
^ We Are Scientists & Ozma
Sorry, dude who started this Change.org petition requesting that the Swedish metal band Ghost split up: a band named Ghost is disbanding, but it’s not the one you’re targeting. It’s the Japanese experimental psychedelic band Ghost, breaking up after 30 years and eight albums.
Ghost’s leader, Masaki Batoh, announced the group’s split on their Facebook page. The Drag City band has played together since 1984.
Batoh’s somewhat cryptic message also mentions a solo follow-up to 2012’s Brain Pulse Music, due out on Drag City in 2015, and hints at the emergence of a new band, The Silence, sometime “after spring.” Read the full statement below:
Ghost is dissolved. Since 1984 to 2014
Look forward Masaki Batoh’s solo work out in January 2015 from Drag City.
And also new band “The Silence” that should be out after spring.
Share this announcement everybody.
Masaki Batoh 9 Aug 2014 Tokyo
Night Slugs label-head Bok Bok and Voyage Direct label-head Tom Trago have collaborated on a second volume of their bumpin’, jackin’, groovin’ Night Voyage Tool Kit project. The “mini-album,” which combines two previously released 12-inches, Get Me What You Want and Pussy Trak, and adds two mixes of a new cut called “Need This,” is set for a September 9 release through their exclusively self-releasing Night Voyage label.
As you likely can hear from those 12-inches, a Tom Trago/Bok Bok collaboration sounds just like you’d expect it to, which is far from a bad thing. With Your Charizmatic Self, Bok Bok’s previous solo release, the London-based producer pushed the saturation to 100%, hitting near-Lone levels and perhaps frustrating some who felt he overreached and fell into the pop cesspool. Well he has a response for those that felt so. And even if that doesn’t rectify, there’s no need to worry. Night Voyage Tool Kit II finds Trago’s hand scrubbing the gloss away.
Check out “Vector” from the first volume and “Get Me What You Want” from the second below.
Night Voyage Tool Kit II tracklist:
01. Get Me What You Want
02. Pussy Trak
03. Silent G. Safari
04. Hole Driller 3
05. Need This [Radio Mix]
06. Need This [12” Dub]