Holly Herndon’s new 10-inch Body Sound is more robot-sex dance music

Robots! They’re everywhere these days. Cleaning your floor, scouring the ocean floor looking for shipwrecks, reading the news on Japanese TV, and just generally freakin’ everybody out. They’re kinda scary and yet kinda cool, am I right? So don’t act like you haven’t thought about this question before: what would it be like if a robot learned how to love?

That’s the question answered by Holly Herndon’s music. Yes. Her musical aesthetic is “robot learning how to love.” Or at least it operates in an area of computer music that’s warm and vivid and awash in beautiful things, like love and shit, but still a wee bit cold and mechanical and well… computer-y. And it’s a wonderful thing, really, so it’s all the more exciting that Ms. Herndon’s new 10-inch, Body Sound, is coming out via Infinite Greyscale on July 17. It’s a single-sided baby blue 10-inch and boy is that single side purdy lookin’. In case you’re wondering, the song is a collab between Herndon and choreographer/dancer Cuauhtemoc Peranda for a performance that went down at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. Read more about its creation here, and listen to the whole thing below:

Behold! Body Sound! Preorder the record in all its glory on the Infinite Greyscale website. The release is limited to 300 numbered copies and features handmade artwork.

• Holly Herndon: http://www.hollyherndon.com
• Infinite Greyscale: http://infinitegreyscale.wordpress.com

Jennifer Castle doesn’t need a choir or orchestra when she’s got Owen Pallett; new album coming in September

Sometimes sparseness can hit harder than a wall of noise.

Jennifer Castle is an example of this.

Her simple, haunting folk tracks pack hard, heavy punches.

Pink City is her new album, which demonstrates her sparse craft.

Pink City will be released on September 2 via No Quarter Records.

The record is simple: guitar, piano, and voice.

Owen Pallet also adds some string arrangements.

You can have your mind… very… slowly… blown by the haunting beauty of the lead single “Nature” right now.

Right here:

• Jennifer Castle: https://www.facebook.com/jennifercastlemusic
• No Quarter: http://noquarter.net

MNDSGN signs to Stones Throw/Leaving Records, readies lots of nw msc

MNDSGN — pronounced “mind design” or “mundisgen” — is L.A.-based producer Ringgo Ancheta, a prolific beatmaker who has released plenty of music via his Bandcamp and smaller labels like Fresh Selects. Now, Ancheta has signed to both the influential Stones Throw label and Matthewdavid’s Leaving Records imprint, readying an LP for the former and a tape for the latter. Mzl tv!

The first release, Surface Outtakes, is ALREADY available as a limited cassette. Later in the summer, Stones Throw will put out Yawn Zen, an album that “comes from a very neutral place that we, sometimes, are too busy to realize is there,” according to the producer. Could Ancheta be talking about Delaware, Switzerland, and/or Canada? At the moment, it’s unclear. Either way, this son of a neuroscientist seems to be making way more tunes than he can find a home for, which is solid news for instrumental hip-hop fans. Also of note is a new, monthly Boiler Room series titled “Breakfast with Ringgo,” with Ancheta spinning records alongside friends like Knxwledge. Before Yawn Zen is released on August 26, the lead single “Txt” can be heard below, and head to the Chocolate Grinder for a cut from Surface Outtakes called “Eggs.”

Yawn Zen tracklist:

01. Yawn
02. Homewards
03. Sheets
04. Frugality
05. Exchanging
06. Convert
07. Arklite
08. Camelblues
09. Txt (MSGS)
10. AM
11. Afternoon Shuffle
12. Zen

• MNDSGN: http://mndsgn.biz
• Stones Throw: http://www.stonesthrow.com
• Leaving: http://leavingrecords.com

RIP: Tommy Ramone, drummer for The Ramones

From The Ramones’ official Twitter account:

We are saddened to announce the passing of Ramones founding drummer Tommy (Erdelyi) Ramone. #RIPTommyRamone

• The Ramones: http://www.ramones.com

RIP: Charlie Haden, jazz musician

From ECM Records:

It is with deep sorrow that we announce that Charlie Haden, born August 6, 1937 in Shenandoah, Iowa, passed away today at 10:11 Pacific time in Los Angeles after a prolonged illness. Ruth Cameron, his wife of 30 years, and his children Josh Haden, Tanya Haden, Rachel Haden and Petra Haden were all by his side.

• Charlie Haden: http://www.charliehadenmusic.com
• ECM Records: http://www.ecmrecords.com

Danny Brown does Wembley shows supporting Eminem; DJ Sliink remix of “Smokin and Drinkin” makes you throw up repeatedly (in a good way)

If poor life choices and a difficult upbringing were unfortunate precursors to your chucking sobriety to the wind, or if wealth and privilege precipitated the odorous bedroom wallpaper made out of non-monetary greenage, Danny Brown’s inebriated exalt “Smokin & Drinkin” might’ve had distinct appeal among the otherwise fantastic tracks of Old. To be sure, a lot of Brown’s lyrics seem to be doused in white powder and packed inside rolling papers, but thus far, have we encountered so blatant a homage from the unyielding Detroit rapper? Why… well, yes. The guy loves repeated proclamations of his repeated drug indulgences, but it seems time to pass the symbolic spliff, temporarily, in the form of a remix!

Jersey “Club King” and newfound Fade To Mind associate DJ Sliink has just unveiled an unsurprisingly club-like rendition, which you can listen to below. Separately, so long as he abstains from offending the fellow Michigander with unwanted peer pressure, Brown (with Odd Future) will be supporting the now-sober Eminem today and tomorrow at Wembley Stadium in London. I’m sensing the makings of a new Odd Couple, where the series finale is set to take place LIVE… in a gutter somewhere. Let’s hope not though! It’s all about moderation, folks.

• Danny Brown: http://xdannyxbrownx.com
• Fool’s Gold: http://www.foolsgoldrecs.com

Amanda X share new single “Guatemala,” team up with Siltbreeze for first LP

It’s a time-tested formula. You wanna be cool? Like, icy, aloof, black leather jacket cool? Add an “X” after your first name. That’s how you know this new release from Amanda X is gonna be cool — I mean, if you couldn’t already guess from it being on Siltbreeze.

Now, in a shocking turn of events, Amanda X isn’t just one real haughty Teutonic woman. It’s three North Philadelphian women: Cat Park (guitar), Tiff Yoon (drums), and Kat Bean (bass). Together the three-piece make the kind of warm, grungy Raincoats/Sleater-Kinney-esque rock that gives a loving nod to the 90s. Back in 2012, they self-released the Ruin the Moment EP and started opening for the likes of Dum Dum Girls, Parquet Courts, and Marnie Stern. Their new LP Amnesia drops July 28. You can check out the single “Guatemala” below (via Noisey):

Amnesia tracklisting:

01. Guatemala
02. Dream House
03. Things Fall Apart
04. Tunnels
05. Nothing Wild
06. Parsnip
07. Low and Mean
08. Paranoia
09. Trouble
10. Woke Up
11. Friendly Tones

• Amanda X: https://www.facebook.com/amandaxband
• Siltbreeze: http://siltbreezerecords.com

S undertakes series of cool choices, culminating in signing with Hardly Art and releasing new record in September called Cool Choices

Cool Choice #1: Jenn Ghetto, who already had a totally kick-ass name and also co-fronted Carissa’s Wierd, has a solo project that is so awesome it goes by the cryptic-yet-effective moniker of S.

Cool Choice #2: S had been chugging along for a few years post-Carissa’s Wierd until in 2004 Jenn Ghetto decided to put her sweet, harmonic bedroom rock songwriting tendencies on hold (not a cool choice). The cool choice emerged in 2010 when Ghetto changed her mind and started playing and recording again.

Cool Choice #3: Instead of the usual insular approach that Ghetto had adopted for her three prior S records, she decided to rope in some band members and road-test her songs for what would become S’s fourth album.

Cool Choice #4: Seattle label Hardly Art heard one of these road tests and offered to release the album that S had written.

Cool Choice #5: Ghetto roped in Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie to record a bunch of songs with S at his studio in Seattle.

Cool Choice #6: Given the series of cool choices made to reach the finished product of S’s new record, they decided to call the album Cool Choices. Which in itself is a cool choice and will be available September 23 via Hardly Art.

Cool Choice #7: This is where you come in: check out the lead single “Vampires,” or catch S live at one of the dates listed below.

Cool Choices tracklist:

01. Losers
02. Like Gangbusters!
03. Vampires
04. (guitar solo)
05. White House
06. Brunch
07. Remember Love
08. Tell Me
09. Muffin
10. Balderdash
11. Pacific
12. Let the Light In

Tour dates:

10.10.14 - Oakland, CA - 1-2-3-4-Go! Records
10.11.14 - Claremont, CA - KSPC at Claremont College
10.13.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
10.14.14 - San Louis Obispo, CA - Xroads
10.15.14 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
10.18.14 - Eugene, OR - The Boreal

• S: http://jennghetto.bandcamp.com
• Hardly Art: http://www.hardlyart.com

[Photo: Adrien Leavitt]

Teenage Fanclub to reissue two albums on vinyl in celebration of Merge’s 25th anniversary

Merge Records turns 25 this year and is celebrating it with a year-long series of “classic albums” re-releases. Nothing unusual there, until we realize that the latest announcement in the series involves a couple of albums by Teenage Fanclub, Man-Made and Shadows, which are certainly respectable additions to the Scottish quartet’s output, but not exactly held in as high regards as Bandwagonesque (1991), Grandprix (1995), or even the already divisive Songs from Northern Britain (1997). But it sorta makes sense here, because (and here’s the catch) Teenage Fanclub’s tenure on Merge only comprises these two albums.

So, there you go: Man-Made and Shadows are coming out on vinyl for the first time in the US, on August 5. And they’re actually pretty good, even if Man-Made involves the typical late-career move of seeking out a star producer (Tortoise’s John McEntire) to shake things up creatively and Shadows pulls the oxymoronic feat of making power pop sound at peace with middle age’s mellow stability. This is not necessarily a bad thing; if we consider that Big Star — most power pop bands’ template — never had to deal with growing too old to play this kind of music, it’s certainly interesting to see some of Chilton and co.’s heirs try and solve the dilemma.

Both albums will be available on 180-gram vinyl, individually or as a bundle deal, and the reissues will include a couple of bonus tracks. Also: Teenage Fanclub will be playing the Merge 25 festival later this month.

Man-Made tracklisting:

01. It’s All in My Mind
02. Time Stops
03. Nowhere
04. Save
05. Slow Fade
06. Only with You
07. Cells
08. Feel
09. Fallen Leaves
10. Flowing
11. Born under a Good Sign
12. Don’t Hide
13. Please Stay *
14. Falling Leaf *

* bonus tracks

Shadows tracklisting:

01. Sometimes I Don’t Need to Believe in Anything
02. Baby Lee
03. The Fall
04. Into the City
05. Dark Clouds
06. The Past
07. Shock and Awe
08. When I Still Have Thee
09. Live with the Seasons
10. Sweet Days Waiting
11. The Back of My Mind
12. Today Never Ends
13. Secret Heart *
14. Dark and Lonely *

* bonus tracks

• Teenage Fanclub: http://www.teenagefanclub.com
• Merge: http://www.mergerecords.com

Korg releases new synth for Nintendo 3DS

Korg has just announced the release of a new “soft synth” geared up specifically for the Nintendo 3DS. The DSN-12 was designed with app-builders Detune and features 12 monophonic synths based on the classic Korg MS-10. According to Resident Advisor, “You can add up to three effects to each of them—with modules ranging from delay and flanger to compression—and sequence them individually. Then, you can combine them into larger patterns and up to 99 ‘scenes.’” Sounds like this puppy also comes with a 3D oscillator that lets you visualize your voyage through arpeggiated insanity.

If you are totally feeling this handheld soon-to-be-vintage synth madness, you can complete your sweet rig with the Korg iMS-20, an app (also designed with Detune) for the iPad that functions similarly to the DSN-12. Put both of those right on top of Korg’s recent re-creation of the ARP Odyssey and you could be lost in space for days.

Check out a preview of the DSN-12 below:

• Korg: http://www.korg.com
• Detune: http://www.detune.co.jp