As Pitchfork tells us, Jimmy Aphex’s similar-looking brother, who sometimes, when he’s trying to get into R-rated movies, goes by Richard D. James, but who usually just calls himself The Aphex Twin right before he winks and does the finger guns and drives past in his really cool red convertible, has a new EP coming out via Warp on January 23! According to his Twitter it’s called Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2, but then again, that’s Twitter, and for all we know he could’ve been hacked by Anonymous or an angry teen and the EP could actually be called I Am The Real Jimmy Aphex. It’s weird to think that we will truly never know for sure.
Bracketing speculation for one hot Red Hot Chili Peppers reference, let’s talk about what we do know. Aphex Twin, of course, just last fall released the highly acclaimed (even by us! we put it at number 28 on our year-end list!) Syro, and everyone was all like, “we are glad you’re back buddy!” because he had been gone for a minute and the album indicated that he was back. And boy howdy is he back! In addition to the full-length, in November he shared 30 unreleased tracks in an interview with David Noyze. And now with this EP, he’s got this writer wondering what’s next. More music, probably. That’s my educated guess anyhow! Pre-order the EP here.
Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 tracklist:
01. diskhat ALL prepared1mixed 13
04. piano un1 arpej
06. hat 2b 2012b
07. disk aud1_12
08. 0035 1-Audio
09. disk prep calrec2 barn dance ( s l o )
12. piano un10 it happened
13. hat5c 0001 rec-4
A few short weeks ago, one could have walked through a wee Glasgow alleyway, around a cobblestone corner, up some stairs, and emerged in an unassuming room that just so happened to be an experimental music lover’s Mecca, by the name Volcanic Tongue. But sadly, after a decade in the game, the store is closing its doors for good. The VT site lists the time demanded by personal projects as the primary factor in the closing, including co-founder Heather Leigh Murray’s musical endeavors and fellow co-founder David Keenan’s debut novel The Comfort of Women. Then again, Keenan declared underground music dead barely a month ago, so perhaps they’re just gettin’ while the gettin’s good.
The VT website was noted for its weekly “Tip of the Tongue,” which will live on in my mind as one of the all-time sickest puns, as well as the all-time biggest drains on my bank account. But beyond its market function, the crew also put on a number of live shows, festivals, and talks in the UK and elsewhere.
As of now, the online store is still open, so act fast if you want the rite of passage that is the simultaneous low-balance-alert-text in tandem with the record-stack-mail-arrival. Farewell to a true resource in the underground music community, which gets my “Highest Possible Recommendation!” into record store heaven.
• Volcanic Tongue: https://www.volcanictongue.com
Thanks to discerning and eminently enthusiastic labels like Planet Mu, there’s never been a better time than the present to be a capable weirdo who can manipulate a bunch of musical doodads and whatnots. The Berlin-based Claude Speeed is just the latest of these solo electro luminaries to join ranks with the London label, with his EP Sun Czar Temple set to drop on January 27. Speeed previously released a full length, My Skeleton, on LuckyMe last year, although Planet Mu has had their eye on the Scot since 2012 when he released the Tangerine Dreamy remix of Kuedo’s “Work, Live, Sleep in Collapsing Space,” embedded below. Sun Czar Temple drones on a wavelength similar to his previous work, supplemented with some OPN-esque twitch. But don’t take my word for it: you know Planet Mu don’t make no junk!
Sun Czar Temple tracklist:
02. Dr. Liz Wilson
05. R U Sorry?
Um, this is the best story because it’s basically a Scooby Doo episode but with a punk rock band as the meddling kids, and there’s not really a haunted amusement park or a spoooooky clown or anything but there is an art thief! (The band themselves described the whole thing as a “Scooby Doo adventure,” too.)
So, you see, according to the BBC, what happened is that this painting worth $250,000 by the late New Orleans artist George Rodrigue was stolen in broad daylight by a guy who apparently doesn’t understand that video surveillance exists (but who also used the world’s most clever disguise, “looking just like 17 million other bearded white dudes.”) The gallery has released still images of this fella lifting the painting, called “Wendy and Me,” which depicts the artist’s wife and the artist himself as a Cajun folk creature, the loup-garou, which basically looks like a blue dog, (at least in this thing.) The band, Stereo Fire Empire, had just wrapped a show at the House of Blues when they ventured outside and came across said painting propped against a wall. Thanks to the awesome power of Facebook, one of their members had already been aware of the theft, and thus was totally like “egads zoinks!” when he realized what was in front of him.
The band then turned in the painting to the police, who will be doing their DNA science magic on this thing to try to ascertain the identity of the thief. Says bassist Elliot Newkirk, “We’re walking down the street with these quarter-million-dollar paintings in our hands, and they’re facing out and I’m like, ‘No! Turn that around! We don’t want people seeing that’.”
Thurston Moore/John Moloney’s Caught on Tape to release Full Bleed LP in February, they swear it this time, they are good for it
That’s a song I wrote recently, titled “Deja Vu (Baby, I Think We’ve Been Here Before).” Incidentally, it vaguely pertains to the story that Thurston Moore and John Moloney, together as Caught on Tape, are releasing a new record called Full Bleed. Eagle-eyed TMT readers recognize that very news from last August, announcing the record’s October release. Well, that release never came, probably because Thurston Moore was too busy fighting black metal dudes in the street. Settle down, Thurst.
Now that cooler heads have prevailed, Full Bleed is set for a February 10 release date. It’s still coming out through Northern Spy. It’s still coming out on vinyl, digital, and CD. It’s still got a song called “Rubber Grandma” on it. God is good; pre-orders available here.
Full Bleed tracklist:
01. Age Limit
02. Nothing Glamorous
03. Full Bleed
05. Arguing With a Balloon
07. Reverse Funeral
09. Rubber Grandma
Riding high off the Trust they established with us last year, Boy and Sis have really been racking their collective brains for what they could do next with their 18+ project in the interest of making listeners the world round feel even more rhizomatic about their bodies as sexual centrifuges within the quasi-human playplace of our future-shocked era. “We could travel around by plane or automobile and whisper sex words into folks’ ear canals as we go,” Boy suggested. Sis nodded in assent, and it was so: a winter tour for 18+. In celebration of both the digital and physical extent of your human body, the group would like to offer a possible addition in the form of a free download of their track “Rebirth” (originally found on MIXTA2E). Integrate it into your post-human orbit of trans-physical identity by joining the Houndstooth mailing list or you can, you know, stream it on SoundCloud. Your choice, bucko.
01.15.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Club Los Globos
01.28.15 - London, UK - Corsica Studios*
01.29.15 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - OT301
01.30.15 - Copenhagen, Denmark - V1 Gallery
01.31.15 - Berlin, Germany - CTM Festival
02.01.15 - Vienna, Austria - V ARE
02.04.15 - Praque, Czech Republic - Meet Factory
02.05.15 - Milan, Italy - Magnolia
02.06.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Beursschouwburg
02.07.15 - Paris, France - La Flèche D’Or
* Soft As Snow
Google to launch audio-only version of Chromecast, because there just weren’t enough little icons in the corners of all of our screens before
It seems Google has this really interesting business model going right now, wherein they try to stay all cutting-edge and popular and relevant and on top of the competition and shit by, you know, constantly rolling out innovative things (or, at least, 9 times out of 10). Last year, they made streaming media players work slightly better with the introduction of Chromecast, a “thumb-sized media streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV” allowing users to “simply use an Android phone, tablet, iPhone®, iPad®, Mac or Windows laptop, or Chromebook to cast your favorite entertainment and apps right to the big screen.” Fuck, I wanted that for Christmas. Didn’t get it. I got socks. And a Billy Joel biography. You can’t even stream those things, MOM.. Grrr. Anyway!
So this week, the company took to — what else? — its own blogging platform, Blogger, to unleash the sheer techno-savvy brilliance of Google Cast for audio. The title… needs a little work, granted. But just what is Google Cast for audio? Well, for starters, it’s neither socks nor a Billy Joel book. It’s… this THING… “which embeds the same technology behind Chromecast into speakers, sound bars, and A/V receivers.” Just like with Chromecast, all users have to do is “tap the cast button in your favorite music or radio app on Android, iOS, or the web, and select a Google Cast Ready speaker to get the party started.”
Awesome. Wait. So, but just WHAT is a “Google Cast Ready speaker” then? Shit that’s easy. Take it away, block quotes:
Google Cast Ready speakers pull content directly from the cloud, so you’ll get the best audio quality and can freely multi-task on your phone, tablet, or laptop, all without straining the battery. These speakers will work with a growing list of apps including Deezer, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, NPR One, Pandora, Rdio, TuneIn, and many more […] The first Google Cast Ready speakers will first be available in the US this spring from lead brands Sony, LG, and HEOS by Denon with more brands coming later in 2015 with the support of chip makers Broadcom, Marvell, MediaTek and system integrator Libre Wireless. These products will join a growing Google Cast ecosystem, which includes more Android TVs, game consoles and set-top boxes.
Any MORE questions, dude? I mean, if so, no worries. I’ve still got a hip, Google-owned YouTube video to show you too.
• Google Cast for audio: http://www.google.com/cast/audio
Last year, virtuoso guitarist Steve Gunn made everyone’s fall a little more pastoral with the release of his latest solo effort Way Out Weather, the title track of which was one of our favorite songs of 2014. Now he’s announced a brief spring tour to make us all think back to that afternoon when we drove down route 30 with the gang, past the tractor supply warehouse, past the laserdome, jamming out to “Milly’s Garden,” on to the next town. Those were the days. Of course, that was before the harsh reality of winter set in, when we all realized we needed jobs to pay for shelter and heat to protect us from the brutal winter elements. We all know we can’t go back, but its at least some minor consolation that we can go see Steve Gunn and, perhaps for a moment, just a moment, it will be like we’re there again. It probably won’t be, but it’ll undoubtedly still be a good show.
The tour will include stops at Mobile’s AeroFest as well as Louisville’s Big Ears Festival. Gunn will be accompanied by his Paradise of Bachelors labelmate Nathan Bowles (who released his own impressive avant-folk album in 2014) on drums and Jason Meagher on bass. Check the dates below.
03.20.15 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa *
03.21.15 - Mobile, AL - AeroFest
03.22.15 - Columbus, GA - WC Bradley Museum *
03.23.15 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree *
03.24.15 - Asheville, NC - The Mothlight
03.26.15 - Nashville, TN - The Stone Fox
03.27.15 - Knoxville, TN - Big Ears Festival
03.28.15 - Louisville, KY - The New Vintage *
03.29.15 - Columbus, OH - Spacebar *
03.31.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
04.01.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right
* w/ Ryley Walker
“Hemlock” already sounds like a devious name for a label, and that’s without acknowledging its denotative backstory as a super-poisonous plant native to Europe, which would also (apparently) work well as the punchline to your new favorite “Your momma smells so bad… ” joke. UK producer Jack Dunning a.k.a. Untold has taken it upon himself to make the odor even even more deathly with the announcement of Hemlock Black, a new imprint supplementing the simply “Hemlock” label, which he started in 2008 partially as a means of hastening the wetting of his musical feet. It seems like it was only yesterday that he saved me thousands in potential therapy bills…
According to Kudos, Hemlock Black will focus on “futuristic physical club music,” which isn’t the most enthralling description, but we’ll take what we can get. The label’s inauguration is set to take place January 19 with the Untold release of the 12-inch Doff, which you can preview over here. Whether we can hear the “black” or not is probably a subjective matter, but thank the lords for a recollection of last year’s Black Light Spiral. I nearly forgot! Reminder incoming:
Thanks, Jack White: United Record Pressing booked up for at least three months, opening second plant
Has your aunt told you the news? Vinyl is back, baby, and boy, the kids just can’t get enough of the black waxy stuff! That is, they would if they could actually get their hands on some: 2014 saw a huge spike in delayed LP releases as the nation’s pressing plants struggled to keep up with ever-increasing demand.
Unfortunately, it looks like 2015 might offer up more of the same. Just before the new year, Nashville’s United Record Pressing released a statement saying that they would be taking no new orders for at least the first quarter of the year. On the bright side, the company also announced that they’re only a few months away from cutting the ribbon on a new plant, an expansion that will eventually triple capacity. For now, though, all new orders will be restricted until United Record Pressing says differently, presumably so Jack White can press an album that flips itself or makes phone calls to pornstars or something else really super cool that totally doesn’t cheapen the format or cause enormous delays in the first place.
• United Record Pressing: http://www.urpressing.com