Fresh off releasing two albums in 2014 (Unfidelity and Four Track Mind), Nick Edwards a.k.a. Nik Edwardz a.k.a. Ekoplekz is back with another album (and EP!) in 2015. Out May 19, it’ll be his third full-length for Planet Mu. In keeping with his desire to perplex and trouble his Scrabble opponents while dispensing with that “Z” tile he’s been sitting on for three turns, the album is called Reflekzionz. Frankly, and I know this might make me unpopular, but I think making up words in Scrabble is tantamount to cheating and is not allowed in my private weekly game. I won’t go on a rant here, but trust me when I say that I totally could.
Reflekzionz is an album that “unapologetically dwells on past experiences,” drawing in large part on Edward(s)(z)’ memories of the weirdo electronica that he was embedded in throughout the 90s. If you ask me, none of that makes it okay for him to cheat at Scrabble, but I guess it’s interesting. As with most of his previous work, Reflekzionz diverges off into several directions influence-wise, but it’s all ultimately unified under the dubbed-out production, heavy on eko (or, if you want to play under my roof, it’s “echo,” obviously). You can pre-order the album now and listen to “Seduktion” off the album here:
01. A Caustic Romance
02. Quakers Road Skank
04. Repeater (How Did it Feel?)
06. Midnight Cliffs
08. Dubnium 268
09. Canon’s Marsh
10. Black Calkz
11. Saturation (Full Rinse)
12. Day in May
Today in news about albums that have recently been announced and that are slated to come out on July 28, it’s me, Taylor Peters, your intrepid reporter, typing letters into the robot in front of me about Syrian wonder man Omar Souleyman’s Bahdeni Nami. Some of the letters I have already used include “e” and “m,” and I’m sure to use those, as well as several others, numerous additional times throughout the remainder of this post, so strap in. Recorded in Istanbul, Bahdeni Nami reportedly draws together traditional accompaniment in conjunction with production work from Modeselektor, Four Tet, and Gilles Peterson. It’s out on Modeselektor’s Monkeytown imprint.
That’s not it, though! I’m done typing or being intrepid! In fact, there’s a whole tour that Souleyman’s got planned that I haven’t even mentioned yet. Basically it’s a tour; I’m sure you’ve heard of them. Souleyman will travel around from city to city and play music in various venues for various people. If you would like to see him do it, you can pay money to do so. The dates are listed below. If you are unsure about your affinity for Souleyman’s music, you can listen to “Enssa El Aatab,” one of the Modeselektor-produced tracks from the new album, below.
03.26.15 - Boise, ID - Treefort Music Festival
03.27.15 - Athens, GA - Slingshot Festival
03.28.15 - Knoxville, TN - Big Ears Festival
05.21.15 - Halifax, NS - Obey Convention 8
05.22.15 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
05.23.15 - Los Angeles, CA - Jewels Catch One
05.30.15 - Bristol, UK - Colston Hall
06.06.15 - Copenhagen, DK - Distortion Festival
06.12.15 - Toronto, ON - Bestival Toronto
06.26.15 - Beuningen, NL - Down The Rabbit Hole
07.11.15 - Trencin, SK - Pohoda Festival
07.16.15 - Dour, BE - Dour Festival
House music can be really good. It can also have a lasting cultural impact. Case in point: Satoshi Tomiie’s collaboration with Frankie Knuckles, “Tears.” As a trained classical and jazz pianist, Satoshi’s musicality just glistens in every track he does. Ryuichi Sakamoto once called on him to play keys for Yellow Magic Orchestra.
In the 25 years since “Tears,” Satoshi has released one album, 1999’s Full Lick. The second, New Day, will drop May 18 through his new label Abstract Architecture on vinyl, CD, digital, and limited cassette. It also features John Schmersal, a member of Caribou’s live band and former member of Braniac, on the title track.
One always wonders if an album by a constantly touring artist will have enough depth to warrant a close listen, especially one by an artist working with house, a genre that can sound headachingly functional. No worries though, because Satoshi has a knack for geometric compositions with a surrealist sheen that sound good big and small, taking on different character as the volume shifts.
Listen to “Thursday, 2AM” with the album art below, and check the tracklist below that.
New Day tracklist:
01. Last Night (In this dream I watched a film of a dream within this dream)
04. New Day (feat. John Schmersal)
05. Nature Abstraite
06. Thursday, 2AM
07. Calm Me Up
08. Momento Magico
09. Wave Side Back
12. Cucina Rossa
• Satoshi Tomiie: http://www.satoshitomiie.com
Radiohead’s OK Computer to be preserved in the US National Recording Registry, like a cat tied to a stick
That’s right: get your slovenly, uncouth asses back to the back of the line, American bands! Once again, Great Britain — a.k.a. “the REAL country” — is providing the world with all the cultural cache it could ever need or want.
Since 2000 — which is when the Librarian of Congress at the time first heard Kid A and had his life changed forever — The Library of Congress has selected a small crop of songs and albums to preserved as part of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. Every year, they select 25 recordings that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and are 10 years old or more.
And this year, according to a recent post by NME — a.k.a. “the REAL music online magazine” — Radiohead’s 1997 album OK Computer has swiftly been “selected for induction into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry” (yes yes, even “Fitter, Happier”), presumably beating out all of its scrawny bumpkin-band competitors across the pond by a good country kilometer. Hey, maybe next year, George Gershwin. You HACK. Just kidding!
Anyway, not kidding: Radiohead’s album is only “one of a number of recordings that has been recognized for selection this year,” others including some decidedly less British and therefore less interesting offerings by the likes of The Doors, Joan Baez, and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Also (as though anything really matters besides Radiohead), Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” and the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin” are among the individual songs to be preserved at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation (which is located in Culpeper, Virginia, a place where Radiohead has probably toured. So that’s cool!).
After hearing this news, some critics and journalists have expressed their concerns that these other artists’ inductions may somewhat lessen the impact of Radiohead’s and may thus compromise their status as the “only band on Earth.” But I’m not one of them.
[Photo: Bob Boilen for NPR]
One of my most memorable concert experiences was a Sonic Youth show where the band got so deep and groovy that I fell asleep. Actual sleep. Not that the show was boring, it wasn’t, it was just so insanely mellow that it became soporific.
Likely to slot into that same awesome/soporific axis is Sarah Lipstate’s awesome Noveller live shows. Noveller’s latest album, Fantastic Planet, marks some sort of upping of the stakes, as do her excellent and guitar-loop-driven recent live shows. Noveller will now be expanding her touring schedule with a run of dates through April.
Perhaps in a bid to offset the probable dreaminess of Noveller’s show, she is teaming up with The Soft Moon to embark on said tour. The Soft Moon have a new album due on March 30, and lead single “Desertion” proves that while they mine a similar woozy territory as Noveller, they come from a much more harsh angle. A sort of yin/yang thing for your listening pleasure.
You can hip yourself to a preview of The Soft Moon’s forthcoming Deeper here and check out Noveller’s latest video for “No Unholy Mountain” below.
Noveller + The Soft Moon dates:
04.09.15 - Philadelphia, PA - The Boot & Saddle
04.10.15 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
04.11.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
04.12.15 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le “Ritz”
04.13.15 - Toronto, ON - The Drake Hotel
04.14.15 - Detroit, MI - UFO Factory
04.15.15 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
04.16.15 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
04.17.15 - Madison, WI - The Frequency
04.19.15 - Omaha, NE - Reverb Lounge
04.21.15 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theater
04.22.15 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Urban Lounge
04.23.15 - Boise, ID - Neurolux Lounge
The full lineup for the 2015 edition of Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival won’t be announced until sometime next month, but in the interest of keeping our interest until that time (not that they had to try), Hopscotch has just announced this year’s (and its fourth, historically speaking) improviser-in-residence, set to take the event by storm with an atypical spontaneity of all sorts. Previous improvisers Chris Corsano, Merzbow, and Thurston Moore mostly kept to the music side of things, but there is every indication that this new individual will do all kinds of crazy, unexpected things. Did you want free pancakes thrown out to you at the shows this year? Well, just maybe…
Owen Pallett, recently known as “Owen Pallett” and previously wielding the gamer-coddling moniker “Final Fantasy,” will be doing the honors this year. He released the deceptively accessible In Conflict last summer, and his previous work has earned him both actual awards and BFF honors with Arcade Fire’s Win Butler.
Pallett skipped over the entire state of North Carolina during his North American tour last year, so expect a tour de force de violin to make up for it!
ICAS, a global network of non-profit art organizations, has announced a new experimental music and art festival. The event is called ICAS Festival (appropriately enough) and is more like a “festival of festivals,” as 20 organizations — including Unsound, CTM, Insomnia, and Skanu Mežs — will join forces in Dresden for a week of events starting April 27. The theme is “Networking Tomorrow’s Art for an Unknown Future,” which is described as “an attempt to examine how to cope with increasing uncertainty in the field of culture using the tools that have been developed in our society thus far.” The fest will take these issues head-on not only through club shows and outdoor events, but also through a multi-day conference, a film series, labs, and an exhibition.
And as if there weren’t already enough organizations involved here, a new platform for emerging European artists called SHAPE is involved too. In fact, artists affiliated with SHAPE, who we told you about earlier this year, comprise the majority of the first-round lineup, including Lorenzo Senni, Gábor Lázár (who has a new joint album with Mark Fell out soon), Bocca al Lupo (Kathy Alberici and Federico Ritti), Low Jack, Random Logic. Other non-SHAPE artists announced so far feature Mork, HUMATIC’s, and Alexander Dorn. Expect more lineup announcements in the coming weeks.
For more information, check out ICAS Festival’s website, and stay tuned for updates.
On May 30, The Roots will bring their Annual Roots Picnic to Philadelphia’s Festival Pier for the event’s eighth iteration. The announced lineup for the Picnic is as follows:
Just lots and lots of potato salad.
Mounds upon mounds of store-bought, Food Lion-brand potato salad.
An amount of potato salad that’s been described as “too much potato salad” and “why?”
Hey, just kidding, dear reader! Instead of a literal ton of the worst salad (fight me on this), The Roots have actually booked a number of acclaimed musical acts. Maybe you’ll be able to buy potato salad at the festival, but the actual booked attractions include Erykah Badu (backed by The Roots), The Weeknd, Afrika Bambaata, Hudson Mohawke, A$AP Rocky, Rae Sremmurd, DJ Mustard, Phantogram, and more. Also, in a major get, The Roots have booked a performance from The Roots.
• Roots Picnic: http://rootspicnic.com
Reader, I am deeply unhappy. You might say that I have no joy. I also have No Joy news, specifically about a new No Joy release on Mexican Summer and Arts & Crafts (for Canada). The album is called More Faithful, but each day I actually grow less and less faithful that a hand will reach forth into the abyss to lift me up. I am beset by darkness on all sides. Anyway, the album will be released on June 9, but to me, June 9 seems as if it is only murk. Perhaps to you, dear reader, it is a bright date, one filled with glory, friendship, and new albums from groups like No Joy. Perhaps.
More Faithful follows the group’s 2013 full-length Wait to Pleasure. For me, all of life is a wait to pleasure, but then, alas, the pleasure for which I wait never arrives and is always put off but one more day, week, or month. More Faithful was produced by Jorge Elbrecht (Coral Cross, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti) and is now available for pre-order.
Do you want to hear the song “Everything New” from the album? Dive in below. Since I am convinced that there is nothing new under the sun, I will instead spend my time here in this corner, draped in black fabric.
More Faithful tracklist:
01. Remember Nothing
02. Everything New
03. Hollywood Teeth
04. Moon in my Mouth
05. Burial in Twos
06. Corpo Daemon
08. Chalk Snake
09. Rude Films
10. I am an Eye Machine
03.26.15 - Burlington, VT - Signal Kitchen
03.27.15 - Portland, ME - SPACE Gallery
03.28.15 - Hamden, CT - The Ballroom at The Outer Space
04.02.15 - Quebec City, QC - Le Sous-Sol Du Cercle
04.03.15 - Moncton, NB - Tide & Boar Gastropub
04.04.15 - Halifax, NS - Gus’ Pub
04.09.15 - Guelph, ON - Kazoo! Fest eBar
04.10.15 - London, ON - Call The Office
04.11.15 - Peterborough, ON - The Red Dog Tavern
05.10.15 - Birmingham, UK - The Hare & Hound *
05.11.15 - London, UK - Oslo *
05.13.15 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club *
05.14.15 - York, UK - The Fulford Arms *
05.15.15 - Brighton, UK - The Great Escape
05.16.15 - Bristol, UK - The Louisiana *
05.20.15 - Brighton, UK - Prince Albert *
05.22.15 - Amsterdam, NL – De Nieuwe Anita
In the last year or two, Alex Gray has taken his initial D/P/I impetus to “defamiliarize and disarrange our habituated experiences of the mundane” and fired fuckin’ double-boosters on the project, slicing through his own beat aesthetic on a splintered diagonal (08.DD.15) and honing his start-stop game to such a fine point (MN.ROY) that 40+ minutes of sound can flash by with the listener only ever hearing the “in-between,” an almost silent music of propulsive movement playing in our ears amidst the audio pileup. TMT LOVES IT.
So it makes sense (?) that the next step for D/P/I would involve another exponential leap in disarrangement, this time in the form of an album that is never just one thing: Ad Hocc (yep, that’s the title) will arrive as a 2GB USB drive containing six versions of the album (three “Fundamental” and three “Supplemental”) that have been run through various “random processes” and are themselves meant to be played in different combinations on multiple speakers (or separately if you’re boring). Sound sources for the album are divided into three categories: environmental field recordings from all over the world, abstracted samples of previously recorded music, and oscillators/LFOs/filters interacting with these sounds. There’s even an HTML file included; more information here.
Ad Hocc is up for pre-order today via Zona Music, a new L.A./NYC-based label that you may be familiar with through their cassette subsidiary, Zona Tapes, who released DarkTwaine’s EarthEmergency vol. 1 earlier this month. The USB album will be officially released on April 7.