Wes Gray, the Atlanta-based producer behind the Moon B moniker, has announced a new album, Lifeworld, his first release on 1080p. The tape, out next month, follows Gray’s recent releases on PPU (2013’s Moon B and past May’s II) and extends his electro-funk experiments, melding together esoteric samples with synth overlays harkening back to the analogue-beatmaking days Moon B’s music so adroitly evokes.
Lifeworld is Gray’s most ambitious work yet, aiming for a “remapped” take on his music, opening his register to danky jams, chopped samples of Tamil film clips, and boudoir-ready grooves. In order to achieve that, Gray plays with our aural frame of reference by dropping retro-sounding beats he’s just programmed in the middle of some steamy funk sampled straight out of a moldy record crate. Also, while the techno tangent present in Gray’s earliest work is downplayed for a g-funk mood, Lifeworld does not forgo contemporary signifiers, opening the album with a chopped and vaporous R&B piece, and peppering the tape with cloggy samples galore. The result is not exactly retrofuturistic, but an age-negligent funk. Gray has claimed “subcontinental movies” (which are quite notoriously sampled here) and Delroy Edward’s fantastic Slowed Down Funk series as sources of inspiration.
The resulting album not only lives up to Moon B’s reputation as an unrepentant gear-head, but has some of the funkiest grooves he’s ever played, and will be out on December 16 via 1080p, available on a 200-copies run of c30 Chrome Plus cassettes.
OMG! Say it ain’t so! According to this rather lengthy post by FMQB, Vagrant Records — you know: THE GET UP KIDS’ LABEL — just got straight-up BOUGHT the fuck OUT by the MAN… er, “the man” in this case being… wait, BMG Records? They still exist??? Wait, let me double-check that… huh. They still exist.
In fact, Vagrant’s co-founder Jon Cohen is set to become “EVP Recorded Music at BMG Chrysalis US” and will therefore sorta kinda be responsible “both for Vagrant and for records released in the US through BMG’s ground-breaking Artist Services model.” Ah. I see. Wait. No, I don’t see.
Either way: “It is impossible not to be impressed by what BMG has achieved in the US since it opened in the US just five short years ago,” Cohen remarked. “By putting service to artists at the center of its offering, BMG is committed to offering a genuine alternative to traditional label deals. Together with the rest of the Vagrant team, I look forward to further growing BMG’s presence in the recordings business.” Wait, huh? Seriously. Am I on drugs? Is any of this making any sense to any of you guys??
Meanwhile, Laurent Hubert, the President of Marketing & Creative at BMG Chrysalis North America, called the label’s acquisition of Vagrant “another milestone for BMG in the US as we build scale and capabilities in the recordings business just as we have in music publishing. Jon Cohen has built an impressive team at Vagrant, and with the support of BMG and its international infrastructure, we believe they will offer an unbeatable service both to Vagrant artists and to BMG’s Artist Services signings.” Okay. Well, I guess that makes sense. I mean, I do want to make sure my favorite Get Up Kids records get into as many hands as possible. So… in the end, I’m fine with all this.
David Sylvian releases new composition featuring collaborations with the poet Franz Wright, Fennesz, and others
Not content with just getting biographied all the live long day, David Sylvian has recently released a brand new long-form composition entitled there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight. Though there’s no word on the extent to which this light does or does not never go out, we do have a bit of information about the release, which you can purchase right now (though, unfortunately, at this time the deluxe edition has sold out).
Originally composed largely from sampled sound bites stitched together by Sylvian, there’s a light… was conceived as something that “worked in support of and/or complimented” readings from the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright. Sylvian then took his composition on tour with Christian Fennesz, who helped to refine and contribute to the piece. John Tilbury later contributed to the recording process as well, and a number of clips included came from sessions with Toshimaru Nakamura and Otomo Yoshihide. Sylvian has written a short essay on the impetus for the piece, its composition, and his relationship with Wright’s poetry, which is available on his website alongside a handful of audio samples from the album.
there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight tracklist:
01. there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight
Hudson, New York’s Future-Past Studios is like a sauna for musicians. Brooklyn-based ZS occupied the studio earlier this year, and in addition to the normal perspiration going on, a new album came surfing through their pores — Xe, recorded in a single take and set for release January 27 on Northern Spy.
I’m gleaning pure expressions of creativity from the press release, and in addition to the single take, arguable frontman Sam Hillmer had this to say regarding any production frills: “No effects, no editing, nothing done in post, just a snapshot of three guys in a room who worked really hard on some music for a long time.” Something about New Slaves did seem like an evocative catharsis, but I think we’re all curious to hear what this different lineup, featuring Patrick Higgins (also a producer on the album) and Greg Fox (Guardian Alien), has in store from an unadulterated LP perspective. An 18-minute title track? Shit yeah, we’re getting a sense.
Additional credits include Henry Hirsch, who went for interesting contrast by following up his producer work with Lenny Kravitz, and Tauba Auerbach, who reportedly went to painstaking lengths to design the cover art. No tracks to share, unfortunately, but in due time.
01. Future of Royalty
02. Wolf Government
12.20.14 - Ridgewood, NY - Trans-Pecos *
01.15.14 - Philadelphia, PA - TBA
01.16.14 - Boston, MA - TBA
01.17.14 - Hudson, NY - Half Moon ^
01.21.14 - New York, NY - le Poisson Rouge (Xe release party)
* Blazer Sound System
^ ZS solo projects (Sam Hillmer, Patrick Higgins, Greg Fox)
In light of hisrecent drop from Interscope, Chief “The Grand Sosa” Keef is free to do what he wants, and what he wants, apparently, is to fill every last server on Earth up to the brim with his own mixtapes. In addition to the thoroughly excellent Back from the Dead 2 (which made my own Halloween night a sloppy, terrifying mess), and his recent collaboration with Gucci Mane on Big Gucci Sosa, he’s pumped several full mixtapes up on his YouTube channel in the last month or so. And now, as Hot New Hip Hop reports, since with the help of that Nifty Nabber Plus he just ordered from Bed, Bath & Beyond he feels confident he’ll be able to hold his liquor after all, Keef has announced Nobody: The Album, featuring contributions from Kanye West and Tadoe.
Nobody: The Album is out on December 2 and will (predictably) be the home for the “Nobody” track that Keef teased via Instagram back in August. In addition to featuring on the album, West contributed production help alongside the executive production from Glo Gang’s 12 Million. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to head out to the computer store to buy a portable hard drive that I can paint gold and dedicate specifically to the music of Chief Keef. It’ll sit on the shelf next to my Mountain Goats live recording hard drive inside my Lil B mixtape data center.
• Chief Keef: http://www.chiefkeef.com
Matador to reissue both Chavez records on vinyl; you slowly realize Matt Sweeney has played on every single album you own
It sneaks up on you. You’re going about your business, living your life, slowly amassing a record collection. Then, one day, it hits you. You’re perusing vinyl sleeves, scanning through liner notes. “Huh, I didn’t realize Matt Sweeney played on this,” you say. Then you pull another record. Matt Sweeney played on that one, too. Then another. And another. Until you realize that guitarist Matt Sweeney has played on every single record you have ever owned.
“Well, at least I don’t have the Chavez albums,” you say. “They’ve been out of print in vinyl format since 2003,” as if to reassure yourself.
On January 20, things change. Matador reissues both Chavez LPs, 1995’s Gone Glimmering and 1996’s Ride the Fade, and they appear in your collection. They just show up there. You didn’t even buy them. You’re glad to have them, but you’re also scared. You clasp your hand over your mouth. You slowly back away, until you bump into something, feels like someone, behind. You turn around and it’s Matt Sweeney.
“Hey,” Matt says. “Thanks for your support.”
[Photo: Jesse Peretz]
What with Vice teaming up with LiveNation to turn Brooklyn (followed by America as a whole, one imagines) into one giant concert stadium where their writers and only their writers, by dint of an exclusive press pass agreement, can afford to take acid and go see Coldplay and/or monster truck rallies and/or the Arcade Fire without having to travel too far from the central office, a lot of other places throughout the borough have felt the very real pain of a spike in rent prices a.k.a. “housing service fees.” Since, as scientists have estimated that approximately 60% of all content on the web relates to the goings-on in Brooklyn, you’ve likely heard already that one of the spaces in Brooklyn already gobbled up a variety of economic realities like so many MDMA-laced candy corns was the long-running and certified very cool space Death By Audio.
All of this relates to the content at hand — namely a new Grooms full-length entitled Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair — by virtue of the fact that Grooms were a group closely associated with Death By Audio, who released albums such as 2009’s Rejoicer on the space’s label and practiced there for nearly seven years and who are now in search of another Exclusive Joint Physical Content Venture a.k.a. a new practice space. Pair this with the fact that the band’s lineup itself was thrown into turmoil by the hiatus of bassist and co-writer Emily Ambruso for personal financial reasons (leaving singer and guitarist Travis Johnson as the only original member) and you’ve got yourself a musical stew, one that you’d probably guess might end up resulting in a musical shift for the next album.
Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair is described as a “clear aesthetic and thematic departure from the group’s previous efforts,” on releases such as last year’s Infinity Caller and 2011’s Prom. The shift brings the rhythm section (which now features Jay Heiselmann on bass and Steve Levine on drums) more to the fore and finds the group working more with detailed electronic and sampled elements. The album is out on February 17 from Western Vinyl, and you can pre-order it from the Western Vinyl shop here, and listen to the album’s first single “Doctor M” below.
Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair tracklist:
01. Bed Version
02. Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair
03. Cross Off
04. Something Wild
05. Doctor M
06. Half Cloud
07. Will The Boys?
08. Savage Seminar
09. Grenadine Scene from Inside
10. Foster Sister
11. Later a Dream
If you’re like me, you came across rapper Thaiboy Digital when Googling “how do I download a digital Thai boy” on Bing. To my surprise Thaiboy beautifully crafts minimal hip-hop as part of the Gravity Boys from Stockholm, Sweden. Thaiboy Digital’s new mixtape Tiger was recently released, and it’s available to stream on YouTube (or SoundCloud below), download for free on Mediafire, and purchase on iTunes.
I tried to get the album from ThaiTunes on the new ThaiPad I just got. Unfortunately, the ThaiPad has only one app featuring three Pad Thai recipes. That’s it! That’s the last time I pay $500 at the Crapple Store. Luckily, I can still catch the Thaivoy Digital tunes live when he goes on tour with Gravity Boys starting in December, and, hey, maybe you can try some Pad Thai I’ll be making to share with the real fans.
ThaiBoy tour dates:
12.01.14 - New York, NY - Webster Hall *^
12.02.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer *^
12.03.14 - Washington, DC - Black Cat *^
12.04.14 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade *
12.06.14 - Miami, FL - The Basel Castle
12.08.14 - San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit *
12.09.14 - Dallas, TX - Trees *
12.10.14 - Austin, TX - Empire Control Room *
12.12.14 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom *
12.13.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Regent *
12.14.14 - San Diego, CA - Porters Pub *
12.15.14 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory *
12.16.14 – San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom *
12.18.14 - Seattle, WA - Neumos *
12.19.14 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre *
12.20.14 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre *
* Gravity Boys (Thaiboy Goon, Ecco2K, Bladee, Whitearmor)
^ Gravity Boys & Goth Money
Remember that band every early-2000s indie act with angular guitars, playing skeletal funk right in the middle of the post-punk revival stole from? Well, the Gang of Four are back! The legendary Leeds quartet, which had reunited in 2004 after several years of inactivity, has announced a new album: What Happens Next. The LP, to come out next February, follows 2011’s Content and is the first of the group’s records since their original vocalist Jon King’s departure. Guitarist Andy Gill, Gang of Four’s sole original member, inducted John ‘Gaoler’ Terry to replace King on vocal duties, but also made sure to invite a few younger, famous singers who happen to be fans of the band: The Kill’s Alison Mosshart, Herbert Grönemeyer, and The Big Pink’s Robbie Furze appear as guest vocalists. You can hear the album’s first cut “Broken Talk,” featuring Mosshart, below.
Though Gang of Four’s profile is a little less salient than fellow post-punk icons’ Joy Division, they easily register among the best-known acts from the era, and never stopped being an influential force in alternative music circles, despite their diminishing creative returns. Their repertoire stretches over half a dozen albums and three decades, but their legacy was cemented very early, thanks to the epochal LP Entertainment!, Gang of Four’s 1979 debut album. Through the 90s, the band’s traces were audible across a strikingly vast spectrum of heirs, encompassing alt-rock staples like R.E.M., Rage Against the Machine, or The Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as more outré acts like post-rock originators Disco Inferno; not to mention how much bands like Franz Ferdinand, The Rapture, Liars, Radio 4, Bloc Party, and many others the NME lumped under the silly post-punk revival tag, borrowed from them.
Gang of Four will support their new album with a world tour; you can check the dates they’ve confirmed so far below. What Happens Next is out on February 24 via Metropolis Records.
11.27.14 - Huddersfield, UK - Holmfirth Picturedome
11.28.14 - London, UK - Hammersmith Apollo
12.17.14 - Lille, France - L’Aeronef
12.18.14 - Fontenay Sous Bois, France - Festival Les Aventuriers
03.03.15 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
03.04.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
03.06.15 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
03.07.15 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
03.09.15 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
03.10.15 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
03.12.15 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater
03.13.15 - Chicago, IL - Park West
03.14.15 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
03.15.15 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
03.17.15 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live Studio
03.18.15 - Dallas, TX - Trees
03.23.15 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
03.24.15 - Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
03.25.15 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern
03.28.15 - Santa Ana, CA - Burgerama
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds reissue first four albums, promise further horrors and reissues of seven more albums
“You can never have too much Nick Cave” — Nick Cave
You said it, fabricated quote from Nick Cave! No matter how much Nick Cave (usually a lot) is in the world, it always feels good to have more Nick Cave. On December 16, the world will get a little Nick Cave-ier with the reissue of the following classic Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album: From Her to Eternity, The Firstborn Is Dead, Kicking Against the Pricks, and Your Funeral…My Trial. These reissues follow BMG’s recent acquisition of the Mute Records catalog.
If you’re some kind of Nick Cave superfan (a Cavehead, as they are often known) and this isn’t enough Nick Cave for your world, there are seven more reissues planned for 2015. By the end of the following year, the band’s discography up to their 2001 record No More Shall We Part will have been reissued on 180 gram vinyl for the first time. Each album will also be remastered by former Bad Seed (and founding member) Mick Harvey with artwork reflecting their original releases. Now, is that enough Nick Cave for you, you absolute monster?