Faith Coloccia and Alex Barnett, the duo behind the aptly-named Barnett + Coloccia, are back with a second album for Blackest Ever Black. For Weld, the pair worked with synths (duh), “EVP techniques” (not sure exactly what this means in the context of this particular recording, but it certainly sounds witchy), tape manipulation, drums machines, and wacked-out vocals. It was born of two very different lands: Los Angeles, where it was recorded live at Psychic Western studios, and Vashon Island, WA, where processing and overdubs were applied. Like 2013’s Retrieval, Weld was touched by the gentle hand of Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Master Musicians of Bukkake), who mixed the album and performed various dark acts of studio wizardry.
This journey into the gothest version of a Target Soundscapes CD was mastered separately for vinyl and digital by the eminent Mr. James Plotkin (OLD, Khanate). The album drops sometime in late May 2015.
01. Truth Teller
05. AM Horizon
06. Rose Eye
07. Agate Cross
08. Ash Grove
• Blackest Ever Black: http://blackesteverblack.com
Did you ever dream about owning a vinyl press to act out your every whim, but can’t fathom the idea of wearing a fedora? Then boy have we got news for you: QRATES, a Tokyo-based start-up, will let you press vinyls from batches of 100 units up — the industry’s current minimum is somewhere between 3 to 5 times that figure. This will likely sound like a godsend for small labels that can’t scale-up to massive orders or have to compete for production space with labels that offer pressing plants more profitable deals. QRATES is aiming to provide musicians with an integral tool to manage their releases, be them physical or digital. The truly innovative part of the service is that QRATES adopts a similar logic as crowdfunding platforms, collecting pre-orders and not moving onto the press until the minimum number required has been reached (naturally, re-presses can be ordered afterward), later even delivering the LPs directly to the costumers. Promotional solutions and merchandize handling are also covered by QRATES’s service.
But perhaps the sweetest, widest-appealing part of this offer comes in the vinyl simulator that QRATES is running on its website. It was originally meant as a way to give artists total control of their releases — choosing the vinyl’s size, color, and finish, as well as the label and sleeve design, etc. — but it’s now something fedora-and-suspenders-loving luddites and non-musicians can equally enjoy, getting a good minute’s fun out of the thingy. Head on over to QRATES’s site, vinylize your fantasies, and share your work in the comments section below.
• QRATES: https://qrates.com
Dean Blunt, who released our favorite album of 2014, is now releasing what’s sure to be our favorite collection of receipts of 2015. Cîroc Boyz : vol 1 is a 30-page book that documents “excessive expenses made in the most popular VIP clubs in the hip hop scene” and is available now through NERO Magazine. Samples on NERO’s site include receipts with totals of $40k, $66k, and a whopping $156k.
The book is ostensibly part of a larger project that Blunt has been unraveling over the last several years, including gallery performances like “White Flight,” all-night dance parties like “Ciroc Boyz @ Orleans,” and one-off events like “Urban” (which featured, among other things, men in Cîroc shirts walking around as Blunt played a DVD of comedian Kevin Hart).
Cîroc Boyz : vol 1 is out now via NERO and is limited to 500 copies. I was planning to embed a YouTube video called “cîroc boyz vol.1,” but it has already been taken down (no surprise). Instead, here’s a track called “Urban,” off Hyperdub’s 10.3 comp from 2014.
• NERO: http://neromagazine.it
A couple of months back, we delivered the good news to your ears and eyeballs that John Power (one half of the noise-duo-that-it’s-okay-for-frat-dudes-to-like known as Fuck Buttons) had announced a new solo album under his Blanck Mass moniker entitled Dumb Flesh, due May 12 on Sacred Bones. We also shared the first single, “Dead Format.” It was pretty awesome. We all high-fived around the office and shit, assuming (pretty fairly) that we’d given the record and the project all the coverage they were ever going to want or need. Done deal. We’re all rich and happy.
But now, shit, turns out that that news is TOTALLY OBSOLETE! Because Power has fucked everything up by announcing the release of ANOTHER NEW TRACK of the album, titled “Detritus.” And this one is the album closer too, so you know it’s gonna be epic! :( Just listen to this press release description: “beginning as a wall of noise embellished with subtle, technical intricacies, ‘Detritus’ dramatically evolves over the course of it’s 8+ minutes into a haunting and strangely warming triumph.” Awww man! See?? That sounds awesome. Everything is totally ruined! We’re gonna have to write a whole new story on it now and everything, and it’s gonna be all anti-climactic and everything. Oh well. At least there are a few European tour dates to tell you about while we’re at it. But yeah, yuk. Shit just feels awkward and messy now. And those are two words I NEVER want to use when describing noise-based music.
Ye olde outdated “Dead Format” video:
Blanck Mass Euro dates:
05.02.15 - Gijon, Spain - L.E.V.
05.09.15 - Brussels, Belgium - Night Owls for Nuits Botanigue
05.15.15 - Brighton, UK - The Great Escape Festival
06.04.15 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Jazzhouse
06.11.15 - London, UK - ATP Pop Up Venue
06.19.15 - Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands - Best Kept Secret Festival
07.24.15 - Sheffield, UK - Tramlines Festival
08.21.15 - Bristol, UK – ArcTanGent
08.29.15 - Thornhill, Dumfriesshire - Electric Fields
If we choose to ingest news at all, those of us living in our self-centered American bubble rarely hear about the various happenings in Portugal. Luckily, the Lisbon-based Príncipe label is doing their part to advance a culturally-particular brand of sonar, whereby the obligatory rump-shaking that comes with kuduro (literally “hard ass,” if you consider the Portuguese “cu duro”) and related genres beckons attention all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. Pedestrians walking along the Jersey Shore stop in their artificially scented tracks as a noticeable bend in the air leaps on land from just off the coast. People are far beyond just a compulsion to fist-pump at this point.
Whereas DJ Nigga Fox and Nidia Minaj have previously done much of the danceable honors on behalf of Príncipe in the recent past, the Loures-based trio Niagara are continuing the trend with Ímpar, a new EP set for release June 2. Listen to a track that more clearly earns the “house” label below, but also note that António Arruda, Alberto Arruda, and Sara Eckerson (the human components of Niagara) will be joining Puto Márcio (of Tia Maria Produções) and DJ Firmeza for performances at Principe’s first-ever label showcase, set to take place June 27 at Cafe OTO in London.
And so it seems Niagara’s initial Ouro Oeste 12-inch wasn’t just a Príncipe one-off, much to our satisfaction:
A2. Abacaxi Limão
To quote the good book, “When one door closes, another door opens.” For 16 years, I’ve been studying this line for my post-grad dissertation on quotes, and at the base level, it means opportunities become available after completion of a current project. An appropriate example is Okayama producer Keita Sano’s new album, Holding New Cards. Sano experimented with jazz, studied ceramic-spinning, and has released a number of singles and EPs on various labels, all of them leading to the inevitable prospect of this newest full-length.
Oh, the journeys of our lives. It is important to take into consideration that when you open one door, you also bring a breeze into a room that subsequently opens a new door, and so on and so forth. Is that breeze fate or happenstance? Sano, on the other hand, has some solid work behind him, and this new album uses the MPC, MTR, and Electribe-SX to create a throwback of club grooves. But perhaps there was never any doors at all, and Sano just made a great choice to put out this album with his own freewill. We’ll never truly know, but what I do know is I’ll be graduating now thanks to this great essay I just wrote about quotes. Great job, me!
Keita Sano’s Holding New Cards comes out May 5 on 1080p
Holding New Cards tracklisting:
01. Fake Blood
02. Onion Slice
03. Ends How It Ends
04. Everybody Does It
06. Holding New Cards
08. He Can Only Holder Her
09. Escape To Bronx
11. African Blue
Embodying the avant jazz-and generally out projections of Austin-based record label and multimedia house Monofonus Press, Astral Spirits have aligned a remarkable constellation of music in their enviable, ongoing first year. Today welcomes three new tapes to the orbit: Rob Mazurek’s Vortice of the Faun (79 nuanced minutes of electronics torment, his first such solo recording in some time now), SSBT’s 247 Main (a dyad of free-jazz-meets-harnessed-frequencies documentation, recorded live in the Pacific Northwest of 2014), and Mike Majkowski’s Neighbouring Objects (a gloaming swath of spectral drone and atmospherics). They are each as excellent as they are limited, which is very.
Willful hosts are implored to congregate their bodies at the Monofonus storefront tomorrow morning and await further sign.
• Astral Spirits: http://monofonuspress.com/astral-spirits
Stop and smell the flowers lately?
Well, not to take away from your seasonal pursuit of odorous pleasures, but consider this a recurring PSA: in the time it took for a bee to surprise-jump off an objectified flower, fly down your throat, and sting your pancreas multiple times, the New Jersey-born but Hollywood-residing producer Knxwledge has let loose a whopping kajillion releases, all the while making a single morning’s breakfast and catching up on local politics via the web. “Prolific” is a word rather liberally thrown around to describe artist output these days, but rest assured, Glen Boothe’s discography for sure approaches the epitome. Countless beats and a noteworthy contribution to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly have now led to a debut release on Stones Throw!
“Hud Dreems” is the name, and it’s out in a mere one week on May 5 (wait until June 30 for the double LP). It features 26 tracks (mirroring the age of the tireless fellow), and… what else can really be said about it? Boothe has previously clarified that his sample-ridden action is almost unconscious at this point, so even though the forthcoming might end up being a blip, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be worthwhile.
Check out a review we did of an EP here, and kindly note the flute transition on the following Hud Dreems single:
Hud Dreems tracklisting:
Bill Kouligas’ PAN label doesn’t fit the mold of any particular sound or style, and proudly so. In fact, being impossible to shoehorn is a remit in of itself, and bringing listeners some of the most interesting, genre-defying, new music out there is business as usual for Kouligas and crew.
Naturally, the Lifted project for the label follows suit. A meeting of Matt Papich (a.k.a. Co La) and Max D (a.k.a Maxmillon Dunbar), 1 documents an improv-heavy session of slick electronics and free-falling techno. And that’s not all: the album also includes contributions from Gigi Masin, Eklund, Jeremy Hyman, and Jordan GCZ (of Juju & Jordash fame) coalescing into a cosmic set freed from typical structure and form, a synthesis of the respective talents and idiosyncrasies of those involved. Factor in PAN’s uniformly excellent packaging and 1 is yet another surefire success; an abstract, fragmentary summer record for the discerning listener.
1 drops today. Try the closing track, “Medicated Yoga”, below:
04. Total Care Zero
05. Bell Slide
08. Medicated Yoga
• PAN: http://p-a-n.org
HEALTH have a new album coming out August 7, titled Death Magic. If that’s news that gets your excitement levels up, then sit down before I tell you that, according to this Pitchfork article, Death Magic was produced in collaboration with The Haxan Cloak, Mars Volta knob-twiddler Lars Stalfors, and Kanye West’s engineer Andrew Dawson.
You can get your first sample via the video for “New Coke” below.
Not only does this video give you a good insight into the dark, bombastic, and glassy sounds you’d expect from HEALTH joining forces with The Haxan Cloak and make vomiting look like a balletic artform, it also contains a phone number at the end that, according to a few people in the YouTube comment section (which is probably more reliable than CNN,but I’m no expert) is actually the band’s phone number.
So give HEALTH a call — see if they want a pizza or something.
03. MEN TODAY
04. FLESH WORLD (UK)
05. COURTSHIP II
06. DARK ENOUGH
09. NEW COKE
10. L.A. LOOKS
11. HURT YOURSELF
12. DRUGS EXIST