Amoeblog

Divine Discs of the Electronic Continuum

Posted by Rick Frystak, September 13, 2012 02:28pm | Post a Comment


I am a searcher, never quite satisfied with music and sounds that already exist. There are many like myself out there. I am consistently persuing electronics-based records like these herein that testify to the pioneering spirit of those musicians, composers and scientists in search of the newest “musical “sounds available via technology of all levels of sophistication. Throughout history the primitive object or idea will lead the way to a monumentally sophisticated one, and visa-versa, as long as one is paying attention. Take thefuzzbox for example. That thing lead a revolution of little boxes that one plugs one’s instrument into to get big, wild (and conversely subtle) effects on said instrument ranging from fuzzy distortion to multiple octave voices to…God knows what now, huge racks of processing gear for a single riff.  At the same time in another part of the culture, Joel Chadabeguys and gals in long white lab coats were fiddling with room-sized computers to get a single tone that was not produced by a musical instrument, but alas, hallehlujah, a machine did it! And other folks were stringing audio tape across rooms and cutting inches of tape recordings to compose new recordings (Musique Concrete) to make other recordings to manipulate and, well, you get it.

The sense of experimentation and the ability to manifest those ideas has never left the true creative artist. There are sonic “searchers” among us that will never be satisfied with what already exists in the known sound worlds, and it is this motivation that fuels records like these. The daring ones, without concern of peer’s criticisms or naysayer’s pessimism, have forged ahead with whatever tools available to take these ideas and run with…no, FLY with them to the edges of reality.

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Catching Fever at Los Globos

Posted by Billy Gil, June 26, 2012 11:21am | Post a Comment
Fever Los GlobosFor anyone lamenting the dearth of places to dance in L.A., Fever is your savior. LA Record’s Daiana Feuer recently started the monthly night at Los Globos in Silverlake, hosting a dance party for electronic music that doesn’t fit a specific genre, from psychedelic dance music to alien disco and any number of in betweens. This Tuesday sees performances from heralded local acts LA Vampires and High Places.
 
“Fever is about avant-garde disco, auditory illusions, garage dub tronica, theatrical, ethereal pop, just forward-thinking weird dance music that's almost unclassifiable,” she says.
 
Feuer is the executive editor of LA Record, which since 2005 has ably documented the LA music scene. Fever is just the latest bit of fun from the Cal Arts grad, who also runs The New L.A. Folk Festival, which puts on shows featuring new folk weirdness around the Los Angeles area, including The New LA Folk Fest, the latest of which takes place Aug. 4 at Zorthian Ranch in Altadena.
 
Feuer says her roots are in dance music, having grown up in Florida, but acquired a taste for experimental, psychedelic music experiences while living in California. The aim of Fever is to create a space where the two can live simultaneously, finding a middle place between underground and above ground, she says.
 
“I like music that makes me want to shake my tailfeather but also stirs up my brain,” Feuer says. “I’m really interested in creating experiences. I want people to let loose like children yet also perceive this as conceptual art.”
 
The night involves not only music performances, but also art installations, performance and video art, DJs, confetti, souvenirs, party favors, costumes and toys. Thus far, Fever has involved local talent (musical and otherwise) such as Thelma Houston & Janitor, Busdriver, Pharaohs, Nite Jewel, Hecuba, Dreamers, Butchy Fuego, Moomaw, Young Adults, Diva, PDA, Mor Elian, Alia Penner, Future Eyes, Gifted & Blessed and Captain Ahab. Feuer hopes to open the night to travelling artists and more nights than just one Tuesday a month at Los Globos.
 
This particular evening is exciting for a number of reasons. First of all, LA Vampires put on an insane show. You can even read all about when they opened for Zola Jesus last year in my review of that show.  High Places I’ve also seen a number of times, and their shows and records just get more and more entrancing — can’t wait for their new record, Original Colors, which is set to come out in October on Thrill Jockey. I like the idea of this paring, the cerebral beats of High Places with LA Vampires’ visceral take. Plus, Sodapop from local underground hip-hop label Anticon will be DJing at 10, and I’ll be DJing with Feuer between sets. What could be better than that!

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Download the Mansions on the Moon EP FREE

Posted by Billy Gil, February 15, 2012 01:07pm | Post a Comment

mansions on the moonL.A. indie pop/electronica band Mansions on the Moon have released a new EP, Lightyears, and have made it available as a free download for the time being. All you have to do is like it on Facebook. I did this, and I like it in real life, too, especially the second song, "Leaves Fall," which is just as serene and pretty as you might guess from its title. And it's executive produced by Pharrell Williams! Download it while it's hot. They'll have a full-length out later this year, and they play L.A.'s The Mint March 9.

On the 2nd Day of *J-Pop* Christmas: Pizzicato Five's ode to Christmas Eve

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 24, 2011 12:00am | Post a Comment
It's Christmas eve! What are you waiting for? Invite an angel to your table or wrap your limbs around a loved one and do the spirit of the season right. If you know anything about Christmas in Japan you know that it's got more to do with making babies than last minute fried chicken and creamy white strawberry cakes! Here's Pizzicato Five with their ode to the eve, "Le 24 Decembre"

The Choice Bin's Choice-y-er Buy Counter Scores of 2011

Posted by Rick Frystak, December 18, 2011 07:08pm | Post a Comment
As the year 2011 flies to a close, I've gathered some of my favorite scores from the past year together to reflect upon how much great stuff gets traded in at our used buying counter. All this art came in over Amoeba's trade-in counter but didn't make it past my "gotta check this out" sensors-in-overdrive...lots of stuff maybe not have been released in 2011 but plucked from the ocean of "keepers" and brought ashore, as the relevance and quality make it so, and the joy of reconnecting with a reissue or another format.  Our "Insurance Return" policy keeps the good stuff coming in as well.  And I've forgotten more titles than I've remembered...

Vinyl
LPs


John Adams

Harmonium

ECM 1984

I've owned this on a compact disc for ages, and then I see the magnificent film, "I Am Love" with the great Tilda Swinton and I see a vinyl copy of it and my head goes, "BUY THIS"!  This record was cut up and used as the score in such a wonderful, effective way, swooning, tilting and fanfare-ing the scenes making the picture so much more intense and sentimental. Bravissimo. The wax sounds amazing, too, as is the ECM tradition.



Havergal Brian

Complete Piano Music
Cameo Classics 1981

Amazing moods and very sound writing for piano. Think Debussy, Copeland, Ravel, Mozart, Haydn, Bryars and Gershwin and all this rolled into one fellow born in the U.K. in 1876. The great sound on this disc makes it so enjoyable, and being a wonderfully produced U.K. pressing with a brilliant performance by Peter Hill seals the deal.

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