New 12"s @ Amoeba Hollywood 3/5 - Barnt, Indoor Life, Peel MD, Eddie C, Leech, Jesse Saunders, and more!

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, March 5, 2013 04:18am | Post a Comment

Barnt - AriolaBarnt

The deluge of indistinguishable deep house, replete with “soulful” vocal samples, swung drums, and jazzy pads sometimes makes an avid listener long for a producer who hasn’t arrived fully-formed with only the most tasteful/retro influences. Barnt is that producer. Here, he follows last year’s bizarre anthem “Geffen” with four even odder tracks. “Tunsten” starts rather polite, then a maddening synth tone climbs slowly skyward and remains for a bit before coming back down and hitting on one-note as the beat picks up, a house track as carnival-ride. “Ariola” is more staid and baroque - with counterpuntal synths evoking Vangelis. "Stac" is a skewed percussion workout, with Barnt programming drums as though he’s never heard of the grid. Any cut off the record is perfect for waking up a crowd used to knowing what to expect.

Buy Ariola
Indoor Life
Indoor Life
A bizarre and heretofore lost document of post-punk freedom, Indoor Life is in many ways an amazing missing link connecting Patrick Cowley and Chrome, Warhol and Sylvester, freewheeling SF-punk psychedelia with the NYC 80s downtown scene. Indoor Life formed in 1980 in San Francisco - Cowley produced their first ep (Indoor Life member Jorge Socarras also performed with Cowley as Catholic). The music is similar to Pere Ubu in a way, but with the rhythm section calibrated to funk/disco rather than utilitarian rock. Songs like Madison Ave. slow things down with gorgeous delayed trombone. Essential document.
Buy Indoor Life
Peel MD - Grip

Peel MD
Bruising mini-LP of uncompromising acid from the Swedish duo. As the first-track “Henry, Second Bass” jolts to life with its Phuture meets Knight Rider groove, it becomes apparent that PEEL MD is carrying on the tradition of mutant dance music borne out of analog experimentation. Closer “Fusefudge” introduces the raw drum palette and atmosphere of early industrial music. Great debut from PEEL MD and more uncompromising weirdness from the Borft label (Frak). Limited Second Pressing of 350.
Buy Grip
Eddie C
Country City Country
Endless Flight
A nostalgic collection of cosmic sample and synth work from the Canadian aesthete. Tracks like “Stoney Pharmacy” and “Fools on the Hill” present a more widescreen vision of Dilla’s bag. Fans of Andres will find much to love with the laidback cut-up groove of “Drinking and Thinking”.
Eddie C slowly works his way from odd, pleasing hip-hop instrumentals to the balearic/nu-disco/deep house jams that conclude the album. A lot to love.
Buy Country City Country

100% Silk 
Leech’s Brian Foote kicks off his debut for 100% Silk with a wistful piano house vamp not far from the label’s signature hypnagogic house sound. Over the course of the record, Foote’s sound reveals itself to be more micro and muscular than the label’s typical offerings. On the title track, a rude 303 and odd percussion slowly emerge as the counterpoint to the crystalline piano/female vocal that drive the track. “Ninao” works a similar formula, the producer’s love of piano house as a deceptive front for outré experimentation cemented. “Sense Enjoyer” is similarly epic. A busy 303 line begins the track, and is soon buoyed by a wistful four-chord synth progression - when the synth emerges later in the track, it’s taken on an almost-Fennesz like quality. “Winehouse” is the ep's most austere track - a rough hewn, live techno jam replete with  time-lapse synth and 303-microfunk skittering around the the track’s odd beat. All in all, a worthy introduction to one of LA’s finest purveyors of live electronic sound - recommended.
Buy Tusk
Jesse Saunders - On & OnJesse Saunders
On & On
Rush Hour
Rush Hour continues its series of flawlessly curated archival house releases (Dream2Science, Sha-lor, Elbee Bad) with this track, the godfather of them all. Widely regarded as the first house track, “On & On” was  influenced by Frankie Knuckles deejaying style and leans heavy on the jacking style that looms heavy over the modern house landscape. More importantly, this mutant bit of funk sounds every bit as relevant today as it did in 1984.
Buy On & On
Lace Curtain - Nothing I Wanna DoLace Curtain
Nothing I Wanna Do
Incisive disco not disco from the new group made up of members of Total Control, Rank Xerox and others. Wry, world-weary vocals combine with smart synth programming and spare live percussion to create an electronic post-punk sound so obvious you’d think someone would have hit on it by now. At times, the band’s sound is reminiscent of a subtractive version of labelmates Factory Floor. Things brighten slightly on “In The House”, a track with a loping groove worthy of Factory Beneleux.
Buy Nothing I Wanna Do

Henrik Bergqvist
Go For What Hurts
Intriguing new sounds from the Swedish newcomer. The title track wastes little time getting deep in the oddest way possible, starting with wobbly guitar before coming with a steamroller of a two-note bassline and a snare that could pass for the clackety-clack of boxcars. Eventually two samples, one made up of gorgeous strings, the other perhaps of feline origin create a deliciously stoned whole.  A bit of Detroit in here, but Henrik’s house sound is all his. B-side “Spin” twists a couple samples and manic, jazz-influenced percussion into head-down, dark room business, eventually emerging with a blurred melodic organ progression and cute vocal before beating the simple groove again. TIP!
Buy Go For What Hurts
Rainer Veil - StruckRainer Veil
Modern Love
Rainy, corroded sounds from the English duo. The title track combines the tape-delay degradation expected from the Modern Love camp with the big pads of Burial’s more hopeful moments. “Slow Beaming” comes off like a refracted take on the Tri Angle sound, while “Bala” represents the ep’s emotional peak, the longing vocal subsumed by string synth atmospherics worthy of Talk Talk’s “Laughing Stock”. The record represents an infusion of downcast pop into a plethora of ‘ardcore continuum formatives - the end result, at times, veering closer to ambient music than even the foggiest post-dubstep.
Buy Struck

out this week 4/19 & 4/26...explosions in the sky...holy ghost...craft spells...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 6, 2011 06:22pm | Post a Comment
The releases just keep coming -- I seriously can barely keep up! One of my favorites is finally back with a new album: Explosions In the Sky! They have been around for over ten years now, which is hard to believe. They put out their first album, How Strange, Innocence, in 2000, and it has been 4 years since their last brilliant album, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone. It would be very easy for you to have never heard of Explosions in the Sky because they are one of those quiet little bands that have managed to become very popular without anyone really noticing. Their fans are fanatical and devoted and they wait in the explosions in the sky take care take care take caresidelines patiently for each new album to come out. I don't want to bore you too much with my love for this band, so if you want to read more about them and my love for them...check out my blog about their last album, All of A Sudden I Miss Everyone, from 2007. The new album is called Take Care Take Care Take Care. Explosions In The Sky is an all instrumental group. You can call it post rock if you want, or post instrumental rock. They are one of the bands that I listen to alone, one of those bands I listen to when I need to think or process my life. Their music is my therapist, I guess, although sometimes all I can think about when I listen to them is how good they are! Check them out for yourself.

Listen to "Trembling Hands" by Explosions In The Sky from the new album Take Care Take Care Take Care...

I sometimes consider dance music one of my guilty pleasures. I don't know why I should be embarrassed -- I have loved dance music forever and it just makes me happy. You shouldn't be guilty about things that make you happy, right? And I have loved new wave and synth music since I can remember liking music so I am quick to fall in love with anything that has a hint of new wave. If any song involves some keyboards then I will probably fall for it, like I have quickly fallen for albums by The Juan Maclean, M83, Booka Shade, & The Junior Boys. Holy Ghost! have just put out a new album on DFA. I am a big fan of the exclamation point; I probably use it too much (!). But I do love that their band name has an exclamation point in it and I am a big fan of this album. It is super fun and perhaps can become your guilty pleasure, too -- but, really, don't feel too guilty!

Listen to "Wait and See" by Holy Ghost! from their new self titled album Holy Ghost!...

With all these new releases I almost missed the debut album from Craft Spells and I try not to miss anything on Captured Tracks since I have loved everything that they have put out in the last couple of years. I, of course, picked up a copy of their Record Store Day Wake tribute 7" box and had already fallen in love with Wild Nothing and Soft Moon, but Craft Spells are just as good. They make dreamy dream pop. Shoegazey Shoegaze. They for sure remind me of early songs by The Magnetic Fields and are sort of what I always wanted The Magnetic Fields to turn into: Imagine New Order mixed with The Magnetic Fields. And yes, it is that good. You need to become a fan of my new favorite band -- Craft Spells are made for people like you and me! The best thing about Craft Spells is that they are super young and it is amazing to me how good they can be already. These guys make The Pains of Being Pure At Heart look old. Craft Spells are just one more great thing about Seattle. One more great thing about Captured Tracks!

And don't forget: We are offering up FREE SHIPPING on again so you can buy any of the albums listed above or below and get them packed and shipped with care right to your front door. And you don't even have to pay for shipping! And you don't have to buy 2 1/2 albums to qualify for free shipping, either. You really have no reason to not be supporting your favorite bands and falling in love with these albums. Just do it...

also out 4/19...

The Fall
by The Gorillaz

Head & the Heart
by Head & the Heart

Who Kill
by The Tune-Yards

also out 4/26...

Start & Complete
by About Group

All At Once
by Airborne Toxic Event

Some Days
by Matthew Cooper

Lungs: Deluxe Edition
by Florence & the Machine

Secret Walls
by The Fresh & Onlys

Hard Bargain
by Emmylou Harris

January EP
 by Here We Go Magic

Holy Ghost!
by Holy Ghost!

Wit's End
by Cass McCombs

Only She Chapters
by Prefuse 73

Dancer Equired
by Times New Viking


Posted by Mike Battaglia, February 2, 2009 11:00am | Post a Comment


Even five short years ago, many clubbers, ravers and dance music fans would be hard pressed to recognize the names Ron Hardy or Larry Levan (above, R-L), let alone acknowledge African American influence on the music they get freaky to on the weekends. Even in the black community, whole generations seem completely oblivious to this part of their musical heritage. Thankfully, that's changing. With a renewed interest in disco, 80's uptempo R&B aka boogie, techno and early house music over the past few years, knowledge of dance music's history and the role blacks (and gays and latinos) played in its inception is growing. Nightclubs where the music was allowed to evolve, like Levan's Paradise Garage (right) in New York, Hardy's Music Box and Frankie Knuckles' Warehouse in Chicago (the latter being where the name House Music was coined) and Detroit's Music Institute remain legendary not because of the venues themselves or the people who owned them, but due to the DJ's who made those places immortal by performing an aural alchemy that transformed the American soundscape.

In honor of Black History Month 2009, I plan on taking a look at these legends so that they might gain a foothold with a new audience. People like The Belleville Three, legendary innovators of techno music from Detroit, or DJ's and producers like Tony Humphries at New Jersey's Zanzibar, that bridged the gap between disco's firey, racist and homophobic "death" and the birth of house and techno. I'd like to visit the lives and careers of people who changed the face of music forever, as well as ask a few questions. Questions like: Why is it that DJ's like Tiesto, Sasha & Digweed, Paul Oakenfold or Paul Van Dyk remain the most recognizable faces in mainstream dance music while Theo Parrish (left) remains an "undiscovered talent," or that popular knowledge of its history seems to go no further than the 90's, when white folks finally caught on en masse to what black folks in Chicago, Detroit and New York had already known for years? Or that the most popular strains of dance and electronic music seem to have erased all trace of African American influence? In a press release for a 2006 conference on techno's black origins at Indiana University, author and professor of folklore and ethnomusicology Portia Maultsby said:

"It is interesting how the music migrated from Detroit to Europe, and...became associated with rave parties, and then migrated back to the U.S., and Americans became involved...and the African American identity became invisible. Music can be appropriated and re-appropriated, and history can be distorted as a result of that ...Very few people associate techno with its African American origins."


(The Belleville Three, L-R - Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson)

I may not even have answers to these questions (but would love to hear people's ideas in the comments), but I think raising them is almost enough. Questioning the status quo has never been a popular idea in dance music, but it's something that skeptical ol' me is hardwired for.

Now, obviously things are changing. These men have been regarded as gods in the underground for nearly 20 years and as new generations discover this music for the first time, it seems that it's the essence they immediately attach themselves to; the music's late 70's and early 80's beginnings are attracting the kids and new artists alike, such as Hercules and Love Affair or New York's DFA label, headed by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy. These artists either consciously or unconsciously are realizing a concept-- that house/dance/electronic music (whatever you want to call it) has lost its way and needs to step back a bit to reflect, to capture what made it great in the first place. To remember the groove.

Continue reading...