02 Mar 2014 — Henning Lahmann
Do you miss Hype Williams already? Could this have been a Hype Williams track? Would you miss Dean Blunt as much as you miss Hype Williams or do you not care as you don't see any difference anyway? Do you think Dean Blunt felt "pressured" to drop a new track now that Inga Copeland has finally announced her proper debut album? Do you think Hype Williams came out of the shadows to direct Yeezus: The Movie because "Hype Williams" is finally not a thing anymore? Do you think Dean Blunt's next album Black Metal will contain black metal samples instead of Julee Cruise or K-Ci & JoJo? Would we need to invent a new genre name for that? Why would anyone leave Hippos In Tanks in order to release new material on Rough Trade, isn't that very 90s? Is that the point maybe, that it "feels" very 90s, so ironically? How did they make Blunt suddenly disappear in the video? Is the protagonists' choice of clothing a comment on or maybe even an endorsement of #normcore? What does it say about us that we didn't know what "Mersh" is? What does it tell us about Dean Blunt?
We have no idea. While you're trying to find out, here's a song to sing along to:
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28 Feb 2014 — Noah Klein
While cycles of mass consumption continue to sensationalize systemic worship in the form of militarized mechanical competitions or yet another corporation sponsoring subversion, our Philadelphia-based comrade-in-hearts Dan Svizeny has taken towards composing his own colossus of beauty. Clocking in at just under thirty minutes, Daniel Anton Svizeny is the first play towards self-actualization that we’ve heard from the silhouette we’ve come to know so fondly as Cough Cool. So why the subtle dichotomy? Perhaps our friend is starting to feel less like a misfit and more of a veteran within our ever-evolving world of bedroom recording. Or could this be the Trojan horse to Dan’s dark passenger? Most likely, neither.
As his umpteenth album, first release since last year’s 29, and second release on Mirror Universe, DAS is characteristic of what we’ve come to know of Dan’s recordings. That is, peach fuzz, guitar melodies gently pushed into the red, vocals floating on high, and just past the ballet of drum machines and charming introspection we can still frolick with the ghosts of his former Blackhawks and Nude Beach collaborative projects. So it’s here where I wonder how to understand this album’s context within the wealth of Dan’s archive.
What makes Cough Cool, Nude Beach, Blackhawks, and now (well, technically beginning with those No Kings releases) Daniel Svizeny proper such a treat in the aural landscapes of our lives is that the realm he constructs exists beyond recognition and validation. You’ll hear it from the source first… it’s awesome that through the internet we can appreciate the qualities stirred into a Svizeny release, but these albums are simply meant for the moments of time in which they’re embedded. The point of this journey isn’t to trace a line graph of maturation, but for the opportunity to share these cycles of catharsis for the various demons we see excorsized and reinvigorated through the course of our lives. It’s in this that Dan Svizeny detaches himself from the traditional role of the musician and plays the part of a sympathetic friend, offering a crutch to the world so that when we long to find that piece of ourselves we know we’ve already lost we can say “fuck this” and not have to move on alone. Or, going by the titles and lyrical content of this collection, maybe it’s Daniel Anton Svizeny that finally needs us by his side.
Daniel Anton Svizeny is out today via the recently revived Mirror Universe Tapes. My favorite track is “Trenton, NJ” because in 2010 Dan and I first met in Trenton/Ewing to play a house show at the now defunct (and legendary) Basement Gallery. Order your own copy of the tape here before I claim them all.
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28 Feb 2014 — Henning Lahmann
People, or really anything that matters, don't need to be pretty to take our breath, Yohuna aka Wisconsin native Johanne Swanson tells us in the chorus of her latest song "Badges", a variation of The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen's famous quote "I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun," and inspired by Californian artist Faye Orlove's stunning portrait of said character. "Badges" now happens to be both breathtaking and immensely pretty; built upon a sparse Casiotone instrumentation and with a little help from her friend Emily Reo, the song's unassuming melody leaves enough room for Yohuna's lyrics to unfold a sad yet cautiously optimistic narrative about being in search of whatever, and (possibly) arriving somewhere in the end. We assume, or can at least hope, that being a radiating light will turn out to be helpful for that.
New Yohuna songs actually recorded and put down onto some physical format are still all too rare occasions, so go and cherish this one as much as her last song, the equally disarming "Apart" which came out on Le Sigh's first compilation on Birdtapes in November – because who knows how long we'll have to wait for the next one. "Badges" will be part of Boring Ecstasy, a 14-track vinyl compilation put out by Brooklyn's Orchid Tapes in celebration of the label's four-year anniversary. Pre-orders go up March 22. Check out Andi Wilson's portrait of Orchid Tapes over here.
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27 Feb 2014 — Tonje Thilesen
We're very excited to announce that we're taking part as one of the blogs of Hype Machine's Hype Hotel at SXSW this year, more particularly on Saturday, March 15th, together with our friends at ISO50. Together, we've curated a line-up of acts that particularly fits the sound of our websites, including live sets by Berlin local Machinedrum and his highly anticipated Vapor City Live performance, fellow Norwegian Cashmere Cat, Montreal's Jacques Greene, Danish producer Tomas Barfod (featuring Nina K), Hyperdub's rising Jessy Lanza, and The Range. In the DJ booth between shows, you will also get a chance to catch ISO50's Heathered Pearls, Joel Ford and Brandom Boom from The-Drum.
12 The Range
1pm Tomas Barfod + Nina K
2pm Jessy Lanza
3pm Cashmere Cat
4pm Jacques Greene
5pm Machinedrum (Vapor City live)
Heathered Pearls (DJ)
Joel Ford (DJ)
Make sure to RSVP via Hype Machine so you can come celebrate the event with us, and of course, don't forget to check out the other day shows curated by our friends Disco Naivetë x Crack in the Road, Yours Truly x Gorilla vs Bear, I Guess I'm Floating, Consequence of Sound, and Ears of the Beholder x Yvynyl.
Thanks to the sponsors Taco Bell, Titos Handmade Vodka and Miller. See you there!
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27 Feb 2014 — Tonje Thilesen
While we're eagerly waiting for new details on Prism House next release, two of Norway's most exciting producer names of the past few years (in my opinion), Snasen and Torkelsen, have given their production aid to a few tracks off the New York duo's 2013 release, Reflections EP. Just to expect from Snasen's warped mind, his take on "Need You (Part I)" moves through a thick fog, occasionally unveiling his inspiration to Jon Hopkins and fellow Ceremony resident Albert Swarm; while Torkelsen does exactly what he's best at, finding the lonely, but utterly beautiful balance between melancholy and dance music.
More details to follow soon on Prism House's next release, so keep an eye up on our buddies at Ceremony NYC.
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20 Feb 2014 — Trey Reis
Looking at the visual geography of “M4U” on the Soundcloud embed, it’s the kind of track you turn the volume on your computer down a few notches before pressing play. It could be a blast of harsh noise from the looks of its plateaued waveform. It’s not, of course, and the body of that unsloping wall of sound is built by the throbbing quality of the unrelenting bass beats driving the track. And it never lets up. It’s a welcome change from all of the glitchy inconsistencies of so much of beat-based music being magnetized and compressed to tape. But, then again, Beer on the Rug has always had a tendency of keeping things cool. Like “welcome, have a seat anywhere you like, here’s a beer in a cup. Things rarely get so out-of-hand that it ends up on the rug.” Well, we’re not ruling anything out.
“M4U” is the first single from the new ENDO KAME album, MUSIC 4 EON GREEN available for streaming now from the Beer on the Rug website. No word yet on a physical release, but considering the BOTR track record, I wouldn’t rule that out either.
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20 Feb 2014 — Evelyn Malinowski
Snarly, lonesome, and bulging: those are some words that describe Karen Gwyer's new EP New Roof. With "Missisissipippi," lonesomeness, with some amount of resentment, is the more suitable quality of the EP's three tracks. This of course an impression made by the down-octave synth; but the fanning on top of it during the track's last quarter in particular conveys some kind of malcontent. As the track starts, the sound of artificial wind lain on top of tethered drone and later a slow beat – the one that ties interestingly into the prime beat – likewise gives off an impression of isolation, where only the wind can be heard apart from a burning feeling from inside. Makes me think that she composed the song during the heat of the summer in a shack on the edge of the city, which clearly isn't the case. With these observations aside, Gwyer's sound is agreeably unqiue among releases today, and it's laudable to see how much can be done within her domain/room as it both sounds and is in fact meandering and spacious.
New Roof is freshly available on No Pain in Pop. You can order it here.
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20 Feb 2014 — Henning Lahmann
As some of you will know, No Fear Of Pop started as little more than a historical accident, and in some ways you may even say that it still is. But hey, it's been around for four years now already, and isn't that sort of legitimising in itself? Almost an aeon in blog terms, we're still happy to be doing what we're doing, and we promise (?) that we have no intention to stop. Which is why we figured that it's about time to finally properly celebrate another year of existence, and the night to do so will happen at Neukölln venue Sameheads tomorrow, Friday, February 21 – so come and have a good time with us, congratulate, bring flowers, or just seize the opportunity to finally complain about everything that bothers you, in general and concerning our humble website.
The magic starts at 10pm. A few fine friends and long-standing supporters are helping us to make the party unforgettable, in this order:
10pm No Fear Of Pop
11pm Cory & Robin
12am Jason Grier
1am Antonie93 (Montreal/live)
2am Joey Hansom
3am Why Alex Why?
4am Michael Aniser (Noisekölln)
Go here for more details. Also, don't miss our show on Berlin Community Radio tomorrow afternoon, 4pm CET as usual, to hear us play some of our all-time favourites that were posted on the site over the past four years.
In anticipation of the night, our dear friend Joey Hansom has made us a mix, including some of the more dancefloor-friendly tunes that have been featured on No Fear Of Pop. Take a listen below, and join us tomorrow night!
Airbird “Part of the Game”
Jef Barbara “About Singers”
Planningtorock “All Love’s Legal”
Godmother “These Things Take Time”
Antoine93 “Only Do the Music”
Alexander Geist “A Woman’s Right to Choose”
White Car “Now We Continue”
Shine 2009 feat. Paula Abdul “So Free” (Jensen Sportag Remix)
Tomas Barfod “Aether”
Ikonika feat. Jessy Lanza “Beach Mode (Keep It Simple)”
Kassem Mosse “Broken Patterns”
Avalon Emerson “Zsa”
Holly Herndon “Chorus”
Maria Minerva “Gloria”
Felicita “Shougang Fantasy / Wavey”
Stay+ feat. Queenie “Crashed”
Cloud Boat “Pink Grin II”
Laurel Halo “Throw”
Kuhrye-oo “For the Fame II”
How to Dress Well “Ready for the World”
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