Watch: Skeppet “Den Nya Kusten”

23 Apr 2014 — Trey Reis

Doing these write-ups can be so interesting. Sometimes, I receive an email about something new coming out and I’ll recognize a band name, microgenre tag, or just a label and decide to check it out. Sometimes, I’m thinking, “Hey, I wonder what [band] has been up to recently,” so I check their Bandcamp releases, Soundcloud posts, etc. And sometimes you kind of fall into something through a complex series of links and wonder, which, without the forward and backward buttons, would be entirely impossible to recreate. To me, this is the only way to actually get lost on the Internet. Obscured at the destination. Caught between the possibilities of search engines. And your trail of bread crumbs disappeared into the gamma glow of the computer screen.

Staring at the juxtaposed images of this video for a track entitled “Den Nya Kusten” by a band called Skeppet, I felt that haziness of being lost where I was. This wasn’t one to save for later. Who knows what distractions the Home button would hold. This write-up had to be done now before the filters and information of the Internet obscured the state of wonder its finding and 8-minutes of synth textures left me in. And the only information I have for you is that it’s an excerpt from a forthcoming LP on Not Not Fun entitled Phase 3. No date besides “2014”. It kind of reminds me a bit of that Branches tape from a couple of years ago. The one that came out on Solid Melts. Check it out. Get lost, find something, and keep an ear open for the whole thing sometime later this year as NNF282.

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Stream: Karneef, “Swimming” Remix EP (exclusive)

23 Apr 2014 — Parker Bruce

A few weeks ago we premiered the video for "Swimming" by Montreal's Karneef. Now we have an EP of remixes of the track with contributions by Montreal citizens like Rich Uncle-Skelleton (who did that eclectic "Bone Soup for Christmas" mix back in December and is in Syngja) and ¡FLIST! as well as Gucchi Babe and Berlin's Touchy Mob. All the remixes are terrific. Gucchi Babe's screwed, chirping, and chopped version travels through an opaque flume while Touchy Mob makes everything plush, deluxe, and refreshing like a swig of mouthwash. ¡FLIST!'s madcap take sounds like it has a chorus of ribbiting frogs and Rich Uncle gives "Swimming" a modern and urgent doo-wop look with little scooting, bleeping noodles that dally about. Stream the remixes below and get Love Between Us (the album "Swimming" can be found on) here.

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Blondes “Rewire EP”

22 Apr 2014 — Evelyn Malinowski

Blondes are heroic. While this attribute sets them up to almost parallel the lovely likes of Teengirl Fantasy, who are also a dynamic duo, Blondes are in no way stylistically, conceptually, or viscerally duplicable.

Almost a year after the release of Swisher (a masterpiece, in my opinion), RVNG Intl. has gifted us with a succint remix EP with submissions from Huerco S., Claro Intelecto, Simian Mobile Disco, and Function. Rewire is true to the original, moody "Wire:" each remix preserves the pitter-pattering acid drums and the grumpy, uncertain synth. Manchester's Claro Intelecto gives us a revision that contains a big and round character; conservatively melodic Function delivers a trancey-er, breathy, and masterfully constructed edit. Huerco S., in applying his distinctive style, gives us a repetitive, buzzing version. The remix is straight up techno but hard-to-chew and sort of holographic, complete with distortion and phasing. The "visual single" accompanying Huerco's remix is a fitting counterpart, and simultaneously explains the entire biological profile of Earth but through some weird 3D-glasses that make everything Google-pixelated, black and white, and gendered. The two giant sex symbols, which leak black fluid into each other, could perhaps be representative of the human population while the rest of the screen, fixed while the sex symbols dance around, is the rest of life on the planet that has to deal with our meandering. In the middle of the video, we seem to get a glimpse of their or a psychedelic genetic code being erased before the male and female symbols boisterously return. Check it out below.

Simian Mobile Disco's remix of "Swisher" transforms the feisty original it into a clean, progressive, and slightly chipper track. It serves not only as an excellent opening track, but also as an impressive black sheep among other fantastic remixes of a different song. That said, if you are unfamiliar with any or all of these artists, "Rewire" is an appreciated omnibus for exploring tropes and styles of either upcoming or already reverenced techno producers.

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Watch: Dorval & Devereaux “Heavy Hands”

22 Apr 2014 — Trey Reis

Chalk this one up as one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Here’s the lowdown: Crystal Dorval, who is known for her hazy, minimal White Poppy project, and Beau Devereaux of Samantha Glass renown have teamed up for a collaborative effort, aptly named Dorval & Devereaux, for a late April 2014 cassette release from Moon Glyph. And this video for “Heavy Hands” from the forthcoming release is as hazy and gloomy as signifiers surrounding the release would suggest, its images darkening enough of the otherwise familiar images to leave them new, but recognizable. Each thump of the drum pattern calling to mind aspects of Devereaux’s catalogue, while still trudging forward into the foggy but native call of the White Poppy. And on top of all of that, the video is directed by Mr. Francesco De Gallo who runs Hobo Cult Records. If hashtags were an NFOP thing, this post would be #’ed out.

Check out the video for “Heavy Hands” below. Then, head over to the Moon Glyph Soundcloud page for a stream of two of the other songs from the album. Lastly, buy this beautiful (physically, artistically, aesthetically, aurally) tape before all 150 of them are gone!

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Watch: Weed “Actual Air”

22 Apr 2014 — Johanne Swanson

On the click of the track the film begins to flicker, and with two guitars and some warped 16mm Vancouver’s Weed and video artist Chris Ando give us a break from the rest of the noise. The only discernable words on "Actual Air", an exclusive from the tour-only tape Sing Nervous II, are the closing low voice of a friend: "That sounded really good." It’s an appropriate affirmation for such a meditative track with the repetitive imagery mirroring the melody. The instrumental song wallows in this melody, bending on the solo’s hook. It’s a glimpse into the earliest stages of Weed's songs, which are usually noted for their sludgy complexity – see their first full-length Deserve, out last fall on Couple Skate Records. Ando’s undersaturated lens zooms in and out on a grainy figure jump-roping in slow motion and cuts to some forgotten waving caution tape hanging off a phone pole. It all feels like a gift made for your your eyes and ears only, furthered by the fact that the song is the only one we’ll be hearing off Sing Nervous II.

The physical tape along with the rest of the old demos and rarities on it is solely available in basements and art spaces across North America on Weed’s “as always all ages” spring tour. The remaining dates are below.

4/22 Boston MA - Warehouse Show
4/23 Providence RI - Psychic Readings w/ Cool World + Mother Tongue + Fat Creeps
4/24 Syracuse NY - Enron Jr
4/25 Pittsburgh PA - The Shop
4/26 Detroit MI - Black Lodge
4/27 Ann Arbor MI - Totally Awesome Fest
4/28 Chicago IL - Animal Kingdom w/ The Funs + The Hecks + Earring
4/29 Milwaukee WI - Ground Zero w/ Technicolor Teeth
4/30 Eau Claire WI - Basement Show
5/01 Minneapolis MN - House Show w/ We/Ours
5/02 Fargo ND - New Direction

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Watch: Petra Glynt “Sour Paradise”

15 Apr 2014 — Evelyn Malinowski

What do you get when you combine environmental activism, post-hipster politics, and Canadian neo-pop archetypes? Petra Glynt.  

The Toronto artist otherwise known as Alexandra Mackenzie has branched off into her own universe after letting it brew while collaborating as a drummer in numerous bands, such as Pachamama and Dentata. In watching "Sour Paradise," we're teased with the same few images of people wildly celebrating the beat of the song, adorned with Value Village treasures which help create a tribal, art-explosion uniform. Mackenzie has been very outspoken against calling her music "tribal," and states that, in doing so, we are perpetuating eurocentric colonizer's jargon. While an interesting debate emerges in reasserting that Mackenzie does in fact partake in tribalism both aesthetically and culturally - urban hipsterism, rallying to protest tar sands export from Alberta, opting to have images of axes and masked men playing empty buckets in a ceremonial stance - it is opportune to explore other qualifying adjectives nonetheless. Internet psychedlia is the first alternative that comes to mind, and in spending a few minutes browsing Mackenzie's art, aforementioned universe begins to take shape.

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As for Mackenzie's alchemy with experimental music and politics about better treatment of the environment, let's look at what she told Noisey for the video's premiere:

The song is open but also militant at the same time, militant in its urgency to see change in the world. It tries to express the disconnect between our relationship to the land we live on and asks us to question the validity of the system our civilization has been built upon and where it's taking us. The song is meant to empower in circumstances that can be disempowering. We didn't want to come across as too preachy or confrontational while maintaining an artful/magical approach to video making. Amidst all the inequality in the world and damage that is being done to our planet, people need positivity. We need to celebrate our likeness and freedoms we all share, that no one can take away from us- that is the power of music, art, and dance. The video has something ominous, but it is intended to be a celebration of the power of community.

Somehow the aesthetic of trash-clothes suits contending the message that we are not being as good to the earth as we could be, and that we need to empower each other in order to change that. It's similar to the whole post-apocalptic, garbage windstorm style and reminds me of The Police's video for "Synchronicity II." Come to think of it, the message of "Synchronicity II" is also similar to Mackenzie's, as it aggressively takes us from descriptions of suburban routine and spins us back out into recalling mysticism, unknown things in nature, and, in a sense, the Other.

Yes, Mackenzie sort of looks like Grimes, and the end of "Sour Paradise" does have some residual Grimes-like fairy vocal loops; realistically, when you really look at or listen to her, she doesn't look nor sound like anyone else. Her almost too strong, alto/mezzo singing propels us into some place between several worlds she identifies with, a non-category nexus of reference and political awareness. Musically, "Sour Paradise" is fantastic – it's progressive, griddy, moderately melodic, completely danceable, and somewhat freaky. All in all, Mackenzie has a well-rehearsed and genuine style that is starting to receive attention, and by no surprise. Check out this 2012 footage of her jamming on the drums at Toronto's Southern Oracle event, and this video of her impressively performing her track "Out To Lunch" at the Wavelength Music Festival.

"Sour Paradise" is off of Petra Glynt's Of This Land EP, and you can get it here.

Throwing Shade “Sweet Tooth (ft. Emily Bee)”

15 Apr 2014 — Kelsie Brown

Our friends over at No Pain In Pop have been responsible for countless gems hitting our ears over the years. Their newest artist, London-based producer and NTS Radio DJ Throwing Shade is of course no exception. Filled with glittery sounds amidst the sweetened spoken word contributions of Emily Bee, "Sweet Tooth", the first taste of her next release, is bound to be a springtime anthem. It's taken from the 19 Jewels EP, out May 19 through No Pain In Pop.

Stream "Sweet Tooth (ft. Emily Bee)" below, and check out the 19 Jewels album art courtesy of Rachel Noble.

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Ellie Herring “Chipped”

14 Apr 2014 — Evelyn Malinowski

Lexington, Kentucky seems like an unobvious place for harvesting amazing electronic music. Ellie Herring with her new tape Chipped single-handedly wipes that prejudice away, in fact, blows it away, for the beats, composition, and atmosphere of the work are straight up remarkable. The production group responsible for this release, Racecar, is located in the confederate city of Nashville. I had the pleasure of visiting Nashville for about a month some years back, and I was totally ready to move there. As it turns out, southern cities are excellent origins of dreamy, beaty, and beautiful electronica.

Chipped differs evolutionarily from Herring's former LP Kite Day, a more vocal, tame release, however likewise remarkable. It seems that with the new EP, though, Herring has unleashed some kind of powerful music making ethos which will only become stronger. "Dynasty" starts with a mesmerizing melody which is followed by an anthematic counter-melody and then a plethora of very appetizing club sounds. When the beat finally gives, it's hard not to grin. Appetizing melody and club sounds are indeed available throughout the EP, staring us in the face, kind of like the way Herring's primary art does. Succeeding "Dynasty" is bubbly and soothing "Video Tapes," which, when I first streamed the EP, made me jump immediately to Racecar's Bandcamp to order the limited edition cassette. I'm waiting eagerly for its arrival.

You can order yours here before they're all gone.

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