Electronic music has grown to include so many subgenres that it is getting hard to keep track of them all. Because of the limitless options available on the computer, artists are getting further and further into the obscure. Experimental includes IDM, trip-hop, and other electronic-based music that relies a lot on live instruments or sampling. Three such artists I included below who I have been listening to more and more often lately for their feel and the atmosphere they create. Keep in mind all these songs are part of an album and deserve to be listened to as such.
Amon Tobin is a Brazilian living in the UK who took his name from a Steven King novel. His 2001 CD Supermodified is considered one of the best of its kind. He has worked on soundtracks in addition to his albums, all of which is evident just by listening to a few of his songs. He so easily captures a mood with bizarre samples and heavy live percussion. "Four Ton Mantis" has the beat down perfectly, laid over a strong piano bassline and Middle Eastern tracks. "Deo" on the other hand, creates an entirely different mood. This is one of the songs of his I see fitting in perfectly to a transitional phase of a movie. Amon Tobin conveys emotion out of a fairly simple drum pattern over a repeating acoustic guitar. Amon Tobin - Four Ton Mantis (YSI) Amon Tobin - Deo (YSI)
Flying Lotus' last album Los Angeles of last year was very well-received among the music critic community. I am partial to it just because of the album title, but With a sound more based in hip-hop and beats, the album has a very nice unity throughout. His strongest asset is the clink-clank drum sounds that perfectly accompany each song. "Camel" forces you to bob your head along to the beat.
Finally, Venetian Snares (Aaron Funk) use very wide-ranging samples, my favorite of which is from the song "Gloomy Sunday." Also from a phenomenal movie of the same name, this song is officially banned in the United States and in its native Hungary. There are legends of the songs unfortunate effect on people, as many have committed suicide either listening to the song or after crafting their own version. Even Rezső Seress, the original composer, jumped out a windo. Regardless, the song is beautiful and perfectly sampled by Mr. Funk.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre is an amazing 90's Shoegaze, Neo-psychedelic band from San Francisco. Their name is derived from blending the name of The Rolling Stones' lead guitarist Brian Jones and a famous mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. I don't know what they were after with their name but I like their sound. One of their former guitarists, Peter Hayes, who you guys might know better as the founder of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, melts some faces on these tracks. Let me know what you guys think. Cold To the Touch and Nevertheless are my favorites for their jam band style. Its pretty yummy.
Critically acclaimed for both his debut and follow-up last year, Burial truly has a distinctive sound. He bolsters his ambient moans and auras with clicky drums and beats that keep the music interesting. At any weird hour of the night, Untrue remains one of my favorite CDs to listen to. I particularly love the wandering bassline and falsetto moans of "Etched Headplate." While this song is great, the album is still meant to be listened to as such, so please get it in its entirety.
Although I am not a fan of the new Bloc Party (either of their last two CDs actually), Burial put his distinctive touch on "Where is Home?" from A Weekend in the City. I have no idea why he chose this song, but at least it sounds much more like a random Burial track than anything off of that album. Burial - Etched Headplate (YSI) Bloc Party - Where is Home? (Burial Remix) (YSI)
Alright, so we all know Marc Bolan was a bit of a nutball, and we take the glamrock glitter of T-REX for granted; but in 1974, he put out this awesomely original folk-blues album called The Beginning of Doves, which mostly features him solo on an accoustic guitar. In interviews, Devendra Banhart always cites these extremely obscure or South American influences -- but I am absolutely positive that one day, long ago, he heard this album and thought, 'I am going to sing just like that man...'
Due to an unheralded popular demand, I am reposting these two songs off of Grizzly Bear's B-side album, Sorry for the Delay (The Early Recordings). In anticipation of their new cd, you ought to check out these throwbacks to a time when Grizzly Bear was just a set of Garageband demo's...
"What Else is There?" is such a great collaboration between Karin of the Knife and Röyksopp. The Thin White Dukes Mix is great, but I think I prefer the Trentemøller version. He completely changes the nature of the song, including her piercing vocals, increasing the intensity and bringing out every part of the song. They are both great, just a matter of personal opinion. Röyksopp: What Else is There? (Trentemøller Remix) (YSI)
I'm also including one of my favorite Trentemøller remixes, one that he did of himself. "Moan" is off of his CD The Last Resort, and while it's a good song, it really never struck me as anything special. The basic track on the remix is one of my favorites. This is Trentemøller at his best.
Dayton Ohio's The Heartless Bastards have just released their new album called The Mountain on Fat Possum Records. Spoon producer Mike McCarthy contributed to the albums release giving it a new feel from the Bastard's past. I enjoy this tune which anchors a pretty solid album.
Gui Boratto's new CD Take My Breath Away is another great album from the Brazilian DJ who's debut Chromophobia is one of my favorite minimal albums. This one follows a pretty similar path of intricate noises and wandering songs. He has a fairly basic structure to his song construction, but the parts that make up the whole are so great, that I almost appreciate the simplicity. The album artwork (available on his website) is pretty strange, nor do I like the idea of associating a picture with a minimal album. I much prefer the artwork for Chromophobia.
As far as the music goes, it is just what was expected, and that is definately a good thing. The guy has a good formula, and he is sticking to it. "No Turning Back" has a gritty sound to it, almost like an electric guitar, but yet it sounds as pleasant and any of his other songs. The vocals are spot on - minimal and secondary to the music, but adding a touch of humanity to the song. Once you guys listen, I'm sure you will know what I mean.
Been digging your posts, amigos. Thank you. I figured I might share this one Fugazi jam that crushes. Appearing on their 2001 album, The Argument, Fugazi's Strangelight is a base-heavy jam-song with a sort of half-blues progressions and good delay pedal effects. The song sounds like it should be older, or maybe 2001 was just a really long time ago. Already. Impressive to see this veteran band - whose early music has obviously stood the test - continue to make innovative sounds. Or bring the old ones back, at least.
This album which is offered for free by Minty Fresh Beats at jaydiohead.com . The college music "trendier" layman is absolutely inthralled with this Grey Album's bastard step-brother. A commenter on stereogum said he had "masterbated to this three times already today so fuck you haters you're just jealous you're not getting any!" The hipster snobs label this album "sooo 2006 when mashups died."
So basically there's a pretty big gorge dividing the indie market. I'm a pretty big fan myself but I get the feeling that any crazed Jay Z or Radiohead enthusiast would hate this because of the extra production involved. Enjoy.
1) Coachella was dope electro and dj lineup from headliners to 2pm openners. That paired with impressive indie lineup that's going to take over Indio. Bonnaroo's headliners are as unimpressive (personally) as Coachella's but it's range of artists and level of "star power" is lacking despite the fact it takes up one more night than Coachella. SXSW is unreal and one day I'd check that one out.
2) I feel I should add a couple Wavves songs that I feel are notable that the little guy left at home.
L.A.-based band The Mae Shi have made many people's best of '08
lists. Their most recent album LLLYH was released on their own label called Team Shi. They have been touring with a friend of mine's DC-based band called FFFFever. LLLYH received positive reviews, garnering a rating of 8.1 from Pitchfork Media. This is the band who sold "mixtape" CD-Rs containing several hundred of their favorite songs at a few seconds each and DVDs with 30-plus videos, built their own synths, called previous albums "hip-hoperas" while sounding like the ugly rejected bits of new-wave at 77 RPM, and talked all sorts of shit while reigning spaz-rock terror on any club, supporting slot, or Bar Mitzvah that would have them. No longer; they now walk the walk.
"Run to Your Grave" is the best summation of the record, and its high-water mark. Here, the lyrics sidle basic can't-take-it-with-you sentiments next to more subtle observations ("Emotion is a simple test to the synapse/ Don't let it fool you into thinking that you've got brains"), while the keyboards are sunny enough to burn flesh. The Lamb and the Lion adds to the pop-y love.
The San Diego-based one man wall of noise known as WAVVES played his first NYC shows ever in a two-day stint at the Market Hotel this weekend. Sick instrumentals, and a good showman, I was impressed. WAVVES (aka Nathan Williams) hammers a fuzzbox guitar into loop-based rhythms, much like the sound of No Age (who also played Market Hotel earlier this year). In addition to throwing out two full-lenth albums, he also runs a classic rap blog called Ghost Ramp. Playing "So Bored," from his new, eponymous LP:
This Los Angeles-based rap crew include eight different members, all of whom are featured on the following track. They have developed a steady and very diverse fan group by playing as many as eight world tours in two years.
The slow saxophone and steady drum beat perfectly represent the mood being projected. Called "After Hours," the Living Legends even tell you when this sexy jam is appropriate. They cleverly rap about those random events that happen leaving the club or other late night/early morning affairs.
I'm also posting one of their olders songs, "Another Day." As mucch as I love their lyracism, it's really their production that is spot on and makes you just wanna sway your body along to the beat.
Here reads a sign posted by the door the the MARKET HOTEL in Brooklyn:
IF YOU ARE UNDER 21, PLS DO NOT BRING ALCOHOL INTO THE SPACE, OR DRINK IT NEAR THE SPACE; OR AT THE VERY LEAST, PLS REMEMBER THAT UNDERAGE DRINKING IS ILLEGAL AND SHOULD BE KEPT ON THE D/L FOR THE SAKE OF THE FUTURE OF THESE RAD SHOWS & SPACES. Thx!
Sorry to be one of the thousands to post this song, but it's great and it's Crookers. They are gonna be playing Coachella, along with a few East Coast dates if you guys are interested. I'm very curious to see how their live show is considering how many times I've been blown away by a live electro band. Crookers - What up Y'all(Alt)