Wednesday, September 28, 2011

High Places - Original Colors (Thrill Jockey 2011)

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"High Places is Rob Barber and Mary Pearson. The two create danceable pop music that is both artistic and refined. While very much involved in the music scene of New York and later migrating to Los Angeles, High Places has always been on its own unique musical path. The consistent dialog between the duo over the span of three albums is always through rhythmic and melodic ambient space. The two mix their particular internal rhythms with a long-standing love of UK and US dance sensibilities such as that of UK garage, drum and bass, Chicago/NYC house, Detroit techno, dub reggae, and electro dancehall. The early influence of visceral live experiences of NYC/Philly hip hop of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s is evidenced in the band’s massive sound system. With Original Colors, they are at once pushing forward with much heavier and more complex beats, but also returning to their more gritty, electro-acoustic roots.

Recorded in the band’s home studios in Los Angeles, Original Colors dives headlong into driving bass pulses and dynamic rhythms. Rob and Mary’s singular visions are built upon a foundation of syncopated beats, while still adhering to their layered, collaborative style of writing. From the four-on-the-floor dance rhythms of album opener “Year Off” to the more extended and darker phrases of tracks like “Sophia”, the end result is more forceful than ever. Throughout their nearly five years of existence, the band has traveled extensively and performed in a multitude of environments. Whether it’s at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan or in an industrial warehouse in Santiago, Chile, their travels are reflected in Original Colors. The album is dotted with sun-drenched references to Australia’s inimitable foliage, the expansive desert of Northern Mexico, and the crystal, blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Such allusions are presented over a bed of swirling stereo rhythms and infectious melodies that are the band’s signature. Each track possesses a specific texture and emotion that serve to create a variegated yet unified album that is held together by the binding force of Mary’s mezzosoprano vocals. The air of naïveté has been peeled away since the first album, and her voice is pushed to the fore; liberated from the dense sonic waves of previous work, and blossoming into a truly melodic instrument."-Thrill Jockey


3-Track sample

Buy full length album Oct. 15 on Couple Skate Records

Pink Skull - Psychic Welfare (RVNG INTL. 2011)

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"There was a time, a couple of years ago, when Philadelphia's Pink Skull seemed to be developing their own hybrid of club-music precision and alt-rock sensibility, a sort of parallel to what the DFA bands were working up in New York. The duo of Julian Grefe and Justin Geller had finely honed senses of rhythm, tone, and humor from the get-go; they didn't resort to words very often, but when they did, they were pretty funny. (The previous two Pink Skull albums were called Endless Bummer and Zeppelin 3-- both classic-rock references, notably.)

Grefe and Geller added a guitarist, bassist, and drummer to the group's lineup a few years back (whereupon they became a solid live band), and they've thrown in a few more band members for Psychic Welfare. Somehow, though, a lot of their virtues have fallen away. There's nothing here with a beat as crisp and vigorous as Zeppelin's "Gonzo's Cointreau"-- another Zep joke!-- or Bummer's "Ritualistic Bug Use". Nothing here clocks in at more than four-and-a-half minutes; none of these grooves could sustain themselves for much longer. (Of the 13 tracks, four are esssentially single-idea interludes.)

The most dubious change Pink Skull have undergone, though, is focusing much more on songs with vocals, which have never been their strong point. Grefe's not a particularly charismatic or compelling or assertive singer, and he doesn't have a lot to say lyrically, so his voice ends up being the least distinctive but most omnipresent tone on the album-- the equivalent of an overused keyboard preset from a band that would never otherwise dream of overusing a keyboard preset. "Hot Bubblegum" starts as a cute musical paraphrase of ABC's old synth-pop single "Be Near Me", but Grefe's tuneless, why-am-I-doing-this vocal performance ("Hot bubblegum/ Hot bubblegum/ Hot bubblegum/ Hot bubblegum/ Hot bubblegum/ It's all over me") keeps it from going anywhere.

Pink Skull's gift for texture is inalienable: This isn't much of a dance record, but it's pretty neat as a headphone record. That's especially true of the one genuinely terrific song here, the dissonant instrumental stomp "Bee Nose", whose creepy, sidling synths come off like curdled Boards of Canada. Even the lesser tracks have cool little details in their arrangements, though, like the doubled bass lurch that drags "Janine Aubergine" across its foursquare snare-snap or the airy saxophone solo that pulls "Mu" together and explicitly recalls the way Ultramarine records toyed with prog-rock in the early 1990s.

Still, this is a retreat from a group that was once much weirder and brasher. Where they used to feed both the hips and the head, this time they're settling for distracted pop songwriting and tone without groove. They're taking themselves more seriously than they ever have before, but what used to make them a pleasure to listen to was that they took nothing except their craft seriously."- Pitchfork

Mark McGuire - Get Lost (Editions Mego 2011)

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"And yet another killer album from the ever productive Mark McGuire. It just keeps getring better, as he delivers another fine set of tunes in his perfected style. A few more electronic elements than usual and even some voices., but still the unique blend feell good riffs, electric and acoustic loops and melodies that just stick in the head."-Editions Mego

Zola Jesus - Conatus (Sacred Bones 2011)

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"In the last three years, Nika Roza Danilova has gone from being an outsider, experimental, teenage noise-maker to a fully-fledged, internationally-celebrated, electronic-pop musician. It was a huge accomplishment, and, despite her age (young), her origins (mid-western, desolate), her accelerated scholastic achievements (high school and college were each completed in three years) and her diminutive physical size (4'11", 90 lbs), she has triumphed. She has emerged as a figurehead — a self-produced, self-designed, self-taught independent woman.

Zola Jesus is not a singer, she is a musician. Zola Jesus is not a band, it is a solo project. That is not to say the people who have helped her along the way were not deeply important. Her irreplaceable live band (whose drummer Nick Johnson lends a hand on several tracks here) and her friend Brian Foote (who co-produced this album), in addition to the live string players who contribute here (Sean McCann, Ryan York), were all crucial in the process. Still, Nika is a woman who can command a room — any room — without needing a band, a stage, or even a microphone. Her voice is unmistakable; it cuts right to the core.

Conatus is a huge leap forward in production, instrumentation and song structure. The definition of the title says it all: the will to keep on, to move forward. From thumping ballads to electronic glitch, no sound goes unexplored on her new record. It is an icy exploration in refined chaos and controlled madness, an effort to break through capability and access a sonic world that crumbles as it shines."-Sacred Bones

Prince Rama - Trust Now (Paw Tracks 2011)

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"Trust Now is the keystone album of Brooklyn's Prince Rama. The album takes the kaleidoscopic mysticism of ancient devotional music and focuses it through the fierce urgency and archetypal language of pop, forming an environment that is both accessible and impenetrable. Deep synths rise from a sparkling sea of gamelans and prayer bells as tribal drums pound the earth with the hypnotic power to heal or destroy. Voices carry captivating and haunting melodies that shine like the diamond jewels of old Bollywood soundtracks spilling over dark wave dance floors."-Paw Tracks

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Alternative 1985 - CGI Pants (Culture Dealer 2011)

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"Andy White, (AKA Andy Boay and 1/2 of classical rock band TONSTARTSSBANDHT) comes through with first audio release of the dealership. ALTERNATE 1985 is like going back in time and learning to slide at the same time! Everything from 2 am helicopter cruising to underground DNA subculture is here in CGI PANTS."-Culture Dealer

Heather Leigh - Posing For A New Role (Not Not Fun 2011)

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"After a spell of lying low, Volcanic Tongue proprietress and Texan-tuff lap-steel sorceress Heather Leigh returns with a self-released mini-album of longform electric meditation, peeling off strands of dissonant string sounds and casting her voice out into the ether in wide arcs. Compared to previous LPs, Posing For A New Role unfolds with a more doleful, ritualistic energy, slow-melting into some unhinged distortion and free wailing in a classic transformation free-burn."-Not Not Fun

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dolphin Tears - Reflections On Waterfront Property (Beer On The Rug 2011)

Cool World

Com Truise "Brokendate" Video

Com Truise - "Brokendate" from stereogum on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

RUN DMT - Dreams (Culture Dealer 2011)

Removed by Request Buy

"DREAMS is the first RUN DMT release in over a year. The album starts on the shore of a reservoir in MASSACHUSETTS then plunges into oblivion with a taste for tennessee fried DOO WOP for the RAINBOW GATHERING."-Culture Dealer

Spectrals - Bad Penny (Slumberland 2011)

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"‘Bad Penny’ is the debut album from Spectrals aka 21 year old Louis Jones. Mixing ingredients of pop, soul, doo wop, and a garage rock ballad, it sounds vintage but current, while the Yorkshire lilt in his voice (a result of his hometown, Heckmondwike) places him firmly in the UK, rather than Detroit."-Wichita Records

Mad Nanna - I Made Blood Better (Goaty Tapes 2011)

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"When did the aesthetics of laziness happen? Like Nirvana’s no-bullshit or back when Jandek was staring at the cellophane? In keeping with the spirit I say “who cares?” and dub you Mad Nanna, where the lines between Kurt Cobain’s aggro realism and Jandek’s low-minded aloofness splinter. However languid Mad Nanna’s approach—just barely playing guitar, guhh—there is never a sense of resignation. It’s like the jam is Mad Nanna’s life-support, a pump that just barely keeps alive. Guitar, drums, vocals are all present, but not really present."-Goaty Tapes

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sarongs - S/T (Prison Art 2011)

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"Shotgun blast evil surf from Syracuse, NY. Born in Lindsey’s beer-soaked attic when everyone would get together and play really loud and people would usually show up and get really shitfaced and a show would happen. Socio-political taunts bellowed over searing riffs and quick-snap time changes that hit the city like a tire iron to the ribs. It was everything we needed up there: dark, immediate, brash, honest. Then graduation rolled around and Lindsey moved to L.A. and that was the end of it. It’s our pleasure to release this first tape of songs compiled from a number sessions the band did last winter when we were all buried under 6 feet of snow and there wasn’t anything to do but make something that burned"- Prison Art

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Julian Lynch - Buffalo Songs (Goaty Tapes 2011)

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"In the past, Julian Lynch’s neo-folk lonerisms squished him between the lo-fi sweater-folds of his contemporaries. In this collection of recordings, Lynch pivots between less burdened terrains. Culled from the 8-track repository, “Buffalo Songs” showcases, above all, the range of Lynch’s oeuvre—from spirited jingles to abrasive instrumentals. Several collaborative tracks round out this variety and give “Buffalo Songs” a unique place in Lynch’s output–where spontaneity, experimentation, and even frivolity supersede the imperatives of New Jersey’s bro-love chillness."-Goaty Tapes

Monday, September 19, 2011

100% Silk Mix Tape

Little Girls - Cults EP (Hand Drawn Dracula 2011)

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"an evolution of sound; The songs are now heavy in synths and keyboards – They feel fuller and even when Josh offers moments of pop for the listener, the songs seem more cerebral that anything
he’s recorded to date.”- Hand Drawn Dracula

Little Girls - White Night from Hand Drawn Dracula on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Culture Dealer Presents "Video Door" on VHS



Eola - The Lord's Jam (Culture Dealer 2011)

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For all of you yodeling enthusiasts...

"EOLA is Edwin White (the other 1/2 of TONSTARTSSBANDHT) Eola is a group of lost yodelers that have developed a new relationship with NATURE through mantric choral harmony. Edwin has the unique capability to let each of these travelers honk their own versions of what a train sounds through gods boombox SIMULTANEOUSLY!"-Culture Dealer

RxRy -Alpha (SweatLodgeGuru 2011)

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"If the blogosphere hype machine were represented as a physical city, every overblown diatribe rendered as a gaudy tower scraping at soot-filled skies, then the Alpha EP is the crumbling warehouse on the edge of the grid, it’s dilapidated facade streaked with the arrhythmic patterns of distant and dying neon lights. Windows glowing against a polluted twilight skyline, harboring some secretive and pulsating celebration within. As the architect, the shadowy figure(s) known as RxRy have poured their foundation onto IDM and techno, then raised a framework on ambient and drone. Electric melodies are wired into walls of static and thundering low-end vibrations, billowing sheets of noise and compression decay over a shuddering scaffold of analog warmth. New algorithms are emerging from the digital dust – intelligent dance music for the next generation of sound-seekers. Turn your ears and minds towards the fringes, you’re within earshot." - SweatlodgeGuru

Police Academy 6 + Arrete

New Split Ep Featuring Police Academy 6 and Arrete Out Soon on AMDISCS.

Psychic Ills

Psychic Ills - Mind Daze by sacred bones

"Sacred Bones Records is proud to present Hazed Dream, the new long-player from fellow New Yorkers, Psychic Ills. Since their formation in 2003 as a home-recording experiment, the Ills have evolved into a live band, in their element playing the extended jam. Musically, it also marks a departure from some of the band’s more recent sonic explorations. The raga rumbles and synthesizer space-outs aren’t gone all together; the singular blasted musical perspective of the Ills remains. Fans new and old will find it totally dreamy." - Sacred Bones


Ketamines - Dig by HOZAC RECORDS

"Formed from the ashes of the revered Myelin Sheaths and Endangered Ape, and current Fist City and Mammoth Cave Recordings figureheads, Ketamines are truly the Calgary super group you need to hear. It's a rush of swirling pop psychedelia that doesn't veer too far off the deep end, and ropes you into a technicolor world conjuring visions of the UFO Club, cross-wired with luxuriously textured Simply Saucer vibes, all crushed comfortably around teetering lysergic pop song structures." - Insound

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Born Gold - Bodysongs (Crash Symbols 2011)

Born Gold - Lawn Knives

Good Amount - Quiet Impulse (Holy Page 2011)

James Ferraro - Condo Pets (S/R 2011)

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pure X "Easy" Video

Pure X - "Easy" from Malcolm Elijah on Vimeo.

Moss of Aura - Wading (Friends 2011)

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"Moss of Aura is Gerrit Welmers, synth mastermind and the anchor of Baltimore’s perennial art-pop force, Future Islands. Friends Records is pleased to present the release of Moss of Aura’s first vinyl LP, a brand new record titled Wading." - Friends

Bleached "Think of you" Video

BLEACHED "THINK OF YOU" from Lana Kim on Vimeo.

Creepy Marbles - The Chuggly throbb (Easy Tapes 2011)


Mikal Cronin - S/T (Trouble In Mind 2011)

Removed By Request Buy

"Conceived and recorded as a sort of therapy to help cope with adjusting to life post-college, an insuing break-up and geographic isolation Mikal Cronin steps momentarily away from the rhythm section of Orange County surf-punk bashers The Moonhearts with his debut solo LP. Fans can take heart, this isn’t a “vanity project” or half-baked endeavor - Mikal’s solo debut is fully realized, cohesive and beautiful, with themes that are as personal as they are universal; questioning your future, accepting your past and living in the moment." -Trouble in Mind

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

No Mind Meditation - Molecular Clock (Goldtimers Tapes 2011)

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"For 'Molecular Clock' No Mind Meditation embark on a cosmic passage with no map and a goodbye hymn to spring. Illuminating the shadow of transient thought and the shared vision of mortal dreams. This cloud lands somewhere in the field between 'Paramita' and 'Face Skull Spirit'.

Tape One: It's all flickering lights, ocean swells and the buzzing of dawn. Ever expanding codes of serpent ecstatic array of echoing constants.

Tape Two: A collection of skull drillers and post-meltdown pileups, dystopian landfills of flickering mechanized parts. The final act becomes a hymn that reluctantly emerges from the maelstrom of escapist drones." - Goldtimers Tapes

Archers By The Sea - Paper Light (Bumtapes 2011)

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"Sun faded guitar loops, chiming electronic pulses, synths and vocal echoes drift around each other, building and dropping over distant bass drum rhythms, filling both sides of this tape with beautifully constructed and imaginative songs."-Bumtapes

Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams (Sub Pop 2011)

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wooden Shjips - West (Thrill Jockey 2011)

Preview:Friendly reminder that this link is for promotional use only! I am a fan of thrill jockey and Wooden Shjips so if you need this taken down contact me at my E-mail address listed above and it will be removed faster then you can say... uh well I can't think of anything but you get the idea. Buy

"Wooden Shjips, as it is today, started in 2006. The band self released a 10" and 7" that year and started playing shows shortly thereafter. Prior to 2006, Wooden Shjips was an experiment in primitive and minimalist rock. After it imploded, Ripley Johnson, guitar and vocals, assembled the current lineup of Dusty Jermier on bass, Nash Whalen on organ, and Omar Ahsanuddin on drums. West marks the first time the band recorded in a proper studio, as well as the first time with an engineer (Phil Manley). All previous recordings, either self-released, for Holy Mountain, or Mexican Summer were done more piecemeal in the band’s rehearsal studio. West was recorded and mixed in six days at Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco. It was mastered by Sonic Boom at Blanker Unisinn, Brooklyn, with additional mastering by Heba Kadry at the Lodge in New York.

The over riding theme for the album (as indicated by the title) is the American West, and all of the mythology, romanticism, and idealism that it embodies. The band members grew up on the East Coast, so for a long time the history and literature of the West was an abstraction and a fascination for them. Part of the allure of the West, which is part of the myth, is the concept of Manifest Destiny, the vastness, and the possibilities for reinvention, which is not to say that is what each song is specifically about, but it was very much an undercurrent during the songwriting of the album. The artwork also touches on the same theme by using an iconic structure that is both a gateway in a literal and metaphorical sense." - Thrill Jockey

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Nude Sunrise - Should Be (Spooky Town 2011)

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"As D. Boon once put it, “American trash can really ruin a good time,” but it’s just the opposite with Nude Sunrise. Here we have two dudes playing absolutely disgusting-sounding junk guitar juke-joint riffs/wah-wah jah-jah/100% fucked noise solos; a guy described by his own bandmates as “not really a drummer” bashing out lurching, drooling-dumb rhythms on a pretty awful kit; a skinny nerd playing “My Girl” on keyboard bass. Pretty much my favorite new band, Nude Sunrise play classic American trash and it is a really, really good time. The Chicago quartet cut to the chase of rock n’ roll and steal with shameless impunity, ripping off Neil Young lyrics and Motown basslines. The spoils of their thievery are merely templates though: they take the money and run with it as it were, building 6+ minute trash jams on the pilfered property. Everything’s pretty blurry and scuzzy, but it’s high time bands started milking Chrome again, and I’m all for it. Pat Steadman, the Shaggy Doo-looking guitar player, lets his glasses slip all the way down the bridge of his nose and contributes some kool-stoner vocals that really put the whole thing over the top. ... This band makes me feel stoked and gross at the same time." - Spooky Town

Barn Owl - Lost In The Glare (Thrill Jockey 2011)

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"Lost in the Glare is Barn Owl’s second album for Thrill Jockey, and follows quickly on the heels of their acclaimed 12” EP Shadowland. Like Shadowland the album was recorded to tape by Phil Manley in San Francisco's Lucky Cat Studios. Lost in the Glare is made up of material composed over the course of a year and recorded in sessions throughout the winter of 2011. At the heart of the album's sound is the dual guitar interaction between Caminiti and Porras, a spiraling web of interlocking gestures that give way to bone rattling, monolithic progressions and dusty drifts. The mostly finger picked guitars weave in and out of each other in precise movements that recall the hypnotic influence of American minimalists.

The harmonium that was prevalent on previous recordings has been replaced on Lost in the Glare with the undulations of a Farfisa organ. The songs here are deep, cosmic excursions. Rich in dynamics, the record possesses a transcendental tone through both a densely layered combination of electric and acoustic instruments and walls of melting amplifiers and feedback alchemy. The lines between strict structure and ordered chaos blur as third-eye opening e-bowed drones explode like beams of light and corrode into crumbling distortion, baking tones that sizzle like brittle bones left in the desert sun." - Thrill Jockey

Friday, September 2, 2011

Righteous Acid - Mellow Doses (Sun Ark 2011)

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"Stately Thai boogie, swaying and sealed in Bakersfield sun. Righeous Acid is Alex Sarad, unleashing this his first c30 of deeply mantric and contemplative fretboard meditations with a depth of soul that vacillates from bleached temple rhythms to bayou sweat in an instant. Sensitive and glowing from within." - Sun Ark

Sadistic Candle - S/T (Sun Ark 2011)

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"SADISTIC CANDLE is straight from the heart of a man, broadcast from an expanse of quilted bedroom somewhere deep in Los Angeles, fueled with the dust hanging motionless in window-light over a stack of Hawkwind LPs, made crooked by the pure-hearted trickster, sighing with troubadour spirit, revealed with a 4-track. A statement of purpose." - Sun Ark

Label Profile: Underwater Peoples

Album Frequency: One good album every one to two months.

Relevancy: If you buy an album from Underwater Peoples you’ll know that your getting a record that is worth a damn. Artists such as Ducktails, Julian Lynch and James Ferraro are prime examples of U.P’s alumni and musicians that have broken the 6-month barrier of relevancy imposed by the blog world.

Format: Mostly vinyl, trending recently on full length LPs, with some CD releases sprinkled in every now and then.

Price Range: Standard cost 15 -25 dollars on Vinyl.

Location: Livingston, New Jersey

Mission Statement: “Underwater Peoples aims to discover, release, and promote new artists with a progressive vision. We are striving to build a collective without the confines of genre, instead focusing on individuality and exceptionality. Underwater Peoples is unique in its endeavor to maintain and foster a creative atmosphere that encourages collaboration between our artists, new and old.” –U.P.

Age: Two and a half years old, founded February 2009.

Overall: 8 out 10 rating, U.P. is one of those labels that makes you wait, but in the end it is usually worth it. Billboard recently ranked U.P. 8th place (out of 50) for best American indie labels, which in my opinion, is well deserved. -Mondo Nation

Prime Cuts Hammond Ri