milo

My first exposure to Rory Fereira, who raps as milo, came back in 2012,  when i stumbled across a bootleg mixtape of his verses over instrumentals from LA-based Anticon affiliate and DECIBELity fave Baths– aptly titled, Milo Takes Baths.

Fereira, who got his start rapping in a Wisconsin hip-hop outfit called Nom de Rap, is a college drop out, a reformed philosophy major, whose interest in the cannon of western thought permeates his post-modernist lyrics, to mingle with navel gazing observations, references to Internet culture, bad puns and other absurdities.

This distinct concoction of lyrical subject matter, combined with a somewhat monotone droll and a penchant for esoteric beats that click and pop rather than boom and bap, place him squarely in the tradition of the leftfield art hip-hop pushed by Anticon.

Feirra’s music offers us a fresh angle on the wordy nerd rap trope; he’s probably the only MC you will ever here quote the famous last line of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philisophicus “Where of one cannot speak, there of one must be silent” and then rhyme it with “but I yawned and I burped and I passed gas loudly.”

It certainly doesn’t hurt his case that his choice of production is superb. All of these tracks are abstract and heady but without over doing it i.e. crossing into avant masturbatory electronic noodling, rather they form a perfect vehicle for Fereira’s stream of conscious monologues.

His latest record A Toothpaste Suburb, released this fall on Hellfyer Club is one my picks for 2014.  A few guests pop up along the way such as fellow label mate Busdriver and Das Racist alum Kool AD, but it’s Fereira ideosyncratic affect that really carries this record.

 

 

Check out the rest here.

Here’s some of his older work which is definitely worth a listen.

And here is the the aforementioned Baths “tape”.

Ariel Pink – “Pom Pom”

First, I’d like to say that I love Ariel Pink‘s music… even when it’s horrible which some of it undoubtedly is (and has to be with a songwriter as prolific as he). I mean, sure, as a human being he may be a notorious dickhead, but whether he’s an overgrown petulant child or just some celebrated neek with a personality disorder, his skewed take on pop music makes me feel weird and fizzy and (at its best) slightly inebriated.

His latest bomb, lobbed from 4AD, exploded on the internet just a few weeks ago — perfectly timed for my end of year list. It harkens back to the stunningly weird, but atrociously recorded 4-track experiments Pink used to concoct in his bedroom before he decided to get a band together (Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti) and record his eponymous “breakthrough” in a real studio. The players he assembled were really good, and the increase in fidelity from going to a professional studio was of an order of magnitude, and so the results were positive, but a lot more conventional at least by Pink’s whigged-out standards. This record revives that classic “what-the-fuck” feeling I used to get from his recordings but with much better sound quality, which is basically all I ever wanted.

Here’s the first single “Put Your Number in My Phone”

Here are a couple of low-quality previews with which to whet yourself:

Ariel Pink – “White Freckles” (128kbps)

Ariel Pink – “Lipstick” (128kbps)

Ariel Pink – “Nude Beach A G-Go” (128 kbps)

And, you can purchase this thing over at the 4AD store.

November Shoegazing

There’s something about this time of year just really brings out the troubled indie kid in me— the crisp air, the alarmingly short amount of daylight (it’s already dark when I get off from work), the imminent encounter with family looming large—all of it ads up to me feeling like one mopey teenage lad.

It’s probably unsurprising that given this I tend to gravitate musically toward a particular shall we say, flavor—usually something atmospheric and vaguely sorrowful, with soft jangly melodies and melancholic lyrics. So shoegaze (the derisive name for a genre of bands so adverse to performing that members would rather look at their shoes than at the crowd) is one of the ideal genres to slake my anhedonic proclivities.

Now I’m not at all an authority on this style, so it’s fortunate that I discovered these two new bands (well new to me, both have actually been around for awhile), and that they’ve both put out solid records in 2014. Neither is exactly pushing new territory, but both Nothing and Whirr execute the formula—twee whispered vocals and multifaceted guitar layering, with a heavy helping of distortion-driven feedback—pretty expertly.

NOTHING   

This Pennsylvania-based  quartet was founded by Dominic Palermo, a veteran of the Philadelphia punk and hardcore scenes, who apparently became fed up with the violence surrounding the music. He formed the band back in 2011 and after a few EPs, they signed to Relapse Records, releasing the single “Dig” which also happens to be on this year’s LP Guilty of Everything.

Stream and download the rest of the album over at the band’s Bandcamp Page 

WHIRR

Hailing from San Francisco, Whirr began its life in 2010 as Whirl, but was forced to change names after a copyright dispute with another artist. Guitarist and founding member Nick Bassett has also played with the much-vaunted San Francisco shoegaze/metal hybrid Deafheaven. They released their latest album Sway back in September via Savanna, Georgia-based imprint Graveface Records.

Grab a physical copy or the digital download over at Bandcamp.

. . .

Oh, and interestingly enough as it turns there’s a side project featuring members from both of these bands called Death of Lovers, who self-released an eponymous EP that sounds kind of like Joy Division making a shoegaze record— surprisingly good stuff really, although it’s not particularly cheerful in case wasn’t abundantly clear already.

http://deathoflovers.bandcamp.com/releases

Salva – “Peacemaker”

Paul Salva isn’t new to the game so to speak. He’s clocked time living in Chicago, Miami and the Bay Area among other places, and paid his dues early in the world of turntableism, soaking up the influences of his various locals— be it Miami bass, techno or IDM. In  2011, he hooked up with the Friends of Friends crew to release his debut Complex Housing as well as a pair of subsequent  EPs.

With his most recent project Peacemaker, the (currently) LA-based producer has assembled an impressive array MCs, some of the games hottest up-and-comers. And while managing to get Young Thug, Freddie Gibbs and ASAP Ferg on the same track is impressive, it’s Salva‘s beats that will stay with you afterward—simply put: these tracks hit harder than fuck!

Download the whole thing for free here.

 

Run the Jewels 2

The sequel to last summer’s collaboration between underground hip-hop pioneer and Definitive Jux impresario El-P and Organized Noise/Dungeon Family-affiliated Atlanta rapper Killer Mike is essentially more of the same—and those familiar with the first installment will recognize this as absolutely a good thing.

A more fully formed incarnation of the concept, RTJ2 is a proper album to RTJ’s mixtape.

The beats bang at least as hard as the first time around, and there are some pretty interesting guest spots including (from seemingly out of nowhere) former Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha and Three 6 Mafia’s Gangsta Boo, who turns in probably most over-the-top verse on an album characterized by its over-the-top-ness.

Of course it’s Mike and El who are the main attraction; the two MCs—each at the top of his game—trade dexterous, multi-syllabic verses, feeding off each others considerable intensity in a synergistic game of one-up-man-ship, and demonstrating, in the process, that they’re two of the best doing it right now.

You can download the whole thing in exchange for an email address over at the Run the Jewels website, or if you’re the kind of person who pays for your music grab the physical release (a la carte or as part of plethora of bonus package options) here.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “I’m In Your Mind Fuzz”

The extremely prolific, Melbourne based, 7 piece psych outfit King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are set to release their 5th record (in 2 years), I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, on 11/11 via Castle Face Records stateside (Heavenly in Europe and Flightless in Australia).

Self-described as “completely fried theremin wielding psychopaths,” I could attempt to describe their fuzz filled fantasy myself although Jon Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees frontman and Castle Face founder) has done it best…

“this Australian beast of a band with a bear of a name and a thick herd of band members delivers many things to us on this warped song cycle – a skeleton of propulsive kraut-beat fleshed out with a liberal dose of citric sweetness, flutes and harmonicas bleeding through the mix often and welcomingly, tons of wah and a hero’s journey/Heavy Metal early 80’s fantasy sort of vibe, and many lovely left turns into psychedelic mellowing, both groovily and sometimes with just a dash of DMT dread. The whole thing is just gooey with tape manipulations, phase shifts, and saturations, but there are clearly many tasty tidbits that bubble to the top, and they’re sticky.”

yep…that about covers it.

PREORDER  I’m In Your Mind Fuzz here and check out their US tour below

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – God is Calling Me Back Home (off 2013′s Float Along – Fill Your Lungs)

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Sleepwalker (off 2014′s Oddments)

10/13 Brooklyn, NY- Baby’s All Right ^
10/14 Boston, MA – Great Scott ^
10/15 Montreal, QC- Il Motore $
10/16 Toronto, ON- The Garrison $
10/17 Cleveland, OH- Happy Dog $
10/18 Chicago, IL- Subterranean $
10/19 Buffalo, NY- Tralf Music Hall $
10/20 Baltimore, MD- Golden West $
10/21 Philadelphia, PA- North Star Bar $
10/23 Kingston, NY – BSP Lounge ^
11/04 New York, NY – Terminal 5 *

* w/ Mac DeMarco, Connan Mockasin
$ w/ White Fence
^ w/ White Fence, Juan Wauters

 

Lace Curtains – A Signed Piece of Paper

Michael Croomer (formerly of Harlem) started his side project Lace Curtains back in 2012 with the debut The Garden Of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness. If you follow Decibelity you may recall the track High Fantasy on Decibelcast Vol.5.  The follow up, A Signed Piece of Paper is prepped and ready for a release on Oct. 28th via Croomers’ own label female fantasy with a collab tape release through Burger Records.

Croomer on the title of the record and the lead single…“The title of the album comes from an old saying—‘Don’t come to Hollywood without a signed piece of paper’—from when talent scouts would go to beauty contests in places like Des Moines and tell a girl she should come to Hollywood to be a movie star. Back then, the actors were contract players for studios so the actor would come out and if they couldn’t get signed by the studio, their options were usually pretty limited and often rough. This song is about Biggie Smalls. Wilshire and Fairfax was the corner where he was shot.”

 

Lace Curtains – Wilshire and Fairfax

 

Fartbarf

Yes, you did read the title of this post correctly—there is actually a band that calls itself Fartbarf, and we are posting about it. With such a ridiculously gimmicky nom de guerre, one could be forgiven for anticipating an equivalently gimmicky sound. A quick listen, however, dispels such notions, as this Southern California three-piece is all business.

These guys make party music, but it definitely ain’t your run-of-the-mill fair. No, their amped up take on old-school electro, complete with hardware and vocoded vocals, has some serious balls.

Aptly dubbed “electronic rock and roll,” they crank out the jams in NASA spacesuits and custom (super creepy) Neanderthal masks using only rare vintage analog synthesizers and a live drummer—an antidote to the legions of pale, laptop-wielding, plugin-happy, bedroom dwelling producers. Or, as they succinctly put it on their website: “A mere handful of ape-like orderlies resisting a touchscreen future. Give us knobs or give us death!”

After years of smashing it up and down the left coast, they finally dropped their debut full-length Dirty Power via their own Space Jumbles Music

I caught these guys live last week and they absolutely leveled the place

And here’s one more (better quality) video (that I didn’t take).

Ryan Hemsworth’s “Secret Songs”

This is fucking fantastic! And a perfect illustration of what makes our particular time in history so unprecedented with respect to music, and pop culture in general really.

Earlier this year, Canadian producer/remixer/masher-upper Ryan Hemsworth announced his plans to launch Secret Songs, a Soundcloud project that would serve as an outlet for him to share music that he believes in “directly with people who want to discover something new.”

“[Secret Songs] is about two things: inclusion and discovery,” he wrote. “For those who are curious but might not have the connections to find the weirder, lesser-know artists.”

Hemsworth has curated some of the best tracks into a compilation, which swerves all over the map stylistically without once losing its pop sensibilities. And its free for the downloading!

You can grab it as well as the other secret songs here