King Midas Sound & Christian Fennesz – “Edition 1”

The UK-based trio of Kevin Martin (who also makes excellent records as The Bug) and vocalists Kiki Hitomi and Roger Robison have been recording as King Midas Sound since at least 2007, releasing sleek modern dub with a distinctive edge of dystopic urban dread via several channels—most notably the highly respected Hyperdub. And as for Christian Fennesz, there probably isn’t much left to say that hasn’t already said about the Austrian guitarist, whose sublime creations of ambient/noise/avant-garde/glitch, including the 2001 landmark Endless Summer, have been challenging listeners since 1997.
 

Given both acts approach to creating atmosphere and space, this collaboration almost seems obvious, at least in retrospect. Fennesz and KMS play expertly toward each other’s strengths, and in a lot of ways Edition 1 sounds exactly like one might expect: digital dread with a twist of trip-hop shrouded in a fog of soft static-y electric noise. Its exquisite background music to be sure, but listen closely and you’ll find yourself submersed in a richly textured ambient experience as multi-faceted as the modern London metropolitan area which it so beautifully evokes.  Stand out tracks: “On My Mind” and “Our Love”

Unkle Funkle – Supernatural

Unkle Funkle is back! well, he never really went away, his music is just so obscure it takes some serious digging to find. But now he’s back and in print and he may have just made all other music obsolete with his new single Magic Woman to be released on the forthcoming Supernatural set to hit sometime soon…ish or whenever Burger Records feels like it i guess, I pre-ordered mine. The sophomore record follows Picture of My Dick (and yes, it is exactly what you asked for, a genius genre destroying album with a picture of his dick as the album art). If you’re familiar with Gnar Tapes he’s one of the head honcho’s behind that label and you’ve probably heard his bass lines delivered on The Memories and White Fang records, and if you’re a true head then you know that he released a stripped down version of Magic Woman via his bandcamp like 3 years ago, but whatever, this shit will explode all over the dance floor, leave a sticky mess and your body will absolutely love him for it.

 

Preorder Supernatural here..And while you wait here’s some older Funkle treats to enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balam Acab returns with new EP, gives away unreleased material

Alec Koone, who is better known as Balam Acab, lit up the Internetz back in 2011, with his debut LP Wander/Wonder released via what was the hottest record label at that time, Tri-Angle. And then he promptly vanished (without much explanation). Probably most of us forgot about him in those interim four years—such is the reality of music in the 21st Century.

But then a few weeks back he emerged out of nowhere with a self-released EP titled Child Death, which though distinct from his earlier material, can be seen as somewhat of a natural progression of his sound. Although Koone’s Balam Acab project was lumped in with the Witch Haus micro genre of the time, his music was always much brighter and florid than contemporaries like oOoOO, and Salem. Child Death continues this vein, a highly atmospheric offering with whispered vocals, gurgling aquatic synths and refracted textures.

Purchase it over at his Bandcamp page

He’s also released a bunch of goodies to the wild via his Facebook Page.

Check it out:

Wander/Wonder demos.zip

Sloped Wetted Vol.1.zip

Club Water Discus.zip

POP.MORRIS

We’ve written about P Morris (real name Philesciono Canty) before. His glitzy hybrid of trap, chopped and screwed R&B and cavernous bass music (which he refers to as Goombawave) is characterized by lush melodic arrangements with long almost classical sounding interludes. He’s released several quality EPs (via Bandcamp) through his Bear Club Music Group over the last couple of years. He’s also a pretty active DJ, as his POP.Morris mixes attest.

Loaded with edits, bootlegs and re-fixes, these tapes encompass a wide range of pop music from various eras and sides of the Atlantic—from golden-age hip-hop to ’90s Euro-trance to the songs you’d find right now on the radio (if you still listened to the radio)—all twisted and processed through the Goomba-filter.

Vol. 3 kicks off with a Fetty Wap edit called “God Save the Trap Queen” and from there goes through obligatory stuff like Drake, D.R.A.M. and Nicki Minaj, but Annie Lenox is also there as is an extended portion about angry Frank Ocean fans (related through a broadcast news feature) reacting a hoax regarding new material from the singer.

Volume 1 & Volume 2 from earlier this year are also still available as pay-what-you-like downloads.

TY-Rannosaurus-RIE’s “No, no I didn’t fall off the edge of the earth; I’m still very much alive thank you and I’ve the mixtape to prove it” Mixtape

Well, it’s late November i.e. peak mope time for yours truly. But as it turns out I’m actually feeling pretty good at the moment, which is at least partially to do with this sweet little mixtape that was provided me by the homie TY-Rannosaurus-RIE. Yep, he’s is still around, and he still has the beat on some killer music. And while he  doesn’t really post mixes here anymore, he will apparently make one for you if you pester him long enough. (Perhaps he’ll return to dB someday if we keep badgering him about it.)

This particular mix, which was created just so I would shut up, evokes images of open road (well, at least to me it does). It opens with a Tourette’s-y little number sung by what sounds a little like a modern day cowboy crossed with Brak singing the blues, and it really just keeps getting better from there.

Go ahead and Check it out

Terry Jackness – “Track 01”

The Clean – “Anything Could Happen”

UV Race – “Life Park”

Eddy Current Suppression Ring – “Tuning Out”

Richard Swift – “The Bully”

Shintaro Sakamoto – “Birth of the Super Cult”

Jenny Hval – “The Battle is Over”

The Stoners – “Don’t Give a Fuck About You”

POW! – “Hi-Teck Boom”

Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds – “Killer Diller”

Whatever Brains – “NPTO”

Bichkraft – “Didn’t Know”

Naomi Punk – “Television Man”

Wolf Eyes – “Twister Nightfall”

Hamish Kilgour – “Crazy Radiance”

Matt Valentine – “The Beater”

Krill -“Distant Fist Unclenching”

This album is another of my favorite finds of 2015. And, according to the Internetz, the Boston-based trio formally called it quits about a month ago—C’est la vie. Their final record A Distant Fist Unclenching was released via Exploding in Sound Records back near the beginning of the year, but if you ask me now is the time to listen to it—as it’s got a definitively late Autumn kind of vibe. It’s more or less straight forward indie rock—early Modest Mouse-ish but executed quite well and with cryptically interesting lyrics to boot.  Although the band is no more, they’ve left a Bandcamp full of digital music, for us to enjoy.

Bastien Keb

These days, the best music (IMHO) either picks a single idea and just nails the fucking shit out of it, or, it draws upon many disparate and sometimes contradictory influences and melds them in a manner that seems so natural that you wonder why no one has yet thought to do this. The music of London-based multi-instrumentalist Bastian Keb falls neatly into the latter category, drawing on a cornucopia of influence from jazz and funk, to world music, a cappella music, boogie disco and hip-hop.

His debut Dinking in the Shadows of Zizou recently released via One-Handed Music is simply stunning debut. Keb plays all of the instruments on this record (and there are many—probably more than can be counted on two hands) and chops it all up with some deft MPC sampler skills to boot.

His multifarious compositions have grit, soul and striking originality, a combination of qualities that just seems to be in short supply these days—particularly in loop based music.

I’ve literally been listening to this record on repeat like what for the past two weeks or so.  Get it here (vinyl run sold out already unfortunately) or at his Bandcamp.

Mild High Club

I happened to catch these guys a little while back when they opened for DECIBELity fave King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and they definitely made an impression. Their musicianship was on point, and I was particularly taken by their well-polished songs —little glittering morsels of indie pop.

And after I checked out their debut LP released a few weeks later, I like them even more. As it turns out, they‘re signed to Stones Throw Records, which is one of my favorite labels of all time and, their founding member Alexander Brettin was also the guy behind Salvia Plath fka Run DMT (man this guy has some issues with intoxicants).

Anyway, the recordings of these aforementioned pop morsels are fantastic—charming, lo-fi in all the right ways, more than a little blues-y with just the perfect amount of hiss and warble. And hooks get stuck up in your head. This is perfect Indian summer music, for those of you in applicable locations.

Check out a few of the tracks below and grab the album at the Stones Throw shop.

Abra – “Roses”

Awful Records is, without a doubt, one of my favorite finds this year. The prolific Atlanta-based collective, which counts somewhere near a dozen heads among its ranks, has been steadily gaining momentum since sometime in 2014. And with good reason: they manage to somehow produce consistently quality rap music while maintaining their independence both creatively and financially within the Mecca of over-produced carbon-copy radio rap.

This can be at least partially chalked up to their idiosyncratic DIY approach to production, which finds obvious influence from broad palette of sounds spanning well beyond the reaches of pop music. But their real quirk comes from their cadre of oddball MCs—Father, iLoveMakonnen, Ethereal, OG Maco and Key! and the rest — who spit off-the-wall raps and hooks that are refreshingly absent of drugs and violence.

As an R&B singer and the cohort’s only female, Abra is something of an outlier within a crew of outliers—an exception to an exception. And her debut, Roses, released this summer, is accordingly unique, and likely one of 2015’s best releases.

As with the rest of the Awful clique, production is sparse and understated. The sound of modern Atlanta-style rap clearly informs the it but so do more exotic sounds like British drum & bass and Darkwave synthpop (in fact she has styled herself as “Dutchess of Darkwave”). There’s a density, an emotional weight perhaps, to this record that belies the simplicity of its structure.

The emotional heft is not from the lyrics, which trod well-worn themes in R&B—love and heart break etc.—but from the sonic character of her voice, and how well the plaintive piano melodies, scattershot 808 snares, gurgling synthesizers and cavernous basslines accompany it. It’s a cohesive artistic statement from someone whom we should be hearing much more from in the future.

Check out the rest of album here:

Here’s a non-album track featuring Awful Records boss Father

Hiatus Kaiyote – “Choose Your Weapon”

You know, back in the early ‘00s I used to listen to quite a bit of music with this kind of vibe—nu jazz (and sometimes broken beat) they were calling it at the time. It was basically a bunch of house music guys from London trying to re-imagine jazz-fusion with samplers. When it hit right, it was an irresistibly funky cocktail of melody, low-end and impossibly dope rhythm, but alas it basically disappeared up its own ass (in much the same way as jazz fusion actually) sometime around 2004.

This Australian four-piece— self-described as “multi-dimensional poly-rhythmic gangster shit”—would have likely smashed that London scene to bits. Anchored by a vice-like rhythm section and front woman Nai Palm‘s cryptic song writing, their hybrid sound threads at least half a dozen genres together no sweat. Plus all of these guys have classical jazz musician-level chops.

Their debut full-length Choose Your Weapon, which was released this spring via independent Australian imprint Flying Buddha, is, simply put, an opus. A sprawling offering that changes that switches kaleidoscopically through textures, styles and time signatures, it connects the dots between the African poly-rhythms the atmospheric mysticism of Sun Ra and Lonnie Liston Smith and the synthetic bounce of Brainfeeder/post-J Dilla LA beat scene.