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.

Ricky Eat Acid – “Three Love Songs”

The first proper full-length release from prolific DIY producer/musician Sam Ray under his Ricky Eat Acid moniker, Three Love Songs was initially offered as a free digital download, in addition to a limited vinyl run on Orchid Tapes.

avatars-000067260712-701y5v-cropImagine a cross between the warped bedroom pop of Ariel Pink or early Atlas Sound, the miniature delicacy of Mum and the ethereal oddball experimentation of Sung Tongs-era Animal Collective.

It’s dreamy lo-fi (mostly) ambient music, kind of like the aural equivalent of water color painting— where music box melodies and wordless vocals smear into pastoral atmospheres enveloped by soft tape hiss; with bubbling synths, crackly field recordings and all manner of miniature sonic artifacts skitter hither and yon.

The two exceptions are the blunted downtempo number “It Will Draw Me Over to it Like it Always Did” which channels Mo Wax-era DJ Shadow, And the straight-up Balearic house track “In My Dreams We Are Almost Touching.”

 

Download the album from soundcloud for free here.

Or if you’re the type of person who likes to support artists financially, you purchase it from Bandcamp on a name your price basis  here. Vinyl appears to be sold out sorry :( 

 

Jungle – “The Heat” EP

There just doesn’t seem a whole lot of information out there about these guys; from what I can gather: 1) They’re from London by way of Africa 2) They rock green track suites and  3) They do their own stunts (or in lieu of that, hire some little girl).

Incidentally, it should be noted that the word “jungle” often carries certain connotations regarding music originating in and around London, so one could be forgiven for imagining some kind of frenetic rave work out; in reality there’s not even a tangential link to drum & bass.

The Heat EP, which is self-released and totally lives up to it’s name by the way, is on some kind of vintage, DIY, house party flex. At one time it may have been called R&B, but it actually sounds much closer to some forgotten early demo from TV On The Radio than the auto-tuned gloss of modern R&B.

The four cuts are stripped back, lo-fi, organic and soulful—raw and unpasteurized, yet surprisingly palatable. Solid midtempo grooves that feature some decidedly funk bass, with lots of  interesting sampled odds and ends filling in the cracks. All are accented by glistening synthesizers and guitars, and characterized by smooth falsetto vocals.

Hopefully we’ll be hearing much more from these guys in the near future.

Get it here or over at the Bandcamp page.

“The Heat”

“Platoon”

Dump – “The Silent Treatment”

Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew has revived his off-again-on-again side project Dump for this release via Grapefruit Record Club. Consider it a pleasant little respite from the autumnal chill or, if you happen to live in Northern California, a perfect accompaniment to these balmy Indian summer days.

As with prior work, this falls generally into the category of lo-fi bedroom pop music–characterized by crackling field recordings, pastoral ambiance, acoustic instrumentation and hushed vocals.

There is, to use the tired cliche, a certain je ne sais quoi about The Silent Treatment.
It might be due to the juxtaposition of breezy melodies, with the underlying thematic current of heartbreak and loss. Or, perhaps it’s the fact that this project has been ongoing since the early ’90s that sets this apart from the glut of “lo-fi” “bedroom” dross that is clogging up the Internetz. Take for instance beautifully harmonica lead opener “Grasshopper”, whose shuffling rhythm recalls the best part of ’90s ambient drum & bass.

Es bueno.

Sand Circles – “Motor City”

I couldn’t find out a whole lot about these guys. All I can say, is they’re from Sweden, they make some really enjoyable noise, and their latest release, which they’re calling a tape, just dropped on the inimitable Not Not Fun label.

The songs are short and sweet, characterized by gauzy swabs of synthetic ambiance wrapped around skeletal, rhythmic pulses. There’s a bleary hypnotic quality that permeates their compositions. Upon first listen, I found myself completely absorbed walking home from work late at night in a quasi trance-like state.

It’s lo-fi music for sure, though not in the fashionable internet way. It’s much closer to early Boards of Canada (pre-Twoism, back when they were wearing their namesake influence on their sleeve).

[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_be2ygZGEg&feature=relmfu”]

 

Introducing “DecibelCast”

So yeah, as the name suggests, this is about 6 weeks late, but it was necessary to test out the soundcloud account (and it should work equally well for a sunny winter’s day). This is the first installment of what will hopefully be regular mixes from your homies here at DECIBELity. Brought to you by Jay Autom@tticus, it veers towards the sun-burnt, lo fi, psychedelic side of things — some older stuff, some newer stuff, and some favorites that we’ve posted this year.

[dB-01] An Indian Summer Mixtape

Download the zip file

Tracklist is as follows:

Caribou – “Subtronik”

Alessi Brothers – “Seabird”

The Stepkids – “La La”

Gal Costa – “Passarinho”

Thundercat – “Is it Love?”

Tropics – “Wear Out”

Neon Indian/Perrion – “If I Knew I’d Tell You”

MF Doom – “My Favorite Ladies (Etherea Bootleg)”

Tame Impala – “Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind”

Pink Floyd – “Paintbox”

Air – “Highschool Lover”

Jo Jo Bennet & The Rhythm Rulers – “Leaving Rome”

Gonjasufi- “9th Inning”

Blackbird Blackbird – “Tear”

Tobacco – “Untitled Roadside Demo”

Peaking Lights – “All the Good Songs Have Been Written”

• • •

*Any/all feedback welcome

How to Dress Well

How to Dress Well has been on a tear as of recent, releasing a string of EPs last year (like 5 or 6) before finally dropping an album.

His music sounds like the amateur home recordings of a reclusive troubadour; yearning to connect with the rest of the world but plagued with some sort of crippling anxiety disorder, that keeps him homebound.  But with the aid of an old keyboard, a drum machine, some cheap mics, a 4 track and the Internet, he is able to write, perform, record and distribute his agoraphobic love songs from the safety of his own dwelling.

It’s weird shit. Warped atmospheric R&B — noticeably light on drums and bass — that’s
one part James Blake, one part Ariel Pink and one part something I never heard before.
The tracks are generally built around brittle, chintzy little synthesized melodies, and a thin falsetto, which is pulled taught across canvases of fuzzy, washed out ambiance.  There’s a kind of dissociative fog that permeates the whole thing, as though our lo-fi lothario were perpetually high on cough syrup.

And the questionable fidelity gives the songs a grainy, out-of-focus quality. The recording often seems intentionally shitty, like artifacts were purposely introduced into the songs as compositional element.

It’s funny, because this ain’t the type of thing I would have imagined I’d be into all that long ago. And yet I’ve discovered a blossoming love for Experimental R&B (who’d a thunk those two words would ever sit next to each other, and yet here we are).

Be sure to cop his album Love Remains

Apparently this dude was at Noise Pop this year, but I can’t imagine how this kind of bedroom experimentation would go down live.

Edit

Just came across this slammin’ DJ mix from him:

Tracklist is as follows:
01 Diddy Dirty Money: “Your Love”
02 N-Zo & DJ Invincible: “Red 5”
03 Seany Mac: “One Of Those Days”
04 Beyoncé: “Halo (HTDW Speedup)”
05 Love Nation: “Musical Foundations”
06 Travis Porter: “Bring It Back”
07 Ace Hood: “Hustle Hard (Remix)”
08 Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em: “LEMME FUCK”
09 Dipset Trance
10 Deadboy: “Way That I Luv U”
11 Panteros666: “X Lova”
12 Chris Brown: “Beautiful People”
13 DJ Ham: “Most Uplifting”
14 Dipset Trance
15 Crime Mob: “Ellenwood Area”
16 Yung Bizz: “Bubble Gum”
17 Rebel Alliance: “Sometimes”

Bibio

Bibio aka Stephen Wilkinson makes lo-fi, layered, somewhat folkish, semi-ambient, electronica noise that often has a catchy beat and always has a strong emotional backbone. His latest album Mind Bokeh takes his past efforts and morphs them into a new more accessible sound with strong synthy melodies and funky rhythms with much more pronounced vocals.

Where Ambivalence Avenue and The Apple And The Tooth both had electronic feels and strong rhythms they also had more atmospheric themes with laid back acoustic and instrumental moments. This time instead those warm sunny fuzzy feelings are traded in for more urgent sentiments of enjoying right here, right now. He seems very sure of his ability to stand in the here and now this go round too, where in the past he might have been happy as an unknown.

Mind Bokeh deserves to be known too as even iTunes wants you to listen to it. They are offering the most rocking track on the album “Take Off Your Shirt” for free for a limited time. Go get it now but don’t let it be an indicator for the rest of the album as it is way guitar heavy and faster then any of the other tracks. Regardless of the progression the album still sounds like distinct Bibio and I wouldn’t want it any other way.