Apondalifa

Montreal’s Tim Hecker has entered the new decade in style. His newest release, Apondalifa, is the latest in his signature feel, one nine-minute swirl of lush, dreamy, drifty tone. Again we’re greeted with that shifting, mournful, cathedral feel heard often in An Imaginary Country, a cautiously bold chord progression itself greeted by specks of tones, gradually shifting drones that sound like elegant bleats of dying animals. The track from his previous album that the title references is only briefly referenced within the song. As the track sort of nods to the past, it gives a guiding hand to the future, as glitchy, almost percussive guitar melodies join the electronic chorus. It’s a certain flavor of Hecker I’ve not yet heard that rounds out the track.

I really love Tim Hecker’s alluring sense of uncertainty; it is for one in his way of subtly evolving in his craft. There are little nuances here and there over time, little shifts in feel and aesthetic and skill. There is still a sense of familiarity that the listener can connect with, like looking at old pictures of people you now know. Throughout all his works, this uncertainty is a constant: Hecker’s music is incredibly, incomparably emotionally moving, and I cannot for the life of me pin down why. Apondalifa is a grand continuation of this tradition.

The track is being released on Room40 Records, as a download or limited 7″. You can buy it here.

-Brian S.

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Caddywhompus - Remainder

Since the blog has turned over a new leaf in terms of download sharing, I’d like to have my first post in this new era be a post that has a free album download. As Brian mentioned a few posts ago, we get our fair share of submitted music into our inboxes, and most of this free music gets a listen, but few of these get a second listen. In this case, self proclaimed “noise-pop” duo Caddywhompus sent me a link to their new release Remainder, and it had a free download link attached. While the term “noise-pop” had my cringing a bit at first, the music itself was not as cringe inducing. Although some of the song titles are. Well, maybe just “balloon knot.” Anyways, on to the music. Imagine the singer from Band of Horses, hanging out with the guys from Animal Collective and Lightning Bolt, but right before they head into the studio they go to the circus and a carnival…and have loads of cotton candy and jolt cola. The result is a truly fun album that keeps the energy up while not sacrificing on musicality. This is surprisingly organic for something labeled as “noise-pop” and while there is a great deal of synth work on the album it boils down to a classic guitar based rock band with a great sense of fun and an attention to the craft of “noise-pop.” And yes there is one. How do you add distortion, a few little sounds here and there, and not want the listener to just hit “next” on their ipod? Caddywhompus seem to have that pegged.

The album was relased by Community Records and is available for free here.

Dave

Svetlana Industries, a wonderful little new label from Serbia of all places, dropped their first high profile release in April; this gorgeous collaboration between L.A. and U.K. beatmakers Teebs and Jackhigh. Teebs, one of General Lotus’ Brainfeeder soldiers, has been cutting his teeth at the infamous Low End Theory and all over his dreamy, self-released beat tapes. Meanwhile, Jackhigh’s glitched wonders stick out prominently on UpMyAlley’s two Beatnicks’ compilations and sit nicely amongst the similarly burgeoning UK glitch hop scene with producers like Hudson Mohawke, Mike Slott, and Rustie.

Teebs and Jackhigh’s fully organic, collaborative approach is apparent in the fuzzy warmth of all seven of these tracks, with with all sorts of new sounds and samples folding effortlessly into each other. The two continued to pass only a single file for each track between each other; no loops or layers or tracks or automation, so that every new wash of strings or distant jungle melody became softly engraved amongst the tape hiss and free-wheeling beats. The Tropics calls in samples and signals from all over the globe, sounding like they traveled across both miles and years, only to be further blurred and worn in by the transient process in which each tune came together.

The Tropics is maybe the first concrete document of the worldwide influence and spread that future beat music has in the current electronic landscape. It’s a smooth, organic, and quite stunning picture of things to come. The entire EP is available for streaming below.

For Fans Of: Flying Lotus, Ras G, matthewdavid, Keaver & Brause

Purchase from Svetlana Industries

– Brian B.

Releasing electronic music anonymously these days isn’t the same archetype-burning statement it once was. With names like Burial and Zomby becoming household names despite their desire to “keep it all about the music”, it’s become something of an empty gesture. However, the member/members(?) of Downliners Sekt adhere to this policy to such a rigorous extent that it actually regains some of the lost intrigue. Other than the fact that they must be English speakers, DS have revealed no information whatsoever about their age, country of origin, previous musical backgrounds, pretty much a blank slate. The self-proclaimed “filesharing fanatics” have also chosen to entirely eschew any economic interests in their music, releasing it all for free under a Creative Commons license.

Now, as someone who fields a fair amount of submitted music, I can safely say that you usually get what you pay for with much of this ‘free, Creative Commons’ music. But Downliners Sekt seem to be truly committed to this cause and never let the quality falter, to the extent that luminaries like Mary Anne Hobbs have sat up and taken notice.

As for the sounds, Downliners Sekt find themselves somewhere near the intersection of Tim Hecker and Fennesz’s melodically manipulated distortions and the subtle rhythmic inflections of Burial or Mount Kimbie; basically the bread and butter of this site. Dark and melancholy, with the added mystique regarding the creators of such a sound, Downliners Sekt are successfully rallying against the formulaic both musically and ethically. This EP is apparently the first part in a trilogy, so keep a look out for the subsequent releases right here.

(to download, visit Downliners Sekt’s (hee!) website here and navigate over to releases, where all of their albums can be downloaded free of charge.)

For Fans Of: Burial, Fennesz, Tim Hecker, matthewdavid

– Brian B.

Here be some great psych/space rock from SoCal outfit Magic Lantern. They take similar experimental/drone cues from some of their fellow Not Not Fun artists and approach them with a full rock band, resulting in a tranced out blend of 70s psych/krautrock and more current trends in noise and drone. Squealing guitars and keys stretch out into infinity while the drums pound out an endless march. Long, repetitive, and stoned out of its mind, High Beams is some blissfully indulgent music to take drugs to.

For Fans Of: Acid Mothers Temple, Sun Araw, Faust

Myspace / Buy

– Brian B.

P.S. For all you RSS people out there, you’ll notice the new link to our feed on the right (you might have to scroll down). Make sure you subscribe!

This album is one of the prettiest albums I have heard in a really long time.  Piano layered with minimal synth.  Just a beautiful display of art in its simpliest form.  Check this out, listen to it like a soundtrack, and you will be at peace.  I am not going to leave standout tracks because this should be listened to as a whole.  I really don’t know who this wife/husband duo sound like, but that is what makes it so fresh.  Ahhhh!

Buy

 

-Steve

While Japanese noise legends Boredoms continue their nearly decade long dormancy, some of their members have stayed busy in the downtime, none moreso than head Boredoms percussionist, Flaming Lips inspiration, and OOIOO frontwoman Yoshimi “P-We” Yokota. On Armonica Hewa (a blend of Spanish and Swahili meant to translate as ‘harmonious air’), OOIOO continue to imbue their classic Boredoms weirdness with a distinctly feminine sense of fun and approachability. The percussion is definitely the main focus here; every song’s chants and squeals tumble along with the propulsive, tribal toms. The most impressive aspect of this album and OOIOO’s music as a whole is how honest and downright fun it always is. They make some seriously strange, intriguing sounds as if it’s the most natural thing in the world, not a single part forced or phoned in. These four ladies live and play and speak in a world of their own, one that’s a hell of a lot of fun to explore and hang out in.

Buy

– Brian

Firstly, the hunt for new blood, while ongoing, has already been quite a success! look for more information about that in the very near future.

In the meantime, I dug that White Rainbow album so much (seriously, get it) that I decided to further explore the Portland experimental scene and found some great stuff. My favorite act so far has to be Valet, the solo project from musician and visual artist Honey Owens, who also runs the Yarnlazer label with WR’s Adam Forkner. On Naked Acid, she makes distant, spacey beds of psychedelic rock on which to rest her quiet and plaintive vocals. Much like the cover art, Naked Acid blends the relatively familiar with the outlandish and experimental. Great sounds to accompany some inner reflection and discovery, or something.

Buy

P.S. I also highly suggest checking out the wonderful Nigeria Disco Funk compilation that Max posted and wrote about over at Shock Mountain. It’s great!

Portland’s Adam Forkner is something of a renaissance man, putting in both producer and instrumental work with many of the top names in the indie rock world, including Atlas Sound, Devendra Banhart, and Dirty Projectors. Forkner handles every single aspect of his White Rainbow project, where he crafts longform experimental compositions with a focus on texture and layers. His latest, New Clouds is both his most adventurous and accessible album to date. The four tracks here stretch from about 15-20 minutes apiece, washed in haze and warm, drawn-out melodies. Forkner weaves layers of analogue synthesizers, guitar, wordless vocals, and occasional percussion into a calm, yet intriguing expanse. While his the approach and structure on New Clouds is definitely experimental, the resulting sounds feel surprisingly familiar and comforting, even on first listen. Perfect sounds to keep your spirits calm and lifted as the nights grow longer and colder.

Buy

P.S. Thanks to Adam for linking this on his tumblr! Sarcasm or not, thanks for reading homie.

Six Organ Of Admittance’s Ben Chasny has had quite a prolific career, starting with his frequent, home-recorded output in the late 90’s to his numerous studio works in the latter half of the decade with Drag City. Often lumped in with the New Weird America movement, Six Organ’s acoustic-rooted psychedelia owes as much to self-professed influences such as Townes Van Zandt as 70’s psych rock and 90’s noise. if i had to sum this album up in one absurd phrase, i would say it’s like dropping acid on a boy scout camping trip after the troop leaders have fallen asleep.