I think we’ll find this to be Tobacco’s defining record. Maniac Meat, the latest full-length from Black Moth Super Rainbow vocoder addict Tom Fec a.k.a. Tobacco is very much, and finally so, his record. 2008’s Fucked Up Friends was, to be fair/hyperbolic, something like a slightly noisier Dandelion Gum with hip hop beats. We saw BMSR’s reaction to that, a cleaner, poppier record in 2009. And Tobacco took his solo work and went the exact opposite direction. What we get is a bold, powerful, batshit insane record.

We’re greeted with that warm familiarity of beehive bass and vocoder lyrics about berries, maybe enough to be lulled into anticipation of the expected.  And then a refreshing pound of thunder-clap cymbals and huge synth leads bursts like a gunshot into the mix. Beck’s guest appearances are skillfully and artfully done; his glitchy, scampering, nonsensical vocals on “Fresh Hex” make the track. Hell, they make the track, barely two minutes in length, one of the catchiest I’ve heard in a while. The almost mockingly seventies/eighties electronica aesthetics work even better (see “Creepy Phone Calls,” “Six Royal Vipers,” “Stretch Your Face). The loose racetrack sweeps of “Lick the Witch,” the fuzzed-out, wobbling synth of “Motorlicker” represent a shade of something fresh. “Sweatmother” with its overdriven tones and snarlingly vocoded bray sounds to me like the soundtrack to the funkiest rape scene ever. I’m not saying Tobacco’s reinvented the wheel here, merely he’s gotten a lot close to perfecting his sound. And in the process, he’s made one of the most satisfying and compelling electronic records of the year.

-Brian S

Tobacco – Sweatmother by Hypetrak

Buy it here

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Where the hell did this come from? From what I can surmise, Boas seems to be the work of some dude from Virginia called Tyler Newbold, and it sounds great. Boas (the album) certain cues from chillwave and sends them through a very psychedelic, almost tribal prism with a pretty wild range of percussion underneath. The layers are many, yet the production is immaculate and every beat, freaky sample, and weird vocal warble sounds finely tuned and has plenty of space in the mix; nothing lo-fi here. People always talk about how the hazy nostalgia of Washed Out/Neon Indian recalls their childhood… well, this will do the same thing if you were raised in a teepee in the middle of jungle and fed drugs by robots. There are some pretty wild beat exercises here as well, especially on tracks like the Clark-reminscent ‘Sleaching’. Boas exists in some freaky, yet strangely lucid dimension between pop, chillwave, IDM, and psychedelic.

As you can see from the list below, Boas uses a lot of the same sounds as some of the bigger names in the indie world right now. Don’t let that fool you. This is some unique and intriguing stuff, and the amount of time and skill this album took is readily apparent. This could get fairly big in the right hands, and it should.

For Fans Of: Clark, Atlas Sound, Toro Y Moi

MySpace / Download for FREE @ Bandcamp

Brian B.

P.S. Do you guys like this new layout? I was getting sick of the old one but I dunno if I’m sold on this one yet. Let me know.

Throughout the late 60’s and early 70’s, Selda Bağcan traveled around her native Turkey with a guitar and a fierce commitment to promoting free speech and openness in a society that was less than friendly to the arts and any sort of anti-establishment messages. Just like their American counterparts at the same time, artist, musicians, and others on the fringe of Turkish society rallied around Ms. Bağcan, her powerful, beautiful voice rising when there own were silenced and muffled by authority.

This self-titled long player, released in 1976, was a radical reinvention on both a personal level and for Turkish music as a whole. After a few years’ hiatus from her folk career, Selda exploded back onto the scene with the help of some of Turkey’s most forward-thinking musicians. As a result, Selda’s protestant lyrics and calls to action had a newfound backing of blistering psychedelic rock, the likes of which few in the conservative Middle East had ever seen.

While Turkey is a relatively liberal and free place compared to the rest of the Middle East, it was still unheard of for a woman musician to have command of such powerful and straight up ballsy music. Her previously quiet musings now packed a hell of an electrical punch, bringing undesired attention from the Turkish government who believed this new style would have the power to incite riots. Take one listen to songs like ‘Ince Ince’ and you’ll realize that they were probably right. Other songs like “Dam Üstüne Çul Serer” drip with the exotic, forlorn beauty of her earlier folk work while utilizing some of the earliest synthesizers to broaden the sonic palette.

Personally, a love of geography and history adds even more to the music for me. I know next to nothing about Turkish society in the 1970’s, but the blend of raucous Western rock with her native language, melodies, and instrumentation paint such a vivid picture. I can almost feel the sun beating down on my face and the bellbottoms on my legs as a walk through an Anatolian bazaar, dodging Volkswagen Bugs and goat-led carts in equal measure while the thumping breaks of “Gitme” blast from my boombox.

Considering the circumstances, a woman like Ms. Bağcan should have never been able to make a blistering, psychedelic rallying cry to the ideological fringe of 1970’s Turkey. The fact that she did all of this and much, much more is a testament to the strength and ingenuity of one of the most criminally underrated musicians of her time. Hopefully, thanks to the efforts of labels like Finders Keepers who have made her music available to an entirely new audience, this icon will finally get the recognition she deserves. If you like this album, definitely order the album from Finders Keepers so that they can keep on releasing amazing gems like this. I bought the MP3 version myself, but I’m sure it sounds insane on vinyl.

Standout Tracks: “Ince Ince”, “Gitme”, “Dam Üstüne Çul Serer”

Buy

– Brian B.

Brooklyn psych-poppers Yeasayer will be releasing Odd Blood, their sophomore follow-up to 2007’s glorious All Hour Cymbals on February 9, 2010 (my 21st! Yeehaw!). Here’s the first single from that album, entitled ‘Ambling Alp’. With uplifting, straightforward lyrics about facing adversity, a huge chorus, and Yeasayer’s trademark hodgepodge instrumentation, this one seems to have all the fixin’s to be an indie smash, and deservedly so. Accompanied by an ecstatically surreal clip, Yeasayer are poised to make a strong, early run for 2k10’s band of the year. I seriously cannot stop listening to this song on repeat. Enjoy

>>> Watch video @ Pitchfork.tv

>>> Download MP3

>>> Purchase ‘Ambling Alp’ Single (Digital/12″)

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!

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.