“In my dreams we’re almost touching” - Ricky Eat Acid
When we last heard from Sam Ray’s solo ambient project, Ricky Eat Acid, he was busy breaking our collective heart. Now, he’s installing strobe lights and insisting that we give dancing a chance. “In my dreams we’re almost touching” is a shift in confidence and emotional landscape for Ricky Eat Acid. It forgoes any sullenness or cynicism in favor of overwhelming production dipped in a golden sheen, all while utilizing a Drake sample and swelling beats to spill out rather than invite listeners in. It’s not exclusionary; Ray’s sense of longing hasn’t been lost, and his less-is-more approach has been traded in for a vigor suited for a more impressive longing than the kind he usually croons about. It’s our first taste from Three Love Songs, the first Ricky Eat Acid release since his excellent split earlier this year with Blithe Field.
- Kyle Minton
“Warm in the Winter” - Glass Candy
“Love’s in the air,” sings Ida No, lead singer of Glass Candy and perpetuator of the notion that warm nights and hot days lead to steamy love. It’s one gem (in the sense that it’s iridescent and not just a great track) off Italians Do It Better’s newest sampler, After Dark 2, and it’s an effusive piece of Glass Candy pop. The track was released as a single a few years ago, but I can’t see anyone fighting its inclusion in After Dark 2.
The sampler includes that Chromatics track “Cherry” we heard last year and a plethora of other Italians Do It Better artists like Desire, Symmetry, and Mike Simonetti. You can find it on iTunes for ten bucks, but I’m satisfied with watching the beginning of this video over and over again until label head and Glass Candy bandmate Johnny Jewel absorbs me into his neon-lit, film grain-layered world. Go forth and soundtrack your fresh summer love with this collection of succulently layered electronic-pop.
- Kyle Minton
Review: Tyler Hanan [3/12/13]
Pedigree, name recognition, a story - traits that are ever more important in life, and especially in an oversaturated online music community. Every artist and every band has a hook beyond the actual hooks, whether it be “from the RCHP dude and the brains behind Radiohead” or “no, really, she lived out of her car!”
Úlfur Hansson - who’s been making music for years, it should be said - has a handful of hooks to help get his first album under his own name to capture more than a few eyes.
“A Tooth For An Eye” - The Knife
Whether it be in listening to The Knife or reading about the Swedish duo, there’s always much to be discovered, learned, or, more appropriately, shown.
Following the phenomenal, ferocious blasts of “Full of Fire,” “A Tooth For an Eye” (both song and Roxy Farhat-directed video) proves to be just as exotic, intimidating, and mindful of gender (baby) in a slightly less stark/more lush/half-the-length-of manner.
Shaking the Habitual and its 98 minute run-time - obscene by most standards, but not when crafted by some of the foremost minds in electronic music - will be released next month on the 8th (UK) and 9th (US) via Rabid, Brille, and Mute.
- Tyler Hanan
“Love Your Friends, Hate Politicians” - The Suicide of Western Culture
One of the most appealing characteristic’s of this track is its restraint. Brought to life by a compelling, misty beat that quickly gets airborne (and the release when it does is quite satisfying, and well-earned), “Love Your Friends, Hate Politicians” could easily have been made much bigger, much longer - but it is better for its resisting that impulse. It’s a rather tight four and a half minutes, softly joyous, uplifting, and hopeful as it soars through a dreary atmosphere, excellent just as it is with its lighter touch.
“Love Your Friends, Hate Politicians” is, in addition to being sage advice, the fourth track off Hope Only Brings Pain, the upcoming sophomore album from Barcelona duo The Suicide of Western Culture. The album is due out March 14th via Irregular Label, and is promised to be “organized, mechanical, playful, musical chaos.” Download this song for free off Irregular Label’s Facebook [link] and check out the quite nicely done video for the song below.
- Tyler Hanan
“God Takes Care of Me” - Ricky Eat Acid
Posted yesterday for free download [link] and limited cassette pre-order [link] via Primitive Patterns, the new split from Blithe Field (whose music I’m glad to be getting to know now) and Ricky Eat Acid makes for (pick an option): 1) a fine last minute holiday present or 2) an excellent distraction from all this year end list-making. Snap it up now if you’re interested, though - all the tapes I’ve been intrigued by lately seem to be selling out quickly, and this is a release full of some interesting, quality tunes and weird sounds whipped together, which are further enhanced (enraddened?) by my current sleep-deprived delirium. In addition, Spencer of Blithe Field appended this note on Facebook: “This really hints the change in direction I’ve been taking and I am very proud of it so I hope you enjoy.” Step to, music fans.
I still don’t know whether I should leave these song titles uncapitalized.
- Tyler Hanan
“June” - Swallows Fly Low
The kind of production that Mikolaj Szatko doles out could madden an unsuspecting listener, a claustrophobic wave of grainy details that unnervingly pry at every end and leave no space unused or investigated. It’s enough to leave one with a sense of tinnitus, the endless swells and fingernail-sized grooves left on your mind in their wake. His project, Swallows Fly Low, is as intricate as it is sinister, combining the complexity of minimalism with the space-invasion of more maximalist works. His new record, Constructions, is free and available via his bandcamp page (link is above).
- Kyle Minton
“Work Live & Sleep In Collapsing Space (Laurel Halo Remix)” - Kuedo
Originating from the same session that bore last year’s Severant (link), Kuedo’s “Work Live & Sleep In Collapsing Space” is dub tangled in its own wires, spiraling down the percussion that peppers the track’s nervous system—add the garbled synth and desolate sounds that ooze out near the end of the track and Kuedo’s new piece sound downright menacing. Laurel Halo’s version of the mix is a lighter topic, splicing string arrangements with the dub undertones to transport the bass behemoth to a far more sanguine plane. The result is a far more humane, broken composition, interrupted by static and the same sad string loop that morphs Kuedo’s hostile steel Goliath into a cyborg with a semblance of emotion. Sounds familiar (link), does it not? You can grab Kuedo’s track along with Laurel Halo and Claude Speeed’s remixes over at Planet Mu Records (link).
- Kyle Minton
“Wurlitzer à Nu” - Raycord
I complain about my overflowing email accounts often, but I am again shown why I have made it possible with this tranquil track sent over by Phonosaurus Records - who, by the way, have the best label name I’ve heard all week. It’s as lovely as a lullaby, but abetted by a little bass in some spots, a briefly surfacing choral “ooh” in another, and the sort of soft, and a tinkling piano of the ilk for which my heart simply aches.
Raycord is set to release a Ruban-Ruban (“Reel-to-Reel” in French), a fitting name for an album containing songs that were re-recorded to open reel as the result of the Canadian composers fascination with analog machines and the possibilities they present. The album proves to be an interesting compilation of songs. None longer than 3:37, some as short as 43 seconds, each song shares a similar aura (or tone, or atmosphere, whichever - there is a sonic similarity that unites them all) while embarking upon distinctly various paths. A number are often jazzy, with pronounced percussion and a danceable beat bathed in chilly fog (“Chaman (ft. Stab),” “Ruban 6/8”). Others embrace that fog a bit more, creating moody atmospheres with a few more producing shenanigans that are not dissimilar to some of my favorite laptop artists (“Nuit à Montreal,” “Wurlitzer à Nu,” quite a few of the shorter songs). It’s an intriguing and quite enjoyable mix to listen to, and most definitely a great piece for lifting the stress off the mind and replacing it with a rather more rejuvenating sound.
There is a vibe of experimentation, but one that is focused and sharp, played with and then pared to specifications. Whatever the process, it is effective; this light producer-by-the-sea sound (by, not the below of a Balam Acab or Holy Other) works wonders on me.Ruban-Ruban will be released September 12th on Phonosaurus.
- Tyler Hanan
“Plague” - Crystal Castles
Before listening to “Plague,” turn up your volume. More. Mooore. Good. Now you might be able to hear Alice Glass. The way her voice echoes up from deep in the dense, chilly fog is an effect that grows on the listener - aided by the ever-present electric darkness and insistent eerie beats - but I’m still unsure I can be convinced it wouldn’t have been a good move for her to be the tiniest bit higher in the mix, at least toward the end. Tremendous excitement remains for the new album, though, which is apparently slated for later this summer. [link]
- Tyler Hanan