Saturday, May 31, 2014

Leafes - Seedland (2008)

Now I know I talk about shit that I overlooked all the fucking time, and this is another one of those days. However this time it is way more overdue than most. Leafes is, or rather likely was, a Swedish folk act that played a mixture tracks that can be called lo-fi psych-folk and Scandinavian experimental whatever. I was aware of and wrote up the EP that preceded this, In the Mountain's Belly, which was a fucking righteous EP with songs that I still re-listen to with incredible fondness. Nevertheless, this full-length evaded my detection for until a few weeks ago. Seedland is proportionally an album that could be considered avant-garde more than folk, filled with all sorts of cacophonous sounds and droning effects. Should you be fans of the Finnish noise that I used to posted commonly like Kemialliset Ystävät, Kuupuu, or Paavoharju would will likely find this desirable. Finally, I'd like to take a chance to shout out to a blog I have long followed and I was able to poach the link to this album from, Dying for Bad Music, one of the longer running music blogs that I recall from when I got into the game and they've kept at it and improved over time in excellent ways. 

To be had here:
Leafes - Seedland

Friday, May 30, 2014

This is Lorelei / MaoTzu - Spilt Cassette (2014)

A new release from MaoTzu and this time he brought a friend. This is a split cassette put out by Chicago's Grandpa Bay Recordings featuring these two musically like-minded fellows. The songs are experimental pop made with a combination of electronic and acoustic instrumentation. While This is Lorelei isn't something I've heard before this release, I can confidently say it is right up my alley, especially in light of this current minor obsession with bedroom/experimental/psych pop songs (just look at what I've been posting for evidence). The songs are short, upbeat and charming in their irreverence and nearly schizophrenic changes in tempo, instruments and tone. And this goes for both of the musicians, and while they each undoubtedly possess personal qualities in this songs that are unique and awesome, it is at the same time like to sides to a coin in many ways as they are so incredibly complimentary in sound. If you've liked the recently share Nate Henricks, Pill Wonder, or Wizard Oz you'll likely be down with this, even if you lazily never got to those and are a fan of Elephant 6 I'd still get it.

To be had here:
MaoTzu / This is Lorelei - This is Lorelei / MaoTzu

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Grand Rapids - Great Shakes (2013)

I was clicking around on bandcamp after writing up ScotDrakula the other day and I came across another Australian outfit that pique my interest. A Melbourne-based psychedelic rock band called the Grand Rapids. They've quite adeptly taken 60s-esque psychedelia and rock along the lines of the Monks and dropped in that Jesus & Mary Chain wall of sound and naturally it is loaded with reverb. It gets positively droney at times, and that's always a plus in my book. Like other bands I commonly post the retro style is integral to their sound, and I'd liken them to Spacemen 3, Brain Jonestown Massacre and Black Mountain's louder tracks. And they're fucking good at it. Not over the top, rather skillful executed with layering of reverb, organ, percussion and very well-balanced vocals (by which I mean evident yet not too forward). The album was put out by the independent Melbourne label Psyche Ward, and I may very well pull from their catalog for future posts.

To be had here:
The Grand Rapids - Great Shakes

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bashe - Open Up (2013) + Open Up (Slowly) (2014)

If you're a listener to the show the you might recall we were discussing remixes and how we felt about them, and I thought that to be the perfect excuse to share what is my very favorite sort of remix with set of new tracks submitted by Bashe. Bashe is from Denton, Texas and makes electronic pop music that strays close to dance rock at times and more toward dream pop at others. Awesomely they've tagged it as "hypnagogic pop" which might very well be one of the best new generic terms I've heard. Now, what we have here is a short release from last year called Open Up that is an incredibly catchy and smooth electronic EP, and the other as the name suggests is a slowed down version of the very same tracks. This is a not a new concept, nor is it the first time I have featured a re-worked release of an album by the same artist before. Long time Spacerockmountain pilgrims may recall Toronto's Tearjearker did a similarly self-imposed remixing of their 2010 album Strangers with the following year's Strangers Remade. Just as I was throughly impressed by Tearjerker, I found Bashe's releases to be astounding in their own right, but the really magic happens when heard back to back. The juxtaposition of the two versions, noticing the similarities underling and picking up on the alterations is a remarkable insight to the power of tempo and speed in musical theory.

To be had here:

Open Up

Open Up Slowly

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pill Wonder - Shy Dogs (2014)

After listening to the new album by Nate Henricks and looking over my old reviews on his earlier albums I was reminded of Pill Wonder, another electronic bedroom pop musician I highly admired. Pill Wonder's debut album Jungle/Surf came out back in 2010 and I listened to that motherfucker day and night for months, and it held place in my personal rotation for years after. Now after a four year break has this Seattle-based musician released a new album on Couple Skate Records. As you might imagine the style has altered somewhat with the intervening period, and the album is noticeably less chaotic, noisy and psychedelic than Jungle/Surf. In fact is easily noticeable that he's become influenced by 80's music from both Japan and those Westerners mimicking them. Reading about the release on the label's website, "Haruomi Hosono’s Yen Records crowd in a creative exchange with Mark Isham’s seminal 80’s works" are cited a major influences for this new direction. Therefore, one familiar with Pill Wonder already might not recognize Shy Dogs as by the same artist if not told so beforehand, but this isn't to say he's lost anything as much as tried something new and produced a damned sweet set of songs. It is just a wild conjecture on my part, but if I recall this fella and I are about the same age and I am curious if this is him calming down and attempting something more refined, even if that is in the realm of composing albums on his computer.

To be had here:
Pill Wonder - Shy Dogs

Monday, May 26, 2014

Nate Henricks - NEON FOR NO ONE (2014)

Nate Henricks is back with a new album for us all to bask in. I've written this guy up a couple of time previously, with the release of 2011's Horse Carrot//Lemonade Guarantee and 2012's NTH MERIDIAN. I apologize to everyone for missing his 2013 album HORSERADISH, which keeps up the amazing string of albums from this experimental bedroom pop musician. The music has elements of some many things that I enjoy it is hard to know where to begin. As usual it reminds me of Elephant 6 psych pop, especially the wilder songs of Olivia Tremor Control and Major Organ and the Adding Machine. I really don't want to reduce this fella to a reference though, he is the motehrfucking bee's knees with his lo-fi DIY recordings. The songs are funny, charming and addictive once heard. I cannot stop listening to "Sometimes I Die" and "Stuck Inside the Frame" as they are pretty much prefect expressions of what I want bedroom pop to sound like.

To be had here:
Nate Henricks - NEON FOR NO ONE

Saturday, May 24, 2014

EP Grab Bag vol. 62

Tunes, dudes, new tunes. Here's a batch of shit right out of the inbox that seems just happily be a bunch of lo-fi for the most part.

To be had here:
Naysa - Troubled Heart EP (2014)

This a lovely EP from a Winnipeg band that reminds me of Bishop Allen, the Unicorns and Beulah in how they've composed a great set of song with joyful music and gloomy lyrical content. Just four tracks but the last track kinda sucked yet the rest was enough to show me that they are skilled at this charming sub-genre of sad sack indie pop. They thought to compare themselves to the Pixies, Tripping Daisy, and Superchunk but all the shit means next to nothing to me, but I get why it does to people, but as Public Enemy put it "Elvis was a hero to most but he never meant shit to me."

The Amphibious Man -  Fraternal Curses (2014)

From the Connecticut I have so recently fled comes this garage rock of a grimy sound with a retro aesthetic that is probably best compared to the Cramps. The tracks have audio sampling of hypnotism and other bizarre older spoken word dropped into their gloomy guitar and deeply croaking singing. Even sounds like they have that distinctively spooky theremin sounds, although I am not sure if it is synthetically produced or sampled. The songs are of a longer, brooding sort of horror punk but some promising garage rock overall.

Mr. Kito - Where Are the Lizards? (2014)

I found this to be a very strange EP. It is electronic music with lyrics in English and sung by a Frenchmen with a pretty heavy accent that now lives in South Africa. Not my usual sort of go to music but I think that perhaps that best thing about this blog other than getting to write puns for time to time is getting exposed things that I normally may not come into contact with. This is a prime example, and it is a pretty neat electronic EP from a man that clearly knows his sound very well.

The Social End Products - Ego Trip (2011)

Here we've got a Greek lo-fi psychedelic band, which is becoming a more common thing for me to type these days and I'd consider that progress. The tracks are on the garage rock side of the psychedelic spectrum, which as you can easily imagine is to my liking. They're raunchy, fuzzy and full of steadily pounding percussion. There's no way I won't be listening to this over and over again on my commutes to work, and perhaps whenever I can hid in the back of the piles of books and pop on some headphones. They also have a more recently full-length that could merit its own write up.

Suzy Blu - BLU (2014)

This is another submission from the rather well curated label Russian Winter Records with an international selection of artists, the same label that Mr. Kito is being release on and the Feel Bad Hit of the Winter. This is an EP from Leeds, United Kingdom and is a electronic pop/post-punk/psych pop admixture that is seems incredibly more adaptable to a dance floor than most of the music we post. Despite this club-friendly sound it is pretty damn rocking in a way I wish the shit I had hear in darkened, overpriced shitholes cost.

Friday, May 23, 2014

NoHopeKids- ST EP (2011)

Antarktikos recently reviewed the awesome Piresian Beach, and after downloading their record from Bandcamp, I was linked to another band called NoHopeKids from Budapest. What a glorious, fucked-up find! Little did I know that this very EP was reviewed on this website back in 2011. Well heck, I figure it requires another spin!

Fans of messy, lo-fi garage rock will find a lot to love in this release from a few years back (including the awesome DIY cover). Since I worship the one true Dark Lord, I especially loved "Satan Rules!"but from a songwriting perspective, I appreciated "I Don't Want to Wait" for its shear ferocity. Fans of this site should not go without this free download.

Get it here:
NoHopeKids- ST EP (2011)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Elvis Dracula Dance Party - Part 2

I was all ready for a night alone, meditating to the Dark-Lord and getting high off my ass. Suddenly, Joe Joe the Ghost shows up with a case of beer and two sexy ladies! I sure hope they like experimental music!

Jordan Norton - Titan (2014)

What woman doesn't like banjo focused, melodic drone music? Well, these two women don't that is for sure. They keep trying to put on beach boys records, but I am way too far down the rabbit's hole for that right now. Rather, I get them to sit down in a circle and use this music to communicate with the dead that live on a distant planet, and have been looking to make their way to Earthly Hell. Not sure if we accomplished this task, but "Kazak Pools" was a beautiful track.

David Contin - 100% Contin (2014)

Ok, this has an electronic drum machine, so already these ladies start dancing. I know my buddy Joe Joe the Ghost likes to have a good time, but he really has to get that tonight, I am looking for meditation. Thankfully, this off-kilter pop music is bizarre enough that it alienates both ladies and provides me with head room to contemplate the state of the world. Funky rhythms aside, this is experimental pop music that requires a proper listen. I know I will return to it later when these cholas have left.

Goldsoundz - Revlations (2014)

Everyone seems to be enjoying this. It is pretty and jangly, with just enough going on to keep me interested and the women dancing. The vocalist provides a perfect delivery of the lyrics, complementing the fuzzy riffs. Sadly, the song was short and that angers my "guests." At that point I decide to kill everyone in the room, including my old friend Joe Joe. "Not Phair" plays in the background as I bludgeon them to death.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Graham Repulski - Portable Grindhouse (2014)

I penned a few words about this New Jersey band some time ago, and they have been nice enough to keep me up to date on their releases (I always appreciate a cassette in the mail). Between my last review, they have put out a slew of releases on both tape and CD, further exploring the messy noise pop they are now known for. Cuts and snippets of audio tape is crammed together around fuzzed out, melodic hooks, and covered in a healthy dose of distortion and tape hiss. This is not music for everyone, but what is? "I Shot an Arrow in the Air" was my favorite track of this release, but "Chainsaw Lollipop" was a close second.

Get it here:
Graham Repulski - Portable Grindhouse (2014)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

幾何学模様/Kikagaku Moyo (2014)

This Japanese band is one of my favorite groups to emerge this year. Within a few months, they have put out two awesome cassette tapes (this review is about their first self-titled tape recently released by Burger Records), have an LP about to drop on Beyond Beyond is Beyond, triumphed at the Austin Psych Fest, and toured the shit out of the US. I am not sure if these guys were active in years prior, but that is a pretty good year for even the most hardened veteran bands.

 Yes, Acid Mothers Temple and Ghost do come to mind, and not just because both bands are Japanese. Clearly, Kikagaku Moyo is well schooled in the long-form psychedelic ragas and jams of the late 60s. Sitars and waves of reverb accompany more than a single track as the band builds to explosive highs before pulling you right down into a meditative slumber. This is music with a purpose, and that is to expand one's mind while allowing it to stomp along with wailing riffs. Just listen to the track "Tree Smoke" get an idea of the bliss I have been in since grabbing a copy of this cassette. Unlike their brethren in AMT, these kids know how to keep thing focused, even when letting their tunes meander and discover themselves.

Kikagaku Moyo is finishing up their tour here in the states, and I am sorry that I missed them when they dropped into the Bay Area. I won't make that mistake next time they are state-side, nor will I miss a single release.

Get it here:
幾何学模様/Kikagaku Moyo (2014)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

ScotDrakula - BURNER (2012)

Not to threaten the dominance of our own Elvis Dracula and this most amazing Drunken Draculas, I thought I would risk his wrath by touting the Australian vampire-named lo-fi rock act ScotDrakula. Firstly, some time ago ScotDrakula sent in an album, the debut release poetically entitled CRACKSTRENGTH. It is a wickedly good album that mixes in country and soul in unbelievable ways to the garage punk core, and my write-up of it didn't do it justice as I think that was a period in which most of my music listening was done in a busted-ass 1995 Dodge Stratus with half-blown out speakers and engine that drowned out all the mids. Thankfully I have real headphones again and that car not disgracefully cruising around anywhere except car heaven. BURNER was only released a year after the debut and they didn't tell me, for which I cannot blame them. However, I was listening to various albums on my commute to and from work and CRACKSTRENGTH came around and I had to find out if they made more music immediately. Anyhow, what I found was this fucking awesome album of fuzzed out garage rock that was a playfully soulful tone and full-realized blending of punk and pop elements into an album I cannot stop listening to. It sounds so damned full, just busting at the seems with music, and I admire that to no end. Finally, this isn't their latest release as they've put out a single with a b-side called Break Me Up in 2013 which gives me hope for more songs from them this year possibly. 

To be had here:
ScotDrakula - BURNER

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Jesuslesfilles - Une Belle Table (2010)

Between working full time and taking night classes, I think the phrase that best describes my general state of mind is "skull-fucked". This is always most apparent when I sit down and attempt to write blog posts. I know that what I'm listening to is good, great even. Jesuslesfilles, which translates to "Jesus The Girls", is a fucking awesome 5-piece from Montreal. They play music I can only think to describe as Blonde Redhead trying to do The Strokes, en francais.

But to elaborate further? Well, if only I could get that giant cock, tattooed with the word "prerequisites", to quit obliterating my neurons.

Just listen to both "Tes Yeux" and "Mon Violon" to know why this band might be something to add to your collection. The whole record, from start to finish, is really quite great. I've listened to it about 15 times already, while the processes of aerobic respiration have their way with my brain.

A shout out to the consistently wonderful music blog Ongakubaka for enlightening me to the presence of this band.

11 songs.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Piresian Beach - I Cannot See For Miles (2014)

A little bit of explaining to begin with I suppose, for those unfamiliar with Piresian Beach, the band is a lo-fi rock project out of Budapest blends garage rock, psychedelic and post-punk into that beautiful concoction of distorted bliss. This is a release I've been looking forward to ever since I've gotten back into contact with the lady who so brilliant heads this band. I learnt of Piresian Beach back in 2011 with the most righteous album, Fuck Your Mind, and only due to what I can reasonably classify as criminal neglect did I not follow the releases more closes in the intervening period. Getting word of this has sent into a frenzy to hear all the songs put out in the last three years, and it has been totally worth it. Sure, they're far from the only band that I describe like this, in fact I fear I sound like a broken record with how I so frequently extoll groups that make this blended low fidelity style. However, the experience of fearing it is what really will sell it more than any descriptors could ever, just like a good recipe it isn't necessarily individual ingredients but the sum product that is praiseworthy. It is absolutely worth digging throught the discography, the Alle Falle EP from 2012 is every inch as amazing as I Cannot See For Miles. Makes me wish I could go to Budapest just to fawn of it it live.

To be had here:

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Youtube has achieved a rather dominate role distributing media to the masses: using views, shares, and likes as a sort of social currency, viral videos are possible by endlessly accumulating clicks, reposts, and likes through facebook and tumblr--sites a majority of internet uses obsessively update on the daily. Youtube even has it's own commercials now where they promote some person's channel, which of course has 5mil+ subscribers already.
If only Youtube would promote completely random channels with hardly any followers, a channel run by some person that isn't type A. Well today I will attempt to shed light on three channels that I really enjoy, that all specialize in their own music videos promoting some of today's freshest soundcloud ableton obsessed "producers" around----!!! Some of these channels seriously post some of the best retro synth music today (looking at you eazypeazy), while the others sort of cater to whatever is *more* popular. Each has an aesthetic, some more mature than others, but they all are making music videos. These filmmakers participate as equal creative forces in fostering a vaporwave aesthetic as the musicians producing the tunes; their power is not to be underestimated.

Let us start with LFSWicked

This youtube channel has below 500 subscribers, which is a shame because this channel posts some great music. This channel also uses great film footage--EXPANSION by Toshio Matsumoto is featured in this ESPRIT空想 video. This channel also posts full albums. Recently eco virtual's atmospheres 2 and macross' a million miles away were posted for listening pleasure. Whoever runs this channel knows what's up, and consistently uploads essential jams//

Choice Vids from Wicked
luxury elite - carousel

Architecture in Tokyo - ヒスイ MARBLE (ft. ULTRA ウルトラ)

Capo Blanco - Carribean


Next Artzie Music "# 1 destination for unique music"

This channel has close to 10,000 subscribers. This channel also posts a lot of essential jams: SAINT PEPSI,オウムのジャングルPARROT JUNGLE 95, MIRROR KISSES, DREAMS WEST, etc. etc. This channel is real good if you are new to this whole internet music thing. Fred will show you tip of the iceberg, peazy will take you into the lower depths

Choice Artzie Music Vids
MAITRO - Snake Way 蛇の道

CVLTVRΣ - ☯TempleGold☯


Last EAZY PEAZY -- This is by far my favorite channel out there to discover this type of music. The aesthetic is so on point, the music is carfully curated, the grotesque underbelly of capitalism is exposed in all its plastic glory. Peazy puts together a bunch of videos for a bunch of artists, and luckily these are artists that are relatively unknown. Each video compliments the music perfectly, it is hard to formulate into words just how perfectly these videos capture that vhs aura.

check out the vidz

betamaxx - take me back 私を取り戻す

cougar synth クーガーシンセ - denying everything すべてを否定

baby sloth spirit - fossil future

friday fantasy 金曜日ファンタジー'86 ハードウェアコンピュータ!

there are other youtube channels out there that do similar things --- here is one that I won't review. Just go out there and explore, you are bound to find some interesting channels.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

マクロスMACROSS 82-99 - A Million Miles Away

The new Macross album is fantastic, it's as simple as that. I imagine some readers of this blog have been following macross for a while now, so you already know what to expect from macross--he does not disappoint. The quality is on point as per usual, samples are phenomenally arranged and manipulated, and the mood Macross evokes with his music brings to mind the renderings of 90s anime--cities full of neon lights, people dancing and sweating, futurist motorcycle gangs cruising through a techno-dystopia, that oh so fashionable dystopian chic pervasive to much cyberpunk anime. These phenomena culminate into a nostalgic fever pitch which interpellates and fetishizes japanese culture through an unabashedly glossy musical lens.
Clearly this hauntological approach interpellates the musical listener as a nostalgic subject, and thus solicits more perverse and extreme nostalgic longings for cultures and time periods that hold no memory within the subject. But instead of condemning the current state of music for being 'stuck in the past', 'musical pastiche' or 'manufacturing nostalgia'; suspension of time (atemporality) should be seen as a positive creative force of the present. If we conceptualize time as a linear sequence of events (ie the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, etc etc etc.) we allow ourselves to dissect the present into a 'present past' and a 'present future' that both meet at a 'present now' which is more or less the quilting point between the two. We need to expand our 'present now' beyond this particular moment--allow it to be seen as still alive and at work within some sort of "zeitgeist." There have been no revivals, there is no surf or garage or synth pop revival, just mining the musical terrain and language which is in a constant state of becoming, something that doesn't end every 10 years. Using musical genres (punk being but one example) as a form of human identity facilities the discourse of subjectivity that plauges and transforms creativity as discreet scenes that have a time and place, a memory which is the private possession of those who "were there." These are some things to ponder and maybe flesh out. Either way, the new Macross achieves something far greater than contemplating about it, it is music of the now age, it is pop, it will make you want to dance, it will make you want to watch cartoons, it will allow you to "be there." This post suffers from no actual musical criticism//this dude likes 7th chords//better

Favorite songs: Horsey, Night In Tokyo Pt.II, 82.99 FM (first sample is Marlene - ESP), and Lovers

for free here, but missing 82.99

bandcamp for $1

KEATS//COLLECTIVE Vol. 5 released today and free as of right now

The Four - LOFI (2014)

I've become envious of Amazing Larry's method of finding music to write-up, which is sometimes as simple as trolling around on bandcamp and following the rabbit-holes of odd tags. While I strongly encourage submissions, although some fall through the cracks and others aren't tickling our fancy, and I'd like to say the majority of them get written up sooner or later. Still, there's something to finding a thing and not waiting for it to come your way every now and then, and isn't that why you're reading an obscure music blog full of independent musicians? At least some of you should like something I dig up, I'd hope.

Preamble out of the way, what I've found is a Dutch band, specifically from the port city of Rotterdam. I haven't got much information on them as such a vaguely named band and album don't yield shit in a google search, however I got a nice fella on soulseek, which full of Dutch folk, to tell me what the little there was on this album's page. Basically, they were all recorded on a single microphone, at what can reasonably be assumed as live performance, with the exception of blues rock number "Hey Little Girl" which has a noticeably higher fidelity. Yet it is that lo-fi sound that they's chosen so aptly to name this album for is exactly what provoked my interest, and seeing how excellently they delivered it I couldn't help me talk it up. Now, it is obvious that the microphone situation is not ideal for a fully rounded out sound, the drums are weak compared to the vocals and the guitar and bess aren't helped by the speakers that surely aren't positioned in the singer's mouth. Nonetheless, this is how they achieved such a charming lo-fi album that causes me anxiety just thinking of how awesome it would have been to have seen it live. This is only made more intense by the fantastic album art, that I seriously wish is the band in actuality, but a group of four clean-cut, suit-wearing Dutchmen that look like gangsters or young Beatles deplaning to shock America's teenage girls makes me infinitely happy. If the Netherlands has more of this sort of thing I'd like to find out.

To be had here:
The Four - LOFI

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Nirvana (UK) - Cult (1970/2014)

Finding a gem of a lost record is one of the high points of any music aficionado. After looking under stacks of shitty Kiss and Styx records in my hunt for lost treasure, I have come across a handful of pieces that would have gone unknown to me had I not engaged in the hunt. I assume Burger Records felt the same way when they discovered Nirvana. No, not that Nirvana, but the psychedelic pop act from 1960's Britain. Thankfully for us, they have re-issued the band's two full lengths on both cassette and vinyl.

The fact that the two records featured on Cult are not known outside the hardcore collecting set is unfortunate, as the music could have easily been a hit had played on classic rock radio had things worked out differently for the band. We all love the Kink's Village Green Preservation Society for its lush, focused songwriting and romanticism of the English countryside. Yet, a year before they dropped said record, Nirvana released The Story of Simon Simopath, considered by many to be the first concept record and almost surely an inspiration to Dave Davies. Beautiful, lush instrumentation compliments the vocal harmonies, creating a safe space one's imagination for the slow, agrarian life.

The fact that this band's output is not held in greater esteem is a travesty that is hopefully being remedied by this reissue. Just try and keep "You are Just the One" and "Pentecost Hotel" off constant rotation. I dare you.

Get it here:
Nirvana - Cult (1970/2012)

Listen Here...for free fools!

Monday, May 12, 2014

esprit 空想 - (2014)

This is my first post on this blog, so allow me to introduce myself: my name is Evan. Okay, so this past week esprit 空想 released his last installment for this particular moniker. esprit 空想 has been making some of my favorite plunderphonic synth funk music, and I certainly consider his music to be on par with similarly funky contemporaries in the "vaporwave" "future funk" scene (lux, macross, reverb lite (b), ultra, yung bae (yumi?)). Honestly, esprit 空想 does something most of these other bands don't/perhaps can't do; he actually composes the music and uses samples as "a brushstroke rather than a canvas." Not that there isn't anything to be said about utilizing samples as a canvas, but the fact that these songs are built from scratch is something that gives esprit 空想 a sort of authenticity that can't be diluted by recognizing a song in a sample and thinking, "my gaht, the original was so much better, is this abomination trying to ruin the song?" example of such the original song is entitled Mermaid by Tatsuro Yamashita--you may like it, but I can't help but cringe at yung bae's interpretation. The point being, esprit 空想's music speaks for itself rather than through something else, which makes his music particuallarly compelling. Would it be pertinent to talk about the aesthetic dimensions at work within this particular scene and esprit空想's music? Probably not, there has been so much "critical theory" done to this genre so far, I figure the best approach is to just listen. Go take a gander and immerse yourself in some funky synth music reminiscent of John Maus, Roland Young, Dwight Sykes, and VHS warble. Reminiscent may be the wrong word/// to be had hear

Space Rock Mountain Podcast 11 - Molotov Fartails


Lost and Found

Life Through Music

EP Grab Bag vol. 61

Hope the new look of the site is doing for everyone, I think it has classed the joint up a bit if I say so myself. Here is a collection of lo-fi album, half submitted and half found though my trolling around bandcamp over the weekend as I neglected more important matters.

To be had here:
Death Trip - Arabian Caravan (2014)

Sent in from Brazil, this is a hardcore punk band. It's got many of the things I want out of punk rock; intelligibility in the vocals, rapid and crashing drums and cymbals, fuzzy bass and brief, quick-tempo songs. The guitar is totally the star of the show here however, as it is laid on with some remarkable talent and has a 70s-esque psychedelic and progressive vibe. It seems like they get a ringer in that position and they know it as they really let the guitar dominate sections of tracks with devastating effect.

Sex Scheme - 7" (2014)

Brooklyn-based group with a drummer that doubles as the songwriter. This was a DIY affair, they told me it took only $60 to record this EP, but it sounds great all things considered, although the tracks seem to cut off a bit abruptly at their ends. It is a kind of droning, garage punk that is heavy on the washed out rhythm section. The influences they cited such as the Stooges, Suicide and the Gories and they did a pretty good job at capturing a sound that is between those bands. Fine work with the scandalous album art too.

Young Compass - Young Compass (2014)

This is something I came across on my own, but I thought it was a good example of when I can set aside my usual attitude of lyrics avoidance for a lo-fi band that had a more clearly recorded and vocal-forward style. I'd call their music a sort of folk garage but they're not the completely washed out sort I gravitate toward most naturally. I do believe the saving grace is that while it is a serious delivery, reminds me of Saddle Creek stuff honestly, it is self-critical and jesting in tone that keeps these guys safely out of pretentious territory.

Brass Phantoms - The Brass Phantoms EP (2014)

An Irish band that I honestly clicked on because the name made me think of the obscure Italian progressive band, Blue Phantom. While I am happy I did so, these guys are not prog, but rather some incredibly endearing lo-fi rock group that filled that void that's been in my life since the Strokes have fallen out of regular rotation in music listening habits. It isn't a clone, but bears just a enough similarity that I was tickled. This must be the most accessible and catchiest of all the EPs I wrote up today.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Arvid - Old Factory Living (2014)

What we have here is a good old fashioned eccentrically irreverent, weird rock album. A solo project of a fella from Rochester, NY has spawned the series of bizarre but undeniably charming tracks called Old Factory Living. I've set a bit a precedent for enjoying this sort of lo-fi and far-out singer-songwriter style of music, as I have friends who make tunes like these including Paully Moonbean and my boy Jason that is the mind behind Forest Porridge and Twin Man. Regardless of your familiarity to those deep recollections to SRM history, this is a finely done 4-track attic record hat rapidly shift in tones from each track, with some being catchy rock tunes and others being elongated psychedelic infused trips, and yet others smacking of E6 falsetto heavy tunes. It comes off as exactly what it is meant to be, a somewhat immature version of a songwriter possessing a good deal of talent. He's fleshing out his sound and doing a great job at it already. Finally, I'd like to point out that I could dig in and a take a cozy rest in this sort of early version of artist expression. It is more than getting in at the ground floor of something that could be big, for it never need be a big deal. However, you shared a roughly contemporariness connection with a musician that might not be necessarily saying anything heavy or deep than you choose to read that into it, but reflected feeling of your time so very coherently, despite its messiness and because of it.

To be had here:
Arvid - Old Factory Living

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Salad Boys - S/T (2013)

My new long term goal is to go to grad school, then get a job I can stomach and that I know will pay well. I will then run a record label on weekends, getting bands like Salad Boys, with their wonderful lo-fi indie rock, to let me press 7" records for them. After years of investing tens of thousands of dollars in awesome little bands and not making any profit, my wife will burn all my books and clothing and leave me for another man with un-squandered money. I will lose my well paying job due to depression and have to move into a storage facility with all the boxes of records I couldn't sell. Starving, I will resort to letting teenagers beat me up for money. After many years and many many beatings, I will use this money to buy a shitty little bar. I will acquire a 7" playing jukebox and fill it with all the records I pressed years earlier. Then I will sit in my bar and drink all the beer therein while listening to the infectious melancholic pop of the Salad Boys song "Best Kept Secret".

I will probably then piss myself and die.

8 songs.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Modern Delusion - Wasteland CS (2014)

A most righteous garage rock album from Zagreb put out by Doomtown Records. This label operated by a longstanding member of the lo-fi music blogging community who also does one of my favorite blogs, the long-running Teenage Lobotomy. As an avid fan of garage rock, post-punk and all varieties of lo-fi he's found a most excellent band to include on his label. I feel a bit bead having to hear this album with a doozy of a head cold, but duty calls and this shouldn't be put off another unnecessary day. Modern Delusion is three-piece with a remarkably full sound of distorted guitar, bass, and if my ears are working through the cold, keys backed by some of the better drumming I've heard in a garage band in a while. One thing that stands out is that they seem to sing in vague British accents, so I kept recalling English garage rockers like Thee Milkshakes but they've got a list of your own influences on the bandcamp page I am sure they'd prefer I make for more musical sophisticated reasons. All I know, and all I likely need to know, is I really fucking dig this album. Loud, fast and aggressively punk without losing an inch of snazziness, it's a show I liked so much I listened twice, then like four more times.

To be had here:
Modern Delusion - Wasteland CS

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dangus - Cannon (2014)

Dangus is a 2 person band from Oslo, Norway. Their music brings to mind a different sort of retro than what's normally talked about on this blog: glammy, '70s cock rock(hold the cock). That's perhaps an oversimplification (and something better suited for a different website) but I can't help but hear some early Kiss in these songs, minus the cheese and raunchy lyrics. One thing that stands out is that their lead singer doesn't sound like the type of singer normally associated with this kind of music. It's like a young James Mercer was asked to front the MC5 for a recording session. It takes a little getting used to but, in the end, it's worth it.

Dangus describes themselves as "garage rock born out of exile", and their bandcamp page says the music was recorded during the "economic recession". I don't know what an economic recession generally means for Norwegians, as my cursory understanding of matters is that Norway has things far better figured out than we do. What it means for all of us, is that Dangus had some time to create and share their contribution to the rock world in a modest but loud way, whether you'd call it garage or not.

If this is garage, it's garage that hung out at the bar every night from 1965 to 1975. It's garage with hair on it's chest, unafraid to keep those top few buttons open while brutalizing a cowbell and wailing mean guitar solos.

10 songs:

Dangus - Cannon

Monday, May 5, 2014

La Piramide di Sangue - Tebe (2012)

Here's a belated treat. Belated because I missed it's submission in the pre-organization days where my inbox was truly the wild west, but a treat as in this avant-garde album is incredibly exciting no matter when you first get to hear it. As many could have guessed, La Piramide di Sangue is an Italian band, and they play a bizarre sort of psychedelia that combines a melody with dissonance to create a maze for the mind become increasingly lost in. It is jazzy, noisy and tribal somehow all at the same time. The album gets rather close to noise, as in the genre, but will loop back around with reframes to more melodic music. Overall it's trippy as hell and an album I regret not getting to sooner, but that'll be the case for everyone older I post on here I suppose.

To be had here:
La Piramide di Sangue - Tebe

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Space Rock Mountain Podcast 10 - Peyote and Race Records

 1. White Owl - You Just Don’t Really Get How Much it Still Fills Up My Mind
2. Wizard Oz - Black Bag
3. Home Alone - Drive All Night
4. Evil Sons - No Bad Luck

 Lost and Found
1. Kim Jung Mi - Wind in the Trees
2. Damon Albarn - You & Me
3. 16 Horsepower - Sac of Religion

 Life Through Music
 1. Skip James - Crow Jane

Suzi Trash - Sleep Through This (2013)

I like Suzi Trash a lot, which surprises me because I'm usually stingy with my love for punk. I first heard of them when randomly stumbling on their So Totally Dissonant record which I wrote up a couple years back. Their sound has changed during that time, the move from Arkansas to Missouri having flushed the cow from their cow-punk to make space for an even meatier, Kanye West sort of sound(read: harder, better, faster, stronger). On their most recent release, Sleep Through This (a title that takes a poke at Hole, which isn't a euphemism for anything), the music strikes a chord with teenage me and the punk bands I used to listen to growing up in eastern Pennsylvania.... bands that no one remembers like Strychnine And The Rat Traps and Mr. Yuk... hard-edged but with flares for humor. This is most evident on the killer track Please Stop Talking To Me.

Suzi Trash has several full lengths on their bandcamp page, all generously made to be free downloads ... all really, really good. If you're in the market for a dose of an exhilarating, punk rock amphetamine while you plant your summer gardens, Suzi Trash is just the pill.

Suzi Trash - Sleep Through This

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Black Pages - Pg. 1 (2014)

Our Floridan garage rock friend are back at it again, in fact he put out this release on hot on the heels of us sharing his Acoustic EP a few weeks ago. In case you're not familiar with this fella, because you just skip around willy-nilly with posts or whatever, Black Pages is a bedroom operation by a dude from Orlando. It isn't polished, perhaps he's still getting his sound down and recording techniques tweaked, but I still find in his music a notable talent for lo-fi rocking. He mixed it up a bit with a piano number in the middle of some garage ditties that are his more usual fare, but it wasn't a poor track so much as a break in the pace for this otherwise speedily heard five track release. However, I'm fearful of writing anything that might discourage this guy from keeping at it, and really I do enjoy his music more than I can find any fault. I can only imagine with more time and experience in songwriting we could have a sensation here.

To be had here:
Black Pages - Pg. 1

Friday, May 2, 2014

Lasso - Golden Lasso (2014)

A new release from a band I wrote up some time ago, Lasso of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Golden Lasso is a weird western, combining psychedelic, country and avant-garde offbeat antics into an whimsical yet captivating album. I don't mean to paint it as an off-the-wall sort of release, for it is markedly restrained in its composition, instead skewing toward a subtle approach to the weirdness. It's warm and charming in tone, leaving me elated by the end of my first listen. The delivery on the vocals is great and well-mastered throughout, plus whoever the lady is they've got singing on "Tangolassi" is exceptional. However, I was most intrigued by the way the made the westernness of this album so present without the usual twangy guitars and lamentations of tragedy (not that those aren't great too). It seems they've been busy in the interlude since my last post of their work and put out a few albums, which you can find on their bandcamp page linked below.

To be had here:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

EP Grab Bag vol. 60

I am incredible sore from hauling what could not have been less than four thousand records (no hyperbole) from a hoarder's basement today. Thank god I moved back to Detroit in time for that mess, right? Anyhow, I found solace in some Coor's banquet and these EPs. Use them wisely, by like... listening to them, I guess.

To be had here:
The Feel Bad Hit of the Winter - The Feel Bad Hit of the Winter (2014)

Punk, garage and noisy indie rock from Kansas City. Their name is a mouthful but the tunes are far from being overly complex, which I say as a good thing considering the genres. No surprise that I am a fan of the simple, fast rock and roll, given my track record with lo-fi music. This band is on to something and they know how to play, and they do a great job showing off the guitar work, especially on the instrumental track "Chato." I'd say they're play even dips close to post-rock at moments just to hop back into garage-like fuzziness.

bm79 - Can't Stop It / Noisy Funkadelica (2014)

A couple of tracks from Patras, Greece played by the former bassist of the previously featured band, the Moofs. Each of the songs are instrumental, psychedelic rock jams that short and pleasurable. Show good potential show he care to pour the time into a full-length endeavor. He's also in a band with some other fellas that is in its infancy and without a real band name yet, but can be heard on soundcloud.

The H - Sewer Club EP (2014)

This is a collaboration of two Montreal electronic musicians the release music on their other projects Hobo Cubes and Noir. Sewer Club EP is being put out by Debacle Records as part of their Motor collective. Again, just two tracks but these add up to 16 minutes of otherworldly electronic sounds. I don't normally quote the press releases I get but whoever they've got writing their shit up dropped this tight ass description: "effortless blend of ambient sensibilities within techno-informed zones." Seems I gotta step up my game.

Psychedelic garage folk coming out of Italy. I fucking hope the statement makes you as excited as it does me. The songs are brilliantly mesmerizing in their lightly done psychedelia and lo-fi folksiness. The songs are like if a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western was done with music a bunch of peyote in the mix. This is actually the second release of a two-part series of EPs from this outfit, with the first also highly recommended.

Again it is time for me to admit to my laxness as a blogger and share something wildly overdue for a glowing review. Can't believe I allowed these two songs to fall through my fingers back when I was sent them in January last year. It is a two-piece from Dublin and they made two absolutely rocking tracks that one could love about fast, sleazy garage rock, white dudes in collared shirts having a knife fight and dying young so as to leave a beautiful corpse. How about that writing, Debacle-promoter-I-respect. No new releases since then sadly, but I am gonna personally try to set a fire under these guys' asses.