Back in October of 2011, a small group of filmmakers, photographers and musicians travelled to the remote countryside of Iceland to document their experience, titling the film Outliers, Vol. I: Iceland. The film features photographers Tim Navis and Kim Holtermand, as well the electronic composer Deru – who composed and curated an original score based on field recordings from the trip. Now you can watch their experience in it’s entirety, which they’ve posted on Vimeo, and which I’ve embedded above.
If you enjoyed the film you should also check out the soundtrack that Deru put together, which features his original compositions as well as music from other great artists like John Talbot, Shigeto, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Son Lux, Asura, Heathered Pearls, and lots more. It’s only $9 on Bandcamp, totally worth the price of two fancy coffees.
Japanese musician Yosi Harikawa caught my ear recently with his exciting style of making music which utilizes the sounds of non-musical objects. The track above titled “Bubbles” starts off with a bouncing ball, followed by a downpour of falling objects, like ping pong balls and perhaps some screws or bolts. He builds up into this lush, bassy sound which washes over your eardrums.
The track is pulled from his Wandering EP, which you can listen to by clicking here.
Italian producer C. Crisci, also known as Clap! Clap!, focuses on researching and sampling of tribes, bands and singers originating from the African continent, made a pretty amazing mixtape for Giles Peterson which I can’t stop listening to. His distinguishing technique is to reproduce classic African rhythms in a contemporary way through the use of drum machines and synths. The way he mixes all of this diverse sounds together is pretty exceptional. It has a perfect flow from beginning to end, and it’s quite hard to tell which parts he’s chopped up and altered. Really nice work.
I had no idea that Michael Cera was of the musical variety, yet here I am listening to an album he just put out titled true that. If you had to guess what a Michael Cera albums sounds like you would probably stereotype him, imagining his music as twee, slightly emo, or perhaps pop. Instead you’re going to hear a lot of beautiful guitar and piano driven songs, influenced by jazz, classical guitar, and some folk. From what I’ve heard it’s slightly romantic, a little melancholy, and incredibly honest sounding. Kind of reminds me of Devendra Banhart, to be honest, which is a huge compliment in my mind.
I’m a big fan of Derwin Schlecker, also known as Gold Panda, and his worldly take on electronic music. Last week he released a new track titled “Clarke’s Dream”, a track which I’d describe as being straight funk, filled with high hats, deep looping bass lines, and a funky wah-wah guitar lick. I also really love the art for the single by Laura Lewis.
For most of last week I’ve been listening to the debut album from The Acid, made up of trio Adam Freeland, Steve Nalepa, and Ry Cuming, a.k.a. RY X. Together they’ve released Liminal, a minimal yet rich electronic exploration in sound. There are some similarities in sound to bands like James Blake, The xx, Notwist, and vocally perhaps Elliott Smith, yet this is something quite unique. It’s a haunting album punctuated by deep bass notes, hand claps, high hats, and some especially great vocals from Ry X.
I’m thinking this album might be in my top favorites of 2014. Be sure to listen to “Animal”, “Fame”, and “Ghost” to get a good sense of what these guys are doing.
Anenon, the moniker of Los Angeles based musician and Nonprojects label founder Brian Allen Simon, has a new album coming out this fall titled Sagrada. The new project feels like a perfect maturation of his already unique musical style. He deftly combines electronic drums and melodies and combines them with breathy saxophone rhythms, the results of which have similarities to the work of Steve Reich and Aphex Twin.
Riding the line between four-on-the floor and completely free beats with abandon, Anenon’s new rhythms spin from feeling as steady as a river to dropping out from under your feet at a moment’s notice. Because many of the sounds on Sagrada were sourced from recordings of live shows as well as hours spent tucked away in the studio, the listener is somehow drawn into a feeling of thoughtful intimacy pulsing with the energy of an ecstatic crowd.
I’ve had a chance to listen to the record a few times now, and at times it travels into the idea of album as experience, not necessarily “music” as we like to contextualize it. It’s setting up a mood and feeling to transport you elsewhere. Definitely the type of record that you throw on a pair of headphones for.
Sagrada will be released on vinyl and digitally September 23, 2014.
Last night I was relaxing on the couch, watching the sunset set out my windows, sipping on a Mr. Pineapple when this Monsters of Folk song came on and perfectly set the mood. It’s called “Termazcal”, a misspelling of the temazcal, which is a traditional sweat lodge used to purify the body. The song has this extremely mellow vibe punctuated by Conor Oberst singing about ethereal concepts like the moon, a search for truth, and the transience of life. Deep stuff, take a listen.
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