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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You know where I find the best new music these days? The radio. If you live in Los Angeles radio station KCRW is a staple while you’re driving in your car. I don’t know what I’d do without it. Recently I was introduced to Taylor McFerrin‘s song “Place In My Heart” which features some incredible vocals by RYAT, a Los Angeles based singer and producer. This is one of those tracks that I’ve had on repeat for the past week. The beat is persistent, RYAT’s vocals are sultry and layered, and the track is a beautiful build-up that pays off with the breathy lyrics, “A place in my heart…”
I was driving to dinner last night when this remix of Brigitte Bardot’s classic “La Madrague” came on the radio. It was made by French producer/remixer Antis who uploaded it to his Soundcloud about a week ago. Unfortunately, there’s not much on the Internet about him, but he does a great job of giving this song a new coat of paint. Definitely a great track for your summer time playlist.
If you’re like me and late at night is your time for getting shit done you might like this. A few months back Shigeto did this great extended remix of the track “What’s Left” by Trees, bringing his signature sound to the track. It’s got a great, mellow vibe that doesn’t distract from what you’re doing. And at 9 minutes long you’re definitely not going to get bored of it. I’ve been playing it over and over all night.
Released in 1996, the soundtrack to Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet, a re-telling of Shakespeare’s most notable work, was earth-shattering to my 14 year old self. The artists featured were a who’s who at the time including Garbage, The Cardigans, and of course, Radiohead. To me “Talk Show Host” was the song that summed up the feeling and vibe of the whole film and re-enforced my love for Radiohead.
The song was originally a b-side on the “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” single and then remixed by producer/composer Nellee Hooper. The original has a lot more guitar and drums while the remix is much more mellow and moody. If you’ve never heard this song before you’re in for a treat.
For the last few days I’ve been listening to this great mixtape which highlights the last 15 years of Ghostly Records. It was put together by Nachtschade, a Belgian duo who’ve woven together tracks from Ghostly’s massive roster of artists such as Tycho, Shigeto, Gold Panda, Michna, and a ton more. It’s got a really mellow vibe overall which has been nice to listen to while driving around or while I’m at my desk working.
Discovered this new mix over the weekend from BAIO, the DJ name of
ex-Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio who now goes around making great jams. Overall the mix has this really bright, vibrant sound to it which in my opinion is a perfect way to start the week out. Welcome Monday!
Editor’s Note: My bad, I swear I read that Ezra Koenig left the band, thus ending it. Seems I was crazy.
Alexander Chen, a Creative Director at Google Creative Lab and all around talented guy, has created an interesting web app called Piano Phase.
This site is based on the first section from Steve Reich’s 1967 piece “Piano Phase”. Two pianists repeat the same twelve note sequence, but one gradually speeds up. Here, the musical patterns are visualized by drawing two lines, one following each pianist.
It’s fascinating to see something complex like Steve Reich’s work visualized. Doing it graphically and using only code is so mesmerizing, and although it’s only 12 notes repeated over and over, the phasing effect is intriguing. Check out the video below for a preview.