August 30, 2008

Flying Lotus - Los Angeles

I first discovered Flying Lotus (Flylo from here on out) through their previous LP 1983. At first it struck me as oddball instrumental hip hop that enjoyed electronic blipping and unconventional beats, but as the grooves sunk deeper into me, I realized that with Flylo, it's more about creating thick, ensconcing atmospheres than anything else. It was my responsibility to let myself get into the flow. Now, on Los Angeles they've really streamlined their sound. Any blipping and beeping contributes directly to the beat and flow of the music instead of just because surface production. The album is a bit homogeneous as a result but is a great piece of new music and is a distinctive listen.

Los Angeles [2008] - Download - Review

August 29, 2008

Planets - Planets

Planets, what can I say about you? Crazy, hypertechnical math rock from Napa, CA where the bassist uses an octave pedal to emulate guitar sounds as well as bass sounds and the drummer might as well break his drumset every time he plays. They play in full body white spiderman suits and project tweaked ass movies onto themselves and a screen behind their set. It's pretty great in the spirit of Hella and Tera Melos. The reason I'm being so loose and unofficial with my description is because I delve into the whole thing quite a bit in my article on Northern California Math Rock for Sputnikmusic, so read that.
Planets [2007] - Download

August 16, 2008

Off Minor - All 2008 Releases

If you don't like Off Minor you probably suck. They are one of those few bands in the emo genre who provide consistently cutting edge music with their distinctive sound that blends together early 90s screamo, late 90s emo (thanks to their former band Saetia), and slight jazz influences. Though their newest LP, Some Blood, really only is "some," this post is the "all" of their recent recording sessions. The split with Killie picks up older tracks that have only recently been recorded ("Some Clown") as well as new material. Their sound is strangely low key and complacent on these recordings. While on previous albums they sounded as if they were actively trying to be "experimental" think of the blatant jazz noodling and guitar noise on "The Heat Death of the Universe" from Heat Death of the Universe. Now, their sound is much more relaxed and nonchalant. They are almost matter-of-fact with their progressive musicianship and songwriting, which lends a refreshing unpretentious edge to these records. Right now, I'm not that hot on any one release in particular, but the collection as a whole, provides quite a few killer tracks. A must-hear for any fans of interesting, heavy music.

Split With Killie [2008] - Download

Some Blood [2008] - Paypal Donation Download - Review

August 11, 2008

Instrumental Hip Hop Double Feature

Metaform's Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, though obviously influenced by the developments of artists like RJD2 and DJ Shadow, does quite a bit to refine the formula of creating trippy hip hop. The production has never been better, full of funk breaks, slick guitar, sensual saxophones, and some unexpected synthesizer moments. There are also some sweet sweet vocals thrown into the mix as if accompaniment. The 45-minute album spread over 19 tracks is essentially a song-by-song testament to why digital manipulation music can feel lush and organic.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants [2008] - Download - Review

Blue Sky Black Death's Late Night Cinema is the spiritual successor to DJ Shadow's Entroducing, but with a lot more detail. The slow-churned beats, which take odd cues from mainstream rap beats, build throughout the course of each track, and along with the varied backgrounds, feel more like post-rock in trip-hop clothing than anything else. Every song builds to a gorgeous crescendo out of a simple trip hop refrain. One of my favorite albums of the year so far.

Late Night Cinema [2008] - Download - Review

August 8, 2008

Algernon Cadwallader - Some Kind of Cadwallader

This album sort of snuck up on me. I had never been one of those Cap'n Jazz fanboys (always liked them though), and I didn't expect to be hooked so hard by a revamping of the Cap'n Jazz style. Overdone vocals, a lot of hammer and pull clean-tone guitar riffs, and an upbeat drum and bass combo. It's pretty great and has a shot at being on some year end lists if people pay attention. As of right now it has sort of flown under the radar and has been categorized as more of a fun or nostalgic release.
Some Kind of Cadwallader [2008] - Download - Review

August 2, 2008

Venetian Snares - Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett

Venetian Snares is a prolific breakbeat artist who usually appears on my Top 15 lists at the end of the year for one reason or another. He throws around a lot of different styles. For example, his most recent album, Detrimentalist is a throwback to old drum'n'bass and reggae samples from the purported earlier days of breakbeat sampling, but with VS' typical flare for asymmetric time signatures. This album is a huge contrast to his previous LP, which was essentially modern classical, with only four tracks out of fifteen that featured computerized drums. Everything else are strings and other "classical" instruments. Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett is Venetian Snares' masterpiece. It combines the aforementioned modern classical style with jazz samples (all from Hungarian composers), and VS himself programs the breakbeats that make the backbone of these unusual but wonderful sampling decisions. The result is epic, grandiose electronica that feels like it has one foot in a rave and the other in a symphony hall. Read my review to get more details about both the process of composing the album and the details of the sound VS forged.
Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett [2005] - Download - Review