With the season of holidays and protests in full swing, Impose's Week in Pop presents the gifts and many talents this week's artists have generously provided. First we saw a Beyoncé give the world an album that dropped out of the blue on iTunes with no warning, Macaulay Culkin's pizza thematic covers, discovered that R. Kelly is preparing a Christmas album, and Jens Lekman will write a song about you if you participate in the annual Swedish charity auction, Musikhjälpen. So with these yuletide feelings of the winter season in full bloom, we bring you reports from the frontlines of Eastern Europe, Iowa, Berlin, Louisiana, and everywhere else with premieres, discussions, and exclusives-in no particular order.
Upon our introduction of Czech Republic duo, DVA's animated video for “Mulato” from Jara Plachy for Amanita Design; reports of them performing at the Kiev protest flooded in. Their presence in the middle of this mess in the Ukraine and protest is not surprising, being that the two piece of Bára Kratochvílová and Jan Kratochvíl create music for their own imagined and envisioned civilizations and societies. In a tradition that began with their debut album Fonók in 2008, followed by Hu in 2010; “Mulatu” comes from their upcoming album Nipomo available February 25 from Northern Spy. Further details are coming in, but first we treat you to the following visual cavalcade and carnival of cartoon psychosis.
Jara Plachy's interpretation of Bára and Jan's globe expanding audio metrics on “Mulatu” rips the smiley face from the Looney Tunes-like opening that leads to a bizarre universe. The animated course of this iconic and universal emoji goes from creature to creature, worn as a mask, housed in eyes, dogs, brains, hearts, birds, blobs, and into all the slapstick ridden terrain that only cartoons can only in. Jan's voice rings like a tropic tribal song that runs with the dense mechanical rhythm rumbles that are later given further accompaniment by her brass sax. As the animated action goes for it and takes the lunacy to the hilt; the world of smilies get stitched up with a straight jacket restraint, from a head spinning level of imaginative zaniness that can only begin to represent an element of DVA's work.
DVA's all-worlds approach to music finds their inspirations tied into this planet and perhaps all the undiscovered ones that have their own cultures and lifeforms. While we await further reports and inquiries into their performance and details of the Kiev, Ukraine protest; we bring you the video for “Mulatu”, some protest and performance pictures with an interview following the visual presentation.
DVA's Bára Kratochvílová and Jan Kratochvíl join us for an in-depth listen and look at their audio constructions, with a mix of top recomendations from the Czech and Eastern European scenes and sounds.
What is the creative process for you both when writing to recording music for DVA? Free-styled or do you organize and pattern it all out in advance of rehearsing and recording?
We are basically a duo of autodidacts, no sheets of music here. Firstly we create the base loop and a couple of layers, which will set a certain mood to which we then try to add vocal and instrumental melodies. Often we record it straight away. Many times, the lyrics are created during the recording since we have our own made-up language, the Czech and English translations are only done subsequently. One of the advantages is, that we record exclusively at our home, so we are not pressed by time or money. Our first two records were done in cooperation with our friend, the producer Jayrope from Berlin, whose style of work mirrored ours. Though we made our latest record Nipomo alone.
Curious to hear your thoughts on how your lively song, “Mulatu” became such a surreal, animated parade of visual happy faces.
The track “Mulatu” is about unemployment and the pressure to look satisfied at any cost. The song ends in the chorus: “I want to give up!”, but the omnipresent ghastly joy is a work of our excellent main animator Jára Plachý from the Amanita Design studio, who has taken the story one step further. “Mulatu is my statement about what doesn’t work in this world,” he says. “Perhaps I'm not the best person to interpret conflicts and catastrophes around us. What I did dare to do was to mediate the uncertainty, indifference and apathy, which the various cataclysmic events invoke in us. It is my statement about happiness, on which we once choke.” We gave him a carte blanche to do whatever he wanted with the video, and this turned out to be the right thing. We are very pleased with the result and identify with the idea.
Tell us about recording your upcoming February release, Nipomo, and what kind of whirl wind freakouts we should be expecting.
We recorded it throughout the year in a mountain cabin. Thus, the album contains a plethora of samples sourced from field recordings: birds, crickets, fireplace, several kinds of walking in snow, the bass of airplane flying above the cottage each day at 20:45, etc… But we also used the sounds that we recorded during our travels across the world, the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, bongo players from Reunion, a train station in Kiev…). Then there is our classic instrumental ensemble: the guitar, a guitar banjo (a Czech invention of our grandfathers – a banjo with a guitar neck!), a sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, balaphone, glockenspiel or children’s pianos…non-existent chants and two loopers…all wrapped up in numerous layers.
[Ed. DVA's Bára Kratochvílová and Jan Kratochvíl participated at the Ukraine protests in the main square in Kiev. Through an exchange of cables across continents and seas, we bring you their experiences and observations.]
What is the narrative on how this mobilization of the upset masses based on the dubious moves by, Yanukovych, first began?
In the last three years, the situation in Ukraine got worse for normal people. It also deteriorated for NGO’s and independent media. This has been told us by Ukrainians themselves, but we also experienced this during our tours there. When the president Yanukovich didn’t sign the association contract with the EU, it was just the last straw. People mobilized via Facebook and since then, there have been nonstop protests taking place at the main Kiev square of Independence with several thousands of people. The protests are calm, there is a feeling of incredible togetherness.
How has this affected the people, the music, and the people’s response in return?
Euromaidan is soaked with an atmosphere of an emotional nuclear bomb, in the best sense of the word. People are helping each other. One has the feeling that he or she has become part of something important. People bring food and drinks for others after work. As soon as there is a drunk person, or a police instigator, he is immediately taken away from the square. People from all over Ukraine gather to the square. From time to time, police try to prevent this, but not directly. The day before yesterday, for instance, the train station and the airport were shut down because of a bomb alert. Of course, there was none, it is almost certain, that the phone call about the bomb was made between two policemen who sat in their offices across each other. The funny thing is, that the Ukrainian prime minister Azarov cannot speak Ukrainian very well, so instead of the word “bomb”, he says “bimb”, which has become a popular joke among the people, and they started to call him Azirov instead of Azarov.
How did you two get involved?
There is an improvised stage at Euromaidan – Ukrainains call the square with this name – where speakers, poets, grandmothers, musicians take turns. As part of this, the Czech NGO People in Need organized the performance of Czech bands Dva and Nylon Jail as part of the Czech support of the protests.
What was the show like?
A day before our flight to Ukraine, we wrote on our FB profile, that if anyone wants to send a message to the protesting Ukrainians, they should write it as a comment, and we read the comments in-between our songs. It wasn’t a concert in a traditional sense of the word. We played three songs. Much more important was to tell the people that we support them, as well as many other people in Europe.
What will the future of this protest be, and what developments can you both share?
Hard to say what is the future of the protests. We wish for a change for Ukraine and prosperity for the people. There are numerous absolutely absurd regulations in Ukraine in place, for instance, our friend from Uzhorod has a car registered in Slovakia and has to cross the border every 10 days since that car cannot be in the country for longer than 10 days. So each 10 days, he drives across the border, makes a turn after crossing it and goes back. Many of our Ukrainian friends prefer to live in Poland nowadays, and plenty of others told us, that if there is no change, they would also leave. They hope that both the government and the president resign, but anything can happen, anything. The situation here is more complicated because the East of the country tends to support both the president and the government and is much more connected to Russia.
What else do we need to know?
Ukraine could be one of the richest countries in Europe. There are smart people living there /for instance: the Soviet Unions spaceships were developed in Kharkiv mostly by Ukrainians, not Russians/. Among the 100 richest people of Europe, 5 are Ukrainians. Unfortunately, Ukrainians have one of the most corrupt and flawed systems of government. The coalition and opposition parties are ruled by oligarchs, an euphemism for mafia bosses. During the last four years, we had three big tours across Ukraine. During our tour this year, we observed that the situation is getting worse year by year for normal people. Oligarchs keep continuously build more and more modern football stadiums, while the roads get worse and worse, the situation has deteriorated for NGO’s and independent media as well.
In Dnipropetrovsk they told us, how police instigators smashed window displays and the police arrested some people who were described as 'organizers', who weren’t even in the city at that time, but they had previously pointed out some untruths in the city. Three weeks ago, [when] the Ukrainian president Yanukovich seemed to have amassed several dozens of millions of dollars during his political career [and] didn’t sign the association agreement with the EU, it was the last straw. Since then, people have been protesting nonstop at the Kiev square against the corrupt president. 200 thousand to million people gather each day at the Euromaidan – Ukrainians call the protests this name.
There is an atmosphere of togetherness and desire to change things for the better. People go to work and after work cook something or bring warm clothes to people who had been at the square the previous night. You won’t see a drunk person here. The secret police instigators are immediately taken away from the square. The police tried to disperse this gathering several times, but the protesters managed to prevent this so far. There is an ad hoc stage at the square, where speakers, poets, grandmothers or musicians appear.
We like Ukraine and when the Czech NGO People in Need, who organized the Czech support of the protest, asked us to perform at the Euromaidan, we didn’t hesitate one second.
What are some of your favorite Czech acts these days that the rest of the world needs to discover?
For us, the most interesting bands, are those grouped around Bumbum Satori orh (booking agency, label, promoters): Fiordmoss, Midi Lidi, Kazety, Ventolin, Dné. Since Czech Republic is more or less rather like one larger city, we’d also include our neighbors here. I’d like to draw attention to the incredible Polish band Napszyklat, who merge Slavic folklore with noise hip hop, it is well worth to hear and see them! Then there are the Slovak projects like Pjoni, Ink Midget, Jack Jack…We also appreciate Jayrope’s work, such as in Air Cusion Finish.
(bands mentioned by DVA)
(no input noise duo)
It's been a long road for Poison Control Center's Patrick Tape Fleming. After PCC went on hiatus, Fleming took up painting and entered pensive and personal territories. Shaken by the loss of his idol, Bill Doss of The Olivia Tremor Control, he began anew with, Gloom Balloon, a new outfit joined by Christopher the Conquered, aka Chris Ford. A lot of gushing has been going on for their single, “Summer Buzz and Summer Fervor”, a back-in-the-summer-days-gone-past song of heart warming honesty off their Bill Doss ode, You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Disaster/Fix The Sunshine Pts 1-7, and we are proud to present the everyday-is-a-holiday vibe video for from New Zealand's aspiring auteur, Lei Lei Kung.
Patrick's “Summer Buzz and Summer Fervor” takes off on an invitational fevered pitch of, “I've done some crazy shit, but I want to do some crazy shit with you”. The subdued vibe and film give ode to a fallen idol, embracing summer memories, sounds feelings; “And you know I can't go wrong, when you sing all those Beach Boys songs, from “Surfs Up” baby on, I love the way you sing…those summer songs”. While this song heralds from Des Moines, Iowa; the posh life video of vacations set to California indie pop bedroom minimalism will have you swear this song was sailing off the West Coast shores all along.
Taken from the album with one legendary Bill Doss homage title, the Kung video creates sunny time sentiments of summer songs, displaying “Summer Buzz” memoirs, and remembered “Summer Fervor” from flickering, grainy lenses taken from inside the mind's eye. The guitars and horns are joined by the fresh face optimism of gals and guys taking off into the concscious clear beaches and roads between town and country societies. This a representation of the idyllism that keeps the world California dreaming.
Patrick chatted with us about the new dawnings of Gloom Balloon, and so much more.
With the hiatus of Poison Control Center, how did the aesthetic catharsis of painting, and the loss of Olivia Tremor Control's Bill Doss lend inspiration and encouraged you to create Gloom Balloon?
Well the Poison Control Center has been my only creative outlet for 14 years, so when the band finished with our 13 month tour and went back to the real world, I felt lost, in a cloud, and it was a dark one at that. It's like the Fleetwood Mac song, “Landslide,” 'I've been afraid of changing, cause I built my life around you.' And the time had come that I needed to change, because the world around me was changing. So I found myself in a box of paints. The first piece I finished was called, Gloom Balloon and I felt it represented me at the time, so I started writing all these songs, they poured out of me for the first time in years. I think I wrote about two albums worth and not one of them was what I would call a happy song. And then my hero Bill Doss passed away, and it made me realize that I needed to get my shit together, and I wanted to do something for him, because he was a part of making my favorite music ever.
What were some of the correlations to hands-on-visual arts with paints that helped to frame the new beginnings of Gloom Balloon?
Visual art plays a huge roll in the inspiration of my life. I have always been drawn to paintings but have never really dabbled in it. So when I bought this huge canvas that would not even fit in my car and started throwing paint on it, it was the most freeing artistic thing I had felt in years. Mostly because there was no internal pressure to make something of value because I had no expectations other then the process of doing it. For me painting is like working on a 4-track tape machine for the first time. You have no idea what you are doing, so you just keep throwing paint on the canvas. And sometime you step back and say, I don't think I want record over that.
I hear you have also become a life coach, how has this contributed to your music and overall creative and spiritual being?
I have always been the type of person who wants to help people go after their dreams, If you have the balls enough to have dreams and want to achieve them whether it's make a record, start a business, or put on an art show it's my way of saying, 'hey, I'm here to help if there is anyway I can'. Most of the stuff I have done is with young bands who want to go on a tour, I try to help them get their ducks in a row to make it as successful as possible.
Will you ever do a TED talk? If so, please send us the YouTube link when you do!
I would love to do a TED talk, most of the public speaking I have done has been about 2 subjects:
1. 'Everything you need to know about how to be successful in life I learned on the road through Rock n Roll', Where I talk about being in a band and how you need to have team work, be frugal, be kind, and most importantly whether there is 4 people there of 4,000 you need to be extraordinary every night. Your life depends on it. And I say that for everything. Every time you go on stage, you need to think it's the most important hour in some one's life and you need to play the show like it's the last show you are ever going to play. If you did that in your ever day life whether it's going to your day job or falling in love, if you put your whole self into it, your going to have no regrets about it at the end of the day, and you will sleep a lot better at night.
The other thing I talk about is, 2. 'If you ever meet your idol buy them a beer, and all your dreams will come true.' Let's just say I have bought Robert Schneider of the Apples in Stereo, and Bob Nastanovich of Pavement a beer when I met them and all of my musical dreams have come true because of it. Buying beers for people is a great feeling, just make sure you tip well too.
The nostalgia vintage tripping NZ video for “Summer Buzz and Summer Fervor” from Lei Lei Kung is really precious, and underlines the sweet and sparse sides of your sound. How did you meet Kung, and how did you decide what archival footage to select for the video?
With Gloom Balloon's stage show, we wanted to incorporate found footage and tell a story during the show with film. So one afternoon I was on Vimeo searching for film to use and I just typed in the title Summer Buzz and a film that Lei Lei Kung came up and I just fell in love with it. There is a certain energy that you put into the world in those magical hard years that we call high school and you can do some seriously beautiful things when you capture that on film. I thought Lei Lei's video did that, so I wrote her and said, 'hi you don't know me, but I love what you do behind a camera, would you be into making a music video for a song,' And she said yes! I then find out that she is probably to coolest person in New Zealand, she is an artist, photographer, fashionista, and has great taste in music and I'm super excited that she has made a Gloom Balloon video, cause when she is a super famous, we will get to say, we knew her when.
From recording a 7″ with Pavement's Bob Nastanovich to a full length with Christopher the Conquered, how do you feel, and did you feel about the recording process?
The recording process for Gloom Balloon has been a scary, yet exciting thing for me. All the recording has been done in the comfort of our own apartments in Des Moines, IA. I love going to recording studios but, for Gloom Balloon, I wanted it to feel like we were painting on a canvas and so with that being said, we could try anything, any color, and brush and we could just keep adding things. Chris Ford is the perfect band mate and working co-producer cause we like to work fast, and try as many things as we can in the two hours we have to work on something. No idea is a bad idea, until we prove it is. I'll say what about a piano and he will go sit down and mess around, while I set up a mic, or vice-versa, he will set up a mic and get a sound while I mess with a synth part. It's fun cause you get to play all the roles, engineer, producer, musician. Recording Bob was amazing for me, because hell a guy from one of my top 3 favorite bands ever was in my apartment screaming into a microphone. I felt like I was in a dream. The second he finished and left, I had to sit for a second and think about what had just happened how bad ass my 16 year old self, would have thought my 32 year old self was for that five minutes of my life.
How do you feel about the state of where Gloom Balloon is now?
Well we are in Iowa and I love our state. It has the best music scene in the country. Let me gush about a few bands really quick. Everyone please check out, Christopher the Conquered, H.D. Harmsen, Mumfords, Twins, Dylan Sires and the Neighbors, The Wheelers, Quick Piss, the Seed of Something, Derek Lambert and the Prairie Fires, Mantis Pincers, Histo, Wolves in the Attic, Satellite State, the Mourning Electric, Pure Gut, Pennyhawk, The Autumn Project, Har-di-Har, Dustin Smith and the Sunday Silos, The Foxholes, Lesbian Poetry, Doctor Dentist, Annalibera, Jordan Mayland and the Thermal Detonators, Trouble Lights, Mr. NASTI, MAIDS, the River Monks, Max Jurry, Flowers of the Captain Porch, Fetal Pig, Canby, Mary Beth Doran, Stone Mills, Is Home Is, Kiriko, Brooks Strause, Multiple Cat, Tires, Karen Meat, …I could keep going but I think I misunderstood the question.
What are you looking forward to the most about 2014 for yourself, and the band?
Well I'm really excited about producing Christopher the Conquered's new record at Ardent Studio's in Memphis. We have some really rad friends there and the town is the birth place of rock n roll we hope to add another chapter to the history. As for Gloom Balloon, I have already started working on our next 7″ and hopefully record a new record as well, we have the songs. Also hope to be making some music with my Poison Control Center boys at some point. Other then that, watching movies, making dinner, and trying not to eat too many glucose tabs.
Gloom Balloon's You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Disaster/Fix The Sunshine (An ode for Bill Doss) pts 1-7 is available now via Bandcamp.
Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer, Paul Frick of Berlin power trio, Brandt Brauer Frick have been holding down the electro frontiers of man's taming of machines. This week the unleashes the new rhythmic keyboard cut, “Bommel” to coincide with news of the Berlin trio's DJ-Kicks compilation that features some of their favorites like, Theo Parrish, Machinedrum, Thundercat, Jan Jelinek, and others. Even though the means are hybrids of digital, analogue and acoustic, BFF display a syncronized talent that measures keyboard sequencing with a timing that almost suggests that Daniel, Jan and Paul are tuned into each other's creative networks through possibly a telepathic wi-fi connection. With their picks dropping on February 25, 2014 from !K7 Records, we bring you both a listen to their style of mechanized organics, plus a conversation with Daniel Brandt following the track.
Daniel Brauer joins up with us to talk about their DJ Kicks compilation, the construction of the BBF sound, and more notes from Berlin.
Enjoying your new track, “Bommel”, what's the story behind it's multi-rhythmic development?
It just became what it is by jamming around with different rhythms. The focus was definitely on making a dance track with a shaky feel. The only time the four quarter bass drum kicks in is kind of the relief but then it quickly gets back to this wonky but still accurate rhythm.
What does a Brandt Brauer Frick music development/rehearsal look and sound like?
Most of the time we start off in a jam session, recording several instruments and takes. While we are recording we are already matching several of those takes together and create parts. We stack up more and more material constantly until we need to kind of clean up again and find spaces, structures and themes. Then we'll most of the time get back to recording more on top. When the track is finished we will actually start rehearsing it to be able to play it live. But we don't rehearse that often which is good as on stage we can actually develop the tracks much better than in a boring rehearsal space.
(BBF by Harry Weber)
When compiling this latest DJ-Kicks comp, what templates, ideas, concepts, and theses did you all employ?
The most important for us was that it spans a diversity in terms of rhythm and music genres. We wanted the mix to be the perfect companion for an hour that switches your mood. It starts off in a more laid back daytime radio kind of style, transforms into a straight up club mix and leaves you in sentimental rain in the end. At least that's what we wanted to do.
Before we recorded the mix we were listening together to lots of tunes and did a secret vote. After the final selection we got all vinyls of those tracks together or made dub plates of the ones not available on vinyl. We wanted to stop ourselves from having too much possibilities of perfection in the mix by recording only from vinyl with a simple mixer instead of placing the tracks together inside of a software.
What's the secret to making the perfect mix?
I don't know the secret but I am sure somebody does. The most important thing is that it feels natural and the records are interesting. Some of my favorite mixes are not technically perfect but they have that special atmosphere or transport a very specific feeling that the tracks can only have in that exact order played exactly that way. You know that it's a prefect mix if you hear a certain track outside of the context of the mix and always have the next song or transition in mind that would appear in that perfect mix that you have heard. If the tracks are stronger together as that particular mix rather than just as single tracks, then you know you are listening to a perfect mix.
What is the BBF ethos and philosophy behind your man/machine musical dichotomies?
Well, we just like both. We use programmed machines and instruments played by humans. But we don't have a certain ethos behind this. For us it's more about accessibility. It's just much quicker to record some acoustic piano or drums than to program it. On the other hand having some synth line programmed can have a great effect on top of not that precise humanly played material. The clash of those two worlds is what makes it interesting.
Tell us about future releases you all have in the works. What's the BBF outlook for 2014?
We are working already on new material for an album that will come out later in the year. It's connected to a live project with our ten piece ensemble and a 48-people choir. But we are starting off the year with doing a DJ tour which will be very different for us. Most of the time we are just DJing in Berlin and only touring outside playing live. It will mean less baggage but definitely more late night madness!
Reports from the Berlin scene worth noting?
There's definitely a new generation of interesting and open minded producers emerging including Max Graef who is also featured on our DJ Kicks Album. Modeselektor are still on the top when it comes to forward thinking club music. Rashad Becker has released an outstanding album this year.
Other than that I have the feeling that everyone is getting bored of the four quarter beat recently which has been dominating this city for such a long time. There are slow changes happening towards a more varied and not so functional direction. But I still think that everyone should take more risks in this city. It's not just about pleasing the people with something they already know how to digest.
Soul Glimpse is the project of Louisiana's Austyn Sullivan, with a title that describes the feeling and perceptions gifted when hearing the sounds that meditate on a type of inner light. The video for “In the Dawn of Day” jogs the frame rates with depictions of Fall changing to winter, with the ambiance of autumn littered all about. From here the images become abstract and overexposed moving photographs that bring cross sections of nature with city buildings and other aspects of the human touch. As Austyn's voice is heard in the mix of elevated synth keys, calling out toward song's creations of new light; rumbles of rhythm percolate to a distorted boil until ceasing at the close with Sullivan's following call: “Reach your hands into the sky, let yourself transcend beyond…”
The video ends where we began, with the spinning images of Fall flavors that bring the dawning of a new day, and a new season of change. Watch the video of flashing images of leaves, flowers, and all kinds of natural pedals that swirl around the lyrical poetics of; “In the dawn of day, are we reborn? to see this new light, oh how we dwell in the night, waiting for the sun to arise, to cast it’s warmth onto, you and I…”
Soul Glimpse's Austyn Sullivan talked with us about the natural developments of his music, unique glimpses into the indie underground of Louisiana, and more.
When did you first begin the Soul Glimpse project?
Music has always been my way of dealing and coping with my emotional states, whatever they might be. I'd been releasing material under my name for a long time until I picked the name Soul Glimpse in about 2011. It felt right and seemed to accompany the music I was currently writing. It fit the subject matters I was contemplating and incorporating into my music.
“Reach your hands into the sky, let yourself transcend beyond,” your music has a very transcendent quality with an emphasis on seeking new light. Was the philosophy of Soul Glimpse constructed from conventional spiritual beliefs or was it something that developed naturally for you?
It was definitely something that developed naturally for me. I speak of such matters not tied in with any spiritual beliefs, merely non-objectively. I use music to help me transcend to new thoughts, to new places within myself. I use music to help me further understand this world and the emotions that come along with being human. Music is beautiful the way it can make us feel and see new things within ourselves. It's a very powerful force that can be used to unify us as a whole. I pour genuine emotions and intentions into everything I do because it's the only way I know how to. Each day, we wake and seem to forget that we're all equally participating in this existence together. We're all ripples in this sea of life, moving towards an unknown shore. Follow the light that radiates from within you and you will find your way through the darkness.
The sound to has this sun beaming quality, what considerations do you make when recording this kind of dream-haze audio?
I've always emotionally resonated with all forms of music that emits genuine and unique expression. Soul Glimpse's sound was something that developed naturally over time. It's never a matter of consideration, merely pure feeling. I just go with whatever emotions arise in the moments I decide to record. I perceive it as emotional documentations. Essentially, framing emotions on the wall of time.
What other acts in Louisiana do you like? What are the scenes like down there lately?
The music scenes in Louisiana are mainly in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas. There are not really any cliques or trends as far as the DIY and underground scenes go.
Here are all of my favorite Louisiana acts.
Other recordings and releases in the works you can discuss?
I'm almost done with recording a new Soul Glimpse album titled A Seed (Was I). This is the first time I've ever stepped into a studio and recorded professionally. I have always recorded Soul Glimpse on my own, which has never been the highest quality. So this album is very special to me. It's a bit more massive compared to anything else I've released in the past. I am currently searching for labels interested in helping me release it. I plan to have a DVD or VHS with abstract visuals that correlate with the entire album, visuals much like the “In the Dawn of Day” video, but a little more conceptualized and experimental.
I have hours upon hours of unreleased Soul Glimpse material. I am constantly working on new material daily. Now, I am just taking my time perfecting it and getting it out into the world. I also play drums and synth for an atmospheric black metal band called Barbelith. We have a 7″ coming out very soon. We're also recording new material in February which is all very exciting.
Goals and prospects for 2014? Winter survival tips?
2014 is looking to be a productive year for me. I plan on having the new Soul Glimpse album out. I would like to have a tour to support A Seed (Was I). Aside from Soul Glimpse, I've got a lot of creative projects happening. I'm currently helping write a screenplay, other music projects are taking off, ect. 2014 will be a good year. I can feel it.
My 7 winter survival tips:
1.) Take warm candle lit baths before sleep.
2.) Surround your bed in space heaters.
3.) If you're up late in need of some distraction from the cold, watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's very worth it.
4.) Have a nice supply of herbal teas and honey to warm you up in the morning.
5.) Have a nice supply of red wine to warm you up at night.
6.) Good books for your indoor winter reads. I have three recommendations
-The Book: The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts
–The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K Dick
–AnOther by ee cummings
7.) Remember, all that is right in front of you, is all there is in this moment. There is no tomorrow or yesterday. There is only now. Follow the intuitions of the present and fight off the pressures and fears of tomorrow and yesterday for today is what exists.
And if you're ever wanting a larger dose of Soul Glimpse material, there is a TON of stuff to explore on the Bandcamp. The Expanding Art of Sorrows is probably my favorite album that virtually no one knows about or has listened to at all but I think you might enjoy it. It's really raw. Just atmospheric piano ballads and intensely emotional vocals.
Listen to more from Soul Glimpse via Bandcamp.
We have the new Guilt Mirrors single, “What's Up With That Girl?” from the upcoming triple self-titled album. Slated for release on February 18, 2014 from Stars & Letters; Nick Harte takes the sensibilities carried over from stints at DFA and Flying Nun, respectively, molding independent progressions from dance models that take root in scuzz and fuzz origins of noise to rhythm manufacturing.
Off their upcoming album Farewell Young Lovers available January 21 from Simulacra Records, get a listen to Crushed Stars' new single “Haters” that will gave even the haters of pop something to shout about.
Taken off their Future Former Self album available on the future date of March 4 from Rouse Records, CHAPPO hits the play button on their new single, “I Don't Need The Sun”. A list of all the various natural elements that they could live without, the track careens on a well crafted self-assuredness that gets you believing that all they need are themselves.
Nick Waterhouse’s upcoming album Holly will be available March 4 from Innovative Leisure, and you can check out this taster video for the song,“This is a Game”, and find Nick on a North American tour next February 19 through March 1.
Having released his rad The Golden Age tape last summer and having just got a coveted 300,000 'likes' on his Facebook; Funk Volume rhyme soldier Dizzy Wright drops his latest track, “No Writer's Block, I Like To Rap” produced by 6ix. Wright drops some love from his heart to give some fresh encouragement and edification for the peoples while 6 keeps the track slapping and simmering.
If you're a fan of stringed trad instruments, then tune into the folks from Mecca Lecca Recording Co for the pub stomping song of freedom, “Free To Go”, from False Cities by the inimitable Christopher Paul Stelling. This is real songwriting unplugged, no samplers, just strings, Stelling's passion for that time-test song writing style that relies on the ferocity of the fire burning bright and strong from the belly of the minstrel to sing-tell the tale. You are free to listen to “Free To Go” now, and download it here.
Strum one along with Douglas Keith (Sharon Van Etten collaborator since 2009) on this gentle bit of guitar picking pop, “Harvest Home”, from his upcoming album Pony available February 11 from his imprint, The Village Label.
Keeping the Hanukkah spirit alive, Nissim has started his website Aish and gives us some mitzvahs and wisdoms with the poetics of, “The Black Miracle”. Nissim, the man formerly known as D. Black is here to tell us that “this is not a dream” with a raised glass of thanksgiving to close out 2013. L'chaim, everybody.
“Itchy Blood” parties it up in the unsupervised, home-alone holidays in the upper crest suburbs in The Darcys' video from their album Warring, available now from Arts & Crafts.
We have been watching the rise of the Oakland's producer/emcee Chippy Nonstop for a while, and even had the pleasure a lively conversation last summer. Fresh from this year's #finallyverified tape, latest cut is produced by Felix Snow, where Chippy busts the clouds for club caliber beats and bedroom penned song-written confidentiality on, “Alone”.
Take a wintry look at the Matt Yarrington and Sarah Winters vidoe for Snowbird's “Porcelain” from their upcoming album moon, available February 4 from Bella Union. Get lost in a forest of enchantment in this piano lead lullaby and storybook visual to lull you into the snow season's modes of hibernation. Also get a listen to the Rx Gibbs remix of “Porcelain” if you haven't already.
Drag yourself home and to where all kinds of weird things are happening in the Luci Schroder video rendering of, “Drag Me Home” from World's End Press's self-titled album. Boogie to the neon weirdness now.
Thank P-Lo for dropping the tape, MBMGC 2 (More B*tches, More Gold Chains 2) that rolls with that new money from Iamsu! that brings a bit of that HBK Gang and The Invasion to keep the bizness slapping and stunting.
I stumbled on this little banger, compliments of director Brian Agamie who presents Schwarz partying it up with his hippest friends around with copious/ludicrous amounts of auto-tune on “Tonight's The Night”. This is officially your new pre-party/after-party jammer.
The Heliocentrics dropped their Quatermass Sessions in time for the holidays, with Now Again Records and we have a listen to their sprawling and sky crawling creations that hint at further creative directions. So scan and cruise the friendly skies of studio experimentation, something that has something for all the friends and the whole friendly.
Prepping their Freedom’s For The Brave: The Mixtape for January 14, The New Royales pound the electrified keys to give White Strips' “Fell In Love With a Girl” a little bit of that microwave-zap treatment for two minutes and nineteen seconds.
HTRK are back in the Ghostly universe with word about their upcoming album, Psychic 9-5 Club for 2014. With their trademark slow sequenced bass synths and other effective and sparse measures; enjoy your first taste with “Give It Up”. Jonnine Standish's voice continues to haunt our hearts and minds forever…
Cut Copy dropped their mix for the Australian “Mix Up” show for the Triple J network, as part of Cutters Records' series of artist curated audio compilations. Lots of waters to tread here from Fort Romeau to John Talabot; this is everything you have wanted in a prime presentation of selecta's fresh choices from folks that might know a thing or two about electronic music affections.
Get all nostalgic in the LA video from Grant James for Jonathan Wilson's “Love to Love” off his album Fanfare available now from Downtown Records. There is something about this heart warming vid, Wilson's super-dad Dylan-McGuinn-Petty salute that will have you tapping your fingers against the steering wheel, and making the whole world your own vintage, private Los Angeles. Catch Jonathan on tour next year, February 5-22.
Taken from their Polyvinyl album Curiosity, Transylvania lisp lovers Wampire get drumming, gigantic, and wild with some happening beachside dances on the David Fine video for, “Giants”.
A holiday treat from the SomeOthaShip imprint, check out this hot 8-track remix joint, Gee-Mix EP, taken off from the track “Set Precedent” from LA emcee Mykestro that boasts appearances from boosted star power like, Kendrick Lamar, and wild-on-the-weekend production from the always clever, Georgia Anne Muldrow.
Pangea invites you to get really weird, and off your rocker with super NSFW Shelby Hohl video for “Cat Man,” off their upcoming Badillac album available January 21. Demon cats, gory cats, naked cats, all kinds of cats, and strobe effects that are set to reduce you to the drilling storms of guitars that are about to pound into your melon.
With the single “Leave This Island” 12″ available January 27 and the Too Much Information LP album available February 3, 2014; listen as Maximo Park's new single gets the Glasgow remix rendering; courtesy of face-melters, Mogwai.
Tiger Waves brings end of the week highs with the cheerfulness whimsicality of, “Weekends”, their new single available December 17 from Canvasclub Music. Let their “I just want to be your best-friend” lyrics and attitude turn you into the word's greatest friend, ever.
Check out the Sister Jane x Entrance Band collaborative video “No Needs”, from the Face The Sun album available now from Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records. The Paz Lenchantin & Amanda Charchian film brings chalk and paint rituals, natural setting dances captured in analogue formats that recall 70s hippy art-school matinees.
From their upcoming double A-side slated for release December 16, hear Lightouts turn on and turn up the bright-lights on the reappearing/disappearing magic of, “Disappear”.
Modern Baseball are prepping their second disc, You're Gonna Miss It All for February 11, 2014 from Run For Cover Records, and give some valedictorian tidbits of validity with, “Your Graduation”.
Big week for Queens' own Bryant Dope, who dropped the Max Hliva for GOLDPYRMDZ video for, “Real Is All I Know”, dropping the tape Raw Dope alongside. Keeping raw, and kicking it real; Bryant slows down the flow-commotion with the cannabis laced line about, “your mind is moving slow”, fresh Marc R.'s chorus hook. Speaking from his conscious that talks knowledge, books, dope, etc, while Marc keeps the Street Fighter II samples percolating with the elephant howls from Dhalsim's stage.
Without further ado, Bryant Dope's Raw Dope EP. Happy Holidays, folks.
Young Diamond switches some synth lanes on the remix of Avan Lava's “So F*kt Up”, and hits up NYC's Cameo Gallery for NYC December 31 and in DC at U Street Music Hall January 9, 2014.
From their album Love's Crushing Diamond from Other Music Recording Co., catch the BANGS video of slo-mo, face-making squirts for Mutual Benefit's “Advanced Falconry”.
Off their recent album More Light from First International / Ignition Records, check out Primal Scream's Warholian-screen test-ish video from Alister Mackie for “Goodbye Jonny”. Get yer rocks off here to a video set in London's notorious Backstreet club (shot entirely on iPhone we hear), as the Scream plots their 2014 tour, April 30 through May 16, including a headline spot at Austin Psych Fest.
Ghost Beach brought some super-snazzy vibes on their ultra-pop cut, “On My Side”, taken from their upcoming album Blonde, available March 4 from Nettwerk Records. Let Josh Ocean and Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn take you out to that special neon beach in the sky with this track.
Cascine and 100% Silk got a 2013 retrospective mix made by Wildarms (aka music journalist Duncan Cooper) that presents some of our favorite moments from the year. The mix is executed like a gala affair with the smoothest song and sound designs from Airbird & Napolian put us all “In The Zone” with Shine 2009 closing it out with “Older”. The real achievement displayed from these two labels and on point compilation of artists are those moments when you're listening with your eyes closed and find all the stimuli and sense of place and time becomes displaced to lands, parts, and times that become ambiguous, suddenly unclear. These are the escapist ideals that audio boffins spend lifetimes in labs experimenting in attempts of perfecting.
The Blank Tapes break the bad news in their own super cool kinda way with, “No Gifts This Xmas”. This xmas, let me just give out a prayer of thanksgiving as I praise the talents of the always amazing Matt Adams, Pearl Charles, Joe Napolitano, and Jillinda Palmer. May sunshine West Coast pop will never set along the long, pale horizon.
Terry Malts talked to us a little while back about their new album, Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere from Slumberland, and are playing handful of shows through January 10, 2014, and also dropped their video for, “I Was Not There”. The b/w visuals were made by the band with a little help from Gina Clyne, like an existential minimalist presentation of photo booth staring contests.
MiWi La Lupa summons some really amazing natural pedal steel spirits here on “Here I Am”. It's singer-songwriter pop put to ancient melodies from canons unknown and forgotten only to the utmost of collectors and geeks.
EP and Matter Ov Fact are The Doppelgangaz, who dropped the signed and sealed delivered single, “Holla x2”, the first listen from the forthcoming Peace Kehd album available in February 2014 from Groggy Pack Entertainment. Organ, synths, and live drum beats give the duo ample space to bring some of their sickest styles the rep their self-made personas. Holler over this cut, times three, at least.
Stacy Peck and Angela Herr made this rad-tastic video for Childbirth's “I Only Fucked You as a Joke”, from their cassette debut, It's a Girl available January 7 from Help Yourself Records. The conceptof pity sex is taking to extremes with a garage rocking riff on the classic put-down pop song model. From a seeming surficial song, the Childbirth break some complex relationship musings of could be/would be/couldn't be/shouldn't be put to sidewalk punk in public visuals.
Escape to the forest with Tiny Hazard and take your woes out on nature in the dark tribe delvings on Julia Barrett-Mitchell's video for, “In a Little House”, taken from the neu folk pop of their self-titled EP.
Simone Felice becomes a big pop narcotic dealer on “Molly O”, that has a super pop appeal that hangs in the balance of the triple-beam scales. This cut is taken from Felice's forthcoming Strangers for Team Love Records.
Iceage's guitarist Elias Rønnenfelt, and Vår's Loke Rahbek are Croation Amor, who gave us some winter chills with the icy electro bit of Euro chic, “LA Hills Burn At The Peak Of Winter”. From Europe with love, we imagine the low-anxiety nightmare taking over as we watched the SoCal-swells getting engulfed in some freak scene that can only be described through the air that travels in the keys, the foreign opening sample, all speaking to the strangeness to come from Croation Amor. Strange love, indeed. Their album, The World is available now from Posh Isolation.
One of our new fave indie Portland bands of 2013, NTNT have made, “The List”, and you best to believe they are checking this sucker twice. This is what Northwest Xmas gifts sound like, with some of the warmest winter vibes you will experience all year.
Imagine Dragons’ foster their inner “Demons” further with the celestial redux of “kingdom come” compliments of La’Reda.
Francis Harris heads the label Scissor and Thread and dropped the artistic film captures for lounging rhythms in the Kenneth James Gibson video for, “You Can Always Leave”. Harris's new album, Minutes of Sleep will be available February 24, 2014.
Orange County by Compton's top rising soul-smith, KES dropped the Audio Justice EP this week. His big stage presence rides on big atmospherics, that have made him the latest Epic Records signee, thanks to Babyface and LA Reid. Big pop tones await your ears.
Eureka Birds dropped the Daniel Cordero animated video of foot race feats of strength on, “Fastest”, running off their recent album Strangers.
Chel White directs the video for “Tami” from Tom Brosseau, that brings folk vibes and nostalgic expressionist representations of first kiss memoirs that strum and unveil before your eyes and ears.
From Kristin Hoffmann's album, The Human Compass: New Direction available in early 2014, listen to Kristin's vocals rise like a mighty army of ghosts on “Let Go”, Rise of Troy remix.
Hot Sugar dropped the video for, “Mama, I'm A Man” featuring our heroes, Antwon, Lakutis, and Big Baby Gandhi, off the Made Man EP available now.
Challenger's remixes Leona Lewis's “Bleeding Love” to give further keys and electronically programmed rhythms to back up that line about, “something happened for the very first time with you”. Challenger are currently working on their second album, Back to Bellevue.
Illum Sphere has slated the release for Ghosts of Then And Now to drop February 11 from Ninja Tune. Ryan Hunn brings the electro-odyssey suite of “Sleeprunner” that sleep walks into a row of mind melting keys.
Gun Outfit's Dylan Sharp directs Olympians Milk Music's video for, “No, Nothing, My Shelter”. With Cruise Your Illusion being one of our favorite records around, you are invited to take part in the desert delights but first this statement from the band regarding not playing future live shows, and their forthcoming album, Mystic 100's.
“We, Milk Music, have decided to not plan anymore live performances for the foreseeable future. This is an artistic decision and should not reflect on our existence as a musical group. We're currently exploring the wonders of video, as well as recording our next record, Mystic 100's, a possible double album of intense beauty. A series of videos shall follow it's release”
The Mast rains down some trapped out pop tunes and tones on the track, “Raining Down” off their forthcoming Pleasure Island available January 28, 2014. Let the 909s guide you down those slow motion sink holes in the dance floors that find you crashing through trap doors and discovering basement after basement layers of falling feelings.
Pompeya dropped their slick Fake Production video for “90” off their No Shame / Gala album Tropical, fresh from their gig at Brooklyn's Cameo Gallery.
San Francisco's Jayson Martinovich is 8th Grader who brings nostalgic r&b vibes that take you back to middle school, right before growing up got super complicated. With a little bit of soul and sweetness, Martinovich brings you the P. Parks video for “All The Sweetness”.
Yellow Ostrich dropped their new groover, “Shades” from their forthcoming new album Cosmos, available February 25 from Barsuk. The band will have you at, “I want to sleep, but I dream too much”, with guitar chords that get hurdled into the cosmic void.
Adam Moorman & Joel Moorman dropped their romantic ridden video of life and love in the real time of the moment on, Ha Ha Tonka's “Dead To The World” from their Bloodshot Records album, Lessons.
Dinosaur Bones dropped their Southern Souls Session video captured by Mitch Fillion, that brings an intimate look at a live tracked sesh of heart, a steady beat, and restrained guitar electrics originally found on their Shaky Dream album.
San Francisco's wide-eyed indie folk New Cadence are playing SF's Bottom of the Hill December 27, and we have a listen to their warm, The Yesteryear EP from Oakhill Records. Shane, Mike, Hilary, Greg, and Tim bring a boatload of heart on, “Sweep You Off Your Feet”, sea changes songs on “Changing Tide”, “Battle Hymns” brings ballads for conflicts, “Yesteryear” walks down yesterday lane, pause pop buttons of “Hiatus”, with Hilary taking lead on the folk-family knitting of “Hummingbird”. Posi-San Fran-organic vibes abound like the most benign of auras.
Seasick Mama enticed and seduced us with an initial warning earlier this year, and again with the breathtaking video for “Man Overboard“. Following up the Dead Like Money EP, Tip Top Shape starts off with the, “stick around, I want your company” beckoning of “Gimme Somethin' More to Work With”. The fashion cat-walk finesse in the silk slinking mode of step on, “Tees & Jeans”, “Man Overboard” conjures to mind that cinematic video, “Holy Smokes” spurns “waking up in your bed” fantasies, “Bite Bullet” endorses waterfall chasing, followed by the glamorous rule breaker of “Rules Don't Apply”, closing with the tambourine shaking banger of pop romanticism on, “Cooked Inside Out”. The lush and lucrative array of styles presented by Marial Eve Moon proves Seasick Mama to be No Shame's most enticing and seductive artist of 2013.