Week in Pop: Cities Aviv, Fuzz: Ty Segall & Charlie Moonheart, Super Helpful, Walking Shapes

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All the collectives, buzz and Fuzz for the new year's commencement.

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Sjimon Gompers | January 4, 2013

Cities Aviv keeps cities, sidewalks, streets and beats alive with exchanges of power. (Photo by Jessica Lehrman)

Welcome to 2013. We are very happy to be here. We endured the endless KanyeKardashian pregnancy twitter feeds, saw Mark McGuire leave Emeralds to focus on solo endeavors, ignored BieberGomez breakups, watched the RGIII endorsement-hype machine reach a maximum overload, and got bummed about our boy Frank Ocean who got busted for weed possession/suspended license/tinted windows; but at least we will get a new Youth Lagoon album this year called Wondrous Bughouse March 5 through Fat Possum. Make of this what you will and respond accordingly and quickly, because this is the first week of 2013 and we have a lot to listen to, see and read; in no particular order.

With his MISHKANYC mixtape Black Pleasure in heavy rotation, Cities Aviv sent word through the social media channels to give us this new single “Power Exchange”. With fresh keys and fresh vocal sample chops punctuated liberally throughout; the Memphis MC answers the spectral voice; “where did you go, I see you ghost up, so far away from me, stay away from me,” dealing with the post-relationship distances and vapid digital trails of pixelated JPEGs and empty worded inbox messages. In the words of Gavin; “that shit don't turn me.” We look forward to ghosting up and getting turned with Cities' forthcoming mixtapes, albums, collaborations and projects this year.

Somewhere in the hectic month of last December I recall seeing a listing for a band called Fuzz, featuring Ty Segall and fellow guitarist Charlie Moonheart at the Hemlock Tavern. While it appears that their label Trouble in Mind has been building up the mystery, but listings, and live performance confirmations dictate that Fuzz is indeed the working handle for both Moonheart and Segall. While the 7″ is already sold out, you can enjoy both sides here beginning with the A-side single, “This Time I Got a Reason”. Hence the name, and given the feedback prone reputation of Ty, his friends and fore-bearers; the reason this time is to keep it grungier and muddier than ever…just in case you thought this an impossibility from the garage-fuzz-master general.

And the b-side, “Fuzz's Fourth Dream” is like a journey through Ty's own past musical discs that brings a heaviness more massive than the weight of all the 70s electric guitar shredders combined.

Fuzz is now slated to play San Francisco's Noise Pop Festival February 28 along with appearances at Burger Records' Burgerama II concert on March 22-23 at Orange County, CA's The Observatory.

In the middle of 2012's doomsday scares, Jackson, Mississippi MC 7evenThirty brought us the cyber punk odyssey of Heaven's Computer from the Mello Music Group. Sacramento's Lee Bannon is fresh off producing the spiraling smoked up Joey Bada$$ and Ab-Soul cut, “Enter The Void” and remixes Thirty's “Where It's At” kitting out the percussion of 7's hard spitting quest with some new spinning synthesizers for those speeding roughneck tales of life in the jack, coming at you in higher speeds and higher definitions.

Lee Bannon has also joined the likes of Pro Era's Chuck Strangers, and Kwame 3000 as the new collective, Super Helpful who just pieced together their 5 track EP,The Help. Lee kicks the mix off with his sensory magic-memory carded samples on the title track “The Help”, followed by Joey Bada$$, Kirk Knight, and Cj Fly's laid back fresh mowed “Lawns”, the “Drug Tested” and head approved echoplex effect cut, a faint horn groove on “2 Step (Apex Version)”, while the crew closes things out wearing gold chains and living it up on “SUMO”. We can only be so lucky as to get a future full length from this super group of helpful, and enlightened hip-hop luminaries.

Walking Shapes are a New York band comprised of Nathaniel Hoho, Jesse Alexander Kotanksy, Dan Krysa, Christopher Heinz who present their video/travelogue/vacation/lets-get-away-from-it-all film for “Pusher” made by Benjamin Lee Sperry. Sperry's images present bright beach memories where the gulls flying overhead recall the Shapes' wanderlust lyrics of low anxiety villainy; “Plane overhead do you see? Views that we share from rooftops, trees blowing south, I've become your bad guy.” The gentle moment is further aided by the crisp guitar and restrained production touch from Nicos Gun's Nick Bockrath.

Then listen as Japanster pushes Walking Shapes' track “Pusher” into thicker electronic territories. From the calm ocean pools of the original comes a digital sea dragon that moves in digitized fashions that recalls vintage CGI effects or Amiga / Commodore 64 pixel comprised adversaries. Japanster succeeds in creating a completely different set of dance models and console modules to stir new hopes in the vulnerability of closing lines like, “I don't want to drown in silence, innate fears to crown my sadness.”

Welcome Wildarms to the Cascine family as they bring some “Unity” to start the new year off on an all-inclusive high note. Duncan Cooper is the man behind what sounds like like an introductory opening theme sequence for a prime time soap opera/sitcom when you see the central characters in screen test fashion looking away, then briefly at the camera, and then another direction all together. But in truth, this track had us at the opening tearful gasp sample of, “I love you.” Early listens to the extended player present tracks that push the electronic conversation with the full blooded audio passion “Full Hearts”, or the ambitious eclectic percussion keyboard tower “Love Is Just True”, he drum and bass dream cycle reckoning of “Acceptance” or the caribbean keyboard memoirs of “Twice”. Cooper's Wildarms Clear Eyes EP comes out February 5 from Cascine.

Grab a listen to Big Eyes shaking some pop punk action with “Half the Time,” from their double A side split 7″ with Audacity pressed in limited red, gold, and trad standard black available through Volar Records. Turned it up, piss off the parents, get the neighbors fired up, and start the punky-pogo-party.

The combined powers of Exile and Johaz are Dag Savage as they bring their new cut “Twilight” that finds the duo, “on a search for my soul that was waiting while the twilight is gone and the ground shaking.” The debut Dag Savage EP drops January 15 from Dirty Science / Fat Beats.

Seems like just a couple months ago Eat Skull dropped their Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust album cover effacing-defacing 7″ single, “Where'd You Go” with “Medication Time” b/w “Jefferson Angel” on Volar Records. With their latest Woodsist signing, the Portland shieks of electric scuzz shrieks give us their gorgeous new single, “Space Academy”. From the opening outpour of, “just got the message that you're out the door into the streets”, the emotional keys take their SE Hawthorne Street broken hearts to the desolation boulevards of 1972's Heddon Street squalor with a cathartic-electro freakout sent back into celestial orbit. Eat Skull's third full-length III will be available February 19 from Woodsist Records.

Peep the video for Toro Y Moi's new single “Say That” directed by HARRYS from the forthcoming Toro LP, Anything in Return. With natural photography from Evan Prosofsky with art Direction & vibes coordinated by Cooper Rogers, we see Chaz grooving peace unity and love vibrations with electro dance chill mantra of, “she's alright, I'm alright, we're alright, and we can't go back”. From the forests to taking his keyboards to the parking lots with headlamp lit stage lighting, the the synth grooves get phat with choice-y voice echoing loops. Toro Y Moi's Anything in Return comes out January 22 from Carpark Records.

Seattle's aquatic-galactic beat and rhyme spinner Space Dolphin sent word of his forthcoming F.T.O. (For The Ocean) mixtape coming soon. Channeling synth samples down the choral reefs with wah-wah affected audio bubbles, the instrumental “For The Ocean: Purple Sun Down {Chapter 1}” presents a tranquil ocean painted in aural blue and waiting for today or tomorow's top emcees to glide down these waters on a floatation device of choice.

From the Seattle Space Dolphin Productions camp is the cut “Aquatic Rise” produced by Oak, aka Eli Accardo that keeps the atmosphere wavy for the 1-3. From the blog fads of sea obsessions and next gen production indebted to the technologies of the 90s, Oak and friends maintain their stone-y seaworld as a way of wavy living. Find this track along with “Blu Water” feat. Player 2 and Space Dolphin from Oak's recent Walking On Water EP, available now from DatPiff. Also coming soon is Player 2's project as Trainer Ant with more details soon to follow.

Brooklyn duo The Last Royals bring a new end of the week pop anthem with “Friday Night”. Amid the keyboard glimmers and “ohh oh oh” choruses comes the taunt and response worthy chant the starts out with, “Come on big shot, what you got, coming in for you, if you're ready or not, better tide up yourself, better unlock the lock, make the ends meet, it's about to drop, put your foot in your mouth a thousand times and the possibilities if you only had the dime…” The Last Royal's debut album Twistification comes out January 8 from Ooh La La Records while the band has an upcoming residency at New York's Rockwood Music Hall January 8, 18, and 25.

MED shuts the lights off and lights a blunt via “Candlelight” featuring vocals from Georgia Anne Muldrow and video direction from Paul Delmont, lifted from the third installment of M's Bang Ya Head series available now on iTunes. MED provides insight to his prosodic rhyme process, “In the blink of an eye I rhyme timeless, before the ink even dries I memorize it”, while Muldrow provides one of her trademark surreal, conversational, and positive choruses that steals the show through her art of prose and heart of timeless wisdom. “Have we any time left to make our own right again and be done with fear, seems like time keeps slipping up so why not give it all you got and be done with fear, whatever it may be that moves you, follow your heart and always keep it true to you.”

Also MED dropped the track “Run It” on his last birthday (12.12.12) featuring Gangrene and production from Oh No that keeps the running man dance going steady and the flow gritty as M says, “I'm a raw spitter, no rhinestones or glitter.” Find this track off the forthcoming Bang Ya Head 4 that also features handiwork from Alchemist coming later this month of January.

Starting the year off in full expectoration mode is Alexander Spit who just dropped the video for his new single, “That's Spit”. The High5Collective takes directing duties to the Suede crew's downtown LA warehouse digs, providing a brick and mortar venue with low-key headlight illumination. Alexander spills broke life dreams of “java and mimosas”, keeping the pork off the fork but perhaps notwithstanding gratitude for a holiday honey glazed ham. “My house is full of smokers, tables with no coasters, and we ain't fucking with swine but we don't mind if it ain't kosher.” Alexander Spit's forthcoming album, A Breathtaking Trip To That Otherside drops January 29 from DECON.

Just in time for the holidays, listen to a spin of Star Slinger's “Ya Filthy Animal” sampled from the Home Alone faux movie classic, Angels With Filhy/Filthier Souls. The Manchester beat slinger sends fans the following message of, “merry xmas ya filthy animal & a happy new year”.

Edinburgh dance mentalist Unicorn Kid remixed Darwin Deez's “”Free” (The Editorial Me)” from the forthcoming Songs For Imaginative People album availble February 12 from Lucky Number. Pre-order the album from iTunes.

Having been 1 year and 3 months since Azealia Banks crashed onto our laptops with “212”, she brings us the track all about “bad bitches doing”, otherwise called “BBD” co-produced by Apple Juice Kid and Sup Doodle. We await this year's rumored release of Banks' debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste expected to hopefully blow her Fantasea bloggerati-pandering mixtape out of the water.

Because we are suckers for some classic first-of-the-year twitter rap beef, here is Angel Haze's diss of Azelia Banks on the track “On the Edge” that riffs on a slew of formal connections, trips to London, or jabs like “bitch put an album out, I think my album's more done than yours and I just started a week ago…” While petty, pointless, and downright silly; we still look forward to hearing Banks's rebuttal.

PRAVADA brings some heat warmth with the mellow forest grounds gatherings of “Campfire Song”. Indianapolis three piece consists of Jesse Lee, Casey Tennis and Hubert Glover who bring some of that “cool down honey don't you know you'll go far” cool and back up “bah bahs” as they are working on their follow up to their No! EP with their second album Dirty Looks.

Sky Ferreira presents the video for “Lost In My Bedroom” directed by Grant Singer in what appears to be VHS harkoning the era of television tubes reminding us how cool it was to have a t.v. in your room before everyone had multiple monitors, cable and broadband amenities. Sky's Ghost EP is available now via iTunes.

Also catch Unknown Mortal Orchestra's remix of Sky Ferreira's “Everything Is Embarrassing” that adds both some echo, subtle warped guitar edges and that lo-fi stuff we cannot get enough of.

Othello Woolf brings some London soul with “Keep On” that prevails from a foundation of minimalist beats, finger snaps, groovy keyboard sections that emulate soft bells, sporadic strings that stir an a tranquility of other-worldliness. The “take of your perfume” seduction of the new song is the first single from Woolf's forthcoming album due this spring, following up his self-titled full length (that features standout single, “Stand“) and Cold in Flesh EP.

Angel Olsen begins the year with new videos for “Tiniest Seed” and “Sweet Dreams” Olsen's video for “Tiniest Seed” is taken from her Half Way Home LP, back in print courtesy of Bathetic Records with the video from filmmakers Randy Sterling Hunter, Ashley Connor, Zia Anger, and Angel herself for what is being billed as a, “transatlantic collaboration between four friends”. Made under the auspices of a Fulbright grant funded by the Austrian-American Educational Commission, the four friends allow the song to grow from a single Tri-X 16mm film exposed, rewound and then exposed many time after and then sent to Alpha Cine Seattle.

“Sweet Dreams” is from the forthcoming Sleepwalker 7″ that will be available January 15 from Sixteen Tambourines. Utilizing the same described process, Anger, Conner, Hunter, and Olsen celebrate time passing to the beat of the rhythm guitar. the feeling of time with the flashing images bathed in color, and collapsing those spaces in between and collapsing time. In total, the four seek out to collapse both time and space.

Teen Daze dropped the lo-fi dance-athon mix What We Love ahead of his winter tour with XXYYXX. In his own words; “What We Love is a mix featuring some of my favourite dance music, released in honor of my upcoming tour, where I'll be doing DJ sets each night. DJ'ing is something that I've been doing for the last few years, and these tracks are all songs that are especially fun to play live.”

To celebrate the dawning of the new year comes the new single “Heavy Feet” from Local Natives. “After everything, after everything, in the sun, shimmering, after everything…” Look for the Natives' forthcoming album Hummingbird coming out January 28 from Infectious, and January 29 from Frenchkiss Records.

Looking into the future of 2130, we welcome you to Exray's XII as new plot lines and cartographical explorations set to piece together the outer dimensions. In dispatches from Exray's, every month will present a new map to world's unknown, electro kinetic sounds intended to disturb the patches of ambience that hold back the inexplicable like the following instrumental piece(s), “transportation”. We will keep you up to date with the group's notes and travels while more cryptic information can be found via their tumblr. All we can say is 2013 is quickly evolving into 2130.

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