Week in Pop: Serengeti, VISUALS, Young Yeller

Sjimon Gompers

Serengeti, aka Kenny Dennis gets his stache on and rag on to start stirring 'ish up. (press photo from Friends of Friends Network)

Let us help you catch up on the week in brief. First we are bummed that Foxygen canceled their tour in the name of the band's “creative health”, then electro kraut legends Kraftwerk we learned are banned from playing in China for participating in the Tiebetan Freedom Concert from 1998, and Lil Wayne disclosed that his string of seizures were caused by epilepsy and not the sizzurp. But with plenty more to gossip and talk about, jump head first into a selection of some of the week's favorites in no particular order.

Serengeti is bringing back his goofy dock working alter ego Kenny Dennis (aka KDz, Killa Deacon) heralding from the days of 90s cult-legend-crew, Tha Grimm Teachaz and stops by to give some “Directions”. A ceremonious cut for the goofy-mustachioed man who claims to have once dunked on Shaq, Odd Nosdam handles production duties at the helm for the single and the entire upcoming full-length. KDz boasts about jogging a mile in about 4 to uh, 14 minutes while taking on race challenges and reminding us that, “All you need now is some direction, your whole damn category spread up, intersections…” Foregoing the Googlemaps, GPS guides and Mapquest, Kenny breaks down the block by block, turn for turn specifics to keep us on course. “You go left, you go right, you go right, you go left, you go up, you go down, you go left, you go right, you go left, you go up and then down, and then left, a left…” Serengeti's Kenny Dennis LP will be available June 25 from Anticon.

VISUALS proved to us that they got a little something that Roky Erickson has with “Levitation”. The core duo of guitarist and singer Andrew Fox and drummer Marshall Ryan began while living with Brooklyn indie electro heads, Small Black. The BFD productions video for “Levitation” begins as a trip to the optometrist that turns things into a silhouetted trip into a land of rolling vintage image cut ups, spiraling lights where colors and shapes move in time to the music to let go, feel no pain and “open up the gates”. As music more and more these days blurs the lines between sights, sounds and familiar reconstructions of the past and soon to be future, VISUALS emrace all of these visions in name, sound, and music video practice. Listen to more from VISUALS on their Soundcloud and stay tuned for future sounds from the levitating twosome.

Young Yeller dropped the new single “Drive Me Wild” that will be included on the self-titled Young Yeller LP available this summer. In our recent conversation with Jesse Brickel, we learned of his playing live with Chrome Sparks recently at SxSW, playing drums for the most recent Farewell Republic's Young Effette Titans of Industry, and juggling duties between ice cream truck operations while occasionally subbing in the pit of the Spider-Man musical. Enjoying his personal pieces with singles like “I Walked“, we inquired into the making of the razzle-dazzle bombastics of “Drive Me Wild”:

“Drive Me Wild' was a track I've actually been working on since 2011. It was always the track I couldn't quite crack– the lyrics were difficult to settle on and the structure was an endless work in progress. Once I finished the lyrics, I spent a day with my producer messing around with the bass and drum parts until we really felt like we had something.”

“This record was very different from the EP recording-wise, as I made a conscious effort to forsake studio time (budget/scheduling reasons). I invested in an sm7b which allowed me to record the vocal tracks in my bedroom rather than the studio, and I spent a significant amount of time programming drums instead of playing them (despite my classical percussion background). with the freedom of a bedroom microphone, I was inspired to open up my vocal arrangements, which was really exciting for me.”

Young Yeller's new single and new change of piece “Drive Me Wild” is available at his Bandcamp ahead of the forthcoming self-titled full-length. As the dazzling keyboard arrangement synthesis pulls you helplessly in, enjoy the conceits of lines like “I can't believe it's you, I don't want you too”, that are some of the best bits of lyrical dismissal since the “I love you, me neither” paradoxes of “Je T'Aime…Moi Non Plus“.

Lumerians announced their Gerard K. O'Neil inspired title, The High Frontier available August 6 from Partisan Records. Get deeper into these future and current day cosmic colonies with the video for “The Boom”.

Candide makes a technocratic plea with the electro motions of “Dont You Go”. Catch Candide tonight, March 29 at Brooklyn's Glasslands with Rioux and the Tubetops. Listen more from Candide's Bandcamp that also features their Brooklyn beat night moves, “Scaredy Cat” where the conventions of intelligent electronics and techno tropes are used in new progressions, arrangements for immediate and imperative expressions.

Copenhagen When Saints Go Machine dropped the Frederik Hviid & Sebastian Birk video for “Love And Respect” ft. Killer Mike off the upcoming album Infinity Pool out May 28 from EMI Music & !K7 Records. Burning some cars, and a dose of some modern noir give K. Mike the cue to give some something extraordinary with a bonus verse.

Dag Savage, the combined title of Exile & Johaz drop the cut “Drugs” ft. Co$$ and Choosey directed by Ryan Calavavo off their self-titled EP from Dirty Science Records.

Odonis Odonis bring the sonic scuzz “Intelligence” with their new single from the upcoming Better EP, out April 16 from Buzz Records. Following up 2012's debut album Hollandaze, frontman Dean Tzenos with THIGHS' Jarod Gibson and Denholm Whale, debour their 'surfgaze' self descriptions within their own rolling wave tidals of wailing guitar walls set to take over garage raging radio dials the world over. Odonis Odonis' tour for the Better EP include joining up with METZ for their Spring US tour, hitting up 35 Denton with The Soft Moon and Austin Psych Fest with A Place to Bury Strangers.

Hiero's Pep Love and Opio premiere their first album as First Light this week with Fallacy Fantasy from Hiero Imperium. Peep the Unjust directed video for “Los Lobos” edited by Spencer Groshong for Ineffable Music as the two set things staright while getting blurry out in the sands.

Also in the news mills this week, announcements heralding both Little Wings and Mountainhood who come with spring releases for the Echomancy II tapes series from Big Sur imprint Gnome Life Records. Boasting packaging and artists to match the special patch of coast of where the label is housed, listen to the following previews from the two gentlemen that define everything a 'self-made' musician is or at least ought to be.

Little Wings' “Knock On Every Door” finds Kyle Field knocking “all night until the dream decides to stay” while finding out who's at home, knocking on everything and performing all the instruments and utterances heard. You can find Field's album LAST available now.

Mountainhood, the moniker of Michael Curtis Hilde presents the folk fringe acoustic and sparse beauty, “White Shroud”, from SPAGYRIC slated for release April 10.

Sad Baby Wolf drops their full-length Electric Sounds April 9 but first shares the electro-harmonic distortion from their cover of Jesus and Mary Chain's of “Never Understand”.

Iamsu! drops the Chris Simmons video for “Don't Stop” off his $uzy 6 $peed mixtape as he prepares for his Spring Million Dollar Afro Tour with Problem. Note the dates above.

Avec Avec's remix of Steffaloo's “Can't You See” gets the rhythms moving from a different lens and a different perspective, off the single of the same name available now from Mush Records.

Rainbow Arabia present the cut “Lacking Risk”, off their upcoming album FM Sushi available April 15 from Time No Place via Kompakt. For their second full-length outing, Danny Preston and wife Tiffany Preston are joined by Dylan Ryan where they take the risk out of what would seem like moody 80s soundtrack theme music, where the eternal nights and endless dreams reach endless dawnings and new beginnings.

Mixing in fragments and facets from The Art of Lovin’s “What the Young Minds Say” courtesy of Mainstream Records Group, Inc, Poldoore drops a listen to “Nothing Left To Say” with plenty of modern dance fusions blended beautifully together direct from Leuven, Belgium with love. Poldoore's “Nothing Left to Say” can be pre-ordered via LA imprint Cold Busted.

G&D is Georgia Anne Muldrow and her husband Dudley Perkins who both dropped the fresh single, “PopStopper” as they spread the word of their forthcoming album, The Lighthouse available May 21 off their imprint SomeOthaShip Connect. Perkins, aka Declaime describes the reflective progress and process with, “my momma told me one day I would go far, little did she know how far, farther than a man can go by car”, while Georgia makes the case to realign the mind, “somehow all things intertwine, I am one with you”, championing roots and sowing deep buried seeds.

DJ Koze dropped Amygdala this week on Pampa Records and dropped a 51 minute mix to celebrate the occasion.

Get a listen to the Wildarms project of Duncan Cooper with the Clear Eyes EP remixes from Doss taking on “Full Hearts”, Blue Hawaii's Agoracid remix of “Twice”, and the Octo Octa reworking of “Acceptance”. Doss discovers new oases and new spring wells where the synths and samples flow like cold spring water, Blue Hawaii follows subdued and subterranean bass trailing systems of heart rhythmic impulses, while Octo Octa closes things up by making “Acceptance” that sound of a holiday commencing by the sound of illuminous and ancient, hollow bells. The Clear Eyes EP is available now from Cascine.

Be the first one on your block or in your borough to hear a stream of Generationals' anticipated album Heza, available April 2 from Polyvinyl Records.

Hanni El Khatib gives a listen and some change with the single “Penny” ahead of the April 30 release of Head in the Dirt from Innovative Leisure. Let this perfect little penny of a single stir some coinage currency in your step and wallet.

Kingdom (aka Fade to Mind label boss, Ezra Rubin) dropped some LA electro pop appropriated synth ambience time clock chiller, “Bank Head Ft. Kelela” single ahead of Vertical XL's release May 28 from Fade to Mind. You can thank Rubin and his Kingdom for keeping the Los Angeles grooves different, fresh and always new.

San Francisco quartet Fox & Woman are as pictured from left to right, Andrew Paul Nelson, Jess Silva, Will Boast, and Emily Haltom, who play you an organic assemblage of cascading stringed arrays that ponder love and the leviathan with their singles “Belly of a Whale” (side a) and (side b) that features The Thoughts. Their Tiny Telephone recorded album debut This Side Dawn will be released May 31 with a release show at SF's Bottom of the Hill with Debbie Neigher and Doe Eye. First we bring you “Belly of a Whale (side a)”.

And bathing down the pastoral streams and through the string sung beluga innards, Fox & Woman give you “Belly of a Whale (side b) featuring The Thoughts”.

New York's Haerts dropped the Wildcat! Wildcat! remix of their single “Wings” with the “people never say goodbye” dance worthy lamentations as they plan to take on the nation while touring with Shout Out Louds this May and play Cameo in Brooklyn the same day as their Neon Gold single release, Tuesday, April 2 .

Les Savy Fav and Frenchkiss Records' Syd Butler along with David Cross and The Orchard Video Network have launched FKR.TV. We take a look at their featured series offering, “Song of the Wild” with the first episode Enter the Wild where aspiring pop stars rough it and enter the singing zone for fame, survival, and random hilarity.

And rejoice all you Silence of the Lambs loving goth weirdos, as the notorious (hard to find vinyl, and expensive once found) Q Lazzarus track “Goodbye Horses” will finally get repressed on 12″ wax this July 2 in the States and July 1 everywhere else from Mon Amie Records.

(photo by Daniel Tomas Ku)

Portland four piece Hausu makes a tight right mess of things with the slacker-core snarling-young-disaffected-and-lazy-but still working very hard at the same time on the single, “Leaning Mess”. Heavy with expressive guitars full of tensions that burst with equal parts angst, anger and alleviated carthasis; believe in the power of heart strung guitars again as Hausu's debut album Total available June 25 from Hardly Art.

Seapony is set to tour Japan this Spring with Ringo Deathstarr before heading out to the UK and EU for their first time. Note the dates above, and get ready to fall in love all over again.

Kitsuné has sent word of the America 2 compilation that marks the first year anniversary after opening their NYC location. Featuring Chrome Sparks, Toro Y Moi, Theophilus London, Giraffage, and more, you are invited to a preview listen to Jerry Bouthier's minimix ahead of the compilation's April 30 release.

Having enjoyed a recent residency at The Echo, LA's TORCHES dropped their single “When You Gonna” to light a poptoned sky where every moment is a hook off their full-length If The People Stare, set for release on May 6 for free from the band's website.

Franco beat producer Etienne de Crécy's Beatcrush EP comes out April 2 from Pixadelic and drops the Zombie Nation remix of the title track that is way more happening and interesting than our pop culture's current obsession with the living dead phenomenon.

Check out your heroes Django Django crashing The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Gun Outfit is bringing their new album Hard Coming Down next week on April 2 from PPM but wanted to make sure you heard their new single “Lau Blues” first to help you ramble through your Easter/Passover weekend. Bringing a country educated Northwest holistic folk sensibility, the Outfit advises you to “chop wood and choke on pipe smoke as the tears well up inside”, as they prepare a tour with dates with The Men and Milk Music.

Grab a look at The Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble featuring Zap Mama performing a classic rendition of “Walk On By” from the That 70s Soul concert last December in LA, documented by ArtDontSleep.

Get a listen to Stephen Brodsky's “Real Surreal Beauty” from forthcoming Hit or Mystery EP from Little Black Cloud Records that stirs strummed ambience and signals of a new approach to folk styles.

And catch the Yvonne Jukes trailer video for Stephen Brodsky's upcoming Hit or Mystery EP coming April 16 from Little Black Cloud Records.

Listen to Quelle Chris's “We Eat It” remixed featuring P.U.D.G.E, slowing the metabolism down for a few minutes and Chris's new verse.

Young Galaxy's lend a listen to their new single “New Summer”, ahead of its release this Tuesday, April 2 from Paper Bag Records. An electro emotive pop adventure produced Dan Lissvik, with the full-length Ultramarine available April 23.

Portland electronic collective Gem Drops dropped a few cuts from within the crew this week from their projected April 16 release Gem Drops Three, a vinyl first for the Dropping Gems imprint. DJAO sets out to prove that he is the chillest, electro beat cutter “One”, interjecting sung outbursts with and frankly having a ball with everything between the bending keys and steady percussion flow.

Gem Dropper Ghost Feet's “Voka” gives things a walking-cool-stepped beat pattern with cock sure synths that keeps its head in the sky and the mind fixated on cloud formations. Find this and more from DJAO, Citymouth,M. Constant, Philip Grass, and Wires For Salu on the Gem Drops Three compilation, April 16, Dropping Gems.

Victory drops the needle on their single “Woman” off the forthcoming Victory Is Music coming at you April 23 on frontman Robert Fleming's imprint, Reserva Records.

Slava gets to “Werk” hitting the decks and dishing out the dance-y binary ones and zeroes with the video directed by Michael Intile from the forthcoming Raw Solutions album available April 23 from Software Recording Co.

Heckmondwike, Yorkshire's Louis Jones as Spectrals brings you the indie pop and power guitar space ringer “Milky Way” off the upcoming full-length Sob Story available June 18 on Slumberland Records.

Catch The Doppelgangaz rolling through their European tour with this video of EP and Matter Ov Fact kicking it Live in Berlin, Germany.

With the White Prism EP slated for release this April 23, Australia by NYC's Johanna Cranitch gives a listen to the vocal tapestries and low key arrangements that provide the world with something to “Dance On”.

London duo Cloud Boat plays their slow sung, emotion burning single “Youthern” from their upcoming Book of Hours full-length from Apollo Records, available May 27.

The Barbarossa single “The Load” is out now on Memphis Industries and we got the Montserrat Lombard directed video that bathes front man James Mathé in red and green lights to convey the heavy, soul felt load to make those familiar roads less lonely.

Stubborn Heart's Luca Santucci and Ben Fitzgerald broadcast smoke motion inspired percussion arrangements and far away vocal atmospherics on their electro single, “Do Tomorrow” from the fothcoming Better Than This EP available April 15 on 12″ from One Little Indian Records.

Lefse Records are preparing to release MITSUDA: Tribute to Yasunori Mitsuda next Tuesday April 2, a tribute to Yasunori Mitsuda conceptualized by Julian Wass who has sampled the video game composer's Playstation staple Xenogears to give us Main Attrakionz and Danny Brown's now classic “Cloud Skatin“. Wass enlists his buddies L.W.H., Friendzone, ZachG, and up and comers ギラ BLADES, Paladins, along with the following featured remix selections from Ryan Hemsworth and KeyboardKid206 too.

Embracing his inner Proto-Man, dig on Ryan Hemsworth's take on Mitsuda's “Proto”. No stranger to sampling classic digital RPGs, Hemsworth recently took on Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu's FFVI opera theme with, “An Overture Might Help Me Stop Thinking About You“.

KeyBoardKid206 with his finger on the Chrono Trigger and his slowed up and beat laced, “Secret Forest…(Tree Music)”.

The “Russians” are coming in the latest Cold War cracking drone flyer single from pacificUV off their upcoming album After The Dream You Are Awake on Mazarine Records, available May 14. Listen more from the UV ray Pacific dreamers from Athens, Georgia with their 9-cut career sampler on their Bandcamp.

Las Vegas's up and comer Dizzy Wright dropped the Zack Warren directed video for “Still Movin” full of Funk Volume bro time in front of a blue screen while extolling independent living, and pushing the Funk Volume merch. The Reezy, Idiofrequency produced cut has Wright rising to the occasion and paying homage to that decade we can't get enough of. “If it ain't my time then whose time is it? Be puttin' in that work, I'm on a mission, what you twisting, got it twisted, it's the '90s in this bitch you better listen…”

Carroll's Needs EP is available now as they drop the synth-pizazz closer “Out Here”, that gives good vibes and good advice like “hey man, take a look at yourself, don't let the world turn backwards”.

Marnia Stern's The Chronicles of Marnia is available now from Kill Rock Stars and you can get immortal with the Bangs directed video for “Immortals” here. Remember, “immortals don't die”.

Tricky is still doing it in the tense, electric bass rumbling protest call, “Does It' feat. Francesca Belmonte” off the upcoming False Idols available on Adrian Thaws' vanity imprint of the same name, False Idols, in conjunction with K7 on April 15.

Bleached's album Ride Your Heart comes out this coming Tuesday, April 2 from Dead Oceans and we have a limited time stream just for you. Formerly of Mika Miko, sisters Jessica and Jennifer Clavin present a wave of styles, from the aggressive ass kicking opener “Looking for a Fight”, the road trip bound “Next Stop”, the pseudo-sentimentality of “Outta My Mind”, and the taking-a-time out song “Dead In Your Head”, the break up bliss of “Dreaming Without You”, the phone concerns of “Waiting for the Telephone”, “Love Spells”, scanning backwards “Searching through the Past”, “Ride Your Heart”, that gigantic Goliath of a title track, getting all scuzz pop creepy with “Dead Boy”, the Cali pop blues of “Guy Like You”, and “When I Was Yours” will throw off your analogous gauges for a firework ready blaze of glory. This is the album you have been literally waiting some 3, 4 years or whatever now.

Captured Tracks and Flying Nun are busting out a couple reissues from the Nun's indie kiwi archives for Record Store Day from Snapper and The Bats. Dropping on April 20, we get a new pressing of the Snapper self-titled EP with their, “fire in the brain that you'd like to put out” tough tracks, like the following video for “Buddy”.

The debut 1984 release By Night from The Bats features The Clean's Bob Scott, Toy Love's Paul Keane with Kaye Woodward and Malcolm Grant that give jangle core cool cuts like the following video for the title track performed live.

Dark Dark Dark's new album Who Needs Who is available now from Supply & Demand and they previewed a listen to their new single “What I Needed” slated for release on Record Store Day, April 20 that makes a list of needs set to a 1950s prom dance.

Michael Cronin carries his “Weight” with this listen to a personal and reflective, rocker from his forthcoming MCII record available May 7 from Merge Records.

Direct from Brooklyn are the They Might Be Giants where John and John deliver their David Cowles and Jeremy Galante animated video about an “Icky”, rampaging-up-in-your-face-douchy dude off their new Idlewild Recordings album Nanobots.

Formerly Saint Lou Lou, sister twosome Say Lou Lou dropped the new electro mesmerizer track “Julian” from their new imprint à Deux with the single dropping May 6.

Bogan Via covers and mashes together “Little Red Riding Hood” originally by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs with The Animals' “House of the Rising Sun” with a new synth pop wine blend that is sure to shatter the old bottles.

Get down to the Steve Daniels festival ready video for Toro Y Moi's “Never Matter” off Anything in Return available now from Carpark.

Charles Bradley drops his forthcoming album Victim of Love Tuesday April 2 on Dunham/Daptone Records and we got the Peter Steusloff video that showcases Bradley's familiar super soul brew, “Strictly Reserved For You”.

We leave you with our friends UNSTOPPABLE DEATH MACHINES crazy video for “Trial & Error” directed by Scott Cramer who utilizes both 3D and HD cameras with a little help from open source RGBD software to create manufactured glitz, glitch and wire framed images slit-scanned for your head banging pleasure. Also catch our premiere of Mike and Billy Tucci's 2-in-1 video for “Quit Your Whining & Shut Up” and “Head Trauma” here. But right now, look out honey, because these dudes are using technology. UDM's We Come in Peace LP is available via Bandcamp.

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