Week in Pop: Adir L.C., Avvenir, LKFFCT, Winstons

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Gláss, New Shack, Ocean Hope, Twin Limb, ft. guest selections by Yvette.

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Sjimon Gompers | October 2, 2015

Raging it up with Montclair, New Jersey's LKFFCT; photo courtesy of the band.

In a world of weirdness and uncertainty, Impose’s Week in Pop uplifts our weary & sleepy spirits with music and pop culture that moves us beyond the muddle. With all of our warmest thoughts with our neighbors in Oregon, we bring you some of the week’s biggest headlines with, first, news of Silent Barn suffering fire damage (learn how you can help here); Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces, and Thundercat are WOKE who dropped an Adult Swim single called “The Lavishments of Light Looking” that features George Clinton; Hurricane Joaquin cancelled Afropunk Atlanta; All Tomorrow’s Parties fest in Iceland will present John Carpenter’s first live musical performance happening in Keflavík, July 1-3; Kendrick Lamar to perform selections from To Pimp a Butterfly October 20 at Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra; The Jesus and Mary Chain announced a new album with a “more mature sound” in what will be a followup to Munki from 1998; Tyler, The Creator dropped his self-made video for “Buffalo”; Ty Segall & Ex-Cult’s Chris Shaw & fellow Fuzz-bro Charles Moothart are GØGGS, hear “She Got Harder“; the Lush reunion is on; SOPHIE’s November 27-slated PRODUCT from Numbers, and optional “silicon product“; Deerhunter’s Fading Frontier concept map; Sunn O))) announced their new upcoming Kannon album available December 4 via Southern Lord; Brian Eno gave his John Peel Lecture; Neneh Cherry collaboration with On-U Sound’s Adrian Sherwood group The Circuit surfaces with “Dead Come Alive”; Kurt Cobain’s solo tapes to be released as Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings on November 13; Powell’s Steve Albini email billboard; The Go! Team return; Eddy Current Suppression Ring to play first show in six years with a headlining gig at Golden Plains on March 13 in Meredith, Australia; Nicki Minaj to get her own ABC Family show series based on her Queens, NY upbringing; VU box-set mania with the four disc The Velvet Underground: The Complete Matrix Tapes available November 20; Trent Reznor talks Moogs & more on Haxan Cloak-soundtracked “Archetype of a Synthesizer”; Will Smith appeared on Bomba Estéreo’s remix of “Fiesta”, his first musical appearance in a decade; Antony Hegarty’s criticism of Pope Francis’ clandestine meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis; Salman Rushdie read & discussed Drake lyrics; and Rage Against the Machine’s bassist Tim Commerford apologized for inspring Limp Bizkit.

Looking forward and moving ahead, it is our pleasure and privilege to present some of our new favorites with rounds of exclusives, insights, interviews and more from Adir L.C., Avvenir, LKFFCT, Winstons, Gláss, New Shack, Ocean Hope, Twin Limb, featuring guest selections from Yvette, and more—in no particular order.

LKFFCT

Raging about with LKFFCT; photographed by Reed Adler.

Raging about with LKFFCT; photographed by Reed Adler.

Montclair, New Jersey’s LKFFCT (sounded out Lake Effect) announce the follow up to this year’s American Sarcasm from Sniffling Indie Kids with a new release headed our ways in 2016, presenting the world premiere of the plant parenthood power ballad “Appleseed”. The quartet of Max, Keith, Brian, & Ryan continue the band-bond tradition they started in 2012 with their self-titled, 2013’s Genuine Bonds, the aforementioned album from earlier this spring, and word of next year’s new full-length titled Flower Investment Pawn. As evident in the band’s sound from the past three years, the single “Appleseed” finds the group attaining a crisper sound for every instrumental item where the guitars strike with the highest of definitions and the vocals harmonizing with the utmost clarity. The Jersey boys take on the traditional folk lore tales of the mythic wandering arboriculturist that implies a further metaphoric double entendre about the character and his progenitive endeavors.

“Appleseed” is LKFFCT’s take on the Johnny Appleseed tale where the rolling stone tree seed sower is likened to the ilk of a deadbeat dad. The song carries a heavy weight as the absent and careless father figure is described making his way about the land in a heedless manner that describes his ignorance in acknowledging and owning up to the support & responsibility for the progeny created. “Johnny Appleseed plants trees across the country, cultivate and leave the saplings underneath, one of them was me, a fraction just a fracture lucky just to breathe, it’s to plant the seed. It doesn’t make a you a father, it doesn’t make you a man, truth is hard to swallow, you haven’t learned to stand.” Recounting the bastions of bastards and legions of the fatherless; LKFFCT puts the emotion and affirmation forward with the garage power pop gold that finds the four channeling aggression by creating a cool and constructive pop rock anthem for all who have been (or feel) abandoned by people of importance. Following the debut of “Appleseed”, read our chat with LKFFCT.

Give us the scoop on what you all are into right now in Montclair, NJ.

We don’t go out much ha-ha too broke and too lazy.

How did the name sans vowels come about?

The no vowels thing was the result of us not owning the trademark for the name Lake Effect. Not Intentional..kind of a bummer.

Tell us about recording the recent singles that are building up to next year’s planned releases.

These singles (“Cure All” & “Appleseed”) are part of an album we’re looking to release in the near future called Flower Investment Pawn.

Shredding with LKFFCT; photographed by Reed Adler.

Shredding with LKFFCT; photographed by Reed Adler.

Methods? Meditations? etc?

Light some incense? Read our tarot cards? Pray to the dark lord Cthulhu?! nah we just practice a ton and try to make melodies and lyrics that mean something to us.

Other local groups the world needs to hear?

Perennial Reel, NGHTCRWLRS, Morus Alba, And so many more New Jersey has tons of great bands right now.

LKFFCT’s Flower Investment Pawn will be available TBD in 2016, American Sarcasm available now via Sniffling Indie Kids.

Avvenir

Avvenir, aka Joel Ebner; photographed by Michelle Kaffko.

Avvenir, aka Joel Ebner; photographed by Michelle Kaffko.

Chicago based audio artist and writer Joel Ebner is Avvenir, who is readying his album Glyphs for release October 30 from Safety Records. Premiering the alphabet array of self-made visuals for his single “Prepress”, Ebner keeps up the creative pursuit of experimenting with the eclectic electronics essences of those places where digital instrumentation meets the true life of decay of analog distortion and fuzzy filtration. Keeping on the sound science path found in production works under the monikers of City States and Contretemps; Avvenir further explores the fusion between the US & UK electronic undergrounds that inquires deeper within the concepts of IDM intelligentsia and opens the gates that lead to the correlating polarities of abilities and alchemy.

The notable movements of drum n’ bass variations, and techno permutations are evident throughout the electric murmur glitch & hiss of Avvenir’s “Prepress”. Various font flashes of alphabet characters of uppercase paired with lowercase are flashed at the listening viewer with strobing colors that keep the frontal lobes oscillating in sequence to the spastic rhythm schemes & sequences. The symbol centered concepts of Glyphs sneaks through with the typographical animated image survey where Joel works to enact a linguistic like pedantic of language arts by virtue of his own electronic audio programming in hand with the accompanying visuals. And like the visions of inspirational forebears like Richard D. James, the often lauded Autechre, Gescom, Plaid, Squarepusher, and more that took the 70s kraut-tek of Kluster/Harmonia into the new millennium; Avvenir crafts a sound that resembles the buzzing conversations we imagine that bots, servers, and network devices have with another. Joel accomplishes this through a mumbling motor base of mechanical mutterings that become equipped with sporadic drum slap sample stems that hit according to their own sense of timing, where all components are together married by the dramatic underscoring of synths that provides “Prepress” with thematic character. After the following debut listen and look, join us for our conversation with Avvenir’s Joel Ebner.

Chicago itself has such a rich history of electronic/dance music innovations. How has that legacy and those local environments lead you to your own sound experimentation, and ultimately the birth of Contretemps, City States, to Avvenir?

When people think about Chicago’s relationship to electronic music, they usually consider the fact that it’s the birthplace of house. I can’t deny the importance of that legacy, but on a personal level the music I make owes a lot more to Wax Trax.

I grew up in the ’90s when industrial music was at the height of popularity, and their roster offered me a point of departure for discovering not only the harsher sounds of 70s experimental music like Throbbing Gristle, but also the more techno-oriented material of Coil and Autechre (remember that the Sheffield duo’s US distribution early on was not through Warp, but via Wax Trax). The first time I’d heard the Autechre song “Eutow” on a WT cassette tape compilation was an absolute revelation; it’s still one of my favorites in their discography.

What sorts of signs, signifiers, and sentiments gave rise to Glyphs?

I’m going to double down here and admit that I owe this album to my love of Autechre; in the last 18 months I’ve spent an unimaginable amount of time listening to their catalog, and at some point late last year I started wondering if I might be able to produce something similar of my own. It took only a few months to assemble over fifty rough demos (by the end of writing I had close to 80), and it became clear to me that putting out a record of these songs would be really exciting.

Describe the making of the “Prepress” single and the corresponding alphabetized scrolling visual.

“Prepress” came together really fast, but I wrote it so late in the process of creating Glyphs that it almost didn’t make the cut. I had been spending a lot of time with a couple of LPs by Richard Devine, who does lots of great work with generative beats and granular synthesis. His pure sense of abstraction was the initial inspiration—which you can still hear in all these little micro-glitches on the snare, hi hat, and kick drum—but after a day of listening to Squarepusher on shuffle I decided to add in some melody for contrast, and the whole thing turned toward this odd-metered, industrial-tinted break-beat track.

As for the video: just like the Glyphs album cover, it is heavily influenced by The Designer’s Republic. They’ve made lots of album art for Warp Records over the years, and their work has a wonderful ability to take this flat, technical aesthetic and infect it with a subtle, almost sinister, humor. And that’s where I went with the concept for the “Prepress” video—these simple typographic characters and garish colors are almost childlike, but the pace of the video is so intense that it borders on un-watchable, almost like communication gone awry.

Talking with Avvenir's Joel Ebner; photographed by Michelle Kaffko.

Talking with Avvenir’s Joel Ebner; photographed by Michelle Kaffko.

How do you find your own work dissecting and describing music with semantics and adjectives in the pop culture field of journalism has affected your own musical endeavors and outings? Like where do you find the sort of intersection of the music appreciator and sound creator in your own respective works?

My past as a music writer—the journalist kind, not the producer kind—has given me a very real a sense of value for the critical process. I know a lot of artists who have an immediate defensive reaction to having someone scrutinize their work, as if the act of self-expression should hold this unimpeachable status in the world. And though I understand where that sentiment comes from, I ultimately think it’s way off base. Ironically, a lot of musicians would be producing higher-quality work if they learned the skills that critics use and applied it to their own process of making things.

You’re always up on all things Chicago, so tell us everything we need to know about who, where, what, and so forth right now.

Disappears have been killing it with their last couple records. Their near-complete elimination of the guitar on Irreal is a gutsy move, and it’s brought out this early ’80s Cabaret Voltaire influence that I really love. Serengeti’s last few hip-hop records have been wonderful, too: he’s able to walk this strange line between bravado and heartbreak in a way that I find absolutely compelling. And Sam Prekop, one of my all-time favorite pop songwriters, continues to surprise with his recent modular synth LPs.

Oh, and if you’re ever in Chicago, be sure to check out the Art Institute’s Modern Wing. It’s fantastic.

Avvenir’s Glyphs will be available October 30 from Safety Records.

Adir L.C.

All the latest from Adir L.C.

All the latest from Adir L.C.

Adir L.C. (born Adirel Lavi Cohen) began his foray into the musical realm during his prodigious days in Glen Rock, New Jersey with The Medics, a group that would spring forth Le Rug’s John DeNicola, members of Porches., playing the DIY show circuits that have sprung contemporaries such as Real Estate, Titus Andronicus, and others. Running around the world (with a particular focus on locales with coasts) from NYC to Tel Aviv, Adir readies his album Oceanside Cities for release in November 6 via his Dinky Pops Records imprint, but not before first presenting us with the world premiere of the video for “Dinosaurs” directed by Eden Barel.

“Dinosaurs” is Adir’s song that embraces the future prehistoric state of today, presented as a big celebration in shops, living rooms, and rooftops between L.C. and company. Twilight cast revelry, impromptu dance parties, and some quirky felt dinosaur costume head pieces stir about the carpe diem ethics that embrace the joie de vivre of the moment in between contemplation of what will become of beloved coastal towns and beloved places 10,000 years on from now. Adir waits not for crystallized and freeze dried onset of fossilization but embraces the world and company around him with open arms and an enamored atmosphere where anything can happen. His friend and video director/prouder Eden Barel with camera operator Matan Gershovitz catch the candid and joyous moments shared between friends, warm vibe gatherings, live music merriment, and more with a constant vivid vibrancy (courtesy of Shahaf Ram’s color corrections) that matches the life inspired attitude and forever young feeling of the song. Right after the following video debut for “Dinosaurs”, read our thoughtful interview with Adir L.C. himself.

What are your earliest memories of your interest and entrance into the world of writing songs, and making music?

I remember when I was really little, my brother got a Walkman CD player for his birthday when they first came out. He had a burned copy Nirvana’s Unplugged playing in it. I stole the thing and locked myself in the bathroom, closed my eyes and listened to the whole thing through—truly listened—and nothing was the same after that. The real boom came in middle school when I started going to all the house shows Glen Rock and the neighboring town of Ridgewood had to offer. Patrick Stickles (of Titus Andronicus) used to throw this annual show in his basement called “Patstock” with all these local bands including early versions of Real Estate, Liquor Store, Julian Lynch, etc…as a kid, these shows blew my mind—be it the loud volume, the energy of a bunch of kids packed into a room…its where I realized the true power of live music. It’s also where I met my best bud Cameron Wisch (Porches., Downies, Ronnie Stone & the Lonely Riders, etc.) who was one of the first people I really started making music with seriously. We used to throw a lot of shows at Cameron’s place as well.

If we were to go back to my early childhood, I grew up in a very musical household. I remember learning English around first grade through listening to Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper’s on repeat. The beauty of song writing took a hold of me even back then.

Tell us how your Glen Rock, NJ by NYC by Tel Aviv adventures impacted your own musical and pop cultural perspectives.

I was fortunate to be turned on to amazing music from a young age and even more fortunate to live in a small town with a strong music scene that appreciated Built to Spill, The Pixies, Pavement, etc., unlike many neighboring towns that had a dominant emo/pop scene—so that was a beautiful thing about Glen Rock, NJ. My dad used to take me to NYC every weekend to see a different kind of show ranging from reggae to ballets. Also having the pleasure to be in a band with Cameron in NYC from a very young age and play so many internationally known venues and be signed to a production contract was something not a lot of kids have the opportunity to experience. This incredibly diverse and tangible outlet of the proverbial Big Apple, to have so close to my house was another blessing. Moving back to my birthplace to record the album was stimulating in the way that popular music in Israel, while being so diverse, has very distinct qualities that would be hard to find anywhere else. While it takes time to get accustomed to a new thing all together, its important for the sake of renewal and refreshment. Being able to bridge the gap between what sounds good to someone growing up in the states and someone growing up abroad is something I really tried to make happen on the album. All the timeless songwriters are the ones who bridge that gap, be it Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson or anyone else with an international following, people on every continent have been able to connect to their music regardless of the local pop culture.

Natural meditations with Adir L.C.

Natural meditations with Adir L.C.

How did those experiences inform your album Oceanside Cities?

Be it NYC, or Tel aviv, or Los Angeles, or Denmark, or Amsterdam…any of the places I wrote music in either quickly passing through or living in—the power of these oceanside cities (hundreds worldwide) always struck me. People in all walks of life, particularly young people all over the world come to these cities to begin the process of making something of themselves. I found the experiences acquired in the states that developed my songwriting were applicable to a much more global perspective—someone in a different country I have never been to could completely relate to my experiences—this gave way to the making of this album.

What was it like working with producer Tom Elbaz, and how did he affect the vision of the album?

Working with Tom was in a trip in the sense that we have completely different musical backgrounds and tastes—yet we connected on much deeper levels than I have reached with many peers in NY/NJ. He is an incredibly talented musician and complete focused, workaholic of a producer. My original vision for this album maintained the lo-fi home recorded sound I had been accustomed to. Working with Tom brought in ideas I had not planned on and created an overall more produced, tight, and refined sound to the album. This is not necessarily a bad considering I did have a secret desire to create something super polished to be able to share on multiple fronts, appealing to a wider audience. I really like that you can hear that the album was not recorded in the states (especially the original masters) or produced by an American, but all the while being completely American in the songwriting and core structure. I wonder if other people would agree with me.

You recently were in Israel during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. What was that like?

Being in Israel during these holidays, particularly Yom Kippur is surreal. Having an entire bustling city completely shut down—with true quiet all around—is something most people may find hard to appreciate. The idea of giving people’s brain a chance to slow down instead of finding an excuse to throw massive sales at every store and have people spend their day shopping (like all holidays here, including Memorial Day?) make more sense to me. Saturdays are also “days of rest” where many stores are closed for the most part. This takes getting used to, but there is so much comfort knowing you HAVE no choice but to chill, hang out with a loved one, sleep in—whatever you have to do before continuing on with your day to day life. I never even looked at it as a “religious” thing…more of a mental health thing; and you can see it in the people.

What sorts of paleolithic inclinations and inceptions are at work in the subtext of the song “Dinosaurs”?

The song is trying to happily point out that nothing is permanent. I wrote the song, rather quickly, while thinking one day that no matter how much energy we may invest into trying to leave our mark behind in this world, the sad but liberating truth as that likely, the world as we know it will ultimately not exist. I think most people feel this once in a while. We’re all trying to make a name in this city, but in ten thousand years this city will all be under dirt anyway. In the end, we humans are all just like the dinosaurs regardless of how far we come as a species.

This may seem like a morbid thought, but I think it’s actually an acknowledgement that can free the mind and spirit. The idea that we are all technically meaningless can make way for accepting that we are the only ones in control of our endless potential for greatness, happiness, success, what have you. At least that’s what I try and tell myself.

What was making the Eden Barel video like, running about rooftops, kicking it at the Hoodna, The Shoe Factory, and hanging with friends?

Eden is one of my closest friends, so working with him was a breeze. He also has this incredible ability to make sure we maintain a party energy while staying extremely calm and focused. I’m glad at least one of us was focused.

The Shoe Factory is a DIY show/art space I started with my good friend Goni after moving in there together when I first got to Tel Aviv. We were fortunate enough to incorporate the apartment into the shoot only weeks before she moved out, being able to capture it forever in this clip. The roof of the building was a special place to me on which I spent a lot of time as well. Actually filming up there kind of stressed me out because there is no wall or railing…I’m so glad it went smoothly. Filming at the Purim costume party in the ancient ruins of the Tower of David in the old city in Jerusalem was also such a treat considering it’s one of the best parties there are. More importantly, I think it shows the underlying contrast between the modern city and the ancient city that is only ruins… Finally filming one of our shows at the Hoodna was like the cherry on top. The Hoodna is not only our neighborhood hang out, but they have been huge supporters of my music before anyone in Tel Aviv knew who I was.

Where did the cloth dinosaur costumes come from?

I made them myself out of chicken wire and felt. The original idea for dinosaur heads was inspired by these animal head costumes my college roommate Geoff had made a few years back.

What are you listening to right now that has you excited?

I’m actually really excited about new albums my friends have either recently released or are currently working on and giving me private tastes of. I can already tell you the new Downies, Porches., and What Moon Things albums are all going to be incredibly special.

What are you writing and recording right now?

There are many unfinished recordings on my computer of almost twenty different songs I never actualized or fully finished. I’m trying to give those that are worth the time some love, since there really are some gems in there. As for new material, there’s always a new song brewing…I’m really looking forward to start the process of recording another proper album…again and again…forever and ever.

Parting wisdom you can impart upon us all?

Take a long, deep breath. Feels good.

Adir L.C.’s Oceanside Cities will be available November 6 via his own label Dinky Pops Records.

Catch Adir October 25 in NYC at Elvis Guesthouse.

Winstons

Rustic Americana troubadours, Winstons; photographed by Taylor Logue.

Rustic Americana troubadours, Winstons; photographed by Taylor Logue.

Brooklyn’s talented modern era troubadours Winstons strike up songs of love, grace, loss, and dust bowels with today’s release of their Black Dust EP, and the grand premiere of the Johann Rashid video for “Keep the Beat”. The duo made up of Lou Nutting on guitar, harmonica, vocals and Ben Brock Wilkes (also known as the production manager at Baby’s All Right) handles percussion, and vocals as well work out their contribution to the Americana canon through sessions deep from within the catacombs of subterranean spaces at Salt Mines in Brooklyn (beneath the Manhattan bridge) bring their rustic realism to the surface in the following performance piece. The song’s model of maintaining life’s varied rhythms is presented as a live recorded (direct to cassette) performance caught in b/w rawness where the observed wisdom of others and life springs from the inner confines of city spaces and onto the asphalt of the streets.

The Johann Rashid for Winstons’ “Keep The Beat” walks into the loading dock of a Brooklyn kombucha brewery where Lou and Ben provide a live rendering of a song about disproportions and consistent inconsistencies of character attributes. From the steady drumming from Wilkes and Nutting’s guitar and harmonica held hymns, we follow Lou as he takes the catchy chorus out to the open air of the outside roadway during a quiet and calm Labor Day afternoon. The hard living tales are brought from frayed folk songs and into the live performance / practice session place of visceral existence. Lou’s unplugged moment where he walks out the space (with Johann’s camera following in toe) provides an intimate moment to meditate on the ear-worm burrowing and heart warming lyrics like the chorus call of, “your heart sings better than your head, your hips move better than your feet, I wish you didn’t give such a damn; just keep the beat…” Right after the video debut of “Keep the Beat”, check out our following interview with Winstons.

In the contemporary age where everyone is doing all electronic anything & everything—why this return to rustic, depression-era folky Americana?

It’s rock n’ roll. Like r&b, blues, country, bluegrass, and soul are rock n’ roll. They are resonant, timeless, and powerful structures alive in American music. Live performance is about a natural pulse for us. Bionic hearts don’t race. Making physical contact with physical things to produce visceral, vulnerable music. Set-it-and-forget-it doesn’t turn us on. The musicians and pasts that inspire and inform us are about spontaneity and improvisation. You lose a little bit of humanity when you sacrifice the physicality of things in pursuit of perfection, and in this day and age, you need to bear-hug any sense of homo sapien you got.

How did Winstons form, and is there an obsession with the cigarette brand that also shares your moniker?

We met working at Baby’s All Right, and it turned out we had a lot to talk about. We were both musicians in Brooklyn, from Virginia, looking for people to play music with. We got together on New Years Day, 2014, and it was fun. Real fun.

As to our name, Winston brand cigarettes are a good smoke. A guy named Chris Vlad turned Lou onto them and other useful knowledge at a job rolling burritos. Obsessed? No more than with Ghostbuster Winston Zedmore or Prime Minister Winston Churchill. They’re all “Winston.” We’re “Winstons.” That’s like 16% different.

Give us insights into what kinds of dust you all were kicking up during the making and planning of your Black Dust EP.

Coal dust. The black dust is coal dust. It’s a reference to effort and accumulation. And gunpowder. Otherwise, brown liquor and good smokes. There was a dachshund named Artie hanging out too.

As for planning the EP, we were regularly playing all the songs on the EP at shows, so we just recorded the ones that aren’t on the first EP. Some of them are newer, some have been around for a while, but they were all ready to go.

Standing about with Winstons; photograph by Taylor Logue.

Standing about with Winstons; photograph by Taylor Logue.

What were those sessions at Salt Mines, in Brooklyn like? And how did Hansdale Hsu help out with the processes?

We did it in two afternoons in July. Salt Mines is a spider web of basement studio spaces under the Manhattan Bridge, on the Brooklyn side. A lot of our buddies have spaces down there. We ran into Caveman recording their new record. What tone those guys have. Hans’ space, Serious Business, has great gear. He did our first EP straight to two inch tape at their old place in SoHo, so we did it again here in Brooklyn after the jump. I know we were the last to record there, and I believe the first to record here. Anyway, Hans is a pal, and a pro. We came in, set up, and played a set of the songs we wanted to record. We ran the set a couple more times, but kept all the first takes anyway. The first EP went the same way. All first takes, scratch vocals. Doing it live in the room keeps your options pretty limited, so you’re more efficient. Keeps it fast, cheap, and true.

The next afternoon, we spent an hour or two adding to some of the tunes. Some brushstrokes; sax, piano, harmonica, back-up vocals. We left a few of them alone, just the straight live recording. Hans mixed it, and we got it mastered by a friend in VA.

What sorts of tunes were you all listening to during that creative process, and what are you two listening to right now?

Right now? Literally? Middle Brother, Middle Brother on wax. Ben listens to 89.9FM, Colombia Jazz Radio. Lou? 50s gospel and country, 60s folk and soul, and 70s punk and funk. All that stuff goes into the process.

We record all our practices to cassette, so we were listening to those a lot leading up to the sessions. It’s helpful to listen when you’re not right there in it.

winstons week in pop 2

The Johann Rashid video for “Keep The Beat” is such a great experiential video where we are privy to a performance session upon walking into the space, complete with LOU exiting the place vintage Dylan style with the harmonica holder and all. How was this video planned and organized, and what sorts of scrapped alternative visuals might have been left on the cutting room floor?

We deliberately decided we’d wear our denim tuxedos, we’d shoot in black and white, and that we weren’t going to lip-sync. Everything else just happened. The space is a kombucha brewery run by a pal. It was Labor Day when we shot it and everybody was out of town, but he left us the keys. We recorded straight to cassette through two vocal microphones and one room-mic. We did five takes. On the last one, Johann started filming outside, and Lou walked out when the song was over. It was a beautiful afternoon. And Johann’s got a great eye. That was our last take because everybody had to go to work, and it was the one we ended up using.

What else is in store from Winstons? Thoughts on the state of the current Brooklyn scenes?

There are some great rock bands here: Boytoy, Mystery Lights, Las Rosas, Savants, Scully, Tall Juan to name a small few. Our second EP Black Dust is out today. Our release party is tomorrow; Saturday, October 3 at Alphaville in Bushwick with Wild Yaks and Acid Dad. We’ve got a bunch of sets for CMJ, then playing in Miami for Art Basel again in December. Love it down there in December.

Winstons’ Black Dust EP is available now via Bandcamp, and you can catch them playing their cassette release tomorrow in NYC October 3 at Alphaville.

Check out Matt Foglia’s video of Winstons performing Leon Bridges’ “Coming Home” in the GoPro montage of the band at Serious Business Studios in Brooklyn.

Ocean Hope

The great sonic sound sea hope; presenting the Athenians Ocean Hope.

The great sonic sound sea hope; presenting the Athenians Ocean Hope.

Corinth, Greece sibling duo Ocean Hope shared the seaside swimming single “By Your Side” from their forthcoming Chamber Dreams EP available November 13 via Hush Hush. Synths fall like the downpour from a waterfall, where effects ignite various corners of the consciousness like light switches illuminating the various rooms of an estate at night that glows like a dollhouse beacon in the darkness. Heard recently on the new Keep Shelly in Athens’ single “Now I’m Ready“; the brother and sister creative team transform the cinema for the ear approach to sound designs that finds new sophisticated methods to redefine what chamber music can mean and resemble sonically.

The brother sister duo introduced us to the nu-chamber pop of Chamber Dream with the following thoughts:

Almost spontaneously we both decided to create a brand new little world in our house by the sea, in our studio. Childhood memories, failures, and disappointments helped us recreate our own chamber in order to find hope. Chamber Dreams were created with analogue synths, guitars and pianos.

Ocean Hope also lent some reflections on the incredible “By Your Side” single:

Vocals that convert texture from a woman to a teenager…distant guitars, nostalgic moments, a song made for lovers by lovers. The vocals [for “By Your Side”] were recorded in such a way to convey a dialogue between lovers. They represented ‘changing roles.’

Gláss

Introducing Gláss.

Introducing Gláss.

Gláss presents the new single “Glass(-accent)” taken from the forthcoming album Accent available February 5 from Post-Echo. The Athens, Georgia by Greenville, SC trio bring the cold post-punky variété that blends a surf guitar riff that rifles up the foreboding chord cornucopia from Aáron Burke, Aryán Davani, and Sám Goldsmith in a hurricane frenzy that makes the pale of discontinuity an object of desire. Lyrics like “I can’t see my hand in front of my face, I can’t see my face in front of the glass” take the obfuscated perspectives and dash them into an apocalyptic rendering of Dick Dale progressions that are met with fatal stakes and an unsettled feel of finality that revolve around mortality obsessions heard in “the death of me” refrain.

Aáron from Gláss provided us with the following introduction piece on the making of their upcoming album Accent, with a bit on what we should expect from the upcoming Post-Echo release in February:

We started writing these songs in September of 2014, after Aryán joined the band. The record comes from a place of a particular emotional distance, that I can’t help but express in my songs. It is a photograph of a particular time in my life after moving to Greenville (SC) from Scotland. I moved to Greenville when I was 16. I felt as though I had been stolen away from an extremely important time in my life. Because of this move I felt a lack of personal identity.

The record has a similar energy to the debut EP Foreign Bastard, but, possibly, with more honesty, more developed emotional view points, more quick, spiky guitar riffs among the same space and mood that we’ve always written in. With a more grown up approach to songwriting.

Twin Limb

Inside the parallel phantom universes of Louisville's Twin Limb.

Inside the parallel phantom universes of Louisville’s Twin Limb.

Louisville trio Twin Limb sent the river drift of their new folk-dreaming single “Don’t Even Think” taken off their upcoming Anything Is Possible and Nothing Makes Sense available November 13. Lacey Guthrie, Maryliz Bender, and Kevin Ratterman combine ethereal ember glows of audio together that send sustained keys and honest sung thoughts deep into the depths of the ever expanding ephemeral sections of atmospheres. The most jaw dropping element to “Think” is when the song builds and then erupts into what might be some of the most genius send ups of earth and sky cracking anthems to have ever opened an album in hot minute. Not to be missed.

Twin Limb’s Lacey Guthrie, Maryliz Bender, and Kevin ‘Twinderella’ Ratterman shared some thoughts of inspiration and inception that informed Anything is Possible and Nothing Makes Sense, along with a few words on the genius pop of “Don’t Even Think”:

Lacey

“Don’t Even Think” started as a slow, very sad song…the lyrics describe a series of unrelated situations that felt the same. People hurting other people and being hurt, making mistakes (in a lot of different ways, it’s not necessarily a romantic song), but still having an undeniable respect for each other and loyalty to each other, whether it’s healthy or not. At first, ‘I don’t think about it’ was two things at once—a declaration of unconditional love, and an expression of total denial, and it was conceptually tied to these dark, uncomfortable verses. Now when we play it, it still has that ache to it sometimes, but ‘I don’t think about it’ almost feels like a mantra that reminds us to be present, that we’re more than our emotional struggles. There’s a yin and yang thing happening with the verses and this weightless, peaceful chorus.

Maryliz

Don’t Even Think is one of the first songs we played together as Twin Limb. At the time, I was a guitar player, had never touched a drumset. But, after listening to this song, it dawned on me that all it needed was a simple beat, so as to not distract from the beautiful melody, harmonies and lyrical content. That changed everything for me, and helped shaped what Twin Limb is today.

This song has grown and changed, as the band itself morphed into something new. Originally, it was one of our most stripped-down songs, but now it feels amazing for it to finally build up to the epic ending it always deserved.

Every time we’re playing this song live, I’m staring at Lacey, telling her “I don’t even think about it”. We’ve developed this nearly telepathic communication style where we literally get through whatever it is we may be going through, on stage in front of tons of people. Its during the chorus of this song, when I first pause the drumbeat, that the crowd and everything else fades away, and we remind each other that the three of us are here for each other, and nothing else matters. We catch Kevin in our peripherals building up that glorious guitar solo at the end, and we wish we could catch his eye to tell him how much we love him. Its such a beautiful feeling. I love opening any set with this song, because it perfectly sets the tone for me, personally.

Kevin

The second the ladies played Don’t Even Think for me for the first time I fell in love. The chords are so comforting and gratifying yet theres a deep melancholic longing to the rhythm that pulls you under with it… I remember specifically wanting to exploit that tension and juxtapose the beauty with some terrifying and tense sounds. The end is like a battle between good and evil where good comes out on top yet covered in blood and gashing wounds.

New Shack

Posing by the keys with New Shack; photographed by Mark Leavy.

Posing by the keys with New Shack; photographed by Mark Leavy.

Provo, Utah’s New Shack dropped the analog glamor sense of sophistication mixed with sparse, sweet, and subtle sensationalism with their “House of Frankenstein” video. The Mark Leavy, Kyle Gibby, & Nick Rush video showcased the group’s hi-art sensibility that is delicately applied to the dream-scape worlds of fashionable poses, textiles, spacial set designs that keeps the fashion week phenomenon lingering a bit longer. The synth-obsessed twosome of Catherine Leavy and Eric Robertson began the collaborative correspondence while Leavy was in Germany where virtual audio transmissions commenced their synergistic process. Find this and more on New Shack’s recent album Shadow Girl available now via Bandcamp, and the two shared with us the following words on the making of their Shadow Girl album, and their “House of Frankenstein” video:

It’s been interesting to see the evolution of New Shack from its EP origins to our most recent single, “House of Frankenstein”. In many ways our name “New Shack” has been a pretty good moniker for our sound and approach. We’ve experimented with all kinds of “new” sounds in a lo-fi way, mixing analog synth sounds that pop and slide with layers of crackly vocals. “Frankenstein” marks our first song recorded on a professional mic and also our first song featuring guitar and bass as the main instruments. It was unfamiliar territory, but it came together so fluidly—we immediately knew we’d discovered something special. We’ve never had a specific vision for our sound so we feel lucky to have found this thing that feels like what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re excited to continue on in this direction and see where New Shack goes.

Hear a preview of Jónó Mí Ló’s 20 minute track experiment “Forever Alone” presented by Eco Futurism Corp available soon in the forthcoming weeks. From the new imprint operated by LORD Ø, Jónó continues to work in the new fields of audio-development as prepares for an upcoming guest curatorial group exhibition for New York’s Babycastles gallery, with a hypertext interactive website and short story “Dawn Of The New Ugly”, premiering an upcoming live performance art project titled, Jónó Mí Ló Meets Jesus Christ.

Kooley High’s Heights EP will be available October 9 and we got the ultra-cloud-piercing-cruiser “Middle East Coastin” produced by Foolery and cuts courtesy of DJ Ill Digitz. The east and west hemispheres collide together with that high-rise state of mind and peace that bridges any issue the higher heights of upper deck state of mind.

Introducing Oakland quartet Mansion who are readying their album Early Life available the first week of November from Degenerate and we present you the following sneak listen preview. “The Third” brings foreboding post-post-punk dadaist devices of conventional destruction, ripping forward and kicking over the pulpits of acrimonious hypocrisy on “California Priest”, to the heavyweight champion clamor and clout of “100 lb Crown”. As usual, Oakland’s DIY scene-circuits continue to thrive as SF’s technocratic empire continues to drive out their most talented (whilst being taken over by the suburban swarms) in troves.

Behold the glimmer bouquet of colorful lights that comprise Jayson Valencia’s video for Lunar Twin’s “Champagne (Grand Cru edit)” from their forthcoming Champagne (Remixes) EP available October 12 from Emerald & Doreen Recordings. Spheres of designs and beams of light embody the starlight, champagne and chandelier synth pop brooding dreams that encapsulate the most decadent of evenings and the accompanying morning hangover.

Welsh band Lights That Change dropped the single “Voices” from their forthcoming new album available TBD from Raphalite Records. Mandy Clare’s voice slowly soars above the ultra-foggy atmospheres orchestrated by Marc Joy, John Bryan, and friends. Look and listen for further world on their album debut Byzantium.

L’Orange & Kool Keith’s Time? Astonishing! is available from Mello Music Group, and we give you a rare listen to L’s production isolated with the record’s instrumental grooves for your own choose-your-cinematic-adventure liking.

From Spray Paint’s fifth album Dopers that sees release today via Monofonus Press, hear what all the hub-bub is about with the transmission-rhythmic-distorter of orderly disorder; “Signal Master”. The Chris Woodhouse production (recorded on tour last August in 87 shows in 66 cities and in 12 different countries). With production taking place at Woodhouse’s compound in Sacramento as the Northern California fires raged on, the post-apocalyptic quality shines through like reliving the end of the classic Old Yeller as the Austin group bemoans the detached “it’s time to put the dog down” chorus refrain from hell’s kennel pound of unwanted souls.

Hear G Herbo (FKA Lil’ Herb) and his new tape Ballin Like I’m Kobe as the artist makes the big signing to NYC’s Cinematic Music Group that brings the East Chicago youngblood into the big emcee forum & foray.

In case you missed it, hear Benjamin Verdoes (Iska Dhaaf, Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band, etc) presents a listen to his second solo album The One & The Other available now from Brick Lane Records. The Seattle by NYC artist presents explorations of the heart and mind through electronic artifices that spring from found city sounds and piano keys at the core. By the time Other runs it’s electro-tinged cycle; Verdoes’ specter of sound will haund long after the sound has ceased it’s speaker-stemmed emissions.

Deantoni Parks is opening for Run the Jewels and touring with BOOTS through October 24, and lends some big-bass-booming singularity synth-sations with “Our Shadows” off the forthcoming Technoself album debut available December 4 through LEAVING Records.

Australia’s Majella is made up of the talents TN, Isha Ram Das Simpson, & Jack Hawthorne who keep the feeling pressing and pushing with “On & On” that provides rhythm and blues taken into the digital realm of electrified amplification of all involved feelings and expressions thereof.

From Holy ’57, hear the golden era-inverted to the contemporary age full of distorted emotional projections of exquisite pop tones with the honest big production of “Au Naturel” from the forthcoming debut EP H available October 26

Checkout Moodsmith’s super vibed out EP Mantara’. Pt. 1 that fills the atmosphere with super tranquil and shining electric sensations that features vocals from Megan Davies. Mantara Pt. 2 will be out October 8, but first check out super smooth “Loud”, and the down tempo cool trot stepping song “Funky Ham

Benoit Pioulard dropped the title track from his forthcoming EP Noyaux available November 6 from Morr Music that paints vast parabolic ambient pictures through audio that resembles the acoustic essence of air’s passage through both wood, brass, & the cadence of many metallic (yet soft at the same time) reverberations.

Check out the RUFFMERCY & Patch D. Keyes animated & Jay Brown shot/edited video for Semi Hendrix’s title cut off Ras Kass & Jack Splash’s upcoming collaborative album Breakfast At Banksy’s available October 16 from Mello Music Group. The track features Coast Contra & 4Rax joining in on the fun soaking in the flashing collage of animations and film-flashing colors.

Driftless Recordings is releasing Matt Kivel’s forthcoming collaborative album with Alasdair Roberts titled Janus and we give you a listen to the compilation Heaven – Songs of Matt Kivel where you can hear Kivel cover everyone from Roberts, R. Stevie Moore, Sophia Knapp, to his brother Jesse Kivel who you already know from Princeton and Kisses.

Speaking of the Kivels; Kisses dropped the new single “Jam” to coincide with their actual Plum Kisses’ jam collaboration via LA’s Sqirl! with their upcoming new album Rest In Paradise available October 9 from Hit City U.S.A.. Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson are hosting a listening party/ jam tasting this Sunday October 4 at Formerly Yes in LA, and you can “Jam” about with their new single that is certain to inspire a dance party that swings on it’s own accord.

Hear Kenton Slash Demon subterranean-digital beat showdown remix of HEALTH’s “Flesh World” originally off their recent album Death Magic from Loma Vista where the beat narrative bounces all over the place with a little something-something for the subwoofers to enjoy.

Melbourne duo GL dropped their Love Hexagon EP in 2014, and we bring you the return of Ella Thompson and Graeme Pogson who return with the primary pop principles of “Number One” from their upcoming debut album available in early 2016. The track brings a slick economy of electro-moves that makes an intimate appeal to be the central star of the synth-zagging song.

We bring you more joy from Johanna Nordström and company with Jolympix’s new single “At the Shore” that encompasses that dream holiday get away to last through all the work weeks.

William Alexander presents the splendor and twinkling hand crafted pop glimmer of “Giant Fade” off the forthcoming album Strangest Things available November 6 from Yellow K and Forged Artifacts. William’s bedroom pop built audio constructs percolate with the luster of fused sound fidelity where the hi & lo shimmer in a harmonic naturality.

Wray’s debut album is coming this January via Communicating Vessels, and we bring you the sonic waves of pure relativity and blends of dissonance and assonance on the track “Relative”.

Introduce yourselves to Santa Cruz upstart Antdog Da Beast who just dropped his Tunnel Vision EP that provides a listen to some fresh face representation heralding from one of the west coast’s least repped locales in the hip hop game.

From Philly, check out the trippy vision blurring stoned pop majesty of Grubby Little Hands with “Dial Tone” that trips in half wake stuper-slumbers like a heady bed to fridge sleep-walk flight while deep in the arms of dream filled sleep.

Check out the following advance listen from NYC’s Public Access TV with “Patti Peru” from their double a-side Patti Peru / In Love And Alone available later this fall on Terrible Records that brings the emotive expressed power pop fare. The fates and frailty in thoughts on life and death mortality constraints blooms into a big modern era styled production.

Laval, France’s Birds in a Row dropped the raw raging post-hardcore hell-shake and shock of “O’ Dear” off their upcoming album Personal War available October 30 from Deathwish.

Meet Orange County’s Yellow Red Sparks, lead by Joshua Hanson who brings the pains and sing-along afternoon pub pop of “I Want My Knife Back” from the upcoming New Fangs Old Pangs available October 16.

Beliefs’ second album Leaper will be available November 13 from Hand Drawn Dracula, and we present you the VHS recorded karaoke ready video from Joe Roth and Ivy Lovell for the single “1992”. Party like the early 90s never gave way to the new millennium.

From Gun Outfit’s Paradise of Bachelors album Dream All Over”; bear witness to the secular and metaphysical leaning psych meditations on the chord-bending brain-burner, “Worldly Way”.

City Calm Down dropped the progeny pondering single of pensive sentiments on “Son” off their forthcoming album In A Restless House available November 6 from I OH YOU Records.

Exploding Clouds (Miami’s Michael Barksdale, known for his alter ego Culture Prophet & others) just dropped the self-titled EP via King’s Head Records and we bring you the even riding waves of emotion and unrelenting synth-based focus with “Drive the Car”.

Conti is the surname moniker of Mariano Conti from Buenos Aires, Argentina that released the single “ありがとう thank u” that brings the sound of seasons and climates shifting into modes of change and transition.

Sundressed dropped the track “Good As You” from The Same Condition EP available October 23 from Take This To Heart Records that brings the punk-popped power of competitive goodness. Catch them touring October 25 through November 19 featuring select dates with Heartless Breakers.

From Here We Go Magic, check out the super hip jet-setting track “Tokyo London US Korea” that merges together a collection of global locations that become merged together in collection turbine turning loops and chill key progressions. Find this on Be Small available October 16 from Secretly Canadian.

Touring from October 21 through November 20 with Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, check out Brothertiger’s new single “Wake” from the upcoming album Out of Touch available December 4. Brooklyn’s John Jagos continues to push the possibilities of a visions that has given us Vision Tunnels, Golden Years, Future Splendors, and the potentials of where synth-dreamed sounds can take us.

Check out the latest from Montreal’s Young Galaxy with the shining and shimmering splendor of the dance-gear chords of “Ready to Shine,” off their forthcoming album Falsework available October 30 from Paper Bag Records. The world becomes encased like light caught within the many-sided walls of a crystal glass prism.

Peep the super fancy & aberrated video from Matt Walker for “Walks All Over You” from pop radio’s new devilish diva Catey Shaw.

Playing Bowery Ballroom in NYC with Color Guard (fka The Stationary Set) this coming Sunday October 4; we have Life Size Maps’ new hyper-electric banger “Incomplete” that pushes up in edification the imperfections that ultimately make life feel at times comfortably human in that near-perfect kind of bliss sort of way.

Growwler has begun a month long October residency (or “dead-sidency” as it’s billed in conjunction with the month’s Halloween festivities) at San Francisco’s Amnesia playing October 8, 15, & 29 with guests And And And, Sahab, Tango Alpha Tango, and more, and you can vibe to the the group’s vibrant and explosive arrangements now with the following listen to Even Tenor.

Alxndr London dropped the single “Jupiter and Pluto” (featuring Think Like a Panther production) that provides some intergalactic relations and vibes ahead of Mr. London’s in London on October 26.

See Through Dresses from Nebraska dropped the megaton power-chord fest of all the feels with “Drag Scene” off their new upcoming End Of Days EP that follows up their self-debut from 2013 available October 23 from Tiny Engines. That summer heat held over from this past sunny spell carries on in the way that those best romantic sentiments never forever leave both heart and thoughts.

Received a message from The Icarus Line’s Joe Cardamone the other day about their new new seventh album All Things Under Heaven from Agitated Records. Cardamone provided us with the following preface:

This is my documentary about east Los Angeles and the people I grew up with there and also I guess at the same token its a picture of America right now. No one is doing exactly what we are doing with music so I’m compelled to present this album to you. The first 20 minutes are a firewall to keep out the flies. If you get through it the rest of the movie is going to paint a picture for you. No one else is going to talk about the people in this record, they would die forgotten and that would be that. This isn’t following any trend of now but it is a true account. How you hear it is how it was made and played. American Primitivism on full blast.

Welcome back to the weird, and wild world of The Icarus Line with the following Aric Lorton video for the sun scorched sounds of “Solar Plexus”.

Yvette present the following listen to their new Time Management EP from Godmode that turns the moment monetizing act on it’s own twisted head. Codes of conduct become civil rules be broken on “Calm and Content”, to the night piercing post-industrial wasteland shrapnel sounds of dissonance, bending and blurring the conventional means of bestial audio execution on “Rotten Animals”, careening the EP to the dizzying downward tailspin that explodes the corporate compliance of commoditizing everything in a brilliant (yet beautifully blistering) fireball of effigy. After the following jolt of consciousness, stick around for Yvette’s Week in Pop takeover.

Yvette’s Week in Pop

Fasano (4 of 15)
(YVETTE plays Muchmore’s for Godmode’s three year anniversary bash during Northside 2015; photographed throughout by Eric Phipps.)
Riding high off the presentation of their Godmode EP Time Management; we are proud to present Yvette’s own Week in Pop guest selections as envisioned by the duo of Noah & Dale.

Ryuichi Sakamoto & David Sylvian, “Bamboo Houses”

I cannot stop listening to this track. A friend turned me onto this a while back, and I haven’t been the same since. The production is incredible, the composition is catchy, and it’s still such a weird song. Sakamoto is a magician.

yvette (8 of 18)Tony Primo and Nixxie, “The Hardest Thing to Do”

Robyn released this song she did with Metronomy under a pseudonym, which is a fine way to do things in my opinion. This song is gorgeous and the video is nice as well.

Roger Powell, “Lunar Plexus”

Powell was heavily involved with the synthesizer companies Moog and ARP and played in Utopia with Todd Rundgren. Dude knew what he was doing. I kind of happened on this album recently and it was a pleasant surprise. I wish Todd Rundgren would do an e-bow solo on one of our records.

yvette (7 of 18)

The Fall, “New Big Prinz” (live on Tony Wilson’s “The Other Side of Midnight”, Granada TV, UK 1988)

“If there was a holy grail, Mr. Smith would be the only one allowed to pick it up.” This song is so solid. The performance is amazing. I love that each band member has such a defined, isolated role, and it’s so simple. The guitar lines are locked into only a few notes, the drums are tight, the keyboard players are each jamming on one or two notes and that’s it. Reminds me of the virtue of minimalism. Plus, let’s give a round of applause for Mark Smith’s bright purple turtleneck.

The Juan MacLean, “Here I Am” (Octo Octa remix)

Been jamming this one pretty hard. The way it spins out is incredible.

yvette (10 of 18)

Laurie Holiday, “Don’t Tell Anyone”

Reminder: it’s okay to be strange and playful sometimes. Also, everything that Tasty Morsels releases is pretty great.

Sophie, “MSMSMSM”

It’s hard not to get into the weird world of Sophie. We’re fans of any new sounds…and these are definitely new sounds.

yvette (13 of 18)

Terry Riley, “Across the Lake of the Ancient Word”

When you spend at least three nights a week creating really loud, aggressive music, it’s nice to unwind with something like a little Terry Riley. This music still feels otherwordly and soothing. Happy birthday, Terry.

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