Friday, January 30, 2009

Mumbles - Transformations/Illuminations

LA's Mumbles is among my favorite producers -- his collaboration with Aceyalone on '
A Book of Human Language' stands as one of my favorite hip-hop albums. I'd been trying to get a hold of his 'Transformations/Illuminations' album with no luck -- his first original full-length since 1998 (which was 'ABoHL').

Mumbles apparently went soul-searching abroad, hoping to broaden his scope as an individual and artist -- and some of the collaboration choices on '
Transformations/Illuminations' illustrate this (Aceyalone returns, Cut Chemist, Blu, The Fowler Brothers, a laundry-list of cameos) mah'velously.

I wouldn't say it "tops" '
A Book of Human Language' (which is unrealistic to even ask -- Aceylone & Mumbles are a perfect pair), but this album has affirmed my respect and gratitude for Mumbles' craft. He has an ear for not only what he's producing, but how it affects the song's overall effectiveness and emotion -- in a literal sense, it just sounds fucking good.

Any fan of his past work or those who haven't heard, this album won't fail to impress.

mind the graves

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shora - Live in Athens 1-19-09

It should be no secret that I love Switzerland's Shora -- their 2 upcoming albums (one a follow up to 'Malval', the other a music score for a Nathalie Rebholz film) have been my most anticipated releases for quite some time.

That said, thank whichever gracious soul recorded their recent gig in Athens with Yndi Halda. The band weaves in some new material, but primarily they just jam/expand upon 'Malval' in an entirely new light and dynamic.

It seems the Shora of old (aggressive/vocals) has passed, but the sound they introduced on Malval seems to be getting refined to an art of spectacle -- listening to this bootleg exposed a completely different Shora even while playing through the album's basic structure, with tantalizing hints of where they're headed next.

Def recommend this. At first listen I was slightly disappointed at the lack of new material, until I realized that even Malval itself sounds like an entirely new beast (listen to the dynamic of keys/guitar), and that the new threads holding the show together are an exciting taste of Shora to come.

Shora: Live in Athens 1-19-09
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Monday, January 26, 2009

mudy on the 昨晩 (sakuban) - Kidnie

"2nd mini album" from mudy on the 昨晩 (sakuban), 'Kidnie'. Here's a previous post for those who missed.


mind the graves

Friday, January 23, 2009

Vakill - Worst Fears Confirmed

Chicago's Vakill made a name for himself with the hip-hop collective The Molemen, and solidified himself among the underground with his 2006 solo-album, 'Worst Fears Confirmed'.

Vakill runs off a sharp punch-line delivery, but his shit never sounds elementary or overdone, and he has a knack for keeping the tracks in motion. And he has help. The production (handled by Molemen members Memo & Panik) is tight throughout, and Vakill cuts through the cracks for an all-around impressive album start to finish.

2009 will give rise to his next release, 'The Armor of God'. He might take three years per output, but often greatness is a patient craft.

Worst Fears Confirmed
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Umbrella Sequence - Events

Take a moment to let the awesomeness of this photo sink in

The Umbrella Sequence are a good alternative/"indie" group with a dynamic emphasis between the drums/keys, and an ethereal singer who never sounds forced or fake. These Minnesotans got my attention with their 2007 album 'Events' -- just tightly crafted feels good man stuff.

The band has another album coming this year...and it's good to know that for all the poppy-seeds these mofos sprout into poppy-plants into poppy-hits that they have a good sense of humor in it all:

Heads Explode

And a song from 'Events': "Urban Lull (At Once Charmed)"

Seriously fresh stuff, def recommend it! obviously rite? rite.

mind the graves

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Khanate was a doom/drone-metal powerhouse featuring James Plotkin (check his Phantomsmasher stuff) and Stephen O'Malley -- but most of my adoration for the band comes from vocalist Alan Dubin.

I've dabbled in "scary" singers like in a lot of the black-metal scene, but nothing has compared to the first time I heard Dubin unleashing his shrieks on Khanate's self-titled. To be honest I'm not sure anything has topped it, still. And it's a powerful combination of his voice + lyrics that equals
straight-fucked -- in the best way possible.

The band broke up not long after their inception -- but their unreleased album '
Clean Hands Go Fowl' is finally getting a release, and as I can tell you now/you can hear for yourself, the album is worth digging up the bones for. It hits like the familiar Khanate, lots of slow-paced doom for Dubin to soar over the top of, and ultimately leave you wide-eyed clutching your teddy, gun, or cross. Or maybe just do some grim poses and enjoy the ride.


Clean Hands Go Foul
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coming Feb 20th: Kashiwa Daisuke

Kashiwa Daisuke is among my favorite musicians around, and I'm gliiitching in anticipation for his Feb 20th release of his 3rd full length, '5 Dec'. If you missed my previous Kashiwa Daisuke post, def check those out.

For a taste of the new album, listen to noble-label's up of "Requiem"....
The dude just doesn't disappoint.

more info from


“program music I”, released approximately a year and a half ago introduced audiences to a musical interpretation of two Japanese literary classics, “Night on the Milky Way Railroad” and “Run Melos!” and revealed the rich musical talent of kashiwa daisuke. As we enter the final one digit year of the new millennium, we are proud to release “5 Dec.”, an album that drops hints of what’s to come in the next 10 years. kashiwa’s first album released from German label, onpa, in 2006 won rave reviews from many artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto.

In his second album, “program music I” released the following year, kashiwa daisuke defined his presence once again in the world of music. The artist’s lyrical melody and dynamic and inventive musical arrangements have led his work to new frontiers in TV commercials and fashion shows. kashiwa casts also off a powerful presence on the online world through his musical + visual collaboration with Koji Nishida of RAKU-GAKU, the artist behind kashiwa’s album jackets.

In his third album, “5 Dec.”, kashiwa daisuke makes yet another step into a new horizon. In this album, the artist’s signature melody with its flowing, oriental taste hides behind the shadows to be replaced by tearing voice samples and noisy and metallic guitar sounds thrashing almost violently on top of colorful uplifting beats such as break core, down tempo, bleep techno, and drum n’ bass. In contrast to the aggressive sounds of the first half, the second part of the album starting with the 6th track, “Silver Moon” guides audiences to a minimal world created through electronic sounds and the piano. As a whole, the album portrays a brilliant contrast of sound.
The melody of this album does not impose sentimentalism or nostalgia onto its listeners but rather, it takes them on a journey into rhythm from beginning to end. Even amidst the violent and excessive elements, there is always a composed eye seeing into the passion that lies beneath, there is a self-disciplined, strict interpretation of the world, a sublime and metallic texture… this is what the artist kashiwa daisuke may be all about. Turn your ears and experience the fruit of kashiwa daisuke’s new challenge and step with him into a whole new level of musical originality.


5 Dec
Feb 20th
Listen: "Requiem"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory - Tree Colored See

'Tree Colored See' is the result of the 2006 collaboration between LA-based DJ Nobody and Mystic Chords of Memory (featuring Chris Gunst from Beachwood Sparks). The three had exchanged guest-spots before deciding to do a full-on collaboration, and the result is a psychadelic hip-hop/folk-rock conglomerate, which surprisingly works.

Soothing but upbeat songs, and a refreshing listen in headphones.

Tree Colored See
mind the graves

Friday, January 9, 2009

Kow Otani - Wander & the Colossus: Roar of the Earth

Aside from being one of my favorite games, Shadow of the Colossus features a brilliant soundtrack from the masterful composer Kow Otani. 'Wander & the Colossus: Roar of the Earth' (or simply 'Roar of the Earth') is literally a colossal, 42-track full-orchestra wonderland; everything from organ, bells, flute, full-scale choir ensembles, to sweeping percussive rhythms immerse you in the vast world Otani helped define and shape.

Fans of the game will probably appreciate it more, but the soundtrack is still a treat for the uninitiated. Listening in headphones, it's not hard to realize the beautiful but unforgiving world Otani has outlined -- of behemoths scourging through an epic and tranquil uncertainty.

Kow Otani: Roar of the Earth
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I got into Germany's Tephra with their 2005 's/t' album and follow-up '07 release 'A Modicum of Truth'. Tephra lays-down big sounds that any fan of Isis or Neurosis will click-with, or anyone with heavy ears.
The tracklisting times I have for the self-titled is all messed up, and the bitrate is pretty shite, but it still hits. And '
A Modicum of Truth' destroys just fine.


A Modicum of Truth
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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Woodblue - North Letter

Woodblue is a cool blues trip-hop/ambient outfit from Japan, been digging the 'North Letter' album. Good ambient music because it doesn't suffer from repetition, just ebbs from one idea to the next -- lots of cool samples in the mix too. I almost had to up the album by obligation, what with Woodblue sampling 'The Fall' during "Green Flash".

Chill album with plenty of layers to keep the kids off ritalin.

North Letter
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