Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sourface - The Anxiety LP

Sourface is the alias of Adam Bramwell, an upcoming beatmaker from Manchester, England.
As half the Late Night Fruit duo, Bramwell decided to take a solo-venture under the Sourface name, creating a beat-tape that would become 'The Anxiety LP'. His music draws heavy influences from producers like 9th Wonder, Dilla, Black Milk, DJ Premier and RZA.

Probably one of the best releases I've heard this year -- fresh beats, inventive remixes, good song/sample choice with his production style, all around an enjoyable album.
Keep tabs.

1. Intro (The Sourface)
2. If Only
3. Nas - Made You Look (Remix)
4. Thru' It All
5. She Disappeared
6. So Far
7. CL Smooth & Skyzoo - Perfect Timing (Remix)
8. Slidin'
9. The Call
10. Walk On
11. Ghostface Killah - Save Me Dear (Remix)
12. Mind Over Matter
13. One Day
14. Leavin'
15. Nas - Shootouts (Remix)
16. Remember Me
17. Strange Feeling
18. Little Brother, Skillz & Carlitta Durand - Life Of The Party (Remix)
19. Wasting Time
20. Picture This
21. Jay-Z - Song Cry (Remix)
22. An Ending (Outro)

The Anxiety LP
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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Tape vs. RQM - Autoreverse

RQM, Robot Koch

The Tape vs. RQM is the collaboration between Berlin producers Robot Koch and Walera Goodman, with spoken-word/flows by New York's MC RQM.
Walera ended up leaving after the Tape's second release,
'Perpetual Dubbing' (though still contributed "Lonely Planet Revisited" to 'Autoreverse'), to pursue other projects.
This led to Robot Koch recruiting RQM, re-working old material for the intent on performing it live as a new duo, blending the already concrete IDM/post-rock influence with RQM's unique rhymes (comparison I'll draw is to Saul Williams, if just the voice...).

'Autoreverse' was the first album made exclusively between Robot Koch/RQM, a sort of free-form hip-hop release that's as beat-focused as it is mutated electronic experimentation; a mash-up that flows less like a mash-up and more like a long-conceived blossoming of ideas.

This album hit me as a stepping stone, all the more interesting that it came out in 2005 (featuring tracks like "Hip Hop Is Dead" pre-Nas HHID) and still sounds so undiscovered.
Another solid project from Robot Koch, def recommended.

"Rainy Summer"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Matt Stevens - Echo

Matt Stevens is a one-man wall of sound who specializes in looping dynamic acoustic-guitar melodies.
Hailing from North London, Stevens has garnered connections to artists such as John McLaughlin and Sigur Rós, and continues to expand on his word of mouth success with his live shows.

His latest album 'Echo' was released as a 'pay what you want' throughout this month, and after finally getting some listens with the album I feel he deserves some more spotlight...
There's usually three to four things going on in any song with his loops, and it's really impressive how much they meld together as much as they stand on their own; simple melodic builds become seemingly complex structures once Stevens has all the pieces in place.

Talented guitarist/composer no doubt.
Keep tabs

mind the graves

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Crime in Choir - s/t

Crime in Choir is a now-quintet from California.
The band plays a cascade of instrumental, synth-driven math-prog (especially onward from their third full length, 'Trumpery Metier'), featuring ex-members of At the Drive-In (pianist Kenny Hopper and guitarist Jarrett Wrenn), The Fucking Champs (current 1/2 drummers Tim Soete), The Mass (saxophonist Matt Waters), as well as many talented past-members like the octopus-drumming Zach Hill.

Zach Hill was featured on the first two full lengths, 2002's 'Crime in Choir' and 2004's 'The Hoop'. His drumming gives the first two records a distinct sound (also the smaller member line-up), a sort of collision between the ethereal melodic keys and Hill's dynamic drumming that cements every track in your head. His work on 'The Hoop' still might be my favorite Zach Hill recording, out of his myriad of projects.

Absolute recommendation if unfamiliar with the album, and definitely worth checking out their other releases.

Crime in Choir
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Rome - L'Assassin

New EP from Luxembourg's apocalyptic-folk act Rome. This EP features two brand new songs and two old songs from '
Masse Mensch Material', re-worked with the new violin player.

Really great stuff -- the new violinist does a lot to fill out their already dense sound, and the two new tracks with him seem a promising step for later works.

mind the graves

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Robot Koch - Death Star Droid

Robot Koch is a producer from Berlin, who makes interesting electronic/trip-hop -- some instrumental, some featuring vocals from himself and contributors. He's also a DJ, composes film scores, and part of the group Jahcoozi, as well as post-rock/hip hop (you read that right) group The Tape vs RQM.

Been digging his 2009 '
Death Star Droid' release after multiple listens... womp bass, ping-pong electronics, nice and light complementary vocals, and overall just a nice hit track to track.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Messer Chups - Zombie Shopping

Messer Chups are an experimental surf band from St. Petersburg, Russia.
Bass player Oleg Gitarkin is the only remaining founding member, switching to guitar with the inclusion of ZombieGirl in 2005. Messer Chups has since operated as a duo of sorts, with a number of contributing vocalists/drummers, as well as renowned theremin player Lydia Kavina.

2007's 'Zombie Shopping' is something of a surf/sample wonderment, interjecting samples of circus music, jazz, and a large amount of film-influence -- like obscure animated works and B-movie horror films -- into upbeat and often devious sounding surf elements.

I'll admit that a large chunk of these songs blend together, but in terms of the overall sound it seems to work in their favor...really just a cool mix of dark samples with lighter sounds that should please either side of the fence.

Zombie Shopping
mind the graves

Friday, February 5, 2010

D.R. Hooker - The Truth

D.R. Hooker was a fairly elusive psych artist, both in his personal life and commercial releases.
His 1972 private pressing of 'The Truth' is seen by collectors as one of the defining private press psych releases in the US; the album got put back into circulation by a number of admiring labels/distributors, also appearing recently on the 'Stones Throw: Forge Your Own Chains/Heavy Psychedelic Ballads & Dirges' compilation album (with his song, "Forge Your Own Chains").

All the rarity aside, really just a quality recording/album. His arrangements are really song-oriented but he has gaps of improvisation/mystical lyrics that really makes this stand out.
Also included on this are a few (if not all?) tracks from his never released 2nd LP, 'Armageddon'.

'The Truth' Personnel

D.R. Hooker - Vocals, Guitar
Vincent de Paul Linus Pasternack - Guitar
George Sheck - Bass
Nick Oliva - Keyboards
Rick Sanders - Syntheziser
Art Ryerson - Drums, Electric Piano, Background Vocals
Haywood Sheck - Drums
Ken Lovelett - Percussion, Vibes
Dave Mason, Buddy Santori - Background Vocals

Armageddon' personnel:

D.R. Hooker - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar

Carroll Yanni - Lead Guitar
Bert McDevitt - Drums
Bob Reardon - Keyboards
Steve Malkan - Bass

The Truth
mind the graves

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

7000 Dying Rats - Fanning the Flames of Fire

7000 Dying Rats are something of a fragmented supergroup (whose lineup has included members from Lair of the Minotaur, The Flying Luttenbachers, & Cattle Decapitation) that demands their music be taken seriously...all-while shedding off layers of ironic/obvious humor that has come to be associated with the grind scene.

The band basically represents a crucial reminder of humility in the music world of handshakes and pretentious artist bios, and in the world of "comedy grind"
(*shudder*) represents a band that isn't just about mucking about (I'm British now) -- they can actually play their instruments.

Nay good reader, if you were expecting a blast-beat'N, snare-snap'N, throw in an ironic hip-hop sample'N, you'd be...partially wrong.
I mean, if your album cover has armed clowns (holding their units, so to say), it's easy to ascertain that humor is there -- just make sure you listen close enough to hear that 'Fanning the Flames of Fire' is more than that.

This is my favorite of the 7000DR that I've heard (the latest full-length 'Season in Hell' is pretty good too, and features a wonderfully odd spoken-word segment from Scott Kelly)...the album strikes such a nice balance of 'take us seriously'/'join in on the joke' that any fan of not only grind (because really, this isn't a grind album, aside the scattershot format) but really just anyone willing to be entertained as much as they are enlightened should enjoy this album.

Fanning the Flames of Fire [1998]
mind the graves

Monday, February 1, 2010

1000names - Worth Making A Noise About!

1000names is the collaboration between DJ "Casio Blaster" and "99 Mistakes" from Sofia. After a developed love with hip-hop culture, the pair teamed up in the early nineties to make beats, or in their words, "to break the beat".
Among their first releases was their 2008 EP, 'Worth Making A Noise About!', six songs of Dilla inspired blips/swells between bouncy-ball beats.

This type of sound is getting as oversaturated as anything, but it just means all the sweeter for genuinely striving groups like 1000names.
Chill beats/ambiance, nice production, recommended.

Their first full-length '
Toys Room Combat' came out in 2009.

Worth Making A Noise About!
mind the graves