Wednesday, March 31, 2010

De Facto - 456132015 [EP]

De Facto was the middle-ground between At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta so to say, featuring Cedric (initially bass, primarily drums), Omar (bass/vocals), Ikey (keys), and Jeremy Ward (sound manipulation, guitar, vocals) doing dub-reggae music.

'456132015' was an EP from 2001, featuring two versions of "120E7" plus "Vesica Pisces", both reworkings from their final album of the same year, 'Légende du Scorpion à Quatre Queues'.
As far as I know the project is still being considered for new material, even with the unfortunate passing of Ward in 2003.

456132015 [EP]
mind the graves

Monday, March 29, 2010

Zegota - Namasté

The prior 2001 full-length from Zegota.
Really nice progression from this album to 'Reclaim!'; behemoth of over an hour of punk/world jams with jabs of intensity to keep it above ground. Last epic features underlying saxophone throughout -- overall just as interesting and dynamic as their later output.

mind the graves

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lvmen - Mondo

2006 album from the Czech Republic's Lvmen.
Crushing atmospheric metal akin to Neu-school post-metlol. The band intersperses a lot of movie samples that fit really well throughout, some nice keyboard additions too as well as some singing variation (specifically Lvmen No. 13) between the bombardment.
And the drummer is really good.

mind the graves

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Deceptikon - Mythology of the Metropolis

Latest release from border-breaker Deceptikon.
I'm still digesting most of it, but def more of an electro/IDM affair compared to his past beat-driven/trip-hop stuff like '
Lost Subject'.
Still plenty of beats and goodness.

Mythology of the Metropolis
mind the graves

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth - Funky Technician

Lord Finesse (most-recognized as the founder of the D.I.T.C. crew) & former partner DJ Mike Smooth released one album under Wild Pitch Records (home to Gang Starr, Main Source, etc), releasing their debut 'Funky Technician' in 1990.

The album showcased production from then-upcoming beatmakers DJ Premier, Diamond D, and Showbiz -- in many ways the introductory page for the D.I.T.C. roster and New York's underground legends.

Any fans of the Show/AG output, pound-pave old school hip-hop, or whatever else you want to coat it with, will find thirteen classic cuts of some of the greatest in the game.
Also worth checking Finesse's comeback after being dropped from Wild Pitch, 'Return of the Funky Man' from '92.

Funky Technician
mind the graves

Monday, March 15, 2010

Geinoh Yamashirogumi - Ecophony Rinne

Geinoh Yamashirogumi (芸能山城組) is a musical collective founded in 1974 by Tsutomu Ōhashi, comprised of doctors, journalists, engineers, students -- basically everyone and anyone capable of making noise.
Initially the group was known for their re-creations of folk music throughout the world (though obviously on a much larger scale), but not until the advent of electronics/synthesizers did the group expand their scope enormously, and gain commercial appeal.

MIDI synths in the 80's couldn't handle traditional tuning systems of gamelan instruments, so the group had to "modify" and program to fit their needs; 'Ecophony Rinne' in 1986 was the first release by the collective to showcase this blending of organic/electronic instrumentation, suited firmly in the hypnotic choir and percussive force of the group.

This whirlwind of styles and voices caught the attention of
Katsuhiro Ōtomo, who enlisted the group to do the entire soundtrack for the popular anime 'Akira' (and anyone who has seen Akira ((hopefully everyone)) should know the immensity of that soundtrack).

The group has reportedly tackled over 80 styles of traditional music from throughout the world, but has managed to somehow keep the overwhelming presence of their music relatively unknown.
Fans of Akira will feel right at home (as the two albums were in conjunction with one another)...the kind of huge, ethereal swells and crashes to knock the crust out of your eyelids in the morning.
"Dark Slumber" is a highlight for me.

Ecophony Rinne
mind the graves

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lights for Nero - ...And Little Lambs Eat Nations

Lights for Nero was an amalgamation hardcore band from South Carolina incorporating saxophone and dual vocalists. The band broke up after releasing two full-lengths, with their 2004 opus '...And Little Lambs Eat Nations' before their departure in 2006.
Great little screamo/jazz flavors, really an unknown gem. There's some weaker tracks, or some where the mix doesn't gel so well, but overall such an interesting record that when it peaks you don't want it to stop, especially with standout tracks like "Chalk Outlines Cover the Dance Floors" and "How the Plane Crash Became A Cliché" (which starts off like a BM anthem).

The saxophone parts won't blow your top off, but the band knew how to incorporate it into their own sound, really just recommended/worth a listen.

...And Little Lambs Eat Nations
mind the graves

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

RQM - Colors Fade 7" / EP

RQM dropped a line and hit me with his 7" / EP of his newest project '
Colors Fade'. It features two tracks, "Atomic Fusion" & "Colors Fade", handled across 5 different producers -- two for the former, and three for the latter.

The fact that RQM's lyrics and delivery hold up on all the different versions is a testament to his impact on the tracks, and the individual producers did a great job of cutting the tracks differently and really making them their own. My first couple listens I found myself picking favorites (initially the 7" versions), but now I find myself going to each individual track for the differences they offer, constantly picking up little nuances from each producer.

Some more great output
from RQM, don't sleep.

Colors Fade 7" / EP
mind the graves

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Red Snapper - Our Aim Is to Satisfy

Red Snapper are a British instrumental band formed in 1993 as a three-member lineup (double bass/drums/guitar) with a number of contributing musicians/vocalists on their albums. The band is often noted for their blend of acoustic instruments mixed with electronic textures, making for a unique blend of acid-jazz.

The band signed to the IDM-heavy Warp records for their debut album 'Prince Blimey'. For their third release, 'Our Aim Is to Satisfy' in 2000, the trio enlisted a number of vocalists/guest musicians, possibly creating their best album before their dissolution (though the band re-formed for one album in 2008).

When I first heard this, I almost stopped listening entirely during the second track, and I'm really glad I didn' many tracks - the latter half especially, are flat-out BNGAZ, guaranteed to get some stir out of that seat.

Our Aim Is to Satisfy
mind the graves

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hideaki Kobayashi - Let The Winds Blow

Hideaki Kobayashi

To say my middle-school years were spent playing the various incarnations of the Phantasy Star Online series would be an understatement...
I played them a lot.
Like, I would go to bed around 4am on a daily basis, and the various hours of finding rare items and what have you would shift to algebra or whatever it was happens in middle-school.
Chances are if you wound my nerdery I could talk about the series for awhile, not so much because it had incredible gameplay, but because the advent of online console games/using Dreamcasts with a dial-up modem was such a new and crazy time for a huge-eyed youngster as myself.

It was like the development of cool, you know? The PSO series was this crazy futuristic vibe, mixed with the coming of age internet/multiplayer, and as lame as it sounds it'll probably be something that sticks in my memory for awhile.
A large reason it will remain in memory, is because of the score across the three titles, composed by Kenichi Tokoi, Fumie Kumatani, and Hideaki Kobayashi. The gist of the game/aesthetic was its emphasis on space/futuristic vibes, and digital lobby-chairs/holograms for days wouldn't have near the impact they did if it wasn't for the electronic wizardry implemented by these three people.

So I thought, I'll go back and listen to these for nostalgia's sake --
I quickly realized how much my memory of the game was embedded in my brain because of the music -- even simple lobby loops implement such cool and interesting tones/electronic pulses that I felt obligated to share with the uninitiated.

I went backwards, choosing the game I played least in the series (thought that newest PSU was pretty weak), and ultimately the most neglected -- Episode III that was a Gamecube exclusive.
A lot of fans didn't like it because it was turn-based/card-battles, yadda-yadda, etc., but regardless of sentiments on the game, the soundtrack might be their best work.

I honestly think this soundtrack, and a few others in the series, are really one of the few game soundtracks that you can listen to independently from the game and still have an appreciation for them, or to say, they could stand on their own as straight-up music releases. Obviously playing the games will make the tracks stand out in your head a little more, but there's such an awesome mix of jazz/electronic/neo-classical shit on here that I think anyone could dig.

I'll stop blabbering and just post this, but this is 'Let The Winds Blow: PSO Ep. III OST', and I tagged the entire album as being 'Hideaki Kobayashi'... he's the only composer on the series who worked on all three titles (even though his output on this one might be the least), so I just left the other composers/guest-singers (as one or two tracks have vocals) in the comments.

If the game seems rubbish or you knew someone like me who played it all the time, still don't hesitate to check out the music. Any fan of electronic music absolutely has to hear this...just some essential tones/ideas thrown around on this, with a huge ensemble of talented musicians to boot.

An idea of the 2-discs:

Tower of Caelum

'Idola' - The Strange Fruits

Let The Winds Blow
mind the graves

Monday, March 1, 2010

Another phone - Medtime EP

New EP 'Medtime' from past-friend Another phone.
Just got around to my email and thought I'd share the surprise.

mind the graves