Monday, December 15, 2014

Bongley Dead - Demo #3

Bongley Dead are a three (sometimes 4) piece from Italy who play a jolting mix of alternative rock/pop that teeters about punk sentimentality.  'Demo #3' is their latest nine-track album demo, and big ups to whoever in the band passed this my way.  It has a familiar sound that doesn't swing too far in any direction, and the result is a nice, cohesive sound that immediately clicks from start to finish; just solid musicianship all around.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Shing02 - Waikyoku

Shing02 (Shingo Annen) is a bilingual Japanese rapper/producer (also raised in England & attended Berkley for schooling, before moving back to Japan in 1996) who made his debut in 1998.  Since then, he has released multiple albums and appeared on numerous features, reaching his mainstream stride with his rapping alongside producer/DJ Nujabes for the theme-song to the hit anime series "Samurai Champloo" in 2004 (six years before Nujabes' unfortunate passing).

I'm way late on discovering his eclectic discography, while still being in the know (and not knowing) through his collaborative work.  I then stumbled upon a Youtube track to his 2008 album 'Waikyoku', which immediately hit me with its layered and epic instrumental direction/production.  I have yet to hear the rest (which will be right after this post)...but digging to find where the track came from led me to these insane album credits:

  • Motoki Yamaguchi – drums
  • Ayumi Takeshima – violin
  • Kakushin Nishihara – biwa, vocals
  • Philip Gelb – shakuhachi
  • Wesley Ueunten – sanshin, vocals
  • Doc Max – keys, programming
  • Dawgisht – programming
  • David Boyce – saxophone
  • David Ewell – upright bass
  • Cave – keys, bass, trumpet
  • Junzo – guitar
  • Yoshihiro Sako – bass
  • Mr. Buckner – bass
  • Goro – didgeridoo
  • Fukashi Adachi – acoustic guitar
  • Myokei – bells, vocals
  • Eiji Kachi – khoomii
  • Tetsufumi Saito – trombone
  • Tetsu Nishiuchi – saxophone
  • Kentaro Munechika – sound effects
  • KND – koto, steel pan
  • Shuichi Sugimoto – dub
  • Ras Takashi – melodica
  • CHIYORI – vocals
  • Emi Meyer – vocals
  • Tamurapan – vocals
  • Fuyu – vocals
  • Bobimon – vocals
  • Ajo – vocals
  • ASANOTADANOBU – vocals

I thought I'd share because I can guarantee this will be quality, prompting you and me both to dig into the rest of his dense discography.  I have no idea what to really expect past the title track, but those album credits should be an indicator that he means business.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Family - Minimal Gods

Japanese progressive/Zeuhl instrumental masters Happy Family have re-formed and released their first album since their hiatus in 1998, marking their official 3rd full-length release, 'Minimal Gods'.  The new lineup consists of Kenichi Morimoto (keys), Keiichi Nagase (drums), Takahiro Izutani (guitar), & Hidemi Ichikawa (bass).  Slightly different direction from their work in the 90's, but none the less some instrumental greatness. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Legendary producer AFTA-1 has returned in a big way with 2 new full-length albums and 2 new EP's.  In what can be described as nothing less than Bandcamp wizardry (or fuckery), he has released a digital onslaught in the past two months -- across three.different.Bandcamps no less -- giving all of them false future release dates and at times deleting and re-uploading releases -- even to the point of selling unheard, individual tracks.  
The best example is the release of his 'Yellow Red Blue' EP, which only remained online to purchase for 1 day (it has since returned on his official Bandcamp).  Another example, is him nonchalantly posting to an online post (much like this one) an unreleased companion track to his album 'LIGHTHOUSE', "Mother Earth", which clocked in at over 15 minutes.  Sadly, this is the only bit of new material that escaped me that he's seemingly left to the ether.

His album 'Toy Machines' is the same album as 'おもちゃの機械たち' on his official Bandcamp (which in fact roughly translates to "Toy Machines"), though oddly (or orderly?) the track-lengths vary by 1-30 seconds and the production styles of the same songs are noticeably different (where IMO the official 'おもちゃの機械たち' is much cleaner sounding, and also includes song-titles and not 12 underscores for a tracklisting).  More on this point, 'SUN MOON WIND WATER' features tracks that can all be found on the full-length 'LIGHTHOUSE', though they have different titles and are slightly extended/shortened, and again with slightly different production techniques -- I assume this EP is something of a condensed version of 'LIGHTHOUSE'. To make matters more confusing, the original artwork for 'おもちゃの機械たち' used to be the same as the other Bandcamp's album artwork for 'LIGHTHOUSE'.
One thing to be certain, fuckery aside, is that all of this new material is absolutely awesome.  And it's literally being updated and altered as you read this.

Some of the tracks even include his vocals, a welcome return in my opinion since their debut with his track "7th Sun".  Fans of AFTA-1 are in for surprises (clearly), but expect the same level of quality he's expressed since his debut on 'Aftathoughts Vol. 1'.  
And please support this beat/space maven in whatever capacity you can, even if you buy an individual track from him.  Who knows, you might even be the only person who'll ever have it.



 Yellow Red Blue
(original artwork)

Toy Machines
(official Bandcamp version of the album, features titled-tracks.  Not the official Bandcamp artwork.  The album is also in Kanji on the official version, as is 'LIGHTHOUSE')

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hosewheel - Bowls & Batteries

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Aussitôt Mort - Le chant des sirènes

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dangers - Five O'Clock Shadows at the Edge of the Western World

Dangers' latest, released in January.  Little late circling back but definitely among my favorite releases heard in 2014.  Reasonably priced on their Bandcamp for $4...screamo of a deal!  It's more hardcore/punk, though. Shiiieet.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shintaro Sakamoto - Let's Dance Raw

Shintaro Sakamoto is the genius ex-frontman/guitarist of Japan's recently disbanded Yura Yura Teikoku.  'Let's Dance Raw' is his new sophomore solo album, and starting to describe it is somewhere between sweet slide-guitar and choral computerized children.  Children's vocals have been present on past YYT endeavours (mostly the amazing 'No Memai'), but Shintaro makes sure to switch the style, pitch-shifting to the point of auditory phantasm in some songs, namely the most abundant example "Birth of the Supercult".  Still, it isn't the all encompassing sound of the album, though the methods of including it are noteworthy because no one has really done this similarly, which really sums up Shintaro's music in general -- you never know what you're going to get.

Wasn't even aware he had solo outputs (his first in 2011), so I'm glad I made my way back via an interview with him and the amazing Buffalo Daughter.  Shintaro appears on a track on the latest Buffalo Daughter ("Love & Food"), the equally & wonderfully zany 'Konjac-tion' album.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hazel Nuts Chocolate - Cute

Hazel Nuts Chocolate is the electronic/pop mind-child of Japan's Yuppa (ゆっぱちゃん), formed in 2000 and later renamed to HNC in 2009 to solidify her solo-artist progression.  She handles composition, lyrics, vocals, programming, concept design, and artwork.  'Cute' is the second (and final) full-length released by her earlier band (three members) in 2005, with accompanying programming help from Hayashibe Tomonori (from Plus-Tech Squeeze Box).

A carefree pop record that really has a lot of dynamic twists underlying its cheery vocals.  Basically a great album where you don't have to overthink to enjoy, but are rewarded equally for doing so.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hosewheel - Through the Mill

My latest keyboard attempts.  Probably could have trimmed out two or three songs for length/repetition but ended up enjoying enough moments in all of them to make it my largest session.  Mostly jazz oriented, some Latin grooves, sad keys, chiptune, 80's soundtracks that never happened, etc.  "Marimba Alley" might be the best thing I've accidentally done.

The album art is from some castle in Luxembourg...I figured the modern lighting plus the archaic knight is about the summation of my music in general.  Plus it's just a cool picture.

1. Leviasons [4:10]
2. York [4:03]
3. Omni [3:30]
4. Torn Together [3:37]
5. Juice & Distant Death [3:07]
6. Call Me What You Want [3:16]
7. Mad Nomad [4:55]
8. Flutterer [3:25]
9. The Name Became Memory [4:26]
10. Bailey Cat [2:23]
11. Hosewheel [2:51]
12. Marimba Alley [5:00]
13. Razzmatazz [3:08]
14. Clocking In & Punching Out [3:15]
15. Miles Apart & Yet Crawling [5:42]
16. The Beast from the Sea [3:11]
17. Gangsta [2:59]
18. Quell Box [4:18]
19. Waltzing With Papa [3:38]
20. Influence Yourself [4:56]
21. Exhale Flows Around [3:11]
22. Port Bliss [2:12]
23. Space Aces [3:54]

Hobosexual - Hobosexual II

Following up the no-frills, lo-fidelity, down n’ dirty jet-propelled blues of their self-titled debut CD in 2010, Seattle rock duo Hobosexual have finished recording their ultimate bombastic love letter to the forces that nourish them: honesty, robots with rocket launchers for fingers, dirt, empty carbohydrates, fire and hair. Perhaps a nice single-malt scotch as well.

Asked by writer Trent Moorman to describe Hobosexual’s sound, guitarist Ben Harwood summed it up as “Bearded glory… I also love the idea of the 1980s. Not necessarily the actual decade or reality of the 1980s, but more the one-liners, like when Schwarzenegger throws a steam pipe through the chest of his assailant at the end of Commando and says, ‘Let off some steam.’ That whole rhetoric, over-the-top Reaganomic banter will never be seen or heard again.”

Awesome album, sounds like Jack White singing through a hangover.  Something like that.  I first heard them through live vids on youtube, and as a testament to the band, their live vids match if not better their audio on the recordings.  Check out the rest of their vids from this set and become an instant fan, every track is spot on with great energy.  The album is great too but this is definitely a band I'd want to see live.

Kikagaku Moyo - Forest of Lost Children

幾何学模様 (Kikagaku Moyo, meaning “geometric patterns”) is a psychedelic rock band from Tokyo, Japan, founded in the summer of 2012 by Go Kurosawa and Tomo Katsurada. Their first self-titled EP was released in September 2013 on Cosmic Eye Records / Sound Effect Records.

The five set make a nice psychedelic/ambient mix accentuated by the sitar on their 2014 'Forest of Lost Children', an album that seams song to song for an eclectic overall album.  And as usual I was drawn in by the cover...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mars Red Sky - Stranded in Arcadia

'Stranded in Arcadia' is my 2014 introduction to Black Sabbath meets Band of Skulls Mars Red Sky.  The trio from Bordeaux, France plays an awesome mix of heavy/psychedelic fuzz & buzz mixed with airy and unique gender-bending vocals that instantly catch and bounce track to track.  Definitely among my favorite discoveries/albums of the year.  If you're hooked on "Hovering Satellites" then you'll no doubt enjoy being stranded.  Absolute (Arcadian) gem.

Abtomat - Abtomat

This is interesting.  I interpreted the first "song" to be a robotic-voice intro leading into some sort of electronic foray, but instead was treated to an entire album of bot-talk that serves as the rhythm with voices layered atop one another.  That's not to say it isn't musical -- warped keys accompany the robots the entire album, though they serve more as accents than actual drivers to the songs.  As an example, the track "Dangerous" has the robots speaking about doing a number of different activities, before another robot continually chimes in as a chorus of sorts to affirm that such pursuits are "too dangerous".

I have no idea how I got this -- I can only assume the robots transmitted me this.  The only information I could find out about them is that they're likely from France and that they played one show in an airport (lolverload).  This was released in 2010, sometime before the robots flew back in their spaceship.

Weird stuff but definitely worth a listen.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Reef & Emynd - The Fast Way

Latest album from Reef The Lost Cauze that I blinked on.  Fresh as usual, and a nice new frag with the production styles of Emynd.  Hurts me how underrated this dude still is outside some circle-shapes.  Whatever though. Album is available for streaming/pay your own price on Bandcamp.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Oknai - High Tide

Oknai is a Slovenian electronic artist (currently based in Berlin) who got his start chopping up live Ableton sets dubbed 'clip chop', allowing him to share the stage with venerable acts like Free The Robots & Venetian Snares. 'High Tide' is the follow up full-length to Oknai's debut EP 'Ain't a Dream' (rx:tx). The album was entirely produced on the coasts of Costa Rica where Oknai completely immersed himself in all its beauty and wilderness, surfing, diving, exploring, eating them exotic fruits and, well, making music. And the music is not about bananas, pineapples and coffee. It's also not necessarily a sunny record. It's a subtle and cohesive mix of lo-fi drums, synths and lots of bass. It's hiphop with hidden juke-ish rhythmics.

Great stuff, glad Oknai passed this along to me.  Grab a physical/digital copy on the 23rd if you dig.  Soaked in sweet so that shouldn't be difficult.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Azat - Audiograft No:1

Awesome new single from Azat, "Audiograft No:1".  Can only hope this means a full release soon; the other two unreleased tracks on his soundcloud are still getting play.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

AFTA-1 - U N D E F I N E D

Latest greatness from AFTA-1.  
As I understand it these were all recorded live? All through the computer probably, but whichever...sounds nice.
Some older material (some with different strokes/names) but lots of newness/unreleased gems interspersed throughout, like my personal favorite "Lil' Bit of Ice" (which has been around since 2011, an instrumental for Pheo's album 'Wriot!').  

As I understand it this is a precursor to his upcoming new material/albums ('Analogue' & 'Infinite Skies').  Either way, no one is chilled as this dude.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Chief Kamachi - Radio Raheem

Latest album from Philly MC Chief Kamachi.  I first heard him through his collaborations with Reef the Lost Cauze (half the members of JuJu Mob), and regrettably didn't give due credit for his 2012 solo LP 'Rise & Rhyme Vol. 1'.  I replayed that album countless times (imo "City Blocks" is the best hip-hop song I heard in 2012), and always went back to his collabs with Reef, so when I heard his latest solo output 'Radio Raheem' I was pleased as punch to know he's back and even more on point.  Whether from the title alone or hearing the opening track "Back to the Breaks" you know this album is special; hip hop heads will be happy to know it definitely comes with extra mozzarella.

(get the shirt)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Comadre - Comadre

The 2013 self-titled swan song from progressive punk/hardcore goliath Comadre.  Arguably (and personally) their finest release in their seven year stint.  May the members rattle and stomp past, present, and future eardrums.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Obsidian Kingdom - Fingers in Anguish (video)

'Obsidian Kingdom is no longer an independent band. We have come to this hard resolution having one and only one thing in mind: to keep making music for you.

Because we want you to know about us if you don’t already. We want to be able to play in your town or very near. We want you to spin our records without having to pay inflated shipping prices. And we would rather invest our limited and valuable human resources in making music, not in bureaucracy.

Season of Mist is one of the biggest, strongest and longest-lived independent labels that we know. It is certainly home to legends such as Morbid Angel, Mayhem and Cynic, but what makes it so attractive for us to be part of the family is the way they respect and support the aesthetic identity and artistic ideas of the bands they work with. On top of everything else, they are devoted music lovers just like ourselves.

And from now on, we will be working side by side to bring our music to your ears in the best and most efficient way possible, starting with the long-time demanded re-issue of our debut album, Mantiis, which will happen this autumn 2014. In the meantime, we are already writing more music for you to bask in…

Wish us luck on this brave step, and we will repay you a thousand-fold.

Thank you.'

Congrats to the dudes of Obsidian Kingdom, wish for further success and more awesome music.  Dig the new official video for "Fingers in Anguish" off of 'Mantiis'.

Hot Victory - Hot Victory

Hot Victory is a duo from Portland, Oregon comprised of Ben Stoller on drums, pads, and programming, alongside Caitlin Love on drums, pads, tapes, and samples.  The pairing's fourth album is a progressive/warped cybernetic soundtrack traveling through a portal in outer space; captured on tape via D.I.Y. label Eolian Empire.  They can be seen touring (dates below) with Floor (featuring Steve Brooks of Torche) at the end of this month, coinciding with the 180gm gatefold vinyl/digital release of their self-titled on April 29th.  Temporarily linking the album for promo purposes but show support if you dig/in the area(s):

04/24 Portland, OR @ STUMPFEST @ Mississippi Studios w/ Trans Am
04/26 Laramie, WY @ Gryphon Theater
04/27 Linclon, NE @ Vega
04/28 Kansas City, MO @ TBA
04/29 Nashville, TN @ The Other Basement / Sweetwater
04/30 Atlanta, GA @ 529 
05/02 Gainesville, FL *
05/03 Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall *
05/04 Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel *
05/05 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus *
05/06 Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary *
05/07 Boston, MA @ Great Scott *
05/08 Buffalo, NY @ The Tralf *
05/09 Pittsburgh, PA @ The Smiling Moose *
05/10 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme *
05/11 Chicago, IL @ Double Door *
05/13 Denver, CO @ The Moon Room *
05/14 Salt Lake City, UT @ Bar Deluxe *
05/16 Portland, OR @ Branx *
05/17 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey *

* with Floor

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Soulection - 3 Years of Soulection

Soulection is a record label, radio show and niche collective of creative music makers worldwide. Based out of Los Angeles, CA, Soulection procures the finest tunes and increases visibility for them and their originators via FM signal [KKJZ 88.1FM HD3 - Saturday's 10am-1pm PDT], social media & events.

"In response to us hitting our 3 Year Anniversary we want to present to you a compilation that reflects Soulection and the progression that we have made in these past 3 years. From the very first release (Soulection Compilation Vol. 1) which launched on January 24, 2011 all the way until today, we highlighted the best tracks from each of our releases.

We have so many new ears and we just want to thank you. We are excited for what is next in 2014 and happy to have you along with us. Lets keep progressing and spreading this true music. If you feel this, spread it.


-Soulection Family

Awesome name-your-price compilation that features the opening track from AFTA-1, whom recently could be heard playing new material (!) at Coachella.  Excited to check out the other artists I'm not familiar with. 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Prolific producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez recently teamed up again with longtime collaborator, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and to round out the group, named ANTEMASQUE, has added Dave Elitch on drums and the legendary Flea on bass.

"4AM" & "Hangin in the Lurch" are the first released tracks.



Friday, April 4, 2014

City of Caterpillar & Gospel - Unreleased

Unreleased/rare songs from two of the best defunct screamo/progressive bands.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Nine - Babylon Policies

First single from the upcoming free album Nine Double M 
Introducing QUININE MILLI 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Louis Logic - Look on the Blight Side

The unique flavor of Louis Logic is back in an entirely new rapper within sample-free, self-produced, rich instrumental choral blends.  The keys and (his) backing vocals of opening track "Day Late & A Dollar Short" are a sweet hello to the reconstruction of Louis' sound on 'Look on the Blight Side', and throughout his lyrics and delivery has never been more honest or expanded.
Highlights for me include said opening track and "Chip Off the Old Blog", a speedy and frantic fray on bloggers that requires repeat listens just to process the level of quality and delivery being showcased.  
The album art is slick as slip too.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Esko - "American"

Esko is a budding LA based MC who passed along his wig-flipping single for "American" -- a prolific and critical sentimental statement about American politic$ and influence.  I was so taken aback by something that managed to find my spam folder that I had to contact Esko immediately and dig into whatever releases he's put out.  The first is a free 2009 EP on his bandcamp, followed by the criminally under-exposed 2012 album 'The Seed'.  
With visual cinematography as a stated influence (Kubrick & Tarantino), it's evident to see how Esko vividly moves from beat to beat as an audio-director/storyteller.  The album thus relates his life story within the metaphor of a seed being forced to rebuild and grow after passing through the dark recesses of space.  The flourish is something beautiful and tranquil, but not without thorns.

Going to hold Esko to an interview when his new album surfaces...  
Dude is on the precipice of amazing and realizing he's reverberating in space.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

This Word Is Weapon - Sophia, The Mother

Summer 2013:  Sophia, The Mother

When I said Longevity had honors for my favorite release of 2013 - and while largely that vein beats true - it was a bit of downplayed negligence on the fact that I was lucky to be a witness/participant of a local DIY EP involving my favorite people in the summer.  

This Word Is Weapon are a local MT band that have shuffled a few iterations, and in July (around my birthday no less) I got to take part in a guest/gang vocal in a "until-we-meet-again" EP of sorts featuring the founding members, plus the addition of the lead singer's bro on bass.  
My brother drummed for them at the inception (the two guitar players, bru, and singer were past pieces of another local hardcore band for years) but was absent for one album and returned for this amazing EP which was written, recorded, and essentially mastered in a few days after having not played as a unit for well over a year.

If you were to look up DIY in the dictionary, these dudes are the breath.  Their previous band they mastered their album in New York by the same people/persons who curated work of Thursday and other big names, and in the financial learning curve of getting a band off the ground, ran with it in their next iteration of TWIW completely by themselves -- and more to the point -- they did it exceptionally.  One of the guitar players got a masters in audio recording/mastering (he runs his own studio now), and in the 3-4 releases they did he handled pretty much all of the recording process.  The other guitar player is an advertising/screen printing virtuoso (check out his company A Thousand Arms), and as a collaborative effort, as someone who was around it, really spurned something special in our local music scene.

The fundamental point to this, is that their music is tragically under exposed for such a longtime labor of love.  I really wanted to just post this EP for free in the hopes that more people would listen, but having not mentioned it or contacting them, I'm really just imploring that anyone who digs good music to pay a few bucks to sharpen their shovel.  Of all their releases, this is undoubtedly my favorite, surely from my closer connection to it, but also as a no-BS fanboy who never had to fake a headbang at any of their songs or shows.

I guess my waiting was selfish to not promote them on this stage, but the recent news of their studio having flooding issues -- prompted to me to push back and help give them some of their due.  This four track EP is truly special to me, and I hope it will be for you.  Whether it's a tight-fitting Beyond the Black Rainbow sample or the crushing last song, this is something too good to be missed by any metal/ambient/hardcore music fan.

If you dig what you hear/see (can stream all four songs below), please seek out a physical/digital copy from these awesome and talented dudes.  The packaging is DIY and looks badass, plus they have all self-printed shirts that are equally awesome.  Awesome.
--The TWIW shirts aren't in the store anymore, but if you contact them I would bet they would be more than willing to hook you up for reasonable coin.  The coliseum shirts they re-printed for this release are so fresh (can see it in the thumbnail of the above picture), or they would probably do the TWIW-tee shown below that they also made to coincide with its 7/20/13 release.

Music video for 'Pleroma' 
(ft. guest vox by Mario Miner)