Sunday, February 17, 2013

Father Murphy Anyway Your Children Will Deny It- 8 Heretical Views / Two Views [Aagoo Records, 2012]

Father Murphy is actually the name of the Italian trio comprised of Reverend Freddie (vocals, guitar), Chiara Lee (vocals, keyboards, percussion) and Vittorio De Marin (vocals, drums, strings). Stinging strings, lo-fi bit crush, crazed vocals, religious-foreboding, and a base of dark ambient/industrial make Anyway Your Children Will Deny It – 8 Heretical Views a ridiculous 8 track journey. This is actually a reworked version of the original album, with remixes by Happy New Year, W.H.I.T.E, Zulus, Thulebasen, Yvette, Noel V. Harmonson/ Sic Alps, Black Dice & Ema Greg. Saunier’s (of Deerhoof) production assistance was a solid benefit to the dark and frantic tone of the original, and his work still shines through in this release. The band recorded a structure and Saunier mixed a fine veneer of psychedelic drone for each track. Oddly enough, Father Murphy tagged the two tracks from Two Views (a single that is part of a remix series) to the top of the album, bringing the tracklist up to 10. This portion features Indian Jewelry’s reworking of "His Face Showed No Distortions", and Philippe Petit’s mix of "Diggin the Bottom of the Hollow”. Both are fantastic.

RECOMMENDED: ALL 1!, 2!, 3, 5!, 6, 7!

Original Group

Two of the contributing artists. Unfortunately, no such luck finding any tracks from the reworked album itself on youtube.

Benjamin Damage Heliosphere [50Weapons, 2013]

Damage is an odd breed of electronic; his samples and progression for many of his tracks would have him fit right into UK IDM, but there’s always a track or two that breathes 50Weapons, Modeselektor’s rapidly rising German techno label. And damn, this guy can juggle those titles effortlessly. Heliosphere is Damage’s second album to date, with a sizable two year gap filled with mostly collaborative work and the occasional dancefloor single (Swarm, track 9). As much as I would like to disagree, his being compared to Black Dog Productions isn’t entirely unwarranted. Ridiculously reminiscent of the 90’s; semi-revitalized, not preachy-nostalgia. His sampling pallet is all his own for the most part, which is surprising for a 50Weapons artist. I could go on. I won’t, but damn this shit is awesome. For IDM, hit up 1, 5, 6, 8, and 10. For techno 2, 3, 4, 7, 9. Easily my favorite release this year.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Metope Black Beauty [Areal Records, 2012]

Black Beauty is the second album released by Metope off of his own label. Similar in sound in comparison to Kobol, Black Beauty is a mix of house, minimal, and techno that jump around into a series of various dance floor moods. Plenty of leftfield fodder to be found. Arrangements are surprisingly complex melodically for the house genre. Contributing to this catchy monster are Sid LeRock, Undo, Stiggsen, and K_Chico. “No Self-Control”, “Deep Sheep”, and “Alive” are the darker tracks on the album while tracks such as “So Cutoff” and “Rough Romance” pay homage to soul and blues. While tracks are technically interesting, it pains me to say that I don’t feel that this album is experimenting with any new sounds, instead rather embellishing on well paved musical ground. Perhaps that’s not a terrible sin for a dance album, but it does mean that Metope’s work can be largely overlooked without missing too much. A shame really for such a well-produced album. I enjoyed it nonetheless however.
RECOMMENDED: 1!, 4, 5!, 7!, 9, 10!


Eric Lanham- The Sincere Interruption [Spectrum Spools, 2012]

Eric Lanham’s first album under his own name, having been previously playing under aliases such as Carl Calm, Palmetto Moon Electronic Group, and part of the duo Caboladies. The album was commissioned back in summer 2011 and was finally recorded in March 2012. Unlike some musique concrete where one is consistently wondering whether the composer truly spent that much time manipulating his collection of noise he announces as “tracks,” Lanham’s work very obviously from the start reflects a good deal of dedication and precision. Tracks range from haphazard monsters spewing rhythms and lines at the listener without care to cloudy analog melodies that occasionally break through the noise. Side A starts with Handling Noise, a perfect opener with some neat dark ambient influences, crackling and corrupting into the first true track. A2 is heavily jazz influenced; a lone synth just strutting along in a cave of reverb. A3 is the title track and a true cacophony of noise. All with a ~180bpm that never loses focus despite the ridiculous rhythms and ideas being thrown this way and that into a tornado. Really, really cool. A4 sounds like a lamenting machine, with considerable drone influences. A5 is gabber for industrial concrete lovers. Side B starts with Amer Jos, a track that sounds like similar to the Sci-Fi computer noises used in 80’s cartoons, noises that would suggest calculations being checks and measurements beings obtained. B2 is almost industrial, with the static lo-fi so precise at times that its individual jabs constitute a rhythm that Junglists would feel right at home with. B3 clears up the mess with a solid melody that really indeed is quite pretty; nostalgic even. One of my favorites off the album but at a solid 8’16 it’s also the longest. B4 ends the album with another track sure to melt Aaron Funk’s face clean off. Extremely precise and angry, it’s not for the faint of heart or the casual listener. 
SUGGESTED: ALL!! A2!, A3!, A5!, B2!, B3!!, B4!!

Olan Mill Home [Circa , 2012]

Olan Mill is actually a group comprised of Alex Smalley and Svitlana Samoylenko, who have released two other albums collectively to date; Pine (2010) and Paths (2012). The arrangement was predominantly Smalley’s work this time around, who is also featured on the album for his guitar and field recordings. Genre-wise, this is ambient with classical roots; and it is absolutely gorgeous. Each track is its own ethereal field, blending so solidly into one another that it’s hard to discern tracks unless you’re following the timer. Violins, operatic vocals, flutes, and even a pipe organ work their way in and out of a wall of sound that Smalley provides. Track 1 (La Senda Verde), begins the meditative journey by starting listeners out in a tunnel, where various work and machinery are soon lost in steam and finally a lo-fi bitcrush. The latter might as well be the sound of death, because the next 33 minutes afterwards feels like Smalley’s interpretation of the afterlife. I cannot praise this album enough. 

Kane Ikin – Sublunar [12k – 2012]

Kane Ikin is one member of the group known as Solo Andata. His solo work is very raw in comparison to his other project, with Sublunar not following proper recording techniques, keeping tape hisses and warped noises to go for, as he puts it, “Quality of the sound, over quality of the sound.” His work is largely downtempo/ambient with a strong adherence to musique concrete as well as experimental jazz. White-washed and filtered melodies move around a haphazard collection of percussion and noise. Tracks don’t stick out, but rather just meld into one another in an easy movement, making Sublunar relaxing, but not sleep-inducing. A nice cohesion of west and east percussion, especially with “Titan” (6). Some tracks that particularly wigged me out would include “Europa” (ethereal/brooding melody over ~ UK dubstep), “Slow Waves” for a neat build from nothing to a slow walk with plucked strings and tape hiss), and “Hyperion” (More industrial ambient that ends with a deep archaic sound). I loved most if not all of this album and would also recommend playing some of the shorter tracks back to back. 

Mouse on Mars WOW [Monkeytown , 2012]

The IDM pioneer duo is back with their 10th album, WOW, a ridiculous conglomerate of various EDM styles and ideas all meshed under some bizarre screams and shouts by Dao Anh Khanh, Las Kellies, and Eric D. Clarke. Sampling is not quite as good as their other albums, but that says nothing when comparing them to the stock sample exchange that is most EDM. Tracks transition beautifully, build abruptly , and are mostly dance floor worthy; that is, if your passengers on deck are flexible and interesting enough folks. But hell, its a idm group taking a shot at standard EDM of all forms and flavors. What did you expect? UK Dubstep, Fidget, Techno, and IDM blends are all featured on this album, along with a number of transition tracks filled with noise and verbal spewage. The latter make for some great entrances into their subsequent tracks, so by all means pair some of this fantastic junk together! Oh, and the general theme is “three letters,” in case the tracklisting wasn’t apparent. My pickings would include DOG (2), HYM (3), VAX (4), ACD (7), and CAN(9) (which is the only thing that could possibly represent their old work to a degree).