Friday, May 30, 2014

The Soft Pink Truth: "Rundang (Fuck Varg's Racist, Anti-Semitic Bullshit Politics Forever!)"

Drew Daniel of Matmos has had a side project known as The Soft Pink Truth for a number of years now, making electronic and house albums and reinterpreting outsider genres like punk and hardcore through the flamboyant, electronic gaze of synth pop.  For his latest endeavor, Why Do The Heathen Rage?, Daniel has seen fit to create electronic covers of Black Metal songs.  His album will be out mid-June and boasts assistance from performers like Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons), Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) and Terrance Hannum (Locrian).  While I'm not completely sure I'm board with this idea, mostly because the notion of an album full of synth pop black metal covers seems more of a novelty than any lasting statement, more kitsch than comment, what versions of Daniel's output I've heard have at least been interesting as opposed to amusing.  You get the sense the guy is a fan and that through his medium, while it will likely be taken as schtick by some, he's genuinely getting at something.  

He says the following:

"Just as blasphemy both affirms and assaults the sacred powers it invokes and inverts, so too this record celebrates black metal and offers queer critique, mockery, and profanation of its ideological morass in equal measure."

Last week, Daniel's cover of "Ready to Fuck" by Sarcofago surfaced and featured Wasner on vocals.  This week, it's a cover of Burzum's "Rundtgåing av den transcendentale egenhetens støtte" retitled, "Rundang (Fuck Varg's Racist, Anti-Semitic Bullshit Politics Forever!)"



The interesting aspect of Daniel's commitment to this project is that he's attempting to reconcile his own fascinations with the genre in spite of the fundamentalist extremes Black Metal has come to be known, most assuredly because of figures like Burzum's Varg Vikernes.  It's easy enough to say "Fuck Varg's Racist, Anti-Semetic...blahblahblah" in order to separate himself from that aspect of the artist, but when you listen to his version of Burzum's track, (not too much of a stretch because the original is just as ambient and meditative), there's a considerable amount of respect for the material.  This dilemma often comes to pass: how do you align yourself with an artist whose faults are considerable without having to abandon the art altogether?  It's not uncommon to find awful people who have enriched many through their work as a painter, author or composer. 

Daniel eloquently explains his position on Burzum in an interview for Pitchfork's Show No Mercy column.  You can find the interview here and listen to the track below.  Burzum's original can be found here.

Also, as an added bonus, my brother's metal band, Höllenlärm, covered Sarcofago's "Ready to Fuck" for a compilation a couple years ago.  You can find that here. (Yeah, yeah... shameless plug. Deal with it.)



All info, links and tracks were provided by Thrill Jockey Records.

DREW DANIEL GIVES BURZUM'S RUNDGANG THE SOFT PINK TRUTH TREATMENT

STREAM/DOWNLOAD RUNDGANG (FUCK VARG'S RACIST, ANTI-SEMITIC BULLSHIT POLITICS FOREVER!)


"Just as blasphemy both affirms and assaults the sacred powers it invokes and inverts, so too this record celebrates black metal and offers queer critique, mockery, and profanation of its ideological morass in equal measure” - Drew Daniel/The Soft Pink Truth

The Soft Pink Truth, Drew Daniel of Matmos' solo enterprise, will release
Why Do The Heathen Rage?, a collection of electronic covers of black metal classics, on June 16th via Thrill Jockey in Europe. With help from good friends Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, Terrance Hannum of Locrian, his Matmos partner in crime M.C. Schmidt and more.

In the latest Show No Mercy feature on Pitchfork, long time metal fan Drew talks about this relationship with the genre, why he actually covered a Burzum song, his opinions on Varg Vikernes and working with Antony Hegarty on his forthcoming The Soft Pink Truth record.

Stream/download the non-album track and STP's version of Burzum's Rundgang (entitled: Fuck Varg’s Racist, Anti-Semitic Bullshit Politics Forever!) below:

LISTEN/DOWNLOAD: The Soft Pink Truth - Rundgang (Fuck Varg’s Racist, Anti-Semitic Bullshit Politics Forever!)
https://soundcloud.com/thrilljockey/the-soft-pink-truth-rundgang/

 
Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Daughter of a Tapehead: Half Japanese (Sorta)

Half Japanese
"Refreshing" b/w "Do It Now" 7"
Joyful Noise Recordings
Released: 4.24.14
















*My sincerest apologies to Half Japanese.  The "Refreshing/Do It Now" single is very, very good and, (unfortunately), very, very sold out, so I count myself grateful that I jumped on nabbing a copy when I had the chance.  As far as my daughter's refusal to review the release, I wouldn't take it personally.  I mean... C'mon, she thinks Juicy J can rap.  Puh-leeease.  

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Helms Alee and Young Widows split a 12"

On June 3rd, the wonderful people at Sargent House will be doing us all a solid and a half by releasing an excellent new split 12" from Helms Alee and Young Widows.  I accessed the stream earlier today and mentally added yet another "MUST OWN" to the wishlist, along with Helms Alee's full-length, Sleepwalking Sailors, which came out in February.  

You can listen to the release at Noisey or, since you're already here, I've embedded the Soundcloud link below.  All info and links were provided by Us/Them Group. 



Helms Alee & Young Widows split 12" streaming in full via Noisey

Listen to Helms Alee / Young Widows HERE.



Seattle trio Helms Alee wrapped up their tour with Young Widows this past weekend, and the split 12" exclusively available at shows will soon be available in stores and by download on June 3rd. To preview the release, Noisey is sharing a full stream to hear/share HERE.

Helms Alee make their way back home with a few more shows along the route, including the Crucial Festival in Salt Lake City. Please see all dates below.

The Helms Alee/Young Widows split release on Sargent House features 3 songs from each band, pressed on blue and white sea colored vinyl. The raucous Helms Alee tune "Punchy Stabby" premiered earlier via Pitchfork and is available HERE.

Helms Alee released their latest album Sleepwalking Sailors on Sargent House on February 11th. Listen to the full album HERE.

On the Web:
www.sargenthouse.com/Helms_Alee
www.facebook.com/HelmsAlee
www.helmsaleemusic.tumblr.com

Follow Helms Alee on Twitter: @HelmsAleeMusic

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Tobacco

Tobacco
Ultima II Massage
Ghostly
Released: 5.13.14



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cover of the Day: J Mascis's Tied to a Star

News of an upcoming J Mascis album found its way into my inbox yesterday.  J will be releasing Tied to a Star this Summer following his last solo release, 2011's Several Shades of Why.  That was one of my favorite albums to come out that year and I was lucky enough to see his Philly stop during his Several Shades tour.  No singles just yet, but here's the cover:



And, here's some PR from Sub Pop.

J Mascis performs with Fred Armisen’s 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Announces Tied to a Star, his forthcoming album, due later this summer on Sub Pop

Legendary guitarist & Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis is currently sitting in with Fred Armisen’s 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers through Thursday, May 22nd. And on last night’s show, Seth spilled the beans about J’s forthcoming solo album, Tied to a Star, which will be released worldwide later this summer on Sub Pop (see May 20th episode).

J Mascis has scheduled a few headlining and festival performances this summer and fall: Two shows in Chicago, IL at Do Division Festival and a late show at Subterranean on Sunday, June 1st; Timber! Outdoor Festival in Carnation, WA on June 24-26th; And Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX on November 7th-9th. Please find a current list of tour dates below.

Tour Dates
Jun. 01 - Chicago, IL - Do Division Festival (Early)
Jun. 01 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean (Late)
Jun. 24 - 26 - Carnation, WA - Timber! Outdoor Festival
Nov. 07 - 09 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun fest


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Godflesh: "Ringer"

The reunited industrial colossus known as Godflesh premiered a new track today called "Ringer," which was pulled from an EP the band will release this June that's titled Decline and Fall.  The EP is apparently just a taste, though, as an LP is scheduled to release later this Fall called A World Lit Only By Fire.  As far as "Ringer," the guitars crunch and the drum machine sounds like it was detonated under miles of water.  For being out of commission for the last 13 years, (Justin Broadrick himself being involved in many other projects that could be considered somewhat removed from this type of aggression), Godflesh still sounds capable of picking up where it left off, administering brutal, relentless assault to the ears, head and chest of anyone who'll listen. 

You can check out the track below.  All info, links and sounds were provided by Rarely Unable.



GODFLESH TO RELEASE NEW EP DECLINE AND FALL THIS JUNE


LISTEN TO FIRST NEW MUSIC FROM INDUSTRIAL METAL INNOVATORS IN 13 YEARS, PRECEDING A NEW FULL LENGTH THIS AUTUMN

Industrial metal forebears Godflesh have announced the impending release of Decline And Fall, an EP that marks the first release of new material from the pioneering duo of Justin Broadrick (Jesu, Palesketcher, Final) and GC Green in 13 years. Set to arrive via Broadrick’s Avalanche label 2nd June in the UK/Europe this four song release sets the stage for the immensely anticipated new full length A World Lit Only By Fire this Autumn. As teased in interviews over the past few years the new material rekindles the spirit of the group’s highly acclaimed early material while synthesizing and advancing upon the boundary pushing experiments of later releases, resulting in an improbable, but expertly integrated convergence of industrial, metal, hip hop, punk, and dub.

LISTEN TO THE EP TRACK "RINGER" WHICH PITCHFORK HAVE PREMIERED TODAY
(Direct link https://soundcloud.com/godflesh-2/ringer)


Emerging from the tightly knit underground metal/grindcore scene of Birmingham, England in 1988, Godflesh quickly blazed their own trail with genre-detonating early albums like Streetcleaner and Pure, which proved immeasurably influential and canonical to an emerging wave of bands that sought to combine the ferocious sonics of metal with the booming drum programming of early hip hop. The duo initially split in 2002, at which time Broadrick formed the highly acclaimed shoegaze-metal band Jesu. Godflesh reformed in 2009 for a run of gloriously received festival appearances and sold out headlining shows, while gradually working on the material that would comprise the forthcoming new releases.

http://www.avalancheinc.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justin-K-Broadrick/118373041529126
https://twitter.com/JKBroadrick


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, May 19, 2014

Boris: "Vanilla"

Chameleon-esque sludge rockers Boris are putting out a new album later this June called Noise.  Lots of hope in that title and some evident delivery.  The band just issued a new video called "Vanilla" that is anything but: a pop-conducive hook flanked by post-hardcore nuance and a gratifying solo-laden stride as its second act.

The video was pulled from Stereogum and all the info was provided by Us/Them Group. 



The band's 2011 releases, Heavy Rocks and Attention Please, were reviewed at No Ripcord.

BORIS premiere first video from forthcoming album Noise, announce more U.S. tour dates

Watch "Vanilla" video HERE.


Japanese trio BORIS premiere the first video from their forthcoming first official album in three years, titled Noise. The band shares the clip via Stereogum, which is available to watch/share HERE.

BORIS has also added new North American tour dates, including FYF Fest in Los Angeles in late August. Please see complete dates below.

The trio debuted the first album track "Quicksilver" recently via Pitchfork, which is available HERE.

BORIS has always demolished expectations of what a band can do musically and aesthetically. In keeping with that tradition, they again flip the script by serving up their most all-encompassing effort to date. Noise is an amplification of BORIS' endless pursuit of musical extremes while moving aggressive, intense rock into new territories.

In writing Noise, BORIS was intent upon condensing all that the band had explored over the years, in order to create something more bold, streamlined and powerful. And, upon completion, the band considers Noise its most defining effort, stating, "If we had to suggest just one album for those unfamiliar with BORIS' music, we will pick this for sure." That's a bold statement from a band having released over 20 albums covering a vast array of sounds. Yet somehow throughout the album's 8 song, 58 minute duration, the band masterfully intermingles sludge-rock, blistering crust punk, shimmering shoegaze, epic thunderous doom, psychedelic melodies and just about everything else they've ever done.

Over the course of BORIS' three previous Sargent House albums (Heavy Rocks, Attention Please and New Album) the band sought to expand its musical vision ever further. And, the results helped redefine the band's already iconoclastic sound. However, in early 2013 they decided to return to their classic trio lineup moving forward: drummer/vocalist Atsuo, guitarist/vocalist Wata and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Takeshi. Having been able to explore many new ideas as a quartet in recent years, the band was concerned about logistics, until their very successful residency shows and tour in the U.S. convinced them that BORIS could return to the simpler, solid trio without sacrificing artistic growth. Now, having rebuilt the classic trio's "equilateral triangle" they're heavier, louder, more confident and incisive than ever before.

Noise is also lyrically the band's darkest album to date. Bleak lines like, "throbbing pain this world repeats upon us/ Throb, throb / Throbbing pain, this world makes us suffer," guide the record's most musically upbeat track, "Taiyo No Baka." Everywhere else, dark imagery permeates the songs, adding further weight to the proceedings. Kicking off with the fittingly titled "Melody", the album begins with the uniquely BORIS sound that combines multiple elements into one ferocious metallic-punk-melodic whole. Things take a jagged turn with second track "Vanilla" exhibiting a more experimental edge, while still driven by vocal melody and arpeggiated guitar notes until the song juts into frenzied psychedelic metal riffing. Elsewhere, with Wata on lead vocals, "Heavy Rain" merges the band's early colossal doom with the latter day shoegaze of Attention Please for a song that's both brutally heavy and ethereal. "Quicksilver" is a wailing speedcore track reminiscent of classic Japanese hardcore, with screaming voices, screaming guitars and screaming drums that refuses to relent over the song's first 7 minutes. "Angel" is the album's nearly 19-minute epic centerpiece that builds from entrancing chiming guitar notes and softly pulsing toms, ultimately breaking into a massive wall of drop-tuned sludge and a howling guitar lead reminiscent of BORIS tracks "Feedbacker" and "Flood." The song continues to shift gears several times as it builds in tension and emotion toward a very satisfying resolution, taking the entire track full circle to where it began. Throughout, Noise is an exploration of the free-spirited experimentation that made the band an International cult legend.

Noise will be heard everywhere (excluding Japan) on LP, CD and download via Sargent House on June 17th, 2014.

BORIS LIVE:
06/14 Tokyo, Japan @ Fever (2014-2015 World Tour kick-off, playing Noise in its entirety)
07/24 San Diego, CA @ Casbah !!
07/25 Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom !!
07/26 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress !!
07/28 Dallas, TX @ Trees ++
07/29 Austin, TX @ The Mohawk ++
07/31 Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West ** &
08/01 Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle ** &
08/02 Washington, DC @ 930 Club ** &
08/03 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom ** &
08/05 Boston, MA @ Paradise ** &
08/07 Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace ** &
08/08 Buffalo, NY @ Tralf ** &
08/09 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick ** &
08/10 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge ** &
08/11 Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall ** &
08/12 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club ** &
08/14 Missoula, MT @ Stage 112 &
08/15 Spokane, WA @ Big Dipper ^
08/16 Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile #^
08/17 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre #^
08/18 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge #^
08/20 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent #
08/21 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium #
08/22 San Luis Obispo, CA @ SLO Brew #
08/23 Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest

!! w/ Mustard Gas & Roses
++ w/ Ceremony & special guests
** w/ The Atlas Moth
& w/ SubRosa
^ w/ Master Musicians of Bukkake
# w/ Marriages

On the Web: www.borisheavyrocks.com (Official site: Japan)
www.sargenthouse.com/Boris
www.facebook.com/borisheavyrocks
borisheavyrocks.tumblr.com (BORIS news U.S.)

Follow BORIS on Twitter: @Borisheavyrocks

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Singles: Naomi Punk, Signor Benedick The Moor, Mogwai, Nader Sadek, clipping.

Naomi Punk: "Television Man" (via Captured Tracks/Soundcloud)




Signor Benedick The Moor: "h8 everybody [Enter the Black Prince]" (via Charlemagne Kinsman/YouTube)




Mogwai: "Simon Ferocious" (via Sub Pop/YouTube)




Nader Sadek: "Re:Mechanic" (via Earsplit PR/Decibel/YouTube)




clipping.:"Work Work (feat. Cocc Pistol Cree)" (via Sub Pop/Complex/YouTube)



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Failure: "Come Crashing"

The recently reactivated Failure have released a new track called "Come Crashing."  This is the first song the band has released since 1996.  Listen below. 



You can read up on the band's tour-only EP, Tree of Stars, and review tour dates below.  All info was provided by Speakeasy PR.

FAILURE UNVEIL "COME CRASHING," FIRST NEW MUSIC SINCE 1996'S FANTASTIC PLANET

NORTH AMERICAN TREE OF STARS TOUR UNDERWAY



May 15, 2014, Los Angeles - Failure quietly unveiled the song "Come Crashing" overnight via Bandcamp (failureband.bandcamp.com).

The song marks the band's first new music since the 1996 release of the landmark album, Fantastic Planet, and arrives as the Los Angeles trio embarks on their first North American tour in seventeen years.

"Come Crashing" is also included on a tour only EP, Tree of Stars, which includes live recordings of "Let It Drip," "Frogs," Sergeant Politeness" and "Heliotropic."

Failure announced their eagerly awaited reunion in November, which was followed in February by a sold out show at The El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. Spin said the performance "was so dynamic, sweeping, warm, and expansive that it felt like the perfect combination of an arena show with an intimate setting." The band joined former touring partners, Tool, for a brief March outing and most recently helped Maynard James Keenan celebrate his 50th birthday at Cinquanta. In a recent interview with Noisey (http://noisey.vice.com/blog/failure-interview-ken-andrews), Ken Andrews revealed the band is currently working on a new album.

Tree of Stars North American Tour 2014

May 15 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
May 17 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre
May 18 Seattle, WA The Showbox
May 21 Minneapolis, MN The Varsity
May 22 Chicago, IL The Metro
May 24 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
May 25 Detroit, MI St. Andrew's Hall
May 26 Toronto, ON Mod Club
May 27 Toronto, ON Mod Club
May 29 New York, NY Irving Plaza
May 30 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
May 31 Asbury Park, NJ The Stone Pony
June 1 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
June 3 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
June 5 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
June 6 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel
June 7 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
June 8 Nashville, TN Exit In
June 10 Dallas, TX House of Blues
June 11 Houston, TX House of Blues
June 13 Phoenix, AZ The Marquee Theatre
June 14 Pomona, CA The Glasshouse
June 15 San Diego, CA House of Blues
June 18 Los Angeles, CA The Fonda Theatre www.facebook.com/failureband www.twitter.com/failure 

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ideologic Organ - 37 Track Sampler

At the request of the BBC, Sunn O))) mastermind, Stephen O'Malley, assembled a 37-track sampler of artists who've released music through his label, Ideologic Organ.  It's free to download and can be accessed through the link below along with information on the actual releases. 

All info and links were provided by Rarely Unable. 

(pic via Estelle Hanania great tumblr)

LISTEN TO FREE 37 TRACK IDEOLOGIC ORGAN LABEL SAMPLER 

IDEOLOGIC ORGAN, the music label curated and art directed by Stephen O'Malley - manufactured and distributed in partnership with the non-funded, independent label EDITIONS MEGO - have put together a label sampler to celebrate the distinguished musicians who they have collaborated with to date.

About the origins of the sampler, Stephen O'Malley comments "in February, the BBC asked us for some tracks from my EDITIONS MEGO imprint IDEOLOGIC ORGAN to play on the air, I’ve now extended this sampler mix to include tracks from all of the artists that we have released to date." 

The impressive list of musicians appearing on the sampler which extends across 37 tracks, includes... 

Ai Aso
Ákos Rózmann
Eyvind Kang
Gravetemple
Iancu Dumitrescu
Jessika Kenney & Eyvind Kang
Mats Lindström
Nazoranai
Norbert Möslang
Okkyung Lee
Phurpa
Sir Richard Bishop
SUNN O)))
Wold 

Investigate the sounds of Ideologic Organ by downloading the sampler (at 320kb MP3) for free here: 

http://goo.gl/ugC3XF 

As a final word from Stephen O Malley, he remarks..."If you enjoy this music, we ask you to please check out the physical or digital version of the entire albums here": 
http://editionsmego.com/ releases/ideologic-organ/

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

H.R. Giger (1940-2014)

The inimitable visual genius H.R. Giger has passed away at the age of 74.  Being one of many who'd found his work remarkable in its complexity, abstract and often-futurist vision and, at times, terrifying realism, the loss is felt.  The man could bring truth to nightmares.


While he's best-known for designing the iconic Alien creature and for creating more than a few well-known album covers, Giger became an engaging figure for me once I'd discovered Dead Kennedys and begun to question terms like "morality" and "decency."  His piece, Penis Landscape, (or Work 219: Landscape XX), had eventually led the Kennedys into a legal battle that would ultimately destroy the band, victims of then-Senator's wife Tipper Gore's reign of First Amendment assault with her Parents Music Resource Center, a group of "concerned" wives compelled to stigmatize artists for being less then sensitive when it came to their lyrical content.

The album was Frankenchrist.  Giger's work, which had been inserted into the album as a poster, depicted a series of erect penises penetrating as many vaginas, a faceless, shapeless orgy of mid-coital activity that's provocative to say the least.  Being a parent myself, it's not something I would want my 6 year-old to see.  However, I'm not the sort of individual who would infringe on the personal rights and responsibilities of others because I can't be bothered to keep up with what my child is exposed to.  That's pretty much the conclusion I arrived at once I'd read up on the subsequent obscenity trial the artwork sparked, the outraged mother of a teenaged girl who'd purchased a copy Frankenchrist shooting off a letter to the California Attorney General, which set off a chain of events that led to multiple arrests, near bankruptcy for the Kennedys' label, Alternative Tentacles, and what could've been a year-long jail sentence for members of the band had they been found guilty.  The charge was distribution of harmful material to a minor. 



I was absolutely fascinated by this whole controversy as a teenager.  I'd become adamant in my stance against any form of censorship, (a belief that had also been informed by the three volumes of Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage), and saw much by way of hypocrisy in those that stood firmly for "morality."  For all the damage that Giger's work had been purported to cause (or could have potentially caused), the actual price of speech had been paid by the band, its label and those who'd found themselves in the crosshairs of the lawsuit having either sold the album, pressed the album or distributed the album to record stores.  Lead singer, Jello Biafra, eventually confronted Gore on the matter as guests on Oprah Winfrey as part of a panel discussion on censorship and obscenity in music. 

So, in that I was an aspiring artist at the time I'd found Giger, the man's visual language enviably unique and, in many ways, unmatched, I remain a fan of his work.  But, my true connection to Giger will always be that, from him, I learned something about the importance of free speech and that my own perceptions of right and wrong need not (should not) influence or inform those of other people, especially in the face of art, literature and, above all, music.

R.I.P., H.R. Giger.

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, May 09, 2014

Singles (More): Wo Fat, Deru, Shabazz Palaces, Chvad SB

I should never, ever feature singles on a Monday.  Naturally, some great tracks have premiered since.

Wo Fat: "The Conjuring" (via Earsplit PR/Bandcamp)

 

Deru: "1979" (via Friends Of Friends/Soundcloud)
 


Shabazz Palaces: "They Come In Gold" (via Sub Pop/Soundcloud)




Chvad SB: "It Haunts Her" (via Silber Records/YouTube)



Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Letters From A Tapehead (May 8, 2006-?)

As of today, I've been writing amateurish musings and making badly drawn conclusions about the world of music, past and current, for 8 years.  To those of you who've stuck it out and given me reason to throw on my headphones and babble incessantly via keyboard for all this time, I thank you.  I've gained some good experiences since beginning this online corner of my obsessive little world, having met people I'd never have met, discovering bands I'd otherwise not have found and growing more appreciative of a culture I feel I'm much closer to now than before.  I've always loved music, but it would've been very easy for me to remain relegated to my time and place, never motivated to expand into the now and figure out that good music will always exist so long as new bands are born, classic records are dusted off and consumed and "inspiration" and "work" remain the primary means of creation. 

So long as there's value to be found in what I do, I'll keep going.  I haven't lost the fire yet. 

Thank you, again.

 
Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

OOIOO: "Atatawa"

Yoshimi P-We's improv outfit, OOIOO, is releasing their latest album, Gamel, June 30th through Thrill Jockey Records.  The first single surfaced today and it does not disappoint.  With a rhythmic draw and a referential debt to Japanese antiquity, "Atatawa" is a fascinatingly off-kilter and sugar sweet listen.  Check out the track here:



All info was provided by Thrill Jockey Records.


OOIOO ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM

'GAMEL' OUT ON 30TH JUNE

LISTEN TO NEW TRACK 'ATATAWA' NOW

 
"Layering jagged guitars and vibrant vocals atop skittering rhythms and breathy shouts, it's [Atatawa] a shape-shifting and hypnotic work that ultimately delivers a sense of beatific joy" - Spin

OOIOO has always created a musical language all its own. Under the leadership of Yoshimi P-We (also a founding member of Boredoms), the group has recorded six albums that have subverted expectations and warped perceptions of what constitutes pop and experimental music.

Four years of work went into making
Gamel, their bold new album inspired by the Japanese style of gamelan and the first new music from Yoshimi in over five years. Gamelan is an ancient form that has inspired a great many composers and musicians over the past century, from Erik Satie and Claude Debussy to Mouse on Mars and Sun City Girls. The introduction of this traditional form transformed the group into a super tribe, side-stepping the road between the past and the future.

While previous OOIOO albums have been largely studio creations,
Gamel is the most accurate portrayal of the band’s overwhelming, forceful live presence they have released yet. Hear 'Atatawa', taken from the release below:

Stream/download Atatawa:
https://soundcloud.com/thrilljockey/ooioo-atatawa

Yoshimi began her music career in 1986 playing drums in UFO or Die with vocalist Eye, and later joined him in the revolutionary noise-pop group Boredoms. Her explosive drum performances captivated audiences and even inspired a certain Wayne Coyne to name a now-famous Flaming Lips album in her honour.

OOIOO
Gamel
Out 30th June via Thrill Jockey
Available on CD / LP / DL
 

“A monument to the endless possibilities afforded by an improvisational spirit” - Pitchfork

“OOIOO traffic in a crafty kind of post-punk primitivism… the synths, power chords, polyrhythmic drumming and wordless chants building info an irresistible, throbbing whole” - The Wire

“She pulled the band together after posing with a few friends holding guitars, and OOIOO brings a similar playful spirit to its music, which ranges from heavy psychedelic romps to spacey atmospheric strolls” - The New Yorker

“Playful organic tribalism” - SPIN

OOIOO on Twitter / Official website

Tracklist:
1. Don Ah
2. Shizuku Gunung Agung
3. Pebarongan
4. Gamel Ninna Yama
5. Gamel Uma Umo
6. Gamel Kamasu
7. Atatawa
8. Jesse Testa
9. Gamel Udahah
10. Kecupat Aneh
11. Gamel Ulda

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

MusicFilmWeb.TV: A Docu-Fanatic Fix

If you've been reading Letters From A Tapehead for a while, you know that I've contributed reviews to a few other online music entities over the years, MusicFilmWeb being one of them.  MusicFilmWeb is my favorite (and very likely, the best) source for information and reviews of music documentaries and I've enjoyed the privilege of reviewing films for the site.  Today, I found out that MFW has officially expanded into MusicFilmWeb.tv, where you can find and watch documentaries.

Please check out the information below, which was provided by MVD Entertainment Group.

MusicFilmWeb.tv Launches With More Than Forty Music Films, Concerts, and Documentaries For the "Music Obsessed"

Fans Can Choose To Download or Rent From Curated Selection

MusicFilmWeb, the online curator for music documentaries and concert films, has launched MusicFilmWeb.tv, a new home where the most passionate music fans can find and view music documentaries and concert films. MusicFilmWeb.tv will initially offer 40+ music focused titles from MVD Entertainment Group, plus films from other independent directors and distributors, with new titles added regularly.

"Our mission has always been to connect passionate music fans with great music films and music documentarians with music fans," says MusicFilmWeb Chief Content Wrangler Andy Markowitz "There's a large supply of quality music films out there and a huge base of music-obsessed fans - just not many places where the two can meet. Our goal is to bring them together through great content and experiences."

"We've taken the first steps with MusicFilmWeb to make sure they started out with some of the best music films, concerts, and documentaries," said Rob Hyman, Digital Director of MVD. "It will only grow and get better from there."

MusicFilmWeb.tv offers music fans the chance to download or rent from a curated selection of unique music films. The starter catalog features everything from profiles of iconoclastic artists like guitar innovator John Fahey and actor/singer Harry Dean Stanton, to blues legends such as John Lee Hooker and Albert Collins in concert, to musical and cultural histories like Strange Fruit: The Beatles' Apple Records; My Career as a Jerk, a biography of iconic hardcore punk band the Circle Jerks; and No Fun City, a DIY look at the endangered underground music scene in Vancouver.

"MusicFilmWeb's strategy has always been to support broader distribution and higher visibility for music films that have limited theatrical distribution and are difficult to find on larger, big-studio-focused online sites," Dave Watson explains. "And we're so passionate about music that we've made sure the ratings for our films go to 11."

MusicFilmWeb has secured both international and regional rights for films available on MusicFilmWeb.tv. Titles are offered in three currencies: USD, EUR and GBP depending on region. Prices range from 2.99 to 5.99 for streamed rentals and 7.99 to 19.99 on downloads. DVDs are also available for selected titles.

About MusicFilmWeb
MusicFilmWeb is a curated one-stop shop for music documentaries and concert films. MusicFilmWeb provides a video platform for music film makers targeted to music fans. We look for music films we want to watch ourselves, and that we think other passionate music fans will want to see and hear. It can be a legendary artist in performance, the history of an influential label or a tale of a great forgotten band. Human stories entwined with a universal art form, with soundtracks to match. Our music film e-zine can be found at MusicFilmWeb.com. The VOD service can be found at MusicFilmWeb.tv.


About MVD Entertainment Group
MVD Entertainment Group is a full service music and movie distribution firm, exclusively representing thousands of audio and visual products for DVD, Bluray, CD, vinyl, and digital rights, worldwide. MVD also exclusively distributes a growing line of merchandise including limited edition collectibles, tee shirts, and more. www.mvdb2b.com


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, May 05, 2014

Singles: Equals, Mr. Flash, Beta Frontiers

Equals: "Autotelic" (via Us-Them Group/Brooklyn Vegan/YouTube


Mr. Flash: "Number 1 (feat. Cities Aviv, Action Bronson & Oh No)" (via Julian Schoen/Complex/Soundcloud)


Beta Frontiers: "So Cold (feat. Carmen Elle)" (via Force Field PR/Gorilla Vs. Bear/Soundcloud


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, May 02, 2014

The Inbox Giveth: Bohren & Der Club of Gore

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
Piano Nights
Ipecac Recordings
Released: 2.10.14

When thinking of the term "strict," the mind normally directs itself to moments when you felt stifled, the desired freedom, a wish for unbridled allowance of personal exploration and unlimited inconsequential hell raising, limited in time or intensity by an authoritarian presence hellbent on denying, denying, denying, but for the purposes of "YOUR OWN GOOD." "Strict" has that negative connotation, its first usage in a human's memory applied to upbringing and discipline.

Strictness, though, isn't always the boundary-addled pain in the ass it appears to be, at times a frame of mind that either enables one to succeed through hard work or defines numerous parameters within which one can create. Crafting a relatively solid and impenetrable framework, for instance, the dark jazz quartet known as Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, take a traditionally improvisational artform and control it within the context of patient tempos and enveloping sounds, maintaining a signature tone and pace essential to their make-up. In 2002, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore released Black Earth, an album that I'd pondered for miles and miles over countless commutes that year, absolutely enthralled with the beauty the group were able to conjure amidst these hyper-slow and cavernous modes of aural chill. Macabre songs titles like "Destroying Angels," "Skeletal Remains" and "The Art Of Coffins" made Black Earth the most metal non-metal album I'd heard, as dark as any occult rock outfit prone to muse over blood and bones.

While Black Earth remains a peak in the band's output, Bohren's latest album, Piano Nights, strives to surpass its excellence, though in a manner less bleak. While fiddling with a grand piano, saxophonist Christoph Clöser became inspired and began to create an album compositionally based around the instrument. However, as Bohren remains fascinated with space and the limitless anti-joy of low volume, any presence of something as high-scale as a grand piano would likely swallow all other instruments in its path. The solution was to utilize a Yamaha electric, maintaining signature loyalty.

And they do maintain that loyalty.

At first listen, “Im Rauch” won’t seem much of an advance musically, though it becomes apparent that the members of Bohren aren’t stalking familiar shadows. Clöser blows Paul Desmond-sized notes into the expanse, a vibraphone ringing as pianist Morten Glass graces the mix with a flurry of notes. A noir-ish mood, eerie sounds scraped and distant, the song sets a precedent that remains consistent throughout the length of Piano Nights, nocturnal conveyances in terms of time and place as opposed to things that go bump. From that standpoint, with Clöser’s gloriously melancholic tones and the remarkably spare percussion from drummer Thorston Benning, Piano Nights becomes more of a think piece, contemplative and emotive. Piano chords act as pillars, points of reference bearing weight as compositional scaffolding.

The meditative hold of this album is apparent once the second track, “Ber Rosarotum Licht,” makes use of the aforementioned brass. Through its lack of rhythmic consideration, enormity addressed by choirs of faded and droning voices sounding aloud, a distant presence is given air to breathe. Similar is “Irwege,” though this is strictly a piano piece and more demonstrative of Piano Nights’ intent.



The album’s centerpiece, though, (and absolute standout), is a streetlight serenade titled “Ganz Leise Kommt Die Nacht,” which apparently translates to “Night Comes Very Silent.” Three vibraphone notes precede a rather lush array of picturesque melodies that illustrate monochromatic afterhours motifs, an affectionate nod to those evenings rife with contemplation when every small noise is disruptive and every otherwise trivial observation is deemed an epiphany. It’s the type of orchestrated storytelling you want to listen to on those nights of stream-of-consciousness unrest, when the prospect of sleep has all but abandoned you for the few remaining hours of starlit blackness before the new day inspires protest.

While a sense of spiritual worship can be heard in something like “Fahr Zur Hölle,” its ceremonial bent likely fueled by the track’s glowing organ, Piano Nights doesn’t vary its mood a great deal. This might be the point at which the band’s strict approach proves somewhat of a detriment. While Clöser texturizes to some extent with Ayler-centric honking in “Segeln Ohne Wind” and some shaky pronunciation in “Verloren (Alles),” the sense of experimentation that had sparked the investigative nature of the album becomes lost. That’s not to say that Bohren’s efforts fail by any stretch: it can’t be denied the album, as a whole, is beautifully constructed. Melodically, though, there’s not enough at play to enhance what is a very established and essential rhythmic construct and it becomes easy to lose track of the music at times. 

Still, its closing nine-something minutes, "Komm Zurück Zu Mir," leave the album soaring, a guitar making an appearance and the volume heightened.  The band finishes an engaging piece of work with an impassioned finale, speaking to the strictness with which they compose and perform, and to what degree they work to create something worthwhile. 

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Notes from the Record Room: Bring on the Kill Taker

I was in Ocean City, New Jersey with a friend, sitting outside on a deck with a boombox resting between us. It was 1993. On this particu...