Monday, October 08, 2018

New Selections — Big Bliss, Farao, Rattle, FUKU, Wimps, DEW

A new month begins! 

Big Bliss: "Constants"
(via Tell All Your Friends PR / Exit Stencil Recordings / Bandcamp)



Via Tell All Your Friends PR:

Brooklyn-based, post-punk trio Big Bliss announce their new album, At Middle Distance, and share lead single, "Surface" and second single "Constants." Billboard exclusively premiered the lead single with praise, stating, "The music of post-punk trio Big Bliss is almost like a dream on wax with its trance like bass and guitar riffs and driving drum beats." All Things Go premiered "Constants" - check out the piece hereAt Middle Distance is due out October 19th on Exit Stencil Recordings. 

At Middle Distance marks a new, unprecedented milestone for the band. Recorded and mixed at Tony Maimone’s (Pere Ubu) Studio G and Thump Recordings in Brooklyn, producer Jeff Berner (Psychic TV) evokes the tonal clarity and emotive noise that constitutes Big Bliss’s special brand of dark-tinged melodic euphoria. Songs successively ebb and flow in tempo and mania, alternating the spotlight on each player. Cory Race's fervent drumming is simultaneously unwavering and creative, as May’s fluid, leading bass lines offer clarity and resolve in every hook. Tim Race’s ethereal guitar shimmers like spurts of heat lightning during summer’s thick humidity, and the thundering rhythm section only compliments its brilliance. Their instruments alone are enough to fill any room, no matter the size. Tim's effectual and guttural vocals can either hover above the mix, or swoop through it, giving an actual tangibility to this “feelings” thing on which you can’t quite put your finger.

Lyrically, it is a challenge to Race’s notions of identity ("Duplicate"), a hidden history of addiction ("RTK"), and in the record’s opening salvo (“Constants”), the destruction left in the wake of a twenty-something person selfishly chasing “constant, eternal bliss,” and alienating the ones they love. He asks how we cope with events that shift our concepts of ourselves, like the death of an alcoholic uncle ("Richard Race"), or the end of a devoted companionship ("High Ideal"). He’s both looking inward and reaching out, hoping to find solid ground somewhere in between, a place from which he can be a better friend, a better lover, a place from where he can meet you.

At Middle Distance speaks in urgent tongues, desperate to convey unknowable longing, like every great post-punk artist who came before. Moments of joy, moments of unspeakable sadness, moments of rage, all rub shoulders through these songs, and by the record’s end, you’ve undoubtedly run the gauntlet.

BIG BLISS LINKS
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp

EXIT STENCIL RECORDINGS LINKS
Soundcloud / Website / Youtube

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Farao: "Lula Loves You"
(via Stereo Sanctity / YouTube)



Via Stereo Sanctity:

Berlin by-way-of Norway multi-instrumentalist and producer Farao (née Kari Jahnsen) announced her new album, Pure-O, will be released October 19th via Western Vinyl. The album’s first single “Lula Loves You” follows the May release of critically acclaimed song "The Ghost Ship" and arrives with a kaleidoscopic, analog-shot video directed/edited by Farao herself.

About the song, Farao says, 
“Loosely based on the movie Wild At Heart by David LynchLula Loves You is about resilience in the face of adversity – fighting for something in less than ideal conditions."

Pure-O, Farao’s sophomore album, is a prog-pop exposition on the curious dichotomy between beauty and destructiveness in sex and relationships, observing “How so often the thing that sparks our passions is the constant need to hide from one to find the other.” The musician notes, “I've felt like that. Like an addict seeking a fix.” Throughout 10 original tracks, Soviet-made synth tones ripple out from an undefined center like a Frank Stella painting, with sharply angled lines of color buzzing with concentric, hand-painted ecstasy. Album-opener “Marry Me” leads with the lyric “The heart is the organ of desire,” setting the stage for the warm-blooded essence of Pure-O. Lyrics about the possessiveness inherent in marriage unravel over a tenacious yet patient bassline, and by the time the song reaches its rapturous three-minute mark, Jahnsen is breathlessly rattling off descriptions of romantic obsession, while perhaps hinting at the upcoming listening experience: “overwhelming, undying, overpowering, unconditional, all-encompassing, heart-enriching, mind-expanding.”

“My choices for instrumentation and arrangement on the record were inspired by my falling in love with old Soviet disco (Eduard ArtemyevZigmars LiepiņšAleksei Kozlov) and subsequent collecting of boutique, Soviet-era analog synthesizers. A reawakening of my love for sensual ‘90s R&B (TLCJanet Jackson), the spiritual harp playing of Alice Coltrane, and the minimal compositions of Terry Riley have all inspired the album,” Jahnsen explains, adding, “A danceable contrast between the industrial framework of the beats and synths, and the organic vitality and flow of the vocals and zither are what provide the sonic bed.”

Perhaps then, on Pure-O we’re hearing Jahnsen’s early youth in Norway finding perfect equilibrium with her adulthood in Berlin. She says of the time she spent recording, “I was in the process of learning how to conduct myself while not getting sucked in to the whirlpool that is Berlin party culture,” and of her childhood, “It wasn’t a place I felt stimulated creatively, and felt quite lonely there growing up, which made me turn to music as a language for a set of emotions I didn’t know how to release otherwise.” It’s precisely this relationship between quiet reflection and overstimulation that makes the album unlike anything of its genre. In an age when non-electronic pop seems like an outlier, Farao constructs a bridge of humanity from the organic to the inorganic, rounds out the hard edges and sharpens the soft ones, and altogether transplanting a healthy, beating heart into modern synth-pop.

Pure-O follows Farao’s 2015 debut album, Till It’s All Forgotten, which earned acclaim from outlets such as Pitchfork (“Jahnsen's work defies categorization and commodification at every turn”), The FADER, NPR Music, Noisey, Vanity Fair, Paste, Clash, and The Line Of Best Fit, among others. She has also performed at a number of UK and European festivals such as Green Man, End of the Road, Øya, Roskilde, BY:LARM, and Eurosonic.


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Rattle"Signal"
(via mutante-inc. / Upset The Rhythm / YouTube)



Via mutante-inc.:

RATTLE is an ongoing musical project concerned with experiments in rhythm, metre and tension. Katharine Eira Brown and Theresa Wrigley make up the duo from Nottingham, who with just drums and occasional vocalisations weave an expanse of percussive vortices. Their songs swirl and envelop with all the physicality and drama of another world pulling together around its own shifting centre of gravity. The drum beats phase and sidestep, they trade accents and overlap, providing a suitably alive terrain for the vocals to explore similar tendencies of pattern. Rattle’s debut album was released in 2016 through Upset The Rhythm / I Own You and was greeted with much critical praise, this often singled out their hypnotic minimalism and ecstatic regard for the dance floor. The following six months saw Rattle support Animal Collective on their UK tour before heading out around Europe with The Julie Ruin. Rattle used these opportunities to try out new material and unconsciously began writing their next album. Brown recalls that “hearing our drums in these larger venues, with amazing sound, made us excited about how beautiful and magic the drums sounded, we were quite spellbound by how they were able to fill a venue so completely.”
Saturday 13th October at Forever Records, Nottingham. 3.33pm. Sequence playback as part of BBC Radio 6 National Album Day
Saturday 20th October at Oslo, London supporting Hot Snakes
Saturday 27th October at Dubrek Studios, Derby with Unit Ama
Tuesday 6th November at Chameleon, Nottingham with Duds and Cai Burns

23/11 - Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
24/11 - Ottawa, ON @ 27 Club 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
26/11 - Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
28/11 - Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
29/11 - Washington, DC @ Union Stage 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
30/11 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
01/12 - Columbus, OH @ The Basement 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
03/12 - Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
04/12 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
06/12 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
07/12 - Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations
08/12 - Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar 
w/ Protomartyr + Preoccupations

Sequence was written in much the same way as their debut, with the duo facing each other over their shared palette of drums, allowing songs to develop naturally and suggest their own direction. However, Brown and Wrigley were more confident of what they wanted to achieve with this follow up, having already proven the concept watertight through their debut and subsequent concerts. They knew they could wrestle songs out of the silence with such a setup, so afforded themselves greater time to explore extended, long-form composition. Sequence is composed of four tracks, each clocking in around 10 mins or over and focused squarely on a deeper resonance with the creative act, illustrative of how ideas build from scratch, of how music can grow out of repetition. Recorded at JT Soar in Nottingham with Phil Booth and Mark Spivey (Rattle’s live sound engineer), the album developed out of these four points, with Rattle honing their sound with detail. Everything was stripped back to just the drums and Brown’s voice. Percussion flourishes were deemed unnecessary, overdubbed layers of vocals were kept to a minimum. As a result, this quartet of songs are more meditative and aware than previous efforts, with the duo’s attentions spent tapping into each track’s potential, mapping out expeditions in tempo and making much of the journey over destination.

‘DJ’ is the first part of the album to unfold, its insistent, rotating beat slowly morphs into an avalanche of shimmering cymbals, before a plateau of echoed rim shots cools all to the core. Throughout, Brown’s wordless singing tethers the song to its atmosphere, an effect similarly employed to perfection in ‘Disco’ which follows. ‘Signal’ unfurls as an odyssey of rhythm, it’s tumbling beat, punctuated by shivers of hi-hat bluster and mesmeric tom fills. 
“Put your ear to the ground, it’s an incredible sound” confesses Brown in her most telling lyric from the album, leaving you convinced that Rattle are somehow channeling all this music from a quiet, elemental other-place. ‘The Rocks’ concludes the record with sparse assurance, it’s an exercise in magnified scope and altered states. Wrigley and Brown divide duties across all these tracks, with the cadenced, dynamic shifts of hi-hat and cymbal being Theresa’s domain, whilst Katharine holds down the toms and snare. Brown notes that “each song can be seen as representing a different drum in my set up”. ‘DJ’ is an exploration of her snare, whilst ‘Disco’, ‘Signal’ and ‘The Rocks’ are based around the floor tom, rack tom, and bass drum respectively. All of this is complemented further through the production interventions of Mark Spivey, who wanted to capture Rattle’s huge live sound on tape for this album with all its incurred dub-delay trippiness, taming and melding.

Sequence is a liminal album, thoughtfully crafted with themes of transition and realisation at its heart. It feels like a trance or ritual if you give yourself to the recording. It urges you to step outside and listen deeper. Rattle are seeking out a vivid array, an order from the noise, a pattern that unlocks the next. This album is the nurturing of intention and when we walk to its beat we arrive anew. Sequence will be released on November 2nd by Upset The Rhythm on LP, CD and digitally.

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FUKU"BASCO"
(via Happily There's No Earlids / Bandcamp)



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Wimps"O.P.P."
(via Kill Rock Stars / YouTube)




Via Kill Rock Stars:

In the Marcy Stone-Francois directed video for "O.P.P.," Wimps drummer David Ramm grapples with the urge to covet another's pizza... but only if it's cheese! Watch the video above and enter to win a test press of Garbage People AND a large cheese pizza over on Twitter.

"O.P.P." appears on Wimps' new album Garbage People, which was recently named one of the Best Albums of Summer 2018 by Bandcamp.

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DEW"menschenfeind"
(via P.O.G.O. Records / Bandcamp)



Via P.O.G.O. Records:

Do you know DEW?

P.O.G.O. records is very proud to present their 1st LP! Take their first 8 tracks in your mind!
Post punk industrial experimental new wave from Germany! guitars vs voice vs machine!
With an ex-Clarkys Bacon / Powerpissed!

https://pogorecords.bandcamp.com/track/menschenfeind

https://www.facebook.com/DEW-222954294864790/


Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead
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