Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dive Signals - 10,000 Tropics [2012]

Come inhale the mellowness of this submission from Orange, California. Dive Signals is the one-man drone/electronic project of Angel Ortega. This is pretty much exactly what I'd expect to manifest from a place like southern California (but outside of L.A.): the sum-total "good feeling" resulting from the warmth, wind chimes, the waves, palm trees bobbing in the breeze, and all that pleasant stuff. It also gets fairly cosmic on some of the songs. If you're into krauty, electronic drone-type stuff this will be right up your alley. I've found it also makes for great music for reading, studying, or drifting off to sleep. Whether you listen while trying to focus or zone out, it's best heard as one continuous piece. Mr. Ortega recommends headphones and so do I.

10,000 Tropics came out in digital format (free + pay what you want/can) a couple weeks ago, and a physical release is in the works. Keep an eye on Static Reason for details.

Dive Signals bandcamp
Dive Signals tumblr

Nude Beach - II [2012]

A little over a week ago I had the pleasure of seeing the Men in Chicago. It was great show, which involved my being inadvertently crowdsurfed for a good 90 seconds or so ("let me the fuck down!"). But since the Men are pretty well-hyped as of late -- get their new album, Open Your Heart, on Sacred Bones -- I'll write about their fellow New Yorker tourmates Nude Beach. They bring the melody and songwriting and punch you in the head with it. Easy-to-hear sonic influences would be Let It Be-era Replacements, Springsteen, and Big Star, and maybe a little Tom Petty (in a good way). As far as current bands go, you'll probably like these guys if you're into the Men or Kurt Vile/The War on Drugs. Sounds good right? So hit play and download this, or buy an LP.

Buy II at Katorga Works -- they've also got great records by Brown Sugar, Hoax, Rational Animals, Creem, Pop. 1280, Tenement, Crazy Spirit, and many more.

P.S. Somebody taped the Men's set, so enjoy it here:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Disciplina Kičme - Ja imam šarene oči [1985]

This is the second record by Serbian postpunks Disciplina Kičme. It continues in the psyched-out industrial dirge of the first record, and it is just as good. Not a lot of bands utilize a 'lead bass' position, but holy christ is it effective here. The synthesis of massive drum grooves and electrified bridge cable bass clamor give this band an undeniable, heavy swing. Discogs actually has DK listed as a funk/soul band, and while superficially that's way off the mark, it does sort of make sense. The riddm is king on this slab. There's also some free jazz horn wailing on here, but nothing like the sort-of-goofy-sounding Balkan brass arrangements that materialized on later DK records.

I originally heard this from a post at Puke Skywalker some years ago, but that link is dead so I put up my own file.

Ja imam šarene oči Discogs page
Novac neće doći

Disciplina Kičme - Sviđa mi se da ti ne bude prijatno [1983]

Music like this is what compels me to love the internet. It's highly unlikely I would come across something like this any other way. Disciplina Kičme formed in 1981 in Belgrade, Serbia. It sounds like an acid-fried Jimi Hendrix playing bass in a dark post-punk band, informed by the same kind of muddiness that, say, drove the Screamers to eschew guitars for dissonant synths. Yep, no guitar here either -- just bass and drums (well, plus all the pedals). But this is some of the greatest stuff I have ever heard. Fans of Wire, High Rise, and any other Serbian/Slovenian/Bosnian/other Yugoslav stuff from this period will all be at home listening to this band. They had one other great EP, which I will also post. After that, they added a bunch of horns and drum machines and stuff, which was maybe/maybe not good (definitely different) but these first couple of records are essential.

Wiki page on this album
Youth does not justify unconsciousness

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Psychic Blood - Strain 7" [2011]

Psychic Blood are a group of noisy punks from Holyoke, Massachusetts. There is a lot of GUITARS on here. It sounds kind of Hüskers-ish -- right up my alley, and many of yours, I'm sure. The idea seems to be 'cram a folk melody under 30 tons of feedback,' and it sounds like flying down a highway at night with the windows down. Bands like this have a tendency to fall flat relying on the noise to cover their lack of songwriting. But that can't be said here. Thankfully, in Psychic Blood's case, the melody comes across pretty much intact, bringing with it all the cool additive chord voicings and resonance that it picked up in the feedback field. This stuff is really good.

Strain will be released as a 7" sometime soon, and Psychic Blood is in the process of finishing up their first full-length LP. In the meantime, put these guys in your hard drive and your ears. At Psychic Blood's soundcloud, you can also listen to their other two releases. All worth hearing.

Psychic Blood website

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Puke Skywalker - Tripper Crust EP [2012]

Puke Skywalker is one of the first music blogs I ever started following, and is responsible for introducing me to some of the bands I love most (Can, Les Rallizes Dénudés, Grazhdanskaya Oborona, etc.). Posting dropped off for a good while there, only to return with some creations of the author himself.

This EP is a bunch of punk/hardcore/crust songs sampled and cut up to create new 'songs.' Which makes perfect sense if you think about it: bands constantly rehash and rearrange chord changes, guitar leads, vocal rhythms, and drum beats when making 'real' punk music; Puke Skywalker is different from that only technically. I'm honestly surprised I haven't heard other people doing this (I assume they're out there).

Anyway, the music is intense as fuck and samples Infest, Anal Cunt, and some other stuff I'm not really familiar with. But I gotta say, there is something incredibly gratifying about hearing blast beats at a speed that may or may not be humanly possible. Also, the artwork is sick.

Fuck the Machine

re-up'd: Disappears - Pre Language [2012]

Here's the recently-released third album from Chicago's Disappears. I remember seeing them for free at Millenium Park a few summers ago; back then they were riding one-chord guitar noise waves punctuated by tight motorik rhythms in a garage sort of style (here's a Chicago Reader article about them from the time). I really liked that whole schtick, and their first two albums, Lux and Guider, nailed down the aesthetic without making the consciously limited style become stale. Since the recording of those two, they've added Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley to their drumkit, and he has definitely helped develop Disappears' sound further.

Pre Language is quite a bit different from what came before, most obviously in the rhythm section. Mr. Shelley and bassist Damon Carruesco carve out their grooves in more subtle and diverse ways than the band did on previous records. The Johnathan Richman-telling-you-what's-up vocals haven't changed much, but no need to fix what ain't broke. The guitars are still noisily psyched-out with plenty of reverb, but the idea this time seems a little closer to Wire than Neu!. I guess that's the biggest difference I could notice on this record; some of the krauty garage scooched over to make room for post-punk.

The songwriting and production are what will get you into this. The intent behind the songs remains rooted in the idea of not getting too fancy -- nobody could ever accuse Disappears of noodling. Instead, they churn out some masterfully-crafted psych-punk jams. And they sound better than ever, thanks to recording in Sonic Youth's personal studio.

I could tell you about the indivdual songs but you should really just get them into your ear without my words diluting the experience. Here's the first song:

Disappears website/tour info
Buy Pre Language on Kranky Records [came out this week, so don't be stingy yo]
Is it real or replicate