Browsing All Posts published on »May, 2011«

Big Block 454 – Bells & Proclamations (folk-funk/ psychedelic rock)

May 18, 2011

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Big Block 454, named for a 1970 Chevrolet engine, are one of the oddest bands I’ve encountered in a while. They are creatively out there, full of weird sounds and transgressive stylistic collisions, and yet they are, to me at least, accessible, pleasing, and decidedly danceable. Apparently they’ve been around a long while: well, it’s not surprising if you haven’t heard of them, because as good as they are, I can’t imagine any record label monkey having the first clue how to sell this stuff!

Monday Musings: What’s The Use Of Critical Theory?

May 16, 2011

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I pay a certain amount of attention to critical theory, which is to say, I think about the ins and outs of what I do, as someone who makes statements in one medium that are responses to someone else’s statements in another. I also mean that I read what some other people have said on […]

Knifeworld – Dear Lord, No Deal (psychedelic rock)

May 14, 2011

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Kavus Torabi, Cardiacs guitarist, among many other things, originally pursued Knifeworld as a solo endeavour, but this EP marks the beginning of the project’s recorded life as a six piece band with a permanent membership. The initial release, Buried Alone: Tales of Crushing Defeat, had a particular sound, and a coherent one, from which this release is quite distinct, texturally at least. Dear Lord, No Deal has a denser, fuller sound, but it still pursues the same general aesthetic and formal agenda.

Archangel – Project Rave (8-bit/ IDM/ techno)

May 14, 2011

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It’s unclear how much of this album might have been created using the genuinely simple digital resources it seems to utilise, and how much use was made of rather more sophisticated plugins standing in for them, but either way, there’s a lot more processing than would be permissible on purist chiptunes (i.e. some). The 8-bit vibe is convincingly nailed regardless, and I for one have very little time for purisms of any sort. This music’s agenda is to celebrate its digitalism, which it manages to present in a way that is surprisingly organic.

Marley Butler – Procras The Sample (ambient/ electronica)

May 11, 2011

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Marley Butler had something to do; but, he also had a new software sampler he’d downloaded for free. The something didn’t get done: but he did record this EP, which strikes me as some pretty darn constructive procrastination. Each tune was written, recorded and mixed in a single evening, and two of them were embellished by Jamie Osborne, who wrote and recorded vocals under similar time constraints. A third has Butler’s own self-effacing and reflective rhyming.

Cutleri – Let Me Show You My Sweater (folk/ Americana)

May 11, 2011

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Production standards for self released music have become so generically polished and exact, that it has almost ceased to be meaningful or valuable to release a well recorded album. I’m being facetious, obviously, and of course I like to hear music I like sounding good, but sometimes the slickness of everything becomes incredibly desolate; some noise, some artifacts, and the boxy sound of cheaper equipment can serve as a welcome reminder that a recording embodies something real.

Monday Musings: Information Wants To Be Free, or How Do You Own A Sound?

May 9, 2011

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There’s a lot of thought being given, in all quarters, to how to turn music into money in the unprecedented circumstances in which we find ourselves. What is music worth? What is it about music that is tradeable? What parts of the traditional commercial landscape are worth defending? To what extent do people and organisations […]