Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yippee It's Lee and Willbee

Lee & Willbee began as a collaboration between Lee Chameleon and Markus Willbee. In the beginning they formed a strong bond as the rhythm section for La Makita Soma, criss-crossing the country playing rock clubs, raves and music festivals showcasing their energetic blend of psychedelic rock and electronic dance music. La Makita Soma made multiple appearances at SXSW and after both of their releases charted in the CMJ Top 100, the band also played the annual CMJ festival. After La Makita Soma, the musical bond and friendship formed by years of forging rhythms together continued.

Both were eager to venture outside their previous musical roles and decided to start a new project, hiding away with their instruments and recording songs that had thematic and melodic integrity and sounded sweet like candy. A tonic for troubled souls who are not afraid of a catchy melody. The two spent many hours their Chicago studio crafting the songs until one fateful day Markus was called away to the mountains of Utah.

Lee & Willbee continued their endeavor via the web and during these long months of isolation an able bodied soul came to the aid and assistance of the hermits. Seattle’s Patrick Roche joined the boys and delivered a breath of fresh air to the project. Manning his guitar and savvy attention to detail he coaxed the two young men from their solitary existences and encouraged them to reassert themselves and peddle their musical elixir. It didn’t take long till the three were thick as thieves. North Carolina is the threesome’s debut album on its own Lost In The Woods label.

Download: Love's Not Worth It
Download: Day of Sunshine

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Hollowseen

The Happy Hollows' catchy yet dissonant sound is influenced by genres as disparate as 90's college rock, garage punk, art rock, and 80's pop. The band combines innovative song structures, surreal lyrics, and fiercely adept instrumentation to recreate reality into a jagged panorama of vibrant, kaleidoscopic collage. Listening to their music, one cannot help but see visions of a place oddly askew from the world we experience everyday, a parallel universe that is at once whimsical, demented, and ferocious.

The young group's infectious and irreverent noise-pop has earned considerable following up and down the west coast, with their energetic and charismatic performances. Vocalist/guitarist Sarah Negahdari wields ominous riffs and finger-tapped arpeggios while singing with a cherubic-yet-mischievous grin. Meanwhile, the agile rhythm section of Charles Mahoney (bass/vocals) and Chris Hernandez (drums/vocals) vault and lunge with precision.

It's classic stuff that's not like most of the stuff coming out of California and that should be no surprise seeing as though the band worked with former Mighty Lemon Drop David Newton. It's like early to mid-90's British pop run through the Valley and the Galleria and then coerced into sounding American. Good stuff to say the least.

Download: Faces
Download: High Wire
Download: Monster Room

Return of the Blog...And Evil Blog 2

For those of you wondering where the heck have I been the last two weeks, I've been away on vacation. This was a much needed event and having two weeks again from work (and blog) was a very good thing.

I spent my first week of fall vacation at Walt Disney World and ate/drank my way around EPCOT during the International Food and Wine Fest. 27 countries of amazing eating and drinking in the second most popular theme park in the the world. It's an awesome time and if you've never been, you have until November 9th to gorge yourself. Week two of fall vacation was spent visiting National Parks. Somewhat inspired by Ken Burns recent series I went up the east coast of Florida and Georgia and hit three of them and the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum and Marineland to boot.

That brings bang up to date and what a better way to start posting again with a festive treat! Evil Blog 2 is the latest mix from Low Life that simply kills.

Evil Blog 2 picks up where the mind-melting invasion of Attack of the Blog left off. This time around Buzzard Gulch & Low Life Inc. has gone to the darkest spaces to discover the most tortured sounds available. Evil Blog 2 is filled with tracks that are sure to rattle the very center of your soul.

Frederick Olufsen returns with his ‘Step One (Lacrimosa)’- a classical experiment pondering how ‘doom’ is truly the first step. Disco of Doom have crept from the trenches with a ‘Warpig’ on their stake. LaTourette mangle your ears with a double dose of debilitating madness. And The Bass Knights create an Infernal Carnival where Polymorphic and the rest of the lot may evoke your deepest nightmares.

This is not a collection for the weary heart. Your nerves will be placed at the edge, taunted by the shadows, as the haunting sounds of Evil Blog 2 engulf you from within.

You can download this or listen to Cannibal Corpse...or better yet, listen to the same time!

Download: Evil Blog 2
Purchase from Beatport HERE.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm Paul, Meat Katie...

Meat Katie AKA Mark Pember shouldn't’t need any introduction at this stage of his career, but for those who haven’t been around over the past 15 years: Pember has recorded for labels such as Lot49, Kingsize, R&S & Wall of Sound to name a few, he has mixed and compiled albums for Ministry of Sound, Fabric & Bedrock; he has run two highly successful labels in Whole 9 Yards and Lot49 and he has Dj’ed in every corner of the globe at some of the world’s biggest music events and dirtiest clubs.

To date Pember has released three Meat Katie artist albums, Off the Bone (1998), Long to Belong (2000) & Vibrator (2006), all diverse in style and vibe but glued together by his techy and lo-fi feel', he has worked with such vocalist as Kurt Wagner from Nashville indie/country band Lambchop, garage/trash vocalist Holly Golightly, New York house legend Roland Clark and UK Diva Katherine Ellis, in 2000 mark also made a one off alternative album Never The Less under the name Avenue A, a collaborative project with Jason o' Bryan co-producer with the Dub pistols, it was this project that lead Mark to score the music for film adaptation of Martin Amis’ 'Dead Babies', an art house production by Gruber films (Shooting Fish, Waking Ned), starring Paul Bettany.

Arguably its Marks work as a DJ that has really seen him shine, a world class performer with excellent technical ability and a great understanding of the dance-floor, he has built a reputation worldwide. Those who have seen him play will know that it is his diversity and energy that has earned him such respect, his tough Techy style, has seen him play across the globe alongside an eclectic group of DJs from Digitalism, Justice and Simian mobile disco, Soulwax and Erol Alkan, to Deep Dish, Steve Lawler, James Zabiela, Sasha & Digweed, Carl Cox, even Armand van buren & Marco V, and not forgetting some of the world’s top Breaks acts including, Plump DJ’s, Stanton Warriors. He'’s supported live acts such as Chemical brothers, Pendulum, Basement Jaxx, Represent, and Infusion, and He even recently played on the Valve Soundsystem as one of the only non-Drum ‘n Bass DJs ever to do so.

Download: Tension (via Sendspace)
Download: Meat Katie In The Mix (via Sendspace)

Friday, October 9, 2009

That's Mr. Glaswegian To You.

Kenny Glasgow is no newcomer to dance music, having put in 20 years of work as a DJ, producer and promoter, but it seems that 2009 is truly his year. His recent, long awaited, debut artist album Taste for the Low life on No.19 Music was described as “One of the most startling different and downright exciting electronic albums which will emerge this or any other year.” by DMC Update whilst IDJ said “Rarely has the man/machine balance been executed with as much mystery and panache”.

Straight from his latest EP, Something Special, comes a host of new remixes...

First of the two remixers to get their hands on ‘Jump Up in the Air’ is none other than My Favorite Robot. The Montreal boys tear in to the original parts and deliver a wonderfully brooding piece of electro tinged house music that provides a perfect bedrock for the heavily effected vocal sample.

Last but not least we have a wonderful piece of work from Andrew Vandermeer who provides an uptempo rework with a deep hypnotic groove and a superb arrangement.

Download: Jump Up In The Air (Vandermeer Mix) via Sendspace
Download: Jump Up In The Air (My Favorite Robot Mix) via Sendspace

The Laughing Has A Fever

Recorded over the course of a near year, FEVER is the debut album by Austin band, The Laughing. With an aural aesthetic pulling from somewhere between early Roxy Music and the stretches of contemporaries such as Animal Collective, The Laughing has quickly attracted the attention of audiences looking for a little dance in their rock as well as a little art in their pop.

Though grounded in a traditional rock line up of guitar/vocals (Logan Middleton), bass (Sean Neesely), drums (Grant Van Amburgh), and organ (performed on FEVER by Austin Jenkins and Middleton), The Laughing also utilizes a vast array of percussion, bells, dulcimers, ukuleles, synths, clarinets, flutes, blankets of noise and lush harmonies. Varied instrumentation and ornamental arrangements adorn core song structures and melodies that take cues from the likes of Harry Nilsson, Os Mutantes, Jorge Bem, Silver Apples, Love, Roxy Music, Sonic Youth, 13th Floor Elevators and more.

The Laughing has constructed an album of songs that bears only slight resemblance to its broad spectrum of influences, in turn creating something special and unique. Of the album title, band leader Logan Middleton explains, “‘Fever’ was the title of a book I discovered as a child that had extensive accounts of my now deceased grandfather’s work as a missionary doctor in West Africa and his discovery and treatment of highly fatal disease known as Lassa Fever.”

Download: Runner
Download: Elephant

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Can I Have Your Digits

Alt Altman is Digits, a new electronic indie pop artist from Toronto, and Hold It Close is the multi-instrumentalist's first album.

A blend of indie pop songwriting and danceable electronic arrangements, Digits has been likened to the Junior Boys, Belle & Sebastian, and Broadcast. Although to me the record reminds me of early 90's Creation/Factory/Sarah records with an electronic edge, think Pacific, The Wake, etc. It's lush, detached stuff that's kind of sparse the way so many of those early 90's records were and that's why I love this record.

Hold It Close is a brooding record, with lyrical themes such as obsessive love, anxiety, and existential meaninglessness. Feel good album of the fall? Maybe not. Don't fret, it is not without a sense of humour though. The tongue-in-cheek "You're Going To Age" is a straight up disco song about the inevitability of growing old, while "Saturation" is about being overwhelmed by the availability of too much music. comment on that one.

Download: Sarah
Download: You're Going To Age

NASA's Budget Approved.

Our second entry this evening from the treasure trove of tracks past, comes to us from N.A.S.A. They blew up all over the place during the Summer and the Treasure Fingers remix of, "Gifted," was absolute gold.

I mean come could it not be? "Gifted," alone has Kanye West, Santogold, AND Lykke Li! That's like the line up of the gods and when you have the song remixed by Treasure Fingers that's just about unthinkable.

Well the unthinkable has happened, I found two more remixes that I apparently never posted. One from Dim Mak guru Steve Aoki, and one from Aston Shuffle. Hot damn, get those hard drives ready.

Download: Gifted (Steve Aoki Remix)
Download: Gifted (Aston Shuffle Remix)

WhateverWhatever I Do What I Want

The cleaning of the treasure trove continues.

We kick off today's haul with the guys of WhateverWhatever. They recently bounced back up to the top of the scene with a couple of new flawless dance floor sweepers. This time they've remixed La Roux's intoxicating 'Quicksand' and give Trouble Andrew some serious teched out mischief.

The La Roux track is a nice little work out that's got plenty of drama, a hint of darkness, and 80's alternative dance sheen to it to keep everyone sweaty on the floor. The Trouble Andrew track is a bit more sparse and makes itself comfortable with minimalistic vocal loops and some glitchy bleeps.

These guys have collectively remixed more artists than it's worth mentioning over their combined careers. They have remixes released on DFA, Rong, Mute, TommyBoy and many more.

They are true legends of NY club music and you can hear it on the tracks below.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chasing Kings And The Current State Of Our Future

Chasing Kings make beautifully interesting music and boast live shows full of passion and glorious spontaneity. Made up of long time friends Matt Schwartz (Vocals/Keys/Guitar), Drew Beck (Guitar/Vocals), Nick Sandler (Drums), and Mike Goldman (Bass/Vocals), Chasing Kings has no member over the age of 20 but exudes an obvious maturity.

Galvanized by the opportunity to record with producer Tony Berg (Phantom Planet, Mellowdrone, Jesca Hoop), Chasing Kings hunkered down in a Brentwood studio and fine tuned the intricate and refined pop songs that would ultimately become The Current State Of Our Future EP. Said Schwartz, “We truly thought for a while that it was such a far off distant fantasy to work with someone that had done so many cool things that we really respected and thought were fucking brilliant."

The result is the band's debut EP The Current State Of Our Future, which shows a moody and dramatic band that has a fine sense of what makes a song good: melodies and hooks. Using them with precision, this is a band that manipulates their emotions into some sort of post Radiohead, Britpop stomp that's like a soaring breath of fresh air from everything else that's currently popular.

Download: Empathy
Download: The Current State Of Our Future

The Black Hollies Head Softly Towards The Light

Today, Ernest Jenning Record Co. proudly releases Softly Towards The Light, the third full-length album from New Jersey quartet The Black Hollies. To celebrate the group have planned a record release party at Glasslands in Brooklyn, NY on 10/10, and are offering up a free download of the song "Gloomy Monday Morning". After an appearance at CMJ 2009, The Black Hollies hit the road in November for an East Coast tour with Brian Scary & The Shredding Tears.

As for "Gloomy Monday Morning," it's an energetic 60's influenced pop stomp. It's as if the 60's were 90's were 00's and that's a good thing. Raw and catchier than the swine flu, this track is a brilliant preview of their full-length.

Though the band have always been known as a power-house live act, Softly Towards The Light is a distinct step forward for them as song writers and recording artists and "Gloomy Monday Morning," is pretty much proof of that.

Tour dates w/Brian Scary...
10 - Washington, DC - The Black Cat
11 - Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery
12 - Charlotte, NC - The Milestone
13 - Athens, GA - Caledonia Lounge
14 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits
15 - Orlando, FL - The Social
17 - Atlanta, GA - The Drunken Unicorn
18 - Birmingham, AL - The Nick
19 - Jackson, MS - Old Tavern
21 - Nashville, TN - The End
22 - Columbus, OH - The Summit
25 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
27 - Cambridge, MA - TT The Bear's

Download: Gloomy Monday Morning