Pure insanity coming from these two major tracks from anonymous producer SOPHIE, and both of these songs are out now via Numbers.
Between all the vaporwave and trap out floating around the Internet right now, there’s no shortage of zany electronic music at the moment. SOPHIE seems to embrace a lot of the tenants of TNGHT, Rustie, and post-modernists such as Daniel Lopatin; however, these sensibilities are unabashedly fused with commercial pop, a flavor that reads strongest in the often squeakily pitched melodies and lead vocals. There’s just something about the melodic shift at 0:39 that sounds like Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Someone on Twitter went as far as to say the groove on “Hard” resembles that of a Death Grips track, and I have to nod in agreement on that comparison.
Despite the obvious present-day influences, something about SOPHIE’s productions thus far feel as if they’re coming from at least ten years into the future. Their energy is incredibly hyper, their accessibility is high, but there’s something sort of avant-garde about these tracks as well. Maybe it’s sort of short-sighted to assume that songs like “Hard” could become the norm in a decade, but I certainly get the sense that I’m catching up with something ahead of the curve when I put these beats on.
Sweden’s Wildbirds & Peacedrums drops a new track titled “The Offbeat,” which looks like it’s going to be landing on the duo’s next full-length album, Rhythm. Not a surprising title from this band considering much of their past material has featured nothing but vocals and drums, and that’s exactly how this new track feels. Aside from a few spare “plinks” and glitches hanging in the background, Mariam Wallentin’s voice passionately rides the building drum work of Andreas Werliin.
Despite the lack of accompaniment, once again, Mariam and Andreas sound great. Mariam’s vocals continue to be a powerhouse of passion, and the Andreas’ grooves really keep the tension up.
It’s nice to hear W&P get back into the swing of things after the release of Mariam’s debut solo album, which I loved last year.
Look for Rhythm on November 3rd via the Leaf Label.
“Hunger of the Pine,” the lead single off alt-J’s forthcoming LP This is All Yours, was already a plenty fierce song - from its progressive, horn-adorned composition, to its prominent Miley Cyrus vocal sample, to its Hunger Games-esque music video. However, the song just got even fiercer thanks to our bold friends over at clipping., who have re-worked the song into the fourth installment of their “Story” song series (I take it the third chapter was skippable). They did a number on the track, let me tell ya – the only recognizable elements of the original are the “sleeplessly embracing” vocal cut and the horns. Damn, does Daveed sound bad-ass over that brass! But not only is “Story 4″ a glorious testament to these guys’ remixing skills, but it features what might just be their most intricate (and macabre) storytelling to date. After pieces like the first two stories and “Dominoes,” that’s saying something. Here’s hoping this gets put out on a 7″ or something!
But don’t let this overshadow alt-J’s original work, which is still a stellar tune. This Is All Yours drops September 22 via Infectious Records. Find our review of the band’s stunning 2012 debut An Awesome Wave here.
Last month, Houston-based avant-garde rapper and musician B L A C K I E announced a new studio full-length titled IMAGINE YOURSELF IN A FREE AND NATURAL WORLD. No release date yet, but this lead single “None Above” has me properly excited. The track is a crashing, kaleidoscopic wall of sound, with wailing from B L A C K I E forced to the background and just barely audible. It’s beautifully brutal. Or brutally beautiful? Whatever; it’s awesome! Check it out!
Jenny Hval and Susanna are both well-respected Norwegian singer-songwriters with striking voices who favor unique, complex, and often quite minimal compositions. Last year, Hval released a pretty good experimental pop LP called Innocence is Kinky, and Susanna released her fourth solo full length (she has an additional three under the name Susanna & the Magical Orchestra), The Forester. Together on this new collaborative project, they form a very clear bond between their favorite styles.
“I Have Walked This Body” opens on a dark, somber drone, with Hval delivering a keening but mostly placid vocal. Soon though, things get weird. An eerie vocal affect and some well-placed static later, it almost leaks into Shaking the Habitual territory. Both singers’ voices get nicely showcased here, as the song slowly morphs and slides through a few different phases, before growing quite cacophonous and intoxicating, and then finally collapsing back into the void from whence it came. The two women clearly know what they’re doing here. Their collaborative album is a whopping 15 tracks long, so I am very interested to see what they do across such a huge canvas.
Meshes of Voice comes out Aug 19 via SusannaSonata.
Digging on some fiery jazz rock from this new Daniel Rosenboom Quintet album, Fire Keeper. The kinetic energy in the performances on this thing is m-a-s-s-i-v-e. The production is a little flat at times, but the performances are just stellar throughout.
A few months back, Finland’s Can Can Heads delivered a wonderful little musical curiosity in the form of their second full-length effort Butter Life. The group has actually been around since 1993 and has pretty much been doing whatever the fuck they want the entire time - very noisy, spastic, no-wavey rock for the most part. That’s what you get here on Butter Life, too, but the band’s material is so brisk, it always feels fresh. So, if you’re a fan of noise rock or are big into Finland’s experimental music scene (and with music like this, how could you not be?), then give this LP a shot. Happy listening!
Butter Life is out now via Karkia Mistika Records, Verdura Records, and Bottom of the Pops.
NEW SHABAZZ PALACES! The previously loved Seattle hip hop project has released another track from its forthcoming record, Lese Majesty. Just like their last LP, this one is looking at a release via Sub Pop Records. The date: July 29th.
“Forerunner Foray” is equal parts hip hop and electronic psychedelia. Fluttering synth sequences, spacey rhythms, and a plethora of effects make up the sonic pallet of this instrumental. There are even some short vocal interludes that sound like they’re being handled by someone in THEESatisfaction.
A lot of Ishmael Butler’s lyrics come off confident and brag-laden, but any grander meaning is eluding me at the moment. Regardless, another interesting tidbit from this forthcoming record.