NMESH – Welcome To Warp Zone! (Tiny Mix Tapes 4​-​Hour Video Game Mix)

Welcome to Warp Zone! [via Tiny Mix Tapes]

NMESH, the alias of Kentuckian electronic music producer and ex-drummer Alex Koenig, is committed to the concept of the “guest mix” to an almost unhealthy extent. Consider the above 4-and-a-half-hour-long, 10 “world” conceptual mix he created for Tiny Mix Tapes.

With the tagline, “TINY MIX TAPES HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED BY NINJAS. ARE YOU A BAD ENOUGH DUDE TO SAVE TINY MIX TAPES?”clearly this is not the product of a sane mind. This is the work of a person who has spent way too much time with the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog and Ryu Hayabusa. Basically, Koenig’s my kind of guy and Welcome to Warp Zone! is the musical even of the year in my book. If you too feel keen to listen to 4 and a half hours of retro-virtual inanity, tune in above and enjoy!

Burial Hex – “The Hierophant”

Burial Hex, the well established pseudonym of experimental singer-songwriter Clay Ruby, has reached its calculated end. Last week, Ruby put out The Hierophant, the most graceful finish conceivable for his long-running project. On past efforts, Burial Hex almost always had me wondering at what point a piece of music might be considered sui generis – his style has clear elements of darkwave, death industrial, and modern classical music, but this has always struck me as a trifling observation to say the least. I believe The Hierophant, fittingly Ruby’s most holistic statement to date, confirms this. So, I can really only set up the above title track by calling it a “Burial Hex song” and hope that’s enough to grab your attention.

Although this ‘death’ was prophesied or whatever, I can’t help but be sad that there won’t be any more Burial Hex music. Fingers crossed that like the recently concluded Dirty Beaches, Ruby will continue exploring his own sound under different names, but as is, he has given us one of the greatest avant-garde albums of the year. Anyway, I feel I should pay my respects: R.I.P. Burial Hex.

The Hierophant is out now via Handmade Birds.

Black Spirituals – “Radiant”

With Of Deconstruction, Oakland free improvisation duo Black Spirituals has delivered one of the year’s greatest potpourri albums. Bassist and electronics operator Zachary James Watkins and percussionist Marshall Trammell found each of the album’s three substantial pieces on simple and vague grooves, exploring every bit of space they have to offer. Above, check out 20-minute opener “Radiant,” which rides modulated bass riffs, flourishes of static noise, and skittering drum fills through countless phases. Its effortless fusion of such styles as noise rock, avant-garde metal, EAI, free-jazz, and freaking cumbia, makes this perhaps the most expressive rock project I’ve heard all year. Enjoy!

Of Deconstruction is out now via SIGE Records. Although this is only Black Spirituals’ debut, they have apparently already garnered the attention of eminent electronic art musician and theorist Pauline Oliveros, who contributes a quote to the album’s Bandcamp page. Way to go!

A Sunny Day in Glasgow – “Shut Your Mouth, It’s Christmas”

Back in June, the zestful noise poppers over at A Sunny Day in Glasgow delivered perhaps 2014′s greatest summer album, Sea When Absent. The Sydney six-piece’s refreshing shoegaze production rendered this the perfect beach music (on an overcast day). But now, a week from Thanksgiving, the band is in a properly wintry spirit, participating in the limited edition cassette series Sketch for Winter. Theirs is the first installment this cycle, comprised of four “new Christmas classics” and, naturally, one Mariah Carey cover. Above, stream the confrontationally-titled “Shut Your Mouth, It’s Christmas,” which perfectly captures the holiday ethos. Happy listening!

Sketch for Winter I: New Christmas Classics is available here for pre-order via Geographic North (limited to an edition of 300). Also, A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s label Lefse shared a cold new video for Sea When Absent cut “Crushin’.” Watch that here:

Last Lizard – “Dickie’s Theme” / “Detroit” (Excerpt)

Last month, Alex Zhang Hungtai announced the laying to rest of his long-running and acclaimed no-wave singer-songwriter alias Dirty Beaches. The recently released Stateless was packed with gorgeous drones and was thankfully an elegant end for the project.

There was a silver lining to this news: Hungtai announced that new music under different handles would be coming as soon as 2015. Lo and behold, he has already delivered over 20 minutes of music under the pseudonym Last Lizard. The 18-minute-long “Dickie’s Theme” and the below 4 minute excerpt from “Detroit” are billed as “tenor sax and tape experiments,” in a similar vein as some of the material on Stateless. Try to imagine The Disintegration Loops constructed only out of layered tenor sax sounds – if you can, then you ought to have a good idea of what you’re in for.

R.I.P. Dirty Beaches. Long live Last Lizard!

Flying Lotus – “Medication Meditation” ft. Krayzie Bone

With the expanded edition of Grand Theft Auto V comes a whopping 162 new songs across the game’s 17 radio stations. Flying Lotus’ Fly Lo FM has been supplemented with new music from Danny Brown, Freddie Gibbs, and DOOM to name just a few. Above you can stream a new Flying Lotus-produced track “Medication Meditation,” which features a couple of verses from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s Krayzie Bone, background vocals from frequent FlyLo collaborator Niki Randa, and of course there’s some slick bass work from Thundercat all over this thing. Now, this song may not offer the free-jazz euphoria of You’re Dead!, but I sure as hell wouldn’t mind blasting this in the car while cruising around San Andreas.

GTA V is out on next-gen consoles now via Rockstar Games, with a limited edition box set of the expanded soundtrack due out December 9 via Mass Appeal. Here’s our review of Flying Lotus’ latest record You’re Dead!:

Eternia – “Scraps”

A week ago, Canadian underground veteran emcee Eternia dropped a new track. The single, “Scraps,” is thick with an impending sense of boom bap-influenced hip hop that forces its listener to contemplate their place in the world. According to Eternia in a quote for HipHopDX, she heard the beat playing while in the middle of prayer at City Lights in Toronto, wrote the song the same night, then recorded it the next day. Eerily reminiscent both melodically and production-wise to “The Answer” by The Foreign Exchange, Eternia uses her crafty lyrical prowess to build a foundation of aggressive bars about life lessons learned and hard knowledge earned. It’s proof of why Eternia has been able to stick around the hip hop game for a decade and still seems hungry for more ears to listen intently.

- Ron Grant

Living In Frames – “Closer”

With a deep, dense, spacey, almost gritty aura to it, Brazilian electronic duo Living in Frames‘ song “Closer” certainly doesn’t slouch on delving into the darker side of what many folks may immediately lump into the category of EDM. There’s heavy, obvious elements of both dubstep and drum and bass, as well as a fair amount of spacey voice manipulation, atmospheric instruments and an overall sense of strategic musical uncertainty that seeps and drips throughout “Closer,” making for a listen that leans towards the neurotic. Yet the track still revels in and embraces its own scant but deeply-layered makeup. Heilo de Matos and Luis Antonio Muniz, though they’ve only been together for a year, seem to be getting closer to the specific sound they want to convey in their music, and “Closer,” though it could maybe have been a bit more defined, is still proof of that.

“Closer” appears on the twosome’s upcoming EP Outer. Listen to the track above and download it for free if you so please. Happy listening!

- Ron Grant

Vladislav Delay – “Visa Medley”

This week Finnish experimental electronica extraordinaire Sasu Ripatti (a.k.a. Vladislav Delay) dropped a new full-length album called Visa. On this new project, you will not find the rich dub influence of previous two LPs Vantaa and Kuopio; rather, Delay appears to be attempting a return to form…whatever that may be for him. Since the beginning, his work has in many novel ways challenged the conception of ambiance as a passive mode of music, and the five oft-sprawling pieces on Visa very much share this spirit. Delay’s music demands attention – his compositions are angular, his rhythms complex, his progressions combustive. Consequently, he has managed to remain quite a bit more “engaging” than your typical ambient artist. Lay your ears on a medley of Visa‘s tracks above, or stream the whole thing below via Delay’s Bandcamp. Enjoy!

Michna – “She Exists In My Mind”

Known for being somewhat of a chameleon when it comes music production, Michna has carved quite a lane for himself through the intricate mixing and melding of genres: doses of hip hop, electronica, darkened techno has allowed Michna to create a formidable music tapestry and given him the space to delve into areas once thought not feasible. His latest offering is again a combination of all the aforementioned styles. “She Exists In My Mind” is indeed a dark, stark trip inside a curious musical mind that for just over three minutes keeps the listener enthralled and guessing. Be forewarned, rewinds and head nodding will ensue greatly.

- Ron Grant