by: Paul McEldowney
Can - The Lost Tapes (sampler) – (Mute)
Whoa so there's a new box set of a bunch of Can's lost studio work that has been stashed away for years. Unlike other 'lost' albums, this one features some of Can's best material. Unfortunately, all we get is a little teaser, and it is driving me nuts. These five songs showcase various points of Can's career pre, post, and during Damo at vocal duties. It is not too late if you haven't listened to Can. They pretty much are responsible for any psych, garage, freak-out, spacey, groovey music that is out there. They started every trend yet are timeless, original, and they surpasse and challenge everything that came after them. If you are familiar with their material, then you can see why I am so excited that we got this.
Yeasayer - Fragrant World - (Secretly Canadian)
To be honest, I've never listened to a single Yeasayer album or song before listening to Fragrant World. I was pretty surprised, as I was expecting entry level generic mindie rock. Maybe it's still that haha but at least it is very fun and catchy. Lot of soul. Lot of beats. Lot of melodies and other stuff that makes a good formula for a good clean song. Anyways, I probably don't have to convince you to listen because chances are you know more about them than I do. But I promise, it is good!
Eric Copeland - Limbo - (Underwater Peoples)
The newest solo album from Eric Copeland of acid-gargling vomit-pop pioneers Black Dice. On Limbo, Eric continues his brand of dubhouse DJ meets alien boogie towards a more accessible end. Rather than focusing on furthering the possibilities of how to make a squishy sound, Copeland focuses on making something that resembles a pop song (there are actual melodies and beats and poplike structures). This to me is awesome, as Copeland has little to prove in the mindbending sounds department. And yet, he still succeeds in making something catchy that still pushes the envelope.
Wet Hair - Spill Into Atmosphere - (De Stijl)
Spill Into Atmosphere marks Wet Hair's continued move towards more krautrocky regions and celebratory vibes. While his earlier post-Racoo-oo-oon material was drone based one man band psych groove downers, his newer stuff is full of energy, life, and original musical hooks on top of hooks. Every track is solid, unafraid, and definitely not redundant. So many jams.
Cankun - Idle - (Constellation Tatsu)
I stumbled upon this album earlier this Summer, and immediately was on constant rotation as I sat through the constant anxiety of being unemployed and out of school. As the name suggets, listening to Cankun forces you to travel through visions of paradise while realizing that everything has the same. It is loop-based multi-dimensional mind-numbing defocused but beautifully executed groove pop. It is definitely more embracive and celebratory than nihilistic, making Idle an infinitely fun album in its spirally adventurism.
Slug Guts - Playin' In Time With The Deadbeat - (Sacred Bones)
Whether or not you've survived the two hours 'transcendent' experience of listening to Swans' new album, I imagine Slug Guts' newest makes the best prologue, intermission, and epilogue to The Seer. With that being said, Playin' In Time With The Deadbeat still deserves a stand alone note without reference to Swans' catalog. This album is punishing, operatic, expansive, even industrial, post-punky psyched-out clang-pop. The strongest suit to this Slug Guts album is its ability to be uncompromising, unrestrained, engaging, and NOT self indulgent. Definitely borrowing elements of the aluminum seared sound of bands like Big Black, and post punk bands like Public Image LTD and The Pop Group, this album still sounds incredibly fresh and timeless.
Jherek Bischoff - Composed - (Brassland)
Seeing that he's produced some of my favorite albums from the past 10 years, I am not suprised Mr. Bischoff would make the most out of a trip to the studio, and his newest solo album shows this. While his past solo efforts (Ribbons?) tended to lean towards darker avant realms, Composed is surprisingly bright yet as expected, it is also charmingly disjointed. Enlisting talents such as David Byrne, Greg Saunier, Mirah, Nels Cline, Zac Pennington, and others, Composed is a whimsical baroque pop masterpiece. It is beautifully thematically tight, and appropriately arrogant.
CVLTS - Realizers - (Constelation Tatsu)
I imagine the midwest to be a pretty bizarre place considering all the awesome avant-y music that comes out of it. When people are bored of where they live, they tend to convert that deep idleness into something interesting. CVLTS are from this abstract promise land that I am probably very wrong about. Anyways CVLTS' newest is atmospheric sentimental solid state warbly bleak dying-batteries drone pop that is perfect for humid overcast days and other days as well.
Seabat - Crescent Parc - (Constellation Tatsu)
Recently, there have been a ton of artist revisiting and recombining new age, Komische, and 90s IDM in very interesting and overwhelming ways. While some artists have done so by exploiting an alleged sterility in the three mentioned genres/movements, some have contributed to and taken note of the humanness of electronic and synth-based music. Seabat have done the latter with their newest album, locating an often missed human emotionality in their warm subdued synth-scapes, interlacing chant-y koyaanisqatsi-referring vocals (?), and an overall weighty suffocatingly liberating atmosphere.
Saguache - Terrain - (Constellation Tatsu)
Metallic patiently paced crescendo-based AM-radio Eraserhead-eqsue drone. It's scarier and creepier and probably more enjoyable than any major horror movie from the last ten years.
Ombre - Believe You Me - (Asthmatic Kitty)
According to cosmopolitan, ombre is over. That will probably be the last time I reference cosmopolitan ever. Have you ever wanted to eat black ice while listening to the blissed out cherub rock of Juliana Barwick of have you ever wanted to hang out with Julianna Barwick while listening to Helado Negro? Today is your day, because Ombre is both bands working in perfect harmony to make your wildest musical dreams come true. It's the best bossanova meets enya's high points, and makes you wanna dream boogie.