October 30, 2007


On!Air!Library! (photo Sean McCabe)

This is how easy it can be:

On!Air!Library! only put out one self-titled record before breaking up, but it has two songs that have stuck with me, and one in particular that I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing. Who cares about the bio (well, ok, yes the girls are twins if you must know) when you can listen to "Bread"? This is everything that could have been right about early-2000s indie rock.


On!Air!Library! - Bread [On!Air!Library!, 2004]

On!Air!Library! - Faultered Ego [On!Air!Library!, 2004]

October 29, 2007

Whispers from Japan


Eddie Marcon is good music to post today, the first lightless gloomy day we've had for a while here in the Bay Area. This isn't sad music, though, it just seems to come from a lonely place.

Maybe that's because it sounds like these songs were recorded in a gigantic cave! The guitar and percussion bounces all around, but the centerpiece of these songs is Eddie's voice, which comes through loud and clear. Can you keep a straight face if I say that her voice is "haunting"? Well, I think it is, and whoever produced this record did awesome work because everything sounds great. It may have actually been the band themselves, since the CD says it was recorded at Eddie's house.

Apparently they have some pedigree in the Japanese psych scene. I don't know anything about that, but their label, Preservation, has a page with more of this info if you're interested. I heard about them from an article on Dusted profiling a bunch of interesting Japanese bands. Thanks Dusted!

Eddie Marcon - Blues [Shining on Graveposts, 2005]

Eddie Marcon - Mukau [Shining on Graveposts, 2005]

I couldn't find this album when I was in Japan (!), but you can pick it up online at Boomkat (£) or Miramoglu ($).

October 25, 2007

More Vibert

WOW, this is an absurdly good track featuring Kerrier District, Luke Vibert's disco alias. I don't know who Black Mustang is, but this one has extra hypnotic keyboard lines which sound very Vibertish. They didn't forget the cowbell here, either. It's off a compilation called Milky Disco that looks well worth picking up. I think I need to start checking out more of the Lo Recordings catalog, they put out Black Devil Disco Club which I should also post about...

Black Mustang vs Kerrier District - Mad as Hell

October 23, 2007

Two remixes

Girl Talk

Here are two very excellent remixes. Thanks to you, Girl Talk, for showing how Grizzly Bear could find its way into a club.

Grizzly Bear - Knife (Girl Talk remix)

Hot Chip - Over and Over (Maurice Fulton remix)

October 19, 2007

Archived: Boot Camp Clik

Here are two Boot Camp Clik tracks, plus a video. I know some people aren't huge fans of the rappers (I like them myself) but the beats are more or less undeniable. Just more mid 90's Golden Age NYC rap...

Black Moon - Buck Em Down (Vinyl Remix)

Heltah Skeltah - Leflah Leflah

October 18, 2007

Aphex Twin primer

Would it be possible to ever post too much Aphex Twin? Probably not. A certain homie expressed some doubts about him so hopefully this will go some way towards winning over the non believers. What the hell am I talking about, Aphex Twin is already one of the most successful cult musicians ever, no one else in modern music has been able to laugh so loud at the paying public than Richard D. James. The following things are true: a swank NYC club paid Aphex big bucks to play a gig and for his entire act he stood on stage and put a microphone in a blender; Aphex was commissioned to do a remix of Nine Inch Nails but never got around to it, so when the record company folks came round he grabbed a cassette he had lying around of kazoos and such, wrote 'Remix' on it and collected his check; he will sell his music to be used for any commercial purpose, except for advertising the British public health care service since they once screwed his parents over.

Well, enough mythologizing. This isn't even a primer, just the most recent AFX tracks I've had in my head. They're on the listenable side all things considered. That image is the cover of I Care Because You Do.

Aphex Twin - Alberto Balsam [I Care Because You Do LP, 1995]

Aphex Twin - Tha [Selected Ambient Works 95-92 LP, 1993]

October 17, 2007

Viva Viva Super Eagles

This is one of my favorite finds of the year. Luaka Bop's "Love's a Real Thing" compilation of West African fuzz-rock was one of my favorite albums for walking around when it came out, so I was excited to spot a disc by Super Eagles (who have a track on that comp) when I was at NYC's Other Music this winter. That store's hardly bigger than a closet but stocks some of the wildest records ever. Supply and demand, I guess.

This music is totally languid... it feels as if it was recorded on some Carribean island. Most of the songs are in the Gambian/Senegalese language Wolof, which sounds a lot like Spanish to me. The liner notes (available from RetroAfric's website) have a good story about how Super Eagles were the first band from Gambia to get electric guitars and amplifiers. They're worth reading if that's your kind of thing. I really enjoyed listening to this one all the way through, so here's a track I like and then the full album.

Super Eagles - Viva Super Eagles [Senegambian Sensation Comp, 2001]

Super Eagles - Senegambian Sensation

October 8, 2007

Dulcet Wreckage (Rainbo Video)

Blog favorite Rainbo Video produces video and music. There's a unified aesthetic (of editing and pacing) across these different media that's very fresh. I like this song a lot for when I want a jolt of pop to the face, and I look forward to seeing a lot more.

Rainbo Video - TT

October 5, 2007

Archived: Taking it West Coast

Cali Agents – Just When You Thought It Was Safe: Cali Agents is Rasco + Planet Asia. They hail from California, as you might expect. I post this track even after Planet Asia’s Fresno rap crew, Skool Yard, did one of the flat-out worst shows I’ve ever seen at the Metro back in 2002. They got the lights turned out on them multiple times, people were throwing bottles...

People Under the Stairs – San Francisco Knights: But then People Under The Stairs came out and rocked it. Live hip-hop when you’re working just with DJ + MCs can be a tough thing to pull off, you kinda need to get the crowd unreasonably excited for what they’re actually seeing, but People Under The Stairs did that. (For the record, Common is also really good.) This track is an all-time SF jam.

Del Tha Funky Homosapien – Corner Story: Del was the headliner of this show, the Cali Comm tour. By this point it was already 3am or something like that. I’m telling you, Skool Yard was painful. Anyway, Del sounded bad, and had zero stage presence, so we just thought he was sick. Seeing Hieroglyphics (Luke Vibert's fave) at this year’s Rock the Bells made me realize that Del’s voice just doesn’t sound that good live, and he actually has no stage presence. Del certainly makes up for it in the studio, though. Anyway I think we stuck it out that night, since we were young and sprightly. Now it's the 2k7 and I would have been long gone.

October 3, 2007

Mate of the bloke (Luke Vibert)

It’s easy to cast the major players of the 90’s Warp scene by type. There’s Aphex Twin, the merry prankster, also the most insane: the dude lives in the vault of a bank and drives tanks in his parent’s front yard in Cornwall. Squarepusher's the egomaniac Wunderkind: rightly or wrongly, he’s proclaimed himself “the supreme musical genius of my generation.” Then there’s Luke Vibert: the most level-headed of the three, at least in his public manifestations, he’s been chugging along putting out a whole slew of records without calling attention to himself. He’s used a number of different names and dabbled in a few different styles (the disco-heavy Kerrier District alias being my favorite) without ever venturing too far into one sound or another.

Does slow and steady win the race? Well, he’s already outlasted Aphex Twin – although I don’t believe that Aphex has really quit making music for good – and one imagines that when Squarepusher runs off into the woods to go bang on trees with long metal poles, Vibert will still be releasing something with a squiggly synth line and an absurd vocal sample. Here’s to you, Luke, you model of consistency!

Luke Vibert - Brain Rave [Chicago, Detroit, Redruth, 2007]

Kerrier District - Illogan [Kerrier District, 2004]

ps. nice hiero sticker

October 2, 2007

Euro-Cruuuuuunnnk!!! [Modeselektor]

Modeselektor have been churning out some of the more exciting techno and electronic music these days. Their debut album, “Hello Mom!,” was a collage of sound, piecing together differing styles of electronic music to create a well-varied but ultimately disjointed piece of music. Filled with IDM, glitch-hop and emotive techno, “Hello Mom!” was very enjoyable but never felt like a true album. Enter Modeselektor’s second work, “Happy Birthday!"

While the Phorks will disagree, “Happy Birthday!” is a cohesive body of work, sounding more interconnected than Modeselektor’s first album. The multiple electronic influences are still there, but they have ultimately been filtered through the group’s now more nurtured, unique “Euro-crunk” sound. Fusing the best elements of dirty techno with the grittiness of hip-hop, Modeselektor and their signature sound are defining themselves in an oversaturated European techno market. Much of this development has been nurtured on Modeselektor’s label, BPitch Control, which is well known in electronic circles as pumping out some of the grittiest, dirtiest and crunchiest electronic music in all the land, with standout artists such as Ellen Allien, Smash TV and the MFA. You can get further enlightened on Bpitch at my blog here (shameless plug!).

I have posted a couple of tracks from “Happy Birthday!” that define Modeselektor’s signature sound, “2000007” and “Let Your Love Grow Moderate.” “200007” is the successor to the excellent “Dancing Box” (also posted) from “Hello Mom!,” employing cut-up vocal work from rapper TTC. “Let Your Love Grow Moderate,” on the other hand, can be best classified as a “sensitive banger,” coupling a propulsive rhythm with emotive synths and Paul St. Hilaire’s tongue-twisting vocal work.

One final note: Thom Yorke is on the album. Cheers!

Dancing Box feat. TTC [Hello Mom! LP, 2005]

200007 feat. TTC [Happy Birthday! LP, 2007]
Let Your Love Grow Moderate feat. Paul St.Hilaire [Happy Birthday! LP, 2007]

This is a musical connection (King Tubby)

"The threads of life, they are robust!" Thus quoth a friend. Peter's recent comment on Justin's inaugural Hey! Student post made reference to King Tubby. As fate would have it, Justin once gifted me a King Tubby compilation for my birthday. So there you have it: empirical evidence that the threads of life are robust.

As Peter suggests, dub producers were ahead of the game at taking a track and twisting it into something entirely new. King Tubby made his name making b-sides to popular tracks, called "versions," in which he would strip out the vocals and throw everything else into an echo chamber of sound. The material conditions under which this music was made are impressive; here's a well-written history of dub, on a Geocities page no less!

The first two tracks here are "versions" that Tubby did for The Upsetters, Lee Perry's group. The last one is a track off of Tubby's most famous recording, Augustus Pablo's King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown. Pablo is the one rocking the melodica - clearly, Interpol have done their homework.

The Upsetters - Chapter 2 (French Connection) [King Tubby's In Fine Style Comp, 2004]

The Upsetters - Dub Organiser featuring Dillinger [King Tubby's In Fine Style Comp, 2004]

Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown [King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown, 1976]

October 1, 2007

OMG BSP (British Sea Power)

Yes I am a British Sea Power fanboy. That's me in Japan, actually in an OMG Ozu fanboy pose, rocking a BSP t-shirt. They sent me (personally! kind of) a track off of their new album. You'll have to judge for yourself how awesome it is; I wasn't impressed at first but I found myself playing it over in my head yesterday and thought that it was Hey! Student worthy. If you don't read Pitchfork, or my shared items feed, you may not have known that their new album's going to be called Do You Like Rock Music?, so let me possibly be the first to inform you. Again, OMG!

Leaving aside the new track "Atom" I am still way down with this version of Múm's "Green Grass of Tunnel." It's not an easy cover to pull off and they've done it well. Pretty sure this was the b-side to the first single off of Open Season.

British Sea Power - Atom [Krankenhaus? EP, 2007]

British Sea Power - Green Grass of Tunnel [It All Ended On An Oily Stage single, 2005]

Múm - Green Grass of Tunnel [Finally We Are No One, 2002]