Archive for the 'Instrumental' Category
Funky first series of instrumental beats by newly signed artist James Pants. This set follows the success of his single Ka$H, which came out in Aug. ’07. In a style similar to Madlib, or Peanut Butter Wolf this Spokane, WA artist hits on everything from electro to soul. Many lo-fi moments with lonely hand claps, finger snaps, early hip hop sampling & retro keyboards from the very start of the album. Dreamscape sounds as Pants mans the drums, & keys. Most of the album programmed on the JP-8000 (crudely drawn on the cover of the album along with fake sticker marks and pressed record stains on the back of the jacket) with mixing and scratching layered in by James as well. Some jams are like slowed down B Boy music with ancient sounding vocals “yeah” and “come on”. At the end of side one, there’s even a tribal beat track with sleigh bells and some oscillated vox.
Bi-coastal artists collaborative percussive clash creating the lesser known, yet longer lasting experimental stepchild of Drumline. Unlike that shitty movie, these guys use more sounds, play improvisational self composed pieces, and ahem; a glockenspiel. Mike Pride of New York City, has studied under the likes of Amir Ziv, and more recently, his mentor Milford Graves. He adds sinister vocals at points as well as electronic freakouts, but offers no words. Pride runs the studio FUNHOLE where this album was produced live! Japanese born Marcos Fernandes recently played the KFJC pit (04-2007) and is an active live performer in the San Diego scene. This particular release came from Fernandes and Pride meeting in Japan while both on tour in 2005. They later decided to take a day out of their lives to record this tasteful piece of percussion art fusion. A Mountain is a Mammal starts out with acid jazz fluxations, enters into a 27-minute piece with surprising sounds of bells, and ends with evil earth imploding electronic experimentalism.
Drums. Percussion. Rhythm. These make up the base of the organization of sounds known as music. When I was in high school band, there was something special about being a part of drum corps. When we played parades, the rest of the band would shut the hell up every couple of pieces, and let us percussionists show off the precision of rhythm. On Ensemble delivers that mysterious, hypnotic attraction to beats with the release Ume In The Middle. Melding together traditional Japanese Taiko music with modern electro and jazz, the CD delivers delectable beats and blips with a dash of drone.
The album opens up with the first two tracks “Yamasong” and “Hisashi,” keeping it nice and slow with droney chants and traditional-sounding flute. I was fooled into thinking that the rest of the CD would be the same, but I was treated to breakbeat paired with chopped-up samples in track 4 “Hiroya vs. Miniboss,” electro blips and beeps in track 7 “Silverback,” and downtempo instrumental goodness in track 9 “Yamasong (Remix).”
Rhythm transcends stylistic differences and is present in almost all forms of music; therefore, it’s nice to see On Ensemble proving this point with the ability to skip through different types of genres (and varying complexity in the rhythms). For example, track 7 “Silverback” sounds like material by WARP’s Plaid (if they had access to some really cool drums, of course) with the ensemble’s appreciation for IDM, and track 3 “Waiting” included plenty of sunny vocals and bright chords. Track 8 “Bounce Back” is something for drum corps members to appreciate. Combined with a splash of flute, the percussion shows off how On Ensemble plays as one with the precision that all percussionists strive for.
Ume In The Middle is slated to be release May 5, 2009, so keep your eyes open!
Sorry, there is no sax as the cover art alludes, but plenty o’ speedy tempo, guitar sliding NO WAVE action by this Vancouver BC trio. A-tonally amped, shouting, gorilla style drum spasmatics. The vocals are rhythmically in tune with the drums and other parts of the song rather than offering and steady melody. Check out the included liner notes for you fill typewriter typo lyrics about guns, knives and snakes on one side, and a barrage of band live show posters on the other. During the last few years Shearing Pinx have shared the stage with Gay Beast, Animal, Twin, Lightning Bolt, Health, and Leviathans to name a few. They have an upcoming tour in April of 2008 with headliners AIDS Wolf. Overall, the Pinx sound is anti dance pop music for people who still wanna dance. Powerful screams quickly become trippy instrumentals as side A ends, with side B picking off right in the middle where they leave off. Some howling guitars, play tone plucking, silly slides sonically sweet stuff from Erin Ward (guitar), Jeremy Van Wyck (drums), Nic Hughes (vox/guitar), and Nic’s own label, Isolated Now Waves.
Beautiful Baltimore instrumental duo of Nathan Bell of Lungfish and Arbouretum’s David Heumann. Drifts out and outer into subconscious subspace, 10 strokes above par. Recorded in Kentucky, these men of rock envision a dustbowl full of baritone and orbital spirit guitars, the bowed banjo, and amplified kalimba. If that’s not enough for your tripp into oblivion then your momma taught you wrong, and listen for the sexy trumpet smattered all over the B-side cut Ephaphatha. Themes of flooded spaces with secret hide outs and endless network of sprawling wires like rays of the sun, Human Bell takes elements of Godspeed You Black Emperor and strips them down to the soul. Much like them, it may be difficult to remember much of the melody after even multiple spins, however like their theme, they aim isn’t set to stun. Moody and morose, most build-ups perish as they build, quite opposite of powerfully moving music. Could very well be a good theme to a slow escape, or a lukewarm flood lifting you out of your seat and into the ocean ever so gently, and then leaving you there to float away. Like the best moments in life, enjoyable during the ride, but lost forever after the moment is gone.
Limited press drone dream split between A side Cloudland Canyon of Germany and Midwesterners Mythical Beast. Instrumental track for the kraut droners on the front, while the flip features seductively sad vocals by Mythical Beast’s female lead singer Corinne Sweeney. Haunting and minimal with no drums, she is backed by guitarist Jeremiah Cowlin, and bassist Aaron Hawn. Very serious and depressed sounds without the look at me emo attitude of the mainstream. Slow and steady vintage sounds fill every crack with Sweeney’s low slumbering notes. Mythical Beast will be performing in the Not Not Fun SXSW showcase along with Pocahaunted & Robedoor March 20th 2009. Cloudland Canyon is an analog duo of early-era drone, mixing tribal beats with simple repetitive but building nowave vocal drones over 70’s kraut guitar much like psychsters Ash Ra Temple and Embryo. The only sad part is that they only contributed one track to this split, and it’s also at 45 RPM. Ignoring the lo-fi elements of the recording, their classic sound is massive and methodical, like a trance dance into sacrificial volcano. Faust and German Oak fans will like their work, which has also been released on the Holy Mountain and Kranky labels.
Bitcrush is a solo project of Mike Cadoo, focusing upon rock-based musical elements. Shimmer And Fade is a remastered reissue of the 2005 digital release of the same name (this time out on CD, limited to 1000 copies) and it includes 4 bonus tracks. The art references the original, but it is slightly different, being a bit cleaner.
Moving on to the music, the CD begins with dissonant, droney guitars layered over each other, signaling the album’s mood, austere and introspective, and set over sludgy, spacey rhythms. Distant and melodic, Cadoo’s music slowly explores harmonies and textures without making the music too experimental and unforgiving. Reminiscent of rock/metal-based shoegaze projects such as Jesu, Cadoo favors instrumentals over vocals, and makes sure that guitars don’t overpower the sound, using them only as a way to layer smooth, complex polyphonies over each other. The tracks also incorporate Cadoo’s previously honed skills and know-how of breakbeat rhythms and glitchy production. While most of the tracks are Warp-worthy, the real gems are (surprisingly) the tracks that sound a lot more rock than electronic. Warm and optimistic, they are listenable and easy to follow. For example, track 3 “No Bridge No Water” is a five-minute exposition of brightly melodic synths and strong alternative rock guitar riffs. More pop-structured than the other tracks, the song unabashedly skirts the line between accessibility and sophistication. Track 10 “When Swallowing Becomes Difficult” sounds like something off Ghostly International, being cute yet introspective, with a touch of bittersweet euphoria. These two tracks stand out from the others and bring to the album a bit of avant-pop energy from within a much more downtempo sound.
Marvin Ayres is a British composer of ambient soundscapes, mixing together minimalistic, yet dynamic melodies that swirl around different genres. A master of polyphony, Ayres draws from the harmonic traditions of Medieval plainchant, to the glory of Renaissance vocal works, to the ultra-experimental pieces of the musical genius Gyorgy Ligeti. By combining the breathtaking beauty of repetitive melodic themes with the movement of sound flowing in and out of dramatic tension, Ayres creates music that resides between glorious and muted, pious and indifferent, beautiful and worn. The CD opens with “Androgynous Weave,” an almost perverse reversal of the sacred minimalism of Arvo Part. Repetitive and hypnotic, it certainly leaves a mark on the mind, but with a decidedly barren tone. Track 8 “Do You Hear Me Now?” sounds like Medieval plainchant, but with a beautiful mix of polyphony, building up to an almost sacrosanct wall of piety, but pulling us out of our dreams of the old by layering a thick barrier of reverberation and clean-cut audio. Most of the CD brings a sense of barrenness and austerity to the listener, with a slight touch of pessimism. However, by listening close, one can find the shimmering light of emotional apex at the beginning of track 2 “Soured Alchemy,” bringing to the audience a sense of finality and peace, executed beyond the bounds of temporality.
Crispy Crunch up-chuck with extra chunks from bi-coastal guitar/drum duel duo locked in a death grip. This Prog, Jazz, Rock tandem of Patrick + Alexander took their post-Lightning Bolt, Hella, Orthrelm project from the Bay Area with them to College (NY) and presumably dropped out to pursue a lucrative career instro two man band industry. Kicks Ass! links: Animal Myspace , Animal Website, CD on Amazon
Norwegian Guitarist Eivind Aarset works in some intriguing guitar on this instrumental electronic-jazz release on Jazzland. Other typical jazz instruments weave in and out of tracks like Nils Peter Molvaer on trumpet (track 8), sax, live drums, and stand up bass (track 3). The overall mood is one of snow and mystery with darkness all around. It’s got a sex appeal to it that might turn off an average listener who could possibly label tracks porn music. If you are one of them, then track 7, Self Defence should change your mind as it’s an acid jazz noise hardcore beat. Aarset’s sound is very similar to electronic jazz artist David Torn. The textures created by the guitar are slow and flow like water over jazz bass lines. The tracks compositionally create very different moods with electronic music being the only common element. Slow movements of air and light touch playing on all instruments cut out the higher frequencies and deliver a relaxing sound that the cool jazz era established. Check out the sample of Self Defence below (96k bit rate, mono, 1/2 of the full track).
Drawing on influences from Throbbing Gristle and Joy Division, this LA based old timer band has been around since the good old ’81 and the no wave scene. Savage Republic came from the mind of Bruce Lichter, owner of IPR and also leader of the AZ band Scenic. The band has a three of its original members: Thom Fuhrmann, Greg Grunke and Ethan Port along with 3 new dudes. The band is still alive and kicking and touring too (currently touring Europe). I like how their Myspace says they sound like Godspeed and Mogwai. While some songs like ‘Song for Rikki’ have their Mogwai moments, I don’t think they are as effective at staying inside one genre, not to mention that their recording style and vocals are still rooted in Joy Division’s pot. 1938 is one of those albums that isn’t very good until it is over. The final tracks are very long instrumental sound maps of places you want to go to and will make you spin the disc again. If you like older indie-rock sound, slightly out of key guitars, the New Zealand sound and reverb ridden surf beats, then you’ll like the album.
This album is a German import re-release (Brain Records) of Epitaph’s first self-titled album from 1971 on Polydor, containing 5 bonus tracks from their first singe, their 1973 single and 2 early demos. The liner notes (in German and English) are informative and give a solid background as to why this Prog. heavy kraut-rock band failed. They were influenced by some of the best of the time, like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Uriah Heep. The band had a British singer and lots of potential, but everything went bad for them. They tried to do a US tour, but signed with the US label Billingsgate who went bankrupt and caused the band to pack up mid-tour and go underground for a few years. Some tracks are straight up 70’s ridiculousness like the bonus track ‘Are You Ready’ featuring a barrage of wah-wah pedal. The demo ‘I’m Trying’ has a cool raw guitar sound and also some shitty live drumming however made up for with nice guitar solos. Both ‘Little Maggie’ and ‘Moving to the Country’ have country rock sounds, and ‘Visions’ is their softer Pink Floyd ethereal track. ‘Hopelessly’ nearly kills the whole album with its dated sound, but the instrumental parts work to help save it. By far the most interesting track is the 10 minute ending track to the original album ‘Early Morning’ which is mostly Prog Rock. The album had its problems technically, but shows the potential which the band could never fully live up to. They released albums until the early 1980’s and also did a reunion show in 2000.
You may think they’ve stumbled across Tiny Tim’s lost 4-track recordings, but really its another solo project by Washington’s Ryland Bouchard (The Robot Ate Me) highlighting quirky falsettos, a crisp clarinet and drum machine antics. Out on 5RC in 2006, “Good World” is emotionless in its delivery yet creatively full of the delightful surprises found in a magical world. Instruments come and go as all the tracks flow together. Piano, guitar and real drums drop in and out creating a complex rhythmic feel. Tracks are all short at a minute or less. Intricate album artwork illustrates many of the characters named in the track titles such as the She Owl and Djien (a man-sized spider monster). The folk album feels like a trip through an imaginary world where everything is scary but nothing is dangerous. ‘Sin Like Holy Men’ and ‘She Owl #1’ are among my favorites as they are the most playful and childlike which is the theme of the entire album. The production value of the album is excellent with layers of clarinets and harmonizing falsetto vocals. My only complaint is that the album is built like a novel, building up to its peak ¾’s way through and slowly fading out with the final 4 tracks. You can get this album directly here from their label website. Listen to the track Djien courtesy of 5RC.