Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers is a fucking genius idea for a mash-up album. I mean The Beatles and the Wu-Tang Clan, does it get any better than that? Yep. Not only are some of the best raps in hip-hop showcased, but the tracks they are put over aren’t just pulled from the Fab Four’s studio takes, they are culled from a range of Beatles covers that offer up a new and unique experience not only for Beatles fans, but for Wu fans as well. Case in point, “Forget Me Not”. Originally found on Inspectah Deck’s Uncontrolled Substance, the track is completely transformed when put up against Jamaican guitar legend Ernest Ranglin’s jazzed up cover of “You Won’t See Me”, making the original practically obsolete.
Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles – “Forget Me Not”
We’re deep in summer already, so what band to turn to then the band that dominated a solid half of my summer last year? Vancouver punk duo Japandroids have been working on a project that sees them releasing a series of 7-inch singles over the course of the year – “Younger Us” (along with a cover of X’s “Sex and Dying in High Society”) being the second. If you want a copy, you better hurry, as there’s only 2500 clear vinyl copies available (buy here). As for the song, it’s sort of a bizarro version of “Young Hearts Spark Fire,” with a similar guitar part and surging drums, all wrapped loosely around Brian King’s lusty, nostalgic lyrics. In other words, it’s Japandroids, and it rocks.
You know, I can’t even explain how Flying Lotus’s music is so good. For all intents and purposes, it takes a fairly standard hip-hop beat, slightly Dillafied, and puts subtle jazz music over it. It’s subdued, subtle, and somehow powerfully effective. For those of us who want something more immediate, something more aggressive, Flying Lotus’s imprint label Brainfeeder has released something fresh. Lorn, a 23 year-old producer from Illinois, has just released his debut album Nothing Else, which uses the same format as Flying Lotus–an album of shorter cuts of repetitive beats–but instead of using a heavy jazz influence, Lorn uses elements of glitch, dubstep, and breakbeat electronica. “Automation” is a longer cut on the album, and perhaps one of the most aggressive and dark found on the consistently excellent album.
Ok, so who kidnapped Tera Melos? Not too long ago, the ever-rambunctious group release their debut album, which was filled with spastic riffs and wavering time signatures. Since then, their progression had been somewhat obvious, or at least not a complete transformation, like the one that you are about to hear. Perhaps they were influence by Idioms Vol. I in the sense that they enjoyed playing tracks that have defined structures and hooks. At any rate, in the coming months (September 7th to be exact), Tera Melos will release Patagonian Rats, and if “Frozen Zoo” is any indication of what is to come, Patagonian Rats will be a sonic-pop experience that will certainly show how far Tera Melos can push their experimental rock boundaries.
Hello friends. Today is my birthday so I wanted to share a song that somehow, someway captures where I am right now in my life. Memoryhouse’s “To the Lighthouse” is a song that embraces conflicting musical and emotional traits. The song is undeniably wistful and nostalgic. Its fuzzy and reverby synthesized production (people are going to tell you it’s chillwave but don’t worry about it) has the feel of a laser light show slowed down and invokes Carl Sagan’s The Cosmos. This nostalgia gives way to a melancholy in the form of droning guitar lines and impassive lyrics. Despite these overt fixations on lost time and washed out memories, a sense of hopeful yearning pushes through the haze. It’s in the bubbling synth line that doesn’t stop throughout the entire song. It’s in the somnambulating trip hop beat that never gets old. Mostly it’s in the vocals, which rise in subtle crests above the waves of lo fi instrumentals that saturate the song. “To the Lighthouse” uses its own malaise to create a stunning ode to memories, summertime, youth, and “the scattered sound / of time dispersing.”
Memoryhouse – “To the Lighthouse”
Last week when we published our Top 100 Albums of the Decade feature people were most happy to see Gospel’s The Moon Is a Dead World make it into the top 10. The timing of the feature couldn’t be better. Though Gospel have been dormant over the last few years, they are now writing and recording, having released a few demos earlier this year, and just today made their new song “Tango” available for pay-what-you-like download through bandcamp. “Tango” makes good on Gospel’s two sides, featuring heavy chaotic drumming and departures to moody jam passages. The band had some words to say about the song as well:
A few weeks ago we got really fucked up at Colin Marston’s place. This is part of the end result. The song describes a ritual suicide; A summer jam for the indoor kids. We are releasing it as a digital single, pay-what-you-wish.
There’s no denying it. Ever since Botch called it quits at the rise of the millennium there has been a void in the metalcore scene. The void they left started a power vacuum that paved the way for the funk that it’s in today. Thank god for Narrows. Featuring Botch’s almighty Mr. Dave Verellen on vox and members of such greats as These Arms Are Snakes, Unbroken, and Some Girls, Narrows haven’t quite lived up to expectations, but their recent split with John Pettibone’s Heiress seems to have put everything back on track. For the better half of a decade I’ve been kicking and screaming, praying for a Botch reunion, but if “Recurring” is a sign of things to come, I might just be praying for another Narrows release.
Narrows – “Recurring”
A few weeks ago Nick Butler posted this track, which directly challenged my manhood when it came to filthy, grimy, disgusting dubstep. What Butler doesn’t know is that I carry trash bags with me on a regular basis. Enjoy this particular overseas artifact, which proves that everything in Japan is indeed dirtier.
two bottles of lubiderm and a box of condoms… this displeases Marshall
Last year, Eminem saying something like “Ain’t nothin’ but a whole lot of suckin goin on in rap” would be the equivalent to Oliver Perez saying something like “gee, the Mets’ starting rotation really sucks this season.” But this year, we get “Despicable,” a fucking jaw dropping two minutes where Em tears into fucking anything he wants to regardless of if it makes sense or not. On “Not Afraid,” Em promised he’d never suck again. On “Despicable,” he proves it. Eminem spits with the crazed desperation we remember from the albums where he’d fucking choke the shit out of his wife or drive off a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk. Only now, we’re the victims. The indiscriminate “You” he threatens and mocks over two different stolen-but-sinister beats is probably everyone who wrote him off after Encore. And if this is any indication of the quality of Recovery, we’re all fucked.Believe him when he says “Bitch I’m as bat shit as Ozzy it’s obvious you can tell I go right off the bat. No pun intended but come any closer I’ll bite off your head.” Believe him when he compares himself to Donkey Kong. Marshall’s back, bitches.
Guess who’s back with a brand new rap? Since literally becoming the “abomination of Obama’s Nation” with the whole BEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME thing, Kanye West seems to have temporarily retired from the meme-making business with “Power,” an addictive, King Crimson sampling banger with his most ridiculous lyrics yet. Choice lyrics include:
“Fuck SNL and the whole cast. Tell em Yeezy said you can kiss my whole ass. More specifically, you can kiss my asshole. I’m an asshole? You niggas got JOKES!”
“I don’t need yo pussy, bitch. I’m on my own dick.”
Kanye’s back rapping about what he raps about best: himself. And “Power” is a track that makes us realize just how much we missed Kanye West’s opinion on Kanye West during his absence.
I’m not as familiar as I probably should be with Japanese Instrumental Hip-Hop. Nomak and the now deceased Nujabes always seemed like the two brightest stars to emerge from the Japanese archipelago, both combining smooth beats over an even smoother mix of jazz and traditional Japanese instrumentation and melodies. With his 4th album, Dynamic Meditation Instrumental Limited, Nomak still sticks with this sound, molding his country’s past with Hip-Hop’s future. On an album full of relaxed, chilled out cuts, “The Universe” just happens to be a little bit more cool, a little bit more relaxing than the rest. It is pure Nomak.
Nomak – “The Universe”
Hammock’s latest release, Chasing After Shadows… Living with the Ghosts, is a return to form from the ambient/post-rock duo. Their 2008 release, while certainly good, stripped away all of the flair and power that makes Hammock such a special group in the ambient world. As if signaling a return to form with the ellipse in the middle of the title, recalling the group’s classic album, Raising Your Voice… Trying to Stop an Echo, Hammock brings back that power with a new sense of organic growth that makes their latest quite possibly their best.
“Breathturn” is the group’s single from the album, and is accompanied with a beautiful video that you should probably watch in full-screen. The song combines the purely ambient experiments of their previous album with the beautiful, reverb-laden climaxes of their previous work.
Brisbane has a lot of great bands and Nikko are one of my current favourites. Their sound has been steadily developing over the past five years, culminating in their debut album The Warm Side, released this year. Nikko’s textured sound sits somewhere between The Drones and Explosions in the Sky. “Young Liberal” is entirely instrumental and one of the best songs from one of the best Australian albums of the year so far.
We’re generally encouraged to post new tracks here, but as I haven’t quite given Sunderland four-piece the Futureheads’ fourth record, The Chaos, a proper listen yet, I didn’t really have any relevant options. Then I remembered this supremely unique, supremely awesome Kate Bush cover (listen to the original here), which pretty much launched the band’s career back in 2004. It’s everything a cover should be – fun, tongue-in-cheek with the proper amount of respect, and arguably better than the original. The only shame is that the band still hasn’t come close to topping it six years later.
The Chaos comes out this Tuesday.
Admittedly, when I first heard Ys by Joanna Newsom, I was hardly thrilled to say the least. However, Have One On Me has an intangible aura to its three disc, two hour album that borders along a unique blend of folk and classical modern style. Needless to say, now I see Ys and Have One On Me as albums that are nothing short of incredible, and “Soft as Chalk” is a peek at what Newsom and Have One On Me can provide.