Spidering - We Can’t Just Call It Nothing (2013, GTB Records)
Remember the late 2000s? There was an explosion of psychedelic electronica and folk, which occasionally melded together to form what was dubbed “freak folk”. Spidering’s debut full-length delivers a view of that aesthetic which seems informed by the more recent loop-based pop and noise rock that has dominated the early 2010s. This album is highly evocative of Feels-era Animal Collective, in that the vocals are occasionally just above incomprehensible, yet still retaining a very folk-oriented bent, while swirling guitars envelop all of the subdued discordance. Definite recommendation for anyone who feels right at home digging out their CDs of No Age’s Nouns or Women’s self-titled album, or even El Guincho’s Alegranza!.
Available for pay-what-you-want download at:
2:25 pm • 18 December 2013 • 17 notes
Terry Scott Taylor - “Homina Homina”
from Neverhood Songs (1996)
11:10 pm • 22 November 2013 • 10 notes
Terry Scott Taylor - Neverhood Songs (1996)
Yes, it’s a video game soundtrack. It also happens to be one of the most interesting avant-garde albums I’ve come across. Taylor fuses together blues, rock ‘n roll, jazz, big band, and a number of other styles to create 39 1-to-3 minute long songs, all of which appeared in the claymation point-and-click game The Neverhood.
The music exists as a perfect complement to Neverhood's clay world, providing needed grotesqueness and earthiness to the game's moldable, handmade nature. Taylor's voice is often front-and-center, but very often you'll find yourself not understanding a word he's singing. That's not really important though, as you'll still find yourself singing along to catchy ditties like “Everybody Way Oh!” and “Operator Plays A Little Pingpong.”
11:08 pm • 22 November 2013 • 6 notes
Mount Eerie - “Between Two Mysteries”
from Wind’s Poem (2009)
I’ve seen summons buried in more air, buried in space.
And I just lied down in the snow, buried in space.
I’ve seen moss covered stumps in dying light, taking on shapes.
Black wooden mythologies, I know a place.
Layer after layer of comprehension,
Welling up in the morning light between two mysteries.
The town rests in the valley beneath twin peaks, buried in space.
What goes up there in the night, in that dark, blurry place?
Driving to work in the morning, we live in graves,
always trying to climb out of the hole, buried in space.
And the songs fade, and the singer’s die,
but my heart will not stop thumping,
the shapes in the dark still look convincing,
so here I am.
9:24 am • 16 November 2013 • 8 notes
Zs - Arms (2007)
How should one describe Zs? There isn’t really one good way, but the best that I’ve come up with is “experimental quartet.” The music herein basically follows conventional rules of song structure: repeated phrases, melodies, and rhythms. But it’s the way that each song is put together from these elements that’s baffling. For example, “Nobody Wants To Be Had” is almost like listening to the band members sing an apocalyptic chant set to intense percussive woodwind and drums that follow the vocals’ every inflection and syllable perfectly. Then there are songs like “Balk” which are exercises in the tranquility of repetition, following maybe 6 or 7 musical phrases throughout the duration but never seeming to get old or worn out.
4:54 pm • 21 October 2013 • 1 note
Talking Heads - Remain In Light (1980, Sire)
To me this is the best of TH’s studio albums. They embraced the power of samples and loops, which was a brand-new technology at the time, and the results are a set of largely repetitious instrumentals which somehow never get boring as the song progresses.
This is just a testament to how well David Byrne knows song structure. It doesn’t need to have multiple keys, or even more than one chord throughout the song. Tracks like “The Great Curve” and “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)” take assemblages of rickety polyrhythmic beats and turn them into something (almost) radio-friendly.
9:52 am • 14 October 2013 • 5 notes
555 - “Ultralight Survey Malfunction”
from Solar Express (2013)
12:03 pm • 27 September 2013