Welcome to the week in pop's salute to heroes that are making our collective culture better. First, big ups to the Supreme Court for knocking down California's Prop. 8 of hate, while we celebrate with a new Pixies song in the bag after almost a decade of no new material with “Bagboy“, get pumped mainstreamers as Rick Rubin signaled to the Daily Beast that a sequel to Kanye's Yeezus could very well be in the works, and continue to pray for your boy Earl Sweatshirt as he has cancelled his EU tour to recover from pneumonia. With all this in mind, get your weekend off to the right start with some of your favorites in no particular order.
Antwon is without a doubt one of the most exciting game changers in the evolving rap game right now. The San Jose by the Bay emcee maintains a multidimensional style that takes him anywhere and everywhere he wants his sounds and flows to go; we got a listen to the title of cut of his Dark Denim mixtape gets tricked out in new kicks and tricks courtesy of Now, Now's Bradley Hale under the Sombear moniker. Hale's solo production style assign synthesizer preset selections to rhythm variables that feature new timing sequences that hinge on Antwon's verbal remembrance of all past times that have ended. Sombear lives up to his title and keeps the key progressions somber as Antwon's verbal worlds reach out with aggression and a spiritual empathy, “like I knew the things that you been through, like I felt the things that felt you”. Mixing arrangements around the textile rhymes and shedding tears, Bradley carefully applies synthesizers that send retrograde ray gun blasts back to the past to contribute to the song's reminiscence. On July 16, Antwon releases his Dying In The Pussy / Life Is What You Make It 7″ from Suicide Squeeze with mixing courtesy of Lars Stalfors. The other day Antwon and I had an overdue chat about the remix, fakeass press-spun genres and Mr. Natural himself hinting at upcoming releases from his Nature Boy Gang crew. Read on.
Sombear, aka Now, Now's Bradley Hale, brings some even darker textile textures for the remix of “Dark Denim”. The suspense cinematic rework enhances your power-core flow with new subterranean tensions, but I was interested to hear what you thought on Hale's expansion of your sound?
I think its amazing it went from a very sad pop song you could cry to to a very gritty dark song you could hold your heart too. I thought it was what needed to be done I appreciate Sombear alot for doing it he did a great job.
From those vague Eastern samples from your work with Cities Aviv to Pictureplane's 90s production revisionism ala “Living Every Dream”, what qualities do you look for in the perfect production track given the eclectic nature of your genre-defying/disregarding sound?
I usually just feel out tracks, I love making music when it feels natural and organic so I don't look for specifics, I guess its all in my mood. I love to hear tracks that let me express what's on my mind and in my heart at that moment.
The concept and theme of 'nature' on your tracks has become a staple motif. Being that the Bay Area is always about 'going green', how has living and kicking in San Jose, Oakland and SF informed and influenced that natural notion in your verses?
Hahaha nah the nature adlib came from my collective Nature Boy Gang, more on that later but please keep your eyes open for Nature Boy Gang releases.
Quick thoughts on cloud rap/noise rap and such: still the hottest thing? Old news? Or was it always just some journalistic tag that missed the concept and creative point of today's post-genre landscape?
Definitely the second. I can't stand most made up blogger genres. I'm over all made up genres period. It's not ok to sell me short with some bullshit genre thats gonna hold somebody back from experiencing my music but I understand everyone's a fucking idiot who feels clever and wants a claim to fame but you won't get respect from me by selling my music short but I forgive you, thank you Based God.
All kinds of big things are happening in the Bay Area/West Coast hip-hop scenes, what artists and producers are you personally excited about and possibly working with in the future?
The Bay Area people I fuck with and its a fact: Sex Play, Nanosaur, Sad Andy, Trill Team 6, and the rest of my team. I'm not against people but I feel people want something from me and they obviously dont care about me its okay though. I dont mind I think its hilarious to watch people thirst like that sometimes its down right disgusting to be honest. I dont suscribe to using people type of behavior, I'd rather create and spread the beauty with my team.
Thanks so much Antwon for your rhymes, rhythms, hot tracks and for your time. You help to make this crazy Bay great.
Ha ha, thank you but I'm a move soon to be honest.
Catch the sailing wind with Gothenburg, Sweden's Boat Club, comprised of Magnus Wahlstrom and Andreas Christakis who give a rewound listen to “Memories” where a sense of belonging is found where the “nights were even longer”. Having been made almost a decade back, Magnus and Andreas deal in the keyboard configurations that are just now getting their recognized observance of chic and style with the percussion selection to echo the harbor front parties heard the world over where water and earth become conjoined. More than being a decade ahead of their time, it is the duo's moments of intimacy and sentimentality that steal away the heart and the song, “holding a letter I got from you, the words I forgot, but now I know, I know that I belong here, though the days are even longer”. Originally released in 2007 on the Gothenburg imprint Luxury, Boat Club's mini-album Caught The Breeze has been remastered with new life on 12″ and slated for release July 23 from Cascine. Magnus discussed the making of “Memories” and the group's namesake that harkens back to days of exclusive boat house soirees and the further processed romanticism.
The late night/long night reflections mirror memories like the image of clouds and skies reflected by the sea's waters. What does the soothing tranquil qualities of “Memories” mean for you both personally?
“Memories” was the first song we ever made for Boat Club. It stems from the time we went to actual boat clubs, dancing all night to hard techno and drinking hard liquor. I guess 'Memories' is a reflection of what it sounded like in our drunken heads during those late nights, combining the relentless beat of hard dance music with a soothing filter of alcohol, further processed and romanticized during walks along the Gothenburg harbour during the morning after, still hearing the echoes of the kick. I think this sums up Caught the Breeze in general, but Memories in particular.
And while we hear the ramifications of how the past decade plus of Balearic influence has informed today's sounds, the music reaches for a deeper recreation of feeling.
Listening to it today, almost a decade later, it's hard not to get thrown back to the sidewalks of the harbor, the Rio Rio boat club, the ghetto-playa, and past summer months in Gothenburg, knowing it's impossible to recreate that feeling. So now more than ever this song really means memories for us.
Brooklyn day trippers Worthless brought us hymns of lysergia with the release of their album Keep Sleeping on cassette and digital from Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records. The psyched out trio is made up of Drippy Eye Projections' Curtis Godino on sitar, strings and vocals, Skyler Toski on guitar and Nicole Zamfes on the organ controls. On “We've Always Been Here” they take you to those places that Ravi Shankar told you was possible, George Harrison attempted, where the world becomes enraptured into one global village locale of timeless peace. Curtis's vocals almost get lost in the echoes that wind and wrap around those everywhere tones celebration, ritual ribbons. On Keep Sleeping they liquify the earth and heart with “Love is Like Mud”, the slow rain revival sludge of “Sweet Sundae”, surreal rave-up of “Electric Seams”, the kingdom crashing “Delusions of Grandeur”, “Fabrosaurus Freak” out that explains it's own weird and wired self, the responsibility eschewing “We Don't Care”, the endless abyss call of “Falling”, “Here Comes the Sun” is not a cover but channels late-60s Beatles-Harrison better than the Quiet One himelf, confirming their dedication to the flower power decade with the closer, “Now's the Time/Summer of Love”. Curtis took the time to talk with us about creating musical drones to express feeling, the fight against dreamless sleep, mantric music, Spacemen 3 influences and more.
Curious to hear a few words on the making of the Eastward droning, “We've Always Been Here” single.
The song started as a nice acoustic jam that we began playing in between recording sessions. It quickly formed itself into a song, and pretty much wrote itself. The song is entitled “We've always been here,” like the song has always been there we just happened to discover it then.
Was the Keep Sleeping record a focus on the inward attention to dream reflections and expressing the motions of sleep states in song?
Yes and no, our subconscious plays a huge role in the music we write and play. The music has a definite dream feel because a lot of it is written and recorded alone. When you're tucked away alone for so long things start to blend. The name Keep Sleeping is more generally pointed toward how many people are stuck sleeping. “They live, we sleep.” Too many people with dreamless sleep. We're not really trying to put out a strong political message but we do feel that things are a bit fucked. Music is our therapy.
Tell us about liberating the mind and soul through sitars and mind bend mantric music.
Hmm, liberating the mind and soul through sitars and mind bending mantric music. Well I do feel like drones encapsulate a feeling and sometimes is the only way to express a feeling. They're hypnotic, they feel good, It's an escape, a break. I mean I don't listen to too much mantric music but Spacemen 3 has always been a big influence on me. They really made it apparent to me what you can do with one chord. Its takes you somewhere else.
Zola Jesus shared the stringed snow laden visions of “Avalanche (Snow)” from the forthcoming Versions, out August 20 from the gracious souls at Sacred Bones. This snowfall sentiments provide further proof that Nika Danilova's vocals and presence soar with both acoustic and synthesized arrangements.
Japanther kicks off their tour beginning tonight at San Francisco's Bottom of the Hill spreading the word of their new album, Eat Like Lisa Act Like Bart, from Recess Records. So sing along with Matt Reilly and Ian Vanek, as they provides you the DIY animated lyrics on screen where you are encouraged to throw summer time parties on the roof, and bust out the old school toys while pogoing around to some of the most legit garage crashers around.
Sink into the couch with this little dude in the Brian Neaman and Michael Southworth video for Steel Phantoms' “Curtain Call”. This couch potato kid gets absorbed into the cushions while watching a live televised performance of the former Islands duo of Aaron Harris and Jesse Newkirkof kick out the curtain rods. Their self-titled 7-track EP comes out July 16.
Chicago's Twin Peaks dudes dropped their new song “Irene” off their July 9 debut album Sunken, from Autumn Tone. Eat your hearts out lo-fi lovers, as the Peaks drop another one for your Summer soundtracks and ill-destined romances.
Pony Bwoy dropped the cut hollowed eyed cut, “Hallowed Ground” off the debut album slated for release July 16 from Totally Gross National Product. Listen Pony takes you around the grounds of rhyme and slowed down soul lit terrain. There might be an ode to getting Biblical and stuff, Sodom & Gomorrah style, but we will leave it to your imagination.
Dent May dropped “Born Too Late” this week off his upcoming Warm Blanket album dropping August 27 from Paw Tracks, as we think his Southern indie slick chill was born right on time for our time now.
Featuring vocals from Sarah K. Melfy, get sentimental with Shortcircles' Matthew Tammariello as he makes music to ruminate on romance to with “On My Mind”. Tammariello takes the heady tunes that new age moms and gurus swore were going to be the future and makes that prophecy a reality with Sarah's vocals giving a personal element to the keys that stand with one foot in the past and the other placed in the electro variorum of tomorrow's unknowns. The Shortcircles album Between Waves comes out this following Tuesday, July 2 from the electronic intellectual minds Plug Research.
Get a look at the Georgia Anne Muldrow & Dudley Perkins (aka G&D) video For “Majesty,” keeping the piano and rhymes conscious, majestic and spaced out off The Lighthouse available through SomeOthaShip Connect.
Hail the return of Au Revoir Simone, as they turned our heads around with the announcement of Move in Spectrums' upcoming release is slated for September 23 on Moshi Moshi in the EU and Stateside September 24 from Instant. With an early listen to “Somebody Who”, the dance crafted territories that made you sob, that made you weep, that made you feel, that made you think, and then made you dance to the illustrious electricity of bright neon keys.
Get a listen to the lates from WOOF with “YOUNG BLOOD ft. Mykki Blanco” where Patrick Brown and Robert Pera's production gets jagged and bloody to match the Mykki's razor sharp new jack NYC swag that closes out in a piano crescendo.
Chicago 10 speed smashers, Walking Bicycles give you listen to their forthcoming 7″ with their drums, amps and attitudes turned up on “So”. Look for the single available July 30 from Highwheel Records. This is the music your mother warned you about back in '94.
We got the Destruction Unit Newtown Session for “Night Loner” that will shake the very density of night from it's fixed, static state on heaven's Sistine ceiling. Their full-length follow up to the damn near flawless Void will be available in the distant future from Sacred Bones.
Auckland, New Zealand's Ghost Wave dropped Stuart Page's trippy visual overlays for the “Here She Comes” video off the Wavers' first full length, Ages. Get more of the band's ghostly Velvet Underground-borrowed aesthetics August 27 from Flying Nun Records in partnership with Captured Tracks.
Porcelain Raft creates seaward thoughts with a listen to “Think of the Ocean” ahead of the forthcoming full-length Permanent Signal available August 20 from Secretly Canadian. Brooklyn's Mauro Remiddi takes samples of strings and other classical instruments processed through his own discretionary treatments that apply new emotional touches for sea and shore.
Peep the Charles Poekel for Ducktails' “Under Cover” off their Domino album The Flower Lane. Enjoy the good-feeling sound of the 'Tails as they get groovier in an abandoned house from Ridgewood, NJ.
Buffalo, NY's Lemuria dropped the Sara Crow directed video for the paranormal party fever of “Scienceless”. So live it up with your favorite Lemurians, get stange with the aluminum helmets and the weird science that waits for noone and turns this house party upside down. Lemuria's The Distance Is So Big is available now from Bridge Nine.
UK's Metabeats, dropped his Caviar Crackle album this week on Associated Minds, that shows off his production with appearances and verses from Action Bronson, Oddisee, Quelle Chris, Von Pea (of Tanya Morgan), Marv Won, Chuuwee, Zeroh, Che Grand, Ed Boogie, Dubbledge, Ralph Rip Sh!t, Vanity Jay, Tony Momrelle and more.
Dum Dum Girl-Sandra Vu moonlights as SISU with her Light Eyes EP available through Mono Prism as Sandra preps her full length and a tour with Dirty Beaches this September. Peep the video made by touring bassist Dave South with filming by Jack Jeffries as you catch Ms. Vu and crew in the beautiful strobed glory for “Two Thousand Hands”.
Oneohtrix Point Never drops the “Still Life (Excerpt)” video from the Warp Records debut R Plus Seven coming October 1. The Nate Boyce video presents some computer generated visuals to meditate on as Daniel Lopatin's audio abstractions form together in the mind as new breakthroughs in beat arrangements. This is what electro purgatory must sound and look like.
Listen to our friend Coloured Clocks' slow and smooth organ track, “Orion” that closes James Wallace's Nectarine that leaves you waiting for further word of the upcoming All Is Round album set to be released in the months to come.
C-SAN shakes up LA with the track “On That” with production from the Flash Academy off C's upcoming True Achiever joint scheduled to drop July 1. Hold it down proper sith SAN right now, Inglewood represent.
Dais Records is digging up no-wave NYC circa 1980 with the resurrection-repressings of the out-of-print Peter Missing's Missing Foundation self-titled and follow up 1933 Your House is Mine. With both being released on July 23, you too can join the rebellion of the Missing by turning that cocktail glass upside down, declare the party over, and get dangerous to the following listen to the teeth gnashing, “Posada”.
Check out the Becky Sui Zhen video for Rainbow Chan's “Skinny Dipping” off her Long Vacation EP available July 30 from Silo Arts & Records. Join Rainbow Chan to a beach of enchantment, where seaside escapades, whimsical costume changes and unbound passions match the musical flight met with the joys that brings so many creative souls to live near the bountiful inspirations of seashores.
Canada's Jessy Lanza joins the Hyperdub family with news of her Pull My Hair Back release slated for October 9 and drops the street bouncing cool down in the video for “Kathy Lee”.
Keeping the Bay dumb and getting dumber, we got Roach Gigz cut “Pussy Magnet ft. Kreayshawn” off the July 25 tape ROACHY BALBOA III. Highlight: Kreayshawn's “put him on the fridge, he a pussy magnet”. Low point: The tattoo excess does not to appear to enhance, nor further Gigz' Don Juan cause.
With Danny Malone's album Balloons out now, check out the pop hype behind the track “Sugarwater” (not the Cibo Matto classic you may be thinking of). Bring the sparsity of folk based songwriting, Malone goes for the pop hooks with extra sugar lumps to go with his cool musical drink of electrolyte enhanced water.
Chicago's Jahzel drops the Asa Davis video for “Carefree” produced by Tone P off his upcoming In Gods Image tape coming July 2. With Tone P keeping the production vibe cool, J keeps the party lively where you can throw both your cares and your hands in the air in the company of good friends and great times.
Smith Westerns' new album Soft Will is out now from Mom + Pop, and we got the video for “Idol” where they act like their hip disaffected selves as the party carries on around them, and somehow without them (even if the party is for them, they can't be concerned, and they can chain smoke and pout if they want to).
Get heavy as heck with Naam on “In the Hour” as they take on the nation in their North American tour from July 6 through August 18 to celebrate their Tee Pee Records album Vow.
East Bay's Chippy Nonstop dropped her #finallyverified EP that delivers the latest trending discoveries from her hashtag hopping trend culture that follows up the meme farms of Bay Area swag with MoneyDance101, the #GLOBALSKOOLOFTWERK releases. On this extended player Chippy joins up with Kitty, Bukkweat Bill keeps it dumb while making the MIA guard sound like grannies. Grab it on iTunes, and preview it here.
France's 2Square and Antipop [aka Stephan Haeri and Chrisophe Hetier] are Télépopmusik who dropped their Fever/Try Me Anyway EP this week through the Paris imprint Splendid Record Factory and gave us a listen to the warm waters from the Pino Rastovitch remix here.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, or the better known-blog ready SSLYBY is you will, are dropping their forthcoming Fly By Wire September 17 from Polyvinyl. On “Nightwater Girlfriend” you will be brought to a catchy idyllic Summer lake alternate nocturnal world where that bad girl that turned you good returns with all her hot tricks, “getting high in the backseat, never change, never let them in”.
The UK's Paul White will be bringing us the Watch The Ants EP July 29 from One-Handed Music, but first helps you to “Find A Way” that features Homeboy Sandman with stray synth light searcher. Get more flavors and insights and how-tos than a cookbook with Sandman and keep on seeking.
Get roughed up, toughed up, and wild with Dublin twosome Kid Karate in their video for “Two Times” featuring Irish boarder Keith Walsh taking on the North Dublin suburb of Darndale in a Skate or Die fashion. These Karate champs' Lights Out EP comes out July 23.